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“Awesome resort if you don't need a ride!” 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
Calgary, Canada
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Awesome resort if you don't need a ride!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 30, 2013

My husband and I flew with Sunwing on April 9, 2013 for one week. Our first time to Cuba and from what we had heard from others, don't have high expectations for food or accommodations.
We chose the "Cays" to avoid busy Veradero Beach as we were here for the beach and R & R. I had booked us into the Spa Suites Section of the Hotel (18+ only) rather than the Park Suites (family section with kids) since it was our first trip without our kids in 12 years. The ride from the airport was 1 1/2 hours as our hotel is the first drop. Checkin was fast and very efficient. From there to the hotel lobby entrance where we were to wait for a ride to our room. Big surprise! The hotel was overbooked and we were upgraded to a private one bedroom Villa!! The biggest surprise of all was that the Villa section of the hotel is 2 kms. away from the main hotel!! No problem they said as there is a van that goes back and forth but only until midnight. One night it didn't return after 10:30pm. The downside of this whole review is that we spent more time on the van and waiting for it than we did enjoying our Villa!
The Villas are gorgeous and very private, approx. 1200 Sq. ft. with a private patio and jacuzzi tub inset. Ours had an ocean view and a king bed. The advantages of staying in this section - quiet, private pool for villa guests only, a butler/concierge that makes all dinner reservations (unlimited) and access to the Colonial (gourmet) Restaurant for poolside breakfast, lunch and dinner (inside). If you spend alot of time in your villa, are not looking for activities, music, shows, and don't mind not having a bar/lounge when the pool bar or restaurant closes, this is the place to stay. OR you can still stay here and spend hours waiting and travelling by van (1 only) back and forth to the main lobby. By the way - an old minivan - seats 10 max and is unbelievably difficult to get in and out of. NOT recommended for elderly, obese or unfit people. Also, be prepared for wet seats - not nice if you are dressed for dinner and someone was picked up at the beach to return to the main hotel.
The service everywhere in the resort was spectacular and always done with a smile! The food far surpassed our expectations,especially in the Colonial. The Chef is to be commmended as everything there was cooked to perfection and always consistent. We had 3 dinners there and my husband had the Lobster Thermadore each time - Amazing! The servers, especially Yan and Elainette were so professional and friendly. They strived for the personal touch of remembering your likes and tastes from one meal to the next. All of the staff at the Villas were the best - special mention - Toni our entertaining pool/towel man, and both pool and beach bartenders. Our room was fairly clean but had a urine odour in the toilet/bidet section and our room was not provided with beach towels on arrival. Although it stated 24 hour room service, the menu showed specific hours for food and the Villa Reception/restaurant closed at 11pm.
Entertainment at the main hotel was great. There was a show each night (we saw 3) and there was always music and activity in the lobby each night. A Philharmonic Orchestra even played one evening and they were awesome! The piano bar would have been a huge draw for us if it was quieter but it echoed noise because it had A/C, and was always packed as it has the only bar. We missed going to the nightclub because we had no way of getting back to the villas after midnight (a 2 km walk down a non-lit road)
Food - the buffet was very good - variety & tasty - alot of fresh seafood and items they will cook on demand rather than having them sit and get soggy or dry. Amazing soups and fresh bread every meal. One evening they carved a turkey and it was delicious. Downside -There were always lineups. The Italian Restaurant was good but all entrees were not available. The Steak House was not good when we went and the Seafood Restaurant was OK. #1 Rule of Thumb for Cuba - AVOID BEEF. They are not known for it and we have some of the best in the world. Don't expect much if you do order it. Even the hamburgers and meat sauce had large, very chewy chunks. The Asian Restaurant was closed and we had heard it was one of the best on site. All drinks were Premium Liquor, rather than local, and always well made.
Ensenachos Beach - one of the best of 100's I've been to and some great snorkelling 10 meters out. This beach is worth the short hike. Megano Beach is very nice too. There are no motorboats or jetskis to worry about, very little undertow and no vendors. The sand is smooth, very little seaweed and the water is crystal clear. Snorkelling equip. is NOT available even though it shows as included. The few palapas get snatched up early and apparently some were washed away with the last hurricane. As with most resorts, people put their towels on shaded chairs in the morning and don't return until after lunch. It's annoying but typical of all inclusives. The pools were beautiful with a nice mix of sun and shade and floats were available for guests to use poolside. The grounds are spectacular, with lots of tree frogs and large iguanas that love being petted and fresh coconuts cut open by Mario.
We ventured outside the Resort twice - a one day fly trip to Havana. Very interesting, but tiring and alot of difficult walking. All the historical buildings are under renos so are closed and covered in scaffolding. Our guide was not the best compared to others we were told about. Be sure to get a box breakfast made up as we were not told and there was nothing available in the snack room before it closed at 6am. We also went to the Estrella market 10 minutes by taxi in Cayo Santa Maria. Great to pick up a few souvenirs and some rum. Cheap to get to by taxi or on the double decker bus. It is connected to Memories Azul resort.
This was by far one of the best all inclusives we've been to which have included the DR and Mexico, Club Med, Palladium and Bahia Principe resorts. We normally tip select staff at the end of the stay but we actually spent every peso we had before the final day because the staff all deserved it and work so hard for so little. We felt like tipping was constant but take extra for them!
If Iberostar could get their act together and provide easily accessible golf cart transportation for all guests, not just the Villas, they would rate a 5/5 from me but it is a major flaw in their operations that needs to be addressed immediately. We also heard complaints from others staying in the Spa Suites. The other resorts have carts so why not Ensenachos?? For this reason, I would not stay in the Villa section again, even if it was a free upgrade.
A huge Thankyou and special recognition for the two bellmen (one is greying - names escape me) that seemed to be at the entrance 24/7 and took abuse from everyone who required a ride within the resort.

