Villa Trópico (Cameleon Villa Jibacoa) Reviews

Home page > Cuba > Jibacoa > Jibacoa Hotel Index > Villa Trópico (Cameleon Villa Jibacoa) reviews

loading...

Find and Compare Deals

Villa Trópico (Cameleon Villa Jibacoa)  

Via Blanca km 60, Playa Jibacoa, Santa Cruz Norte, La Habana, Cuba

"All you need."
Posted by: John  on Nov 18, 2015
see all reviews

Villa Trópico (Cameleon Villa Jibacoa) Reviews
Villa Trópico (Cameleon Villa Jibacoa) Pictures and Information
Villa Trópico (Cameleon Villa Jibacoa) Jibacoa Cuba

#2
of 2 Hotels in Jibacoa

User rating 4.1

Based on 38 reviews

Villa Trópico (Cameleon Villa Jibacoa) Information


On the splendid Arroyo Bermejo Beach, nature lovers and divers alike will enjoy the incredible reefs that offer great snorkeling and diving.

Villa Trópico (Cameleon) is a Beachfront property in Jibacoa with proper facilities and good service, offering excellent value for money.

Share your experiences with others. Don't forget to send your review to Debbie by using an easy form.


loading...

Best Deals

Villa Trópico (Cameleon Villa Jibacoa) Reviews

Villa Trópico (Cameleon Villa Jibacoa) Review: 4.1 of 5 38 reviews
Excellent
  18
Very good
  16
Average
  2
Poor
  1
Terrible
  3
By Occasion...
Business (1)
Leisure (25)
Party
Wedding
By Traveler Type...
Family and Kids (9)
Solo Traveller (3)
With friend (1)
With Group (1)
With Spouse/Partner (12)
Solo
11 - 20 of 38

"Excellent value"

Villa Trópico (Cameleon Villa Jibacoa)
User Rating:  Villa Trópico (Cameleon Villa Jibacoa) Review: 3.00 of 5

Posted by:  EVANGELINE  on May 3, 2011  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Apr, 2011 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
484 people found this review helpful

The people who said it was all uphill must be from Sask! Granted it is a little rise from beach to dining room but otherwise pretty flat. True the air conditioning in buffet was always off, but we never found that to be a problem. We met many people who had been there before (our 4th time there) Food is good. Desserts not so good except the ice cream. we arrived late and a porter helped us with our luggage and there were two tasty sandwiches waiting in our fridge. Staff is good. rooms are clean and grounds are well groomed. for the price I think it is excellent value.

Room Number:
51

Was this review helpful?   Yes Thank you for giving us your opinion.

"Very very very very disappointed!"

Villa Trópico (Cameleon Villa Jibacoa)
User Rating:  Villa Trópico (Cameleon Villa Jibacoa) Review: 1.00 of 5

Posted by:  Jane  on May 1, 2011  >  3 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Apr, 2011 | Leisure | With Group
300 people found this review helpful

This resort is categorized as a 3*. The week we were there April 22-29,2011 it was definitely a 1*. I have been to Cuba twelve times, to other 3 & 4* resorts. This was definitely the worst. It had good things about it....the grounds were well kept, the rooms were clean & the air conditioning in the rooms worked well. There were no garbage cans on the beach so there was lots of litter, everything was uphill from the beach so this made hiking tough for older people + there was absolutely no air conditioning at the Buffet Restaurant.....EVER! This was totally unbearable! Food was very sparse. If you weren't right there when the Buffet opened there was no food left....nothing was ever replenished.
A poor quality resort...not worth the money at all. We'll never return!

Room Number:
85

Room Block:
81-87

Arrival:
Arriving at the Varadaro Airport was painful. It took over an hour for our luggage to come through the conveyor belt. It was stifling hot...no air conditioning + there was no bank to convert our Canadian money.

Rooms:
We had requested our room be close to the beach. We were placed the farthest from the beach. This was difficult for two old gals as everything was uphill.
Room was large, comfortable, air conditioning was great. Beds were comfortable but the sheets did not fit the size of the bed...they were clean though! The rooms were thoroughly cleaned daily. The shower was a huge walk in shower and after we requested that the broken shower nozzle be fixed it worked well.

Restaurants and Bars:
The buffet where you ate breakfast, lunch & supper had no air conditioning. It was absolutely unbearable by supper time. This spoiled this resort for us!
The Lobby Bar was excellent...great coffee with whipped milk at 7:00a.m. & delicious but deadly Spanish Coffee in the evening. The Pina Colada's were delicious too!!!!
Ruddy the bartender was wonderful. He even converted a bit of Canadian money for us when the Reception had "no money" for four days!

