float(43) Villa Maria La Gorda Hotel, Pinar del Rio Cuba. 3 stars,
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  • Hotel Villa Maria La Gorda

    Villa Maria La Gorda Hotel Cuba

    • Destination: Pinar del Rio
    • Address: Penisula de Guanahacabibes.
    • Phone: (53 48) 77 8077
    • Accept child:Yes
  • Description: Villa Maria La Gorda Hotel Cuba

    Designed especially for divers, but is a wonderful option for echo-tourists and vacationers looking for a quiet and isolated place, the Centro Internacional de Buceo Gaviota (CIB, International Diving Center Seagull) "Maria la Gorda" is located at the westernmost tip of Cuba, the Guanahacabibes peninsula, near Corrientes Cape. It’s a true opportunity to discover the intricate places of this biosphere reserve and experience a paradise inhabited by many species of animals and endangered endemic species and where there remain still untouched small and sheltered beaches wrapped in pirates and hidden treasures stories. It is not known with certainty the identity of the person who gave name to it, if it was a Venezuelan indigenous brought into force on a pirate ship and then abandoned to their fate, or the daughter of a Spanish sailor who shipwrecked in the area, but Maria la Gorda (the fat Mary) settled down at the edge of the inlet streams, 143 km southwest of the city of Pinar del Rio and to survive, she began to provide food and fun to any ship which ventured that corner of Cuba, where it is assumed that over 100 sunken Spanish galleons lie, and where there is talk of fabulous hidden treasures such as the Mexican city of Merida. Private, quiet and known for its clear sea beds, ranked among the top in the world and for many the best for diving in Cuba, the Canto del Veril marine platform is about 300m from the coast and its 50 dive sites are always nearby; here you can enjoy a marine flora of indescribable colors by the gorgonian varieties that inhabit them, as well as the contemplation of walls which are covered by black coral colonies, which constitute the largest reserve on the island. The marine life is abundant and surprising, mostly in August by the presence of whale sharks. More than 20 corals species, different sizes fishes, lobsters, crabs and eels can be seen frequently in these sea beds. The villa is located in a mixed environment, where the lush forest and diverse wildlife are considered a natural refuge. Birds abound, more than a hundred native species nest in the place (especially the green woodpecker, the parrot and the tocororo) as well as numerous temporary residents. There are also a lot of live reptiles, amphibians and mammals (mainly iguanas, frogs, deer and jutías). Extremely abundant are invertebrates and a special attraction is the speleology-fauna, to which belong the hot caves, its main biotype. This region’s vegetation is endowed with diverse formations such as evergreen semidesíduos forests, coastal thickets, rocky coast and sandy coast vegetation, of lagoons, mangrove swamps and grasslands. Its flora reaches about 70 species of which 17 are endemic of district itself, among them is the smaller plant with flowers and fruits in the world which does not exceed 0.3 mm., demonstrating the varied landscape, one of the main attractions of the place.

  • Reservation form
    For reservation over 5 room you have to contact us.


     

    • Current reservation summary
    • Reservation hotel: Villa Maria La Gorda
    • Total pax: 2 Adults
    • Meal plan: Bed and Breakfast
    • Total rooms by type: 1 Double-Standard
    • Night(s): 1 nts

    TOTAL PRICE: €86

    For dates from 08/21/2019 to 08/22/2019

  • Room facilities
    110 volt power
    220 volt power
    air conditioning
    balcony or terrace
    hairdryer
    handicap facilities
    hot and cold running water
    minibar
    private bath
    safety deposit box
    Satellite TV
    telephone
  • Distinguished

    Its flora reaches about 70 species of which 17 are endemic of district itself, among them is the smaller plant with flowers and fruits in the world which does not exceed 0.3 mm., demonstrating the varied landscape, one of the main attractions of the place, Extremely abundant are invertebrates and a special attraction is the speleology-fauna, to which belong the hot caves, its main biotype, There are also a lot of live reptiles, amphibians and mammals (mainly iguanas, frogs, deer and jutías), Birds abound, more than a hundred native species nest in the place (especially the green woodpecker, the parrot and the tocororo) as well as numerous temporary residents, The villa is located in a mixed environment, where the lush forest and diverse wildlife are considered a natural refuge, he marine life is abundant and surprising, mostly in August by the presence of whale sharks. More than 20 corals species, different sizes fishes, lobsters, crabs and eels can be seen frequently in these sea beds., The contemplation of walls which are covered by black coral colonies, which constitute the largest reserve on the island, The Canto del Veril marine platform is about 300m from the coast and its 50 dive sites are always nearby; here you can enjoy a marine flora of indescribable colors by the gorgonian varieties that inhabit them, Private, quiet and known for its clear sea beds, ranked among the top in the world and for many the best for diving in Cuba

  • Facilities

    beauty salon, bell boy, board games, buffet, car rental, cyber cafe, discotheque, grill, gym, massage, money exchange, motorized water sports, multi-language staff, Piano bar, post office, Reception 24 hrs., safety deposit box in room, satellite tv, sauna, scuba diving center, Solarium, swimming pool, taxis, tennis courts, theme Restaurants, tourism bureau,

  • Food Facilities

    Buffet: Variety of international and Cuban food. Bar-cafeteria: Light foods with domestic and international beverages

    • Restaurants next to Villa Maria La Gorda Hotel
    • Las Gorgonias Buffet Breakfast (07:30-10:00 hrs) Lunch (13:00-15:00 hrs) Dinner (19:30-22:00 hrs).

      El Carajuelo Lunch (12.30-16.00 hrs) Dinner (19:00-22:00 hrs). A la carte. Specializing in seafood.

