Melia Cayo Coco Reviews

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Melia Cayo Coco  

Cayo Coco, Jardines del Rey,
(Jardines del Rey)

"2nd visit, won't be the last..."
Posted by: Joseph on Mar 13, 2016
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Melia Cayo Coco Reviews
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Melia Cayo Coco Cayo Coco Cuba

#5
of 11 Hotels in Cayo Coco

User rating 4.2

Based on 50 reviews

Melia Cayo Coco Information


Overlooking the clear blue-green waters of the sea and its coral reefs and close to a beach of fine white sand, the All-Inclusive Meliá Cayo Coco hotel complex enjoys a supremely beautiful setting

For adults only (guests aged 18 and over)

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Melia Cayo Coco Reviews

Melia Cayo Coco Review: 4.2 of 5 50 reviews
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"Sophisticated Hotel"

Melia Cayo Coco
User Rating:  Melia Cayo Coco Review: 4.00 of 5

Posted by:  Jean Moore  on Sep 24, 2011  >  1 contribution(s) United Kingdom
Visited on: Sep, 2011 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
469 people found this review helpful

This is a lovely adult only Hotel. It is well laid out in beautiful gardens with the choice of Lagoon rooms. The roomd are in blocks of four and very spacious. The staff are very welcoming with a fantastic animation team. The evening entertainment is very good, lots of dancers and some individual acts.
The food is varied ang choices of bookable al a carte menues.

Room Number:
3921

Room Block:
Lagoon

Arrival:
We were first drop off around 3.15pm cuba time. We were welcomed by a group of musicions and a glass of champayne. Check in was painless. Mossies were biting and everyone was scatching! We walked to our room along the nice kept garden paths and a porter soon arrived after with our luggage.(1 cuban peso tip was appreciated)

Rooms:
The first room was ok but after unpacking we soon realised the air conditioning didn't work. We reported it to recetion staff and they promised to move us. 10pm the same evening a room was available for us so we packed and were taken by buggy car to our new room. (Again 1 peso tip given)This room was better situated near the pool and the beach but it reaked of smoke. We reported this to staff and they promised to move us the following day. Our Rep,'Katy' was brilliant, she spoke to the management and got us upgraded to the Lagoon. This room was the very last block on the lagoon and a fair treck but nice. So once again packed and unpacked and by 4pm the following day we were finally able to settle down.
All the rooms are the same style but if you can put up with a bit of a pong from the lagoon then the views are worth it.

Restaurants and Bars:
The buffett reseraunt is very well laid out and immaculate. Linen table cloths, serviettes, cutlary and glasses were high spec. The breakfasts were nice offering a good vaeiety of hot and cold food. The lunches were always well stocked with something for everyone. The evening meals were sometimes a let down for us but the al a cart resterants were bookable 3 times each week, they were superb.
The main lobby bar was very comfortable and plenty of comfortable seats and sofas. Staff were fantastic, they were so friendly. If you gave the waiters a tip (1 peso) they were your best friend the whole stay.
The pool bar served basket food and was in easy reach of collecting your own drinks.
The beach bar was great, the staff were funny and always remembered you on your orders. The beach food area was nice, again with table cloths etc.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
The beach is lovely and you can walk for miles. In the opposite direction are the two other hotels that you can also use. When you visit these you can see what I mean by 'Sophistication'
The pool is nice bit would have prefered it to be a bit deeper. Plenty of sunbeds and shelter.
The grounds are well kept with pretty crabs skuttling in and out of the ground.

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"A great experience"

Melia Cayo Coco
User Rating:  Melia Cayo Coco Review: 4.00 of 5

Posted by:  Johan Focquet  on May 11, 2011  >  4 contribution(s) BELGIUM
Visited on: May, 2011 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
513 people found this review helpful

Beautiful, well-maintained resort. Nice rooms, good restaurants & bars. Impressive lobby bar. Great service. Highly recommendable.

