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“Okay stay but won't be back....” 2 of 5 bubbles
Review of Gran Caribe Club Villa Cojimar

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Gran Caribe Club Villa Cojimar
Ranked #6 of 6 Hotels in Cayo Guillermo
Huntsville, Canada
Level Contributor
15 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Okay stay but won't be back....”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 February 2012

We just got back from a 1 week stay Feb. 11-18 2012. It was our 3rd trip to Cuba and first to the Cojimar. First, some of the things we liked: We had rooms 139 and 140 for my husband and I and our 2 daughters aged 12 and 14. The rooms had an adjoining door which was a bonus. The rooms were really spacious and we all found the beds to be very comfortable. Of the 2 toilets, one flushed well but the other was sluggish. The showers had great pressure and lots of hot water. Our cleaning staff were great and very attentive and the kids loved the swan creations. The staff even made a swan out of a fleece blanket we'd brought from home. We liked the layout of the resort. Lots of pathways to explore. The beach area was great also. Lots of chairs available both in the main hub and along the more private areas on the beach. We all loved the shows at night and it was great to watch how much care they took with the wee ones in the children's program. On the down side: The food was a real issue. The family went through a full box of Immodium and my husband and I each lost a full day by having to stay close to the room and bathroom. The buffet selections weren't great. They did have some stations for cooked to order food but the lineups for those could be really long. They ran out of plates at almost every meal and there would often be 5 or 10 people milling around waiting for the new dishes - - often these arrived with a film of old food that hadn't been washed off very thoroughly. The Cuban al a carte was so-so. It had a pretty thin "salad" bar that was supposed to compliment your meal but.... other than mealtimes, there was a lack of food to be found. There was a panini grill and a hot dog stand at the pool but they weren't available all the time. At other times, they would run out of ingredients so you could get a grilled bun with some peppers on it or some other bizarre type of concoction with what was left. The buffet was open from 7 to 9:30 for breakfast, noon to 3 for lunch, and 7-9 for dinner. At other resorts, they tend to have a beach grill or somewhere that you can get a variety of food in the non-buffet hours. By not having other options, the food thing was an issue. I was really disappointed on our last day and felt that the hotel could do more to plan ahead for the guests needs. Our shuttle to the airport was to leave at 6:30. The panini grill ran out of food (other than buns) by 5. That meant that there was no food available for any of the 43 of us (10% of the hotels guests) other than Pringles chips. Just a little touch of customer service would have gone such a long way in ending of our trip (and final impressions) on a positive note. However, the italian restaurant was awesome and we really enjoyed the meal that we had there (or maybe it was our excitement of finally having an appetite after 3 days of touchy tummies). Highlights: double decker bus ride; Playa Pilar beach; sunset dinner by horse and buggy; little gecko lizards; watching the kite surfers; walking on the piers; the "drunk guy" at the night show;

Room Tip: Upper floor rooms are really spacious. All rooms have connecting doors. Junior suites look nice but...
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank kdpatterson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (173)
Date | Rating
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English first
Toronto, Ontario
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 February 2012

My wife, baby, and I just returned from a week at Villa Cojimar. Overall we had a great time at the resort, but only because we knew what to expect. We've travelled extensively in Cuba and other Caribbean destinations, so we are not new to the country, its people, and conditions. With that said, here is my review:

The GOOD:

Pretty much all of the resort amenities are comparable to other 3* resorts in Cuba. The newer rooms are large, clean, and simple. The beds were nice and all rooms have very good split system ACs.

There are more than enough (new) loungers on the beach and around the pool. There are also some nice huts around the pool that provide shelter for groups. We spent most of our time in one of these huts as we wanted our baby to be in the shade.

The sand on the beach is unbelievably fine and white. Cuba really does have some of the best beaches in the Caribbean. Unfortunately, there isn't too much of a beach as hurricanes have eroded much of it. Also, the water is VERY shallow for a VERY long time. I am not exaggerating when I say you can walk for over 5 minuted into the ocean and not get waist deep. It's great for very small children, but no good for adults. Walking along the beach to the adjacent Melia resort will reward you with deeper water. This was the first time we did not spend our days at the beach while vacationing in Cuba. Also, please remember that this part of Cuba is often windy. We experienced relatively high winds for 5 days making it impossible to stay on the beach. Obviously, there is not much the resort can do about that, but it is something you should keep in mind if you are thinking about booking this resort.

The location is also very nice as long as you want a relaxing vacation away from the hustle of real life. Since it is one of the most deserted islands in the area, there is nowhere to go, but it is very calm.

If that was all there was to this resort, I would have rated in a 4 or a 5 even, considering the value this resort represents, however, there's more...

