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“I Enjoyed the Sol Pelicano!!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Sol Pelicano

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Sol Pelicano
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3.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Cayo Largo del Sur | Archipiélago de los Canarreos, Cayo Largo, Cuba   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 7 Hotels in Cayo Largo
Fredericton, Canada
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
63 helpful votes 63 helpful votes
“I Enjoyed the Sol Pelicano!!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 24, 2012

Vacationing in Cuba is not for everyone, and this is in some ways even more the case for the Cayo Largo resorts. You have to know what your priorities are and what to expect in advance if you are going to truly enjoy all the wonderful aspects of a good Cayo Largo vacation. This review is factual and intended to inform those who are not familiar and help them decide if this kind of experience is for them.

I’ll say right up front that I’m easy going, a great admirer of the Cuban spirit, and have enjoyed every one of my 10 trips to Cuba and all three of the resorts on Cayo Largo I have stayed at. The Sol Pelicano experience was one of my very best.

Arrival and check-in: The ride from the airport to the hotel is under fifteen minutes, and the check-ins were well handled by hardworking and efficient staff. However, during our stay we noted that if your transfer was in the morning, as ours was, your room would not yet be available. We had to wait until 2 or 3 that afternoon. Therefore, you will want easy access to your warm weather clothes, bathing suits, etc. from your luggage. Fortunately you will have access to all the food, drink, and facilities of the resort immediately, and the public washrooms are very well kept so you can change and freshen up. I don’t know if this is a long term situation or just a passing circumstance.

Rooms: We were pleased to get a room in the exact location we had asked for in advance. We didn’t get the “matrimonial” bed we had asked for, but that’s often the case due to the bed/room allotments. The room was ordinary but the balcony and the ocean view were terrific...and that was our priority. AC wasn’t functioning when we arrived, but fixed shortly. One of the pushed-together double beds had a couple of broken legs so was pretty shaky. It took three days to get fixed...and when the bed came back into the room it was about 6 inches lower than its partner. We just laughed at that, knowing that this is the kind of improvisational thing that happens in the marvellous crazy land that is Cuba...and remember that Cayo Largo is even more isolated.

The bathroom was small but functional, with a shower only. We rarely had hot water for showers.

The housekeepers worked hard and the room was clean, but that aspect needs better management as we never knew what time of day they would get to us. One day housekeeping did not arrive until we were heading out for supper.

The key cards and locks need to be fixed. They were constantly failing for us and I believe many others were having problems too. As usual, the staff will do their best to help.
Resort Grounds. We loved the layout and facilities of the Pelicano. It’s gorgeous! Compact but well designed, with interesting sightlines, and lots of fabulous art. The pools are beautiful and spotlessly clean. When we were there, lots of sunbeds were available (although we never could tear ourselves away from the beach). The landscaping is surprisingly green for Cayo Largo. We also loved the tower, which offers spectacular views of the resort and the island itself. A real gem.

Restaurants and Bars. We had some great food at Sol Pelicano, among the best we have ever had in Cuba. The buffet was very nice, with the grills and hot meat slicing stations outstanding. We had some excellent seafood. While we were there, all the meals were very light on desserts though, with no ice cream that week and very limited sweets. Service was outstanding, very cheerful and attentive staff greeting diners at the door and very quick with a beverage and utensils.

I loved the Zun Zun snack bar, which was very well organized and staffed as well. Check out the Mojitos here!! Yum!!

The Pizzeria is another wonderful spot, a very pleasant setting, great food, and friendly attentive staff.

We also enjoyed the service and drinks at the Lobby Bar in the evening. Be aware that after the show this becomes the disco for a couple of hours and it is very loud, crowded and somewhat understaffed for that period. Not our style of evening drinks and no alternative available. Again, I can’t fault the staff, who really put an effort into accommodating everyone. Nice place for your morning coffee in the sunshine too.

We can’t comment much on the beach Rancheron as the atmosphere didn’t really suit our style for lunch and we don’t use beach bars all that much in the run of a day.

