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“paradise on a budget” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Melia Cayo Coco

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Melia Cayo Coco
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4.5 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Jardines del Rey | Ciego de Ávila, 22300, Cuba   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 11 hotels in Cayo Coco
bolton
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“paradise on a budget”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2009

Stayed at the Melia Cayo Coco from 4th - 18th June 2009

Flight delayed due to a problem with the door having a dent which took 2 hours to sort.
Service on board was crap - too slow

Arrived in Cayo Coco in the middle of a thunderstorm which made everything look awful after the crappy flight.

Got up early the next morning to discover the place - sun was shining, very hot even at 6am. Found the beach and just sat there alone - well I wasn't exactly alone due to the pod of dolphins that swam along the beach front every single morning - well worth getting up early to see this spectacular event.

You need to take bread down to the beach every morning and stand in the sea (which was like a hot bath) and feed the fishes - amazing!!!!!!!!!! The water is so clear.

The staff at the hotel are amazing!!!!!!!

The buffet food however is not. Breakfast was great - lunch was ok - but the food at night was mostly crappy - not much selection and occasionally not hot.

Our room was nice and clean - had to call maintenance out to fix the air con which they did within a few minutes - the service was impeccable. Our maid Marial was lovely and left blanket swans and boats on our beds most days. The fridge was re-stocked every day. The grounds were immaculate and were tendered to every day by the gardeners (who are lovely).

The beach was cleaned every morning by a tractor and you had an early morning wake up call via the plane which came over the resort every morning about 5.30am to spray the mozzies and then around 6.30am a guy would come round and fog the place to keep the mozzies out. They did there best but the mozzies there are kamakazee mozzies you don't hear them or see them - they just feed off you.

I don't know if it is worth you taking mozzie repellant because even though people covered themselves in spray or lotion they still got bit.

The evenings where a bit boring - the lobby bar got really busy and a guy played the piano (which to this day we weren't sure whether he couldn't play or the piano needed tuning). Please say hi to Riggler who works in either the lobby or the buffet restaurant. They had a billiards bar on the lagoon - but unless you wanted to get bit by mozzies you don't venture into it.

Talking about the lagoon - there was a choice of 3 a la carte restaurants. The international was located on the lagoon and even though people said the food was excellent no-one got to finish it as swarms of mozzies entered every night. The hotel really should invest in either windows or proper screens to stop this from happenening. There was also an Italian - over the pool snack bar which people said had amazing food. The other a la carte was a steak house which is located near the beach bar.

Please say hi to Charles who runs the bbq - he does a mean red snapper. The guys at the beach bar provided good service and say hi to Roberto the life guard (who sometimes works in the bar). Also say hi to Johnnie - who is also a life guard.

Tipping - you do not feel pressured into tipping - but whenever we got exceptional service from a waiter/waitress we tipped 1 peso (about 85p)

Please take pens and hand them out to staff. The kids only get 1 pen every 6 months by the cuban government and also if you can please take kids shoes as they have 1 pair each.

My mum was ill during the holiday and I had to get the medico (which is located near the shops near the lobby) She was given an injection and a sachet of glucose this cost 60 peso's. All I can say is go and see Raphael in the pagoda if you are ill - that is all I am saying on this matter.

The Sol next door was shut (as you can go and use other hotels). Just go to reception and ask for a blue band which enables you to enter other hotels and not pay for anything.

We went to the Melia Cayo Guillermo (take your beach towel or you will have to pay 15 peso's) It was fantastic - like the maldives but alot cheaper. The food was amazing as was the grounds - well worth a trip.

We didn't bother doing any proper trips as they can be really expensive and as most people said not worth the money. The glass bottom boat trip is 20 peso's well worth it you get to see some more of the island and you s[end 1 hour on the coral reef.

When you change money at reception - please remember that they take 10% off you everytime you change.

On the whole - would go again to Cuba - but I think I would stay at the Melia Cayo Guillermo - even though kids can stay there. Would definatley get on the bus to go down to the Melia Cayo Coco - but only to see my friends who work there and of course the fishes and dolphins...

Enjoy your holiday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Stayed June 2009
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (763)
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Kent
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 27, 2009

