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“Sol Cayo Largo - OK but needs to Improve”
Review of Sol Cayo Largo

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Sol Cayo Largo
Ranked #3 of 6 Hotels in Cayo Largo
Reviewed 24 November 2011

We just got back from our first trip to Cayo Largo and overall the experience was positive.
I loved Playa Paraiso - gorgeous. The water in front of the hotel was rough but my husband who body surfs liked that.

Us: 3 middle-aged adults. Because there was no single supplement, I booked a room for each of us. This worked very well. In advance, I requested that we all be in the same building and I gave a list of preferred buildings. We were all put in the same building but not in any of the ones i had on my preferred list. This was perfectly OK with us since being in the same building was our top priority.

Rooms:
My husband and I were satisfied with ours. Our friend had an air conditioning problem which was resolved in about 1 day - acceptable. The beds were hard but that seems to be the case at most resorts. The plumbing worked. The rooms could use some TLC - especially the bathrooms. We loved our balconies and used them every afternoon - very pleasant. Our biggest complaint about the rooms was (as others have reported) BADLY stained towels and stained sheets. They REALLY need to do something about the laundery. I don't freak at a little stain or two but this was BAD - EVERY towel had at least one nasty looking stain.
Maid Service: Really good. Our maids were pleasant and did a nice job cleaning the rooms. We were satisfied and tipped them appropriately.

Dining:
Main Buffet: The food was just OK and frankly the flies on MANY serving dishes were disgusting. The flies really annoyed me because the situtation could have been remedied with MINOR effort - food covers.
If food covers are hard to get in Cuba- why not have Sol Melia head offices buy a pile of them and ship them to the resort. Really no excuse for that extent of a fly problem.
Back to quality and quantity and variety of food:
Quantity: - pretty good
Variety: - I know this can be a problem in Cuba - so it was acceptable. I was disappointed that ice cream (I LOVE Cuban ice cream) appeared only twice on the buffet.
Quality: Mixed but acceptable for Cuba. My husband loved the pasta station and I liked the fish grill. Our friend enjoyed a very good omlet from the omlet station. Oddly we all thought the Brussel spouts (cold and warm) were surprisingly good. I was disappointed with the stale croissants and lack of wholewheat bread products. The pizza was very good.
Service: Mixed
At the beginning, we were not happy with the lack of service - getting a glass of water was like pulling teeth. Then we found the section of the dining room that had some excellent female serviing staff. They were very good and were tipped accordingly.

Ranchon:
Absolutely dreadful - NO service. In spite of trying to cram most of the resort in here for lunch (buffet is closed at lunch) no proper method seem to exist for seating people or clearing tables or getting fresh cutlery. Waiters ignored the most basic requests. The food - when we were finally able to get it was acceptable. We only ate there once because the experience was so bad and BTW we were NOT trying to eat at the height of lunch time - we deliberately waited till the worst of the lunch rush was over.

Pool Snack Bar
Acceptable and SO MUCH better than the dreadful Ranchon
The wait staff were fine and so were tipped accordingly. The food was decent. Too many onions in the salads (but that's a matter of personal taste). The pizza was different from that at the buffet but pretty good. We ate there a couple of times.

Overall dining was about what you expect in Cuba but sanitary conditions at the buffet and the total lack of service at the Ranchon were WAY BELOW what I have experienced in the past in Cuba and at Sol Melia resorts. They seriously need to look at these two areas.
My basis for comparison is the Melia Cayo Coco (which I know is rated higher but still the gap was more significant and obvious than it should be).

Other:
Pool and pool area: I liked the pool area - the two sections made it very easy to relax away from the noise of the "activity" pool section. The pool needs some work but it was fine for me.
Grounds: I really liked the grounds. I found the mix of plantings and natural dune vegetation very pleasing and I loved the wildlife this encouraged (little crabs, lots of birds etc).
There are feral cats who are really pretty well-behaved and friendly. We are cat lovers and loved the friendly little mother who lived at our buiding.
Bugs etc: None in the room. At night - lots of mosquitoes when the wind died down.

