Cayo Guillermo, Jardines del Rey, Ciego de Avila
(Jardines del Rey)
Posted by: delia on Mar 27, 2015
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The Cayo Guillermo All-Inclusive hotel complex is situated on one of the most beautiful beaches of Cayo Guillermo.
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delia on Mar 27, 2015 >
1 contribution(s) United Kingdom
Visited on: Mar, 2015 | Wedding | With Group
166 people found this review helpful
Well we have just got bk from an amazing 2 weeks in paradise for our vow renewal and as promised is my opinion from our 6th visit.Well on arrival we got a shock to see the lobby bar.
(3 yrs since we have been)it was amazing and was great to see Carlos cruz working his magic there.checked in and went to our room.ground floor sea view 403.very pleased with the room and nice to see it redecorated from the blue n orange paint from last time.dumped the bags and went to the main bar.all as before...staff and drinks fab.my only criticism was the plastic cups..which is great thru the day but annoying on an eve and some of the staff there had faces like a slapped arse. .not jonny tho..He had a big smile and couldn't do enough for you night or day.the animation team brilliant too.there where 20 of us and all the staff tried to keep us together when drinking and dining.THe food...can't complain..We had a veggie n a couple of picky eaters and everything great.love love loved the new bbq shack next to the cubanita bar...bloody great.Carlos great as usual in there keeping us entertained.had our pre wedding meal drinks in there..was idyllic . The building work did not affect us in anyway shape or form.. .We had an absolutely brilliant time..It is paradise...first timers don't know what they will want..but for frequent visitors nowt changed.its a little bit tired in places and is slowly getting upgraded but it didn't affect us like I said.There was 1 little glitch and I won't mention names but please be aware if you are celebrating anything and want a cake.THEY ARE FREE.THE HOTEL WILL DO THIS FOR YOU FREE OF CHARGE . We had 4 birthdays as well as the wedding.i went n booked a birthday cake and was charged 10 pesos..not a problem..until a few days later I went to book another 2 cakes..I took the 20 pesos to pay to be told no no no you don't pay it is our pleasure.i found the person who charged me and got the money bk.Had we not had 4 birthdays we wouldn't have known.how many people has this person done it to?so be aware.i haven't reported it because I got my money bk and jobs are hard to come by.Would we go bk???too bloody right.was amazing.The lobster shack up the beach still great.take a torch.went on the now cuba trip..cost 75 pesos..In my opinion waste of time..We spent most of the time on the bloody coach.some of my family did the havana trip.not with Thomas Cook tho as they don't do it but the rep can recommend a guide and 4 of them went to havana by road.7 hrs it took by road but they where in a very comfortable mini van taxi.stayed overnight and had a truly amazing time for 160 pesos.HOpfully we will be bk in a couple of years for Andrew and Barbaras wedding...LOOKING FORWARD TO RETURNING TO PARADISE...im sure there will be a few haters who love to slag it off..but it's my opinion. .and if you don't like the scg. Don't go back..We love it and that's why we do.. .This is my honest opinion.xx
Deb on Mar 4, 2015 >
1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Jan, 2015 | Leisure | Family and Kids
147 people found this review helpful
We had the privilege of staying at this amazing hidden gem for a week in January to celebrate my birthday.
We like to start off by thanking Jose and Nelido for our charming room. It exceeded our expectations, with itís high cathedral ceiling, perfect location and amazing view.
The beach was one of the most beautiful and unique we have ever seen. When you go into the water, it was like velvet under your feet.
The food in the buffet restaurant had several made to order stations where your food was cooked fresh in front of you. Calamari is one of my favorite foods, and the fresh grilled and stuff spinach were both cooked to perfection. The beach grill was also very good, especially their paella, which was as tasty as what we had in Spain. On my birthday we went to the a la carte restaurant. It has a quaint, intimate atmosphere. Juan Alberto and his assistant went out of their way to make my birthday special, with lovely decorations, a cake, candles and champagne. Carlos made me a special birthday drink and gave us some bubbly to take to our room..
