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“The best holiday ever - wish i was back there!”

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Gran Caribe Club Villa Cojimar
Ranked #6 of 6 Hotels in Cayo Guillermo
leeds
Level 1 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“The best holiday ever - wish i was back there!”
Reviewed 10 March 2008

When i arrived i could not believe how people had written such bad reviews on this hotel. On arrival we were greeted by a cuban band playing and were quickly booked into our room. We had room 208 which is an upper floor of the apartment blocks. The room was large and very clean! The bathroom was very clean and we were very impressed. Every day our lovely maid changed the sheets and even tidied up our clothes!
The staff on whole made you feel like part of the family. They saved us tables in the restaurants, were quick to bring us drinks or even bring a third chair to put our bags on! Tipping definitley helps with the speed of service and once you get to know a few waiters they remember you and treat you like kings! We tipped 1 peso at each meal time and 5 pesos to the two waiters we got to know well when we left. All staff were so helpful - we lost our bag on the coach and even though it ended up being transported half way across cuba we got it back an hour later with nothing missing,
The pool is fantastic - its best to put your towel on your lounger early so you get a spot you want - but there is always the beach to lie on which is idyllic. The sand is white and the sea crystal clear - you can walk out for miles and the water only goes up to your knees. I have been to some wonderful places all over the world and i can honestly say this beach is the best i have ever been to. It look exactly like it does in the brochure!
The food is good, there is always something to eat and the ice cream is delicious! I dont know why people moan about the food as there is a whole variety of food to choose from and although some of it is local cuban food people should not expect british food to be readily available. We ate at the pizza restaurant once and it was delicious although the service was a little slow.
We never ate at the cuban restaurant as we heard from various people it was not worth bothering with.
The weather was beautiful for ten days, bright sunshine and no clouds. A few days were overcasy however it gave us the opportunity to explore or play tennis,
Trips - we went on the salsa night which was good fun. However i was bitten 140 times that night and was never bitten any other time, so my tip would be to cover up or bathe in insect repellant!
Dolphin trip - we were initially told 5 hours and an over night stay however this is a ten hour trip one way and five hours back. you can fly there in one day if you like. the trip was hard work and slow however the dolphin experience was out of this world and i would have travelled 20 hours to do it again. i have done this once before however this time it was so interactive and it was definately a lifetime experience.
catamaran trip- whole day trip on the coral reefs where you get to go snorkelling - saw some amazing fish and stopped for lunch on a beauftiful beach where we were cooked lobstor/chicken and prawns -definately worth the 70 pesos

my tips would be - bring your own beach towel
bring plenty of inset repellent just in case - however if it wouldnt have been for the salsa night we were never bitten.
tips generously and this ensures good service and is fair to the cubans.
bring a large glass or beaker as the drinks are small and it means many trips to the bar
take pounds sterling and change to convertable pesos there (there is a bank at this hotel) never saw an atm machine on whole island.

This is the first holiday i have never wanted to come home from and i cant believe the bad reviews written about this hotel. i expected the worse and it turned out to be the best holiday i have ever had.
i have some amazing pictures of the hotel and trips and i would be happy to send them to anyone unsure of going!
merlebentley@hotmail.com

  • Liked — the staff, cleanliness and beautiful beach
  • Disliked — nothing it was perfect
  • Stayed February 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank fantasyleeds
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Devon
Level 4 Contributor
20 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 March 2008

I stayed at the Cojimar in June. Arrived at the hotel at 6pm and rushed straight to have a look at the beach...it was amazing! I have been to a few Caribbean places but this beach/sea was the best. Almost like a postcard the palm tree on the beach had bent right down so that you could sit on it for a lovely pic! The hotel is basic, as you need to remember Cuba is not a wealthy country. We did have a few problems with our toilet overflowing when the rain pelted down through some evenings!

The food was enough to keep you going.

We wanted to swim with Dolphins and the day trip was fully booked which was a bit of a bummer as we were only there for 1 week and had to therefore do the 2day trip...this is a long trip. You visit Trinidad and eat a meal there then onto another All Inclusive Hotel for 1 night.

The dolphin swimming is unbelievable, in Cienfuegos in almost the sea! Please dont miss this opportunity its brill.

The pool at hotel is lovely and clean, and it was nice to take stroll down the beach to neighbouring hotels for a change of scenery sometimes.

This tropical holiday is one I will never forget for all the right reasons.

