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“A very relaxing vacation”
Review of Hotel Pelicano

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Hotel Pelicano
Ranked #1 of 6 Hotels in Cayo Largo
Certificate of Excellence
Gatineau, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“A very relaxing vacation”
Reviewed May 5, 2012

This was my third visit to Sol Pelicano and I was happy to be back! I was there from April 29 to May 4 with a friend. It was just as I remembered, great staff, great service, familiar faces and the beaches, breathtaking! If you are looking for a nice relaxing time in a natural rustic environment, this is the place. It is unfortunate that the Pelicano will close again for the summer, the time that we spent our family holidays in the past years. I will definitely go back with my family, but not alone with a friend, some inappropriate comments made us feel uncomfortable at times. PS, thank you Alex, you are the best please kiss Havana for us !

Room Tip: Ask for the top floor.
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
5 Thank Challenger09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Date | Rating
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English first
Belleville, Canada
Level Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 87 helpful votes
Reviewed May 2, 2012

Well once again the Sol Pelicano did not disappoint. My wife and I with three fellow family members went for a week of relaxation from April 13-20. This was our third stay at the Pelicano and our second this year. This time I am not going to write a huge review, if you want a more comprehensive one take a look at my review written in January. Once again the food was good, the service impeccable and the rooms and resort as clean as a whistle. It's getting to the point where we feel guilty for the service we get. The Pelicano is a family, a second home, and makes all who visit whether it be your first stay or 15th. The beach was red flag for most of our stay, but that is a rarity, and shows you can still have an amazing time at this resort when mother nature throws a kink your way. This trip we concentrated on talking with the staff. Even though English is sometimes their third or fourth language, most everyone can speak at least a little and we had no problems having a conversation. We miss our friends we have made down there already, and count down the days until we can see them all again. Please tip for the service you get. If you think of what we tip for the service we get up here it only makes sense. If you are looking at bringing gifts vitamins (including children's), shoes, clothing, soaps, shampoo's, razors etc. , truly anything you bring will brighten someones day. It's a shame the Pelicano closes for 6 months, number one rated resort on Cayo Largo time and time again, it just doesn't make sense. The workers have a very difficult time finding work in the off season so keep that in mind. A number of people have contacted me at home asking more detailed questions, I am always open to that so don't hesitate to contact me. Till next year Pelicano, Scott and Angela say hi as well as Mathew, Todd and Leiann.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
10 Thank Miffer7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sao Paulo - Brazil
Level Contributor
25 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed May 1, 2012

The small islands called "cayos" are great for sunbathing, beach and diving. However, the hotel service could be better. The main restaurant gets crowded, the food is average and the service insufficient. I've tried to make reservations for the other restaurant but couldn't manage to find the hostess as you have only an one hour window to do it at the lobby. The room deserves a refurbishment.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled solo
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Helpful?
5 Thank Mario603
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fredericton, Canada
Level Contributor
12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
Reviewed April 24, 2012

Vacationing in Cuba is not for everyone, and this is in some ways even more the case for the Cayo Largo resorts. You have to know what your priorities are and what to expect in advance if you are going to truly enjoy all the wonderful aspects of a good Cayo Largo vacation. This review is factual and intended to inform those who are not familiar and help them decide if this kind of experience is for them.

I’ll say right up front that I’m easy going, a great admirer of the Cuban spirit, and have enjoyed every one of my 10 trips to Cuba and all three of the resorts on Cayo Largo I have stayed at. The Sol Pelicano experience was one of my very best.

Arrival and check-in: The ride from the airport to the hotel is under fifteen minutes, and the check-ins were well handled by hardworking and efficient staff. However, during our stay we noted that if your transfer was in the morning, as ours was, your room would not yet be available. We had to wait until 2 or 3 that afternoon. Therefore, you will want easy access to your warm weather clothes, bathing suits, etc. from your luggage. Fortunately you will have access to all the food, drink, and facilities of the resort immediately, and the public washrooms are very well kept so you can change and freshen up. I don’t know if this is a long term situation or just a passing circumstance.

Rooms: We were pleased to get a room in the exact location we had asked for in advance. We didn’t get the “matrimonial” bed we had asked for, but that’s often the case due to the bed/room allotments. The room was ordinary but the balcony and the ocean view were terrific...and that was our priority. AC wasn’t functioning when we arrived, but fixed shortly. One of the pushed-together double beds had a couple of broken legs so was pretty shaky. It took three days to get fixed...and when the bed came back into the room it was about 6 inches lower than its partner. We just laughed at that, knowing that this is the kind of improvisational thing that happens in the marvellous crazy land that is Cuba...and remember that Cayo Largo is even more isolated.