Bottom Line: Would we go back? Maybe but ONLY if we got as good a deal as we did this time because frankly it's not worth the full price. We might consider trying one of the other hotels next time. We really liked Cayo Largo and felt that with a little effort this hotel COULD be brought up to a reasonable standard for Cuba.
Things that really need improvement:
1. flies at the buffet - GET SOME FLY covers. It really IS that simple.
2. Service mess at the Ranchon - some training and proper organization and supervision is really needed.
3. Do something about the poor job the laundery is doing.
1 and 2 are pretty easy to fix. 3 - I don't know - since it could be a machine issue or water supply issue and not easy to resolve.

Room Tip: We liked our 2nd floor oceanview rooms.
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  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled with friends
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5  Thank zenotravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 23 November 2011

Dates
Nov 13-20,2011

Resort
The resort is cosy, well run and operates efficiently. The staff varies in terms of friendliness. Most staff say hola, but some don’t like to initiate a hello. It could be cultural as almost everyone working here comes from the Isle of Youth – a rural area – these are people are not used to tourists. The staff at the bar can seem unfriendly – smiles are unusual, but they get the job done very efficiently. By the end of the week we managed a few smiles, but had to work at it. Maids were very friendly, perhaps because they get the most booty from guests. Servers in the restaurants also were friendly. You must expect to tip here. They appear to pool all the tips and divide up the rewards. Once you tip, you will find they cater to your needs better – that’s the way life works here so deal with it.
If you are pool person, you won’t find this to be a nice pool. It’s in bad shape, repaired with a bladder that’s peeling and bloated. But then, we didn’t go here for the pool.
Rooms were nice and clean. They were installing new air conditioner and mattresses while we where here. There is a rubberized mattress cover that was on reversed so the comfort side was down and until we discovered and fixed it, it was like sleeping on a sticky plastic bag. Once we flipped it, it was comfortable. The mattress was firm, just like we like it. Bathroom showed signs of wear, but they were clean and functional.
Mosquitos and biting gnats (noseeums, sand flies) were a problem one night until they fired up the fogger and blasted through the resort, filling it with thick unpleasant smoke briefly. After the smoke was gone, so were the bugs (for several nights).

Food
I am not a picky eater. There is a wide selection of food in the buffets – this should lead to lots of good choices, but it doesn’t. The food is not delicious, it’s eatable. The chefs are all Cuban, from the Isle of Youth. Having never had a great hamburger or tender steak, how would they know how to prepare one? Stick to the basics and you will find something, if you are really picky, you won’t find something.
There have been report of flies on the food in the past, and they have made attempts to fix this with plastic wrap covers and smoke pots to fend off the flies.
I have only be sick once in the over 20 visits to the Caribbean. I got bad food poisoning here because I didn’t follow my simple rules – make sure it’s well cooked. I had the marinated shrimp appetizer in the international al la carte restaurant. The shrimp is raw and marinated in a vinaigrette. I am quite certain that eating this produced a night of stomach cramps, diarrhea and vomiting. Oh well, got lucky for 16years, had to pay some day. This wouldn’t stop me from coming back. I observed the head resort chef checking and re-checking all the food services thoughout the day, morning until night, every day. So they are trying to make it safe.


Beaches
Awesome. You can walk all the way to Sirena (west) if you like (then take the shuttle back) or walk as far as you legs will take you east.
Conditions were very windy and wavy during our stay and much of the beach had been reduced. The sand will return as the conditions get calmer, but for our stay most of the papayas were missing. The “nude” areas were not as designated as they probably are during wide beach conditions, so many of the nude folk were intermixed with the clothed and they walked nude along the beach throughout the clothed areas. If that disturbs you, consider another vacation destination because the nude folks out number the clothed folks here.
Unfortunately our existence on this planet has created too much garbage for it to just stay floating the ocean and its washing up on the beaches – everywhere not just here. The amount of garbage on the beach is staggering. Directly in front of the resorts they clean up the beach, but away from the resort it’s plastic garbage everywhere – hordes of shoes for some reason too. Not the pristine beaches we used to see. It’s not going to be any different at any beach in Caribbean where they don’t pick up the garbage.

