|Oasis Playa Coco|
|Arrival: Christmas 2008
We took the early morning flight from Dorval. We booked Signature on Skyservice. Good flight. Super nice flight attendant. Arrived problem free around 10:30. Customs were a breeze. Quick bus ride to hotel. Nice welcome at hotel. No clue about our Signature rep ??
Nice and clean. No smell. No bugs. Sweetheart maid with nicely designed bedsheets and covers. Super clean all the time. No cpomplaints here. The only suggestion would be to get new mattresses and pillows
Restaurants and Bars:
Bland food but good. No upset stomachs. Our kids are very picky eaters, but they all found stuff to eat. Beach bar/grill was great. Snack bar was fine. Swim up pool bar was fun, but cold water !!. Italian restaurant was the only one we went o because of our non-present signature rep. We found out way too late about reservations. Not impressed with Signature. TMR had a great rep who walked around all the time talking with their customers and finding out if they needed help with anything. Nolitours had many extras too including special meals at the beach bar. Nothing from Signature!
Very well kept place. always clean. Many staff people cleaning in Cuba-speed, but always doing something. Beach was great except for the amount of rocks and Algae directly in front. Just to the right was much better. Pools seemed clean, but never saw anyone ever clean them... kids loved it anyways, but being unheated I didn't dare... Our guys at the beach always had our umbrella tree ready for us every morning. not expecting a tip, but always gave one. Volleyball court just in front of beach desperately needs some more sand to cover some rocks. My scraped up knees will need some time to heal. Met a bunch of Torontonians who were super friendly.
Really nice resort. I'm not sure about 4*, but at least 3 or maybe 3 1/2.
Our second disappointment was the signature rep who gave us our very brief talk on the third day in the late afternoon, so we could only book a single a la carte meal. The next time I saw him was at the airport and he still had no idea who I was. Next time I'll book with TMR or Nolitours.
Would I go back again? Only if there was a great great deal. I'd for sure book a trip to the newly renovated hotel right next door. I think it's the BlueBay Cayo Coco.
Last thing I'll say is don't bring any big shells back home with you. I spent over an hour with customs. They were going to arrest me right there in the airport. I had to fill out all kinds of forms (in espagnol!) I had to plead guilty to the crime of exporting illegal shells, then I was "resoluted" of that crime, and they agreed to let me go. I was quite nervous having nightmares of Cuban prisons....
Not worth the worry !
|Oasis Playa Coco|
|Arrived from Gatwick 25th June stayed for 2 weeks.
Airport, transfer and check in all smooth. Paid 15peso deposit for towels and went to our room (safety deposit box included) Stayed in room 4208 excellent room overlooking the beach with 2 double beds a seating area and balcony. Large room and bathroom all very clean and no mould or bugs at all for 2 weeks. Hotel is very large and open and has a nice breeze all day and night.
The only thing that lets this hotel down is the food. Very repetative and bland also when they did have something nice and it run out was always replaced with something different??? Breakfast was by far the best with omelettes, bacon, baked beans, toast and fruit (although some was tinned not fresh) Salad bar on the eveing consisted of very thin watery cucumber, beetroot and shredded carrot (no tomato or onion) and no mayo. Ate at the Italian but left after 30 mins as the lasagne was disgusting looked like cat food with very stogey pasta in it. The antipasta had no hams or cheeses (although they had them in the buffet??) Also ate at the Japonese which was excellent although both had dodgey stomachs for a fews days after and so did some others that ate on the same night. The snack bar on the beach was ok in the day time although my other half said the buffet was better on lunch time (I don't eat in the heat of day) The 24hr snack bar did nice hotdogs although for the first week we only got half a dog???
The entertainment was not very good either but mainly because the main stage was being refurbed and so had to sit in the disco if you wanted to watch I prefer to sit outside in the cooling night air so didn't watch much of that although it was there. Also due to the stage area being refurbed most people chose to sit in the lobby bar on an evening which became hot and noisy. We prefered to sit at the 24hr guantanamera bar outside and most nights on our own (very peaceful and nice). Mario at this bar works every other day and was the best staff we encountered always pleased to serve and making a mojito as soon as we finished one. Most of the other staff didn't seem to care and the entertainment and lifeguards seemed more interested in the Canadian women and getting drunk on the beach. Waiting staff never seemed to notice you were there with a few exceptions always having to call for drinks etc
Our room was always clean not fantastically but had been swept and beds made etc every day. Lots of swans made for us and fresh bottled water no problem everyday. One thing we did notice is that the pool side and pool does not get cleaned very often. Saw them clean the pool once all holiday and pool side was not scrubbed down at all and only seemed to be swept every other day (someone ate pistachios by the pool and shells were there for 2 days) also a lot of cigarette ends everywhere around the pool and on the beach (please clean up after yourselves)
This hotel is definitely not a 4*+ more like a 3*. Have stayed in Dominican Republic for the last 10 years at different hotels and this one was the best for the spaciousness (similar to BPSJ) but food I would rate below Paradise Beach Resort. Don't get me wrong we had a lovely time very relaxing but thought that the food let it down.
To end on a good note we didn't have any problems getting a palapa or sunloungers for the whole holiday as the hotel was very quiet. If anyone has any questions please do not hesitate to mail me on firstname.lastname@example.org
|Oasis Playa Coco|
|Second trip to this hotel this year, we were in Oct 2007 and May 30 to June 6. We flew Air Transat through Nolitours via Holiday Market. The meal on the plane going down was Chinese food and return cheese pizza, you may want to bring or eat something before as they are not the greatest meals. No problem going through Customs and the Air conditioned bus is waiting for you, its just a 15 minute ride, no stopping at other hotels. Front desk check in was swift and luggage is brought to your room.
Stay away from 1st floor rooms as they seem to have flea problems in the beds. We were on the second floor in 4000 building, no problem with bugs in our room. Bit moldy but turning on the Air condition and small can of spray freshener solved that problem. Maid cleaned the room every day, clean towels provided and she did change our sheets when we requested. Please stop wearing make up to bed, it does stain the bedding and they cannot remove it off as easily as we can.
Food usual for Cuba, breakfast always offers the best variety. Buffet ok as we always found something to eat and 24 hr bar has hamburgers, hotdogs, fries, sandwiches, good coffee. You can get food at the Beach, we never ate there but the pizza looked ok. Don’t forget to visit the Ice cream parlour at the small quite pool. Never made it to al la carts but everyone said the Italian was bad, the Japanese and Seafood good. We had great service everywhere we went and never had a problem with any of the staff. Majority of the staff are young, new and in training, you don’t need to tip however its greatly appreciated if you do.
We never went to the pools but they look nice, the Beach and water were great, the water was warm and there was a nice breeze on the beach in the afternoon. There are paddle boats and the small catamarans for use. Beach volleyball, water aerobics and dancing. For those who like to do things. Nightly shows nothing big, small with some dancing
Usually held in the Disco. In October they were outside, I guess there were more people at the resort at that time of year. It was not that busy, could get Beach and Pool chairs at any time of day.
YES… the mosquitoes are bad, there are swamps all around and you really need to bring Off with deet. My husband has a couple of bites and I don’t have any. Around 7:30 pm they fog for bugs and I think it just pisses off the mosquitoes even more. By nine they are gone. There are some extras provided by Nolitours and we did not take advantage of them so can’t comment but some people did Tapas & Paella & Barbeque nights at the Beach and were running for cover to the Buffet because of the Mosquitoes.
|Oasis Playa Coco|
|My husband and I booked this trip last minute for ourselves and our 3 children (11, 10, 8) as a getaway after a hectic winter of hockey, hockey, hockey. My husband and I have travelled to St Maarten x2, DR x 7, Turks and Caicos, Varadero, and Cayo Largo. Our kids’ previous experience was only the trip to the Sol Pelicano in Cayo Largo, which they loved (as did we). Our travel agent had warned us that Oasis is a “fairly basic” resort which would be comparable to the Sol Pelicano. I would say that we had reasonable expectations going in, and with a few exceptions, this resort was exactly what we expected.
Luckily, our package was through Sunwing Vacations. The flight was on time, with a choice of waffles (kids liked ‘em) or eggs with home fries (not bad) and a glass of champagne with breakfast. On the way home, the meals were a choice of Chicken Divan which was very good (within the context of airplane food) or cheese tortellini (again a kids’ favourite), with complimentary wine. It was the first time I have ever been too full to finish an airplane meal! Anyhow, the flight was an hour ahead of time arriving in Cayo Coco and back to Toronto. I think the itineraries actually had the wrong arrival times on them, because the captain of the flight knew the flight time would be 2h50m, so with a 6:20 departure time, that puts us in CC at 9:10, not 10:10 as stated on the tix. Anyhow, I digress; the flight was smooth, staff at check-in and in flight were very courteous and efficient. The other benefit of booking with Sunwing is that upon arrival at the resort, all your reservations for the a la carte restaurants have been made for you and are at decent times. You are free to change the times if you wish, but some people with other companies had to take much later, inappropriate reservations at the restaurants.
We had booked two rooms and were pleasantly surprised that they were adjoining and had doors to open between the rooms. At the Pelicano, this option was not available. The rooms do have a bit of a musty smell, which I have experienced at every Caribbean resort I have ever stayed. They were spacious and clean and towels were changed daily. As well, being Sunwing guests, the beach towels were in our rooms when we arrived. The down side: ANTS! The bathroom had tiny ants by the second day, which we could not get rid of, no matter how much OFF and hairspray I used. I ended up leaving my purse in CC when I left because it was so badly infested after being left in the room safe. If it was just my hubby and I, we would have asked to change rooms, but we did not want to lose the benefit of the adjoining, walk through rooms.
The Japanese restaurant is not to be missed. Good food, Great show!
The Italian restaurant was good, although some of the dishes were like what you get at the pasta bar at the buffet.
Try the Bolognese pasta, or the Lasagne, for your pasta course, very nice. The chicken main was very tasty as well, and the tiramisu was great for dessert.
We didn’t try the seafood restaurant, since our kids are not fans of seafood.
The buffet…..Well it’s a Cuban buffet – became very repetitive, but the pasta bar was good at dinner, as was the cooked-to-order chicken/beef/pork station. By the end of the week, you’re just eating to stave off hunger pangs, not because anything looks particularly appetizing. Beware the “syrup” they have beside the waffle/pancake station at breakfast. It’s honey, not maple or even corn syrup. Use the fruit compotes in the fruit section of the buffet instead. My daughter ate more fruit in the week than she has probably eaten in the past month at home – papaya, mango, guava, pineapple, oranges, grapefruit, melons. The ice cream never ran out for dessert, so the kids were happy.
The beach snack bar had burgers, hot dogs, pizza and fries and great service – thanks, Jaclyn! The 24 hr bar also had burgers, dogs, sandwiches and fries, and also great service from “super” Mario! Tipping was never expected, but service at all the restaurants and bars was so good we tipped often during the week. My middle son loved to tip the gents working at the pasta bar and waffle station in the buffet.
It was just beautiful, white sand, crystal water, lots of palapas, and if you choose to go up the beach to avoid stepping on the coral in the water (sea urchins), you can put your loungers up under the trees for shade. Take bread or bananas into the water to feed the fish and hundreds appear out of nowhere, tickling you tummy and feet as they snap up the treats. The kids enjoyed rescuing the starfish as the tide went out, There were some jellies in the water, but I was the only one who felt the stings, which were like a small slap, really.
The big pool was great with warm water, a swim-up bar, a submerged platform in the middle great for sunbathing, and many different depth areas. The loungers at both pools were great, the sling-type variety that doesn’t make your back/bum ache like the hard plastic ones at the beach.
The children’s pool also had warm water, and the ice cream parlour right beside it, which the kids loved. It did have the reputation of being the “quiet” pool, although there is a sign leading to the pool naming it as the children’s pool. It had the most available palapas for shade, so that is where we spent many afternoons, much to the dismay of some of the older clientele, who thought of it as their territory and left as soon as we arrived – no, our kids are not obnoxious hooligans, but do like to swim. We have taught them to respect the other people enjoying the pool.
