We traveled as a couple from December 7-14. We are frequent travelers to the Caribbean and have stayed in Secrets, The Royal Cancun, Grand Bahia in DR and Jamaica etc. We have been to Cuba once before to the Memories Cayo Coco just weeks after it opened. I won't bore you with what others have already said but I will just add where I feel needs to.
Check-in - FAST! and I was happily greeted with my first ala carte at the French restaurant.
Room was ready despite us being so early (arrived at noon). Very nice front desk reception staff who I felt couldn't have been kinder.
Room - We were in 1228 (?) just four doors down from the lobby and it was super convenient and quiet. We overlooked the pool and it was great to watch from the balcony some late afternoons for the animation team. We received a hefty amenities kit with everything you need minus conditioner. The blow dryer worked fine but I prefer my own, however our plug would not work with theirs so bring a converter! Bathroom was wonderful with lots of hot water and pressure. We had no trouble with having towels all week but we also chose to reuse them some days since I don't daily wash my towels at home.
Food - I am allergic to shellfish and I loved how the staff were warned of this on my ala carte reservations. We actually were able to secure five reservations but late in the week found that the buffet was very plentiful. You will not starve but this is Cuba. Some days were better than others but the pasta bar is AMAZING and super HOT! My one wish is that they had multigrain rolls or pumperknickel since I am not a white bread lover.
We ate at the Levels twice and it was SUPERB service, best I have had actually. My steak was undercooked for my liking and they couldn't have apologized more! Hey it happens to me when I cook too lol! They put three servers on one table and you will never be without wine or water!. The white wine in the Levels was our favourite. They also serve Frontana red and white and it is drinkable. We ate breakfast one morning at the snack bar and it was great and served hot. The beach restaurant roasted chicken was very tasty but the snapper was overcooked for my husband. You will not starve but likely won't overeat either lol. I actually came home one pound lighter!
Beach - small and not as nice as Cayo Coco IMHO. We refuse to play the towel game and we had no trouble getting a lounger although it would be nice if they were all sling style as the white ones are very hard. Sadly while we were there one of the guests drowned in the water and my heart and prayers continue to go out to this poor man and his family. It really put a downer on going to the beach after that.
Pool - Fabulous, clean and just the right temperature. I have been to overheated pools and it just doesn't feel refreshing. The Aqua bar staff are the BEST!! Aleany, Osmani, Yosley and Rusier were the best welcome every day with "Good morning my friend and high fives". They couldn't have taken better care of us. If they didn't have what we needed then they would go get it for us. They are such lovely and beautiful people and we hope to keep in touch with you Aleany as you have such a beautiful spirit!
Service - Where do I begin... BEST service out of any resort we have ever stayed at. We do believe in tipping but it didn't matter if you did or didn't as the service is the same. We never had staff waiting around for a tip, EVER! We often had to chase them down lol. The Service Manager was seen several times all day working with his staff and I never once saw him looking angry with his staff and likely it is because they are doing an amazing job! He would be behind the bar making drinks, greeting customers at the door and doing all of the jobs that the staff did, he never looked like he was the head honcho which likely earns him ton of staff respect.
Entertainment - We have seen every cheesey show know in resorts and usually skip them but I am so glad we made it to the shows here. One night they had a Cuban all female band called Alma en Clave. They were so terrific we bought their CD to play at home to remind us of the beautiful time at the Melia Marina. The animation team did a nice job and weren't raunchy or pushy at all.
Internet - wifi was very fast and only 4.50 for an hour
Suggestions - Bring a converter and a bubba keg even just for water. Stick to pool view since you see the ocean and it is quieter at night.
Overall we will definitely try a Melia again and I hope they have a loyalty program. We hope to try Melia Cayo Coco with our four kids. A shout out to our new friends Ron, Sue and Richard from Aurora, Todd and Katie from Windsor and Paul and Shelly from BC. I hope you had safe travels home!
Del and Wendy
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Five star All-Inclusive beach resort, situated in the Marina Gaviota Varadero, 40 minutes from the international airport of this tourist destination. This amazing hotel boasts modern rooms; bars and specialist restaurants, well-equipped meeting rooms; swimming pools with recreation areas and Yhi Spa. It offers something unique in Varadero as its facilities are integrated with a wonderful seafront with shops and a marina. Recommended for families, yachting, diving, fishing, events, meetings, weddings and wonderful honeymoons. ... more less
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