* If you are having older children stay with you then you may wish to contact the resort and ask for adult beds to be placed in your room as the average child bed is more liken to a wooden camp bed with matress.
**Some Hotel rooms and Villa Suites have inter-connecting rooms which offer family safety and peace of mind; these are sometimes "sold" as family rooms by Travel Agents.
*** NB.For reasons of safety; since late 2011; Some Travel Agents will not allow children to be housed in higher level Hotel Rooms or Villas.
Some Villa Blocks are 2 villas high and some are 3 villas high. Some have ocean views and others have either garden view or pool view. You can not purchase an ocean view villa, though you can request one - all requests for upgrades or specific room types will be met with a generic reply stating "we will do our best" - The hotel will NEVER make any guarantees to client requests.
Standard Villa Rooms ~ are mostly situated on groundfloor level & 3rd floor levels.
Inter-connecting Villas ~ All 3rd floor Standard Villa rooms have rooms that can internally-connect. These rooms will only be allocated as Inter-connecting rooms subject to prior request or if sold as a family room by an Agent; without prior request these rooms will be allocated as a standard villa and will not have the inter-connecting facility enabled.
ALL Villa Mini Suites ~ are situated on the second floor level ~ A mini suite is a huge room (some have central room divider; essentially making a living area and a sleeping area). Mini suites have a seperate dressing area and a larger bathroom than standard Villas ~ Villa mini suite rooms are adequately big enough to have extra beds added to the living area for families with children or for a 3rd Adult; the living area features furniture for comfortable seating.
** Children are permitted in higher level villas subject to the contract ** with the clients Tour Operator
GENERAL INFORMATION REGARDING ROOMS
Please remember that due to natural humidity; rooms that have been unoccupied with no Air Conditioning running can have a tendency to smell "musty". Once in your room turn the aircon on (zero) high cold (not high heat) and allow to run for some time to clear the "smell". It is also natural and unavoidable for your bed covers and clothes to feel "damp" if you continually leave your aircon running or run your aircon for long periods of time, and especially if you have your aircon running and balcony doors open as this will cause a "condensation" effect in your room producing dampness. To help eliminate dampness in clothes try to keep closet/cupboard doors closed at all times.
Brisas has won many awards for being a major player in "Eco Tourism", in view of this they request that you personally take the decision as to when you want your towels and bedding changed. They ask that you only request changes when really necessary in a bid to do your bit for the environment... Please only have linen or towel changes if really neccessary.... Thank you
LINEN CHANGE:- If you would like your bedding changed then you must place the relevant request card on your bed for your Maid to see, cards can usually be found on the bedside table or on your desk. ....... Do not leave anything on your bed or this could be determined to be a tip for your Maid.
TOWEL CHANGE:- If you would like your room towels changed then you should pitch your dirty towels and bath mats in the bath tub and your Maid will change like for like. Please only send items that need to be laundered and retain your towels that can continue to be used.
MAINTAINENCE ISSUES:- If you have any maintenance issues either speak to you maid or fill in the relevant form which can be found in the folder on your desk and leave it for your Maid to find.
MINI FRIDGE:- Is stocked with one bottle of water only. You can refill the bottle with drinking water at any of the resort bars or you can purchase bottled water from the hotel/villa/local shops.
OPTIONS:- Brisas offers you multiple dining options, the villa section has its own buffet restaurant as does the hotel. However; during low season buffet restaurants may alternate for evening dinner or could be restricted to the opening of the Hotel buffet restaurant only; this should not cause any inconvenience as the hotel is only a short cut across the tennis courts from the villas.
A la Carte Restaurants ~ There are 6 A la Carte Restaurants available, Italian, Seafood, Cuban, Kebab (seasonal), Buccanero and the International Restaurant. You can Request the Sommelier service in any of the A La Carte Restaurants if you would like to purchase a fine wine to accompany your meal.
Dress Code In The A La Carte Restaurants ~ Smart dress is required in all A La Carte Restaurants, men are requested to wear long trousers, collared shirt and dress shoes.
¾ length trousers; open collared shirt and smart sandals are acceptable if you really must ignore the dress code.
Dress Code In The Buffet Restaurants ~ In the buffet restaurants; casual dress is the order of the day, it is acceptable to wear shorts, Tee shirts & sandals/flip-flops into the buffet for evening dinner but swimwear is not acceptable. Footwear and Shirts/T-Shirts must be worn at all times in the dining rooms.