The BAD:

Overall, the dining experience at this resort leaves much to be desired. We were not too upset at the quality of the food as it was generally on par with other 3* Cuban resorts, almost. The problem is the training, professionalism, and quality of the staff. First, the people working the grills at the buffet need better training. They don't seem able to multi-task and therefore only make 1 or at most 2 peoples food at once, often making mistakes and getting mixed up. Because of this, there are unbelievably long, slow lines during peak times. It is really painful to watch the cooks, and I sometimes felt like helping them myself. A little training would go a long way here. Also, I believe the temperature of the grill is too low, making it take too long to cook meat.

The staff also lacks professionalism. I can't tell you how many times I witnessed a customer being ignored while a worker was chatting it up with other co-workers. I understand this is a 3*, but my experience has been that what other 3* resorts in Cuba lacked in amenities, they more than made up for by high quality professional service. Overall, dining at this resort is a little stressful, either due to line-ups or the service. This has never happened to us in Cuba before. It is a real shame as just a little bit of effort could make this place really shine.

Finally, there was a total of 4 adults in our group, and all of us had stomach trouble while we were there. This is the first time my wife or I had any issues in Cuba as we are very careful about what we eat. In the end we concluded that there must be something up with the water at this resort. I HIGHLY recommend drinking only bottled water.

I'm not trying to be overly negative about the resort since overall we had a wonderful relaxing vacation; exactly what we wanted. There were some staff members at the resort that did do a wonderful job and we thanked them personally for making our stay comfortable and welcoming. However, we will unfortunately not be returning to this resort in the future. There is better value at other Cuban resorts.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
9 Thank Just_Relax_Friend
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Keswick, ON
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 February 2012

Bring food and lots of immodium with you because you'll need it. I'm not a picky eater but I couldn't help but be disgusted at every meal - EVEN the a-la-cartes. I practically lived on cucumber slices, mango juice, toast, crunchy rice and of course Pina Colada's. Fair warning if you're not big on seafood, just about every seafood dish still had it's head and tail intact. If you like your morning coffee, find somewhere else to stay.

We stayed in room 46. It was very run down and little ants had taken over. The mattresses were old and had springs pushing through the material. There are huge gaps around the doors and no screen in the windows so had plenty of mosquitos to deal with if you needed to open the bathroom window (which you will, trust me). Even though they looked relatively new, the toilets in the room don't flush very well and don't even try the pool/lobby area washrooms after 9am.... And ladies, the hair dryers are a joke. Good luck freshening up for an evening of fun. You may ask the staff to try and fix the toilets or hairdryer but we weren't successful.

Every couch in the lobby area was infested with fleas or some kind of bug. Go ahead and sit down if you need a good itch.... We stayed over Christmas so the holiday decorations were a nice touch.

While we were there some people we met were robbed at the disco. 3 young girls purses (with money, cell phones, iPods and I.D.) were taken off the back of their chairs while they were up dancing. Hotel Management didn't want to deal with it and refused to call the police at first. At least the room safes worked. I guess they were wishing they'd used them.

The entertainment staff did their best with what they had and were always trying to get people involved and had a big smile for you. We suggested they remove some of the big rocks off the volleyball court before someone really hurt themself. The next day we saw a few men out there with shovels, but they spent more time checking out the bikinis then actually moving rocks around so watch out if you plan to dive for that ball....

We did the tour to Moron. It was nice and gave us the opportunity to some of the real Cuba.

We did the catamaran trip to the reef and snorkeled. Take some banana and bread with you and you won't be disapointed with the colourful fish you get to see.

If you think the horseback ride might take you to some beautiful spots, think again. It was a cheap ride and the horses seemed healthy but you literally go through the ghetto/industrial area of the island. A far cry from the beachy/flamingo scenery I'd hoped for. The tour guide said it was the only route they were allowed to take.

The pool was good, lots of lounges to relax on and the bar staff were fantastic. Actually all the staff were friendly, helpful and did their best with what they had.

We made the best of our week there and still had a great vacation but honestly, it was disapointing even for the money we paid. If you go, don't pay a lot because you will feel ripped off even for Cuba.

Regardless of this experience, I'm going to give Cuba another shot. Heading to Santa Maria in a couple of weeks. I will let you know how it goes (this time I'm bringing PB & J with me!)

Room Tip: Don't pay a lot for this place.
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  • Stayed December 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Rhonda D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Cayo Guillermo hotels

Saint Thomas, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 February 2012

We spent 7 days at this resort in Jan 2012. It was our first time in Cuba and we enjoyed it very much. We went with friends who had been to this resort before and they were impressed with many improvements. Our room was nice and the beds very comfortable. The beach is beautiful and the pools were great (the water is a little cool though). The staff and the "animation team" were all friendly and helpful. It's important to have low expectations for the food (we did). The food is bland and mostly
overcooked. Next time, we'll bring some spices. I saw people who had brought peanut butter and maple syrup. For the price we paid, Club Cojimar was a bargain!