    • Bars next to Villa Maria La Gorda Hotel
    • Snack Bar Energio 9.30 a.m. -until the last customer leaves

    • Car rental offices next to Villa Maria La Gorda
    • Maria la Gorda  Car rental officeMaria la Gorda Car rental office

      Cabo de San Antonio, La Bajada. Municipio San Diego
      0m


    • Reviews
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      • birdsofafeather1
        Maaike1975
        Review about Villa Maria La Gorda Hotel
        Awfull Awfull

        “Horrible place ”
        We were planning to go for 3 nights, but we left after 1. The room was dirty, hairs from the previous guests, the sheets had stains and we had to make a construction to make to shower stay on the wall. But worst of all, the pillows, we had to put the pillow case on them ourselfs (after we called to get them). When we saw them!!!!!!!! FULL OF FUNGUS!!!!!! I have NEVER EVER seen this before. After my complaints, they brought new pillows. We heard a "sorry", but they didn't really mean it. The dive master was nice, but a sexist. After the first dive, I told him that I wouldn't make another dive, he didn't spoke to me anymore. Very rude if you ask me. If you have done a lot of dives, this is not the place to be. You have seen to much already, nothing new or beautiful here. I would not go back, EVER.

      • birdsofafeather1
        Fulvio71
        Review about Villa Maria La Gorda Hotel
        Awfull Awfull

        “How to destroy a paradise ”
        Please note I am only referring to the hotel. Can't say about the divings. Maria la Gorda is under complete rebuilding... which means a big part of the forest has been cut and impersonal buildings and parkings have been built everywhere. Of course these works are also affecting the experience you have in that place (i am writing in July 2013). What made us completely mad about this place is the staff working in the hotel. In few points: 1. First thing I saw arriving there was a waitress cleaning the bar and throwing plastic and dust on the beach beneath... after a couple of days the waste was still there 2. During the night there are cows coming on the beach and inside the hotel area.. which is fine, of course. A bit less if they leave their "souvenirs" everywhere. The beach was literally flooded by those "cakes" and you could find some others on your way to the restaurant or just in front of the door of the medical point. For days. 3. You pay 59CUC per night, plus everything you drink and 12CUC for a really poor restaurant: at the end you could easily arrive to 90CUC per day... absolutely out of range for the offer you get 4. When eating inside you are in the middle of dozens of flies which pass part of their time on the buffet. If you decide to eat outside there are cats literally jumping on your table and steal your food. Table cloth where not changed during the 3 days I stood there. The floor outside never cleaned: the mix of sand and dust made a client fall badly on the ground. 5. A guy lost a towel: he was forced to pay for it (which is fine). 55CUC... which is simply ridiculous 6. The works created a sort of "little lake" inside the hotel garden... after sunset you are literally assaulted by mosquitos. Maria la Gorda was a place with trees, cabanhas and amacas just in front of the beach. The decision to remodel it is an epic fail.. the place is just ordinary, now. Most of all the people working there really seem to have any interest in keeping it clean and nice. This is a complete shame for a place you pay so much.

      • birdsofafeather1
        AnanB
        Review about Villa Maria La Gorda Hotel
        Awfull Awfull

        “Phenomenally bad, foul in fact! ”
        Stayed here with a group. It is a building site with cows wandering around, most of the roads and pavements aren't complete. The staff don't care, they have a really bad attitude. Most of us had to change rooms due to problems with lighting or general standard. In our second room the towels weren't clean and there was a musty smell but we were lucky compared with our friends whose bed linen was really dirty with mouldy stains. We complained but they weren't changed until the next day when we caught the 'cleaner' outside our building and stood over her while she cleaned! The room smelt better after she'd cleaned. Our friends weren't so lucky and their bed linen was never changed. The restaurant was truly disgusting and foul. There was only a limited option, poor quality buffet for an extortionate $13, this is the same for lunch and dinner. The restaurant was swarming with black flies but if you ate on the terrace there were 9 cats begging around your table, I even saw them jump on tables to take food from peoples' plates. There is nowhere else to eat and there is nothing for miles. The beach is rocky and it is what the cats use as their toilet. Avoid this place like the plague, it is disgusting through and through and the staff don't care. Once you're there you're stuck, there is no where for miles.

      • birdsofafeather1
        DJ J
        Review about Villa Maria La Gorda Hotel
        Awfull Awfull

        “Beautiful setting, phenomenally bad service, food, and accommodations ”
        Maria La Gorda is situated in one of the most beautiful areas of Cuba. Unfortunately, the hotel is bare bones, beds uncomfortable (though new), and the food and service in the restaurant is undescribably impassive and bad. The folks who work at the dive center are surly and inattentive. I love the area, but this place has a long way to go. The accommodations in the Park at Cabo San Antonio are excellent. p.s. If you stay at Maria La Gorda, use the safe in the room.

      • birdsofafeather1
        StazeL
        Review about Villa Maria La Gorda Hotel
        Awfull Awfull

        “Do not come near it ”
        I rarely leave reviews, but feel like this time I certainly must. We got to this part of Cuba because of our guidebook and although the location itself is nice, hotel is the worst experience we have ever had. Rooms are very rundown and we had problems including broken toilet, broken shower, ac was making horrible sounds and top things up - BED BUGS! My legs are covered knees down and looks likes somebody played darts on my lefts. Horrible. Looks like also developed allergic reaction, as itch & redness are still present, if not gone worse. Hungry skinny cats will literally steal food from your table. Do not get fooled into buying buffet - waste of money! There is poor selection, quality of food is well below average and highly likely you will have an upset stomach. Also heard diving equipment is old and was dangerous to use. I really really hope this will help and people will avoid coming to Maria La Gorda until management sorts out the hotel problem. You will get your holiday ruined.

