My husband and I just returned from 8 days on Guana Island.....we easily could have stayed another week. Actually, we were ready to put our house on the market, send for the kids and just move in! Where do I start? Well, our flight was delayed 4 hours, so we didn't get in until very late. The staff on the island was very accommodating....even though we were so late, they were right there at the airport to pick us up as soon as we exited customs. They took our bags, and after a short boat ride in the dark, we arrived. They had sandwiches waiting for us in our room since dinner had been served hours before.
As soon as we arrived and settled in, we had 8 days of pure paradise. I had thought about hiking (I heard it is incredible) but we didn't do much. Laying on the beach, sitting in the Garden of Eden, swimming in the ocean, and kayaking kept us plenty busy.
Don't miss a trip to the orchard, but go during a time you are hungry. The resident gardeners pick fruits from the trees for you to sample, after handing you a fresh coconut with a straw in it! I don't usually like mangos, but the ones on Guana Island (like everything else!) were heavenly. On our way back from the orchard, we stopped to see the 2 resident donkeys (they let children ride on them). We had a few mangos from the orchard and learned that donkeys enjoy those. It was great fun to feed them and take pictures of their mango covered snouts.
The staff is truly fantastic. They are always around if you need anything and they will chat with you if you like. One thing we really loved was the homey atmosphere. If you need something, (like a drink or whatever) you can go help yourself, or the staff will grab it for you, with a smile. As other reviewers said, if you want anything, they'll make it happen. The World Cup semi finals were on when we were there. We loved that they had no tv's or phones in the rooms. However, when my husband and a few others started talking about wanting to see it. Within 20 minute, voila! The staff set up a comfy place (equipped with tv) for them to watch the match. We plan on making many return trips....and look forward to seeing our new "family" year after year.
The food is fantastic. Their young chef from Spain is an artist. The soups were unlike anything I've ever had. Every thing we ate was fresh and delicious. Also, unlike most of the Caribbean, the drinking water on Guana is fantastic and safe. I wish I could bottle some of it and bring it home.
You can be social with the other guests or go off by yourself. We met some wonderful new friends.
A few tips: the paths on the island are steep. If you have health issues and walking on such terrain can be difficult, the staff will pick you up and take you anywhere you would like to go. We never had to wait more than a few minutes if we wanted to ride instead of walk.
Somehow, we thought that the wine with lunch and dinner was included in the price. The wine with dinner is an extra charge. However, the wines were reasonably priced, very interesting (many from South Africa!), and perfectly paired with the food being served.
They provide you with a perfect bag so that you can carry any supplies around with you. They also give you a water bottle. There aren't refrigerators in the room. If you drink a lot of water like us, make sure you bring some back to your room with you. They provide plenty of bug spray, but don't forget your sunscreen! You can buy sunscreen there, but it is expensive. And you WILL need sunscreen.
Many of the other couples we talked to said that the "Castaway Lunch" was absolutely fantastic and well worth the extra cost. We will make sure to partake of that next time.
This is NOT a place to party....it's a place to relax and decompress, which was exactly what we wanted.
My husband and I are also archaeologist and there are archaeological remains there.....including several ruins that date to the 1600's. If that is something that interests you, take the time to go around and take a look. They even have a small museum.
Bottom line? We've spent a lot of time at beaches around the world, and we've now found our new "Caribbean Home." We are already looking for times when we can return. Guana is perfect....in fact, it exceeded our expectations. We have no need to go anywhere else when we need a beach get away.