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“So-so” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Sol Cayo Largo

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Sol Cayo Largo
Ranked #2 of 6 Hotels in Cayo Largo
Cork, Ireland
Level Contributor
17 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“So-so”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 April 2012

We had a two-night stay in all-inclusive land during our visit to Cuba, namely to Sol Cayo Largo.
First of all - if you're thinking of going to Cuba, don't just stay in Cayo Largo or Varadero. Visit at least Havana or Trinidad on a (two-)day-trip. Otherwise, what you're going to get will be pretty much indistinguishable from what similar resorts elsewhere offer. Except you get a Cuban band playing at dinner, and the local souvenir shops sell Che Guevara t-shirts, cigars and rum.

Now, regarding Sol Cayo Largo itself.

ROOM:
We thought the room was nice, bright and clean - in that context, the missing toilet seat/lid was a bit weird, although nothing we weren't used to from other places in Cuba. We probably could've complained and got a replacement, but we didn't bother because we weren't really bothered (but can see that it might irritate others).

SERVICE/STAFF:
Our room was ready way before check-in time, which was a pleasant surprise after a pretty short night.
That said, though, service at the reception was so-so. They seemed really focused on Italian tourists in particular, so chances of the reception staff understanding you were significantly better if you spoke Italian. English works but will take longer.
It was pretty pointless to ask for assistance regarding airport transfers for example - we had checked the official schedules at the usual blackboards, but our flight was missing from it. So we asked at reception, who simply refered us back to the schedules. Nobody offered to make any calls or check for us. (It should be pointed out that we had booked the flights ourselves, not as part of a flight/hotel package.)
Other staff friendliness varied - waiters and chefs at the buffet dinner were much better than the staff at lunchtime. Overall, staff seemed to have got very used to extremely generous tipping (generous not just by Cuban standards), and there was a perception that better-tipping patrons got preferential treatment. I always thought that this should work the other way round - if the service is good, you get a tip.
We rented bicycles to get around the place a bit (which was free). We found them to be way too small for us, with their brakes being less than reliable. Not great.

FOOD:
Breakfast buffet was plenty, although I found it a bit hard to find something resembling a well-rounded meal. Sausages, tortillas, sprouts and danishes?
The lunch buffet was pretty drab. Definitely had a feel of cattle being hoarded towards the trough.
Dinner was a lot better, mostly because there were some "live cooking" options, with fresh pasta and pizza made to order. Regarding the pasta - if you're vegetarian, you shouldn't be squeamish, as your sauce (with ingredients you get to choose) will be cooked up in the same pan as the sauce for the guy before you, who might have gone for meatlover's delight, so a little dice of ham may find its way into your sauce as well. Other than that, it's a standard-fare buffet with the usual problems that come with it. Less-popular options end up being very dry indeed thanks to being kept hot for hours, and while there's a lot of choice, there aren't any real dishes with the sauce really matching the meat etc.
There's also an à la carte restaurant, but that requires reservation and we were too late for that both days.

DRINKS:
Pretty much every drink (with the exception of some top-shelf whiskies and gins) was included. The mojito was decent, the daiquiri much less so. There are also marked differences in drink quality between the different bars at Sol Cayo Largo, so there's no harm trying around a bit.

BEACH:
Very fine sand, although there was also a good amount of seeweed. Towards the West, there's Cuba's only official nudist beach (although we saw nudists at other beaches further East as well), and a bit further even, the beach gets really empty and also a bit rockier. Don't expect any natural shades.
All-in-all okay, but I have to admit I'm not one for roasting in the sun for hours.

EXCURSIONS:
We did a half-day catamaran excursion, which was decent. It visits exactly the same places as the full-day excursion, but doesn't include the lobster dinner (although we got a nice lunchtime lobster on the boat for an extra 10CUC). The catamaran was small, which was nice given the crowds we usually encountered in the restaurants or on the main beaches. The iguana colony was funny to visit in a twisted sense, as it was basically crowded with tourists trying to take snaps of the animals. Definitely felt like a really touristy place to visit, rather than - as purported - a kind of iguana breeding station.
Snorkeling was okay, although I was fighting with the one-size-fits-all goggles. If you have your own, it probably won't hurt bringing them.


