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    Amazing resort/amazing staff/ Spectacular time had by all !!!!!

    Would recommend

    Reviewed by Dorothy B on Jun 17, 2013

    Date of stay: June 2013

    Trip type: Couple

    Just back(June 8-15/2013)Great hotel/great location/great beach/great food/amazing staff-soo kind and accommodating/would definetly recommend this hotel and will definetly be going back ...

    Just back(June 8-15/2013)Great hotel/great location/great beach/great food/amazing staff-soo kind and accommodating/would definetly recommend this hotel and will definetly be going back again.

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    Wonderful beach, nice hotel

    Would recommend

    Reviewed by Julie on Apr 07, 2013

    Date of stay: April 2013

    Trip type: Friends

    Overall, this was a good hotel. It had a good value for the price. There were 4 different pools, and the sand and water at the beach were beautiful. Water was clear, but the beach was quite narrow. To get ...

    Overall, this was a good hotel. It had a good value for the price. There were 4 different pools, and the sand and water at the beach were beautiful. Water was clear, but the beach was quite narrow. To get to the beach, you had to climb down a steep slope, so if you have mobility issues, this is not the place for you (event the Melia has a boardwalk and stairs to the beach). Cayo Santa Maria is quite isolated, and I think the biggest downside was that it was a long time in transit (no direct flight from Calgary, and then a 2 hour transfer from the airport). Food in the a la carte restaurants were good (asian and romantic), and the buffet was decent, but we were limited to only 2 a la cartes during our stay. The crepe lady at supper (buffet) was amazing! If you have any allergies to seafood/fish, beware that you will have a lot less options for tasty food. Some things were not labelled very well, but people were friendly. Overall a good relaxing vacation. If you go, order a Santa Maria from the bar. Very tasty!

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    Great place for a relaxing vacation!

    Would recommend

    Reviewed by Georgina on Apr 07, 2013

    Date of stay: April 2013

    Trip type: Family

    This hotel was a little larger than we had thought it was going to be, however it was laid out nicely. Everything was within walking distance and there was a lot of options for bars, pools and places to eat. ...

    This hotel was a little larger than we had thought it was going to be, however it was laid out nicely. Everything was within walking distance and there was a lot of options for bars, pools and places to eat.

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    Service déplorable, beaucoup de moustiques, manque de propreté, 24 hres sans électricité. Pas de papier, pas de savon dans toilettes publiq

    Not recommended

    Reviewed by Michelyne on Feb 24, 2013

    Date of stay: February 2013

    Trip type: Family

    Bonjour, Plus jamais Cuba, c'est la 6ème et dernière fois que j'y suis allée. À l'hôtel Playa Cayo Santa Maria, 1h30 de bus, pour s'y rendre de l'aéroport de Santa Clara. Il y a des moustiques et je suis piquée ...

