I have been to Cuba 7 times and I must say this was one of my most relaxing and memorable vacation ever! It is a beautiful little resort nestled along the a beach cove with white sand and coconut trees a plenty. Check in at the lobby was fast and easy, got my key and off I went to find my habitacion. I was in the newer bungalows as they call them. It was a beautiful room. Hot water was never an issue. I had a mini fridge, hair dryer but no safe in my room but others did have some. room 1073 had no safe but 1054 did. No worries, I felt very safe at this resort. Palapas were a plenty on the beach as were beach chairs. No towel wars here! Speaking about towels, I did not have to chase down a person to get my beach towel - it was already in the the room. Never ran out of anything, toilet paper or soap.
The pool is very nice. A little on the nippy side but it was very refreshing on the days where there was no breeze and the humidity was high. You can always find shade anywhere. The music was nice. The salvavidas were always present as was the animacion. It seems to cater to an older crowd so they tried their best to get people interested in dance lessons and spanish lessons or volley ball but no too many people went but Yuri (animacion) was always there to greet people and inquire about their stay or if there anything they needed. My biggest decision in the morning was beach or pool. They really keep this resort clean. Rarely did I ever see cigarette butts or plastic glasses on the beach or by the pool. Kudos to the staff for keeping it this way.
The food was very good. Breakfast was always excellent, lunch I either had at the buffet or at the snack bar where the fries were delicious and you could order fried fish, hamburgers, hotdogs or ham and cheese panini. Supper was very good as well. Ice cream was always served for dessert, yeah! I love Cuban ice cream. I really enjoyed the chicken and fish. My cousine was much more adventurous than me and tried and loved the tongue and ox tail. Wine was always served with dinner. The wait staff are fantastic. As were the bar staff, in particular, Ruben, Junior and Angel. These three amigos are amazing at the job, mix fabulous drinks and are a hoot to watch put on a show.
I had the pleasure to have Yuri the animacion staff bring me and another tourist to his home town of Santa Lucia where we went to the restaurante El Bambu. one word...delicious!!! I was told by a repeater guest that it was a must try so when I asked Yuri about it he said sure lets go! so we took bikes and rode the 8km one way to the village. 6 hills later we finally made it and the food was awesome! our meals were awesome. They served us two plates of shrimps and one plate of pork cutlet with rice and vegetables, fried sweet potatoes, a fresh salad and 3 house cocktails all for 20 CUC total! The presentation is incredible. The attention to detail, the placement and floral arrangements they made with vegetables was just beautiful. This is an absolute must try, I went there twice (second time with my cousine) and would of gone there everyday if I had known sooner. Apparently there are other equally good restaurants in Santa Lucia and Yuri will bring me there on my next trip. If you are not up to biking it you can either rent a horse and carriage or go with Ruben who also runs a taxi service. I was able to negotiate 15 CUC return. I would do it by bike again. I enjoyed working off the great food after!
You absolutely need water shoes at the beach fronting the hotel just to get over the rocks but if you want sand only you only need to walk or jog or bike 1km down to Playa Blanca...gorgeous and it is pure white sand and beauitful calm water.
This for me was one of the most relaxing vacations ever, and the fact that I as not asked one for anything - like the clothing off my back was priceless. The staff is like family. They treat you like family, hence why there are so many repeater guests who just love to go back year after year. There was no issues at the buffet as I have seen at other resorts and the house band that played at night at the beach bar were just fabulous! My hat goes off to Wilber, he is such a wonderful singer and guitar player who plays from the heart....we all felt like we were being serinaded every night. I will absolutely return to this pearl of the Caribbean.
- Also Known As:
- Villa Islazul Don Lino Hotel
- Villa Islazul Don Lino Hotel Rafael Freyre
- Hotel Islazul Don Lino
- Islazul Don Lino Hotel
- Villa Islazul Don Lino Holguin Province, Cuba