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“I Heart Cuba - 4.5 stars if I could...” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Iberostar Ensenachos

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Iberostar Ensenachos
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5.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Villa Clara, 52700, Cuba (Formerly Royal Hideaway Ensenachos)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Cayo Ensenachos
Edmonton
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“I Heart Cuba - 4.5 stars if I could...”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2012

We just returned yesterday after a week long stay at this hotel. Really, I think the name of the hotel should be "Iberostar Secret Hideaway". It was an amazing week in an amazing location! I found out even Sting (yes, as in the singer) had once stayed there.

I traveled with my husband and another couple. We booked the "park suites" package and all stayed in villa 39, both on the second floor in two rooms. We found the rooms as advertised and as seen in other traveler's photos: big, clean, with marble baths and a decent sized balcony. The king beds were firm, although thanks to other reviewers, I located the feather toppers in the closet without problem. Everything was clean. The tv (though on the smaller side) worked fine and surprisingly, had a lot of channels. The DVD had Samsung speakers so you could play music alone, or watch DVDs. I had brought a few with me, and it worked out very well. I had requested the second floor as a result of others' tips. I saw very few bugs (a couple of ants, a bigger spider, and one lizard) while my friends saw none. It was fine though; they were NOT on the bed and realistically, I acknowledge that we were in the middle of the jungle so not too surprised to see some critters!! The maids were wonderful and were in there TWICE per day (once during the morning and again for turn-down service). We had no issues with our mini-fridge being stocked or towels replaced daily.

The location, a 1.5 hr trip from the airport, seemed daunting at first, but it does go by fairly fast. We landed late at night and left early in the morning, so we didn't really get to enjoy the scenery, but the buses we were on, were quite comfy. Anyway, the resort is worth the trip. The two beaches are GORGEOUS. Megano beach is really friendly and happening. It's easy to get to with both access paths functioning. We snorkeled every day and always saw something fun. The water was sooooo clear and I thought quite comfortable in terms of temperature. This isn't Hawaii (I've been to Hanauma Bay) so don't expect lots of coral and tropical fishes. We saw other things instead: lobster, sting rays, lion fish, lots of star fish, silvery fish, and the occasional wrasse. We swam out to the sunken ship (visible from Megano Beach), saw the barnacles and some angel-like fish too, It was neat : ) Ensenachos beach is a little like being at the edge of the world. It's a little more untamed and you can walk out really far before hitting deeper water. Nothing is visible from the shore except endless sea if you look straight ahead (islands are visible from Megano), and it's wild and gorgeous and riveting and takes your breath away! I've been to Cancun and Lanakai on Oahu as well.... this is at that level- if not a tad better even. The sand is super soft and it's very walkable without shoes.

The staff are super friendly and very very nice. The servers at the buffet can't do enough for you. It doesn't matter where you sit, everyone gets you drinks, takes your plates away, is always asking what they get you. It was superb. Made us feel like rock stars!

So, if the beaches are great, the service excellent, and people friendly, why only 4 stars? Technically, I'd give 4.5 stars if possible. The food was a little lacking. Strangely, I don't think this had anything to do with their desire to please. I just think maybe it's a lack of experience. If you've never had a Big Mac, you won't get why throwing a patty on the grill and slapping some condiments don't add up to the same taste, if you know what I mean. All the food - the pastas, the cereals, the fruits, it was all to make us happy - laid out and served in the best imitation of Italian, Japanese, and Mediterranean food, but it just missed the mark. I can't cook myself, so I get. No matter how hard I try to follow recipes, I always end up with food that's edible, but it's not great, and this was reminiscent of that. However, they tried so hard and some things were good: i.e. the freshly cooked shrimp you can ask the chef to make for you at the buffet station, the crepe station, pasta and omelet stations were good and would be what I recommend. Jenny especially was an excellent cook. The cappuccinos were great and I enjoyed my pina coladas from the bar in the lobby the best.

We as a group enjoyed night caps on the balcony of the lobby and loved the R&R, but if you're looking for a more "happening" hotel, this may not be the one for you. However, do keep in mind, there's a bus that comes by nightly that takes you out to a club and picks up and drops off at all the hotels. Acquaintances, H&J, went a few times and told us they had a blast.

