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“Big surprise with this resort!”

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Hotel Colonial Cayo Coco
Ranked #11 of 12 Hotels in Cayo Coco
Reviewed February 12, 2013

We just got back from a week at the above hotel and were quite disappointed with the resort. This is are 7 time that we have been vacationing in Cuba but the first at this resort. The first thing that we were told is that the resort is being managed by the Cuba government as the private partner is no longer involved with it. I were to have a mini bar and coffee maker in your room but since the partner left; there was no mini bar or coffee maker. At one time, this resort was a 5 star resort but now it is very run down and half of the resort was closed. The buildings and walk ways and grounds needed a lot of work. The staff were friendly and did an excellent job! One of the buffet restaurants were closed so there were line ups for getting in to it specially at supper time. The food was okay and the beach was beautiful. The best way to describe this resort was very tired. We love Cuba but will not return to this resort again. It is not a 4 star resort in any way.

Room Tip: Corner suites are large and sunny
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank luap107
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed February 11, 2013

Family of three, traveled first week of February.

We bought the trip almost last minute and the price wasn't great.
The location - very close to the airport, beach and other resorts. Nothing else of interest nearby.
The beach is very nice, all sand. There was quite a lot of seaweed on windy days; that didn't bother me much though.
The resort, in general - I liked the architectural theme. The layout of paths looks a bit random which helps with cozy and relaxed feel of the setting but can make it difficult to navigate, especially in the first couple days. The signs marking building and places (e.g. washrooms, villas) could be much better. The reception was not straightforward to locate upon the arrival. From my point of view, the resort was in a decent shape, except for the paths that were falling apart in places; the wooden path to the beach we often used was disintegrating with nail heads sticking out. The greenery could have been a lot greener, but maybe it is how it is supposed to look at this time of the year (without putting much effort, that is).
The room. We paid extra for the ocean view and got the room on the second floor of villa number 15. I think the location was very good, close to the beach and fresh water pool. Most about it was good. Few exceptions though. Washroom has no proper doors, only the screeching saloon type ones, which was somewhat shocking but we got used to that and it certainly have added variety to the trip. Anyway, I would be against buying this trip if I new about the doors. The safety box is installed in a way that in can be removed with the shelf it is attached to in less than a minute. The toiled wouldn't flush for some periods of time, maybe because of low water pressure. The mini fridge only had drinking water, and only after we complained about it.
The food/drinks. Almost everything I tried at the main buffet and a-la-cartes tasted good. Very unfortunately, the variety of the choices is very limited to the degree it makes you want to cry (figuratively) when seeing almost exactly same selection again and again. Some additional variety is provided by sea food and pizza buffets. I liked the sea food one. Apparently, you can order shrimps here, too, although they are not on the menu. The pizza place disappointed the first time (cheese shortage?) and was not bad the next time. The setting at a-la-carte places is nicer but the food is no better that in the buffet.
The selection of the meals is evidently strongly influenced by ingredient availability and this is not were Cubans excel. Those who expected mangoes and watermelons were disappointed. The steamed vegetables in the Italian restaurant got reduced to broccoli only. The list goes on. OTOH, for the most of our stay, you could have treated yourself with blue cheese at the buffet.
There were always many people lining up for customized omelets or pastas at the main buffet, waiting for up to 20 minutes for their turn. Out of desperation, my guess.
One more, you may have to wait for a table at the pizza place during lunch time or the main buffet at all times.
There is good number of bars on the property, some better equipped that others, never a problem with lineups.
The pools and other facilities. We have mostly used the fresh water which pool was very nice and clean. The salt water pool looked more worn down but looked clean, too. I could have used a hot tub, if that was present. Plenty of beach chairs by the pools and at the beach.
The service. Very good for the most part. All our request were addressed fast. The biggest gripe - I got some 92 and a change CUC on 100 CAD which I assume goes beyond rip-off. The good thing we didn't have to exchange much since there isn't much worth spending money on.
The entertainment. Couple places that play live music in the evening. The main evening show was dominated by a dance group. I was impressed by the performances and individual skills. It would have been perfect if they had two shows during the week. The problem is, they had five, which more or less turned the whole show idea into a farce.
The visitors. About half of them or even more - French speaking.
The mosquitoes and other wildlife. We only saw one mosquito in our room during our stay. Outside, we were bitten several times by sand flies or whatever they are called, mostly while waiting for the bus during out departure. We got away without even thinking about using bug spray.
For snorkeling, you may want to go towards the rocky points on either end of the beach, of take a catamaran or glass-bottom boat to the coral reef (which isn't pretty but has lots of fish to swim among). Apart from few species of birds and tiny lizards there was surprisingly little other wildlife.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with family
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9  Thank duok
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 10, 2013

