Tryp Cayo Coco Reviews – Cuba Hotels – Tryp Cayo Coco

Stayed in the 400 block. We had requested ocean view. Not sure if the advance e-mail to the hotel helps but it worked for us. Overview Simply, the Tryp is no place for the fussy. We got to experience firsthand just about every complaint we’d read about in previous reviews (no probs with the showers though). This includes: – that sweet smelling lagoon where sewage goes to die (most days it was fine but a few times enroute to the buffet or savouring a dinner at the Italian/Chinese a la cartes it certainly made its presence known…whoa); – when the wind dies down, the no-see-um’s come a calling (bring deet); – rooms that had seen better decades; – soap and shampoo the first day only; – sheets that got changed once in two weeks; and – nightly entertainment that could best be described as an elementary school Christmas concert put on by energetic burlesque dancers.

All that said – Man, we had a great time.

Beach and Pools: That beach is the nicest we have ever experienced. On the windy days the water could be quite rough but I like to body-surf so I found that great fun. On the calm days it was like swimming in a salt-water pool – crystal clear and wonderful. Very little sea-weed. All sorts of fun activities like parasailing if you are into that – we just laid on the beach reading and communing with the sun-king.

The main pool has both adult and child areas. And yes, that main pool has seen a better decade too but no probs. Lots of activities going on and the animation team is good fun (we enjoyed the cannonball competitions). It’s pretty packed and the usual habit of lawn chairs being claimed by towels by 7:30 am is in effect. We prefer the beach but spent a couple afternoons at the pool-bar. The quiet pool was more our style. Once again, put your towel there early. Great place to alternate roasting, reading and swimming.

Restaurants and Bars: The buffet offered a fairly good (but bland) choice. The serving staff was very friendly. The coffee great. You learn pretty quickly to discriminate between the good, the bad and the ugly. The Sunday night turkey was very nice and most days we found something we liked. Great ice cream and deserts. My wife enjoyed the omelets and pasta that they cook for you individually. The fruit flies climbing all over the fresh fruit some days was a bit disconcerting. We always enjoy Cuban cheese. The wine is Spanish and quite good. A la cartes: We went to the International (twice), BBQ Grill (twice), Italian (twice), Chinese and Cuban. By far our favourite was the Cuban. I know others rave about many of these but we found them pretty bad – maybe we just got bad days. I have a cast iron stomach and still got food poisoning at the Italian (I asked the waited for salmon and got salmonella instead). The won ton soup looked (and tasted) like 10w30. Like I say, maybe we just chose the wrong items or got bad days. But, I won’t miss those a la cartes at all. Pizza Restaurant: I hate to again whine as we really did have a wonderful time but we were tres disappointed in the pizza. The place itself has a fun atmosphere but we really didn’t find the pizza to our taste at all. I guess it’s an individual thing.

Beach Restaurant: decent for a quick, informal lunch. Can get pretty packed.

Bars: Like everyone says, the bartenders are great. The lobby bar has the best variety and is a great place to sit and enjoy a smart cocktail and a cigar. The 24 hour bar (no idea whether it is 24 hour but I know it serves great coffee at 6 am) can get pretty packed during the shows and they seem to run out of glasses often (so bring those thermal cups). The pool and beach bars are fine, informal and again, those thermal cups are essential as otherwise you get tiny plastic glasses. The bartenders think nothing of filling the biggest thermal cup with your poison du jour. We only popped our heads in at the disco. Too old – sigh. Overall, we didn’t like the food much at all. Found it noticeably worse than in our previous trips. We just kept chanting ‘nobody comes to Cuba for the food’. Maybe just luck of the draw. But, the liquor was certainly top notch and flowing.

I tend to tip often (a peso at a time). Just a personal thing. It does make a small difference in the speed of service but certainly not essential.

