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“First time in Cay Largo”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of Hotel Pelicano

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Hotel Pelicano
Ranked #1 of 6 Hotels in Cayo Largo
Certificate of Excellence
Kincardine, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“First time in Cay Largo”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 26, 2014 via mobile

Our first trip to the Pelicano was excellent during the week of Jan 17 to 24th. The beaches are the best in Cay Largo and I have been to several places in Cuba. We were fortunate to have an obtained an excellent deal on this trip so I wasn't expectations were no high. My accommodations in the 55 block and had a second story room. Everything worked, bed was comfortable, room had a vaulted ceiling, large living space and balcony. The only negative was the low pressure water and it was warm but not hot. The food surpassed my expectations with lots of options, with beach grill, 2 al cart restaurants, buffet, pool snack bar, and pizzeria . The only disappointment was the International Restaurant where the fish I ordered was overlooked. The Buffet restaurant was excellent with great service from Yoel and Anna. Ditto for all the staff really.
Some of the paving stones were raised causing a tripping hazard and the wooden walkways to the beach needed maintenance.
As the negative review prior had merit, we were charge for late check out and to pay for safe but I as this was my first time to this resort I had no expectations. I was impressed with the number of returnees.
I was here for a sun and beach and got it in spades.

Stayed January 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank Dave B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
solpelicano, Director General at Hotel Pelicano, responded to this review, February 15, 2014
Dear Dave:
Thanks for your impressions about Sol Pelicano hotel. Our apologize for the situation with hydraulic supply. Your opinion it has been valuable because you gave us important elements in order to achieve a better service and client’s satisfaction
We will share your beautiful comments with Yoel, Anna and the other staff. We hope to see you very soon.
Best Regards
Alejandro Jaime
General Manager
Hotel Sol Pelicano
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
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English first
Southwestern Ontario
Level Contributor
48 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 25, 2014

First, let me say that my wife and I have visited this hotel about 5 times or more in the past. We have always loved the people and the environment there.

This year, things have finally got to a point where we can no longer remain quiet. While the beaches are still stellar, the hotel itself is slowly falling apart and the people (service personnel) that we loved to visit are now moving on to other resorts on the same island due to issues with management and to work all year round instead of only 7 months. The general manager there, Alejandro Jaime, has somehow "managed" to virtually destroy all the things we loved about the place. When you get to Cayo Largo, you will see that other places are spending lots of money to keep their loyal customers returning by updating their properties (eg. fixing broken things, providing higher quality food and higher quality service, etc.). The Playa Blanca is building at least 30 new single units that are absolutely beautiful. I'd like to buy one if I could. The Iguana is now in progress of being rebuilt, including at least 30 new units there as well that are very beautiful too. The Villa Marinara has added a number of nice new units down by the marina and the old Gran Caribe next to the Lindemar has been bought by the Eden Village next door and has all new air conditioners, doors, windows, etc. making them very attractive (if Canadians were allowed to go there, which right now, we aren't).

So, a lot of money is being invested into this island and the resorts but not at the Pelicano, which is basically falling apart. Attendance compared to 5 years ago is way down as well, no doubt due to people not being happy with their experience there.

So, why is the Pelicano going downhill while all the other resorts are gaining momentum and increasing their property values by investing in new equipment and buildings? I don't know.

This is the first year we had no hot water all week long. Cold showers were the norm, when water even came from the shower head. The food at the Pelicano used to be quite good but they no longer provide even garlic as a standard. The second grill in the yellow room is now used only during the evenings and provides pasta with just a sauce.....no garlic, no peppers, no onions, etc. etc. etc. It used to be a second omelet station in the morning years ago. We ate at the Sol Cayo Largo next door and their food blows the Pelicano food away easily. I thought they all got the same food rationing, etc. but clearly, that is not the case as the pasta station at the Sol Cayo Largo had garlic, peppers, tomatoes, onions, etc. The quality of the food there was also way better.

We had to go to other resorts to visit some of the workers we made friends with over the years since they quit working at the Pelicano and moved to other resorts where they get to work year round. Yes, the Pelicano shuts down for 5 months of the year which nobody knows why. They close in May and reopen in November while the other resorts stay open all year round. Obviously, people are no longer going to the Pelicano during those months but ARE going to the other ones instead. Either the Pelicano is dying out or it's being mis-managed. Judging by our last trip, I'd say its dying out BECAUSE it's being mis-managed.