Reservations ~ Guests are entitled to make 3 a la carte restaurant reservations for each week they stay at Brisas. Reservations should be made at the Reservations Desk outside of the Hotel buffet restaurant on the ground floor level. The reservation week runs from Saturday to Saturday. The a la carte restaurants form part of the All-Inclusive services and are free of charge; although tipping for the good service you will receive would be deemed appropriate.
Hotel Buffet Restaurant & View
El Zaguan (Villa buffet restaurant), opens daily; Breakfast Buffet 7-10am. A La Carte lunches 12.00-2.30pm. A La Carte/Kebab Restaurant 6.00pm - 9.30pm.... arrangements can vary subject to occupation levels during high/low season.
During the low season (May to September) this buffet may close completely or open on alternate evenings dependent upon occupation levels within the Villa complex; guests will use the services of the hotel buffet restaurant when El Zaguan is closed ~ Its just a short walk across the Tennis courts to the hotel side.
Villa Buffet Restaurant
El Zaguan is the name of the villa buffet restaurant ~ El Zaguan is open for buffet style breakfastas, menu-style lunches and then operates as an A La Carte Kebab restaurant during its evening hours.. However; if resort clientelle occupation levels are high El Zaguan will automatically revert to a buffet restaurant 3 x daily to satisfy client dining facility demand.
La Trattoria (Italian restaurant ~ Hotel) Opens x6 evenings per week; 6.00pm to 9.30pm - Reservations Required. Serving various dishes of meat, fish, pasta and salads. Good fillet mignon served here.
El Patio de los Artistas (Seafood Restaurant-Villa Section) offers late breakfasts and lunches/snacks menu-style from 10am – 4pm; inside or outside dining options with stunning views. At 6pm it converts to the Seafood Restaurant for "reservation only" dining until 11pm. Guests can still use the bar services during the A La Carte hours but are requested to use the outside seating which offers great views of the beach and ocean. Have your camera ready and watch the sun set over the ocean whilst having a drink here.
Seafood Restaurant with ocean views
El Guayabero (Cuban Restaurant) ~ situated to the side of the 24hr bar:- Serves breakfasts and lunches menu-style from 7am - 2.30pm then re-opens at 6pm for reserved dining. Friendly waiter service. Great views over-looking the beach and ocean.
View from the Cuban Restaurant
The Bucanero Tavern - Villa section ~ A varied menu - 6.00pm - 21.30pm - The menu does not do the food justice here - since the printing of the menus the chefs have changed some aspects of the food. we found the food to be of a very good standard and enjoyed it very much, great atmosphere too.
The International Restaurant - villa section ~ A Varied Menu is offered. 6.00pm - 21.30pm (air conditioned). Again the menu does not do the food served here any justice, we enjoyed our meals here.
This restaurant may also be reserved for Private Functions/Groups/Parties/Weddings/Birthdays etc. Cost is 12.50 CUC's per person
The Kebab Restaurant (seasonal) (El Zaguan/Villa Buffet). 6.00pm - 21.30pm
24hr Snack Bar ~ There is a 24hr Snack Bar that serves hotdogs, burgers, toasted sandwiches, fries and made-to-order pizzas from 11am daily. Pizza service ceases at 4pm. The Snack/Grill bar is situated within the outside 24hr drinks bar area which is located in the hotel section. The snack bar closes between 7pm and 10pm when the buffet restaurants are open for food.
Doughnut Shack ~ There is a freshly made doughnut stand situated around the end corner of the 24hr Grill bar (opposite the hotel buffet restaurant but outside) ~ opening days & times are varied due to the ill health of the lady who operates the stand.
Ice Cream stand ~ situated next to the doughnut stand ( details above)
Diet Drinks:- They do have a diet coke served through the hand pump but I wouldn't depend upon it being "diet" if you are diabetic, that could be risky!
At some bars they will serve "Tu Kola lite" / "Tu Kola dietetica" from a can or bottle or you can buy your own in the hotel/villa shops or local shops... this is what you will be looking for:- www.flickr.com/photos/roitberg/3007291541/
International Branded Spirits:- Are mostly served from the Cappuccino Bar beside the Italian Restaurant, however; you will find the "odd" bottles of "selected" international spirits behind other bars.... you just have to "scan" the bar shelves to see what they have !
