We flew with Sunwing, first time with this airline, we highly recommend it. The service was wonderful, lots of leg room, champagne, hot towels, a nice meal, free wine with the meal, free headsets. Also, your beach towels are included,in your room, so you do not have to pay a deposit.. We were greeted at the resort with smiles and the feeling of family.. Within minutes we found our room, our bags followed shortly after, by two nice bell boys, who did not ask for tips, by the way. Very refreshing, as it was getting late, and also very hot and humid! We just wanted to unpack and get ourselves situated, and grab a bite to eat. We quickly found the 24 hour snack bar, and had a cool drink and some tasty home cut french fries…
Very clean, fresh, we had a king-size bed, a coffee maker, fridge, nice clean bathroom, with nice white towels. The room smelled fresh, no musty smell, the air conditioner worked well, as did the water pressure, and nice modern toilet! We had a nice little balcony, with a table and two chairs, and I was happy to find that we were very close to the beach, as I had requested, via previous e-mail.. We never had any problem with bugs, or heard any noise from other guests. We were in building# 17, which worked out well, as there are virtually no bathrooms near the beach, so it was nice to just walk back to the room, whenever needed. Our maid kept our room clean, always leaving nice towel art, I believe the sheets are changed twice a week. We had a small bottle of Coke, a small bottle of Sprite, and one large bottle of water in the small fridge.. We also got a large bottle of rum, from Sunwing.. If you needed more water, you just had to get the bottle re-filled at the buffet or any of the bars. The water they use is purified, and comes out of a machine, so us perfectly fine.We also had kept the two small bottles from the water we had purchased at the airport in Toronto, and got them re-filled to take to the beach, rather than lugging the large one!
Restaurants and Bars:
We mostly ate at the Buffet, breakfast was Ok, some days, you could find fresh fruit, somedays, not, One day out of 7 my husband was able to get yogurt, but he always was able to get an omelette from the egg man. A couple of days, they had scrammbled eggs made up, one day they had boiled eggs, the service at breakfast was definately the worst! This did not sway us, as we are not very picky, and you could always find lovely fresh bread to make toast and homemade jams! I found myself sometimes having to track down a server just to get coffee, and water, but other than that, we just moved on to the rest of our day. We quickly discovered lunch in the buffet to be the best meal, for some reason they had more fresh fruit, veggies, soup, pasta, a variety of cold meats and cheeses, as well as the pasta station. Also the fresh made pizzas were excellent! I enjoyed the Rose` wine at lunch, the red wine at dinner, the white was not so great, but whatever. The coffee in the morning and at dinner was not great, but you could always get nice coffees at the piano bar at any time of the day.. They make excellent cappachino, as well as Spanish coffees, I even had Iced coffees several timnes during the week, before heading back to the room to get ready for dinner. Very good!! The service at all the bars was awesome, of course, as every one has written, Mario at the beach bar was super!! We brought our own thermal mugs for use at the beach, as they do use those little plastic cups, that everyone seems to think it is quite alright to just leave thrown everyhere! We left the mugs in the room for the maid, when we left….The snack bar was good, although we did not really go to the pool area much, it was just too hot! We did go there after a day at the beach for french fries and had hamburgers the day we were leaving, very good, but we just preferred the nice air-conditioned buffet at other times. The Alacartes, in our opinion were not that great. The International was nice, but, unfortunately we had requested a late sitting, and ended up regretting it! We felt that we were rushed, were not treated to nice service, as others have had, just "hurry up and eat" or so we felt. We were not even offered coffee with dessert, so we made a hasty retreat back to the lovely air-conditioned buffet for coffee and dessert. We had a chuckle to look up and observe the few people who had been to the resto with us filing in after us! The Italian again, in our opinion was over-rated. The food may have been amazing, but to tell the truth, we only stayed for one course. It was just to hot and very buggy! Also, everything I ordered was not available, they have this lovely, high ceiling , lovely art, nice big windows, but no air-conditioning, and because it is right next to the beach and mangroves was tooo buggy! We stuck it out for the one course and ended up leaving, beating a hasty retreat again to the nice air-conditioned Buffet! The Seafood Alacarte is in the same building, so we did not even bother going back for that one. A shame, really , they have so much potential, hopefully, the resort will work out these things before they get into high season. This did not sway us, however, as we do not go away just to eat, and because we have been to Cuba many times, were not too up set. You will not starve, there is always something good to eat… A side note, my husband has a sweet tooth and loved all the awesome desserts and wonderful ice creams at the buffet!
The pool area looked nice and clean, very large, two areas, one for family, one side next to the swim-up bar for adults with no children, I presume… Lots of chairs, but unfortunately no shade to speak of. It was just too hot, otherwise we may have stayed at the pool some time, The resort should really invest in umbrellas for shade… but we do go away for the beach…. Now the BEACH! Just let me say WOW!!!!!!!!!!! Lovely, clean, white sand, blue, blue water, you can walk out forever and still see your toes! It is crystal clear and one of the best beaches we have ever experienced! Just walking down there every morning truly makes your soul sing!! I am still suffering withdrawal as I write this! Two weeks later! We never had a problem finding a palapa, there are many, and we basically spent everyday there, from around 10am to around 5-6 pm, only going back to the buffet for lunch around 1 pm, then back to our haven under the palapa at the beach. The late afternoon was the best, the water turns wonderful shades of blue, glistening like diamonds… the sky is an amazing shade of Azure and you can look out at the lovely water and see forever!!! I had to keep telling myself to just breath this all in, and keep snapshots in my head, as I knew it would be all gone in 1 week, like the blink of an eye! Back to the "real world" as we unfortunately have come to know it…
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
We did the Pillar Plus excursion, as my husband had done the speed boat tour on our last trip to Cayo Coco, and loved it. The speed boat thing was awesome,they let you drive your own speedboat, not at all for the timid! It brings out the James Bond, or Andretti in everyone, but the rest of it was a waste of money, in our opinion. They let you snorkel in very murky water, for half an hour, then you are bussed to Pillar Beach. Nice beach,but a public one at that… in our opinion,it was no nicer than our own beach at Blue Bay.. Also, you had to wait to go to lunch (which was nice, though)we had the lobster and shrimp,with tons of rice and a canned veggie, and two drinks, included, in the price but you had to wait to be driven back to the hotel.. We wished that we had not spent the extra cash, and just done the speed boat thing alone, which was half the price.. But again, this is just our own observation, some people from other resorts loved it, as they told us their beach was not so nice…All in all, a good day…but we could not wait to go "home" to Blue Bay! They did have some activities at the pool, or so we heard, but we never saw any , since we chose to stay at the beach.. The nightly entertainment was lack-luster, some nights good, others a little slow… But again no different then other resorts we have visited. The promised Disco, never did open the whole week we were there, despite the MC at the show saying it would be open after the show! Again, keep in mind, we were there during low season, so I am sure it does open at other times during the year.
We loved this place, mainly due to the lovely,lovely, wonderful beach, but also because of the nice, clean room,clean bathroom, new facilities, ect. and the relaxing time we had there. In another year, or even less, this Hotel will be awesome, once the staff are all trained, and more vegetation grows in. They were planting lovely trees and flowers while we were there, as well as getting new rooms close to the beach ready.I would go back in a heartbeat if the price was right, and we usually never go back to the same place twice! Just go with an open mind, and if you are not too fussy, you will have an amazing vacation at Blue Bay, Cayo Coco!