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“Overall a Disappointing Experience - December 27-Jan 3”

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Pestana Cayo Coco All Inclusive Beach Resort
Ranked #6 of 12 Hotels in Cayo Coco
Richmond Hill, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Overall a Disappointing Experience - December 27-Jan 3”
Reviewed January 8, 2014

Nice new and clean resort with a Great Lobby, pool, kids club (helpful when traveling with 2 small children)and Beach.

We found most staff to be friendly, no one really "stood out" though, perhaps because the resort was understaffed and the staff they had working were putting in 16+ hour shifts.

We were welcomed with drinks in the grand lobby which we spent a lot of time in. The lobby is very comfortable, spacious and a great place to socialize. We would have our morning espresso and our afternoon mojitos at the Lobby Bar. The Bartenders at the Lobby Bar were fantastic!

Our suite was spacious and pretty clean, but lacked paper products in the bathroom which I find unacceptable. It also lacked a clock/alarm clock and In-suite information/Marketing materials.

The food was poor, seemed like you were consistently eating leftovers at the Buffet. The Italian a la carte was nothing to brag about, but would have been acceptable for the buffet.

The Snack Bar selection was very limited. More important to note is the 2 hour wait time with 2 small children for unsalted fries and salty hamburgers. Salt shakers were never filled and never enough Ketchup for all seated patrons, you had to ask other guests to borrow their Ketchup. (TIP: Bring Ketchup, salt & favorite spices, napkins & maybe some extra toilet paper) We almost never received napkins with our cutlery and on one occasion were not given cutlery.

The resort was lacking in entertainment and organization. It is a new resort so they do have many kinks to iron out. A good start would be providing the basics: Good customer service, enough toilet paper, napkins, ketchup,salt and descent wait times at the Snack Bar.

  • Stayed December 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank J249
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MarketingCcs, Director General at Pestana Cayo Coco All Inclusive Beach Resort, responded to this review, January 9, 2014
Estimated J249:
It was a week that we were not prepared with the entire staff is true, but we all gave our best effort and I'm sorry that was not enough, we are now full and we are more stable in service, and the food, we follow very aware of snack for improvement and room products. I met with the housekeeper analyzing this and it does not happen more.
I want to return to Cuba and if you can reach the hotel and see a different service.

Sincerely,

Director
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English first
Belleville, Canada
Level Contributor
26 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed January 8, 2014