During our week, the weather was perfect every day. Balmy with a hint of a breeze...ahhhh. We enjoyed the pool, but loved the beach the best. During our pool-side stint, we did play v-ball and also ring toss. The animation staff do work hard and I give them credit for that. They sometimes even entertain in the evenings. It's not Vegas if that's what you're expecting, but again good effort. That's a pretty long day for them, so way to go!

Staff responded to us quickly, although the coffee maker in my friend's room didn't get fixed. However, when we locked ourselves out of our room, they were there within minutes of us calling from our friend's room.

BOTTOM LINE:
So if you're thinking of going, the bottom line would be - GO! Just manage your expectations, bring some Nutella or other spices you like, and pack your fave snacks to tide you over until your palate gets its bearings : ) Bring several books and some DVDs just in case too. Do bring a shawl or light jacket as evenings can get cooler. Go ride the Hobie-cats: they're free!! Oh, and I did get bitten by something that was VERY itchy and left an inch long welt. Happened one morning on my way to breakfast. They sprayed the next morning and I never got bit again. I'd suggest bringing some lanacane or after-bite or something for these instances. If you don't scratch too much, by day 3, the itching gets noticeably less. Swimming in the ocean also lessens the itch temporarily. This trip was my second all-inclusive and my husband's first. It was a terrific experience for the both of us!!! I got married in Hawaii in 2010 and loved it. From the *ahem* "budget bride's" view, I'd recommend this for weddings too. The grounds are lush and gorgeous. The beach is perfect. It'd look great in photos!!! Finally, we all felt very VERY safe on this resort. The staff are very polite and respectful. A thank you to the gardener who gave me a flower every morning : ) This hotel would be good for singles too in that regard. Anyway...enough writing for me and enough reading for you, just go and have a good time already! Oh, okay, one more thing: the kids we saw were fine and the construction never ever bothered us in any way. In fact, it was nice to see the little ones. They were in our villa, but never made too much noise.

Room Tip: Villas 39, 40 and 41 are very close to the beach access to Megano. It's located between 40 and...
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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niagara
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2012

As is always stated.... this is 5 star for Cuba! Food is better than most in Cuba, gardens, beach and pool are the best we have seen.

Rooms are good (bathrooms nice, bed okay, maid service great, a little musty at first - but I'm sure that is due to stupid tourists sitting on the lounge with wet bathing suits - concierge extremely helpful and nice). There is a little walking to get around, but that was nice for us to enjoy the grounds and walk off a day of drinking and lounging.We met people with mobility issues and they were able to get shuttles to and from dinner. We also often flagged one as it passed us and jumped on. They were fairly often, but could have been more so.

We only went to the busy beach once... because once we found the quiet beach, we were in heaven. Very quiet, nice long beach to walk along and find shells and stuff, pelicans giving us shows, snorkeling along the cliff, staff to get us drinks if we wanted, but no one bugged us. A decidedly older crowd, which includes us... so not for the party crowd. We had brought our own snacks, so didn't bother with lunch as it was a fair way back. They did offer ham and cheese hot sandwiches at lunch time that they brought from the other beach.

As I said before the pools were lovely. I can't imagine a more beautiful pool area. We only lunched there once at each pool, but both were great for Cuban standards. The ropa vieja (sp?) was so good - too bad I found out on the last day!!!!! Unfortunately for us the water was still cold from the cooler weather they had over Christmas - but not their fault. Also watch for the giant Iguana that visits the pool restaurant.... very cool.

The representative for the tour company couldn't have been more helpful or friendly! She really would do whatever she could for you, and always seemed handy or findable. We did the day tour of Santa Clara and I found this to be worth every penny. We learned so much and saw so much in only a day. The trip was longish, but Mercedes (who spoke 3 languages) filled the time with so much interesting information. If this is your first trip to Cuba do this tour if nothing else. You will come back with such an appreciation of the culture and an understanding of the country. I can't say enough about this tour guide as she had been up until 4 the night before waiting for a late plane at the airport, and then with us at 7 am for an all day trip which she worked hard throughout. We tipped her very well.

The spa seemed nice. I only got the free massage and it was wonderful. The main lounge bar was great and we went their often for coffee or drinks or to meet up with out new friends.