Overall, it's a decent all-inclusive place I guess. Having said that - we were happy to return to the "real" Cuba afterwards, unfriendly public toilet staff, old Ladas, and all.

Room Tip: * Don't choose a room too close to the pool if you want to avoid the noise of mid-day animation
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank anfromme
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (266)
Date | Rating
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English first
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
58 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 April 2012

Like many visitors of this resort one tends to return to this wonderful geography! Beaches for miles, sun and all inclusive with nightly local shows. This is not Varadero, this is not American style. Don't go if you need to be entertained at any given time of day! Peace and quiet is the game here.I have returned 03/2012, was there in 05 and 06. The place had not changed, The landscaping had totally grown trees and lots of bougainvillea. Massages for $25, and a section of the beach is "au natural". Remember you are visiting a Spanish speaking country with well integrated multi racial population (Most beautiful people) You will feel more like in Europe food wise with a Spanish station at the buffet, there was Canadian turkey night as well! Multi culturalism abound, you can try speaking spanish, italian and Quebec french!
Now the room: Spacious, room 1921 A/C would growl sporadically, ceiling fan did not work, the place is 12 years old and needs mechanical update, You must understand Cuban economics, they don't have access to replacement parts like we do. So, if something is broken, well magnana...
Otherwise I would give 4 Cuban stars to this resort. This is beach lover land...

Room Tip: Rooms around the pool would listen to music and activity. Some rooms face away from the pool they a...
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
7 Thank ross086
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Moscow, Russia
Level Contributor
12 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 April 2012

We have just arrived home from Cuba. We spent about two weeks in Sol Cayo Largo. This was our first time in Cuba and it is the first country I don’t want to visit again. I can’t say that everything was awful. No, there were some good things…Sun, nature, guests, dinner and breakfast, a swimming pool, ice-cream, fitness centre...

As for the bad sides...

The beach

During our staying there were 3 days when the sea was calm and clean. We even saw THE BEACH those days. The rest of the time the wind was so strong and the waves were so high that nobody went to the beach. We hoped that we could swim on Playa Sirena but it wasn’t as clear and calm as all the photos showed. Even there the water was very dirty and cold, very cold. Once my husband decided to swim… It took him two minutes)) He was frozen immediately. So, all the people spent the days at the swimming pool. But when the weather had changed the sea calmed down and for 3 days it was was very clear. We preferred to stay at the hotel beach. It was OK. The resort provides lots of beach chairs. You can find free chair even in the afternoon. May be if the weather were better my emotions would be better too. MAY BE!

The resort territory

It's quite big but absolutely scrubby. There is a pond. It's so dirty and stinking. You have to hold the nose while passing. The water is brown in it.

The food

I was very disappointed when I came to the restaurant to have lunch. Depend on your food likings you can find it good or bad. As for me I respect myself and I don’t understand why the lunch was so poor. Defrosted vegetables, rice, legumes and meat. The dinners were much better. The choice of food was really good but is it a good for people’s health to serve such hearty dinner and poor lunch? The only decent a la carte is Fish A La Carte. The rest are awful. A sort of roadside snack bar. We went to the Italian and regretted that missed an excellent dinner in the buffet.