The bathroom was small but functional, with a shower only. We rarely had hot water for showers.

The housekeepers worked hard and the room was clean, but that aspect needs better management as we never knew what time of day they would get to us. One day housekeeping did not arrive until we were heading out for supper.

The key cards and locks need to be fixed. They were constantly failing for us and I believe many others were having problems too. As usual, the staff will do their best to help.
Resort Grounds. We loved the layout and facilities of the Pelicano. It’s gorgeous! Compact but well designed, with interesting sightlines, and lots of fabulous art. The pools are beautiful and spotlessly clean. When we were there, lots of sunbeds were available (although we never could tear ourselves away from the beach). The landscaping is surprisingly green for Cayo Largo. We also loved the tower, which offers spectacular views of the resort and the island itself. A real gem.

Restaurants and Bars. We had some great food at Sol Pelicano, among the best we have ever had in Cuba. The buffet was very nice, with the grills and hot meat slicing stations outstanding. We had some excellent seafood. While we were there, all the meals were very light on desserts though, with no ice cream that week and very limited sweets. Service was outstanding, very cheerful and attentive staff greeting diners at the door and very quick with a beverage and utensils.

I loved the Zun Zun snack bar, which was very well organized and staffed as well. Check out the Mojitos here!! Yum!!

The Pizzeria is another wonderful spot, a very pleasant setting, great food, and friendly attentive staff.

We also enjoyed the service and drinks at the Lobby Bar in the evening. Be aware that after the show this becomes the disco for a couple of hours and it is very loud, crowded and somewhat understaffed for that period. Not our style of evening drinks and no alternative available. Again, I can’t fault the staff, who really put an effort into accommodating everyone. Nice place for your morning coffee in the sunshine too.

We can’t comment much on the beach Rancheron as the atmosphere didn’t really suit our style for lunch and we don’t use beach bars all that much in the run of a day.

Now (drum roll...) THE BEACH!
There are not enough superlatives in the thesaurus to describe the Sol Pelicano beach experience! It’s spectacular!! There are so many great things to say about this beach! I enjoyed the Sol and the Playa Blanca beaches but this is by far the best for the factors I value. The Pelicano is the calmest of the three due to location. During the week, I walked the whole length from Playa Sirenas to Playa Blanca, most sections many times, and on any given day the Pelicano was the most pleasing of the hotel beaches.

Solitary beach walking is a favoutite activity of mine. The Pelicano is the best location for this as well, centrally located on Playa Lindamar with many kilometres of barefoot strolling immediately available in either direction. The C/O section is the most conveniently located re walkways, washrooms, and drinks of any of the Lindamar ones, and very spacious. We really lucked out with the weather, which was perfect every day.

So that’s it! A wonderful beach holiday, with fantastic staff and beautiful surroundings. You decide...if the minor glitches I report will bother you, please don’t go to the Pelicano and make everyone unhappy. But if you are like me, you will love your vacation at Pelicano. I’m going again!

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
20 Thank vivacubafredericton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Deep River, ON
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed April 23, 2012

We visited April 06 - 13 2012, as 4 adults and 3 children (ages 1,3,4). We spent mornings at the beach, with moderate surf, and red flags for 2 days. We especially enjoyed two day trips to Playa Sirenis (30 min by free 'train'-trolley) where the wind is offshore, non-motorized boats are readily available, and we walked around the point (1 hr) to see 5 star fish and 2 sting rays. This is a compact resort, with good options for meals, and a short walk back to the room for a nap. Lots of mangoes oranges and pineapples. We liked the pizza for lunch and the beach snack bar, rather than the 1 pm buffet. Water is warm, the staff are friendly.
Bar service is adequately fast, and they will do as you ask.
We bought additional bottled water, as the 1.5 L bottle provided by the maid was insufficient. We were careful selecting food, and the grand-kids did not drink milk for the week.

