This Review may be of interest to physically challenged people. We were a group of 8. 6 retired (three of whom were physically challenged), one young adult, one child. Flight out of Toronto: Was good, as wheel chair service was requested at time of booking and provided once we got to the airports (both ends.going and coming). All P.C. passengers were met at the check-in counter, and assisted all the way to the aircraft.
In Cuba the planes do not pull up to a ramp, so exiting the aircraft was a bit of a challenge as our P.C. relatives had to make their way down the stairs (with the rest of the passengers)to the tarmac where wheel chairs were waiting for them. Once on the tarmac, we were greeted by service reps assigned to us, the entire party was ushered Express (ahead of the able-bodied passengers) through Immigration, and out to the baggage area and our buses. This service continued until we were on the bus. PLEASE IF YOU USE THIS SERVICE (that you do not pay extra for), TIP THE CUBAN PEOPLE GENEROUSLY..THEY DO AN EXCELLENT JOB.
Rooms: Check in: Went well, it was the usual wait as three bus loads of people were trying to check in at one time, we simply waited our turn, it went incident free.
Rooms: Once it was our turn, we were happy to learn that we got the only two rooms in the hotel that were designed for the Physically Challenged (open shower stalls instead of bathtubs) but this only happened because I requested these rooms ahead of time. A few weeks before we left, I sent them an e-mail with my request, they promised they would do the best the could, and that as long as the rooms were available we could have them. We were lucky, the week we were there, they were not occupied. These rooms which are equipped with double beds adjoin regular rooms should you require others in the party close by. Our rooms were all in a state of good repair considering the age of the hotel. The air conditioning in all of the rooms and we never ran out of hot water. We had clean linens daily.
Restaurants and Bars: All of the restaurants are ramped. There wasn’t a meal there we didn’t enjoy be it at one of the ah la carts or in the main dining room, there was always something good to eat. I am a breakfast person and appreciated not just the buffet, but that you could have something made fresh for you if your choose. Others who were dinner people enjoyed the ah la cart menus or the fact that in addition to the prepared food in the buffet, there is a chef there to make you some fresh pasta dishes if you so desire. One person in our party would grab additional raw vegetables from the salad bar, then give it to the chef to stir fry it with some fresh pasta and other vegetables he had with what ever sauce she chose. She made her own meal right there in the buffet this is Cuba people, the raw material is there, they just may not know what to do with it. Help them she also promised on our next trip down to give the chef in the Oriental Restaurant a cooking lesson. (to spice up his menu).
BARS: Stocked with anything you’d need to cool you of. They never ran out while we were there.
They take care of this place; all exterior is in a state of good repair, nice and clean (I watched them clean the pools every morning). The beach is always tidy, shade is at a premium book a spot early (by putting your towel on a beach chair). The grounds were impeccable with Gardeners always in attendance and always wanting to cut you a fresh coconut (so that you can drink it’s contents) or make you a palm hat to help shade your head. AGAIN, PLEASE TIP THESE PEOPLE GENEROUSLY they do not have to do these things, they just do it to help you create a wonderful memory of Cuba, and for the price of a coffee back in Canada, you can so improve the quality of life for these people one CU (visitors peso) goes a long way for the locals be generous.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
For first time visitors I recommend the day visit to the little town of Moron…..that is real Cuba. There are many other days trips, however please remember to bring bug spray, at this time of the year the mosquitoes are out in force day and night….. the resort does do a daily spray every night…….but if your are going off resort….carry bug spray.
CAUTION: AT THIS TIME OF THE YEAR IT IS VERY VERY HOT IN CUBA. Respect the sun, use sun-screen, seek shade or cover-up when you can. The reason why I stress this is that one in our party didn’t, as a result she ended up suffering SECOND DEGREE BURNS, she had to be taken to hospital in Cuba (which was a nightmare in itself), then transferred to Canada for treatment, she is now in the Sunnybrook Hospital Burn Unit.yes, it is that serious. Please respect the sun, and if your are on any medication, check to see if it compromises your ability to be in direct sunlight.