My wife and I do a lot of research and read many reviews on trip advisor when selecting our next Caribbean vacation.We are quite experienced Cuban all inclusive vacationers with at least a dozen stays over the past 6-7 years. We were fairly impressed with the high ratings given Pestana, although you will always find a very wide variety of reviews of the best and worst resorts indicating they are both spectacular and disastrous. I try to look for an affinity with the reviewer so that their review is more likely to resonate with me and my tastes. We arrived Dec 20th for a one week stay with another couple from Canada. The weather was spectacular for the full week. Cayo Coco is an island,a bit remote from the mainland, offering not much more than lovely beaches, lots of choice in resorts, and usually very nice warm weather, almost always with a strong breeze., Look forward to relaxation and sun, and not so much any immersion in the culture of a foreign country. If that is part of your vacation plan you are looking in the wrong place.
The resort itself in new in 2013 and I must say that the facilities and design are first rate and equal to any 5 star in Cuba. Our suite in building 6, 3rd floor overlooked the ocean, had ample size with living room ,separate bedroom, walk-in closet and sumptuous bathroom. Well worth the modest $200. upgrade from a junior suite. Quality of facilities and our unit were very good, with interior appointments and finishing far better than the typical hastily put together all inclusives we have experienced elsewhere. TV's, safe, frig, bath fixtures, c. air, all worked fine, and the King bed was very firm and comfortable. Unfortunately the 110 volt receptacle in the bath did not work so we were unable to charge our camera and electronics; not a big concern for us although we were unimpressed that maintenance were unable to correct the matter given one full week to do so..
Check in was smooth and efficient arriving at about 9:45 Pm and we did not encounter any particularly rude or troublesome staff as many have reported. Speaking of staff, I really wonder about having gardeners sleeping on their shovels, selling crafts to guests, and handing out hibiscis flowers in hope of a peso tip, rather than focusing on landscaping work that has much yet to be improved. The productivity of maintenance personnel is seriously lacking and the public washroom conditions attest to this.
The lobby was particularly attractive with high vaulted beamed wood ceilings, close proximity to the live theatre, and serviced by 2 bars. Bar staff and serving staff were pleasant and generally friendly with few exceptions and a few very outstanding staffers. One of the 2 lobby bars carried a better selection of better top shelf liquor, so I was sure to ask for the brand I wanted in my drink, otherwise naturally you will receive the Cuban inferior equivalent. Entertainment at the lobby and evening theatre was pretty much what we have come to expect and is unlikely to impress. I do agree with some reviewers that the live entertainment at the theatre should drop the kindergarden kids activity,, start a little sooner, and that more entertainment be provided in the lobby. In a place with no alternative forms of entertainment it could be much better. The piano does need a tune up so be forewarned.
The beach is excellent with comfortable lounges and finding space was not a problem during our stay. You can (and should) do some beach-combing as you can literally walk for hours in either direction passing very few neighboring resorts. A few snorkeling locations can be found by walking 15-20 minutes in either direction to closer coral shoals.
As for food and restaurants, the early reviews did have us hoping for better. We never have great expectations of any buffet type service but our past experience has demonstrated that even buffets can be quite well done, or very bland and disappointing. We were a little disappointed with the buffet, considering it to be lacking in variety and in creativity. I had hoped with Portugese ownership that I might at least find a quality"piella" but encountered only one half hearted attempt at the national dish; really a shame since all the ingredients are so readily available. By carefully testing and tasting the choices available, certainly you will not need to go hungry; unless you arrive for a later dinner in which case the tables will be pretty bare. I really wanted to jump behind the counter or enter the kitchen at times to re- educate the cooks on the right level of doneness, or to point out obvious flaws and deficiencies in the meal preparation. The executive chef needs to get more involved in the kitchen and look more closely at what is being served, I cannot excuse a resort portraying itself as a five star when delivering up Cuban 3 star quality food. Having said this I nevertheless managed to gain 5 llb .Lol. As to the al la carte restaurants; frankly we rarely bother with them at any Cuban resort because you are almost assured of disappointment. So we did try one night at the Italian restaurant; a mistake, hard dry chicken,,boring lasagna, no authenitc italian flavours; expectations confirmed, our group of 4 left the plates half full and beat a retreat to the buffet.
The poolside snack bar has received really bad reviews and complaints but we found service to be a only a little slow, yes, a few mistakes at delivering the wrong food or drinks to the wrong tables,(which we found pretty humorous) But not that bad a hamburger, decent fries, Pizza gets a thumbs down, sandwiches are very, very slim on content. But hey its a snack bar, and so easy to just select an alternative with a 2 minute walk.
We had high hopes for the beach (near beach, not on beach,) restaurant. Daily fish, pork and/ or chicken barbecue, usually with rice (unfortunately never a proper piella) The fish was unfortunately always overcooked. The "colored" rice bland and unspiced. The roasted pig never started early enough in the day to be properly cooked. I must ask, where are the chefs; and where is the training? Management is clearly not on top of things, or they are strategically in error in establishing the level of service they want to offer.
Overall a very nice looking and well designed facility. We found service staff to be mostly very friendly and gracious but maintenance staff to be "laidback" We loved our room, a superior suite, the tennis and basketball courts in excellent shape (but unused). Unfortunately the food situation was well below 5 star standards by Cuban measure.
We have booked Cuba again for March break and its will not be here at Pestana. With better management and some corrective action we would love to try this resort again at some future date.

Room Tip: Building 6 is close to lobby, pool, beach, and buffet. But well located to avoid problem noise. Sup...
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank peter s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MarketingCcs, Director General at Pestana Cayo Coco All Inclusive Beach Resort, responded to this review, January 10, 2014
Dear Peter S:
I appreciate your comment that reveals clear that we need to improve supervision of the work done, I think we can improve on the comments we have and we have improved with changes we've made​​.
I'll wait to see the new comments I'm sure I will get better, really I like people to come enjoy the hotel's, Our hotel is four-star looks five, but four are our standards and like that we are classified.

Sincerely,

Director
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Montreal, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed January 7, 2014

Stayed between December 29th to January 5th 2014. I read about this hotel before booking our trip. The reviews sounded so great, that we booked and were excited to go to this new resort. What a disappointment when we got there! Yes, the hotel was full due to high season. But I have traveled so many times in my life during busy seasons and have had much better experiences. We got there on the night of the 29th of December, the welcoming was nothing spectacular. In our room the patio door was broken, our room was located on the ground floor anyone could have access to it through the back. We called the reception, they guaranteed us that they would send a technician in 10 minute. He never showed up, we then proceeded to go to the lobby, the irritated receptionist assured us that he was coming. He came 2 hours later. Besides this hiccup, the room was always clean.
The worst thing about this resort is the service and the snack bar with the a la carte restaurants. The food at the buffet was 100 times better. The Cuban restaurant was ok, the worst of them all was the Italian. We took one bite out of our plates and left. The staff, excepts a few were unpleasant. When the restaurants were full it took forever to get served. The staff were just running around, unorganised, lost, and confused. The service of the staff was actually the worst I have ever experienced. As a student, I travelled to 2 stars hotels in Cuba and the service was 100 times better. At the end of our trip, I was fed up of running after staff to get service, I just wanted to go home.
The great part about this hotel is the beach. However, there are many other hotels in the area that are better with equivalent beach experience. I personally would not go back to the hotel. Even though, it is a beautiful hotel since it is new. The staff, the miss organisation, and the food…just killed it for us.
I do recommend to go eat at a little beach restaurant that is not part of the hotel. Once you get to the beach turn right and it’s a few minutes walk.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Natalia C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MarketingCcs, Director General at Pestana Cayo Coco All Inclusive Beach Resort, responded to this review, January 8, 2014
Dear Natalia C:

