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“Wonderful vacation at Playa Blanca on Cayo Largo island” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Gran Caribe Playa Blanca

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Gran Caribe Playa Blanca
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Cayo Largo del Sur, Cayo Largo 10300, Cuba   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #6 of 6 hotels in Cayo Largo
Toronto, Canada
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Wonderful vacation at Playa Blanca on Cayo Largo island”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 15, 2013

Recently returned from a very nice and relaxing vacation in Cayo Largo. We stayed at Playa Blanca resort. It was my daughter`s and my first time to this beautiful island, but we both loved the island and the resort. The island has an airport so the flight we took the direct flight from Toronto. The hotel: we lived in a bungalow (first row closest to the beach) with the balcony facing the beach. We could hear the waves and see the stars at night!! I must say that the staff is very friendly and our maid, Francesca took very good care of us. The room was large and spacious with a big king size bed, AC was working perfectly well and we always had a bottle with cold water in a small fridge under the TV. The closet was big and we had the iron and ironing table in the closet. The entertainment was very nice. I liked the dancers and the shows. Every night we would have a new show and the dancers were really good. The staff at front desk was very helpful too. Special thanks to Edduar Bernal (Customer Relations) for his help and good advice whenever we needed it. You will interact with him when you book A la carte restaurants. Tell him hi from Natalia and Ana :) He was very helpful! There is a train (small train) leaving the hotel every morning at 8:45 am; 10:00 am and 11:00 am going to Cayo Largo marina. From marina you take the boat to go to Playa Sirena beach. This trip is courtesy of the resort and is free. It will take you to the most beautiful beach, Playa Sirena. Do not miss it! You can return to the hotel by boat and train (or bus) at 1:30 pm; 3:30 pm and 5:00 pm. I will also post some pictures - the beach is stunningly beautiful - the sand is so white and fine and the water is of beautiful turquoise colour. There are no waves at that beach and you feel like swimming in the pool. :) From the beach you can go snorkeling to the coral reef (25 CUC per person), visit Iguana Island (15 CUC per person) or go to snorkel and see starfish (15 CUC per person). The beach that was at the resort had bigger waves. we loved the fact that was so pristine and there were not many people on the beach. We enjoyed walking on the beach. special note: although there are signs on the beach prohibiting nudity - you will still see nudists on the beach. Special note for nature lovers: there is an absolutely unique opportunity to see the places where the sea turtles lay their eggs. There is a special guy whom they call 'turtle man'. He works for the project protecting turtles, so you get a unique opportunity to: 1. go out on the beach at night and see the turtles laying eggs in the sand (they only come out at night), dig out turtles` eggs with the turtle man and release the small turtles that have hatched from the eggs into the ocean. My daughter and I found the experience really fascinating!! Please note that these are all supervised activities and can be performed in a group with a tour guide. Ask at the hotel reception about this activity or your travel agent. We also had an iguana living right under the rocks on the beach. Quite a big one... She would come really close and take the food from your hand. You can also rent a car or a motorbike, but we were happy with the little train every day. Food was good. We really loved the flambee desert with fruits in syrup with ice-cream, mussels, lamb, fish and fruits. Their espresso at the 24/7 bar was good and there were many drinks available. We especially loved the juices and pina collada. If you travel in August, September, October - please do not forget to bring a mosquito spray with you. If you forgot it, you can buy it at the souvenir store at the resort or at the store in Cayo Largo (close to marina in Cayo Largo). Mosquitoes there are very bad. I still have those bites... you will need a spray. We have also encountered some nasty flies that are pretty big and you don`t feel them landing on you and sucking your blood until you see them. I am not sure whether the mosquito spray protects from those... There are many crabs (they live in the ground) and are harmless and very funny. I am sure you will enjoy your trip to Cayo Largo. My daughter and I would love to come back one day! Btw, they have a special lobster dinner (complements of the resort) for the repeated guests. If this is your case - don`t miss it - ask Edduar about this. This will definitely be our case next time :)

Room Tip: 1. Bungalow in the first row from the beach, facing the beach on the first or second floor is the be...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 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.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 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 (177)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Niagara Falls, Canada
1 review
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2013

We went to Cuba many times over the 5 or 6 years. We absolutely love the people, atmosphere of the Island.
Cayo Largo is the last PARIDISE on this planet. When you consider what you pay for your stay for a week or two you have the best for next to nothing!!!
So what that they don't give you what you are used to at home. You are traveling and should enjoy what is offered. There is always smg to choose to your liking.what if you traveled to Nepal? Would you complain. If you did, stay home and eat your Cheese Whiz!
Love Playa Blanca it is beautiful hotel. Enjoy .

Room Tip: We stayed at the hotel part of the resort with ocean view .
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2013

If you're looking for a nice relaxing trip away without a lot of crowds this is the place. Literally miles of white sand beach. The resort may be slightly more rustic than some others but very comfortable. Cayo Largo is 80 odd kilometres from the main island of Cuba so the variety of food may not be as great as some of the main island resorts but very good just the same. The rooms are comfortable and clean. The staff are very friendly and helpful. The entertainment is great. There are lots of iguanas and land crabs wandering around and I found them very entertaining... not to worry, they won't hurt you....

Room Tip: I stayed in a garden view room in a bungalow on the second floor, it was just fine for my liking.
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2013 via mobile

The hotel is alright. Food is not bad. It's just repetitive. Snack bar is my favourite place. I love their pizzas. The ranchon is okay in the day but it's mosquito infested at night. I didn't finish my dinner and left. It was that bad.
The only thing I don't like about my stay was that the transportation to the marina. The train is very infrequent and often time you have to wait for at least 45 min under the sun to catch the bus back to the hotel from the marina.

