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“ONLY THE PLAYA IS THE PARAISO”
Review of Sol Cayo Largo

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Sol Cayo Largo
Ranked #2 of 6 Hotels in Cayo Largo
Reviewed 9 July 2014

Greeting to ‘Harry’ from Macedonia and family. It was nice meeting you all. Wishing you also a more pleasant experience as well next time.

We, my husband and I, stayed at the Sol Cayo Largo from June 30th to July 7th, 2014.
This is our 16th time to Cuba alone and the 8th time to Cayo Largo. We have been in quite a few resorts that were quoted as 4 or more stars in Cuba and elsewhere. I do not know the criterias that need to be met to be assigned those stars but I would not quote the Sol Cayo Largo as a 4 stars resort at the time of our stay.

RECEPTION
They were fast, efficient and respectful. On arrival we had a room right next to the theatre and bar. We needed a quiet room; night life is not for us so we requested a room that would meet our needs for peace and quiet. The room was available at the check-in moment and they accommodated us. Our needs were met; the room was indeed peaceful and quiet.

ROOM
We stayed in room 1914 on the first floor. At first glance it looked fine. Yes it was comfortable: we had two ¾ beds, AC (air conditioning) working fine, toilet and bidet working fine, water pressure was fine and we had plenty of hot water, TV, shampoo and hair conditioner, shower cap, hair blower, toilet paper, mini bar fridge were all provided. One bottle of water of 1500 ml/day is provided only- no cerveza (beer), no pop. You will also find an umbrella, an iron and ironing board. There are no facial tissues (Kleenex) so bring your own. There is also a safe at no extra cost in the room. If you want more water to drink, the store on the resort sells small bottles (500 ml) that comes to approx. 50 cents Canadian each. Beds and towels were clean. The wall next to the bed was dirty with brown stains as if coffee was spilled, along the bathtub there is black mould, the shower curtain’s hem has black mould and for approx 3 to 4 inches at the bottom of the shower curtain, pink mould is growing. I tried to wash as much as I could but the shower curtain would need a good wash and disinfection. Between the tiles in the bathroom, the grout is covered with a crust of black dirt that when we were walking on some pieces of build up dirt was coming off. The grout is actually white under the dirt. We didn’t walk barefoot in the bathroom. The grout between the bathroom floor tiles would need a good brushing, cleaning and disinfection. We were always wondering why we had so many mosquitoes and minuscule black biting bugs in our room. Our patio door (left pane) didn’t close properly we tried to push it as much as we could but still didn’t close properly. At least near the end of our stay it was more pleasant to sleep at night with fewer mosquitos and those black biting bugs.

RESTAURANT
We do not mind the food in Cuba usually. We do practice safe eating practices when in any resorts not just Cuba. We know what to expect but what follows is the first time that we experience this in Cuba. Flies, flies and more flies!!! The buffet restaurant Las Dunas is an open outdoor concept: no AC. It permitted birds, flies, mosquitoes and these black minuscule bugs (that takes a chunk of your skin – even with insects repellents) to fly right in. There were also cats coming and going. The flies were all over the food. In some of the sauces and some desserts what I thought were raisins were not! A lot of the foods were left at room temperature on the counter like cooked eggs, cheeses and meats. They do have a cold plate were you could also find more cheeses and hard boiled eggs but not cold enough even to touch for the warm temperature that was hitting near the 40 degrees. At diner time, we were near the hot meat serving counter and one of the cooks dropped a serving spoon on the floor. He put is back on the counter in the saucer but then looked around and after a few moments took the spoon and the saucer away. A professional shouldn’t even think of putting this back on the counter. A professional wouldn’t even hesitate for a second and would take it away immediately! At the ranchon Lindarena, my husband was served raw chicken. Beside the ranchon, there is a little hut where they BBQ fish, burgers and etc. My husband went for a burger and reported that the cooked burgers were left on a plate in the sun covered in flies and when you want one they just throw it back on the grill and serve it to you. We also tried the snack bar Sol Azul. They served us water that we drank in one gulp and we both looked at each other because the water tasted really funny. At the ranchon and at the buffet they serve bottled water (I have seen them open the bottles) and it doesn’t taste funny.
On day 3 of our vacation we both had diarrhoea for a few days. It is a good thing I brought medications for every system of our body!
We didn’t try the à la carte restaurant(s) but I can tell you that they have AC and are closed in, not open concept dining areas. As for staff, not only they work long hours but they work in that heat – no wonder they forget orders and more!
Overall, our stay made us question about the food handling safety and infection control practices in the kitchens (food storage, prevention measures of food borne illnesses, bacteria, cleaning and sanitizing methods) and as well at the serving stations. I do not want to think about what happens behind closed doors in the kitchen, but what you do not know could actually make to sick and in some cases kill you.
PS- I never saw anyone with a manual thermometer or an infrared thermometer to measure internal food temperature at the buffet.