    Bonjour, Plus jamais Cuba, c'est la 6ème et dernière fois que j'y suis allée. À l'hôtel Playa Cayo Santa Maria, 1h30 de bus, pour s'y rendre de l'aéroport de Santa Clara. Il y a des moustiques et je suis piquée comme un édredon. À 7 heure le matin, il faisait le fumisage, on respirait ça et il y avait tellement de boucane, que ça créait un brouillard... un conseil, que je donne à l'hôtel, ça devrait être fait durant la nuit, de sorte que nous en ressentions pas les conséquences, il y avait des bébés et des enfants sur le site, pas très bon, pour leur poumon... Je me demande si, les gens qui écrivent des commentaires sont payés par des agences, mais la seule personne crédible se nomme Chantal et demeure à Ste-Anne des Plaines, elle a sûrement voyagé ailleurs comme moi, pour voir la différence. j'ai fait au moins 20 voyages dans le Sud et sinon plus...et ce site pour le service pas plus de 2 *, les cubains attendent toujours les pourboires et ne sont pas très souriants. Pas de service de mini bar dans la chambre comme c'était supposé et écrit dans les avantages. En 7 jours j'ai changé ma serviette de plage 1 fois, il n'y en avait jamais, c'était toujours la même réponse, plus tard.... Bar 24 heures très bruyant, pas d'agent de sécurité pour calmer les fêtards juste devant les chambres, malgré notre appel et notre visite à la réception à 2 heures du matin, aucun respect des autres...Dans les toilettes publiques pas de papier de toilette, pas de savon et d'essuie-main. Pas de propreté, au repas, le service se faisait avec la même spatule, que se soit boeuf, poulet ou poisson, nourriture jamais chaude même dans les restaurant à la carte... Aucune hygiène, faudrait qu'il soit éduquer en ce sens, il y avait même de la moissisure dans le fond d'une bouteille d'huile. Attente en ligne pour se faire servir, trop longue, nous avons changé d'idée à plusieurs reprises, on abandonnait... Nous avons manqué d'électricité 24 heures dans notre bloc, rien à faire, la réception nous contait toujours des sornettes, au lieu de la vérité, au lieu de nous changer de chambre, ça duré du dimanche à 18h30 au mardi 16h30. Pas normal pour un site supposément comme indiqué 5 étoiles dans leur lobby. Le samedi, nous avons perdu la télévision, supposément le satellite, mais juste notre bloc encore. Parlons de la plage, pas pratique avec ces deux palliers, il faut débouler sable et rocailles pour y arriver, (PAS ÉVIDENT POUR LES PERSONNES AGÉES OU AYANT DE LA DIFFICULTÉ À SE DÉPLACER) peu d'abri solaire, pour les chaises à la plage, toujours prises, car les gens allaient mettre leurs serviettes très tôt, (à remarquer que nous avons eu à peu près 2 belles journées, de soleil, sur 7.) Il faisait tellement froid le samedi soir et le dimanche matin, qu'on a dû mettre nos manteaux d'hiver pour aller au bar du lobby, prendre nos cafés. Le café au déjeuner, à la salle à manger, exécrable, au bar il était bon. Par contre beau site bien entretenu par les jardiniers, tous très souriants. Pour ce qui est des piscines, très propres et beaucoup de chaises et d'abris pour se protéger du soleil. La chambre était pas extrêmement propre, juste ce qu`il faillait, papier de toilette, changement de serviettes, lits refaits. Je ne pense pas que les toilettes et la douche étaient lavées avec du désinfectant ou du nettoyant. Les toilettes par contre fonctionnaient bien, il y avait de l'eau chaude pour les douches. Voyage payé trop cher, pour le peu de plaisir que nous avons eu, $1,421.03 chaque. Nous sommes très déçue, pas de vol direct, car nous étions avec Westjet, sans repas sur l'avion, juste breuvage et grignotines pas très sain! C'était avec escale à Toronto. Le vol d'arrivée à Montréal, à notre retour le 22 février, devait être à 21h16, mais Westjet ne pouvait atterrir à Toronto, pour le transit à cause de la pluie verglassante qu'on nous a dit, donc, on a manqué de gaz à force de tourner en rond, et on a dû se rendre à Ottawa, pour gazer, (pourquoi pas Montréal ???, nous aurions été rendu) nous sommes revenus à Toronto ensuite, pour le départ annoncé à 22h45 pour Montréal, (pas de repas) on a décollé juste à minuit, puis on a atterri à 1h15 du matin. Donc 3 envols et 3 atterrissages dans la même journée! INCROYABLE...C'était mes pires vacances. Donc, pour tout ces tracas et le manque de jouissance de nos vacances, nous accordons un petit 3 étoiles et très petit, à cette hôtel. Je demande un dédommagement en argent pour tous nos désagréments, le manque de comfort et les fausses données de ce site. Michelyne Blais 42 de Piémont, Laval, H7M 1B6 450-668-2730

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    Beautiul resort and wonderful staff. I hope to visit again in the future!

