Coral Level at Iberostar Selection Ensenachos reviews

TripAdvisor Traveler Rating

4.5 Excellent

  • Cleanliness 4.5
  • Location 4.5
  • Rooms 5.0
  • Service 5.0
  • Value 4.5

53 TripAdvisor reviews

TripAdvisor users rated this property 5 out of 5

Still my favourite beach vacation spot

Beachlver4life (Ontario) on Nov 19, 2021

I arrived on the very first air Transat flight when the hotel reopened after being closed for a year and a half because of Covid 19. I was a little scepticle about booking so soon after the hotels reopening but I am so glad I did. I felt entirely safe at the resort, the staff all wore masks ( some wore 2 masks ) and hand sanitizer was available everywhere. The menu has changed ( for the better ) yes they still had the lobster and shrimp but also have some new additions such as pork cordon bleu. The staff are always what make this resort the best. Not all of the staff were back to work yet because the resort was only booked at 13% capacity but the staff that were working were so happy to be working and to see guests back at the hotel. As usual Marichal & Yandry went out of their way to resolve any small issues ( remember the resort has been closed for a year and a half ) there were a few light bulbs that needed to be replaced-done quickly. And one toilet that kept running-also fixed quickly. Etc. We had no major issues. I am home now and I miss this place so much. I am sure I will forget to mention someone but a special thank you to Rachel and Luis Angel that met our bus arriving to the resort with coctails and huge smiles, Marichal, Yandry, Agustin, Jorgito, Anier, Yaquenia, Camilo, Chuly, Lizzy, Jamie & Esther. Geysi from customer service was able to come to Coral Level to visit us as well. We decided to do a little mini bar crawl around the resort one afternoon, we made little score cards to judge the bartenders too. Of course everyone got a 10 with the exception of one bar tender that found creative shooter cups for our drinks- we gave her an 11, lol. Thank you to R. Carlos, Eduardo, Yuliester Guerra & Danay for making the day so fun. We did miss a few bars though because we were having so much fun that we hung out at each bar for awhile. Next trip I will try to make it to more of them, lol. I had a massage with Ariel and it was a great relaxing massage. I am sure I have forgotten to mention some of the fabulous staff that we spent time with but there was so much to catch up on. I am so happy that I was able to be there the first week that the staff came back to work. I can't wait to come back again in a few months. Until then I will keep looking back at photos of this awesome trip.

TripAdvisor users rated this property 4 out of 5

I may be ruined for other resorts. This is my new favourite Cuban resort.

Itsciencefreak (London, Canada) on Nov 15, 2021

The first note: We got a heck of a deal on this trip because it was their first week back after the pandemic shutdowns and they were running at a fraction of capacity and were not up to full staff yet either. That said, I usually do a "Good, Bad and Ugly" kind of review, but there is no ugly and our issues were resolved as quickly as could be expected by staff that are second to none. The Good: The food at this resort is the best that I've had at a Cuban resort. I know that's a pretty low bar, but we ate and drank our way through the week and were 100% satisfied. The buffet wasn't open yet and they were using one a la carte location with a rotating menu, but the El Colonial in the villas is excellent and we had 24 hour room service so not having the full complement of restaurants didn't bother us at all. How can you complain when lobster, garlic shrimp and wine magically appear on your dining room table? The Very Good: Coral Level has spoiled me for my usual cheapie trips. The villas are beautiful, very spacious and very private. Having my own hot tub was a great way to finish off a day of beach/pool, food and free flowing drinks. Then off to the comfortable king sized bed. Ahhhh. The Extremely Good: The staff! The staff at the villas are wonderful. Our villas were kept spotless, we never wanted for a towel (bath or beach), the butlers couldn't have been friendlier, the wait staff in the El Colonial were simply the nicest ladies you could meet and the bartenders were exactly how you want a bartender: quick with a drink and a bit of friendly banter(thanks Agustin and Anier!). If you book Iberostar Ensenachos, make sure you talk to Marichal and Yandry; they are the guys that will make stuff happen for you. Also in the extremely good is the beach at this resort. We had a couple of windy days that we couldn't go in the water, but even then, we stayed under the palapas. When we could go in the water, it was smooth sands all the way out; no rocky or rough spots to walk over at all. The section of beach for the Coral Level is private too, so it's very quiet and relaxing and we didn't have to fight for palapas. The Growing Pains: It took a couple of days to get enough drinking water to one of our rooms. For some reason they kept being missed. For folks who take meds, this is not a good situation. We were traveling in a group so others were able to provide water to our one desolate room and yes, it did get ironed out, but it took some time. If we were paying full price for the vacation, this would have been a huge issue. The butlers also had a hard time getting bottles of room rum, but we figured out that we could get cans of Tucola and fill our Yetis to the top with rum from the bars to take back to the room, so this really wasn't a big deal. My hot tub sprung a surprise leak and was completely empty when we got back from the beach one afternoon. Turns out a clamp had rusted through, and it was fixed the next day, so this was nearly a non-event. One of our group's villas developed some serious plumbing issues that also took to the next day to resolve. This one was more than just inconvenient but without 24 hour maintenance staff yet, there wasn't a lot that could be done until the plumber started work the next day. We were a fairly big group, so we worked around the problem, but not having toilets for 12 hours could have been much worse if we weren't in a big group. Marichal made sure the problem was fixed personally, so again, make sure you get to know those butlers. We chalked this one up to s*** happens no matter how nice the room is. Yes, there were some opening pains, but we got more than what we paid for and it really is a lovely resort, so some understanding was gladly extended. The big question: Would I return to this resort and pay full price? You betcha I will.