Room Number:
433

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"Belles vacances"

Melia Cayo Coco
User Rating:  Melia Cayo Coco Review: 5.00 of 5

Posted by:  Mss. lydia gahinet  on Nov 23, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) Cuba
Visited on: Nov, 2010
776 people found this review helpful

Un trés trés bel hotel, moyen pour la nouriture du restaurant principale, les diners au restaurant Grill au bord de la plage sont faaaabuleux, là encore un personnel au top.

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"Fantastic, relaxing holiday. Would definitely recommend this hotel."

Melia Cayo Coco
User Rating:  Melia Cayo Coco Review: 4.00 of 5

Posted by:  Janet  on Apr 27, 2010  >  2 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Apr, 2010 | Leisure | With Group
592 people found this review helpful


Your Arrival:
We travelled with another couple and flew Air Transat out of Montreal on April 16 and our flight was one hour late leaving. Typical for Air Transat. We hadn't flown with them in quite some time and couldn't believe how much advertising goes on during the flight. They must have interrupted the movie at least 1/2 dozen times to sell drinks, blankets at a $7 cost (they claim selling blankets is better for the environment-I call it another money-grab) duty-free, duty-free and duty-free. Enough with the duty-free! We arrived in Cuba around 9:30 p.m. and customs and luggage was quick. We arrived at the hotel around 10:00 and only six of us got off the bus so check-in was quick. We immediately noticed how quiet and laid back the atmosphere in the lobby bar was. A porter showed up and piled us and our luggage in a golf cart and drove us to our rooms.

Rooms:
We dropped off our bags, turned on the a/c and went to the lobby bar. The first impression of the room was that it was very, very clean with no musty smell, however, it could use a fresh coat of paint as can most of the resort, but this is very minor. Other than that, the fridge was well stocked, the lights, a/c and safe all worked. The lobby was virtually empty and we got some drinks and were welcomed by the bar staff. Our a/c died on day 4 and we reported it to the front desk that evening. He immediately sent someone up to check it. We went back to see him after dinner and he told us there was nothing he could do for the a/c that night. However, he gave us a key to a vacant room and the a/c worked just fine. We requested he move us there for the rest of our stay and all our stuff was moved the next morning. Yay! Quite the efficient staff! An all around well-run hotel.

Restaurants and Bars:
We ate at all three à-la-cart restaurants. The best ones were the Italian and the Lagoon. The steakhouse left a lot to be desired. The buffet was excellent for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The snack bar had pizzas, burgers, etc. and were open 24 hours a day. The beach restaurant was open for lunch and had great bbq chicken, calamari, etc. It becomes the steakhouse at night. The staff at all of the restaurants were excellent, warm and friendly.

There are 4 bars on site. The lobby bar and snackbar, which are open 24 hours, the beach restaurant/steakhouse which is open from lunch to about 5:00 p.m., and the sports bar which is open from late afternoon to midnight. There was no beach bar, but we did see a clearing where there used to be and apparently they will be rebuilding it soon. Again, the staff at all bars was incredible.

As far as food and drinks are concerned, we have no complaints as there is always something available at any time of the day or night. I can't fathom how much complaining goes on on these reviews. As far as I'm concerned, these people should stay home.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
It was cloudy the following day and we had quite the downpour around 5:00 p.m. After that, it was nothing but sunshine for the remainder of the week. The beach is beautiful and the only other resort on it is the Sol next door. We walked through it and it looked like it could use a coat of fresh paint as well. We did not rise very early to play the towel game, but there never was an issue with getting chairs. Plenty of chairs and shade on the beach and the pool area. I don't think the resort was at full capacity. There are attendants on the beach who clean off your lounger which is a very nice touch. We spent time at both the pool and the beach. One of the best views of the resort is when you're in the pool just floating around. The grounds are superb! The gardeners do a wonderful job with the upkeep. That's the upside of staying in an older resort.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
We didn't go to any shows or participate in any animation as we were there to relax and enjoy the quiet. We did go on the speedboat excursion which takes you to a lagoon for snorkelling. It was worth the $45 US/person. It takes a half day. We were picked up at noon and dropped off just after 4:00 p.m.

