We stayed at this beautiful hotel from December 22-29, 2012, and as you will see from the review below, had a wonderful time. The (formerly Blau) Hotel Colonial is the oldest hotel in Cayo Coco (built in 1994, renovated in 2004) and is showing its age in some places (ex. the saltwater pool that snakes through the property is beautiful, but could stand refurbishment in some places, and some exterior walkways need repair). This hotel really has a lot going for it though - it is architecturally distinct from any of the other hotels in Cayo Coco (which all look more or less the the same) and bears a passing resemblance to a quaint Spanish village, as opposed to the cookie-cutter British-package-tour-holiday-camp architecture of all the other hotels on the strip. By contrast, the Hotel Colonial has old-world charm in spades. The rooms are huge, clean, and reasonably modern (by Cuban standards). This is currently a middle-of-the-pack four-star hotel, but with a bit of investment to update and refresh some of the infrastructure, I dare say the Hotel Colonial could easily become the top hotel in Cayo Coco, the fundamentals are just that good. The recent addition of three freshwater pools (including a kids' pool) is a great start. I don't know if there is a proper spa on the property (I don't believe so) but this is also something management should consider adding, which all the other hotels have. The gym is also a bit dated and sad-looking, if you care about that kind of thing (I don't particularly). The lobby is an absolute jewel, and you will love sitting outdoors under the columns and arches enjoying a spanish coffee in the mornings, prepared by the friendly bar staff.
Without exception, we found the hotel staff to be very helpful, motivated, and hard-working - but I have found this to be largely true of nearly every hotel in Cuba I have stayed at, and the Colonial did not disappoint. The lush grounds were beautifully cared for, with a small army of gardeners out working every day that we were there. I am not a picky eater, and neither are our kids, and we found the food at the Colonial to be quite good, with enough variety (especially at dinner) to easily keep one satisfied for a weeklong stay. The turkey served on Christmas day was better than anything I have cooked myself!
The beach is absolutely fantastic, definitely superior to Varadero (walk the length of it at low tide, you won't regret it). Check out the Ranchon Las Dunas on the beach (just past the Tryp hotel) for great seafood and beer. The beach can get a bit buggy at dusk, and after a rainfall - bring some repellent.
During our stay (December 22-29, 2012) the hotel was quite empty, and as a result several restaurants were not open every night, for lack of clientele. The staff went to amazing lengths however, to provide a semblance of the full Colonial experience, doing rotating special à la carte meals in each of the restaurants, sometimes with outdoor shows, providing some welcome variety. Entertainment was available every night, and the house band is really quite good, doing a great job with the Cuban classics, and newer material.
Taste is an idiosyncratic, and ultimately personal question, but I vastly preferred the Hotel Colonial to the Tryp next door - the Tryp is also showing its age, but with its Varadero mega-resort, beer-chugging, spring-break vibe, is utterly charmless, with none of the quiet grace of the Hotel Colonial. As for the other resorts on the same strip of beach I have visited (the Iberostar and the Sol) both are shinier and newer than the Colonial, but again they lack the intimacy and village-square feel of the Hotel Colonial. The Iberostar and Sol were both nice enough though, relaxed, and less frantic than the Tryp, and I would include both on my list to consider if I ever go back to Cayo Coco. Half of the property at the Iberostar is actually built on pontoons in the lagoon though - very nicely done, but quite buggy, even during the day.
Price is obviously a major factor in determining the relative value of a vacation package, but in my opinion if you can get a week's vacation at the Hotel Colonial in the $700-$900 per person range (2 adults, 2 kids under 12) I would take it over any of the other hotels on that strip of beach, everything else being equal. We got great value for our vacation dollar at the Hotel Colonial, and I have no regrets at all. We would do a return trip with pleasure.
Bottom line: would I go back to the Hotel Colonial? Absolutely, I hope someday I do!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Colonial Hotel is located in the exclusive Cayo Coco to the east of Cuba. Our luxury hotel in Cuba has been completely renovated and reopened in 2011 as a four star hotel with new services and luxurious facilities. Colonial Hotel is the perfect place for a romantic get away or exciting family holiday. Enjoy some of the best beaches in Cuba while enjoying the excellent facilities of our colonial style Cayo Coco hotel.Discover our beach with its expanses of white sand and clear turquoise waters. Colonial Hotel offers a large variety of restaurants, mixed grills, bars and beer Gardenn. Our guarantee of top quality service makes us stand out.the hotel are invaitin to celebration the 20th aniversiti next year. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hotel Blau Colonial
- Blau Colonial Cuba
- Blau Colonial Hotel
- Blau Colonial Cayo Coco