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Santiago de Cuba is the second biggest city of Cuba after Havana. The architecture is pretty similar Spanish colonial style, but the atmosphere is almost more vibrant. The music is supposed to be better here, if that is possible. The surrounding scenery in the area of Cuba is very different from the west of the country, huge arid mountains, with lush tropical valleys with their own microclimates. There are a number of hotels in the area which fall into very different categories, town centre, beach or mountain.HOTELS
Hotel Melia Santiago
Has just been completely refurbished. It is a modern style hotel with all the modern conveniences you would expect from an international hotel. The 268 bedrooms, 30 junior suites, and 4 suites are all air-conditioned, with en-suite bathrooms, satellite TV, safe boxes, modem and fax points and good views over the city.
The hotel has an enormous central swimming pool with restaurants, bars and salons overlooking or nearby. The hotel' food, bar service and general standards are truly international. This is a great place to visit Santiago and the surrounding area and still maintain some luxury.
Casa Granda Hotel
In the centre of the older part of Santiago de Cuba. The hotel has a colonial style offering an airy relaxed atmosphere. The 55 double bedrooms and 3 suites all have en-suite shower rooms, satellite TV, and direct dial telephones. The roof terrace and first floor terrace bars are popular with guests and visitors and often have some very good local live Cuban music. If you are visiting Santiago for a few days to take in the sites this is the ideal base. From the roof terrace you overlook the cathedral, old town and the bay beyond, and in the evening you can watch the sunset across the sea with a cool drink in hand.
Hacienda del Indio
It is a small hotel made up of one group of rooms in-land with there own rock swimming pool, bar and restaurant, and another area of villas behind the beach a short distance away. The simple air-conditioned bedrooms have an en-suite shower room, satellite TV and a safe box. The hotels beach also has a seawater swimming pool.
El Indeo is about twenty minutes drive from Santiago De Cuba and is an ideal place for you to escape from normal tourist hotels. It is also a good base for exploring the Baconao National Park where you can walk, birdwatch, horse ride or simply amble through the unspoiled countryside. There is an all-inclusive beach hotel, Coralia Club, about fifteen minutes drive from El Indeo that offers an all-inclusive day visitor pass if you feel like relaxing by a fresh-water pool or on their beach.
It is high up on a mountain of the same name at about 3800 feet above sea level. The hotel is on the site of a number of 19th Century French Coffee Plantations. There are only 22 bedrooms in separate villas or cabanas, each with their own en-suite shower rooms, satellite TV and fridge.
The natural surroundings are full of tree ferns and other tropical mountain plans and flowers. This is a popular destination for those wishing to birdwatch and escape the tropical heat below at sea level. The drive up the mountain is about forty-five minutes to an hour from Santiago de Cuba, it is very steep and not for the faint hearted. When clear at the top the view is outstanding, when not save yourself the drive, you can not see a thing.