The entertainment was good, especially the water ballet, which was
excellent!!! We even went to the disco one night, which was packed and danced up a storm.
Itís a wonderful Hemingway style resort, with a expansive beachfront, wonderful staff and everything you need at your fingertips,
ComeÖfall under itís spell. We did and we canít wait to go back!
"This resort has gone severely downhill"
Posted by: Chris
on Feb 2, 2015 >
1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Feb, 2015 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
162 people found this review helpful
This was the 4th time to this resort. It used to be our little paradise, but unfortunately I can't give a good review after this past visit.
We feel that the quality of the food has gone down. In fact, I became very sick with sudden vomiting and diarrhea and had to have medical attention with I.V. fluids, anti-nausea and pain medication. I have to say the medical care by the doctor on site was excellent.
The dining room didn't seem to have working air conditioning and at times was extremely hot and uncomfortable.
They are presently doing construction and at the time we were there (January 11 - 22, 2015) the beach bar and the beach restaurant were demolished. A new one is being built, but there wasn't much action going on when we were there, apart from a bulldozer or a few trucks going by, so it's hard to say when this will be completed.
So at the present time, the only place to eat is at the stuffy, hot buffet restaurant. There is nothing outside.
The beach has been our main draw there, but unfortunately they are not clearing the seaweed in a timely manner, in parts of the beach - not at all. They clear it by hand and then dump it behind the loungers on the beach. In my opinion, this contributes to their problem of sand fleas as these critters love to feed on wet seaweed.
There is a new scheme where the employees stack the loungers on the beach, so if you want one, they have to get it down and expect a tip! Absolutely wrong.
The rooms are tired but we have always put up with this as like I said the beach was our draw.
The employees are wonderful there. We always bring many gifts for them which they appreciate. And we always make it a point to generously tip the gardeners as they rarely see tips. They make around 20 pesos a month, so a generous tip is greatly appreciated.
The resort has a very relaxed atmosphere which we have always liked, but this last trip had too many negatives that I can't recommend it.
January 11 - 22, 2015
"yet again, another wonderful holiday"
brent on Jul 30, 2014 >
1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Apr, 2014 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
199 people found this review helpful
Yet again another wonderful holiday for me and my family coming to the Sol Cayo Guillermo hotel, he best accommodation choice. The hotel has a relaxed atmosphere that makes it the perfect spot relaxation for any guest looking to stay here for holiday. The room I had and stayed in had an ocean view, it was facing the ocean directly. The room had the perfect illumination and was very clean judging from mine and others in attendance. I did not just like our room because it was clean, I loved the unbeatable distance to the beach and the view was absolutely beautiful. The problem I had with the location of the room which kind of bothered me and the rest of the family was the fact that insects crawled into the rooms but after complaining, that was fixed and I think the major problem was biggest it was a bungalow down floor so itís easy for insects to crawl in through the patio. The restaurants available for breakfast were both nice; I loved the omelet and bacon they served. Lunch and dinner was never a problem for me, they food selection they had always paid out and so we were never left hungry. Crystal clear adorable and beautiful beach they boast of, you could just stay at the beach all day long. They have a small pool that is clean but we hardly used it, we much preferred the beach. The hotel grounds are clean and everything worked out fine, we recommend it.
Posted by: Wendy
on Mar 27, 2012 >
1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Mar, 2012 | Leisure | With friend
430 people found this review helpful
Just arrived back in Canada after a wonderful week at Sol Cayo Guillermo.
Can't say enough about the outstanding staff, especially Manuel the General Manager, Lupe Guest Relations, Miguel the Donut Maker. This resort is small and very family oriented. The general manager can be seen almost anytime speaking with guests and checking the buffet and seeing that things are tip top shape. The staff are wonderful and are always smiling. The beach, what can I say? It's incredible. I will be returning in the near future. We stayed in room 404 and couldn't have had a better location. Hats off to the staff for making this resort so wonderful. It's incredibly clean, the pool is spotless and the restaurants are extremely clean.
