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“Rancho Relaxo” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Sol Pelicano

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Sol Pelicano
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4.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Cayo Largo del Sur | Archipiélago de los Canarreos, Cayo Largo, Cuba   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 7 Hotels in Cayo Largo
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
65 helpful votes 65 helpful votes
“Rancho Relaxo”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 30, 2012

What can I say except don't believe the negative reviews about the Sol Pelicano. This resort fits the four star rating and then some.
Indeed it is no RIU and patrons don't have 24 hour drink and food service (everything seems to shut down at midnight) or beach drink service. Everything else at this hotel is excellent.
The beach is what puts it over the top though and if you are a beach person have no fear you will definitely enjoy the Sol Pelicano. Have low expectations and you will be pleasantly surprised by this resort.
Here is a rundown of the facilities and what to expect.

ROOMS: Clean, simple and functional. Very comfortable mattresses compared to the rest of Cuba and any recent trips I have been on to Mexico or other countries in the south. Maids were friendly and always fulfilled any requests.

FOOD: Buffet restaurant was very good and always had plenty of selection. The service and attention payed to detail by waitstaff was excellent. Each morning we were greeted by our waiter Adolfo at the front door and he insisted we sit in his section and was always quick to take our order and make sure we were happy. The Beach snack bar served great lunches and the calamari was excellent. Wasn't too big on the a'la carte restaurants but then again that is not why I came. Try the Pizza restaurant located to the right of the main lobby bar - it is open in the afternoon and the pizza will surprise you.

BAR: The main lobby bar closes a little early at Midnight - the other bars also close their doors a little early for my liking but then again when you are at a resort where the main focus is the beach then hitting the sack earlier is probably a good thing.

GROUNDS: It is very dry here and there is little rain so there is plenty of xeroscape gardening going on - native plants and very little grass - but the groundskeepers do a great job and are constantly manicuring the site.

BEACH: Life is a beach. This has to be one of the greatest beaches I have ever set foot on - Strange I have been searching for a beach like this and have visited over a dozen resorts but nothing matches this. Talcum powder sand, gentle waves, warm water, no rocks in the water - and the big bonus no jet skis or power boats or annoying vending sales pitches - a great place to relax - plus due to the southern facing old sol is over the water the entire day creating a brilliant reflection off the water and stunning sun set to the right of the hotel alone the shoreline. Roberto a.k.a. Kiko will make you feel at home.

POOL: Only came here a few times cause the beach was so beautiful but rest assured it was a nice salt water swimming pool.

STAFF: Overall I can't fault them at anything - they were always friendly and attentive despite being overworked with little sleep.

PATRONS: Here is the big bonus - everyone I ran into seemed to have realistic expectations and most were friendly and warm -

GIFTS: Cash is the best thing to bring the people so tip often - other gifts you could bring include children's toys, medicines pharmacy items, sporting goods (A pair of 10 or 11 running shoes is like gold), food items - any left over items you can't use on your trip - as long as they are unopened will be accepted by staff.

EXCURSIONS: Didn't do it but the catamaran cruises come highly recommended. A trip in a cab or on the island train to Playa Blanca or Playa Sirenis is highly recommended - you will not believe the stunning beauty and tranquility of these two beaches. It is no wonder they are rated in the top ten list of Caribbean beaches or that Columbus landed here not once but twice.

OVERALL: This hotel has a great thing going. If you are looking for night life or to be pampered in luxury this place is not for you. If you are looking for a great beach vacation for you and your partner, friends or children at an affordable price then look no further - The Sol Pelicano will provide this.

Note: I have been to several resorts in Mexico, Jamaica, Dominican Republic and Venezuela and have yet to find a better deal with all the bells and whistles. If you are thinking of booking at this resort but have been turned off by the negative reviews - don't listen to them - they are written by people with unrealistic expectations or those who are just out to knock Cuba (Florida Republicans?).

Room Tip: Dialogue with management for a room near the ocean in advance. We paid a little extra for our ocean...
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with friends
    • 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 9
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
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (142)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
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English first
Niagara Falls, Canada
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 29, 2012

I have been to Cuba 15 times and it seems to me that the people native to this gorgeous country could certainly teach others around the world the meaning of life. I find that what you get for your dollar in this breathtaking country is far more than anywhere else I've been!! Not just the food...the beach...the drinks....ITS ABOUT THE PEOPLE...never in my life have I been treated with such courtesy!!!...people should really start looking at the bigger picture!!

