Great stay, loved the resort. This is a lengthy review but I know how I valued reading others. It’s nice to be prepared and know what to expect.
We’ve been traveling to the Caribbean for the past nine years to 4-5 star resorts. We have used Air Canada Vacations for the past four years and flights are always close to being on time, in fact this year they were a few minutes early both ways.
Was fairly smooth; we (three couples) arrived around noon and had to wait approximately an hour for our rooms but they were worth waiting for. We had all booked the superior lagoon rooms but we wanted to ensure that we were on the top floor with king-sized beds. They were able to accommodate us after a bit of sweet talking. I had applied for the MAS card (a preferred customer / points for stays type deal, something like Delta privilege in Canada) on-line but I don’t think it helped at all. While we waited for our rooms, there was champagne and orange juice available (it was available 24/7 by the way) and we also booked our specialty restaurants (more to follow on these). The restaurant reservation desk is set up next to the check-in desk. Not sure what the hours are as we only did this once.
We were taken to our rooms with our luggage on a golf cart (nice not to have to wait for your belongings). The lagoon rooms were very nice and spacious. We had a king-sized bed with two night tables and reading lamps on each side. There was a desk and chair; mini fridge stocked with water, soft drinks and beer; a rocking chair and one other chair with a small cocktail table in between. The sliding glass doors opened to a tiled patio with two lounge chairs and a small cocktail table. The air-conditioning worked great. The bathroom had a toilet, bidet and tub/shower. Water pressure was fine and we always had hot water. The sink and a double closet were just outside the bathroom. An amenity kit containing shampoo/conditioner, shower gel, shower cap and hand soap was provided. The closet had a safe and shelves on one side and the other side was for hanging clothes. A few (maybe six) hangers were supplied but it might be a good idea to bring a few extra from home. The beds were fairly comfortable and extra pillows were available. An iron and ironing board were in the room but I don’t think they are in the standard rooms. An adaptor was required for curling irons, charging camera batteries, etc. I purchased a kit at Wal-Mart containing four different types of adaptors for about $12. They are all labeled so you know which one to use in the Caribbean. Maid service was great; our room was always cleaned before 10:00 AM. We left the maid a gift bag each day and she left us a nice note and a wood carving at the end of the week. She was very appreciative.
The beach is absolutely beautiful! You can walk east for at least 40 minutes on a deserted beach. There is a little 24-hour bar/restaurant mid way and it’s a nice spot for a refreshment ($1 for a beer) and some photos. There is a little dog living there with the workers so bring her some chicken or fish if you visit. You can also walk west passing all of the resorts. You have to go around a rocky point but it is beautiful on the other side. The water is warmer on that side also. No problem getting lounge chairs and a palapa by 8:00 AM even though the resort was close to full.
The pool looked beautiful but we didn’t use it as we are all beach lovers. We were told that it is quite shallow. There were plenty of lounge chairs and some shaded areas.
Restaurants: Breakfast – buffet with lots of fresh fruit and juices, smoothies, cereals, breads, an omelet station and they also do fried eggs, pancakes and french toast. Lunch – buffet (didn’t try it) Beach grill – soup and salad, paella, fish, chicken, beef, pork (very good) Pool grill – hot dogs, burgers, steak/pork sandwiches, pizza (very good) Dinner – Buffet was great! Salad bar, pasta bar and grill with anything you like (beef, chicken, pork, fish, prawns, calamari). Italian – above pool grill, just OK in my opinion although our reservation was for 9:00 PM and they were winding down to close. Lasagna, cannelloni, minestrone soup (tasted like canned), great antipasto and breads. Cuban – beach grill at lunch time becomes Cuban for dinner – my favorite – lobster, chicken, rice with black beans – all very good. International – on lagoon – nicest atmosphere, very romantic with violin player. Stuffed chicken was good. Again, we had a 9:00 reservation which is too late for me. We could not get dinner reservations earlier than 9:00 PM but we checked a few times and they were less than half full earlier in the evening?? It might be worth a try to show up early and ask if they have any cancellations or no shows.
Wines – Red house wine is very good but the white is tasteless. Rosé is pretty good also.
there are four: lobby, pool, billiard bar on the lagoon, beach with limited choices. They were all very good but I would say the best drinks are at the pool bar. Mojitos are my favorite and Junor makes great Banana Mamas if you tell him to go easy on the rum. There is also sporadic bar service on the beach; I think they start around 11:00 AM.
there are quite a few to chose from. We heard the jungle tour was great. You can shuttle to Cayo Guillermo and eat/drink at the Melia there (pick up a bracelet from the front desk). It is worth visiting. The beach there is even nicer than Cayo Coco. Pilar Beach is a few more minutes away from Cayo Guillermo and it is still more beautiful. You can take a taxi or rent mopeds. If you are a beach person, you shouldn’t miss it. You can also visit the town or Moron to see how the natives live. It is about a 45 minute drive and I was told it is cheaper and more enlightening to hire a taxi to show you around than to go with the group tour. There are snorkeling and scuba diving excursions for reasonable prices also.
caught a few minutes on a few evenings and they were quite good.
there are many – archery, shooting, tennis, yoga, step classes, dance lessons to name a few. They have paddle boats, catamarans, kayaks which are included and banana boat rides $.
finally found it on Day 3 – don’t waste your time looking for it! Massage area is next to the gym but we didn’t try it.
There is not a salon at the Melia but they have one next door at the Sol if you want to use it. The girl that runs it has been there for 9 years and she is a sweetheart! Manicures (basically just filing and changing polish, nothing elaborate) are $5 and pedicures are $10.
Our first couple days there we found the service to be mediocre to poor. Once they realized we tipped they bent over backwards for us. Seriously, they got to know what we drank and we didn’t even have to ask. The waiters would rush to get us a table in their section. Tipping makes a huge difference in your vacation! I can’t stress that enough. They are working for peanuts and they will treat you like royalty if you tip.
You can exchange your Canadian $$ (US$$ are no longer accepted) to convertible pesos at the airport or your hotel. You save a bit at the airport if the line up isn’t too long. Also, the bank is a few kilometers away and the ride by taxi is $10 return. Please, don’t tip with loonies or toonies as they are not able to exchange them. We had several staff ask us to exchange them as they could not exchange them in Cuba.
Other: we weren’t bothered at all by mosquitoes but we did get some sand flee bites?? You can get a bracelet from the front desk and eat/drink at the Sol or Tryp (neighbor resorts). We tried lunch at the Sol one day but it wasn’t as good as the Melia. We didn’t try the Tryp. Things you shouldn’t forget to pack: – plenty of sunscreen and after sun moisturizer – insulated mugs – a light sweater for evenings – extra hangers – adaptor – medications – candle for your room – a few words in Spanish
– positive attitude
We all agreed that this is a lovely resort and the lagoon rooms are worth the extra cost. The adults only concept is very relaxing and makes for a much more romantic atmosphere. We would not hesitate to recommend the Melia Cayo Coco to others. However, we really missed having an oceanfront room and there did not appear to be any at all on this resort.