Room Tip: Ask for the new rooms that are father away from the stage and the bars. There are 2 units in each bu...
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  • Stayed January 2012, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank SuzieP_18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Driffield, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 February 2012

We have just returned from 2 weeks at Villa Cojimar, there was 4 adults and 2 children and we have had the most amazing time. We where a little aprehensive after reading some of the reviews on here, but on arrival what we found was much more than we expected. Our luggage was taken to our rooms on arrival (brilliant idea), we had a downstairs room in what i would presume is the newer part of the complex. the rooms where clean and tidy - loads of hangers in the wardrobe.

The food was nice, as with all-inclusive anywhere it gets a bit boring, but there was allways plenty to eat.

The staff would move a mountain to help you out with anything you needed at any time of day - just ask!!

The pool area was great, we always got a really good spot for the day, some more umberellas would be good for the hottest part of the day - alternatively you could always sit in the pool bar...........and have a cocktail or 3!

I would certainly recommend Cojimar and go back again.

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
10 Thank HolidayQueen79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Plainfield, Ontario Canada
Level Contributor
20 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 February 2012

My husband and I just returned from Villa Cojimar (Feb. 11th, 2012). This was our second (my third) vist to the resort. There have been a lot of improvements since our stay in March of 2011. These include:
several new "golf carts" to assist guests to their rooms
upon our evening arrival, pressed sandwiches and fresh fruit was available at the pool bar
renovated deeper tiled pool, numerous new lounge chairs and patio tables
expanded lobby bar with covered area
additional massage and covered areas around pool area
several new showers along boardwalks to rinse off sand
improved beach area with plenty of chairs at the beach, more beach (dead trees, stones, etc...removed from beach area)
sidewalks were being worked on while we were there--repaired and being made wider with new and additional lighting--general improvement to the grounds was taking place
many units have been renovated with a fresh coat of paint, three panelled patio doors in older bungalows (really improves the oceanview rooms-beautiful!), new furnishing (bistro table and chairs), and refrigerators, new larger bed pillows, new lighting, new bathroom fixtures including new toilets, bidets, sinks, taps and hand held shower heads--no issues at all with hot and cold water pressure, improvements to closets and mirrors
food was very good--we enjoyed all meals--buffet--all meals--great omelettes, pasta, fresh fish--rice pudding--plenty of salads at lunch and dinner and real bottled salad dressing which was very good (first for this)--the service was excellent by all serving staff and cooks
the pizza pasta a la carte was very good (our first visit to this restaurant); the new Ranchon was good at lunch (beautiful view at lunch being close to the beach) and excellent at dinner for our second a la carte--plenty of excellent wine
as repeat guests we were treated to a special dinner at the Ranchon--5 courses, all of which were delicous
the staff were excellent--front desk were very helpful, Yanelis, our maid was excellent, PR staff, Maikel and Lolita were available for any special requests we had and organized the repeat guest dinner
Raudel, who manages the new Ranchon a la carte went out of his way to welcome us back and his staff provided excellent service--we would highly recommend this a la carte and Raudel--he goes above and beyond!
the weather was a little cool during the first three days of our vacation and we would go back a little later in the winter or late spring for our next visit--the weather was perfect for the last four days
we went for a couple of bike rides--one to Pilar Beach--you must pay a peso per bike for an older gentleman to watch the bikes-bikes are not allowed on the beach
the only issue we had was actually getting the bikes as the staff person responsible for them was rarely to be found--we probably would have taken the bikes out more during the cooler days if we could have found him
Overall, we thoroughly enjoyed our latest trip to the Cojimar and hope to return again this year.

Room Tip: definitely ask for an oceanview room or bungalow...they are very close to the water (not necessarily...
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
9 Thank ogdenm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Ontario
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 February 2012

Single travellor lots of activities. Get your beach bag ready and go down straight to the beach 2 minutes away. food is ok, staff really go out of the way to make you feel at home on the resort.

My trip into Moron, was very local and took 1 hour to get there. The staff took me to the nearby resort to a local Bowling alley converted to a dance place.

Bring souveniers for the hard woking maids and staff that provides pool side activities.

Overall take money but dont get riped off liker i did with low conversion for canadian dollars. I should have got 93 pesos for one canadian dollar. i was ripped off by the bank on the resort. The girl at the local bank was not cool.........a fraud.

That was one week, next will be Havanna or Veradero. See you soon! Ismay love cuba!

Room Tip: 2 floor bungalo is the best! Corner suites are the best for quietness.
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  • Stayed June 2011, travelled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Stella2011-12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Gran Caribe Club Villa Cojimar

Property: Gran Caribe Club Villa Cojimar
Address: Villa Cojimar, Cuba
Region: Caribbean > Cuba > Ciego de Avila Province > Jardines del Rey Archipelago > Cayo Guillermo
Amenities:
Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 6 Hotels in Cayo Guillermo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 212
Also Known As:
Gran Caribe Club Villa Cojimar Hotel Cayo Guillermo
Gran Caribe Hotel Cojimar
Gran Caribe Club Cojimar
Gran Caribe Cayo Guillermo

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