From start to finish we loved Cuba and we loved the Melia Cayo Coco.
We arrived June 2nd early evening. When we landed the temp was about 28 deg with high humidity. We got through Customs quickly and collected our bags. The Thomas Cook reps met us and the coach journey was 15 mins to Melia Cayo Coco.
When we got off the coach Thomas Cook had arranged traditional Cuban music, dancing and drinks to welcome us. Only TC did this. No other companies arranged this for their guests.
Check in was quick. The staff were polite and efficient. The porter took our bags to our room shortly after we got there ourselves.
The room was large and clean. The maid came every day and changed sheets, washed floor etc.
The hotel itself is large, beautifully landscaped, well laid out. We had a room less than 5 mins walk from everything, yet very quiet. Ask the gardners to make a hat out of palm leaves. They are free but a small tiip is appreciated ! The pool is a decent size and only a metre at its deepest. There were still beds with parasols at 9am. The beach was busier. Some people were down there before 6am. The beach was beautiful. Nice breeze, beautiful views, clear turquoise sea, white sand. Everything we expected.
The restaurants were large and had plenty to choose from. The buffet (main restaurant) had a large selection and plenty of seating. The only down side is food was left out, sometimes was a little cold and generally could have been kept up to temps better. However this did not put us off and we both ate well. I am very fussy and lived on steak, fish, burgers, veg, salad etc all holiday. I never went hungry ! As well as the buffet there are 3 other a la carte restaurants to use, although you can only use each one twice in your holiday, ours was 14 nights. We used the Steak House once but found it a little rushed as staff have to fill a number of tables each time slot. The Italian was the best by far. The food and drink was lovely and the staff were more dedicated as its a smaller restaurant. However you need to book days in advance. We did not use the International on the Lagoon as other Brits said the mosquitos were out in force there. Tally Ho chaps, dive dive, dive is how one guy described it !
The currency is a closed currency so take your money in Sterling and change it at reception. The exchange rate was 1.35 Cuban Peso to the GBP. You can not get the Peso before you go nor can you change it back after you leave Cuba.
Make sure you take all creams, lotions etc with you as anything classed as non essential the shops hold very little stock of and charge high prices. We paid nearly £10 for Mosquito spray. Someone else pay £18 for Aftersun.
We took everything but in small packets like Lynx deodorant - £1 from Wilkinson for a tiny one. Anything we didn't need to take back to the UK we left in a bag for the maid who was very appreciative. One of the staff asked if I had a spare Mach 3 razor blade. I happily handed it over. These are very expensive and can only be bought in Havana.
As I say anything you don't want or need put it in a bag. We left 2 large bags of creams, shampoo, t-shirts, flip flops etc etc.
The mosqitos were there in force but that comes with the weather. It only rained a few times but it was heavy for 10 mins then dried up.
Tipping was by no means expected. The service was exactly the same regardless.
I went snorkelling for 20 Peso for an hour and did a scuba diving course for 70 Peso for longer. Both highly recommended ! Feed the fish bread and bananas but mind your fingers as you will soon get lost in a frenzy of fish and they will nip at anything to get to the food. Take an underwater camera as well.
Also make sure you go to the Spa. 40 Peso for 3 hrs. The Spa is on a cliff top with views looking out to sea. Very relaxing !
We would definitely go back although at a different time of year when the mosquitos are on holiday.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 25, 2009

My husband and I went June 13th to 20th and went with Air Canada Vacations and overall we enjoyed our stay! The weather was fantastic while we were there....hot and humid and only a couple hours of rain one day and little spray for a short time the next. The beach is beautiful, warm and crystal clear!

Someone else commented in their review on the mosquitoes and I must reiterate - there are PLENTY! Our understanding is that Cubans take tourism very seriously and they do there best to eradicate these pests at all resorts. So beware that they spray constantly - at dawn and at sunset. If you plan on eating in any of the outdoor restaurants, try to avoid the 7 to 8 pm time slots or you'll find you'll be inhaling billows of pesticides during your meal!! They also spray throughout the entire resort at that time. So watch out! While they claim it's totally safe for humans, I can't imagine breathing in chemicals can be very good for one's health. Remember to bring BUG REPELLENT. While they sell some at the store in the resort, the DEET level is not as high as what you can get at home.

Food can be better at other resorts in Cuba, but there is certainly enough variety at the buffet restaurant to create a different meal everyday and stick with the things cooked to order. The restaurants were OK. We liked the International over by the lagoon.

The resort itself is a bit dated, but the rooms were comfortable and spacious. We had a junior suite by the lagoon and all was well until the last night of our stay. Water started to leak from the ceiling in the bathroom. At first we thought it was the air conditioner, but there was enough water to fill a garbage bin, ice bucket, 2 glasses and a mug full of water. Unfortunately, the staff answering the phone at guest services either didn't speak or understand English very well or didn't think the problem was a big deal. Nobody showed up to see the rainfall in our room. Thankfully the girls from the turn down service eventually came and were able to call the right people to get us moved to another suite.

Some staff were very friendly and helpful while others seem indifferent or uninterested in their jobs. it just depends on who you get.

While there are definitely better resorts out there even within Cuba, the value was certainly there at resort and the positives certainly outweigh the negatives!

