Cayo Santa María, Caibarién, Villa Clara
(Jardines del Rey)
"Worst Transat vacation holiday ever"
Posted by: Steve on Jul 28, 2013
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Located on an island paradise off Cuba's northern coast, this 5-star All Inclusive hotel, surrounded by beautiful beaches and lush tropical vegetation, is especially designed for the enjoyment of couples and families.
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"We Would Never Go Back, would never recommmend it..."
Sherry on Feb 5, 2010 >
1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Mar, 2009 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
341 people found this review helpful
We thought the resort was kept clean and the grounds were nice. The pools were beautiful but extremely crowded. I cannot stress enough how crowded. I have never experienced this to the extreme before. What the guest do would be to put there towels on the loungers at night before they went to bed. Then when they got up they had a chair by the pool. That doesn't mean they are going to use it. They could spend the entire day at the beach. Very annoying. You catch on after the first day and then you just take the chair. If they come back with in an hour they could have there chair back, but if not we kept them and said our peace. They do not have enough chairs for the pool. The beach is beautiful. Wished we could of spent more time there, but the wind was too high and the beach was closed to water activities and to lay on the beach was not comfortable due to the wind blowing in your face. Out of 7 days we had 2 nice beach days. Don't let this stop you. I did mention the beach was beautiful on the nice days. Waves are high and don't both with your snorkel gear. There are no fish to be found on the beach. You would have to go off the resort.
Food was ok, very bland and not a lot of variety. Now I know this is the norm for down south, I am not a fussy eater, I love to try new things. I have been down to Cuba 4 times and I found this resort the worst for food. Do not bother witht he Al La Cartes. The Italian was horriable, the steak and rib restaurant was just OK. The entertainment was awesome at this restaurant. It's the one by the pool.
Service was good. I would recommend this resort to a Older Couple that is not very energic, maybe a couple looking for complete relaxation. There is nothing to do and it is very boring. If you are French, this is the place for you. The whole entire resort was full of French people. Not very friendly I might add.
The spa is beautiful. The excursions are to far away and very expensive. The trip we wanted was to go for a hike and visit a waterfall. It would take us 4 hours by bus to get there. That is 8 hours of bus. It made us wonder what kind of trip would it be. Any ways we decided on the Spa and enjoyed it. It is truly one of the nicest Spa I have ever seen at a resort. Very professional and very nice people.
Friends of ours went a week before us and they had pretty much the same complaints as we did.
So if you decide to go TAKE EXTRA TOWELS TO PLAY THE GAME BY THE POOL ( the french do it, you will get fed up really quick and eventually you will have to do it also PUT THE TOWEL ON YOUR CHAIR. It is the only way you will get a seat by the pool. The beach is no better by the way.
We would absolutely never go back
"Beautiful resort with spectacular beach and friendly, helpful staff...loved them!!"
Terra on Jan 19, 2010 >
1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Dec, 2009 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
351 people found this review helpful
We booked this resort because of they price and location. It was everything we wanted. The transfer from the airport was 1 1/2 hrs, but it was daylight so the scenery was great and it went by fast. The causeway to the resort is 48km long which took them 10 yrs to build...amazing! I walked to the causway one day (not far) and found 2 large Conch shells....I was thrilled!!
We booked and flew with Air Transat, and everything went smoothly. The Representitive handed us a package as we boarded the bus to the resort which contained everything we needed...including the room key!! We didn't have to go to the desk when we got there, just straight to our rooms, then the beach...great!!
Rooms were very spacious and pretty...looked just like in the brochure. Tub and toilet were seperate from the vanity and lots of hot water, fluffy white towels and a complimentary bag of shampoo, body wash, soaps and lotion. The bed was a little hard, but that's typical. Lots of pillows including body pillows! We stayed in 0918 which was central to everything and private. We had no complaints and our maid was wonderful. She even ran me a bubble bath with flower petals one night!! We left her a tip everyday and a gift when we went home. The bar fridge guys came around every day to see what you needed...very anxious to please you.