The nightly shows were more artistic than family oriented, but still entertaining to watch. The animacion staff didn’t seem too interested in the guests though. I never saw any of the ladies on staff during the day, but the men seemed as though they would rather just chat amongst themselves than organize any activities. I have been to resorts where the staff hassle you to join in every activity or game, but here they seemed as if they wanted you NOT to join, so they could have time to themselves, or to go to the disco to play pool with each other. I’m not sure whether the kids club was even open during the time we were there, but I did see one worker in the kids club building once during the week.
We took a cab to Playa Pilar, (although you can take a bus for 5 pesos each, return). We wanted a direct there and back trip without the stops at the other resorts which the bus makes. Playa Pilar is a MUST for anyone going to Cayo Coco/Guilllermo! The sand is finer than sugar, more like flour, and the water is incredible. Great beachcombing for shells, sand dollars, and big starfish. We were lucky enough that day to see dolphins visiting the beach and jumping offshore while we were there. If you choose to have lunch at the little restaurant at Playa Pilar, make sure you order before the catamaran tour comes in, or you will wait +1hr for your meal. The pork steak there is quite good. I shared a grilled lobster tail with my daughter which was overcooked really, but a 1 lb lobster tail for $8, can’t go wrong.
My husband and oldest son hired a cab another day to go to Moron and had a fantastic trip. They arrived in the center of town to the Saturday morning boxing match in the town square, where boys my son’s age were competing. Later in the day, it was an eye-opener for my 11 yr-old to see what a Cuban school looks like, let alone the city in general. They were invited by a farmer to a tour of his home and subsistence farm. He was very kind and proud of his home and eager to share a taste all of his fruits, sending a bag of fruits home with them. The taxi driver later in the day arranged for my son to join the speedboat mangrove tour free of charge, but as there was only one spot open, and my son being shy, he declined to go without his father.
While my hubby and son were in Moron, my younger son and daughter and I went for the horseback ride along the beach. Hubert was a very nice guide and did a great job allaying the kids’ unease, since they had never ridden before. The horses know exactly where they’re expected to go and what to do, and even stop at the end of the long sandbar at the end of the ride out, so that Hubert can take your picture with the ocean in the background.
HORSES AND BULLS WANDERING THE RESORT AT NIGHT: Yes, this sounds like a nice idea to see “wild” horses on the resort grounds, but for someone who isn’t fond of big animals and who is returning to their hotel room at 3 am, it can be a bit of a surprise. Also, the groundskeepers didn’t clean up any of the evidence left by the horses, which can become somewhat fragrant after some time in the sun. If they want to use it as fertilizer, they might try mixing it into the soil? It’s a small thing, and something you can overlook, but should you have to at a “4star” resort?
CERAMIC FLOORS EVERYWHERE: Indoors and out, and even around the pools, everything was floored with ceramic tile, which made it very slippery when wet. There were signs everywhere warning people about the slip/fall hazard. I’m sure my kids were sick of hearing me tell them to be careful everywhere they went because a few drops of water make the floors and grounds very hazardous. The tile looks nice, but I didn’t like having to always worry about the kids falling…
NEGLECTED POOL MAINTENANCE: There were broken tiles in both pools, which were sharp, but yes they would be hard to replace without emptying the pool. How would one do this in an occupied hotel? The children’s pool had underwater light fixtures which had come free from the wall, leaving sharp edges, and exposed wiring (presumably not live). I did scrape my leg on the plastic clip for the light fixture but didn’t break the skin. Again, something you can overlook, but…..
SAND FLEAS: We’re not sure whether they were just outdoors or in the room too. My husband thinks they were in our bedding, although I did not see any or get bitten until we were waiting in the lobby for our bus on departure day. I could feel the bites, and just kept moving around. My husband has hundreds of bites and had to go to the doctor two days after we got home. He is allergic to flea bites, and these bites were getting worse. He’s now using antibacterial and cortisone creams, as well as taking an oral antibiotic.
This resort is unusually accessible for people with limited mobility. We have travelled with a friend who requires a scooter to get around, so I was paying attention to that aspect for this resort. There are ramps everywhere, and really the beach is the only area I could see where a scooter/wheelchair could not easily go, but that is the case with all wide sandy beaches…
THE STAFF!!! At all the bars and restaurants, the staff were so gracious and friendly, they ensured you had a good experience. Aside from the stunning beach, the restaurant/bar staff are this resort’s greatest asset.
We did have a great time at Oasis Playa Coco, and the negatives listed above are more of a heads-up to resort management of things which could be changed for the resort to excel.
Cayo Coco is proudly ecologically minded and has a Nature Park close to the resort, so yes, bugs are to be expected. However the after-effects of the sand fleas, and the ants in the room which I have read in reviews of other resorts on CC, left my skin crawling for a couple of days after we got home, and make this one island I would hesitate to revisit.
|Oasis Playa Coco|
|My family (my husband, myself and our 7 ½ month old infant) visited the Oasis Cayo Coco resort from April 24th to May 1st, 2008. After reading some of the reviews we were worried about the quality of this hotel. We decided that since we are simple people who can have an enjoyable time anywhere, we booked our trip with Sun Wing Airlines.(10 days before our trip) We are SO HAPPY we took those bad reviews with a grain of salt! (Just a note: the hotel was full with guests arriving and departing every day we were there.) We really enjoyed our trip. Here is our review of the resort:
AIRPORT ARRIVAL: We had a very smooth check-in, no problems at all. Grabbed our luggage and met with our sun wing rep. It took us 20 minutes by bus to our resort
HOTEL CHECK-IN: Smooth as well. We arrived at the hotel at 10:00 am. We knew that check-in was at 4:00pm however when we checked in, we were told that our room would be ready with-in 30 minutes. The front desk staff was very courteous and helpful! I’m sure having the baby with us helped with the check-in!
RESORT: We have traveled many times to the Caribbean staying at both 5 star and 4 star plus resorts. This is not a 5 star resort, but it does not claim to be. In my opinion we came for the sun, the beach, the pool and the service and we were please with all. This resort is a very family friendly resort. Lots of children. IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO BE AROUND CHILDREN GO TO AN ADULTS ONLY RESORT! We over herd a few tourists who were complaining about children being at the resort.
ROOMS: We had booked an ocean view room; we stayed in the 4 block (room 4311). I feel this was one of the best rooms. Beautiful view from our balcony, away from all of the noise from the nightly shows, and 24 hour bar. Our room was spotless, AC worked very well. We noticed within an hour of checking in to our room that our fridge did not keep our baby’s formula very cold so we contacted the front desk who IMMEDIATELY sent someone to fix it. It worked perfectly from then on. The room had NO mold and it was NOT musty. It was a very large room, and nicely decorated. The bathroom was spotless and large as well. We had requested a king bed (which we received) a crib for our son (which we also received with-in a few hours of check-in) and to be on the top floor (also granted). We had plenty of hot water and our water pressure was fine. (I think some tourists do not realize to turn the hot water on you turn the tap to the left) Our maid was Dorisdey. She was fantastic. If you needed anything she would get it for you. She even gave us more water. (according to other reviews people got hassled when asking for more bottles) We always filled up our bottles at the bars anyway because we used a lot of water, with and infant)
POOL: Lots of shade around the pool. There were lots of people who got up really early to save their chairs. We found this incredibly rude. At one point from about 11 to 3, we were the only ones at the pool, but all of the chairs were taken! We always still found a spot or two; sometimes you just needed to move some loungers around. There was some topless ness the last few days that we were there. I think this surprised some of the families that had children. Usually in other resorts, the topless ness is kept for the beach. Our son is only 7 ½ months old so it wasn’t a problem for us. The water was a bit cooler in the mornings but we love swimming so we didn’t mind!
BEACH: What can I say….just beautiful. The water was perfect, we found the ocean very sandy (no rocks) and it was like this all the way down the beach. A bit of seaweed right out in front of the resort, but was very clear as you walked farther down the beach. People played the “chairs wars” at the beach also. There is horseback riding, catamarans, kayaks, and snorkeling, all at the beach. There is also a man who will take you up in a small plane / glider. He crashed once when we were there. The people got a bit banged up but nothing serious. We were not that brave or crazy so we didn’t do this!
FOOD: All of the restaurants had high chairs!
Buffet-typical Cuban food, lots to eat. No-one would ever starve. (I am a vegetarian and I always found lots to eat). Milkshakes were excellent, so were the omelets, pasta bar was terrific (never waited longer than 5 minutes), always lots of fruit. Lots of bread! My husband loves the shrimp (although you will have to wait 20 minutes, it very popular!) chicken and spare ribs.
YOU MUST TRY THE FRUIT FLAMBEE DESERT! You will wait a long time for this (approx 30 minutes) but it is worth every second. The chef takes pineapple, mango and bananas and flambéed it in butter, cinnamon sugar, and rum. To die for……
NOTE: the only issue for the buffet is the hours. Breakfast 7am-10am, lunch was from 12:30pm – 2:30pm. Dinner was from 7pm – 10pm (some people are use to eating dinner at 7 but not us, if you had children this might be too late, although you could always go to the 24 hour bar for and early dinner snack!)
Seafood – Did not eat here (hours 6:30-10:00)
Italian – Was good, nice selection of wines (hours 6:30 – 10:00)
Japanese – Amazing, this was our favourite. Great food, lots of entertainment! (6:30-10:00)
PEOPLE: Very friendly, everyone LOVED our son. All of the waitresses would stop by to play with, hold, sing to ect…. during our meals. Our child actually became quite friendly with a sweet waitress who loved to come and hold him! We found the Cuban people very hard working and are proud of their culture. (One of the reasons we keep coming back to Cuba is because of the people). We always bring lots of things to give the people, clothes, toiletries, Canadian paraphernalia, toys for the children ect. All of it helps, and very much appreciated. We also gave lots of tips. (you do not need to, and we found the people are very friendly and helpful to begin with so tipping is because you want to, not just so you can get better service.) Robert and Junior can be found working on the grounds; they will be very willing to make different animals out of the palm leaves, as well as little hats. They all have families to support and we feel that we are very blessed and have so much more than they have so we always tip freely! We never felt pressure to tip!
BARS: Beach bar had lots of hamburgers, French fries and pizzas, salad and pasta as well! And drinks
24 hour snack bar had sandwiches, hamburgers, fries, drinks (you could get coffee here before 7 am)
Pool bar: This is were you could get the best banana mama’s (Rodolpho is the man to see!)
Lobby Bar – always full stocked but can be a bit busier
TRIPS: We only took the horse and carriage ride (for 5 peso’s each). It was nice. Relaxing drive down to a little ranch where you can buy souvenirs and watch some dancers and other live act shows.
In conclusion a great trip to Cayo Coco, and would recommend this hotel to family and friends.
Feel free to contact me with any questions
|Oasis Playa Coco|
|My wife and 3 year old daughter visited this resort from April 19th- 26. We booked last minute with Signature Vacations and flew out of Halifax with Skyservice. The airline was fantastic right from the time we checked in at the airport until we arrived back home. They have a special check in counter for families which we were able to take advantage of. Unfortunately for us my daughter decided she was going to be sick at the counter and the lady working there was very kind to us in allowing my wife to get some clean clothes out of a suitcase. I would not hesitate to book another vacation with Signature/Skyservice.
The Resort :
Let me first say that we had a great vacation. I have travelled in the Caribbean for the last couple of years but have only ever stayed at 5 Star properties in both Mexico (Bahia Principe Tulum) and Punta Cana (Grand Bahia Pricipe). After reading different reviews about the Oasis Cayo Coco, we were afraid of what we were in for. I have to say that there is both good and bad at this property and if you accept that then you will have a great vacation.
The beach was very nice. The first day we were there, there were quite a few little jellyfish in the water which made enjoying the water very difficult. The rest of the week was great. Walking into the water is a little rocky but then is nice and sandy. There is great snorkelling right off the resort as there is a large rock formation that has literally hundreds of fish. I snorkelled every day. Getting beach chairs and palappas is challenging if you do not get to the beach prior to 9am. I hate to say that I was one of these people who got up early to go reserve a spot. I was travelling with a little one and didn't want her sitting out in the sun all day. The only complaint I have about the beach is that there were lots of cigarette buts in the sand. Why can't smokers be more considerate and put their puts in a plastic cup. There are plenty to go around
There is no way that a person should starve here. I am a picky eater and always found something good to eat. Great omelette's in the morning and plenty of grill stations where they do chicken, steak and seafood. For lunch you can get hamburgers, hotdogs and fries. There is also a restaurant right and the beach and also the 24hr snack bar by the pool where you can get food too. In terms of the a la cartes, the Japanese restaurant is a must and in my opinion the food is better at the buffet than the Seafood and Italian Restaurant.