Stayed April 2011, traveled with friends
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Belleville, Canada
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 29, 2012

The Sol Pelicano is our second home for sure. If this review seems biased, so be it. We feel the staff of the Pelicano are our extended family. Why is that? Because they are that good and treat you as such. This year we stayed from the 20th-27th of January, our second stay & definately not our last...we will return each & every year. I Appologize to any staff member I miss, you are all dear to us.

Luis, Alexander & Yusmila were constantly checking in to make sure everything was good as did Tania & gelyvis. George & Martin were awesome in the lobby, both great guys. Michel was always scanning the resort making sure everything was smooth & safe.

Anita was running rampant in the lobby bar, her speed & quality of service never ceases to amaze me. The entertainers, musicians & dancers are high energy & keep going& going, makes me tired watching them. I promise next year Yani...Cuban street baseball!
The buffet was great as usual, wiyanka & adolopho, raybert team our favorites for sure as well as victor & geovanis. Gonzalas does a great job running the buffet & is ever smiling. Wide selection of food, we were always satisfied. Pizzeria is good as well.
We've always loved the ranchon & zun zun.Noel, Mario, Yanny & dinaldo, all of the other servers cooks & management do a spectacular job! Yannys the man at the Ranchon, love that guy! At the zun zun angel & Jose are awesome, my Cuban brother Moya is my favourite on the resort. I'd take a bullet for him. Tell him Miff says hi when you go!

Book your excursions & a la cartes ASAP, they fill up quick, use the computer facing you when you walk in the Internet cafe, it's much quicker. If you think you don't have hot water, check you're turning the water on in the right direction (my friend made that mistake), & give it 30 seconds to heat up. Bring lots of suntan lotion, the only Mosquitos we encountered were around 7 pm for about an hour, then gone & don't leave sweets out in your hotel room even if they are wrapped, that is when you will get little ants.
The chambermaids do an excellent job! Spotless every day, you could eat off the floors literally. This resort is rated number one on trip advisor in Cayo Largo for a reason, they are the best, work as a team & are a true family. PLEASE tip these people. They work so hard, with a smile on their face & never complain. Ticks me off to no end when people don't, I see people tip more here in Canada for service that doesn't even come close. They make peanuts & make you a better person getting to know them. The gardeners rarely get tipped & are out in the sun all day. Make an effort, they appreciate it so much.
If you're looking for a 5 star resort with wifi, shopping & Americanized atmosphere don't come. You won't find Starbucks or macdonald's. There is a disco at the marina, but if you are looking to go club hopping it's not for you. If you are looking to enjoy the greatest beaches in the carribean, with the best service, cleanest resort & relaxing atmosphere this is the place for you. It is a travesty this place is not open year round, my wife & I walked through every resort on the island, some were ok, but nothing touched the atmosphere with the feeling you get walking through. It is our second home & we will return at least once every year. We love you Sol Pelicano, Ange & Scott (Miff) will be back before you know it. If anyone has questions about anything or doubts if this review is legit contact me, I'll give you my phone number (in Belleville Ontario) if you doubt it or have any questions. Special shout out to bill, Jill, Matt, Leanne, Todd, kent, serge & Steve, & sylvains group...loved spending the week with you all!

  • Stayed January 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2012

i read the reviews and wanted to contribute because i went to sol pelicano before i knew about trip advisor, and i was considering going back if the price was right, so i thought i would post my review.......... when you arrive it looks good, but once you are there you relaize what a mistake.
the good: the beach- it is fantastic, no garbage because there are very few tourists. you can walk for miles and the water is splendid.