Excursions: We had primarily come to go into shutdown mode so weren’t particularly into exploring. Between doing nothing (we joked that we were thinking about thinking) we did squeeze in: – The little train that comes by the Tryp about 9am (and 2pm). It cost us 12 pesos each. Takes you to a Cuban farm where you get some history of the area (Cuban’s traditionally didn’t live in Cayo Coco because the soil is too rocky and salty), a drink and then watch a small animal show. Then off to Playa Flaminco (Flamingo Beach) which has a beach bar. Finally to the highlight – the bat cave. It simply must be seen – pretty amazing. It also is open on Wednesday and Friday nights from 11pm till 2am as a disco. We didn’t go but I’ll bet it’s a hoot. – We had booked the catamaran but, alas, that was on the day I had my food poisoning bout. So instead, the next day we took the trip that leaves right from our beach to the reef for an hour of snorkeling. It was incredible. While my wife was feeding the fish, I was experiencing the beautiful colours of the reef. I was blown away. – Our fav excursion was taking a taxi (5 pesos each way – they come back and pick you up at a pre-determined time) to Playa Prohibida (Forbidden Beach). You could also rent a scooter or bicycles and go there. The little restaurant serves lobster and shrimp that is mouth-watering while you are entertained by a talented local musician. By far the best food of the trip. We found it very romantic to eat, drink beer and listen to the guitar player while looking at the pelicans dive into the ocean. My wife found some great sea shells on the beach (not for swimming). We went three times and highly recommend it. It’s open from 11am to 9pm I believe.

A note on shopping (who comes to Cuba to shop?). The hotel has the main essentials (booze, mix, souvenirs, cigars). Each day there are local vendors outside the buffet restaurant. Like someone else said – they change daily so if you see something you like – buy it then (you can bargain with the vendors). I still regret not picking up a Cuban shirt I liked. We went next door to the Blau Colonial but found the shops at the Tryp to be superior. I was told that there was a bigger market by the gas station but we didn’t go so no idea on what it’s like. They say the cigars are cheaper at the airport. Certainly the airport has a fairly extensive (by Cuban standards) duty-free selection available.

Tryp Tips: 1.If you are leaving the resort – bring toilet paper – please trust me on this one. 2.Next time you are in McDonalds, lift a bunch of salt and pepper packets. You’ll find these helpful at meal times. 3.The hotel runs on 220 V. I brought an adapter to recharge the digital camera. Worked fine. 4.Personally, I sure can’t recommend the salmon at the Italian restaurant. 5.You can take your water bottle to the 24 hour bar for a refill at any time. 6.We brought the usual homage to the maids (vitamin C and toothpaste seemed to be most popular). It probably makes no difference (you could give out laptop computers and you still wouldn’t get your sheets changed). Certainly was educational to watch them walk out at night with bags full of goodies. But, I’m sure they are distributed to an extended community. 7.The guys are all baseball crazy. So any old baseball hats, gloves (especially needed) or baseball magazines are very appreciated by the locals. 8.The airport is both new and efficient. 9.We took a taxi to the airport (12 pesos) to avoid the mass-bus check-in (hey, we got old). Problem is that they don’t open the check-ins till just before the buses arrive. So much for that bit of genius. 10.Book your a la cartes early. Although, I believe you can pretty much show up at anyone of them with a 5 peso note and they’ll find room for you. 11.Unless you have strong masochistic tendencies avoid the masseuse. Crossed that line between relaxation massage and extreme torture.

12.Ensure you go snorkeling at the reef. Such beauty.

Conclusion: Overall, sure there were some complaints. But judged against the price we paid, I have to say it was good value for our money. We love Cuba and enjoyed Cayo Coco. That beach, the reef and the restaurant at the Playa Provibida were all incredible. We wouldn’t stay at the Tryp again. Mostly because we like to see different places but also because we just weren’t whelmed by it. But, darn, that’s one mighty nice beach.

Thank you Cuba for another incredible holiday. Cuba Si!!!. If you want any more info, please e-mail me at .

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