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“Fantastic Beach!”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of Hotel Pelicano

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Hotel Pelicano
Ranked #1 of 6 Hotels in Cayo Largo
Certificate of Excellence
Collingwood, Canada
Level Contributor
14 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“Fantastic Beach!”
Reviewed 22 December 2009

These are the most beautiful beaches we have ever seen...and there are miles of them to explore! If you're looking for a relaxing holiday with crystal clear blue water and worm white sand, this is the place.

The Sol Pelicano hotel was decent enough, the rooms were clean, the beer and wine was plentiful, the staff was great and the food was quite good.

Again, the beaches are fantastic, and the reason to go. You do need to be aware of the nude beach though! If you walk down to the beach and turn right, people have there bathing suits on, turn left and walk a hundred feet and your hitting the clothing optional area, and in most cases the option is naked (not just topless).

I have to admit, I am not much of a nudist, but with miles of beach with no one around, we found ourselves naked more often then not! Turn right down the beach, across the rocks and you have your selves a great area to get rid of those tan lines or whatever else you want to do whilst naked and alone with your girl in the warm sunshine on one of the most beautiful beaches in the world (nudge, nudge, wink, wink)!!!

The food was always great. The main complaints about Cuba are usually the food, but no worries here. They even had blue cheese one night!

The entertainment staff was good, activities were fun, but the pool is not heated and we found it a bit chilly if the sun was not out.

You can head into town by bus to the local disco (hotel staff), it was a good experience and lots of fun. You also need to head to the other beach Playa Sierena via scooter, jeep, or train and have the mojitos! The best I ever had!

We took a day trip into Havana. It was nice to see, but the flight back on the converted Cuban Cargo plane was a little sketchy. If your tour operator says they don't have the excursion you can simply go ask the Air Canada rep to book it for you (we went with Nolitours and that is what we did).

All in all it was a wonderful trip and we will be going back again!

  • Stayed January 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank JKnCollingwood
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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  • Location
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  • Rooms
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  • Cleanliness
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quebec
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 November 2009

Our vacation started in the rain. Landed at Cayo Largo airport late in the evening in a storm. We were greated with a non alcoholic drink and getting our room assigned was done at a good pace.
In the morning we woke up to lots of sunshine with a small view of the ocean. (did not ask for a ocean view room). We were on the second level. The rooms are clean and a good size. Yes, the water that comes out of the shower is sometimes brown in color and not always hot... but this is no luxury hotel.
We were well received in the eating area for breakfast. Loved the omelet bar... good variety.
The beach was the highlight of the trip for us!!! The sand was white and powdery, the water so clear, you could see long white fish swimming near the edge. The lack of chairs and shelter was a problem but you just need to get up early to reserve one. I enjoyed the fact that no one was bothering you to come and play some stupid game on the beach every 30 or so mins. No one to sell you stuff you don't need either. The best of all is not having to listen to annoying jetski/seadoo or motorized anything. Simply enjoyed the sounds of the ocean waves. We saw a few (older italian) people sunbathing in the nude but they are further off to the left of the beach. (not in your face)
You can also take a little "train" ride to the other beaches such as Playa Sirena and Playa Paraiso for no extra cost. Here you will find starfish and lots of white sandy beaches to relax on. If you want keep fit, there are miles and miles of beach to walk on.

The groundsat the hotel are safe to walk around but not the most beautiful I have seen. The gardeners are very friendly and will make you a nice hat or grasshopper made of some kind of leaf.
We did the catamaran excursion to iguana island then to do some snorkeling. What a beautiful coral reef!!! the meal served on the boat was also very good. We had agreat time.
We also visited the Turtle farm located in the workers village near the airport. There is a small fee to get in but well worth it.

Overall this is the best beach we have ever seen.

I DON'T recommend this island for singles, friends getaway, people looking for adventure or people looking for luxury hotels.
i DO recommend this island for retired people or people looking to just relax !!!!!!

I hope this was helpful

  • Stayed February 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank vacancechaude
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Himki
Level Contributor
38 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 November 2009

Me and my wife stayed here in Dec, 2007 for 5 nights. There is the best beach I've never seen before. Beach "Playa Lindamar" is behind Sol Pelicano and has sand like a mill and it is the most comfortable of Cayo Largo. There's no people sometimes especially early morning or after lunch time.
Some disappointments are the food (not tasty) and staff who was begging for tips often. But there were the best cocktails and barman who cooked them!
Anyway, beautiful Carribbean sea and beach of white sand are higher than some negative points.