    Would recommend

    Reviewed by Seretha Halifax NS on Jan 29, 2013

    Date of stay: January 2013

    Trip type: Family

    My daughter and I travelled to Cuba Jan 21 to 28 to Hotle Playa Cayo Santa Maria. It was an excellent hotel. clean, staff were great and the food was good. They cooked the beef and eggs ...

    My daughter and I travelled to Cuba Jan 21 to 28 to Hotle Playa Cayo Santa Maria. It was an excellent hotel. clean, staff were great and the food was good. They cooked the beef and eggs infront of you. The desserts were ok. This resort is not for teens. My daughter was boared. it's mainly for drinking and relaxing. There are no elevators in the hotel so if you find it hard to climb stairs get the first floor. We were on the topfloor over looking the pool it was realy beautiful. bring your own cup as the cups are very small. The service was great. Met alot of staff. The bell boy, jorge was excellent. Miss you Jorge... Louisa who worked for Hola Sun was awesome too. She answered any questions we had. Not much of a beach, it was ok. I loved the swim up to the bar pool. We went to the villages everyday so I could keep my daughter busy. The el cartes were ok. Remember you are in Cuba, they do not cook like we do. The lobster was terrible which I waited for. They grilled it and added some sauce to it. Ask for it plain. It was mostly cloudy when we were there but it was still warm. the snack bar didn't offer a whole lot but was open 24/7 and was next to our hotel. Bungalow 7 was next to the beach and snack bar. No bugs and the maids did a great job. Loved the jeep excursion although we didn't get a chance to go horse backriding as it was too late. This is where we gave out our gifts to the kids as we passed by. They loved it and my daughter too. All in all, I would recommend this resort. it was beautiful and clean. The hotel should have an itinerary for people arriving and the times. We didn't know anything that was going on unless we past by. Seretha - Halifax, NS

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    Beautiful Hotel, Great Staff, Goregous Pool, interesting guests...(bus ride in is beautiful but a little lengthy)

    Would recommend

    Reviewed by MrsC on Jan 29, 2013

    Date of stay: January 2013

    Trip type: Couple

    Rooms: Our room was beautiful, very clean and more then spacious for the two of us. The other couple we traveled with had a "musty" smell to their room but aside from that there were no complaints about the rooms/accommodations. ...

    Rooms: Our room was beautiful, very clean and more then spacious for the two of us. The other couple we traveled with had a "musty" smell to their room but aside from that there were no complaints about the rooms/accommodations. We had done our research before hand and knew to ask for a room on the 2nd floor to avoid bugs. Pools: We saw at least 4 of the pools which were all very clean and inviting looking. The water felt a little chilly but it was very appreciated on the hot hot days. Beach: The beach was gorgeous yes there is a big "step down" to get to the lower level which may cause some issues for someone with a disability or pushing a baby buggy. There are plenty of beach chairs and someone will bring one to you as soon as you reach the beach. (There were some sand fleas, each of us did end up with some bites on our legs after just 2 hours at the beach) Lobby Bar: the bartenders at the lobby bar are fantastic. It was very busy there every night but with a few tips you can assure you will be served all night long. 24 hours Snack Bar: We spent a lot of our dining time here. They serve great chicken fingers, french fries, meatballs & sauce, hamburgers, cuban sandwiches and so on. In the mornings they even put on a small breakfast buffet and serve made to order omelets (you just have to ask) Staff: all the staff from housekeeping, gardeners, buffet servers, bartenders and so on were always tops notch at customer service. Sometimes it may have taken a few minutes but any request you had they would fulfill it Entertainment was a minimum but we were perfectly okay with that. Just went to relax A slight downfall: As 4 English speaking travelers we were excited to meet and mingle with others like ourselves however that was not easy to do... the majority of guests at the resort spoke french and strictly french. (for those that are French the resort staff have no problem communicating as they all speak 3 languages Spanish, English & French)

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    Excellent value for an all inclusive trouble free vacation.

    Would recommend

    Reviewed by Adam on Nov 17, 2012

    Date of stay: November 2012

    Trip type: Family

    Fabulous vacation. A new modern hotel with all the amenities, wonderful staff and service. Beautiful pools and beach. Excellent food. Great value and would definitely ...

