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All reviews blau privilege blau marina cigar bar main resort lobster a la carte adults only section private beach sister hotel main lobby quiet resort ceiling fan pasta recommend this resort internet card salad bar keep in mind
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Reviewed February 5, 2018

Here is the review I wrote for Air Canada Vacations...

We stayed at Cayo Libertad from 12/25 - 01/01. We booked this property under the AC guidance that it was a 4.5* hotel... which could not be further from the truth. We booked at this 'adult only' section to have better services. We could not eat at the 'exclusive' Cayo restaurant because the food was swarmed with fruit and houseflies. We ate all our meals at the main buffet - defeating the purpose of our adult only vacation.

The food was no better at the main buffet - but at least it wasn't swarming with bugs. AC Vacations also advertised that one gourmet à la carte, and four other à la cartes - only one of these were open during our stay. We ate one meal at the à la carte, where we sat beside a man in grey sweatpant material shorts and flip flops... an as I'm sure you are aware, the à la cartes are supposed to be more formal.

Also, AC advertised a Disco - which was boarded up. The first room that we were given was a absolute disaster with junction boxes hanging off the wall, to a broken shower with a rusty nail sticking out. I immediately went to the front desk and asked for a room change, what they offered me was no better so I waited until 3:30pm on 12/26 to speak with our AC rep, Alex.

During this time I was also sending messages to AC Vacations via Facebook Messenger - I couldn't spend the time/money on calling the 1-800. I advised Alex that afternoon that "this place was a dump" and we wanted to change hotels. Alex said we couldn't change hotels without incurring more fees, so he spoke with the manager and got us an upgrade to a suite. We were satisfied with the new room - it still didn't solve the issues with the bugs in the food, but since we had already spent thousands on this trip we couldn't afford to sink more in. On Thursday, Dec 28th at 3:30pm we get a call in the room from Alex - my Facebook Messenger conversation had gotten back to him and he advised that since we booked on the 'carefree' package we could change hotels without additional costs. We mulled this decision over - but we had already arranged and paid for two excursions from the hotel for Friday and Saturday morning and it would be best to stay and not mess those bookings up. Had AC contacted us sooner than 4 days into our trip, we would had gladly changed hotels since it's what we asked for in the beginning. Bottom line, this hotel should not be recommended by ACV.

The place is clearly under resourced and under staffed. As we spoke to new, or existing guests, they were equally blown away by the lack of resources, food, cleanliness and the overall status of the resort which is very obviously neglected.....no it's not "just Cuba". Varadero is lined with resorts, and we investigated others, which were perfectly fine. I have numerous photos to share with AC Vacations - but I can not upload them all to this form. I look forwarding to hearing from AC Vacations with a resolution to our complaints. Let me emphasize how exceptional the staff were at the resort, they worked within their power to make up for the lack of resources, but ultimately, we were "sold" on a vacation promise by ACV, that this place couldn't come close to living up to.

Date of stay: December 2017
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
9  Thank Tanya S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed January 31, 2018

First time in Cuba, so our expectations were fairly low and this is reflected this in our review.

Upon arrival, the staff there were great. CARLOS was our transport to the island and he was very knowledgeable on everything. A great drive from the main resort to our check in and a super great dude. A+++ with respect to hyping up the potential of the resort. Unfortunately, we didn't see him after our initial delivery to our room where he went above beyond our initial expectations . In fact most of the workers there did the same. What we didn't know at the time of booking was that the management of the resort was changing and that only maybe 10-15% (a generous estimate) was occupied so a lot of the advertised amenities and restaurants were not open at the time we stayed.

This resort could be amazingly awesome if operating to its full potential. The beaches are a 5 star plus, even if there were jellyfish washed up at low tide. On the couple of days when the weather co-operated with us it was incredible. ROLANDO and SANDRA the pool bartenders were only too accommodating and they made great drinks.

The weather ended up turning crappy towards the end of our stay, so you can't blame them for that.

The restaurants there was typical of Cuban resorts and the various chefs there did their best given their limited resources. While we might have ordered the same dish from the a la carte menus, there was several different preparations to which some were great and others were lacking. (If you get their Pollo Empanado, then you will hit the jackpot!).