Activities
When we were here the ocean was very rough in front of the resorts so we could not snorkel. Around the western tip (Playa Pariaiso and Playa Sirena) it was much calmer, but not much to see. We didn’t take a boat to the reef, but that was an option.
Waves were fun to boogie board in, but they don’t have any boards! I brought my own inflatable ULI board and had a blast.

Summary
Quiet romantic, not a place for kids (nothing to do and nudity). Simple, clean, no frills. Average food. Good beer and rum. Relaxing. Am I going back? You bet. Same resort? Probably.

  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank vball_canuck
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 November 2011

This hotel is part of Sol Melia, so you can trust to have good food and rooms. It was my first visit to Cayo Largo and certaily not my last. I understand now why people return to this destination often: beautiful Beach and 5 minute bus-ride from the Airport. The grounds of the Hotel lack trees,plants and flowers...but the Beach compensates. The rooms are large, clean and comfortable-without being luxurious. The food is good. The shows and Bar are outside- so it is fun and comfortable. This is a good hotel to relax... ENJOY !
P.S. The new D.G. Thomas will surely make improvements. Sol Melia always Improves !!!

Room Tip: Try to get Ocean view.
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  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled solo
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3  Thank Renaud B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HGeneralManager, General Manager at Sol Cayo Largo, responded to this reviewResponded 22 November 2011

Dear Guest,
We really appreciate your positive comments about our Hotel. We would like to thank you for your fidelity and it is a commitment with our regular clients to reach a better service quality.
We would be honored if you come bag our hotel in the future and we will be pleased in greet you in person
Best regards


Thomas Lehnhoff
Directeur Général

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 November 2011

Last month I decided to take my now wife to Cayo Largo, I had been here in the past and thought of showing her the area. We decided to stay at the Sol Cayo Largo as it’s the best property offered in the area. We were surely glad we chose this hotel.

CHECK-IN:

We arrived at the hotel quite early (8am) as we took an early morning flight out of Havana. When we arrived at CYO baggage retrieval was quick and effortless. We paid 2 cuc per person to head out the hotel. Upon check-in we only had to wait about an hour for our room, in the mean time we had the breakfast buffet. We then returned to the front desk and were escorted to the room by golf cart.

ROOM:

I found the room to be just as I had expected, the usual Sol Melia style, The Sol Cayo Largo is an older property and it surely shows in the rooms. Everything in the room was in working order and was just fine. The washroom was spacious and also their was no shortage of hot water. We had a mini fridge in our room; it came stocked with a large bottle of water.

FOOD AND BEVERAGE:

We found all areas good and always found something to eat. The buffet is opened for Breakfast and Dinner and was by far our favorite spots; the food was constantly replenished and fresh. The managers were constantly doing their rounds looking at presence and even tasted the food on a few occasions. We had lunch behind the pool 1 day; they offered large sandwiches, pizzas and even poutine (Rare find!) The other day we had lunch at the beach restaurant and found the atmosphere quite inviting.

The Lobby Bar was by far the best one on the property; all the bartenders are great and really showed that they cared. Also they were not very demanding when it came to tips, They served you efficiently regardless if you tipped or not. The Bar tenders are great and they were definitely tipped generously by us!

GROUNDS AND FACILITIES:

The property is well layed out and taken care of. The pool is nicely shaped and large. When we were there the hotel was at about 70% occupancy and to be honest we always found a lounger by the pool, Although people do play the towel game as well.

BEACH:

The beach along side the hotels in my opinion are not that great, If you are looking for better beach, You definitely have to check out nearby Playa Paraiso or Playa Sirena. Their is free roundtrip transportation from the hotel 3 times a day.

CHECK OUT:

Checkout was a breeze, We even got complimentary late check out until 2pm, We extended until 5pm for an extra 7 cuc per hour.