BARS
We seldom drink alcohol but at the lobby bar El Cayito we requested the same drinks without alcohol and they were great. This is a great place for the best coffee ever. The servers were all very nice and always smiling. They will always give you what you requested. Boy do they work none stop!!! Busy spot!!!

ACTIVITIES/ BEACH
Playa Paraiso…(SIGH)…there are no words to describe that beach except that it is spectacular. We prefer Paraiso to Sirena because it is quieter. Nothing beats that beach where the white fine sugary sand kisses the aquas and the blues of the water. The water is like a pool. The water is so clear.
In front of the resorts, all the week that we were there the red flag was up because of the waves. There is no beach in front of Playa Blanca resort only. The waves are dangerous: 2 women had adventures because the waves pulled them under. They were lucky that only one of them came out with scratches on her face as her face hit rocks under water when pulled by the wave. It could have been worse.

TRANSPORTATION TO THE BEACH
There is a schedule to go to Playa Paraiso y Sirena by a train on wheels at no cost. There is a sign that lets you know of the departure to and from the beaches. The sign also informs people to respect the line, in other words ‘first come first in/first served’. This is a huge problem and it was not pleasant. Twice we were first in line but then when the train arrived, people just went like a herd in a Stampede, did not respect the order of arrival and then we missed our ride. Someone who speaks Spanish started to argue and voiced ‘loudly’ his frustrations because he and his family were behind us and they didn’t go. The next ride was in one hour. This was a problem but it got more under control near the end of our stay. Please respect the line!!! Some people got so fed up with this arrangement that they paid for taxi to go and come back from the beaches.
Another problem is that once you are at the beach and wait for the train to bring you back to the resort, the train always goes to Sirena first. By the time the train comes to Paraiso to pick you up, it is full and you have to wait for another hour or again you get fed up and pay for taxi to bring you back to the resort. Our suggestion is that there should be a time schedule for Paraiso and one for Sirena so that the guests at Paraiso are not always penalized by waiting another hour or paying for taxi.

CUSTOMER SERVICE ASSISTANCE
We had problem with the AC. We contacted the front desk and within 10 minutes the AC person came and fixed it. Now this service!!!

HOTEL
The hotel needs a face lift, it looks tired. Yes the floors are clean but there is more to cleanliness than just clean floors (please refer to the room section above).

