First, thanks to all for the negative reviews as it set our expectations so low that our experience could only go up from there. We were a group of 6, my husband and I traveled with our 2 kids (13yrs and 6yrs) and my husbands parents.
Your Arrival: Flight – With Westjet – first time flying with them and loved it! Staff are great, funny and friendly. Both flights there and back were on time.
Check in – Very fast, front desk staff were friendly and even tried to joke around – first told us we didn’t have the right papers from our travel agent, but they would sort it out if we wanted to come back tomorrow – haha, the look on my father-in-laws face was priceless.
Rooms: Our room – #9112 – was very musty smelling when we walked in. I’ve been to Cuba 5 times prior and know that sometimes the room can be a bit musty when you first arrive, however this was really bad. We asked to see another room, but it was musty also so we didn’t bother changing. The room my in-laws had – #9114 wasn’t as bad. We lit some candles and put the air on, it helped but there was always a bit of an odour. Another disappointing thing about the room, was the repairs that were still needed. It appeared that in the past they may have had a leak in the room as we could see where they made a patch in the ceiling. Also, in the bathroom the mirror had rust around the edges and the 2 pot-lights over the mirror were rusted around the edges. Although the room was clean when we arrived, these are little things that should be fixed to give a better first impression. Room #9114 didn’t have these problems. At one point room #9111 was unoccupied and the doors were open to air it out, we walked in and it looked better than ours too. If you can pack your own pillow – do it! The pillows were hard & lumpy.
As mentioned, the room was clean when we got there, but the housekeeping service during the week could be better. It would appear they only sweep/mop the bathroom and the main walkway from the front door to the back patio door – in-between the beds, tables were not swept. We also had sand in the bed – I didn’t expect sheets to be changed but getting any sand off them would have been nice. I’ve stayed at 3, 4 and 5 star resorts all have been great with housekeeping – except this place. Also, it appears that they just sweep anything out onto the grass, and they even through out the plastic tealight holder onto the grass instead of the garbage.
Restaurants and Bars:
Food & Beverages – I don’t get the complaints about the food at this resort – it was good. No worse or better than other resorts we’ve stayed at in Cuba. We always found something to eat. The Japanese restaurant was great, food was awesome and the chef was very friendly. The Italian restaurant was a disappointment. The food was very bland, which I didn’t understand since they had garlic at the buffet – why wouldn’t you use it at the Italian restaurant?! We didn’t get into the Seafood restaurant as it was already booked. The snack bar at the beach was hit & miss, sometimes they had food and sometimes they didn’t. As for beverages, there were times when one of bars wouldn’t have beer – but there wasn’t ever no beer in the resort. They seemed to have the basics in stock, rum, gin, vodka etc… To get any premium shots (ie Johnny Walker, Baileys etc..) there was a cost, but if your sticking to basic drinks you’ll be ok.
We were there with low occupancy so not all the amenities were open. There was a small pool right outside our building, but the bar beside it and the ice cream parlour were not open – too bad or that would have been our spot all week. Main pool was good, with a swim bar – staff were always friendly. There is also a mini-putt and new playground equipment but was too hot to use. The Beach was great. I dont know that I would travel again in June as the bugs were bad, even though they resort sprayed every night (how people can blame the hotel on this is beyond me – try staying at a resort in Huntsville Ontario this time of year you’d have the same problem!). Also, it was HOT HOT HOT – and humid, even at night there wasn’t a break. The temperature may drop a couple of degrees but it was still humid and little breeze.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
We didn’t do any excursions, so I can’t comment on those.
Other Comments: Overall, we still had a good vacation. Not sure I would go back unless I got the same great deal again – we paid $400/pp (with taxes!!) so that helped us overlook things in our room. I would only recommend this resort if you see it at a good price – would not pay full price for it. I think they should rate it 3 star. This place has all the amenities & potential to be a great place, if they could just take care of details like the grounds, housekeeping and maintenance of the rooms.