Other Comments:
The resort is adults-only and we were very grateful for this, especially after all the loud whining on the plane trip down. Why don't they have a kids' section on the plane? I would say the clientele at the resort was about 75% English, 15% South American and 5% Canadian and the average age was over 50.

We came back 45 minutes earlier the following Friday evening and the flight. All in all, I would recommend the Melia Cayo Coco in a heartbeat and look forward to going back.

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"This was the best resort I have been to in Cuba so far"

Melia Cayo Coco
User Rating:  Melia Cayo Coco Review: 4.00 of 5

Posted by:  Jane Barrie Ontario  on Nov 1, 2009  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Nov, 2009 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
490 people found this review helpful

Flew with West Jet Vacations which was a nice change from the tight fit in the other charter airlines. The airport is small and we were out quickly to waiting transfer bus. It is only 15 minutes max to hotel from airport! You can buy a cold Cristal for 2 pesos or they also take Canadian, usually $5 for two beers while you wait for the bus to leave. You can exchange Canadian to pesos in the departure area of the airport. Arrived at 230pm so room not ready but enjoyed lunch buffet in the meantime.

Rooms:
The rooms are nicely appointed with the twin beds pushed together to make the king size bed. Good TV with lots of channels,coffee maker but only provide instant coffee so would be wise to bring own coffee and filters if you want to make drip. Mini bar stocked. We were on main floor with patio but would have preferred a second floor room as it would afford more privacy. This is not a big resort so all rooms are easy walking distance to everything. The upgrade to the Lagoon rooms was available on site for $40 more a night and they did look nice overlooking the water so would consider that if I went again, although don't know what they are like inside.

Restaurants and Bars:
Food in the buffet restaurant was good. A nice variety, nothing exceptional. Never ate at any of the a la cartes. Prefer the buffet. I think food in Cuba is good.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
The beach is a little disappointing as it is narrow in front of the resort so crowded at times of day when tide is high. They do have lots of palapas under construction at the moment so shade is available. Ocean is beautiful. You can walk the beach a long way in both directions. The pool area is lovely with both shade and sun sitting areas. Very clean and surrounded by mature lush trees and gardens.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Didnt do any tours this time. In general you have to travel quite a way to do tour activities in this area of Cuba as the resorts are a distance from the mainland. The activity staff at this resort are very good. There was always a game of some kind going on around the pool. They were very friendly without bugging you to participate. We enjoyed the tennis courts and there was a pro there eager to play with us if we wanted. The entertainment at night was good. Great piano player in the main lobby bar in the evening and some nights had live music either in the lobby bar or on the pool deck.

Other Comments:
I think this was the best resort I have been to in Cuba so far. I liked the smaller size of the property and I found the staff wonderful. There was definately none of the feeling that you had to tip or get ignored for service like a couple of the resorts I stayed in in Varadero. They were well trained in providing good customer service. The short distance from airport is a real plus when you are only there for a week. There are some mosquitoes at this resort as it is on the mangrove swamp but only really saw them at dusk and dawn otherwise not around during the day. Repellent is a must. Lots of British at the resort and they were great fun.

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"We didn't even have to ask or remind them!"

Melia Cayo Coco
User Rating:  Melia Cayo Coco Review: 5.00 of 5

Posted by:  MoniqueCanada  on Jun 1, 2009  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Jun, 2009 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
447 people found this review helpful

My husband and I went on our honeymoon to Melia Cayo Coco from June 12 to 19, 2005. We were very pleased to see that the people at the resort were expecting us and they had everything prepared for us. We were greeted with a glass of champagne and checked in privately as promised. They then told us about all the extras we would get as honeymooners - we didn't even have to ask or remind them! They also told us that they gave us the best room in the whole resort and we found out that we got an even higher room upgrade than we were supposed to get.

