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Club Tryp – Cayo Coco – Reviews Posted – 22

Club Tryp – Cayo Coco Pam & Tyler – Peterborough Ontario, Canada

March 2003

Hi Debbie! You have a GREAT site here! It is so helpful and useful and it gives a lot of information that is needed for travelers. Thank you.

March 2003
We are from Peterborough, ON and traveled to Club Tryp Cayo Coco, Cuba on Friday February 21, 2003. We booked our trip though Signature Vacations, and they are WONDERFUL! Our travel agent told us everything we needed to know about Cuba, about the departure taxes, customs, rules, regs, the people and the sights. I would highly recommend booking though Signature as they are always there when you need them.

The Flight Our flight was through Skyservice. In the months prior to our trip the flight time had changed 5 times! It went from 6am to 11am to 12pm, to 3pm and then finally to 4:30pm 3days before our trip! It was somewhat stressful because we didn’t know 3 days before our trip when our flight was leaving! But it turned out well. We flew from Toronto, ON. The customs, security and check in time was only minutes. They are very quick and efficient. But beware- if you are bringing film for your camera, DO NOT put it in your checked baggage, place all film in your carry on! Any film that is in checked baggage will get exposed from the heavy-duty X-Ray machine the airport is using as of January 1, 2003. One thing that isn’t so pleasant about flying through Skyservice is that there is NO LEG room what-so-ever! My boyfriend is six foot six and he could barley move! The flight was fairly smooth except for over the New York area. We hit a wicked storm and the plane was shaking heavily from the turbulence. It was scary, but it ended a few minutes later. They served us a cheese tortellini meal on the way to Cuba…it wasn’t too bad, but what can you expect from airline food?! We landed in Cayo Coco at the Jardines Del Ray airport half and hour before schedule, which was a nice surprise! When we landed in Cayo Coco it was raining which was upsetting, but it stopped about 5 minutes after we landed. It was quite the ordeal to get our luggage in the airport though. Three planes had landed at the same time and there was luggage EVERYWHERE! It took about an hour to go though security, customs and get our baggage. You then go to your rep, hop on a bus and off you are to Club Tryp! It’s about a 10 minute bus ride to the resort.

TIP- Try to sit near the front of the bus if you can because you will be the first ones off at the reception and you will get to your rooms quickly instead of having to wait for what can seem like hours to get checked in.

Check-In & Room The check-in was somewhat disorganized when we arrived at the Tryp. We arrived there at 9:20pm, so it was dark and hard to find our way around. The bus drops off all Tryp visitors to the "Club" reception. From that point you have to find out if you are staying on the Club or the Colonial side, then go to that areas’ reception. We were staying on the Colonial side, so we had to hop on a little train that the resort has to take you to the other side of the resort. We got to the Colonial reception, checked in and were off to the room! TIP- If you don’t mind carrying your luggage to room, I HIGHLY recommend that you do it! We pulled our luggage to our room because we felt safer doing it ourselves (at least we knew where it was). The couple in the room beside us didn’t get their luggage for almost 2 hours after check-in…and they had to wait in their room for it to come! So their night was pretty much shot! Our room was INCREDIBLE! It was so beautiful, bright and huge! It had a beautiful large bathroom suite, a king size bed, 18 foot ceilings and a huge balcony that looked over the pool! The room is furnished with a wall length desk, bench, 2 armchairs, a table, TV with remote and a fridge.

Opposed to what many reviews have said, our room did not smell musty AT ALL, it was clean and cool. On the far side of the colonial section, the guests have to place their room key in a slot to make the air-conditioning work (which is kind of pointless). On our side of the Colonial (building 18) the air works no matter what. There is a permanent key in the slot.

Food
TIP- When you are booking your trip get the SUPER ALL INCLUSIVE ($100 CDN) option. It will be the best $100 you spend guaranteed! We had the Super A.I. and it was awesome! You have no limits with the S.A.I wrist bracelet. You can eat at any of the 5 a la carte restaurants (Creole, Cuban, International, Seafood and Italian) unlimited amounts of times and not have to pay an extra penny. You also have full access to the buffets, pizza place (Yarey’s) and you have extra time using all the water sports equipment. The people with just the regular white wrist band can only eat the buffet (which is gross) and the pizza place, and they have less time when using the water sports equipment. If you don’t get the Super All Inclusive and decide to eat at one of the A la Carte restaurants, you must pay $40 USD/person/meal!!! It’s outrageous prices for the meals if you don’t have the S.A.I. We food we ate was incredibly delicious! We ate at the seafood restaurant (El Dorado) 3 nights in a row! They have fresh lobster that they will just keep bringing you…it’s great! They have a wonderful selection of food there. We ate at the Italian restaurant which is by far the BEST food I have ever tasted in my life!!! (Get the Spinach Cannelloni….it’s awesome!). We also ate at the international restaurant (La Loma Azul) and its disgusting! The food tastes like sweat. I wouldn’t recommend going there at all.

For breakfast everyday we ate at the buffet. The food for breakfast is great. The chef stands in front of you and cooks you your omelets or crepes. The have a really cool machine which makes fresh orange juice right in front of you and its delicious! The food isn’t as bad as everyone makes it out to be. Every meal we had was perfect except for the International restaurant. And besides, you come to Cuba for the beach, not for the food!
P.S- You have to make reservations for all the restaurants for dinner…do this at reception

The Resort
Club Tryp is massive! It will take you days to find your way around this place! It is separated by a Club and a Colonial Side. The colonial side is gorgeous! It looks like Spain. Beautiful gardens, flowers, pools, cobble stone roads, wishing wells….it looks like its a picture from a post card! The Club side is not as nice. It’s darker, less flowers, the trees aren’t as mature and are therefore short and stumpy, the pools are nice of the club side and the reception area is beautiful. The club side is where all the action is…discos, entertainment, shows ect…while the colonial side is more relaxed, peaceful, quite and private.

The Beach Get ready for your jaw to hit the ground when you see the beaches here! The beaches are unbelievably gorgeous. Never in my life have I seen something this beautiful. The beach is fairly narrow (30 ft wide max) and the white fluffy sand that doesn’t burn your feet. The Maintenance workers rake the beach at 6am daily to get rid of any sea weed that may have accumulated there. Unlike Florida you don’t have to worry about stepping on any sharp rocks or glass in the water here. The sand in the water is perfectly clean and free of rocks and debris. The water is a beautiful turquoise green and is incredibly clean and clear. We spend most of our days and nights on the beach at the Tryp.

They have about 200 huts that you can lay under all on the Tryp beach. There are almost 1000 white beach reclining chairs, but they go FAST! Most mornings at 9am you couldn’t find a chair anywhere, so get there early!

The Snorkeling
We went snorkeling almost everyday. You will see a dark line in the water from shore that separates the turquoise colour….at that dark line all across the beach is where there is great snorkeling. Go to the Boathouse grill and get some bananas to feed the fish…they love it and will come right up to you…good opportunity for pictures!

The Weather We had been checking the weather online for almost 2 months before our trip and it was sunny and warm almost day. The day before we left it was calling for rain in Cayo Coco! Friday- rain, high of 30 Saturday- sunny, high of 33 Sunday – Thunderstorms, high of 27 Monday- Thunderstorms, high of 27 Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday & Friday – SUNNY and highs of 35

Bring LOTS of sun block. They sell it there, but it’s expensive ($9-$15 USD) for a small bottle.


Things to Do

There are lots of things to do here. You can go snorkeling, sea kayaking, Hobbie Catting, Parasailing ($40 USD/person)….You can get a massage ($10/hour USD), you can get your hair braided with foil ($35USD) TIP – Bring coloured beads from home to have the hairdresser put in your braids. There are lots of excursions you can go on. We did the 1/2 day Catamaran ride $39 USD/person. I would highly recommend it. They take you to the entrance of the Bahamas Channel and you go snorkeling at one of the largest coral shelf’s in Cuba! Its awesome! We saw well over 300 fish….just beautiful! P.S- Watch out for the jelly-fish…..there are everywhere!!

You can also go on a Jungle Tour ($65 USD), trip to Moron, Trinidad…….there are tones of excursions! We also went on a tour of the Island of Cayo Coco. We got to see all the resorts, a Wild Bore Cave and a Farm with an animal show….it was really neat… ($5 USD).

The People

The Cuban’s are wonderful people. They are efficient, quick and very organized. They don’t ask for tips or serve only those with money in their hands like past reviews have said. They serve each person fairly and are very kind and funny people. The one thing though that I recommend over anything else is to bring lots of $1 bills for tipping. The Cubans only get paid $10-$15 PER MONTH!! They also all have to drive at least one hour to get to the resort everyday! They only get 1 day off a week and they all work a minimum of 12 hours/day! They have to share 40% of their tips with the resort, so when you tip is really goes a LONG way! The appreciate it so much and they will remember you for it, trust me.

The Flight Home
All I can say here is I hope you are not impatient or fussy because you’ll be waiting a LONG time to go home! Four flights were all leaving at the same time and the airport was packed! You could barley move in there! It took about and hour and a half to get to the check-in counter!! Our flight was delayed by 30 minutes. We are all on the plane getting ready for take off when the pilot comes on and tells us to watch the TV screens for safety procedures ect…so we are getting ready to take off here and the power on the plane shuts off!!! The whole plane went black, the engines stopped and the back-up lighting stopped! I can tell you that this was a horrific experience knowing that we are about to take off here and all that’s around us is ocean!! But fortunately they fixed the problem and off we were. We even got to Toronto 1/2 hour before schedule!

Things To Bring – insulated mug (the little cups they give you don’t last long & your drinks gets warm fast!) – lots of $1 bills – Small gifts for the maids/servers ( They LOVE to get colouring books, crayons, sm toys for children, hair clips and elastics. They have a huge shortage on pencils and paper there, so that would be a great thing to bring as well. – lots of sun block – Imodium….trust us….you’ll need it! – Band-aids – Kleenex – a couple rolls of toilet paper…their’s is like sandpaper! – a few under-water cameras – facecloths – A great attitude

Get the Super-All Inculsive package and ask to be put on the colonial side with a balcony! Any of the lower rooms will have lots of spiders and lizard visitors!!

This resort is pure paradise! When you go here you’ll fall in love. We will definitely be going back to the Tryp! Out of 10, we would give it a 10 hands down! The service, beauty, food, rooms, grounds, beach, pool and people are 110% perfect! This place rocks! Have a GREAT ‘Tryp!’

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Club Tryp – Cayo Coco Montreal, Canada

March 2003

I would like to write this review to let out the steam, I have from this whole vacation. I bought the tickets through a travel agent here, who basically sold it to me not explaining much about the rules and regulation in this resort.

I got there from montreal canada with some canadian dollars, expecting to use my credit card AMERICAN which I only realized when I got there that there is an embargo. My travel agent never told about the 25.00 $ US you have to pay to get out of the country. I figured if I needed more money I was safe using my bank card, since I have taken money out with it in many countries around the world. Only then did I realize that there were no bank machines, and I then had to take a bike 5 kms outside to take out some money from my account in Canada, but they did not accept. I could use my mastercard since they do not accept AMERICAN credit cards. I never received any brochure through my travel agent with all these specifiactions.

After all the frustration this vacation caused, I did not have access to get any money when I was there so I spent most of my time in grief and worry. TOUR MAISON which was my tour operator there did nothing to help me accept, tell me to call my father to forward money through his CANADIAN VISA back at home, but they told my father they could not do anything.

The people there are very primitive in mind, They do not know about these circumstances, and I had to spend 155.00 us dollars in phones call to tryand get myself out of this mess.

The food there was terrible,the pasta tasted like soup, I woyld suggest anybody going there to get a la carte menu , which you have to pay extra for if you do not want to get sick.

On my birthday, I almost spent it in tears, because of not having any access to get my funds I needed to pay extra to go on these excursions.
But I got very lucky , when I met a canadian tourist who was a total stranger to me lent me 400.00 us dollars in order to pay my wicked phone bill. In Cuba you cannot call collect, and it cost 2,50 us dollars to call someone in america.I had no choice but to call for help without having money. But thanks to this wonderful tourist , with heart of gold who got me out of the rut. I got this help on my birthday, believe or not, a total stranger helped me when these pathetic TOUR MAISON operators did nothing.