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
The beach was quiet and private. Best place to swim was in front of the lobby area because the coral was less. Beach chairs are the white plastic type and not in abundance. At 7:00a.m. we reserved our beach chairs each morning.
There is lots of litter on the beach BECAUSE there are no garbage cans...not one!
The pool was relatively small. The pool loungers are sturdy & attractive. The Cuban Restaurant by the pool was adequate...at least they had fans!

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
The Hobbie Cat ride was great! The paddle boats are available daily. Equipment is old but still operational. One young fella manned the equipment and he was very friendly.

Other Comments:
This resort is all up hill from the beach.....you climb to your room & the Buffet Restaurant. There are no Porters to help you find your room or lug your luggage. People arriving late at night wonder around in the dark.
This resort had no Cuban money for four days therefore people could not get their beach towel vouchers or their room safe because they could not get any Cuban money.
There was no air conditioning in the Buffet Restaurant....EVER! It was totally unbearable come suppertime.
The food was very sparse compared to other resorts. The dessert table had the same three cakes each night. Supper is advertised to be from 7:00-9:30p.m. We went one night at 8:15p.m. & there was nothing left other than dried out pasta and rice. POOR....POOR....POOR!!!!!!
We will never return!

Was this review helpful?   Yes Thank you for giving us your opinion.

"One of Cuba’s best 3 star resorts."

Villa Trópico (Cameleon Villa Jibacoa)
User Rating:  Villa Trópico (Cameleon Villa Jibacoa) Review: 4.00 of 5

Posted by:  Debbie  on Mar 28, 2011  >  34 contribution(s) 
Visited on: Feb, 2011 | Leisure | Solo
1304 people found this review helpful

Between Havana and Varadero, nearby the town of Santa Cruz del Norte you find one of Cuba’s best kept secrets, Jibacoa, boasting just two all-inclusive tourist resorts namely Breezes Jibacoa, a four star resort and Gran Caribe Villa Trópico, which is rated as a three star.

Being familiar with the Breezes resorts I decided to give Villa Trópico a try. Despite an invasion of hundreds of jellyfish that made comfortable swimming in the sea impossible and the occasional smell of sulfur coming from the nearby oil refineries, I had a fabulous time.

I stayed in bungalow 36, which was very comfortable. The large King-size bed was firm, the water in the shower piping hot (just the way I like it!) and the air conditioner and television worked. The resort also features bungalows with a ramp and slightly modified showers, which makes them perfectly assessable for people in a wheel chair.

The hotel grounds are gorgeous. Lot’s of trees and birds and everything is kept super clean. The pool area is modest which did not bother me that much since I choose to stay most of the time on the cozy beach.

The strongest asset of Villa Trópico is the friendliness and dedication of its staff. Everyone I met had a five star attitude and showed that they really liked working at the resort. Service with a smile certainly definitely applies here and quickly makes you forget about the reasons why this hotel is only rated as a 3 star and not more.

The drinks at the bar are limited to the local Cuban brands meaning that a Margarita with golden tequila is not available. That said, the bartenders did their utmost best to make you forget about wanting one, by serving up delicious coffee drinks (delicious cappuccino’s and ice coffee’s with rum) as well as tasty Mojito’s.

One day, lunch was served near the pool area, another day we had a dinner on the beach. Not a lot of variety of foods but everything was well prepared. Compared to other Cuban 3 star resorts, I dare to say that the food at Villa Trópico ranks among the best. It is better to limit the offerings and prepare the food the best you can, than trying to offer more but of a mediocre quality. I did not care much for the nightly entertainment at the resort and I can imagine that teenagers get bored at night because there is simply not much to do. Parents with grown up kids should consider Varadero instead.

Though swimming was not an option, the water bikes and canoes were readily available. The weather was just right to let myself float for about an hour on the calm water before paddling back. I also took a great ride on the catamaran.

Was this review helpful?   Yes Thank you for giving us your opinion.

"great place for holiday with children"

Villa Trópico (Cameleon Villa Jibacoa)
User Rating:  Villa Trópico (Cameleon Villa Jibacoa) Review: 4.00 of 5

Posted by:  FRED  on Mar 14, 2011  >  1 contribution(s) FRANCE
Visited on: Feb, 2011 | Leisure | Family and Kids
300 people found this review helpful

This is a very nice hotel in a great setting on playa Jibacoa, just in front of a beautiful coral reef. Ideal for snorkeling.
The place is very quiet, there is just 2 hotels on the beach.
The kids had a great time between the snorkeling and the beach (with pedal boats, canoe).
Very nice staff.
Only reserve: the food is a bit boring after a few days.

Was this review helpful?   Yes Thank you for giving us your opinion.

"Excellent"

Villa Trópico (Cameleon Villa Jibacoa)
User Rating:  Villa Trópico (Cameleon Villa Jibacoa) Review: 4.00 of 5

Posted by:  Susan  on May 10, 2010  >  2 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Apr, 2010 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
432 people found this review helpful

Second time to this resort. Flew from Moncton, NB with Nolitours via Canjet. Uneventful flight - ham & cheese sandwich for lunch and small glass of champagne. Customs at Varadero airport uneventful. Changed money at Cadeca in Departure lounge. Renovations underway at airport. Six CUCs for 3 beer. Bus ride to hotel was good but as we arrived at midnight (thereabouts) not much to see.