The Room:
We walked to our room and were amazed at how clean and huge our suite was. There was a kitchen area, sink with fridge underneath, another lounging area, then 3 steps up to the bedroom with a massive king-size bed, another lounging area, dressing room and bathroom, plus a big screened-in porch and a wrap-around balcony. The room was in pristine condition, it was spotless and everything worked perfectly. The first thing we did was take a shower and there was plenty of hot water and water pressure was very good. In fact, we never ran out of hot water while showering the entire time.

The air conditioner worked beautifully. We actually had two separate A/C switches to control the temperature in the lower area and the bedroom area. We actually found that the A/C worked a little too well - we came back to the room on our first day and all the windows had condensation on them and the room was freezing cold! We had a bit of a laugh about that and kept the temperature more reasonable from then on.

On the first day, our fridge had bottles of water in it but no soft drinks or beer. Before leaving our room we called the number right beside the phone and asked for beer and soft drinks. We left one peso on top of the fridge and when we came back that day, the fridge was stocked with beer, more water, club soda, and soft drinks. From that day on, our fridge was replenished every day (we only left a tip the first day). If they see that you're drinking it, they'll re-stock it.

The Resort:
The resort was simply amazing. Our first day walking around was very surreal for us. We kept saying, "Are we really here? Is this for real?" The resort has many paths, lots of vegetation and palm and coconut trees all over the resort. The flowers are beautiful and the groundskeepers work very hard to maintain everything.

Walking down one of the beach paths through the trees, you can see little hermit crabs scuttling around (the big ones come out at night!) and lizards.

The people at the resort were so good to us the entire we were down there. Our first couple of days there we would give a peso the first time we were served by someone new at breakfast, lunch, and dinner as a nice gesture. This makes them happy; one peso goes a long way for these people and they rely on our tips to provide for their families back home. And when you think about it, if one peso means getting excellent service, making a new friend, and being treated like royalty, then it's really no big deal. After we had met most of the staff, we would only tip occasionally at lunch, but we would always tip at dinner, especially at the a-la-carte's.

The Food:
Well, I'm going to have to go out on a limb here and say that I enjoyed the food at the Melia. I found there was a huge selection of food and it was quite good. During our stay, I tried foods that I had never imagined I would ever eat - my husband was so impressed! Not only that, but neither of us got sick even once the entire time we were there and we were pretty adventurous with the food we ate. Even if you don't like cuban food or you are a picky eater, there is still pizza, lots of pastas, french fries, burgers, hot dogs, rice, and plenty of other food that we are familiar with.

The Beach/Pool:
We only went to the pool once because we are beach people. But I really enjoyed the pool, the water was very refreshing and the atmosphere at the pool was very relaxing and nice.

The beach was gorgeous. You can see the different shades of blue in the water as you look out. We were there somewhat off-season so it was very nice for us to hang out at the beach because it was pretty quiet. I can remember a few days, lying under our beach hut and all I could hear was birds and the ocean waves and there was no one else around. It felt like it was only us in the entire world - and after planning a wedding for a year, this de-stresser was much needed! Because the Melia is the end resort of the 8 on the island, you can walk to the right and just keep going and going and it is so nice and relaxing.

The water itself was very nice and the temperature was perfect. Nicely refreshing but not too cold - just perfect. We had a blast watching for the bone fish in the water. You can see the huge schools of bone fish in the water if you watch the water. You will suddenly see what looks like a shadow under the water. We were lucky enough to have brought our own snorkel gear (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED) and we found ourselves in the middle of a school of bone fish. On our last full day there, we were swimming with thousands and thousands of them and it was truly amazing! We then saw 2 huge barricudas which were hunting the school of bone fish. I was a bit nervous but the barricudas were not interested in us at all! We followed it as it circled the school of bone fish and got to witness a real-live ocean hunting experience. It was truly amazing and I will never forget that as long as I live.