The arrival went very smoothly and check in was very easy.
Nothing fancy but incredibly clean and very large.
Restaurants and Bars:
Buffet had a very large selection and the food was always fresh. The staff are spotless and very friendly. Our waiter Leo was wonderful.
The grounds were very well manicured. The pool, although on the smaller side was very adequate and extremely clean. The beach, the best part was amazing. Very shallow and never had a hard time getting a chair on the beach.
Posted by: Bob
on Oct 13, 2011 >
2 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Jan, 2011 | Leisure | Family and Kids
442 people found this review helpful
We've stayed at this resort over 15 times, since the year it opened.
I'm not sure I can give an honest, and fair, review about the place.
All I know is, We're going back in January and probably again in April.
It is a severe sickness!
I'm sure if you visit any of the hotels on Guillermo, you will enjoy!
Steve on Mar 21, 2011 >
1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Mar, 2011 | Business | With Spouse/Partner
528 people found this review helpful
We just had a very nice vacation here.
Lots of adults and well behaved people at the resort.
Not full of loud teenagers or rude people.
Lots of British and Canadians all mixing well, and having quiet fun.
The staff were very nice and work very hard to please you.The food was very good too, lots of traditional Cuban food.
Our room was clean, simple and spacious. Yes it is very windy in March, but we enjoyed that because when you got right out of the wind it was HOT!
Yes! we will go back again
"Definitely Will Return"
Posted by: Rob
on Mar 15, 2011 >
1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Mar, 2011 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
588 people found this review helpful
This is our 8th trip to Cuba but our first to the Cayo Guillermo area. We departed March 5th via Sunwing direct Toronto to Cayo Coco Airport. Good service, on time flight, hot meal choices which were very nice and an uneventful flight which is always preferred. As we were seated at the front of the plane we were one of the first in line for customs. Once through, my wife went to wait for the bags and I went to the Cadeca (bank) to exchange some money. The Cadeca at this airport is located on the main floor of the departure not arrival area.
Once we had our bags and CUCís in hand we exited the arrivals area and were met by a Sunwing rep (Maria) and directed to the bus for our resort. Roughly a 45 min drive later we were at the Sol Club and registering.
The Sol Club is part of the Sol Melia resort chain and the entry level brand which includes, among others, the Melia, Tryp and Paradisus labels in Cuba. This resort is smaller than most we have been to and the overall footprint more limited. Thus, itís very easy to navigate the pathways and get around the resort without a lot of assistance. The grounds are very well kept and the landscaping team was busy during the week with upkeep and improvements.
We were blown away by the view when you exit the lobby toward the pool and beach. In most resorts we have visited the view to the sea is blocked off by buildings and/or a long walkway over dunes and protected areas. Therefore you have to walk quite a way to see the reason you selected this vacation locale. Not here. When you look out the lobby you cannot help but be captivated by the view of the pool, the many, many palm trees all framed by an absolutely gorgeous backdrop of the beach and sea. Without question, this is the single most inspiring first impression of any resort we have visited. And the good news is that it just keeps getting better.
We were in room 923, which is a bungalow room on the west side of the complex past the tennis courts. Nothing to complain about as the room was a good size, the bathroom clean and functional and the storage adequate for our needs. The beds, however, could use a significant upgrade but that is likely more personal preference than anything else. The room had a patio off the back with the requisite chairs and table for two. I never felt closed in or too close to other guests.
Restaurants and Bars:
There are 3 main bars. The lobby bar overseen by Hector and Carlos serves the pool and surrounding area. It is a beehive of activity as it also is the central gathering place for the nightly shows. The staff provides good service and I never felt the pressure to tip to get that level of service. One thing that was an annoyance was the lack of wine glasses much of the week. Drinking any cocktail, but particularly wine, from a plastic cup is a pain but there seemed to be a disconnect between need and availability. This did not happen all the time but frequently enough to be an annoyance. I recognize that proximity to the pool make plastic the option for safety. But when you are having your drinks in the bar area, and make that known, it is disconcerting to get plastic. A small issue, and one easily remedied in my opinion.
