We went to Playa Costa Verde with a group of 31 people for a 25th wedding vow renewal. It’s hard to please a large group but there were very few complaints. The food was very good, though there were lineups they moved well. Always could get something freshly grilled for you. 1/2 of our group were pool lovers, while the other 1/2 were at the beach. You do need water shoes at the beach as it is rocky to get in. Good snorkelling right out on the reef & better snorkelling over towards the Blau side. There is a beach bar that has drinks & a small grill for beachside lunch/snacks of chicken or tuna on a bun. The vow renewal took place on the beach & a horse drawn carriage was provideds for the 4 of us in the wedding party. There was champagne at the beach afterwards and 12 pics were provided by the hotel though we paid $23. more to get the whole package of 118. We had a restaurant open just for us that evening and enjoyed lobster or a t-bone, both were excellent. Niurka in guest services made sure that everything was just the way I wanted.
3511 – a suite
Arrival: Had a private transfer for the group to the resort. Not all rooms were ready as we got there in the morning but our suite was.
Rooms were pre-assigned and check-in was quick & easy. No welcoming cocktails on arrival which did surprise me.
Rooms: Our suite (upgrade for renewal) consisted of 2 rooms, one the normal room with sink area and separate bath/shower, toilet & bidet. The other room had a seating area with 2nd TV, a tall table to eat at with 4 chairs, a bar with sink area (great for washing out swim suits b/c it had a drainboard) & a second bathroom. (no tub/shower) The room had recently been refreshed with new linens & curtains but the bed was rock hard. Still after a day in the sun we had no problems sleeping. The maid was efficient & friendly and we had different towel scupltures on our bed everyday. As returning guests we had beach towels in our rooms and 2 bottles of rum & the fridge was stocked with pop & water. We also received 4 bottles of champagne during our stay. On our wedding day both the maid and the fridge guy left us a bottle!
We were on the ground floor and the only bugs we saw were small beetles that came out in the bathroom at night.
Restaurants and Bars: The buffet was busy but with a short wait fresh grilled selections were available. Thursday night is Gala Night at the buffet & the staff all dress up and there is grilled lobster available. The lights were dimmed & a flaming baked Alaska was wheeled in, all the while flaming rum was poured over it until the bottle was empty. Pretty dramatic for Cuba! The hotel opened the steak house for a private wedding dinner on Friday night & we were served either t-bones or lobster. They had decorated it with white tablecloths & drapings and we had a trio playing during dinner. The food was great & we all thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. The lobby bar was crowded (the resort was full) but we talked to our fellow guests while waiting & the staff were working hard. Everyone enjoyed the Japanese restaurant where they cook your meal at the table which is centered around a huge grill. It’s an interactive dinner where the chef calls on the guests to ‘Help’. lol We also enjoyed the Cuban restaurant wher we again had the grilled lobster.
We didn’t go to the Italian b/c in previous years we didn’t like the food or the ambience.
Beach/Pools/Grounds: The beach has lots of shaded shelters and lots of beach chairs. In fact this was the frist visit where they actaually ran out of chairs. We were full-up & some people reservechairs & then wander off for hours at a time. Make sure to reserve your time for a Hobie Cat ride, it can be as thrilling or as mild as you like. Gives a nice perspective on the beach from a ways out at sea. The pool is huge with a swim-up bar and lot’s of lounge chairs and shade. They also have some cute little pagodas for 2. There is an animation crew that anounces various games & activities but they aren’t pushy if you’d rather just sit & relax. Maybe a little loud at time, but heh, you’re on holidays, chill already!
The grounds are looking dry and the grass is brown b/c Cuba is currently experiencing a drought. The gardeners keep everything nicely trimmed & remove dead leaves etc. promptly.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel: Our group did the Jeep tour and The Swim with the Dolphins. The jeep group had a fantastic time touring the countryside by Jeep, then going in the ocean in little speed boats, having a horseback ride, lunch and then visiting a traditional Indian village. All for around $80. On the Swim with the Dolphin tour by catamaran we hit big waves & unfortunatly a few people got seasick. They were left at the aquarium to recover while the rest of the group tried snorkelling. It was difficult b/c of the waves so most speant a short time only in the water & had to work hard at getting back on the boat!
The dolphin experience was fantastic, they were very well trained & guests who have tried it elsewhere said this place was defintely the best!
Other Comments: The hotel threw in an extra a-la-carte for us all at the Japanese restaurant on our last night & somehow the staff all seemed to know we were the ‘wedding couple’.
One night we were too tired to walk back to our room (which was about as far as you could get form the lobby) so we took one of their carts. Without any directions he took us right back to our room & when asked how he knew where we were staying he replied: "you’re the wedding people".