The Extras:
As honeymooners, we got several upgrades and extras. Our room was upgraded tremendously. We only paid for a standard room and wound up with the best room in the resort. We also got a vase of flowers one day with a bottle of champagne in our fridge. We then got a 1.4L bottle of white rum. We also got an invitation for a romantic dinner for 2 with a special menu. It was a very nice dinner. We also received a music CD with some romantic cuban music on it. Another really nice thing was that they had a cuban wedding for us. All the newlyweds were invited to Casa Cubana to attend a second wedding ceremony. We signed a certificate and even had to kiss in front of everyone again!

The Excursions:
We didn't get to go swimming with the dolphins because it was fully booked - so if you want to go swimming with the dolphins book it right away or you'll be out of luck! However we did do 3 other excursions:

Jungle Tour:
This is a half day trip. We got to drive our own speed boat through the mangroves (very fun!!!) and then docked to snorkel through the mangroves. It was very, very fun and the fish were great. Definitely be prepared and bring bread and bananas with you from the breakfast buffet.

Trip to Moron:
This was a very interesting trip which started out with a boat ride through the mangroves of a fresh water lake. We then came back and had a typical cuban meal - deep-fried Talapia (fish) which was delicious and our choice of drink (beer for us!).

We then travelled to the city of Moron. It was interesting to see all the houses and farms along the way. It was so different and we could definitely tell that we were in a country much more different from Canada. At times it felt like we had gone back 50 years in time. When we got to Moron we went on a buggy ride through the streets. Our tour guide had warned us that when we got to Moron, we would have kids come up to us begging for money, etc. We expected to see cute little kids. Well, these "kids" turned out to be guys who were teenagers and early-mid 20's. They followed the buggy on their bicycles or ran along-side it and gave me and the other woman flowers - but they wanted money from us! They were very polite though, calling us "miss and ma'am" and calling our husbands "sir".

We then had free time in Moron and our tour guide took us to a friend of his' house where they make and sell cuban souvenirs. The prices were very cheap and we bought some gorgeous souvenirs - all hand made and put together very well. Our tour guide then left the four of us on our own to do some sightseeing and shopping. To be honest, we were pretty nervous about this. The locals were walking beside us asking us for pesos (money) and one guy asked me if he could have my gold earrings. I told him "no", so he asked if I could give him one and he could have the other one. I had to say no again. While this was going on, another guy was asking my husband for his shirt! Then they tried to sell us things but we had to keep saying no to them. It was a bit frightening for us, but I don't regret going to Moron at all. It was the real Cuba and I got to see how these people live and what their lives are like. It was sad too, but it also gave me a deeper appreciation for the life that I have back at home. I recommend this trip to all first-timers vacationing in Cuba - it's a real eye-opener that everyone should experience.

Playa Pilar:
Our third excursion was probably my favourite. We took a bus to Cayo Guillermo (approx. 45 mins) where Pilar Beach is. We then took a catamaran to an island and got our snorkelling gear. We snorkelled off the island and it was amazing! There were so many tropical fish all around us. We saw "Dory" fish (from Finding Nemo) and lots of other tropical fish that I had only ever seen before on TV. We then had lunch on the island (the chicken is delicious!) and went back to Playa Pilar (Pilar Beach). I had heard that Pilar Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in the world and I have to agree with that. It's like something out of a movie or a magazine and you actually get to experience it for real! Words cannot describe what Pilar Beach is like. You have to experience it to truly understand the serenity and beauty of it. I recommend this to everyone. ---

Conclusion:
So that about wraps up our honeymoon to Melia Cayo Coco. It was the best experience I have ever had in my life and I will never forget it. For the rest of our lives we will remember what a fantastic honeymoon we had and we'll always think back to it and smile.
We're going back next Spring - but for 2 weeks this time - one week was not long enough!

