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“Great staff, poor food (even for Cuba)”
Review of Sol Cayo Largo

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Sol Cayo Largo
Ranked #3 of 6 Hotels in Cayo Largo
Reviewed February 9, 2014

Just returned from our 15th trip to Cuba, and 11th stay at this resort. Since last year we noticed many improvements, specifically a new pool liner, some painting, updating of some units, servicing of the air conditioning, and general ground maint. and walkway repairs. The murals that were in the lobby are gone, with rather stark white painted walls and roof, and new more modern furnishings that are already looking tired after only a few months.
Our room was spotless, with fixtures that worked well, and plenty of hot water and water pressure. Even the bed was quite comfortable, with plenty of pillows. We must mention our maid, Annabel, who was exceptional, leaving towel and flower decorations almost every day.
During our first week, the ocean was calm, and the beach back to its full width, however the second week was quite windy, with red flags, and a diminishing beach. Luckily the pools were in excellent shape, and very clean.
Now to the food... before this trip, I have never had a bad food experience at this resort, however this time, Montezuma caught up to me with a vengence, keeping me close to my room for several days. Overall the quality was inconsistent at best. Some days excellent, but most mediocre to inedible. NO greens, lettuce, or cabbage at all. Most others steamed to mush, with no flavor or texture left in them. Minimal fresh fruits, but some canned peaches. Limited juices, no orange juice most mornings. Deserts mostly cakes, all tasting the same, although there were wonderful meringues on two evenings, and some rice pudding and jello. Lack of produce on the Island is certainly a major problem, but when it was available it was very poorly prepared. Even worse, most of the "hot" foods were cool to cold, and the "cool" foods, such as salads, were kept at a warm room temperature. Pork was generally well prepared, but the same could not be said for the beef wellington, or turkey, which both varied from pretty good to inedible. The one exception to the poor food we the bar-b-q, thank you Hanoi, great hamburgers, chicken, pork, hot-dogs etc for lunch every day. I almost lived on them.
Overall impression, the resort is trying very hard to improve, but needs to drastically improve the food service, especially at the buffet. For the price, this is definitely not a 4* and probably would have to stretch to even reach a 3+*
Will we return? for the first time in 10 years I really don't know. A lot will depend on reviews later this year.

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank David M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HGeneralManager, General Manager at Sol Cayo Largo, responded to this reviewResponded February 18, 2014

Dear Client:
Thank you for letting us know your impressions about your recently stay in Sol Cayo Largo.
Your opinion it has been valuable because you gave us important elements in order to achieve a better service and client’s satisfaction. Honestly we really sorry the perceptions you had in our resort about the quality and variety of meals, ensure we are managing the solutions and we give you our apologies.
It would be a pleasure to welcome you back if you decide to return to Sol Cayo Largo hotel.

Fernando Martin
General Manager
Hotel Sol Cayo Largo

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed February 9, 2014 via mobile

Chose sol cayo largo for the beaches and solitude. Something that is hard to find at resorts in the carribean these days

Emailed the resort ahead of arrival and asked for our room to be in the 3600 to 3900 block of superior suites.

In Toronto did an upgrade to air transat club seats at airport. ( seem no one had booked any. .found out later the airline wouldn't offer them to be booked ahead of time???)

Arrived on Jan 24 and when we were given room 3722. In the block of rooms we had requested.

Luggage was brought to our room. Room was nice. Ac worked, fan not so much. Beer in fridge with water and pop.

We went for the beach so the first day that's where we headed. Took long walk past the nudie section out to the point . Found a good spot and enjoyed the dun and surf for the day.

Dinner was ok at buffet. We know cuba is not going to be 5 star so expected as much. Cats around at dinner ... we have cats and dogs at home so not a big deal. They beg but if you ignore them G hey move on to another table.

We brought a homemade cabana tent that we tried out the next day. We put it in our duffle bag and had our bubba mugs filled with ice vodka and lemon juice. Then headed to our spot on the beach point. And that's where we stayed for nearly every day. Privacy, shade ( when we wanted some) cold drinks, and the ocean to ourselves. We got a few stares for our tent setup by walker bys . I think they were impressed...lol.

Took a cab to sirenes beach one day and walked the beach back ..beautiful. .

Enjoyed a sunset cruise another night that jncluded snorkeling visit to iguana island and lobster dinner.

