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“Exceeded Expectations” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Sol Cayo Largo

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Sol Cayo Largo
Ranked #2 of 6 Hotels in Cayo Largo
Winnipeg, Canada
Level Contributor
10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“Exceeded Expectations”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 January 2012

Spent a week at the Sol CL from Jan 20-27th. This is my 4th time to CL, second time at the Sol. The last two years we stayed at the Gran Caribe Playa Blanca and decided to switch over for this trip to see how they compared. We much prefer the Sol and will be staying here for future trips. We are a couple in our early 30's and travelled with my parents.

Check in went smoothly as there were only 6 or 8 other couples checking in from our flight. We discovered that we were given "Superior" booking status, which basically means that the resort makes your a la carte reservations for you, you get a free lobster dinner as an extra a la carte, you get "preferred" check in (you get to sit at a desk instead of stand at the counter), and your mini-fridge is stocked daily with pop, juice boxes, and beer. Not something I'd pay extra for but it was nice to have lots of drinks in the room.

The room itself was really the only minor let-down of the week - it was an oceanview, which we'd paid for, but had a few issues (air conditioner had to be serviced, and once it was fixed it started leaking after 20 minutes of use, toilet ran all the time, ceiling fan had only one speed - blindingly fast - and we weren't sure of its stability so didn't use it when weren't were in bed). Bed was average. Bathroom and decor a bit tired but not unacceptable by any means. Maid service was prompt and well done.

The beach was lovely - lots of palapas and chairs available. We found it pretty windy so sadly didn't spend all that much time down on the hotel beach. We travelled to Sirena 3 of the days and had a great time there though it's a pretty serious business trying to get beach chairs there. We took cabs - 2CUC per person - rather than the trains which we aren't all that fond of. We arranged to go out to snorkel on the reef right from Sirena - $20CUC per person for around 1.25 hours of snorkeling which, for the quality of the reef and the fish to be seen, is a steal. Highlight of the snorkeling was observing an enormous Eagle Ray for 10+ minutes.

The pool is lovely - spent time around it for the first time in any of close to 10 trips down South. Chairs and palapas widely available and it was peaceful and not windy. It's a nice undulating shape with nicely kept gardens around and throughout. There were a few rips in the liner, but while we were sitting by it there were hotel and management staff evaluating the liner and it seemed, making plans to repair or replace it.

Food - this was the best surprise of the whole trip. This was the best food I've ever had on Cayo Largo - obviously the management of the hotel has heard travellers' concerns regarding the quality of the food and are taking real steps to improve it. Breakfast - lots of fresh fruit, crepe and omelet stations, and the usual other breakfast fare (hot food, pastries, meats and cheeses, etc.). Most lunches we had at the pool restaurant (great pizza!) or at the Ranchon on the beach (fabulous BBQ items!). We had all our dinners at the buffet - didn't even bother with the a la cartes. Dinner was fabulous. Great selection - pasta and two stir fry stations, salad stuff, breads, cured meats and cheeses, and always a lovely carved meat item - pork, turkey (AMAZING), fish, Beef Wellington. Management and head chef types were always circulating to ensure quality control. We were blown away by the food which was definitely the best we've had in Cuba. There were flies around but the food staff would burn smudge pots on the less breezy days to try to deter them. It wasn't terrible by any means and is to be expected in an open-air eating area.

Service was good to very good throughout the resort. Buffet staff got to recognize that we always had a table of 4 and would set "our" table accordingly before we got there. Bar staff was quick and polite. Grounds staff and other staff were friendly. The only blip was the gentleman working the front desk but I think it might have been a language challenge.

Overall - a trip to Cuba is all about expectations and doing your research before putting down your cash. Cayo Largo is what it is - quiet and beach-oriented. You get what you pay for at these resorts so one shouldn't be expecing 5* rooms, service and food unless you're paying for it.

Feel free to send me a message with any questions, I'd be pleased to answer them.

Room Tip: Ask for rooms that face the beach for a quieter experience.
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  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
7 Thank NGM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Wasaga Beach, Ontario, Canada
Level Contributor
25 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 January 2012

I loved the simplicity of the resort....being just a short jaunt from the airport was great. When we arrived, we were informed that no accommodation had been reserved for us...we sat in the lobby for 2-3 hours, and had no explanation from any of the staff whether we were going to ask for a tent or we were going to be assigned rooms!....none of the staff were sympathic of our dilema, or even suggested that we go to get refreshments while we were waiting...I found our rep was of no help whatsoever...couldn't understand English, therefore, could not explain why all this was happening. The food was not the greatest....certainly would not order a burger at lunch...seems the flies beat me to that. At least breakfast and dinner were inside, so we didn't have to share with the flies. I think I spent most of my money tipping the waiters/seems you got the best service as long as you were generous with your tipping....is this not 'all inclusive'...I must say, the rooms were immaculate....clean bedding every day, and the maid service was number one! I have travelled to a lot of resorts, everything from a 5+ to 3*...I'm not sure this was even a 3.

