Spent a week at the Gaviota the third week of May 2012. It was less than expected, even for a Cuban hotel.
There were three main complaints dealing with food, the ala carte restaurants and the bars. I will expand on this much more below.
The locations is beautiful. This gives the resort promise, if it is managed and maintained better.
The beach is two tier, all of the shade huts are on the top level. Unfortunately you can not easily see the beach from this level. There are a number of shades huts and we never had a problem getting one but it was low season with 250- 300 people in the resort. I suspect that it may be a challenge during the peak season. The resort has plenty of chairs that can be placed on either level of the beach. They are kept on the edge of the top level. They should move these spare chairs to the back of the back of the top level. They currently block the limited view of the ocean. This is something the resort could easily address.
The pools have beautiful sight lines and architecture. The water is warm and clean. There is almost no shade around the pools. The palm trees and other trees have not yet matured. If you love the sun you will be alright. If you need to be in shade, bring your own umbrella otherwise you will fry around the pool
The selection was small every night. We have been to a number of all-inclusive resort in Cuba and Mexico. At these resorts, we have always found multiple foods at the buffets which we had a hard time choosing from. Most nights we had a hard time finding ONE thing that looked appetizing. It speaks volumes when the best choice for dinner is to go to the snack bar for hamburgers and hot dogs. Those who feel that the food is excellent must really be happy because if you enjoyed the buffet at dinner time, you can enjoy it again the next day at the beach buffet because the following days lunch buffet has the main course repeated for lunch.
The food was inconsistent. The scrambled eggs were different each day.
• Day 1 – scrambled eggs were floating in a sea of oil.
• Day 2 – scrambled eggs were pretty good North American style eggs that are nice and fluffy.
• Day 3 – scrambled eggs were floating in a sea of milk. This should not be confused with the European style scrambled eggs that do have more liquid with them.
• Day 4 – scrambled eggs were closer to the European style eggs.
• Day 5 – Eggs are floating in milk again and they obviously were not stirred because there are brown or scalded chunks of eggs in the mix.
• Day 6 – See day 5
This can be applied to the fish at the Beach Buffet, Each fish is done differently. Eating at the Gaviota is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you are going to get..
The Ala carte restaurants were not open during our stay. UNBELIEVABLE!! Our rep told us that there were only 72 people at the resort the week before (our week had ~300 people) so they have theme nights at the buffet where you could have the same food from an ala carte menu. Guess what, many nights at the buffet it was hard to identify the theme and the waiters told us that the we could get the food ourselves from buffet.
We were part of a wedding group that did have a wedding reception dinner in one of the ala carte restaurants. The food was really good. It makes the rest of the meals that more frustrating when you see that it can be done but the consistency or effort or care is just not there.
The front desk is awful. As an example, when asked about the store and restaurant hours at the pueblo (town), we were told yes they were open. When we got there guess what?
I asked for a wake up call one morning, of course no wake up call. I was told that some one did call. ???
The wait staff and the bar staff are really nice and they work hard to make your stay nice.
It would be good if the bars had a menu of drinks that are suggested. People see different coloured drinks flying by them but do not know what to ask for. Also, the bar staff needs to agree on the ingredients for the drinks. I had multiple versions of Kamikazes which might have rum or vodka, might have juice or sprite or both.
Most of the complaints are directed to management. They are the ones responsible for the training and the quality control. Hotel Gaviota could be nice but the quality control is not there.
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