I finally got to go on a scuba diving excursion which was beautiful. There the people do not make make much money and are not aware of any rules or regulations so bring american dollars ONLY!!!! THIS PLACE IS NOT USER FRIENDLY. The internet is very slow and expensive. Another thing that disappointed me was that musty smell in the rooms and that if you wanted to take the paddle boat you only were allowed one hour this is including the kayaks and catamaran. I got a room at ground level which was very noisy because at night all you would here was the galloping of the horse that would go by. There were not many lawnchairs, you would have to go out early and reserve them before you where left without one.

Regards
DISSAPOINTED

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Club Tryp – Cayo Coco Wendy Ontario, Canada
February 2003

We had such a wonderful time in Cuba and just wanted to add our comments. We had read Debbie’s site before going. Thanks to everyone for their suggestions.

We did take a box of Kleenex for our room and some plastic drink coolers. If you want to make some friends at the resort take a few extra coolers. I gave mine away for a new friend for his beer and he most appreciated it. My husband and he both enjoyed their beer better.

The food was good and we didn’t have any problems finding lots to eat. We had the standard package. We wouldn’t have wanted to have been organized and making reservation always the day before.

Please remember to tip the people. We tried to tip people that didn’t normaly get tipped like the gardeners. We took extra clothes and left them. As a suggestion you could take Dollar Store Baseball Hats and give to the gardeners. They do appreciate anything you give them. They like to give you gifts in return a paper flower, a bouquet of flowers from the garden or hats and birds made out of palm leaves.

The beach was clean and crystal clear.We did alot of walking on the beach and in the rsort. There is a train that runs and used that a few times. There is horse and buggies at night.

We found the Duty Free Gifts Shop at the Airport much cheaper than the Resort. T-Shirts were double the price at the resort. My husband found some great car shirts at the Resort and the Airport. We are members of a Classic Car Club. He enjoyed seeing lots of the old cars.

We felt very safe at the resort.

I hope that everyone that takes the same trip has just as good of time as we had. We made some new friends as well.

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Club Tryp – Cayo Coco Don Tyrrell Toronto, Canada
February 2003

Debbie, I found this site shortly before my wife and I left for 2 weeks in Tryp. Reading some of the reviews gave me some serious concerns about the food we’d find. Fortunately, we found things much better than we might have expected. We ate at the Buffet for breakfast and dinner and some lunches. The food was similar from one day to the other but there was a small variation. We found the food good. It isn’t fancy but it was prepared OK, it was wholesome and we had almost no stomach problems. My wife had a problem one day but it was quickly solved with the Imodium we brought along–a good idea on any vacation. If you can’t find enough to eat, you’re very fussy. I had great orange juice, fine omelettes, OK bacon, and fresh fruit for breakfast. I’m not much for fish but could find ample to satisfy me at dinner. Lunch at the Pizza Grill or a burger and fries as very good. Bottom line: It isn’t haute cuisine but it is certainly fine. Remember this is a third world country (in large part thanks to 40 years of US embargo) but they do very well for the tourists. I gather the food at the speciality restaurants is pretty good but we used the money we saved for tours, tips, and souvenirs. We’ll have a fancy meal now that we’re home. Trust me I didn’t lose any weight!

The wine is definitely ordinaire (from Spain) but the mixed drinks and beer are first rate. The odd idiot gets carried away with the unlimited booze and some nights a drunk would wander through the complex at 2 or 3 a.m. whooping and hollering (they need some patrol to shut these people up) but fortunately not too many or too often.

The grounds are beautiful! The rooms in the Colonial Section seemed mostly unoccupied. Someone said it was to be sold soon. The grill in that section was open and so were the bars. The pools were quieter than in the main section and we loved it there. Perhaps if it had been full (or no longer accessible to us) we would have felt different but it was great to have it almost all to ourselves. The weather was a bit cool (70F) and windy for the 1st week so none of the beach equipment was in use. The second week was calm, sunny, and hot (25C to 30C)–just what we wanted. The equipment was easy to get (snorkel, kayaks, catamaran ride, electric motor boats). The beach is nice with lots of chairs. The beach by El Senador is wider and maybe a bit better.

Our room was neat, fairly large, and had a very comfortable bed. You get used to a small TV but there’s no weather channel, and no TV Guide. You can get really sick of CNN in a hurry. The first week was all Iraq and the 2nd was all Shuttle disaster for about 4 days. What a crummy view of world news. HBO and Cinemax are OK for movies and you can watch some sports on ESPN.

If you don’t smoke you’ll find it hard to escape smokers. They need to create more non-smoking areas but in a country famous for its cigars maybe I’m dreaming.

The Internet is very slow. It only costs $5US for an hour but you can hardly get anything done. It took over 5 minutes to load any screen. If you want to send/receive email just check your most important messages. Make note of email ID’s before you go because accessing your address book will add 5 to 10 minutes to a message. It is like the whole complex (or all of Cayo Coco) is sharing a single dial-up connection–REALLY!

The people were very friendly (at the resort and on the excursions). They appreciated a tip but didn’t require it for good, friendly service. A couple of times I tipped the fellow who made my omlette each moring and he was so delighted he gave me a small souvenir when I was leaving. I guess most people don’t think to tip him (or even smile each time). At any rate, I was really touched by the thought and gesture.

We did a couple of excursions and found both good fun and excellent value. Sugar Rail Express (crocodile farm, sugar mill, lunch, trip on steam train, buggy ride and short stay in Moron…) and the all day Catmaran Sail. The coral and fish are great and the water is about as clear as any we’ve found (only Grand Cayman seemed slightly clearer).

A couple of things we took that we’re a good idea: Kleenex (unless you want to use toilet tissues) and your own face cloth (they don’t supply them). We took thermal mugs which the bars gladly filled with beer or mixed drinks. Keeps them cool and saves a few trips to the bar.

Only one evening did I have a bug bite and the last day we had a few very small bugs during the day–good thing since we forgot the bug repellant.

Would we go back–you bet! It isn’t perfect but it is very comfortable and great value.

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Club Tryp – Cayo Coco Mike & Kristin Canada
February 2003

Hi Debbie. I have found your website to be very useful in determining where to go in the caribbean. Thanks!

Myself and my girlfriend Kristin returned from Tryp Cayo Coco about a week ago. Our trip to the "tryp" began mid-day on Fri. Jan. 17 2003. Our departure time had been changed twice in the week prior to leaving so we were glad to confirm that we were indeed at the airport at the correct time. We booked through Signature vacations & flew on the Skyservice Airbus A320. Not alot of leg room on that plane, but it was smooth & fairly quiet. We chose a good time to go as it was -25 C the week we went.

We arrived at around 8:00 p.m. at the airport. We were pleased with the warm, humid air that greeted us as we walked off the portable stair from the plane. We were at the hotel by 9:00. The bus ride was short, and interesting what with the wild cattle grazing on the side of the road. However, we were in line for some time at the check-in as a couple ahead of us had decided they wanted to upgrade; apparently that is either a) not a common practise at the checkin desk or b) a very difficult practise at the checkin desk.

We carried our own luggage to our room, and it wasn’t difficult to find. We had a top floor room in "Los Flamencos". We had a great view of a pond and of the ocean. We could hear the flamingoes in the pond squawking at each other every morning…it was worth some laughs. Since the buffet was closed, we spent our first night meandering around the resort, having some drinks and just generally enjoying this wonderfully designed resort!

Overall, the weather was warm, but not hot. They had a cold spell for the first two days…the high was around 20 C. On the beach or around the pool, we were glad to have our sweatshirts when the sun went behind the cloud on these days, but it got warmer during mid-week.

The food was not as boring as I had read: we saw some very funny things at the buffet, actually: deep-fried ham-and-cheese sandwiches, cut-up hot dogs, and other odd garnishing touches including one whole shrimp in a dish of rice, and other things like peas-in-eggs and stuff. Of course, there were many mainstay dishes to choose from. They had good fish and the cooks made wonderful omelettes and pork chops. The dessert table was nothing special. We had good meals at the pizza place (Yarey’s) and the beach-side bar/restaurant (La Picua). We didn’t pay extra to go to the other restaurants because we figured a) the food was just fine, and b) we didn’t go to cuba to eat gourmet meals anyway.

Unfortunately we both got stomack aches from the water there. They say it’s clean etc. but we narrowed it down to the water. Stick to the bottled water! Even the fountain water in the buffet was giving us trouble.

The resort was beautiful and the beaches were nice, although narrow (especially at hi-tide).

There were a combination of younger couples, older couples and the odd family (but not many). Overall the resort was quite docile. Our room was nice & very clean. The staff were very friendly, courteous and helpful.

We took two tours: the jungle tour and a sugar-cane/local city tour:

The jungle tour consisted of a speed-boat ride up a couple lakes to a river, where we went snorkeling and saw some fish. I heard that you could pay about $5 and head off the beach at the resort and see more fish than we did. Ours was $39 U.S. The boats were fun though. I think Kristin thought we were gonna flip a couple of times!

The day-trip of a local city, Moron, and a sugar-cane production facility also included lunch of traditional cuban fare (although the food looked suspiciously familiar to that of the hotel…), a visit to a crocodile farm, a boat ride into a jungle-y area, a steam-train ride, a horsedrawn carriage ride through the city of Moron, and a visit to a dutch village founded by Celia de Sanchez. It was well worth it. Beware though, if you do the Moron trip, upon getting out of the bus downtown you will be swarmed by local kids who will give you a coin, or put flowers in your hair and then hound you by saying ‘dollar…dollar…dollar’ until you oblige. One kid ran alongside the horse carriage we were in for what seemed like 5 minutes until we gave in.

Other than that, we checked out the beach and the pools, had a drink at the swim-up bar (which was pretty quiet, considering it was relatively cool while we were there), borrowed bikes, went kayaking, paddleboating and rented a scooter for an hour, played a little pool, watched some shows, even took a 1 hr Spanish lesson, and generally toured around the place.

As others have noted, the colonial side of the resort was closed. The restaurants and bars were open (well, not the buffet) but there didn’t appear to be anyone staying in the rooms there.

We needed bug repellant one night only. (Mind you, a couple of days it was very windy). We brought insulated-travel mugs that were nice to have & would have been more important in HOT weather. It would have been nice if they’d had a hot tub there in the evening. We sat in a "warm-tub", but alas…it is not the same.

We are left with great memories of the trip. We also met some very friendly people there. In particular, John and Sharon from North Bay who we inadvertently ran into every day!

Some pointers to those considering a trip to the tryp: take care when driving, walking, or biking on the local roads as we were surprised to see a mid-60’s tandem-axle tanker truck come barrelling around this corner in the middle of the road, with the cuban drivers bouncing on their seats, water splashing out a nozzle on the back and the rear wheels coming right off the pavement over the bumps.

Do take bug repellant. Bring some dollars for tipping. You will find that it is rather customary to do so. Bring some goodies for the maid. Kristin brought lots of nail polish and what-not, and we left that for the maid almost daily.

The only part of the trip we didn’t like was having to leave!

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Club Tryp – Cayo Coco Maryka and Ron Ottawa, Canada
January 2003

We spent Christmas at the Tryp, Cayo Coco (Dec. 23 – 30, 2002). I have read the other recent reviews, and will try not to repeat what has already been said. We had a fantastic time and would recommend this resort.

Trip Down:
We flew from Ottawa, via Skyservice. We were much happier with Skyservice than we had been with Air Transat when we flew to DR 2 years ago. The flight left on time, but they added an unscheduled stop in Montreal. I guess they hadn’t sold out in Ottawa. It added an hour and a half to our trip, which was an unpleasant surprise, but what can you do? Of course it made our trip home an hour and a half longer too.

We flew in to the new airport. It is a nice, clean, modern facility. It took about 15 minutes to clear customs. The customs agents looked somewhat intimidating, and were very insistent that people went through one at a time, even if they were travelling together, but we had no problems at all getting through. We were directed to bus #3, where we bought 2 cervezas ($2 US each) and boarded the bus. It took 20 minutes to get to the hotel, since they had to stop at 2 other hotels first, so we were the last to unload. On the drive to the hotel, our Sunquest rep, Mabel, mentioned something called “Cuban time”. That means that everything happens at a more slow, leisurely pace. It does take some getting used to and can be a little irritating at first, but once you learn to slow down and relax, it is great. What’s the rush anyway?

