What a wonderful vacation we had at the Melia Cayo Coco resort in Cayo Coco Cuba! Having stayed at other Melia hotels before, we thought we would give this one a shot, as it is an incredible value. I will say, it's not 5 stars, it is at best a 4, however this does not impact my opinion of the resort. To me, 5 start is luxury, and this was not luxury. However, if you are after a fantastic secluded, lushes tropical paradise then Melia Cayo Coco is for you.
The hotel is old, my guess is that it is among the first hotels to be build in the late 80s early 90s when Cayo Coco was developed by the communist government. So you will see that some things do need repair, and since it's Cuba it does get fixed, but not quite right due to lack of spare parts and lack of infrastructure money. Since it's an older hotel the lush tropical vegetation is very impressive. The gardens there are the ones who really work, and do the most work. Despite all the vegetation not one leaf was ever on the ground. The lobby is impressive, as most of the hotels on the island the lobby is complexly open - no front door! Just an open shell. Despite getting to the hotel at 12:00, and expecting a long wait for our room, we were able to check in only 30 minutes after arriving. The lobby also features a fantastic bar, a piano, and amble seating. A few drinks later we had our room keys!
We were taken to our room via golf cart - which is fantastic because the layout of the hotel is made up of the front desk / lobby shelter and then various villas around the resort, without this help it would have been hard to find our room. The room was clean and featured a "Cuban King" beed, those who have stayed in Cuba before know that this means two beds put together. The washroom was a bit dated, but clean and everything in working order. The air-conditioning was also working, and very impressive as it was one of the most powerful units I have ever used in my life. No problems getting the room down to a comfortable temperature, in fact we even had to turn it down because it was getting too cold!
The resort only has one pool, however it's quite large. They have a daily volleyball game, and it's quite neat seeing the staff take charge, getting people to play, and seeing people from all over the world come together in a game of Vollyball. For those who speak spanish, be aware that there may be some foul cursing by native speakers! The pool is quite clean and also features a "hot tub" but this ins't a hut tub in the north american sense. In fact, we found the water in the hot tub to be colder than in the pool, not sure what's going on there. We read about and did experience about "lawn bed reserving" by the pool area. Meaning people would leave their towels on the lawn beds to reserve them. Some coming very early to do it, others leaving their towels overnight. This is to not fault of the hotel, but rather to bad and uneducated guests, perhaps this is normal in their countries of origin? The only way to combat this is perhaps if the put a fence around it and you had to leave your town when you left the pool area.
The beach was amazing. Can't say anything thing else but wow! And there are two lobster shacks not he beach, one going right is quite close, and the other going left about a 25-30 min walk. We ate a lobster lunch for 26 CUC (for 2) with drinks, this was an amazing meal!
The food was also good. I did hear a lot of complaints from other travellers about the food, however I didn't agree. If you came to Cuba to eat Pizza, hamburgers and french fries then yes - they were far below standard. But ask yourself, why did you come to Cuba to eat North American food? If you are a bit more adventures and eat more local you will be surprised. There is an amazing selection of seafood including fish, mussels, calamari, you name it. Also good are the cuts of meat also offered by the grill. If you love cheese you will also not be disappointed, various local cheeses are absolutely amazing. Forget the eggs for breakfast, tropical fruit wow how fresh and delicious! IF THE MANGER IS READING THIS: might I suggest more CUBAN food. The Cuban day on Friday drew such a large crowd, and was amazing. People perhaps do not know what Cuban food is so they stay away, but if they would just try, they would love it. We also ate at the Italian restaurant which was as good as any I've ever been to. The international restaurant was also fantastic, and had a wonderful atmosphere!
The resort also offers plenty of excursions, we took the speedboat adventure which included snorkelling, it's quite a difficult swim, be prepared! We also took a day trip to Morón, I wouldn't recommend this trip. First, this city was never anything special, not even before the revolution. The city after 60 years of Castro's rule has decayed considerably, and be ready for harassment. Don't accept any "gifts" as they will expect something in return. Try going to Trinidad, which is a unesco world heritage city of you want to see something nice.
All in all a wonderful trip. Just remember, it's Cuba. Harassment at the airport (because of my spanish / cuban surname), harassment on the streets, and the cuban convertible pesos, which has a 10% conversion fee, 20% for US dollars. Do a little math and this is an insane amount of money. I suspect that there are many at this hotel who are doing quite well, perhaps with a higher amount of disposable income than I do. Many had very value gold watches, and other fancy accessories. Calls home from Cuba are 2.50 CDN /min and data is $25/MB I would suggest an international data plan if you plan on using your phone. Mine was one of the who who was working, even though some fellow travellers had the same carrier, check before leaving if you plan on using your phone.
- Also Known As:
- Melia Cayo Coco Hotel
- Melia Cayo Coco Hotel Cayo Coco
- Cayo Coco Melia
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located beachfront in Cayo Coco, habitat of a large colony of pink flamingos. Five-Star All Inclusive Resort with 250 rooms. Conceived only for adults aged 18 years or more. Its superior suites and rooms are built on stilts over a natural seawater lagoon. Recommended for couples, weddings, and honeymoons.Guest Rooms250 rooms: 168 Standard, 62 Standard Superior Lagoon, 6 Junior Suite, 2 Junior Suite Deluxe Lagoon, 12 Suite Deluxe LagoonDining4 Restaurants (A la Carta, Buffet, Barbeque), 5 Bars ... more less