Arrival: January 24 to February 8 Our arrival at the airport was uneventful. While waiting to board our bus to take us to our hotel we managed to buy a couple of cervesas for the 1 1/2 hr trip to the hotel. Because it was night we could not appreciate the scenery but the bus ride went by quite fast. Upon our arrival, the check in was surprisingly fast…less than 15 minutes to get all the information and baggage delivered to our rooms.
The room was large and clean and was suitable for me and my sister with two separate twin beds.
Restaurants and Bars
Wow. You won’t starve here. The Romantico was probably the best meal we had although I find all the hype to dine at the a la carte restaurants a little over-rated. The two buffet restaurants had everything you could imagine and sure to please any palate. The most common factor was that anytime a server took your order it took forever but once your order was placed the food came quick. The lobby bar is still my favourite place. All kinds of liquor, including my favourite, Disaronno.
Had a little bit of a problem getting chairs at both pools. One must have to get up at 5 to save a chair. No thanks, I can swim at a pool anyday so we opted for the beach which had pure white powdery sand, beautiful azure coloured ocean with crystal clear waters. Beach bars, snack bar, water sports including a free 1/2 hr catemeran ride. Just like in the brochure. My sister has been to Cuba five times now and thought this to be the most beautiful beach out of all the other areas in Cuba she visited. The grounds were lush with mature vegetation, and I never felt crowded as a result of the large resort.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel We signed up for the catemeran, the tour to Santa Clara and a deep sea fishing trip. The catemeran was awesome and had a great group of people on board. The captain and his grandson were great and the lobster lunch delivered to us was to die for. It was really good. Santa Clara tour was very informative and I now have a new appreciation for Cuba’s politics and culture. I have come back and signed out some literature on Che and also signed up for Spanish lessons. I still have not come down from my high yet. Unfortunately our deep sea fishing was cancelled twice because of the rough seas and high winds. My sister and I wanted to do something nice for our Cuban hosts and opted to bring two locals with us as our treat. Unfortunately, Melia hotels do not allow staff to mingle with guests so that was unfortunate. It didn’t work out anyways as a result of the cancellation.
The resort is secluded and staff are bused in every day for the 1 1/2 hour drive one way. They work very hard and are extremely pleasant. Please consider being nice to them and don’t demand. I know as tourist we pay to visit these places but these people are very friendly and polite and work hard to work for peanuts. Also, don’t tip them in Canadian coins. I must have lost over $30 in exchange because they would come to me to cash in their "tips". Overall, I have no complaints and highly recommend this resort to anyone. We did hear some complaints but I suppose you can’t please everyone. I’m sure that even the 5 star hotel on the island had some guests complaining about something or other. My advice to those people…stay home! This resort had lush vegetation, clean rooms, beautiful beach to die for, excellent staff, beautiful lobby and lobby bar, good food (great at times), new friends, local and foreign, and I would give it a 10!
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