Your Arrival:
Arrival and check-in at hotel was smooth. Only one bellboy for luggage so we found room on our own. Was raining on arrival. Sandwiches in room fridge and bottle of rum and water on desk. Deposited luggage and went to pool bar for drinks. It was lovely and warm despite the rain and the drinks were excellent as usual.

Rooms:
Requested a queen bed and got two twins but just pushed them together. Room was clean and air conditioner and fridge worked fine. Lots of hot water and clean towels every day. The only strange thing was no towel art???? This was a first for me in Cuba. The room was kept very clean. We were in villa 58 wich was a little far from the lobby and restaraunt (far being relative as the resort is certainly not huge), but was very quiet. Got flowers from the gardener each morning.

Restaurants and Bars:
Buffet restaraunt was fine although very warm as the week went on (temperatures were in the low 30s all week). They had air conditioners on but all the windows and doors open. Breakfast was OK, but lunch and dinner were sweaty affairs unless you were sitting in front of the air conditioner with the fan turned on you. Food was plain and good as other reviewers have stated. No complaints here. Our travelling companions found the fish quite salty and we were surprised that there were no whole fish served as on the previous occasion we had been there. We ate at the a la carte and it was OK. Had a ham & cheese sandwich one day at lunch time from the snack bar (snack bar during day and a la carte at night) and it was excellent. Done on a panini press till golden brown and toasty; MMMmmmmmm. The bars at this resort are some of the best in Cuba I think (in my limited experience) and certainly the best of any resort I have been to. The bartenders go above and beyond to make the perfect drink. Just thinking of a perfectly refreshing purple rain...... and the coffee is excellent also.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
Beach was fantastic. Lots of chairs and shade available. Grounds were very well kept; people always raking, snipping, and generally cleaning up. Noticed many, many more dogs at the resort this time and as stated previously, as long as people keep feeding the animals they will continue to congregate and then be removed not at all pleasantly. I love animals but I am also a realist. Did not use the pool at all but it looked clean and there were activities around it.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Did not partake in any activities. I was disappointed that there was live musical entertainment only one evening while we were there and this was a four piece band. They were very good but compared to the entertainment that was offered in 2008; no comparison! No singers in the restaraunt either and the shows with the dancers were done to recorded music whereas in the past it had been a live 10 piece band with percussion, guitars, trumpets, and excellent vocals. Not sure if this was due to the time of our visit (first week of May as opposed to first of March in 2008) or just the way it is now. Our main interest in this resort was and is the snorkeling. We were very fortunate in being able to snorkel all six days of our stay and any time of the day was good. The ocean was calm, no wind, and no PMOWs! It was absolutely beautiful. The only downside was seeing the brokne coral where people had walked on the reef. Please try to educate yourself a little before snorkelling and please do not walk on the reef. If you don't think you can handle mask adjustments whithout standing, wear a lifejacket and practice in shallow water before going out to the reef. We absolutley loved the snorkelling.

Other Comments:
All in all an excellent vacation - a week is much too short but certainly better than nothing. Love this resort and it is getting quite popular! We will be back again.

Was this review helpful?   Yes Thank you for giving us your opinion.

"Friendly, comfortable resort with excellent snorkelling"

Villa Trópico (Cameleon Villa Jibacoa)
User Rating:  Villa Trópico (Cameleon Villa Jibacoa) Review: 4.00 of 5

Posted by:  eeeefarm  on Apr 23, 2010  >  12 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Apr, 2010 | Leisure | Solo
469 people found this review helpful

eeeefarm Ontario

My fourth visit to this resort. I have also stayed next door at Breezes.

Your Arrival:
I flew with Nolitours, Air Transat Club Class, and arrived in the evening. The Front Desk staff was friendly and efficient. The Bell Boy transported my luggage to my room, where the porch light was on, the A/C was running, and there were lights on inside. (nice touch!) There was a fruit plate and sandwich plate left in the fridge. Also a bottle of rum and a bottle of water provided.

Rooms:
Clean and comfortable, if a bit dated. The mattress has seen better days, but that is actually better for me as I usually find the beds in Cuba too hard for my comfort. I slept well, which is the bottom line. Everything worked well. Lots of hot water. The room was kept very clean.

Restaurants and Bars:
The Lobby Bar is fabulous......famous for its Spanish Coffee, which was in much demand every night. It's also a great place to relax and have a coffee in the morning while waiting for the buffet to open. I never found it too crowded, although after supper quite a few folks would gather around. Patios oceanside and on the sheltered side, plus indoor seating means there is always a chair available.