Please Consider that although a bar may be open until 10.30/11pm - the last staff buses from the hotel to Holguin and Banes run at 11pm so staff have to clear away and close down their bar ahead of time to enable them to catch their bus; if they miss their bus they will not get another one until 7am, most members of staff live at least an hour drive away from the resort so walking home is not an option. Please consider these facts before complaining or getting "assie" with bar staff because they shut the bar a little early ~ you have a 24hr bar service you can use at Brisas but they dont have a 24hr bus service!!
El Tajado (lobby bar) Located in the hotel beside the buffet restaurant on ground floor level, serves national and selected international branded drinks, blended cocktails and coffee. Drinks are served in chilled glasses and may not be taken away from the bar enclosure. Talented artists perform in the lobby bar most early evenings and are not to be missed. Open 9am-11pm
El Cappuccino located upstairs in the hotel beside the Italian Restaurant, this bar is open to guests 6pm-11pm and also services the Italian Restaurant. Serves a wide selection of International and National drinks, delicious blended cocktails, wine, beer and coffee.
Islas Mujeres (24hr grill bar) located in the hotel section inside of the thatched bar/dining area (beside the swimming pool), offers national and selected international branded drinks, Buccaneero and Cristal beer, slushies, cocktails, wine coffee & tea. Open 24hrs.
Bar Havana Club located on the 3rd floor, west side, of the hotel; this bar only serves drinks/cocktails containing rum; hence its name!!" opens from 6pm to 10pm daily.
AquaBar located within the hotel swimming pool this bar has both a “wet” and “dry” service area and offers beer, selected spirits, cocktails and slushies. Open 10am - 4.30pm.
El Patio de los Artistas (Seafood Restaurant) located in the villas beside the beach, offers national and selected international branded drinks, beers, cocktails, wine and coffee from 10am–11pm. El Patio has an outside seating area and offers beautiful beach and ocean views, guests can use the bar and outside seating facilities during the evening whilst the a la carte restaurant is in operation during the hours of 6pm and 11pm – a fantastic spot to watch the sun set over the ocean. Guests may also dine “el fresco” for breakfast & daytime snacks.
El Tinaja “wet” and “dry” bar located within the villa swimming pool; guests can also access the dry bar area. Opens 9.00am-5.00pm for wet and dry bar, re-opens 6.00pm-11.00pm dry bar only.
Piano Bar / Martini bar ~ located in the Villa section (opposite the bucanero and International restaurants); open 6-10pm daily.
Disco “ La Dolce Vita” ~ There is a nightly disco within the hotel complex (opposite the Italian Restaurant) from 11pm–2am, music is varied but it may be an idea to download your own music onto a CD and offer that to the DJ to play. Over 18's only.
SWIMMING POOLS ~ There are two large swimming pools, one in the villa section and one in the hotel section; each has its own swim-up bar. The villa pool is large and sprawling, starting off at ankle depth (ideal for children and toddlers) leading into other pools of up to approx 5ft in depth. Both the villa and hotel pools have ample sunbeds.
Hotel Pool ~ Swim-up Bar in Middle - behind the Trees = wet & dry area
ACTIVITIES ~ Brisas offers a daily activities programme; starting the day with Aqua fitness and Beach volleyball to dance lessons, Spanish lessons, table tennis, pool, darts, tennis, water polo to the varied evening entertainment of shows, bands, competitions, water ballet, musicians etc.
Games Room ~ situated in the hotel; just outside (and beside) the Lobby bar that adjoins the buffet restaurant. Includes pool table, table tennis, dart boards and dominoes etc.
The daily activities board is displayed in the Games Room & beside the lift in the Hotel
Non-motorised water craft are available for FREE hire including pedaloe’s, catamaran rides, Kayaking, windsurfing as well as the FREE hire of snorkelling equipment for exploration of the many coral reefs off shore, or just for fun! There is a resort Hobie Cat/small catamaran that is available for FREE pre-bookable rides. **Snorkelers; if you ask the Hobie Cat guys they may take you out to a good reef for some great snorkelling..... There should be no charge for this but a gratuity would probably be expected !!
Gym is situated in the villa section - Newly refurbished in January 2012; the gym offers a good selection of apparatus for those who feel energetic on vacation. 07.00am - 16.30pm
Tennis Courts & Basket Ball are situated between the villa and hotel sections ~ just follow the pathway in front of the hotel buffet restaurant. Brisas has its own Tennis Coach so be sure to ask if you would like some training or a partner to play with.
Kids Club (4-12 years) situated in the villa section. Opens 9am - 4.30pm daily. various activities including face painting, picnics, visit to a mini zoo, horse riding, beach and pool activities, games etc. You need to take your children to the kids club early morning (9-9.30am) before the kids are taken off for their daily activities.
