My wife and I traveled with another couple to the Melia Cayo Guillermo March 15, 2013. I had read extensively of the pros and cons of Cuba in general, and this resort in particular. Much of what I read I found true; much of the criticism levied against the Melia was written by travelers who forget where they are, and how the Cuban people are making do in a fairly intolerable state of affairs.
The beds ARE hard, but at least the mattresses are not on the concrete slabs they were on in Cozumel. We asked for an extra extra-long pillow for my wife's sake, and this assisted her enormously.
No toilet paper in our room first night; we were prepared. We upgraded for the duration, and never had less than 3 rolls after that. The food was pretty good, except for one meal where the fish served at the Beach Grill was way undercooked. I found my chicken tasted just like chicken (!) back home. A fair criticism for the buffet: get the heating rods under the food bins working, and the food will stay much warmer. No problem with variety. If anyone goes hungry here THEY have the problem, I think, not this hotel.
Drinks were great; wine was fair, but we found we could by a bottle of Frontera Cabernet for just 5 pesos! ( for those special meals).
The beach is as everyone says: fabulous.
Good snorkeling around the pier, especially in the mornings. Clouds of fish underneath the end of the boardwalk, and (my highlight) a four foot long barracuda that patrols regularly. I once got to within ten feet before he ( I think it was a he - I didn't get THAT close!) swam slowly off. Amazing.
The staff are the best: Anna Isa at the pool bar works so hard, and remembers just how you like 'em; Neyalis was our waitress most of the week at the buffet and the Italian-what a sweetheart, and so open to us, always with a smile and gentle demeanor. Fernando, Luis and Edel were other waiters who, by and large, did a great job in keeping things running in the buffet.
More lounging chairs por favor! Every review mentions this; maybe they're on back order. All it would take would be twenty or so around the pool and everyone would be happier.
A family resort, most of the clientele are older Canadians, Brits with a sprinkling of other European and South American folk. ( I even met an American!!!!) By the end of the week, many of us were practically family. People actually smiled and knew us by name, greeting us as we wandered to and fro. You don't get this at the mega resorts. With only 300 or so rooms, it's for this reason that, given my druthers, I would choose to come back here than any other place in the Caribbean I have yet visited.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Meliá Cayo Guillermo is located one of the most beautiful and white-sandy beaches with more than 1300 palm trees, and swept by very transparent waters. The area was an inspiration for Ernest Hemingway, and fishing the great blue river, always on his Pilar Yacht, he created part of his work. The hotel is perfect for couples and families but also for diving, fishing. We also organize the wedding of your dreams in this paradise. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Melia Cayo Guillermo Hotel Cayo Guillermo
- Cayo Guillermo Melia