The buffet restaurant isn't fancy but it serves up a good selection of tasty food. Some of the highlights: Pizza and ice cream available at lunch every day. Eggs cooked to order for breakfast. Lots of variety in the evenings. I never went away hungry.

I did not use the pool bar and didn't bother with the a la carte restaurant, so I can't comment on those. I did attend the repeater's dinner, which was very nice and was a great social evening. The snack bar has panini sandwiches available if you prefer not to visit the buffet at lunchtime.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
This is a perfect location for snorkelling. It really isn't a great beach for swimming.....water shoes are a good idea. I never went into the ocean without my fins and snorkel......after all, snorkelling was the reason I chose this location. The reef is extensive and close to shore. Everything you could want, from coral heads to walls to shallow areas, and lots of different species of fish and coral. Unfortunately, the reef is suffering from ignorant tourists who either don't know or don't care that it is harmful to stand on the coral and to feed the fish. I do notice deteriorating conditions every time I return, and it is unfortunate that neither resort, Cameleon or Breezes, makes any effort to educate their guests about proper treatment of the reef.

There are two pools available which are quite adequate and deep enough for swimming. I don't usually bother with pools, but it is useful to have one available on red flag days.


Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
There is a Hobie Cat and staff will take you sailing, which is a lot of fun. Kayaks and peddle boats are also available. Other than beach walking and hiking, I didn't bother with anything off of the resort.

Other Comments:
I enjoy the location and ambiance of this resort. It is a nice size and the guests with few exceptions are quite pleasant to socialize with. One ongoing problem is that some guests insist on feeding stray dogs and cats. These animals migrate to the resort from neighbouring farms and houses. If people would just ignore them and not provide food and attention, I expect they would return to their homes. However, some folks just have to hand out food which keeps these strays around. Since most or all or them are not neutered, the inevitable occurs and the population increases until it reaches nuisance proportions, at which point the two hotels employ a "dog catcher" who deals with the problem......and not in the most pleasant way. People should realize that when they feed strays they are in fact condemning these animals to a most unpleasant end. It sort of puts the damper on your vacation if you happen to be around to witness it.

Other than that unpleasantness, this is a very nice small resort in an ideal location for snorkelling, which is why I return.

Photos: http://s11.photobucket.com/albums/a179/eeeefarm/Cameleon%20Villas%20Jibacoa%202010/

Was this review helpful?   Yes Thank you for giving us your opinion.

"We Had a Wonderful Time"

Villa Trópico (Cameleon Villa Jibacoa)
User Rating:  Villa Trópico (Cameleon Villa Jibacoa) Review: 4.00 of 5

Posted by:  Joe and Karen  on Apr 18, 2010  >  6 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Apr, 2010 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
430 people found this review helpful

The resort is right on the ocean in a very scenic location centered between Varadero and Havana. The drive from the airport at Varadero to Jibacoa is about one hour. As usual visiting CVJ was a wonderful experience and absolutely great value for the price we paid. The staff are the best we have seen in our many many visits to Cuba. It is a small resort of about 110 rooms, the rooms are all one story villa style. We found the rooms to be very clean and quite comfortable with lots of space for the two of us. Great housekeeping all week, the food was adequate for us, the bar service unbelievably good, very nice pool, lovely beach, great snorkeling. Being at CVJ is like being at the cottage (except you don't have to do the dishes or prepare the meals) and as we are not high maintenance guests, we are always more than happy with any and all of the facilities at CVJ. It is a very good three-star hotel.
We had booked our vacation to CVJ through Nolitours in October 2009 for April 1, 2010, but with the demise of Skyservice (our carrier) the day before our departure, we weren't sure that we would get to have our fourth visit in the last four years to CVJ. We needn't have worried, the travel industry came through in flying colors and all within hours of the Skyservice demise. Our new carrier was Sunwing, the same time slot for our flights to and from Varadero, a very pleasant surprise. Wow, what great service from Nolitours and Bel-Air travel and of course Sunwing Airlines. Would you believe it, we had our new electronic tickets by 8 p.m. on March 31, only hours after the Skyservice demise announcement. Hats off to the travel industry, a job well done, much better than the way we were handled when we were caught in the Canada 3000 debacle. That certainly was a fiasco!. I guess the travel industry learned a great lesson there and applied it to this situation.