Now, don't get me wrong, we love our friends their and will go where they go. We are NOT loyal to the Pelicano but we are to the EXCELLENT workers and friends we have there. This year, our hats are off to Yanni, Dinnaldo and Mario out at the Ranchon and to Angel, Jose and Silvio at the Zun Zun. Of course, Guillarmo at the Lobby Bar is always a favourite. Let's not forget Ernesto at the Pizza hut and La Yana a la carte. We'd love to stick him in our luggage and take him home. And it wouldn't be the same if Tania at reception didn't give me hard time like she always does.

Playa Blanca gives returning guests a lobster dinner. Pelicano gives you a bottle of the cheapest white rum and a letter from the GM saying thank you. You also get a reception where apparently now, even first time guests are invited. You get warm rum punch and finger desserts while the GM stands there and takes all the credit. Hmmm...... I find it very disturbing to see the GM discipline his employees in front of guests. Not cool. Also, the GM wears jeans and a jean type shirt everywhere, including in the A La Carte restaurants while expecting the servers there to wear uniforms all day long. I would think that a GM would wear dress pants and shirt while on the property (at the bare minimum) but he dresses like a bum instead, by choice.

2 years ago and prior, a working safe in your room was included in your price. Now you have to pay 2 CUC a day for this privilege. Where is that money going? For sure not into the resort as the taps, water supply, equipment and food tell a completely different tale. The coffee machine in the Ranchon is now know as the "Frankenstein Machine" since it is put together with parts from all the other broken machines on the resort and covered with a towel since the top cover no longer exists and the bare frame shows through. The coffee machine at the Zun Zun is totally gone so if you need coffee, you have to go to the Lobby Bar to get it, and that's only if THAT machine is working, which is was not for some of the time during our stay.

The pool water was like an ice cube and nobody swam in it the whole time we were there. The bell in the tower has been missing for years now, the local resident Iguanas have left or they got used up as the buffet's "mystery meat". Nobody knows where they have gone. We saw a number of them at the Playa Blanca though.

Lastly, we are charged a $6 CUC per hour charge to keep our rooms past 12 noon on our last day while waiting for our flight to arrive at 9:20 PM. This is despite the fact that we arrived there at about 10:00 PM the week earlier and paid for a day's room while only spending 2 hours in it. It's a total rip off. There is nobody there to take those rooms until the flight comes in with the new passengers anyway so why are they charging us extra to get what we already paid for???

All in all, we probably will no longer go to the Pelicano anymore. Until either the GM is fired or they make drastic changes to improve the current situation, we have no more interest in going to that resort.

The worst part about it is that there are normally another 5 or 6 couples that have gone there MANY times prior (one of them has been there 19 times!!) and none of them want to go back again next year. Alejandro, what are you doing?????? FIX THIS NOW OR WE ARE NOT COMING BACK. The sad part about this is that it seems that Alejandro only cares about his native Argentinian friends and doesn't care about what Canadian think. Well, if Canadians stop going to Cuba and find other destinations, you will know why. This is NOT a lost cause but you MUST take ownership of the problem and FIX it, not sweep it under the rug and hope it goes away. Alejandro, if Canadians going there continue to be less and less every year, you only have yourself to blame.

Room Tip: If you want a "Good" room, go somewhere else. Half the AC's work, hot water is hit an...
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
10 Thank F4Phanthom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
solpelicano, Director General at Hotel Pelicano, responded to this review, February 6, 2014
DearF4Phantho.
Thank you for choosing Sol Pelicano Hotel for your holidays and for your fidelity to our hotel. I have attentively read your comments and all of your words will be discussed with our staff who make this resort a pleasant place to stay. Sol Pelicano continues to be the first hotel in Cayo Largo resort thanks to all Canadians’possitive remarks who over years choose this destination for their vacation.
Concerning your questions, I would have liked to have the opportunity to explain personally to you everything. Our work is done, not thinking in nationalities but in our customers’ satisfaction, disregarding the origin.
I hope to see you again here to make your opinion change, since for the whole board of managers of Sol Pelicano Hotel to achieve an ever increasing quality of the service is our motto.

