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“Just a disaster....basically one step from Gauntanmo Bay” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Gran Caribe Club Coral

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Gran Caribe Club Coral
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3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Archipielago de los Canarreos | Cayo Largo del Sur - Isla de la Juventud, Cayo Largo, Cuba   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #4 of 7 Hotels in Cayo Largo
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Toronto, Canada
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“Just a disaster....basically one step from Gauntanmo Bay”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 30, 2012

I stayed at the Gran Caribe Club Coral with my boyfriend and his family from April 20-27. I can honestly say that I have never had a worse experience than what I experienced at this hotel.

When we got off the bus I went to go to the front desk to check in while my boyfriend got our bags. The girl at the front made us wait for 10 minutes while ignoring me, then she went to take the people behind me! When I advised her that I was waiting first she sighed and gave me attitude while checking me in. What was even worse is my room was not even ready till after 6pm as the person using it had opted for a later check out. We were given a temp room on the "italian side" of the resort. This room had no towels or soaps to wash up with nor did it have any toliet paper. When my boyfriend went to ask someone about this their response was "well your going to another room later so whats the point of giving you these items?"

We finally got our room the same night after 8pm. And I was really angry at what I found, the air conditioner did not work and I had sent three times during the course of our trip for it to be fixed with no resolve. The room was musty and outdated. I was promised a hair dryer (one of the reasons why my boyfriends mother took the time to write the resort ahead of time to ask for rooms for us) and there was no hair dryer. The air conditioner leaked all over the room several times ruining my boyfriends luggage, again when we asked the hotel about this they didn't do anything to fix this.

The food was beyond terrible, by the end of the week I stopped eating altogether. It might have also been the reason why I got sick (which was because of the food)

By mid week we ran out of certain kinds of foods as Cayo Largo is on an island and the food is shipped over on a weekly basis. The buffet was dark and the food covered in flies (if you didn't get to the buffet fast enough the food got warm on the plates). The pork hamburgers are not cooked that well and the beef was over cooked.

The power kept going out to the resort as did the water. When I got really sick all's I wanted was a shower (which was cold there was no warm or hot features only cold and colder) however the water stopped half way thru my very cold shower and I was left covered in soap this happened several times during my stay.

One of the nights we were there, I was walking back to my room wnat the lights to the whole resort went out and I was left in the middle of the dark wandering around to find my room. My room was also called the "Solodad" which by the way means solitary so that means its way on the other side of the hotel so if you want something central don't pick the solodad rooms.

The beach was very rocky and when you first walk out there is rocks in the water and are very slippery and covered in moss. The waves were very rough and could easily knock a person down and take them under the water.

Also a side note for those who wish to attend this resort it is not for families as the beach is filled with nudists not something you want your kids to see. I'm in mhy 30's and I didn't even want to see this.

To change money you had to go to the front desk at certain times of the day otherwise they didn't change your money.

The bar at the reception is not free and belongs to the "italian side" of the resort so beware when you first come in if your not on the "italian side" that bar is not for you.

The bar was basic at best, running out of beer several times the only saving grace was the bar staff were very personable and they took my orders very quickly and were very attentive.

The pool was the tiniest swim out bar that I've ever seen! And when more than 10 people are in the pool it can get very crowded in the pool over all.

The resturant staff were great very friendly got whatever drinks I wanted very fast and were very attentive and personable. The front bell hop was great and he knew everyones name and made sure we were looked after. Often when I was walking back from my room the the main area of the hotel he would stop and let me hitch a ride with him to get to where I was going.

I wouldn't really recommend this resort it was my first experience to Cuba, and I was really put off by it, but in the end you really do get what you pay for.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (16)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Toronto, Canada
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 1, 2012

When may 7th for a week. 6th trip to Cayo Largo, first time at coral villa. Wanted to try this hotel as always great pricing on sell offs. Without a doubt best vacation in Cayo Largo yet. Hotel pretty empty due to it being low season so no problem getting lounge chairs on the beach, no line ups at the bar or at the buffet restaurant. Got upgraded to an ocean view which had to be the closest room to the beach. And the best room in the hotel...at no extra cost! Not interested in the entertainment as too tired most days from beaching it, and not much anyway again due to low season. Food was great. Much better than Pelicano or Playa Blanca. Staff was great, all in good moods as not so rushed. Decided no longer going in January as I have before, May is so much better. Weather was fantastic, water was so warm, just a wonderful stay at Villa Coral!!