Your Arrival:
We had a very smooth flight with Sunwing Airlines out of Toronto. Because of the situation with the other airline going out of business, Sunwing pulled out all the stops to make sure that every passenger was comfortable and well looked after. They outdid themselves in customer service and I am sure they will get many new customers for their efforts. The cabin crew were marvelous. This was our third Sunwing flight this winter and we have nothing but kudos for this organization. The actual flight time to Varadero was very short and before you knew it we had our luggage and were on our way by bus to Jibacoa. There was 12 of us on the bus so check in at the hotel was swift. Before we knew it we were having our first cervesa at the lobby bar. Although we had requested from Nolitours through special requests and with our travel agent through a special requests form on their website any one of a dozen rooms, we didn't get any one of those. Usually if you want to change your room, the front desk staff at this hotel, will, stonewall you and put you off on a daily basis. We were then quite surprised the next morning when upon talking to the head housekeeper we were able to change rooms that afternoon to one of those dozen of our choice. We were now very happy campers.

Rooms:
We found the rooms to be very clean and quite comfortable with lots of space for the two of us. Great housekeeping all week, the housekeeper did lovely small bouquets of flowers, towel art etc.. The room was furnished with one chest of drawers which was in the closet, two bedside tables with a drawer, two three-quarter beds, a writing table with television on top, fridge underneath. We really enjoyed having the fridge in the room as we could keep the drinking water cold, and more importantly, hold a few ice cold cervesas to quench our thirst while sunning ourselves on our patio every afternoon. We loved our patio which faced south toward the hills, the patio had a wonderful view and was quite private. We also liked having a safety deposit box which was housed in the closet (14 CUC per week). You had to order and pay for the safety deposit box at the front desk, the safe was opened with your room key. Our bathroom was excellent, it had a good-sized vanity with sink, toilet, shower stall only, lots of hot water all week. Lots of towels also. We were very happy with the room.

Restaurants and Bars:
There is one buffet restaurant and one à la carte restaurant. You are allowed one à la carte reservation per week. We have done the à la carte in the past but we didn't bother this time and ate at the buffet restaurant and enjoyed the food there. The food at the buffet was typical three-star Cuban buffet food. For breakfast there was usually eggs any style, pancakes, waffles, toast, cold cuts of ham, cheese, sausages some mornings, bacon every morning on our week, freshly squeezed orange juice (amazingly good). For us it was a good breakfast. Lunch and dinner were mirror images of one another. They usually served fish, chicken, pork, sometimes turkey leg, burgers on a couple of occasions, french fries sometimes, boiled potatoes, mixed vegetable, stew. They always had two good soups to choose from. There was some pasta dishes. Lasagna on one occasion. For salads they usually had shredded cabbage, cucumber, tomato, shredded lettuce, beets etc.. For dessert there was ice cream (at lunchtime only), cakes and some fresh fruit. The cakes ran out quickly. We found that they didn't replenish the dessert table at dinner as quickly as they should have. All in all though we were happy with the food.
As far as the bars are concerned, there are two bars, one lobby bar and one pool bar. We certainly enjoyed all of our drinks at this hotel. The bar service was amazing. A great array of cocktails at the lobby bar, professionally done, cheerfully served. Customer service at the lobby bar at any time of day, is just amazing. The lobby bar is open from 7 a.m.-7:30 a.m. to around 10:30 p.m.. The pool bar is open around 10 a.m. and stays open until the disco closes around 1 a.m. or later. In the a la carte restuarant by the pool bar from around midday until about 4 or 5 p.m. they do serve toasted cheese sandwiches as snacks. These are the only snacks available on the premises. We would certainly like to see a better snack menu than that. Maybe they could add some hotdogs or burgers and fries. That would be nice.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
The beach at Cameleon Jibacoa is about 500 m long and 50 m wide. The length of the combined beaches of Jibacoa including both hotels and the campismo next door is about 1.5 - 2.0 km long. There is lots of shade trees at the Cameleon Villas beach. You can pretty well snorkel right off the beach as well.
There are two freshwater pools side by side at CVJ. Normally, one pool is used for water sport activity and the other pool just for swimming and cooling of. The pool was never too busy while we were there. The pool bar was never really that busy either.
For the size of the hotel the grounds are quite spacious. They are very well landscaped with lots of flowering shrubs and flowering trees (in April). The hotel is set between a beautiful beach and ocean to the north and heavily forested hills to the south. We would say it is quite a beautiful property.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
It is delightful in the early mornings walking through the countryside around CVJ. It is a landscape of hills and valleys with small farm holdings dotted with small banana and sugarcane plots and other small plots with vegetables and other fruits. For us all this scenery is extraordinary. There's lots of cattle roaming the countryside and now and then a cowboy gallops by on a horse herding some cattle or on some other local mission. We love watching the people work the fields with their oxen, while pigs, roosters, and other farm animals just wander the countryside. There is also some great bird watching in the hills on the road past the Breezes Resort. We love this kind of idyllic rural setting. It's why we like coming to CVJ. Also on the other side of the coin if you want to take in the sights and sounds of Havana it is about a one hour taxi ride to the west of CVJ. Varadero is about one hour to the east if you want to take in the sights there too. In other years we have visited Havana and have gone as far afield as Pinar del Rio, this we have done by taxi from our base at CVJ. It's a very central jumping off point for lots of different tours of the general area. There are many tours available from the tour desk in the lobby. Car rentals are also available from this location. We definitely though wouldn't recommend this resort as a "place to party", it is really more of a place for rest and relaxation, doing a bit of snorkeling, doing a bit of walking etc..

