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Iberostar Ensenachos
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Reviewed September 25, 2013

Overall I had a great experience.

This was my first visit since it went under Iberostar management. I visited Cayo Ensenachos in 2010 when Royal Hideaway Occidental was in charge of running it. This time, I was travelling solo and stayed from Sept. 14 to 21 in the Grand Village section, Villa 6602.

The Villa was perfect. The King-size bed was comfortable, AC units (2) worked perfectly. It was thoroughly cleaned every morning, always leaving cute towel art with flowers, fridge filled up daily with what would be missing. Balcony was large, lovely partial ocean view. The Jacuzzi was in good shape, worked great and was cleaned every morning.

The staff was exactly as I remembered; warm, kind, eager to please, friendly, always happy and in a good mood. I believe 100% that they do their absolute best with what they have from the management. Workers have no control over how much they invest in the property, whether it be in the number of workers, maintenance, decorations, food and drinks. The workers of this resort are truly its main strength and attraction!! Excellente!! Giliermy and all the servers at the Colonial restaurant were all such sweethearts with me, always smiling and making me feel welcome. Manual and all the gardeners working so hard keeping the landscape absolutely beautiful!! Coqui, Marshall, Diego, Jordan, Marco, always ready to help and drive me anywhere, anytime, day or night. Dennys at the Megano beach restaurant, Katia at customer service, everybody at the front desk of the Villas and main Lobby, always helpful, polite, smiling. Alberto who worked at the Spa section pool. All the bartenders everywhere, villa beach bar, lobby bar, megano beach bar, always smiling and a pleasure to discuss with them. They were all amazing. I did not have ONE bad interaction with any of them. They were great!!

If you ever encounter a problem during your vacation, please relax and take a chill pill if you feel like acting up with them just explain calmly your issue or else, just take your problem with management.

I have to admit that the food served at the colonial Restaurant reconciled me with Cuba. It showed me that great food can be served in Cuban resorts!!

The beaches as last time were sensational. The pool at the Spa section was great, clean, great service from the bartenders, music, no kids, perfect!!

I gave this vacation a rating of 4 instead of the 5 I gave for my previous one because of managerial decisions only. Only one concierge to help with all the villas guest? So few carts and drivers for transportation sometimes made for very long waits… Food quality, quantity and variety at the buffet? I feel it should have been much better. Poor state of tiles at the villa section pool?? It was a shame to see that. Guests could get serious cuts or get hurt if they don’t pay attention.

Any question, please feel free to ask.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled solo
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4  Thank staben
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 September 28, 2013

Dear Staben,

Thank you very much for this nice review. I will pass your words to all my staff. As per your review let me inform you that the tiles foor the Grand Village pool willbe fixed before the end of the year, aslo we are waiting soem golf carts that supposed to arrive this year. We are glad that you had a good time and let me tell you that whenever you decide to visit us again please do not hesitate to contact us

Cordially,

Brenda Correa

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 22, 2013

Before I get into why I rated this resort so low I want to say that the staff are amazing! General service staff are over willing to please. I also wanted to say that the Ensenachos beach is so beautiful. These are the only reasons I would consider coming back here.

I would also recommend the Villa area as this seems to be the are that is maintained and cared for. In saying that the Villa area is Adults only and is very quite so if that is what your looking for go for it. If you are still looking at the Spa or Family areas only book at a really good price.

This resorts needs work. Beautiful property but not well maintained in the Spa and Family areas. Needs MUCH TLC! In it's day I could see that this resort was awesome but they have let it go. I really felt sorry for it.

The front Lobby: The chairs and sofa's are very dirty, stains all over the fabric. The bellman are missing often and waiting for a ride around the resort is a struggle as they have limited golf carts and the ones they have are falling apart and often run out of charge. You can see the bellman themselves are very frustrated with this.

The Front Desk: Some staff can be curt and rude but Taimmi is wonderful!

Food: Buffets: Basic not anything special. They could be allot more creative with what they have to work with. Not much change from day to day. A la carts: Better option to Buffet but are limited to availability. When we arrived they only had one night available. We had to keep inquiring for openings. Room service takes forever and the portion sizes are something to laugh at. One night we ordered a pizza (which we were told was plate size), we also ordered two creme carmel desserts. The pizza was no bigger then the inner circle of the plate. The dessert where no bigger then the circumference of a silver dollar! We waiting an hour for that!

Rooms: Rooms are musty smelling, Our air conditioner was leaking all over our floor. Red ants in sink often.

Pools: The Spa pool is lovely but the cushions are musty and full of mold and general filth. The pool boy will spread your towel over it so you do not have to sit directly on it but it's really gross.
The family pool has tiles lifting in the pool and missing so to warn you they have floating boys in the water marking the areas to avoid. The lounge chairs in this are are dirty also but they do not need cushions. I wish they would take a scrub brush and soap and water to them thats all they would need.

