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Reviewed 13 November 2011

Please please please don't listen to the stupid people who try and say bad things, we have just returned from a two week stay and are returning in march for our second visit ... The hotel has a friendly atmosphere and the staff are more than helpful ... It's set on the most pictures beach and tbe gardens are so well kept .
The entertainment team work so hard and do an amazing job also...so this is my small few words to say thankyou for our last two weeks and look forward to returning on the 26 march .

  • Stayed: October 2011
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6  Thank Alz1966
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manuel V, General Manager at Sol Cayo Guillermo, responded to this reviewResponded 16 November 2011

Dear Alz1966. Grettings from Cayo Guillermo and his great beach, one of the nicest in all Caribbean. We hope you can come back in march 2012, please write us before to help you. Thank you for you nice words, it enourage us to keep working hard. Take care. Manuel Vazquez. General Manager

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Reviewed 12 November 2011

I had initially decided during our family's recent stay at Sol Cayo Guillermo that I was going to get home and pen a really negative review of our experience, but after having a few days to cool down I have remembered there are good points as well as not so good.
Many others that post on this thread complain about people with negative reviews and say they have been back multiple times. These people go back for the friends and familiar faces with the staff, and this fact polishes over the failings largely due to poor management, which could be easily rectified if they applied themselves to the obvious flaws.
This was our first holiday to Cuba, family of 5 and really excited with trying somewhere new.
It was late afternoon when we finally arrived at the hotel on 24th Oct. By the time we got into our room it was beginning to get dark, but looking out across the palm trees to the beach a stone's throw away I mentioned to my wife that on first impressions I was very happy. The children were in the room next door. We were in the 300's - the more southern end of the resort. I had requested ocean view and this we had.
The next day it rained constantly due to being in the path of the tail end of a hurricane over Mexico. I had never seen rain like it. This is when the cracks started to show... On returning to our rooms we discovered the roof was leaking in the children's room. It had poured in over the TV, live electrical points, clothing and my daughters new DSLR camera. I immediately went to reception and was surprised to find around 5 other people with the same problem, amongst other minor gripes. The water was also about 10mm deep in the reception office, I assume through the roof. I managed to get the general manager and his female sidekick to come look at the damage in the room. When they arrived a little later, I was showing them the water all over the place and noticed the lack of surprise on the lady's face - like she'd been in this room many times before looking at the same pools of water. Let's face it - this was the END of the rainy season... these leaky roofs were old news. They are fully aware what ones are a problem and still play this game of Russian roulette praying for it not to rain. I had noticed workmen refurbishing other apartments, and have to wonder why on earth doesn't the management get these guys to FIX THE PROBLEM ROOFS as this is the first thing which really upsets holiday makers and generates complaints.
Four apartments later we found two we were happy with, but they should have done this earlier.

Other points the management should address:

1. Sort the black seaweed problem out on the beach - you do not realise how unpleasant it looks. The Melia next door has a tractor doing the job, and well. A couple I spoke to who were staying at SCG two years ago tell me you had one then and the beach was great. 4 tired men with rakes and a couple of boxes clearing a small token area now and again is not going to impress anyone, or generate repeat customers. Surely you could pay the tractor guys at the Melia a couple of Peso to drive right along?

2. Why was the in-hotel bank giving 1.43 CUC to the £1 when the Tryp at Cayo Coco down the road was exchanging at 1.54 CUC? This is just plain greediness of a resort that knows its customers are trapped unless they take a bus ride. Over the course of a 14 night holiday this exchange rate scam can amount to a lot of money.

3. One thing that annoyed many people while we were there was the early absence of certain types of alcohol. Some as early as 6pm. When I pay all inclusive I don't expect the management to ration the bar. The bottles were obviously there as they miraculously appeared the next morning (it's not delivered daily). Coconut rum, various liquors, pineapple and tomato juice to name but a few, not to mention the lack of fresh mint which made a Mojito impossible (Cuba's national drink?????!!!!!). Someone is making decisions to not remove caps from fresh bottles and it is WRONG. Just when we seemed to find a cocktail we liked the main ingredient "ran out". It might be something as simple as banana liquor, but this turns out to be an ingredient of a list of cocktails which makes them unavailable. Ludicrous.
Get more glasses for the bar. Adults do not enjoy drinking from disposable plastic kiddie cups in the evening. Understandable around the pool area, but people start holding onto glasses in the evening for fear of losing them the next round.

