Cayo Ensenachos, Caibarien, Villa Clara, Cuba
Posted by: rocky on Aug 4, 2014
see all reviews
Iberostar Ensenachos offers a choice of accommodation under a Deluxe All-Inclusive plan, featuring the highest standard of quality and personalized service also offers 506 comfortable rooms distributed in 3 areas:
Family Area, with 270 rooms, including 5 disabled rooms
Villas area, with 46 superior rooms only for adults over 14 years
SPA area with 190 rooms , only for adults over 18 years
Share your experiences with others. Don't forget to send your review to Debbie by using an easy form.
Posted by: daniel juarez
on Jan 14, 2008 >
1 contribution(s) Mexico
Visited on: Jan, 2008
3250 people found this review helpful
I visited this place a few days after the inauguration, we enjoy it quite a lot. With my wife we are planning to come back, I suggest to enjoy the wonderful view from the Terraplen of 50 km. We are living during some seasons in Cuba and we like the cays at the north of Villa Clara. The services in this hotel are superb, food wonderful I was surprised with the amount of dishes at the buffet.
Marie-Claude Sabourin on Jan 29, 2008 >
1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Jan, 2008
1042 people found this review helpful
If you need a rest, the Royal Hideaway is the perfect place. Tranquility rules here. Everything is perfectly organized: the hotel, the reservation system for the different restaurants. The beach is beautiful, the food excellent and varied, and more than anything the service is impeccable. The staff is very nice and very attentive. I highly recommend this hotel; it was real therapy for me!
eveline & kamila on Feb 13, 2008 >
1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Feb, 2008
2921 people found this review helpful
Me and My Best Friend Kamila Visited Cuba we stayed in villa at Royal hideaway hotel. We enjoyed it very much beatifull view of the beach, and the differnet healthy type pf spa.
Wenjoyed the food and the sun shine .
Excellent service. I recommond this hotel very much.
I like the management .I thank their general manager miss Agnes Yousif..
Hopefully we will be there soon.
edward on Mar 22, 2008 >
1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Mar, 2008
2691 people found this review helpful
We stayed at the RHD. last September 2007 and all have to say about this resort is a plus 10.The beach is amazing/the pool as well. Beautiful a la cart restaurants, great service and food. Beautiful rooms/ If want to relax/read/meditate/walk on the beach and look at the horizon and get inspired...this is the resort to go. I have been in many places in the caribean, but nothing to compare with this one. We were planning to go to Melia las Dunas, but we decided to go again to the RHD. By the way...you cannot on the beach to Melia LAs Dunas from this resort from here, there is canal that divides the two beaches. I know I have been there. To all your folks that are undecided where to go either Melia Las Dunas or The RHD. Go to the RHD. Good luck and have a good vacation....
"Déception pour un 5 étolies..."
Daniel Dancause on Apr 29, 2008 >
1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Apr, 2008
247 people found this review helpful
Bonjour, D'un retour d'une semaine ( 19 au 26 avril 2008) nous avons été très décu de la qualité du service, de la servitude du personnel et de la qualité de la nourriture et ce même si nous savions que Cuba n'sst pas le Mexique. La plage toutefois était parfaite sauf pour le service sur la plage ( délai, nourriture froide, breuvage chaud etc). Désolé mais pour un 5 étoiles ce n'est pas acceptable. Nous avions hâte de terminer nos vacances et nous n'étions pas seul dans cet esprit...
"WOW, What a place!!"
Melanie and James on Jun 2, 2008 >
1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Jun, 2008
2137 people found this review helpful
Do you know the definition of PERFECTION? Well, this is it! What a beautiful resort! What we really fell in Love with were the amazing people who work there. They are just wonderful. We were there 1 week ago and can't get over our trip... we are planning our next trip out there soon! We were extremely lucky to be upgraded to the Royal Suites/Villas, which are considered a 6*. We had a butler at our service, a private restaurant, a private beach etc.... but we did take in the original area where we were supposed to be and anyone thinking of coming to this hotel will NOT ever be dissapointed. Everyone told us to beware of the food in Cuba, well, we have only amazing things to say about this place and the food too. Excellent food. A true PARADISE! I have already recommended this resort to tons of people and will not stop now.