  • Stayed May 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Buffalo, New York
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 23, 2012

May 14-21, 2012
Seasoned travelers, 5th time to Cayo, 2nd time to Gran Caribe.
Recently renovated, newly managed by Italian Co. Eden village. Renos were both effective and necessary. Unrenovated Villa Coral rooms - be careful. Requested ground floor room to avoid stairs. given pool side room which would have been wonderful except...

Italian mgmt: 98% Italian guests. This is not an international hotel. Cdn guests sold to fill vacant rooms. Staff service and entertainment was exclusively in Italian. Found one or 2 Cubans who spoke sufficient english to get by, but entertainment staff ignored rest of us.

Entertainment stage was situated to face the main hotel building. Loudspeakers started at noon and went on til midnight. Volume was so loud it could be heard 2 resorts away. With the most of the rooms less than 300m from the stage - well you get a picture. What a stupid setup. Good luck if you got sick (which we both did) and needed bed rest. (I can still hear the Italian disco beat...)

Hotel stopped fogging for insects so bugs were almost unbearable: hey, I'm Cdn, trust me the bugs here were out of control.

Food was adequate but until the middle of the week the flys in the indoor buffet area were unacceptable.

Beach was Cayo (wonderful).

Did we get what we went for - R&R - Yes, off the property on the beach. Did we get value for $$; I guess (low season selloff). Would I go back - certainly not at high season prices...

Room Tip: Insist on room as far away from the entertainment stage as possible. Know that some rooms are renov...
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Toronto
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 1, 2012

Our group of six started our vacation on April 20, 2012, we travelled with Canjet and began our trip on a positive note, our flight was on time and we had pre-booked our seats both ways, which I feel is well worth the money especially when travelling with several people as you are assured that you will be sitting together even if you happen to be at the end of a long line-up. I also contacted the resort about a month before departure to request our rooms and then again as a reminder a week before departure, the Lady I emailed was very accommodating and was able to fulfil all of our room requests and emailed the room numbers to me at that time.
When we arrived at the resort, two rooms were ready and two were not, which was a bit of a rocky start to the people in our group who had to wait and since we arrived on the early flight it seems all the longer to wait, one room was ready at around 2:00 pm and one room was ready at approx. 6:00 p.m. since previous guests had booked the rooms for a late check-out but I feel that the rooms, the location and the fact that we got the rooms that we requested more than made up for this little glitch.
The Rooms as stated are basic and could use a bit of a TLC, a coat of paint, a couple of chairs in the room would have been a nice touch and we found the mattresses to be a little firm but for the amount of time you actually spend in the room, the price, the gorgeous views offered and the closeness to the sea the pros far out-weighed the cons in my opinion.
The Beach was just beautiful, a little rocky in areas and quite rough for most of the week that we were there but as other people have said there are sandy areas around the rocks in certain areas, you also have the option of taking a free train to Playa Sirena and Playa Paraiso which is a definate must see, be forwarned that there are no washrooms at Playa Paraiso and as others have said always carry a roll of toilet paper with you on any outings away from your resort. You will also see a lot of naked people walking on the beaches, to me this was a bit of a novelty at first but became more common place as the week went on and I didn't find it offensive in the least.
The Staff were excellent and I can't stress this enough, to me the resort was small enough to get to know everyone (staff and guests) by the end of the vacation and cozy and warm like being home away from home, on our week we had an amazing group of both staff and guests and we all seemed to get along like family, my friend and I walked over to see the gift shop at the Sol Pelicano and although it is a beautiful resort, to me it didn't seem to have that same cozy, friendly atmospere that comes from a small resort.
The Pool always seemed to be the hub of activity since the only bar for our resort is located at the pool, the only thing that I didn't like at the pool was that if you weren't ordering drinks from the water you had to go to the back of the bar and bend over the bar to get your drinks while the bartender had to reach them up to you, it seemed a little uncomfortable for both patron and bartender.
The Food was satisfactory some things are cooked in a different manner than what we are accustomed to at home but it doesn't mean that the food is bad or flavourless, when I think of Cuban food I think of it being more pure and with less additives than what we are used to, I personally also believe that since it seems to be a well known agreement that people don't travel to Cuba for the food it is up to the people that visit Cuba to realize that they are in some way responsible for satisfying there own taste buds by bringing spices, condiments, pancake syrup etc. whatever you feel you personally need to enhance your food and make your dining experience more enjoyable, they do the best they can with what they have. I often have people chuckle at me for the bag of condiments that I carry with me to each meal but I can honestly say that in the 15 times that I have been to Cuba I have never been sick from the food and have quite enjoyed it.
As I say I feel that this resort is a Diamond in the rough, it isn't perfect and well-polished but it is in my opinion a gem none the less and sometimes less really is more. I would go back in a heartbeat if the price was right and I very rarely go to the same resort twice but would gladly make an exception in this case.