Check in and Room:
We were booked into the Colonial side. I was hoping for that after reading some of the earlier reviews, and I would recommend it to anyone who prefers a little peace and quiet. We were dropped off at the reception desk, and it took about 20 minutes to check in (it was around 11:30 p.m.). We got our wristbands, 2 room keys and a map, and were advised to head “in that direction” with vague pointing. After asking assistance from some hotel employees outside, we were escorted to our room. We took our bags with us.

We were in Room 3503. Building 35 is at the extreme far end of the Colonial side. The furnishings are “austere” – bed, wooden bench, nightstands, dresser with TV (no remote), and two armchairs. But very clean and comfortable enough. I was expecting the fridge to be stocked with water, pop and beer. It was empty, and as it turned out, unplugged. But there was a new sealed bottle of water in the bathroom, so we put that in the fridge, plugged it in, and that was that. It is worth noting that the air conditioning worked without having to put a card in a slot. There was a thermostat on the wall, with temperature control and settings for Low, Medium & High. It worked very well. The best part of the room was that the saltwater pool was literally 2 steps out our back door. It was very quiet, generally there were no people sitting around the pool

As well, the beach at that end of the resort was usually deserted. We sat on the beach around noon on Dec. 24 and there were no other people as far as the eye could see. It was as if we had paradise all to ourselves.

Food:
We had opted for the Super All-inclusive, and think it was worth it. Through Sunquest it was only $100 Cdn. per person for a week. We only ate at the buffet at breakfast. The a-la-carte restaurants were very good, and the service there was impeccable – as good as or better than medium-priced Canadian places. Our favourite was the seafood restaurant – great lobster, and you could get as many extra lobster tails as you could eat. Also enjoyed the Caribbean and the steakhouse. Didn’t try the Italian or International. Yarey’s pizza was good too.

Things to Do:
We don’t usually get into excursions, preferring to veg on the beach, but we met some great new friends our first evening there (Hi Eileen, Hans and Jim [aka El Grande!]), and they talked us into all kinds of things. We went on one organized tour – the Jungle Tour ($39US per person). You take a bus to Cayo Guillermo, then get into 2-person power boats that you drive through the mangrove “jungles” for about 30 minutes. At the end of the line you go snorkelling in one of the channels in the mangroves for about 45 minutes, then back in the boats and return to where you started. We took along some over-ripe bananas to feed the fish – they loved them! Snorkelling was mediocre, as it was kind of shady and there was a very strong current in the channel. If you want to experience good snorkelling, go somewhere that is well lit and without the current – either off the beach near the beach restaurant or else take a snorkelling excursion to the coral reef. Nevertheless, we had a blast and would recommend it.

We (2 of us) rented a scooter for 2 days ($20US a day) and adventured around by ourselves. We drove to Cayo Guillermo, the Wild Boar cave and through the sand dunes. Great fun and we felt very free. We also found that at the gas station just down the road from the hotel, T-shirts were only $4 and rum was $3 – $6 a bottle – much better prices than the hotel. We felt very safe when we explored away from the complex – something we would never have done in Dominican Republic, as we were warned often not to venture out on our own.

The highlight of our trip was an excursion that we made with one of the hotel employees (who will remain nameless so he doesn’t get in trouble from the hotel). We (5 of us) rented 2 jeeps for the day, met up with our guide, and set out for Moron. We made several stops along the way, at the sugar fields, the crocodile farm and Lake Redondo (sp?) where they have world famous bass fishing. Then into Moron, where we strolled the streets, went to our guide’s home, met his family, then went to a paladar (private restaurant run from a person’s home) for dinner. It was a wonderful opportunity to see a little of how people live, and we’ve never met so many warm, friendly and generous people. If you would be interested in a similar adventure, get to know some of the staff, particularly waiters, bartenders and animation staff. This type of personal tour is quite common, although not sanctioned by the hotel.

Weather: Good, quite warm (25 – 28 during the day), but overcast about half the time, and quite windy some days. Would suggest bringing a sweater for the evenings. We heard that it got cooler after we left. Remember that it is winter, even in Cuba.

Tips: One thing we wished we had brought with us is band-aids. Ron got a huge blister the first day and we had to buy band-aids at the pharmacia. Not expensive (10 for $1), but they didn’t stick well. Also wish we had brought Kleenex.

Things we were very glad we brought – insulated mugs – we used them in the morning to bring back coffee in bed for whoever got to sleep in that day, then used them all day long on the beach. When we left, we left them behind with Eileen and Hans, to thank them for letting us use their room to shower and clean up the last day, before we had to head for the airport. We also were very glad we brought Off bug spray with us – the first evening we didn’t use it and got eaten alive. By the way, I would suggest re-applying it just before you go to bed – something was biting during the night!

Gifts for the maid: We took extra clothes to leave for the maid. I left a little note in Spanish the first time I left her some T-shirts. I was a little uncomfortable about doing this, fearing that I might be insulting her by offering second-hand clothes. But when we got back to our room we found a note from her (in English) thanking us. Also she had made the towels into 2 big swans on the bed – very beautiful. We learned from other hotel staff that if you are going to leave gifts for the maid, make sure you leave a note saying that they are for her, and you should list on the note what you are giving. The hotel management checks their stuff every night, and if you haven’t left a note, they may confiscate it.

Departure from Cuba:
Make sure to check at the tour rep’s desk the day of departure. We found that our flight was going to depart an hour and a half later than originally scheduled – not noted as a delay, just gave a different departure time. Not a problem, as it gave us that extra time to linger.

Also make sure to catch the bus from the reception at the section where you were staying. This was not clearly explained to us (or we were not paying attention). We decided to catch the bus at the Club reception, even though we had stayed in the Colonial. Our reasoning was that we were spending our last hours with our new friends in the Club section and it would be more convenient to board the bus there. Our luggage was at the Colonial end, but we thought it would get loaded on the bus no problem. We decided to inform our rep, just to be safe, but she wasn’t at her desk all day. In the end we decided it would be best to go to the Colonial reception to get the bus, and lucky for us we did. No one told us that we were responsible to find our luggage and load it on the bus ourselves. If we hadn’t gone there, we would have gone home but our luggage would not.

Airport VIP lounge:
this option (at an extra charge of $20 per person) was offered to us, but we felt it was not necessary. We changed our minds after about 25 minutes in a really slow line-up. We asked if it was still available and they sold us tickets right there. It was one of the best moves we made. We went to a separate line-up, got through immediately, and then went to a private lounge where there were many very comfortable chairs, TV, music, snacks and beverages (water, juice, soda, beer or wine) at no cost. It made for a quiet comfortable place to spend the 2 hours we waited – and that was the wait for a flight that was on time, which is not always going to happen. So if you can manage to put aside an extra $20 per person, your departure could be more comfortable.

Overall:
Our trip to Cuba was a wonderful experience. Cuban people are the warmest and friendliest we have ever met. The Tryp lived up to our expectations and more. All staff were great, cheerful and eager to please. Accommodations and food were worthy of a 4 star rating, and our vacation gets a 10 out of 10.

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Club Tryp – Cayo Coco Megan Canada
January 2003

We stayed at Club Tryp from December 27th – January 3rd.

Flight
We flew Skyservice out of Toronto. Yes, it’s a crowded plane with not much leg room. But, the actual flight was pretty good other than that. No turbulence. They served an excellent pasta meal on the way to Cuba, and a "not so good" sandwhich meal on the way back (what the heck was in those wraps?). We also flew into the new airport right on the island. It took quite a while to check through, but the transition from plane, to airport, to bus was smooth. We were at the resort in 15 minutes. Our flight back was delayed 2 hours due to a storm in Canada. That was fine with me. It was two more hours in hot Cuba. As a heads up, the Cubans at the airport are in no hurry so expect to wait in line for long periods of time.

Housing/Rooms
We stayed on the Colonial side of the resort, which was beautiful. The buildings had special character, the pools were great, and Yarey’s pizza was right outside our door! We also had a nice view of the ocean from our back porch. The musty smell when you first enter the room is not abnormal (the same smell I encounter in every hotel room), and it went away right after we turned on the air. The room was sort of rustic, which I think some people may misinterpret as being ‘run down’, but I think it’s the look that they were going for. However, new linen and curtains may have helped (kind of ugly!). Most importantly though, it was CLEAN.

Weather/Beach
The blue water and white beach sand is absolutely wonderful – pure paradise. The weather was around 25 degrees for the first half of the week, and closer to 30 for the second half. The first few days were extremely windy, which put a damper on things as it seemed cooler. However, right when I was getting sick and tired of the wind, it subsided and the rest of the week was still. It was actually cool because we had a chance to experience the high waves, and also the calmness of the water all in one week. A few suggestions when going at this time of the year: Snorkel. It’s an amazing experience and it’s free. The fish that you will see are beautiful. But, make sure you snorkel early in the day because they have limited supplies and they’ll be booked for the rest of the day every day. Go to the beach early in the day at this time of the year, as the tide comes in around 4:00. Kayaking is fun, and also free of charge. Take advantage of all of the water activities. You’ll be amazed.

Food
They say that if you want good food, Cuba is not the place to go. I can see where some people would have a problem with the food at Club Tryp. Yes, it is the same thing at the buffet all week. For me, it wasn’t that bad. Some things did not taste as you would expect, but I could survive on it. However, my boyfriend found it awful. He found that everything tasted a little "off", and frankly was getting pretty fed up by the end of the week. We did not have the Super All Inclusive package. Here is what I suggest: if you’re a picky eater with a weak stomach, get the Super All Inclusive for more variety. If you’re not, then you’ll be fine with the Standard package. I must agree, the beach grill that turns in to a seafood restaurant at supper time is great, as well as Yarey’s.

Activities
There’s lots to do if you want to get involved whether it be dance lessons, tennis, spanish lessons, bike riding, renting mopeds, day trips, LOT’S of water activities (windsailing, parasailing, kayaking, etc), nightly entertainment, different bars, etc. If you want to simply relax and do nothing, it’s great for that too. By the way, their New Year’s Eve bash was absolutely amazing! Well organized and lot’s of fun. They provided a ‘treat bag’ for us which was great, but of course they ran out of supplies early. The whole resort was one big party!

Pool
There are many pools to choose from. The salt water pool is long, narrow, and winds through the colonial side of the resort. The kids pool is great as well. The busiest pool would definitely be the one near the reception on the Club Side. It has a swim up bar, and the beach is close by as well. Personally, we spent most of our time on the beach but we did visit the pools too. My only complaint: the hot tubs were not working. This would have been a wonderful luxury during those first few windy nights. I have no idea why they would not fix this.

Okay, that’s about all I have to say about this resort. Overall, I had a wonderful time. If you want a resort that provides beautiful scenery, a variety of activities, and a chance to meet lot’s of people then this is the place to go. There’s also plenty of activities for children, as they have a wonderful entertainment team at Club Tryp.

Here are my personal tips for
you:
(1) Make sure you go on at least 1 day trip–depending on how long you’re staying. It’s the only way you well get to see the "real" Cuba, and how the Cuban’s live. We did the Sugar Rail trip to Moron, and it was wonderful. Both informative and amazing. (2) Do bring small gifts for people, but you don’t have to overdo it. We gave away a few gifts to our housemaid and to our favourite waiter for his daughter. That’s all. But, plenty of $1 bills are a must! (3) Bring insulated mugs not only for yourself all week, but to give away at the end of the week. We traded two Tim Horton mugs for a CD of all the popular music that we heard all week at the resort. The lifeguard on the resort burns these songs, prints a nice CD cover, and trades it to the vacationer’s for anything we will give him. He said the insulated mugs are the best! And what a cheap way to get a memorable souvenir. (4) If you think about how bad the food is, it will be bad. I firmly believe that part of the problem is in people’s heads. Yes, the food is not great. But, if you think about it and complain, it will taste even worse.

(5) If you don’t like strong drinks, tell the bartender to go easy on the rum. They’ve VERY generous. I had to waste many drinks that were too strong for me to handle.