  • Stayed February 2011, travelled with family
    • 3 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
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Millicent N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
41 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 January 2012

I stay to Sol Cayo Largo 6 days.Daily rate 235cuc all inclusive.the doors of the room they dont close prorerly and is a space ,the rooms are not cleaned carefully and they never change seets.The rooms are not safe because the balcony door needs two people to open or close them and they dont have locks.The food quality was full of flies Rating 5/10 and every day it was the same food.The beach in front of the hotel wasnt as playa Sirena.Was windy with waves .Playa sirena 7 km away from the hotel by "train" is the number 1 and the only one of the island.All the hotel was smelling because for the garden watering they use daily the
wastewater treatment.Finally at the pool they dont have always clean towels for the beach to give and they just say sorry,come later,the same is happening and for the room towels that never smell washed.Stay away from the hotels chain Melia.

  • Stayed January 2012
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank leftispap
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
46 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 January 2012

A very comfortable resort offering large rooms and bathrooms with a beautiful beach front. The beds are very big and the room was spacious. The rooms had curtains that could be drawn to close out all light, there was a small balcony and a TV & fridge. The water was hot and good pressure.

The resort facilities included two pools (adults and children), a bar next to the pool to get drinks and snacks (burgers, sandwiches etc), a great hot tub, pool side bed chairs and bed style pergolas. There was an activity centre nearby the pool as well providing balls for water sports and also table tennis and chess. Plenty of trees and palm umbrellas to provide shade for when the sun peaks!

The food was average but being an island I imagine its difficult to transport produce. It isn't a 4/5 star by European or American standards but by Cuban stanards it is. It equates to a 3.5-4* as the facilities are a bit old but everything works and its comfortable.

The bar made great cocktails and the gardeners were even handing out fresh coconut (get a splash of rum added at the bar). There is a pizza bar that actually made surprisingly good pizza! The entertainment team were excellent. They had a wide range of activities to appeal to young and old with a very enthusiastic and friendly approach. They were all very lovely and made our stay enjoyable and engaging.

There is a small train that leaves at 3 times in the morning and returns in the afternoon to transport patrons to the idyllic nearby beaches – there are sun beds scattered about for use. There is also other facilities at the beaches including hire of canoes and a bar etc. There is also a bus that goes around the island for a small charge of CUC$1 per way if you feel like exploring other areas.

The reception staff were lovely and our room was available upon check-in at 7am! It was a pleasant surprise to be allowed to our room at this hour considering the early start to fly in from Havana. The check-out was equally convenient with a bus transporting everyone to the Airport (5 minutes down the road but the bus takes 30 minutes as it does the rounds at other resorts) to tie in with departure flights.

Room Tip: Ask for a room away from the entertainment pergola for a quiet experience. Make reservations for din...
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  • Stayed December 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Adventuring_Aussie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
montreal
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 January 2012

The Sol is very cool and quite, the last hotel of the beach. You can walk along the sea for km. The resort is very clean, The airport is at 10 min. The beach is all you need. All the restaurant are Ok! If your not happy whit this place stay home

Room Tip: Far away of the pool and restaurant if you need a quiet vacation otherwise all the place is OK
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  • Stayed February 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank MarcPell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
UK
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 January 2012

Sol Cayo Largo may well be the best resort on Cayo Largo but, unlike what Lonely Planet suggests, it's not 5 star. Based on a decent 4 star resort we stayed at in Varadero, I'd rate Sol Cayo Largo closer to 3 stars.

The beaches are amazing. The resort on the other hand is tired, a bit shabby, and the food is quite average at best. The whole place just needs some attention - when the first thing you come to upon entering the resort is a swampy pond covered with moss and with quite a pungent odour, you realise the attention to detail isn't quite there.

For the price I'd expect a lot more. You obviously pay a premium to stay on Cayo Largo, but at 4 times the price of a better resort in Varadero, I want to be blown away by the resort itself.

