eeeefarm Ontario Canada This was my fourth visit to this resort. I travelled with friends who had accompanied me here two years ago, so we all knew what to expect. We were not disappointed!
We travelled with Sunwing and arrived at the airport in the pouring rain, not an auspicious beginning to our vacation! However, after the usual 90 minute bus trip, our greeting at the hotel was cordial and it was suggested that we proceed to the buffet in order to eat before it closed. Once we had satisfied our hunger, check in went quickly and the bell boys delivered our bags to our rooms. It was still raining, so that put a bit of a damper on our first night!
I love the rooms at Caracol. The sitting room entry is a nice touch and gives a feeling of space. My friends particularly like this feature, as it gives flexibility if one person wants to sleep and the other prefers to sit up and read a book. We had requested upstairs and received rooms across from each other on the second floor. Location was close to the beach, but unfortunately not the ocean view we had enjoyed previously. However, the rooms were clean and comfortable, and I had no complaints. There was always ample hot water and great water pressure. The A/C is controlled by remote and worked well.
Restaurants and Bars: The buffet restaurant was just fine, usual Cuban fare. Made to order omelets and eggs for breakfast and a large assortment of other items. Grapefruit has been especially nice in Cuba this year, and I wasn’t disappointed at Caracol. Breads were fresh and tasty. Lunch and supper featured pasta bar and something on the grill (fresh salmon fillets one night!) There is entertainment at dinner most nights. A four member group sings Cuban songs and requests (and will offer their CD for purchase). The a la carte is currently offered in one end of the buffet restaurant and is nothing special. However, the dine around at Mayanabo next door is still available and worth doing. They have a great buffet, although the guests are very enthusiastic when the doors open. We likened it to a "feeding frenzy"! But we enjoyed the change of scene for one evening. The snack bar is a wonderful open air spot for lunch. Good fish and fries, and a nice place to sit and view the ocean. The lobby bar is open early for coffee and would be a great place to sit except that people smoke and the area is not big enough to get away from it, so I would take my coffee and go elsewhere. The pool bar is fine to grab a drink and sit watching the dancers rehearse.
Beach/Pools/Grounds: The beach at Santa Lucia is nice firm white sand, somewhat marred by all the sea grass that drifts in. It is cleaned every day, but there is an endless supply and it isn’t long before more accumulates. If you walk west past the pier you will find a very long stretch of uninhabited beach to walk, but there is debris and it is best to wear shoes. Water shoes are advisable for swimming, as there are stones and coral in the water. I never entered the sea without my snorkel fins, so it wasn’t an issue for me! The pool was cleaned every morning. It features a swim up bar. I’m not a pool person, so didn’t use it. Lots of chairs and shade available at both the beach and pool.
The grounds are well maintained and pleasant to walk through. Gardeners are on the job early before it gets too hot.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel: We went for the snorkelling and sailing, and had a great week for both. The weather was off a couple of days, but we made up for it the rest of the time. Good off the beach snorkelling is available here, (swim out about 300 meters from the pink nautical shack…..there is a patch of coral and rocky areas, lots of fish!) and also you can arrange transportation to the reef at the nautical centre. There is a more formal "coral tour" that uses the large Catamaran, and you can book that excursion. We didn’t bother. In addition we went to Coco Beach with a horse and carriage and swam out to the sunken ship there. This is best done with a guide, as the currents can be strong depending on the tide.
There was a show every night, but I didn’t stay around for it. After a full day I was ready to relax in my room. The dancers rehearse endlessly during the day and are interesting to watch…..they are very good!
Other Comments: Internet is available and works quite well. There is only one computer but not many people were bothering to use it. Speed was decent for Cuba…..I could receive and send one email in about 3 minutes. There is a gym which I didn’t use. There are also books available….a library of sorts made from books others have left. The Luna Mar restaurant right next door makes a nice change of pace, offering really good pizza at a great price. It had been suggested to me and we decided to try it. I highly recommend this restaurant. Four of us had lunch with drinks and desert for 24 CUC! The staff at this resort are friendly and efficient. I had no complaints about service.
We had a great week and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. We will be returning to this resort!