Maid service was great. We gave her gifts every couple of days Nylons, clothes and a peso or two each day. Our room w as spotless with towel designs everyday.

We will be back again but next time:

- won't each burgers at snack bar
- will try to book excursions on our own. We think they might be cheaper.
- won't bother with El la carte restaurants.
- won't bring dress clothes. .only need shorts, shirt, and bathing suit ( don't need that either lol)

Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
6  Thank Scott H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HGeneralManager, General Manager at Sol Cayo Largo, responded to this reviewResponded February 18, 2014

Dear Sr Scott:
We are really glad about your good comments regarding your vacations in Cayo Largo.
We would like to see you back in the future in our Sol Cayo Largo hotel.
Best regards
Fernando Martin
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 6, 2014

We are a young couple from Canada. This was our 4th trip to Cuba and the most expensive hotel we ever have been to, so we expected something really amazing and were quite disappointed, especially at the very beginning. The check-in was awful! Receptionist named Kirenia was rude to us, she behaved as if she owns the hotel. Yes, we are young and not regulars, but still she could do an effort! She flatly refused to give us a room in the section we wanted (not on the outskirts of the resort) under the pretext that everything is occupied. Not true, as we arrived by taxi before a plane load of other people waiting for the bus at the airport! Also, she doesn't speak English at all, or at least she said so. The next day she didn't know what the evening activity is, and again talked to us unfriendly.

The second negative impression was a lack of activities. It is not only my opinion, but some other younger people I met at the resort told me the same thing. Yes, dance show in the evening is excellent, but during the day there are not much things to do. More accurately, a lot of activities are listed, but they are not well organized, and the daytime animation team (by the way very numerous) lacks of youth and dynamism. I have been to another Sol hotel (at Holguin) before, and it was so much better! Also, it seems that animators apply all their energy to invite you out of the hotel, to Marina, where they organize White party, Cuban party, etc. Sure enough, to go over there you have to pay taxi and drinks aren't included. This is all-inclusive hotel, in theory animation is included as well, so I don't understand or approve this strategy!

Well, now about a better part of our stay. The room and food were quite nice. I didn't try hamburgers, but grilled chicken and pork at BBQ were excellent! And the man working at the grill was so friendly and talkative that we loved going to lunch. Another nice person we liked a lot was Juliet from the reception, we always waited for her shift to go ask any questions we had.
Lobby bar's barmen are doing great job, they work fast and most drinks are excellent, except for a pina colada which is more a slush than a real thing.

It is true that hotel grounds are very well kept, they can easily belong to a 5 star hotel. Swimming pool is very clean and filled with salt water. The lobby is modern, with comfortable furniture. The beach is huge and there are enough palapas for everybody. However, Sirena and Paraiso beaches are better choice, as they are truly exceptional. When there is no wind, you can make amazing photos, similar to those from advertising campaigns.

For excursions I advise to visit a tourist information center at the Marina, there you can buy a 1 peso ticket to see turtle farm which is right next to this office, and also you can get a useful info on other excursions for a much better price than from travel agencies representatives at the hotel.

Room Tip: If you like to be in the middle of everything, chose blocks 7, 8, 14, 15. They are between a pool an...
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  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Elina B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HGeneralManager, Director General at Sol Cayo Largo, responded to this reviewResponded February 15, 2014

Dear Elina:

We really appreciate your comments on the hotel.
We are glad to know that you enjoyed our gardens, the grill and part of our staff.
Your negative experiences are also important to us since they help us to improve our services and ourselves.
We hope we can have the chance to have you here again in order to make things better and make your stay as amazing as you expected and deserved.

Best regards,
Fernando Martin
General Manager
Hotel Sol Cayo Largo

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 29, 2014

This was my 4th annual trip to the SCL. The staff seemed unaware that I am a regular. The water was too rough for snorkel fun, but you can't blame the hotel on that. However, on the 3rd day I came down with Montezuma's revenge. Now normally I'd roll with the punches and eat lots of rice to rush the toxins through my system. But some bright spark in the buffet kitchens (both of them!) decided that for the month of January, all rice was to be undercooked and more than a little al dente. Even the night they had rice pudding for the dessert, the rice was undercooked. I spoke to the waitress about this, but nothing was done for the last 4 days of my vacation. And then I found out that that there was a new prohibition on tour boats going to Cayo Iguana. I don't miss the iguanas, as there are wild lizards of various sizes running wild on Cayo Largo, but Cayo Iguana is the only place you can see a Demarest's Hutia in the wild. The bar was, predictably, out of tonic water. My suite, 2314, seemed to have less hot water and less pressure than units I occupied in recent years.