The staff

Not bad. But they always wait you to give them money. They don’t want to work without your dotation. For example, when we arrived the towels in our bathroom were vary old, brown and torn. After we gave a CUC to the maid she replaced them with the clean and white ones. You have to wait until someone serves you water or wine in the buffet too.
But the worst thing in the hotel is stealing. There were stolen two things from our room. First, my jacket. It was the only warm thing I had there. The evenings were quite windy and I used to wear it every evening. Once I didn’t find it in my room. I went to the receptionist. She told me they would look for it. But of course they didn’t find it. I was very sad but didn’t want to blame the maid. I preferred not to spoil the rest of the holiday. After 3 days I found out that my earrings weren’t in the room. There is a man in the hotel who tends to help guests to solve some problems. He speaks different languages and knows everything and everyone in the hotel. My husband asked him for help. He called for a Security man. We showed him the earrings photo and wait in the lobby until they were talking to the maid. Then we went to the room and found the lost earrings. They were put stealthily while we were waiting in the lobby. The next day my husband asked the staff man to get back my jacket in the same way. But he said it was too late and the jacket wasn’t in the hotel. I was amazed their impudence. I had to hide my clothes in the suitcases till the end of my holiday.

Well, I think it’s the most important information I have to inform you.

I do not want to dissuade you from going to Sol Cayo Largo. I just want to let you know that the sea could be awful, the food isn’t as good as it could be and that it would be good for you to hide the things and clothes you don’t want to be stolen.

If you have already bought the tour trip to the hotel I wish you a good journey and really hope you won't be faced with such unpleasant situations as we did. Goodluck!

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
18 Thank MrsMalena
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brampton, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 March 2012

We stayed at Sol Cayo Largo from March 16 to 23, 2012. It was a disappointment comparing to our stay there four years ago and last year’s stay at Sol Pelicano. Firstly, the resort is definitely not worth the price that is being charged. It might look nice on the outside but the rooms show serious neglect. The lock on the balcony door did not work properly, also the door was very difficult to slide. I had to use a considerable force to move it just a crack, but considering that the lock did not work this was probably an advantage. However, there are worse things than the door. Both I and my husband were sick from the food. I was sick twice and still suffer from the effects of food poisoning. The first time we were not sure of the source but the second time we figured it out. It was the undercooked meat from the beach side barbeque. I suspect that it was the same the first time. Do not eat anything from the barbeque, there is usually a lineup and the cook is probably rushing and not cooking the meat long enough. In both cases it was the chicken. Also be careful with meat from the grill in the main buffet. On two occasions the chicken and hamburger that I ordered were partially raw. Do not rely on the cook, make sure that you are comfortable with the amount of time the meat is being grilled or barbequed. We found that we were not the only ones that were sick, on the departure day we have spoken to a number of people from the same flight, out of approximately 14 people, at least 6 were sick at some point.

Another problem at this resort is the number of cats roaming freely the restaurants and buffet area and begging for food. Normally, I am a cat lover and have one at home but this was totally inappropriate. Because of the open concept, the buffet and especially the beach restaurant are infested with flies. It is really disgusting as flies are on every platter with meat, bread, fruit and dessert. Initially they cover the dishes with saran wrap but it is impossible to keep it on all the time and eventually the dishes stay open. In the evening it is impossible to eat your dinner without being constantly bitten by bugs, it is extremely annoying as the bites are very itchy. The service is another thing, unless you tip the staff in advance, you are mostly ignored. We resorted to getting our drinks ourselves from the machine. In conclusion, I do not recommend this resort, and if you decide to go, be very, very careful what you eat.

Room Tip: First floor rooms are more comfortable in terms of temperature. There is no insulation from the roo...
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with family
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
10 Thank Lucyna S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 March 2012