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 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?
7 Thank Marcus W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sans Souci, Australia
Level Contributor
62 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 582 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 January 2012

This was our third time to the Sol and we had a very restful vacation, fortunately for us, even with more than the "normal" bumps & hiccups along the way. We found a terrific deal that worked out to about $210/day for the both of us, and that's realistically all we would want to pay for a basic non-OceanView room here. After sharing each of our experiences at the Sol last spring with a friend here on TA, her comments (…"we just weren't that enamoured by it on our last vacation"…) really resonated with us. Our trip was good for us ~ it was 10 days, which was great. However, after the vacation "high", there were just too many "little niggles" that we took in stride (as we are "always look at the bright side of life" types), but others may not see things in that way ~ therefore we took our time in writing a review about it, because we weren't sure how to put that "feeling" down in words.

We had been assured, by email, of a room in the area we've been in before ~ more to the west end of the resort, very quiet & away from all the action and noise of the pool & theatre. Unfortunately, after checking in, we found out by looking at the map, they had us located right by the pool restaurant, with a balcony facing the theatre! So, it was back to the front desk staff to let them know there was "un pocito" mistake in where we were supposed to be located and, fortunately for us, we were happily and cheerfully accommodated! Whew! Good thing to know a few words in Spanish! Building #3414 - room was rustic and basic, but very clean. Unfortunately there was no phone, and a toilet whose tank was running constantly, but a new & working hair-blower! There was shampoo & conditioner, but no soap - later we went to one of the "maid huts" and fortunately for us, got the last bar. Apparently they had no soap for a few days there, one of the maids told us. So we made do with the one bar, and the bottle of shampoo (good thing we always travel with our own ~ just in case) for three days... then we got three bars! Fortunately for them, we understand "es Cuba!" ~ others may not! The AC was a bit loud and even louder at other times, but fortunately for us, we never travel anywhere without our earplugs. No problem, it's all part of travelling and we've used them in many other hotels, too, all for various reasons. We had the AC looked at, the phone was installed, and the toilet also was fixed. Fortunately for us, the maintenance team of the resort was very prompt and well run ~ as long as you let them know of any problems.

The west end of the beach had plenty of palapas. By 7am, more than half were reserved, by 8am, all were reserved. Don't know about the ones out on the east side towards the Pelicano, but it looked like there were quite a few out that way since that resort was closed, and there was a beach out in that direction, too. We're not ones to play the towel game so if we wanted a spot, we ended up most times out past the resorts' beach where, fortunately, there were a few palapas set up further from the water's edge, randomly here and there all the way to the point. The main beach directly out front of the resort was there for two days, then, it was basically gone (we researched this, as there was a "new moon" phase) for 4-5 days and was coming back quite nicely the last 2-3 days. The palapas here in front of the resort were random, some stood OK, others were toppled, some were dug in topside of the rock wall. We had to go "rock climbing" like mountain goats to get from the west beach's entrance boardwalk to the Beach Bar, each day. The climb was precarious at times and fortunately for us, only one toe was stubbed throughout the vacation ~ not sure how other less fit and agile guests managed.

Our 2nd day @ 8:30am, was when all the Pelicano guests (2 buses) were brought over to the Sol. We knew that the Pelicano was closing from May - October, and that the pre-booked guests would be transferred. We were fortunate to have seats already at the buffet before they all disembarked, as they had to form a line-up outside and had a long wait for their breakfast. The resort was 80% full on Friday, and 110% (according to our favourite beach-bar attendant, Miguel Antonio) on Saturday! Fortunately for us, we knew this ahead of time, so we had made sure we were the first to book our a la cartes Friday afternoon (4-6pm @ the Gazebo by the Lobby). The Beach restaurant "La Ranchon" really isn't an a la carte anymore, as it's now a (very) small buffet and you have to go out to a new "BBQ Hut" on the boardwalk to pick out, and stand in the sun to wait for your meat to be grilled. Again, we knew this upfront, but others may find it odd to have to wait in a line-up to book "a la carte" for a buffet. We arrived early, and were fortunate to be the first guests to be seated at the table in the front-western corner, affording us quiet solitude with amazing views. Thus we had a wonderful evening, even though the mosquitoes were soon out in force as fortunately, we were prepared with plenty of bug-spray.  We had a great meal at "Las Trinas" too, as we chose all our favourite items off the menu on the first visit, and didn't feel the need to go again. The only reason we would have gone a 2nd time, would be that the choice of red wine was better there than the rest of the resort ~ although we had no complaints with the regular house-wine. We were told at booking, that with 10 days, we could come back, line up again and book each "a la carte" a second time, but we didn't bother. By that time *Sand Gravity* was setting in, and we didn't want to line up again to book. We were more than happy with all the choices at the main buffet, and Anabel & Ivis (they are the best waitresses there!) took very good care of us! And again, fortunately for us, we are early birds so we experienced none of the long line ups to get into the Buffet.