Now (drum roll...) THE BEACH!
There are not enough superlatives in the thesaurus to describe the Sol Pelicano beach experience! It’s spectacular!! There are so many great things to say about this beach! I enjoyed the Sol and the Playa Blanca beaches but this is by far the best for the factors I value. The Pelicano is the calmest of the three due to location. During the week, I walked the whole length from Playa Sirenas to Playa Blanca, most sections many times, and on any given day the Pelicano was the most pleasing of the hotel beaches.

Solitary beach walking is a favoutite activity of mine. The Pelicano is the best location for this as well, centrally located on Playa Lindamar with many kilometres of barefoot strolling immediately available in either direction. The C/O section is the most conveniently located re walkways, washrooms, and drinks of any of the Lindamar ones, and very spacious. We really lucked out with the weather, which was perfect every day.

So that’s it! A wonderful beach holiday, with fantastic staff and beautiful surroundings. You decide...if the minor glitches I report will bother you, please don’t go to the Pelicano and make everyone unhappy. But if you are like me, you will love your vacation at Pelicano. I’m going again!

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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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 (107)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Deep River, ON
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 23, 2012

We visited April 06 - 13 2012, as 4 adults and 3 children (ages 1,3,4). We spent mornings at the beach, with moderate surf, and red flags for 2 days. We especially enjoyed two day trips to Playa Sirenis (30 min by free 'train'-trolley) where the wind is offshore, non-motorized boats are readily available, and we walked around the point (1 hr) to see 5 star fish and 2 sting rays. This is a compact resort, with good options for meals, and a short walk back to the room for a nap. Lots of mangoes oranges and pineapples. We liked the pizza for lunch and the beach snack bar, rather than the 1 pm buffet. Water is warm, the staff are friendly.
Bar service is adequately fast, and they will do as you ask.
We bought additional bottled water, as the 1.5 L bottle provided by the maid was insufficient. We were careful selecting food, and the grand-kids did not drink milk for the week.

Room Tip: We liked building 53 - quiet for naps and at night. The A/C was adequate.
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
North Bay, Canada
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 20, 2012

Let me start with the main reason we returned to Cayo Largo, the beautiful beaches. Well Mother Nature had a twist for us. Out of our 7 day stay, we had 3 days of just OK days at the beach, nothing like we experienced in 2009. Apparently there was something strange going on in that area for a few weeks prior to our arrival, some sort of disturbance that the locals reported not seeing in some 15-20 years. On the days that were non swimmable in my opinion, the water rushing to shore was brown with lots of algae. We spent those days mostly at the pool. Even Sirena and Paraiso had brown water when it was windy. When we there in 2009, we had windy days but the water was never brown, it was still clear and green/blue. So for the beach report, I have to say I was somewhat disappointed for which the resort had no control over.
In 2009 we stayed at the now called Playa Blanca. In comparison, we thought the grounds were superior at SP with more vegetation and trees, especially around the pool area. The bar service was a bit better too but god, how often and how much do you have to tip these guys??? At one point, all I had on me was a peso and he looked at me to say, may as well keep it, I almost took it back.
We went a la carte once at the Ranchon and once at La Yana. Had I know, I would have reserved twice at La Yana. What excellent service by the ladies, smiling and very courteous. Very nice setting, good air conditioning, And the food was hot. At the Ranchon, that was another story. The server wanted us to order and we hadn’t even been there 5 minutes yet. So La Yana gets two thumbs up, I was impressed, they got good tips too. I tip for good service and a smile. Ordinary service? I already paid for it.
Suzan at the buffet breakfast omelet hotplate is quite the joker, very funny and likes to make conversation even though she speaks little English and I little Spanish, but we still understood each other. I’d have to say the food was a notch superior than the PB in 2009.
Animation crew around the pool in the afternoon do a good job although it’s not something we partake in but they seemed to be very dedicated. We were too tired to see the evening shows.
The 2-8 pm catamaran excursion was one of the highlights. Humongous lobster tail dinner with hot rice, excellent. We were a bit worried about having no shade but this 20 meter catamaran has shade if you want it, didn’t need the shade, it was just perfect 27c weather that day with a slight breeze. All in all, $73 cuc well spent.
I cannot tell you how the Playa Blanca is now in 2012. Did we enjoy our trip? Sure we did however we may look elsewhere for our next trip south.