I and my family had in this hotel 1-8 February were the worst vacation of our lives, and the food is always the same morning of the night does not change anything anyway, the a la carte restaurant the food is not good believe its garbage, Cubans go there and spend holidays on the buffet take the food with their hands and disgusting, I've never seen anything like it, the bathrooms smell very badly that it almost can not go, we go to sleep and the next day woke up all bitten mosquito, the paths of all hotel needs to be renovated, as those who have children in my case is not good, the hotel is located so bad that from the 2 pm there is no sun on the beach and the other hotels next door has sun all afternoon, and this fact, now over employees, the men in the lobby bar are the best and friendly, the bar of hamburgers and hot dogs, the man who serves the night offends tourists as if they were animals, I just I'm talking about what I saw, I was in the hotel mojito, and much better than this, can cost more than 200 dollars but worth it if you can afford dont go here is the worst hotel in Cuba, say they have 4 stars for me its 2 stars, dont go if you can pay $ 100 more for another hotel.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with family
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8  Thank daniel r
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 10, 2013

Hotel Colonial Cayo Coco
Formerly the Blau Colonial and apparently once connected to Tryp Cayo Coco, this aging resort is a little long in the tooth and it shows.

Our arrival early Saturday evening was greeted with a somewhat disorganized check-in process at an almost antiquated front-desk. The staff, however, was pleasant all around and have been nothing but courteous our entire trip.

With no automatic bellhop service and travelling with a 20month old toddler, we had to request assistance with our luggage. The suites were a short walk from the main lobby and thankfully, the front-desk clerk knew better than us and gave us a ground floor suite so that we wouldn’t be hauling our stroller up and down stairs all week long.

The Resort
The buildings are rather quaint, especially at night. They weren’t kidding when they named this place the Colonial. All building designs are modeled after Spanish Colonial architecture and is rather pretty, truth be told.

Once inside, though, it was quite evident that this resort has seen better days. From the unpainted spackle on the wall, to the cracks in some of the floor tiles, one couldn’t help the feeling that they’ve walked into the abode of a septuagenarian movie star, still hopelessly clinging to her past.

The rest of the resort fared no better. With the cracks in the swimming pools, entire sections of poolside tiles missing, stone paths with missing stones, visible signs of decay and neglect were everywhere. There were buildings that were practically derelict and there was at least one restaurant that remained closed for the duration of our trip. The ONE night club showed more wear and tear than the other buildings and it clearly showed during the day.

The Cuisine
Having been warned of the blandness of Cuban resort cuisine, our expectations were reasonably lowered. We were, however, pleasantly surprised by how flavourful our initial fare was.

The rest of the week, though, was marred by the lack of variety and choice available.
There was exactly ONE buffet for all three meals and it was prone to late openings and, on at least one occasion, miscommunication from the management to the staff as they tried to close the doors for breakfast by 10am instead of 10:30am.

There were only three a-la-carte restaurants available – Italian, Creole and seafood. Judging from the offerings we’ve sampled during buffet, we were none too interested in trying out the Creole menu.