AIRPORT/ BATHROOM CLEALINESS / TAXI AND OTHER SERVICES
The airport is just 10 minutes from the resorts. Going through is fast. Do not forget; put aside the 25 CUC per person for the departure tax. There is no AC at the airport. There is AC in the departure waiting area but is not working well. Everyone is soaked because of the heat.
OMG, the bathroom at the airport!!! I can’t comment on the boys’ bathroom but let me tell you about the girls’ bathroom. I do not know whose job it is to clean the bathroom at the airport but it is filthy. There are not toilet seats, so you have to hover. There is no toilet paper but there is a lady sitting outside the bathroom who sells one sheet (4 inch X 4 inch) of toilet paper for 1 CUC. I brought my own. Hand washing is one of the best ways to remove germs, avoid getting sick, and prevent the spread of germs to others There is no soap, no hot water (only cold) to wash your hands and there are no paper towels or other means to dry your hands. So bring you own toilet paper, your own soap and paper towel or use hand sanitizer (Purrell) if you have any. There is nothing provided to help disease prevention and control in the airport bathroom.
We had Cuban currency leftover which came to approx. $50.00 CAD and they wanted to take it away because there is a new rule now that you can’t bring any Cuban money out of Cuba. We had to spend it before we left. The coffee is a better price at the airport than at the resort tienda (store) and so is the flavoured liquor of approx. $1.00 CAD. A pop is $2.50 CAD. Prices are better at the Caracol shop at the airport.
You can go to the Marina where there are vendor for souvenirs, a restaurant, a cigar shop, a turtle farm and a Cuban disco.
Taxi – the rate is for anywhere on the island: if you are 2 people it is 5 CUC each, if you are more than 2 people it comes to 2 CUC each


OVERALL
We do not know what has happened to the hostelling business in Cuba, but reflecting on this experience it brought us to conclude that the overall quality as declined gradually throughout the years to a point that we do not find acceptable anymore. As a guest, we would hope beside the leisure, our health would be one of the priorities in the mind of our host…

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
10  Thank Lise P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HGeneralManager, Director General at Sol Cayo Largo, responded to this reviewResponded 13 July 2014

Dear Lise:
Firstofall, I would like to thank you for devoting part of your time to share your opinions and experiences during your last stay in our resort.
We are really sorry for fulfilling only just a few of your needs.
Concerning the restaurant, we apologize if any of our staff´s behavior made you doubt in terms of food storage, prevention measures of food borne illnesses, bacteria, cleaning and sanitizing methods, because we do practice them properly. Anyways, we discussed the issue with our cheffs and personnel in the kitchen.
Regarding the rooms, we are carrying on an improvement plan in order to make more confortable the stay of our costumers.
As to the transportation to Playa Sirena and Paraiso, we are working on a strategy so that the process of going and coming from the beaches can go smoothly.
On the other side, it is comforting that you have enjoyed that much our bartenders’ drinks and the attention received by the staff of Costumers Service.
We are doing some repair work, changing furniture so that our guests have a nice vacation in our resort.
We hope you give us the opportunity of visiting us again so that we can make it up and you have a great memory of being in Sol Cayo Largo Hotel.

Warm regards,
Fernando Martin
General Manager

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Reviewed 8 July 2014

Cayo Largo is a beautiful place! We stayed at Sol Cayo Largo from June 30 to July 7, 2014 and traveled as a couple. Check in was very fast. Magda at the reception is great. The rooms were ready upon arrival. Nice, clean hotel area with beautiful, clean and spacious rooms. All the staff are extremely helpful and polite. The facilities and the pool were well maintained. Since it was very hot, we loved to stay in the pool filed with sea water after dinner. The service was very friendly and the food was good.

Our room was always spotless thanks to our cleaning lady Yamila.

The musical entertainment in the restaurants all day was excellent as well as night entertainment.

The beaches all over this island are out of this world with soft white sand. The Cuban people are exceptionally pleasant, honest and just a great deal of fun!!!

We can fully recommend this place and would like to thank the team and the manager Alejandro Janue, who was helpful many times during our stay, for 7 fantastic days.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
5  Thank Oksana B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HGeneralManager, Director General at Sol Cayo Largo, responded to this reviewResponded 12 July 2014

Dear Oksana:

It is great to read comments like yours because you can feel the joy and satisfaction in every word written.
Your opinion will be shared with all of our staff, it will encourage us to keep working in order to fulfill our guests expectations, like we did in your case.
We are glad to know that you really enjoyed the pool, our musicians, the food, the service.
Thank you so much for recommending our hotel, we´ll never disappoint you.

