Michel and Nicole august 28 to September 18. 3 amazing weeks. Miss them already after 3 days at home
Sep 21, 2021
Great staff is really the positive force in this hotel. All and i mean all staff went out of their way to satisfy us even with the hotel at its minimum.smiles and respect is awesome here. To many names to mention. From the admin staff to restauration to gardeners and lifesavers always there to help. We felt really safe and cared for at MGM.
Our February 2019 Vacation
Jun 03, 2021
One of my favorite places to go is Cuba. At first we were hesitant to go because of some of the reviews that we had read , but decided to go and see for ourselves. We stayed at Grand Muthu Cayo Guillermo a beautiful resort and it was their First Anniversary since opening. All of the people were so friendly and courteous. We arrived late our first night and were hungry , the woman at the front desk told us about the 24 hour snack hut. This is where I met my new friend Siedel he was so great and very attentive and polite. The buffet was awesome lots of different varieties of food, whether you are a vegetarian, meat eater or seafood lover there is something for everyone. It all was very delicious plenty of it and always fresh. Our room was excellent , large comfortable bed our fridge was always stocked with water , soda and Crystal beer. But what I liked the most was the large rain forest shower. The beach was amazing beautiful white sand clear blue water and 4 pools at the resort. We recommended it to our niece and family to go. Siedels wife Yalily was other front desk for customer service and looked after all their needs. We fully recommend this resort . We will be returning February 2022.
May 25, 2020
The resort was new and clean ! Staff were over the top wonderful. The food was good , fresh and always something tasty available.
Buffet was great ! A la carts were just ok.
The hotel beach was nice and fairly quiet in November... it was alittle Rocky but overall not bad at all ...
Laura, Jose, Yasmine , Tiny , William, and pedro were so wonderful that we truly would just go back for them.
We didn't have one bad thing to say coming home.
Check in and out was smooth and overall this was a great vacation at a lively happy youthful hotel .
Nice Quiet Adults Only Resort
May 05, 2020
I stayed at Gran Muthu Imperial in February of 2020 for 7 days with a group of 6 people including myself. We opted to fly into Cuba on an evening flight from Toronto, operated by Sunwing, and the airport in Cuba was essentially empty by the time we landed which made customs and baggage very quick. Transportation to the resort was provided in the form of an air conditioned coach-style bus. Check in at the resort was quick and smooth because there were only two large groups checking in.
We stayed in the basic room category. They ran out of rooms with king sized beds at the time of our check in and instead we got a room with two large doubles. This ended up working to our advantage because we pushed the beds together to create one massive bed, which was larger than the king would have been. The room came stocked with towels, beach towels, toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, lotion, comb, soap etc… - all individually packaged), a bottle of rum, and bottles of water, cartons of juice, and cans of beer in the mini fridge. The room also had an easy to use and secure safe. The room did not have air conditioning, but had a large overhead fan with multiple settings. We found that this was perfect and the room was an ideal temperature, especially with the balcony open in the morning and evening.
The issue we had was with the bathroom. Our toilet was dirty (it looked like it had been that way for a while) and kept moving when you would try to sit down, the shower leaked very badly into the middle of the floor and had rusty hinges and trimming, and the sink kept backing up. I am not particularly picky, but we were very unhappy with the washroom. We stayed the first night in the room because it was very late at this point, but went to talk to a staff member at the front desk on the second day. They were able to arrange a room change for us, and we were moved to a different building. This new room was much better as the washroom was clean and we did not have the same problems with the toilet or the sink. The shower was also slightly leaky, but we were provided with a small towel to place on the floor by the shower entrance to prevent leaking, and this did the job. This room also had two beds that we combined into one. We were very happy with this room change.
Two important observations: water and beach towels. We were given two 1.5L water bottles in the mini fridge in the room. When we transferred over, we took these water bottles with us and I am glad that we did because we heard that some guests struggled to have fresh bottled water in their rooms during their stay when they ran out. Fortunately, we didn’t have this problem and were restocked on additional water 4 times that week, and I also brought 4 500ml plastic water bottles from home in my checked baggage because I had the extra space.