Room Tip: Three of our rooms were in the 4000 block and all had wonderful ocean views
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Redys Adalberto C, Subdirector Asistente at Gran Caribe Club Coral, responded to this review, May 17, 2012
Thanks for your excellent comment. We hope see you again and not doubt to contact us directly 2 or 3 weeks early; we will be waiting...
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stouffville
2 reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 29, 2012

This, in my opinion, was a fantastic hotel: The food was excellent (for Cuba) and there were always several choices, the staff were friendly and happy and provided all services needed. The rooms are about what you should expect in Cuba, but so many had little balconies with an ocean view…who cares about the room! The beach was right there, not crowded and it was like walking on silk.

The pool bar, accessible from both sides (*wet and dry) was the hub of activity and a great place for people to meet up and socialize. The guests, mostly Canadian, ranged in age from early 20’s to mid 60’s and blended well.

The sea was a little rough most days and although a coral reef is about 100 meters from shore, you’re probably better off to plan your snokelling for the excursions. Not good for swimming, but great for bobbing in the waves!

Even though The Villa Coral is a “bare bones” resort, just for it’s service, food and location, it deserves more that a 2 star rating.

As with most of Cuba, public toilets are missing seats, take your own TP and hand sanitizer wherever you go and tip, tip, tip: they not only need it, they deserve it!

My tip: take a shoestring, lanyard with a clip or small carabiner and get the reception to punch a hole in your key card so you always home somewhere to put it!

Room Tip: 5000's are close to beach but farthest from hotel 4000's are equidistant to both beach and...
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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.
London
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 28, 2012

This is a very basic bare bones resort but the staff were extremely accomadating and tried really hard to serve. Been to a lot of places 5star where I felt that the locals didnt want you there but not here. 2 star resort with 5 star service. Beautiful beaches beautiful people. I would go back. If you want 5 star then pay for it .If you want basic, relaxing and clean go for it. Doesnt matter where in Cuba you go there are flies so get to the buffet early and have omelettes made to order for breakfast.

Room Tip: 4000 block is the closest to the beach
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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.
Toronto, Canada
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 28, 2012

We returned form cayo largo yesterday, april 27, stayed one week. It's a very good place to seek a retreat from your busy schedule and hastle, or honeymoon, etc, one practical advice: when go to cuba take a little bottle of your own shampoo, and a roll of a toilet paper. The beach was great, white sand, celestial ocean, very few people if at all, nice nature, but if you like more you can go to another two beaches : paraiso and sirena, where you can drink mohito. Overall food in the hotel is ok, fresh vegetables, chicken and fish are always there, the bar at the pool is very good: rum and pina colada are very good, a pint of beer and always cold is there too. The personnel is helpful, but speak poor english, so pick up some spanish. There is a store just across the hotel where you can buy necessary things: shaving razors, disinsectant, toothpaste, etc. Mosquitoes are very aggressive after 8 pm. Hot and cold water was always there at any time of the day. Wherever and whenever you want to go, ask reception and they'll book you a bus to go marina or village, it's the same thing, for 2 cuc/person. The airport is only 5 min ride from the hotel. What we did not like was flies in the restaurant, very annoying. TV channels are good, I was able to watch all European soccer games with barca, real, bayern, chelsea, teenis final from monter carlo. Massage therapist is good, but you have to catch her with some extra help. Tip wherever/whenever you want/can or bring some old attire, foam, sweets, etc and give it to the people. Overall, we enjoyed our stay with minor discomfort. The air conditioner was working well at all times.
P.S. There is no toilet seat in the washroom in the international airport on cayo largo.

Room Tip: take an oceanfront view room, it's awesome!
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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
    • 4 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.
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Additional Information about Gran Caribe Club Coral

Address: Archipielago de los Canarreos | Cayo Largo del Sur - Isla de la Juventud, Cayo Largo, Cuba
Location: Caribbean > Cuba > Cayo Largo
Hotel Style:
#4 Family Hotel in Cayo Largo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Gran Caribe Club Coral 3*
Number of rooms: 79
Also Known As:
Gran Caribe Villa Coral Hotel Cayo Largo

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