That’s about it. If you’re in for a relaxing vacation and you’re not expecting everything to be absolutely perfect at all times, then you’re going to have a very memorable time. Enjoy!

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Club Tryp – Cayo Coco Jennie Canada
January 2003

I visited the Tryp Cayo Coco the week of Jan 4-11/03. My boyfriend and myself fley there via Skyservice. The day of departure from Toronto there was delay. We were to leave at 530 pm and did not get off the ground untill after 9pm, due to the weather and the broken bathroom on board of the plane.

The Flight overall was smooth, a movie was shown and a cold meal was served. I am not exactally sure what it was that was served to us. A wrap of some sort with a mystery filling. Nontheless I did not care becasue we were finally on our way. We were suposed to land in the airport further from the hotel approx. 1.5 hours away by bus. Alas, we landed in the new one "Jardines Del Rey" (15 min from the resort). We waited in customs for probably 45 min and our luggage was ready to go. The bus was amazing, much more comfortable then the airplane.

Arrival- We arrived at the Tryp Cayo Coco probably about 2am and it took another 45 min to check everyone in. A bell boy was to take you luggage to the room and you meet him there. Our building was fairly close to the main lobby and found it no problem (after we asked other people vacationing which way to go). I could see how people could have gotten lost especially in the dark! The luggage arrived 5 min after we found the room.

Rooms– I found the room to be wonderful. The bed(s) were huge, it was 2 doubles pushed together. There was a sitting area with 2 chairs and a table. The bathroom was large as well. It was clean and I did not find that it had the "hotel" odour to it. The electricity only worked if you put your key in this slot, which was a good idea because it keeps from 1) losing the key 2) leaving lights/tv on. The only down side was that you could not run the air conditioner while out of the room.

Resort- THe resort as a whole was nice. A bit rough around the edges but nothing to complain about at all. It was big and took a few days to figure out where you were going. The Colonial side was open now and people were staying in the rooms there. That side was much nicer looking, probably because it was newer. THe pool there had less traffic, quieter and the pizza bar there. I would have much rather have stayed on that side of the hotel. There was a train that picked people up at the lobby to take them to the colonial side but we found that by the time the trian got there, you could have walked there and back. The disco was on the colonial side as well. It was actually better than I expected. I went to request a song and they DJ asked me for money!

Beach- As it is the winter, I was not that surprised that the tide was as high as it was, leaving very little beach/sand room to sit on. The first 3 days there were terribly windy and uncomfortable to sit on the beach for long periods of time. The waves in the water were really high which was fun to jump in but got annoying after a while. Finally when the wind stopped about mid way through the week, the beach was packed and you could go snokeling, paddle boating etc. There were a lot of small shells along the shore and TONNES of Jelly Fish washed up and still swimming.

Food- The food was tolerable. I have been to Cuba before (Manzanillo) and have had better food than what was served at the TRYP Cayo Coco. It was very repetitive. Same thing everyday. We did not get the Super All Inclusive and I STRONGLY suggest that you do….Pay the extra money and do it because the buffet is the same everyday. The pasta bar was pretty good. The pizza bar on the Colonial side was phenominal. The only problem was that it was always busy. Sometimes you would have to wait 1/2 an hour for a table. There was no organization of tables, no host/hostess you basically stood by a table untill someone was finished and you sat down. The pizzas took a fair amount of time to make but were well worth it. Especially the Hawaiian.

Bars- The bartenders were pretty efficient. What I did not like about the service was that if you werent going to tip, you didnt get service. I did not have a problem with tipping bartenders but, if you werent holding money you werent their first priority even if you have been standing there the longest. I found myself ordering 3 or 4 drinks at a time to keep from going back up to the bar, as you get small plastic 8 oz. cups to drink out of. From my past experience in Cuba and from what others have told me when they visited was to bring soaps, shampoos and small things for the people there to have…..They didnt want it. They were insulted and gave you attitude if you asked them if they wanted something. The people at the hotel were well dressed (wearing Nike etc) Probably becasue of the tips they get. There were no beggers and NO POVERTY whatsoever.

The island has no inhabitants. All the hotel workes live on the main land in Moron and take a bus to work. There is nothing to see outside of the resort but other resorts, unless you take an excursion and I didnt not feel that it was worth the money, especially the trip to Havana where you had to take a plane to for almost $300 US. There were lots of children at the resort. If anyone is hesitant about bringing children, dont be. There were kids of all ages from 6 months up! There werent too many souviners to buy there. In the main lobby vendors would be there everyday but they basically had the same stuff as the other guy. Buy the Havana Club at the resort as it is more expenive at the duty free, cigars are about the same.

The hotel was about 99% Canadian, at least the week I was there.
Out of 10 I would give the Hotel and Club Tryp Cayo Coco an 8. ASK TO BE PUT IN THE COLONIAL SECTION!!!!!

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Club Tryp – Cayo Coco Rita and Etienne Belgium
December 2002

After a 11 hour (non smokers) flight we arrived in Havana and stayed at the Comodoro **** hotel for 2 days. Then we went to Viñales (hotel La Ermita ***). 2 days later : Playa Larga (Hotel Playa Larga : to be avoided). Then 2 days Trinidad (hotel Costasur) and then Tryp Cayo Coco for 3 nights. People staying in this hotel for their holidays do not know Cuba. This could be Spain. Those complaining about the food, are not aware of the Cuban problems. If you are looking fot Canadian food, go to Toronto or Montreal. Compared to all the food we had all over Cuba, this was the most complete buffet ever. Stop complaining about the food in the Tryp, please. If you want to eat, go to a good restaurant in your neighbourhood. This is cheaper and more satisfying. If you want to see Cuba, don’t go to a holiday factory like Tryp Cayo Coco. For us, it was an opportunity to have a lot of luxury. After we left Tryp, we went to Camaguey, then to Guardalavaca (Club Amigo Atlantico : another factory). 2 days of eating and drinking gave us enough strength to survive the 7 hours waiting at the Holguin airport, followed by a 8.5 hours (non smoking) flight and a 2 hour train trip back to Belgium.

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Club Tryp – Cayo Coco Jimmy & Rach Manchester
November 2002

A 10 hour flight is about right on the limit I would recommend for a weeks holiday, with hindsight 2 weeks would have been a much better bet when travelling this distance (Isnt it always??) However we wanted a quick week in the sun at a reasonable price so it was a toss up between Cuba and Dominican Republic and Cuba won as it appealed more. I would say at this point if you are going to Cuba to see the real Cuba then this is not for you It is all about an easy week or two in the Sun on the beach!!

Flight
Take advantage of the JMC pre bookable seats get row 8 exit seats well worth the money as the JMC plane is the smallest most uncomfortable thing I have ever been on!! We didnt have exit seats on the way back and all I can say is thank god for sleeping pills!! The seats were broken so I was sitting on metal bars and I think that JMC think that the average height of the population is about 5. Anyway the food was good both ways and you accept that planes arent comfortable!!

Arrival
This went without a hitch -straight through immigration, got our bags and went to the waiting coaches for the hour trip to Cayo Coco the bus was a thousand times more comfy than the plane!! It was good that it was light as this is the only time and on the way back to the airport- that you get to see a little bit of Cuba unless you go on the excursions, which Ill get to later!! Got the hotel and got our key straight away and made our way to our room wandered around a little lost for a moment but found it eventually where we waited for our bags to arrive from the super efficient bell boys!

Rooms
Yes, like everybody says the rooms have a musty smell, but honestly what do you expect in a tropical climate??? Seriously it goes after a couple of minutes as soon as you fire up the air conditioning which is excellent it really isnt that big a deal!!!! They were very clean and plenty big enough with two comfy double beds, fridge, TV etc.

Resort The Hotel itself is massive itd just a shame they decide to put everybody in the Club side and shut the Colonial side as the Colonial is so much nicer looking. I think coming here at peak season when it is all full would be an horrific experience as it was it didnt seem too crowded and you felt you had your own space. Im not one for pools when you have a beautiful ocean a couple of feet away so couldnt tell you why people love to sit on top of one another by the main pool – a little strange. If you are a pool person however, take a walk down to the other end of the Colonial side and find the much quieter and nicer pools!! Its a good walk round the resort bigger than you think- but they do have a little train thing that cruises round every so often.

If you do walk round the deserted bits watch out for snakes -I nearly trod on one Im sure it wasnt poisonous but still scared the sh*t out of me!! The grounds are excellently maintained and it is a credit to the groundstaff that everything is so neat I t sometimes felt like I was in a bad episode of Hi-de-Hi with all the entertainment that gets put on for the guests the evening shows were just farcical great for a laugh for about 2 minutes but at least theyre trying. Again if you like that kind of thing youll love it!

Beach
The beach is excellent, but does disappear at high tide just what the Caribbean should be like with white sands and amazing turquoise seas. Again I recommend walking to the right of the Bar/Grill to escape the majority of the crowds who cant bear to be more than 10 foot away from there next drink or snack!! Its a shame the hotel doesnt let you hire bikes for the whole day as we went exploring up the coast and found much nicer areas of beach however it would take you a while to walk there and as you are only allowed to borrow the bikes for one hour its no good to you!

There is a tiny bit of reef off the beach in front of the Bar/Grill which does have a good array of fish take a banana or 3 with you and there will be a feeding frenzy in minutes very amusing. I have to disagree with an earlier review that said that the reefs the Catamaran takes you too are not as good unless we went to entirely different reefs then Im sorry but they were so much better than the one off the beach. I agree that at $65 it is a complete rip off but still it was a good trip and the snorkeling was fantastic and much better than anything you will see off the beach. Didnt do the glass bottom boat as that too seemed excessively priced after having done the catamaran trip!

Food
This seems to be everybodys biggest bone of contention so Im going to court controversy here and tell you that the buffet is honestly not bad at all – Its not gourmet but come on youre in Cuba, theyre trying to cater for hundreds of people its perfectly edible grilled fish and grilled prawns beautiful! I seriously did not have any problem with the buffet at all. We went to El Dorado the Seafood restaurant and the Cuban Restaurant ($25 pp and free in our package) and have to say am so glad we did not waste the money on the super all inclusive we didnt go to any others as cant understand why you would want to eat Italian or internationalwhen you are on Holiday when you can eat it any day of the week back home???!!!! The Cuban was the best of the lot and if you like fish head there as the snapper is amazing and the seafood place was absolutely nothing special.

Bars
All was good except they didnt have enough staff to cope with demand at peak times -but as always if you look after them they look after you and tipping is an absolute must. The bar staff work so hard and when you get idiots shouting their order at them it is not what they need. Whats a dollar to you?? And yet it means a lot to the bar staff plus next time you get to the bar you are looked after!! As it rained for quite a bit of the time we made good use of the bar!!!

All in all it was a great week and just what we were after an easy week in the sun, even though it rained and was over cast for three days!!! Its a nice place, clean and friendly and the beach is great, and for the price you pay I wouldnt expect anything more we paid about 500 GBP for the week each. If we had had another week we would have considered a trip to Havana but at the price JMC were asking it is very steep for what it is as were all there excursions I know that this is how they make there money and how the rep gets commission but really;! I wouldnt go back to the same place as there are too many other places to visit in the Caribbean – however if you want to say youve been to Cuba and want a hassle free holiday where you dont have to think about anything then I would recommend it!!

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Club Tryp – Cayo Coco Tony Soprano Canada
November 2002

Hi Debbie and all future travelers. Just thought I’d join in on the fun and submit my review of the Hotel TRYP Cayo Coco.
I am a single male travelling alone looking for peace and quiet a short sort of mental getaway but WOW was I ever surprised, there was no rest for the wicked here.

The hotel is huge, divided into two main sections. The colonial side which is older and quieter is where you will find Yarey’s Pizza (very good) and the salt water pool. Definitely a rest and relaxation area. You will also find the Seafood restaurant here, it really sucks, along with a variety of small shops. Its all beautifully landscaped and great for romantic evening strolls and seclusion. The other end is where all the action is. This is the main reception area where you will find the main buffet restaurant, International restaurant, outdoor theatre, mainpool, piano lounge/disco, and all the fun. This is the section that I was in. In building 9 was my room, but I will not get into too many details about it considering I did not let it spoil my vacation and don’t let it spoil yours. The highlight of this vacation by far were the people I met and have become good friends with. To them I send a sincere thanks for the great experiences.

