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laurenjade
Kingston

Very Relaxing

4.0 of 5 bubblesReviewed Feb 5, 2007
My husband and I were looking for a little rest, relaxation, and time together in a beautiful setting, we found all of that and much more at this resort. One outing that is a must is Pilar beach. However you need to get there, bike, scooter, taxi, this is a must see. The beach is truly a little slice of heaven right here on Earth. We only booked one excursion during our week which was the catamaran. Worth every penny, probably the best day of our trip. We stopped at three different locations for snorkelling, then had a fabulous lunch (lobster and chicken), then stopped for about 1 1/2 hours at Pilar beach. On the way back at the end of the day we saw dolphins off the side of our catamaran. Spectacular!!!
The entertainment team at this resort is very good. We really enjoyed the evening shows, the quality of talent is exceptional. We don't normally go to every show while at a resort, but here, we didn't miss one of them!
The room had everything we needed. You have to shower early in the morning or early in the evening to get really hot water. I had read reviews before leaving, and brought a scented candle in case the room had a bad odour. Didn't seem to be problem, but we lit it anyway!
I seem to be wildly attractive to sand fleas, which is sometimes a problem, near the end of my vacation I am covered in bites. Therefore I suggest bug spray to those of you who seem to attract bug bites!
Our favourite meal was at the grill for dinner, and our best dessert came from the "banana man" who makes these wonderfully scrumptious crepe banana to die for desserts, every evening at the buffet we saved room for one.
Overall, a great getaway, not without a few minor problems, but you get that with anything, anywhere. It was well worth the money we paid to go!!
My husband and I don't ever wish to return to a place we have already been, too many places to go and discover, but, would I recommend this resort to my closest friends? Definately!

Date of stay: January 2007
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
4.0 of 5 bubblesValue
4.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
4.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesCheck-in / front desk
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
3.0 of 5 bubblesBusiness service (e.g., internet access)
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    3,041 - 3,046 of 5,829 reviews
    Reviewed February 4, 2007

    We are a couple in our mid-forties who just returned from MCG on Friday, February 2, 2007. We had been a bit concerned before going due to many critical and even negative reviews of the resort. For the price we paid ($1000 CDN total), we were quite satisfied; I wouldn't want to pay much more than than that for this particular place however. That being said, we had a wonderful time and would absolutely return to this resort. It's a small resort with all of the attractions, restaurants, beach, etc. being of walking distance from the rooms. The rooms would probably benefit from a little make-over, but were really quite comfortable considering the amount of time spent in them; they were clean and modest; the water pressure was low for shower and toilet, but manageable; we were in block 3, close to the disco, so a little loud, but again tolerable; don't forget to bring faceclothes and kleenex (none to be found); cleaning staff friendly and helpful, although no one ever thanked us for the gifts and pesos left daily for them; don't forget to tip the bar person who fills up your frig (you can leave him a tip in the frig at the end of your stay).

    The food was really not bad at all...even the buffet. For one week's stay, I can say that the variety at the buffet wasn't bad...fresh meats and fish and shrimp), etc. There wasn't much of a selection of fruit though. The Italian restaurant was great; don't forget that you can go there for lunch instead of the buffet. The international restaurant (Laguna) was the best (scampi), but beware: this restaurant and the other (Rancha: not sure re: spelling) serves their shrimp smothered in mayonnaise!!! Try to reserve a third night if you can....5 pesos to the reservation person might help you get a table! We knew no one who got sick from food or water....but bring immodium in case....especially if you're not feeling well enough for the 45 minute bus ride to the airport or the flight.

    Re: tips: although we were told that it wasn't necessary to always tip, we did: gifts (nylons, gum, writing pads, coloured pencils, pens, bars of soap, facial cleansing products, moisturizers, candy, deodorant, toothpaste and toothbrushes, etc.) and a couple of pesos daily for cleaning staff; half a peso for drinks; one peso for breakfast, 2 for lunch and buffet dinners; 3-4 pesos for dinners at restaurants; we even left $20 CDN for our Transat Vacations rep as she was very friendly and helpful; I don't know whether we were very generous or just so-so, but we felt good about leaving these amounts. It's very important to leave convertible pesos as tips, not Canadian coins; you can either convert your money at airport or hotel; we did it at the hotel; $20 Canadian gave me just over 14 pesos; it's better to do this at the airport....apparently less expensive. They won't take loonies or toonies though...only paper money.