The beach bar is a fun area to hang out and get some respite from the sun (or rain). Great location and great guys always ready with a smile. The other bar is located inside the Ranchon and serves the beach crowd as well as guests eating at the Ranchon. Again, great service and no complaints at all.
The food overall is good and the quality high. Sure, you would never mistake it for haute cuisine but its well prepared and presented. We ate in the buffet every night but two and the food was fine. We never went hungry and the choices as presented worked for us. There is a grilling station with pork, chicken, steak plus several seafood options as well. A pasta bar is also available as is a made-to-order pizza station. Never tried the latter two but gave the grilling staff a lot of business. The Sol Club also has a carving station where you will find fish, chicken, turkey and pork. There were lots of salads and fresh fruits and vegetables the week we were there as well as many other hot and cold options. The food in the buffet was good breakfast and dinner, and we had zero complaints. Lunch was always eaten at the Ranchon.
The Ranchon near the beach was our choice for lunch simply because its, well, close to the beach. The menu, while limited, is good and the food very enjoyable. The pizza oven(s) were broken the week we there so that did narrow the options a bit, but it did little to spoil the enjoyment. There is also a burger shack next to the Ranchon where you can get burgs and dogs fixed to order. There are also tables with umbrellas where you can enjoy our BBQíd burg with a cold beer. Sweet!
We walked down the beach a couple of hundred yards and there is a lobster restaurant there. Turn left as you face the sea. The proprietor is Ernesto and a very fun guy. The lobster dinner was outstanding. I think it was 15 CUCís each and well worth the money.
The beach...absolutely gorgeous, stunning, captivating. This is what we came for and we were not disappointed. I never thought I would see another resort beach area as lovely as Playa Linderena in Cayo Largo. In my opinion the beach at the Sol Cayo Guillermo comes very close. It is easily the nicest length of beach in front of all the CG resorts. Easily! The tide goes out in the mid afternoon so you can walk out a couple of hundred yards or more and is great for kids. There are lots of palapas and chairs. The sea is beautiful and the water relatively calm.
We are not pool people so we did not hang around there. It looked a smallish size compared to other resorts we have stayed at. There is a wading pool area for tghe little ones. Lots of chairs, which was nice, but there seemed to be a lot of towels on them awfully early.
High marks for this resort in terms of overall value. It is well run, clean and offers lots of amenities for all types of guests. Things to note: (1) take the time to go to Playa Pilar, a local beach about 10 minutes away by bus; (2) the lobster hut and a chat with Ernesto is a must do; (3) many people were raving about the snorkeling so while we did not participate it sounded real good.
"Nice Hotel with Beautiful Gardens"
Joe and Karen on Nov 5, 2010 >
6 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Nov, 2010 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
548 people found this review helpful
Sol Cayo Guillermo was where we had a wonderful relaxing week between October 19-26 2010, it was our first visit to this hotel. This is a very nicely laid out 3-3 1/2 star hotel, all low rise 1 and 2 story buildings. The gardens are beautiful and we enjoyed every single day our many walks through the property. We had a very nice, basically furnished, room number 518, it was I believe refurbished, we had more than satisfactory housekeeping service all week. We dined only at the buffet and were quite happy with the food. The food was typical 3-3 1/2 star basic Cuban hotel food that was nicely prepared and nicely presented. We enjoyed the drinks at both bars on the property (one beach bar and one much larger and better stocked bar near the lobby). The staff at this hotel are tops, especially the buffet dining room staff. The bar staff were wonderful as well and went out of their way to make sure that we were quite happy with their service and their drinks. Like always there was a few minor bumps in the road, nothing that we couldnt overlook and continue to enjoy this lovely property. It has a good beach and beach area and a very nice swimming pool. We took full advantage of all of the perks the property had to offer. We would certainly go back to this hotel, even considering it was shoulder season, it was absolutely top value for the money that we paid for our vacation. Mosquito spray with DEET is a must when you vacation in the Cayo Coco-Cayo Guillermo area, after all, it is mostly wetlands. We were very lucky as we only got bitten on a couple of occasions, others had quite a few bites. The bites mostly happened at dusk and dawn. You should have no problem if you come prepared with your DEET-based lotion or spray, or really whatever works for you. They did fog the perimeter of the property for mosquitoes both morning and evening. We are not really sure how effective that is. Below, a more detailed version of the property might be of interest to some.