      • birdsofafeather1
        tjofen
        Review about Villa Maria La Gorda Hotel
        Awfull Awfull

        “Lies, awful food, boring beach ”
        We booked the hotel via cubaism.com (DON'T do that!) which made the double room incl breakfast cost 86.5$ instead of 58$. We wanted to solve this over charging with the help of the receptionist of the hotel. That was easier said than done. I don't know if it was ignorance or if th receptionist really lied to us about what they had charged cubaism for the room. The beach was kind of small and not very appealing. The snorkel trip we took was ok, nothing special. The person responsible for dives was not service minded at all. The food was really bad (however that was the case on most of Cuba...) and only two restaurants available so not much to choose from. It was very hard to get warm water in the shower. There were "wild" cows that made noise during the night so difficult to sleep. And the cows were pretty aggressive and intrusive at the beach. The room, except for the cold shower, was nice and clean.

      • birdsofafeather1
        h0lidayjenny
        Review about Villa Maria La Gorda Hotel
        Awfull Awfull

        “bed bugs and towel scam ”
        We had two nights here as part of a group tour. six days later my body is still covered with loads of bites from bed bugs. and my room was not the only one that had them! as we were leaving, they tried to tell me I had taken 2 of their bath towels -saying there were 4 in my room, when only 2 were provided. Lucky for me, my tour leader sorted this out although it took her ages to convince them. with my lack of spanish i would not have stood a chance. the room itself was okay for where it is. As for the buffet - give it a miss. Meals at the restaurant were quite okay. loved being in Cuba and thiw as easily the only bad place we stayed in as we travelled the country for 3 weeks

      • birdsofafeather1
        labiodola
        Review about Villa Maria La Gorda Hotel
        Awfull Awfull

        “Just go there if you really want to dive there ”
        The Hotel Staff is highly lacking any type of professionalism. You can expect any surprise. Going for dinner you can find that the number of sit at the hotel restaurant is 50% less than the hotel guests needed to have supper! The Hotel director does not perform any managing duty. In fact a quite naive good looking sales manager randomly preforms different functions without any knowhow. The results are at the hotel guests' expenses!

      • birdsofafeather1
        septalex
        Review about Villa Maria La Gorda Hotel
        Awfull Awfull

        “Don't even bother... ”
        This place is only for foreigners because the cuban government decided that whoever was born on the island CANNOT go diving on any of their ships. The food is extremely expensive and of very bad quality. The buffet is a joke to say the least. Their rooms are old and you might find some critters inside your fridge or underneath your pillow (we found a dead frog inside the fridge). If you have some respect for humankind you would NOT visit this place (especially if you are a cuban born). The beach & the view are not bad though.

      • birdsofafeather1
        ShellserDublin
        Review about Villa Maria La Gorda Hotel
        Awfull Awfull

        “Awful hotel - mosquito hell ”
        We travelled in a group of 4 in April 2012. We were so looking forward to four nights in the diving paradise beach resort that we had read about. What we found when we arrived was a very run down hotel with very limited facilities. To be fair, the beach is beautiful, though there are very few loungers/ chairs for guests.The rooms themselves are very basic, and you need to leave the AC on full blast at all times to keep the mosquitoes at bay. We travelled around the country for 3 weeks and did not encounter anywhere else anything like the mosquitoes that were in this place. Despite nuclear strength repellent we all got bitten many times, one friend in particular had more than 30 bites. And then, despite sleeping in full clothes, she was bitten further by bedbugs that night. The food in the buffet was dreadful - mystery meat and sub standard everything else... the outdoor tables were nicely situated right on the beach, but were infested with many feral cats - if you turned away from the table for a second, the cats would jump up and steal whatever food they could. 2 of our group are very accomplished divers and as this is one of the big selling points of the hotel, they booked a dive. Both reported that the equipment was the worst they had encountered, not alone was it old, it was dangerous. Neither were given weight belts and one of them ran out of air 20 mins into the dive. We had planned to stay 4 nights but made our escape after 2 nights - we couldn't get away quickly enough!

      • birdsofafeather1
        Julias_holidays
        Review about Villa Maria La Gorda Hotel
        Awfull Awfull

        “We stayed 1 night! It was horrible! ”
        It's a hotel from the state which already says a lot. We travelled around Cuba and stayed in around 15 different places. This Hotel was really the worst we saw in Cuba. They showed us 2 rooms - one without even a window in a really old part of the hotel and the other one was in a recently established part of the hotel. We took the room in the new part. Unfortunately it was a really dirty room. The floor was dirty, the bed sheet had MANY!! spots and there was a horrible smell of something undefinable in the room. Furthermore the safe didn't work (only a small problem but when I called at the reception they said we can store the things at the reception for around 5 CUC) At the beach are many small bugs which bite you. And at the evening are so many mosquitos - we never stayed at another place in Cuba with more mosquitos. We put mosquito spray after 20 Minutes but it was too late already I got around 20 mosquito bites. You can't buy mosquito spray in this area - so in case you stay there a longer time bring many bottles! The breakfast was horrible. It was a buffet in a very hot room withou airconditiong. So everybody sits outside. Unfortunately there are many cats who come on the table every second you don't look at your food. The options at the buffet are very small, we were looking for spoons and glasses and it took a while until they organized new ones. The fruits were full of dead mosquitos, the broken eggs were swimming in a warm soup of water etc.

      • birdsofafeather1
        eamonnocal
        Review about Villa Maria La Gorda Hotel
        Awfull Awfull

        “Beautiful Beach but Terrible Hotel ”
        I am surprised with some of the positive reviews I read about this place as my experience of the hotel couldn?t have been worse. The rooms are sub-standard, at most they are a poor 2 star rating by European standards. There are no fly screens on the windows so there were about 20 mosquitos in the room when we arrived and nothing to stop more coming in. We asked for the room to be sprayed but they wouldn't. The fridge in the room didn't work. After the 1st night we found a whole load of bites on our legs, these were caused by bed bugs. The food was desperately bad. Breakfast was either over or under cooked, the eggs looked as if they had been cooked days before and we did not want to risk eating the meat. Lunch and dinner were only slightly better but the menu is very limited. If you are diving I suggest you bring your own equipment, all of it. We found the standard of the equipment in such a poor condition that it was almost dangerous. My girlfiend asked for a weight belt and was told to put the weights in her BCD. So whats on the plus side?! The beach is beautiful. But the chairs and sun loungers are all broken and there are very few of them. The staff are lovely, apart for the girl on the front desk, we found her to be incredibly unhelpful. If there was another hotel nearby (which there wasn't) we would have left after the 1st night.