The majority of guest were Canadian, from Toronto, approx. 80%. The rest were English, & French. Communication with the employees was very easy and they show a true desire to help in anyway they can.

In summary:
Food – Unless you enjoy eating the same "Hoof and Claw", meals everyday for the duration of your stay, I’d recommend taking the Super All-Inclusive package which allows you to dine in decent restaurants. If you don’t take that super package you can purchase tickets to dine at these restaurants there at a cost of $15us for the international which is the best one for me. Yarey’s Pizza – Excellent Beach Grill – Very Good to Excellent Seafood – Poor (don’t waste your money) Cuban & Italian – Ok

Main Buffet – Blah.

Excursions – Plenty to choose from, descent prices. Went horseback riding for $8 us. It’s ok. Not much to see other than garbage and the biggest impression left by this experience was in the form of a bruise on my A–.

Night Life – The entertainment at the outdoor theatre was ok. Good effort on there part. The discos were fantastic. Remember its not just the music that makes it fun but the crowd that you go in with. We closed the place down each night at 2 am but kept on partying to 4 am on the beach, in the pool, around the 24hr bar, etc. We also went to another disco at the El Senador. The train picks you up and drops you off. No need to worry about transportation. There they had Live Cuban music for half the night and a Dj for the closing.A must go.

Pools – Fantastic, shallow- great for kids. We played lots of volleyball and waterpolo along with games encouraged by the employees.

Bars – Great. Abit slow at times but the drinks were good. Great variety including descent beer.

Beach – Beautiful. Narrow at high tide but very long.

Recommendations: Thermal Mug – I brought a Tim Hortons cup. A little bit of home and a great conversation peace. Swimming shoes – I sliced my foot open on the broken tiles in the pool playing volleyball. Highly recommend especially for kids. Sunscreen – and plenty of it.

A good attitude – Your far from home and all things are not perfect so make the best of things and don’t worry about the small things.

In conclusion I think that I would definitely visit the Tryp again. If you have any questions or would just like to talk you can mail me at sokole@aci.on.ca

Have a great trip, I did.

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Club Tryp – Cayo Coco Dan & Vanessa Canada
November 2002

We had an enjoyable week in October 2001 at the Club Tryp, in Cayo Coco, Cuba. There are numerous reviews already on this site so I will be brief. The resort is very beautiful, very lush and full of tropical vegetation. It is very large in two equal phases – since we are in off season, half the resort was shut down, but not a problem. The beach is top notch – white sand, long and very shallow in the water. It rained almost everyday we were there, since the early rains from Hurricane Michelle were hitting the island – and then Hurricane Michelle hit (a category 4 hurricane, and the most powerful hurricane to hit Cuba in 40 years – "the Big One, Senor Dan, as they told me"). Nothing like the maids putting tape on the windows to spoil your vacation. I’d give you a review of the Hotel "Moron" in the lovely town of Moron where they evacuated us to, but I doubt anyone would want to stay in a 40 year old Russian built hotel in the middle of Cuba (we didn’t either but had no choice). Here’s my big tip – don’t goto Cuba in hurricane season – they got hit by one hurricane in 2001, and two big ones in 2002 – I think any time up to Nov 30 – you’re risking it.

Here’s the problem with this resort and a common complaint from anyone I know who goes to Cuba – the food. The food here was the worst I’ve had in the Caribbean, and I’ve been on 10+ week long holidays. My theory is that it is the palm oil they use which is likely rancid and is infused in everything – there is no escape. In addition the the palm oil – the buffet was just, well plain horrible. We actually took pictures to show everyone back home how bad it was since words can’t do it justice. Here’s how to get by if you are going here:

1) BUY the food upgrade to the SUPER ALL INCLUSIVE here – it’s really worth it – it saves you from the hell of the buffet – which just grates on you all week. We had bread some nights since we couldn’t eat anything. The super inclusive gets you to eat at the A La Carte restaurants which were much better (we did this one night for $15US extra each – well worth it).

2) Goto the Pizza restaurant where they make fresh pizzas – we did this every night after the 1st night at the buffet (except for breakfast which you have no choice). Yes, we did get a bit tired of pizza.

3) Eat a big lunch at the Beach Restaurant which was generally good – sandwiches, burgers, fries etc. Do not eat anything that’s been lying around in the sun, or you risk food poisoning – get it prepared fresh.

So the net advice is – great place, great beach, bad food – and for that reason we are never going back. Which is a shame since you can get great prices here or to El Senador next door -but with so many other places to goto in the Caribbean, why suffer through eating all week?

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November 2002

Flight. The aircraft was delayed by two hours due to a "technical" fault, which we were later informed was due to faulty toilets, these were in fact, not repaired, and the plane flew to Cuba with the starboard side toilets out of commission. The audio system only worked on the video presentations, the audio programs were inaudible due to the crackling and popping on the earphones. If this was an example of the general maintenance of the aircraft, then it doesn’t say much for the rest of the plane. The food served during the flight was awful, not fit to be given to pigs. It is many years since we have had to pay for any service or drink on a flight, especially an "all inclusive" holiday. Where JMC got the seats for the aircraft from we don’t know, but we have never sat in a more uncomfortable aircraft seat ever.

Immigration.
The authorities need to get their act together and sort out the immigration procedure. It takes too far too long to get through. If the country is looking for tourism to increase the standard of living of the populace then this needs to be sorted. The new airport, when it opens, will not alleviate the problems as the buildings are even smaller than the airports that it is replacing.

Hotel.
The basic structure of the hotel is sound, unfortunately very little has been spent on the general upkeep of the buildings and it is showing. Tatty paint work in the rooms, and surroundings, covers missing off electrical sockets such that bare terminals are exposed making the fitting dangerous. Rooms smelling of dampness, cushions showing mildew. Wood work which has been replaced by plastic now has gaps where even quite older children could easily fall through. The swimming pools require a lot of work on them, whole sections of tiles missing in some areas, making the edges quite dangerous, quite easy to cut feet and hands. The underwater lights that were missing had the cables just hanging from the walls. Of the four pools, only two of the pools had a bar or drinks place open near by, making it crowded around two pools and empty around the other two. Only one pool had any sort of cleaning carried out during the early morning, in fact on one occasion we cleaned one pool so we could use it and that was at 1030 hours, the pool attendant was too busy sleeping. It appeared that unless the staff was bribed, nothing got done. The gardens and surrounding area are a credit to the hard work carried out by the ground staff. It is a great pity that the hard work did not include the most saleable asset, the beach, this was generally covered in seaweed and debris carried by the tide, plastic bottles and the like.

Food.
The food available was of poor quality and very bland, almost to the point of being tasteless. The only available edible items being some or the bread and rice. The butter had to be checked very carefully as on some occasions it was rancid, and that when this was pointed out to the staff, they just shrugged their shoulders. The fruit that was put out was unripe. We have yet to meet anyone who has roast potatoes, carrots, sprouts, corn, green beans for breakfast! In the two weeks that we were in the resort, bacon was served only twice for breakfast, and that wasn’t put out until later on in the breakfast sitting. Three of the hotel restaurants were closed even with such a large number of guests. The ones that were open offered a poor option at a greatly inflated price, and this is supposed to be anall in holiday. Meals that were eaten on trips and visits were of a much higher quality.

Staff.
The JMC staff at the hotel was generally helpful, within the limitations of what they could do. A change of room was organised by the rep, but it took the hotel two days to sparkle. The hotel staff it seemed was only helpful if bribed. It was unfortunate that the gardeners were not included in the tips offered.

General.
An all-inclusive holiday that will not be recommended to our friends, at a hotel that could not be recommended at all. The allocation of four stars is misleading, we have never stayed in a four star resort with such poor standards. This is possibly a two star resort, no more.

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Club Tryp – Cayo Coco Emily and Wendy Winnipeg
November 2002

This is a great site, that helped us out a lot and now we are going to help you.

What to bring: 1. Insulated mug – this keeps your drinks cold while sitting on the beach. 2. Fanny pack – the key is the size of a credit card so with the fanny pack you have your hands free. 3. American dollars – make sure you have plenty of dollar bills for tips. 4. Gifts – dollar store items that you could give to staff. 5. Alarm clock – the room doesn’t have a clock and neither does your TV. 6. Face cloths – there are towels but no face cloths. 7. Flip flops – it is hard to get sand out of your sandals so flip flops will keep your feet from burning on the cement. 8. SPF 30 – at least for the first day wear this so that you don’t burn. 9. Imodium / Ex-Lax – you may get diarrhea but constipation may happen as well (better safe than sorry). 10. Waterproof camera – disposable ones are found at any convenience store, but most don’t have a flash, so bring another camera for the night. 11. Aloe Vera or Noxzema for sunburns and heat rashes. Bring a lot because we only brought a travel size bottle and it wasn’t enough. 12. Tylenol or Advil. If heat rashes and sunburns are keeping you up at night – these will help you sleep. 13. Pool toys – pool noodle, blow up lounge chairs, frisbee, beachball etc.

14. Cards, games, magazines, book – after dinner, and before the show starts, you sit around doing nothing, so it would be wise to bring something to do.

Flight (Air Canada Vacations):
Not only was our flight delayed, they also forgot the pillows, the duty free cart, problems with the audio and video (no movie or music during our flight), and they forgot 15 servings of chicken. Which worked out fine for us because we got paid $15 for their mistake. Otherwise the flight was good. There were kids on the flight who sat behind us and kicked our seats, played their loud video games and hit our heads when they got up to go to the bathroom. (Sidenote: when we booked our flight, we were not offered first class seats to which there was on this flight).

Check in:
Because our flight was delayed and someone on our bus held us up, we got to the resort when it was dark, which made finding our building difficult. Building 11 was far from reception, but on one side we had the pool and the other we had the beach. The map is very deceiving – distances are not as far as they appear on the map. We made the same mistake as many turning on the air-conditioner and opening the window at the same time, so a very nice handyman (Antonio) came and helped us out. Note: the air-conditioner doesn’t work when the window is open.

Room:
The room’s musty smell grows on you and after a day or two you don’t notice it anymore. The fridge and safe are under the desk. The lights need some figuring out because there is a card that has to be inserted into a slot, otherwise the rooms are neat and clean. Bugs – cockroach was seen one night coming from the closet, same night there was one on the ceiling, killed one in the bathroom. Probably scared our neighbours the night we screamed trying to kill this huge spider – it was definitely a funny episode. TV is great – every night there were good movies on – even though it’s on a 13 inch screen. At first we were upset about being on the main floor – until we realized its advantages. 1. It gets tiring walking up a flight of stairs after a long day tanning on the beach. 2. It was easy for us to sneak out the patio doors, and not have to worry about carrying anything with us. 3. We didn’t have to carry our luggage up or down those stairs either. Disadvantage – Our neighbours stole our patio furniture – not that big of a deal considering we never used it – although it was the principle of not having asked us.

Beach:
The beach is 3 km long – very narrow – but great. Our first day there the beach was amazing – crystal clear. The next day we went to the beach further down and it was full of seaweed and the wind didn’t make it as enjoyable. The sand is very nice, however, when the wind picks up, you get sand all over you, so re-applying suntan lotion gets a little difficult. We tried the pedal boats – which are fun – but tiring when the current keeps bringing you back to shore. Sign up first thing in the morning for any of the boats – their schedule fills up pretty fast.

Pools:
There are 4 pools around the resort. The big one by reception, that has the towel service (no need for towels – they are big and blue and at the end of the day get heavy to carry around) and a swim up bar – is full of loud kids. Even though there are garbage bins all around there were still many straws and plastic cups floating around this pool. Another big pool with many kids is the one by Yarey’s Pizza, not bad to sit in there when you are waiting for the pizza place to open. There is a nice quiet secluded pool right by buildings 11 and 9 – not many people were there – and it also has a very nice hot tub. By far though was the salt water pool all the way on the other side of the resort – you need to go there at least once. This big pool is the picture in most of the brochures. It is at the end in the colonial side right by the Tower, a couple of times we had the pool all to ourselves – it was great.