Barbecue Lunch:
They have an area close by the pool with maybe 20 picnic tables and a couple of charcoal barbecues. On Thursdays this year they had a barbecue lunch that was served from 1 p.m. until around 2:30 p.m.. They had live music and Cuban dancers. They served drinks of your choice which they brought from the pool bar. We really enjoyed this barbecue lunch. They served barbecued fish, roast pork loins, hotdogs. The fish and hotdogs were cooked over charcoal, delicious!!. We had had this barbecue in 2007 but we must have missed it or it was discontinued in 2008-9 and now revived in 2010. Wonderful. We certainly enjoyed ourselves as did everybody else. We hope they keep this up.

Our Departure:
Or check out went quite smooth and we certainly enjoyed the scenery on our daylight bus ride to Varadero Airport at 5:30 p.m.. We had no problem checking in for our Sunwing flight and we actually got window seats. The flight was a little late leaving Varadero but we made up the time going back to Toronto. As it was on our flight down, Sunwing, went out of their way to make sure we were all comfortable. We had the shortest flight time that we have experienced coming from Cuba, two hours and 53 minutes from takeoff to landing. Smooth sailing through Pearson and we were home in great time. A wonderful holiday. Looking forward to next year already.

Photos: http://joeandkarentravelphotos.ca/jibacoa/index.html

Was this review helpful?   Yes Thank you for giving us your opinion.

"wonderful wonderful place"

Villa Trópico (Cameleon Villa Jibacoa)
User Rating:  Villa Trópico (Cameleon Villa Jibacoa) Review: 4.00 of 5

Posted by:  Barb  on Apr 15, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Jan, 2010 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
274 people found this review helpful

Wonderful place, will go back again next year. The staff are all lovely, would recommend this place to anyone.

Your Arrival:
Arrival was very late to Cuba, could not change our money, it was closed, and our luggage was misplaced, but all in all we got to the resort unscathed

Rooms:
The rooms were large and very very clean, nothing special, but who needs that when you are at the beach or by the pool all day

Restaurants and Bars:
The poolside bar was lots of fun and always willing to let you try different drinks. The dining room was large and open, food nothing special but lots of it, breakfast was the best, but for the other two meals you certainly wouldn't go away hungry. Next year when I go there I will certainly bring some soya sauce, cause one of their staples is rice.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
The beach, pools and grounds were immaculate.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Took a trip by bus toHavanna, next year we will go by taxi, so we can pick and choose where we want to go.

Other Comments:
The shows at night were very entertaining, and we didn't miss one. Just want to say again, the people there are wonderful and make you feel very welcome and will do anything to make your stay the best it can be

Was this review helpful?   Yes Thank you for giving us your opinion.

"A few tips and facts about Villa Jibacoa"

Villa Trópico (Cameleon Villa Jibacoa)
User Rating:  Villa Trópico (Cameleon Villa Jibacoa) Review: 4.00 of 5

Posted by:  Lisa  on Apr 5, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Apr, 2010 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
301 people found this review helpful

For both first timers and repeat visitors, the following information may be useful. This resort offers most travellers good value for the money. We travelled with Nolitours direct from Ottawa to this resort. We've flown Sunwing and appreciate their hot meals and hot towel wipes, but usually you have a stop over on the way down or on return. Nolitours flew directly to Varadero but charges you for earphones and only provided a cold ham and cheese sandwich on the flight. Nolitours advertises that it offers food to guests upon arrival at Villa Jibacoa, along with a gift. It's another ham and cheese sandwich, accompanied by a bottle of the inexpensive white rum as a present.

Your Arrival:
I suggest changing money at the airport upon arrival. One of us waits for the luggage, while the other person goes outside and into the adjoining departure hall where you can find the "cambio" (exchange) booths. It's cheaper to change your money all at one time, because a change fee is charged. You can get better rates at the banks in Havana, but the rates at hotel receptions are typically not the best. For $160 CAD at a rate of 1.154, I received $138.65 convertible pesos (CUC). I will ask for small coins or 1 peso pieces to have tips and spending money right away. That allows us to buy a couple cold beers for 2 CUC's each at the airport. This is welcome treat when you arrive hot and tired. Speaking of which I usually have easily accessible a change of shoes, so that I can wear flip flops or sandals when I get on the transport to the hotel. It's good to be comfortable for the 45 to 50 minute ride to Villa Jibacoa. Changing money right away also gives us the flexibility to tip the luggage guy when we arrive at our room.