      • birdsofafeather1
        BradfordBackpacker
        Review about Villa Maria La Gorda Hotel
        Poor Poor

        “Great location, not a great hotel”
        Pro's Great location Great diving (apparently) Good snorkelling from shore Great wildlife nearby Con's Expensive to get to Diving courses that are advertised and then cancelled at the last minute. Really poor food. You try and avoid eating if you can but it's difficult because there's no alternatives within reach Average rooms Very unreliable water supply whilst I was there - showers and toilets need water! Unreliable credit card machine - take cash!

      • birdsofafeather1
        indie_dive
        Review about Villa Maria La Gorda Hotel
        Poor Poor

        “Disappointing Scuba Diving Management ”
        If you were an experienced scuba diver and have been diving in other countries besides Cuba and Caribbean countries, I suggested not to spend your diving holiday here. It's ok to dive for two days (and skipped the third dive) but don't waste your time for longer scuba diving holiday in Maria la Gorda Hotel. For the hotel - it was fine. They have new buildings and we stayed in one of them with view to the ocean. It was clean and everything worked perfectly, only the stairs already broken here and there. For lunch and dinner, you have option for buffet (12 CUC) or À la carte. Check first the food served during the buffet before any decision, sometimes they served quite good dishes in buffet than À la carte menu. The dive sites are ok, beautiful but nothing super special, the area is very easy to dive, no current, no waves, visibility ok. The main issue was the scuba diving management and its ignorance towards the comfort of the scuba divers as clients. The scuba diving club in Maria la Gorda runs the dive three times a day plus night dive at 8pm. The first two dives aimed for deep diving (until 30 meter or so) and the third dive aimed for shallow dive. All dive time max is 45 minutes despite how much air you still have. I have been diving in several countries before and usually they let us to dive for 1 hour if our air is still enough (not less than 50 bar). Actually my tank after 45 minutes - in Maria la Gorda was still around 100 bar and sometimes more, it felt like they stole my diving time. Every dive, you will be guided by one divemaster/instructor together with 10 scuba divers or more..if you were lucky and it was not a busy day in Maria la Gorda, you may end up with 6 scuba divers with a dive guide..but in my experience, it was only happened once, the rest of our dives, I dove with more than 10 scuba divers and one dive guide. The third dive was the worst, as more beginner also join the third dive, it was more scuba divers than the first two dives in the morning. In our experience it was more than 25 scuba divers and the last one was even more than 30 scuba divers in one boat and all dive in one dive site...gossshh..it was horrible! My recommendation for scuba divers - try the night dive, it was unique, saw a huge crab and sort of orang-utan crab but bigger than the ones I have ever seen in other countries. Very interesting.

      • birdsofafeather1
        Vanessa_Fou
        Review about Villa Maria La Gorda Hotel
        Poor Poor

        “Nice rooms... That's where the good part ends.”
        I was in Hotel Maria La Gorda in May 2012 - but I'm slowly catching up with my reviews on Trip Advisor. To be honest, I was pleasantly surprised by the rooms in this hotel, comparing to rooms in other places I stayed in Cuba. The beds were good, and showers were absolutely great! The whole setting with the bungalows was also quite nice. But this is where the good part ends. The bar and the restaurant were not only overpriced, but also quite terrible... especially the restaurant, with pretty much the worst food I had in Cuba (this includes street food from the peso cantines) and the most aggressive cats I've ever seen. I can't blame the hotel for the mosquitoes, however it's one thing to very seriously take into account when you are there. As I am a budget traveler I don't really care much about high standards of service... however some of the staff were really quite rude (perhaps this has changed though). I can't necessarily blame them if all they see is arrogant tourists (I met several... perhaps I was one of them too?) - still, they had some pretty bad manerrs. Needless to say, my only reason to go to this area was to go snorkelling, and I was quite happy with that :)

      • birdsofafeather1
        Shailyn_1112
        Review about Villa Maria La Gorda Hotel
        Poor Poor

        “Great diving, shame about everything else. Playa Giron is better. ”
        Maria La Gorda was great for diving the staff on the boat are really helpful, friendly and it's clear they know all the sites in and around Maria La Gorda really well. Unfortunately, the hotel is a whole other story. The rooms, whilst appearing to look modern upon first look are dirty as was the toilet. Upon entering the toilet for the first time, there was a paper to say it had been hygienically cleaned. I highly doubt this having found fecal matter of the previous guests in the room in the toilet basin. The food is awful at Maria La Gorda. As a vegetarian, I refused to pay 12 CUC for a meal, to eat only salad. Instead I ordered sandwiches from the bar instead of eating at the restaurant. Unfortunately, the hotel staff refused to let me eat in the hotel restaurant. As a result, the cats lurking around the hotel attacked my food on the first night. Jumping on the table and running off with my food! The hotel staff didn't seem to care about this at all. On the few occasions I ate at the restaurant (mainly for breakfast) there were over 500 flies in the restaurant area on the tables and around the food. The mosquito's and sand flies at the hotel are awful. Insect repellent is most recommended for any other visitors. Lady at reception was also not very helpful. I asked her a number of times to give details about a transfer out of Maria La Gorda. She kept saying it was available, then not available instead pushing the more expensive option as the hotel transfer "wasn't running" on that day. Having booked myself on to take my Advanced Open Water Diver Course, I was told upon arrival that this was not possible as I had a PADI license which was not recognisable in Cuba. This despite having rang the hotel in advance to make sure it was okay, to be told all was fine (an error on my part). The lady at reception was very slow to help me change the package I had booked as she needed to go back to my travel agent to get a new voucher issued. This took over 24 hours, despite visiting her over 6 times to check the progress. In the end we decided to cut our stay short by one night and go diving in Playa Giron. This was much better, more accessible and we had great food at our casa particular.

