upon landing at Veradero Airport, we were greeted by vendors selling ice cold beer prior to boarding the bus bound for the resort. Arrived & greeted by great staff, in particular Luiz, he wears a white shirt/doorman, knows everything around there.
Rooms were excellent, air conditioning, so well cleaned, cable tv with cnn/hbo/some spanish channels. Plenty of spare toilet paper, shampoo, soap, & hot shower water too. I had brought bracelets, & other items from the dollar store to leave on pillow with some change each morning as a tip before the rooms were made up. I had room #1143 & examined the sliding patio doors for damaged locks, as I learned by reading previous reviews. Lock was relocated to another portion of the door, as in fact the original was broke.
Restaurants and Bars:
There’s an amazing beach front bar/eatery… all the booze you can drink on the beachfront from 9am-5pm, plenty of plastic tanning seats on the sand.. and all the fish/chicken/hotdog/hamburger meals you can eat.. Excellent staff.. Few dogs from neighbouring Horse ranch will come over looking for handouts, very nice pets. Please make sure to tip these employees as they’re on their feet for 12-14hour shifts.. Dont forget to bring a thermal mug from home unless you want to have tiny plastic cups. After 5 pm, the buffet opens up at 7pm at the upper main lobby, again all you can eat until 10pm or so.. Tables are set up so nice..
Beach is very nice. There’s paddle boats, kayaks, small sail boats, and free snorkeling gear available to use. There’s plenty of coral reefs close to the shore. When standing in 3′ water near shoreline, one look under water and many large colourful fish will surround you. The beach water is obviously warmer then the pool water. Pool is amazing, very large, has a volleyball net as well. The grounds are so well kept. You will see employees tending the trees/shrubs/flowers/lawns daily. There is also a nice large Gazebo with a moat full of large fish swimming around it.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel: Each morning until 12noon, there’s a rep on hand from air canada vacations who books travel adventures for you. Anyone can sit down & look into whatever adventure you want. Book the JEEP tour if you have a chance. It costs $69convertible pesos for an all day adventure from 9am to 5pm that will take you off roading, driving along beach roads to a light house, a stop for snorkeling, a cave tour underground surrounded by crystals, a stop at a 200year old+ former slave run coffee bean plantation(with included buffet), short horseback riding. Some jeeps have hard tops, others are soft tops, they’re all standards with air conditioning too if needed. Havana: we booked an 11 passenger van for $25 convertible pesos a person(approx $30 canadian) which had a taxi driver take us in a new van, air conditioning, on a 1 hr trip to Havana. Once in Havana we visited revolution square, went for lunch at a fancy restauraunt(must pay), visited the harbour front, & the streets of old Havana. Driver stays with you for the day, & you return back to the resort again around 5pm.
Deep Sea Fishing: although i did not take part of it, you can have 5 guys go on a guided cabin cruiser to the water to fish for $350 convertible pesos, which everyone can share the costs. My friend caught 45+ lb fishs that he was able to bring back to the resort, and the kitchen staff cooked it for him, as he also shared his catch with the kitchen/bar staff.
Other Comments: One thing you must realize, all resort workers have a monthly salary of $27 convertible pesos.. Having to pay $1.16 canadian during our week long stay on Jan 17th just to obtain 1 convertible peso.. if you think for a moment, they earn approx $35-40 canadian per month wage. Please tip everyone you can, they go well out of their way, and make a very hard effort to take care of you while you’re there. Beware the currency exchange: One lady will short change you when changing your money. Avoid $3 cuban bills as myself being canadian, they tend to hand you $3 bills, but slapping them down quickly on the counter one after the other will throw your visual calculation off, like a magic trick. So always recount your money. Also, the $1 cuban coin is the same size as a .50cent cuban coin, make sure to look at your coins carefully. Brought 1 entire checked suitcase packed full of items from the dollar store: toothbrushes/toothpaste, bracelets, candies, crayons, coloring books, bandaids, soapbars. Along the beeachfront you may see the odd local walking along the water line, they are very nice people simply asking for a handout of anything they can bring home to their familes. Prior to leaving the resort, I had met 2 local fellas by the name of Michael & Gerval walking the waterline, we chatted a bit, they were looking for items, and were also interested in my thermal mug. We agreed to meet up again on my 2nd last day there. I turned over to them a small shoulder size samsonite carry on with new items: pairs of socks, my wal mart sandals, some new tshirts, toothpaste/brushes, a container of gravol, and other items for their family. In return I received a ziplock bag with 25 cigars. Feel free to give some of your items away, especially when you’re heading back home to winter weather, and just think as we have so much easily available to us, that to them it is hard/expensive to even be able to afford/have access to much of anything. If they have thermal mugs in hand, even offer them some beer from the bar, they’ll appreciate it. Also: dont leave any laundry outside to dry at night, as it’ll tend to walk away on you. If you want any other answers, email me: email@example.com
sackville, new-brunswick, canada.