**TIP**: Take a packet of Kit Kats or something as you will miss chocolate!!! hehe

  • Liked — The Location
  • Disliked — The toilets
  • Stayed June 2005, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank Lynda21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Thetford, Norfolk.
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 March 2008

Firstly I'd like to say I'm sick of people on this site calling other people moaners! This is what the site is about, telling people what they thought, and I would asume if you were looking at a review site then you would care where you were staying. Personally I wouldn't want everything expressed to me through rose tinted glasses as it wouldn't be true. Everyone wants different things from a holiday so unless you've experienced perfection, which I doubt, then it's good to say what's good and bad as it might not suit everyone. I'm not a moaner, I'm just giving you the truth as I experienced it and there were certainly pros as well as cons. I didn't pay a lot for this holiday so wasn't expecting a great deal and knew it would be three star. However, it was recommended by a friend so I thought it must be pretty nice. Now i've been I would have rather paid extra and got better quality. Just goes to show not everyone shares the same opinions or ideas of standards. Don't get me wrong we had a lovely holiday and everyone at the hotel and in Cuba in general are very nice. You don't have to tip much, they appreciate whatever they get and you still get the same service. I didn't once feel pressurised to tip, I wanted to. The service is slow but it's laughable rather than irritating, it's just the way they are. They thought by not relaying tables in the restaurant they were doing you a favour by sitting you down at an empty or dirty table and then laying it in front of you so it looks like they're working hard and you think they deserve a tip. They'd do much better if they relaid their tables before you sat down as that way you would feel more welcome to sit on one and more obliging to leave a tip! The table clothes are pretty rank, they change them maybe once a day. I disagree with the statement about the hotel being under staffed. There were plenty of staff, especially the entertainment team, they just don't do much, it's their culture to be laid back! I don't think the waiters are over worked either, I've done loads of waitressing and if they worked as much as they talked then maybe stuff would get done, lol! Very nice people though. There was one bar man who was very good at his job and the egg/pancake man and lady were always smiling :)
Didn't go to the Cuban restaurant ,everyone said not too bother and it did look ropey. The Italian was ok, we sat in a dark corner and waited 20 minutes for dessert but the food wasn't bad and again everything just made us laugh! I would say the grill at lunch was prob the best food as they did whole fresh fish. We went on 4 excursions (dolphins overnight, speed boats, catamaran and Havana overnight). All were very good, though expensive but then worth it for what you got included. Swimming with dolphins is brilliant, I highly recommend it, they are lovely! I also disagree that in Cuba they can't get a lot of food and that's why our hotels food was limited. When we were in Havana the food was lovely and they had a massive variety. I thought maybe it was the area we were staying in but a couple of people said their hotels near our one had even better food than the one in Havana! Our food was very bland and boring, and often not very warm. They just didn't make the most of what they had, it was just chips, rice, meat, meat, fish, rice, chips and then meat again, lol! They could have had some sauces or something on offer as everything was just dry and hard to swallow. I thought their rice and beans might have been nice and spicy like Mexican food is, but no, it was boring too. The bacon was like scraps of fat and you had to pick at it to get any meat, the chicken was very boney too. I have to admit I'm being a bit mean but I'm not a fussy eater at all and it was just a bit of a joke. The eggs and pancakes were nice though and some of the stews and pastas were pretty good too. Had to wait a long time in the queue sometimes for steaks etc. Their bananas were tiny which was strange, the salad was majorly limited and the cereal tasted stale. Dessert was either ice cream or cakes which all looked different but all tasted the same, and everything appeared melted. Also the thing that was the worst was all their juices are fake, either fizzy or this really sweet sickly powder mixed with water. In Havana there was a juicing station, proper cereal and croissants and a lovely salad bar, it was gorgeous! Nowhere in Cuba does decent tea though so bring some tea bags! On the plus side our hotel had live music every night but I think they did this to make people stay longer as every night I just wanted to get in, eat and get out as fast as possible, lol! Our room overlooked the beach, was pretty spacious and with a bit of TLC would be very nice. The bathroom was the best bit, however the toilet filled up constantly. I think they'd put a proper PVC door on the bathroom to solve this problem so you could sound proof it at night, otherwise it would have kept us awake. Another couple of things were there were springs coming through the mattress and the curtains smelt of wee! I think once they redecorate it will be fine though. The hotel was the oldest on the island and it showed, however they are making efforts to refurbish it. Might take ten years to complete though, lol! The major plus side was the beach and sea. Although the beach is shallow it is very long and we always found a quiet spot. The sea is so warm and perfect for kids, which when I have some, I will be bring back for a visit to another hotel. The entertainment team were good at what they did, but it was literally all dancing and some variety wouldn't have gone a miss. Some people might enjoy them prancing around in skimpy outfits, I think my boyfriend did! They should have had a disco after the show as there was too much of a gap between the show and when the club opened. We never went to the club coz we were bored of waiting around for it, plus I think it was more for the entertainment team to chat up the singles! Prob a great hotel to make friends but not so much for a shy couple like us, nowhere romantic apart from the beach and jetty. Please remember this is a review about the hotel, not Cuba. It's a really interesting country, you should definately go! Don't be put off but stay at another hotel unless you really can't afford it then just don't expect perfection. Hotels fine if you take it all with a pinch of salt and keep reminding yourself that for a couple of cheap weeks in the sun then it'll do. Oh yeah and go in February, the weather was fantastic plus you get to escape our crappy winter. Don't go in the summer, it rains loads. Instead go to Spain (Cala N Bosch, Menorca - love it!). Cuba is like a poor Spain so you'll get better quality and it's nearer! I shant go back until I have kids and wanna take them on a winter break. Don't forget 100% deet spray, only got bitten 3 times where some people were absolutely covered in bites! Also thermos flask mugs really do come in handy, we used ours all the time and no one has a problem filling them up. They never have beach towels available either but we brought our own so not a problem. Anyway if none of the negative stuff I've mentioned bothers you, go! If it does, stay elsewhere but above all wherever you go make the most of what you're given, have a laugh and a great holiday!!!