Best Regards
Alejandro Jaime
Director General
Hotel Sol Pelicano
Cayo Largo del Sur-Cuba
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brampton, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 23, 2014

My husband and I spent Jan 10-17 at Sol Pelicano and had a wonderful time. The weather was warm and sunny for the first 5 days, then a cold front came in resulting in the 6th & 7th days being a bit cloudy and windy but still very pleasant. It rained only once and that was at nighttime.
This was our 3rd trip to Cuba and our first to Sol Pelicano. We will definitely be coming back to this place. You can walk for hours on these beaches, and the water is so warm.
Our room was basic but kept very clean by our sweet maid Yacquelin. We had two twin beds pushed together, and they were firm but super comfortable.
The majority of staff were nice & friendly. I saw one of the staff literally dive into action to help out a child who was having trouble in the pool. I didn't get the guys name but he always has a smile on his face. I think he is one on the "animadores". Kudos to such quick action on his part.

I'm not a foodie, but I loved the food here. With a few exceptions, like the occasional overcooked fish, everything was delicious and healthy. The desserts were repetitive but that didn't stop me from enjoying them every night. The flan was awesome.

We enjoyed walking the grounds as well and admiring the various animals on the resort. We saw the huge iguana that lives near the theatre. He is not scared of people and stood his ground when we took his photo. There is also a couple of eagles/hawks that frequent the beach restaurant area. We got pretty close to one that wasn't even fazed by our presence. We also saw hummingbirds and a woodpecker.
Every night we looked forward to the musical groups that would tour the grounds. Fantastic!
All in all our trip went without any glitches and we were so happy we came here. I would definitely recommend Sol Pelicano and can't wait to return.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Ninjam2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
solpelicano, Director General at Hotel Pelicano, responded to this review, February 11, 2014
Dear Ninjam.

Thank you for choosing Sol Pelicano Hotel for your holidays. I have attentively read your comments. I’ll do reach your opinion to all our employees, which rejoice to know that they have met their expectations. Sol Pelicano continues to be the first hotel in Cayo Largo resort.
Thanks for your marvelous comments about the Hotel Sol Pelicano in general, there are no words that can express the satisfaction in knowing that you have returned to home with the image of a wonderful journey.


We hope to see you again here soon.
Best Regards
Alejandro Jaime
Director General
Hotel Sol Pelicano
Cayo Largo del Sur-Cuba
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hamilton, Canada
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 22, 2014

Everyone who viists Cuba for the first time Biches about the food.......we are here to relax and enjoy a slower pace....,.,.there is always something to eat. Remember your on Holiday to relax......if you want good food stay home in the cold.
Sol Pelicano has become your new home in the winter. Had a great Christmas here and we brought friends that stayed for New Years and then othet guests who stayed on for the week after.
We are coming again on Feb 14th .....hope to catch the show under the big top......Andreas......we have more surprises for you. Counting down the days......just printed off e-tickets....see you in a couple of weeks

Room Tip: Smile and enjoy......your on Hoilday
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank David S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
solpelicano, Director General at Hotel Pelicano, responded to this review, February 17, 2014
Dear David,

Thank you so much for your comments and for choosing Sol Pelicano hotel to spend your vacations. We will share your beautiful comments with our staff
It will be a great pleasure to receive you once again.

Best regards from Cayo Largo,

Alejandro Jaime
General Manager
Hotel Sol Pelicano
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
59 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 20, 2014

This was my first trip to Cayo Largo (Jan 3-10), third visit to Cuba. We were in building 44, which is in a very good location. I was on the third floor and was very content with the room. The room was clean, nice balcony and good clean bathroom. There are a lot of positives at this location but a few concerns.

Hotel: The staff were great. Most are very helpful and friendly. You see the General Manager paroling the facility working on keeping things running well. A good sign. The hotel seems old but in general pretty good shape. Our room was renovated a couple of years ago; no issues there. Internet access was very poor. No wifi and only one working computer. Hard to get access at times.

Beach: The beach is very good in this location. The water was a little choppy for the week but swimmable. It could be like this often I think but not sure. The beach is better than what the hotel beside the Pelicano has; the Sol Cayo Largo. None of the hotels along this stretch of beach have any sail boats etc. They are included but located at Sirena beach. I found the hotel to have a good amount of pool and beach chairs – very nice.