Best regards,

Fernando Martin
General Manager

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Reviewed 6 July 2014

I just spent a week at Sol Cayo Largo, Cuba. I was afraid it would be much too hot in Summer. Well, at this time of the year, the pool is not really popular because of the hot sun and its strong reflection on the water. But I found some cozy places : a nice shady terrace near the beach bar which is shaded by a cool ocean breeze, the windy snack bar near the pool, and of course my own room being cooled with air conditioning. Customer service is best I found traveling in the Caribbean / Mexico. They are open to suggestions and really try to make the best to satisfy their many returning customers. For people traveling on their own as I did, it was really easy to make new friends. Beaches are breathtaking. Food is OK. The 10 minutes bus drive from the airport is definitely a big plus. I am looking forward to return to Sol Cayo Largo.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled solo
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2  Thank Gilles L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HGeneralManager, Director General at Sol Cayo Largo, responded to this reviewResponded 11 July 2014

Dear Gilles:

On behalf of the hotel and my own,I would like to thank you for choosing our hotel to spend your holidays and for sharing your experiences with us. We agree with you that our customer service is always doing their best to satisfy our returning guests, as much as the rest of the clients, you are all our main reason. Another important thing that you have mentioned is how close the airport is from the hotel, which allow you to enjoy your vacations until the very last minute.

Looking forward to see you in your next trip.
Fernando Martin
General Manager

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Reviewed 6 July 2014

We just came back from a 5-day stay at Sol Cayo Largo. We decided to go at the last minute and I'm so glad we did! Yes, the hotel is a bit old but it is very well maintained and very charming. We liked the colourful deco and the cuban music. We had a room on the second floor, near the swimming pool. Our room was spacious and the vaulted ceiling made it look even bigger. There was some construction going on at the swim up bar while we were there (starting around 7:30) but we didn't mind the noise very much since we like to get up early to enjoy the beach.

Beach: The beach at the Sol is stunning. Turquoise water, white soft sand, good waves and enough palapas for everybody. On some days in the afternoon, we almost had the beach to ourselves! We liked the fact that this is not a party place. We were able to relax and read a book on the beach without being annoyed by loud music (or loud/drunk people!) We did not even feel the need to go to the other beaches. We were just happy where we were!

Food: My expectations were not high but the buffet was a pleasant surprise. They had many options for breakfast (like pancakes, crepes and omelettes made to order) and even more for dinner. I particularly enjoyed the pasta bar. Yes, it's an open air buffet, so there are many flies (and mosquitos at night). But one must expect that when travelling to a tropical destination. There was also a buffet at Rancho Playa for lunch, but we preferred to eat ''à la carte'' at the snack bar near the pool. Good burgers and ok sandwiches.

Drinks: For your morning coffee, skip the coffee machine at the buffet and go to the Lobby Bar. Every morning after breakfast, we would get a cappuccino over there. Service was very efficient and the coffee was good! We usually like to have a beer on our balcony at the end of the day, but since our room didn't include a mini bar, we bought Crystal beer for just one cuban peso from the store near the lobby.

Service: We thought service was generally very good. We always left tip (at the Lobby bar and at the snack bar and buffet) even though we didn't feel ''pressured'' to do so. And I think that saying ''Hola'', ''Por favor'' and ''Gracias'' is the least we can do. These people work hard to please (some very demanding!) customers, so they deserve a tip and a smile! A special thank you to Anabel for cleaning our room and making sure we always had everything we needed.

We really enjoyed our stay and we loved the charm and tranquility of the Sol Cayo Largo. We would definitely go back!

Room Tip: Ask for a second floor room. They have great vaulted ceilings.
  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank La_Papaya
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HGeneralManager, Director General at Sol Cayo Largo, responded to this reviewResponded 10 July 2014

Dear guest:

It is great to know that you enjoyed your vacations in our hotel. We are always doing our best in order to satisfy all our client expectations and it is good to know when we were able to do it. Our hotel is very quiet and that´s what a lot of clients enjoy the most, just like you did. Thank you very much for taking part of your time to write to us and we hope to see you again if you decide to spend another great vacations.