      • birdsofafeather1
        Fa77
        Review about Villa Maria La Gorda Hotel
        Poor Poor

        “The only option in Maria La Gorda ”
        I came here to do scuba diving. It is supposed to be one of the best diving sites of the island. The hotel is currently being renovated and some of the rooms/ bungalows are really old, in particular those facing the sea. The food is poor but there is no other choice. The diving centre is excellent with very good instructors (I recommend Fran). The diving sites are not bad but there is little fish to be seen. Considering the remoteness of this site, I would suggest other options in Cuba are considered before travelling this far.

      • birdsofafeather1
        ulriks1
        Review about Villa Maria La Gorda Hotel
        Poor Poor

        “Bite me ”
        This is actually a nice place, the beach that is. It's a corall beach though - there's sand on the beach, but coralls in the water. Great snorkelling, and good swim. And supposedly a good scubaspot. But the hotel is a mess. We stayed in cabanas with an aircondition that worked sometimes. They closed the water from midnight til 7 in the morning, sometimes even earlier. Other guests told us the other rooms was just as bad. The place is swarmed with mosquitos and sandflies after dark. Something really bites! In addition to the food ... We booked via Cubatrips and paid 72 CUC a night, including breakfast and dinner. No one told us it was a terrible buffet. Stay away! The bar restaurant is cheaper and better! You could get away with only 42 CUC for a room. The service in general is terrible and slow. Except one bartender who was a real charm. Oh, did I mention the stray cats and the cows running around?

      • birdsofafeather1
        chaisam
        Review about Villa Maria La Gorda Hotel
        Poor Poor

        “Terrible hotel at a beautiful beach ”
        We wanted to take some relaxed days at the beach and thus we choose this far-out location in the very west of Cuba. The beach here is beautiful and it's very quite. Unfortunately the hotel disappointed us so badly that we had to cancel or stay earlier than planned and head to another - more friendly - location. In Cuba state-run hotels can be either great or terrible. There's nothing in-between. This one is unfortunately on the terrible side. Staff is unfriendly, uninterested and bored. We tried to approach them with smiles and a positive attitude but after two days we couldn't keep this good vibe anymore and gave up. We assumed Maria la Gorda is mainly visited by tourists that get booked in here through travel agencies and not so much visited by individual tourists. This might include that many tourists don't speak spanish and thus the stuff may have communicational problems (especially when both staff and tourists speak bad english). Furthermore there are no cuban tourists here. Cuban state-run-resort-personal earns very little money, especially when you compare this to the prices in the restaurants here which are basically europe-prices. All of this can broaden the distance between staff and tourists and lead to this situation. Besides of the unfriendly staff the rooms are more or less ok (we choose the wooden huts laid back from the beach) while the restaurants are just bad, basic and overpriced. The cherry on the cake was when a cruise boat landed one evening. Suddenly the staff organized a barbecue on the beach with tables and food and music right on the beach. Everything looked very nice but this was just exclusive for the cruise visitors. Obviously good things are possible if the staff wants to... Conclusion: Don't go here! Your holiday-time does deserve better!

      • birdsofafeather1
        beathunter
        Review about Villa Maria La Gorda Hotel
        Poor Poor

        “Not a nice place ”
        i can´t recommend this place.. - the food is very bad - the beach in front of the bungalows is full of sand-flys, because the cows are peeing and *** into the sand. - the diving guides are not taking care enough about unexperienced divers. - the room was ok, but: i´m not there for chilling in the room....

      • birdsofafeather1
        Brad B
        Review about Villa Maria La Gorda Hotel
        Poor Poor

        “backcountry resort experience ”
        The resort is no doubt famous amongst divers, but it's far country location is a real rustic and run down resort. The food and dining experience is bad. However, the cabana's inland are a nice treat. I got really sick here and suffered the worst night of my life. To this day, I do not know if it was food or water, but combine the fact that they turned the water off in the middle of the night, it was a bad experience for me. I will not be coming back.

      • birdsofafeather1
        Wiltdorfer
        Review about Villa Maria La Gorda Hotel
        Average Average

        “So so hotel, beautiful spot ”
        We were there over xmas 2013 and it was an experience. Beach was great, snorkling fine, but the hotel, something different. First of all, that MUSIC. when you come all the way out to maria de la Gorda, you do not want to hear an uninspired band playing the cheesiest of salsa all day long. You want to enjoy the beach and sunset by it's own beauty. And not during dinner again and again at 9 pm at the bar, the same predictable songs. Uninspired, that was the only thing you can say about the food. Buffets are always tricky, here you are captured so you make the best out of it, but boy, how low can you go. And make sure you are on time as the refill only means extra rice and beans. One morning they were even out of fried eggs. huh? What a missed opportunity, lunch. You have a choice between again that terrible same buffet or sandwiches at the bar. Again, be there in time as all guest realise after 1 day dat that the sandwiches are the best option and the hotel is not able to see that opportunity and make sure there is enough stock for the demand during lunch at the beach or even increase the selection of food where the revenue is just waiting to be made. Staff was OK, but not by far as friendly as in the casa's. Where is the sincere hospitality? lady at the bar did her utmost making the mojoto's. The room (we had a cabin), large, airco, TV without channels. And indeed, the rooms are not clean. We had dirty sheets and black hairs in the sinkand a frog in the bathroom. A huge frog day 1 and a smaller sister day 2. why we stayed in fawlty towers? Because of the location and the sunsets; this we will never forget and even go back. despite the hotel. And if they improve their product and service, a winner! insider tip, in the small village La Bajada 14K down the road there is a Casa who also scoops out a excellent dinner (we learned afterwards). Get a taxi to take you there.

