Saturday, 16 March 2013

Blau Costa Verde, Cuba

More about the Blau Costa Verde Beach Resort....

The grounds are beautiful with lovely gardens throughout. I love the layout of the place, as it is now, it is such that you are never more then a few minutes walk from anything, including the beach.

The main building houses reception, lobby bar, shops, internet room, a small stage used for the evening shows during inclement weather, the main buffet restaurant, as well as guest rooms. There are 6 blocks of rooms in the old part of the resort, these are connected by covered pedways so you can travel to the main areas under cover, great during inclement weather.

View from our room 5314
This trip we were in Building 5 on the third floor just above the main buffet. The room was refurbished within the last couple years. The bathroom had not been renovated and could probably use one. There was occasional noise from the 24 hour snack bar and pool area but after midnight it's generally pretty quiet. We liked the room location, easy access to all areas of the resort. The room is high enough that you do get a small view of the ocean but it's not something I would bother paying extra for. Absolutely no complaints about housekeeping, A/C, water availability or pressure. The water did sometimes run hot and cold but this was usually right before dinner when the showers are probably used the most. Never saw a bug of any kind in our room.

There is plenty of closet and drawer space for two people. The beds, two twin beds pushed together, were hard but I never had a problem getting a good night’s sleep. There were new bed covers and pillows this year, a nice improvement. There is a fridge stocked with soft drinks, beer and bottled water daily. There is a safe in the closet, TV with couple Canadian channels,HBO, CNN and a few other channels including Spanish, German and Chinese, and a hair dryer in the bathroom. The bathtub/shower is quite deep so it may be a chore for some with restricted mobility to get in and out of. That being said, there were handles on the tub and wall to assist with getting in and out.

There are lots of organized activities up around the pool and down on the beach. There is a listing of activities outside the main buffet. Announcements were made at the stage when an activity was about to begin. There are games and contests throughout the day and before the show in the evening certificates are presented to those who participated. We don't participate in the organized activities but there seems plenty to do if you wanted to be active. 

We couldn't have ordered better weather, over 30 degrees Celsius and sunny every day. It's not always that way, we have experienced rain and cool temps on other visits, sad but true. My best advice, don’t stress about the weather. If you get bad weather, there’s no one to blame. It’s not the resort’s fault, or the country’s fault or your tour company, nobody can guarantee good weather, you pay your money you take your chances. You have two choices, you can sit around, moan and be miserable or make the best of the situation. Participate in the activities, get to know some of your fellow guests, your server, housekeeper or bartender. There’s a bit of a library down at the beach if you want to find something to read. The gym, pool table and ping pong table are all under cover so there’s no excuse!

Every day there are crafts people that set up in the hall between the lobby and the buffet. I usually just pick up the few souvenirs I want from them but this year we took a trip in to Guardalavaca on the double decker bus. During the week we were there it left the Blau at 9:15, 10:15 and 11:15, the cost is 5 CUC per person for the return ticket. We took the 10:15 bus in and we met it at 1:30 p.m. to return. There are many crafts people in the market so there's a bit more variety and the prices a little more competitive.

We spend most of our time at the beach as opposed to the pool. We usually go snorkelling a couple times a day. We brought our own masks & snorkels and if you plan on doing much snorkelling, I would suggest doing the same. We brought a couple of air mattresses which we put on the hard plastic loungers, made for a more comfortable seat if you were there any length of time. We also took advantage of a sail on the catamaran but ran out of time to use the pedal boats.

The Cuban Day party on the beach Friday is great fun. They had a pig roasting all day down by the beach. Later in the day they set up on the beach and serve up the pork on a bun. There were also a couple bands on the beach, one wandering around and the other one playing near the beach bar had an old calliope. There are a few demos set up on pressing sugar cane, making coffee the Cuban way and of course making mojitos.

We didn't see all the evening shows but what we did see we enjoyed. The local talent is amazing, musicians, singers, dancers, they were very entertaining. There are usually bands playing in the restaurants in the evening.

Lobby bar, the calm before the chaos
There are two bars in the central area of the resort, the 24 hour snack bar and the lobby bar. We generally would have our pre-dinner drink in the lobby bar and after dinner cappuccino and drinks in the snack bar. Be sure to get Rosa in the Lobby bar to make you a mojito, they are amazing. We had some pretty nice Spanish coffees there as well. They have a drink menu with quite a variety of cocktails available, something for everyone. There is a bar at the beach, drinks there are served in small 8 oz plastic glasses, even the beer. Most Canadians will tell you, it's recommended you take a thermal mug for use on the beach. It's easier to transport your drink to your chair and it keeps your drink colder longer. I generally got a lemon slushie when I hit the beach in the morning and there was still ice in it by afternoon.

Things are changing at the Blau. I think there will be plenty of trial and error going on so things we experienced may be different on any given day as construction progresses and new areas open up.

I am including here the recipe for a mojito, my favourite drink while in Cuba and with a potted mint plant on my back deck it is now my favourite summer drink at home.


Put 1 tsp sugar (or as much as you like) along with a couple sprigs of fresh mint in a high sided glass. Muddle these together (you have to get yourself a muddler!)

Add ice to the glass, 1.5 ounces of rum, juice of half a lime and top up with soda water. Give it a quick stir and voila, a refreshing summer drink!

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