I am thankful to your written comments, I understand that the worst was the snack and specialty restaurants, we are taking action, the hotel was full but we have to be aware that in any case there are things that can not happen and is that everyone is saying that there are problems in the snack.
I regret this experience, but we are serving to improve and be better prepared, the hotel is full today, but customers are much happier, we exceeded that week that was uncontrolled and we maybe not had the right attitude to overcome.
Count your comment is being considered and will work on improving.

Sincerely,

director
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Winnipeg, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed January 6, 2014 via mobile

Hotel: Clean, brand new, comfy beds, big pool that's almost always empty, meticulously maintained, no bugs (unless you brought them into the room with you)

Food: Even as non-pork eaters, we were able to find something great every day at every meal! If you go to this resort and you cannot find something to eat, then you are just being picky. Remember where you are and be appreciative for the work everyone is doing to make sure you are fed!
Recommend : fish fry bar right before the beach. Get there between 1230-1 for the best pick of fish!

Beach : amazing. Patches of coral mixed with sand beach to get into the water. There are fish and other creatures everywhere when the water is calm, bring your snorkel. There are sand fleas however if you put on deet , you'll be fine.

Entertainment team: special note to Orlando who made the stay very enjoyable for us. However, compared to other resorts I've been, the entertainment is fairly transparent and unenthusiastic. Most days I could go a good portion of the day without seeing any of them. Hopefully this improves!

Night Entertainment : for the week we were there, the shows that drew huge crowds were the ones that had CUBAN culture and dance. This is what you're good at, this is why we are watching you in Cuba, and this is what you should Focus on! The shows where this was done were AMAZING, the North American geared shows were boring and lacked culture. The Brass band and the other band should honestly alternate early evenings they were so good and got everyone on their feet!

Staff: Every single staff member we met was simply amazing. They went to any length to make your stay enjoyable and always had a funny joke or comment, or were just simply kind. Special thanks to Danys, Carlitos, Orlando, the head chef, and the two In training maids in the white shirts in the lobby. Phenomenal service. Thank you thank you thank you.

In short, the Pestana is brand new, they are getting their feet on the ground and I believe they are striving for excellence from what we saw. Relax and enjoy while these PEOPLE (never forget, these are people serving you) take care of you for an amazing week!

Special side note to the extremely rude, abnoxious Canadians that travel abroad: you are embarrassing our country and making us look terrible. Treat others as you would be treated, don't be rude, don't act as though you are better than anybody else (you arent) and the staff are not your servants. Please shape up, it's humiliating.

Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
29 Thank Jenn P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MarketingCcs, Director General at Pestana Cayo Coco All Inclusive Beach Resort, responded to this review, January 8, 2014
Dear Jenn Q.

Thanks for taking the time and write your experience, I see it was very nice and enjoyed the service from our staff, and our meals, we know that everything was not perfect, but really thank you for coming to the Caribbean and enjoy a week of sun , We appreciate you comment about animation, and the shows, I take this into account I just talk to the boss about this animation.

I hope you to return and we will be waiting with open arms.

Sincerely,

director
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Toronto, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed January 6, 2014

Let me start by saying I have been on at least a dozen vacations around the world...this being my 8th all-inclusive (Dominican, Mexico, Bahamas, Jamaica,..etc.). I have never experienced such horrible customer service in my life, and I am in customer service!

I don't even know where to begin...

The only good things of note:

1) The resort - new, clean, beautiful lobby
2) My maid - Daniuska...fantastic! I had beautiful towel arrangements on my bed everyday, oodles of toilet paper (while some people i was travelling with had none and resorted to stealing from the public restrooms).

The negatives (oooh so many):

Day 1 - Arrived late on Friday night. I was travelling with my family (sister, bro-law, mom, dad, 3 year old niece). We booked 3 rooms side-by-side as I was a single female and felt safer with them near me. When we arrive we were given 3 rooms down in bungalow 9 (furthest possible accommodations from the few amenities). We got into our rooms and my sister's air conditioning wasn't working (it was very hot and humid). My phone / safe wasn't working, but not a huge problem in comparison to no AC. After walking with my sister all the way back to the lobby and waiting for a while, she was given a new 'temporary' room in Bungalow 3. This room had 2 twin beds (not a king for fam of 3) and only one of the beds had sheets and blankets! My brother-in-law also carted all their luggage the whole length of the resort himself.