    Fabulous vacation. A new modern hotel with all the amenities, wonderful staff and service. Beautiful pools and beach. Excellent food. Great value and would definitely return.

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    Excellent value, great location and premises

    Would recommend

    Reviewed by LAP on Nov 13, 2012

    Date of stay: October 2012

    Trip type: Family

    Beautiful beach enabling long walks. Great hotel with very friendly staff. ...

    Beautiful beach enabling long walks. Great hotel with very friendly staff.

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      TripAdvisor

      What to expect (based on 1460 reviews):

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        5 most recent TripAdvisor reviews:

        Wonderful resort, great service !!

        Reviewed by Leigh B(Halifax, Canada) on Apr 23, 2014

        Thoroughly enjoyed this clean well designed resort. Excellent attention to detail, very friendly and accommodating staff. Stunning beach of white powdery perfection with sparkling clear water...

        Thoroughly enjoyed this clean well designed resort. Excellent attention to detail, very friendly and accommodating staff. Stunning beach of white powdery perfection with sparkling clear water. Clean pools, both active and restful. Many nice touches including 24 hour snack bar offering specialty coffees, chicken fingers and pizzas to name a few favorites. Ice cream stand. Beach snack shack. Buffet had good variety -- something for everyone ! Canned beer at the main pool. Cigar bar (good a/c) was cool place to dance as evening disco. Bus ride 1 cuc to see neighboring resorts or visit nearby markets or the dolphins show for 5 cuc. We are missing the comfort of this place and would love to find ourselves there again. Do yourself a favour, book it. Our only regret was having to leave so soon...

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        Great Vacation

        Reviewed by Brenda P(Terrace Bay, Canada) on Apr 23, 2014

        My daughter & I stayed at Playa Cayo Santa Maria March 21-28, 2014. We had a great time!! We had read a lot of the reviews before deciding on where to go on our vacation and we were not disappointed...

        My daughter & I stayed at Playa Cayo Santa Maria March 21-28, 2014. We had a great time!! We had read a lot of the reviews before deciding on where to go on our vacation and we were not disappointed with our decision to stay here. The trip from the airport is 1 and a half hours but it just seemed to fly by. There was lots to see. The check in at the hotel went quickly and we were taken to our room. We had a beautiful view of the ocean and the room was very clean. Our chambermaids Yanet & Yeondy did a great job all week of keeping our room clean and left us cute designs with our towels everyday. We always looked forward to seeing what they had created each day. We never ate at any of the a la carte restaurants so I can't comment on them. We ate at the buffet and at the restaurant on the beach and we always found something that we liked. Mario served us at the buffet most nights and he was awesome. He always had a smile on his face. So nice to see. Everyone was so friendly and always said Hola with a smile. The gardeners were always working at making everything look so nice. At the beach Laurem got our chairs for us everyday and knew where we liked to sit. Again always with a smile. The entertainers were great. They are very good at their jobs and trying to get people to join in all the activities. Hats off to all of them. They were all good but the ones we got know were Leo, Yuniel, & Michel. They were so fun and had us laughing lots. The shows at night were fun to watch. At the pool and beach bar Santos was so nice to us. Other bartenders were also good to us but we didn't get their names. All in all it was a great trip, awesome weather & great resort. I would love to go back for sure

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        Magnificient Week

        Reviewed by MarDonAly(Kirkland Lake, Canada) on Apr 23, 2014

        This is my six time to Cuba, however, first visit to Santa Maria from March 28 to April 4. The resort overall was awesome. The rooms were average but clean. The service at the bar was warm and...

