My friend and I decided to take a girl-friend trip together (without husbands!) This was the first trip to a Caribbean resort for both of us, and we were thrilled. No problems getting through customs, and the resort was only 5 minutes away by bus, and we were processed quickly at reception, given our card-keys, and had our luggage carried up in short order, so we were settled in and on the beach by early afternoon. Can't say enough about the beach - it was amazing - white powder, clear, clean water, beautiful breezes, hot sun, lots of palapas and lounge chairs to camp out on for the day, and you can walk for miles! We lived on the beach, and swam every day.
The hotel rooms were fine - not anything fancy, rather pleasingly rustic and extremely clean, comfortable, and well appointed with a good hair dryer, safe, iron, lots of closet space and drawers, a desk, telephone, bar-fridge, TV (although we didn't use it) and great air conditioning. We could plug in our hair straighteners and curling irons direct in the bathroom - they have 110 wiring and plug-ins that are well marked. We always had hot water for showers, and although the water pressure was a little low, it was fine. We had an ocean-view room on the third floor. They provide chairs and a table for the balcony, and we enjoyed beautiful sun-rises there. The staff at Sol Pelicano are friendly, and always so happy to help. Nice! Special thanks to Elisa, who daily replenished our bottled water, and kept our room spotless, in spite of all the sand we tracked in!
The food was far better than what we had expected from the reviews. There was always chicken or fish, and we loved the rice. Other nights provided a beautifully roasted young pig (complete with head!) roast of beef, fresh prawns/fish that they would cook while-you-wait. The breads were excellent. Salads were limited to cabbage, carrots, beets, cucumber - but really, I could live without lettuce for a week, and I developed a taste for the shredded beets! The deserts were pretty well the same every night - a variety of ice creams, with small pastries and fruit and cheese. Rice pudding was a highlight for me! Breakfast had a great variety, although I mostly had the made-to-order omelette, which was perfect every time. Try the guava jam on your toast! Coffee in the dining area was a little sketchy, and certainly not like Timmies, but you could get a great espresso or cappuccino at the bar or water front restaurant.
The dining area took a bit to figure out for us as "newbies". (This might have been explained in the "welcome" info session, but we skipped it as we were on the beach!) Our first evening there, we were invited by one of the waiters into "his" area of service. This seems to be the norm, and many people stay with "their" waiter for the duration of their stay. We moved around a bit, and found that the seating areas where the buffets were set up were a little nicer to be in - brighter, more airy. When we found an area that suited us, we stayed there. The first area we were in, although quieter (without the traffic of the buffet) had an off-putting smell to it, so we moved along, and were happy to find smiling faces and waiters who made you feel most welcome. Thanks, Gonzalos!
The grounds are good - a few issues (as stated in earlier reviews) but again, we were there for the beach. The pool areas were great. There are some interesting cement sculptures scattered between the buildings, and some amazing flowers that I have yet to identify. We saw hummingbirds, iguana, geckos, a hawk, a stork, and pelicans. Be sure to climb the tower and get a view of the whole resort. You can see the other side of the island from there. We were surprised by how "scrubby" the island looked, expecting, I suppose, a little more "tropical" feel. But the blue waters of the Caribbean and palm trees in the resort more than made up it.
We were prepared for the mosquitoes from the reviews, so took lotion with DEET, and found that we weren't bothered much. I felt bad for the children though - many had many bites on their faces. The secret here is to not head down to the dining area until after 7:00, because they don't open the doors to let you in until then, and standing outside waiting is where folks seemed to get the most bites.
There is a shop on site where you can purchase souvenirs - beach towels, t-shirts, bathing suits, cigars, rum, etc. They also set up tables with souvenirs outside of the dining area each night, and you can purchase hand-made wooden pieces and bits of jewellery, etc. I bought a wooden crab that was rather nice - all jointed and made of a variety of woods. Be sure you get "finished" pieces (as in, varnished or oiled) as they will check for this at customs when you are coming back into Canada.
We were looking for peace and quiet, and to relax - and that's exactly what we got. We read and slept on the beach all day, then fell into bed about 10:30 at night and went out like a light and slept all night. Perfect! I would definitely return to Sol Pelicano. Gracias, Amigos!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located in Cayo Largo del Sur, in the Caribbean Sea. All Inclusive Four-Star Resort with 307 rooms. Its comfortable accommodations offer guests the chance to enjoy a peaceful and calm vacation. The property faces 600 meters of beach, famous for its perennially cool white-sand. Fun-packed recreation programs for both children and adults. Recommended for families.Guest Rooms307 rooms: 259 Standard, 36 Standard Ocean View, 12 Junior SuiteDining3 Restaurants (A la Carta, Buffet, A la carte and mini-buffet), 2 Cafeterias, 2 Bars ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Sol Pelicano Cayo Largo