Here is where I have the issue. The property is neglected. Our room was very dirty. There was mold on the shower curtain and mold throughout the room particulary on seat cushions and sofa. The air conditioning did not seem to get rid of the musty smell. We did have a few creepy crawlers visit (spiders) and had a little army of ants that my wife got rid of with her hairspray. My wife and daughter did get a few bites on them in bed. Whether they were sand fleas or bed bugs, I don't know but I lucked out and didn't get any. I saw a man at reception one day whose legs were eaten alive and was demanding a new room. The pools wern't overly clean and I don't remember anyone ever cleaning them. The public washrooms were disgusting and seldom had toilet paper or soap for washing.
In summary, if you are after a nice relaxing vacation at the beach and don't really care about what your room looks like or the grounds and can get this place for a great deal, then this is your spot. Otherwise, I would not recommend this resort simply based on the conditions. I may try Cuba again in the future and maybe even Cayo Coco but more than likely will return to the Mayan Riviera next year
|Oasis Playa Coco|
|Myself and 3 friends stayed at the Oasis Playa Coco from Apr. 12th to 19th/08. This is a fair size Resort on arrival to the resort by the way is only 20 min. bus ride we dropped off others at 2 different Resorts. Morning arrivals will wait for a room we arrived at 10:30 room ready just around 2pm. our friends room not ready until 4:30 so asked for another room. This if because late departure guess can ask for an extension of their room until 4pm for extra CUC's.
FOOD: The 3 a la cartes were good the Japanese the better of them. They give you a break from the Buffet and the staff are nice. The Buffet you have a good selection chicken, beef, pork, fish, shrimp, pasta, rice, potato, salad bar, pickles those white Onions so good. breads, deserts can't go hungry. Good food by the beach Pizza great, fish ,hotdogs, hamburgers, french fries. whole fish he was looking at you.
BEACH: I have been to Cuba 5X's Holguin (favorite), Varadero. The beach is Beautiful, walk forever, we had 3 very windy days and this stirs up alot of seaweed. This limits the use of Hobbie Cat and paddle boats (red flag can't go out)
Pool is nice if you can find loungers all taken by early risers who never comeback. The pool is very cold on windy days.
Now the worst for last. SECURITY: This area is lacking BIGTIME we had many items stolen from our room. We had a bottom floor room in the 8100 block locks on the patio door is not the best. We arrived on a Sat. this theft happen between 6pm and 10:30pm our patio door was unlocked (not by us). The Civil Police were called and took a report (now with the help of whoever they can find in the staff pool who can speak English Because Security DOESN'T.) Told to not touch anything Cuban Military CSI (ya right this was a big waste of time) was coming in the morning, they showed up at 3:30 pm wasted a whole day. Security fella treated are situation as his laugh for the day his attitude was way out of line. Items stolen from the room were Nikey and Adidas clothes,watch, makeup, baseballs, travel clock, backpack, purse with canadian change. I also talk to our Sunwing rep. she was sympathic to the situation but very little help. With the loss of a backpack to my friend to carry her passport and papers, wallet and other items I asked if Sunwing could help and give a complimentary bag for her to use. Sunwing rep informed me it was the responsiblity of the Resort not Sunwing, I will think twice before booking with Sunwing. Ladies in the block beside us (9100) on the second floor whose patio doors didn't lock at all had 130. canadian and 35 CUC stolen from her room. I was talking to a guess and he walked into his room called out to the maid who was about to let a worker in and once she saw him, she waved the worker to go. I must say if you wish to go you are the one to make the decision no matter what a review may say but this really happened and I brought this to the Resorts attention only in hopes they would listen to me and all I wanted was for them to see YOU need better Security in place. Please protect the tourist. If you get a room within the 8100 & 9100 on please recheck your rooms make sure nothing is out. Better yet bottom floor ask for a second floor room. If you end up going to this resort take a walk go behind the two blue blocks you will see what I mean Not a secure area patio doors face the back wooded area. We returned to our room early on Thurs not long after the maid had finished cleaning and we double, triple checked our patio door when we left the room this day we found the patio door unlocked the Maid was the only who could have done this. I will revisit Cuba but I will NOT return to Oasis Playa Coco.
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|Tim , Karen, Chad |
|We have been back for a couple of weeks now and I wanted to write to say what a good time we had here. I have just read the review from another person and they weren't staying at the same place I was! Good food, great beach, clean rooms and staff who would do whatever they could for you. We swam every day except the day we did a tour and alternated between the pool and the beach. Pool was warm mid seventies and the ocean was close to that as well - We got clean beach towels because we traded them in every day like we were told to. We also drank lots of water and beverages that are water based(tea coffee, juice) - but we also didn't drink the water in the room, like we told, as it is not treated like the water in the rest of hotel. Sounds like that person didn't listen to what their tour guide and hotel staff said. I would definitely refer this place to someone and would consider returning here again - have travelled lots in the Caribbean including Jamaica and Barbados, and this was a thoroughly enjoyable place for a vacation!! This is a 3+ star resort, so don't expect the Ritz but it was more than acceptable and We would rate our vacation as 8 out of 10!
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| We got back from Cayo Cuba in Feb and I have been on many trips and this one
would have to be the worst one!!!!!!! First lets start by saying that I can
not stand to read all of these reviews from people about this resort
especially if they had a good time. How can you say you had a good time did
you not take a look at the rooms they were dirty!!!!!!!! We went with a
group and one pair had pee on the toilet and also lots of hair around on the
floor in the shower....... Second the food it was ok the lunch was good at
the 24 hour grill...... But let me say my husband just found out after being
there 2 months ago he has a parasite ! That's right a parasite and he was so
sick for almost 2 months....... So come on people get real have you not been
to other resorts in your life? Because if you have you would know this
resort should not have been rated more then a 2 and that's pushing it.
I had to laugh when someone wrote they had clean towels everyday ok maybe
bath towels but not beach towels!!!!! We used the same one everyday! The
pools looked nice but were so cold I would have rather went swimming here in
Canada. The beach beautiful and clear to walk in bare foot! The service was
good everyone was polite and always made sure you had a drink in hand. I
liked the buffet for the pasta bar didn't like much of the other food there
maybe cause they had almost the same thing every night. Breakfast sucked
never had cooked bacon and the hard boiled eggs were full of slime. So
basically would I got here again no way!!!!!!! I would never tell anyone
about this place at all..... I am a simple girl so don't think I am some
rich lady who wanted something better I went wanted a good deal on a place
and this is what I got from it not a good trip. We all have our opions
forsure but really if you go on a trip and you want to have a good time but
come back and are sick for 2 months is it worth paying for a good deal on a
trip NO! Pay the money and you will have a better time..... It sucks that my
husband did get sick the doctor said it was from not clean water hmmmm I
guess you are not safe anywhere but your own country.
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Bellville, Ontario, Canada
|This was our first flight with Sunwing and we were very impressed , hot meal was served and very good. flight was on time and ahead of time on the return. we will definately looked for them for our furture travel. Attendents were polite and very efficient
We did have a early flight and and arrive very quickly at the hotel ours rooms were ready , we were upgraded to a suite , not requested but very large .
Our suite consisted of a kitchenette with a coffee pot , bar fridge, desk , sitting couch wicker and a couple of wicker chairs, table and chairs for 4 .and TV small poder room with a toilet and sick.master bedroom very large king size bed , another TV , large vavity with 2 sinks large closet with safe included, large on suite bathroom with even a bide'. Check in very easy and fast.
Restaurants very good even though it was buffet stlye we did arrange reservation for our table which was excellent as there were sum line ups and waiting( but not for me)The al le carte' reservation were required we very good too.Bars very good no problems at al. They served Ballintine Scotch and brandy which some were very impressed by.
Beach was absolutly fabulous loved it never went to the pool , it looked good too.
Gounds well kept . activities were okay, some good some great. We did not take any tours although we went out on the hobbie cat sailing every day , awesome,
Check out; done in a flash very friendly . Departure very fast and easy .
We purchased this a last min. would go here again in a
heartbeat loved everything . food was very good all the shrimp you could eat (some people had piles )of shrimp
One thing I have never ever seen before in all my years of travel this was even better than the towel game. HOW ABOUT A BICYCLE CABLE LOCK. 2 woman locked the beach chairs and a table to the palapa. The beach staff were appauled, how could any one be this selfish and greedy, what if we all did this. there were enough chairs that this was totally unnecessary. Inconculsion the whole trip was fast easy and we had a great time .
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|Helen - Debbie - Ashley |
| Returned a week ago from a very enjoyable stay at this resort..would definetely give it an A..we stayed in the 4000 block which was quite close to the beach and so managed to go out first thing in the morning and stake our spot which you have to do ...loved the beach as you could walk forever as it was very private (no other resorts nearby tho that will change as they are building a new one next door)...true what they say..it is very difficult to walk out in the water as it is full of coral and hard on the feet.however just walk east towards the hobie cats etc.and the water there is all sand bottom and o so nice...the guys who run the Catamaran,kayak and paddle boat service are a friendly lot indeed as are all the Cuban people who worked at that resort..we enjoyed the food ..always something to please the palate at the buffet and the Italian was good and Japanese is a must not only for the show they put on but also the food was quite good...the piano bar was always hopping and the bartenders very friendly amid the chaos...the one waiter impressed me very much...he walks around the lobby all the time looking to either get you or refresh your drink...we never contrary to some rumors found the drinks to be watered down..we went to the shows almost every night and watched the children perform first which was quite cute and then the cuban troupe put on an enjoyable and not too long show..it was a nice children friendly resort and i must say the children there were well behaved....a lot of french canadian and please i am french myself but must you always yell at each other when you are talking..very loud indeed....our room was very clean and sure we had a few tiniest bugs around the sink but did not bother us..first morning we had a frog who decided he wanted to share our room and the next day a small gecko...however my daughter quickly showed them the door as they had not been invited to share...after that we kept a towel under our door and no more visitors....we had clean towels everyday and always had swans etc to admire upon our return...room was always well cleaned...Zoe in the dining room is just such a beautiful person and so appreciative of anything you give her even if its just a smile...so please canadians show these people that you appreciate them ...smile..be polite and drop a few pesos around...and be happy that you have it so good to be living in Canada....
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|Just returned from 10 day vacation at this wonderful resort March 8th - 18th. I can't understand why anyone would complain about this resort. We have previously stayed at the NH Krystal,Cayo Coco and Blau Coste Verde in Holguin. This resort was by far the best ! This was during March break and we were very lucky at this resort as there were very few teenagers, not that we have anything against teenagers (as I have one ) however we were wanting a quiet and relaxing vacation, the Tryp apparently had 700 march breakers ready to party and have a good time. ( and they did)
We flew Sunwing which was our first time and we would highly recommend this airline. We were giving a hot meal both going down and coming home, both were A-1. Service was extremely good.
Check in went fairly quickly at the resort. We were upgraded to a suite which was absolutely wonderful, two bathrooms, living room area, jacuzzi tub(which worked ), two mini fridges, mini bar area with sink and a cot for our 14 year old.
We found both pools to be excellent and were clean. We sat around the smaller of the pools as it was quieter. The bartender there , Yosvany, is the best guy going, his service was exceptional and he spoke excellent english. The icecream parlor was also located at this pool, and was stocked 2 to 3 times a day with both ice-cream, cookies and sweet breads, it never ran out of ice-cream, which was a plus, as last year we stay at the NH Krystal and it continually had no ice-cream in the buffet hall. You just helped yourself at the parlor. The massage parlor and hairdresser was also at this location, both were kept very busy.