  • Stayed August 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
Cornwall, Ontario, Canada
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2013

First of all, all we paid for Ontario March Break was $1022. That's an awesome deal for March Break! The island is beautiful! The beaches are spectacular! The people are so friendly and amazing! The food is better than your typical Cuban food. Tip for eating buffet style: rather than choosing a bit of everything every day, try one meal per day. Ex: one night have fish with salad and sides. Another try pizza, another chicken stir fry, etc... Makes for good food experience in Cuba! We stayed in a bungalo. Dated (typical of Cuba) but very clean! Bring clothing, etc. as gifts for employees and they will be so thankful! They are very poor and work very hard. Don't forget the grounds workers - they seldom get anything. We would bring them a cold "cervesa" every time we could! Visit the Paradiso beach - totally amazing beach! I've never been back to the same place twice but would not hesitate to go back to this exact hotel! Definitely a destination for total R&R. Don't expect to do lots of excursions other than snorkelling or visiting an iguana island. If just sitting on the beach and relaxing is what you need, this is the place to do it!

Room Tip: Bungalos are nice!
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2013

I stayed with my daughter from Aug 19th-26th 2013 in Villa #4112. The band and cocktail welcome you and the same band plays when you leave on the last day.The room was clean though some mosquitoes singing at night.Room phone was dead with no dial-tone. Informed the reception at night he tried the extension and it was ringing so told us it is ok. Did not seem like he was interested in looking into it. Also, there was only coffee maker but nothing else.He got someone to put some instant coffee packs.
The maid was great. When we arrived she saw us and was so happy to welcome us. She was the one who replaced my room phone when I told her it is not working.
Loved the way they have set up the place. You have lunch near the beach, and breakfast and dinner near theatre. Food was simple. There were varieties like pig-ling, rabbit,lamb,chicken and beef. No oily, deep fried food which I found very healthy. There were lot of choices so nobody will starve. Loved the desert the lady was making with fruits and burnt liquor on top.
Majority of the staff are so friendly they make you feel at home. I liked the guests at that period too as we all were greeting each other though from different places. It was like we all bonded.
The beach was rough. But it was amazing if you want have fun with waves. No crowd on the beach. The lifeguards were amazing. They would walk with you and set your beach chair for you. If you want a place for vacation after a stressful busy life, this is the place to re-boot your energy. If you are thinking of shopping etc this is not the place.There are very few shops. And the prices vary. Do not wait to buy in duty free. The prices are higher for rum and cigar. Shop at Marina was cheapest. Shop in the hotel is very expensive.
Once we took wrong train from Marina and ended up in wrong hotel something call Sol but the driver brought us to our hotel.
We took excursion to Cayo- Rico. Found a bit dis-organised. No one to tell which bus or boat to catch. There was no tour guide.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 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
    • 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.
Montreal, Canada
1 review
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2013

So I just got back from Cayo Largo and stayed at the Playa Blance Resort. I must say that right when we arrived the hotel I started to judge it, it didn't look very nice from the outside, the staff wasn't too kind, everything just kind of made me want my vacation to be over ASAP. I walked into the room, it was cool from the AC which was nice, beds were properly made, it was clean and although the hotel isn't in TIP TOP condition... what can you expect IT'S CUBA NOT THE PLAZA HOTEL DOWNTOWN NYC OR SOMETHING. Anyways... I was quite satisfied with my room (some improvements can be made but once again...it's Cuba). Next, I heard the sound of the waves and got so excited *THE OCEAN*! Right when I saw those turquoise waves and white sand my heart dropped and I forgot about everything and just dove into the big waves and the warm water that was heated up by the blistering sun. Yes the waves are quite strong and big and the beach isn't that large BUT the resort does offer a transfer that takes you straight to the Sirena beach that is only a short train/bus ride away and then you take the catamaran and BAM there is one of the most beautiful beaches that I have ever seen in my whole life! So you cannot complain about the beaches! Now lets talk about the food, since it is Cuba you cannot expect a gourmet tasting lunch or dinner. They keep their flavours very simple and mellow. In all honesty, you have to experiment with the food, you kind of start eating the same thing everyday after you get used to it. Food wasn't an issue for me because I personally went there to enjoy my trip and not pig away on Cuban cuisine. But like I said, you can experiment and suck it up and just try to enjoy it. Every night at 10pm, there was a show, the entertainment was decent. Some nights were better than others and the entertainers really tried to get the audience involved. They were so sweet and caring, I loved those people, they had such warm and welcoming smiles that it made me forget about the snobby receptionist and some others that worked in the lobby. Okay so now to sum it up I must say that it was a beautiful vacation. I went from August 19-26th and every single day there was sunshine and beauty. It was mesmerizing. There isn't much to do since it is such a small island but I walked around the whole island and explored, took the bike, scooter and just enjoyed myself. Others who just sat around and complained didn't have a good time but honestly the more you complain the poorer time you'll have but the more you accept everything, the more fun you will have! Anyways, I hope that everyone who is planning a trip to Cayo Largo will ENJOY!

Room Tip: I stayed in room 4011 and it was very quiet because it was away from all the nightly entertainment n...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Gran Caribe Playa Blanca

Address: Cayo Largo del Sur, Cayo Largo 10300, Cuba
Location: Caribbean > Cuba > Cayo Largo
Amenities:
Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 6 hotels in Cayo Largo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Gran Caribe Playa Blanca 4*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
For those who dream of days in intimacy, peace and full enjoyment in the Caribbean, they have Playa Blanca Hotel (ex-Barcelo Cayo Largo), the destination of all your desires. This property harmoniously combines nature and culture, offering all-inclusive services to all its guests. The hotel mixes beautiful architectonic designs with high comfort. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Gran Caribe Playa Blanca Hotel Cayo Largo

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