Overall we had a wonderful stay and would definitely recommend this property to anyone including families. Cayo Largo is a great place to relax and and get away from the hustle and bustle of daily life!

it's simply heaven on earth!

  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank simplycuba
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 November 2011

this was my 4 th trip back....Caesar, and Janine were fantastic as always....but i was disappointed because the food selection especially the fruits was very limited...no icecream,no mlhitos,no filet mignon at Las Trinas, no special supper for being a return guest,not even the complimentary bottle of rum. Big bugs in the room, dirty sheets and towels in room,saw manager remove food from buffet after 2 men complained that it smelt bad.really not sure if i will return next year even though beach and ocean are the most beautiful i have ever seen,,,the million flies sitting on the food at the beach restaurant totallly disgusted me and the hamburger I started to eat from the bbq was awful....if i wanted to loose weight this would be the perfect place.There was no paper in my room and no one asked for my opinion like other years, I contacted Sol Melia hotels with my comments and they never bothered to contsact me and that is why I decided to post this. They need to care more aboy quality as this hotel is started to go down hill...

Room Tip: my favorite was in number 5 or 6 on the bottom floor.
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  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled with friends
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4  Thank bubbabares
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HGeneralManager, General Manager at Sol Cayo Largo, responded to this reviewResponded 23 November 2011

Dear clients
We really appreciated your comments in the web site Trip Advisor about your stay in our Hotel and the services that you have received, we have readied carefully and we have taken actions in order to improve.
Honestly we really sorry about the perceptions you had in our resort and we give you our apologizes .
We hope to have opportunity once again to receive you in our resort if you would give us this satisfaction don ´t hesitate in contact us in order to offer you specials attentions, i will be pleased in greet you in person.
At your disposal

Thomas Lehnhooff
General Manager

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Reviewed 15 November 2011

Went to Sol Cayo Largo froom Nov. 7 to 13, 2011. Every year we take one trip without ou 3 children, kinda therapy for stressed couple...
It was our second time in Cayo Largo, first at the Sol and we must say that it is the perfect spot to reconnect with your spouse. There is nothing (really nothing) worth doing in CL other that the beach. But what a beach! It doesn't get any better. To match this you have to go to Bora Bora or like places which are substancially more expensive.

Our only word of caution is that nudism is tolerated and largely practised in Cayo Largo. It wasn't an issue for us but we wouldn't have brought our 3 teenagers there. Some patrons weren't aware of this before going and they didn't appreciate sharing the beach with nudies. This being said the beach is so long that you can find you private spot and see no human beings for hours. Enough to convert to nudism yourself.

Food was very decent. It was our 8th trip to Cuba and we never exept food to be out of this world. We must say however that food keeps improving and we even gained a few pounds while staying there.
Last year we had stayed at the Playa Blanca so we could compare both hotels. We were not deceived by the Playa Blanca to start with. However the Sol is one notch above for the quality of room and its pool. Food is similar and service comparable. We were suprised by the number of repeat customers which is always a good sign. Finally, we had read bad comments on staff being rude. We looked for it but couldn't find any rude staff. Many are slow and inefficient (by north american standards of course...) but certainly not rude. Even their slow pace grew on us. After 1 week we didn't care waiting in line for 15 minutes while they were serving the 1 customer in front of us.

We flew with Air Transat from Montreal and were 100% satisfied.
The only unplasant part of that trip was our arrival at the CL airport. It is a tiny airport and they seemed completely overwhelmed with the arrival of 350 people at once. It was a complete chaos and it took over 1 hour just to recuperate our luggages in a very hot overcrowded room. The bright side though is that once your out the hotel is 5 minutes away from the airport. The following week was well worth this tiny unpleasant hour...

We are planning to go back next year.

