This was our first try at a so-called 5 star resort in Cuba. In my opinion this is Not a 5 star but a 3.5 star at best.The resort has been open for less than 4 yrs and it already shows that the lack of maintenance is no different than any-other resort.Although the people at the resort were generally willing to help, alot didn`t attempt to do anything until a tip was provided or shown. This was our 5th time to the island in 5 yrs and I can say that the willingness to serve and not expect a tip every time is gone. The Cuban people are generally still one of the happest around.
Check-in at the hotel was slow as there was only one person behind the counter but after 20 min another person showed up. The bellboy put the luggage on a cart and between the front lobby and the room, the luggage fell off the back of the cart 3 times. He claimed it was because of the carts being cheap but maybe he needs to have a few lessons on how to keep the cart on the path and not go "cross country"–lucky no crystal on board.He carried half of the bags up one floor and then took off.–Note to one self –pay bellboy when arriving to room with all bags and not before..
Room was upgraded as this was our 30th aniversary. Nice room, but quite musty and smelt like cigar smoke for the entire week–no other rooms were available. The maid was great had some pool towels ready for us which was a nice touch.The patio door handle was not to be found on the door but in one of the side drawers, and the bathroom tap was found at a 45deg. angle and very loose–never did get fixed, but it did work. The bed was a king but Very hard and typical Cuban–Oh well, but the A/C did work —YAY!!!!!!!!!!
Restaurants and Bars: The bars were well spaced over the grounds and well attended by customers. Most bars were open from 10ish to 5pm and the main lobby bar was open 24hrs along with lots of cigar smoke,which was to bad as the coffee bar was also in the same room and most people didn`t stay long because of the smoke.
We thought we would try the other resturants on the resort but one needs to wait for hours in a line the day of only to be told that you can only book one at a time. We booked the Gourme` for our aniversary only to go to the buffet afterwards, as the Special was Not Special at all. We found that the buffet had lots of different foods available. The ale cart rest. were Not busy at all which says something!!!!
Beach/Pools/Grounds: The beach was great. Needed to be there early to "claim" your lounge chair. The pools were only waist deep and were fairly clean although the "suntan lotion slick" was evident from the deck and I didn`t venture under the water as the patrons of the swim-up bar never did leave the water for the whole day—"Hummm" The deck was quite slippery when wet and a lot of falls/mishaps were seen over the span of the week.
The grounds are still a work in progress and in 10 yrs should be beautiful as the resort only opened up a few yrs ago. The guys try to do the best they can with the tools provided. Sun glasses and hats go alongway as gifts for these workers,probably the least talked about workers on the resort.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
The animation group worked hard all day long trying to get the patrons involved- not a job I would under take,, my hat off to them. We caught 3 shows in the theater, for the most part they were well done.
This is a Very Large Resort and not nearly enough pool towels to go around unless you have some $$$ for a tip, Then they seemed to be found in abundance, and some towels were not dry–"Hummmm" when given out whenever the towel guy deceided to open, again—"Hummmmm"