Arrival and Check-In: We flew Sunwing Airlines, leaving Toronto on time and arriving in Cayo Coco in three hours and 15 minutes, going through customs and immigration was quick and easy, we were on our way by bus to Sol Cayo Guillermo within the hour. We dropped off passengers at two other hotel stops before reaching our hotel, there were four of us for SCG. We were checked in quickly, we did however have to wait for our room as it was before 12 noon. We didn't have to wait long as within half an hour of checking in, we were comfortably ensconced in our room.
Our Room:. Although we did not pay for oceanfront, we nevertheless had no obstruction between us and the beach. Room number 518 was quite large enough for us. It was a bright sunny spacious room and looked like it had been refurbished in the not too distant past. The room was on the ground floor,it had sliding doors with reasonably good locks that worked well,these doors led to a very nice patio which was furnished with two chairs, the patio overlooked well groomed gardens and there was a good view of the ocean which was only 100 m away. The room was simply furnished with two three-quarter beds, two night tables, a large cabinet with a built-in chest of drawers on one side, a built-in fridge on the other side, a TV set on top. The TV had very good reception and there was a good assortment of channels. The electric current in the room was all 220 V, the plug receptacles were three prong North American style. The room also had a good-sized closet with a built-in safe, the safe was opened with your room key. The closet had lots of hangers available, housed a small chest of drawers, iron and ironing board, blankets etc.. The bathroom had a nice size shower stall, marble vanity with sink, toilet, bidet, hairdryer, 220 V plugs. There was good water pressure the whole week, lots of hot water, plenty of towels, soap, shampoo. Very good housekeeping all through the week as well. No real problems of any kind there.
Restaurants and Bars:
Food:. All week, for our main meals, we dined at the buffet only. We were quite happy with the food, it was typical 3-3 1/2 star basic Cuban hotel food, it was nicely prepared and nicely presented. For breakfast you could have eggs any style, they had bacon every day at this station also. There were several hot tables containing scrambled eggs, potatoes, pancakes, beans etc..There were cold meats, cheeses, lots of good bread, toaster to make your own toast , yogurts and milkshakes, fresh fruit, cereals etc. etc., a good breakfast assortment we would say.
Lunch was quite good. They had quite a few choices of fish, chicken, pork, some cooked to order or already prepared, different stewed meats were available at the hot tables as well. There was a good variety of breads, salads, pasta cooked to order, lots of desert cakes, four varieties of ice cream. Dinner was a mirror image of lunch with the added, chef carved, lamb, turkey, beef. White or red wine with dinner or lunch. The table wait service was first class at the buffet, hats off to the maÓtre d' who ran the place. Since dressing up for dinner is not what we wanted, we didn't use either the Don Guillermo or the Italian ŗ la carte. From all accounts the Don Guillermo ŗ la carte was excellent and maybe when we go back we will give it a try.
The Ranchon by the beach served just pizza for lunch, it was open from about 12:30 p.m. until 3 p.m..This same Ranchon, by night, served as the Italian ŗ la carte restaurant. Nearby to that, by the beach bar, they served barbecued hamburgers and hotdogs at around noon time until mid afternoon. We used both facilities and were quite satisfied with the food served.