Room Tip: Park Suites for families but better location and closer to food and Ensenachos Beach. Can always sta...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brenda C, General Manager at Iberostar Ensenachos, responded to this review, May 2, 2013
Dear Beachbum2635,

On behalf of the staff I want to thank you for giving us your comments about your experience at Iberostar Ensenachos Grand Vilage. We are pleased to have given to you a great holiday and encourage us to keep improving our services. We will congratulate all teh staff at the Grand Village as they make ther difference with the service in yuor vacations and helping you to make your holiday special. As per the snorkel equipment let me nform you that since last year the owner of the Aquatics sports center took the snorkel equipment out of order as they have been in very bad conditions per our mutual costumers. On behalf the golf carts we are just waiting to arrive pieces and wheels to repair the ones who are broken and 3 new ones that supposed to be arriving in a couple of months. We hope to offer you again our hospitality whenever you decide.

Cordially,

Brenda Correa
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Rating summary
  • 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
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (588)
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English first
Bathurst NB
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 30, 2013

Beautiful resort- very clean- EXCEPT the beach front restaurant and VERY FILTHY TOILETS at this out door place. This resort is just too beautiful to have a place like that- it should be torn down- the rest of the resort is beautiful- needs more umbrellas on the right side, as you get to the beach but all in all a GREAT place and we will b back if the filthy toilets at the beach are torn down

Room Tip: Please clean out the beach toilets- just awful
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brenda C, General Manager at Iberostar Ensenachos, responded to this review, May 1, 2013
Dear ymazz,

Thank you very much for your good comments and reviews about the hotel, staff and services, opinions like yours are very important to keep working every day to exceed the expectations of our customers and achieve ever greater improvement of our staff.

Hoping that you do decide to visit us in the future please accept our best regards

Carefully

Brenda Correa
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1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 30, 2013

unsafe
no service
no english
dont waste your money
it shoud be 2-3 star resort, not 5
they need to work on basic custumer respect
the only good part was nice clean warm water and reasonable clean sandy beach
very poor sanitary conditions at cooking sides, glad we came home without diarrhea

  • Stayed March 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
Brenda C, General Manager at Iberostar Ensenachos, responded to this review, May 1, 2013
Dear Allnew2013,

We would like to thank you for taking your time to express your opinions and thank you for letting us know. Our clients’ comments are very important to us and we sincerely value them. We apologize for all your inconveniences and we appreciate all your comments, because allow us to improve our services and we work hard in order to all our guests feel themselves like home. We hope to have you again among us, to provide you the service you deserve.