        This is my six time to Cuba, however, first visit to Santa Maria from March 28 to April 4. The resort overall was awesome. The rooms were average but clean. The service at the bar was warm and friendly but the lobby service was very slow & without smiles!! The pools were well maintained but shallow water more than deep in most areas. The restaurants are very good, did not wait for more than 5 minutes in lines for any meal. We found there was a lot of places to eat through-out the day, you cannot starve at Playa Cayo. To reserve a la cartes restaurants took over an hour to book!! I loved the size of the resort, its at a smaller scale and a lot easier to get around the beach, pools, lobby and restaurants. The night entertainment was fantastic, always something going on in the lobby night or day. The only disappointment was the beach has very edgy hill and sharp rocks. Majority of travels were from Quebec (over 70% French) during my stay.

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        Great Value! Very Nice Resort.

        Reviewed by NBBrowneyedgirl(Riverview, Canada) on Apr 23, 2014

        We visited this Hotel Playa Cayo April 1-8th Group of 11 friends traveled Air Canada Vacations from Halifax, NS Check In: Fast no issues. Room; Building 5 second floor ~ everything worked...

        We visited this Hotel Playa Cayo April 1-8th Group of 11 friends traveled Air Canada Vacations from Halifax, NS Check In: Fast no issues. Room; Building 5 second floor ~ everything worked, air conditioner & safe. Great bathroom good water pressure plenty of hot water. Could seriously us more pillows..... Lobby Bar: In the morning always very pleasant with live music that was very enjoyable with your morning coffee. Buffet: Found it to be busy and congested ~ would go the last 15 minutes before closing no issue. 24 hour Snack Bar: This was a great spot for our group ~ would like to thank Noemi and all the employee's who work here you are Awesome! Also this is a great spot to have some breakfast if you are just looking for an omelet / eggs, toast & coffee. Great chicken fingers also we brought some Frank's Red Hot Durkee Sauce. Also bring your own Ketchup. A La Carte Restaurants: Can't comment as we never went to any.... Beer Garden: Great stop for a cold one ~ chilled mugs in the freezer plus Cristal Beer in a can. Ernesto works the the beer garden ~ very nice man. Ice Cream Stand: Great for anyone traveling with children Or just wanting to enjoy Nestle treat. Pools: Were all great and very clean. With six pools I feel this resort should take one and make it an ADULT ONLY POOL with a swim up bar. Love kids BUT when people take to drinking its not for young children to hear. Respect! Market: You can take the bus for $1.00 or Taxi for $4.00 nice little outing. Tipping: Not required as part of all inclusive. We did ~ it is very much appreciated. It does not mean you have to tip every time for everything. Having traveled many islands in the Caribbean I do not always compare them to Cuba. Having been to Cuba many times I can say that this is a very nice resort for your dollar. Would I recommend it to other most definitely YES. Would I go back YES.... The Cuban people are beautiful on the inside and out. They work very hard for very little ~ please show the kindness and respect they deserve.

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        Nice resort and relaxing trip but probably our last to Cuba for awhile

        Reviewed by MDKam(Ottawa) on Apr 22, 2014

        My husband and I stayed at the Hotel Playa Cayo Santa Maria towards the end of January and although we had a good time the weather wasn't fantastic which I do think affected our opinion of our stay...