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with friends
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4  Thank studentjohn36
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HGeneralManager, General Manager at Sol Cayo Largo, responded to this reviewResponded January 30, 2014

Dear Ms John;
Thank you for letting us know your impressions about your recently stay in Sol Cayo Largo. Your opinion it has been valuable because you gave us important elements in order to achieve a better service and client’s satisfaction.Our apologize for the situation with hydraulic supply and yours perceptions about food.
It would be a pleasure to welcome you back if you decide to return to Sol Cayo Largo hotel.

Best Regards
Fernando Martin
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 27, 2014

Enjoyed a nice family trip to this resort. The beach and staff were amazing (Salvaj). Some of our rooms got flooded during an overnight thunderstorm which was a nasty surprise but it wasn't bad. The food was great - loved the pasta stations and friendly wait staff. We were there for my parent's 25th wedding anniversary and they helped us make it extra special. The front desk was such a help! We also went to Paraiso beach a couple times and took a snorkel cruise - both were great! This place isn't a 5 star but we enjoyed it a lot. I would not recommend it for older people as the steps down to the beach aren't the safest.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank Joy111
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HGeneralManager, General Manager at Sol Cayo Largo, responded to this reviewResponded January 28, 2014

Estimated:
Thank you for letting us know your impressions about your recently stay in Sol Cayo Largo. Your opinion it has been valuable because you gave us important elements in order to achieve a better service and client’s satisfaction,our apoligize for inconvenience in room be sure we are managing solutions.
It will be a great pleasure to receive you once again and that you can enjoy the attractions of the Place.

Best Regards
Fernando Martin
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 25, 2014

This was our second trip to SCL in two years. Last year was our first trip to Cuba, and having looked at all the other options we new we couldn't go wrong in returning. We did two weeks from Jan 9th to 23rd. Trip booked through ACV which was excellent in itself.

We noticed several improvements over last year, which we never had any complaints about in the first place.

The food has improved, with more options for fruit and veggies. The meat as usual is excellent. I think I noticed more pasta dishes as well on the menu. Just more options overall really.

The resort itself has been spruced up a little, with the first obvious difference the lobby. It looks more modern now.

The beach is fantastic, and they do a really good job cleaning up the beach prior to the guests heading down in the morning. It isn't obvious until you wander over to the other resorts and see all the seaweed and crap everywhere. We also noticed how much more crowded the other resort beaches appeared to be compared to the SCL. I have to hand it to Junior down at the beach. He was really quick to notice everyone looking for chairs, ensuring he got everyone seated. He even fixed any broken chairs on the spot and brushed all the sand off to make sure that you were comfortable.

Our primary concern on vacation is the beach and the snorkeling. Everything else comes secondary. Obviously the beach at the resort is fantastic. But even the snorkeling if amazing right off the hotel. There is plenty to see all within a quick 5 minute swim. I even found some new spots I wasn't even aware of from last year.

We did book the "snorkeling special" excursion which left from Sirenas on a small boat out to the coral reef. However after my exploring at the hotel beach I would say you almost won't see anything on the snorkeling excursion you won't find right off the hotel. Save your money!

Prior to our leaving I had emailed the resort requesting the same room block or area as last year. I did not receive a response unfortunately but I wasn't terribly disappointed. However I was pleasantly surprised to receive the room next to our last room when we got our room keys. Either it was a fantastic coincidence or they did indeed receive my request! We had 3723 this year. Which is an excellent location on the south west corner of the resort. Nice and close to the beach and further from the entertainment for a bit of quiet at night.

The room itself was great. The bed isn't anything spectacular, but neither myself or my girlfriend had any complaints. The A/C worked great during the hotter first week. We did not receive a hammock but after writing a nice request to our maid she produced one that afternoon. Unfortunately I forget her name, but the was fantastic!!! Always a great job cleaning the room, and she ensured we had a new towel animal each day!

We did not try the pool out (that's what the beach is for!!) but did notice that they had done some nice upgrades this past off season. It was in great shape and well maintained.

The grounds were immaculate, and each day you could see everyone cleaning and trimming all the plants.