4. Lemons. Does Cuba not grow lemons?? You can get any type of citrus and exotic fruit at the buffet except fresh lemon for the pancakes (or at the bar for drinks). This is just plain weird.

Now the good stuff....

When the sun came out on day three, guests cheered up and people stopped focusing on their woes.
The beach (when cleared of seaweed) is gorgeous. When the tide is out you can walk out over half a mile and still have only your legs submerged. Snorkelling off a catamaran is great.
You can always get a beach shade, there are plenty. The sand flies do make a meal of your lower legs, but this is not the fault of the hotel, it's nature, and in future I will make sure the whole family has antihistamine jabs before leaving home. Otherwise you pay 90 CUC each on resort. Mosquitoes are a bit of a problem too, maybe only seasonal. The hotel fumigate twice daily usually, so they do make an effort. Some people are targeted more than others by the mozzies. Take PLENTY of repellent/medication/creams. You could have this problem wherever you stay in Cuba.
We were the first arrivals to use the newly refurbished dining room. It is very nice indeed. Plenty of choice. Three grill areas around the edge serving chicken and beef, pasta with various sauces and fresh fish including sea bass, shrimp, calamaris etc. All cooked to the customers taste. Buffet gondolas in the centre of the room. Air conditioned and spacious. Helpful waiting staff (they do deserve tips) and live music a few times a week. Couldn't fault this. Hello to Alex, the pancake man :o) always had a smile and has talent for making Micky Mouse shaped pancakes for the kids, as well as hearts for the ladies. All the chefs work hard.
The pool area is well maintained and clean. The jacuzzi is usually working, but if it is not, complain at reception and they get things moving.
I only discovered the gym on week two, but it is well equipped including some loose weights.

Our room(s) were cleaned by maids daily, no complaints there. We did not leave tips daily either, just at the end of our stay. Treat them with creams and cosmetics if you prefer, they appreciate anything as this stuff is difficult for them to afford on their salaries.

The entertainment team are a credit to the resort. I have never seen a bunch work so tirelessly. Janiel you are a star. Great dancer, entertainer, sports referee, and all around jester, this fella had us in tears laughing (the nappy act was great). The whole team rehearse the evening show meticulously and the props and make up are impressive. Disco night was cool too!

The problems we have had during our stay were largely to do with mis-management and could be solved with re-allocation of funds. The roofs shouldn't be leaking, plain and simple.
It has not put us off visiting Cuba in the future, although I would maybe try Cayo Coco next time. We would definitely revisit the SCG by bus - mainly to see the staff we befriended.
The restaurant is great, and they are obviously trying to update the apartments, albeit slowly. In my opinion, the flaws which myself and other reviewers are repeatedly complaining about on this site need addressing - even temporarily with the roofs. This would stop many negative experiences.
The management need to get the message.

Room Tip: Keep away from the low numbers - below 300... the lower you go, the closer you are to the swamp at the rear, and the mozzies will be kicking your door in.
  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled with family
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3  Thank oogzy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manuel V, General Manager at Sol Cayo Guillermo, responded to this reviewResponded 17 December 2011

Dear oogzy. Your extense review will help future guest and will help us to make improvements in many areas. Thank you for post it and for your visit last month. Best regards. Manuel Vazquez. General Manager

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Reviewed 11 November 2011

We booked this hotel through Thomas Cook as part of a twin centre holiday (Sol Cayo Guillermo and the Melia Cohiba in Havana). We would strongly recommend booking twin centre beforehand rather than booking the Havana excursion when you get there. The twin centre option guarantees you flights to and from a 3 night stay in Havana, whereas you have to spend most of your time on a bus if you do the expensive excursion. Havana is amazing and we would recommend longer than a one night stay there.

Arrival and check-in at Sol was busy but prompt. The first room we were given (before our flight to Havan the following day) was ok, but we would have been disappointed if we had to spend the rest of the trip there. It was a dark ground floor room with dated furniture and a frog in the shower. However we only had to stay there for one night and after 3 nights in Havana we arrived back on Guillermo and were upgraded without having to ask. This maybe because this sort of room isn't used for long stays, but I couldn't be sure.
The room we were in for the remaining 10 nights of our stay was wonderful. It was first floor with sea views, a hammock on the balcony and the decor was much better. If you can, try to request a first floor room, these were much better in our experience.
There is a fridge in every room that is supplied with water everyday, which comes in very useful in such heat! The maids are fantastic and will replace bedding and towels whenever requested (tips will ensure extra luxuries).