    The beach is GREAT.....parts of it are crowded with everyone competing for a parasol....but you can find some quiet spots if you look hard enough. Don't fret if the weather forecast is poor....some vacationers I met decided to go on a tour to the town of Moron on a day that wasn't supposed to be hot and sunny...in the end, it turned out to be an amazing day and they were disappointed they missed a day on the beach. The pool was small and crowded, compared to what I've experienced...but everyone's in the same boat and a good sport.

    The staff is very friendly, but we didn't get many expressions of gratitudes for the gifts and tips left. The vacationers were mostly Canadian....I would even say mostly Quebecois....some Europeans.....so, it's not a cultural experience....it's a week where you're transported out of -25 degrees to +30 for sun and beach.

    We had a great time....it's a modest resort that I would give more three stars than the four and a half it boasts.....but, it's fine....enjoy the sun, beach, staff and other vacationers....we'll be back next year!!!

    Date of stay: January 2007
    • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
      • Value
      • Location
      • Check-in / front desk
      • Rooms
      • Cleanliness
      • Service
    12  Thank Gigi1959
    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 February 4, 2007

    Well after reading some of the negative reviews written about this beautifull hotel, we were a little apprehensive when we arrived.
    And to be honest im not going to pretend that all was sunsine and twinkles when we finally arrived at the hotel because there were some problems. The rooms that we were allocated were on the ground floor and had a very bad damp problem resulting in what can only be described as a mouldy kind of smell,now being a chronic asthmatic this was a little concerning for me!

    We went back to reception and complained so they took us to see some more rooms which also had some what of a smell about them so when we tried to complain again they said that we would need to talk to our Rep! now to cut an increasingly long tail short the rep got us upgraded to the top floor appartments with a sea view and no damp at no extra cost the same night....

    We settled into our rooms and to be honest we did not look back from there,The hotel is stunning with a fabulous beach crystal clear sea and beautifull grounds. Everywhere is clean and well groomed and the staff are so helpfull in every aspect(even though i did think that quite alot of them seemed to have birthdays while we were there) which to be fair i didnt mind because of how well they took after us.In particular if you go to the buffet make sure you sit at the table closest to the food hall as Anna and Luis are the Best waiters there by far.

    I loved this holiday and will be going back next year even though we had a few teething problems it still turned out to be a relaxing paradise with warm staff(some times coldish food though) and a chilled atmosphere dont beleaive all the doubters some people are just never happy and really hard to please.
    Happy travelling xx

    Date of stay: January 2007
    14  Thank ABODGEUP
    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 January 31, 2007

    My wife and I stayed at the Melia Cayo Guillermo 16th Jan - 30th Jan 07.

    We have been to Cuba previously, 4 times, at different locations, so we did not expect any 'surprises'. Nor did we get any...!

    We researched this hotel and all the surrounding hotels on this Cayo and on Cayo Coco to familiarise ourselves with the region - easy with Trip Advisor and other sites via the internet, so no excuses from all the 'moaners and whingers' who post poor reviews.

    When we arrived (after a 10 hour flight from England) the door key (card) would not open the door to our room, the boy carrying our bags promptly returned to reception and changed the card (10 min wait). On entering the room we found it to be basic, not 5 star as advertised (well, Cuban 5 star) but more than adequate - apart from the room safe not working, the TV not working and the toilet seat 'loose'. A phone call to reception and they promised to come and fix the problems within 30 mins - 45 mins later (Cuban time) a guy arrived, changed a 'chip' in the safe, replaced batteries for the TV handset but could not fix the toilet seat (not his job!) so I fixed it (5 mins) (British time!)
    Whilst all this was happening we un-packed and had a couple of Havana Reserva rums whilst waiting - chill-out, it's Cuba.

    We have read many poor reviews about the quality of the food at this hotel and we can tell you that the food is GREAT. Bear in mind the price you are paying for your vacation - this is not an expensive hotel (compared to Sandals or Couples) - so don't expect the finest steaks, lobster, caviar or champagn - like some Trip Adviser reviewers seem to do!
    We had a variety of freshly cooked food every day (cooked to your liking on the griddle by one of the chefs) - fish - (snapper, tilapia, swordfish, bonito) - shrimp, calamari, beef steak, pork steak, chicken breast, plus all the other dishes and side dishes from the buffet. Ok, you have to stand in line whilst the chef cooks it for you - but it's worth it - don't be shy, tell him/her what you want and how you want it cooking - in England this service would cost a FORTUNE.

    The speciality restaurants were good (no need to stand in line) and it was great to be 'served' by enthusiastic waitresses - the 'best' (in our opinion) being the 'International' (across the car park in front of the hotel).