      • birdsofafeather1
        Nicky P
        Review about Villa Maria La Gorda Hotel
        Average Average

        “wonderful location, pleasant staff, basic hotel, good bar ”
        The beach is beautiful, especially around sunset if you can withstand the midges (in December, at least), the sea is warm and clear and you only have to snorkel a few metres to start seeing the fish. The hotel is all alone, effectively in a nature reserve, there are lots of birds and, by all accounts, iguanas too, although we didn't see them. Our rooms were a good size but needed several repairs and the showers tended to stop working when everyone came off the beach at the same time in the evening. The hotel was a bit tatty, with left-over building materials and other rubbish lying about here and there. The restaurant wasn't as bad as I anticipated after reading other reviews. At least there was quite a lot of choice and by choosing very carefully it was possible to get a reasonable cantine-style meal. The food we enjoyed the most was the toasted sandwiches from the bar on the beach.

      • birdsofafeather1
        Serguei Z
        Review about Villa Maria La Gorda Hotel
        Average Average

        “Average place ”
        I stayed there traveling with a group, just one night, before going to Las Tumbas beach and reserve. That is true that cows browse the location, as well as cats (no dogs). Well, that is a natural reserve, after all. We lived in the front row cottages, and they were pretty functional, while showed some decay. The most important, hot water was OK. By the way, the staff at the buffet place was very polite and helpful (did not communicate much with other staff). Remember, this is a diving spot, so do not expect much night life, or anything. Enjoy the nature. Amenities are bearable. (I am not a diver, so cannot say anything about this side.) And by the way, the beach is one of the best I saw in Cuba. Not Cayo Coco or Guillermo, but better than some Varadero's beaches. Water was very clear.

      • birdsofafeather1
        Divejb
        Review about Villa Maria La Gorda Hotel
        Average Average

        “The hotel is way out on its own so make sure you get all your meals included . The staff are friendly and the hotel does fine as ”
        The staff are friendly. The food is normal buffet and keep in mind they don't get much fresh food sent there, the chef does a good job with the basics . The diving is great . Not much fish life but a lot of great swim throughs and topography. The big draw back are the sand flies and Mosquitos - take extra bottles of the strongest sprays you can get.

      • birdsofafeather1
        NettieNZ
        Review about Villa Maria La Gorda Hotel
        Average Average

        “Great Diving... ...but that's the only reason to come here ”
        The diving here is excellent! As a diver I really enjoyed Maria La Gorda, but that's about all. Again I booked through Cubaism and found that it was a big mark up on the prices charged at the hotel. The food is variable at best. Stay away from the buffet restaurant - the better food is at the other one. Some of the dishes like the calamari were really good, but others were horrible. Very typical of a government run place. The newer rooms back from the beach seem to be a lot better than the beach front ones. I had no trouble with hot water, toilets or anything. Tips for some of the staff go a long way to improving things - remember as government employees they will only be earning between around USD 25-30 a month so a tip of even 1 CUC (USD) is a lot of money. Bring insect repellant - the midgies are real little vampires. Dive gear is ok but basic. A good idea to bring your own mask and a dive computer as a minimum diving. All said - the diving was excellent - as a diver I would be happy to go back again, but not for any other reason.

      • birdsofafeather1
        NewJerseyGuy
        Review about Villa Maria La Gorda Hotel
        Average Average

        “Mosquito Coast”
        This hotel is primarily for divers but others will find it appealing. It is located in a national park of extraordinary and varied beauty. We stayed in one of the cabins. It had a great rustic feel but, unfortunately, there was no working hot water. The breakfasts were unappetizing. The dinners were slightly better but, on the whole, the food is below average for Cuba. The staff was wonderful - extremely hard-working and gracious. Let me add my voice to the others - the mosquitoes in this part of Cuba are voracious. I was eaten alive. Bring the strongest insect repellent you can find and pray that it works. It's worth it - the national park is a rare treat. The bird life alone is enough of a draw but there are crocodiles, topical fish, iguanas, etc.

      • birdsofafeather1
        drillisj
        Review about Villa Maria La Gorda Hotel
        Average Average

        “typical Cuban accomodations ”
        I stayed in a cabin near the entrance to the property and while there the maintenance staff were sealing the walls with a varnish-like product. The smell was obnoxious but there was nothing I could do about it after discovering it once the office was closed and I kept the patio door and windows open all night. Management with any sense would not schedule that type of project near occupied rooms. The bed and the bathroom were adequate. The water pressure was good and there was hot water (unlike another beach hotel I stayed at in Cuba). There were frogs and bugs in the bathroom but not the sleeping area - the cabins are surrounded by native plants. The bar was fine and the food was decent, typical of Cuban hotel buffets.

      • birdsofafeather1
        A22L
        Review about Villa Maria La Gorda Hotel
        Average Average

        “Very attentive dive masters, decent equipment rental ”
        I don't know what all the bad reviews are about regarding the aging scuba equipment - I rented all the gear except for dive watch and scuba mask, and it was fine. The dive instructors are very attentive, carefully check your accreditation and try to customize dive sites to suit the divers. There are a surprising amount of people staying at the resort but you wouldn't know it if you did the 8:30 am dive - there were only five divers on the boat! It was great. It gets busier by the 10:30 dive and the afternoon dive is crowded with snorkelers. As for accommodation - MAKE SURE you get the cottages and not the suites by the beach. The cottages are spacious and in decent shape. The beach yields a ferocious amount of sand flies at sunset and you know who stays in those rooms judging by the angry red bites all over their bodies! As for the restaurant - one night it took us almost two hours to get our food. It's not the wait staff's fault, it's just the food wouldn't get prepared. Lunch is a much better situation inexplicably. But the hotel's basically the game in town, you don't have much choice.