Rooms:
Most resorts allow you to change rooms; Villa Jibacoa is no exception. Most front desk officers will tell you that it's with some difficulty, given they have many people who want to change. I find being understanding and thankful for any efforts to accommodate you are appreciated. I try to decide immediately if the room is acceptable, because the faster you request a change the faster you will have an opportunity to find a more suitable location. I've made a request for a room based on the resort maps available online, but find that you have to email or have direct communication with staff to assure a room choice. Tour operators appear to have limited sway with room choices made by travellers.

At Jibacoa, the disco can be loud and last until 1 am in the morning. Even rooms away from the thumping music can be exposed if the wind is blowing from the North. While I believe most guests at this resort are respectful of the peace and quite, I have experienced late-night revellers outside my door at 1 am in the morning. Typically, the walls of the rooms are concrete and have no sound barriers. Some of the older rooms in the upper digits are bigger and have windows that do not open. More recently built villas numbered in the 20s are usually smaller but have better patio doors. Air conditioners were fairly modern and in good working order for a small resort.

Restaurants and Bars:
Villa Jibacoa is blessed with lovely places to sit and drink, while viewing the ocean. There is the beach of course. You also have the swimming pool and bar area and the lobby bar/ reception near the ocean. I prefer the lobby bar with its small patio and slightly less jumpy music.

You are allowed one evening at the a la carte restaurant, which is very much worth it for the change of scenery from the buffet spread. Usually it offers a choice of pork, chicken, fish or beef. The latter can be tough but tasty as it often is in Cuba. Nolitours suggests that guests will have a special dinner at the buffet one night (paella?) but this was not our experience. We did get to enjoy the outside fish barbecue one lunch, but not a pig roast as others have claimed. Some repeat visitors told us that they were invited to a special meal just for them.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
Snorkelling is a good reason to go to this resort. Certainly helps make it good value since you can go right from the beach without paying someone to take you out to the reef. It comes with the caution that the reef is for all to enjoy and the more we can do to protect it, the better for all of us the next time we visit.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
In March 2010, a trip to Havana by taxi for the day cost 90 CUC - that is cheaper per person, if you have four in the taxi, than taking the bus tour, which costs 51 CUC. The bus tour includes lunch, however, and is recommended for first time visitors to Havana because it is more structured. I prefer the flexibility of the taxi tour having previously researched the spots in Havana I wanted to visit. Even if your taxi driver speaks little English, he can usually recognize the names of places such as Old Havana (Habana Vieja).

At least twice a week, a guided hike up the hill beside the resort is provided. While initially quite steep, the view is rewarding. It includes passage through a small farm, where they offer hikers coconut juice and other fruits. It would appear that they regularly get tips from tourists passing through.

Other Comments:
When figuring out how much money you need to convert, consider the following. Obtaining your beach towel for the week costs $10 pesos for each towel. A deposit of $50 CUC is also required for snorkelling equipment - even if all you want are the fins. Having access to the safe in your room is $2 CUC per night, non-refundable. We chose to hide our money, although this is not recommended. At a minimum, that means you will need $74 pesos while at the resort, if you use the safe for 7 nights. Tips are not required, although appreciated. You may wish to give gifts as tips rather than money. You will also need you $25 CUC for the airport tax. You can use the money deposited for equipment to cover that when you leave (assuming you haven't lost anything during your stay).

Staff at the resort appear to be generally happy. It has a sense of family that i've not seen at other Cuban resorts. Guests often return with specific gifts for people and look forward to reconnecting with favourite staff members.

The return flight from Varadero can be a stressful experience as compared to other smaller airports such as Cayo Coco. You often have numerous flights leaving back to back and the waiting lounge is packed full of people. Duty Free is available at the waiting lounge, once you go through the passport control; and you can carry rum on the flight with you. Stores in the main arrival hall where you check in will charge you higher rates for alcohol and cigars. I believe the best prices for quality cigars and rum is in Duty Free. You take your chances buying in Havana or from someone you meet.

Was this review helpful?   Yes Thank you for giving us your opinion.

"Just like going to the cottage"

Villa Trópico (Cameleon Villa Jibacoa)
User Rating:  Villa Trópico (Cameleon Villa Jibacoa) Review: 4.00 of 5

Posted by:  Rob  on Apr 5, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Mar, 2010 | Business | Family and Kids
248 people found this review helpful

We are a couple in our 50s. When the kids were young, we used to rent a cottage every year in a place called Sandy Lane on Hall's Lake in Haliburton. We did it for a few years and as time went by, everyone got to know everyone and it was a wonderful, friendly experience that we all remember to this day. We found the same feeling at JVC. The place is not perfect, but the friendliness of the staff and guests make it a wonderful place to be.