We arrived at 11:30 pm new years eve and got off the bus and walked right into the party - it was great and the fireworks a bonus. Would try to arrive before that next time... but I guess that is why our trip was so cheap. We had a couple of hours to party anyway - so all was good.

All the staff (maybe except the front desk) could not have been friendlier or more helpful. Beautiful scenery, the best beach, decent food, and we got this all for a last minute deal of 800 including tax..... worth much more - great place. Would highly recommend for anyone but young partiers or those with mobility issues.

Room Tip: Decide if you want a quiet beach or more lively one and then pick accordingly. Spa side is closer to...
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  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
57 helpful votes 57 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2012

We stayed on the basic package from December 30th to January 11th. Ensenachos beach is stunning and the staff can't do enough for you - but the food is generally average (with the exception of the Azia restaurant - more below) and the accommodation a bit tired. We had to move rooms after a day as our shower was leaking into the unit below - and the shower head in the new room was clogged up and the loo door didn't close (which may have been because it was put on upside down!) We weren't affected by the construction work but hadn't appreciated that there would be small children there as it was still the Royal Hideaway when we booked.

That said, we had a great time as all we were looking for was peace and quiet, a nice beach and a comfortable bed - all provided. And this is Cuba. It's amazing what they manage to deliver when you think of the restrictions on imports and so forth.

An added - and unexpected - bonus was the attitude of the staff. Almost without exception they are friendly and helpful. When we said goodbye our waiter thanked us for coming to the hotel. All the staff work extraordinarily hard for very small salaries in our terms - so if you go to Cuba, tip, tip and tip again. A couple of CUC is nothing to us and makes a big difference.

Finally, the Azia restaurant. It is truly appalling - we left and went to the buffet! - and begs the question why any organisation would choose to offer such a thing when it cannot deliver. Why not a Cuban restaurant?

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stefano B, General Manager at Iberostar Ensenachos, responded to this review, January 17, 2012
Greetings from Iberostar Ensenachos,

Thank you very much for your feedback. We are constantly trying to improve our hotel and every comment helps. We are progressing every day in our renovations and in turning the hotel around. I am glad that your overall experience was enjoyable and hope that we will be able to exceed your expectations should you decide to return in the future.

Regards,

Stefano Baratelli
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Toronto
1 review
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2012

Our stay was from December 22-29, 2011. My family (couple, with 2 children ages 10 and 13) love this resort. We have been to Cuba 6 times (4 times to Melia Cayo Guillermo) and this resort is the best by far.

Beaches - Fantastic. Warm clear water. Safe for children as water stays shallow for a long time.

Food - Great. Food was tasty and no one got sick from the food. (Unlike all resorts we have previously been to in Cuba and Mexico.) Ayandy makes smoothies and pasta - kids loved him and his food.

Rooms - Fantastic. Clean, bright, big. Shower works great. Beds are very comfortable with firm mattresses.

Bus ride - The ride is about 1.5 hrs long. We considered the ride part of our adventure - we got to see a bit of the "real" Cuba. If you have small children (who get motion sickness or impatient with long rides) the long bus ride might not be great for you. Go to the washroom at the airport - bus ride is long and there are no washrooms on the bus.

Management/Staff - Very friendly and helpful. My husband injured himself in Canada before leaving on the trip and had trouble walking. The general manager happened to go by in a golf cart and stopped to pick him up to take him to the lobby. That was a class act !!!

Entertainment - The live band was great.

Gardens - the best we've ever seen.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stefano B, General Manager at Iberostar Ensenachos, responded to this review, January 17, 2012
Greetings from Iberostar Ensenachos,

Thank you very much for your review. I am thrilled that you enjoyed your stay here with us and that we were able to meet or exceed your expectations. I hope that you had a safe trip back and that you will visit again soon.

Regards,

Stefano Baratelli
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Toronto, Canada
1 review
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 11, 2012

My wife and I travelled to Iberostar on Jan1st to Jan 8th and we had a very good relaxing trip.
I will break this up for you in segments.

Accomidations: We stayed in room 2321 in the Spa suite section, it was a good size room and was kept very clean twice a day from our wonderful room staff. The water never got cold when taking a shower and the pressure of the water was strong. The room was also perfectly situated accross from the pool and a few minute walk to the lobby and the Buffet.

