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Reviewed April 21, 2013

Booked this pacage through Sunwing and flight portion was very good with something hot to eat in both directions.
Both airports were pretty good but on the Cuba end looks like they were struggling to get people checked in quick enough for the flight departure times, it was close but everyone got checked in and we just waited until the plane to get duty free.
When you arrive wait until you get on the bus to buy beer as it is cheaper and they take Canadian $$.
Now for the resort:
We got there early on Sunday so the rooms were not ready but had or bracelets and were prepared for this so we had a couple drinks in the sun with some people we met on the trip to the resort. We got checked in about 3pm and luggage got taken right to the room...no issues there.
We stayed in the adult only Spa Suites section and the room was very nice with a patio and everything we needed. We did have an issue with the fridge one day but filled out the repair card and it was fixed when we got back from the beach.
Rooms were cleaned every day and there was only one day they missed putting beer in the fridge. Only one night the hot water ran out and that was only for about a half hour at supper time.
The pool was right across the path from our room and we spent some time there everyday usually on the way back from the beach. The staff that worked the pool were great and really seemed to appreciate the gifts we gave them. If you spent the day at the pool the one thing you notice is how nice and quiet it was so you could relax and read with no kids running around.
Beaches were fantastic but get down there somewhere around 6am-6:30am if you want to get a spot under one of the huts for some shade. There are a couple guys working the beach in the morning that will help with chairs and finding a place for you. We went to the other beach towards the villas one day but pretty much the same as the main beach.The resort they said was full while we were there.
OK the food: I had no problem finding something to eat each meal. I stayed away from beef and generally had fish or chicken and they had lots to choose from at the main buffet. I tried the pizza and that was pretty good as well.
The beach restaurant was good for lunch with a good selection and you can never go wrong with french fries :). It did get lined up pretty good at lunch a couple times but wait a half hour and good to go.
We tried the steakhouse a la carte and were not impressed with the steaks but the chicken ceasar was very good. Not sure how they expect you to cut that tougher than average beef with a butter knife??
The Asian restaurant was closed for renovation when we were there so couldn't try that and didn't bother with the rest.
They have some very good coffee, espresso, cappachino at the lobby bar and it was nice to go sit in the lobby area and have a coffee in the morning, the staff that brought the coffee were very friendly and plesant every morning.
The staff have no problem taking Canadian money for tips but remember they can't change the coin at their banks.
We found for the money exchange on the resort the afternoon was best.
They had entertainment every night that happened usually around 9:30pm.
We stayed at the resort the whole week to relax so no excursion info...sorry.
Overall great vacation.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank T-Pev
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brenda C, General Manager at Iberostar Ensenachos, responded to this reviewResponded April 30, 2013

Dear tperevill,

On a behalf of the staff and management here at Iberostar Ensenachos we would like to thank you for your nice review. We all are hardworking people always seeking the best for all our clients. Should you choose our hotel, or some other Iberostar Hotels, for your next vacation, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Wish you all the best,

Brenda Correa

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Reviewed April 20, 2013

Travel dates : April 4-11, 2013

As stated, this was our 5th trip to our Cuban paradise and we were still amazed by the wonderful staff and the service they provided.

Iberostar are still making changes to provide clients with the best possible vacation which will be an ongoing process as the wheels in Cuba turn very slowly.

We found the food to be vastly improved even from last April, not that we had any problems then. We just noticed that everything was better. In fact one evening in the buffet we had roasted turkey that was juicy and tasty. The buffet setup is not the best but they do the very best they can. Keep in mind that is was done when this was an adults only resort and worked just fine considering that hotel was never fully booked unlike now when it has been. Changes are coming to the buffet.

Many more tables & chairs in the lobby area for people to met and mingle. I personally loved the Cuban orchestra and the live band in the evenings. Would love to hear more Cuban music, perhaps a mix of both would fit the bill. When in Cuba I want to hear Cuban music more than North American. I know not everyone shares my thoughts on this so a good mix would work better. Once the live music was over I left the area as I personally found it far to loud in the lobby.

