Better than expected.
Excellent beach, good food, good rooms, excellent staff.
Might as well start here.
This seems to be one of the areas of greatest concern, when picking a resort!
I can't comment on the "a la carte" restaurants, as I never tried one.
The buffet restaurant was a pleasant surprise.
For breakfast, there is a "smoothie" station, where you can get a custom-made fruit drink.
The base is a thin orange juice (and/or mango? juice).
You can add fresh fruit (pineapple, etc).
They mix it with a blender.
Or, you can just pour yourself a glass of juice.
There was always lots of yogurt available.
It is thinner than we're used to, but very good.
There is an omelet station, with excellent custom-made omelets.
The lineups for these stations was generally non-existent, or short.
The omelet chef recognized me each morning, and didn't have to be reminded of my own "recipe".
There is a bacon-and eggs station, for those so inclined.
I liked the selection of cheeses.
There are no cheddar types, but there is "blue cheese"!
Most of the cheeses are light-colored and smooth in texture.
The flavors range from very mild to quite tasty.
For lunch and supper there was always a choice of meat and fish (rabbit, anyone?).
Sometimes the only beef was "beef stew", which consisted of chunks of stewing beef that was cooked until tender enough to eat.
One night, there was a large roast beef available, with a server carving off individual servings. Good!
Fish was generally available.
The white fish from the buffet table was usually pretty good.
Shrimp was often available.
One night, a single, large fish was laid out at a serving station, with a server handing out individual chunks. Very good fish!
The chicken and pork pieces at the buffet had a lot more bones and fat than I'm used to (and less meat).
The Cuban chickens must have been hard to catch, judging from the stringiness of the legs!
There is a grill station offering a choice of made-to-order pork chops, chicken, fish, shrimp, etc.
There is a second grill station for burgers, etc.
Sometimes this station offered stir-fry.
There was a good choice of vegetables, though the hot vegetables in the steam pans tended to be over-cooked.
There was a pasta station that my travelling companions assured me was very good.
Some days, there were loaves of bread that I liked a lot (soft, fresh, nice texture, nice flavor).
Other days only harder (seemed drier) loaves and buns.
Butter was available for the first few days, then disappeared altogether (there was a white spread of some kind as a replacement).
I seldom eat sweets for dessert, but I heard some grumbling about the lack of flavor in that area.
The ice-cream was REALLY good, and always available for lunch and supper.
There was a table of fresh fruit (citrus, melons, bananas, etc) that was great.
Some days the selection was better than others.
There is often a crepe station at supper time, where you can get custom-made crepes for dessert.
Some advice re the buffet: GET THERE EARLY! The food is hotter and fresher, the lines shorter, and there is more choice.
There are other places to eat during the day.
The beach bar (right side of beach) has hot dogs and burgers.
The beach restaurant (left side of beach) has better fare for lunch, but not as good as the buffet.
The pool bar has sandwiches and pizza after 11 am.
The pizza (especially the Cayo Coco Special) was actually VERY GOOD!
I noticed a child pawing over the bread selection at the buffet restaurant.
He dropped a loaf on the floor, and replaced it back on the table.
I was pleased to see that a waiter who witnessed the event removed the loaf.
Any time you're eating at an out-door table, the blackbirds (Caribbean Grackles) are on the alert for unguarded food.
DO NOT leave food on your table, and then come back expecting to eat it.
There will no doubt be some new and unusual "spices" on your food, courtesy of the birds.
You should also be careful not to sit on a wicker chair, unless you've checked for (or removed) bird droppings.
This is a common problem at all the Cuban and Mexican resorts we've visited.
The main buffet has an indoor section, where the resort cats and the grackles are not allowed.
We requested an upper story room, non-smoking, with a single large bed.
It turns out there is no such thing as a "non-smoking room" in a Cuban resort.
I should have known that!
When you a request a "non-smoking" room, there's a good chance that you will have to wait longer when you check in.
That's because, if the previous guests were smokers, they will air out the room longer before letting you in.
The room we got was beyond our expectations!
The air was fresh, with no old smoke or musty smells.
Our friends had a room that smelled musty.
I've heard that if your room is too smelly when you check in, you can switch to another one.
The only "bad air" we got was on our last night, when (starting at 4 am!) cigar smoke filled our room.