Regarding the beach towels, I suggest bringing your own in addition to the ones provided by the hotel. There is a charge of 15 pesos for a lost towel, and they are not refreshed during the week. The room towels were also not changed, so having beach towels from home would allow you to use the hotel provided beach towels as a clean mid-week replacement for the room towels.
I researched the food very heavily before coming to this resort because I have heard horror stories about the food choices in Cuba. As someone with dietary restrictions, this was very important to me. Ultimately, I was very happy with the food choices and quality. Breakfast always featured omelette, smoothie, and crepe stations in addition to fresh fruits and veggies, breads, and various other buffet style items. We ate lunches and dinners both at the buffet, at the snack bar, and at three a-la carte restaurants. I found the buffet food to be best, because of the larger variety of food. The buffet always had stations where staff would cook certain types of food to individual preference – pasta, quesadillas, stir fry, pizza, fish etc… The snack bar was great for late night cravings, but options were limited (fries, burgers, hot dogs). Overall, I enjoyed the variety of foods and was not concerned about getting sick from the food.
There are numerous bars scattered across the resort, and all have slight differences in what they serve. The pool and beach bars served various mixed drinks and beer, but you would not find wine or champagne based drinks in these bars. My favorite was the lobby bar. This one was always fully stocked and had great service where I could find my preferred drink of a mimosa. This bar also had an espresso machine and bartenders made a variety of coffee drinks. Most of the bars also offered “top shelf” drinks for an additional price, but we found the standard alcohols to be more than good enough, especially for mixed drinks. The cigar bar had a large variety of these “top shelf” drinks, so I would suggest looking there if you are in the market for something more luxurious or specific.
The main issue in terms of drinks was the ice. I got sick twice, very briefly, on this trip and realized after the second time that it was because of slushy-style drinks with blended ice. This prompted me to avoid these drinks entirely, and I simply started asking for my other drinks with no ice. Unless you are a big fan of ice, this really shouldn’t be a problem. It is worth noting that I was the only person in my group to experience this particular issue, so it might just be as a result of my pre-existing dietary issues.
The pools were beautiful, clean, spacious and COLD. The infinity pool was probably the coldest of the three as it was also the deepest. All of the pools were well maintained and never felt crowded. Surrounding the pools there were loungers, cabanas, tables with chairs, and palm trees. The palm trees at this resort are small because this is a newer resort, so do not expect too much shade from them.
Unfortunately, there was a fair share of chair hogs who would wake up at the crack of dawn to reserve spots with their towels and only arrive at 2 or 3 pm to claim them. I had heard from other people at the resort that those who used hotel beach towels to do this sometimes found their towels stolen by other guests upon returning (remember, they cost 15 pesos to replace). This behavior also meant that with a larger group you would often have to carry around chairs to sit together if you arrived too late, but the pools usually started clearing out around noon anyway as people started to head to lunch or to the beach.
The beach was a slight walk from the main lobby area of the resort, but was worth it. There are washrooms close to the beach, and it has a drink bar directly on it. Hogging space at the beach, unlike the pool, was not permitted, and staff were stationed at the beach to monitor this, so there was always much more space both in the open sun, and in shaded cabanas. Staff would assist you on the beach to set up chairs and choose an ideal spot, so this became a preferred area for our group.
The water itself is rocky, especially at the shore. Prior to this vacation I purchased rubber soled water shoes and they made a huge difference in being able to go deeper into the water without worry in order to swim. I witnessed one person being attended to by medical staff on the beach with a large cut on their foot, so I would recommend bringing water shoes for peace of mind. Despite this, this is still a very beautiful beach.
The wifi at this resort operated on a paid basis – 1 peso per hour of wifi use, which you could reload your card with at any time. Because it is paid, this meant having to turn off your wifi each time you were finished using it, and logging back in when you needed to in order to preserve it. I found that the strength of the wifi was generally good. I did not bring my laptop, but I noticed someone using theirs to video chat in the lobby, where the signal was stronger, and it seemed to be working okay. I found that the wifi was good for most phone apps, but the “heavier” ones such as Snapchat or Youtube would simply not load. If you are someone who spends a lot of time on your phone on vacation and has access to data through a phone plan from your own country this option might end up being better and cheaper for you. I believe I spent around 20 pesos for myself on wifi during the week with lower to moderate use.