TripAdvisor users rated this property 4 out of 5

My now-favorite Cuban destination

Heatmonger (Brockville, Canada) on Nov 18, 2020

Please note that this review is pretty much entirely for the more exclusive no-kids-allowed mini-resort at the westerly end of the property. The good: (1) Awesome staff all around - friendly, attentive, courteous, and always ready to help you with whatever you may need or want. Obviously they can only do what they can do, and I'd just be a jerk if I started nitpicking. Muchas gracias mi amigas y amigos! (2) Great food, both in the restaurant and the beach-side snack bar. Yes, you read that correctly. I went to the main resort's buffet only once and it was of more standard Cuban resort quality as was the main resort's 24-hour snack bar. (3) Spacious suites with comfortable beds and big well-appointed bathrooms. Each unit even had a hot tub. The only thing missing was a hammock. (4) Generally decent wi-fi (except in the suites), though that is not particularly important to me when I'm on vacation. The internet service was certainly good enough for email and browsing news websites to keep abreast of what was going on out in the real world. (5) Live music in the reception area was excellent. Cuban musicians are the coolest! I always bring a guitar and its always a blast to jam with the locals. (6) As for the outdoors, the wildlife was wonderful, especially the reptiles and butterflies, and biting insects didn't seem to be an issue (at least, not to me). Change into long pants (tucked into socks) and closed shoes by 3:30-4:00pm, and the sand flies (no-see-ums) won't bother you. (7) I totally enjoyed the following excursions and heartily recommend them: Buena Vista Social Club show; guided bus tour of Santa Clara. The not-quite-so-great: (1) the beach in this part of the resort is ok, but nothing spectacular and the water was surprisingly chilly (compared to the beaches and water at the Varadero and Holguin resorts I've been to). One boardwalk was in desperate need of repair but, to their credit, renovations were underway. There were 3 days with red flags and lousy weather, which also caused my speedboat excursion to be cancelled, but that was just bad luck and obviously no one's fault. (2) Speaking of excursions, I was a bit disappointed that reef fishing wasn't an option as I quite enjoyed that in the Holguin resorts. (3) Almost everything is at the main resort, a good 10-minute shuttle ride away. That includes the 24-hour drink and snack bar, gift shop, cigar shop, shows/events, excursion booking, money exchange, etc.... That said, the shuttles do run constantly and you rarely wait very long. (4) The bus ride from the airport in Santa Clara to the resort is about 1.5 hours one way and certainly even longer if you're staying at any of the other Cayo Santa Maria resorts. This is not the fault of any of the resorts, of course, but its still a bit of a negative. The downright awful: (1) Nothing. :-)

TripAdvisor users rated this property 5 out of 5

Beautiful Resort and Beach!

