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“its all about the beaches”
Review of Villa Marinera

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Villa Marinera
Ranked #1 of 2 Cayo Largo B&B and Inns
Owen Sound, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“its all about the beaches”
Reviewed January 15, 2014

This was our 13th visit to Cuba the 4th to Cayo Largo and our 1st visit to Villa Marinera. We have travelled to Cuba since 1990, east, west, north and south we are now certain that Cayo Largo is the place for us and Villa Marinera the home away from home.
the Villa is like going to the summer cottage in Ont. many years ago (just missing the old out house and all the sandy house work ) If you want to experience this feeling again go here large accommodation rm. si;ngle beds , larg. bathroom with tub sep. vanity with large clothes closet ample wooden hangers and shelving all enclosed in the bathroom area. Staff is (as always in Cayo Largo ) pleasantly friendly and helpful.
This place is not for the persons who need constant entertaining it is quiet peaceful. The snorkling, scuba divers and fishing enthusiasts have the best places to satisfy their days and the beach worshipers will love it. If you don't want to travel by boat, taxi, bike or shanks pony just walk out your back door and the lounge chairs and sandy beach (not for swimming) are right there . The water way in back of each unit is great for sunbathing , bird watching and observing the crabs go about their daily lives . ( I also saw varied fish in the waters) In the morning sit on the porch and watch the different boats pass by as they get ready for the daily excursions and in the evening see the fab. sun sets and the return of the boats.
The international port and village consist of a bank , med. clinic , pharma. , taverna, floating docks with glass insets store for sundry items . This is also the temp. home to all the staff at the hotels living in dorms. 20 days a month.
We stayed from Dec 16 to 27th and had the pleasure of a Christmas Eve feast provided by the small staff , who out did themselves with turkey, roast pork, various fish dishes , rice, vegs. and fruit.. This was a truly international feast with attendees from Quebec, Ont. , Bulgaria , Italy and Cuba. (some of the people from Ont. were orig. Polish) .
Another plus is the closeness to the air port 5mins. from arrival to beaches.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
11 Thank marilyn d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (17)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Santa Clarita, California
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed October 29, 2013

Travelled in late August to Villa Marinera with a friend. Choose this property based on Tripadvisor ratings.
We were 2 of maybe 6 guests at this resort for starters. There was literally NOTHING to do here. Beach was not safe for swimming as the water was next to a marina. The hotel is right in the town and next to the only disco on the island which blasted music until 4 or 5am every night. The food was sparse, inedible and millions of flies feasted on the meagre offerings throughout the day. If you wanted a drink you had to go into the tiny restaurant off the lobby and the hotel manager was the bartender. The service was not friendly.
I can not think of any guest I would recommend to stay here. Perhaps fine for locals.
On the plus side the island and beaches are gorgeous once you get to them.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
10 Thank holidaze0123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Cayo Largo hotels

Toronto
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
Reviewed April 4, 2013