Restaurants: Overall I would say better than a 3 star but there are some issues. I got very sick while I was there, not from the flu and ran into a few who got the same. I think from cross contamination while cooking. I saw the chef using the same spatula on chicken that wasn’t fully cooked as on the fish and other meats. Something you should never do. The buffet was OK as were the two al a carte restaurants. The service at all the restaurants was very good – food just OK. The pizzas near the lobby bar were great.

A worthwhile excursion is the Marina and two beaches, Sirena and Paraiso. All close. Free transport a few times a day for the beaches. The Marina is only a $5 cab ride.

Overall: Cayo largo is a great spot to relax. Good beaches if this is what you are after. The hotel staff is organized and does a great job. My room and location was very good as was the beach. Only blemish was the food.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Sean M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
solpelicano, Director General at Hotel Pelicano, responded to this review, February 17, 2014
Dear Sean:
Thanks for your impressions about recently stay in Sol Pelicano. Your opinion it has been valuable because you gave us important elements in order to achieve a better service and client’s satisfaction.
We will share your beautiful comments with the staff. It would be a pleasure to welcome you back if you decide to return to Sol Pelicano hotel.

Best Regards
Alejandro Jaime
General Manager
Hotel Sol Pelicano
Cayo Largo-Cuba
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ontarioholly
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 19, 2014

I have visited many resorts in many different countries and I must tell you that you will never find a beach as perfect as this one. I also found the staff to be very helpful, kind and many very friendly. Also there is always a chair and shade by the pool. All other resorts even five star dont' have a spot unless you get up very early in the morning and save one. This is a big deal by itself. the food is good and the dining so well planned you are never in line ups. Special thanks to some special people Gelvis, Yunior, Yonny, the entertainers who sang us songs including happy birthday to one of our special friends, George has a nice voice too and likes to sing in fact so many of you are special. Thanks to all and too Yunior for great music !!!!

Room Tip: you won't want to be in your room but they are all pretty nice.
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank ontarioholly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
solpelicano, Director General at Hotel Pelicano, responded to this review, February 12, 2014
Dear Holly:
Thank you so much for your reviews about Sol Pelicano hotel . We are going to send your regards to each friend (Yunior and the others) which rejoice to know that they have met your expectations.
We hope to see you soon!

Best Regards
Alejandro Jaime
Director General
Hotel Sol Pelicano
Cayo Largo del Sur-Cuba
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Midland, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 12, 2014

Very solid 3.5 all inclusive with potential to move to 4****. Stayed 3-10Jan2014 with my wife and the two daughters and we all enjoyed it and consider returning. We've been to Cayo Coco and Cayo Santa Maria before, very nice beaches but they take second place when compared to the ones in Cayo Largo. The beach at the hotel allows a good 20-30min walk in both directions; Sirena and Paraiso are 10-15 min away by taxi(the resort also provides transportation on a pre-determined schedule, three times/day at no extra-cost)but the trip to these beaches is well worth it. Our most favourite was Paraiso, well deserved name!
People are super friendly and helpful and, like I told Alejandro the night when we left, he has a great team to work with; his "hands on" management style and omnipresence, as well as the fact that good and not so good reviews are being looked at and addressed accordingly, are a good indication that this resort will only get better and I cannot wait to return and see the difference(s).
Not everything is perfect: rooms are not latest in comfort but maintained very clean(who goes to a place like Cayo Largo will likely not spend much time in their room!); and food variety is a bit of an issue, especially the breakfast part - understanding that it is not easy to manage logistics for a resort located on a relatively small and somewhat isolated island.
The evening shows could use a few more ideas but the animacion team is good and has some excellent dancers. The grill at Ranchon is amaizing, so is the service and the location of the restaurant. All in one, a great vacation! For those with 3.5star expectations, you will not be dissapointed, quite the opposite - you'll find that this resort scores maximum in a few categories.
Spreading the word and already have friends on their way at the end of the month...
Buen Viaje!

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank Robert T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
solpelicano, Director General at Hotel Pelicano, responded to this review, February 12, 2014
Dear Robert
Thanks for your marvelous comments about the Hotel Sol Pelicano in general, there are no words that can express the satisfaction in knowing that you have returned to home with the image of a wonderful journey. 'll do reach your opinion to all our employees, which rejoice to know that they have met your expectations.

Best Regards
Alejandro Jaime
General Manager
Hotel Sol Pelicano
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 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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