The beach is awesome, it went on forever and the water was luke warm. It was clear, bluish green and beautiful. You could walk a fair ways out before it got deep. The one side of the beach was not kept clean of seaweed as at this point there is no other resorts located on this stretch of beach. However, there was no problem walking along the beach. A new resort is being built next door and is due to open Dec. 2008. There were plenty of beach chairs and lots of area to relax. The hobby cats, kayaks and paddle boats were plentiful and free to use. The staff looking after this section were a great bunch of guys. We went out on the hobby cats twice and were given quite the education on the Cuban cultural from the driver.
We found the food plentiful and very good. You definitely will not starve here and we found there was such a large variation that every night we ate something different. We attended the Japanese ala carte restaurant as well as the Italian. I would not suggest going to the Italian or seafood ala cartes as you can get the same food at the buffet. But definitely check out the Japanese, it was very good.
We only went on one excursion, which was the half day trip to the City of Moron, and we would highly recommend it, it's amazing to watch the Cuban culture and to talk to them. They were all very friendly and helpful. We were given an hour to tour the city of Moron on our own, we then took a horse drawn carriage ride and then went on a boat adventure thru the mangroves and given a fresh fish lunch.
We never once felt pressure to tip, as some people mentioned in previous reviews. And when we did tip, it was graciously accepted. As a matter of fact, we had one instance where one of the staff refused our tip as he said he was only helping us and did not feel a tip was warranted.
Mosquitoes were bad at early evening and early morning. Insect repellent did not seem to help. You would be best to stay in your room until they fogged the resort. Within 15 minutes the mosquitoes were gone. (no worse than in Muskoka in the summer time) We did have some small ants in our bathroom so I would suggest taking some ant killer.
Other than those minor instances, w e would definitely return to this resort.
This is our fourth time visiting Cuba, and we would return in a minute. We love the cuban people and their cultural as well as never having to fear for our safety. The weather was exceptional, in the high 80's to low 90's. We had one day of rain. We befriended many Canadians and British, the sad thing is you have to eventually say goodbye, knowing you will never see them again.
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|Brian and Deb |
|Arrival: Smooth no problems although we arrived late around midnight and were just sort of expected to find our room on our own. When they arrived with our bags I had fallen asleep and the two men insisted on coming into the room and were quite eager for their tips. I only had Canadian money which they happily excepted.
Room: The room was nice although the ocean view I foolishly paid extra for was quite obscured by a thick layer of trees. So if you really want an ocean view room try to get a beach front room. The room was musty but cleared up with the A/C. The water pressure was strong and the water always hot enough.
Overview: Pleasantly surprised after all of the horror stories I read online. Really there are no worries. I did get quite sick one night but only because I was out too long on an overcast day and got a nasty sun burn. I got quite a few bites of some kind but my husband is ok which is the opposite of our usual routine. I also have an itchy rash but again not sure if that's still remnants of the sunburn.
Beaches: White powdery sand, aqua clear water. Absolutely breathtaking. You have to go down to the beach fairly early to reserve your spot due to the people who reserve their spots only to show up hours later or not at all. Annoying but reality. I only saw a server on the beach twice during the whole week we were there. I was a little disappointed with that due to the long lineups at the bar. I had visions of laying back sipping drinks by the beach being served up at regular intervals but alas it was not to be.
Pools: Nice and large plenty of room. If there's no room at the beach there will usually be a chair available at one of the pools. The main pool was a little too noisy for my taste with the staff talking into the microphones all day and turning the music up and down constantly, but not so bad that you would want to leave.
The grounds were nice. I was quite surprised at the size of the resort and the number of buildings that guests stay in. I don't know why I never picked up on that in any of the reviews. We did a lot more walking than I had anticipated. Not a bad thing just a surprise.
Food: You won't go hungry between the a la carte restaurants, the buffets and the snack bars you can pretty much eat non stop if you want to. The food at the buffet gets a bit repetitive but it's fine. Make sure you check out the four corners of the banquet hall there are little surprises like a pasta bar and a soup area that you might miss if you just head for the middle.
We found the people on the whole to be very friendly and accommodating with few exceptions. Make sure you lock up you valuables in the safe. The maid stole a pair of earrings off the bathroom counter. I didn't report it because I was unsure if she might lose her job and I didn't want to risk that over some costume jewelry.
The weather got windy overcast and rainy for about 3 days. We were stuck with not a lot to do. You couldn't book an excursion as they were all cancelled. You weren't allowed to use the kayaks or anything else. I actually go quite bored. We just sort of wandered around from beach to pool to snack bar etc. Never thought I'd see the day when I would get bored on a tropical island but I did. There's only so much drinking and eating you can do after all. Luckily, there were some very nice people that we met from Canada and were able to pass the time with them. I have to say we were all happy to go home in the end. I'm sure if the weather had cooperated we wouldn't have felt that way.
I only noticed one couple from Quebec being rude to staff regarding a la carte reservations. The poor man didn't have any room left for them and they were giving him such a hard time that I was embarrassed. They held up the line for at least 20 minutes without any regard for the rest of us who had already been standing there for 20 minutes. Noulitours had already accommodated the French group by giving them the early welcoming speech thus affording them the opportunity to nab all of the early dinner times for the a la carte restaurants. Evidently, that still wasn't good enough for this couple. When it was our turn our dinner times were all 9pm or later and the young man thanked us for our graciousness in accepting our times without complaint. What's the point of complaining??? They either have space for you or they don't.
All and all a good time. Would we go back, not so sure about that. Only because we don't really travel all that often and would probably opt to go somewhere different next time. I'd probably give it a 6.5 out of 10.
|Oasis Playa Coco|
|Arrival - Good, no problems.
Rooms - We stayed on the second floor. Rooms very nice and clean. Absolutely no problems here..
Restaurants - Buffet was good, like pretty much every resorts..But the "a la carte" were better. The Japanese one was by far the best, great food and great entertainment.
Bars - Remember, you are here for a vacation, so relax and enjoy your stay. It may take a little time for your drinks, but like I say, take the time and listen to either the piano in the main lobby, or chat with people around you, you never know who you might meet!
Beach and Pools - The beach is nice with shaded or open place. If you like snorkling, this is the place for you.. Lots of fish and corals..
Pool is big and clean.
Grounds - The grounds were pretty well maintained.
Activities - Lots to do at the beach...
Tours - We went on a catamarin tour to "paradise island". It was nice, although it takes over an hour on bus to get there..
We also went to Santiago overnight. Remember this is a third world country. People are very friendly but also very poor. Makes us wonder sometimes if our priorities are well set!! We stress over so little it seems compared to what these people have to live with!
Conclusion - We had a good vacation. Would I go there again? I like to try different places and things, but If I get a good deal, I would return without a blink. If you want to get away, sit back and relax, this is the place for you. Remember, this is a 4*, not a 5*.....
|Oasis Playa Coco|
|We stayed at the Oasis Playa Coco from February 2 to the 16th. I won't comment on the flight or arrival other than to say the West Jet flight was excellent, and our arrival smooth and quick. We had emailed prior to arrival for adjoining rooms and when we arrived, they had accommodated us and also included a cot that we did not request. Very nice.
Our family of includes my wife and two children, aged 13 and 12. We have travelled to Cuba, Dominican and Mexico each twice over the last 6 years. I say this to let you know that we have experienced Caribbean travel of many varieties.
The resort is a 4 star, but typical of most Cuban resorts, I would rate it a 2 1/2 at best. This was expected before we arrived so was not a great shock upon arrival. We enjoyed our vacation very much, but there were some things that I thought future travellers should be aware of:
BEACH: We concur that the beach here is excellent. Sandy shoreline in both directions for kilometres, shallow and good snorkelling to feed the fish right off shore. I did see a number of people sporting nasty bites on their legs and arms. The rumour was they were from sand fleas. My wife contracted a few near the end of our stay, but I didn't. She rarely went to the beach, but spent most of her time by a pool. We slept in the same bed. I didn't get any bites and I spent much more time at the beach, and my kids even more time, but they didn't get bites either. I'm not sure what gave the bites.
POOLS: The pools were only cleaned once in the two weeks we were there. As such, there was a lot of filth on the bottoms (sand, garbage, leaves, bandages!!! etc.) There are broken tiles on the bottom that could cut your feet. The underwater lights are hanging loose and wires exposed. I never saw the lights come on the pools at night which is just as well, as anyone touching the water would have had an unpleasant shock. Upon arrival, we went to the large main pool and were pleased by its size and configuration. Unfortunately, within 20 minutes, the animation staff began playing pop music extremely loud. It was so loud that I had to almost yell to make myself heard to my wife sitting next to me. This audio level was continued throughout the two weeks were there. The music was what you here on a top 40 station at home, very little local music. So, we found a smaller pool close to rooms (7308 and 7309) where the music was muted by the distance. This was an awesome area and was rarely overcrowded. This pool was also very dirty.
SPORTS: My daughter and I love playing beach volleyball. We attended the first organized game and were very disappointed. The animation staff made up of 6 males, played as one team, and made the rest of us play on the other. The 6 males play every day and played hard with sets, smashes etc. Needless to say, the guests got creamed. The next day, I placed myself on their team. Now, I am not a professional, but would call myself average to slightly above average, and can bump, set and smash. However, the A-team would not let me get a ball. In fact, they went out of their way to come into my position to play the ball. One very large guy who was wearing a watch, came into the back row where I was getting ready to bump a ball. He jumped into me, and his watch sliced the back of my hand open. He turned around, drew a small circle in the sand and asked me to stand there and not leave that zone! Any other resort I have stayed at, there have been crowds opting to play volleyball and the animation members only play if there are not enough people to play and that was rare. After that first day, there were only a few of us that would show up to play and even we gave up after a couple of days. My daughter would not return after that first day. She too is a good player and plays on her school team.
GROUNDS: The grounds were fair to good, There were patch repair jobs on water lines throughout the resort, so you have to be careful while walking on the grass areas. There was a nice variety of trees and plant life. The grass was rough and not lush and green, but it is the dry season and was to be expected.
ROOMS: We had two adjoining rooms. They had a musty smell, but that was fine given the climate. They were clean, spacious, a/c worked well, nice view of the second pool area and ocean. We were missing lightbulbs in our room and two in the bathroom. I assumed that the maid would change them the next day, but after 4 days and no replacements, I asked her to change them. She assured me they would be changed that day. One bathroom light was changed and it was used I am sure as it gave off only a dim light. After a couple of days, it too was not working again. It made it difficult to see to shave. We had the second bathroom so was easily accommodated. I think she just took bulbs from other rooms and put them into ours, because a few days later, we lost bulbs again!!
Showering was something else. There was little to NO water pressure, and by NO I mean NO. There were days when I was showering in a very, very light spray, when it just shut off. for seconds at a time. Also, there is a sign on the mirror cautioning guests that the temperature of the water is 50 degrees Celsius. Don't worry, it is tepid at best, and cool at worst. We learned to put the plug in the tub, let the water run for 20 minutes and then have a bath.
There are two pop, two beer and a bottle of water in the mini fridge when you arrive. This is all you get, they don't replace them. SO KEEP YOU WATER BOTTLE and have it refilled it either during one of your meals by your server or at one of the bars. They will NOT replace your water bottle without a fight.
If you have an insulated cup, bring it to keep your drinks cool by the pool/beach. Usually we wouldn't because we can't use the tap water to clean them, but the tap water is supposed to be okay. I used it to brush my teeth every day and never got sick.
MEALS: Disappointed with the variety initially. There was very little fresh fruit other than orange, grapefruit, melon and watermelon. I stayed away from the beef as the taste was disagreeable. The fish was excellent and the chicken was also excellent. Not always a great variety of cooked vegetables. At breakfast, keep your water glass from your table to get juice. There is a perpetual shortage of juice glasses by the dispenser. Your server will try to take these away when you sit down, just politely ask to keep them.
Cooking areas were not very clean. I can tell you two horror stories that we saw with our own eyes. My wife was waiting in line for seafood that was being prepared at a grill. There were also steaks on the grill. The cook dropped one steak on the floor, picked it up and placed it on a plate and gave it to a server. She in turn took the plate to a table and served it to a guest. I saw her carry it over and place it in front of him with a smile. I guess he never tipped!!. The second story occurred at breakfast. They cook will make an omelette for you with your choice of ingredients. The cook used utensils to grab the omelette extras like ham, cheese, mushrooms etc.. She dropped this utensil on the floor, picked it up and was about to put it back in the cheese when she saw the horror on our faces. She walked over to a small sink, and without exaggeration, turned the tap on for about 1.5 seconds and quickly rinsed the utensil off, walked back over and placed in the cheese. I was pleased my omelette was already on the grill, but it sure didn't taste the same after that!