Your Arrival:
We had an early flight with Skyservice ( just dodged a bullet there) and we on the bus headed for the resort by 1130 in the morning. The host on the bus did not speak any English, only French, which we thought odd, but...est Cuba! Tried to check in but our room was not ready. Had lunch, walked around the grounds and we were starting to worry when by 3 the room still was not ready. It was all good though, as we wound up with room 70, which I can tell you is a good room, nice view and close to everything. The front desk staff seemed a little overwhelmed as the place was completely booked.

Rooms:
We had requested a single bed but ended up with two doubles. They offered to move us but we were ok with it so we just pushed the beds together. The rooms are big, nice walk in shower, no bath tub. The pillows are small, or at least not thick so I think if room permits we will bring out own next time. We had a little lizard living in the room, but they eat bugs so he was our friend and pet. The rooms themselves are comprised of quads and little rows of 6, and honestly there did not seem to be any bad ones, although as I say 70 is central to everything.

Restaurants and Bars:
The food, as most people know, is simple. Breakfast is good with cereal, yummy yogurt, nice fruit, lots and lots of fresh sqeezed orange juice, eggs cooked for you, some cheese all sorts of nice things. Lunch was usually a couple of types of pasta, fish, chicken and or port, pizza, really nice salads (no salad dressings, just oil and vinegar) always beans or rice, always something to eat, but plain. I used tabasco which they have to liven things up a bit. Ice Cream at lunch but only at lunch. Dinner was much like lunch in there was alway something good to eat, but never anything to really rave about. Good, honest, clean food simply prepared. The bars are never crowded, we felt the lobby bar was the best. They do not have wine at the bar, but we were able to buy a bottle at the store on property to have in the afternoon . The wine in the buffet at lunch and dinner was Spanish and quite good. The drinks we all nice made. You can get olives at the store for a martini, but you have to bring your own glasses if you don't want a little plastic one. The al la carte was fine, had mahi mahi with shrimps.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
The grounds were good, well maintained and clean. They are always working on them, raking pruning etc.There is a lot of wild life. Great birdwatching, a family of little gecko's living under the sidewalk, and a little mother cat with her kittens. These had to be the most looked after cats in Cuba, everyone was passing by giving them food and petting them. The beach itself is quite nice although water shoes are a good idea. We arrived on Monday and went to Havana on Tuesday. The wind was very high and the beach was closed both Tuesday and Wednesday due to jelly fish. I got up early on Wednesday before they had raked the beach (which they do every day) and could not believe the amount of garbage washed up on shore. It had been extremely windy and we wondered where it all came from......washed down from Varadero perhaps? Maybe the do like the do in NYC and just take it out on barges and dump the garbage in the water. There had to be at least 1000 jellyfish mixed in with it, but they raked it and it was never seen again. Probably what this area offers most is the reef and snorkeling chances that are hard to beat. Just offshore there are reefs that are teaming with fish. The water is warm, but I used a 2mm shorty suit as the coral is sharp and I am a suck about cold water. The pools are clean and cool and refreshing. There is never, ever a problem getting a good lounge either on the beach or at the pool and there is lots of shade if you want it. My wife was bitten by some insects we could never see. They didn't touch me. Other guests had the same experence with one getting eaten alive and the other not touched. Take bug spray and maybe Benydril ointment if you react to misquitos in a big way.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
I was going to go scuba diving. I am certified, but the dive boat is actually a pedal boat. You get into your gear on shore and then the divemaster padels out to the reef where you go. I decided it did not appeal to me, and the snorkeling was so go I took a pass. They have a hobbi cat, and pedal boats, and kayaks, but they close up the use of them at 4 in the afternoon. There did not seem to be a problem ever getting to use them though, no line ups or anything. We took the hike up the mountain, it is a good hike and you come down the back side into a farm. We toured the farmer's house and were told you could have lunch or dinner with the family for 15 pesos each. We did not as time was short, but talked to people that did and they quite enjoyed it. They have shows every night but we never made any but people said they were good if ameture.

Other Comments:
As I said at the opening of this review it was lot like going to that cottage compound. It is not perfect and at 40 years old, some of the buildings are showing their age a bit, but it under new management and they are upgrading as time and money permit. The thing that is probably the most amaizing is how quickly you become friends with just about everyone on the resort. We are not joiners and prefer to just chill when we are away, but still we met many wonderful people from all over Canada. We will return again sometime, maybe next year although we like to try different spots. We felt considering what we paid, the place was great. We paid a total of $1280 for both of us but someone who waited until the last minute paid under $1000, which makes it the deal of the century. If you go to this resort, I can assure you you will enjoy yourself. It is important, in my opinion, to realize that you are in the tropics, and on an island where there is a shortage of goods. Saying that, the food is fine, the ocean is great and the people that work there are friendly.

Was this review helpful?   Yes Thank you for giving us your opinion.

Home Hotels Vacation Packages Destinations Forums Write a Review
About Debbie | Contact Debbie | Advertise | Site Map | More Links | Disclaimer
Facebook Twitter Youtube