To all my new Cuban friends...keep up the great work that you do at this resort and we'll keep coming back for more!
I cannot wait to get back there!
So now, stop looking for a place to go, just go to the Royal Hideaway! You are guaranteed total relaxation and please say hi to Alexis (bellboy) and Johnny from the discoteque for us!!! There are so many others we could mention, but you'll meet them soon enough and you will enjoy them as much as we did! Cheers!
"One Island - One Resort - True Paradise"
Rafal on Nov 25, 2008 >
1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Nov, 2008
1340 people found this review helpful
This was a great vacation holiday I ever had, we went to Santa Clara twice and plan on coming back again this January for two weeks. This hotel was beyond my expectations. One Island - One Resort - True Paradise, the name says it all "Royal Hideaway" There's a great review on this resort at royalhideawayensenachos.ca, love the pics, the map, all the review comments.
"Laidback, Lowkey and Luxurious Solitude"
Posted by: Gardengal
on Jul 18, 2010 >
1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Jul, 2009 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
480 people found this review helpful
We just experienced our first ever July/August Caribbean vacation with our third visit to the Royal Hideaway. Since our Canadian summer was basically a washout this year, we counted ourselves very fortunate to have decided to travel at this time this year. We found there to be a number of variances between a winter getaway and being in the tropics in the middle of summer.
Booking last minute, the price at the end of July was quite reasonable, perhaps even better than what it would cost to travel to a northern Ontario resort for a week with meals included. The only concern in booking last minute was the timing in booking while there would still be availability of spaces in the airplane. What happened for us, was that AirTransat ended up combining two separate flights to fill one plane (using CanJet) for economical reasons. Instead of the anticipated early Sunday morning flight, we were bumped to a later afternoon flight, arriving at the resort some time between 11pm-12am. This worked out fine for us (no worries)... especially in light of the fact that with this schedule we had a very restful last full day in Cuba and our arrival time back in TO was 2am on the Civic Holiday Monday, so we could sleep in that day and not have to worry about getting back to work until the Tuesday.
What we noticed immediately, upon arrival, was the very welcome, yet extreme "heat & humidity"! It is so much more intense than we ever expected but was so wonderful, we loved it, even though my hair ended up looking like Monica's from the Friend's episode in Barbados!
We arrived with a whole bus of RHE guests and the lineup was long, right out the Reception Area door, into the Lobby. It went quite quickly, and was nice not having to be "rounded up" into a conference room this time to endure a welcome speech, dresscode explanations & staff introductions. Fortunately, being one of the last ones off the bus and in line worked out quite nicely, as the bartenders from the Lobby Bar came around a number of times with cool towels & chilled champagne, serving us first with each round. Very refreshingly welcome in the tropical evening heat. Another fortunate event was, when we were finished checking in, we were given a ride along with our luggage to our room... this is the first time (in three) that this has occurred. Management must be reading (and heeding) reviews and guest comment cards! Five star service -> Terrific! Once in our room, there was a welcome platter of fruit, sandwiches, the minibar well stocked, plus there was a bottle of rum on the table with some ice & glasses! Ahhh, it was heaven to pour a drink and sit out on our balcony, soaking up the balmy heat and listening for the sounds of the surf over the mangrove.
As Royal Hideaway alumni, we contacted the resort prior to leaving and the room we were given was exactly what we requested. We had an upper corner suite in building 42 , I think! When you're on the boardwalk to go to Playa Megano it's on your left. We apparently had oceanview, but the foliage of the huge Oleanders were blocking the view...lol... c'est la vie! I believe there were only two bungalows open in the Hideaway section, 41 & 42 on the boardwalk and nearest to the Hideaway pool, due to the 30% occupancy.