Bars: On our week, during the daytime, there were only two working bars . We enjoyed the drinks at both bars on the property (one beach bar and one much larger and better stocked bar near the lobby). Bar Tocororo which is adjacent to the lobby, is the main bar, here they have a fairly good variety of drinks, a nice selection of rum, beer of course, the mandatory Mojitos, and a selection of hand mixed cocktails which you can ask for by name, if they have the ingredients they will make it for you, very good coffee also available 24/7. An extremely obliging staff at this bar. Adjacent to the main bar they served a variety of toasted sandwiches, sandwich hours on our week were from about 11 a.m. until 6:30 p.m.. El Cubanito, the beach bar, had a much simpler menu of rum, beer, mojitos etc.. This bar was a nice quiet place to sit and enjoy the refreshing sea breezes combined with a lovely view of the beautifully multicolored ocean. El Cubanito bar hours were from about 10 a.m. until late in the evening, we just used this bar in the middle of the day.
The beach: In front of SCG the beach is quite lovely even if a little narrow at high tide. The ocean is a beautiful color and is shallow and warm, a great beach if you have young children. There is ample lounges and shade on the beach for a lot of people. We had no problem at any time getting a lounge and shade, of course SCG was maybe between 50 and 60% occupancy, this beach may be a little more crowded in high season. The beach is groomed daily using a mechanical beach cleaner pulled by a tractor. The seaweed does build up on windy days, a little more in some spots than others but didn't bother us in any way. We loved walking the area beaches both mornings and afternoons. There are a couple of what I would say were "virgin beaches" 2 or 3 km west of SCG. There is a well-defined path that can be easily negotiated to these beaches, it's an easy walk. These beaches are somewhat littered with flotsam and jetsam, nonetheless, the beaches are very interesting to walk and you are usually the only one on the beach.
The pool is very nice indeed and is cleaned early mornings on a daily basis. The water was warm and we very much enjoyed our daily swim. We experienced no shortage of lounges although there were people who saved lounges. Although we didn't take advantage of it, there was a drink service for people in the pool area. Everybody kept this chap pretty busy. He was kept working hard every day.
The grounds are so very beautiful, we loved just walking around and looking at all the tropicals. The gardeners kept the whole property in very good shape. Our housekeeper, on a daily basis, picked us a nice bouquet of those tropicals for our room. Wonderful.
After having a wonderful five days of quaffing down, at high noon, or sometimes a tad before, LOL, two prechilled glasses brimming with, deliciously cold Cristal beer, on our sixth day, we were crushed with a cruel disappointment. On approaching the main bar we asked for our usual two prechilled glasses of ice cold beer, only to be told, "no dice my friends". We were not too subtly informed that "they will not be serving any drinks, anymore, at the main bar, in glass, before 7 p.m.". The reason given was that "we might take it to the pool area and break the glass into the pool and the pool guy would get upset". I assured them I wouldn't do that, I was prepared to post a bond to have that cold Cristal in prechilled glasses "no dice they said". I found that a rather odd rule as I would believe that there are more glasses broken in the pool after 7 p.m. than before, I may be wrong. From now on we were informed, you just could only have those 4 ounce disposable plastic glasses (the ones that now litter all of the Cayo Guillermo wetlands). These we were told were orders from no other than the manager himself. This unfolding confrontation at the bar, reminded me of the situation on Seinfeld with George and the soup guy. Of course, dissappointed and despairing at the thought of missing our prechilled glass of cold Cristal, my mind went into overdrive and right away I thought of a solution and went back to my room and got two prechilled glasses from our fridge, the day and our holiday was now saved when the bartender relented and filled our glasses, it was a close call, but to the victor goes the spoils, I have to say the beer was the best I ever tasted. A note to the manager. For us, this was just a very nice simple daily, no cost to you, ritual that we enjoyed. With rules like that, you are just cheapening your bar service and Sol brand reputation, we are not all louts who throw glass in the pool. We hope when we return next year we can as usual, spoil ourselves a little We will let you know when we are coming so please have the porch light on and those prechilled Cervesa glasses tucked away in the cooler.
