This was our last stop on our family tour of Cuba. We drove with a Cuban guide in a minibus for over a week from Havana to the Bay of Pigs, through Cienfuegos, to Trinidad, up through Santa Clara and to the Hotel. Our daughters and their friends wanted to end their vacation on a beautiful Caribbean beach and we had heard that Ensenachos was it. The Good: – The beach was outstanding. There are actually two beaches: Megano (next to the Hidaway and Spa) and Ensenachos (next to the suites.) Both are beautiful but Ensenachos is less crowded and if possible even prettier. The Good/Bad – While I understand it’s a no kids under 14 resort, its more like a no one under 50 resort. Our girls were fine with this as they just wanted to hang on the beach but we saw a few 20-30-year olds looking a bit lost. – Some of the shows were good. (The brass band and singers.) Some were worse than bad. – 80% of guests are Canadian on packaged tours. We love Canadians but their expectations of what a 5 star hotel should be is a bit humorous ("hey it’s warm, has a beach.") Most of them fly into Santa Clara get bussed to the hotel then flown out. That’s their "I’ve been to Cuba" experience. The problem is that their tolerance for a mediocre experience will mean the Spanish owner of this resort has no incentive to fix the problems. The Bad – Don’t look to closely at your sheets, towels or bathrobes. It’s not clear the laundry uses soap. – The food is at best abysmal – in all the restaurants. Having spent the week traveling across Cuba we realized it was as bad as everywhere else – or if possible worse. It makes you realize how bad the local populace has it if this is as good as they can do at a hard currency resort.
– The staff feels like they are just going through the motions. Its probably because it’s really hard to fire a Cuban employee and there is zero service culture for commerce in the country. Don’t expect too much from anyone.
Restaurants and Bars:
The bad news is that the food was horrific. The only consolation is that in traveling around Cuba we realize it is not much worse than anywhere else in the country.
Beach/Pools/Grounds: The beaches were outstanding. There are actually two: Megano (next to the Hidaway and Spa) and Ensenachos (next to the suites.) Both are beautiful but Ensenachos is less crowded and if possible even prettier. Only problem is that on Megano the umbrellas are packed cheek to jowl. On Ensenachos they are clustered together near the Spa end.
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