Room Tip: Check for sewer odor near block 47 prior to accepting your room.
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
London, England, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 14, 2012

Not the greatest hotel but after an 8 night stay I felt fairly satisfied.

First impressions were very poor with incredibly slow check in despite no queues, guests are made to wait for little reason. Our initial room smelled of urine, was unclean, had several broken electrical items and was filled with mosquitos. It took a great deal of effort to change rooms, partly due to the very poor English skills of the staff (remarkable given many Cubans speak good English and struggle to get jobs in hotels).

The food in the buffet is so so and bookings in the a la carte restaurant is limited. The pizzeria and pasta at the buffet however was very good. Drinks are served in small portions but a small tip every couple of days appeared to change this.

The rooms are a little dated but clean (well our 3rd one was). The beach is glorious with powder white sand, a little bit of surf (which keeps any unwanted sea creatures away as there are some biting animals on the north of the island). The pool is also very good although the 'entertainment' gets very loud and a little irritating in the afternoon.

I wouldn't return but at the same time I also enjoyed my holiday on the island.

Finally, the hotel has some interesting animals on its grounds such as Iguanas and Eagles. You can see pictures of them here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nihaoxiongmao/sets/72157629442368766/

Room Tip: If you don't like the initial room, ask to see another as they vary widely in quality and cleanl...
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 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
    • 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.
Lindsay, Canada
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 3, 2012

We travelled as a family with two young children ages 7 and 4 durring March break 9th - 16th. This was our first trip to Cayo Largo, however we have been to Cuba before. The resort was nice and close to the airport which was great especially with young children. Sol Pelicano was very nice, clean and well kept. The grounds were very nice and there were constantly grounds workers maintaining the resort. The room was very nice and clean fresh water was provided every day. The air conditioning worked, and there was hot water. We had an ocean view room with a balcony and we really enjoyed the view. The room also had 110v electric outlets so no converter was required.
The food was good nothing special but it was good, no one will ever starve at Sol Pelicano. We ate at the Ranchon almost everyday, which had great lunches. It was amazing sitting there eating lunch and overlooking the Carribean. The service at the Ranchon was second to none. We also enjoyed the Buffet, our children loved the fresh pasta every night. The Pizza place was also great, the pizza's they make were awesome. We found ourselves there everyday for a mid afternoon snack.
The drinks were cold and plentiful.
The kids pool and play area was great for the children and everyday there were several kids playing in that area.
We had no issues with insects of any sort.
The beaches are amazing, it was windy on the main beach but was still beautiful. We took the train to the other beaches and they are incredible. Only complaint was that there were no bathrooms at the one and if you wanted anything like a drink you had to pay. We also rented a Jeep the one day for 6 hours, it cost about 30cuc for the 6 hours and it was worth it. When we had the jeep we visited the turtle farm which my wife and children loved and then drove ourselves to both the other beaches.
The people are what really makes this resort, they were amazing. Everyone was very friendly and really went out of their way to make sure that our family was enjoying our vacation.
The weather was un believable it was hot and sunshine everyday. Bring lots of sunshine lotion as we ran out the sun in the Carribean is very hot. We had to buy another bottle at the resort which was expensive. We ended up going through 5 bottles of the stuff between the 4 of us.
A lot of people we talked to enjoyed their vacation at Sol Pelicano, and lots of families have been going there for years and some several times each year.
We will return to Sol Pelicano.
If you are making any trips there in the coming weeks or months they have a shortage of shoes in Cuba right now. Especially childrens shoes they cant get them. Take some old shoes if you have the room and they will be very grateful.

