Booked through and flew via Air Transat. Welcomed at the airport by 3 Air Transat reps and check in was quick. (Note: They were very picky with checked luggage weight, but not concerned with carry-on size or weight.) Departure was just a couple of minutes late (only due to a quick deicing) and arrival at Holguin was early. Immigration was quick and painless, as was the late night bus trip to the resort. Check in was quick, with plenty of men to get us to our rooms with the luggage.
Rooms: Rooms are very typical of Cuban resorts. Dated decor and furniture, with plaster or stucco walls and ceramic tile floors, and as usual, very clean. We didn’t find the beds as hard as many others mention, and the thin pillows easily "plumped" by stuffing a spare blanket into the pillow case. This resort (or at least our block) had central air that was faultless.
We stayed in Block 5, The only complaint I have was it overlooks the pool bar and I was kept awake every night, and woken in the wee hours, except for one.
Restaurants and Bars: The buffet was by far over and above any other of the 5 resorts we’ve stayed at in Cuba. Maybe somewhat repetitive, especially at breakfast, but very good food. We ate at the Italian a la carte twice, and enjoyed both times. We did not eat at the Cuban restaurant, and heard mixed reviews about it. We ate once at Mar y Sol, and thoroughly enjoyed it.
The beach bar was quick and very friendly. The pool bar was the same, with obviously a larger selection of drinks. While the Espresso was somewhat over-extracted, overall the coffee at the pool bar was very good.
Beach/Pools/Grounds: I should mention first that this resort was built with thoughts of someone physically challenged in mind with elevators and ramps as required. Someone in a wheelchair or walker can access anywhere on the resort I went from the entrance, to any of the restaurants and all the way to the beach. In a word, the beach is fantastic. Yes, you should wear water socks to go close to or in the water, but that is probably a necessary price for the coral providing the great snorkeling so close to the shore. Personally, I found "towel wars" non-existent here. Plenty of room and loungers for everyone. One morning at ~ 9:30, I counted 80 loungers still stacked and by 11:00 AM, still some left. We didn’t use the pool, but it looked clean and well tended with plenty of space around for relaxing.
The grounds were very well trimmed and manicured, and in very good shape, maybe excellent, considering this was the very end of dry season.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel: Beach activities were abundant with 4 Hobie-Cats available and 5 paddle boats. Several sail boards were there but only one was used. Two Lasers were on the beach, but neither were available for use. Plenty of snorkeling equipment available for use. Resort Activities Staff always seemed busy with one thing or another going on; archery and shooting, dance lessons, Spanish lessons, Bocce Ball, beach and pool volley ball, etc.
Off resort, we only took the bus to Guardalavaca and didn’t take part in anything else organized.
Other Comments: Overall, a wonderful vacation spot, and one we will surely be returning to.
Only negatives I can speak of could have happened at any resort and were guest related; trash tossed around for gardeners to pick up, groups of inebriated guests being loud and abusive without regard for anyone (employee or otherwise) or the time of day (or night), and one of the worst was the adult couple walking up and down the buffet treating it like it was all "finger food", reaching in with their hands and sampling as they wanted.