Food:
Buffet – we were super all inclusive so we only went to the buffet twice – too busy – and if you are a picky eater – skip it if you can – the food never changes. Although the staff is very polite and helpful. Yarey’s – We ate lunch at Yarey’s everyday – the pizza is delicious. Mind you the four cheese pizza is very oily. They have mixing machines here and our favorite bartender (Aurelio). Try a Pina colada with some rum and pineapple juice – yummy. We only found the strawberry drink in the mixer twice – the first time it tasted great – like fresh strawberries – the second time it tasted like Kool-Aid – if you see it though get it cause it’s rare and far in between.

La Picua – Is right on the beach so there is lots of sand, and it is very busy. Lunch consists of burgers, fries and hot dogs. At night it becomes the Cuban restaurant – if you are in the mood to try anything – go for it, we didn’t care for it that much.

El Dorado – If you love seafood, this is the place for you. Loma Azul (in the reception area) – Nice ambiance with air conditioning – the steak is delicious. There is a band that asks if they can play for you for a tip.
La Fontanella – The bartender has a blender and makes really good drinks. Don’t try margaritas or daiquiris or blue lagoons because they are sour, not sweet like in Canada. The ravioli was a little undercooked, but the cannelloni was fantastic – the dessert and their appetizers (white pizza and the bruschetta) were also very good, however, they never had tiramisu. This place also has a band, but they don’t ask you, they just play for you and try to sell you their CD. This is a nice place to go after dinner to hang out in their lounge area where you can enjoy a drink or a cappuccino. The churros are outside this restaurant – these are fried batter donuts, but they are good. This restaurant had clean bathrooms when compared to other bathrooms at the resort. The train drops you off and picks you up in front of the restaurant. This is also where the bar is and across the street is the Cuban cigar place where you will find more selection than the reception area.

We would take our extra bread to feed the flamingos located by building 2.

Services:
Postcards – The selection isn’t that good, but if you are going to buy one, make sure it is one with pre-paid postage because our combined 10 postcards (that were not pre-paid postage) never reached their destination. Prepaid postcards cost $ 0.80 whereas, a postcard cost $ 0.30 and the stamps that she glues on for you cost $ 0.50.
Braids – Book your appointment early, but do your hair right before you leave so the salt and the sand don’t ruin it. Half a head costs $15 USD full head cost $35 USD. There are no beads, the ends are wrapped in aluminum foil. (Sidenote – these are really bad for your hair – when you take them out, you will find that your hair is really damaged).
Alcohol and Cigars – Save your money and buy these items at the airport’s duty free shop. Not only are they cheaper, but you will also get the current exchange whereas the hotel’s exchange was $0.65 to the dollar.
Phones – We bought phone cards for $10 USD and got about 4 minutes and 50 seconds. Having your friends or family call you in Cuba is also expensive, especially when reception can’t understand them and hooks them up to a different room. They have internet service which seemed to be a good deal – $5 USD for 1 hour.
Reservations – We were able to book 3 days in advance and they were very accommodating. The office is right next to the reception desk.
Bars – Lobby bar is very busy especially at night as is the downstairs snack bar. Yarey’s and La Picua have mixers, La Fontanella has the blender, Loma Azul and El Dorado don’t have any pre-mixed drinks. (Sidenote – we never had the wine in the restaurants)
Train – Goes from reception to La Fontanella and back, it stops at El Dorado and Yarey’s.
Tennis – Lessons are available in the morning 9:00 – but you must sign up for these.
Petting zoo – There isn’t much to see, but it may be fun for kids.
Entertainment – Daily entertainment – we never participated, mostly for kids. Nightly shows changed every night, some are good, others are not. The disco had good music, nice setting, opens at 11 pm, be wary kids are allowed.

Other resorts – We recommend researching other surrounding resorts because you are allowed to get day passes to visit them – so know where you can go to eat. You can go to Cayo Guillermo – buses leave Wednesdays and Fridays at 10 am and return at 6 pm for $ 5 USD per person. There are mostly purple and orange wrist bands for super all inclusive and all inclusive respectfully. Visitors from other resorts wear paper green wrist bands, while government "important persons" wear black wristbands with gold specs – these people are served first and are the ones who own the cars parked outside the resort.

Staff – Everyone is very friendly from the guy who gathers all the chairs at the beach and the pools every night to the gardeners and the nice staff who give you a ride sometimes on their golf carts. We tried to tip everyone, although we are young female students on a budget, so we brought clothes that we could give away to staff, as well as many dollar store items (lipstick, nail polish, shampoo, candy, perfume samples, school supplies, gum and soap). The most grateful staff was our maid and Antonio the sweetest, nicest handyman you will ever find.

Final Notes: Settle your account with reception the night before so that you don’t have to wait in line the next day. The resort is falling apart and at times seems too big, if you are not prepared to walk long distances this resort is not for you. You are on a secluded island where the only inhabitants are the tourists. When you check in at the airport, check in with your group – don’t check in individually or you will be sitting alone. This isn’t a resort for singles seeking a good time, it is more family and couple oriented. Minimize your luggage, you don’t need that much and you won’t use half the things you do bring along. It rained almost everyday, sometimes for a couple of minutes, however, one night it rained for a couple of hours. We had a great time making up nicknames for the other tourists (Smiles, Orange cap, Bajagaloop and Mint shirt you guys know who you are), suntanning and lounging in the pool.

PS – Men, please leave your Speedos at home, we don’t care how good you think you look … nobody needs to see it.

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Club Tryp – Cayo Coco Debra Canada
October 2002

Thanks for this site, I used it before travelling to the tryp. What a wonderful page! I am a 31 year old female professional working in the legal industry.

I returned from the Tryp Cayo Coco, Cuba after an amazing jam packed 1 week holiday there from 17th to 24th August. Well, I thought I’d write and let you know my views – so here goes:

Flight
Flew Air Transat well its a sardine can, but the service was fine and it was only a 3 hour flight so you make do I flew from Toronto to Cayo Coco. The flight left in the late afternoon and didn’t arrive until closer to 6:00pm, it started to get dark by the time I arrived at the Tryp Cayo Coco, so I didn’t see a lot, but things will be better when the airport opens on the island later on this year, and transfers then will be cut from 1 hour to about 10 minutes. The check in at the hotel was busy as my tour bus wasn’t the only one coming in, but it went fairly fast. I met tons of people and for anyone travelling alone, this is not a problem, the locals are super friendly as are the tourists. I had a great time and met a ton of new friends who I am still intouch with and have seen – even the ones from overseas.

Accommodation
I stayed at the Club section on the hotel in building 2. Although this was not my original room. I was originally put on the ground floor building 8 and since I was on my own requested a room on a higher level. The staff were very good about accomodating me only, I had to wait until the next morning, but my new room was totally worth the wait. The room was lovely and clean with plenty of space with a balcony over looking the Ocean. The lady who looked after my room did a fine job of keeping it immaculate and clean, I tipped her with tokens that I had brought from home, toothpaste, bandaids, makeup, soap (things that are not easily obtainable there) as well as US$1 each day. She was very appreciative, even left me a really nice note (although in Spanish, I had one of my new friends translate). Also, don’t forget the garden staff who do a fab job, they are also very grateful for anything you can give them. Tipping is REALLY REALLY IMPORTANT the Cubans really don’t have much, this goes for the animation team as well, they work sooooooooooo very very hard and are often overlooked.

Food
Although I was only on the basic all-inclusive, we found the food fine, what do you want when they are catering to that many people. Oh yeah I don’t recommend wasting your money on the Super All inclusive nobody I met there had it and the only differences were the A la Carte’s (2 at US $25 and the rest at US$15), safe in the room was included otherwise it is US$18 for the week with a refundable US$20 deposit and you get 2 hours of bike riding a day vs. 1 hour. The resort is big, but not that big. The cost to upgrade to Super from basic was about Cdn. $400 if you add up 5 meals at A la Carte’s, and cost of the safe, it still doesn’t equal that. Save yourself the money. I ate at an Al a Carte restaurant the International one mid-week and it was delicious and a nice break from serving myself. Everything was lovely, but the buffet was fine and like many peoples comments, I have to stress that Yarey’s Pizza was AWSOME although the wait was sometimes a little crazy, it was worth it and there was plenty of salads to munch on while waiting and the staff were really good about bringing drinks! Also the buffet provided such a selection, The fresh grilled shrimp every night were fantastic they were the best tasting shrimp I’ve had in a long time. The Churro’s by the disco are also really yummy don’t forget to get some of those while you’re there. Even the Ham & Cheese sandwhich’s were pretty good, they made a great quick snack.

Bars
I have never been to a hotel with such a list of cocktails! It was great – I had some lovely coloured ones! You have to try the Mohito a local very refreshing rum drink! The lobby bar did get very busy in the evening, but I found the staff very pleasant and helpful, and they never seemed to get stressed when people were shouting out there orders! I think I spent a lot of $’s in that bar in tips, but thought it was well worth it! The 24 hour bar Las Antillas was well used! I also went to the Vida Loca club most nights. The first visit there, I was fantastic lots of cuban rhythms, but my second and third time there the music was more dance club not really up my alley. It was salsa for about the first 1/2 hour of it opening, and it was great to watch the animation staff dancing on the stage, and all the guests trying to follow the dance steps!

Pools
I didn’t really use the pools too much after all the Ocean is like right there….I like the aqua aerobic classes – this is a great way of mixing with the other holiday makers, and making new friendships. So my advice is join in – the staff are great and once one person volunteers to play the games others will follow, and you’ll have a great time! The main pool was kept very clean, If you want a bit of peace and quiet to read, but like the pool, I suggest you have a trip on the train down to the salt water pool. It’s really quiet down there and most of the time you can have the place to yourself, so if it’s a relax you want then this is the place for you!

Beach
The first morning we were there, I woke early and I had a walk down on the beach, I met some local, my Spanish isn’t very good, but there was a lady with her little girl and I had taken some gifts with me and gave them some gum and soap and stuff. The beach is huge, and the sand is kept very clean, with no rubbish on the beach, and when the tide comes in the afternoon, there are men cleaning away the seaweed that has been washed up on the beach. They do a great job! There is a coral reef about 15 feet straight out from the grill on the beach (right in the middle) You will see ton’s of fish if you like to snorkel, I saw Baracuda (yes you read right at least 4 feet long DON’T GET TOO CLOSE TO THEM, THEY DON’T LIKE YOU : ) AND WILL PROBABLY BITE , and I’m sure you don’t want to find out) You will also see lots of grunt fish, srgt. major’s, blue tangs, parrot fish, yellow tale snapper’s, squirrel fish, zebra fish, grey angels, queen angels…etc. I also swam quite a ways out and was lucky enough to see a school of squid (very cool). There are day trips, the glass bottom boat is US$18 and it is worth it if you want to go to a different reef. I DO NOT recommend the full day Catamaran excursion it is US$60 and the reefs they take you too are not that great and neither is the meal. I met someone who thought it was great, and I guess if you want to laze about the catamaran and soak up the sun it’s not bad, but if you get boat sick or actually want to see an array of fish, I don’t recommend it, but I never regret anything and if I hadn’t gone, I never would have met Jane & Nick who I have become great friends with, so that made it worth the US$60. Anyway to sum it up if you like to Snorkel, the reef the glass bottom takes you too and the one straight out from the grill at the resort (which is free) are the best with just as much fish variety if not more and if you really want to attract the fishies take some bread scraps or a little banana from breakfast in a plastic bag and before you know it you will be inundated with fish.

Weather
The weather was great. My over all view is that this hotel provided me with the rest I so greatly needed. Don’t get me wrong – the hotel wasn’t perfect, but the Tryp has a lot to offer, and I think the staff do a wonderful job there. I also think that what you put into a holiday you will get back. Don’t let the little niggly things spoil a holiday! My advice is to take a lot of $1 with you to tip the staff – they don’t earn a lot and $1 to them means a lot of money, and it shows them you have appreciated what they have done for you, and they are always so grateful for it as well as things they can’t readily get there, and they do deserve it – they work so hard!

I hope my comments will help others to decide to take a trip to the ‘Tryp’ – I will defiantly go back after I have discovered the rest of Cuba. I’m actually going back in December, but it is too a different part of Cuba Jibacoa, about 1 hour from Havana, Cuba is such a fabulous place and the people are really friendly and as a single girl travelling alone, I felt very safe.

