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Reviewed April 11, 2008

We were at the Royal Hideaway from March 24 to 31 of this year. We are a couple in our early 30s and we have traveled extensively to Mexico, Cuba, Dominican Republic etc.

First of all, I have to say that the check-in was the fastest and smoothest that I have ever experienced at an all inclusive. We arrived really late at night and within 15 minutes we were in our room and in less than another 15 minutes our bags were delivered right to our door.

Beach
As everyone has mentioned, the beach is really beautiful – white powder sand, turquoise water – gorgeous. I never had a problem getting a beach chair and the resort was full while we were there but I have to admit that I went down early in the morning to read on the beach and I did set some towels on chairs before heading to breakfast. On one day we didn’t have any shade and one of the guys who worked on the beach even got an extra beach umbrella and set it up for us.

Resort grounds
Absolutely gorgeous again – lots of flowers, butterflies and birds. An extremely nice design where the building seem to blend in with nature.

Service
For us, what really set the Royal Hideaway apart was the service. We were really lucky to have Katia at bungalow 43 and she did everything to make our stay wonderful. It did seem after taking to other guests that some concierges were definitely better than other. In the main dining room Magdiel was our waiter and he was also amazing. All of the Cubans seemed to have a smile and a “hola”. They were also really grateful for any small gifts. Someone had mentioned that old cellphones can be activated in Cuba – this is true but not all brands have the right card. One of the waiters told me that Nokia was the best. Other Cubans that I met mentioned that clothes and shoes, even second hand, would be greatly appreciated.

Food
Overall my husband and I thought the food was very good. We ate at all the restaurants except for the Cuban and we liked the seafood restaurant the best – try the grilled red snapper – delicious.

As for water, juice, wine, champagne, we just asked our concierge and she immediately ensured that we had whatever we needed. We also ordered room service several times, cappuccinos, croissants, champagne – the service was wonderful and we did feel pampered.

Dislikes
As for my dislikes, I don’t have very many.

Firstly the bellboy service was super slow – at two points we waited over 35 minutes for service – I would definitely call ahead if you need them. Secondly, the interior bar in the lobby was really smoky – I would have preferred open air.

Lastly, what’s with the scale in the bathroom! After eating all that yummy food, drinking champagne and lazing on the beach, I definitely didn’t want to step on the scale. As one other tripadvisor review mentioned, I for one was really glad that the resort was spread out. I needed to walk to burn off a few calories.

In all, we were extremely satisfied. I would definitely recommend this resort.

  • Stayed: March 2008
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9  Thank ScubaSuzy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 11, 2008

First time in Cuba and we loved it!! We have nothing to compare to only other place we have been was Maui. The beaches were just amazing and the colour of the water we were in awe! I agree pictures do not do it justice. Resort is huge so yes alot of walking we never thought we would complain about walking as we are avid walker's, however when your feet are sunburnt and swollen you need a ride sometimes and the sun is intense. Rides are sometimes hard to come by. So just pointing out some things so people know what to expect. The bellboys not always happy if a tip was not given after a ride, and we were very generous however you can not tip for every ride when they are going the same way. For the most part all staff very friendly every one you would pass would say ole, which i am missing now being home. Okay this is the worst, the room service food, just horrible no variety and stale! For lunch go to spa pool seemed better service more shade and not as crowded.
Someone wrote about bringing clothes pegs a big thank you to that person they came in very handy as it was windy the whole time we were there and the wind was well welcomed. I brought a beach bag, seen lots of people with knapsacks, that is the way to go to bring your stuff to the beach for the day. Next time around we would probably just eat at the buffet really didn't enjoy the a la carte's to much, the seafood restaurant was the best for ambiance and good lobster parmesean risotto.
The best beach is the nude beach where we met are clothing challenged friends, a big ole to them!!!! And still waiting for our pictures P & S. Met the best people, who turned us on to a great drink, coconut rum, pineapple juice and orange juice. Also the pina colada'a are the best.
Skip the jeep safari not worth a day away from the beach if anyone would like more details just email. If you are flying home sky service expect to be delayed one great thing they keep you at the hotel until the plane is in route so you can enjoy more cocktails!
To sum up don't hesitate about going to this resort, remember you are there for the sun and beach whatever happens roll with it your on vacation!!!

