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wiza
Waterford, Canada

Fantastic People, good times.

3.0 of 5 bubblesReviewed Apr 28, 2008
Just got back and must say the people of Cuba are some of the friendliest people I have ever met. They made this vacation.

First of all I must start by saying we had no problem with our flight there, on time and eventless. We booked with Transat and flew Westjet. The Cuban airport was good, we went through customs quick and with smiles from them all. The bus was waiting for us and we loaded up and off we went. The rep talked about Cuba for the 45 minute ride and we were at the hotel in no time. We arrived at night and were checked in in time to make the last 15 minutes of the buffet. Everyone and things were great till then.
Our room, number 3221 (corner room)we found out was right behind the theatre and disco. We went into our room to unpack with the sound of the theatre in the back ground. The room itself was a regular room in size and looked OK upon entering. Now the BATHROOM, the tub had mold all over the grout, rusty fixtures and the finish was peeling off. The room was older and tired. With the condition of the bathroom it made the room a 2 Star at best. Then after the show at 11 the disco kicked in, we got to listen to that bass till 2 when it closed so much for peace and quiet. In the morning we went to the front desk to get a room change, no luck. We were told there would be no roooms till Tuesday and it was in the same block of rooms anyhow so we decided to just make the best of it.
Now the second problem, the buffet. It was not people friendly when busy. You line up at different stations to get your food. Lets say you want a stir fry, you lineup and when its your turn you tell them what you want. They were using one frying pan so your food was hot and fresh, but you could have waited 15 minutes in line to order then if you are with three others you stand and wait till all three are done so you can eat together, so much for hot. If it was't busy it'd be OK. Breakfast was good, had an omellette everyday. Again sometimes you waited 10-15 minutes for them as they were popular. Overall the food was good in taste but sometimes frustrating to stand and wait. One night the buffet was so busy we waited 15 mintes just to get in. The hastle made us not look forward to eating as much as we had on other vacations.
The beach has fantastic white sand and clear blue water. We spent most of our time there. Unfortunatly the beach is very narrow leaving not much room to lounge around. They need to clear about 15 more feet back of beach area. Loved the pier for loooking out and snorkeling around. Need to fix it soon.
The pool was good and grounds well maintained. The resort is just in need of a make over in order to get it back to a 4+ star. Updating the bathrooms is a must!!
I did go on two excursions, the Jeep safari and speedboats. Both were well worth the money. The people and sights were great.
So to try and summerize this I guess I am saying the Melia is old and tired and is in need of a 'facelift'. They could also use a better system at the buffett to serve people faster when busy and need a bigger beach area. I would have rated this a 2 but the great people of Cuba and all those wonderful employees got them an extra star. I would love to return to Cuba but not the Melia unless it gets revamped.
Date of stay: April 2008
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
3.0 of 5 bubblesValue
2.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
4.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
3.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
4.0 of 5 bubblesCheck-in / front desk
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
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      Reviewed April 26, 2008

      I was at this resort from Mar.24-31,2008.Travelled with my girlfriend ,sister & her husband.

      Flight - We travelled with West Jet.Flight was uneventful the staff on board made sure everyone was comfortable & served a light lunch.The plane is a little uncomfortable for those of us over 6ft. tall.

      Airport - arrived in Cayo Coco after a 4.5 hr. flight we were processed through Customs quickly & efficiently.We boarded the bus for the 40 min. drive to the Resort within 45 min. of getting off the plane.They sell beer outside the airport & on the bus for 2 pesos each.

      Resort - Upon ariving My Brother - in - Law & I grabbed our luggage while my Girlfriend & Sister checked us in.We were in our rooms on ground floor 3000 block within a half hour of getting off the bus.The lobby entrance was quite nice laid out in bright traditional Caribean Colors.

      Rooms - we were in rooms side by side near the beach which was great.The rooms could use a little paint & freshen up but was more then satisfactory.My sister had to occassions where her room flooded from the bathroom but problem was rectified in a matter of minutes of calling front desk.We could of easily put a negative on this part but it is Cuba & vacation is what you make it so we considered this a minor blip.

      Beach - I don"t know if the previous reviewer was on the same beach but we found this beach beautiful a little narrow at high tide & several hundred yards wide at low tide. Nice & shallow but a two minute walk/swim & you are over your head.A bit of Seaweed in the morning but was cleared by a tractor crew before 9am.We always marked our spot close to the pier before 8am & never had a problem with anyone taking our loungers.