Service from the restaurant on site from LISBET and YAMIY was absolutely five star and you can tell. When we showed up during non-service hours, they ensured that we were satisfied and even spoke to the chefs to make sure any request we had for food was looked after. These ladies went way above any expectations. We cannot go on about how much they looked after us given the limited resources there were to ensure any requests we had were satisfied. In fact, on our last day there LISBET came to the main resort to wish us a safe and happy trip back home! TIP: Restaurant El Penon is always a la carte, and you can order a carribean lobster almost every night if available and is !muy sabroso! Chef will cook anything you order even if it is not on the menu as long as they have what you want on hand. If not they will do their best to make whatever you request.

Please keep in mind that Cuba is still a communist counrtry that is under an economic embargo from the United States so that things such as food and accommodations that you are accustomed to or are expecting aren't going to be exactly like at home. What you think is missing is made up for in the kindness and helpfulness of the workers there. They are making the best of their situation.

If you are expecting a Kardashian type escape from real life then you might want to look elsewhere. Although once the new company assumes total management of the resort this might change your opinion.

Room tip: Room 2807: Good one.
Date of stay: January 2018
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
6  Thank MMM6566
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed January 20, 2018

I was looking for an adults only, peaceful and beautiful vacation destination. Specifically, I did not want a high rise hotel. Cayo Libertad at Blau Marina was perfect. Located at the tip of Veradero Cayo Libertad is an adults only section of Blau Marina. About a 10 minute walk from the rest of the Blau Marina resort it is perfect if you are looking for a peaceful vacation. If you are looking for action and parties this is not the location for you. (While I was there a young couple moved from Cayo Libertad to the main section of Blau Marina because they found it too "quiet and boring!"). There are a series of small buildings with 4-6 suites. All have either an ocean or marina view. The room was clean and lovely with a balcony. There is a restaurant specifically for the visitors staying at Cayo Libertad, but you have access to the whole resort - including bars, restaurants and all the activities at Blau Marina. Access to Blau Marian is a short walk away or can be accessed by a frequent shuttle that travels between Blau Marina and Cayo Libertad, but only those registered at Cayo Libertad have access to the adults only section. It is a bit more expensive, but worth it. My only complaint was the spa service I received. I booked a facial and a reflexology. It became super clear that the guy doing the treatments had no clue what he was doing and used a peppermint cream on both my feet and face. Unfortunately he did my feet first and then before I knew it moved to my face and began the same sort of treatment that he had done on my feet. It was a bit of a spa fail, but he tried! Other than that it was one of the best vacations I've taken!

Room tip: For better views a second floor room is the best.
Date of stay: April 2017
  • Trip type: Travelled solo
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank JoanMarie2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed January 14, 2018 via mobile