TIPPING PRACTICES AND MONEY
In Cuba you pay with Canadian dollars or pesos. It is illegal to bring Cuban pesos outside of the country, meaning that you will not be able to purchase Cuban money beforehand. There is a foreign exchange booth at the airport which you can use if you have time upon landing, but we exchanged most of our money at the front desk of the resort. Because there is one central bank in Cuba, there is no issue of less or more competitive rates between locations; you can feel safe knowing that you are not getting ripped off at the hotel. You will need to exchange your money back before you leave, and you will be asked if you did this at the airport prior to departure.
Do not use American money to tip staff; they have to pay a conversion fee on every American dollar they receive. If you bring American money that you need to convert to Cuban pesos, you will be paying this same fee. Also, do not bring foreign coins with you. They are useless in Cuba as they cannot be exchanged at the banks at all, so tipping in foreign coins does not actually benefit staff.
Tipping is very important in Cuba. Tip drivers, servers, and housekeeping staff when you encounter them. It is not necessary to tip bartenders after every single drink, but I would make it a point to tip them every day. Tipping will vary depending on the service that you are being provided, and does not need to be outrageous in terms of the amount, but is well viewed and received. Irrespective of this, the staff here are wonderful and will still do an excellent job if you do not tip. They are professional and hard working. We did not bring “gifts” to tip housekeeping or other staff members with because we heard mixed reviews on this topic.
OTHER IMPORTANT TIPS
The majority of the grounds of the hotel are paved, up to the beach. This makes it stroller and wheelchair friendly. Some of the buildings with the rooms were wheelchair accessible and some were not, but there are no elevators on this property so accessibility would be restricted to the first floor. Restaurants and the area beside pools were all accessible.
Outlets in the hotel were standard at 220V in the North American style, so if you are coming from Canada or the United States you will not need to bring an adapter.
The airport is small in Cayo Coco. This is why the resort highly encourages purchasing access to the VIP lounge for adequate seating and wifi, which tends to sell out closer to the date of departure. We did not opt for this, but we were fortunate that we were at the airport waiting for departure for less than an hour because it was overwhelmingly crowded with absolutely nowhere to sit. On the date of our departure there were three flights to other Canadian cities that were delayed, which resulted in the large crowds. Fortunately, our flight was not impacted and we did not lose out on much by not purchasing the VIP access, but this truly depends on your individual luck. We simply opted to deal with it and spend our money on souvenirs and excursions and in our case this was the better choice.
Overall, I was satisfied with this resort. Travelling during high season meant everything was open and in full swing, but the resort did not feel crowded. Staff was responsive to our needs, and I felt that I had all of the necessary comforts I look for in a vacation. It is hard to rate and compare this resort to others I have been to, because this was my first trip to Cuba specifically, so I am unaware of how this resort compares to others in the region. I would rate this resort a 4/5 based on my own experiences and would recommend it to couples looking for a quiet and relaxing vacation. I would stay here again if I was looking to travel to Cuba in the future.
Apr 30, 2020
Were at this resort first week of March . Resort is medium size . Everything is within 2-3 min. walk . The beach is a little to the left of the complex , because shore of the front of the resort is rocky . But like I said it is 1 - 4 min. walk , depending which building You are in . We had a great room with great view of pools and ocean . Food in the buffet was good ( We did not go to any of the restaurants ) . Food court in the buffet is a little bit tight , so my advise for people would be not to stand in front of the servers and wait for Your order to be prepared - just move away a little from the counter and let other people pick some other food from the counter , do not block them . I noticed this is the main problem at most of the buffets in the resorts , not only in Cuba but everywhere . People are blocking each other at food counters and spending to much time getting food because of that . Drinks over all were good to very good , but that always depends on bartender . Whole stay we had no problems with anything - front desk , room cleaning , entertainment , beach towels . One thing I would like to direct to company that operates this resort - PLEASE PLANT SOME PALM TREES BEHIND THE ROW OF SHADE HUTS ON THE BEACH - without the palm trees the beach looks really really sad !!!