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“Best Beach Ever!!!!!”

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Iberostar Ensenachos
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Cayo Ensenachos
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 9 February 2007

Well……………Just arrived home from a week long stay at The Royal Hideaway Ensenachos and as most reviews state; the resort itself is stunning and the service is impeccable. From my personal experience of staying at many 5 star resorts and in my humble opinion; for its destination it is a true five star resort experience.
Bus Ride and Check in - 1 hour and 15 minute bus ride to resort, great scenery and quite pleasant, it flew by. The Check in was SUPER FAST!!! There is no check in counter; there is a separate section with reservation desks, very nice. We exited the bus, I entered the reservations area and was immediately greeted with champagne and handed my envelope which held my room cards and a small reservation pack. 5 minutes max!!! I would say we were checked in and in our room within 15 minutes, if that!!!
The Resort – Beautifully laid out and very large!!! There are 3 sections to the sprawling resort, the Spa Section, The Hideaway Section and the Royal Suites Section. The resort is anchored by a central main facility building with the Spa section on the left side and the Hideaway Section on the right, pretty much carbon copy layouts. The Royal section is located a fair distance from the Main facility however; does have its own lobby, restaurant, pool area etc. If you do decide to book this section it offers 1 storey bungalows or 2 storey accommodations. This property is very well maintained and is gated for those who prefer heightened security at their resorts. This area is a good 15 minute walk from the main facility; this is a sprawling resort so keep this in mind when booking.
Pools - Each section sports a very large pool area and two separate small pools with Jacuzzis. There are wooden loungers with nice thick CLEAN pads for comfort. Pool is very well maintained and each does have a swim up bar. The service in this area is also superb; your glass will never be empty!!! The grounds are very well manicured, clean and very well supervised. There is no lack of associates at this resort!!!
Accommodations - The sections are made up of 2 storey villas, each with its own concierge. The rooms are spacious, clean and very well stocked, no disappointment with the accommodations what so ever. Satellite TV, stocked mini bar, CD/DVD player, coffee/Tea maker, Full bath w/ amenities and hairdryer, fresh clean linens, extra pillows, down throws and beach towels supplied in room daily. Maid service is daily and I have to say the housekeeping staff was the friendliest I have ever encountered in my 12 years of traveling south. There was also a nightly turn down service, we opted not to utilize this a couple of nights by putting our do not disturb sign up and our requests were respectfully followed, rare at most all inclusive resorts.
BEACH – The resort has 2 main beach areas; The Ensenachos beach located in the Royal Suites Section and Megano Beach which is the main beach for the Spa and Hideaway Sections. In my opinion, the 2 best beaches I have ever experienced!!! Clear, turquoise, calm waters, white powder sand and VERY clean. The sand is very walk able and they are quite a good size, great for a late afternoon stroll. The Ensenachos beach is more natural and undiscovered; we found many beautiful sand dollars, shells and star fish on a daily basis. The Ensenachos beach is also more secluded for a more natural suntan if that is something you like. There are catamarans, paddles boats etc available at Ensenachos, but as far as I saw only Catamarans were available at Megano Beach. There is a small bar and snack shack at Megano Beach, best hotdogs and grilled chicken in the Caribbean!!! Not to mention pretty good beverages!!! This is open daily until 4:30 pm.
Restaurants – There is one main buffet restaurant, “ Ventanas “ this is open daily for breakfast 7am to aprox 11am, typical American style buffet breakfast dishes plus an omelets station and a wide selection of cereals and pastries. It also serves dinner, 6:30pm to aprox 10pm. Good selection of international dishes, great salad bar, soup station and deserts. There is also a pasta station and grilling station with a selection of meats and chicken. For lunch you have the option of the two restaurants at either pool, the Megano snack bar located at the Spa Section Pool or the El Martino Snack Bar located at the Hideaway section pool. Both offer the same menu, which offers a good selection of salads, seafood and sandwiches etc. Try the Grilled Calamari with Garlic Mayo, outstanding, had it every day!!!! You can also opt to grab lunch at the Beach Bohio. There are 3 A la carte restaurants, Palazzo – this serves Italian cuisine, very good, excellent service and GREAT Tiramisu!!!! Azia Restaurant – it serves Asian cuisine. It has 2 Japanese Grill stations and a separate seating area for oriental dishes. Great Sushi !!! This was my favorite restaurant, very good food, great wine and super fast service. The final A la carte was the seafood restaurant “ Punta Del Pirata “ This is located between the Hideaway Section and The Royal Section, so call for a carte ahead of time. The menu at this restaurant was very good, a wide selection of seafood including lobster. I did order the lobster and I must say was very impressed with its size and quality, I could hardly finish it!! ( ya right !! )
There is also room service available from 7:30 am to 11pm, we did utilize this service after a long day in the sun and we were pleasantly surprised. The menu offered typical Room Service items, club sandwich and fries, Hamburgers etc, all very good. A bit slow, but worth the wait.
Bars – There are 5 bars at the resort; The Lobby bar which is open 24 hrs. The Cigar bar, located off the lobby in the main building. It is open from 3pm to 11pm nightly, offering international liquor. The Night Club “Luis” opens 7pm to 3 am, not very lively but still available if you get the urge to “ Do a little dance”. The Beach Bar “Bohio” located at Megano beach, offering drinks and light meals, open daily from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm. And of course there are the two pool bars, great Mojito’s!!!!
The Service – Best service I have ever experienced at an all inclusive resort EVER!!!!! Every associate we encountered could not do enough for us. They were the genuine people I have ever had the pleasure to meet. These associates do not “ do “ for tips, they were gracious and very grateful, genuinely good people. As I truly believe, you get what you give. Treat people with respect and you will receive it in return. We did tip quite a lot at this resort, however it was simply because the associates deserved and earned it. They are the hardest working people I have ever encountered and always offered a smile and a very genuine “ Hola “. It was a pleasure to spend a week with all of them.
Over all we had a great relaxing time. This is the perfect resort to rejuvenate and reenergize, it is calm, quiet and very peaceful. If you are looking for a party, this is not the resort for you. The Royal Hideaway seems a bit undiscovered at the moment, hence the affordability, but, give it 6 months, the price will sky rocket. If you can book it now, you will not be disappointed.