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Club Tryp – Cayo Coco Gill & Paul Wilkinson Mansfield England
September 2002

Dear Debbie

I have just returned from the Tryp Cayo Coco, Cuba after a wonderful two weeks holiday there from 11-25th September. It’s a shame I hadn’t found your page before my trip to Cuba! What a wonderful page! Full of really experiences at the Tryp Cayo Coco. Well, I thought I’d write and let you know my views – so here goes:

Flight
Unfortunately from England this is a very long journey. My husband and I travelled with JMC flying from Manchester, and took off on time! I agree with other peoples comments about the long boring journey and lack of leg room on the plane, but we arrived on time, flying via Freeport in the Bahamas. The airport was a bit of a shock, but we passed though immigration without any problems, and were soon boarded onto the very comfortable Cubanacan coach for the transfer to Cayo Coco. The journey was very pleasant, although it was starting to get dark by the time we arrived at the Tryp Cayo Coco, so we didn’t see a lot, but things will be better when the airport opens on the island later on this year, and transfers then will be cut from 1 hour to about 10 minutes. Our check into the hotel was actually done on the journey on the way, so we knew our room number and we were ‘tagged’ with our orange bands by the time the coach arrived at the resort, which left us to go directly to our room.

Accommodation
We stayed at the Club section on the hotel in 1 Los Cocos. The room was lovely and clean with plenty of space with a balcony over looking the lagoon on the left and the sea on the right. I had a bed to die for! I loved my bed there which is important to me because most holidays I have had, I’ve not been able to sleep because the bed hadsn’t been comfortable, but that was not the case in the Tryp! We never actually got to meet the lady who looked after us so well, but she did a fine job of keeping our room immaculate and clean, so we thought she did deserve a big tip!

Food
Although we were only on the basic all-inclusive, we found the food wonderful. Like many peoples comments, we too enjoyed the Yarey Pizza! Also the buffet provided such a selection, with my favourite, fresh fruit! Cuban’s don’t eat a lot of spicy food, and a lot of peoples commented that the food was bland, but I have to admit, I did not have a bad meal yet. Goodness knows how much weight I have gained while I’ve been there! If it’s a romantic meal your after with your loved one in the evening, then the ‘La Picua’ on the beach is a must. It’s a Cuban restaurant, and the food is wonderful, with fantastic views over the beach. The night we went, there was an electric storm, and the lightening over the sea was the most wonderful thing I have ever seen!

Bars
I have never been to a hotel with such a list of cocktails! It was great – I had some lovely coloured ones! You have to try the Club Coco! The lobby bar did get very busy in the evening, but I found the staff very pleasant and helpful, and they never seemed to get stressed when people were shouting out there orders! I think I spent a lot of $’s in that bar in tips, but thought it was well worth it! The 24 hour bar Las Antillas was well used! My husband and I would have our meals in the restaurants and then go there for coffee, because we preferred it to the coffee in the restaurants, and you could get snacks there as well, which was very handy the day we went to Jamaica, and came back at 11pm, and were able to get a snack before bed. We also went to the Vida Loca club most nights. The first visit there, I was a bit disappointed as I thought it was going to be all salsa music, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. It was for about the first 1/2 hour of it opening, and it was great to watch the animation staff dancing on the stage, and all the guests trying to follow the dance steps! Like another ladies comments, the bar was ran by two guys, who seemed to have everything under control even when there was a queue. Daniel and Jose looked after us very well! We had some fantastic nights in there!

Pools
My husband and I tended to use the main pool in the club part, as my husband likes to join in the water volley ball and I like the aqua aerobic classes – this is a great way of mixing with the other holiday makers, and making new friendships. So my advice is join in – the staff are great and once one person volunteers to play the games others will follow, and you’ll have a great time! The main pool was kept very clean, although it was know for the odd crab to be having a swim with you, so be careful! If you want a bit of peace and quiet to read, but like the pool, I suggest you have a trip on the train down to the salt water pool. It’s really quiet down there and most of the time you can have the place to yourself, so if it’s a relax you want then this is the place for you!

Beach
The first morning we were there, we woke early – I think the time difference had something to do with it! My husband and I had a walk down on the beach. The beach isn’t very wide, but the sand is kept very clean, with no rubbish on the beach, and when the tide comes in the afternoon, there are men clean away the seaweed that has been washed up on the beach. They do a fine job!

Weather
We have been at the Tryp during the rainy season, but don’t let that put you off. Yes it does rain then, but you’ll have a storm, and it will rain for 1/2 hour, but then it dries up. Most of the storms we had were at around 5pm, and by that time you’ve probably had enough sun anyway! But watch out for the hurricanes! We were there when hurricane Isodor hit Jamaica and Cuba, but this was miles away from Cayo Coco, and we were safe.

My over all view is that this hotel provided myself and my husband with the rest we so greatly need. Don’t get me wrong – the hotel wasn’t prefect, but the Tryp has a lot to offer, and I think the staff do a fine job there. Don’t forget it the cuban way – very laid back! I also think that what you put into a holiday you will get back. Don’t let the little niggly things spoil a holiday! My advice is to take a lot of $1 with you to tip the staff – they don’t earn a lot and $1 to them means a lot of money, and it shows them you have appreciated what they have done for you, and they are always so grateful for it, and they do deserve it – they work so hard!

I hope my comments will help others to decide to take a trip to the ‘Tryp’ – we will defiantly be going back!!

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Club Tryp – Cayo Coco Sarah Ontario
September 2002

Dear Debbie,

I would just like to say that you run a fantastic website. I stumbled across it while I was trying to find pictures of TRYP before I left for my trip. My best friend Erica and I stayed at Club Tryp Cayo Coco in the month of August for four heavenly days. It was a very last minute trip which occurred as a result of our initial trip to New York City being cancelled. My only regret was that we didn’t stay longer!! The trip was a blast. We had so much fun. We flew with Skyservice, the leg room wasn’t sufficient but being such a short ride it didn’t matter much. We were served some sort of ravioli dish. We arrived at Ciego De Avila airport, and quickly went through customs. The airport was small and lacking air conditioning. But we were so happy to be in Cuba that it didn’t matter! After going through customs we were greeted by our Sunquest Tours Rep, Frank. Then we boarded our bus and off we were. The ride to the hotel was comfortable and air conditioned. There wasn’t much to see on the way there except some houses and farming areas. The bus ride was about 1.5 hours. We were informed by our guide that they were building an airport in Cayo Coco, and that the ride from there to the resorts would only be about 10 minutes.

When we finally arrived at the hotel and went through registration it was about 8:45 p.m. We were first given a room on the lower floor of a building in the Club section. We went in to find a crab sitting on one of the pillows! We quickly went back to the registration area and asked if we could change rooms. The response was quick and we got a room on the second floor of building number 2. The room was much better and had an Ocean view from the balcony! After we unpacked we quickly went to the Main Buffet restaurant and had dinner. Generally, the comments about the all-inclusive food seem to that it wasn’t the greatest. I agree to this but don’t have many complaints. Though the food may not be the best, there is a lot of variety and plenty to eat. Next time, we want to go with the Super All-inclusive as it allows for more dining options. The best place to eat would have to be undoubtedly Yarey’s Pizza. The pizza was the best that I had ever had anywhere! It had a thin crust and a very tasty cheese, and was just wonderful. I had the Mushroom and Onion whereas my friend Erica had the all-dressed. The salad was open bar and you could get whatever you wanted. We also went to La Picua grill on the beach the next day. We had a few cocktails and the grilled chicken and fish.

One word of advice… Use SPF 50+ sunscreen lotion. I burned so badly the first day that I was in much pain afterwards! Although I had used SPF 30, I guess it wasn’t enough. Also, it is crucial to re-apply every few hours! In case you do burn, bring along some aspirin to get rid of the sunburned headaches!

Most of our days were filled with soaking up the sun on the beach. The beach was very pretty. It had a clear bright light green turquoise sort of colour. The sand was clean and free of debris. We went swimming there frequently; the water was very very warm. We went swimming in the main pool and enjoyed the swim-up bar. We were allowed to use the snorkeling gear. It was fun but there was nothing to see on this particular part of the beach. (Although I hear that when you take the glass-bottom boat ride, the snorkeling is good!) Many of our days were filled with drinking Pina Coladas and Rum Punch and of course swimming. At night, after eating dinner we would watch the night show in the stage by the hotel lobby. The shows were always entertaining. There was one particular dancer who caught our eye named Marcos. He was very handsome and a fantastic dancer! His smile was illuminating! After watching the night school, we would hop on the train and go to the disco. At the beginning of the night, the dancers would go on stage and dance; while the people on the dance floor followed their actions. It was very fun! Then they would pump up the music and the real dancing would begin. The music had lots of variety including, House, Disco, 80’s, Pop, Swing, Hip-Hop, and of course salsa. The DJ was also very handsome! Another great thing was that the disco had an open bar as well. We mostly had rum-based cocktails and the local beer CRISTAL. Although the bar at the disco was crowded the two bartenders worked quickly to serve everyone and were very nice. We stayed at the disco till it closed at 2 am, and walked back to out hotel room. It was a short walk, maybe 10 minutes.

In the main lobby of the hotel there were some shops on the upper floor. I didn¡¯t buy much except for a swimsuit, a bottle of Havana Club Rum ($3.00 American!), and some souvenirs from the vendors below. I bought two cartons of cigars at the Ciego de Avila airport while waiting for our plane on the way home.

All in all, we had the best vacation ever. We are officially addicted to Cuba and want to return as soon as possible. The hotel complex is HUGE, with lots to do and see. However mostly to relax and enjoy yourself. We were pleasantly surprised to see crowds of younger people. Being young, we found it fun to have other young people around. The issue of tipping was never a problem. Tipping is not mandatory; however the people were all very nice which made tipping something we wanted to do to show a small gesture of our appreciation for their hospitality and service. Next time we want to stay longer and do some of the things that we didn’t get a chance to do, (massage, excursions.. etc)If your anyone has any questions regarding TRYP feel free to email me at: song_youngmi@hotmail.com HAPPY TRAVELS! ^_^

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Club Tryp – Cayo Coco Raven Saint John, NB Canada
September 2002

Our stay at TRYP Cayo Coco was awesome!!! We arrived late at night so we missed out on the first day but that was okay because we were really tired after sitting around the Toronto airport for 8 hours.

The room wasn’t fancy but it was nice and clean. We were worried about bugs but we didn’t find any in the room. The maid did a good job cleaning up everyday. We left her little things we got from the dollar store and she was very appreciative.

The food was good. We didn’t go for the super all-inclusive because we’re not big meat eaters so it wouldn’t have benefited us. I’m a very picky eater but I still found lots to eat.

Every night the animation team put on a show and afterwards everyone got on the train and went to the disco. The animation team is awesome, they are all so nice. They really know how to dance too.

The resort is great and I’ll definitely be going back next year. I recommend this resort to anyone that wants to relax, have fun and make friends.

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Club Tryp – Cayo Coco Nancy Brampton, Ontario
September 2002

We went to Cayo Coco from September 1st to September 8th, 2002. Our flight was delayed one hour with Air Canada but as soon as we were seated, it was smooth sailing from then on. When we arrived in Ciego de Avila airport we went through customs (which was a little scary), and it was really quick. We were directed to our bus and were asked if we would like our luggage to be taken to the bus. We declined since it is a few steps away and tips are expected. We got on the bus and thank goodness it had comfortable seats and was airconditioned because it was really hot and sticky outside. The ride was about 90 mins and we were glad to arrive at the resort and check in. Check in was really quick and once we got the bags to the room, we were pleasently suprised at how beautiful the resort was.

The rooms were a little musty but were really nice. As soon as we turned on the air conditioning, the smell generally went away. We enjoyed satellite T.V. the whole week and we also enjoyed the view from our room. We stayed in hotel #5, which looked onto the beach and also the pool. We always had hot water and the room was always spotless when cleaned by the maid. A little gift was always left by us for the maid and she definately appreciated the generousity. I also gave her some old pants of mine that she fell in love with.

