This was an interesting trip. My friends and I had originally booked Farallon del Caribe, and were informed the day before our departure that Farallon had been closed and we would be moved to Marea del Portilla. This was unsatisfactory to us, and led to a scramble to decide on an alternate destination. Of the choices open to us (trips leaving the next day that were in our price range) we chose Los Corales, as we had been there before and wanted to enjoy the snorkelling again.
After the usual delay waiting for everyone to board the bus, our trip to the resort was uneventful. We checked in at the front desk and received our room keys. As we had all booked oceanview bungalows, we were anxious to see where we had been placed, especially with the last minute booking. I found I had been assigned to A4, which was not to my liking, due to proximity to the parking lot. I asked to change, and was given E3, not a direct ocean view, but partial. Still preferable to me than being next to the parking lot. My friends were happy with their room, but not with having to share a key! The fourth member of our group lucked out with a fabulous second floor room with amazingly large balcony! (B5)
My room turned out to be just fine. The buildings are old and have dated furniture, but are comfortable enough. A bonus for me was that the shower had great water pressure and plentiful hot water all week long, whereas my friends had less water pressure and lukewarm water much of the time. The TV in my room had poor reception and I didn’t bother with it, preferring to read a book. I liked my room location, and I would book a bungalow again. They are quieter and more private than the regular rooms.
Restaurants and Bars: The buffet restaurant was fine for breakfast, as long as you were there early. None of us likes lineups, so we were always ready as soon as the chef started cooking eggs. Most mornings I had an omelet, and sometimes toast. There was generally some fresh fruit, usually pineapple and watermelon, sometimes other choices. Juice was available as well. At lunch I tended to order pizza and perhaps pick up something else from the buffet. I found the desserts inexplicably had an "off" taste to them, as if an ingredient was past its "sell by" date. A little musty tasting, so I avoided them most of the time. In the evening we ate at the a la carte. Both Cuban and Seafood were housed in the same outdoor room, and we alternated. We kept asking about booking, and they kept allowing us to do so, and as it turned out we never ate supper at the buffet. The grilled fish at the seafood a la carte was excellent! I was so impressed I had it twice, cheating on my normal vegetarian diet. Red wine was in short supply, and I had white on occasion. A couple of times we bought our own bottle or red to enjoy with dinner.
The bars were adequate, and one is open all night for restless sleepers and early risers seeking coffee. Vodka was in short supply at times, which annoyed one of my travelling companions who prefers it. There was always cerveza, which was generally what I was looking for, and the Cappuccinos were fine as well.
Beach/Pools/Grounds: The beach at Los Corales has stones and broken shells, and isn’t kind to bare feet. The ocean has a lot of seagrass, with a couple of sandy entry points. We were there for the snorkelling, and were not disappointed! The sailing was also lots of fun, and we went out most days. There are no "towel games" going on, as there were always lots of chairs and shade available.
The pool was fine to cool off in, which we did on a few occasions. It was clean and clear, but the lining has seen better days.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel: Snorkelling and sailing, as mentioned, were our main activities. One day we did a private tour to Havana in an open jeep. What a blast! We had lunch at an excellent Paladar and had a generally enjoyable time looking around and doing some shopping.
I booked a massage on the one rainy day we had, and it was excellent value for money. 10 CUC/30 minutes.
Other Comments: The staff was generally very good and helpful. One bartender was the exception. She was rude and often away from her post, and generally unhelpful when present. Other than that, I had no complaints about service.
This is a comfortable resort in a good location. The weather is generally reliably warm and usually dry, although it did rain a couple of times during our trip, but not enough to spoil the fun.