  • Stayed December 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Medvedi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 November 2009

2008 Cayo Largo
This was our third visit to the Sol Pelicano.
I’ll try not to repeat past comments and to offer some helpful hints.
This was our first 14 day holiday and found the extra time very rewarding.
To and From- We flew Air Transat, Club class out of Montreal. Booked through Itravel 2000. They also booked our hotel for the night before departure. The room, including 2 weeks free parking was $87.00 plus tax. Park and fly for one week last year was more than that. Club class originally listed for $160 per person, each way. Total both ways $640, ouch, too much. At the time we booked it cost us a total of $300 for two, both ways. Club is nice, we buy it for the extra weight allowance, but we don’t refuse the free bar or hot meal.
Arrival- First time in four trips that we have not had our luggage searched. We carry NJT supplies each year, which usually result in a search. This time, first off the plane, first through customs and there were our bags. We weren’t sure what to do. We usually have a bus to ourselves after the luggage check. In fact we were almost disappointed.
Check-in- It can be slow, but we were again first up to bat. Plus, repeat guests are taken to Guest Services desk and processed there, making it even quicker.
Room- Request was sent a week before departure and was exactly what we wanted. Rooms haven’t changed much. Shower and tub in this room. Hot water except around 4:30, when we showered. Hot water returned as soon as we were done. Small problem with closet door was handled same day. Insect fogging was done each evening at dusk. We closed the patio door for 30 minutes and didn’t have a problem. In fact it was into week two before we had to close the door at night due to mosquitoes. No noisy AC and fresh air was great.
Pesos- Exchange is a bit of a mystery. The CUC is tied to US dollar. At the time Canadian dollar was around .80 cents. CUC rate was .70. There is about a 10% difference. I even tried using a credit card. The charge goes through in US dollars and was converted to Canadian on my statement. Didn’t make any difference. For two scuba dives, $90 CUC ended up being $129.97 on my statement. Virtually the same amount of Canadian cash I would have needed to buy CUC.
Beaches- As stated many times, the beaches in Cayo Largo are constantly changing. Upon arrival there was lots of beach in front of both the Sol and Pelicano. A few days later there was no beach directly in front of the Sol and the Pelicano beach was limited. Our daily walks also went from 99% beach to 50% beach and 50% rocks. Water shoes of some kind make the rocky sections much easier.
Scuba Diving- I booked and paid through the Nolitor rep, Kim. Price is 45 CUC per dive. You can book one dive but you will be on the boat for the two. Morning dive is deeper, 100 ft. The second dive is 40 ft. They also talked about a “full day” trip which involved a much longer trip to the dive site. Still two dives, but lunch is provided and it costs an extra 25CUC. You are picked up at the lobby at 8:00 or shortly after and back at the hotel between 1:00 and 2:00. Full day trip is a little later. By paying the tour operator, it saves a little time at the marina. Equipment rental is 10CUC. Diving is good. The two dive masters were very thorough and while I had my own gear, the equipment looked OK.
Food- The buffet was open for breakfast and dinner. The a la cartes were open on alternating nights. This will vary depending on the number of guests. Hotel was at about 50% both weeks. We like the buffet. While there was repetition, we always found something different to try. The waiters are great and take no time to get to know you. The La Yana is a formal setting and they try very hard to make it a fine dining experience. The girls even told us when to avoid the tough beef. There is a dress code and while many of the guests will dress up for the dinner, there is always somebody that shows up in shorts. Lunch is served at the pool (Zun Zun), beach (Ranchon) and loby (Pizza Bar). They are all great, but the chicken at the Ranchon was my favorite.
Naturist- As in the past, there are those that use little discretion with the practice. Staff again mentioned that there were complaints. The problem areas are directly in front of the hotels and of course the pool area. More signs have been posted on the beach and there are still those that can’t read. Pelicano has a lot of families, more this year than in the past. It is a privilege that many will miss, if lost.
Internet Service- The office to the right of the front desk has three computers. You purchase a card at the front desk for $10.00 CUC. Scratch the card and it will give you the user name & password. Simply enter them as per prompt. It allows 60 minutes of internet use. Speed is not bad. It is faster than our dialup at home. (Rather sad fact)
Sunset Cruise- The Sunset cruise at $73.00 CUC was excellent. The ocean was calm, the meal was fantastic and snorkeling was the best we’ve had. A couple of suggestions. It does get a little cool after the swim. Take a sweater and pants, it will make the meal more comfortable. Also there is a stop at Iguana Island. Make sure you bring shoes as the walking is very rough.
Gifts- Bringing gifts has become a Canadian tradition. It is a real challenge to know what to give as gifts, especially after the 2008 hurricanes. There is no easy answer. I can only remind travelers that these people are very intelligent and well educated, many speaking 3 and 4 languages.
Havana- One of our main objectives was to tour Havana this trip. Unfortunately the minimum number of English speaking guests was not met. If I remember correctly the cost of the one day was reduced from $173 to $166 CUC. Our choice, the two day, was not offered. Our tour company does not offer the trip, but the others did.
Staff- One of our greatest pleasures is to see recognition in the faces of the staff that we’ve met. Despite all the faces that travel through each year, almost all remember us. In fact, now that I think of it the recognition came when they saw my wife. That was followed by the “who’s the old guy with you” look. Here’s is a good example. On the last day of our 2007 visit we were at the Ranchon talking to staff. One of them was a boxing fan and we exchanged our opinion of various fighters and fights. The discussion came to Mike Tyson. Despite all our efforts, including several rum and coke, neither of us could remember the name of the fighter that Tyson bit on the ear. Twelve months later, upon our return, our first stop was the Ranchon. The first question I asked my friend was, do you remember our conversation last year?. He said yes. So I said, what’s the answer. His response, “Evander Holyfied of course”. A year and 1,000 faces later and he still remembered.