The beaches...Megano was by far always my favorite beach for the easy walk to it and the hard packed sand for walking to the end and back. Now not so much! By far the most crowded beach I have ever been on. This is a perfect beach for children of this there is no doubt but the palapas are to close together. I noticed that they have rebuilt many after "Sandy" and a cold front took many of out. They are mostly 4 post design which is nice. Megano is a huge beach and there is way more area available to the right side away from the crowd and noise. I realize that this a "biosphere protected area" and that they are trying to protect as much as possible and I appalud this but if you want the people there you need to open up the other area. I know that it would be a daunting task for the staff to drag chairs and provide service but in my opinion you could add another smaller bar and washroom facility or even just state "No service provided beyond this point" allowing people to decide where they want to sit.

We were in the Villa's this time and what a treat that was. Ensenachos beach is amazing but the sand is not as packed until the tide goes out. The villa end is more exposed and gets a bit more wind there but was lovely. More palapas are needed at this end as well and all along that beach. This would give clients even more options for the type of area they want to enjoy.

Can't say enough about the wonderful staff in the Villas as well as the rest of the property. Many we have come to know and appreciate every year and look forward to seeing them. The food in the El Colonial has improved so much, hats off to the head chef and the wait staff.

Had the opportunity to met the new GM Brenda Correa, a tiny beautiful, tenacious woman. She is just a lovely person and a real pleasure to chat with. It is very obvious that she loves her new placement here and is doing her very best to get things attended to. If only she had no constraints placed on her WOW what she could do :) As with every country, money slows all wheels! Keep up the great work Brenda.

Staff that so deserve a huge shout out, Bellman, Alexi and Roberto...long time staff from the beginning and have seen it all. They are one of the first impressions and they do a great job. Always a hug bear hug from both.

Lisbet Perez Legra & Yoanka Rodriguez Garcia, two very beautiful young women inside and out. They have a huge responsibility and their days are not easy. They both deserve a raise as well as recognition for the things they do for this hotel. Thank you ladies for making our 5 th trip the best yet.

The butlers in the Villas, Yandry, Marichal, Diego & Estaban another group of very hard working men always willing to do their best for each and every client. Hats off to them all. Zulma a very lovely young woman helping with all aspects of the Villa experience.

The wait staff during our breakfast & lunches at the Villas, Misleidi & Yudelsy, two very hard working ladies. After our first breakfast and lunch they just knew everything that we needed and gave us the very best service ever. Always a big bright sunny smile. We very much appreciated these two lovely women, they also deserve credit for everything they do in the Villas.

It is my hope that Iberostar/Gaviota will loosen the purse strings some and get everything done that needs attention.

I would also like to see a reward program in place for staff. These people work hard, some people tip others do not but the service is still the same. I think it only fitting that there be a monetary reward program and special recognition in place for staff that go well beyond expectations.

A big thank you to everyone for making this trip very special. We look forward to seeing everyone again next season.

Anne & Roger Morash

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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8  Thank sunlover1960
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brenda C, General Manager at Iberostar Ensenachos, responded to this reviewResponded April 30, 2013

Dear sunlover1960,

On behalf of all our staff at Iberostar Ensenachos Grand Village we would like to thank you and your family for choosing our hotel for your vacations. We are glad to know that we were able to make your days with us wonderful. I will forward your review to Lisbeth, Yoanka, alexi, Roberto, Misleidy, Yudelsy, Zulma and the buttlers, they will be happy to know that you remember them and their services. It is a pleasure to assist a respectfully and caring family like yours, who appreciate the effort that the staff make day by day. I would like to thank you as well for your nice words about my assistance.

We hope we can welcome you back in the future, I am sure we will meet again.