Regards,

Brenda Correa
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Montreal, Quebec, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 29, 2013

My mother, my sister and I stayed at Iberostar Ensenachos and this is one of the best vacation we've had :) People who works there are very kind, considerate and sociable. We were in the villa section. The Gourmet restaurant gives you the best Lobster ever!! My mother is in a wheelchair and 2 years in a row stayed a week more than me and the guys who drives carts and the butlers were always giving their best service to help her :) and each time was marvelous and It was a stress relief for me that she'll be in good hands. I'm disapointed that I've a terrible memory for all the names because I wanted to thank you all personnally as you are very nice people !! the bar tender at Ensenachos beach and in villa section were great, the ladies who serves you at Gourmet Restaurant, Diego, Marichal & Pumba (sorry my terrible memory forgot you real name), guys in carts :) , cooks, animation team, maids, gardeners, spa cleaner guys, all staff at Iberostar :) I would like to come back for a 3rd time but unfortunately this is an expensive resort that I cannot afford for the moment but please note that this place worth every penny! The beaches are perfect :) clear water no seaweed. I'll miss you Iberostar Ensenachos!! this is heaven on earth!!

  • Stayed January 2013, 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brenda C, General Manager at Iberostar Ensenachos, responded to this review, May 2, 2013
Dear Karine R,

Thank you so much for taking part of your time and write us about your recent stay at Iberostar Ensenachos Grand Village, we appreciate all your comments, we love that you have been a wonderful stay here among us, we work hard in order to all our guests feel themselves like home.We will congratulate the staff at the Grand Village as their work make the difference in your vacations. We hope to have you again among us in the future and offer you even a better service.

Regards,

Brenda Correa
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Saint John, NB
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 29, 2013

There was 4 couples that stayed at the IE from April 15-22, 2013. The flight with Sunwing was good and the 2 hour drive to the resort was as expected. We were prepared and enjoyed the sights. The check in was fast however 2 of the rooms were not ready and we returned a couple of times to check and finally got into our rooms around 4:30pm. We stayed in the Spa section which is for adults and our rooms were in the same building as we requested. The rooms were clean, large and very nice.

Megano beach is incredible and the week we were there it was hot and sunny every day. We never bothered to go to Ensenachos beach. Fish at your feet while swimming. We never did get off the loungers to go snorkeling but two of the guys had brought collapsible rods and went fishing. One caught a larger fish then lost the lure in the mangroves. The waiters on the beach brought drinks all day and there was men on the beach greeting you and asking to get you a lounger. If you wish to "reserve" a spot you need to be there by 6am,

Food was good. Regular breakfast of omelettes, eggs, bacon, breads, pastires, juice etc. You really couldn't leave hungry. Lunch at the beach snack bar or at the pool grill was good. Dinner was the buffet or an al a carte. You could have grilled for you steak, chicken, pork, fish. Pasta bar, cheeses, salads, soup, breads.

We took the Sunset Catamaran excursion and enjoyed it a lot. This was the only excursion we did other than going to the Pueblo Estrella one morning. We took a cab and was charged $1 a person CUC each way.

The people were very friendly from the bartenders to the restaurant staff, beach, pool, bellboys. I don't believe we met any staff member that was unpleasant.

One of the precautions I would have is if you have a food allergy. I have food allergies and the mixing of foods and not a utensil for each dish was a concern to me. The foods were not marked as clearly as I would have liked either. This however is a norm when travelling in the Caribbean.

The week we were there the maids placed new towels in the bathrooms and we also got new beach towels.

The lobby bar at night was attended by a lot of children from the family section of the resort. The children were running around while people were carrying drinks and hot coffee and we were concerned that someone may get hurt. It would be a good idea to separate the evening gathering place for the families and the adults.

When you arrive make sure you book the al a cartes immediately, we arrived on Monday and when we went on Tuesday morning to book we could only get one at 6:30 for that night (a wedding reception cancelled) and on Saturday night at 8:30.

The bands in the lobby at night were good, we didn't take in the nightly entertainment but we did visit the disco on a couple of occasions and had a good time but it was musty smelling.

Overall it was a great vacation, in a beautiful setting with wonderful people. I will return to this hotel and this area sometime in the future.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brenda C, General Manager at Iberostar Ensenachos, responded to this review, May 1, 2013
Dear Darismg,

On a behalf of the staff and management here at Iberostar Ensenachos we would like to thank you for your nice review. We all are hardworking people always seeking the best for all our clients. Should you choose our hotel, or some other Iberostar Hotels, for your next vacation, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Wish you all the best,


Brenda Correa
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Sliema, Malta
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 29, 2013

We spent a week at Iberostar Ensenachos and from the outset we were impressed! On your arrival you're greeted with a glass of bubbles and an explanation as to what the facility has to offer. The only thing omitted from the advice is to make your bookings at the restaurants as they appear to get booked up pretty quickly.