Restaurants and Bars:
Due to the extreme low occupancy the Hideaway pool lunch restaurant and the a la carte Grill restaurant (Spa pool) weren't open. As well, the Royal suites were closed, therefore the Royal Suites restaurant wasn't available for repeat guests. The Seafood restaurant (by Playa Ensenachos) was also closed, but was temporarily installed & available in the "overflow" area of the Buffet using the outdoor "grand staircase" (above the Asian restaurant) entrance. No real ambiance here and the service was languorous, as the AC had a hard time keeping up with the heat of the setting sun beating down on the huge windows facing west, even with the draperies drawn. The Italian remains our absolute favourite in regards to ambiance, service and food. We learned our lesson in regards to the Asian and asked for an individual table this time. They have two teppanyaki tables operating but only one teppanyaki chef on duty (during low season)... one table of eight enjoyed cocktails and appetizers while waiting for some time before their dinnershow could begin. The chef had real personality and was quite entertaining, as we were seated nearby enough to appreciate his excellent performance skills. This created a nice atmosphere for us, and the service was impeccable! As a side note: it was here that we used the $50 each bonus coupons to buy a bottle of Spanish wine for $75 from the wine list... an $18 value here in Canada... which we did enjoy, but the Chilean housewines are quite decent as well!
Honourable mention goes to the Beach snackbar trainee attendant who was left all alone at times, serving and preparing various items for any number of guests at the same time, with amazing grace under pressure. Kudos to the rookie. Talk about baptism by fire!
In summary, for breakfast we had the Buffet & Room Service available (24hrs), for lunch we had the Spa pool restaurant, the Buffet and the Beach snackbar and for dinners we either had just the Buffet available (two nights) and the other nights a choice of two a la cartes (Asian, Italian or Seafood). Plenty of choices, actually considering the resort was so empty. The only problem we had through the week, was one time (out of 4), our Room Service lunch order never made it to our room. Even after a few phone calls, including Reception, it was a no-show. That night, a returning staff member (who'd been off for a month) informed us that the afternoon had been, shall we say, "not a good day in the kitchen". Apparently there had been a "changing of the guards" (new chef?), some personnel switches and new positions created, including one for himself. He cheerily mentioned that it was to the benefit of RHE to encourage the staff to be more competent & for the resort to run more efficiently. Other than that one "blip", our dining experiences were quite satisfactory. No problems... Es Cuba!
Pools & Ocean
The ocean felt like it was 90°-95° F as well as the pools. Most mornings we spent on Playa Ensenachos for an hour or two enjoying absolute & complete solitude. Although we weren't always alone ->We had a special welcome a few mornings, by the resident barracudas who would float a few metres from us in the shallow warm water, and then swim off. They were at least a metre in length, and really were a shock to see the first time they greeted us (who needs jolt of coffee to wake up?) The other creatures that were noticed included the resident Iguana at the Hideaway Pool, a Cuban Black-hawk, flamingos, red land crabs, sand crabs, hermit crabs & lizards, hummingbirds, a couple of jellyfish, sea urchins, a number of starfish, needle fish and so many schools of colourful fish that swam around us we didn't even end up using our snorkle gear. Although some new friends we met on the trip said there was an octopus and other more interesting sea-life near the coral between the two beaches of RHE. The Villa section was closed, so there were no facilities open nor were there any loungers at either end of Ensenachos at this time of year. We were glad we brought our own beach towels (we always do) which we kept clean by using them on top of the resort towels. We just made sure to keep the dirty towels away from our bed & clothing in case of sand fleas or noseums. When we had enough of the beach, we would head back to the resort for a great walk along Playa Ensenachos and then enjoyed the Hideaway Pool and the Pool Bar attendants for an hour or so to ourselves, too! It was heaven on earth for us! We felt as though we were on our own private island retreat.
Due to only a few buildings in the each of the Hideaway & Spa sections being open, our concierge at first, told us he couldn't get us our room for late checkout. Apparently there were quite a number of new arrivals for the first week of August. But he did do his magic, and we ended up being able to keep our room for $40 until 6pm. Not sure how he did this, as we had talked to the front Reception Desk right after breakfast and had been told it wasn' possible. Not a problem, just thought we'd try. Then, by the time we walked back to our bungalow, our concierge met us in the atrium, and told us that if went back to the Reception Desk, we could pay the $40 and book the late checkout! Which we happily did!
