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Reviewed 24 August 2009

Nice quiet location, a lot of bungalows (not all!!) well located with beautiful sea-sight.
Nice structure even if not well maintained.
Good cleaning in the rooms.
Bad services: food, amusement, nautical port etc. No money for servicing and maintaining them. Imagine for 500 guests only 1 windsurf, 3 catamarans with no spare parts not operated with normal wind (fear to break them), you have to pay to go to the reef. with the catamaran...!!! Drinks are terrible, all refreshments have chemical taste, alcohol is terrible, just look at the bottle, no frigo bar (empty), food from poor to bad; only one restaurant to be reserved with access maximum one day per week is nice.
Very poor animation: shows in the night are annoying and low quality.
Not at all 4 star, only the location is 5 star, all the other is a weak 3 stars.
I suggest to chose a better structure in Cayo Guillermo a beautiful place.

  • Stayed: August 2009, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank Viaggiatore_esigente
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 August 2009

When you get off the plane the heat is soooo amazing and the airport is sooo fast too. We got to our hotel really quick and on the way we saw wild flamingos! When we got there the rooms were really good - big beds, lots of draws, amazing air conditioning and a view of palm trees and the sea. The beach is amazing. The water is really warm and clear and the sand is white - it is like being inside a postcard. Also, it has loads of sunbeds and you can nearly always get enough. The canoes were good fun and there is a flying boat which everyone says is really fun even though we didn't go on it. If you go in the sea you can see loads of little fishies that are all silver and cute.
The pool is really good-it is never busy, but it gets a bit too hot sometimes and you sweat loads but I'm not complaing - you get a good tan!! They had 3 surfboards for the first week we were there which were really fun to play on but they took them away - :S
The bar is really good - you never had to wait more than 1 minute for a drink. Also if you are sitting round the pool and you want a drink you don't even have to get up of your sunbed cos Oscar (a cool guy) comes round and gets you drinks. (We love Oscar!!!!! :D) Also the coconut man (another cool guy) comes round and gets you fresh coconut to eat or drink. (We love the cocnut man!!!! :D) He also makes hats out of palm tree leaves which are pretty amazing and if you are walking down the path to your hotel or something, he just comes up to you and gives you something like I got a cricket made out of palm tree leaves and a little flower! :)
There is also lazy darts where you can play darts from your sunbed and if you win you get a certificate and the show!! There is also a pool table, table tennis table and a football table, which we used a lot especially in the evenings loads of kids/teenagers just play on them and you can see the show from there too.
The shows are generally pretty good - the dancers are amaazing - the only thing is that most of the stuff is in spanish which is a bit annoying.
The food is great there is a buffet thing (El Eden) which most people go in, the food in there is greeatt, but you get to go in this really posh place once a week, and that is ok but not that great for children but still it is good. Also there is a beach place where it is an italian restaurant in the evening - don't go there it isn't that nice.
You get loads of crabs everywhere even in your rooms but they are actually quite cute so don't be scared lol and we also saw a snake near the pool which was a bit scary but it the coconut man said is wan't poisunus.
There was one proper tropical storm and even though you be might be like - ohhhh nooo its raaiining :( - it's actually quite exciting - the thunder is soooooooo loud and the lightning is like every 5 seconds, and the rain is so heavy and it only lasted for half a day.

The dolphin trip was good but the second half of the day was basically spent sitting around in Cien Fuegos doing nothing.
The Catamaran trip was reaaly good the fish (and jellyfish) were cool, even though you have a weird "being on a boat" sensation for about the next day, it is worth it.
The Cuban Way trip is amazing too - especially the Mangrove trip - the driver lets you actually drive the speed boat - I did - it's so fun. The driver was so funny.

All in all the holiday was great - you get a really good tan, all the cuban people are really friendly, the entertainment is a bit ledgendey especially the cayo guillermo song :), the pool and the beach are both great, the crabs are cute, the trips are gurrrdd, the bar is quick and nice, the rooms are gooood, and the salsa dancing lessons are a bit amazing, the entertainment team are hilarious, the flying boat is funny, and the food is niiiice especialy the banana fritters.