Room Tip: We liked building 53 - quiet for naps and at night. The A/C was adequate.
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Northerner_65_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North Bay, Canada
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed April 20, 2012

Let me start with the main reason we returned to Cayo Largo, the beautiful beaches. Well Mother Nature had a twist for us. Out of our 7 day stay, we had 3 days of just OK days at the beach, nothing like we experienced in 2009. Apparently there was something strange going on in that area for a few weeks prior to our arrival, some sort of disturbance that the locals reported not seeing in some 15-20 years. On the days that were non swimmable in my opinion, the water rushing to shore was brown with lots of algae. We spent those days mostly at the pool. Even Sirena and Paraiso had brown water when it was windy. When we there in 2009, we had windy days but the water was never brown, it was still clear and green/blue. So for the beach report, I have to say I was somewhat disappointed for which the resort had no control over.
In 2009 we stayed at the now called Playa Blanca. In comparison, we thought the grounds were superior at SP with more vegetation and trees, especially around the pool area. The bar service was a bit better too but god, how often and how much do you have to tip these guys??? At one point, all I had on me was a peso and he looked at me to say, may as well keep it, I almost took it back.
We went a la carte once at the Ranchon and once at La Yana. Had I know, I would have reserved twice at La Yana. What excellent service by the ladies, smiling and very courteous. Very nice setting, good air conditioning, And the food was hot. At the Ranchon, that was another story. The server wanted us to order and we hadn’t even been there 5 minutes yet. So La Yana gets two thumbs up, I was impressed, they got good tips too. I tip for good service and a smile. Ordinary service? I already paid for it.
Suzan at the buffet breakfast omelet hotplate is quite the joker, very funny and likes to make conversation even though she speaks little English and I little Spanish, but we still understood each other. I’d have to say the food was a notch superior than the PB in 2009.
Animation crew around the pool in the afternoon do a good job although it’s not something we partake in but they seemed to be very dedicated. We were too tired to see the evening shows.
The 2-8 pm catamaran excursion was one of the highlights. Humongous lobster tail dinner with hot rice, excellent. We were a bit worried about having no shade but this 20 meter catamaran has shade if you want it, didn’t need the shade, it was just perfect 27c weather that day with a slight breeze. All in all, $73 cuc well spent.
I cannot tell you how the Playa Blanca is now in 2012. Did we enjoy our trip? Sure we did however we may look elsewhere for our next trip south.

Room Tip: Check for sewer odor near block 47 prior to accepting your room.
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank JeanVeux
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed April 14, 2012

Not the greatest hotel but after an 8 night stay I felt fairly satisfied.

First impressions were very poor with incredibly slow check in despite no queues, guests are made to wait for little reason. Our initial room smelled of urine, was unclean, had several broken electrical items and was filled with mosquitos. It took a great deal of effort to change rooms, partly due to the very poor English skills of the staff (remarkable given many Cubans speak good English and struggle to get jobs in hotels).

The food in the buffet is so so and bookings in the a la carte restaurant is limited. The pizzeria and pasta at the buffet however was very good. Drinks are served in small portions but a small tip every couple of days appeared to change this.

The rooms are a little dated but clean (well our 3rd one was). The beach is glorious with powder white sand, a little bit of surf (which keeps any unwanted sea creatures away as there are some biting animals on the north of the island). The pool is also very good although the 'entertainment' gets very loud and a little irritating in the afternoon.

I wouldn't return but at the same time I also enjoyed my holiday on the island.

Finally, the hotel has some interesting animals on its grounds such as Iguanas and Eagles. You can see pictures of them here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nihaoxiongmao/sets/72157629442368766/

Room Tip: If you don't like the initial room, ask to see another as they vary widely in quality and cleanl...
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank nihaoxiongmao
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Pelicano

Property: Hotel Pelicano
Address: Cayo Largo del Sur | Archipiélago de los Canarreos, Cayo Largo 27900, Cuba
Location: Caribbean > Cuba > Cayo Largo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 6 Hotels in Cayo Largo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hotel Pelicano 3.5*
Number of rooms: 307
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in Cayo Largo del Sur, in the Caribbean Sea. All Inclusive Four-Star Resort with 307 rooms. Its comfortable accommodations offer guests the chance to enjoy a peaceful and calm vacation. The property faces 600 meters of beach, famous for its perennially cool white-sand. Fun-packed recreation programs for both children and adults. Recommended for families.Guest Rooms307 rooms: 259 Standard, 36 Standard Ocean View, 12 Junior SuiteDining3 Restaurants (A la Carta, Buffet, A la carte and mini-buffet), 2 Cafeterias, 2 Bars ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sol Pelicano Cayo Largo

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