  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
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3  Thank ElGravellos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HGeneralManager, General Manager at Sol Cayo Largo, responded to this reviewResponded 22 November 2011

Dear clients
We really appreciated your comments in the web site Trip Advisor about your stay in our Hotel and the services that you have received, we have readied carefully and we have taken actions in order to satisfy our clients.
We would be honored if you return our hotel in the future and we will be pleased in greet you in person.
Sincerely,
Thomas Lehnhooff
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 November 2011

Sol Cayo Largo is grrrreat. Sol does not disappoint!!

I have been to Cuba quite a few times, first time to Cayo Largo area. I must say I do not go to Cuba for the food, or fancy hotels... I go for the beach and the rum!!! The beach at this resort is amazing, def 5 star beach. You can also take a little "choo-choo train" on wheels to another fantastic beach a few minutes down the road where they have snorkel gear and all the non motorized water sports. The food was pretty good to my surprise! - at breakfast time they had yummy crêpes and omelettes aside from the regular buffet food. The snack bar was grrrreat - spaghetti bolognèse, chicken sandwhiches.. they even had poutine! For dinner at the buffet there is an amazing fresh pasta selection made just the way you like it! The fruit and fruit juices are so delicious!
Alexander from the pool bar is amazing! And Oscar at the lobby bar was grrreat!
It is not a party resort - def a relaxing vacation which is exactly what I needed. Would def return, no complaints other than the massage which was very...rough. Our air conditioner was leaky and when I advised the front desk it was fixed within a couple hours. They go out of their way to make sure you are alwaysss having a good time and happy!! They even sent a bottle of champagne to our room!! Vast majority at this resort are return clients which is a good sign - one man had been here every year for the past 20 years!! By far the best resort on the island in my opinion from what I saw and heard.
I went horseback riding by the ocean, saw Lola the iguana who loves to pose for pics, even saw a crocodile! Released a baby sea turtle into the ocean (check out the turtle rehabilitation center for 1 CUC and taxi ride is 2 CUC per person def worth a look they do such amazing work to protect this endangered species- they have put over 100 000 turtles back into the ocean thus far), took out some bikes and strolled around and mostly lazed on the beach sipping my piña colada. You can also rent scooters and jeeps right beside the resort which is very convenient.
FYI - yes there ARE bugs outside - you're on a remote island people, c'mon and be realistic! But not nearly as bad as the reviews post - I almost didn't choose this resort after reading the "bug reviews" as i HATE bugs - and I'm glad I didn't listen to the complaints as I am 100% satisfied with my vacation and will tell everyone how great Sol Cayo Largo is!

  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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4  Thank ParisGenevieve
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HGeneralManager, General Manager at Sol Cayo Largo, responded to this reviewResponded 22 November 2011

Dear Mrs,
We would like to thank you for your nice feedback and we are going to publish your comments to our staff .
Mosquitoes and flies, plague feature of the keys on which actions are executed for their control, but unfortunately these are accentuated on rainy days.
Thanks again for your compliments and will be a pleasure to welcome once again in our tropical paradise.
Best regards

Thomas Lehnhooff
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sol Cayo Largo

Address: Cayo Largo del Sur | Archipiélago de los Canarreos, Cayo Largo 27900, Cuba
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Cuba > Cayo Largo
Amenities:
Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 6 Hotels in Cayo Largo
Price Range: £113 - £236 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Sol Cayo Largo 3.5*
Number of rooms: 296
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in Cayo Largo del Sur, in the middle of the Caribbean Sea. All Inclusive Four-Star resort with 296 rooms. Ideal for enjoying its pristine environment and for exploring its idyllic landscape and crystal-clear ocean bottom. The resort faces 600 meters of beach renowned for its perennially cool white-sand. Recommended for couples, weddings, honeymoons and groups.Guest Rooms296 rooms: 244 Standard, 34 Standard Ocean View, 10 Standard Superior Ocean View, 8 Junior SuiteDining3 Restaurants (A la Carta, Buffet, A la carte and mini-buffet), 1 Cafeterias, 3 Bars ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sol Cayo Largo Hotel Cayo Largo
Sol Hotel Cayo Largo
Cayo Largo Cuba
Cayo Largo Sol Hotel
Sol Club Cayo Largo

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