The Main Lobby Bar used to be our favourite spot ~ always friendly, quick service, even when extremely busy ~ but no longer! We ended up only going there for our daily morning cappuccinos, freeing up our table at the buffet for the next hungry guests, since we like to linger over a great coffee. The Main Lobby Bar really changed ~ it was the feeling that you were an inconvenience, and that they really weren't eager to do anything for you. That said, we endured the wait every morning ~as we really, really wanted cappuccinos~ because we found a new favourite spot! Fortunately for us, "La Marimba" was more convenient, has a new outdoor patio/deck seating area that catches the ocean breezes and ~bonus~ is in close enough proximity to overhear the live entertainment playing each evening at the Buffet!

As mentioned previously, it was an adventure to get to the Beach Bar each day, but fortunately for us, we had Miguel Antonio awaiting our arrival to serve us with a smile! Each year, he tells us that I'm the only one drinking red wine on the beach, but we know he'll always have it ready and waiting. In fact, once when he saw us coming, he waved at us and said he'd "be right back", as he ran up the staircase to the Beach Restaurant's bar to grab a bottle of Chilean wine for me! Talk about "service"! We really missed him when his shift was over and his replacement told me that they didn't have any red wine, but fortunately for us we could go and get it up at the Beach Restaurant or the Pool Restaurant! =8-(

Fortunately for us, since it depends on the number of returnees, not only did the Sol Melia General Director send us a "Welcome Back Letter" along with a bottle of rum, but we were also invited to the "Repeater Dinner" on Tuesday night at the Pool Restaurant, the Sol Azul. It was very nicely planned and well attended by staff who were courteous, friendly but professional. Special Martinis were handed to guests, as they arrived to be then promptly escorted to their respective tables. The tomato based lobster soup was excellent, as was the whole meal, except perhaps for one appetizer ~a failed paella attempt?~ rice pressed into a round shape, with some type of seafood ~> very bland looking & tasting. Most all of the guests' plates were barely touched. The one staff member Noel ~who has a keen sense of humour~ kept going around, making a "face" and asking people at the tables... "So! How is the rice?" !!! It was very funny as he had all the guests laughing, including all of the staff members! LOL! He handled the whole situation brilliantly, as everyone knew that the rice course was a "bomb"! It was a wonderful evening over all - live music from the attending 8-piece Cuban House Band on the resort, dozens of candles created special lighting, while white linen covering the chairs and tables transformed the whole restaurant ~ it was a unique and tropical magical event! Quite special, really.

All in all, we had a very relaxed, low-key and restful vacation. It was just what we needed, and we weren't sure how to rate it this visit 3*? 3.5*?. Cayo Largo isn't a place we would recommend to all people but, fortunately for us, it met our needs for rest, recuperation, relaxation and rejuvenation! 

  • Stayed May 2011, 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
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
14 Thank GalivantingGardener
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sol Cayo Largo

Property: Sol Cayo Largo
Address: Cayo Largo del Sur | Archipiélago de los Canarreos, Cayo Largo 27900, Cuba
Region: Caribbean > Cuba > Cayo Largo
Amenities:
Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#1 Romantic Hotel in Cayo Largo
#2 Luxury Hotel in Cayo Largo
#2 Family Hotel in Cayo Largo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Sol Cayo Largo 4*
Number of rooms: 296
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in Cayo Largo del Sur, in the middle of the Caribbean Sea. All Inclusive Four-Star resort with 296 rooms. Ideal for enjoying its pristine environment and for exploring its idyllic landscape and crystal-clear ocean bottom. The resort faces 600 meters of beach renowned for its perennially cool white-sand. Recommended for couples, weddings, honeymoons and groups.Guest Rooms296 rooms: 244 Standard, 34 Standard Ocean View, 10 Standard Superior Ocean View, 8 Junior SuiteDining3 Restaurants (A la Carta, Buffet, A la carte and mini-buffet), 1 Cafeterias, 3 Bars ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sol Cayo Largo Hotel Cayo Largo
Sol Hotel Cayo Largo
Cayo Largo Cuba
Cayo Largo Sol Hotel
Sol Club Cayo Largo

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