Grounds: The grounds of this resourt is full of greenery and lush bushes and palm trees through out. Always very well maintained.

Beaches: There are 2 beaches..Megano and Ensenachos...Both are to die for. Clear blue water and light white puffy sand. Best I have ever seen.

Food: To all those people saying they were dissapointed in the food. I could not disagree with you more. The food for Cuba standards was very good, best food I have eaten in Cuba and I have been quit a few times and to different places around Cuba.

The Italian a la cart was the worst of them all. But the Asian and the Seafood were above average forsure.

Tennis: If your looking to play tennis this is the resort to do it in. They have a tennis pro who teaches lessons from beginner to advanced. His name is Reno and I played with him all week long. Bring some new tennis balls and some grips for him as a tip he will really appriciate it.

I would definately go back there again.

Room Tip: I stayed in room 2321 it was perfect!!
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 30
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stefano B, General Manager at Iberostar Ensenachos, responded to this review, January 12, 2012
Greetings from Iberostar Ensenachos,

Thank you very much for your positive review. Your feedback is very valuable to us as it constantly allows us to upgrade our services and I am delighted that you were able to enjoy your stay here with us. As with any business, the greatest advertising we can have is word of mouth by a happy guest.

Thank you again for your comments and we hope to see you back in the near future.

Regards,

Stefano Baratelli
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Guelph, Ontario
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2012

I will get to the main points here. This resort is going through a transition to being an Iberostar and has a ways to go in our opinion. The drive from the airport is 90 minutes but if it was worth it I wouldn't have cared as the drive is interesting.

The food was acceptable but not great. The Italian restaurant was poor and everyone we spoke with agreed.

The Asian restaurant was good although when we signed up they advised us we would have a private table. When we were seated it was in a general area and we just assumed this was their definition of private until I located the private tables as I went to the bathroom. Disappointing but still an enjoyable experience.

The Seafood restaurant was good again but not great. Here they offered me a different wine selection at $20 per bottle. I jumped at the chance as the wine in general at all restaurants and bars was poor quality and I am far from picky in that regard.

There is a 4th restaurant in the Villas section which costs $25 per person if you choose to do it and we did. Once again an enjoyable experience but not quite up to 5 Star standards but the best of the group.

The pools were very nice and we were located right across from the one pool that had a wide variety of activities going on which was fun to watch and partake in if you wish. Also some noisy construction going on right beside this pool which at times was a pain.

HOWEVER the restaurant was not open right by the pool on our arrival. I asked on Monday when it would be open and was told "tomorrow". They lied as I received the same answer every day until we decided to go the adults only pool which was a good 15 minute walk from our room. This pool was very quiet and relaxing and the restaurant was quite good for lunch.
By Saturday (5 days into our trip) the restaurant at our pool was finally open.

The buffet was good for breakfast, lunch and dinner but again not up to 5 Star standards. Service in general was very good at all restaurants.

We decided to check out the spa on a cloudy day and booked a couples massage at $70 for 2 hours later. They start you off with a sauna and then a steam which was nice. Then they retrieve you for your massage. Well this is where it got interesting and perhaps our fault for not asking more questions. We were quickly separated and whisked away by two MALE masseuses (sp?) to different areas and I was wondering what was going on as we had signed for a couples massage. Again our fault for not speaking up but I went on to receive my massage as did my girlfriend thinking this was the couples massage maybe. 30 minutes later when all was said and done I actually enjoyed the massage although uncomfortable with a male for both myself and my girlfriend. The bill comes and of course it is $50 each as opposed to the $70 couples one we had signed up for. Then in speaking with my girlfriend I find out that her massage bordered on INAPPROPRIATE at times considering this was a male masseus. I swallowed my anger after a few hours and let it go as again we both should have said something earlier but just be warned that this took place and we are not prudes by any stretch of the imagination but this was not acceptable by Canadian standards.

The rooms are good but getting a little worn and the beds could use a little more comfort. The internet service was horrible and slow but again it's Cuba.

The entertainment was fair but again we didn't expect much.

The ocean was fantastic and they are building another bar/restaurant on the Megano beach side which is really needed.

Our bus leaving the resort for the airport was scheduled for 5:25pm so we asked for a late checkout. $40 later we were granted a 4pm checkout.