  • Liked — Beach
  • Disliked — Food
  • Stayed February 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank Alexa_8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Montreal, Quebec
Level 3 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 March 2008

My husband and myself with our two sons 12 & 18 travelled to Cojimar and it is a great place for families! The staff is excellent namely Arelys, Alex, Tony, Ivette, Joe.... The beach is spectacular. Great lobster and shrimp at the Italian Restaurant! Great servers too. Buffet was typical Cuba style. Rooms are comfortable and well kept by the cleaning staff. We had three doubles... and a nice ocean view. Most rooms are less than 100 feet from the ocean.... soft white sand! Very nice pool and excellent grill for cheeseburgers, fish, hotdogs, fries! Shops are stocked with what ever you need. Hope to return some day... Disco is lots of fun too... great music! and Also very good entertainment group.

  • Liked — The Beach!
  • Disliked — The Cuban Dollar Is Still Worth More Than The Canadian!
  • Stayed February 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Gang4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
calgary
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 March 2008

we had an awesome time at the Cojimar in Cayo Coco, Cuba. the trip from Calgary was long (with stopover in Montreal), but we were thrilled to arrive at 10:30am. we had a bungalow on the ocean. it was awesome.

the room was clean and adequately sized. i think they had listed the safe as $, but we didn't have to pay. the housekeeper, Lisbe, was super. the only complaint would be about the beds. they are smaller than full, but bigger than twin and either hard as a rock, or really saggy. the tv and remote worked, but we hardly watched it. caught a bit of news about Castro's resignation (which was really a non-event.)

the pool was great. not so crowded that we had to rush and put towels down at breakfast. we took our own towels because if you lose the hotel towels, they charge $20. but we ended up using the hotel towels for the most part, anyway.

the food was ok - as is most Cuban food. you might want to take some hot sauce with you. the fish and hamburgers by the pool were excellent. the drinks were awesome! we love the pool bartenders. (we checked out a 5 star down the beach and the food was worse and the drinks were awful.) the daily entertainment by the pool was fun: dancing, horse races, ring toss, etc. the nightly entertainment was good, too. the "Raices Cubanos" band that travelled through the resort was great. . . we bought their CD and everyone at home loves it!

the beach is beautiful. the sand is fine and white and the water is warm. you can wade out forever. there are really cool fish, starfish, crabs and shells. you can windsurf, kayak, katamaran, and pedal boat. we would take our own snorkels next time. we walked for hours exploring the beach. so great!

we did a half day trip to the city of Moron, which was an eye opener. we took a bus and then got a horse and carriage ride to the centre of town. the tour also included a trip to a crocodile farm where you could hold a 5 year old croc. it also took us to the largest fresh water lake in Cuba: La Redonda. there, we did a speedboat tour around the lake, into the mangroves where there were huge termite houses. they fed us some delicious fish and we were on our way home.

the souvenirs are limited and pricey. the best deal was actually at the airport. i would recommend buying water from the resort shops. they will fill you water bottle at the restaurants/bars, but i would buy new daily. bring a lot of sunscreen! i didn't see any available in the shops!

the bugs. someone on trip advisor recommended taking raid. so we did and we raided our room and didn't have any problems. we also took "off" but never used it. they sell repellent at the resort, too, if need be. we got a few no-see-um bites, but nothing too bad. some people had reactions, so it would be a good idea to take benadryl. we also took immodium, pepto and ibuprofen, just in case.

take a to-go mug!! the best advise i read! the drink glasses at the bars are very small. be prepared to leave your mug with a local when you leave. also, Canadian souvenirs, school supplies, trinkets, candy, gum, socks are all nice items to leave for tips.

we had an excellent trip. we will go back next year. i would recommend this resort, but if you are an "only five star will do" person, maybe Cuba isn't for you.

"Hi" to all our great friends we met!!

  • Liked — beach proximity
  • Disliked — the beds!
  • Stayed February 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank sdpanko
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Gran Caribe Club Villa Cojimar

Property: Gran Caribe Club Villa Cojimar
Address: Villa Cojimar, Cuba
Region: Caribbean > Cuba > Ciego de Avila Province > Jardines del Rey Archipelago > Cayo Guillermo
Amenities:
Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 6 Hotels in Cayo Guillermo
Price range (per night): ₹ 5,526 - ₹ 12,657
Number of rooms: 212
Also Known As:
Gran Caribe Club Villa Cojimar Hotel Cayo Guillermo
Gran Caribe Hotel Cojimar
Gran Caribe Club Cojimar
Gran Caribe Cayo Guillermo

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