Arrival: January 1-8, 2009 We flew through Sunwing. Flight was delayed one half hour. Very good service on flight. We had champagne, wine with the meal, a movie (not very good). We were 2 adults and 2 adult children (22 and 25) We were celebrating my son turning 25 and me turning 50. They brought my son and I each champagne and a birthday card to our room. We booked the Cuban restaurant to celebrate and they brought a cake to our table with Happy Birthday and our names on it. The staff were quite attentive and eager to please.
I booked directly through Sunwing and requested the Villas and not a hotel room as I learned from reviews that the hotel rooms were dated and needed repair. They were right. However, when we checked into our hotel we were told that Sunwing does not have access to the Villas, only certain tour companies. All Sunwing guests are put in the hotel. This was very disappointing as I was told on three different occasions by a Sunwing rep that I would get a villa room. They did not inform me that they would not be able to honour my request. So all those booking through Sunwing, you will not by able to stay in the villas. The staff at the desk were very helpful though and apologetic, even though it was not their fault. We did get connecting rooms as requested.
Restaurants and Bars:
There are three restaurants, the Italian and Japanese were very good, and the Cuban was so-so. The buffet had a wide variety of selections. You will not go hungry, there is something for everyone. The breakfast buffet was excellent, we had omelettes made to order every day. The lunch buffet at the beach was also excellent. Pizza was very good and they also had fries and ice cream. I do not drink, but hubby and our two adult children enjoyed all bars.
Beach was unbelievable. Very blue, clean water. It wasn’t very wavy the week we were there, which I think is unusual. Plenty of palapas for everyone as well as beach chairs. Beach chairs were cloth and very comfortable. I noticed the hotel a few doors down had the hard plastic. I can’t imagine laying on that every day. Water seemed cooler than Mexico or Dominican, but it could be the time of year. It was refreshing though, as it was in the 80’sF and sunny all week. We did not use the pool. We were told it was quite cold. There was plenty of children playing in it though. Later in the afternoon most of the activities were around the pool.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel: We used the kayaks and caterman. A guide goes out with you on the caterman, so no need to worry about operating it. These activities were free, as well as the snorkel gear. We took the banana boat ride (5 people at a time) It comes by a couple times a day, most days. The cost was 5 pesos each. The evening shows were very entertaining. I thought they were very professional. I especially enjoyed the water ballet. Never seen that at any resorts I’ve stayed at. We went on the jeep safari. My 22 and 25 year old enjoyed it a lot. On the tour you stop at a farm, a cave for a fresh water swim, we snorkelled, had lunch at a ranch and went horseback riding and also did a boat cruise along a river. Well worth the 71 pesos. Big bang for your buck. We left a 8:30am and arrived back at our hotel at 7pm. The kids did the speed boat (45 pesos). It leaves every hour and you get picked up at the hotel. You stop at a zoo for about 10-15 min., which they said was nothing much to see. The whole tour from pick up to drop off at the hotel is about 3 hours. It was fun, but kind of a lot of money for 1.5 hours on the water.
This was our firt time in Cuba and we would go back. We liked the hotel and it met all our expectations, except the fact we couldn’t get the villas. I would go back to this hotel but my husband likes to try different ones. I must point out that the hotel was mostly Canadians and 80-90% french Canadians the week we were there and were told this is quite the norm for this hotel. There was not much english being spoken. There was a large group of young people in their 20’s (about 50 in all) from Quebec. My 22 and 25 year old were quite pleased about that. About half spoke at least some english so my kids fit right in and had lots of fun with them all week. It was one of the best family vacations we had and we were sad to see it end.
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