My daughter got very sick that day before we left. I have never seen anyone as sick as she was. She couldn't support herself when she walked to the bathroom and back. She was sick for about two days. We spoke to other guests and there seemed to be a lot of other people sick as well, with the same symptoms. Each one of us in our family carries a small bottle of hand sanitizer and use it after getting our food, before we eat. I would HIGHLY recommend this to everyone. I can only speak for guys when I say this, as I watch far too many men/boys leave the bathroom without every paying homage to a sink. I could tell a horror story or two here as well, but I think you get the idea.
They had lobster one night and you had to wait in a line. We got in line and waited for about 10 minutes and again, without exaggerating, we did not move one step. We left the line and got our regular fish or chicken. Later, after we were done (about 30 minutes), the people that were in line ahead of us had hardly moved forward. My wife and daughter decided to rejoin the line and waited for about 20 minutes when they were told by the cook that they were out of lobster!!
Our servers Zoey and ? were excellent and always friendly happy to assist.
TIPS: We have always tipped: the maid, the server, tour guides etc. However, I have never felt more harassed that I did at this resort. Everyone expects a tip and is happy to pester you for one. Even the grounds keepers will spend the entire day, going from one person to the other asking if we wanted a souvenir for peso's. We actually saw grounds keepers stand around all day without working, asking people for tips. Laying in my lounge chair, soaking up the sun, I felt like I was at home being pestered by telemarketers.
EXCURSIONS: We took the 1/2 day trip to Moron. It was interesting. Beware of people coming up to you and saying they are the cook at your resort and then try to sell you something. We also took the 1/2 day boat ride with snorkelling. It was also excellent.
A LA CARTE: Japanese was excellent. Seafood, well, not very good. Italian - okay to great. There were also two other dinners we could attend as Nolitours guests. They were not that good. Of the two, the beach BBQ was the best, but still, I would rather eat at the buffet. If you are a Nolitour guest and you want to book a la carte meals, be sure to bring the ticket that the agent gives you during your first day briefing. The staff member taking reservations WILL NOT allow you to make a reservation without it. I waited in line to reserve and after getting to the front of the line, I was told to go back to my room and get that ticket and return. However, anyone not with Nolitours did not need this ticket. After another 20 minute wait, I got to the front of the line. The only reason he wanted the ticket was to confirm what nights the Nolitour only suppers were planned so he would not conflict with these. I could have told him this information the first time, but he would not take my verbal assurances of the dates.
GENERAL: There are a lot of Canadians at this resort, and most were from Quebec while we were there. There were also some guests from England. The Friday and Saturday just before we left, busload after busload of spring break nuts from Canada arrived. They were rude, obnoxious, loud and generally what we would expect spring nuts to be like! Stay away from vacationing when they are around. One guy arrived on his bus and was standing in the lobby, obviously drunk already. He and his buddies walked out of the reception hall, onto the driveway. And then he did a face plant into the cement curb. We watched his drunk buddies trying to revive him, but they couldn't. They could barely stand themselves. This guy was bleeding, had soiled himself and was unconscious, all in plain view of all guest in the reception area and staff. After about 15 minutes, a few staff members and a Doctor threw him on a golf cart and took him somewhere. If nothing else, it was a great life lesson for our children on how not to act at that age.
I personally wasn't impressed with the animation team. There were many on the team, but they didn't wear uniforms and I could never tell I they had just wandered onto the resort to hang out or if they were there to work. The evening shows were poor to average at best, although, we didn't go to very many, perhaps because of this.
I know I've listed many negatives, and the joke of the vacation for me was, "this is just another in a long line of disappointments!". However, we had an excellent time. I can't give a lot of credit to the resort, but the credit goes to the beautiful weather, sand beaches, not cooking or doing dishes, lot's of reading time, and GREAT time with the family. We tried to make the best of our vacation and have a good time, and we did. However, would I ever go back to the Oasis Playa Coco, or recommend it to anyone? Absolutely not. We stayed in Holguin last year and the resort was excellent. So we won't give up on Cuba yet. We will just give up on this resort. The price here is cheaper than other areas, and after reading some of these reviews, you will know why.
|Oasis Playa Coco|
|We stayed at the Oasis from February 11th to 18th, 2008 and had a great time. We were travelling with our two young girls (ages 4 and 2) and they were treated like royalty.
The pools were large and clean. The pool with the swim up bar (which was rarely used) was the perfect depth for the kids to swim around freely, not to mention that the little "island" in the pool was a great spot for sunbathing. The beach was fantastic, warm and gentle. The clarity of the ocean is phenomenal. We would walk out in the morning during low tide and walk along the sand bars. The kids would "save" the star fish and put them back in the ocean. Highly recommend the horse back riding on the beach. It might be a little boring if your an experienced rider because they just walk along the each of the ocean, but my 4 year old loved it!
Staff were beyond friendly. Pedro (or as the girls called him - lizard man) is a gardner who walks around with a pet iguana on a leash, whom we loved to pet. He would find conch shells and give them to the girls. He even made the kids necklaces with shells and refused money for them.
The food is what you've come to expect in Cuba. This resort did have 3 main stations - pasta, chicken/beef and seafood. They would cook them right in front of you so you know it was fresh. This does result in long lines if your not there early. But having two young and VERY PICKY eaters, we never went hungry.
The rooms were large and again, had that musty smell that all hotels have in the caribbean due to the constant dampness. It was easily managed once the air conditioning was on. We were in building 4, right next to the ocean and had no problems with mildew or mold (as per other reviews). Our room was large enough to accommodate a cot (that seemed to magically appear without our asking for it - nice touch by the maid service). The kids loved coming back to the room to see what kind of art the maid left with towels and the kids sweaters and stuffed animals.
My only complaints regarding the hotel are the sand mites (so they say) in the beds. Both my husband and I had bites all over our legs. We tried changing the sheets but that didn't work so I sprayed the sheets with OFF bug spray but that only seems to piss them off and bite more.
My other complaint is the time the buffets open. Lunch starts at 12:30 and dinner only starts at 6:30. This is late when your travelling with children.
The Saturday before we left, spring breakers were arriving by the bus loads. They were loud and obnoxious and extremely rude to the staff. Word to the wise, avoid southern destinations during spring break!
Another note: my husband surprised me with a vow renewal ceremony on the beach for valentine's day. The staff were spectacular with this. As it was a surprise, I did not have any make-up or hair accessories with me so they offered to come help me get ready. They did my hair and make-up and even took the time to do my girls hair (and lipstick). I cannot thank them enough for their generosity.
|Oasis Playa Coco|
|Michael & Tamara |
|DATE: 1 week, January 20 – 27, 2008
RESORT NAME: Oasis Playa Coco
LOCATION OF RESORT: Cayo Coco, Cuba
ROOM: 5208 & 5209
This was the first time I have ever traveled and had never flown before. My wife and I decided to finally go on a vacation after twenty years of marriage (belated honeymoon?).
I truly believe that we are just average people with reasonable expectations.
We ignored the poor reviews and against our better judgment, we decided to join my brother and his girlfriend and went to Oasis Playa Coco with them based on the recommendation of my wife’s friend and my brother as they had a great experience last year at the same resort.
Our vacation fell well below our expectations, including my brother and his girlfriend who had a great time last year. The staff, the management and even the Director General admits that the resort is going downhill due to lack of available supplies and food, which they blame on the American embargo. Be prepared that they will use this as an excuse for anything that goes wrong, for example, if you complain about the food, they will explain that since the embargo they have to pay double for meat, which I don’t understand as they have beef farms, fish farms and enough of their own resources that this shouldn’t be an excuse. Plus, the embargo started almost fifty years ago. I find it hard to accept it as an excuse for the dramatic change from last year to this year.
The following is a summary of our experience. Pardon the wordiness, but I wanted to give as much detail as possible. Worth the read if you’re planning to go – if just to know what to expect and what to avoid.
We booked with Conquest Vacations through Sell Off Vacations .com and the 4 of us were the only travelers who booked with them that day, which worked out well because we had our own driver in a private minivan taxi that had us at the hotel at least an hour before the rest of the guests that were on our same plane (by the way my first flight was amazing. I loved it and will do it again). We just seemed to sail through the entire arrival process. Suzel at the front desk was amazing. We asked for an ocean view room and she was very happy to comply. She offered us what she truly believed to be the best rooms that were available in the resort at that time.
There is a horrible musty smell in the hotel rooms as soon as you enter. Other people have said in their reviews that this is to be expected with ocean view. If that is true, I guess I won’t be going ocean view in the future. But somehow, I think that there is a way to control the humidity if they really wanted to.
Mold is around the air conditioning vents (dangerous, as we are probably breathing in spores being blown around the room via the A/C) and there appears to be painted over mold in other areas of the room. We also saw mold on the under side of the cushions.
A couple incomplete plaster repair jobs in the hotel room. In my opinion, this is something you would expect in a 3 star or less, not a 4+ star.
There was no hot water. A couple days into our stay, it started to get luke warm. When we voiced our concern about the water, we were told that the hot water is regulated and not to expect hot water at certain times – and that is just the way it is, like it or not (at this point, we started to feel like hostages). They sent a maintenance guy that walked in with a pipe wrench, said a few things in Spanish to my brother and gestured to the water he had running in the sink that it was OK now. It was the same – we just let it go (as we had to do in many other situations during our stay).
My brother’s air conditioning was poor. There was a great deal of confusion trying to get them to send a technician. According to my brother, it never really worked right the entire time. Again, we just let it go.
There were large yellow stains on the towels. What could that be? Gross.
The sheets were not changed daily. We discovered this on the second night when I got into a sandy bed. They could have brushed sand off if they wanted to fool us, but they didn’t even attempt to do that. There was a “save the earth” card on the night table that stated if we were concerned about the environment and didn’t want our sheets changed daily, that we should place the card on the pillow and they would just make the bed that day without changing the sheets. We care about the environment, but we want our sheets cleaned daily (just because we don’t want to sleep in sandy sheets, doesn’t mean we have disregard for the environment as the card is suggesting). >From then on we had to completely remove our sheets from the bed ourselves and put them at the front door in order to force them to change them. They were always changed late in the day because the maid didn’t even carry the sheets on her cart – she had no intention of changing the sheets while on her rounds.
I have sand flea or bed bug bites all over my legs. There are approximately 100 bites per leg and a few on my arms. I’m not sure if this is from the beach or the room. The fact that the maid wasn’t changing the sheets probably didn’t help. However, it didn’t get better when I started removing them so it’s still hard to tell where they came from.
If there is no hot water (they admit it), then how do you suppose their linens and dishes become clean. They don’t!
There is one water bottle per room for the entire vacation. It is up to you to bring your bottle to the bar when you want it filled. They have filtered water (I hope) at all the bars. Do not discard this bottle. I heard that the staff will give you a hard time to get a new one.
They say it’s not necessary, but if anybody wants to admit it or not, you really don’t get good service unless you tip the staff regularly throughout you’re stay – with the exception of a few staff members that really take their customer service seriously. After you leave something for the maid, they will start making swans out of the towels and bed linens.
The bathroom counter was always dirty. They did neatly rearrange our stuff on the counter though.
The maid seemed to clean our room when we were there to see it, but we noticed that she was in and out of brother’s room very quickly (he wasn’t there).
The iron in both of our rooms was black and encrusted with burned soot on the bottom of the heat plate. It didn’t bother me, I don’t iron, but my brother needed to use it for the a la carte restaurant that has a dress code which no one seemed to observe or enforce.
My primary complaint is with the food. I survived the entire week on beef jerky and sunflower seeds that we brought from home. I had about 3 meals in total during the week that I could barely stomach. The two best meals we had were the Quizno’s subs on the plane there and back.
95% of Cuban food is fried. The oil they use throughout the resort smells rancid – we know that it isn’t just because it is Cuban flavour as we went to a local restaurant for deep fried fish fingers that did NOT have that gross rancid smell and taste. Nearly everything on the resort smelled similar to the rancid oil, including towels and dishes. You can smell it as you approach every bar or restaurant/buffet. Even the milk they used had this same offish-smell.