Things We Really Enjoyed.:
We enjoyed our room, our patio, walking through the gardens, walking the beach and small trails, laying on the beach watching the colorful kites, the friendliness and dedication of all of the wonderful staff, the whole layout of the low rise hotel buildings, the pool barbecue, six days of glass and class service at the bar. Yes I guess, we enjoyed everything, even High Noon confrontations at the bar LOL. We will be back.
"Worst cuban vacation ever"
B. on Oct 6, 2010 >
1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Sep, 2010 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
591 people found this review helpful
The arrival was overall uneventful. We had to wait at least half an hour for latecomers who had seemingly been detained at Cuban customs. The bus ride to the Sol Cayo Guillermo was a bit long (1h30), as this is the last hotel on the route that the bus takes to drop off tourists. When we arrived at the hotel, we noticed that the signs pointing the right direction to reach the different rooms (according to their numbers) had all been removed. We were told this was done to ensure that the tourists were obligated to have a groom assist them to reach their room, and to ensure that this groom would receive compensation in return.
The rooms have been "spared down" from what they used to be. The tea/coffee machine with the complimentary daily coffee packages are no longer provided in the rooms. The tree branch "structure" (which was perfect for drying beach towels) has disappeared, to be replaced by a three-pegged coat rack. If you put anything on those pegs, they immediately fall off, as they are held up by too-short screws. The air-conditioning was defective for the length of our stay (out-of-control temperature, weak air ventilation, noise, swinging mechanism broken). The disco has apparently been informally moved from where it was before (near the swamp, at a somewhat remote location from most rooms) to the theatre near the bar, where they hold the nightly shows. Consequently, we found ourselves hearing loud music throughout the night, every night. It was hard to sleep through this racket, but we had no choice.
Restaurants and Bars:
WORST FOOD EVER-my partner and I both got sick for the first time since we have started vacationing in Cuba. This was our 10th visit in Cuba, (4th visit in this hotel) and our last experience in 2010 will ensure that we NEVER GO BACK TO THE SOL CAYO GUILLERMO, unless some major changes are made to this hotel. We have never gone to Cuba for the food, but all that we required, minimally, was to be presented with just a little edible food and to not get sick because of the food. This year, we did not even get the basic minimal service that we expected.
Breakfast: inedible fruit (hard and pale papaya, lemony "oranges", tart grapefruit, tasteless honeydew, rotten bananas), raw bacon, stale pastry and bread, horrible hot dishes of disgusting food.
Lunch: Disgusting assortment of hot and cold food. Nothing tastes remotely good. Even the french fries are either raw, cold, dry or burnt!
Supper: Same thing as lunch, except there are dishes recycling the food from breakfast to make things even more horrifying! The morning "crepes" become "fish rolls drenched in cheesy white sauce", and the morning spanish omelets (with sliced potatoes) become covered in tomato sauce and cheese, and are labeled "pizza" squares! You are expected to tip for every plate of pasta or grilled fish/meat you ask for-and it's not even good food! It's horrible!!!
Coffee at the bar: Behing the counter, there is a big, clear container/dispenser of cold milk, where the barmaid puts back the leftover (heated) milk for re-use on another tourist. (This may explain also how we got sick this year.)
The beach has been largely eroded by hurricanes, but the water is as good as it used to be: turquoise, clear and calm water (if no wind), blurry-choppy-full of seaweed if there is wind.
We strongly advise you not to go to this hotel. It has gone downhill over the past years and has now attained the breaking point. My partner and I became seriously ill because of the horrible food we ate at this hotel. We did not eat a lot (we never do), and we were careful to use the bottled water provided in our room. We suspect we may have fallen ill due to contaminated food at the buffet (whether human contamination in the kitchen or contamination due to the numerous flies visibly dancing on the food), or due to the use of TAP WATER in morning smoothies and other food preparations.
In any event, many others became ill while we we're there, indicating that this problem was evidently widespread.
Spare yourself the grief-a vacation should never be this disappointing!