General Property: Lights that run along pathways are often broke or missing pieces and when it rains most do not work at all. Room markers at night are not well lit. Safety issue all round ! Ponds and Water fountains are not cared for, ponds full of gunk and debris, Water fountains often not working. The gardeners work hard at the landscape so this part was very appealing.

Jazz Bar (used to be the Disco) Mold and leaking ceiling, water puddles all over the floor.

Auditorium: (Theatre Seating) Many seats are missing and broken. Imagine going to watch a show and having difficulty trying to find 4 seats because seats are missing or broke. Yah that was our experience.

Bathrooms: Toiletpaper dispensers in most of the stalls did not stay shut so they would intrude into the space you have to sit on the toilet. The soap dispenser pumps do not work, a staff member showed me that I had to remove the lid of the dispenser, dip my hands in to the soap well where the soap sits in order to get the soap to wash my hands. yuk! everyone is dipping their bum wiping hands into the soap. Gross!

I do not fault the resort or its staff for issues at this resort I fault the Iberostar corporation for not investing into the maintenance and repairs of their property. i have stayed at an Iberostar resort in the past and we did not have any of these issues. Something just is not right here. I feel advertising this resort as a 5 star is not right. False advertising. This is the third 5 star resort that I have stayed in Santa Clara. The ones previous were well maintained and cared for. I feel my feedback is honest and accurate.

Room Tip: They have rooms in the Family area that are two stories and are ocean view.
  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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9  Thank Keesta67
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 September 28, 2013

Dear Keesta67,

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. We wil pass your comment to Taimi she will be glad to know that her service was remarkable. Just as general information IBEROSTAR it is under management at this property therefore some of the maintenence things have been reported to the owner in order to be fixed or invest if its neccesary. 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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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 21, 2013

Going back to this resort feels like home.
My wife and I visited this hotel for the 3rd time in December 2012 with friends (a group of 6 total), and like always, it was a pleasure coming back to this resort!
For 3 years, we've been visiting this place during the New Years for 2 weeks.
We wish we can stay there longer but...

The New Years Eve Party is always more lively and energetic. But this year we were a bit disappointed because they didn't have any fireworks (which every year there are) The management also cut the celebration very short at the resort: There was a live band playing which stopped quickly after the countdown (which they always played for Much longer) and told us to follow the party at the Pueblo... Not many people followed because we all wanted to stay at the resort, and they just cut the party vibe dry.

The staff are always polite and friendly. From the front desk, the pool, the beach, and the restaurants/bars, they are the nicest and most welcoming people we've met. They take care of you like their own.

Food is very delicious on NYE! Every other night, the food is okay. Don't expect that you are in Maxime's Restaurant in Paris (hahaha) You can always find something to eat!
Don't forget, we don't go there to fill up our belly... we go there for the beach, the experience, and the magic of Cuba!

We've already booked our flight to this resort for 2 weeks at the end of December, our 4th time. Very excited, can't wait to be there!

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank Gerry6712
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 September 28, 2013

Dear Gerry6712,

On behalf of the staff I want to thank you for giving us your comments about your experience at Iberostar Ensenachos. We are pleased to have given to you a great holiday and encourage us to keep improving our services. However let me explain you that the hotel did not took the fireworks per new years eve was the Cuban Goverment as they want to have them only in Remedios town as are the anual parties there and wan t o push to the max in order to try to move most of the guets of the Cayo over there, sorry but it is out of our hands and we have to follow the rules that they give us. We hope to offer you again our hospitality whenever you decide.

Cordially,

Brenda Correa

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 19, 2013

We spent two weeks at the IB Ensenachos in Aug 2013 with our 3 children, we had a lovely holiday! The resort and it's surroundings are beautiful but there are a few things the hotel needs to work on to make this a 5 star resort.

Room
I had e-mailed the hotel prior to arrival and requested inter-connecting rooms, they advised they would do what they could to accommodate our request but it was subject to availability. They were able to give us inter-connecting rooms on arrival so we were very pleased. The rooms were big and spacious with everything we needed. We were in block 36 so very central for the pool and a short walk from the main lobby & buffet restaurant. They were cleaned everyday and the maids left towel art for the children and pictures for them which they loved. They could do with a bit of a refurb i.e new curtains, walls and doors need painting but overall the rooms were great.

Pool
The main pool was great, huge size and pretty shallow all the way round so great for the kids. The waterpark area was fantastic too! Just next to the main pool so you can leave your things on the loungers and walk round to the waterpark area. Always lots of loungers available no matter what time of the day. The swim up bar was great, fantastic staff! One thing we missed is the choice of cocktails available, there was no fresh fruit at any of the bars so choice was very limited. We took fruit from the restauarant at breakfast and the staff at the swim up bar were more than happy to make the cocktail of our choice with it so they were very accommodating.

