The hotel Rancho Club is located at a distance from the center of the city, a few kilometers up the Carretera Central from the Place de la Revolucion, to the area called “Altos de Quintero”. The current attractions of this place are 1. it has a great view/vista out over the city and the distant harbour, 2. at the date of this writing, it is about the cheapest hotel in Santiago. If you are just passing through town and all you care for is a room, then this place may not be a bad idea (it is located about a 10-15 minute walk up the hill from the bus station). If you plan to go out on the town however, you will definitely need taxis to get you to and from…
The atmosphere of the place and sense of security are rather offset by the fact that you can look right into the modest houses of Cubans living in the barrio 200 feet down the hill, a rather uncomfortable juxtaposition.
The pool is small and at this writing was rather murky. The grass needs to be weeded and the railings need to be sanded and painted.
The attitude of staff at this hotel varies from friendly to indifferent. The night manager was very nice. Security procedures can be somewhat sketchy.
There is an on-site bar across the parking lot that desperately needs to be updated/renovated. The outdoor activities hall was closed because it had not yet been repaired since the damage inflicted by Hurricane Sandy (over a year ago) . This property must be on the bottom of Isazul’s list, as reflected by its run down condition. It does have potential, however it is currently recommended only for rock-bottom budget travelers on a one or two night stopover only; otherwise you may wish to find yourself a casa particular. This place needs work…
I have stayed at this small reasonably clean hotel three times, and was happy. The staff is typical for an Islazul hotel, some friendly, some indifferent, and some a little crooked. I paid only 18,00CUC per day on my previous visits and that was because I booked through an online agency specializing in Cuban hotels. Recently the same agency charges 28,00CUC per day, but I wonder what the walk-in off the street price is? I suspect/hope it's a little cheaper. And maybe agencies within Santiago offer this property at a decent rate.
For my money I had a refrigerator, tv and a well kept room, and breakfast. The restaurant is now close to the front desk and while service is decent, it isn't great. Most of the waiting staff are indifferent. And a now former cook tried to extort money from me. Not cool. I remain Confused about what exactly is offered with breakfast though. Some mornings they would offer me either juice or coffee with breakfast, and if I wanted both, charge an extra CUC. Other days no extra charge, coffee and juice included. Still baffled about this but its a small quirk, of which Cuba has many.
Lizette is a wonderful Head of Housekeeping, same goes for her assistants. The guard staff appears trustworthy enough. Front desk types are agreeable -- helpful and not greedy.
On the whole a good little hotel. I think Rancho Club would make a great stop-over for cyclo-tourists on a budget. They recently paved the road form Plaza de la Revolucion to the Hotel, a gentle enough 1.5klm hill, easy to do on a decent bike. I'd certainly stay there again, but hopefully at a better rate than the current internet price of 28,00CUC/Day.
I like the hotel staff friendly the only issue I had there was with a life guard he was rude person. Ii took my family to the pool one day we where drinking and eating and he came to us and said that we had to leave because we didn't spend enough money he was loud and rude.
Well, it was the cheapest price that I have ever paid in Cuba for a room. The view towards the city, especially from the restaurant, was worth a few photos. They had a pool that was adequate enough. The fun stops there though!
There is really not much at all to do at this small hotel or in the near vicinity. A 7 minute taxi ride will take you to the Melia hotel area or 10 minutes to the Casa Granda area. The pool closes at 5pm and after that you have to make your own fun.
I could only recommend this place for people who like to go to bed and rise early. The rooms are decent but hope that you neighbors are not big snorers or whatever because you can hear what goes on 3 doors down while in bed at night.
The restaurant was somewhat pitiful. It was hours (not minutes) by the time we sat down, got served and finished eating. I even had to go to the lobby snack bar to buy our drinks because the hombre serving us was so up over his head with demands and shortages. Really unorganized if you ask me.
Might be worth a day at the pool or if you have gone deranged from the city atmosphere and need to lay low for a bit. Other than that, stay clear!
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