  • Stayed: April 2008, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank leata
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 11, 2008

My boyfriend and I stayed at the Hideaway from March 30 2008 through until April 6 2008. Beleive me when I tell you all you read about this resort is true (all the good stuff I mean) The people that write the bad reviews I beleive would complain no matter where they were.
The only complain that I would have is the check in was somewhat confusing, however we arrived late in the evening and a large group had just arrived before us. All in all we were on our way from the main lobby to dinner in approx 45 minutes - which was fine with us, we were in no hurry, we were on vacation.
The food was amazing, my children and I traveled to Cuba 4 years ago and stayed in Holguin and the food at the hideaway was far superior to the food and service we received during our stay in Holguin.
This resort is truely amazing !!!! Be sure to try the chocolate martinis in the lobby bar they are to die for !!
I would return to this resort again in a heart beat.

  • Stayed: April 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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2  Thank cubantravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 10, 2008

My wife and I stayed at the RHE from Mar.22 - Apr.5. The whole experience was simply amazing. Here it is

Flight: We flew SkyService. We were a little concerned about them as we read horror stories of them changing times, delays, etc. Our flight had no issues whatsoever. Left on Time, Arrived on time. Down side was leg room, but it is what it is. Won't comment on the food as its airline food and we know better, right? No problems at Santa Clara airport. Customs and security, as well as baggage pickup, went smoothly.

Check-in: Again was a breeze. After our 90 min. drive(air conditioned, of course) we arrived at the resort. We were met by resort staff and taken to a meeting room where we were offered cooling towels as well as a glass of Champagne. A small speech welcoming us and then we formed 2 lines to receive our room assignments. After getting our keys we were sent on our way with resort map in hand. Luggage will be taken care of. A little trouble finding our building, since it was dark and not a lot of staff around to guide you. Luggage arrived 10 mins. after we found our room.

Rooms; Absolutely elegant. Pictures do not do them justice. We were in the Hideaway section, building #41, second floor. We overlooked a wonderful garden. Right on the pathway to beach. Bathroom was great. Separate tub and shower.

Grounds; Simply stunning. They ground staff work so very hard in keeping everything trimmed. We liked the fact that some of the shrubs had little signs telling you what the plant was. Its obvious that the gardeners and groundskeepers take pride in their work.

Food: We tried all the al a cartes, as well as the buffet. The al a cartes were good, however we'd say that the buffet was not up to a 5 star standard , even for Cuba. That's not to say that you won't find something you'll like. As for the al a cartes my wife preferred the Cuban( Creole), and I liked the International, although the others we all good as well.

Beach; Simply stunning. Definitely a 5 star beach in any part of the world, in our opinion. Spent our days on Playa Megano. Didn't go to Playa Ensenachos as we spent our days on Megano. The walk to the point was excellent. Each day brought something new to see. We found that the resort being at capacity there was not enough sun loungers and certainly not enough palapas. You could ask the beach guys to set up a umbrella for you, but those are also limited.

Staff: We had a positive experience with everyone we came in contact with. Right from the guys that rake the seaweed on the 2 beaches to the General Manager. All in our opinion top notch. They are there to help you in any way they can. Can't say enough about our concierge Mikhail. He's one of the good guys. Is there for your every need and want.

Entertainment: This is a area in which we found the resort to be lacking. Very little to do during the day around the pool and at the beach. If you are wanting that sort of thing then the RHE you'll find disappointing. If you're looking to relax, this is the place. The shows at times were non-existent. The concert band was excellent as was the piano player in the lobby bar.

All in All we had a great time at the RHE. Again its big and spread out. For a 5* resort in Cuba it comes really close to the mark with a few minor bumps along the way. This can happen at any resort, but at a 5* its magnified and not expected. Oh and by the way did we mention the beach...lol

  • Stayed: March 2008, traveled as a couple
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10  Thank bergerman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 9, 2008

March 31-April 8/08. Second visit to this wonderful resort. Contrary to all the latest reviews, this place is wonderful. Book it with confidence.

