Arrival May 12th – Departure May 19th 2017
Traveled with hubby and son.
Cayo CoCo Airport
This was a small airport and going through customs was a breeze! It was short and sweet! The bus transfer to hotel from Airport was about a 20 minute drive.
I was expecting to be wowed actually as many of my friends have been here and stated it was really beautiful. Well all we saw was high bushes that kind of obscured the ocean views.
The process took longer than the bus ride. Only one staff member was working at the reception upon our arrival. Another counter was for Diamond Club members only and they had two staff worker there. Their line up was far less than ours.
They have you fill out a registration form, provide your passports and then you receive your welcome package. This consists of your room keys, your A La Carte reservations, that they have already pre-selected for you, upon arrival. I have mixed feelings about this process, as I think I rather want the option to choose what time I want dinner and what type of cuisine I’d like to eat that night. Oh well, it is what it is. So I just accepted it and moved on. The package included your towel chits and a map of the resort.
The reception did not provide any guidance as to where everything was located in the Resort. Such as where is the main buffet, snack bar, beach location etc… That was disappointing as this is the 1st resort we have experienced that lacked this service.
Resort Grounds & Ambiance
Our first two hours at this resort it was deadish. Void of music or any kind of activities of life. Yes, there are people milling around, not really doing anything. Just chilling and lounging around. I found this odd and also disappointing because last October 2016, we were in Varadero and checking in around 10:30am and I couldn’t wait to finish registering at the front desk, so I can go to the pool area which was booming awesome music that indicated, “yes you have arrived and let’s paaartay”! I thought to myself oh my God, please don’t let it be this way for the rest of our stay.
The only time they had music in the pool area was when they had a scheduled activity, for a couple of hours. After that, music was done! Ugggggggh!
Ground was nice though, with beautiful plush manicured gardens and coconut trees swaying in the Cayo Coco wind. It was well maintained and the Resort was small enough that to get to where you want to go, would take less than a 5 minute walk to get there.
There are 3 pools.
The so called Party Pool where the swim up bar is located and where they place music when there is an activity. The swim up bar was a joke. Just beer and soda. Nothing else. The pool was shallow, up to my hips and I’m 5 feet tall. On a good note there are always loungers to be had.
Upper pool is the quieter pool. Deeper and able to dive at this one. Large and plenty of loungers once again. The resort had a policy of no saving your lounger with you pool towels. So this made it easier for everyone to get their preferred spot at the pool.
This is located just away from the Party Pool. Beside this pool had a tiny little playground for the children. This was deserted when we were there. I saw a couple lounging around with no kids though. I guess they wanted quiet time, which is cool.
Of course you can’t complain about the beach in Cuba, ever! It’s Cuba! Beautiful beach, but loungers were taken every time we were ready to visit it. We asked the bar that was located there where can we grab a bite at the beach. He said by the snack bar by the Upper pool area. So, yeah, that was disappointing. We didn’t spend much time at the beach after that. It was more convenient to just stay at the pools, just in case you go hungry and thirsty.
We had 2 rooms, one for my son, one for hubby and I.
Our son’s was fine. Ours was horrid and needed repairs in an instant.
We both had Junior Suite with balcony. Upon arrival my husband headed into the washroom and called for me instantly. Uh oh!
He pointed to the toilet bowl and asked whether he was seeing right? Are those pee stains? and I said yuuuuup! He cleaned it up as best as he could.
Dressers were filthy! I left my clothes in my luggage, until we were moved to another room.
Main Buffet – Vista Hermosa
If you like lukewarm to borderline cold food, well, here is the #1 place to eat!
Seriously, we are not very pick eaters and also this is our 4th time in Cuba, but the 1st time in Cayo Coco, it was pretty bad.
By the 3rd day there isn’t variety but just recycled food on how many variations could they make pork and chicken. The vegetables were pretty much, cabbage, canned corn, canned green beans and canned mushrooms.
Coffee is horrid here, all milk & hot water. You can’t even taste the damn coffee.
Go to lobby bar instead and get your fix there. They have awesome cappuccino and pina colada’s.