Booking the a-la-carte restaurants was like going back in time. Every day, there was a 2hr period between 3:30pm and 5:30pm that we were all supposed to line up and book our meals. During out initiation talk with the Air Canada on-site rep, we were given three crudely printed vouchers, stapled together. Upon reaching the front of the line, we were greeted by a woman with a clip-board, manually writing down our choice of the three restaurants and for what time slot. There were no computers to assist her. At all.

Of three choices, we chose Italian and seafood. Seafood, because they were usually grilled, was decent every time. The Italian restaurant, however, was bland and tasteless at times.


The Beach / Pools
Our first visit to the beach was disappointing. There was an abundance of seaweed that had washed ashore and the cleaning crew was nowhere near finished clearing them. Coming to Cuba in February, we were expecting warmer climes, but I found it rather chilly most days that we ventured out and the water was shockingly cold and took time to get used to.

One day, while sunning ourselves on the beach, I noticed a group of people running, periodically pointing to the water. At first, I thought they were following a snorkeler… then I saw the fin. A five-foot long shark was swimming within meters from the shore and the people were following it, warning bathers as they went along.

On our second last day, there was so much flotsam on the water, it actually became murky several times within the approximately 1.5hrs we were on the beach.

I must commend the beach staff, though. Every day, they performed back-breaking work clearing the seaweed that washed up onto the beach, as well as pulling out and cleaning the deck chairs when you need them.

We took a stroll over to the “Mini Club”, an area designed to entertain the kids (as this was billed as a family friendly resort) and again we were disappointed. The club showed neglect on all aspects – the pool was filled with dirty, almost stagnant water, the playground had rundown “rides” and the actual “Mini Club”, although signs showed that it was supposed to be staffed at certain hours never actually anyone working there.

As stated previously, the pools showed decay and reminded me of some run-down motel in the middle of Nowhere, Idaho. The only difference was that Hotel Colonial’s pools were at least cleaned on a regular basis. Too bad they didn’t repair and maintain it just as often.

The Staff
Exceptional service from all staff that we encountered. Our chambermaid, however, arrived later and later as the week wore on, but this was not even an irritation or inconvenience.
Our bartenders and waiters were nothing but friendly and helpful, always.
One thing to look forward to – from the afternoon onwards, make sure to stop by the Churro Stand in the Beer Garden Placita. The fresh churros were always a great treat.

Conclusion
At the end of the day, we all get what we pay for, I suppose. However, with this trip costing us 30% more than my trip to Sosua(which, I believe, was only a 3.5 star resort, as opposed to THIS 4-star restort), the overall experience wasn’t as enjoyable. The lack of choice in dining and the various states of disrepair and decay was a bit of a turn-off, no matter how friendly and helpful the staff were.

Though we’d love to go back to Cuba, I sincerely doubt we’ll end up at Hotel Colonial Cayo Coco again.

Room Tip: Although they offer oceanview rooms, I rarely saw any villas that actually offered good views unless...
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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5  Thank J'on P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 9, 2013

We stayed the third week of January and the place was clearly underpopulated, so the absence of any crowds was a big bonus. The setting is beautiful, the faux colonial architecture surrounding two sets of pools, one salt, the other fresh, lends a Venetian vibe to the place. Ongoing renovations have spruced the place up a lot judging from earlier reviews.

The beach is clean and beautifull and was about a one minute walk from our room. You could hear the waves at night, but don't step on the crabs that populate the grounds near the beach. Don't miss the magnificent Pilar beach, a five peso local bus ride from the resort. The restaurant there serves cheap and delicious seafood.

Mosquitos are present, but not in large numbers when we were there, so we never bothered to use the repellant we brought.

The staff are friendly and genuinely try to be helpful. The food is, well, Cuban, but the cafe near the salt pool has outstanding seafood, and the omelette lady is a treasure. If you stick to seafood and freshly made food like the pasta, you will eat well.