Day 2 - As we booked as a family and paid really good money for this sub-par trip ($1600EA - not including the tipping and excursion) I went down to the front desk and requested an ideally located bungalow closer to amenities and all together. The first response was a shoulder shrug (first of many). After asking a few more times, I was told to come back at 4pm and we would all be moved to Bungalow 4. Move #2 - My room now doesn't have AC!. Technician comes in and says sorry, can't be fixed tonight (btw - already unpacked everything!). I walk back to front desk and receive a 2nd shoulder shrug:) I demand a new room and i am told there are no more available in bungalow 4. After refusing the "too bad" i was given a key to a room in Bungalow 3 (without my family). I took it as it was hot!....This room turned out to be the best of everyones:)

Day 3 through 5 - Enjoyed the fabulous weather pool side (as the beach was not as pictured). Made some new friends (who I'm sure will also post shortly). Tolerated the awful food (zero flavor - minimal selection - ESPECIALLY if you're a vegetarian!!) Let me just say I didn't go to Cuba for the food, however, it was shocking and a little funny every day trying to find something decent to eat.

Day 6 - SERIOUSLY the MOST frustrating of the whole vaca! After all the room troubles (and shoulder shrugs), while having breakfast in the buffet someone stole my beach towel as well as my sisters pool side. I think no-big-deal, walk over to the towel hut only to receive another 'too bad'. Another side note: you are required to put a 20 pesos deposit when you arrive (yes...at a "4-star"). I was sent to reception again. Waited and spoke to 2 people behind the counter who also told me too bad, we shouldn't have left our towels unattended. This being our 2nd last day at this dive....and trying to soak up as much sun as possible I wasn't going to take this too bad as a final answer. I was then sent to Public Relations....sat infront of a very unfriendly woman who didn't even look up for several minutes to acknowledge us. She didn't speak English, so we waited till someone came over to translate....here it comes...."sorry, nothing we can do". This is where i lost it a little:( Next thing I know I am escorting hotel security to the scene of the crime (we are now at 1 hour into our newest ordeal). Back to public relations. Camera's are supposedly checked and my brother-in-law is basically accused of the offence....ONE MORE TIME..."sorry, nothing we can do". At this point I sent my sister away as I knew she was about to cry and possible attack someone. I demand a Manager.....blah, blah, blah (2 hours in) I finally have to sign a waiver, that I will return these towels tomorrow and they will extend my room for 2 hours late check-out. Let me just say. My family and I spent a total of $9000+ to go to Pestana....and they are willing to ruin customer relationships over a 40 pesos deposit.

Day 7- Yeah....almost over!! But wait...I still have to get my towel deposits back:(:( This took about an hour. Talked to 4 different people (remember the paper i signed....apparently meant nothing). Finally the Air Transat rep came over and handled it within 10 minutes (we didn't even book with them:)). II then told them I wouldn't check out until 4 pm...done.

Suggestions:

1) Customer Service lessons for staff....shoulder shrugs NOT acceptable!!
2) Work on food selections and flavor - spices hardly cost anything, but make a world of difference
3) Communication - ex. put a label on the phones in the rooms that tells people to dial 2 before a room number - small thing but took us 3 days to figure it out)
4) WiFi.....seriously....not offered but is still advertised as a feature

While all our problems were dealt with....I spent so much time fighting and waiting for things that without question should have been non-issues. Please....consider Mexico or Dominican as an alternative. Very disappointing and expensive trip...will not recommend to anyone!!

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
10 Thank Michelle D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MarketingCcs, Director General at Pestana Cayo Coco All Inclusive Beach Resort, responded to this review, January 8, 2014
Dear Michelle D:
Thanks for your comments, I remember well, I do not talk to you, but I am mindful, as the representative spoke to me about you and in the end we could not managed to please you, I admit I had problems during your stay. I appreciate knowing that at least found the hotel nice and clean, and the rest I'll be on in order to resolve outstanding, I understand the problem of the towel and take a long time to resolve, I thank the four suggestions that you wrote to improve and I will work on it, the phone is something that we are sending to do, the others are to follow.
Thank you.

director
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Toronto
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed January 6, 2014

My family and I stayed at the Pestana from Dec. 27 - Jan. 3. It was my fourth trip to Cuba and third time staying on Cayo Coco. Of the three resorts I've stayed at on Cayo Coco, I would rank this one third. #1 is the Melia and #2 is Memories Flamenco.