Room Tip: Ocean view are further away from the theatre so they are quiet at night.
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 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 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Parry Sound, Canada
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2012

Great staff, everything clean, Lots of variety with food. If you dislike the food, you can get tuna, salmon and occasionally shrimp grilled fresh or go to the beef, chicken and pork grille for fresh cooked meat. Separate pasta bar. Fresh eggs just the way you like it in the morning esp omelettes! Fresh bread the best. Slice it yourself. Get it early. They ran out close to 3 pm when lunch ended but they fortunately had more and brought out a new loaf.

I even found the bed linens crisp and not thin like another time we were in Cuba in Cayo Coco. Pillows are long and can be folded in half if you want more support.

Our group ended up in separate buildings but we got together on the second floor the next day. Great help with moving. Always a breeze so slept with windows open most nights. Our air conditioner worked but not full blast so breeze was great. Did get bites from mosquitoes. Had thought of taking mosquito coils but oh well. I was the only one who got bit, must be my sweetness. Bites did not itch. There were no alerts about malaria and I am not going to worry about lyme disease. Our mozzies off Georgian Bay are bigger and give a bad reaction.

Incredible time on beach. Surf was tough and the red flag was up most of the days. We jumped and rode waves which was a blast. Best beach was a free "train" ride away...Playa Sirena is the furthest where restaurant, bathroom, change rooms and dolphins are. The lobster dinner being served smelled divine. The water sports are at this beach. It is calmer water than out front of the Sol. I understand that the dive lessons are in the village near the marina.

Check out the turtle "farm", La Granja de las Tortugas in the village. Pick up a crocodile necklace or two to support the work that they do to save sea turtles. It costs 1 CUC to check out the turtles. Not a lot and it helps to run the program.

The best activity (besides enjoying the ocean) was the sunset dinner cruise. We did not get on the large catamaran and went out on a boat, approx 36-38 feet. Nothing fancy but the two fellows who captained and crewed were wonderful. We left at 2 p.m. and arrived back to hotel by 8 p.m. Don't miss Iguana Island - wear walking or running shoes- I had thin flip flops on and it was a bit challenging walking over the rough ground. Lots of iguanas! We then went snorkeling for approx 40 minutes. There is a sunken boat where the boat was anchored. Not a lot to see at the back of the boat but about 40 feet away to starboard we saw oodles of fish and even what they say must have been a barracuda. Awesome. Pack your own mask and snorkel. I could not find flippers to fit so went without. Not sure if I would have been any faster with flippers on. Just make sure that your life jacket fits well and is not too large. That will slow you down and rub against the top of your inner arm/s.
We anchored off shore for preparations for dinner (lobster or chicken-you choose when you book and pay for the cruise). We were able to walk to shore where we were delighted to find many shells and had a lovely walk. Great photo opportunities here.

I have had melanoma and worried about shade but between my sun protection clothing and the gazebos and shade on the beaches I managed not to get exposure to sun.

Hated to leave and my heart is still back on Cayo Largo. If you insist on 5 stars and demand perfection don't go. The people are too nice to have to put up with your demands.

I had to see the Dr 4 times. Twice in room and twice in clinic. $30 for 4 visits. Plus $5 for an I.M. Amazed at how cheap it was. NOTE: There is no Imodium or anti-diarrheal medication at all in Cuba. If you have some leave it at the Medico Clinic to help out another traveller if needed.

I will return!

Room Tip: There is no fitness centre at Sol Pelicano but you can schedule a massage - 24 CUC and hour.
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montpellier, Canada
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 28, 2012

Great place, Great water, Great food, Great people, Great entertainment, Great fun.

This resort has survived Mother Nature's bad tropical temper tantrims over the years but the Great Spirit of the people who depend on this resort is intact.

Say hello to Yahni, Yoni, Moya, Hanibal, the dansers, the waiters, the bar tenders, the reception people, ... heck say Hola to everybody down there! They're all great!

Wish I was there.

Get insect repellent at the resort store.

Room Tip: Rooms in the 4500, 4900 are closes to the beach. Great rooms near the pool as well.
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  • Stayed December 2011, 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
    • 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.
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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
Amenities:
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:
Ranked #1 of 7 Hotels in Cayo Largo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Sol Pelicano 3*
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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