The guests were an eclectic mix of mostly Canadians with some quirky regulars who added a bit of colour. However the outstanding thing about this place was the nightly entertainment. I have seen a lot of poor to mediocre performances in all inclusives, but the talent here is outstanding with truly exceptional, professional dancers. It was surreal how good the entertainment was for such a small audience. The small crowd meant you could sit right up close and feel the swirling costumes brush up against your face! I would go back just for the shows.

Finally, we did experiece a bit of misfortune. Our daughter developed a severe throat infection. The medical care consisting of a nurse and doctor dispatched to our room was instantaneous, immediately effective, and delivered with what I would describe as enthusiastic kindness. We did have to pay 120 pesos, but we will be reimbursed by our travel insurance. Apparently the dental care at the resort is so cheap that if you need a lot of dental work, the difference between their rates and Canadian dental costs will pay for your holiday.

Overall, a family friendly experience in a great location with a few surprises here and there that made for a great vacation. Many thanks to the doctor and nurse who took such good care of our daughter!

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with family
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10  Thank Ian H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 9, 2013

We booked a last minute trip the the Hotel Colonial in Cayo Coco. The resort is an older resort, but much work is being done to improve it, including a beautiful new pool. We had a great time. The staff were great, many have been there for 20 years. We ran into a lot of other Canadians that come back to this resort year after year. This resort has a family feel to it. Our room was beautiful. Eddie (Eduardo) a waiter at the bar was great! We were able to meet his family and see his home when we visited Moron. If a Cuban ever invites you to visit them, take them up on the offer. It is the thing that made our trip great! We will be going back next year, we hope, with our daughter.

If you are looking for a posh, immaculate resort, with high end food this is not the place for you. If you want somewhere you can relax, feel comfortable and at home that is what we found here.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank Melody M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 6, 2013

I write as a frequent visitor to Cuba over more than twenty years. I was in Varadero for 14 days just before Christmas and have just returned today from another fortnight's vacation. This time to Cayo Coco — my first visit there since its new airport opened, thus obviating the 90 minute bus drive from Ciego de Avila.

A simply splendid vacation! The staff is friendly and kind. The property is clean and well-kept: the pools and bars are neatly arranged.

My large sunlit room with balcony, was tidily maintained — everything worked flawlessly (the electricity, the air conditioning, the bath/shower, refrigerator, safe & satellite TV) — cleaned meticulously by the maid, Sandra.

One sensed a genuine professional camaraderie from the personal: a pleasantness which emanated from the Reception/Front Desk from Frank and his team and bellhops, like Didier. There was always a welcome greeting from the 24 hour Lobby Bar—all personnel working in harmony.

The Restaurant Yuraguano, beside the salt water pool, was open only for lunch. 'Daily' and her colleague gave prompt and friendly service. I spent every lunch there as I was served the very best grilled Red Snapper that I have even eaten. Another fish called 'Patao' was also served. Chef Antonio Luis Pinedo is what we call in the trade a ‘natural’ cuisinier. I salute him.

As a longstanding friend of both the late Chef Gilberto Smith-Duquesne (the most decorated Chef in the world) and dear departed Chef Santana (the celebrated Corporate Chef of Cubana) who spearheaded the Cuban Federation of Chefs, I offer counsel to Cubanacan to invest more resources in this property. With its level of staff commitment it should not have been ranked as #10 of 11 properties on Cayo Coco according to this site, Tripadvisor.com.

Good Luck! You could be number one!

GRL, Toronto

Room Tip: Isn't a vacation a journey? The idea that it can also be an adventure might set your mind free...
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled solo
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18  Thank GRL_KG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Colonial Cayo Coco

Address: Jardines del Rey | Cayo Coco, Cuba
Location: Caribbean > Cuba > Ciego de Avila Province > Jardines del Rey Archipelago > Cayo Coco
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Ski-In / Ski-Out Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#9 Luxury Hotel in Cayo Coco
#9 On the Beach Hotel in Cayo Coco
Price Range: $118 - $256 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Colonial Cayo Coco 4*
Number of rooms: 458
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

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