Regards,

Brenda Correa

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Reviewed April 19, 2013

Stayed April 7-13 with my wife. This was our third time visiting this resort which was previously known as the Royal Hideaway Ensenachos. We enjoyed our stay the last two times and we thought we would give the Iberostar a try. Nice to see that the beaches are still beautiful, but unfortunately that does not make a five star resort..
It is still the little things that count, and though individually they aren't much, all together they add up to make for a memorable experience.
Beaches are only enjoyable when you can get relief from the sun under the shade, it only happens here if you are willing to get up at 5:30 am to reserve your spot. Not enough palapas for half the people staying here. Room had issues with water drainage in sink and shower, not kept in good repair.
Got trouble with noisy neighbors, just wait for two hours for hotel staff to respond to it. Need transportation for an a la carte two kilometers from your room? Sorry, not possible. Want bread in the italian restaurant? Too bad. Want a late checkout? Sorry, not possible.
Any improvement from when it was the hideaway? Yes, the buffet food is much better. They serve pizza now in the buffet restaurant....its the one where all the kids are :)
Did I also mention, no more personal concierge service? And , we were fortunate, because we recieved three a la carte meals. Many other guests recieved two, and some guests we spoke to, none. All in all, not a relaxing holiday, everyday having different issues.
Service by the staff in the buffet restaurant...outstanding. Service at the a la carte ... meditterean was good, Italian terrible. The entertainment was somewhat better than before, unfortunately the outstanding piano player is now delegated to the back corner of the bar where she is barely noticed....Many changes...most not for the better.
Would we go back? Sorry...it is not possible....

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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8  Thank Sparx63
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brenda C, General Manager at Iberostar Ensenachos, responded to this reviewResponded April 30, 2013

Dear Sparx63,

On a behalf of the staff and management here at Iberostar Ensenachos we would like to thank you for your review. However, we feel sorry that our hotel was not up to your expectation. We assure you that improvement, in all our services are an ongoing process and our priority is guest satisfaction. Of course that with the change of brand and market new changes were expected because it change from an only adults resort to a family resort and some services we modified them. If you decide to give us another chance, please do not hesitate to contact our guest relation manager.

Wish you all the best

Kind Regards

Brenda Correa

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Reviewed April 19, 2013

My wife & myself stayed at Iberostar ensenachos ( Mar.31st -April 7th 2013). This was our 5th visit since 2009 , so you probably guessed we love the place !!!! I had e-mailed the resort before our trip requesting Bungalow #39 as we liked the location & stayed there on our last 3 visits.Although we didn't get #39 we were given #4107 which was an up & downstairs suite!!!!
Needless to say we were NOT disappointed it was amazing!!!! It's nice that iberostar is continuing the practice of aknowledging returning guests.

Our first 3 visits here were when it was Royal Hideaway & it was definately quieter (adults only) & more exclusive than it is now.
In saying that for us we still love the place as you can suit yourself if you want it quiet ( spa pool , Ensenachos beach ) or more lively (park suites pool , Megano beach).

Unfortunately we witnessed some rude & disrespectful vacationers............but as the saying goes there are some people "that you can't take anywhere !!!!" I often wonder what the staff think to themselves???

On that note THE thing that keeps us coming back are the STAFF, we have never met such caring,happy, proud people as the Cubans . (they are a credit to their country)
We have made so many friends that my wife needs another suitcase !!!!!
On some reviews we have noticed people saying that the staff are just looking for tips !!!! We have not found that to be the case at all. We do tip regularly but that is because we think the service warrants it.
Think for a minute in Canada you are required to tip 15% no questions asked !!! for 1 meal, so 2 or 3 pesos is not a lot to asked for the service you get. Not to mention the beautiful surroundings.

That's my rant for today !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The ONLY negative experience we had was that we were only offered 2 al a carte dinners (for our last 2 nights) as everything else was fully booked. hopefully this can be addressed with the re opening of the asian restaurant in time for our next visit hopefully in November ????

On the topic of food , some reviews were quite negative towards the food choices ? In our opinion the buffet had definately more than enough choices and the A La cartes were very good.
Maybe in some peoples eyes if it's not fast food then is not good food ?

Once again a huge thank you (muchas gracias ) i'm trying to learn the lingo for next time to everyone @ Iberostar Ensenachos especially
Lianet...Steakhouse
Sarahi, Yule,Guerra......swim up bar (i spent some time there !!!)
Livan & Julio..........the pool guys
Alex , Daaker..........lobby bar
Yulexide , Magadel.............buffet.
xx

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Neil W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brenda C, General Manager at Iberostar Ensenachos, responded to this reviewResponded April 29, 2013

Dear Neil W,

First of all we would like to thank you for choosing Iberostar Ensenachos for your so valuable vacations.