The pasta station was the same every day, lunch and dinner. One night when the cook asked me if my plate was ok enough (he was doing his normal stirring of the ingredients with my chosen pasta type) I actually placed my hand over the frying pan, just to see if the stove was even on! In my opinion, it was not. As usual after that first bite, yup, it was lukewarm, even a toddler can play with their food and not have to worry burning their fingers. Isn’t that quite awesome!
The building itself was stifling hot inside. You literally have to calm yourself down and go into that mental state of getting through your meal, talking yourself into saying that No,it isn’t hot in here, no I’ll be fine. Ugggggh, it totally was not a comfortable experience.
I look around and there are no windows to be opened or doors to slide open. Even the front entrance into the dining room was closed shut by a staff member. I remember a couple of glorious nights when we stepped out of our hotel room and walk over to the main buffet, how beautiful the air was, strong and fresh and just magnificent! When we entered the dining room, it was horrid inside. It was doom and gloom. Dreary and so darkish. I really hated being in there.
Florencia – A La Carte
- seafood soup was delicious
- pumpkin soup good
- bread was hard, but hot (yay) it was ok, I was starving so I ate it
- beef cappacio was hell disgusting, it tasted like it was left in the kitchen for a week rotting and then they serve it to you
- pork tenderloin with sauce & pickled vegetables was really good
- mashed potatoes, coooold
***After a couple of hours we went back to the main buffet
Shape Fen – A La Carte
- seafood soup, yummy
- prawn & vegetable tempura, horrid
- spicy chicken satay, it was ok
- flan for dessert, ok
- chocolate mousse cake, yuk
***Restaurant was dim. They had a live band playing which made the place livelier and entertaining! They only played for a little bit, which was disappointing.
Beach @ Pilar – Cayo Guilermo
- $24 per person/ CUC
- lunch included – which was amazing! Seafood meal and a drink
- a drink ticket per person at the beach bar, pina colada was great
The beach was of course beautiful and plenty of loungers for everyone. It was breezy and the sand felt like flour in between your toes. Oh my God so awesome!
The beach restaurant, had fantastic food. Everything was tasty and besides our free lunch, after a couple of hours, we ordered again: Pork with rice and vegetables $7.00, French Fries $1.oo, Pop or water $1.00 CUC
Music filled the air by the beach, which is more than I can say back at the resort.
Moron City All Day Tour
- $74 per person CUC
- an hour from the resort
- Take toilet paper
- lunch included at a Ranch, taken there by a train
a speed boat ride into the Mangroves, which was hell awesome. They let me drive the boat for a bit! The scenery was beautiful, the guide was welcoming and had such a great sense of humour.
At a restaurant to have a drink of Pina Colada. At the end they charge you $3.00 CUC each. Enjoyed the live band and some audience participation.
Crocodile farm. Pretty cool to watch them get fed. Stayed here about 30 minutes.
Sugar Cane Factory, impressive. Then took a 2o minutes train ride into a Ranch and had a buffet lunch. It was ok. There were a couple of hammocks here which we took advantage of. They had a mini zoo here, as well as plenty of mosquitoes, better have your bug repellent!
Rode on a horse carriage which was so much fun and had a guided tour of the city. Historical buildings, lots of vendors selling the usual touristy items.
Our tour guide brought us here for Rum tasting, it was freezing cold at the main bar where he brought us. Everyone was freezing. I wish they shared the AC with us at our main buffet at the resort!
***When we boarded back on the bus, our tour guide surprised everyone with a bottle of Rum & Cigar each, that was very nice!
All in all, not a bad excursion, lots to see and enjoyed all the different things we did.
La Gaviota – Flea Market
- Hop on/off double decker bus – $5.00 CUC per person, valid all day
- 20 minute ride from our hotel
- selling all sorts of knick knacks: purses, artifacts, clothing, shoes, all touristy stuff
- fruit stand outside of plaza serve great drinks! We had pina colada and Rum punch for $3.50 CUC each
- bus schedule is every hour
- if you don’t mind sweating while eating your meals
- if you want to struggle for breath while eating at the buffet
- if you want lukewarm or cold food
- if you want darkness in your room, in the hallways, in the restaurants
- don’t like music
- love love a quiet/deadish resort
- be disappointed or like to waste your money and your whole entire vacation
- this was a 5 star, but felt more like a 3 if that
Wouldn’t ever return here.
****Regardless, we made the best of our vacation..***