We made use of the gym, played a bit of basketball, kayaked as well as leisurely days on the beach and chilling by the Megano pool.

Great location! Great service and a superb suite (we stayed in a Spa Suite and had booked ahead). Great choice and would love to return one day.

Room Tip: Opt for a Spa Suite
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brenda C, General Manager at Iberostar Ensenachos, responded to this review, April 30, 2013
Dear suzlecha,

Thank you so much for taking part of your time and write us about your recent stay at Iberostar Ensenachos, we appreciate all your comments, we love that you have been a wonderful stay here among us, we work hard in order to all our guests feel themselves like home. We hope to have you again among us in the future and offer you even a better service.

Cordially,

Brenda Correa
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Halifax, Canada
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 28, 2013

My wife and I stayed at the hotel from April 11 to 25. We had previously stayed at the Melia Cayo Santa Maria and the Melia Las Dunas nearby, but wanted to check out the Ensenachos hotel.

I am very glad that we did. The beaches are as spectacular as others have noted. We preferred the Ensenachos (as opposed to the Megano) beach. It was a lot quieter, and it wasn't as necessary to get up too early. The bar service at the Ensenachos beach was superb, and Juan Carlos and Yisel could not have been more helpful. Juan's frequent trips down the beach, and his helpful comments, were much appreciated.

The food was excellent--with lots of variety at the buffet. We also ate at the Steak House and the Sea Food restaurant (Punta del Pirata), which were good. But the buffet was terrific, with wonderful selection of salads, vegetables, cheeses, fruit and several stations for individual food preparation. The personnel working in the two large rooms served by the buffet were great--and we came to admire their professionalism (on two occasions that we saw in the face of rude tourists). Particularly helpful were Annia Lauzerique, Geiny Garcia and Raidel Macaya. We had lunch several times in the snack bar beside the family section pool, and our server Rutilio also did a great job. BTW, I am glad to see that tourists are less critical of the lack of ketchup--since these observations had become embarrrassing...

The grounds are kept beautifully, and the gardeners do a terrific job. If anybody deserves a tip, they do. Work gloves, and articles of clothing, are always appreciated by them.

We were in villa 20, and our room was kept extremely clean and tidy by the cleaning staff. Since we were at the beach almost the entire time, we hardly got to talk with them--but it was always good to know that, after returning from the beach, the room would be in great shape.

The piano bar--with a superb pianist--is definitely worth visiting. We always went there after supper, and much enjoyed the combination of great music and attentive service. The entertainment was excellent--from the high energy pace of the shows to the variety of the performers in the lobby. The Sunday evening orchestra performance was truly spectacular.

The reception staff were extremely helpful, and the manager Brenda Correa is to be commended for running such an efficient, helpful operation. Assisted by the two yellow-coated trouble-shooters (Cesar and Dario) who could be seen all over the resort, she has done a wonderful job in her short time there.

One constructive criticism... Transportation around this large property can be a challenge for older vacationers/people with limited mobility--and a more organized system of golfcarts/minibuses would be helpful. A regular schedule of transportation going from the lobby to the Ensenachos beach, for example, would make life a lot easier for those making the 25-minute walk.

In conclusion... We had a great time--and will be saving up to return next year. The friendly staff, superb beaches, great rooms, and consistently good food, are just what we were looking for. This is not a "party destination" for tourists looking for a faster pace, but is terrific for people wanting to chill, and for young families. (We also heard from delighted wedding guests that the support for them had also been excellent). Definitely a keeper, and fully deserving of the praise it has received.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brenda C, General Manager at Iberostar Ensenachos, responded to this review, April 30, 2013
Dear John K,

On behalf of the staff I want to thank you for giving us your comments about your experience at Iberostar Ensenachos. We are pleased to have given to you a great holiday and encourage us to keep improving our services. We will congratulate Annia, Geiny, Raidel, Rutilio and all the staff for helping you to make your holiday special and also I would like to thank you as well for your nice words about my assistance. We hope to offer you again our hospitality whenever you decide.

Best Regards,

Brenda Correa
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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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