Low Season Summary
Thank Goodness for Air Conditioning! We have always enjoyed and looked forward to dining al fresco with all of our trips to the tropics, however, it was with welcome gratitude that everything (except the Spa Pool restaurant) was indoors with AC here during a Cuban summer! Upon our first winter trip to RHE we had been disappointed regarding this feature, but now we know why it is such a necessity! No real complaints about the food here, it was mainly good,and knowing that it is sometimes a "hit or miss" (only one or two misses) made our expectations more realistic.
In summary, we had the most amazing time. Third times a charm, as they say, isn't it? The service was better, the food was good, the drinks were delicious, and the weather was fabulous... considering the forecast for our week! Accuweather had called for rain everyday, and we ended up with an hour of rain one morning (7:30-8:30am) That day, we were just ready to leave for breakfast, so instead, ordered coffee con leche (for 4->to get a carafe) and continental breakfast for two. It was delivered within 25 minutes (the poor delivery guys were soaked!) and we were ready to head to the beach by the time the sun was out again! One other day there was a "sun shower" that felt like the mist of the Niagara. All in all, we would definitely consider returning in summer, just to experience the laidback, lowkey & luxurious solitude of the Royal Hideaway Ensenachos once again!
"The best resort in Cuba!"
Posted by: Adriana
on Mar 18, 2010 >
1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Mar, 2010 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
302 people found this review helpful
We stayed for two weeks because we stayed here once before and were sorry we had only booked for a week at such a gorgeous place. I could not call it a 4 star but it may not be quite a 5 star because it was not perfect.
Even our arrival at refurbished Santa Clara Airport was great and efficient.
Our arrival at Ensenachos was greeted with a lovely cocktail. We left all our luggage at where we got off the bus and the bellboy brought it up after we had gone to our room. We had the snack that was left there but we could have called room service.
Our room was spacious and clean with a separate bathroom of course, with a tub and shower, that always had enough hot water, toilet paper, and towels. Our shower door leaked some but hey, that wasn't our problem. The maids always did their jobs and usually left us with a towel display. We in turn left the usual gifts on the pillow with some money as well. Our only complaint with the rooms was that the "turn down" service which is also in charge of changing our beach towels sometimes did not do their job and folded our wet ones instead of giving clean ones. Tell your concierge and he will help you. The fridge was always stocked with beer, water and pop.
Restaurants and Bars:
We always prefer a-la-carte meals and we were satisfied with the wide selection of restaurants that were available. We ate at the these restaurants 11 days of our stay. We loved the seafood restaurant,Punta Del Pirata, because Cubans know how to cook it and it was delicious. The Azia served and Asian mix and although the sushi was not quite right we loved eating there. My husband who does not particularely enjoy Italian enjoyed our meal at the Palazzo. The two snack bar a-la-cartes changed to a Grill for the evening meal and a Cuban restaurant respectively. We enjoyed all our meals there. We usually ate our lunches here as well. Service was always good,and the "friholes negros" were the best. To add to our food enjoyment,we ate twice at the Gourmet restaurant at the Villas at the far side of Ensenachos, free of charge. We were given the first meal because we were returning guests and then when we went to the manager's cocktail party for returning guests we won another seating. It was really quiet and intimate there and the food was heavenly. Even the way they served the Spanish Coffee was special. We even enjoyed the Buffet, but we only used it for breakfast and a couple of meals. The omelettes and crepes were great and the "cook" deserves special credit.(She always had her name tag covered so I don't know her name.)
Naturally we spent wine was available for dinner and there were plenty of bars. 2 at each beach and of course the Lobby piano bar. The bartenders reminded us a little of the Keystone cops, but we enjoyed our time there before the shows started.