        My husband and I stayed at the Hotel Playa Cayo Santa Maria towards the end of January and although we had a good time the weather wasn't fantastic which I do think affected our opinion of our stay. Also, I should mention that we do tend to travel to higher end resorts in Mexico, and adults only resorts whenever we can, so that probably also affected how we framed our experience. I have ranked the resort as a 3* compared to other resorts we've stayed at in other countries however, I think that it may be closer to a 3.5* and probably a solid 4 or even 4.5* if you compare it only to other resorts in Cuba. Ranking it this low is probably unfair given the lack of some resources available in Cuba and the absolutely wonderful staff at the resort so take what you will with a grain of salt! Flights/Airport: We had gotten a good last minute deal through Air Canada Vacations that also included business class flights for the same price as economy so our flight to Santa Clara was very comfortable. The airport is very small and it took awhile to get our luggage but wasn't a big deal. We had the VIP service because of our flight class which included priority boarding and luggage but didn't entitle us to the VIP lounge in the airport for the return flight. It cost extra and we didn't end of getting it since it didn't seem worth it after speaking to others about the inclusions. Location: The bus ride to the resort was long (1.5 hrs) but there was beer available for purchase on the bus and also a washroom which was very convenient! The bus ride back to the airport was terrible though! First the bus was late, then we waited almost an hour on the bus before it left the resort, the we had to stop at another resort and wait for more people to board all on top of the 1.5 hr drive. The worst part was that there were no washroom facilities on the return trip so it made for a very uncomfortable ride and a mad dash once we all arrived at the airport! I would recommend a private transfer at least on the way back! The resort is located quite a ways away from any towns or attractions and I think that this was one of the things that we really missed from other places we've vacationed. We really enjoy being able to go off resort to wander around or do activities but this wasn't really an option here. There were a couple of excursions but we have no interest in swimming with dolphins and we've been on many catamaran trips. I must admit that the area was very beautiful though and in some ways its seclusion really highlighted the natural beauty of the area. Check-in: Very fast and we were given special yellow bracelets since we were celebrating our anniversary. We were very impressed that our room was ready right away even though we arrived around noon and check in was at 3pm. Resort: The resort itself was very new and modern. We always saw workers maintaining different areas, painting, gardening, replacing lights etc. They were also very friendly, always saying hello and even handing you flowers for your hair if you were walking through the garden paths. It was also extremely clean. The only thing that we noticed was that although the washrooms were always clean, they were frequently missing paper towels and toilet paper (especially next to the snack bar) but it really wasn't a huge deal since there were other washrooms around that were in close walking distance. Weather: The weather was a big disappointment for us. The week that we were there it wasn't very warm or sunny and two days were very cool and cloudy, We also experienced a lot of rain one day which meant that we spent most of our time in the room since it was cool even in the covered areas of the resort. One tip would be to pack more light sweaters for this type of weather and also for the evenings since it tended to get cool even on the warmer days. Room: I had sent an email to the resort prior to leaving requesting a 3rd floor room in building 15 and we were very happy that our request was honoured. Great customer service! We had a great view of the pool and the beach off in the distance. Our room was very clean and comfortable but we did have some issues with our toilet constantly running and the remote control for the TV being broken. The toilet was fixed promptly but the remote control never was. It was a little annoying since we spent a lot more time in our room than usual because of the weather but we probably needed the extra movement of getting up and changing the channels after all of the drinks! In the end nothing to get upset about! Although our room was cleaned every day we found that even when the "please clean room sign" was on the door it was cleaned at very sporadic times. Some days it would be at noon but many days it wasn't until after 4 pm when we wanted to head back to the room for a nap or to shower before dinner. It never seemed like the male staff member who was assigned to clean our floor of the building was doing anything when we went back to the room to grab something but maybe he was just working on Cuban time. We found that 99% of the other staff in the resort were fantastic and very efficient. Also, since we liked to nap before dinner and had the "do not disturb" sign on our door our fridge didn't get refilled very often but we had huge bottles of water and were a 5 minute walk from the snack bar and beer bar if we ever wanted to grab more beer. Food/Drinks: This was our second and third trips to Cuba (respectively) and we knew not to expect great food. For the most part the food at the resort was as expected. The buffet was ok but got very repetitive, it also very much felt like dining in a cafeteria every day (no napkins on the tables only what looked like little sheets of toilet paper?) but this is probably more of a comparison to the feel and selection of food available in high end resorts in Mexico and Jamaica. Service was great though, we never went more than a couple of minutes before being