Lena R (Toronto, Canada) on Mar 15, 2020

Just returned from another amazing week at Iberostar Ensenachos, Coral level. This was our second time at this resort (stayed in the Spa section a year ago), third time in Cayo Santa Maria and 10th time in Cuba. This resort is the best we've visited in Cuba and we will return one day. Sadly it was VERY windy the week we were there (threw a wrench into our distance ocean swimming plans, but obviously no one's fault), but still just beautiful. We stayed in villa 6201 and the room was beautiful and enormous: one bedroom with a King bed and the other bedroom with two Double beds. Both bedrooms had full (large) bathrooms, there was another bathroom off the living room, and a private hot tub on our back deck. The Coral lobby was a short 2 minute walk, as was the Ensenachos beach - and we alternated between walking the Ensenachos beach (1km) and road to the main lobby (another 1km), or taking the shuttle (golf cart). Also spent most days way over on the Megano beach as it was actually calm there. The other thing we were exceptionally impressed with was that the pool at the Coral level was so tranquil: no music blaring! If you wanted that, it was available at the other pools over near the main section of the resort. I was impressed that the resort is taking environmental action in eliminating plastic straws (paper ones were offered on some drinks), changing the bedsheets every three days and only washing towels if left in the tub. The food and service was very good, there was always lots of options (including so much smoked salmon, fresh fruit, cheese and bread - on top of a variety of buffet foods - the 'cuban corner' tended to be the best, in my opinion). Sadly there was no white wine to be had the week we were there, but loads of other options... If forced to come up with constructive criticism it would be that one night the entertainment staff went around actively soliciting votes (which was just strange as we didn't see them the rest of the week other than walking around - which was fine), and that for some reason while they have some of the best musicians in the world in Cuba, they decided to put loud children's entertainment in the main lobby right around dinnertime. Other than that, an amazing week at a very affordable price point. Oh also of note is that we took a vintage taxi from the hotel back to the airport as Air Transat allowed online check in 24 hours in advance (WOO) so we didn't feel we wanted or needed to leave on the bus 5 hours before our flight - it was $70 CUC's and well worth it. Beautiful (1.5 hour long) drive.

