The Flight: Left Vancouver on time in the morning flying with Air Transat for the first time. The airline was clean, but very cramped. Who cares we were going to Cuba! I must make a point of saying that one steward and one stewardess on this flight should really find another job. They were the rudest people in the hospitality industry I have ever met. All of the others seemed very friendly. We watched two re-run movies, and the next thing we knew we were in Cuba.
Entry:I was amazed at how small the airport was in Varadaro. We cleared customs no problem, it was quite speedy actually. Then off to find our luggage. That took about an hour before we finally found our bags.All there and all intact! Then it was out the doors to find our rep. and find the proper bus to catch to the resort. We were escorted to the nice comfy bus, and while we waited for all of the other passengers to board ( about 45 mins) we were offered beer 2 for $5 canadian. Emmmm Beer!!!!! Now we are off to the resort, aprox 30 mins with all the other drops.
The Resort: After being dropped at the Villa Cuba ( pronounced Billa Cuba) we stood in line for about 15 mins to get checked in. The others we were meeting there had already checked in and were waiting for us Pina Colada’s in hand!!!!!! We could have stood in line all night as long as the free drinks kept coming!!
The Room: We were in the main hotel, room # 2516. I recommend this room if you want to have a real nice view, but don’t want to be kept awake by the live entertainment out side. It is a nice quiet part of the resort. The room was huge and very clean. The air conditioner worked, the fridge worked, and all of the lights worked. The beds were two twins, and actually quite comfy. There is a safe in the room to keep all of your valuables as well. One very large closet , a dresser , and color t.v.
The ONLY complaint I had was the first night it was hard to get to sleep because the pillows had a very musty smell. Not because they were dirty, but because of the humidity. We had planned ahead by reading tips from other travelers on Deb’s site who mentioned bringing bounce sheets. We did, and was I glad we did. I put 2 sheets inside each pillow and the problem was solved. I slept like a baby the rest of the trip! Our maid was an absolute doll. Every day we would have new huge bath towels laid out on our beds in the shape of hearts, or ships, or swans. We left her notes and goodies each day, and she would do the same for us. She had mentioned that most of the guests would not talk to her like we did, and she really appreciated us for doing so. So remember…. Talk with your maid, you won’t regret it!
The Resort: It is very open, clean, colorful, and tropical. Multi tiered, and very LARGE!! Words can’t describe this place. To get it’s full beauty, you will have to e-mail me for some pictures. There are bars everywhere so finding a free drink will not be a problem!! Also shops in the resort to buy pretty much everything you need. You can buy Havana Club rum for under $4.00!!! Get your rum there before you leave. It’s cheaper than the duty free. The 9th floor bar has the most amazing sunsets, and Pina Coladas that you could imagine. My only bad experience in the resort, and it may just have been a mistake, was one of the times changing money at the front desk , I was shorted about $30 on $100. It was my fault as I am so trusting that I didn’t count it at the time. Lesson learned. Count your money at the time of your exchange or your wife won’t like you for the rest of the trip!!!! ( Just kidding!)
The Food: I can’t see why people say the food there sucks. I thought it was great. Every morning we had omelets made to order, and some fried bread sort of thing that was sooooo good, and freshly squeezed O.J. The coffee was the best I have ever had. Lunch would be either chicken fish or pork, and these little pizzas that were awesome. Dinner pretty much the same thing. We did eat at the other restaurants in the resort, but we all found the buffet to be the best food of all. All you can eat , all you can drink, very friendly bus boys/girls, and no dress code. Who could ask for anything more?!?! You must eat out of the resort at “ Don Queoties?” I’m not sure of the spelling, but it’s right across the street from the resort. The atmosphere there is great, and the lobster is to die for. It was the best lobster we have ever had, and HUGE tails. Another thing is the ice cream in the buffet …… soooooooo creamy ! YUM!
The Shows: The first one we watched was entertaining, but all of the rest were pretty much the same. “HANDS UP, HANDS UP, HANDS UP”……. You will know what I mean by that if you go there !
Recreation: They have 2 pool tables, one table tennis and foose ball table. A so-so Gym, and massage area. If you are going here and like pong, you may want to take your own paddles and balls as they only have two. Then you could leave them there and be treated like a king !!! On the beach they have a few paddle boats, and kayaks, and volley ball court.
The Beach: T’was my happy place! White sand, and clear aqua water, with a nice beach bar only steps away!!! Make sure you take large insulated travel mugs with you, so you don’t have to make so many trips back to the bar. I took mine everywhere , and left it there when I left. They were most happy. I found the food in the beach bar not to be that great, as did none of our friends. Others liked it though so it’s up to the individual. We took our own masks and snorkels and I recommend doing that if you are into it.We found many live sand dollars while looking for dead ones to bring home to our wives for souvenirs. Tip …… if you dive down for a dead white sand dollar, be very careful as they are very fragile. I found that out the hard way! We also handled many different sizes of star fish, and saw a little sting ray. I almost picked it up thinking it was a sand dollar! I almost swam into a small jellyfish but saw it at the last second and was able to avoid it. The other interesting fish was a barracuda that was very interested in us! He/she hung around for about 20 minutes. I was starting to get worried about my toes!!!!! If you swim way out to where the water looks dark you will see all kinds of little colorful fish. We figured that the dark water was the big drop off, but actually it is the start of the reef, and it actually gets a bit shallower. My friend was brave and went out aprox. 1 km further and he said that the water depth never really changed. All in all the beach and water were fantastic.
Leaving Cuba: Well the day came that we had to leave, and a sad day it was! We were dropped at the airport, and took our luggage in to be checked. The line up was unreal. I mean it was worse than any line in Disneyland! There were 3 agents open taking baggage and seat selections, it took aprox 1 hour to get through this line. Then it was off to pay our departure tax. ( Very quick) Then through customs ( Also quick) After passing through there , it was through the metal detectors before boarding. That was a bit of a joke! They ran my wife and I through the detector at the same time rushing us in a big way. The alarms went off as we were trying to get the coins out of our pockets, and they didn’t even care! All of the bags going through the x-ray machine were piling up they were pushing us through so fast. It was like they couldn’t get us out of the country fast enough!
Flight Home: Air Transat again. Nice flight but the food was even worse on the way back to Vancouver. All that I talked to agreed that they should just drop the food, and give a little cheaper flight. The food on the way home was DISGUSTING.
All in all I would defiantly recommend the Villa Cuba Resort to anybody thinking of going there. It was in my opinion the best one week vacation I have ever had , and the people, food, booze, and beach were outstanding.I give this place two thumbs up.
If you would like to see pictures of the resort e-mail me at email@example.com. I will answer all e- mails with questions about this place. I hope this review has been usefull to all that happen to read.
Happy New Year………………… Tim