  • Stayed: February 2007, travelled as a couple
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47  Thank Lornadeee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 7 February 2007

We have stayed in alot of "5" stars this resort is the best of them.
We have travelled extensively throughout Mexico, and had one trip to the Dominican (Riu Bachata).

The 1 1/2 hour drive from the airport passes quickly, there is lots to see.The airport is too small, hopefully the new airport will help this problem. The Airtransat flight was on time.

The resort is beautiful. The check in went smoothly. Our room was in the 2000 block. The room was beautiful, the washroom had a separate tub. The beds were good, plenty of space in the walk-in-closet. Each section of rooms (20 per block) has a conceirge, that takes care of your needs and books your a-la-cartes. We had a problem with the wait for hot water, the conceirge had it fix within an hour. She can also arrange for room service.

The food and the alchol were both of good quality, the breads were amazing...we had heard food in Cuba was awful we were surprised. The snack bar beside the pool serves a three course sit down meal, better than many of the a-la-cartes we have visited at other resorts.

The animation staff is not very active, it is up to the guests to organize their own daily activities.

The grounds and beach are amazing. We would definitely return to this resort.

  • Stayed: January 2007, travelled as a couple
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27  Thank eztocme54
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 February 2007

I agree pretty much with what everyone else has said about this resort - it truly is a gem, and right now a steal of a deal in terms of cost.

My husband and I stayed at the RH from Jan 26 - Feb 2 and it was the best vacation we've ever had. This was my 4th trip to Cuba and I just love the country and enjoyed all the other places I've stayed, but this was by far the best. The best beach I've ever seen.