CHECK-IN: We arrived in the evening, and the shuttle ride to the resort was very quick. There was a long line to check in when we arrived, which was disappointing. When I stayed at Memories, our check-in was done on the shuttle where they gave us our wrist bands and room keys.

ROOMS: We had adjoining rooms of a suite and junior suite exactly as we'd requested (I'd also emailed the resort to confirm this after our booking, and this may have helped to ensure we got what we wanted). We were in bungalow 8, which was a bit of a trek, but not terrible, and certainly quieter than the bungalows closer to the pool (1-4). I know the resort is new, but there were a few issues we had with the rooms right away. In the junior suite, the rod for the hangers was installed in the closet, but the hangers themselves and the round hooks that stay on the rod were just piled up on a counter. We had to call and have them install the hanger hooks on the rod, which to their credit, they did right away. Also, in the suite, the safe was not working, and they came right away and installed a new battery. In the suite, there was also a problem with the shower flooding, and they came and fixed the drain.

There was no bottled water in the room when we arrived, so we had to call and request it. They came and gave us one big bottle per room, which we had to take to the bars or the buffet to have refilled. (At both the Melia and Memories, our fridge was restocked daily with a fresh bottle of water as well as pop and beer.)

Our rooms were modern and clean and they overlooked the ocean. The maid made up our beds every day and made the sheets and towels into swans, etc. We found, however, that she did not replace the packet of tissues or our bars of soap when they were were getting low (or completely used up), and we had to catch her in the hallway and ask for more. I thought this was ridiculous.

Also, the shower in the junior suite was pretty silly. Instead of a regular shower head, it was a handheld shower head that could be placed on a hook of sorts, and unless you had it on the lowest water pressure possible, it would flood the entire bathroom, which happened to us a couple of times.

FOOD: We mostly ate in the buffet except for one a la carte dinner at the Italian restaurant. No one goes (or should go) to Cuban resorts for the food, but I would say that the Pestana had the weakest food selection of the other resorts I've stayed at. My dad and brother lined up for pasta at dinner every day, and it was a VERY long wait. They ought to have two pasta chefs at least. The dinner at the Italian restaurant was probably everyone's favourite. The buffet doesn't open for lunch until 1, so my dad and brother would have pizza or burgers at the snack bar near the pool closer to 12. The service there was usually very slow and meals were not served to the table at the same time, so one person would finish before the other was served theirs.

I'm vegan and celiac and wasn't surprised to find that there was nothing for me to eat in the buffet except rice, a few veggies, and some fruit, and nothing at all at the a la cartes. I was prepared for this, though, and brought a lot of my own food.

The smoothie bar at breakfast in the buffet every morning was awesome, but again, usually a long wait.

DRINKS: The bartenders are some of the hardest-working people at the resort, and they were friendly and efficient and seemed to make a good effort to serve the people waiting longest in the right order. This was the case at all the bars: lobby, beach, pool, theatre.

SERVICE: The staff was incredibly warm and friendly as is typically the case in Cuba. Anytime you pass someone, they greet you with a smile and an "hola." The service in the buffet was generally pretty good, but we sometimes had to wait for a table to be cleared off when they were busy. The maids were also nice, but as mentioned above, they did not replace bathroom supplies.

BEACH: The beach was beautiful. As everyone else has said, you have to go to the right to get past the rocky parts, but it's not a big deal. And you do need to go early to get the blue beach chairs (the white chairs are uncomfortable and they should absolutely get rid of them and replace them with more blue chairs). I would say by 10 a.m., all the blue chairs were taken. We would go to the beach with our towels around 8:45 or so, one of the guys would get us chairs and clean them off, and we would leave our towels on them and head to breakfast.

POOL: The pool is huge and beautiful and quite shallow. It's easier to get chairs there than at the beach, but they do fill up. The music gets quite loud toward the afternoon, but you can choose chairs farther away from the speaker.

RESORT/COMMON AREAS: The women's bathrooms in the lobby, next to the buffet, at the beach bar, and at the Ranchon beach restaurant were constantly out of toilet paper in every stall. Also, many of the stalls did not have locks on them. This is really unacceptable.

The theatre bar was nice but the lobby bar was pretty depressing. It's a hole in the wall inside the lounge, which itself has a nice atmosphere, but the actual bar is just a box with dingy yellow walls. The bartenders were excellent, though, and would sometimes entertain the crowd while they were waiting for drinks.

The one and only thing I hate about staying in Cuba is that smoking is permitted everywhere (except the restaurants and buffet) and people do smoke everywhere. You can't get away from it. It would be nice if some common areas were designated non-smoking.