      • birdsofafeather1
        CFK145
        Review about Villa Maria La Gorda Hotel
        Average Average

        “March 2012 ”
        Our room was on the 1st floor overlooking the sea, our fridge was not working on arrival, but this was fixed as soon as we reported it. Food was average.

      • birdsofafeather1
        Chris H
        Review about Villa Maria La Gorda Hotel
        Very good Very good

        “Great diving and lovely people ”
        I had a great three nights at Maria La Gorda. To be honest, if you're not into diving, you can probably find easier to reach places, that are just as nice - but I wanted to get wet, and wasn't disappointed. They dive three times a day (9, 11.30 and 3ish generally), with good facilities and equipment. Some of the coral is amazing, with some great swim-throughs and tunnels. I didn't see too many bigger fish - sharks/turtles etc, but there were some huge lobsters! Room wise, I loved the bungalows in the little wood - but there are also rooms right on the beach for a small surcharge. I can't recommend the food - it's generally buffet style and nothing to write home about...but grab a bottle of rum from the shop, watch the sunset on the beach and that doesn't matter. Getting there is a bit of a challenge. I took a private taxi from Vinales (60 CUC - three hours)...there are tours advertised, but these only go with a minimum number of passengers. Also, I don't think there are any other accommodation options close by, so strongly advise making a reservation. It's a long trip if they're fully booked!

      • birdsofafeather1
        MuZzEr007
        Review about Villa Maria La Gorda Hotel
        Very good Very good

        “Good value considering the captive audience aspect ”
        I am very surprised to read the other reviews of this hotel/dive operation. After a few days in Havana and Vinales, we arrived at Maria La Gorda for a two night stay, with diving. We were very happy with the room, which was clean, with great a/c and a nice shower. We are budget travellers, so the rest of our trip we stayed in casas particulares for approximately 30 CUC per night. There are no casas in Maria La Gorda, so we were concerned that the hotel would be overpriced, but we found that at 59 CUC it was great value, especially when you consider that hotels in the towns are more than 150 CUC per night. The food at the buffet is average, but plentiful, and again, well worth the 12 CUC charge. The food at the bar is simple but good and reasonably priced. I am amazed to read that people considered the bar overpriced. The trick is not to buy the cuba libres on offer. Buy the cheap rum (0.5 CUC) and a can of coke. Works out ridiculously cheap!!!! (I would caveat that you need to be aware of your bill though, as one member of the bar staff tried to pad the bill). The dive operation is excellent. The rental gear is serviceable, and the prices are very reasonable, especially if you book a multi-dive package. The dive guides were knowledgeable and fun. I understand people's frustration when they come back with lots of air as there is a time limit on dives, but that is common in the Caribbean, where you have to cater to the most novice diver on the trip - I doubt they came back after 45 minutes with much air. The only way to avoid this is to go somewhere where you can shore dive without a guide. As for the dive staff being unhelpful and rude, nothing could be further from the truth. We found them engaging and fun. As I said at the start of this review, we intended to stay for two nights, and do a couple of dives. We actually stayed for three nights and did 6 dives.

      • birdsofafeather1
        amassiad
        Review about Villa Maria La Gorda Hotel
        Very good Very good

        “heavenly place”
        We spent one night in the hotel in Maria la Gorda and we enjoyed it. We went there for diving initiation, but the see was too much moving and the conditions were not goo to dive. however, we took profit of the hotel and the see. The room was opening directly on the beach. It was large, clear and clean. The dinner and breakfast were proposed as a buffet. The choice was not large, but the quality was OK for the dinner and good for the breakfast. the staff was nice and helpful. We made a walk on the beach to reach a completely desert beach where the see was turquoise and the water warm. We could feel like in heaven!

      • birdsofafeather1
        Alan P
        Review about Villa Maria La Gorda Hotel
        Very good Very good

        “Diving holiday ”
        This is my second visit to this resort. I came here in 2011. This resort is not for holiday makers unless they are there for the diving. The diving is excellent and well run by dedicated staff. The dive boats run three trips, two in the morning and one mid afternoon. Deeper dives are done in the morning and a shallow scenic dive in the afternoon. Accommodation is basic but very comfortable and the air conditioning works well. Water supply was a problem with no supply between midnight and 0700 and on two days there was no water available during the morning. We had an all in package including breakfast, lunch and dinner. The food is simple but varied and is okay. However coffee is only available after breakfast as you are expected to buy this at the cafe at other times. Remember this is Cuba. The surrounding scenery is beautiful with white sandy beach and palm trees and the colour of the sea is truly stunning. This holiday is a divers paradise.

      • birdsofafeather1
        bengt_fjallborg
        Review about Villa Maria La Gorda Hotel
        Very good Very good

        “Hotel Maria La Gorda-Perfectly situated by the beach ”
        Our family, Two teenagers, me, my wife and her parents visited Maria La Gorda in December. We lived more or less on the beach and paid approximately 50 Euros for a double room including brekfast. The rooms were not that comfortable the breakfast was perfectly all right. The staff is really nice.To have the beach with palm trees just outside the bedroom was great and the snorkelling just off the beach was very good, top quality I would say. We also spotted Dolphins from the beach! Really nice surroundings! There are only one, ok maybe two, restaurants available and this is a government run place so there is not much of variation on the menu. It is a two hour bumpy bus ride there from the Pinar del Rio. Still we strongly recommend this place because of the beach, the snorkelling, the diving possibilities and the National Park! We stayed for a week and would reaaly like to go there again!