      Bars - Our favorite was the Rancho near the beach.Not to heavy on the liquor but enough to give it some zap.Next was the Lobby bar but tended to be a bit busy & noisy but was nice just outside under the umbrella"s.Wilmer the bar tender in the Lobby is always quick with a smile & a joke.The Pool bar tended to way to heavy on the liquor but they meant well.

      Restraunts - The food was very good never went hungry. We tried the Buffet very good breakfast.The Mexicain was good great Pizza.But the Rancho was very nice we went there for most of our lunches & 3 times in the eve.(A La Carte) this was our favorite.

      Excursions - we did the motorboat/Pilar Beach tour.Had a great time going through the Mangroves & snorkelling in a salt water lake,River.Snorkelling was good with many exoctic species of fish.Fed them bread & banana but be careful of your fingers.In the afternoon we went to Pilar Beach absolutley beatiful Approx. 4km of pure white silky sand & Crystal cler water.We were served beer & a nice lunch(Lobster/Shrimp).Maybe 75 people on the beach so all kinds of room.I went up in Pontoon/Motorized Glider on Cayo Guillermo beach.Enjoyed this as you got a wonderful view of the resorts & beach.(30 pesos).

      STAFF - Absolutley the best.These folks cannot do enough for you whether you tip or not.Hats off to Andres at the Rancho who always went the extra mile for everyone.This guy should be the posterboy for Customer Service.The Maids always left cool towel art on our beds.We always left a gift bag of presents for her.

      All in all had a great trip (This was my Girlfriend & I second tripwe were there in 2006).Our first time travelling with another couple & made a great choice in having my sister & her husband of 25+ yrs. join us.I am sure we will do it all over again next year.

      I do not hesitate in recommending this resort!

      Date of stay: March 2008
      • Trip type: Travelled with family
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      7  Thank Robert H
      This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
      Reviewed April 22, 2008

      Arrived at the resort without incident. The flight was great and we moved through the airport very quickly . We boarded the bus and were at the resort in about 30 min.

      At first sight the resort was disappointing because we had stayed at a new resort last year. We sat on the sofa in the lobby and almost sank to the floor. The material on the chairs and sofa were dirty and stained. Our room wasn't ready since we arrived at 10:30 in the am so we locked away our luggage in the room they have for that and headed to the bar around the pool. They made us a great grilled cheese. The rooms weren't bad but were in need of some tcl. The mattresses were god awful and the bathrooms weren't in the greatest shape. The bathrooms you could live with but they need to replace those beds. You could feel the coils. The maids did a great job of keeping the rooms clean.

      The food at the buffet was fine. Great stir fries and grilled fish and of course wonderful omelets in the am. We were there for 2 weeks however and nothing changed on the buffet. The pasta was good and don't hesitate to ask for garlic because they do have it.. I can't say I loved the International. The smell from the lagoon was not pleasant and it is a shame because the restaurant is lovely on the inside. I had a couple of good entrees there but that was all we really enjoyed . The Italian had great food and we tended to eat there in the day as well for the pizzas. We never tried the beach bar and grill in the evening because when we had lunch there was a problem with black birds. The food that was sitting out in the open was a free for all for the birds and I really didn't feel like eating it after we saw the birds sitting on the open food. Just make sure you get your food cooked from the kitchen.

      The pool was lovely so please people get out and go to the bathroom. If you have been sitting and drinking beer in the pool from 10 am to 6 pm we know you can't have that big a bladder.

      The beach was lovely to look at but unfortunately was not great to swim in. It was shallow even at high tide and you were in seaweed by the time you managed to get out far enought to swim. There was also a problem with people stealing your loungers even if you left you stuff on them and if you wanted any shade you better get up plenty early to mark chairs.

      The grounds on the resort are beautiful and it is also very well laid out. The plants and foliage are beautiful. The washrooms around the pool are in dire need of an overhaul so if you have to go, you should make a trip up to the lobby or go to the ones in the walkway by the theatre.

      The entertainment was great and the staff work so hard. Sometimes you would see them in the am doing activities and then they would be in the night shows as well. Overall the majority of the staff at this resort were awsome and are a real assset.

