We heard some bad things before we went but tried not to believe them. Big mistake. The resort was beautiful, rooms were clean, large and pretty good, and the beach was phenomenal. Thats about it. Everything else was total crap. The food was the worst we have had in Cuba. Been to Cuba 6 times, but after this will not go back again. The staff did not speak any english, and seemed to be unaware of common practices, like cleaning, cooking,and service. Breakfast was very dissapointing. One cook with a 9" frying pan trying to cook eggs with 20-25 people in line. You would wait at least 30 minutes for your eggs. Same thing with the crepes. The bacon was cooked without separating the strips, and thrown into a vat of grease 1" deep. Fruit was horrible, papaya was the only thing edible.
90 minute drive on tourbus, was a good drive through 2 towns, and a broken down causeway.
Rooms were fine, it was the maids that were unbelievable. The first day we got towels, toilet paper, and shampoo. That was it.. The next day no towels, soap, or shampoo. The tour rep told us to hide everything so they would replace it, but that didn’t work. I had to hunt down the maid, drag her to our room and demand she provide us with soap, towels, shampoo, and toilet paper. They wouldn’t change the toilet papper unless it was totally used.
Restaurants and Bars: The food at the buffets were just as bad. Over or undercooked chicken, steak, or fish, but never right. You also had to wait 10 minutes while the cook made one piece at a time. Deserts were the same neopolitan flavours every day and night, also the cheapest ice cream I’ve had. Went to three of the ala cartes hoping to get better food. Not the case, just less food cooked equally bad. It was not that they did not have the food to cook, they just ruined it. Cuba has never had a good reputation for good food, but this place takes it to another level. Nothing was consistent. The hotel boasts of 24-hour grill restaurant, but we tried to get a lousy coffee at 8am in the morning and they said it was not open yet.
The bars were another joke. The bartenders were so spoiled by tipping that they wouldn’t serve you if you did’nt tip every time. Drinks were so small you had to order 5 or 6 at a time to get a decent drink. A lot of people were using huge BUBA mugs which took forever to fill up. Lines at the bar were huge, and it just caused people to order more drinks at a time, causing slower service, and longer lines.
The pool was beautiful but we didn’t understand why there was no one in it. After testing with our foot we knew why. The water was (65 deg)and so cold that the guy cleaning it had to wear hip waiters.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
My wife wanted to do the strech class, but we had to walk to three different locations because every sports staff person told us to go somewhere else. After finally tracking one of them down, the girl said that there was no class today, and could we go to the bar and get her a capucino!
Other Comments: It appears that Barcelo hotels need to deal with the management at this hotel, and train their staff about cooking proceedures, customer service, and common courtesy.