I really have no negatives from this trip. In fact we've already been discussing a return again next January.

Room Tip: Room block 37 has served us well. Nice and close to the beach!
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  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Chris S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HGeneralManager, General Manager at Sol Cayo Largo, responded to this reviewResponded January 28, 2014

Dear Guest, thank you very much for your comments about excellent trip to Cayo Largo as you kindly say.We are pleased for reach your expectations in two trips and it is also good to know that you've already been discussing a return again next January.

Best Regards
Fernando Martin
General Manager

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Reviewed January 22, 2014

Our 12 th. time at the Sol Hotel in Cayo Largo.
We stayed for 2 weeks

We would like to say Hi to a couple of friends, Ibelises is leaving Cayo Largo and will be greatly missed but we will see her in Havana, we wish you all the best in your new venture we love you.
Hi ti Ivo thanks for being such a good friend, we will see you agin next year, Noel, Coffy, Omar, Edwardo, Nester, Angel, Neisy, George. The bar tenders at the lobby bar and the staff at the front desk and the maids...

Check-in:
Check-in was easy and our room was ready.

Room:
Hotel is full.
Nice and clean, every thing was alright and as expected at the hotel. We had a nice ocean view and were in the quiet area of the resort Room 3622 we had a problem with hot water none for almost 3 days. Also I think it`s time to buy new beds.

Restaurant and bars:
Even if the hotel is full, there was no line-ups except for the BBQ at lunch, we found that the food quaility was down from last year, a couple of people told us the same. I got food poisioning eating a hamburger the first week we were there. I seen the doctor he gave me some pills that I had to take for 7 day`s and I had to stay in the hotel room for almost 3 day`s I wasn`t the only one, there were 3 people in front of me at the doctors office who had the same as I had...

They hired a Chef from Italy and maybe it`s time to hire a Chef from Canada...We heard that they are making the Sol hotel into a 5 Star Hotel in the next couple of years maybe 1 or 2 years. That means prices will go up, there are also alot of changes, they took down the bridge that crosses over the pool, The hand painted murals on the walls at the front desk were painted over with white paint what a shame..

Weather:
Great weather mostly 28 C. 30 C. rained one morning the first week we arrived but lasted about 30 min. and the sun came out.

Beach:
Perfect as usual with lots of sand in front of the many palapas...Plenty of chairs and shade for every one, even if hotel is full.

Site:
Well maintained and kept clean, including the bathrooms all over the site. Lots of workers always busy and smiling.

Over all we love Cayo Largo we have been comming here for the past 12 years and we will be back again next year, my partner and I talked about comming back next year for a month but with the food quality we just might do 2 weeks in Oct. and 2 weeks again in Jan.

This is really a place to relax and fun this is not a place for children if you have children go to the Sol pelicano nex

Room Tip: Rooms on the south side are quieter
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  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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2  Thank RayPatpottawa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HGeneralManager, General Manager at Sol Cayo Largo, responded to this reviewResponded January 28, 2014

Dear Mr Ray:
Thank you so much for your loyalty to Sol Cayo Largo . It will be always a pleasure to welcome you back in our hotel.We are going to send your regards to each friend (Ibelise and the others) ,who have made memorable your stay year after year.

Best regards,
Fernando Martin
General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sol Cayo Largo

Address: Cayo Largo del Sur | Archipiélago de los Canarreos, Cayo Largo 27900, Cuba
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Cuba > Cayo Largo
Amenities:
Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 6 Hotels in Cayo Largo
Price Range: $175 - $388 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Sol Cayo Largo 3.5*
Number of rooms: 296
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in Cayo Largo del Sur, in the middle of the Caribbean Sea. All Inclusive Four-Star resort with 296 rooms. Ideal for enjoying its pristine environment and for exploring its idyllic landscape and crystal-clear ocean bottom. The resort faces 600 meters of beach renowned for its perennially cool white-sand. Recommended for couples, weddings, honeymoons and groups.Guest Rooms296 rooms: 244 Standard, 34 Standard Ocean View, 10 Standard Superior Ocean View, 8 Junior SuiteDining3 Restaurants (A la Carta, Buffet, A la carte and mini-buffet), 1 Cafeterias, 3 Bars ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sol Cayo Largo Hotel Cayo Largo
Sol Hotel Cayo Largo
Cayo Largo Cuba
Cayo Largo Sol Hotel
Sol Club Cayo Largo

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