** Remember to take sun lotion, cover-ups and life saving aids to the Kids Club with your children and dont forget to return to your children regularly to re-apply their sun lotions, it is a parents responsibility to ensure that their children are adeqautely protected from the suns harm and that staff are given the "tools" to protect your kids whilst in their care.
Baby Sitting Services - Are available Daytime & Evening ~ contact Public Relations in advance
Cadeca/Money Exchange - Brisas houses its own money exchange service (8am–18.45pm) which is operated from the far end of the reception desk in the hotel, rates change daily. Be sure to exchange a little money at a time so as not to be left with too many CUC’s to re-convert at the end of your holiday as Cuban currency is useless outside of Cuba. Remember you will need 25CUC's Exit Tax per person.
Post Office service desk where you can send and receive faxes, use the telephone service or simply buy postcards and stamps. Cuba’s mail system is very slow, it is most likely you will be home long before your postcards are ever delivered; it has been reported to have taken as long as 6 months for postcards to arrive at their destination and some have never arrived at all.
Staying in touch with home ~ Remember that Cuban Telecommunications are very expensive so the cheapest way to keep in contact with home is by text, ask people not to leave a voicemail on your mobile/cell phone (other than in an emergency) as you will pay for them to leave the message and pay again for the duration of listening to the message (rates are approx £1.50+ a minute for English networks). Internet is next cheapest, try to avoid using any telephones if at all possible; but in any case do not use your room phone but instead purchase a prepayment card at reception and use the public pre-payment phones just outside the hotel reception area beside the lift. Internet access is available in the hotel reception area, internet vouchers can be purchased from reception at 3 cucs per half hour (£2.60), connection is slow and internet appears to work better out of normal office hours.
Hairdressing Salon situated in the hotel on the 2nd floor
Beauty Salon situated in the hotel on the 2nd floor, the salon offers many varied beauty & therapeutic treatments at very reasonable prices. Open daily 9.00am - 16.30pm
Massage treatments are offered at very reasonable prices on the 2nd floor of the hotel by Tania the resorts own Masseuse and by Cesar the resort Masseur at the massage hut on the beach side. Open daily 9.00am - 16.30pm
Laundry Service costs are minimal and average 50cents to 1 CUC per garment for washing and 50cents to 1CUC for ironing. You will find a laundry bag and form in your closet, fill in the relevant details both on the form and laundry bag and leave on your bed for the maid to collect, laundry will be returned to your room within 48hours. *If you give your laundry to your maid early morning you will usually have it returned the next day.
Shops are situated in the Hotel and villas; generally you can purchase tee-shirts, hats, flip flops, beach toys, perfumes, toiletries, snacks, sweets/candy, beer, spirits, wine, Water, pop, cigarettes, cigars, trinkets and souvenirs but remember supply is short and selection very limited. There is a separate cigar store in the villa section that carries a wider selection of cigars than the hotel store. Shop selection is better in the villa store too.
Bicycle Hire is free of charge and available from the front of the villas 9.00am - 16.30pm
Moped Hire is chargeable and available from the front of the Villas, find out where the local gas stations are, roads are uneven and animals and locals wander freely in the roads so be extremely cautious ~ your Travel Insurance may not cover you for moped use.
Horse Riding and Horse & Buggy Rides are chargeable and available on the opposite side of the road from the front of the complex.
Disabled Persons:- Brisas is a disabled/wheelchair friendly resort, there are disabled adapted rooms in the villa section and one in the hotel; otherwise the bathrooms are shower-over-bath bathing facilities.
If you require a disabled suite in the villas or hotel you should contact the reservations team at Brisas as soon as you have booked your vacation, do NOT leave the arrangements to your Travel Agent.
Lifts / Disabled Access:- There are four lifts that service each hotel floor; 2 to service the right hand side hotel rooms and 2 to service the left hand side rooms, though patrons can use any lift of convenience. The lifts on the left-hand side of the building (as you look out to sea) only go to Reception level (floor1) (or else you will end up in the Lobby Bar kitchen area (lol). The lifts on the right-hand side of the building go right down to PB level (Basement/Groundfloor). If you exit the lift on the PB/Basement level, just infront of you and to the right you will see a narrow alleyway/cutting; this will bring you immediately to the outisde of the hotel beside the Games Room/ Lobby bar/Grill Bar & swimming Pool area. If you cut through the lobby bar you can access the buffet restaurant without having to use the main marble staircase ~ this is the route that guests who have difficulty with stairs or wheelchair users should use at all times.