Cayo Guilleeeeeeeeeermo is the best!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Stayed: August 2009, travelled with family
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8  Thank 062712
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 August 2009

having been here 5years ago and enjoyed a relaxing last minute cheapish holiday was disapointed this time round as "the refurb " seems to still be ongoing or has been spent on the wrong places, our room was very basic. Painted , yes over everything not enough drawers for 3 people , shower broken on arrival and took 4 days to fix !! but still not properly, blocked sink and shower and the toilet didnt flush the whole time we were there. The food was ok, nothing brilliant it seemed to take along time to get cooked foods of the grills/ pasta as they seemed to only do on pan at a time and when it gets busy i found i was eating after my wife and daughter had already finished. .The pizzas were very good though and always very pleased to serve you whatever you want, as were all the staff , very friendly and polite which makes it worthwhile. A big thankyou to Oscar who always went out of his way to get us a drink on those hot days round the pool. On the whole we enjoyed our break, we will go back to cuba but i wont go back to this hotel, it wasnt a cheap holiday and i know i can get a better hotel for the money i paid .

  • Stayed: August 2009, travelled with family
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4  Thank SAMLORD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 August 2009

Despite the 5 foot sign asking for one to recommend an 'Excellent' on TripAdvisor I will not be doing so ...

Beach - perfect
Pool - well maintained and clean.
Staff - at times erratic - often no-shows for planned events - probably knackered from traveling to work!
Evening Ents - shows were generally good, backed by 4 exceptional dancers. Though on their days-off the entertainment was not great!
Bar - Drinks were only 'ok'. Coffee is good. Bar-staff are great
Rooms - Good Aircon. Bedding and towels not changed often
Food - At least 2 of our party of 8 got sick on the food - this is a major problem for them
Staff - Friendly
Cuba - Confusing that a hotel entertainer can earn more in a day from tips than a teacher of doctor earn in a month. Cubans pay more per night to stay in the hotel than we do!
Tipping - expect to tip daily - staff are very appreciative of this.

  • Stayed: August 2009, travelled with family
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3  Thank TravellingLite66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 August 2009

