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securityottawa
Ottawa

Fabulous!!

5.0 of 5 bubblesReviewed Feb 6, 2007
My husband & I just returned from a 1-week stay (Jan 27-Feb 3/07) at the Melia Cayo Guillerma Resort. One word - FABULOUS! It was my 2nd time there - went last year with (3) girlfriends, just to relax! After showing off my photos last year to my husband and friends, I really had no problem returning this year with another couple. It was their first time in Cuba, and our 3rd visit.. We are going back next year!
The resort is rated a 5* - don't forget - you are in CUBA - this is not the Hilton. If you want to complain, then stay home! These people work extremely hard, long hrs, and are always smiling! they are very happy there - and what do you expect - you're going there for the heat (and let me tell you, we certainly had that), the drinks, eat and be merry!!
The rooms were cleaned daily, with towels and sheets. Who cares about the stains on the bedspread - you're only there to sleep. Who cares about the furniture in the room - you're only there to sleep. Who cares about the extreme hot water - once in the sun all day, you actually want lukewarm water to shower - it cools you down! But I have to say, we did have really really hot water on some days, and had to turn the tap down a bit because it was too hot and pinching my skin.
As for the food, I'm the real fussy eater at home, and for me to say I'd return, well doesn't that tell you something. I don't eat fish, but I survived - I certainly didn't starve. Hot dogs, hamburgers, french fries, pasta, beef, chicken, pizza was the best I ever tasted, there was alot of variety. Even the lunches & breakfasts were very good. Their breads, dinner rolls, french sticks, are to die for! Extremely fresh and delicious and the desserts too!
The beach is breath taking! absolutely fabulous - even at Pilar beach - a MUST see!
As it was my second visit there, even the nightly shows were completely different - it was all new shows, which was pleasant.
The staff are extremely friendly - always, always smiling, talking, giving me flowers everytime I saw someone.
There were improvements compared to last year - a second computer was installed in the lobby, an outdoor patio just outside the lobby bar, also we were able to reserve at the Grill restaurant (The Rancho) for another evening dinner.
The resort is only 7 years old, and it took them 4 years to build - but for Cuba, this is worth a visit. Ten days would be a perfect stay...oh well, I'll take anything!
You felt extremly safe there - they won't even try to take stuff from your room. Every morning, I would leave a few items on the bed for our made "Yeisy". She would see my husband sometimes during the day, and would always thank him. She would even leave me a sweet note on the bed...they appreciate everything you give them, and they don't expect it either. Don't forget how poor these folks are. If you go, I would suggest bringing some old clothes and other stuff (like running shoes, jeans, t-shirts, nylons, crayons, etc), as it costs them alot of their cuban money to buy just a pair of pants - and shoes, well forget it...they will do without...this is just a small thought, in case anyone should decide to take a trip to Cuba.
My husband did take a stroll along the beach on (Thursday) and went to the next resort (can't remember the name, but they had a green bracelet), and started talking to a couple (perhaps mid-forties). They live outside Montreal, and the names are Manon & Yves. He was to return the next day, with myself and the couple we were with, but never made it. All that to say, he didn't get their last name, so, Manon & Yves, if you read this email, please send us an email to ps_michaud@hotmail.com
All & all, the Melia Cayo Guillermo Resort to us is rated 5, all the way! Send us an email, if you want more details - would be happy to share. Can't wait for next Jan!!! VIVA CUBA!!
PS...I can't imagine anyone complaining about this resort - you people don't know what you're talking about!


Date of stay: January 2007
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    3,039 - 3,044 of 5,830 reviews
    Reviewed February 5, 2007

    My husband and I just returned from a fantastic one-week stay at the Melia Cayo Guillermo. We were there from January 27 - February 3, 2007 and had a wonderful vacation. We are age 29 and 32, and travelled with another couple in their early 30's, all from Ottawa, Canada.

    This was my third time to Cuba, but our first time to Cayo Guillermo. If you're looking to experience Cuban culture, to do some shopping or to visit historical buildings - this is not the place for you. The closest city (Moron) is an hour and a half away, and Havana is at least a three hour drive! But as long as you know this in advance, I assure you - you will be disappointed.

    The location is beautiful, the colors are amazing and the feel around the resort is in one word: calm. I was skeptical of this at first as I typically do not enjoy being so isolated but I was honestly never bored, despite the fact that there (at first glance) seemed to be nothing to do. Please take advantage of what IS available to you and I'm sure you'll have as much fun as we did.

    The staff is worth mentioning as they were truly wonderful. I have always enjoyed the kindess and warmth of the people in Varadero, but noticed an extra notch of friendliness here. Tips were genuinely appreciated and never expected. The bartenders were friendly and took the time to talk to you if you so desired. Our maid, Yeisy - was incredible. The best service we've had anywhere in all our vacations. Even the gardeners and security guards went out of their way to say 'ola'.

    The food was surprisingly, good! The buffet had quite a lot of variety, and there were two other restaurants that offered lunch and snacks throughout the day. The resort has three speciality restaurants and you're able to reserve at two of them. We tried the Italian and International restaurants and were pleased with both. The decor at the International was very romantic, and the food there was excellent. Please put on your bug spray well in advance as there were many hungry ankle-biters at this location (it's right next to a swampy lagoon area so it stands to reason).

    Excursions: if you enjoy snorkelling, you must visit Pilar Beach. It is a short drive away from the resort, approximately 20 minutes by scooter (which I highly recommend you try!) and well worth the bumpy ride. The beach is breath-taking, the sand is even more powdery and white than at the resort and the water is perfectly clear. If you're comfortable in the water and have flippers, please venture to the far left of the beach next to the cliff. There is a natural coral reef there that is truly amazing. There are small jellyfish in the water and many tall plants that you need to watch out for, so please use caution. If you're not a confident snorkeller, you can easily see small schools of tropical fish and several large starfish within the main waters. My sincere plea to all of you tourists, PLEASE* do not take anything from the ocean particuarly conch shells, sand dollars or pieces of coral. These areas will only remain beautiful for as long as people let the shells and coral be. Feel free to pick up (with caution) and look at anything you see, but always put it back as these items - even though they appear dead and/or uninhabited, can and will be re-used by other creatures in the ocean.

    The jetboat excursion was equally fun and well worth the money. If you like being on the water and would like to drive your own boat, this is a must. The boats go quite fast but are extremely safe. Even though you feel like you'll tip over, I gaurantee you won't.

    Other than that, please take advantage of all the free activities and areas of the resort that are included with your booking. Take a salsa lesson, play volleyball on the beach or in the pool, play bingo, watch the evening shows (the Cabaret Night was my favorite). There is a bowling alley that is off the resort but only a 2 minute walk and only 2 peso's per game. It's a small alley with only three lanes but very modern with automatic scoring, glow-in-the-dark balls and bottled beer for only 1 peso!

    I give this hotel two-thumbs up and would recommend it to anyone. As I mentioned before, as long as you're aware of how isolated and quiet the area is - you'll be certain to have a good time.

    Please email me if you have any questions, I'd love to help out!
    kellygregoire@yahoo.com

    Date of stay: February 2007
    • Trip type: Travelled with friends
      • Value
      • Location
      • Check-in / front desk
      • Rooms
      • Cleanliness
      • Service
      • Business service (e.g., internet access)
    11  Thank CrazyCanadianGirl
    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 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
      • Value
      • Location
      • Check-in / front desk
      • Rooms
      • Cleanliness
      • Service
      • Business service (e.g., internet access)
    14  Thank laurenjade
    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

    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.
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