We stayed at Sol Cayo Largo from Jan. 13 to Jan. 20, 2012. This is our 2nd vacation to the island of Cayo Largo. Last year we stayed at Playa Blanca. Both resorts are very nice. The grounds & rooms are nicer at Sol. At both resorts the housekeeping staff did a great job keeping our rooms clean. The bathrooms at both resorts need facelifts, but we always had clean towels, hot water & they were cleaned as best as possible. We don't go on vacation to sit in the bathroom & admire it. This didn't bother us that much. The towel art was something that we looked forward to when we returned to our room to get ready for the evening ahead.
At both resorts the nightly entertainment staff was great. The shows were professionally done.
The house band at Playa Blanca, played from lunch until whenever. We didn't even hear the band at Sol Cayo Largo, BUT they kept trying to get us to buy their CD!!
Our room wasn't ready at check in at Sol, but we had bathing suits & sandals in our carry on (highly recommended). We changed in the lobby washroom & began our relaxing vacation.
The staff at reception was very helpful & accommodating. We were in our room before 3:00 PM.
We recommend renting a jeep for the day as you can travel where you want, when you want & see things that you don't see when taking a taxi. We had a wonderful day touring the island at our leisure. We visited Playa Blanca to visit our friend Giancarlo. He works as a lifeguard on the island. It is good to know the lifeguard, as the beaches are usually yellow or red flagged!!!
The majority of the staff, as far as we are concerned are friendlier & more attentive at Playa Blanca, with some exception. Yadira, Noel, Allie & Cadros(?) & all the staff at the Sol Azul pool bar were excellent!
There wasn't really a problem finding a lounge chair either at the beach or the pool at the Sol, unlike Playa Blanca.
We went to Sirena Beach one morning around 9:30 am & there wasn't a seat to be found. If you are planning to spend the day there go early!!
The buffet at Playa Blanca is far better than at Sol Cayo Largo. The food is better & the staff are friendlier & attentive. We went many times to the buffet at Sol & no one came over to us. That was never the case at Playa Blanca. We didn't go hungry, but the food and service just wasn't as good.
For comparision between the 2 resorts. Rooms & grounds are prettier at Sol Cayo Largo.
The beach is the same at both resorts. (FUN)
The food is better at Playa Blanca & the majority of the staff is friendlier & more attentive at Playa Blanca.
Would we recommend Sol Cayo Largo? Yes, but we won't go back. The Sol Cayo Largo is $200.00 to $400.00 more expensive & doesn't provide any more (sometimes less) amenities than Playa Blanca

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
21 Thank ks_gm_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sao Paulo, SP
Level Contributor
71 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 February 2012

You MUST go to Cayo Largo. It's a real paradise. But the Sol Cayo Largo Hotel needs to pay more attention to its food. I know that it's an island of another island, that nobody actually lives there, but I think hygiene and care is universal, non ideological values. We stayed 3 nights in january and never had dinner in a "a la carte" restaurant, even staying at a 'luxury' suite (they promise you a guaranteed a la carte booking, but actually they send you to the beach restaurant, open, where the lunch is served). Actually the bathroom needs some improvements. Considering you are in Cuba, in a tiny island of Cuba, I think it's almost the best you can wait.

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
8 Thank LMVoyageur
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Osoyoos, Canada
Level Contributor
62 reviews
48 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 February 2012

This was our 12th vacation in Cuba, and our 8th to this resort. Over the years we have made many friends there, both with other tourists we meet ther every year, and many of the staff. When we arrived we were immediately met by several staff who recognised us and welcomed us warmly like an old friend, with hugs and handshakes. We felt as if we were returning home. As usual, I can say nothing negative about the staff. They are all very friendly, wonderful people, from the gardeners, to maids to waiters, and the front desk. Rooms are very clean, and food this year seemed to be better than in previous years. Lots of choice. There is no excuse to being hungry here. The difficult part for me is that the resort itself is getting very tired. The rooms and furniture badly need an update, the pool liners are starting to bubble, and need replacing, there are many cracks and holes in the pathways, and unfortunately the beach had almost gone in front of the resort. We suspect as a result of the large cut back in staff this year. Although we did not go to Playa Sirenes, we were told by many that did that it had lots of cigarette ends and plastic cups etc on the beach. A very negative change from the pristine white sand of a few years ago. We really love this resort, and the staff, very much, and will probably go back next year, but if the repairs and renovations are not carried out, that sadly may be our last visit.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
14 Thank David M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sol Cayo Largo

Property: Sol Cayo Largo
Address: Cayo Largo del Sur | Archipiélago de los Canarreos, Cayo Largo 27900, Cuba
Region: Caribbean > Cuba > Cayo Largo
Amenities:
Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 6 Hotels in Cayo Largo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Sol Cayo Largo 4*
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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