Villa Disabled Modified Bathroom
Bathroom towels:- are provided in all rooms. You will need to provide your own face cloths.
Beach towels:- are provided by the hotel and can be changed daily and as often as you like. You will need to get a towel ticket from the Reception desk after your arrival and take this to the towel hut located on the beach boardwalk between the Hotel and Villa section; you will be given the appropriate number of towels for your family/group. Before you check out you must return ALL of your towels to the towel stall and in return you will be given your original towel ticket which you must present on checking out. You will be charged for lost towels @ approx 15 CUC’s each so look after your towels well.
A La Carte Reservations:- should be made at the Guest Services desk located outside of the hotel buffet restaurant ((9am–3pm); you will need to make your reservations as soon after arrival as possible to assure availability for that week. Smart dress is required in all 5 A La Carte Restaurants, men are requested to wear long pants/trousers but smart dress shorts/ ¾ lengths; open collared shirt and smart sandals are acceptable.
Mini Fridge:- is stocked with one bottle of water; when you wish to replace the water you can re-fill it at the 24hr grill bar where the water is perfectly safe to drink. OR you can purchase bottled water from the resort shops. Do NOT drink the water from taps in your room although water should be fine for brushing your teeth. If you leave your empty water bottle for your maid to see she may leave you a fresh one; although she is not obligated to do so.
Safe:- If you plan on using your safe during your vacation you must purchase a locking safe barrel and key from the Reception desk. The current charge is 2 CUC’s per day and is payable at the time of ordering. Payment can not be added to a room account.
Please note; It will likely be a condition of your insurance that all valuables and money are only insured against theft from your room IF they ARE kept in a lockable safe so think hard before deciding not to hire a safe.
Hairdryers:- are provided in the bathrooms but they are not the most powerful; especially if you have thick or long hair, the bathroom gets very hot & steamy too which can help create "frizz". Taking your own hairdryer and adaptor may be an advantage. Remember if your appliances run at 100v electricity (Canada) you will need a converter or your will "fry" your electricals. British electriclas are fine and use 220v, you only require an adaptor.
Late Checkout:- Contact front desk - chargeable at 5 CUC per hour
Room Upgrade:- Contact front desk
Electricity:- supply is 220v; In refurbished rooms British guests will mostly require the American flat pin style adaptor although here and there you may be able to use the round pin European style adaptor; so it may be worth taking both. Canadians (110v) will require a converter if your appliances dont have dual power selector switch or else you will fry your gadgets!
Smoking:- Brisas operates & enforces a no smoking policy within the confinements of its enclosed bars, restaurants and facilities. Smoking is permitted in all "open air" facilities.
No Smoking Rooms are available in both the hotel (rooms 350 to 370) and the villas (block 7) ~ you should request a non-smoking room prior to your arrival if required.
Lifts ~ There are 2 lifts that service each side of the hotel = 4 lifts in total, if the lifts on your side of the hotel are not working then walk through to the opposite landing and use the lifts on that side.... easy and no need to use the stairs! Wheelchair users or people who have difficulty with stairs will need to use the lifts at the far right hand side of the hotel landings on each floor (as you look out to sea); take the lift to the PB Level (basement), as you exit the lift you will see a little alleyway/cutting (infront of you & slightly to the right) that will lead you to the outside pool/ground level area where you will be able to access the ground level of the hotel and its amenities.
Coffee Makers ~ are provided in the rooms but you may want to take coffee whitener with you as you will need to get milk from a resort bar and store in your fridge. Coffee supplies and paper filter supplies can be patchy so its probably best to take some coffee and whitener (or the ready mixed coffee sachets available in all supermarkets) and a travel Kettle + adaptor.
Water:- Water & Ice from the bars are perfectly safe to drink but you should not drink the water from the taps in your room. You will have bottled water in your fridge on arrival, when empty you can refill the bottle at any of the bars or you can purchase more water from the hotel shop or local shops.
Tea bags/Coffee ~ If you enjoy an English cuppa in the morning then you will need to take teabags with you, Cuban tea tastes like herbal tea. I would also suggest taking a small travel kettle as the coffee makers dont heat the water hot enough to make a good "brew", especially if you are adding cold milk to your tea. (You can get hot water for tea from the 24hr Grill bar). You can obtain milk for your drinks from most bars & store in your fridge.