EVENINGS/ENTERTAINMENT: The shows were okay, but not amazing. I was expecting the same calibre of shows as the Melia and Memories, but was disappointed. The dancing and choreography weren't nearly as impressive and there was no show at all on New Year's Eve, just dancing. At midnight on NYE, there was lots of champagne, and earlier in the evening, they handed out bags with hats, masks, noisemakers, etc.

CHECKING OUT: While your bags are brought to your room for you when they arrive, they are not brought back to the lobby for you when you leave unless you call and request it. There's no charge for this, but be sure to tip the bellstaff, obviously.

Overall, we had a great holiday as we were lucky enough to have perfect weather the entire week. The beach and pool were great, and I hope management will take note of the issues mentioned and make improvements for future guests.

P.S. I ranked "room service" poor because I was referring to the maid not replenishing supplies. We didn't actually order room service (not sure if they even do that).

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Kerri M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MarketingCcs, Director General at Pestana Cayo Coco All Inclusive Beach Resort, responded to this review, January 8, 2014
Dear Kerri M:
I see that in general he could enjoy the hotel HOWEVER experiemento some situations with the room and the service from the waitress, who shall see it with the head of the department, I see that as a vegetarian did not find many alternatives, sometimes in Cayo Coco we have experienced that not have many vegetables all the time. In the snack we made changes do not mean to be the solution but we are following up, regarding the bathrooms was solved, take time but here sometimes implements fail to repair things.
But overall I appreciate the constructive way of your comments and assure you that we are working to improve on what you indicated.

Sincerely,

Director
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Regina, Canada
Level Contributor
33 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed January 6, 2014

I am a trip advisor addict and like to do as much research as possible before I go there. I read every review, looked at every picture and was so very excited to get to the Pestana from Dec. 26 - Jan. 2. I felt like I almost knew the people workjng there already and it was going to be great. I have been to Cuba before and knew that the food could be sub-par but the ocean and the Cuban friendliness would be the highlights. So, off we go with smiles on our faces, ready to have a great relaxing time at this brand new resort.

I'm so sorry to report that by the end of the trip we just wanted to go home already. My bf and I are easy going people who are happy go lucky who have patience and love to meet people, are very grateful and feel fortunate to be visitors to the Cubans. What we got was unfriendly, chip on your shoulder service from beginning to end. A few glitches here and there is expected, having to wait because it's busy is totally acceptable but that never happened, we were just plain ignored, were rude to and shut down totally in some cases. Why....I have no idea but it became wearing on a person time and time again throughout the day. Here are some of the situations we encountered and also the good which did shine through sometimes, but rarely.

*everything is new, which is nice. However the upkeep is not being done. I read a review a while ago that stated the purse hooks on the bathroom doors at the lobby bathroom were ripped off the walls and the locks don't work on the doors. Well the locks still don't work and the holes have been given a coat of mud but nothing more happened the entire week.

*reception is all grumpy. We didn't get a welcome drink (oh well no big deal) and we were greeted by one of the regular women that work reception, she's tall and slim with long hair and wears a yellow clip in her hair. Never a smile, never a hello, we weren't even greeted, she just looked at us with a blank miserable look on her face. I bounced over to her, smiling and saying hola and she just huffed around and got rid of us as fast as she could. We dealt with her many times on this trip and she was always miserable and made you feel very unwelcome. All of the staff we encountered at the desk were like this as well, whether you phone or went up to the desk. I called down one day to find out bus times because they said to check back because they couldn't find the bus schedule print out and the guy actually growled into the phone and then hung up on me. Speaking of hanging up, this happened many times when you called down to reception. The would answer grumpy then "transfer" you and then just hang up.

*rooms - we were the first people to stay in block 8 of the rooms. We had emailed earlier to ask for an ocean view. We were happy with the room as it gave the most ocean view possible but was only a sliver as there is a jungle in between the rooms and the ocean. It was a nice feeling to know no one had slept in the bed and there were a few glitches like the tv not working, deck door no locking, shower curtain rod falling etc. but that 's to be expected. What is kind of sad is that you can tell the resort purchase very expensive materials for the rooms like marble, nice tile, awesome 6' tubs etc. but the workmanship just isn't there. There was so much calking in that bathroom, to fill in the holes and mistakes it was a shame. You could tell there is going to be some water issues as the toilet caulking was already molding. Very nice room, bed are on the hard side and the pillows are rectangular pieces of foam, so go prepared.

*Cleaning staff - we didn't have our room cleaned one day and when we called down we were hung up on twice and once we finally got a hold of someone they said someone would be there right away but they never showed. We only got one bottle of water and 2 days they didn't leave us towels, which is weird because when I tracked down the cleaning lady she had some with her. To the management of the hotel...why don't you replace the water every day in the rooms instead of tying up the bar who has to fill the bottles and inconveniencing your guests????