bad-food: what is there is edible, but nothing is there, like mentioned cucumber will be one of your survival foods, bread, also some kind of local fresh white cheese which was good, the pasta was a joke, some kind of weird brown sauce that the quebecers really loved!!! we would LINE UP in the morning to get a piece of unripened pineapple, and the very nice lady would peek in the back to see if there was any other fresh fruit...the wine at dinner was awful, one night there was a better tasting batch and we enjoyed that...we innocently ordered the margarita upon arrival and well there is none of that, just chemical drinks,so beer was the drink for the week...lunch at the "beach bar" LOL, chicken and rice, it was like being let out of a hunger camp at the beach bar becasue they had the most edible food- they had peas in the rice for a few days but then they disappeared...the hilarious thing was that it was new years eve so when going to the party each of us got a big bag full if toys- party makers, fake noses on glasses, noise makers- i mean a BIG BAG EACH!!!- so no fresh food, drink, soap etc but fake noses and double-hand clappers for all!!!!! i guess it's the communist made-in-china connection....to sum up, if you want a nice quiet beach, you are basically going to drink and relax, you're ok with not eating regularly, and you're ok with the booming show every night then it's fine if you don't pay too much...watch your hotel beach towels because a bunch of people had them stolen (by whom?) and then had to pay a replacement fee.....
...re: noise- "the show", the show starts late and blasts until the 2ish. i had to upgrade to an ocean front room to try and escape the boom of :the show", even then with the door closed you could still hear it...also beware, the older buildings near the pool etc actually have sound proofing but they orginally moved us to a room where the walls were like paper- i am eternally grateul that our neighbours were there so i could hear them talk about what they shoud wear:)...moved to ocean view upgrade-paid cash.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2012

Our family spent Christmas and New Years at the Sol Pelicano for the fourth consecutive year. We love this resort due to the wonderful beach and relaxing atmosphere, but most importantly the fabulous staff. They always treat us like royalty when we return to this lovely island. Our room was ideally located and kept clean by Imara, our sweet chamber maid.

The staff at the Ranchon, the beachside restaurant provided us with top service and many laughs. Noel, Mario, Ernesto, Roberto, Julian, Donaldo, Tomas, Elizabeth, and Idelsa catered to our every need. Carlos and Cicco, kept the beach immaculate and set up our chairs daily. What a treat! The buffet restaurant staff were also keen to make our meals enjoyable. Thanks to Carlos and all of the staff at Entre Mares for their efforts.

The new manager Luis Alberto is clearly everywhere trying to ensure that the guests feel welcome and the resort runs smoothly. His sidekick Alexander is also diligent in his quest to ensure a fabulous vacation experience for all. They are to be congratulated for their efforts.

The only drawback to this hotel is that Sol Melia has decided to close it for low season. Unfortunately, this means that the employees are out of work for seven months and that we can't choose the Pelicano as our summer vacation destination. That is a real shame!

If you long for white sand beaches, hot sun, and friendly people, then the Pelicano is the place for you. Our family is anxiously awaiting our return to Cayo Largo and the Pelicano hotel in March. It's truly becoming a home away from home.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Deux-Montagnes, Canada
13 reviews 13 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2012

Hotel is nice for Cuba.Clean,food was good,staff was excellent and very friendly.we had a ocean view room and that was worth it.Beach is awsome.not much to do but to relax its perfect....i would recommed this hotels to friends who doesnt want to pay to much.....no more that 800$ otherwise go to a 5 stars in mexico.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
1 review
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2012

Sol Pelicano is an amazing place to stay. You won't want to leave. The staff is great, the food is really good and the room are really nice. The beach in from of this hotel is beautiful. I wouldn't choose any other hotel for a stay in Cayo Largo.

  • Stayed January 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sol Pelicano

Address: Cayo Largo del Sur | Archipiélago de los Canarreos, Cayo Largo, Cuba
Location: Caribbean > Cuba > Cayo Largo
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Luxury Hotel in Cayo Largo
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Cayo Largo
#4 Family Hotel in Cayo Largo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Sol Pelicano 4*
Number of rooms: 304
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in Cayo Largo del Sur, in the Caribbean Sea. All Inclusive Four-Star Resort with 307 rooms. Its comfortable accommodations offer guests the chance to enjoy a peaceful and calm vacation. The property faces 600 meters of beach, famous for its perennially cool white-sand. Fun-packed recreation programs for both children and adults. Recommended for families.Guest Rooms307 rooms: 259 Standard, 36 Standard Ocean View, 12 Junior SuiteDining3 Restaurants (A la Carta, Buffet, A la carte and mini-buffet), 2 Cafeterias, 2 Bars ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Sol Pelicano Cayo Largo

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