The buffet was horrible, they seem to reuse food from prior meals, if they even change it at all. Everyone that we talked to at the resort had some form of complaint about the food, especially the buffet. A lot of full plates of food were left on tables because the guests left the meals in disgust. Because of their poor practices, I wouldn’t doubt that they are salvaging food from plates – this is speculation, I didn’t see them do it, but I wouldn’t put it past them.
The lines for the food are 20 minutes plus because the cook repeatedly goes back to the kitchen get more food and supplies. There’s only one cook per station. One night we had to wait 45 minutes in the pasta table line up. The pasta is either not cooked enough or over cooked to the point of mush
They don’t replenish the food at the buffet often enough. I had to ask them to put out more salad – which was about the only thing I could eventually eat at the buffet.
There was a lobster fiasco at the buffet on the Friday. We discovered that they were charging 20 peso’s for a lobster – my brother said they weren’t charging last year. The ones that didn’t sell were chopped up and used for the dinner buffet that night. I would have been upset if I paid for a lobster and then discovered they were giving it away later. After waiting 45 minutes in the line, guests were simply told that there was no lobster left once it ran out. I guess there were a few more upset people that night.
The dishes throughout the resort were greasy and were encrusted with dried food bits. One time we asked a staff member for new cutlery at a table that we were sitting at that wasn’t cleared yet. The waitress told us to use cutlery that was there because it was not used yet and refused to change it. They even ran out of clean dishes in the buffet at one point.
My wife had sand or some kind of rock in her rice one night. Most of the mussels I ate had sand in it.
As for the a la cart Restaurants, the Japanese is the best, the Italian is not so good and the seafood is the worst (they don’t use real seafood, it’s the pre-formed stuff). EVERYONE complains about the seafood restaurant, don’t you think they would do something about it? This is typical of their sweep under the rug attitude. Even the tour guide was bragging about their “put off until tomorrow” attitudes which really shows in their degrading infrastructure and buildings.
In the beach bar, birds perch on beams in the ceiling where they wait to swoop down and steal your fries – sometimes while you are eating them It’s cute the first time. The food is placed right under the beams. There’s bird poop on those beams right above the food bins. Hmmm, do you suppose some of that poop is ending up in your salad?
There were two bars open after 5pm, the 24 hour piano bar in the main lobby, and the 24 hour snack bar near the buffet building. There was disco bar as well – not sure of the hours.
The main pool bar, in my opinion had the best drinks. As far as the drinks go, they were OK, but not amazing. I was thinking they would be better from a tropical resort. The drinks also seemed to have that same rancid oil smell.
Tamy and Rudolpho, the bartenders at the main pool bar, and Fernando, the server in the beach bar, were among the greatest staff members at the resort. If any management from the resort reads this review (I doubt they read/care about reviews judging by their standards), take note that these people should be used as a model for all other staff members. They genuinely make you feel like you are appreciated as a customer.
Rudolpho does the fancy bartender trickery with bottles and Tamy plays along with him to make it a fun show at the bar.
BEACH AND POOLS:
The beach was beautiful, but small. Depending on the time of day or how the weather was cooperating, it could be difficult to find a spot.
The pools are impressive looking and seem to be clean. They are all concrete construction with ceramic tile lining. They aren’t heated. However, it didn’t take long to get acclimatized to the temperature if it was sunny and hot. It’s a bit cold getting into the pool if it’s cloudy and breezy.
WARNING: There are broken/missing ceramic tiles throughout the pool bottom. They are extremely sharp and present a hazard. Please avoid these as you will cut your feet. And good luck getting a band aid - see the comments below on their health care system.
The Jacuzzi by the small (Tranquil) pool is not heated and the water was yellowish and my legs were slimy after I got out of it. Needless to say, I only used it the one time.
WARNING: The floors are extremely slippery when wet. They use ceramic tile everywhere – indoors and outdoors. They do not use non-slip style tiles anywhere. My wife had a very bad fall on the concrete steps in the building where our room was. She has a dangerous looking black bruise about the size of a football on her right bum cheek and near her right elbow. They subsequently placed caution signs after numerous people had fallen.
Everyone was complaining about the slippery floors – not just us.
The lounge chairs around the pool are a hazard. You will scratch you legs up on one of these if you don’t constantly look down as you are walking around the pool because the protective caps have fallen off the tubing of the frame. My wife and brother both got stung by these loungers.
The staff does not clean spills. So even if it isn’t raining, you still risk slipping and falling. We watched staff (and managers) walk over large spills on the floor on two occasions. No one attempted to clean it nor was anyone told to clean it.
We witnessed a glass being broken on the grounds outside the piano bar. In the typical styling of their haphazard work ethic, there was a poor clean up job and we noticed a great deal of broken glass right on the main pathway coming out of the lobby where people (including children) are walking barefoot – it is a resort after all.
The resort is six or so years old, but it looks to be 25 plus years. Black mold is all over exterior of buildings, cracked floor and wall tiles throughout the resort and in the rooms.
The maintenance of the resort is poor. There are a lot of band aid repairs on underground pipes that are left exposed after the repair which create a trip hazard. Many trip hazards exist throughout the resort – especially the tiles when wet, please be careful. They know you can’t sue, so they are not motivated to have a safe environment.
There was a dance/theatre show every evening. We went to one. It was OK but hard to follow the plot of the story.
Cubans are phenomenal dancers, that is for sure. There were bingo and salsa lessons around that main pool daily. It looked like it would be much fun if that is what you are into.
They like everything loud. It doesn’t bother me, but I heard some complaints about the volume.
There were full day and half day tours to choose from. We heard from another guest that the full day tour is too long.
WARNING: If you book a tour, they might arbitrarily cancel it on you without any notice. When we were waiting to leave on our half day tour of Moron, we overheard one of the staff telling guests that the catamaran tour was cancelled. When another guest asked which tour was cancelled, the staff member seemed confused and non-caring. Their canned response to everything seems to be “call your rep”. By the way, if you want to call your tour rep, be prepared to pay 2 peso’s per minute for the call. The conversion at the airport was $1.15 CDN per 1 convertible peso. They won’t let you use their phones – even if it is their fault. I don’t understand why they won’t let you use their phones to call the people that sold you their package. This is a very poor policy in my opinion.
Once you take a tour of their city, you will understand why it is very hard to get the staff to understand your concerns because the resort, as bad as it is, is like a palace compared to their own life style at home as we learned through the tour.
We purchased the package as a 4 plus star rating, but noticed on a Nolitours brochure located right in their own lobby that it is rated as a 3 star (however, the Nolitours web site has it listed as a 3.5 star – rather ambiguous). A lot of people we talked to at the resort that were seasoned travelers said it was a 2.5 star or 3 star at best. As far as the star ratings go, I know it’s been said before, but I don’t agree that a 4 star in Cuba should be any different that a 4 star somewhere else. Economic status should not change the criteria for a rating.
We asked Ivan, our Conquest rep to move us to the Tryp hotel in the hopes that we could salvage the rest of our vacation, but we were asked for an extra $180.00 and we weren’t willing to risk it. Imagine paying extra and getting the same thing or worse. Besides, we didn’t think it was worth extra money because the Tryp and Oasis Playa packages were close in price when we purchased this one. I think they were trying to capitalize on our misfortune. As with the lack of hot water and the poor air conditioning in my brother’s room, we just let it go.
One thing I want to mention about Ivan, our Conquest rep is that he did show genuine concern when we explained our situation on the bus when traveling from the hotel to the airport as we were leaving. He suggested that we send Conquest an email outlining our experience. He indicated that he would eventually receive a copy of it and would be able to use it as ammunition during one of the Tuesday meetings with the hotel management. Thank you Ivan.
We dealt with a woman by the name of Amy, who acted as a go between for the absent Conquest rep when we needed to get a hold of him to voice our concerns. I believe she works for Cubatur as she was wearing one of their yellow shirts, I’m not sure what her affiliation is with Conquest but she seemed to be able to get a hold of the rep. She has a very passive/aggressive style of customer service. Be prepared to be frustrated if you don’t like this type of treatment. When we complained about the food, she told us that she had the lunch that day and it wasn’t bad. Was she calling us liars or over reactors? All the while, holding her hands together and empathetically trying to show us that she is concerned when we knew that she was just trying to pacify us so we would go away and she could get on with her day.
I was told that I should get a receipt for anything I purchased in Cuba (plus it’s not a bad idea to get a receipt for anything you buy – even if you plan to discard it, no one should refuse to give you a receipt for goods or services that you are paying for). So with this in mind, I asked the Cubatur tour guide whose name is Fidel, if I could get a copy of the receipt that I handed him for my tour (it’s the receipt I received from Amy when I purchased the tour from her). He refused. As this was six days into a seven day vacation in hell, I was visibly upset. Believe it or not, the tour guide gave me attitude throughout the half day tour of Moron. This made it a very uncomfortable trip. At one point I asked him where a garbage can was and he put up his hand and told me to wait. He wasn’t talking to anyone at the time. He then proceeded to talk to the rest of the crowd and ignored me. Now imagine that happening to you, how would you feel?
Maybe I was setting myself up for disappointment, but when I returned to the hotel I asked Amy if I could have a receipt for the tour. She refused as well. She said it wasn’t their policy to give receipts. Another poor policy. She could have just scribbled something down on a scrap of paper or photocopied it just to pacify me, but no, she was just unwilling to try. I asked her if she ever feels bad always saying no to people and disappointing them and then I walked away. Maybe I shouldn’t have reacted that way, but when my brother approached her afterwards, she gave him the cold shoulder. Why would she take out her frustration with me on my brother?
There was a group of managers that were served at the table in the lobby bar during their morning meeting while customers had to go to the bar to get their order for themselves. Their table was cleared before the patron’s tables. Not a good practice. As far as I’m concerned, in a restaurant/bar environment, patrons should be served while managers/employees should serve themselves.
The water from the tap wouldn’t clean my eye glasses. They left a greasy film on them. I wouldn’t trust it to drink it.
The medical care in Cuba is scary. When my wife fell on the slippery tiled concrete stairs, we used our own gauze from first aid kits we brought from home until it ran out. My wife went to the doctor’s office on the resort and the staff member offered her one single pre-packaged gauze bandage square. Aside from the fact that my wife felt like she was interrupting a social conversation between the staff member and her friend that was there, my wife was asked if she was leaving today. My wife felt that she would have been refused the bandage if she answered “yes”. Plus, the nurse didn’t even ask to see the wounds. She showed no concern at all. We also heard a review of their hospital from another guest that broke her collar bone during her visit. On her way to the hospital, they had to stop to pick up a semi-English speaking nurse to translate for the hospital. They x-rayed her with what looked to be an x-ray machine from 1960. The nurse apparently ran out of the room when the machine started up (due to radiation leakage, I guess). Then, they wheeled an UNCOVERED dead body past her while she was getting a full body cast for a broken collar bone. Don’t get hurt while in Cuba.
I have heard of some complaints about the wild cows, horses and bulls that roam through the property, but we love animals and we thought it was very cool to see. We only saw them a couple times, so it’s not a huge issue. They really don’t bother anybody and are often chased away by staff – which we kind of feel bad about, but we understand that not everybody wants that.
I think this resort really appeals to french Canadians. My guess is that approximately 80% to 90% of the guests were french speaking. Personally, I didn’t have a problem with that because we went with another couple, but if you are hoping to meet a lot of people and make some friends, you may have some difficulty if English is your only language.
If after you read all the bad reviews and you choose to go anyways, try to go with the Nolitours Cameleon package. They get better treatment, VIP services and extra dedicated beach parties with served meals. Conquest Vacations didn’t offer anything extra. We only got to watch the Nolitours guests get better treatment because our balcony faced the beach bar where their private parties were held at night after it was closed. I had no idea of the considerable difference when ordering the vacation package through Sell Off Vacations, plus it wasn’t available for the dates we needed. Otherwise, I would have gone with Nolitours as the prices were almost the same.
