This was our 2nd stay at the Sol Cayo Coco.
The resort is close to the airport, so if your flight arrives in the morning you get lots of beach time on your first day.
The Cayo Coco airport is painfully slow at processing departure traffic.
It seems like the computers are finicky and slow.
I don't know how the agents manage to keep their cool working with that equipment!
On the plus side, the volume of air traffic is low (pretty much just local resort charters).
The "tourist" currency is the Cuban Convertible Peso (CUC) , which is pegged 1:1 with the U.S. dollar.
At the resort, we could always purchase CUC Pesos.
The Canadian dollar was at about .90 US when we were there.
By the time we paid the extra fees, $20 Canadian would buy 16 pesos CUC.
You can't do any better at the banks or official currency exchanges.
If you have a few pesos left over when you leave, there will be lots of Cubans at the airport willing to trade even for Canadian dollars.
Rumors abound that Cuba will be moving to a single-currency system instead of the dual system now in place.
So it's probably a poor idea to return home with a bunch of CUC pesos for your next trip.
They might not be worth much next year.
We booked the catamaran excursion for 3 people, for 9 April, which cost $244.11 US ($274.73 CAD on Visa).
The trip was cancelled on the 9th, and again on the 10th, because of weather.
We were given a refund, but of course the effective exchange rates for buying and selling are not equal.
Our refund (on Visa) was $259.79.
I'm not complaining, just explaining that if you book an excursion on your credit card, and it gets cancelled, it's still going to cost you a few bucks.
Both of these transactions show up on my Visa bill dated 7 April (so the official exchange rate was not the issue).
The beach is really nice.
Miles of sand, and not crowded (especially away from the resorts).
It's perfectly safe to walk for as long as you'd like.
The water is warm enough to stay in all day, and clear enough to see lots of fish if you like to snorkel.
But this is the windy side of the island, so calm days are rare.
There are 2 kinds of beach loungers (old solid plastic ones and newer "soft" loungers).
At the beach, the more comfortable ones were "reserved" by 7:30 am (though not occupied).
This was annoying.
The rooms we had were great (in the 2300 section).
The beds are firm, but not hard.
The view was spectacular.
The maid kept the room extremely clean.
Our A/C worked, but it was weak.
The room would cool down to about a bit overnight, but would be hot again after supper.
We had it set on 12 degrees, fan on high.
We complained to the front desk, but I suspect the maintenance man walked in, felt some cool air coming from the vent, and left.
We didn't have any follow-up from the front desk.
We decided we didn't want to press for a different room, as we were with a group in that area.
So we just slept on top of the sheets, and didn't use the room for much besides sleeping.
The other room used by our group had A/C that worked just fine.
You might want to check that the A/C is working well before you unpack and settle in.
We ate our meals at the buffet restaurant, and snacked at the pool bar.
The food was good.
Our only complaint was that the steam tables at the buffet worked fine some days, but not all days.
Some days the "hot" food was lukewarm at best, even though we got there early.
There is a microwave available if you want to re-heat your plate.
There is a pretty good selection (usually the same) at the central table.
There are several cook-to-order stations which are excellent.
The lines were not too long, even though the resort was pretty much full.
(We always got there early for our meals).
The bread, the ice-cream, and the cheeses were standouts.
The fresh fruit was great, but there was no citrus.
At the "smoothie" station they would make you a smoothie from your selection of fresh fruit.
But the available jug of "orange juice" was thin, watery, and tasted like sugar-water.
We didn't have any issue with "digestive" problems (a very good thing!).
Bottom line: We were very happy with the food.
The service is great.
Everyone is cheerful and polite, and a peso tip seems to be appreciated.
The beer is pretty good, and the mixed drinks are excellent.
The bartenders don't measure the liquor, so be careful to ask for the strength that you want.
Nobody complained about "weak" drinks!
The bar entertainment varied from OK to very good.
One night at the pool bar we were treated to a performance by Ismael González Román.
I give special mention, because he was so good.
Other than some tiny ants in our room, we had no problem with bugs.
We never even saw a mosquito.
We didn't use any insect repellant for the entire week.
I expect that biting insects are a seasonal problem, so you may find some depending on when you go.
A great spot for some quiet beach R&R.
Wonderful beach, excellent staff, good food and drinks.
Not a lot to do for other entertainment, if that's important to you.
Very good value for what we paid.
- 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