The cabins are warm and rustic like a Mukoka cottage. All wood paneling walls and floor. There is a small fridge and air conditioning and not much else. No Coffee pot, or hairdryer nor or ironing board.
On a comfort scale of 1 to 10 the beds are about a 4. The water was off 3 out of the 7 days we were there and only cold was available for showering on two occasions. When it came back it was almost black every time and always salty.
The maid was very nice and did a very nice job. I tipped her 5 CUC in the beginning of the week. I can’t for sure say it was the maid but the shampoo we brought was replaced with water.
We were without clean towels for 2 days. The maid said that the man doing the laundry was “no good.”
On the day of our arrival we checked in after 2:00pm. We were hungry and went to the restaurant expecting some lunch. We were advised that lunch was over and that dinner would not be until 7:30pm. There was no food in site?? This is supposed to be an all-inclusive..surely there should be some food available at all times?? We noticed that there was a group of fishermen who were eating pizza..when we asked about that we were told “they ordered that” so we said “Well we haven’t eaten since 9am and would like some lunch.” The waitress returned with 2 slices of pizza saying that “there were 2 slices left.” While we were eating more fishermen arrived and were served more pizza?????
We stayed at ocean view side and it was very nice and quiet. Our back yard was grass then some sand for some quiet sunning and the beach was about 3 (three) feet wide. You cannot swim there because it is a waterway.
The pool is salt water and quite adequate but the liner needed a face lift for the wrinkles. The pool is never busy because people who stay here seem only to come to sleep.
The staff: The manager Lazaro is not a people person. He is gruff and not at all customer friendly. I asked him twice to have our phone repaired this was not done for our entire stay. I also asked him to check a branch that was banging on our roof because it was causing damage and kept us awake during strong winds. This was also never done so I approached one of the workers myself and he was happy to trim the branch.
The young lady at reception was also not customer friendly. She did not seem to know anything much and when questioned she would either call Lazaro or point to the board behind her.
Dayma the waitress is a lovely lady always eager to please. Everyone seemed to like her.
Marcos the other waiter is absolutely rude, lazy and ignorant and times intimidating. If someone asked for a coffee he would simply point to the big urn which usually contained old coffee. The brave ones would have to insist that he use the professional espresso machine that was available. When I insisted he rudely mimicked me. We had words and I got my fresh coffee. But it should not have been necessary. Just about everyone had a complaint about Marcos. Two of the younger ladies complained that Marcos, “came on” to them.

The Buffet: There were three hot plates with usually a choice of two main dishes only: Chicken, tough beef, pork or fish. Then usually rice and/or potatoes as a side. The following day the leftovers were turned into a stew. The food was not bad tasting for the most part but it was hardly a buffet.
It was the general consensus of those familiar with this property and eventually ours, that you come here because it’s the most inexpensive on Cayo Largo but you spend most of your time on the sister property at Playa Blanca at the other end of the island. Or on Playa Serena or Playa Paraiso nearby.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
18 Thank PinoToronto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed March 29, 2013

Well, I really needed to take a break. I was so soo exhausted from the winter. I found this amazing 4 night deal to Cayo Largo, Cuba and while I usually don't like all inclusives, I felt like $400 was a really amazing price for some much needed sunshine. Anyway, before I booked, I read that this hotel was in the one village where the Cubans live who work on the island (no permanent resident Cubans on this island, just the turtles and the iguanas whose habitats they respect). The hotel was also near the one discotheque on the whole island. Good news for me and, yet, you couldn't even hear the noise from the cottages. The rooms were great. With only about 30 people at the hotel with a 44 capacity, we sort of became like a little tribe. Full access to Playa Blanca. That worked great for me during the day and I was happy to have a small place to call home afterward. I don't like those big hotels with all those people all the time. Sure, the bar at Villa Marinera closes at 10pm, but with $1 beers at the bar and disco next door and bus loads of beautiful people coming in, who's complaining?

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled solo
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Helpful?
20 Thank Kmannn155032
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal,Canada
Level 4 Contributor
24 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
Reviewed March 28, 2013

Resort:
Highly recommended for anyone seeking a alternative to the larger resorts.
5 min from the airport but airplane traffic is minimal and not a disturbance.
Marina/Bank/souvenir/convenience store right outside the resort.
Affiliated with Playa Blanca where you are welcome to feed/use facilities any time.
Pool was great to relax.
You cannot swim there (beach only) however free transport is avail several times daily Between Playa Blanca and different beaches. You can also hire a taxi for 1-2$CUC per person, rent a scooter or Jeep, grab a free bike from Playa blanca, etc. Note that the walk is about 3.5h on the beach from playa blanca to Sirena.
Clothing optional beaches mostly near Playa Blanca + Snorkelling is particularly great near sirena/paraiso.

Tip: Ask for a sandwich when leaving for the day to avoid paying 20$CUC for average buffet @Sirena!