The grounds were always blooming with flowers and and well taken care of. We spent very little time at the pools but they looked clean and interesting with lots of shade and cushy loungers. The beaches however were the greatest. Every morning we got up, put on sunscreen, etc. and walked for an hour on the Magano beach so we could enjoy our breakfast guilt-free. The water is so clear and even if you did not snorkel you could see fish swimming. If you brought some bread from breakfast you could feed them. We would swim, take a Hobie-Cat ride, walk or just lie in the sun.(The hard plastic beach loungers of our previous visit have been replaced with very comfortable netted ones and there are always palapas.) If we did not go to the a-la-carte snack bars for lunch we had a very nice sandwich at Bohoi-a-la-Plage, a grill on the beach. Nothing fancy but there was a choice of burgers, hot dogs, grilled chicken and individual pizza. If you wanted a quieter beach you went to the Ensenachos Beach. You could also take long walks on the beach there, watch the pelicans dive for meals, etc. At the head of this beach you got to meet the bartender Joel. Joel's Mohitos are resort famous and now world famous I guess. If you need further refreshment there is a little temporary bar set up halfway down the beach.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
We did not take in a lot of outside activities except for the visit to Santa Clara/Remedios. It was an interesting but a bit long. We were exhausted by the time we got back to the resort. Friends reported having a great time seeing the Dolphins on their catamaran outing and there was even an outing to the "Cuban World Series of Baseball" that was amazing.
We went to all the evening shows and really enjoyed them. (Not so much the intro act.)The Spanish Flamenco night was just beautiful and of the highest standard we have seen in Cuba on this our 6th visit.
This year we were encouraged to tip and we did everywhere. Our concierge was not quite up to the standards of the concierge of our first visit. Whereas the concierge of our first visit worked hard to get us all our a-la-cartes set up in the beginning of our stay, this time, even after giving him a substantial tip our concierge always acted as if it was difficult for him to find something even though it was apparent to us that the restaurants were never filled to capacity.
Would we recommend this resort? Yes!
"Try Somewhere Else - But Great Beach"
steve on Apr 5, 2010 >
1 contribution(s) United States of America
Visited on: Mar, 2010 | Leisure | Family and Kids
275 people found this review helpful
This was our last stop on our family tour of Cuba. We drove with a Cuban guide in a minibus for over a week from Havana to the Bay of Pigs, through Cienfuegos, to Trinidad, up through Santa Clara and to the Hotel. Our daughters and their friends wanted to end their vacation on a beautiful Caribbean beach and we had heard that Ensenachos was it.
- The beach was outstanding. There are actually two beaches: Megano (next to the Hidaway and Spa) and Ensenachos (next to the suites.) Both are beautiful but Ensenachos is less crowded and if possible even prettier.
- While I understand it's a no kids under 14 resort, its more like a no one under 50 resort. Our girls were fine with this as they just wanted to hang on the beach but we saw a few 20-30-year olds looking a bit lost.
- Some of the shows were good. (The brass band and singers.) Some were worse than bad.
- 80% of guests are Canadian on packaged tours. We love Canadians but their expectations of what a 5 star hotel should be is a bit humorous ("hey it's warm, has a beach.") Most of them fly into Santa Clara get bussed to the hotel then flown out. That's their "I've been to Cuba" experience. The problem is that their tolerance for a mediocre experience will mean the Spanish owner of this resort has no incentive to fix the problems.
- Don't look to closely at your sheets, towels or bathrobes. It's not clear the laundry uses soap.
- The food is at best abysmal - in all the restaurants. Having spent the week traveling across Cuba we realized it was as bad as everywhere else - or if possible worse. It makes you realize how bad the local populace has it if this is as good as they can do at a hard currency resort.
- The staff feels like they are just going through the motions. Its probably because it's really hard to fire a Cuban employee and there is zero service culture for commerce in the country. Don't expect too much from anyone.
Restaurants and Bars:
The bad news is that the food was horrific. The only consolation is that in traveling around Cuba we realize it is not much worse than anywhere else in the country.
The beaches were outstanding. There are actually two: Megano (next to the Hidaway and Spa) and Ensenachos (next to the suites.) Both are beautiful but Ensenachos is less crowded and if possible even prettier.
Only problem is that on Megano the umbrellas are packed cheek to jowl. On Ensenachos they are clustered together near the Spa end.