I have really touched a lot on the negative but in general we had a really good time despite the issues I have mentioned. The bottom line is that at this point this is not a 5 Star quality resort, it may get to that once all the renos are done but not right now. I have gone to the Paradisus Rio De Oro in Holguin on 2 previous occassions and this place cannot come close to it. For now I would hold off on this resort.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stefano B, General Manager at Iberostar Ensenachos, responded to this review, January 12, 2012
Greetings from Iberostar Ensenachos,

Thank you for taking the time to send us feedback on the resort. We appreciate all comments as it helps us to better the hotel in the future. As you stated, we are going through a transition and every opinion helps us get to our ultimate goal. Unfortunately, due to this transition, there are still some issues that need to be resolved. I assure you that we are working on these so as to become the 5 star hotel that we uphold our standards to.

As per our communication by email, we are following up on the Spa situation that you mentioned and hope to be able to resolve it quickly.

Thank you again for your feedback and we are glad that apart from these inconveniences, your stay was a good one. It is our goal to retain you as a satisfied guest and we hope to be able to serve you again in the future.

Regards,

Stefano Baratelli
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Kapuskasing
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2012

We flew out of Toronto on christmas eve with Canjet. I will say little of this airline as I have little good to say of it. Never again. Once we arrived in Santa Clara Cuba, everything went smoothly. We boarded an air-conditioned bus and were offered cold beer at 3 for 5 pesos or canadian dollars. The ride was fine. It took 1 and one half hours to get to the resort. If we would do it again, we would take an earlier flight to enjoy the scenery. We arrived at our resort at 2 a.m. ( airline's fault, no one elses!). We were welcomed with champagne and were promptly escorted to our room in the spa suites section. Our luggage arrived 5 minutes later. We went to the buffet area in the lobby and had a snack before making it a night.
We walked over to the Spa and made our reservations for massages, reflexology, manicure and pedicure. The registered massage therapist is fabulous. Have not experienced such a massage in any other resort anywhere. When you book in the spa section with spa package, the package is per room and not per person. My husband added a massage to our package for a reasonable price. It was well worth it. The bank and the public relations office are in the lobby downstairs. Your reps are also there. When you exchange money, bring your passport. You will need it to do business. You book your a la carte dinners at the public relations office. They can be booked all at once,,,no problem . We enjoyed all of our a la carte dinners. Everyone of them is special and worthwhile. I will come back to them later.The gardens are lush and impressionable. It looks like another world. The pool has a swim up bar. It is a beautiful pool with plenty of chairs for everyone. There is also a small pool by the spa, very quiet also and private. Now for the beaches: FABULOUS. There are two beaches: the Megano beach which is close to the lobby. A new walkway of mahogany awaits you. Very nice. The resort is presently building a new restaurant or snack bar at the beach. Bar service is available and you are well catered to. There is entertainment, mostly music, sports and dancing on that beach. There are plenty of chairs for everyone. There is no need to rise early in the morning to reserve a chair anywhere on this resort. There are plenty of chairs for everyone. The beach is always clean. The sand is white and clean. There was little to no seaweed at any of the two beaches. You can snorkel in knee-deep water and see plenty fish. Bring along bread from the buffet and hand feed the fish in the ocean. It is well worth the effort. My favourite beach was Ensenachos because it is quiet and you can walk a few kilometres. Adolfo will happily set up your lounging chair and secure your towel to it as will all the others who work on that beach. No need to get up off that chair...your drinks are served. A small tip of 1 pesos is greatly appreciated but we found that the service was excellent with or without a tip. At low tide, you may want to help a starfish back into the ocean. You can also see sea urchins on the reef to your right. If you need to go back to your room , the beach workers will gladly watch over your things....no worries. The bartender will call you a cart whenever you wish to go to your room. The resort is made up of three sections: The spa suites where we stayed (they have the nicest rooms). The park suites ( for families and is under construction now) and the private Villa suites. Our room had a large walk-in closet with a safe, a hair blower, an ironing board and iron, a refrigerator that was filled daily with water, soft drinks and beer, an elaborate washroom with a tub, separate glass shower, separate toilet and vanity with two sinks. We also had a private balcony even though we were on the main floor and the beds were quite comfortable. We did use a courtesy room in the park suites section. It did not have a walk-in closet nor the elaborate washroom. We visited the Villa section (very private and can be visited only by appointment only). The villas are beautiful but they are not on the beach or close to the ocean. Some have ocean view but little. If total privacy is your thing, this is the place. They do share Ensenachos beach with all but I thought that our end of the beach was more swimmer friendly. The restaurants are all very good. We had lunch at La Megano pool snack bar every day. Yaniel is the best manager I have met in a long time. He makes sure you are served promptly and sees to everything. The calamari is excellent. The vegetarian sandwich is to die for. Hamburgers, salads, everything was very good. The Italian restaurant is fine. Try the ravioli. Great food there. The Asian restaurant is well worth it. Ask to sit at the chefs table and have Dagmar cook for you. We went twice to this restaurant. It was my favourite. Everything was good. The seafood restaurant, Punta Pirate, was also fine. You need a cart ride to get to it. We had surf and turf. Excellent. The lobster tail was succulent and the steak was as good as one would get at the Keg Restaurant in Canada. You can have as much champagne as you like...everywhere...even on the beach...just ask for cava. My least favourite place to eat was at the buffet for breakfast. Although the food was good, it became monotonous quickly. There is little to no creativity here. Same meat, same eggs, same fruit and french bagette every day. You will not find eggs benedict, french toast, regular bread slices, croissants, whipped cream, and the chocolate is sparse. There is no peanut butter in Cuba so bring your own if you need to. The chefs are kind and well organised. The food at the buffet may be boring but the people are kind and professional. The drinks at the resort are very good. Try a Mai Tai or a Congo. The wine is also very good on this resort. The pianist in the Lobby bar is fabulous. The cigar lounge is relaxing and beautiful with plush leather chairs. There was entertainment every night but we did not participate as we wanted to relax. We met people from all over the world. It was a fine experience and have made friends with several couples. Everyone from the gardeners to the management are kind and genuine and thoughtful. You must check out of your room by 12. You may make a reservation for a courtesy room to take your shower before leaving for the airport. The room we were sent to was in the park suites. The beds were not made therefore the room had been used and not cleaned. There were no towels. This needs to be addressed. There were a few families at the resort with children as this resort has changed to a family resort. I do think it will affect the rating of this resort but lets give them a chance. I would go back. It was well worth it. We went on one excursion: Catamaran. It is an all day event. You can go snorkeling ( bring your own equipment as the resort does not provide you with any and the catamaran does have some equipment but it is not always reliable. You also go to visit and interact with dolphins. It was fantastic. You are given a sandwich onboard but you do get to eat lunch at the dolphin place shortly after so don't fill up on a sandwich. You will be offered drinks throughout the day on the Catamaran. Bring a towel and sit on the nets at the front. You will cherish the memories forever. Afraid of being sea sick? Bring gravol. Just in case. Well that is it for this review. Have a wonderful trip and enjoy this fabulous resort. Cuba is the best.