*daytime animation team. There are plenty of members but they do very little. The one taller lady who speaks on the microphone all the time (she was the dancer for the phantom of the opera show at night) does nothing all day but sit at the pool bar and yell out the next activity. They are not outgoing or friendly, none of the activities are posted and they never engage people other than on the microphone. One of them that does stand out is Luiba (I thinks is her name) the 2 times I saw her she was friendly and sweet and nice...hats off to her.

*beach - as you've probably read, rocky to the left, sandy to the right and the water is beautiful. The beach barman that runs up and down all day serving drinks is awesome. He is the only one in the whole resort that is always smiling, happy and giving impressive service. The beach hut serving food wasn't always open every day and it would be nice if the times were posted and they were actually there. I went looking for the masseuse for the first 5 days because I was going to treat myself every single day and only found him the last 2 days, but it was worth it. $20 for neck, back, shoulders (30 mins) and $25 for full body (45 mins). I asked him to stretch it and give me an hour and he did...I gave him $40.

*Food - it isn't great but was good, only problem is that there was never ever enough. Every time we went it was always empty, empty, empty at the buffet. We would honestly scrape a little of the left over sauce and taste it and it was good but they would never bring anything out and when they did, I swear it was like birds on a crumb. People would flock to it and it would be gone in 30 seconds. So, in line we go for pasta or an omelet we go.....30 minute wait and everything is gone. Only selection is a little bit of left over onion for your omelet or red peppers in the pasta....very frustrating. The highlight of the whole buffet is the fresh bread but out of the 10 times we went, 9 of them there never ever was any butter. To the managdment....why don't you put someone in charge of keeping the cooks who are making pasta and eggs full of ingredients???? Also, it was frustrating because the cooks would come out of the kitchen and lean on a counter while there are 80% of the trays empty. Another note is that the sink the cooks have to wash their hands that is behind the lady who makes eggs in the morning, doesn't have soap. One morning she sneezed a handful into her and and then turned around and washed with just water.

Food at the Rancho (restaurant by pool). Ok, if you fix one thing, this is the one that needs it the most. EVERY SINGLE encounter was horrible. Here is an example. We walk into restaurant and sat down at a dirty table as there are none clean, it's 11:00am. We wait for 10 mins., no one approaches so I get a menu and go up and get us a drink. 10 mins later, I flag down the girl, she says, "ya, what do you want". I ask for pizza - it's going to be 20 mins because there are problems with the cook, we say ok. 30 mins later we ask if it's coming, she says sorry no pizza today, so we order poutine, we wait 20 mins. and then ask where it is, she says sorry no sauce for poutine, so we order just fries, 10 mins later we ask and she brings out a cheese sandwich and sets it down. We are just so stressed and hungry we just decide to eat it and ask for ketchup and a fork. She walks away and comes back without forks and says there is no ketchup. We got up and walked out.

Let me stress this is one of probably 5 interactions that ended up exactly the same.

Ala Carte - Let me say that the service in all three (Cuban, Italian and Mediterranean is awesome. The food in the Cuban was good but don't bother going to the Italian or Med. Yuck!! Oh and the deserts are kind of funny. All three restaurants have the same trio of desserts, just cut into different shapes.

Towel Hut. - When we arrived at the hotel I asked to pay for the towels cards right then. She told me I had to get them from the towel hut the next day, so the next day I go to the hut, she sends me back to the reception.........back and forth 6 times and had to explain to 4 different people. Finally I get our towels.

One day we were going to Pillar Beach and wanted dry towels, I went to the hut and walked up just as the girl closed the door (during the times they are to be open) I smiled and asked if she could exchange me towel, she just gives me a flat look and says, 'sorry, I have to go to reception' and walks away. The next day I go back and the hut isn't even open, I went to reception and there is another lady there inquiring about towels too and the grumpy tall girl at reception just shrugs her shoulders and tells us to come back tomorrow maybe. No offer to help, no effort and completely unfriendly.

Coffee bar - The week we were there, there was a lady and 2 men working there most of the time. The lady was fine, not overly friendly but would provide service. The man with the spiked hair was always rude. I asked for something similar to Bailey's to take to my room for coffee and he just kept staring at me and saying no, no, no. I told him that it was in the fridge behind him and he just walked away. The girl came and shook her head and got it out of the fridge and gave me some.

Now the second guy is even worse. This is one of 3 times he was rude to not only me but a whole bar length of people. I walked up and said hola, there was no one else there. I wait for a response but he just keeps drying coffee cups right in front of me. I wait 5 cups later, by then there are 4 more people there, I ask him for a drink and he just holds up his finger to indicate for me to wait and keeps drying. I wait for about another 30 seconds and the staff member lady who works at the bank with the dark hair walks up and he asks her what she wants. Me and three others leave. Just plain rudeness.