    The beach, as reviewd before, is narrow at high tide but very nice, white sand, palm trees, lots of sun beds and a great pier going out into the clear blue - chilly ocean in January.

    All in all we can recommend this hotel if you want to relax, eat good food and have some great Havana rum.

    Date of stay: January 2007
    17  Thank 19,654
    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 January 29, 2007

    i had read the reviews before I left for the melia and went with an open mind. The hotel is rated 5*, please remember this is carribean star ratings, it is more like a UK 3*. When we arrived we got allocated a ground floor room, very clean, not musty but I wanted to be upstairs, was not a problem, the hotel moved us at 4pm the next day. Towels changed daily, sheets once per week, we did strip the bed once and the sheets were changed. if you have a problem speak to customer relations, they will sort it out for you.
    the beach is perfect, yes some of the sun loungers are broken, we mentioned it to our rep who spoke to the manager.
    The food is good, the stir frys with Angel were lovely, both specilaity restuarants are nice, yes slight smell from the lagoon but we juts changed tables, was not a problem. The italian at lunchtime was fantastic, best tasting pizzas I have had for ages.

    Please bear in mind this hotel is miles from anywhere, 1 hour to the nearest town, so if you want to chill out, this is the place for you. If you want to shop, dont go here.

    Can I ask that you read the reviews with an open mind, people will always find something to moan about. Just remember the star rating is not UK standards. The melia was definatly a UK 3*.

    My only negative comment, the toilets at the pool bar and in the lobby were not cleaned very often, lots of time no toilet paper or hand wipes, and the gents particulary smelt, but thats cause the men didnt flush the urinals!!

    Sharon Northampton jan 07

    Date of stay: January 2007
    • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
      • Value
      • Location
      • Check-in / front desk
      • Rooms
      • Cleanliness
      • Service
      • Business service (e.g., internet access)
    12  Thank shazza0207
    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 January 28, 2007

    Here are my comments on the Melia Cayo Guillermo. I was there for a week with my boyfriend. We have travelled several times to Cuba, Dominican Republic and the Bahamas. We always pick a 4 stars or higher when choosing a resort.

    Beach:
    FANTASTIC! The most beautiful beach I have ever been too. It is true that it is narrow but that was just a detail. When there is no wind, the water stands still and it is crystal clear. The sand is white, smooth and soft, no seaweeds too close to the shore (some if you go deeper), no jellyfish, no rocks or anything. Mid-afternoon to late afternoon, the tide goes out and you can walk out in shallow water forever. It was also great for long walks along the beach. Gorgeous! By far the best part of this resort!

    Buffet:
    No major complaints there either. Knowing that the food is usually pretty blah in Cuba, we were not expecting much so we were pleasantly surprised. My boyfriend is a world-class picky eater and I didn't hear a peep from him all week!! No complaints on the variety or the quality. The bread was the best! And the flamed bananas too. Only negative is that service can sometimes be really slow (i.e. getting our drinks, and long slow lineups for the food that is cooked in front of you)...but this is Cuba.........

    Beach grill:
    No complaints there either. I had a cheeseburger almost at every lunch and my boyfriend had hotdogs. Everything was very good.

    Staff:
    No much too say there. It did not impress me but there wasn't anything really negative either. I seemed to remember Cubans being more hospitable in previous trips though...

    Room:
    That is where it goes downhill. The whole resort is kinda old and decrepit but the rooms are the worst. I would give this room a 3 stars and that is being generous. Very basic room. The only chair in the room was a wicker chair with no cushions, completely useless considering how uncomfortable it was. The beds are really hard (again, I guess you have to expect that in Cuba). The sheets are cheap and the bedspread had stains on it. We got two double beds pushed up together. The bathroom was in serious need of renovation. A bit icky if you ask me. No bugs whatsoever though.

    Grounds:
    They were okay but the resort is really small so there is really not that much to see. We were at the Melia Caribe Tropical in Punta Cana the previous year and that was spectacular so this was a bit of a let down. But if you've never been in the Carribean before, you may like it.

    Conclusion:
    I would not go back there (even thought the beach is to die for) and would not really recommend this hotel unless you are getting an extremely good last minute deal (which we did, thank God!) just because of the grounds and the rooms. There is also not a comfortable chair or seat anywhere. When I got back on the plane, this may sound pathetic, but it was the most comfortable seat I was in all week! ; )

    Date of stay: January 2007
    • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
      • Value
      • Location
      • Check-in / front desk
      • Rooms
      • Cleanliness
      • Service
      • Business service (e.g., internet access)
    8  Thank Mack2007
    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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