Thank you very much for your good comments and reviews about the hotel, staff and services, opinions like yours are very important to keep working every day to exceed the expectations of our customers and achieve ever greater improvement of our staff.

Hoping that you do decide to visit us in theNovemerb pelase let us know and hOpefully by then we will be able to open our Japanese restaurant.

Accept our best regards

Carefully

Brenda Correa

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Reviewed April 19, 2013

Stayed April 4-11 with my friend, and we were upgraded from the Spa Suites to the Villas once we arrived. What a delightful treat! Our Villa was as big as an apartment, had two bathrooms, one with a phone, bidet, large soaker tub and the best walk in shower ever, with lots of water pressure and hot water. There were fluffy white bathrobes, celiing fans, iron and ironing board, a hairdryer and makeup mirror, walk in closet, safe, two entertainment centers ( one in the formal livingroom,and one in the bedroom complete with DVD players). Left of the living room was a large diningroom set.There was a kitchen but we did not need it. Patio doors led out onto a very large private balcony, with a jacuzzi, which was cleaned daily and decorated with lovely flowers by Yuri! There was a patio set and two loungers on the balcony. Off the spacious front deck were many beautiful hedges full of lovely flowers. We were fortunate the first day to see three of the giant iguanas, the male is about 4 feet long and the female about three, and there is a baby who was in our yard twice. The female hangs out by the pool area. Also abounding were butterflies, birds, hummingbirds, pelicans, and many small lizards. None came to visit in our Villa!! Although one bird tried to get in the window a few times, must have liked us a lot! That was after I was whistling to it and must have confused it! The private Colonial Restaurant, lobby and pool area were also beautiful. Hats off to Zulma ( head desk) and especially to Yandry and Marcelli ( butlers), as they were so friendly ,courteous and helpful. Diego and Esteban also, but we did not see as much of them, always off to help someone! The Colonial Restaurant staff were welcoming, gracious and provided a very enjoyable eating experience both inside and by the pool. Yan, the head waiter could teach our Canadian waiters a thing or two about professionalism and manners and he was also very warm and welcoming. ( not that we don`t have some wonderful wait staff in Canada LOL!). Now the food, I did not miss anything really. Supper: there was a pre appetizer, then an appetizer and then your entree with dessert to follow. Lots of choice, and well presented and most delicious. We ate outside for breakfast and lunch and had lots to choose from as well. Mimosas for breakfast and lunch! Or at the swim up bar ( thanks Zeidy!), or whatever you wanted! No crowds, at the pool or the beautiful private beach. We did go to the market by taxi, twice, as it was a good market and walked up the tower to get a bird`s eye view. It is called Pueblo Estrella. We heard two really fine Cuban bands there, and bought their CDs. Alexis is very entertaining at the main entrance and will provide you with a good chuckle. The only small area that could use a bit of improvement is the registration if you have never been there before as it is a bit confusing, but once you are past that, it is pretty clear sailing, at least if you are at the Villas. Would I go back..even with the higher cost... Yes you better believe it, we are planning to already! And to the Villas for sure! Such warm people there and we also met some nice people from Nova Scotia and Ontario. You know who you are! We did not want to leave! Gracias to all of you who work there and try so hard to make our stay enjoyable. It was the best vacation I have ever had!

Room Tip: I think all the Grand Villas are in a good location.
  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with friends
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6  Thank NSwildflower
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brenda C, General Manager at Iberostar Ensenachos, responded to this reviewResponded April 29, 2013

Dear NSwildflower,

On behalf of Iberostar Ensenachos Grand Village, we appreciate your feedback regarding your stay. We are glad to hear you have enjoyed your vacation and we will consider your suggestions in order to improve our service. We will forward your review to Zeidy, Zulma,Yandry, Diego, Marichal and Esteban they will feel proud to read their names and knowing that they helped to make your vacations better. If we can be of any further assistance please contact us. We look forward to welcoming you back soon.

Best Regards,

Brenda Correa

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