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
derby
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 24, 2009

We did go to Melia Cayo Coco from 2.6.-16.6.09.
Tripadviser is a great site for advise to any place.All was written about Melia. Good and bad. We did upgrade to lagoon rooms, as our standart room was not very nice.
Lagoon was perfect.
Food ok. People, Cuban people - so friendly (most of them).
Weather was fantastic. Very humid and hot. Raining only 3 times for half an hour and 1 afternoon from 3pm for 3 hours.
We are going back, we want to go to see Havana and then back for 11 days to Melia Cayo Coco. I miss so much that Orlando's Banana Mama cocktail!!
Go! Have fun. Take a book and with open mind, you will have a great time.
Don't forget all your painkillers, you can't buy them there.
Have a lovely holiday. CoCo NUT.

Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
norwich
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 20, 2009

Basic rooms unless you managed to get upgraded, we did!! Average to good food, excellent service, friendly staff (most of the time) The beach is fantastic, white sand, turquoise sea. Manage your expectations and you will have great holiday.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edmonton
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 18, 2009

We went to the Melia in Cayo Coco on June 6th and returned on June 13th. I read quite a few reviews before we left and some were negative and some were positive. In all honesty, if you complain about this resort then you probably complain about most every other place you go to.
When we got there and stepped off the plane you could feel the humid heat hit you right away, such a nice feeling!! We went through customs and they ask you a couple questions and through you go. Right away in the small airport the mosquitos were INSANE!! I got bit probably about 12 times in the span of 10 mins. I'm used to mosquitos being from Alberta but these guys topped the cake.
We arrived at the hotel and there was music playing and some dude walking around handing out champagne. Our room was on the Lagoon and it was a beautiful view. The lagoon is actually ocean water so you get lots of fish of all sizes.
Weather was awesome. Only rained a couple of times and it was at night and didn't last long. The beach was nice and there is a small bar on the beach as well. We went swimming in the ocean and it was really warm. The entertainment was on a large stage outside next to the pool (which is only 4ft deep and I'm 6'5") haha We had a good laugh because the dances they put on were kind of silly but well put together and entertaining. So, they do a good job all in all. Buffet was pretty good with lots of selection.

We went on the catamaran trip and went snorkeling above a reef on the half day excursion which was nothing short of amazing!! We also did the spa which was well worth the money. Got an hour massage and a mud wrap and drank in a pool over looking crystal clear ocean in the back ground. Also, did the "bat cave" which is a bar from 10:30pm to 2am.. WOW.. it's an actual bar in a bat cave. There were active bats there near the back of the cave and it felt like an actual real club. It was so much fun and would totally do it again.

The only thing I would say that I didn't like was all the people that smoked. It seemed like 80% of the people there were british and the majority of them smoked.. and they smoked everywhere. It was really gross but then again I come from a place where smoking is basically banned every where. So, I was not used to standing at the lobby desk with some bloke next to me filling his lungs with toxins and tar. Each to his own.

So, my conclusion is this resort was amazing and the staff very friendly. Take some stuff for the maids to leave on your bed.. they really appreciate it. Take plenty of mosquito repellant with DEET in it.. and maybe some "afterbite". If you're a drinker.. take a flask with you because most of the cups are small plastic dixie cups.. two sips and it's gone. Also, take a watch or a small digital clock because there are no clocks in your room.

Go and have fun.. keep you're expectations empty and just enjoy yourself. Go to Pilar beach.. that's a must. It's the most beautiful beach you will ever see.. white sand and crystal clear water to swim in. We went twice. It's about an hour on the bus and 5 pesos return.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
durham
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 17, 2009

We had a great time at the Melia except for the dreaded MOSQUITOES. The rooms did need updating but were clean. The man who was supposed to have filled our mini bar did not always do his job and even argued with us when we said he hadn't filled it. The entertainment staff were really very good no fault with them at all. The waiters in all but the steak restaurant were excellent and couldn't do enough for us. We used everything we had to fight off the mosquitoes to no avail I would think to go in January/February is a better idea. The hotel did it's best to get rid of the horrible things but they still came back. Both myself and our friend had birthdays whilst there and had happy birthday sang on quite a few occasions and a birthday cake, very nice. All in all enjoyable except for the MOSQUITOES!!!!!

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Melia Cayo Coco

Address: Jardines del Rey | Ciego de Ávila, 22300, Cuba
Location: Caribbean > Cuba > Ciego de Avila Province > Jardines del Rey Archipelago > Cayo Coco
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Luxury Hotel in Cayo Coco
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Cayo Coco
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Cayo Coco
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Melia Cayo Coco 4.5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located beachfront in Cayo Coco, habitat of a large colony of pink flamingos. Five-Star All Inclusive Resort with 250 rooms. Conceived only for adults aged 18 years or more. Its superior suites and rooms are built on stilts over a natural seawater lagoon. Recommended for couples, weddings, and honeymoons.Guest Rooms250 rooms: 168 Standard, 62 Standard Superior Lagoon, 6 Junior Suite, 2 Junior Suite Deluxe Lagoon, 12 Suite Deluxe LagoonDining4 Restaurants (A la Carta, Buffet, Barbeque), 5 Bars ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Melia Cayo Coco Hotel Cayo Coco
Cayo Coco Melia

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