I wouldn’t expect things to change as long as travelers choose to ignore the warnings posted in these reviews and go anyways because of the attractive pricing and their willingness to compromise and overlook the inadequacies to save a few dollars. There is no motivation for them to improve their service if they are getting business.
Near the end of the vacation, my brother expressed our concerns to Alfredo, the Director General. Within an hour, a bottle of rum was sent to each one of our rooms. Although we appreciate the gesture (thank you Alfredo), it wouldn’t erase what we had gone through.
I will send a copy of this review to Conquest Vacations, Sell Off Vacations and the Hotel in the hopes that I will get some form of recompense for what we had to endure. I will post their response when I receive it so any potential clients can get a preview of how they stand behind their product. I hope it is favourable.
In conclusion, it was a horrendous experience for our first time traveling – with the exception of the flight there and back. I understand that we didn’t spend a lot of money in comparison to higher end Caribbean vacation spots. However, I do believe we should be afforded the basic necessities such as reasonably descent food as well as a safe and clean environment regardless of what you spend.
Sell Off Vacations sent an Auto Reply to my email stating that complaint inquiries require approx 4-6 weeks for a follow-up response.
I will post more responses as they come in.
|Oasis Playa Coco|
| Arrival was smooth and uneventful at the airport, didn't experience any of the customs horror stories I have read in reviews.
Resort arrival was also very smooth but was amazed at the number of people checking in that had no idea that check in time was 4pm. I read it in at least a dozen reviews and my e-tickets from Sunwing also stated check in and check out times.
Rooms - Stayed in the 4000 block on the 3rd floor (4306) fantastic view and great sized room. The maid was very helpful, did a great job and showed great appreiation for the UN-solicited gifts my wife left for her, nothing spectacular just some dollar store type items that they have a hard time getting locally.
Restaurants - I must say I was pleasantly surprised at the food, since hearing and reading all the negative stories.
The buffet was good, always found something to eat. Even my wife who is a slightly picky eater always found enough variety in the buffet to make a meal. There are 2 frying/grills at the buffet that would have different meats and seafood they fresh cook for you at lunch and dinner and make omelettes or fried eggs for breakfast. Also there is a pasta table during lunch and dinner that always seemed to be popular enough to have a 5-10 minute line up.
Since the buffet was satisfying enough for our meals we only went to the Japanese a la carte, it was a GREAT meal and even better show.
Bars - The piano bar is a wonderful evening hang out, can always find an interesting crowd with even more interesting conversation. It also serves as a meeting place for all the early risers looking for their caffine fix.
Beach and Pools - The beach is beautiful and seems to go on forever, you can go out quite a distance before the water gets much deeper then 6ft of course depending on the tide. The fish in the area have gotten so used to being fed bread by the visitors they seem to have mistaken legs in the water as bread vending machines and don't seem to be spooked by the movement in the water.
Grounds - The resort was very well laid out with the main pool serving as the hub of all pathways. It would be nice if the palms were a bit bigger and more numerous, what is there must have been young when transplanted.
There seemed to be alot of painting and touch up work going on while we were there, maybe that is a sign of the new ownership.
Activities - Since the whole purpose of our vacation was to "veg out" we didn't bother with the activities. However there always seemed to be something going on for people wanting to be entertained. The people leaving the "crazy games" outside the beach bar always seemed to leave laughing and happy.
Conclusion - The price was right.....2 weeks here cost the same as 1 week in Mexico.
All the staff were great....some of the friendliest people I have ever met.
Service at all the bars and restuarants was graet.....whether I had a peso in my hand or not.
If you are looking to just relax cayo coco is a great location (very isolated), if you are looking for action it may not be the place for you.
All in all.....its a CUBAN 4 star don't expect the mayan or paradise island. If thats what you want.......spend the money !!!!
|Oasis Playa Coco|
|Just came back from the resort (Jan 11th-18th). It was really great! Spacious, well laid out resort. Food was better than expected. Not the tastiest, but lots of choice.
Service was great, entertainment was incredible. Amazing beach. Everybody is so friendly. Rooms are a great size. We were in the Cameleon Block of Rooms….terrific view!
|Oasis Playa Coco|
The arrival was very smooth, compared to the Santa Maria airport we've been to in 2005, this airport is very big, modern and clean and organized. The security check was quick. Note there's a bank at the other side of the hall (the departure terminal), which offers a slightly better exchange rate than the bank in resort.
We were in 5010 when we arrived, it's an ocean view room, but it's on the first floor, and it's very damp. We asked to change a room and after 10 min talk with reception, they finally agreed. Then we moved to a room on the second floor in building 2, which is much better. The room is clean, TV is working fine, we watched CNN's live coverage when Bhutto was assassinated, which was such a tragedy.
The buffet restaurant was very good, relatively a lot of choices. I feel the best meal is the breakfast, which comes with fresh juice and yogurt. The Italian and Japanese a la carte restaurants were great, the sea food one was so-so, the shrimp was not fresh at all, and it was frozen shrimp. We spent Christmas eve at this resort and experience a wonderful Christmas dinner, a lot of lobsters and other sea food, much better than the sea food resaurant.
The piano bar in the lobby was my favorite. In the morning, you can drop by and have a cup of cappuccino; it's the best in the resort. During the day, you can ask for Banana Mama, which is also the best in the resort. The beach bar was good too, a lot of choices.
Beach and Pools
We rented a scooter and visited other 3 resorts, Melia Cayo Coco(4.5 star, 25 min drive), Sol Club Cayo Coco(4 star, beside Melia) and Melia Cayo Guillermo(5 star, 40 min drive). Beach in Oasis Playa Coco is the second best among the 4(you have to walk a little bit far to the east end of the beach to see its real beauty, we found a lot of huge whelk there and star fish). The best one should be the one in Melia Cayo Guillermo.
Morning exercise in the morning, Salsa lesson in the afternoon beside the pool, wonderful show every night.
We tried the Media Luna Island tour, which was a wonderful experience! The pilar beach is very beautiful, it's stretched very long and view is gorgeous. The price was $49.
Service was good, people were nice, food was good, beach was awesome... the downside is although the resort is only 4 years old, the building looks old. But there's another resort being built immediately beside to it, that new one looks very beautiful, the waiter said people will be able to use the service interchangeably when the new one if finished.
|Oasis Playa Coco|
|Shawn and Jenn |
|The resort was half closed for renovations when we arrived. Overall the resort was nice. I would say it was closer to a 31/2 star that a 4 plus and if you kept that in mind then you really would enjoy yourself. It could have also appeared this way because of the renovations, and also the time of year. It seemed the food was scaled back but was good and there were not a lot of people. I must say that the resort for not being that old looked like it had been around for a while, the up keep in certain areas was lacking. The specialty restaurants were awesome, the Japanese and Italian were the best the food was great, the seafood restaurant was ok, I found the seafood very strong compared to the East Coast.
Beware that the money exchange on resort varies in the lobby. At the front main desk it is 10 cents more than the bank exchange directly across the lobby. We learned this the hard way the 1st day, but were able to get our money back and re-exchange it at the bank when we asked the front desk about it.
The pools were nice and clean and water temperatures great, the pools are big and have shallow ends for kids on each end. There is also a quiet pool a short distance away that does not allow kids if you like that. The mosquitoes were fierce.......could easily get up to 30 bites just walking around before buffet opened in the evening only. They spray each night a 7pm and this seems to help for the evening show. The show is an outdoor theatre and the dancing is good, but the shows only last about 1/2 hour.
The disco off the lobby is one of the best ones I have seen on the resorts I have been to, including the 5 plus star Iberostar. It is a nice club and they play a variety of local as well as our kind of dance music.
We were in building 4 which seemed to be the best for ocean view as well as close to the beach and pool area. If I were to return again I would request this building for sure.
A word of extreme caution if you are down during rainy season or just have a passing shower watch the tile floors going up to the rooms, there are extremely slippery more than other I have been to. A lot of slipping and falling reported including myself.
All in all the resort is one that I would visit again, the staff was friendly, food was good and entertainment staff nice. The overall layout of the resort was very good. I guess I would like to return when renovations are done and in peak season to really get a full appreciation of the resort. Below is link to view photos for yourself.
|Oasis Playa Coco|
| I have just returned from my ninth visit to the Oasis Playa Coco. I normally travel alone but this time, I was fortunate enough to experience a week's vacation with my best friend. From the start, it was to be a girl's vacation enjoying all the things we do not have time for when we are home. Relaxing, reading, suntanning.
Before I go on with the review, I must point something out. The star rating system is different from one country to another. Having had the opportunity to travel a lot in my life, I can tell you that a five star hotel in the United States is different from a five star in Israel. Consequently, I am always surprised to hear people complaining and comparing one country to another. And a point that irritates me is the people complaining about customs. We are requesting entry to a country that is not ours. Please learn to respect that. Complaints about dogs and guns in the airport. I don't know where they live but we have that in Montréal. Another thing is the difference in the culture. I am a business woman, hence I deal with several cultures on a daily basis.
I cannot start the review of the hotel without expressing the respect I have for the Cuban people. They are strong willed, educated, courteous and respectful. They are welcoming, smilling and gracious.
Now, for those of you lucky enough to visit this hotel. You will land at Jardines del Rey airport, a nice, clean structure where you will exit the airplane right on the tarmac. A short walking distance from the airplane to the customs. At this time, you will notice guards with guns and dogs. Once you clear the customs, you might be surprised to have to go through the same security used at your point of entry. Another short walking distance to get your luggage and on the bus you go.
Fifteen minutes later, you will get your first glance at the hotel. The hotel is on its own (a new one is being built next door and I assure you you can barely hear the construction going on. The lobby is beautiful, the reception warm and they even take the trouble to serve you drinks when you arrive. Some people complain that there is no alcohol is those drinks. It is the precise time where I started having the time of my life about the tourists reactions. Normally, I spend my week with my nose in my books as I travel to relax. This time, as I was with a friend, I viewed things from a different perspective, seing the hotel throught her eyes as if it was my first visit. The reason they do not put alcohol in the drinks is they have no idea who is an adult and who is not. They start serving alcohol only when they can view the color on your bracelet.
There are nine buildings, 306 rooms, eighteen suites and a Master suite. We had the occasion to spend a night in the master suite (two bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms, living room, dining room) but were moved to different location because hurricane Dean was threating Cuba. We were moved for safety reasons to rooms 9301 (a suite) and room 9302. Both rooms were lovely and the maid kept both rooms in prestine condition all week. One day, my friend put 5 pesos on the bed but she did not take it. The next day, she put 10 as felt bad that she had not taken it the day before. We litterally had to chase the maid to give her the money has she did not think it was for her. Building 6 is closed at the moment as they are completely renovating it. Building 7 has already been completed and there is only the painting to be done. They will be ready for the peak season.
The beach is simply wonderful, being protected by a coral reaf, the waves are small and children can play in the sand in total safety. The resort is family oriented with a kid's club and animation for kids. You see couples with children, couples but rarely single people. Those of us who decide to come to this resort a singles obtain peace and quiet with no fear of being hit on by tourists looking for entertainment.
The hotel offers well equiped gym, soccer field, and tennis courts. They offer wedding services. A beauty parlor and massage facilities. I have had the occasion to see wedding there and it is simply beautiful. There is a doctor on site and all is put in place to respond rapidly in case of an emergency. This week, I unfortunately had the occasion to experience it myself. At the Italian restaurant, I picked food of my friend's plate and the food contained onions, as I have a lethal allergy to it, my throat started to swell and I got up discreetly to administer epinephrine in the bathroom next door. Leaving the bathroom maybe a minute later, I had two hotel management staff by my side.
Speaking about restaurants, they offer three à la carte (Italian, Japanese and Seafood) a beach restaurant, a 24 hours restaurant and the buffet. The service is excellent in all the restaurants. But again, if you treat people with respect, you general obtain respect in return.
As for the food, it is simply wonderful. Do keep in mind that the animals are different and are fed differently. Just take for example the New Zealand lamb and Québec's lamb, both are fed with grass but the grass is different from one country to another and as a result, they do not taste alike. Another example, I am unable to eat an egg in Cuba. Does it mean the food is bad ? No, it simply means that I do not like the taste of a Cuban eggs.