We spent a lot of our money on tips but it was worth it because they are much appreciated. Also there is very little else to spend your money on!

The beaches were amazing! Cleaned every morning by very friendly staff (tip hunters!) who will make you numerous gifts out of palm leaves! It can get quite windy on the beach so we tended to go to the pool later in the afternoon, however the pool is lacking in shaded areas so can get exceptionally hot! More sun umbrellas are desperately needed!
We went to Pillar beach for one day which was really nice but it's actually quite close by (about 2 miles) so we would suggest getting a taxi rather than waiting for the bus, which does have a time table but runs on "Cuba time".

On the whole, the food was of a good standard, although if you wanted the fresh food prepared in front of you, which was avaialble every night, you have to queue a while. Toasties are available all day everyday. We have read a few reviews that complain about being given plastic cups... this is ridiculous. If you are clearly spending time around the pool staff will give you plastic cups but if you are dressed up for the night you will be given a glass (especially if you ask for one). There are some speciality restaurants in the hotel that you can go to but unfortunalty we did not book early enough to go to these. We would recommend booking these at the beginning of your stay as they book up very quickly, we heard they were fantastic though.

With regard to excursions we went on the Natural Cuba tour. This included an over night stay on the Caribbean coast of the island. As part of the tour we visited the beautiful towns of Sancti Spiritus and Trinidad and experienced a guided tour of the rain forest with stunning waterfalls (do not go if travel sick but the windy bust journey is amazing!!) Each tour will have a tour guide, ours was Jose and he was brilliant! The hotel we stayed in near Trinidad was poor but we were told to expect this and it was only for one night. Definitely a worthwhile excursion at 150 CUC each.

Overall we had an amazing holiday and would recommend it to anyone! Make sure you try to go to Havana or at least to the mainland to experience the real Cuba.

Room Tip: First floor sea view
  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank Paul M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manuel V, General Manager at Sol Cayo Guillermo, responded to this reviewResponded 30 November 2011

Dear Paul M. Thank you for your visit and your positive review. We are happy you enjoyed the time with us and visitign other nice areas in Cuba like Trinidad. We hope you can come back in the future. Kind regards. Manuel Vazquez. General Manager

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Reviewed 10 November 2011

I just came back from my vacation. I enjoy the weather, food, sand and beach. I would enjoyed this even more if not the fact that me, my husband and my friend we were eaten by the bed bugs in the 217 and 218 rooms. So now we are suffering from burning sensation of the bites and constantly scratching our skin. And there is so many of them.

  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled with friends
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1  Thank relia s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manuel V, General Manager at Sol Cayo Guillermo, responded to this reviewResponded 30 November 2011

Dear relia s. Thank you for your visit, I am sorry you could not enjoyed the time with us because of the sand flies, we have more some time during the year. I also recommend guest that get alergy because of the bites to see the doctor at the hotel. I hope you can come back in the future to enjoy your time with us better, please write me before. Kind regards. Manuel Vazquez. General Manager

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Reviewed 4 November 2011

e returned on the 18th october after another great 2 weeks the second time this year we have been many times before and it only gets better and better the main restrarant was shut but the hotel staff did there best to help everbody so i dont know why people complain everbody was informed before they left england and had the opportunity to change hotels so theses people cant complain or are they doing so to try and get some money b ack so they had a cheap hoilday the hotel has a new manager who is very nice and anybody that complains about the slighest thing he doe his best to sort out so i suggest these people should be ashamed of themselves and get a life in the real world its so good that we are off again to the same hotel on the 7th november just 3 weeks later so what does that say

  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled with family
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6  Thank Kelly333_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manuel V, Manager at Sol Cayo Guillermo, responded to this reviewResponded 8 November 2011

Dear Kelly333_11. Thanks a lot for your nice review, it encourage us to work hard and to improve our services. We meet us very soon and I hope you will have another great time with us. We miss you. Manuel Vazquez. General Manager

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