Room Tip: Spa suite section highly recommended. Room 2010 was great and across from the spa; close to lobby a...
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Additional Information about Iberostar Ensenachos

Address: Villa Clara, 52700, Cuba (Formerly Royal Hideaway Ensenachos)
Location: Caribbean > Cuba > Cayo Ensenachos
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Cayo Ensenachos
Hotel Class:5 star — Iberostar Ensenachos 5*
Number of rooms: 506
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located on the impressive Cayo Ensenachos, Cayo Ensenachos brings all the Cuban flavour to some of the most exclusive Caribbean beaches. Holidays in Cayo Ensenachos are always great. The area features two exclusive, beautiful and quite unknown beaches. Kilometres of golden sand waiting for you and facing the turquoise-shaded ocean. Two of the beaches are bound to captivate you: Megano and Ensenachos. The heavenly beaches and the luxury hotels and resorts in Cayo Ensenachos, offer anything you might think of. Rest is only one of the attractions you'll enjoy if you spend your holidays in Cayo Ensenachos, one of Cuba's most exclusive destinations. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Iberostar Ensenachos Hotel Cayo Ensenachos
Occidental Royal Hideaway Ensenachos Cayo
Royal Hideaway Ensenachos
Occidental Royal Hideaway Ensenachos Hotel

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