      • birdsofafeather1
        lorniee
        Review about Villa Maria La Gorda Hotel
        Very good Very good

        “A place to relax and forget the rest of the world”
        Set in a very remote western corner of Cuba, it's a bit of a trek to get there, but once there you are forced to slow your pace right down and soak up the beauty. Definitely worth the effort as you have numerous unspoilt beaches, with few other tourists. The accommodation is very reasonable quality for the price, it's not as luxurious as Cuba's more exclusive resorts and not as personal as Cuban Casas, but pleasant nevertheless. There are two restaurants and a bar, the food is mediocre, but as many others have said you don't go to Cuba for the food. If you are looking for somewhere isolated to relax, soak up unspoilt Caribbean beaches or dive this is a good choice.

      • birdsofafeather1
        Kalai_holiday_junkie
        Review about Villa Maria La Gorda Hotel
        Very good Very good

        “Great place to experience the Caribbean ”
        A great resort especially if your only aim is to be free and relax. There are two restaurants and one bar so there is no need to trek long distances to have any of you culinary needs met. Bring plenty of insect repellant as Maria La Gorga insect life will make you beach holiday a smidge difficult. The new Cabanas are wonderfull but the view of the ocean is obscured by the older cabanas and the dive centre. Activities include walking tours, Scuba, Snorkeling, boat rides and the usual drinking of mojitos and watching the sun set. there is also a doctor (who doubles as a masseuse) and a shop so dont worry if you have forgotten anything at home. Try booking the buffet at one of the restaurants, its a good experience.

      • birdsofafeather1
        DJstories
        Review about Villa Maria La Gorda Hotel
        Very good Very good

        “Perfect for scuba divers ”
        I went there in February 2012. The food is not great, nor in the buffet, nor in the restaurant a la carte (but you do not go to Cuba because of food). The diving sites are wonderful and you can get a good package of 5-7 dives. The equipment is not new (although we recieved new diving suits) and gives you a bad impression at first glance. We dived 5 times and there were no problems with the equipment. The dive masters are realy nice and take care of you and will double check if you are fine. If you are a diver you should realy consider to go there, be prepared for a realy bad road and try to reach the hotel before it gets dark. The road has many holes and you defenetly want to be able to see them. We had a puncture although driving during the day.

      • birdsofafeather1
        jrr150
        Review about Villa Maria La Gorda Hotel
        Very good Very good

        “Incredible place to dive ”
        This is the best place to dive in the caribbean sea. the hotel is not very nice but it is the only one is there. The service and the staff are very usefull but the food was nearly a rubbish except the breakfast.

      • birdsofafeather1
        TravellingZel
        Review about Villa Maria La Gorda Hotel
        Excellent Excellent

        “Oxen on the way”
        The taxi from Havana took us along breathtaking scenes along the motorway. Past Ox drawn carts on the side and cake sellers in the fast lane. There are so many pot holes we had to slow down a lot but our driver knew every pot hole and was a great guide despite the lack of English. After a 3 hour trip in the height of the day, the last few minutes when you can see the sea are wonderful and the hotel isn't in a town, its just the hotel. The nearest anything other than a few locals houses is miles away. The hotel is on the beach, the sea is clear, safe and warm and it isn't overcrowded. Safe for kids and adults alike, good mix of nationalities and an excellent dive centre. The diving is by day boat and the choice is great for those who want walls and plant life. This isn't a wreckies place. Max depth about 25 metres. Excellent vis, great guides and up to 4 dives a day (no night dives). There were some issues with tanks as there weren't enough but the staff dealt with this. Food was good considering the isolation with options to eat in the restaurant by the sea near the dive centre (there are some flies inside and it is much nicer to eat at the front almost on the beach), get a snack at the bar or eat in the other restaurant next to it which look nicer. Nice small hotel, new log cabins in the woods are nice, different and recommended although you need the air con on 24/7 as they are wood and they get hot. If you aren't diving this is a diverting place to read your book under a palm tree and if you want to go clubbing, this certainly isn't for you. The bar shuts at a sensible time and isn't noisy anyway and the diving and clean air means you won't have trouble nodding off.

      • birdsofafeather1
        Jan-Eric B
        Review about Villa Maria La Gorda Hotel
        Excellent Excellent

        “Fantastic place for people who like beautiful nature, in the west of Cuba ”
        This is not the place for people who like to sit on the beach with their all inclusive drinks and have a party every evening. This is a place for people who like to have a real nature experiance. This place, in the middle of a National Park both on land and in sea, is a very restful place. I have no compaints about the hotel, food and service, but I'm used to handle such things. The diving on the reefs is fantastic, whether you are diving with air or snorkling, with its clear and warm water and rich fauna, but you can also take a walk along the kilometres of white coral sand beaches for hours without meeting anybody. I stayed for a week and was very satisfied and I will come back if I get the opportunity.

      • birdsofafeather1
        niek c
        Review about Villa Maria La Gorda Hotel
        Excellent Excellent

        “If you don't care if your martini is shaken or stirred, this is your place ”
        I fully understand some of the negative reviews because if you expect a second Varadero this is not your place. It's in the middle of nature so it includes all the insects (and cats) you can imagine which means that you need an off spray, bring it yourself because you can't buy it there. We were at Maria la Gorda in april and it was amazing. A very laid back atmosphere and awesome diving. The dive masters we had, Jeff and Derrick, were topnotch. Did have a very good eye for safety and the environment. When a very "accomplished" diver rans out off air after 20 minutes it is very cheap to blame others. The rental equipment is good as on other places, only the wetsuits we saw needs replacement definitely. If there is doubt, bring your own gear, is always the best option. Wonderful people, no noisy entertainment, nice beach makes me whishing I was still there. You can dive at 09.00, then at 11.30 and in the afternoon. Buy a package at the front desk and off you go.

      • birdsofafeather1
        Peter
        Review about Villa Maria La Gorda Hotel
        Very good Very good

        to scuba diving
        Experts consider that the seabed at María la Gorda is among the top ten places in Latin America, due to its abundant marine life and extraordinarily beautiful corals. The number 1 destination for scuba diving in Cuba