Arrived on Sunday, January 17th, 2010. Check in was quick. Staff friendly.
Initially was disappointed in the room. Very small compared to others we had stayed in on previous trips to Cuba. But, clean and well maintained. Lots of hot water. Maid service excellent. Room always had clean towels and maid created towel art everyday. We made good use of the balcony, and could see the ocean from our room. Realised that the size of the room wasn’t important, because we spent very little time there! Also, important to mention that we felt safe in the rooms. Rooms include two beds, pushed together. Hair dryer. In room safe, but, you pay 2 cuban convertibles/day to use it, plus a deposit (refundable) of 10 CUC for the security lock. There are lots of hangers in the closet. No iron in the room. Air conditioning worked really well.
Restaurants and Bars:
We ate at the main dining room buffet for most meals. Good selection. Lots of fresh fish, vegetables. Staff very friendly. Pick an area with a server you like, and they will take great care of you! Entertainment in the dining room every evening. A very talent group of musicians and singers. Had them perform for a "new friend" Joe for his 77th birthday. He and his wife were thrilled. For "picky" eaters, there are also burgers, hot dogs and fries available at the pool side restaurant. The Pizzaria was good, and the beach bar/restaurant was great for breakfast, eggs prepared per your preference, and great cappacinos. The main lobby bar, is always hopping. Entertainment there nightly. Great and talented group of entertainers. Work hard at making sure you are having a good time. Drinks to try. Mojhitos. Best at the main bar. The Chinese restaurant could use a few improvements in the menu, but, the staff there were very friendly. The bar in our hotel area was popular and a great place to meet and talk to other guests.
Beach/Pools/Grounds: The beach was one of the most beautiful beaches I have had the pleasure of enjoying. But, if you want a beach chair, you have to get there early. The idea of the hotel not being on the beach was diappointing at first, but, it is only a short and interesting walk across the stree to the hotel beach area. On your walk, you get to observe local life. Lots of old (restored) cars…20’s, 30’s, 40’s and 50’s. People are all friendly. Hotel has washrooms, snack area, hamburgers, hot dogs and fries, bar and cold drinks. Washrooms (take toliet paper from your room with you, just in case, showers and foot rinsing all available. You can also arrange to have a massage at the beach…sounds like a good plan to me.
Grounds are very well maintained, staff always working. Lots of plants and flowers. Pools clean and lots of recliners. Very different for us to stay right in a city, instead of a resort that is set off by itself. Wasn’t sure about that at first, but the hotels all restrict hotels to the guests, staff and entertainers only.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Spanish lessons, dance lessons. Big resort located in the centre of town. You can find lots of local restaurants and entainment right in the neighbourhood. Street dancing. Lots of local flavour.
The hotel was listed as a four star. In comparison to other places we have stayed in Cuba, we would have listed it as a 3 or 3 1/2. But, we also got an amazing deal and so felt very happy the the overall experience. Best entertainment of any resort we have ever stayed at. Maid service excellent. Food average…tended to cater to Europeans, but, there are lots staying there, so it makes sense. Beach excellent. Close to airport. Rooms Good, smaller, but clean and lots of hot water and towels. I might suggest you bring a beach towel, because they charge a deposit of $10 CUC, per towel and if you lose the towel you lose the deposit. Also, bottled water is not included, so consider bringing an insulated cup. It will also keep your drinks cold at the beach! When leaving we paid for the VIP service. $20 CUC and it included ham and cheese sandwiches, unlimited drinks, snacks and a very quiet area to relax for 3 hours before the flight boarded. It was a freat way to not have to wait in long line to check in at the airport. And a much quieter environment. Would pay for this again, well worth it! Would return to this hotel again!