Probably a new guest who couldn't wait to light up a Cuban cigar!
The A/C worked well.
It keeps the humidity down, which is just as important as keeping the temperature down.
As you leave your room, and take your "key" with you, you remove it from a slot which turns off the power (A/C too).
A thin piece of cardboard inserted into the slot will keep the power on (so I'm told...).
Our room had no fewer than THREE large beds, a table and two chairs, dresser, TV, etc.
The balcony (on the 3rd floor) gave us a nice view of the ocean.
We could even see when our friends were down on the beach, set up by our spot near the beach bar.
We may have lucked in a bit here, since we didn't book an "ocean-view" room.
There was a fridge, but they DO NOT keep it stocked with beer or soft drinks.
At the Melia (next door) they were very good at making sure our fridge always had FOUR BEERS waiting for me each day.
I missed this, but it's fair to say that there's no need to go dry at this resort.
We were given a large bottle of water each day.
The plumbing fixtures were modern and looked like they could have been installed last week.
Not our usual experience with Cuban resorts!
The walk-in shower had no need for a sliding door or a curtain.
You walked in behind a fixed glass panel, showered, and then stepped out.
There was a "rain shower" style shower head, and a hand-held sprayer on a long hose.
The water pressure was usually quite low, but adequate to rinse off the soap.
The water was without any unpleasant smells that we have encountered elsewhere.
There was no bathtub (hooray!), so no high step-over.
Even better, our entire room (including the bathroom and shower) was CLEAN!
Even the ventilation fan was not too scuzzy (and that is rare).
PROBLEM: On several occasions, the hot water would be unavailable for hours at a time.
The cold water is not really "cold", so you could still rinse off if you had to.
Oh yes, the beds...
If you like a "firm" mattress, then you'll really like these beds!
I used to like a firm mattress, when I was a lot younger.
Now I find that a little "body conforming give" is a good thing in a bed.
I never have any morning backache problems at home.
I did here.
There are a couple of English channels (and at least one French).
We watched some "Animal Planet" and I saw an NBA game (in Spanish).
The English-language news was CNN or BBC (we didn't watch either very much).
The less said, the better.
If you're in need of evening entertainment, this is not the place.
There were some musicians in the lobby each evening around 8:30.
Some were not too bad.
But the cigarette and cigar smoke and diesel fumes (from buses coming and going) made this a good place NOT to be in the evening.
There is an out-door amphitheater where the animation team (or press-ganged guests) perform for an hour or so, starting at 9:30.
Maybe a few more drinks at the pool bar before coming over... ?
This is an area where the SOL CAYO COCO resort really shines.
Any problems our group had (5 rooms in total) were dealt with quickly.
There was always a follow-up phone call to see if things were fixed.
It's not that we had a lot of problems, but the A/C fan failed in one room, the safe failed in another, etc.
There were some other small issues, but all were handled quickly.
I think this kind of organization is evidence of a good management team.
Keep up the good work!
The maids, waiters, and bartenders were all excellent.
Everybody was helpful, friendly, and efficient.
There were no long lines at the bars for drinks.
In any case, the waiters were eager to take your order and deliver it to your table.
The entire staff helped make the stay very enjoyable.
This is a GREAT BEACH!
The water is warm and clear.
You can walk for miles in either direction in soft, white sand.
We could always find beach chairs and shade.
There is a bar at the beach, so no long walks are required when a good thirst hits you.
There are actually two beach areas, separated by a rocky point.
The beach on the left-hand side is protected from the prevailing wind.
It's great on cool days, but it gets HOT on warm days.
Nice to have a choice of temperatures!
The beach here is far and away better than Veradero.
THE BOTTOM LINE:
If you're looking for a family-oriented resort with a dull night life, then this place might be just right for you.
The beach is beautiful, the rooms are clean, the staff are great, the food is good, the drinks are included...
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A good standard property with an excellent beachfront location. Sol Cayo Coco is the only hotel with access to two different but equally charming beaches, situated amidst gardens and palm grove facing the sea and the white fine sand beach. The hotel is ideal for families with children, couples, honeymooners and weddings. This paradise is the perfect spot to combine great fun with fantastic relaxation. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Sol Cayo Coco Hotel Cayo Coco
- Sol Hotel Cayo Coco
- Sol Cayo Coco Cuba