Best regards,
Fernando Martin
General Manager

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Reviewed 6 July 2014

I retuned to Sol Cayo Largo for the 15th time in June for 2 weeks. It is the number one beach's in the Caribbean. I have been everywhere in the world, 5 stars resorts, nothing is like Sol Cayo Largo. The staff is very friendly and remembers you. You have a freedom feeling that needs to be lived and cannot be lived anywhere else on this planet.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Fred572
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HGeneralManager, Director General at Sol Cayo Largo, responded to this reviewResponded 9 July 2014

Dear Fred:

Thank you so much for such beautiful words. This is really a quiet and peaceful place, that is why you feel like the perfect place for freedom. Our staff is always friendly as you said and very commitment with their job. Thank you for calling us the number one beach in the Caribbean and for feeling like there is nothing like our hotel.

We really hope you come back for your 16th time.
Kind regards,
Fernando Martin
General Manager

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Reviewed 4 July 2014 via mobile

We just came back from 9 wonderful nights in Sol Cayo Largo, wich I think is probably the best hotel in Cayo Largo. Nice swimming pools, bar and restaurants. Most of people there are very kindly and really commited to make your stay unforgettable.

The hotel's beach isn't bad but it has too much waves (anyway you can also swim safely). To go to the real beaches there is a free shuttle to Paraiso and Sirena (takes 20 minutes), wich are honestly breath taking and best ever beaches I've ever seen.

The atmosphere in the hotel is pretty nice, and rooms are very good too.

Very recommendable hotel, for young and mature couples, even for families.

Stayed: June 2014
1  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HGeneralManager, Director General at Sol Cayo Largo, responded to this reviewResponded 8 July 2014

Dear guest:

Thank you for sharing your experience with us. As you afirm our hotel is mainly for relaxing and having fun, that is why our staff is always trying to do their best for making your stay unforgettable with their kindness. Our beach sometimes has waves, but it is not all the time, there are a lot of months that our beach is also quiet, anyways we agree with you that Paraiso and Sirena beaches are really breathtaking.

Hoping to see you again.
Fernando Martin
General Manager

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Reviewed 3 July 2014

We went to Cayo Largo between Feb 14-21 in 2014, and the resort was full at that time. Not only were there lots of guests from Canada escaping winter, there were also some S. Americans (Argentina) there for their summer vacation. Based on the website and reviews, we expected this to be an adult resort, but we also read that there was a pool for children-- the latter turned out to be true. To be fair, though, majority of the guests were adults/couples, and we hardly ever saw the children on the beach. There were a few infants (< 1 y old) who accompanied the parents, and they actually added to the atmosphere (for me).

We chose Cayo Largo for two reasons. First, the resort is located within 15-min of the airport, and secondly, it has a bona fide nude beach at the resort with palapas and lounge chairs for naturists. But be aware that if you want to use the nude beach, you should bring your own LARGE mug and fill it up at the beach bar before you settle for the morning or afternoon. It is quite a trek to get a fill-up. The beach is only accessible via boardwalks over the sand dunes (which are protected because it is a nature reserve). Vegetation on the sand dunes are adapted to the desert-like conditions and this means that cactus-like plants with sharp thorns can inflict a lot of pain on bare feet (I found out the hard way). Some of the rooms are located closer to the boardwalk nearest the nude beach (to the west), but you are smart not to wander off the board walk in any case.

The room:
We got one of six suites in the resort, which comes with a few other perks. The suite was in fact two adjoining rooms, with one of the rooms made into a sitting area. Consequently, we had two bathrooms, two closets, two front doors and balconeys, as well as two A/Cs and TV sets. The "his and her" bathrooms turned out to be a nice treat for me. The decor and some of the furnishings are very dated, and are probably going to be replaced in the near future. Some of the units are getting a fresh coat of paint and some furniture like the wicker sofa and chairs look relatively new. Please be aware that there is only 1 outlet with 110, and if you want to use any of the outlets in the room, you have to bring transformers. Although we cannot see the beach from our balconey, the view over the dune is still spectacular, and you can certainly hear the waves of the ocean, reminding you that you are on a tropical island.