We had the all-inclusive package(orange bracelets) and were allowed to eat at the grills, pizzareia, and the buffet. I was not very pleased with the buffet but quickly learned what I liked and disliked. I enjoyed the omlets and fried eggs that were prepared fresh right in front of you. I also enjoyed the coisants and the hams and cheeses. Lunch and dinner at the buffet were much of the same; I only liked the pasta that was prepared fresh and the french fries. We tried the grill that is located near the beach and did not like much of the food there. I only liked the french fries!! I would have to say that Yarey’s Pizza was the best. You can either walk there or take the train, which drops you off right in the front. There is a great selection of flat dough pizzas and they are delicious! We pretty much ate there every lunch and dinner (it kind of got boring near the end).

The scenery is amazing, the pools are beautiful and the beach is breathtaking. We went on a catamaran and went snorkeling. We got a tip from one of the lifeguards that the fish love bananas and we found this to be true when lots of fish came to feast on the bananas. We also went horseback riding for an hour for $8 american. I thought we would have gone riding on the beach but we were only taken to the beach for maybe 5mins and the rest of the ride was on the road. All in all it was nice.

I have to say that the staff at club tryp Cayo Coco are fabulous. They go out of their way to do the littlest things and don’t expect anything in return. Dollar bills are a must for tipping and also little gifts are a nice toch as well. The entertainment is also great and they provide live shows everynight that you do not want to miss. I have to say that the comedy show was the funniest.

I would have to say that I had a wonderful time in Cayo Coco and would definatley go to this hotel again.

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Club Tryp – Cayo Coco Mariana Toronto Canada
September 2002

My stay at Tryp was wonderful!!! This was my second time going to Tryp this year and I had just the same amount of fun as the first. We arrived on time and check-in was fast. I was a little disappointed that we were scheduled to arrive late in the day indicating that we would miss the whole day but it actually turned out better this way so we didn’t have to feel so rushed.

The rooms were very simple but who goes on vacation to spend most of their time in their room anyway! We were located on the third floor of building 7 which was close to everything. The first night we didn’t know how we could climb all those stairs but we eventually got used to it. For those of you that like to walk, this is the resort for you. If you don’t like to walk they also have train rides that can take you around the resort.

Now, for the very controversial food issue. Honestly, I thought it was better than my mom’s cooking but my friends and many of the people we talked to did not like it. We didn’t go the Super All Inclusive route but we did go to the Italian restaurant on the last day of our stay. It was amazing!!! My friends say that if they were to ever go back to Tryp that they would do the Super All-Inclusive which allows you to eat at any of the restaurants (Italian, International, Cuban, and Seafood) with reservations of course.

I would also like to take this opportunity to say that the people in Cuba are so nice and I would go back a third time just because of the friendly service and the many good people that I have met there. Please be generous and tip if you think someone has done a good job. They are extremely grateful for any small gesture. I bought a few things at the Dollar Store before we left and gave away some used clothing. It really goes a long way. Two of the gardeners that we met (Juan and Roberto can be found near the Flamingos around noon) gave us coconuts everyday and flowers picked by them. As well, I was overwhelmed when our cleaning lady found my lost earring.

It took us awhile to decide which excursion to take but we finally decided on the Jeep Tour (half day) which was $30 U.S and it was worth every penny! Unfortunately they didn’t mention that the Jeeps were all standard and none of us knew how to drive stick but we were lucky enough to have met up with a nice couple from Montreal that were generous to drive us. We followed the tour guide to these beautiful caves that turns into a disco at night. We got to see a magic show and some bats. Then they took us to one of the most spectacular beaches I have ever seen – Pilar and had about an hour to enjoy before heading out to a small farm. At this farm they had all kinds of animals and a "animal show". I actually got the courage to not only sit on a bull but stand on him. That was such an amazing rush!

All in all I would recommend this resort to anyone that wants to relax and have fun. I would go back again in a heartbeat!

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Club Tryp – Cayo Coco Carla & Brad Newfoundland, Canada
September 2002

We recently travelled to Cayo Coco, Cuba and stayed at Hotel and Club TRYP from August 10-17, 2002. As this was our honeymoon, we started off with a very positive attitude towards the trip in general, and we were not going to let anything ruin our holiday; however, as you will read, we didn’t have to worry because everything was absoloutely wonderful, and we were more than pleased with this vacation.

We took off from Pearson airport in Toronto on time (2:50 p.m.), and travelled to Ciego de Avila, Cuba with Air Transat. The flight is about 3 1/2 hours long, and it went well until we were almost at our destination, when the pilot informs us that there is an aircraft blocking the runway in Ciego de Avila, and we must reroute to Camaguay, about 120 kms away. We had to wait in Camaguay for about 3 hours, where we were entertained by a fasinating thunder and lightning storm! We eventually arrived in Ciego de Avila, went quickly through customs, got our bags in about 20 minutes, and arrived at the resort about 11:30 p.m. (one hour bus ride from the airport on a very comfortable and air conditioned bus). Check-in went quickly and the wonderful people at the resort kept the buffet restaurant open for us because they knew we were so hungry!

It was a little confusing trying to find our room because it was dark, but we asked a worker there, and he was very helpful. We stayed in building 11, room 1161 on the Club side. This room was on the third floor and did smell a little musky at first, but the air conditioning quickly got rid of this smell.

The orientation session was 10:00 Sunday morning, and the representative from the interpreter (ours was World of Vacations) will tell you all this when you arrive at the airport. This session helped clarify things for us, and was very helpful in letting us know where things were located and which services we could use. We had the superior all inclusive package, so we got to dine at the a la carte restaurants every night…YUM:)

We spent a lot of our time at the beach at first because we were so amazed by how beautiful it was! They rake the sand for seaweed every morning, and there are plenty of chairs to lie on. The water in the ocean is so nice and warm, and the waves can be so much fun to swim in! There were lots of children at this resort, so if you are looking for peace and quiet, this is probably not the resort for you!

We did, however, find a reasonably quiet spot at the small pool in front of our building. There were usually only about 10-15 people there at any time, so it was a nice sopt to relax and read a book. The temperature was very hot – it felt like 40 degrees celcius every day, but I don’t know exactly what it was. We found that jumping into the pool or ocean every 20 minutes, then sitting out in the sun for a while, was the best way to keep yourself from baking! Be sure to wear lots of sunscreen though – we used SPF 30 for the first couple of days, then changed to 15, then on our last 2 days we switched to 8, and we found this to work quite well.

There are 2 swim up bars, but they are usually crowded, so we tended to stay away from these. One of the best things about this resort is the food. There is a beach grill – La Picua, a pizzaria – Yarey’s, and 4 a la carte restaurants – El Dorado (seafood), La Fontanella (italian), La Loma Azul (international), and a Cuban restaurant, in addition to the huge buffet restaurant that is open for all three meals. We thought the seafood restaurant was the best,and we loved the grilled shimp and lobster. The sirloin steak at La Loma Azul was delicious too. We could not believe the service in the restaurants – the waitresses/waiters are continuously filling up your glass when it begins to empty, whether it be water, wine, or whatever drink you want. The portions are not really big, but you can order anything, and any amount of it, so you will not be hungry. Yarey’s had the delicious pizza -we loved the variety of sausages and the vegetarian pizzas the best. One piece of advice: El Dorado is an open restaurant (no walls), as are Yarey’s and La Picua, and it can be very sticky trying to eat in nice clothes (although at Yarey’s and La Picua you can eat in your bathing suit). The international and italian restaurants are air conditioned, and this makes such a difference!

You don’t need to bring beach towels, as you pick them up from the towel hut, and exchange them for clean ones every morning. Tips are very important there, and we left our housekeeping lady some soaps, pencils, and candy each morning. We always tipped at the restaurants, and also to the bartenders at the end of the night. We saw a gardener pulling down coconuts one day, and we asked for one. He was so friendly, and quickly cut one open for us – it was very yummy!

The nightly entertainment is wonderful – they really must spend a lot of time preparing for the shows each day. The dancers are amazing! The host was really funny and always got the audience involved. I think almost everyone on the resort went to the nightly entertainment – what a crowd!

There are several little shops throughout the resort, and you can buy cigars and liquor there. You can use traveller’s cheques, but you have to get them changed at the front desk, and they charge 10%, so it’s best to use Visa or US cash. Phone calls are very expensive, and you cannot use your calling card as they want the money to stay in Cuba, quite understandingly. We bought phone cards there – $10 for a 5 minute call.

We went on two extra excursions – the glass bottom boat tour, and Jungle Tour to Cayo Guillermo. Both involve snorkeling, but the Jungle Tour was much better as you can drive your own boat and snorkle as a group in a canal, as opposed to the glass bottom boat tour where you are sort of dropped into the ocean without any instruction (kind of scary!) Beautiful fish in both places though.

Overall this vacation was wonderful and I would recommend it to anyone. If there weren’t so many other resorts to see, I would return to Club TRYP, but I think I would like to travel to other places in the future, just to see more of the wonderful caribbean. If you have any questions or would like to know more about this resort, you can e-mail me at carlapeach2002@yahoo.com

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Club Tryp – Cayo Coco Jennifer
September 2002

The arrival to airport was a little rough. We landed in a bad storm, so the landing was a little rough. Once in the airport, clearing customs was quite fast. However because of the storm, no one was being let outside (it got very chaotic).

The check-in:
Once we arrived at the Resort, the check-in wasn’t too bad and altogether painless. I would suggest that you carry your own luggage to the room, or else you can end up waiting a long time.

The food:
I wouldn’t let my dog at the buffet……..Thank God we had the Superior plan, and I would suggest to anybody going there to buy the Superior All Inclusive. It’s worth every penny ! The buffet was disgusting ! don’t expect to have bacon everyday. What you can expect is cut up hot dogs every day. The ham that they are putting in the omelettes. look closely, it’s hot dogs. Most of the bread is stale. And on the second day when I was getting some milk for my coffee (that’s all they have, and it is dispensed out of a machine). It was bad (lumpy). They also had cold fried eggs everyday, and what ever is left over from dinner transformed into yucky stuff … They do have some fruit available, however on my last day I went get some pineapple it looked like it had been left out all night uncovered. And when I took the tongs to get a closer look bugs came out of the bowl containing the pineapple. Lots of bugs….It was disgusting. just like the smell on the way to the buffet.

Yarley’s the pizza place was good. The grill on the beach was Okay. The seafood restaurant was extremely good The international restaurant was extremely good

The Cuban restaurant was extremely good

The Room:
When I first saw the room, I nearly cried. It had a bad smell, and wasn’t very big. The rooms on the Club side are run down, they are clean but run down. The maid came every day to clean the room. However she did not replenish our water everyday, we left the empty bottle for her twice, and twice we had to go and buy water. This was an inconvenience both times. The good thing about the room was that it was right by the water which was nice. Surprisingly i never saw a bug in the room though. I was expecting too.

The Beach:
The beach was beautiful, but you are little to cramped on the beach with the way things are setup. The beach is long, but not wide. the water is crystal clear and warm.

The Pools:
There are several pools all of which are dirty, some are better than other though. The water in the ocean was more clear than the pools (no joke). And after swimming in a pool for while you’d expect to smell chlorine, NO. I never saw them clean the pools and there was one right outside my room. It was gross ! The best pool was the salt water pool. It’s located at the end of the Colonial side. The days that I went to the salt water pool there were 4 hotel guests swimming there (including myself). and about 20 locals/staff. I found this disturbing because this pool is located in the nicest part of the resort, and they seem to be keeping it for themselves. Not mention I was told I could change rooms because they were full. The whole section around that pool (incidentally this section is the picture that is in all the tour books). The rooms are all occupied by staff. This was insulting considering what I paid to go the resort.

Overall:
I wouldn’t go back to Club Tryp unless I won a free vacation, and was staying on the colonial side. Most of the staff was not very friendly or helpful. I was looking for a bathroom in the lobby and had to ask 5 people before I got directions. I requested a new room several times and each day I was told to come back to the next because they were full (this was a lie). I even offered to pay. I went the El Sendor resort at the end of March/02 and it was amazing. You’d never know that these two resort had the same ranking. I’ve stayed at 3 star resorts that were nicer than Club Tryp. If you’re thinking about going to Cuba Cayo-Coco. I would go to the El-Senador. It’s a better resort on all accounts………..

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