Old Reviews – Sol Club Cayo Largo

From JM and Marianne (Canada) who stayed from May 8 to 17, 2006 at the Sol Cayo Largo. The bottom line: an average resort with friendly staff and an exceptional beach. By far, the best resort on the island. The other resorts were not nearly as well established, maintained or had as nice a beachfront (some even did not have any beachfront due to previous hurricanes). We are a married couple with three children in our early 40’s who was looking for a relaxing vacation with a long beach for extended walks and total relaxation. We had heard some very positive things about the beach in Cayo Largo for years and chose to go there to finally experience it. We were not disappointed. The Sol Cayo Largo is the last (or the first, depending on how you look at it) hotel on the beach and gave us perfect direct access to over 8 kms of beautiful beaches. Every day, we walked from the hotel to Sirena Beach and back. We did not take the shuttle to Paradise Beach (beside Sirena) and were pleased to have walked the distances. This was definitely the highlight of the vacation and would recommend it to anyone who is in good shape and looking for a relaxing, yet challenging daily walk. All those contemplating going there should be forewarned, though, that nude sunbathing is the norm once you leave the limits of the Sol Cayo Largo beach proper. Outside those limits, you can see all types of people and couples, be they gay, straight, young and old, fat and thin, who are walking the beach. Everyone is very respectful and people understand that not everyone may be into naturalism, so there is no pressure to conform. Because of the seclusion, it was very easy to walk a few kilometres without meeting up with anyone, so we could take out suits off and put them back on as we wished.

Rooms: We had a standard room which was well decorated and appointed. The air conditioning unit was integrated into the main wall of the room instead of being a window unit which made it quieter. It also had a remote control which allowed for better control of temperature and output. The bathroom had a bidet and ample towels. We appreciated the built-in electronic safe, the fridge with a daily 2 litre bottle of water and electronic door key entry. There was TV with satellite (CNN in English, TV5 Monde and a selection of Latin-American networks). Second-floor rooms have hammocks on their patios. The cleaning women did a good job in maintaining our room.

Resort property: The property was well-maintained and well-designed. We particularly appreciated the pool which is in two sections and open 24 hours a day. Signs in several languages indicate where things are to be found and what they are. We also appreciated the Health and Fitness Centre which included tennis courts (2), a soccer pitch, a gym, hot tubs, a sauna and a salon for hair, foot and hand care.

Restaurants and food: We love Cuba for many reasons, but food is not one of them. There was one breakfast and supper buffet, a separate oceanside lunch buffet and only two fine dining restaurants. We enjoyed the selection and variety of foods, which included fresh fruits and fish. However, my wife was sick with the “Turista” for two days as were two other friends we met down there. This was the first time that we had ever been sick while visiting Cuba. However, the number of people who were sick surprised us and gave us some cause for concern.

Nightlife: We were particularly pleased with the evening shows as the dancers and actors were first rate. We wondered what they were doing in a resort instead of being in a higher, more refined venue. We went out to the disco on two occasions, but it was very quiet, probably because it was the shoulder season.

Hotel management and personnel: We were pleased by the overall attitude the people had. The workers wanted to see you back there. We had problems one night with our air conditioner and a technician was there within minutes to work on it. The hotel sent out a notice to all guests about the problems associated with “Fire Corals” which, during the months of May and June of every year, discharge invisible cells to protect themselves. These cells could cause some severe rash in people who swam in the water and did not have any tanning lotion or who did not wash themselves off with fresh water. It would have been nice to have been forewarned by our travel agency about this potential problem.

Problems: No major problems with the hotel or the vacation, except for our flight from Montreal to Cayo Largo on Cubana which was delayed by ten hours initially and late by an hour upon our return.

Would we go back? Not with the kids because of the food concerns and the nudism. But for an open-minded couple looking a relaxing time on beautiful beaches for a good price, this is the place. We will probably go to Cayo Coco next time.

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