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Mud Therapy

Mud Therapy

Hotel Elguea

Cuba's Islazul chain recently sank good money into restoring this aged hotel for the tourist market, with a focus on health-conscious guests. You'd have to be an undiscriminating spa buff, however, to get a thrill from this isolated facility, which reflects Cuba's purely utilitarian approach to health tourism. Being focused on serious medical tourism, it has none of the flickering candles, fragrant scents, or other romantic touches that spell (and are essential for) "success" for spas elsewhere in the Caribbean. And the setting is hardly auspicious, despite being fed by thermal mineral waters that are the hotel's raison d'etre. This Islazul hotel is located on a section of drab coast, with no scenic beaches nearby. Besides the chance to get a vigorous massage or steep in the therapeutic hot tubs, its sole use is as a way-stop when traveling the north coast highway.

The low-rise property is set in scrubby grounds sparsely landscaped with lawns. The lobby is fitted out with comfy bamboo lounge chairs, and the restaurant is modestly elegant. However, the limited menu can't always deliver the goods. The 135 air-conditioned guest rooms are perfectly comfortable for a night's stay and have been fitted with bamboo furnishings, satellite TVs, telephones, in-room safes, and small refrigerators. And the bathrooms now boast modern fittings.

Active-minded guests can take to the large swimming pool, two tennis courts, and (if you can a quorum) the volleyball and basketball courts. And the spa features massage rooms, a simple gym, and various rooms for treating medical conditions, rather than beauty. But be prepared to have the facilities to yourself.


  • Air conditioning
  • Bar
  • Bicycling
  • Daily activities programme
  • Disabled facilities
  • Ecological excursions programme
  • Field sports
  • Games room
  • Garden
  • Gym / fitness centre
  • International cuisine
  • Lobby bar
  • Massage
  • Mastercard & Visa (not USA bank issued) accepted
  • Medical services
  • Modern building
  • Money exchange
  • Parking
  • Poolside snack bar
  • Reception staff speak Spanish, English, French, German, Italian
  • Restaurant
  • Safety - uniformed security personnel 24hrs
  • Shop(s) with basic supplies, souvenirs & gifts
  • Swimming pool
  • Taxis desk
  • Telephone - National & international calls
  • Tennis courts
  • Terrace
  • Tours & tourist information desk
  • TV room/bar (international channels/videos)

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