Gardeners - well we witnessed a lot of sitting around on benches, when you would say hola, they rarely replied. One time when we walked by one of them spat on the ground from the bench he was sitting on right behind us on the pavement.

Other staff seemed to lack supervision as well. On New Years we sat by the Lobby bathroom for about 3 hours, the entire time the cleaning lady never once left leaning on the cleaning cart just outside the bathroom and just read her book. The bathrooms didn't have toilet paper in 4 of the stalls, the toilet seats were dirty, mirrors were spotted same as they were 2 days before and the counters were full of water.

Other problems were related to lighting by buildings 7, 8 and 9. The little lights they have on the pathway were never working for the first 4 days at that end and then on the 5th day they were and they had a security guard sitting on the benches at night. Also the drivers of the little golf carts to get you and your luggage to and from your rooms were very inconsiderate. You had to get out of their way because they didn't stop or slow down for you. We almost got hit one night when we were coming out of our unlit building #8 when a cart with blaring lights took a corner.

To the Pestana Management, you need start observing your staff, start making mandatory rules for doing things and move that reception staff out of there, review after review says they are miserable. Make some drastic changes.

I am sad. I have chosen many places in the world to visit based on the trip advisor reviews and this one I got steered so wrong on. It is disappointing to spend your hard earned money, look forward to a great vacation, show up with a smile and for so many things to disappoint so many times every day.

To those reading this, if you get a crazy, amazing, fabulous deal...go because it's new and the beach is great, if you aren't, then go somewhere else.

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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
9 Thank JaniceecinaJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MarketingCcs, Director General at Pestana Cayo Coco All Inclusive Beach Resort, responded to this review, January 8, 2014
Dear aniceecinaJ :
I appreciate taking the time to write your comments, you came because you saw the good comments we had but the week you visited our hotel It was fatal , it is true that the bathrooms had even damaged , but we eventually found the locks and doors were fixed. I regret what happened with reception and we will find a definite change . Building 8 is already operating well it was the day of the opening when you arrive like ypou mentioned, I like what you express about the animation, gardeners, snack bar staff , lack of supervision of areas and bathrooms .
I acknowledge that we had problems with towels because we have probñlems with our external service. At least the beach , which is good the service and it was remained during your stay .
The big problem I think was the food in most of the complaints of this week , and part of this was having 20% occupancy of the hotel with local people that destroyed everything they entered to the restaurant and took everything, crazy they returned to the bar, at the snack their orders were 6 patties per person and pizzas all at the same time and this made the services more engorged , besides the high occupancy . But now It is full but all controlled or at least always we have food .
I consider this the great occupation and the behavior of local people, over stressed our staff who were always smiling , they were overwhelmed by the demands of our people. But I promise that we will take care the next time. We do not have when the hotel is so full local people and if we have it will be in really smaller amounts.

Sincerely,

director
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Pestana Cayo Coco All Inclusive Beach Resort

Property: Pestana Cayo Coco All Inclusive Beach Resort
Address: Carretera Cayo Guillermo, km 9 1/2, 69400, Cuba
Location: Caribbean > Cuba > Ciego de Avila Province > Jardines del Rey Archipelago > Cayo Coco
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 12 Hotels in Cayo Coco
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Pestana Cayo Coco All Inclusive Beach Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 508
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Pestana Cayo Coco Beach Resort is the first hotel of the Pestana group in the Caribbean, located on the beautiful island of Cuba. The Pestana Hotel Cayo Coco Beach Resort is located in one of the best beaches of the island of Cuba, marking the Group's entry into Cuba, and reinforces its commitment to resorts "All Inclusive." It is a 4-star hotel of the Pestana Group management, consisting of 508 rooms spread over several buildings, accompanied by a Caribbean landscape and the magical view of the Caribbean Sea. The hotel has (4) restaurants and (5) bars, all these designed to offer the best of national and international cuisine. It is a distinctive and innovative product in the current offer in this area of the island. In addition to its modern design and colorful, typically Cuban. In turn offer an attractive European component, especially in the food, which certainly constitutes an additional source of attraction for this hotel facility. With the International Airport "Jardines del Rey" just a few km, Cayo Coco is a true tropical paradise with white sand beaches and calm waters of turquoise, ideal for diving and to enjoy nature, because the destination is a real nature reserve surrounded by lush coral reefs. In Cayo Coco Beach Resort Pestana, have the chance to experience memorable moments, thanks to our variety of benefits, including (11) buildings with 3 floors each, (2) pools (1) private beach, sailing, horseback horse, Junior Suites and Suites, 100% equipped with balcony, cable TV, air conditioning, hairdryer, safe and telephone. We place at the disposal of our customers, (2) Conference rooms with capacity for 50 people each. Pestana Cayo Coco....Come and make your holiday memorable moments. ... more   less 
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