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"It is a pretty good value for money"

Melia Cayo Coco
User Rating:  Melia Cayo Coco Review: 3.00 of 5

Posted by:  BarrieMarleneCanada  on May 1, 2009  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: May, 2009 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
386 people found this review helpful

Just returned from melia cayo coco in jardines del rey Cuba.most reports on this wonderful web site are very accurate and most helpful,I rely on them before every trip.
every thing has pretty much been said before,the staff are marvellous and the beach is fantastic. I try to be realistic in my expectations and also try not to complain but whoever rated this resort a 4.5 must have made a huge typo,it will have to struggle to be a 3.0
we are a late fifties cou[ple who were on our honeymoon, we wanted a super resort,this was not it.we have travelled a lot and this is the only time in over 25 years i have been disapointed in a resort rating.some 3.0 rated resorts have out done this one. it is a pretty good value for money spent but if you want a 4+ resort you may want to look elsewhere do contact us if you want more info,sorry if i sound negative but the reports i read did not match the resort i was expecting. contact me at willis4@sympatico.ca

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"I will always fondly remember Carlos"

Melia Cayo Coco
User Rating:  Melia Cayo Coco Review: 3.50 of 5

Posted by:  GloriaAlberta  on Feb 1, 2009  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Feb, 2009 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
376 people found this review helpful

We stayed at the Melia Feb 19 -March 5, our first visit to Cuba and it was a mixed experience. 14 days is too long for a relatively isolated location like this, especially if the weather is less favorable as it was for us at times. I'd give an overall rating of 7 out of 10 for our vacation.

Staff:
The highest points go to the staff who are outstanding in service, personality and talent. They so appreciate the 1 or 2 peso tips given and on the last day, a little extra. We heard varying reports of their paltry wages and know they work very long hours and live 1-2 hours away by bus, so they practically live at and for the resort. The Activities Team are fabulous rehearsing early in the am , working to entertain the guests all day and performing at the shows from 9:30 - 10:30+ as well as well as mingling with the guests before and after the shows. They dance, sing, act, do comedy with incredible energy even when sick or injured. Take ibuprophen or over the counter medications etc. to give them and they will be very appreciative as medicines are very scarce in Cuba.

Havana:
I wanted desperately to go to Havana, but tour guides I read were very negative about flying Cuban airlines, so I wasn't sure I would be able to go. Well, thank goodness they are wrong as the planes are very modern and safe {French jets] and the best day was the 14 hr trip to Havana. I would highly recommend signing up for this as soon as you arrive and realizing that it may be the best $179US that you will spend on your vacation. I learned so much from the tourguide, the flight was amazingly beautiful over the north coast of Cuba, 1 hr , though there was a bit of a delay leaving from the airport in Havana, which is common I hear. It was a quick bus tour through part of the city with several tourist stops and a very good lunch with live band, and then a bit of a walking tour of old Havana and 1-2 hrs of free time which was great. We even got a quick stop at the Floridita Bar, Hemingways favorite place and had a daquiri before heading to the airport. Bring snacks for the trip home as it can be a long time till dinner.

Trinidad:
My husband and I also took the bus tour to Trinidad, an old colonial city and though it was a very long time on the bus, almost 4 hrs each way it was well worth it also [$70US] and you really get to see the country this way and feel like you are back in time 100 years or so. Horse and wagon and bicycles are common on the main highway through Cuba! The tourguide will give you a great education as you travel and the city is fascinating with lots to explore on your free time after lunch. Do consider this tour!

The resort:
Most of the rest of our opinions have been mentioned in other reviews; again we feel the rating is not 4 or 5 stars by comparison to other countries, but it may be for Cuba. The main area I feel they need to remedy is the public restrooms plumbing. Most toilets were not working and an unpleasant atmosphere. Also the lobby for all the use it gets especially during poor weather, is short on seating and needs to be upgraded. The Melia Cayo Guillermo has much more spacious grounds and beach and we enjoyed it very much on our 1 day visit there by bus. If the weather had been better we would have gone back there again to go to Pilar beach which is supposedly the best on Cayo Coco.