To all the negative reviews...I know everyone is entitled to their opinion, but come on, it was not that bad!

The beach is the best of all my stays in Cuba. If you looking for action packed, loud blaring music, well this beach is not for you, so stay away. If you want to experience calm, crystal clear water and sharing it with other like minded guest then book it.

Room are perfect. Spacious, clean and inviting. If something is not to your liking..talk to your concierge in a very nice way, ask politely, don't yell and be rude. It will be fixed pronto. I had to call maintence once and within 10 minutes they were there, didn't need him as my husband fixed the problem. I still tipped him for coming so fast.

Food...always seem to be a hot topic for some. I found that yes some food items were a little to cool for my liking. So yes the hotel should address the heating of the food that is brought out to sit until consumed. So mention this fact to the hotel manager or the chef. Perhaps if everyone lets them know nicely then this will be improved upon. Food selections..there are many. If you can't find something good to eat here then you are fussy. All the a la carte meals are wonderful. Our fourth dinner at one, the Cuban, in the spa section, I asked the waiter what he would suggest for me as I wanted his honest opinion. He gave it to me and I ordered what he suggested and it was wonderful. He even checked with me at each course to see if liked what a received.

For my anniversary, my room was decorated with flowers, champagne floating tea lites in a bath filled with bubbles and flower petals. Our dinner at the Italian a la carte was amazing and again treated special with candles and they even made a wonderful special cake for us. We were indeed surprized. !

Every meal we received attention. Water within moments of seating, wine refilled before I finished the first glass, offered water, coffee promptly and plates cleared away very quickly always with a polite "excuse me" when reaching for the empty plate.

The dreaded beach & pool lounger games. Well I'm one of those who lays my towel in the spot I want at 6:00am everyday just before I go for my morning run so yes I'm guilty. I then go to breakfast and hit the beach at 8:00 for the entire day only leaving for lunch. So I guess everyone should do it if they want a chair. Don't complain about it get up earlier and do the same. Again perhaps if management knows that there are not enough palapas and chairs then they will build more and buy more but people make the suggestion, they do ask for input. Don't want to get up early cause your on vacation..you can sleep in your lounger you know.

I guess I have a different expectations of my choice in resorts. The Hideaway fullfilled my every wish. The staff are amazing. I took the time to speak to each an every staff member when I came upon them. I was always greeted with a warm smile and Hola. I took the time to let them know I appreciated them and the service that they were providing me. Some even remembered me from last year.

Tipping, I do indeed tip everyone that provide service to me and some that don't. I usually take $ 200.00 with me just for this purpose. Extravagant to some but I don't drink coffee at Timmies everyday so I have this to give to help someone who is not as fortunate as I. $ 1.00 for each buffet meal and $ 3.00 for the ala carte meals. Is this expected of me NO I do it because I want to do it.

One thing that I would like to share is that my husband forgot his fly fishing reel when we left. I email the hotel thinking that it was a hopeless cause. To my utter shock and surprise I received an email from the wonderful Manager Agnes telling me that indeed they did have the fishing reel and that they would give it to my friends that are still there to bring home for us. NOW THAT IS SERVICE!

In closing, I want to suggest to people who think that this resort is not a 5* that they should consider where they are. Or perhaps go to an Americanized Island to spend there money.Many of the staff that was making your bed, cleaning your bathroom and waiting on you everyday are likely more edcuated then you are. I for one never loose sight of this and treat them accordingly. With the respect and dignity that I feel that they more than deserve. I feel blessed in my life that I have been given the opportunity to come to such a wonderful place from the frozen north to be treated so well. Everyone in my opinion should keep this in mind .

Need any further advise, PM me happy to answer all questions.

Book this resort with confidence. Go enjoy all that the Royal Hideaway Ensenachos has to offer.

  • Stayed: April 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Check in / front desk
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10  Thank sunlover1960
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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