We have exclusively traveled the Caribbean but this is only our second time to Cuba, must stay it was a nice step up from where we had stayed before. Once again we flew with SunWing out of Sault Ste. Marie, ON had to make a diversion to Toronto on the way down only because the plumbing in the lavatory was plugged (guess they were the only ones could do the job right) we had a night time arrival so the hold up really wasn’t that bad, besides for our inconvenience we were offered an alcoholic beverage free ( it’s more then what most airlines would do) also they always offer up their standard meal and snacks …so in no time we arrived at our destination
Very smooth arrival, we did notice however upon entering Cuba this time as opposed to our trip 3 years ago, they have something that monitors your temperature just before you go through customs and if it is elevated they will pull you aside and take you somewhere else away from the public, I’m not sure what happens after that, but they obviously aren’t taking any chances the the H1N1 flu. Sunwing rep was there to put you on the appropriate bus. Check in was easy breezy, very professional and informative. Spoke english at check in very well.
Room was neat tidy and clean, of course beds were hard as usual, but doing the activities that we did during the day pretty much knocked you out anyway. Our maid Miyelina was a breath of fresh air and had a good grasp of the english language, so much so that one day when I was feeling under the weather for unknown reasons (definitely not food poisoning) she suggested I take a sprite from the minibar and add some salt to it. In a couple of hours I was actually able to smell food without wanting to vomit.
Restaurants and Bars: No complaints whatsoever only that the main restaurant was to open at 7:30am the day of our departure and our bus was scheduled at the same time. Well of course in Cuba I knew the bus wasn’t gonna be on time but we had counted on the restaurant opening at 7:30 so that while my husband waited with the luggage I could go and get us a plate of food to eat in the lobby while we waited. Well the bus wasn’t on time (no surprise) but the restaurant didn’t open at 7:30 either. So when I came back to the lobby for the 3rd time and announced to my husband that they still weren’t opened at 7:45am, I could see the front desk manager pick up the phone and heard him say people were waiting the next thing you know the doors were open.
No problem booking our a la carte restaurant in fact the Seafood Trinidad Restaurant we had such a good time there that Carlos on of the head waiters that has been there 16 years personally invited us back every night if we wanted. I don’t know if higher up management knows it or not but people like Carlos are invaluable and a tribute to the people of Cuba, because in the end that’s the true Cuban spirit of this country. Another couple from Orillia were at the next table and they said it was their first time to Cuba and that they throughly were enjoying the country but especially the Cuban people like Carlos aka George Clooney (his wife doesn’t think so though) so when staying at the Melia you definitely have to go pay Carlos a visit. He definitely knows how to capture the female audience that’s for sure
Grounds were clean as were the pools and beaches. Did some snorkeling for 15 pesos right off the resort, that was pretty decent. Only about 3 different kind of fish though and some coral there. If we ever go back to Cuba they tell me Coral Beach is the place to snorkel, unfortunately we didn’t find this out until the day before we were leaving and we had already booked for the Catamaran excursion (a must for first timers)
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Definitely have to go to Havanna first time around, this was our second so we didn’t, but tonnes of stuff to do on and around the resort itself, took the Cat excursion second time, can’t get enough of snorkeling or Cayo Blanco. We asked if there was any good snorkeling on Cayo beach but the guy said there was no corals, so no fish, wish we hadn’t of listened, as we made our way back beachcombing I spotted these neat long skinny fish,(later learned they call them needle fish) they were absolutely beautiful. As you may have guessed we live for snorkeling now, so Cozumel will be my next trip and of course back to the Mayan….specifcally Akumal Beach. If anyone knows of a resort on Cozumel where you can snorkel right off the beach or where the best place to go for snorkeling on Comzumel is, please contact me, I would be happy to hear from any fellow snorkelers and their finds
Other Comments: Over all if there were any problems at this resort, all it took was a phone call and within minutes things were taken care of. My husband reminded me of one of his favourite things. Everyday before he would hit the beach he stopped into the "coconut hut" as he calls it, to get a fresh coconut opened up for him. The guy has a matchetti and just opens the topped of the coconut up to reveal a hole in the top, he hands you a straw and voila, fresh coconut milk. My honey is still missing them.
I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this resort to anyone, the entertainment team works very hard and does a good job…the workers are always smiling and hey don’t forget to visit the well hidden restaurant by the pool for your own personally cooked Paella and some sangrias and watch out for the gecko who likes to run over your feet and make you scream !!! asta luego