Excellent, great staff, nice location. We will definitely consider going back and the Royalton brand.
Came with Sunwing, no issues a comfortable pleasant flight. Immigration and customs were fairly quick and we went to the bus and waited nearly an hour for a couple who didn’t show. Bus was comfortable, no washroom but they sold beer on the bus. Ride is long nearly 2 hours but lots of countryside to see. Rep on the bus answered questions and pointed out sights. Even stopped for a bathroom break. On arrival staff unloaded bus and we met with our butler who offered us a sparkling wine and a tour and explanation of the resort. Bags sent to the room while we walked around. No bracelets here. Staff is very attentive and friendly.
We had ground floor room in block 10 close to pool and Sunset snack bar. Rooms are large, with king size bed, desk area, two closets, sitting area with sofa, small table and chairs. There was a safe, small bar area with stocked fridge with beer, pop and water. Bathroom is large with shower, toilet cubical, large tub and vessel sink. There were many towels, large bottles of shampoo, body wash and bath salts. Outside there was a patio with two chairs and a table that overlooked and treed area.
Restaurants and Bars: Three full restaurants, no buffet. Sunset snack bar near the pool, open air with a more simple menu. Eggsellence and Senses are adjoining near the main lobby. They share the dinner menu which changes daily. Eggeselence is more casual, Senses more formal. There is also some food served at the beach where they have a quesidillia grill and a bbq at the main pool, both for lunch. 4 bars, one at each pool, one on the beach and the main 24 hour in the lobby where they offered a lot of high end rums, some better whiskey and vodkas. There is also served fancy coffees at this bar. The food is good for Cuba but not really 5 star cuisine. Some dishes are great others not so much. Breakfast is mainly eggs same menu at Eggsekkence and Sunet but Eggesellence had a small buffet of breads, fruits, meats and cheeses. There was bacon all days but hashBrowns were never available but if there was no delivery that week…. Lunch was fine, sandwiches, burgers, chicken and fish in Sunset, BBQ chicken and fish by the pool or quesidillia by the beach. Most dishes had rice or fries. Salads were hit and miss.
Dinner was heavily fish based with at least half the menu being fish. Lots of tuna, lobster and talapia prepared differently each day. Not a lot of veggies, probably because most are out of season. There was usually some kind of chicken or pork and some beef stews. One night there was steak. Dishes could be good or be things like ‘risotto’ which was just undercooked plain rice with herbs. As I said food was okish with some real misses. But I didn’t starve.
Beach/Pools/Grounds: Best beach have ever been on. Sand soft like powdered sugar. A nice wide beach with gentle slope into the water. Lots of chairs and palapas on beach with at least two staff to bring drinks and food. Water was warm and when not windy great for swimming. You can walk for miles past the other hotels.
Grounds are clean and well kept. Two pools, a two level quiet pool near lobby and larger activity pool at lower level. Both were clean but water was colder. There are chairs and covered beds but the towel game is played starting around 6:30 every morning. Resort is not large. 122 rooms so nothing is a far walk. Pathways are well maintained but the main lobby is up a hill from the rooms and beach.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
There are some daily activities at main pool and music everywhere during the day. At night there is a show, dancers, musicians, water show and a surprisingly good hiphop and Michael Jackson show. There is a market 2 minutes walk away with various vendors, restaurants and nightly shows. We went to a Buena Vista Social Club show at the disco, Very good.
While the food may not be to everyone’s expectations the location, the hotel and especially the staff make it great. Our butler Lionel was always available to meet our needs. Reservations, extra wine, rum, towels in the room, any minor repairs etc. He was always able to help. The bar staff was great and the management staff is always available and speaking to the guests. Everything is clean, washrooms were always clean and stocked. Maids did a good job.