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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
- 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