Arrival: We travelled as a family which included my parents, myself(20) and my brother(14). Arrival was very speedy. The front desk had everything ready for us. We asked for 2 rooms and they had put them next to each other.
We were also pleasantly surprised to find that our beach towels were also waiting for us in our rooms. We did arrive after midnight, so it wasn’t really necessary to have them but it was nice not to have to find the club house the next morning while we still had no idea where everything was.
Rooms: The rooms were very nice. They appeared to have been renovated recently. Contrary to some of the reviews I read before we went, the safe in the room was free. There was plenty of room for clothes and the such. The closet was roomy (and the top shelf has blankets in case you need them) and there were drawers in and out of the closet. Each room also has a minifridge which is stocked daily with beer, soft drinks and water. The AC in all the rooms was centrally controlled which we have never encountered at another hotel (this was our 8th year in Cuba). This bothered me slightly because if you turn it off, you fry overnight but if you leave it on, it tends to get very chilly some nights, which is when I was very glad for the blankets. Also, contrary to many hotels, the card slot only controls the electricity and not the AC. The AC runs all day unless you turn it off. The maid came by everyday. We found that there was a different maid almost every day. Which didn’t concern us in the least. However, I noticed that some of them cleaned more thoroughly than others. Sometimes our floor was swept, other times it wasn’t. Some would wash the bathtub and others would not. Just little things. The room was by no means ever dirty, just not always as clean.
Restaurants and Bars: The main buffet restaurant was where everyone ate generally. Since the resort was not even half-full, all the seating was outside though they also have inside tables which they set up if there are a lot of people. The food was good. Every night they had a different theme such as Asian night, Italian night, etc. The food was very varied from day to day. Breakfast was generally always the same thing, but lunch and dinner were always different from the day before and from each other (this is something that at other hotels bugged me because they used to have the same food 2 or even 3 days in a row at times). The waiters were all amazing. If you stayed long enough like we did (2 weeks) they had memorized our drink orders. They were always smiley and eager to get you whatever you needed. We didn’t try the pool bar, as we spent all our time at the beach but I’m sure the service there is exactly the same as on the beach. The beach bar was actually being extended while we were there. The service was good. The bartender was always at his post and made whatever drink you wanted. The only thing I personally disliked was the lack of martini just at the beach bar. It’s pretty much the only alcohol I drink and I had to find something else to enjoy while on the beach. In the end it wasn’t a huge deal but it would’ve been nice. I assume with the new, larger bar they’ll have all the drinks they have everywhere else in the resort.
There are cats in this resort and they enjoy strolling by while people eat as some insisted on feeding them. And yes, they’re fuzzy and adorable but they have fleas so I recommend you stay far away from them.
Beach/Pools/Grounds: The grounds were meticulously kept. The beach was always clean. The palm umbrellas (that’s not their correct name, but it doesn’t come to mind right now…) were maintained and plentiful.
The staff that dealt with the beach chairs were sometimes hard to take. This one guy in particular was incredibly lazy and would often attempt to ignore my request for chairs. I would’ve preferred a lack of staff for that on the beach. I’m quite capable of getting my own chair, but we had to put up with them for 2 weeks. They also collect the chairs at 5ish and if you want to stay longer they give you looks. Their shift ends officially at 5:30-6:00 I believe and they always want to be done earlier. I just ignored them when I wanted to stay longer which was just once or twice during my stay anyways.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel: We didn’t do anything outside of the resort (we’ve already been there, done that) but on the resort we did participate in the beach volleyball every morning as well as bocciball shortly after. The entertainment staff had activities throughout the day but that’s all we chose to participate in because it was located conveniently on the beach. At night, there were different shows every night. We never really saw a show because it started late (9:30pm) and by then we were already asleep.
They also have a games place where there is a pingpong table and a pool table. For pingpong, it’s best to bring your own ball and paddles as I’ve noticed the ball went missing at one point. The pool table has its own equipment always there.
Other Comments: The hotel’s gym/spa also offers manicures, pedicures, haircuts, etc. For the most part these are generally less expensive than at home. However, don’t expect the kind of manicure you get here. It’s very basic there: cut the nails, file, do the cuticles, put on the polish. The manicure and pedicures were each 5 CUC. The haircut was also 5 or 10 CUC (I can’t remember exactly at the moment). They also offered massages. Ranging from just foot massages to full body, whole hour massages. We didn’t try as we found these to be expensive in comparison to other resorts. The foot massage was 10 CUC and it went up from there to 25 CUC for a full body massage for half an hour I believe. Overall, we really enjoyed our stay. We would definitely recommend this resort and would go again if we didn’t want to try a new resort each year. The manager of this resort (tall, young and bald) is always walking around. He’s glad to talk to tourists and often comes up to people randomly and asks them how they’re enjoying their stay and if there’s anything that needs changing. Feel free to introduce yourself to him, he looks scary but he’s very friendly. If you have any kind of problem that you can’t resolve in other ways, he’s always happy to help.
Also, keep in mind that this is a very small and very, very quiet resort. I would definitely not choose it for a spring break vacation with my friends. But it’s perfect for R&R and families with small children (which by the way, they do have a daycare for).