This was our third trip to this Hotel, first trip for others and one couple in our party it was their fifth trip. The main reason we went this time was to celebrate our 25th Wedding Anniversary and also celebrated two Birthdays aswell.
What can I say about the Cayo's.....stunning, tranquil, beautiful....the list could go on and on!!!! But please note this is not Cuba, to appreciate this you do have to take excursions onto the mainland, here you will see the real Cuba and what the country is all about, if you don't then fine, but you will miss out on such a beautiful friendly country, although poor in comparison to other countries it is unique, if you want row upon row of cheap tacky shops then Cuba isn't for you.
Hotel - We have travelled the world and stayed in luxurious 5* Hotels, but I'm sorry nothing compares to this Hotel. Although it is shabby in places we love it dearly, you can't compare it to other Countries and you shouldn't anyway as it is what it is.
We had a problem with our toilet, we reported it to reception and it was fixed that day, you must remember you're on Cuban time, but they will sort it out.
Only one problem, the day of our departure which was delayed 6-7 hours the toilets packed up, there were signs asking people not to flush toilet paper done the toilets, but unfortunately I don't think some people could read, (if you've been to Greece then you should be used to this!!!) That I can honestly say was our only complaint the whole two weeks.
The gardens are maintained daily, the gardeners work from early morning and always have a smile, and a flower ready for the women, you receive these whether you tip or not, my Husband had a usual hat made but did give 5 peso's as a thank you.
There have been refurbishments done, the swimming pool, the palm parasols around the pool, a new roof on the beach bar/restaurant, new chairs in the main restaurant, some room refurbishments and the floor in the disco. As a large hotel group I do feel they could give more of their money over to the Hotel to complete little jobs like locks on the main toilets.
Food and drink - In our party we had people who are fussy eaters and one with a condition but there was enough variety to keep them happy, in fact the food range and quality had improved since the last time we were there.
Our friends Daughter celebrated her 14th Birthday and the staff did a wonderful job of making the table look lovely and she was treated like a Princess,with a gorgeous Birthday cake also.
Main buffet restaurant was busy at times but they always managed to get our party of 10 seated, on only two occasions we had to sit seperately, the food is good, cooked well and always tasty, one complaint though more rice with black beans next time please!!
There's pizza, pasta, chicken, beef, pork, prawns and squid cooked to order, then the main buffet of various dishes. Tiny cakes (which are deliscious), ice-cream and fresh fruit, and you have to try the flambaed bananas, this is a must!!!
Do not feel that you have to tip the staff, because you don't, they will treat you well either way, we have never had any problems, some days we did other days we didn't but we still got the same good service.(Maria for Breakfast and Lunch was brilliant and she remembered us from two years ago!!!!)
Don Guillermo is the Al A'Carte restaurant, we ate there two nights in a row, once for our Son's 19th Birthday and the other for our 25th Wedding Anniversary meal. The staff made the tables look beautiful and we even had a speacial banner made for us, which we asked the staff to sign and we were allowed to keep. The food here is fantastic, my Husband reccomends the Shrimp Cocktail as a starter, I reccomend everything!!!!
We did tip here because they did such a wonderful job and made both evenings such special ones to remember.
The Italian restaurant was the only bad meal we had, however the Minestrone Soup was very tasty. There were a variety of dishes ordered, I had a pizza and although it was quite flavoursome it wasn't cooked properly, as were other pizzas. The pasta that was ordered came out smothered in cheese, this had to be sent back as one of our party couldn't eat cheese, so they had to cook it again. Overall it was a little bit dissapointing and I wouldn't really reccomend it for a meal, they need to either train the chefs a bit more on Italian cuisine or change it all together, we think a good idea would be traditional Cuban Fare as this food is wonderful.
Drinks are good and you can get soft drinks, slushies, beer and spirits, and of cause the cocktails (although a little strong for me!!!!) Yes sometimes they did run out of beer and white rum, but when you get people ordering drink like the world was coming to an end then unfortunately this is going to happen!!! I missed out on beer for 1 hour and that was it, but why complain there's plenty of other drinks to choose from.
Beach - As always beautiful, main gripe people going down at 6-6.30a.m. to put their towels on a sunbed, why?!!!!!!! But what do we expect from the typical British holiday maker.
The sea current was a little stronger this time of year, but still wonderfully warm, not so many fish as usual either, but we put this down to the fact that it wasn't as still as it is in October.
The sand is white the sea a gorgeous turquoise blue......what more can I say.
Staff - I can not fault the staff at all, from cleaners to gardeners, from waiting staff to bar staff, reception, entertainment team and especially the Manageress, they are all wonderful.
My special thank you's go to Yudy and the staff who made our Vow Renewal Ceremony so special, Raynier for keeping the glasses full!!!! Yudy for calming my nerves (you wouldn't think I married 25 years ago!!!) Pino for dressing up as Cupid and Anya for her extra special help (I'll say no more).
Leamir my dancing partner and newly adopted Son (not really, but I wish I could) an extra, extra special thank you, we'll miss you as always. The beautiful Yuby, we were so glad to see her this time as she hadn't been well. Jose Carlos a new addition to the team who tried to keep two 19 year old lads occupied, and he did, and to all the others a massive thank you for all the hard work they do both day and night.
Day entertainment - There are things to do if you wish, but you aren't pressured into things, there's Archery, shooting, football, beach and water volleyball, water polo, dance lessons, darts........I could go on but won't.
Evening entertainment - There are the nightly shows which run on a two week cycle, but we have seen them before, for new guests it's okay and they are of a good mix of comedy, romantic, quizes and tradional dance, so something to suit everyone. Then from 11.30 - 2.00a.m there is the disco, it is open air (it does have a roof) so make sure you use plenty of mossie repellent, or expect to get bitten!!!! You have been warned. They play a mixture of music, some old some new and some cuban, it's adeqaute and you can still have a good laugh.
Rooms - We had a special room this time, with a bed to accomodate 4-5 people!!!! We received our bottle of Champagne but never got the fruit basket (but we didn't mind), it was clean and tidy and adequate for a room to sleep in, still have a problem though with the darkness of the bathroom in the shower area but that's all. The maid wasn't as good as we've know on previous visits but we could live with that, the other guests in our party fared a little better.Everthing worked fine except the one incident mentioned above but it was fixed.
What else can I say, you can base your decisions of this Hotel on various comments made by different people, as I wrote at the beginning, this isn't Europe so don't base it on this, and there aren't rows of shops selling tacky gifts, or rows of cafes selling so called British food, if this is what you want then stay with Europe. If you want a relaxing holiday, surrounded by beautiful scenery amongst the most friendliest people you could meet,(and we've met many Nationalities) then please stay at this wonderful Hotel.

  • Stayed: August 2009
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9  Thank Poet333
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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