Check-in was a little slow, but there was a busload of people arriving at the same time, so can’t blame staff and you have to expect these things. Bar nearby, and friendly folks to talk to, made the time pass quickly. Pick up plastic room keys and metal safe keys. Resort map is on your paperwork. Can have resort staff transport your luggage to room, but if it’s busy you’ll wait a while. We elected to take our own luggage to our room.
Block B, second floor room. One of the better rooms we have had in 10 trips south, 7 of those to Cuba. Nice separate sitting room with it’s own closing door, contains fridge stocked once during our stay with two cans of soda, two small bottles of water. Air conditioner in both rooms worked fine. Water pressure in shower was a little low, but did the trick. Lots of towels supplied, even a couple of facecloths. Kudos to the maid for keeping it clean, and for her fantastic towel art! Nice balcony area with two comfortable chairs for unwinding before dinner.
Restaurants and Bars: Um… don’t go here for the food. Sure it’s Cuba, and we knew exactly what to expect (or thought we did! ), but food at Jimmy’s Buffet was almost a spoiler for us. Hard to find something to eat. I lived off eggs at breakfast, bread and vegetables for lunch and dinner, and of course the famous hamburgers (near the beach). You can only eat so many hamburgers. One night I had to make a banana split to tide me over to breakfast. Service in the buffet was hit and miss. A couple of wait staff in the buffet are outstanding, the rest are well… not so much. Most days we would have eaten our food and had not even been offered water, coffee or anything. Saved us a few bucks in tips I guess. Both A-la-Cartes, Italian and Cuban, did provide some escape from the buffet mess. Food was actually pretty good, and service was much better. There is a third restaurant available, but it could only be booked for a Friday, we guess, and we missed it.
We tried out most bars. Bar staff at all locations are outstanding. The friendliest and most efficient bar staff we have encountered in any resort.
Beach/Pools/Grounds: Beach is outstanding. Some days there are not enough chairs though. We generally hit the beach between 8 and 9am and stay there til mid afternoon. Most days it was a struggle to find a place to park. Towel game going on here for sure. Loved to see two people using 4 chairs and a palapa… two chairs in the shade, two in the sun. Those same people likely had two saved at the pool too. Staff had quickly and impressively popped up a bunch of new palapas while we were there, and when new chairs arrive, that may help the issue.
The Pool is a pool. A little on the small size, but a nice area to sit around later in the afternoon. Music and entertainment around the pool was not imposing at all and made for a really nice atmosphere.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
We only took in one evening show, the variety show. It is what it is. Kills some time in the evening and provides a little distraction. Gotta give the kids dancing there some credit for their energy. Did find it a bit off-putting when the dancers stand outside afterwards at the exit holding tip cups. Never saw that before. It doesn’t seem right to pick a favorite, nor to tip them all, so it leaves you feeling a bit awkward.
Other Comments: General: Staff, with the exception of a few buffet wait staff (and for all I know they might have been training some at the time), are among the best we have encountered. The resort itself is very pretty and kept quite tidy. The beach is beautiful. Lobby bar seems to be the place to go in the evenings. Met a ton of really nice folks during our brief stay, and shared a lot of laughs. A bar and/or washroom on or closer to the beach would be nice. A public washroom closer to the pool would also be a nice addition. We won’t return due to the buffet food and sketchy service (but only in the buffet). Cannot accept staying at a resort that requires you to fill your own water bottle at a public distribution station. It’s simply unhygienic! Also, for a small resort, there is a lot of walking around, especially to get to washrooms from the beach or pool… we don’t pee in the pool!! We’ve stayed in much larger resorts with less walking required to find facilities. Hmmm… just don’t know how to rate this resort. The resort has many return guests, and every return guest we met agreed with our opinions… but we wouldn’t return. We had a wonderful time, loved our room and the resort as a whole, but we just can’t get past our buffet experiences and that darned fill your own water bottle practice.