I won't go on and on about the different things in the resort as I think most of it has already been said. I do want to write briefly about the differences between the different "Levels" of rooms - Royal Hideaway, SPA, and Suites. My husband and I stay in the Spa section, but did not pay for or receive the SPA package. The Spa rooms are identical to the Royal Hideaway rooms - the only difference are their locations and in my opinion both sections are great. Close proximity to the main building, pool, activities. No matter where you stay on the property you will have a bit of a walk to the beach, but that didn't seem to bother anyone that I talked to.

My husband and I did arrange to have a tour of the royal suite section of the property - we wanted to see what all the hype was about and see if it was worth the extra $$. The suites are located a good 1-2 km away from the main building, but there are carts that will drive you back and forth. From what we saw of the rooms, they were not anything "SPECIAL" - they looked VERY similar to our room other than it was bigger, they had a small kitchen, dinning room and some had an upstairs. But it wasn't like they were furnished differently. Oh and the one we looked at had a very small hot tub outside on the patio.

With the suites you do get some extra perks - priority booking in the a la carte restaurants and access to the gourmet restaurant, but if you stay in the other section, you can speak with your concierge and he can get you in to the gourmet restaurant anyway.

The other thing I wasn't impressed about the suites section was that it seems TOO quiet and not as lush with vegetation as the other sections (this will change over time though I'm sure). I like being with people, so being that separate from the main resort would bother me - but that's a personal preference.

In my opinion the suites section is a bit over rated for the extra price. I would simply pay for the basic room, and if you are interested in the SPA services then I would pay for them a la carte.

If you want to know anything more - please feel free to email me.

thevanclan@cogeco.ca

  • Stayed: January 2007, travelled as a couple
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21  Thank warmst
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 February 2007

My husband and I, in our early sixties have just returned from 2 weeks at this wonderful resort. It exceeded our expectations and we love Cuba, having made 5 visits previously. This was by far the most beautiful resort we have stayed in, and we have really enjoyed others, but maybe because everything here is so new and unspoiled, it makes it lovely.
As other reviews have stated,the beach is out of this world, the rooms are fabulous and the food was more than acceptable and it is hard to understand people critisizing anything at the resort---this is Cuba, this is a 3rd world country and the wonderful Cubans are bending over backwards to make our stay special. I think it is the Cuban people that make Cuba such a treat to visit and we LOVED all the folk working at the resort. We were pampered and spoiled and I cannot wait to return! All the people we travelled with also felt this way and we heard nothing but good comments all the time we were there, and we felt blessed to have 2 weeks.
We tried to take as much as we could in the way of gifts for the workers and they are so appreciative. I took many pictures of the waiters, chambermaids etc. and they are so happy to see themselves in our digital camera-------if anyone reading this review is planning on going there please contact me as I would like to send some photos to the resort for our Cuban friends, as very few, if any of them own a camera. Also, if anyone wants to ask about the resort I would be happy to answer questions.
Please go to this resort and you will have a great time if you want rest and relaxation, beach and beauty all around you. Go on some trips and see the real Cuba. Have fun!
sdwgwalker@sympatico.ca
PS Thanks to the "kids" for looking after us!!

  • Stayed: February 2007, travelled as a couple
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21  Thank grammybelleville
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 February 2007