Bone-fishing:
We chose this place because my husband was keen to go bone-fishing which he did for 3 days with a pre-arranged guide, but again due to weather and cold water conditions, results were very disappointing for him. He says he will go back again though, but April would be better. By the way we are in our 50's and travel every Feb to a warm destination, but this was one of the coolest, though I hear reports of many places that were the same this year....

More staff:
I will always fondly remember Carlos at the salad bar for his friendly sweetness, Florencia, the banana lady who even gave us a souveneir on the last night, Fernando at the grill, and the lovely smoothie man at breakfast. I may go back for 7 days another time and hope they are still there! I know they love Canadians there and our generosity which makes such a difference for their impoverished and difficult lives. We need to remember how fortunate we are and give every chance we get, as they are very deserving. Go and visit and it will be worth it I'm sure.

Music:
How could I have forgotten to mention the MUSIC? That was one of the most memorable parts of this vacation. There was great live music playing often and my favorites were one of the groups at the pool bar who were really in the groove in the afternoon and The House Band who performed almost every night at the show and were fabulous especially the singers, a male and a female who danced, acted out character roles and are very talented. I bought their cd and it is so great to listen to again at home, bringing back the memories. I think if they played more Cuban music on the sound systen by the pool rather that oldies or lounge music all the time it would be enjoyed by most guests.

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"WOW"

Melia Cayo Coco
User Rating:  Melia Cayo Coco Review: 5.00 of 5

Posted by:  Shelley Oliver  on Jun 11, 2008  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Jun, 2008
930 people found this review helpful

Simply the best. Awesome staff, excellent food, well kept grounds, beautiful rooms and of course the beach - white, soft. Returned home less than two weeks ago and I'm ready to return for another great time. EXCELENTE!

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"We upgraded to the lagoon rooms (#2221)"

Melia Cayo Coco
User Rating:  Melia Cayo Coco Review: 4.00 of 5

Posted by:  Adam and Sue  on Apr 1, 2008  >  2 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Apr, 2008 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
337 people found this review helpful

Hi, spent 3rd week of April at the Melia Cayo Coco, Cayo Coco, Cuba. We have been to Cuba 4 times before over the last 8 years. This is an unbiased, objective view and I can compare to the Paradisus Holguin and Playa Alameda Varadero. We picked it as a last minute having booked 2 weeks before mainly due to what was available re flight times from Ottawa. Price was very good compared to what we would have paid during high season. We were willing to drive to Montreal (from Ottawa) as we would have got a better selection for available resorts throughout Cuba but the flight times were all late evening so we would have lost the better part of our first day of vacation. I’ll break down by subject:

Tour Carrier:
Sunwing out of Ottawa. Upgraded the seats but really there wasn’t much more leg room in bulkhead but it did mean first off the plane. Left Ottawa at 5AM, and were in the hotel having breakfast by 9:30 which included smoked salmon and champagne and OJ. That was a plus. Sunwing rep Henry was rather useless as when we met him, he couldn’t brief us fast enough to begin his day off.

Room:
we upgraded to the lagoon rooms (#2221) and it was more than acceptable. Two doubles pushed together to make a King, comfortable bed. Room was clean. Satelliite TV that included CNN (English and Spanish), BBC, and a number of Spanish channels. Everything worked well and we had an incredible view from the second level of our lagoon room – the sun set around 7:30 every night in front of us and was quite stunning, really. We were there during a full moon too which was a bonus. A few bugs on the balcony at night (mosquitos) despite being on the second floor but no big deal really. The hotel does spray and this probably helped. A/C worked fine as did all plumbing and electrical outlets/appliances.

Check-In:
great. Keep in mind that check-in is not until 4:00 in the afternoon and we arrived at 9:00 AM. We were in our room by 1:00. No complaints. Although we were prepared with a bathing suit, sunscreen and change of clothes in our carry-on.

Restaurants:
1. Buffet . Selection is pretty good and evening staff are exceptional. Food is cooked well. Desserts leave a lot to be desired. Not enough staff for morning especially on the patio. They are running as fast as they can but can’t get the tables set fast enough -- ie. we would get our food and get back to the table before the previous guests plates COULD be cleared off. When there are only two staff per 20 tables, there is no way they can keep up.