TripAdvisor users rated this property 4 out of 5

Previously Spoiled and now Spoiled Brats

rejuvenate (Manitoba, Canada) on Mar 12, 2020

This review is from our fourth visit in March 2019 to what was then The Grand Village and is now The Coral Level at Iberostar Ensenachos. Like a lot of repeat guests, we chose this gem for its location, beach, facilities, staff, service, privacy and yes, even the food. And unlike a lot of things in Cuba where what is one way one week, or day for that matter, does not mean it’ll be the same the next, IE GV consistently provided the same level of service/amenities each time, except, for this visit. And while current reviews gush, chatter on the TA Forum indicates that some are having the same issues now as we did then. And yes, we confess to being immensely spoiled on our prior vacations and had come to expect that this time would be the same. It would not be a stretch to say that 95% of those at the Village the same time as us were repeat guests, why management would want to withdraw services returning guests return for is beyond me, ...for instance, the Butler's function is certainly unclear now as compared to other visits. We were not checked in by one like prior trips, instead it was by a new employee not quite as smooth and polished as the Butlers previously met, though they golf carted us to, and gave a tour of, our bungalow, unloaded our luggage, and then informed us the bubbly we'd become accustomed to at 4pm every afternoon was no longer included (what???) though he'd try, he could not guarantee. Other years they'd ask us, what can we do for you?? We'd say, bubbly, 4pm every day, they'd say, that's it?? implying they wanted to do more. This visit every time we saw them they'd ask how are things, how is your room, we'd say good, but where's the bubbly?!! He'd shake his head, so sorry. But there to my delight, our last afternoon was the, surprise! flower petal heart at the front entrance, with the flower petal path out to the back patio and at last! the bottle of sparkling wine nestled inside the ice bucket. Ok, all was forgiven, sort of. The bungalows themselves were in very good condition with the exception of the kitchen, have always been uncertain as to its function aside from housing the coffeemaker and found it a bit run down (cabinet missing from the front of the fridge, the countertop damaged), however the rest of the suite was very clean and well kept. The bedding was satisfactory, the towels a bit thin and ragged, they were changed every day even if we placed them up top to indicate they didn't need a change. The new jacuzzi on the terrace was lovely and bonus, offered a view of the trees/water/night sky. Our room was kept spotless, with new beach towels left for us every night. Landscaping throughout, as always, was impressive, with butterflies galore and lots of teeny leaping lizards running round. Was apparent the mangroves/trees were still recovering from the devastating damage caused by the 2017 hurricane, but they seemed to get greener every day we were there. Repairs were also being made to all the beach boardwalks throughout both resorts. The pool area was as serene as ever, though my critical eye picked up on some broken tiles, that the pool lounge cushions have a new cover over the original covers, the patio umbrellas a bit tattered, the pool bar's shelves emptier, no blender therefore no icy frothy creamy drinks and some days, despite there being sparkling wine at the main resort, no sparkling wine at this end. The lobby was still a very lovely comfortably elegant area, even with the annoying music videos played on the tv, but much better ambience was provided when the live entertainment arrived in the early evening; some of the chairs have been partially recovered, however the bar cabinet there too was also a little emptier. Dinner at El Colonial was always a treat, with impeccable professional service (with familiar faces too, while at breakfast/lunch there were unfamiliar though very friendly faces) and delicious menu items, though it is small menu everything we tried was very good - chicken, steak even!, pork, lobster, decadent desserts. Lunch at the beach restaurant (sometimes at El Colonial if rain was a possibility) was either garlic shrimp, grilled lobster, french fries, salad, club sandwiches, ice cream, or variations thereof. (Hope the Beach Restaurant is back in service as that sure was a nice place to have lunch!!) Breakfast was either outside by the pool, where new to us, full length shades had been installed, which at first glance looked good however the birds were still able to get inside, and it was also a bit stifling there with less air movement, and the pretty view of the pool and landscaping blocked. And because everybody tries so hard with whatever it is they have to deal with in Cuba, my critical eye also overlooked the masking tape holding the menus together. We ate all our meals in the Village's restaurants with the exception of our last night, giving into our hankering for a large plate of pasta and made a visit to the main buffet, and there to my surprise was a large bowl of chopped onions, what had been missing in every one of my omelettes at the Village (sorry, no onions today heard 7 times), and lunch at the Spa section, which truly is another very serene area, though I was disappointed there was no sparkling wine there either, however did see it being served a short time later so perhaps my timing was just not right It was also lovely being entertained by amazing musicians during dinner, however complaints from other guests that the music was too loud (it wasnt) and that they couldn’t carry on a conversation (you are not supposed to talk while eating) meant the music got moved to the lobby, and with the lengthy time dinner took and the short amount of time the musicians were there, it was a scramble to get out of the dining room quick enough to hear the music. Obviously we would’ve voted to keep the musicians at dinner but no one asked our opinion! Included in our Sunwing pkg was a 30 min massage at the Spa, however there was no waiver included, as has been in the past, in our welcome envelope. When asked about it, one of the Butlers said yes, it was still included, that it could be arranged through him. So if you were unaware about this perk, no one would’ve brought it to your attention that it was included. The beach loungers were still the blue plastic type, the tables definitely showing some wear, but with the view Ensenachos provides, very very easy to overlook :) Ensenachos beach was as spectacular as ever, the likes of which if you wanted to see elsewhere, would have to pay much more to see (ie like a Bahamian Out Island's), and therefore we took what we saw as the Village's new shortcomings with that in mind; also, we paid less this trip than the other 3, lucky are we that we can follow the prices and book last minute, this one booked two weeks prior to departure. That being said, those that were there the same time as us that was during their spring break paid substantially more, so we certainly felt their frustration with the changes that've occurred. In conclusion, we pouted because we didn’t have bubbly every afternoon (the perfect accompaniment while jacuzzi-ing), onions in our omelettes, blender drinks, a large selection of booze to choose from, sat on recovered cushions underneath tattered umbrellas and couldn’t enjoy being serenaded by musicians at dinner (= 4* rating), BUT, the staff was friendly and the food good, the surroundings beautiful with a spectacular beach, the accommodations good and the new jacuzzi even better (= 5* rating), and, we got it for a bargain – should be a winner but being spoiled brats we just want things the way they used to be!!

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