St. Catharines Ontario
My wife and I stayed at the Royal Hideaway January 26th to February 2nd.
Air Transat was fine, a fast hop 3 hrs to Santa Clara. Airport fast enough. Beautiful bus ride, 48km on a causeway, 100km in all.
Hotel: Nicest hotel in Cuba, really a 5 star. Everything about this hotel is quality, everything.
Great food, seafood restaurant was outstanding, say hi to Rudi
Gormet restaurant, again outstanding in every way.
Italian Restaurant, beautiful, elegant, food was superb!
Asian also was beautiful, hard to find better service, and better food anywhere.
The service at this hotel in unequaled, there are 489 staff, and average of one a room.
It is a beautiful hotel, immaculately clean, wonderful atmosphere, unblievable quality of the whole hotel, they really spared no expense, beautiful marble floors, lovely flore everywhere, it is like being in one giant botanical garden.
Lovely rooms, spacious with beautiful furniture marble floors
We were in a bungalow, 2 floors beautiful.
As for the concierge service, if you are in building 41 Maikel Abreu is your concierge, fabulous service, takes care of everything. At The royal Hideaway everything is possible, at it really is!
The hideaway is large, yet seemly they could have put 3 times as many rooms in it, they choose instead the create an unual atmosphere where space and nature co mingle together, it is very extraordinary. You always feel secluded here, at the pool by the ocean, it is relaxing and wonderful.
I would highly recommend this vacation gem.
Mr. Hein the manager of the hotel has put a wonderful staff together, combined it with incredible service, and place it in paradise.
By the way the beach is long, wide, one of the nicest I have ever seen in the world. White sand, turquoise water!
Great pools, clean , great service at the pools also.
The snack bars at the pool are fine dining, I hate to use the word snack bar beacause the were so much more than that.
We loved our vacation, my parents are going there for two weeks.
I could not be sending them to a better vacation stop.
If it is all about being pampered, resting, relaxing, then this place is for you.
Did I mention no kids under 14 years.

  • Stayed: February 2007, travelled as a couple
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29  Thank balut
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 February 2007

We were 4 couples ... or Crazy Eights...and we spent 01/26/07 to 02/02/07 there. What an amazing place. There is nothing that is not 5 star or better. From the service to the beach to the drinks to the smiles.

We flew through Air Transat and what you have heard of the plane is true. It is small and tight, but you are on the way to the Caribbean.. who cares!!

The airport is small .. but is air conditioned and does not allow smoking in the general areas. It is quick and efficient and much better than some of the other airports I have been in.

Check in was a breeze.. Thank-you Susette. No filling in crazy papers...no waiting for a bracelet.. or your suitcases or anything.. just a nice cool glass of champagne and more smiles. You get an envelope with everything you need and a lift to your bungalow.

We were in bungalow #32 ... they accomodated us all in one building. It was nicely located in front of the pool and a nice walking distance to the beach and lobby. Hanoy was our concierge and he was friendly and great. You may read that others are not sure what the concierge is for.. then ask! Hanoy made our a la carte reservations.. got us clean towels .. restocked our mini-bar and made an easy early morning check out for us!

The rooms are clean spacious and private. We never had a shortage of hot water, pressure or anything. Zayde and Yule kept it very clean and decorated with lovely towel art. They left you a cheery note everyday. Remember , they work hard and deserve your praise and whatever you can spare. Clothes and small hygenic gifts make the best gifts. ie . toothbrushes, toothpaste etc.

We tried two of the a-la-carte restaurants... the Italian (Magnifico! ) and the Asian (I don't know chinese for the word EXCELLENT ) . Both were definitely an experience in fine dining.

The buffets were always well stocked and you could always find something you liked. From fresh eggs and crepes in the morning to custom pasta or chicken and pork at night. I will agree with another traveller that the fruit left a little something to be desired but I was too busy looking at the deserts. ( oh and all the restaurants were happy to push a bunch of tables together to accomodate the crazy eight of us !) NOTE: long pants are required for men at all the restaurants in the evening including the buffet..so be sure to bring plenty of evening wear.. and during the day you had to have at least shorts and shirts ... no bathing suit tops for the girls.

Now the best part... THE BEACH!! Fine white powdered sand.. crystal clear water... snorkeling... swimming.. hobie cats.. kayaks.. paddle boats and all the sun a person could ask for.. no getting up early to put towels on the chairs.. there was always plenty. We always got eight together. We strategically chose eight right in front of the beach bar and snack bar... but don't worry about location .. THEY DELIVER YOUR LUNCH TO THE BEACH!! Mmm... burgers... ham and cheese paninis... hotdogs... Thanks Yoel. . you're the best!!