      By the time we were leaving, we could see maintenance being done. The ratty sofa and chairs disappeared from the lobby and there were new cushions on alot of the chairs. We saw staff going with new toilets for some of the rooms and painting being done so I thinks they are making an effort. The overall decor of the resort and the grounds were lovely.

      My husband got sick for 3 days while we were there and had to make a trip to see the doctor who gave him some pills which worked over the next couple of days. Unfortunately there were quite a few people that we spoke to had people that were travelling with them that had gotten the same thing and 2 of our travelling companions were among them. We never really pinpointed what it was. Overall we had a good time and enjoyed the staff but would not go back because of the shallow beach and the lack of good a la carte restaurant.

      Date of stay: April 2008
      • Trip type: Travelled with friends
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      2  Thank DJANovaScotia
      This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
      Reviewed April 16, 2008

      We stayed at Melia Cayo Guillermo April 7th to 14th, 08.It was a fantastic trip in every way.The staff are so pleasant, and do all they can to make sure you enjoy your vacation.Our room was always clean, and the maid left us towel creations daily. The mini fridge was kept well stocked every day. The beach,though shallow at low tide is beautiful,,with white sand and emerald green and turquoise water. The pier hasn't been repaired yet, but you can go out quite far on the part that survived the storm. We didn't spend much time at the pool, but it was also clean and lots of loungers were available.We did run into a snag at the beach one day,with a group of people who tried to take our loungers while we were in the water, but that is not the fault of the resort. The food was absolutely amazing for Cuba. We all found something to eat at every meal, and some of us gained weight.The a la cartes that we tried were good, but we prefer the buffet, where you can pick what you like and control the portions.It was no more repetitive than it would be at home.
      The entertainment was also very good.They work hard to keep the tourists happy.
      We had a wonderful vcation at Melia , and I would reccomend it to everyone. Please ignore the bad reviews,It was great !

      Date of stay: April 2008
      • Trip type: Travelled with friends
        • Value
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      11  Thank Tinalovescuba
      This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
      Reviewed April 16, 2008

      Stayed from Mar 24-31 (much to short)
      This was my husband and my first trip to Cuba, we went with my brother and partner. My brother had stayed at this resort in 2006 and raved and raved about it, he wanted to return so we went along for the ride, and what a ride it was, it was a most relaxing vacation and the property is just beautiful.

      My husband and I have been to the Dominican Republic on many occasions and keep returning there, but after staying at the Melia I'm afraid to say our Dominican days are done forever.

      Of course we had a few hiccups ( had problem with our bathroom, toilet leaked at the base and water all over the floor one afternoon, and the next day water was coming from an unknown place and it flooded our room from the bath right to the bed, but it was fixed in no time flat they had a plummer in our room in a matter of mins.) but hey your on vacation and it makes memories and stories to tell, not everything can be 100% perfect and if you let little things bother you then you might as well stay home. We just carried on and had a great time.

      I had been reading the reviews before we had left as soon as I knew where we were heading to and I have to say sometimes I wonder if people that write these things are talking about the same place or what....

      I'm akin of a fussy eater so I was afraid after reading some reviews if I would starve to death, BUT I was always able to find something that I liked and to be honest the food in Cuba is WAY better than in the Dominican, like WAY better, honestly I can't say anything negative about the food, ok maybe it could have been hotter but what ever, I didn't starve that's for sure. We ate at the buffet, the Bravo, and the Italian we did not go to the international, but I can't remember why we didn't, we did the A LA CARTS for these places as well and the service and food was excellent, so I fretted for no reason what so ever, I'm sure that anyone and everyone would find something to there liking.

      The Drinks, excellent, it depended on which bar you went to as to the amount of alcohol you would get and which bar tender to... it seemed that the pool bar's drinks we a bit to strong for my liking, if you said no more i think they thought you meant some more LOL. the lobby bar in my opinion made the best drinks.

      TIPPING - I have to say we received the same service whether we tipped or not, we would tip especially if one of us was going up for 4 drinks in our large cooler cups and those things are a MUST don't leave home with out your insulated cup... I saw people going with trays of drinks like 10 or more and not tip the guy, man that is stingy don't you think???? that is my thought anyway we would tip sometimes and sometimes no... all depended, we didn't feel that we had to tip. I found in the DR they are always looking for tips but I did not feel that way at this resort.