UPDATE June 2009
We were very fortunate to make a second trip in June. First time for summer travel. Biggest difference, temperature. It was hot. The sun was hot, the ocean was hot, the pool was hot, the sidewalk was hot, etc. You get the point.
The hotel was very quiet. I would say there was about 25% occupancy. As before, services would vary depending on the number of guests. This time buffet was open morning and evening. The Ranchon was only open for lunch. Didn’t really notice a change in quality or variety.
Repeat guests were invited to a special dinner at the La Yana. Very nice. Special menu and flower petals spread on the floor were a nice touch. The La Yana has two sittings, 7:30 and 9:00. They ask that you arrive on time as everyone is served at the same time. Those that showed up an hour late, really disrupted the routine.
Next to the heat, the other difference was the mosquitoes. There is no question that they are much more plentiful in the summer. In addition to the daily fogging, a plane from mainland sprayed several times. We did notice a drop in numbers after their arrival.
Whether it’s winter or summer Pelicano is the same. A solid 3 Star hotel with 5 Star staff. For us, bigger is not better. With 300 rooms the smaller hotels are becoming the exception rather than the rule. It’s a quiet hotel on a quiet island. Perfect for us.

  • Stayed December 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank fireball2440
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
toronto
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 November 2009

This is one hotel I will never be going back to. Here are my reasons:
1) Staff was very unprofessional. Very flirty to the point where it became very annoying. I found it quite disrespectful. Staff is there to work, not pick up!!
2) Staff again-On the last day we had to leave our luggage in a common room (this is the normal procedure at most hotels). When I returned back to Toronto, I opened my suitcase to see that my 2 bottles of alsohol had been stolen!! Unbelievable. Make sure you keep your suitcase on a lock!
3) Staff yet again- one staff member actually asked me if I had extra clothes that I did not want, so he can give it to family members!! Excuse me??! Let me enjoy my trip and stop mooching!!

Food was not bad. The selection was limited. Room was nice, a little out-dated but at least the air conditioning worked!!
I honestly don't understand why anyone would go to this place more than once. It is just not worth it.
Also, I did not know this, (a little research on my part would have helped) but this resort is located off the main land, so visiting Havana or any other part of Cuba would take a lot of extra planning, time and money.

The only good part about my trip was the weather!! Trip was in January and we stayed a whole week with no rain!

I would be embarrassed to recommend this hotel to any friend/family.

  • Stayed January 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank ivona_07
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Montreal, Canada
Level Contributor
28 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 September 2009

Me and my wife went to Sol Pelicano in March of this year and we were impressed by this hotel !

First thing is the 4.5 min bus ride to the hotel ( the shortest bus ride we had was 40 mins), I actually timed it ! We paid 950.00 $ cad per person wich is decent for Cuba in March.

ARRIVAL : The check-in was a little messy since all 5 buses came from the airport at the same time so we can't really complain it would be the same anywhere with 250 person cheking at the same time.

ROOMS : We had a regular room gardeview but well located as you can see in my pictures. The rooms have a nice size and all of them have a balcony. The room was super clean and spotless everyday.

FOOD : Amazing ! Yes you read correctly, this place has a 50% occupancy from Italians and this shows in the food. The chef is Italian and very good. We enjoyed ALL of our dinners ( Buffet or A la Carte). My wife took a " Filet Mignon " and it was tender and cooked to perfection ! One night they did a Rosted pork ( see pictures) again absolutly fabulous. Don't get me wrong you get lobster, shrimps, scampies and champagne every night, but you have one of the best cuisine Cuba can offer.

ANIMATION : The crew is fantastic. The only down side is that half of them HAVE TO entertain the Italians and speak mostly Italian and very little english. The Cuban staff is super energetic and won't over bug you to play but if you start paticipating you will have even more fun.

BEACHE : The hotel beacheis short but clean. The water is clear but when we were there we got a few red flags. You have to take the shuittle to Las Sirenas, it is a public beach about 20 min away from the hotel and it is amazing ! (see pictures)

So Overwal it was an amazing experience and I would recommend this hotel to anyone travelling to Cuba.

  • Stayed March 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank DrFeelgood89
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Montreal, Canada
Level Contributor
43 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 212 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 June 2009

Paradise in Carabbean, no frills.
Best value for your money.
Excellent swimming.
Good food.
Clean rooms.
Helpfull staff.
People from all over the world.

  • Stayed June 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Leonardito C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Pelicano

Property: Hotel Pelicano
Address: Cayo Largo del Sur | Archipiélago de los Canarreos, Cayo Largo 27900, Cuba
Region: Caribbean > Cuba > Cayo Largo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 6 Hotels in Cayo Largo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hotel Pelicano 3.5*
Number of rooms: 307
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

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