The pool:
The pool has two sections. The section closer to the Las Dunas buffet is the more active one, and is where the pool volley ball, dance lessons and games, etc. are played. The other section is close to the Sol Azul bar, where you can also get some lunch and mid-day snacks. This section has a baby/wading pool and is quieter. I spent a few afternoons there when the beach got to be too windy. I noticed lots of chairs and umbrellas, because most of the people were at the beach.

The beach
The beautiful white sandy, wide, SWIMMABLE beach is the main reason that we will return to Cayo Largo. It is by far the nicest beach that we have ever visited in the Caribbean, and the nude section is a real bonus. We experienced such freedom walking for miles without any clothing and still unaffronted--not even a wrong glance. The only thing people wore were smiles and a hat, and maybe a pair of sun glasses. It was easy to walk for 45 minutes each morning and each afternoon. We saw iguanas sunning themselves, as well as the "shoe depot", where wayward shoes accumulated of all styles and colours. And the most remarkable part was that we did not have to get up early in the morning to reserve chairs at the nude beach. Of course, some creatures of habit who wanted a particular palapa and set of chairs did indeed get up early to claim their spot, but it was not necessary to do that if you just wanted to get a chair and some shade. The life guards also helped us find and move chairs to the nude section upon request. We could walk in both directions of the beach. To the left, we could walk about an hour and travel through 6 or 7 resorts, not all of which were clothing optional. So we brought a wrap and put it on whenever we passed through a resort that required textile. If we traveled to the right, however, there were no other resorts for miles, and so we did not need to put on any clothing for the entire journal. Needless to say, that was our favoured direction.

Our package also allowed us to take a taxi to a secluded beach on the island, where we had a special picnic that the resort packed for us. What we did not know, and were not told, is that we need to book this through the "Customer service"--a special contingent that looked after guests in this category. We made the mistake of asking at the front desk, and the staff did not know what we were talking about. To be honest, the front desk staff were not very helpful at all, and most of the time, just wanted us to go away. The secluded beach did not appear to be any better than the one at the resort, and there were only a few chairs and palapas that had already been claimed by the locals. Had we known, we would not have bothered to book a taxi and spend time organizing this. The morning would have been better spent at the nude beach at the resort. For those who want to snorkel and sail, etc, the hotel arranges a shuttle to a beach where such activities are offered, most of which were free to hotel guests. We were not interested in these activities and did not know anyone who tried them out, so cannot comment on the quality of these offerings.

Eateries
Las Dunas Buffet
This buffet serves breakfast for the whole resort, and therefore, it gets pretty busy between 8:30 and 9:30, especially when the resort is full. The food selection was very similar to what we got at the other Melia Cuban resorts, and once again, bacon was limp, and not crisp. About mid week, I found out that I could bring the soggy strips to the chef at the egg stations, and they could crisp them up for me and even make a bacon omelette. Only one of the chefs was able to follow this instruction, however, and I would therefore reiterate my complaint that they do not serve crisp bacon at this resort. As in the other Melia resort, there were lots of sausages and wieners and soggy vegetables, etc. The resort did not serve decaf coffee, either, even though they served good expresso. The water tasted very salty, and this definitely did not make good tasting tea. There were some nice quiches in the morning, and a decent selection of fresh fruits and cheeses. For dinners, the grill station was available to grill your choice of meats and fish. There was also a pasta station, and a roast of some sort. The hot buffet always had a choice of potatoes, rice, vegetables and some other sort of meat such as fried chicken or fried pork chops. You will likely find something to your liking at the buffet restaurant for dinner.