offered drinks and the staff do work very hard. The buffet restaurant by the beach was absolutely awful! Poor small selection of foods that tasted terrible and we were served beer in absolutely filthy glasses that looked as though they had never been cleaned. We took one look at them and walked out and never went back there for lunch. The snack bar was awesome and we ate here quite often since we tired quickly of the buffet. The food was good but most of it was fried so this also got very old by the end of the week. It was a nice option to have though. Also, we spent a lot of time here having coffee and drinks and the staff were so fun and friendly! My husband knew them all by name by the end of the week and they would yell "amigo!" whenever he walked in. Great place to hang out. The burger bar next to the snack bar was also very good. The staff was once again friendly and provided great service. The a la carte restaurants ranged from awful to very good. Since we booked through Air Canada Vacations we ended up with three reservations and then an extra one since we were celebrating our anniversary. We really appreciated this extra touch provided by the resort, we just wished that all of the a la cartes were of comparable quality! The first night we dined at the Asian restaurant and it was ok. Not fantastic but not bad either. The next night we went to the seafood restaurant and it was absolutely awful! There was a big language barrier with our server and strangely she would only speak to my husband? The wine smelled like jet fuel and tasted like water (it was fine at the other a la cartes though?), our food was completely over cooked to the point where I couldn't get my lobster out of the shell and the server wouldn't bring the dessert we requested even though she listed it as one of the options (every time we said one dessert she would just counter with "chocolate tarte?" which got comical in the end since we were trying to order profiteroles...in the end we both ended up with chocolate tartes lol!). Needless to say we skipped the second reservation that we had to this restaurant and just ate at the buffet that night instead (which is sad if the buffet is preferable...). The one a la carte that was excellent was the gourmet/international restaurant. Great service, perfectly cooked food and great appetizers and desert. I would recommend booking this one for sure! The beer bar was a nice place to relax and we liked getting bottles of beer. Unfortunately they had no Beck's the week we were there but we found the local beer to be very good. On the other side of the bar was a little ice cream stand with a good selection. This also seemed to be very popular with kids at the resort! Saving the best for last is the lobby bar! The ladies working here were so sweet and we loved chatting with them. The coffee drinks here were also excellent and we had many a cappuccino and latte here on the cooler days. This was one of our favourite aspects of the resort, it just had a really great atmosphere and service. Beach/Pools: We're beach people and this was our biggest disappointment. The beach here was very narrow and had two levels, the top level was mostly covered by palapas. This is probably a great feature to have when the weather is hot and sunny but because the weather wasn't great for our trip everyone was crammed together on the bottom tier of the beach. We also found that although the beach was pretty, especially as you walked further down by other resorts, the sand was very rough and it hurt if you wanted to take a walk. We were also left with many bug bites from the bugs that lived in the grasses surrounding the sand dunes. Since the beach wasn't great we spent most of our time by the quiet pool which was a first for us on a beach vacation. The pool was very nice, clean and well maintained but the water was freezing cold and drink service was a little hit or miss. It was also difficult to get chairs sometimes. We never did lay by the bigger activity pool since it was busier and there were a lot more kids and families in it (the resort had a lot of kids when we were there but they were all very well behaved) but it also looked very nice. Entertainment: The is no disco at the resort but they had a cigar bar and nightly shows. We never did go to the cigar bar since we preferred the atmosphere of the lobby or snack bars but we checked out a few shows and they were the typical resort fare. We did go to a pool party one night but didn't stay long since the music seemed to cater to an older crowd. Shopping: There is a small shop at the resort but we also ventured out to the Pueblo which is close to another resort. There is supposed to be a double decker bus that you can take there for 1 peso. We waited forever one day to try and take the bus and every bus that showed up wasn't going there and said they would be back in 5 minutes. After waiting another hour we gave up on the bus. The next day we just took a cab there which also only took 1 peso each way so I would highly recommend skipping the bus! The pueblo wasn't very far away and had your typical art and souvenirs. One nice thing that we found was a gentleman hand rolling cigars which was interesting to watch and fun to try afterwards. In the end we still had a relaxing, enjoyable vacation but we've had much better. Again, I'm sure that the weather played some part in this. We would recommend this resort to others since it's modern, clean and has fantastic staff (some of the best we've encountered anywhere!) and seemed to be a great place for families but we've both come to the conclusion that Cuba just isn't for us. Good food is too important to us, we like a bit of a higher standard of resort (less buffets, more good sit down restaurants, top shelf alcohol etc.) and we've been to nicer beaches in other countries so we'll stick to Mexico and Jamaica for the time being.

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