The Blau Privilege Cayo Libertad in Varadero, Cuba was definitely not a privilege during our stay Dec-January 2017-2018. Staff members told us there were only 250 guests at this massive resort, which is likely the reason for the poor service, lack of amenities, lack of bathrooms, soap, toilet paper, and hand towels, and lacklustre food.
The grounds are absolutely beautiful, so upon arrival, we were very excited. I have travelled several times to Cuba, as well as other islands, and have come to expect a welcome drink. Instead, we were simply greeted, albeit nicely, by a staff member at the “privilege” lobby. We went to the “privilege” restaurant for our first meal and were given the à la carte menu, from which I chose the lobster bisque and lobster tail. We thought there would be a buffet available, but it was actually only a small salad bar that changed minimally for each of the three meal periods. The bisque had absolutely no lobster in it, and my boyfriend was given a strange soup in lieu of the “ham and cheese mountain” appetizer he had ordered. The lobster tail I was given was covered in something very unappetizing, and the side for both of our entrees was something unappealing featuring boiled cabbage.
We visited that restaurant 3 times for meals, ordering the same “chicken marsala” entree with french fries because our stomachs were upset from the second day of our trip on. Each time we ordered this entree, it was different - the first time the chicken breast was breaded and there was no sauce, the second time it was grilled with a small amount of salsa (delicious!), and the third time it was a leg and wing with no sauce. The staff usually did not return to inquire whether we needed anything after the first time they poured us a drink. Food at this “privilege” restaurant was only available during specific times, so if we wanted to eat at other times we had to walk a kilometre, or catch the trolley to the main lobby. (This meant many daily tips that residents of the regular resort wouldn’t have been required to pay, which would be fine if we didn’t have to wait for a ride.) Food was available in the buffet, but only during the same times as our restaurant. We can only assume that the 24 hour restaurant was closed down because of the small number of guests.
Service in the buffet was terrible. Tables were left unclean, so once we found ourselves a table we would wait up to 15 minutes for a server to give us cutlery, napkins, or take a drink order. Food at the buffet was inconsistent yet repetitive. It seemed that if we liked an item, it would not be replaced, while unpopular items would remain replenished. We greatly appreciated the fresh pasta bar and grilled fish/meat station, however the flavour of almost everything we ate at this resort was just slightly “off.”
The New Year’s Eve buffet was outstanding, with plenty of options, champagne, and beautifully carved edible decorations. The resort gave each guest a bag of New Year items, along with a glass of champagne and lucky grapes at midnight. Another highlight was the Cuban party held at the outside restaurant by the main pool for lunch on Saturday. The pork and crackling were delicious, and we thoroughly enjoyed trying juice from the sugar cane, that was freshly prepared. If only the rest of the week was as enjoyable.
The main bathroom beside the buffet was always out of toilet paper and never had hand towels of any sort. The floors were usually wet from the toilets, and the only soap was in an unlabelled and uncapped bottle beside one of the sinks.
My boyfriend and I decided to make use of each of the pools, but were very disappointed to experience that they had bolted the washrooms at two of the pools, and had the bars closed down. We enjoyed the seclusion to a point, but having washroom facilities readily available should be a bare minimum expectation. It truly felt like we were not privileged, despite paying to be in the “elite” side of the resort, because we had to take the trolley multiple times a day to get anywhere. I assume that during high season this side of the resort might be more desirable, but with such a limited menu we were forced to go to the other side for most meals.
Upon two occasions we required room service, as we were being picked up before 7:30 am for an excursion as well as the bus to the airport. Unfortunately for us, the resort changed their room service hours to the same as the restaurant, so we were unable to even order a sandwich to take on these long bus rides. The morning of the excursion, I went to the restaurant at 7:20 hoping to grab a few things from the salad bar to take with us, but the staff had not even set it up yet. I asked if they could possibly make us a couple of sandwiches (bread, cheese and ham), and this request was not appreciated, although it was granted.
Typically, when staying at a resort, I prefer to eat in the specialty restaurants every night. Here, they were absolutely disgusting. (The resort had only one restaurant open per night, simply changing the plating in the same room each night.) We ordered the chicken soup in the Cuban restaurant because we were feeling unwell from the food. My soup had minimal pieces of chicken, while my boyfriend’s had only 2 pieces of spinach. I ordered fish which came out black - not from charring - and had me running to the toilet immediately upon consumption. The soups we ordered in the Italian restaurant were similar - meaning my boyfriend’s minestrone had two large pieces of broccoli, while mine had none. I enjoyed the lasagna, but the pizza my boyfriend ordered was inedible.
This was my boyfriend’s first trip to Cuba, and I can assure you that neither of us will be returning. I have never had such a terrible experience at a resort, which is only magnified by the fact that this could have been a truly beautiful resort. (When we asked for a map of the premises, we were told that the resort had been sold and was changing ownership - another possible reason for the poor food and service).
This feeling was shared amongst several other guests with whom we were speaking.
*Incidentally, we suggest bringing mosquito repellant if you travel to Cuba during the winter months.

Date of stay: January 2018
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
8  Thank vacayohyeah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed January 12, 2018 via mobile

Fabulous resort. Very friendly stuff, relaxing atmosphere, beautiful beach with white sand, drinks and food very tasty.
I loved sitting in the balcony of my room looking to the stunning sunset. We will definitely come back

Date of stay: January 2018
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
3  Thank Heidy C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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