Beach
The beaches in Cuba are the best we have ever seen! Absolutley stunning and Ensenachos didn't disappoint! The Megano beach was nice but not very wide and the water was quite cloudy, bonus of this beach is that it has a beach bar and restaurant so you can spend the whole day there and don't have to go far for drinks & food. One thing to point out though, the hotel info booklet states you can get breakfast at the Megano beach bar up until 11.30am however we found this to be wrong. We went one morning when we overslept and they said they only open for lunch. We did eat their at lunch time and the food was delicious. The best beach by far is Ensenachos, white sand, crystal clear water and very quiet - we loved it! It is very shallow quite far out so perfect for the kids, they loved watching all the fish that swim around you and we even found a star fish. This beach was always very quiet and after 1pm in the afternoon, most people had gone so we had the beach to ourselves. This was probably beacuse there is no food available at this beach, just a drinks bar. It would have been great if there was food available here as we would have stayed all day but instead had to go back to the pool area to get lunch. This beach is quite a walk from the rooms so if you have little ones, it is advised to get the littel trolley cars to take you fro the lobby, we never had to wait long for one to take us or bring us back (staff at the beach bar will radio one for you to come back).

Food
The food at the hotel was nice but not 5 star that we have previsouly experienced. The buffet restaurant was nice but the same foods were on each day so it became a bit boring. Every day there was pizza, pasta, grilled meats and fish, salad bar, soup etc. Some other options they put on were only ever available once or twice out of our two week stay for example the rice stir fry - this was fantasic so should have been available every night really. We found quite often that the fresh meat and fish options ran out within the first 30mins of the buffet opening, especially prawns and steak. Surely there should be more than one tray of these available?? Again with the fruit options, some days you couldn't get mangoes or bananas yet they grow on the trees outside, how did they run out of these! This is something that needs looking at. We were very disappointed with the A la Carte restaurants here! If you are travelling with children, you are very limited to the restaurants you are allowed in on this resort.The Japanese was closed (we should have been informed about this before we booked or at least at check in but no-one told us), the food in the Italian was very average so we didn't enjoy our meal there (no music on so lacked in atmosphere), we ate at the seafood restaurant which was lovely but we have had better surf & turf elsewhere! The other option available to us was the International but one of the waiters advised this wasn't a good option with little children as it was very hot and lots of bugs due to it being open outside and the menu looked very plain so we didn't go.The Steak house and Gourmet were adult only. Our previous experience of 5 star all inclusive holidays is a wider range of restaurants and better menu choices.

Staff
The staff at the resort were lovely! Restaurant staff, bar staff, entertainers, gardeners, maids, bellboys etc are all so polite and helpful, they all chatted and said hello which made us feel very welcome. They especially took a shine to the kids, always stopping to say hello. The only staff who weren't very polite or helpful were the reception staff, we found them to be quite abrupt and rude when calling to enquire about things.

Trips
We didn't end up taking any trips due to the travel time to get to most of them. If you are a UK traveller with Thoms Cook and want to do the Dolphin trip they offer, note that it is a 3 hour drive there and the same back! Too long a journey in heat with three kids for us. We were going to do the Thomas Cook catamaran trip but were advised by other holiday makers it may be a struggle with little ones even though they can swim as the current in places were quite strong. We were told there were hobbycats and pedalos you could use on the Megano and Ensenachos beach, go to the Nautical Point on the hotel map and you can get them from there for a small tip.

So to conclude, this resport is lovely but in need of an upgrade and a few changes to make it 5 star but for now we would say a low level 4 star.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
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4  Thank MrsB4891
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 September 28, 2013

Dear MrsB4891, .

All the staff and Management team at Iberostar Ensenachos wants to thank you for sharing your comments and experience with us and other readers. We are glad to know that you were able to enjoy our services, specially the staff and the beach. As per the room request we always try to fulfilled according the availability on your arrival date, the fruits we always try to have what it is on the market available. The japanese restaurant since IBEROSTAR took the hotel we are under renovations and the tour operators knows that information.
We hope we can welcome you back again some day.

Best regards,

Brenda Correa

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 15, 2013

I went with my husband and two daughters aged 3 and 1. The rooms were a bit outdated but as I read the reviews before booking, I wasn't too surprised.

The food was okay and there was something for everyone. In hindsight, I wish I'd brought some spices/ jam to enhance the flavour of the food.

The beach was absolutely beautiful. We enjoyed our time there very much but as we were about a 10 min walk from the beach, it was either quite a hike with little ones. I strongly recommend calling for a cart if you have small people with you!

The pool was okay but a plank in the bridge was missing and some of the tiles needed repair.

Service was generally excellent. People were very friendly. Tips were also greatly appreciated.

I would definitely return.

  • Stayed: September 2013
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3  Thank Susc1977
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 September 28, 2013

Dear Susc1977,

Thank you so much for taking part of your time and write us about your recent stay at Iberostar Ensenachos, we appreciate all your comments, we love that you have been a wonderful stay here among us, we work hard in order to all our guests feel themselves like home. We hope to have you again among us in the future and offer you even a better service.

Regards,

Brenda Correa

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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