Santiago de Cuba Holidays
Taking to the streets of Santiago de Cuba will inevitably make you fall in love with the city. Pulsating, passionate colourful — the birthplace of Cuba’s revolution resonates with an eclectic fusion of cultures (from Spanish and African to Native Indian and Creole) whose influences ooze from every pore of the city’s being, from its love for hot music and dance to its people who radiate an embracing Cuban warmth.
Laze away afternoons sipping Cuba Libres in one of the city’s many good bars; let the infectious Caribbean rhythms pulsating along every avenue take hold of you; or visit the famous Moncada Barracks, where the bullet holes left by Castro and his men during the first attempt to alter the lives of the Cuban people are visible to this day. Together with the city’s wonderful museums and colonial heritage, the charms of this city cannot fail to impress.
Salsa, rumba, meringue — Cuban music was born in Santiago de Cuba, and everyone should pay a visit to the city’s famous and spirited music club, Casa de la Trova, to experience the heat of sultry, sensuous beats created by local musicians.
The city embraces quaint and friendly villages that nestle in the majestic Sierra Maestra mountains, and superb silk-white beaches stretch out in unremitting sunlight along the Caribbean Sea before it. Opt to discover the breathtaking reserves in and around Cayo Saetia and El Salton or in the Bacanao National Park; elect to explore the winding streets of Santiago; chose to toe the bathwater-warm shores of its fabulous beaches — whatever you do, a holiday at Cuba’s second city is guaranteed to make a lasting impression, for all the right reasons.
Casa GrandeWith a refined, elegant and timeless appeal, this stately hotel in the heart of Santiago — now restored to its former splendour — was a beloved refuge for novelists, actors and literary figures when it opened its doors in 1914. Located in front of the old Plaza de Armas, the Casa Grande is undoubtedly the most attractive and atmospheric hotel in the city. Large rooms with high ceilings and tile-and-marble bathrooms set the standard for your accommodation, and the elegant á-la-carte restaurant on the first floor answers in kind with good food and excellent service. Sip a daiquiri on the spectacular rooftop terrace (with the hotel’s own resident pianist playing soft Latin and local melodies) or take in the view from the equally impressive ground-floor terrace (a famous vantage point for watching local street festivals). It will be difficult to leave, if not to lose yourself in, its grand appeal.
Meliá Santiago de CubaThe towering Meliá Santiago de Cuba is the perfect place to come back to after explorative walks along the city’s hilly, winding streets or after adventurous day trips to splendours lying beyond the city limits.
Sweeping corridors and popular pool and bar areas are decorated with authentic local art depicting the fascinating history of Cuba’s second city, lending a wonderfully traditional feel to the interior, which contrasts with the innovative architecture of the hotel’s façade. Get to know vibrant Santiago and relax in modern comfort right next to the city’s historical wonders. The hotel will nurture your every need with five-star facilities and services, from its numerous gourmet eateries and sundry health and beauty services to its organised day- and night-time activities.
Brisas Sierra MarWhere the Caribbean Sea and the Sierra Maestra mountains meet, you will find the beautifully situated Brisas Sierra Mar, a terrace-styled resort placed right at the water’s edge.
The all-inclusive status of this hotel is not lost with its “everything you need” array of facilities and services. Buffet and à-la-carte restaurants, a pool cafeteria and a beach grill accompany lobby, piano, pool- and beachside bars. Many sports complement health and beauty treatments and day- and night-time entertainment for children and adults. Completing the resorts off-site activities are things like deep-sea fishing, bicycle hire and trekking.
Los GaleonesLos Galeones is the ideal location for couples or honeymooners. Perched 60 metres above sea level, along a beautiful stretch of coastline with Cuba's highest peak, Turquino, as its backdrop, Los Galeones has “secluded” written all over it . . .
The resort claims a wild, colourful crystal-clear beachfront reachable by an isolated stairway; and, once reached, you will find a delightful mix of lovely coral and tropical foliage. Some rooms offer ocean views but all are tastefully styled. Facilities include a swimming pool, a games room, a sauna, a hot tub and superlative cuisine that never forsakes the personal touch (even cocktails are garnished with local produce). The perfect place to get away from it all.