Restaurants and Bars:
We only ate at the buffet and the snack bar....we don't like being commited to a time, so no A'La Cartes! The food was OK...no need to go hungry! For breakfast they had omlettes, french toast and crepes, ham, sometimes bacon, cereals, fruit, etc. Daniel the french toast guy was great!! For dinner they grilled meats to order and pasta with different sauces and things like mushrooms and peppers you could add. The cooks were very friendly and accomodating. They heated things up for you if you wanted, since I think they need new warmers...some food was not hot. Lots of breads and the deserts were pretty good. The snack bar had a menu with good pizzas and grilled sandwiches and fries. We liked it there for lunch. I'm not a big eater but I did gain weight!
The bars were never busy. Drinks were good and plentiful! We brought Bubba Kegs and they liked those...they even got to know what we wanted in them. I drink diet cola since I'm diabetic, so that was important, but they never got it wrong! Rum was GOOD!
The beach was fantastic!! Long and clean. Lots of palapas and chairs...we never came early to get one! The water is the most beautiful color and clear. Some days it was calm and others huge waves. Two huge, shallow but quite cool pools. When we were there we had a few cool days so no swimmimg in the pool for us! Lots of chairs there too. The bartenders served drinks around the pool and the beach....they were great. The grounds are very lush and clean...lots of palm trees and flowers.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
We went to this resort knowing it was a long way from town so we didn't do any tours. A cab ride to the closest town was about $80 + tip round trip we were told. We just wanted to enjoy the resort and be lazy! We have travelled lots and done the tours before. They did the typical dance, games, excercise, etc. daily, but were never pushy about you participating. They made sure you had fun if you wanted.
I gave this resort 4 out of 5 stars only because I have had a little better food at some resorts in Punta Cana. I had never been to Cuba and I heard the food was not 5 star, but they are a country that is not "Americanized" so that we loved. I did not want to see any chain restaurants or stores. It is like a step back in time. But to be honest, I loved the atmosphere here, better than any place we have been...it made up for the food! We didn't come for fine dining...we came for great beaches and friendly people, and that we got. And oh yeah, the rum too!! I loved it here and the workers never acted like they expected a tip...but they certainly deserved it. They were gracious and thankful when we did. Everyone was always smiling and saying "Olah!" I would love to go back and see them and we definitely will!!
Ian Beckett on Mar 6, 2008 >
1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Mar, 2008
1932 people found this review helpful
Just got home for this resort on February 5/08. Heres a breakdown of my thoughts. Resort layout and room: The landscaping was well kept. Lots of flowers and nice things to look at. The rooms are very large, beds are a bit hard, but large. They have cable TV with some English channels. Washroom well maintained. The room safe is free and comes in handy. Bar fridge is filled with you request of drinks. I rate room a 5 star... Food and Service: Good food with lots of variety. You need to be a fussy eater to not like the food. They have something for everyone. I suggest you try the pasta bar or omelette bar. We had a choice of 2 a la carte reservations. Make these early to get the ones you want. If their is a line to reserve stay in it. We picked the Steak House and Mediterranean. Steak was ok, bad location outside was too windy, but the food was ok.. I give it a 3.5 star. The medatrainian food was wicked, no complaints. Well lite indoor resterant. Good service. If you ordered the meal in Canada it would cost about 150.00. TRY IT!!!!!!! Rate 5 Star Buffet Was wicked. 5 Stars They also have snack bar and beach restaurant witch are great for lunch only.. Try the Calamari in the beach bar the best I ever had!!!!! Staff: The are polite, Hard working, they will do anything to keep you happy. Tip them people. They also like toiletries you can by at dollar store here. It’s expensive there and we left all ours back in Cuba so they can take it.. My fav staff member was Elvis and the guys at the swim up bar. Entertainment: was good, I didn’t go to night shows to often go to be early and partied all day. They keep you happy with tons of activities their. We booked a boat trip but got cancelled do to day of rain. They have tons of free stuff to do. Overall: this was a good resort. I give it a 5 star easy. It’s not a spot for partiers, it’s a place to relax and be social. Most people are couples and over 24 years of age. If you’re looking for a wild party don’t go!!! If you’re looking for much needed relaxation this is the spot....