Food:
If you're in Cayo Largo searching for a gourmet experience I would suggest you consider another Island.
Food is a bit repetitive but not bad in general.
Tip: Eat early else the food just sits there till you et to it(7AM,12PM,7PM)
Bar service consists of weak (basic only) cocktails, canned beer and acceptable wine.
Tired of the buffets? marina next door has pizza for 2$. icy beer is 1-2$ everywhere outside of the resort.

Cabanas:
Our cabana (#107,) had sulfury yet hot water, bath and shower, fridge and aircon worked great.
TV distorted, safe looked broke, but not a problem.
Bottled water and toiletteries daily, Italian plugs outlets and 1 Canadian (no ground) outlet.
A few ants here/there, mosquitoes outside at dusk only, room was cleaned every day and we felt safe at all times.

Tip: Bring Ear plugs unless your idea of a relaxing vacation includes neighbour snoring, and bovine viagr-*cough* noises. For this reason I strongly encourage you NOT to pay extra for the sea view (older, not soundproof) cottages. The staff will accommodate a room change when possible and we were told newer builds are well soundproofed.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
13 Thank stsav
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal, Qc, Canada
Level 5 Contributor
53 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
Reviewed March 15, 2013

For a lowly 3 star hotel, I was more than pleasantly surprised. Located right next to the marina in Cayo Largo, the complex consists of 10 bungalows housing two units each. Super clean, with shower only, balcony front and back, bottled water supplied, fridge in room, sun chair outside, pool, bar, restaurant with two choices lunch and dinner, the rest, standard Cuban fare. The staff is more than helpful and pleasant to deal with, from the office manager to the gardener. There is no beach but getting to one is easy; a one minute walk to the boat will take you across the lagoon and back three times daily, free of charge. Villa Marinera is an offshout of Playa Blanca and daily transportation is offered for use of their facilities. It is a quiet place, no night time activities. Would I go back? Definitely. Would I recommend it to my friends? Not sure but I would most definitely go back; it's the kind of place I like, laid back and quiet..

Room Tip: If you must see the ocean, ask for a bungalow on the canal. Watch the boats go in and out but you c...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
10 Thank Marefrequentguest
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal, Canada
Level 6 Contributor
25 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
Reviewed March 12, 2013

Another positive review: this is a very nice, basic little resort.

Food ranged from some of the best I've ever had in Cuba (roast suckling pig; a big, beautiful red snapper) to poor (roast beef so badly overcooked it was ready for the shoe factory... such a shame, knowing what a luxury this is in Cuba). As in other hotels I've visited, the kitchen is at its best cooking Cuban dishes, and the bright side is that's mostly what they serve.

Breakfast is basic but good and filling, and actually equal or better to the minimalist breakfast buffets you'll find in two-star American hotels (think Comfort Inn). Poor fruit selection, however, and all of it pre-cut.

As far as I know, the best food option is the beachside Ranchon at the Playa Blanca hotel (included for Marinera guests). This is very convenient: take the bus, taxi or mini-train out to the beach at the Playa Blanca hotel after breakfast, have lunch at the Ranchon, head back on an afternoon bus/taxi/train.

Of course, it is still Cuba so glitches are to be expected. There is or was at least one room with malfunctioning hot water. I won't name it because it may have been fixed already, but in any case don't hesitate to ask for a new room if necessary, because if there is space, you will get it. The new cabins all have two rooms side-by-side, but soundproofing seems very good. Didn't even know I had neighbours until I saw them out on their porch.

The pool area is nice and relaxing. The nearby airport shouldn't be a concern, as there are relatively few flights. Some nights you may be kept up by thumping music from the village square just beside the hotel.

Bar service is pretty minimal, so don't get your hopes up for elaborate cocktails. The advertised clubhouse bar exists, but I never saw it open... all drink service was handled through the dining room.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
12 Thank AGoldfish
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Villa Marinera

Property: Villa Marinera
Address: La Marina, Cayo Largo 27900, Cuba
Location: Caribbean > Cuba > Cayo Largo
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 B&Bs / Inns in Cayo Largo
Number of rooms: 7

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