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Where would you send a family member?

Hello all. I hope everyone’s summer is going well.

My Father pulled me aside the other day and mentioned he was thinking of surprising Mom and taking a trip somewhere nice they have never been before. He actually said Cuba was one of the places he was thinking. Now, that was big as he grew up with the missile crisis and has always had the frame of mind, “never give my money to communist”. They celebrated their 50th back in June and never did anything special. So he was asking me where to go in Cuba and to check pricing. They unfortunately don’t have a lot of money to spend on a high-end resort.

Knowing my parents, they would probably want; a nice beach, not a huge resort, decent quality food, some nightly entertainment shows, a nice pool, and pool and beach area with lots of shade/palapas as my Dad burns easily. They don’t really know any Spanish so a resort known for its quality of communication would be a benefit, likewise probably a more Anglo based clientele resort would be good.

I was thinking of either Breezes Jibacoa as my Dad may like to do the day trip to Havana or the Melia Cayo Guillermo (I know, not much to do on CG). I would love to send them to Cayo Largo but I don’t think they could get past the nudity. I was also thinking Varadero, but we’ve only been to the Paradisus Varadero which I think would be out of their budget.

So, if it was your parents/family member, where would you send them? He was thinking sometime in October/November which I already informed him of the hurricane season.

Thank for any recommendations! :sunglasses:

Ask him how much he can afford, take that amount from him and tell him you’ll look after the booking, then book them into Paradisus Rio De Oro.

O.K. so I already answered you on Trip Advisor and I will ask the same question here. How active are your parents? Do they enjoy swimming and walking, or are they just looking to laze on the beach or by the pool? I agree Breezes Jibacoa is a good choice if they want to visit Havana, but it isn’t the prettiest beach you can find if they enjoy long beach walks. However, the shade factor is decent. The option of Guardalavaca and PRDO is certainly a good one if they/you can afford it, but then no Havana trip…

PRDO while not easy distance to Havana still has some larger towns & cities that they can easily visit.

Any of the Cayos tend, while wonderful for the beaches, are further away from the mainland so add 50 to 90 minutes to any tour…just getting to the mainland.

Here’s another vote for Breezes Jibacoa! It would seem to meet all of your preferences to make your parents’ holiday wonderful. I like that it is small and easy to get around. It would be a good introduction to Cuba for them and the day trip to Havana (by bus probably would be best) is a definite ‘plus’. And your choice of MCG is also a good one if they really would like to stay put and relax on a gorgeous beach… Of course, if you could augment the cost of PRDO as a gift to them, it would be another great option. :wink: Please let us know what the final choice is… :smiley:

What a fantastic idea!!!
I second that recommendation :smiley:

Sorry eeeefarm, I’ve posted this update on TA as well…

My apologies, I should have mentioned…My parents are early 70’s. My mom likes to walk the beach but my dad has trouble (heart) walking any distance so he will probably tend to stay around the resort. Except for long walks for my dad, mobility is fairly good for them both. They do enjoy swimming in the ocean but my dad prefers the pool. So a good size pool would be important. They don’t tend to drink a lot so a swim-up bar is not needed. My dad does enjoys a good cuba libre or cubata and mom enjoys mojitos when I make them …lol

I’ll be looking after finding them the resort and doing any legwork but as for the booking, I’ll be using my Travel Agent who happens to be my mom’s cousin. She has also matched to the dollar the online pricing of anything I’ve found for past trips. :sunglasses:

I’m also hoping that my brother will donate a few bucks as will I to help with the cost.

Since they haven’t been to Cuba before I’d suggest a 4* or better in Varadero. While we love the Holguin area, it really has very little to see close to the resorts. Varadero has lots to see and is easy and cheap to explore. Day trips to Havana are easy to arrange.

I agree with cubavisitor that Varadero would be my choice for a first trip, particularly if the party is “elderly” or getting there.

My suggestion would be the Iberostar Playa Alameda because it’s a smaller resort and their staff is wonderful. They also often have Cuban bands playing in the courtyard after supper.

I have never stayed in “central” Varadero but perhaps a smaller resort closer to downtown may be an option.

This is a good question. I think that if I was to recommend a resort to an elderly couple, my first suggestion would be the Brisas Guardalavaca. While the beach is not very long, there is the path that runs along past the Amigo Club to the public beach and market. The resort has two sides and is often on the lower end of pricing. The hotel section has an elevator and there is a choice of an air conditioned or open buffet, and some of the ala cartes have A/C as well. There is good music (or has been) giving the resort a good Cuba feel. The layout is flat and there are no great distances from one end to the other. There are 2 pools and a good snack bar and reasonable lobby bar.

The market is not far and the retail shops/mall is just up the road a 1/2 km. The excursion into Holguin, while not Havana, is good for a new visitor, as is the local train ride (again this may have changed). The evening show was always entertaining if sometimes amateurish and the trio Los Pancitos played quite often at meal times. I never had any trouble communicating with the staff on my 3 visits (again the last time was in 2009 just after Hurricane Ike). The one caveat is that in Oct/Nov only one side of the resort may be open for rooms and/or facilities. I am certain that others can fill you in if any of this info is old!

Sorry, where are they flying from?

Breezes Jibacoa might be a good choice, depending on whether they wish to tour Havana. In view of the fact that your dad is not up for much walking, I would suggest a car tour (not a bus, the “official” tours can involve a fair bit of walking and/or standing around). There are quite a few options, and in these days of entrepreneurs they could likely arrange something not overly pricey. There were a number of suggestions on this thread:

http://debbiesreviews.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=cubageneral&action=display&thread=20014

If Havana isn’t that important, Guardalavaca might be a good alternative. The beaches are relatively short but beautiful, and there is lots of shade. :smiley:

Thanks for all the info and recommendations! :slight_smile:

I’ve given my dad the resort names so he can take a look at them. He’s not commuter savvy so he’s picked up some travel brochures and is going to look at them through those.

I completely agree with 4* or better. I want them to have the best trip possible. I talked to him again and he said “if a day trip to Havana or somewhere is possible, he would like to do it” Or even just travel into Varadero. I’ve also mention Holguin.

I’m really happy he’s thinking of this. My parents have a timeshare in Florida and my dad was thinking of just buying an extra 2 weeks there. He knows how much my wife and I love Cuba, so he said it might be nice to see something different. My mom is going to love it! She’s always trying to get him to do sidetrips somewhere when traveling to/from Florida.

Spunky…they fly out of Toronto.

I’ll be sure to come back and let you know which resort he picked. Now I need to get back to watching prices for our next trip! ;D

:sunglasses:

I think I would have to agree with the suggestions of Breezes Jibacoa fitting their requirements. Plus, it does cater to an older crowd as it isn’t kid friendly so they would have people of their generation to mix with. The grounds are beautiful and have walkways throughout for them to wander, if they wish. A large pool with shade and lots of shade at the beach. The majority of the employees speak English and are very friendly. The buildings as two story so you could request the ground floor if your father has issues with stairs. There is wheelchair access to the main building (lobby, buffet, etc) so he can avoid stairs, if needed. There is a doctor (medical clinic) on site 24/7. I’m sure they would love to see Old Havana and a day tour by private driver is very reasonable and they could do it at their own pace.