2. Pool Restaurant. Main bartenders are great. Drinks are great and plentiful with frequent pool side order and delivery. This is also where you make your evening a la carte reservations with Livan from 9amt-3pm. Problematic. He is friendly and understands English quite well. I booked the 3 a la cartes on the morning of our second day there and the only availabilities were for our 3 last nights consecutively. It would have been nice to split them up with the buffet. Also, we did not find out until our last day that lobster and prawns could be pre-ordered at no extra charge for the International (formal) restaurant on the lagoon. We overheard another couple talking about this. I went back to Livan who claimed that this had to be pre-ordered at least one day before our reservation day. When I explained that we didn’t know anything about this, he pushed me on to guest services. She was no help either as the lobster really did have to pre-ordered at least 24 hours before but didn’t understand why we didn’t know anything about this when we made our reservations. Apparently Livan left out that important detail. BTW, the couple we overheard were able to get lobster ordered the same day of the reservation at the International restaurant which leaves me wondering how much it cost them (or how much Livan made...). Sorry, but if I’m paying for the same thing everybody else is, I should be made aware with appropriate lead time.

Italian. Above the pool bar and was a nice meal but average Italian food. Desserts were somewhat better and cheese plate was great. Open air Beach Restaurant. Great ambiance. Food was very good, steak and grilled seafood. But again problem with the serving staff. Our reservation was taken by an experienced lovely server but she got pulled from that restaurant after taking our order and sent to wait at the buffet that evening, leaving us with a trainee waiter (again a really sweet guy) who was too inexperienced to handle that many tables. Food was great, but cold. Also, a great casual restaurant for lunchtime but not much of a menu. Great live muscicians at lunch and dinner

International Restaurant. Exceptional food quality and service. Formal, overlooking the lagoon. No complaints about food or service. Bravo, despite the lobster screw-up.

Wine:
Mostly Spanish at this resort. Overall we’ve found that Cuban resorts have better quality wine than the DR. No complaints for red, rose or white from us.

Overall:
resort is small at 250 rooms. This means that there isn’t the variety of food that you will find at the bigger Varadero resorts. Entertainment was pretty good. Not Vegas, not Paradisus Rio de Oro Holguin, but above the Cuban average.

Pluses of this resort:
15 minutes from the airport (which is very organized, quick and painless), beach is great, lagoon rooms ARE worth the extra money, very relaxing place and the view of the sunset is breathtaking from the lagoon rooms. Beach bar is quaint and very inviting. ALL the bars make exceptional mojitos. And quality champagne is never very far away. Gardening staff are very very good at what they do and very friendly.

Negatives of the resort:
problem with management, service at buffet resort is overall poor, and no milk available for coffee at 7AM except at the pool bar is unacceptable in an international Melia resort -- this was a huge bone of contention for me on our last day -- we had checked out at the requested 6:45, buffet not open until 7:15, lobby bar attached to buffet restaurant kitchen but the bartender could not fathom why I would ask him to get milk at the buffet restaurant, even though it was simply "not open yet." And I do understand that questioning authority and rules is not yet established within the general Cuban culture. I just cannot envision this happening at a resort anywhere else in the Caribbean or Mexico. Hey, if you want to compete...

Patrons:
about 40%Brit, 25% German/Austrian, the rest Canadian, and a few from South America (eg. Argentina) - in all a great mix of friendly people.

Bottom Line:
if you can get a good deal (no more than $1000 per person, then go for it, but the place needs a major face lift and better training for staff. I probably wouldn’t go back only because I like trying other resorts and areas, and we’ve been to better couples resorts in Cuba. I probably wouldn't recommend but there were things about it I really liked. But significant things I didn't. Snorkelling and beach are fantastic though. So if you like smaller quiet resorts, I’d give it a try. Management needs to be stronger and they need more staff in the buffet restaurant.

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