      We are all beach people so I didn't even go into the pool but my brother and his lady friend did. We just sat and watched the people at the swim up bar, well let me tell you this and I think that it may change your opinion of pool swimming, there was this bunch at the swim up bar, (I have reason to believe it was a wedding party)I'd say there was about 10-12 there and man they were pounding back the drinks, for about 45 mins. I watched them and not 1, not a single one of them got out of the pool to relieve themselves so I'm thinking guess where they are going, YUP in the pool so there was no way in heaven I was getting into that thing that is just so gross.... but I'm not blaming the resort for that, that is just plain and simply RUDE. Enough of that... As stated we are beach people anyway, so that is where we spent our time, and man what a nice beach, every morning the tractor comes by (well every morning we were there as low tide in the early morning so I'm thinking that they would come and clean the seaweed depending on the low tide) and picks up the seaweed. the beach is narrow at high tide but still room to move about, and at low tide you can walk out for a good ways. It was very windy mostly the whole week, but it kept you cool from the hot sun, if you went up to the pool in the middle of the resort it was HOT... So it was all good.

      As stated we had some plumbing problems but all taken care of, our room was in the 3000 block, close to the beach and very quiet, the maid was exceptional, the room was always very clean and done early in the day to so that was nice, she left towel art every day, in fact she was quiet the joker, putting hats and sunglasses on the beautiful swans she made for us, in fact I was always anxious to return to see what she had done, we left her gifts every day, I got to meet her and she told me how great full she was for the gifts.

      We went on one excursion did the sped boat, snorkeling, lunch at pilar beach (what a beautiful beach) and it was a really nice day we enjoyed it. We also loved just bumming on the beach and just being lazy and enjoying the scenery of this beautiful country

      We were also amazed at how many of the staff could speak so many languages, some could speak 4 & 5, now that is something else.

      In closing I will say that we will for sure return to CUBA and hopefully return to this resort, our vacation was wonderful, the Cubans are a great people friendly and warm, can't wait till next year, CUBA here we come ......AGAIN....

      I would give this resort a for sure 4 stars, and maybe even a 5 just for the fact that we had a wonderful experience, and I can see why some do not give it a high rating, if you have a bad experience than that is a shame, we should all try to go with an open mind, a vacation is what you make it in my opinion, it can be good or it can be awful..... We were fortunate as it was ALL GOOD.....

      Date of stay: March 2008
      • Trip type: Travelled with family
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      10  Thank penneylane
      This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
      Reviewed April 15, 2008

      We flew to cuba with first choice in the prem seats, it was great lots of leg room, great food and drink..
      Arriving @ the hotel we were given a cool drink which was welcoming.
      NO hassle @ reception, we went straight to our room, which was bright ande airy..

      The grounds were lovley and well kept... the gardeners were friendly ask them to make hats and little insects out off palm leaves, these asre great gifts and really cheep... We took gardening gloves that i got from the £1 shop and they thought they were great,

      The entertainment team were fab so friendly.. and helpful, The entertainment @ night was not brill...

      The best bit was the peir, every morning we went down to the peir ,my husband is a fisher man, and he went fishing, most mornings, if u go to the main resterant and ask for prawns for fishing they will give u a bag full... for take some @ night and put in fridge... my husband went out on a sea fishing tip and caught a dradarda (Spelt Wrong ) sorry... He brought it back to the hotel and the cheif cook it and we had it for dinner...it was fab..

      The swiming round the peir was fab, the fishes are just great, take a underwater camera.... the sea is so warm and so clear,, it is fab..

      The coffee from the bar in reception is to die for, i had coffee and baylies all the time.... heaven...

      Drinks are plentyiful and u can have mosly what your want,

      Money easy to change ....TAKE ENGLISH POUNDS and change them @ the bank easy....

      Only used the beach resturant once, the piza place was great,
      after 2.00pm u can have take out piza,

      We had a fab holiday as we ment some fantastic people,

      You wanna go with an open mind, as this is cuba and not uk....
      people very friendly and helpful, food good, drinks fab....

      If u go and compalin then just look out side the hotel, and see what is out side, or ask how the people live, it opened our eyes.. i can tell you....
      If u decide to go .. have a fab holiday and say hi to the entertainment staff........

      Date of stay: August 2007
      • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
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        • Rooms
        • Cleanliness
        • Service
      10  Thank craftytrace
      This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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