Lindarena Grill Beach Restaurant
The Grill is right beside the beach, and very convenient for those who don't want to wash off/dress up for lunch. There is a dress code, however, and everyone needs to put on at least a shirt and shoes, and the ladies of course put on some kind of a wrap over the entire body. This is the only place for lunch beside the Sol Azul, and so it's busy between 1:00 and 2:00. If you are not there by 12:45, you won't find a seat until after 2:00. The line-up at the grill can also take half an hour to move through, but it's well worth it, especially the bbq chicken and pork. There is also a selection of vegtables, rice and meats at the buffet in the restaurant if you do not want grilled food.

Las Trinas: This is a very small "gourmet" restaurant that only operated during supper. On the evening we went there (I believe the 8:00 pm sitting), they had already run out of four entrées. Some of the menu items looked to be re-engineered dishes we had at the Las Dunas. We are used to having gourmet food but I would not consider this to be gourmet. We were unimpressed, and disappointed, and do not recommend going there. We only went there for one evening and then ate at the Grill Beach Restaurant or at the Las Dunas Buffet.

The Sol Azul:
The Sol Azul is both a bar and an eatery, serving sandwiches and burgers. We found this to be a good alternative to the Grill Beach restaurant, especially during peak times at lunch. There, we could also get an afternoon snack with a cool beer. It is by the smaller pool, beside the children wading area. It is not really a swim up bar, but better than nothing I guess.

The service:
Overall, we found the staff working at this resort to be less friendly and genuine in their desire to serve as those at the Melia Cayo Coco or at the Melia Buena Vista (both of which I have reviewed). We found that we had to stand our ground and insist on what we really wanted, rather than take what they would offer us. Several times, we asked for more diet drinks or water in our room, and did not get it until two days later. They always smiled and nodded "yes", but we almost never got what we requested without having to ask again. To get our upgrades, we had to speak to the "Customer Service", but the representative was not always available. We did not get an orientation like we would get at other resorts; this was also the case at the Melia Cayo Coco, and so we learned to fend for ourselves, and asked a lot of questions from experienced guests. Just as in Melia Cayo Coco, there were no hand towels and no kleenex boxes. One couple we met at the resort told us that we have to just demand to have some hand towels and a kleenex box and they would bring us these. We didn't feel like being demanding customers, and so we made do without these. But really, these are just small things that would have made our stay so much nicer--and really what we should get to begin with. Much to my surprise, there was no room service, and even if this had been offered, I am sure that we would have had inconsistent service. Overall, the most friendly and professional staff were the gardeners, who were always smiling and bringing us flowers.

The spa:
The spa offered couples massage but in two separate rooms with a door that was slightly ajar. I could hear the masseuse and my husband talking but that was it. Overall, it was nice, but not very memorable. And why call it Couples Massage, when it is just two separate massages being given?

Overall impression
For the beautiful wide beach alone, the bonus nude bathing section, and access to miles and miles of beach for walking au naturel without any harassment, I would rank this one of the best clothing optional resorts in the Caribbean. If this is developed into a Melia adults only resort, with upgraded spa, room service and updated infrastructure, it would become a highly desirable 5-star destination. This resort has potential, and already has a pretty loyal naturist clientelle. There are still some problems with no-see-ums and other biting insects, both on the beach and at the resort later in the afternoon/evening (after around 4:30 or so). The problem with biting insects is, however, less of a problem, and more something that we have to come to live with--after all, if they are still there, then, it means that ecologically, the place is still relatively pristine. We are still looking for the perfect nude vacation, and have not yet found it, but the week in Cayo Largo certainly came close.

Room Tip: Do not bother to get the suite upgrade.
  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
7  Thank Phoenix224
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HGeneralManager, Director General at Sol Cayo Largo, responded to this reviewResponded 8 July 2014

Dear guest:

First of all I would like to thank you for such a detailed comment of our hotel and services. Your opinions are always useful for us, since they let us know what can be improved and the things that our clients like and prefer the most. Despite the things that you didn't like, that you can be sure that we took note of them, we are glad to know that we came close to be the your perfect nude vacation.

Hoping to welcome you again,
Fernando Martin
General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
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 #2 of 6 Hotels in Cayo Largo
Price Range: £124 - £304 (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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