I recently stayed for 2 weeks at this hotel. I'd never been to Cuba before and wasn't sure what to expect, but was pleasantly surprised on arrival. Cayo Guillermo is a nature reserve with only 4 hotels on it so it is a great place to just chill out in the sunshine. The hotel looks lovely on arrival and we were checked in very quickly once the rooms were ready. We had to wait around an hour, but this was no hardship - an hour of relaxing, chatting and drinking cocktails!
We had room 209, a fist floor room near to the far right of the hotel grounds stood with reception behind you and the pool in front. It was a few minutes stroll from reception through well kept grounds. Because of the room location, it was peaceful and we never got woken up by other holiday makers at night or early morning. We didn't have a sea view but could see over a lake. There was a balcony which was handy for drying swimwear and towels, and it had a plastic table and two chairs. We never sat out on it because we would be eaten to death by mosquitos!
The room was big, with a super king size bed and lots of pillows. There were blankets in the wardrobe if you need more than just a sheet on at night. Air con was great, if you leave it on all day then it is glorious to walk back into. There was a cabinet each side of the bed, a large chest of drawers in front of the bed with a TV on it - which had a few english speaking channels - and a large desk with chair with a mirror above it. The wardrobe was big enough with lots of hangers, a small chest of drawers, a safe, and an iron and ironing board. There's a full length mirror facing the wardrobe too.
The bathroom was nice, with a toilet and bidet, a large sink with plenty of space around it for your toiletries, and a large walk in shower. Pressure wasn't as good as I like but definitely adequate. Shampoo and shower gel are provided. There's a hairdryer which is OK but if I returned I would take my own hairdryer! Our maid, Misleaidy, always left our room clean and replaced towels when we left them on the bed, and changed the sheets when we left the relevant card on the bed. She always made a towel animal for us whcih we loved!
No bugs got into our room apart from the ever present mozzies, but even then it was only one or two as we were very careful to not leave the doors open! We did have a largecrab living in a crab hole by the bottom of the stairs which gave me a fright on one occasion! Lots of these crabs around, they are great. Check out the disco when it opens - shine your camera flash on the grass around and there are millions of them!
Food was average for an AI. Breakfast was my favourite, you could get eggs cooked t order, omelette, french toast, and pancakes. Already prepared was things like bacon, some sort of sausage, other meaty things which my husband couldn't quite identiy but ate anyway. There was also youghurt, cereal, fruits etc, and lots of bread, with a large toaster. Staff came to your table to take your drinks order - tea, coffee, hot chocolate, water, fruit juices.
Lunches we mainly spent at the beachside restaurant, as the main restaurant was just the same foods as in the evening really. The beachside restaurant had a menu with fish, pizza, spanish omelette etc on, plus you could get freshly cooked chips too. There was also a salad buffet and bread. You culd get wine beer etc or bring your cocktail from one of the other bars. Nice and cool to sit here with a bit of a breeze coming in. Also, the Cubanita bar sometimes does a hog roast, plus there is a barbecue hut right by the beach. Churros hut is here too, as well as one by the bar, but it is just good luck if this is open at the right time!
Evenings in the buffet were not so great for me as I am vegetarian. My husband was happy for a few days, scoffing all sorts of meats, but he ended up getting a little bored with it all. Me, I had a choice of pasta - cooked to order so this was nice - cold chips (the chips were NEVER hot here, even when first brought out!) and various potato items really. I avoided the salad as it has made me ill at other hotels in the past. For non veggies there is always chicken and pork, and occasionally beef. You can have your meat cooked to order. There are various veggies, rice etc to add to your dish. Desserts are manily cake-y looking things, I didn't like them. But most days there is flambee banana! This is fantastic, it's banana cooked in butter, rum, sugar... very sickly though and always left me feeling queasy for a good hour afterwards! Didn't stop me ordering it though...... Again, the staff come to your table for your drinks order here. I do have to mention health problems here. I was fine, but my husband did have.. ahem..toilet problems almost the whole time we were there, and he has a belly of steel and has never been ill on holiay before. He went easy on the booze and kept well hydrated, and ate sensibly. It seemed almost everyone was ill at some point, apart from the vegetarians, so it looks like there may have been a problem with the meat. Husband struggled for another week after returning too and even went to the doctor!
2 a la cartes - one is at the beach restaurant which is lovely and cool in the evening. I had a veggie kebab here which was good, The other restaurant is air conditioned and cool, can't for the life of me remember what I ate but I enjoyed it. You book these restaurants between I think 3.30 and 5.30, and can book one each week.
Bars - a lot of people love the Cubanito bar but I wasn't keen, the charis were uncomfortable and there were too many mozzies! The main bar near to the entertainment was fine, service is always pretty swift. Lots of seating here. Favourite though is the lobby bar - lovely comfy seats, nice atmosphere, and the best staff. Carlos and Lesy were absolute stars, they always remembered what we were drinking. Lesy made sure we always had drinks and Carlos was very frinedly and always engaged us in conversation. Loved it here. Only wish there had been some fans as it could get a bit warm some night. The poor staff were boiling in the bar, there was only one fan and it wasn't sufficient for them. The daquiris from this bar were just brilliant. You can also get other cocktails, beers, soft drinks, rum, rum, and some more rum!
The pool area was nice, lots of sunbeds, some shaded areas too. 2 pools, one of which was more set up for kids and playing games. Water always felt like warm bath water, it was so hot! The beach is just a minute away and has lots of sunbeds, all in shaded areas, but you can pull them out into the sun when you want to. The sand is lovely and soft and doesn't get hot like in some countries, so you can comfortably walk barefoot. The hotel removemost of the seaweed in the mornings also, making the beach nicer. The sea is great, it is actually green and you can see to the bottom. You can walk out a fair way before the water even comes to your waist. There's a watersports hut where you can borrow kayak etc but we didn't bother.
The hotel grounds are nice and reasonably well kept, there are always gardeners around who will open coconuts for you if you wish, and they like to present the ladies with a flower or other small gift. The walkways and water hole covers could be in better condition, as could some of the lights, but they were adequate.
Entertainment staff were great, they were never in your face and did not come to bother you. I'm not really up for being entertained but did enjoy the rifle shooting with Rey or Carlos JC. It was fun to do something different and they were both good fun. Did archery one day which I loved, but unfortunately someone broke the bow and it didn't get fixed whilst we were there. They substituted the session for more rifle shooting though, which was good. Noticed the entertainment staff organising games and competitions whilst we were there, we just didn't join in. There was a nightly show but not really my scene!
Really enjoyed my holiday. I wouldn't return, but only because we never return to the same place, preferring to try something new each holiday. I'd definitely return to Cuba though, the people are very warm and friendly, and the beaches are to die for!
If you don't like bugs, ask for a first floor room.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.