We also got to spend time enjoying the pool. There are two large pools on either end of the resort. They both include a pool bar and plenty of seating area. What our group really enjoyed was the fact that each pool also had two small private pools with hot tubs ... thanks Livan for making sure they were always hot and ready for us.

We also enjoyed a few fun nights at the night club as well. Thanks to Godelsey who made sure they were really "FUN"!! got a few dance lesson from Javier and had a few too many... late nights .. hee hee !!!!

I really don't know what else to say except for this is the most luxurious relaxing beautiful resort that I have been to ( I have been to Mayan Riviera and Varadero as well) The people and this place rock! I will recommend this place to all my friends and to all of you.. if you have not made up your mind yet.. you should..go to Ensenachos!!

  • Stayed: February 2007, travelled with friends
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29  Thank CrzyEights
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 February 2007

We travelled from Toronto Jan 19-26. We took the opportunity to fly Club Class and it was a very nice treat. We will certainly fly this away again if we can.

We have travelled extensively (Mayan Riviera, Puerto Vallarta, DR, Cuba, St. Lucia, Jamaica, Bahamas) and for the last few trips have stayed at Sandals resorts.

We compare the RHE to a Sandals property in terms of service and presentation and accomodations. The food at the RHE was the best we have had in Cuba. We ate at all of the al a cartes that were available (at the Asian twice). We took 2 excursions on a catamaran - the daytime snorkelling and the evening sunset cruise. Freddie and Aremis were our guides both times and I would recommend their boat "lightening".
Our friends took the day trip to Santa Clara - it was a long day but they enjoyed the outing.

The beach at this resort is beautiful. Lots of walking or jogging if you so desire. Lots of loungers with palapas for soaking up the heat and sunshine too. Beach and pool service is a wonderful treat.

We were in the 41 block - close to one of the walkways to the beach and close to a pool. Our room 4126 had a beautiful view of the ocean with a large balcony with patio doors with a screen. We were on the 2nd floor. Mikhael was our concierge and he was terrific

The staff here are wonderful and they certainly want you to enjoy your stay. We had a wonderful week and plan to return.

This is a jewel and so far Canadians seem to have a hold on the place. It was about 30-35% or less occupied while we were there.

I would recommend the RHE. We were lucky enough to stay at their sister resort in the Mayan Riveira. The resorts are very similar in their layout but the beach at the RHE is much nicer and this place is 1/3 the price.

We paid 1/2 of what we do to go to a Sandals property and this place compared for us.

  • Stayed: January 2007, travelled with friends
    • Value
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27  Thank islandgirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Iberostar Ensenachos

Address: 52700, Cuba (Formerly Royal Hideaway Ensenachos)
Region: Caribbean > Cuba > Cayo Ensenachos
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Cayo Ensenachos
Price Range: $199 - $541 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Iberostar Ensenachos 5*
Number of rooms: 506
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located on the impressive Cayo Ensenachos, Cayo Ensenachos brings all the Cuban flavour to some of the most exclusive Caribbean beaches. Holidays in Cayo Ensenachos are always great. The area features two exclusive, beautiful and quite unknown beaches. Kilometers of golden sand waiting for you and facing the turquoise-shaded ocean. Two of the beaches are bound to captivate you: Megano and Ensenachos. The heavenly beaches and the luxury hotels and resorts in Cayo Ensenachos, offer anything you might think of. Rest is only one of the attractions you'll enjoy if you spend your holidays in Cayo Ensenachos, one of Cuba's most exclusive destinations. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Iberostar Ensenachos Hotel Cayo Ensenachos
Occidental Royal Hideaway Ensenachos Cayo
Royal Hideaway Ensenachos
Occidental Royal Hideaway Ensenachos Hotel

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