This week I have seen rabbit, turkey, steaks, shrimps, sausages... bottom line, there is tons of food to select from. The bread is great and the ice cream, to die for. Flambé bananas were a big hit with my friend. But truthfully, I can understand that we are being drawn by food closer to our culture and some may be dissapointed. They cater to many cultures in this hotel and they try to accomodate everyone. From memory, last week, I counted nine different cultures represented (only from the people I spoke to), imagine how many cultures were actually represented. Yes, one night, I was taken aback when I saw blood sausage in the buffet, but the French and English enjoy it. Out of respect to them, the cooks offered this delicacy.
Bottom line, if you want a hotel where the rooms are large and confortable, where the grounds are well kept, the staff courteous and respectful, if you are looking to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life with a great beach to boast, welcome to Oasis Playa Coco. Look for me I may be reading a book at the bar.
|Oasis Playa Coco|
| I just came back from Playa Coco July 2 as a sole traveller, and ironically I stayed in 5106, the same room the lady from UK stayed.. I seen no mold on the cushions, my linenes were changed when I asked for them to be changed (I don’t expect them to be changed everyday) and the room was cleaned everyday. My maid was very considerate and very nice. I did have a tiny little sand crab that came in through the door when it was open while the maid cleaned, but I got it out myself, no bid deal, you kind of expect stuff like that to happen while the doors are open… as for mosqitoes… I had none in my room, they were bad outside at nightfall, but they do recommend you bring bug repellent, and I am from Canada so I am use to mosiqitoes, people you are in a humid climate, why would you think there would be no mosqitoes? The staff are excellent there, if you are going there make sure you find Cesar at the buffet or 24 hour snack bar, Malena in the lobby bar, Malaty serving you drinks during the show in the evening and Ray one of the animators there… they all made my stay there welcome, relaxing and very enjoyable.
Food was ok, Japanese resturant was the best!!! Recommend you rent a moped and take a drive to all the playa’s on the island… Playa Prohibita is very beautiful and it is on the way to the “Cave” which is a must if you love to dance.
I love Cayo Coco so much I am going back in November and taking some friends with me, and staying at the same resort and hopefully staying in the same room too! Your vacation is what you make of it…. Definitely not a 2 star resort!
|Oasis Playa Coco|
|I have recently returned from the Hotel Playa Coco which at the time of booking wasnt made aware that the hotels were built on and surrounded by swamps, and the mosquitos visited in their millions on a daily basis.
On arrival at the hotel myself and my husband were given the key card to room 5106 when entering the room we were disgusted to find mould on the cushions of the chairs/settee (photo included), dirty bed linen (which we hadn’t even slept in), and mould all over the walls of the room. My husband went to complain at reception and someone came and changed 2 of the 5 cushions but couldn’t change the others. We complained again to which nothing was done regarding the walls, the bed linen was changed the following day, no offer of a room change was offered by the hotel.
During the first week of our “so called” holiday during dinner we were given a questionnaire to complete regarding our thoughts on the hotel to which I wrote all about our disgusting 2* standard room, and finally on the following Thursday (31st May, our wedding anniversary) the housekeeper came in and wiped one of the walls down with a cloth. Myself and my husband were absolutely disgusted in how we felt the hotel had been rated as a 4* plus. Needless to say I spent most of the holiday in tears and totally distraught not only for myself but for my parents whom this was their first ever Caribbean holiday.
I wanted to go home after 3 days and was told it would cost another £300.00 p.p to get a flight back to the UK, to which after paying for the holiday I couldn’t afford another £1,200 for us to travel home. I simply cannot understand how this hotel was rated as a 4* plus when it is only of a 2* standard???. During the holiday I took pictures of all the mould and of the playroom with a hole in the ceiling and rubble all over the floors where children we being allowed to play.
Combined with all of the above the housekeeper had to spray our room daily with mosquito repellent due to having a 3” gap at the bottom of the door whereby a crab, lizards and hundreds of mosquitoes entered, causing me to visit the onsite doctor on 3 occasions for treatment. We also found the hotel not to be equipped for rain, as all floors were tiled causing people to continually slip when wet. The reception area let in water and there was nothing to do and nowhere to go during wet conditions. Whilst at the hotel almost everyone we spoke to wanted desperately to leave the hotel and no-one considered the hotel to be of a 4* plus standard.
During the flight home I completed the Thomas Cook questionnaire, where I aired my concerns regarding the holiday and hotel once again.
Bearing in mind that this holiday cost me £3,480 for 4 adults, and I have sent the holiday company all the photos of the room etc accompanying my letter of disappointment. I was mortified and will never ever ever be setting foot in the Cayo Islands again.
|Oasis Playa Coco|
|The Oasis Playa Coco is a great resort, it is not overly large, and not very small either. The accommodations are 8 bungalows of 45 rooms or so each as well as a large master suite. We were lucky enough to stay in a suite, room 4201, which was in a remote area and nothing could be heard.
The suite had two rooms; one had a kitchenette, a dinette table, as well as a living room area with a tv and a small powder room. The bedroom had a giant king size bed, with a television and a cd player. We had a large mirrored closet with a safe and ironing boards, as well as a double sink. The master bathroom had a toilet, a bidet as well as a Jacuzzi bath (it did not work). We had a walk-out balcony from both the bedroom as well as the living area. We had a good view of the ocean. We were lucky enough to have this room. I had sent an email earlier to the resort asking for a room that was remote. I did not expect to get anything as such in return.
The weather was atrocious as were the mosquitoes. However, the entertainment staff and bar staff tried to ensure everyone had an amazing time none the less. It rained every day we were there at one time or another. We were rarely bored as there was always something to do. The beach was lovely, however the ocean had a bit of rocks going in, so we only went in briefly. As this is a remote resort, it is closure to Cayo Guillermo and removed from the main strip of Cayo Coco there is miles and miles of beach. We did try walking down further one day hoping to find a quiet location for the two of us but we were swarmed by mosquitoes, and had to run back trying to avoid bites.
The pool is on the smaller side and there are two that are connected by a foot bridge. The bigger pool is about 1.5 m deep which is a good depth. The smaller one is about .45 around, and this is where the swim-up bar is, in my mind, it is in the wrong location as it ends up being filled with children. Very rarely did we see adults getting a drink there. However, on the other side, there is a bar where people would go and load up on drinks. The pool was quiet at most times; we were always able to find a seat with some shade. We ate at all three a la cartes as well as the beach bar and the buffet. Wednesday was sea food night at the buffet, it is worth a try. The Japanese restaurant was our favourite a la carte. We were quite entertained by the chef. The food did not end either. The Italian, was quite romantic and drawn out. The Seafood was good and you did not have to pay for lobster tail. The a la cartes book up fast. We were given a choice of all three restaurants once a week. Reservations can be made at the PR desk from 10 am to 12 pm daily. The waiter at the beach bar did an amazing job serving everyone. There you could enjoy pizzas, hamburgers and hot dogs with fries.
The lobby/piano bar was by far our favourite. The Service impeccable and pleasant and the Bahamas Mama's were amazing. We spent quite a bit of time here as it rained considerably. The shows were also held indoors in the lobby when it rained. The Disco Coco was closed the entire time we were there. We did enjoy the game room one night; it had bowling, a table soccer, table tennis and pool table area. As well as a few tables for chess. The internet café had two computers and a little library.
The store was not the greatest place for souvenirs; rather the markets were a lot better. They were there on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. We did make a trip to Tryp Cayo Coco for more souvenirs, they had several shops where we could purchase the goods we were looking for. Excursions:
We took the speed boat adventure which took us into Cayo Guillermo, I think the ride is definitely worth it, but we chose not to go snorkeling, merely fed the fish from the dock site.
Deep Sea Fishing, this was a must for us, and we could not bear the cost alone, the representatives found another couple in a different resort who wanted to go as well. We paid 109CUC to fish as well as 15CUCs for me to sit and watch. It had an open bar. We did this excursion from Cayo Coco Marina, and seven fish were caught that day including three barracudas.
Colorful Cuba was quite colorful. We went into Moron. Visited a freshwater lake, an old sugar mill, took a steam whistle lunch had a beautiful Cuban lunch. After which we were taken into the city of Moron for a carriage ride and some shopping. We also went to the crocodile farm. Quite exciting. The city of Moron was a poor city, where people were coming up asking for gifts or money. No real souvenir shopping here. It was quite an experience I don't think I would do this again though.
All in all despite the rain and the mosquitoes I had an excellent time. We were completely relaxed and well taken care of. The staff often goes above and beyond and we were always satisfied with our service. Any vacation can be made better, so please don't complain about little things, you know what you are capable of, so bear in mind while you are on vacation it is not a free for all even if it is all- inclusive. You are a guest at someone else's country. Make friends with a bartender or two, and they will remember your drink of choice.
This is not a fully matured resort as the trees are still growing in, one day it will be extremely beautiful. A sister resort is being built right next door, one day you will be able to enjoy the amenities interchangeably.
Kudos to Oasis Playa Coco for making our vacation quite memorable.
|Oasis Playa Coco|
Halifax Nova Scotia
| Upon arrival to the Oasis Playa Coco Resort, there were 7 of us, we were slightly disappointed. We had never been to Cuba, but we had been to Punta Cana and the differences were quite apparent. Although check in was quick and without problem, we did have to pass by a very large cockroach, live cockroach, which a guest was playing with on the floor in the main lobby. We did a little nervous giggle, and carried on to our rooms. We were given 4 rooms on the 2nd floor of the 5th building which gave us beautiful oceanviews. Apparently we were upgraded to the ocenview rooms at no cost because they did not have any other rooms to put us in. That was great news. The safe in the rooms worked great, the AC was good in 3 out of 4 rooms and there was an iron and ironing board, which I appreciated more than my husband. The rooms were large and so was the bathroom and tub. The tub did have some mold and we did have ants, tiny little ants, in the bathroom. When we called the desk about the ants they sent in a man with a large monkey wrench! We simply laughed and I sprayed the little critters with hairspray and that was the end of them for that night. We never saw anymore roaches but on the second day we were there they were fumigating at least twice a day due to the mosquitos. I can't imagine how badly we would have been bitten if not for the fumigations. Hopefully it was not toxic to humans because it was huge foggy clouds of "stuff" that smelled really alot like desel. In any event, the roaches were out of sight, at least to us.
The mini fridge had 2 cans of "cola" and 1 bottle of water and that was it for the entire week. We had to buy our water at the store or have it refilled at the bar daily at no charge. At first we were extremely upset by this, but then we decided to go along to get along. I do think we should have been given water everyday! That still bothers me, but apparently it is normal in Cuban resorts?!
The bedding was clean, the tv worked well, the shower could have been hotter with stronger pressure, but the staff made up for any of these little annoyances. We simply had to remember where we were, that we were there for a good time, not a long time, and everything was worth the trip. Our first morning at breakfast we sat together and our waiter, Ernesto, was great. We had more fresh orange juice than we could drink, smiles and cappachino or coffee/tea which he was very careful to make sure was just to our liking or he would bring another. When we returned for lunch, Ernesto saw me seeking a table and said "excuse me, this is your table, I reserve for all of you". For the entire week, we sat at that table and we actually felt bad when we had reservations to dine at the Japanese Restaurant. ( The food there was good as well). Our waitress, Usemelba, was adorable, intelligent & funny; and then there was Cesar, another waiter that would love to take pictures of us and himself with our cameras. How wonderful they were. Everyday we went into the restaurant our "reserved" table would be waiting for us with fresh flowers and fancy carved fruit. On our third day we were met at the resort by 2 family members from Barrie, Ont., and they were welcomed to our table with open arms by the service staff. On our last day Ernesto gave all 5 girls 1 dozen roses which were carefully wrapped and we all brought them home to dry and press for our memoirs. We will miss them most.
The cleaning ladies did not dust anything, but our bedding was clean, the bathrooms were cleaned and they always left us fancy folded towels and fresh flowers as well. We would say good morning, or how are you today, and they would really appreciate the fact that we would acknowledge them. We would leave little gifts on our pillows for them, nothing big, crayons and sticker books for their children, soap, toothpaste, nailpolish, lipstick, that sort of thing, and they would always smile and say thanks in their own way. It does not take alot of time or effort to be kind to someone that works so hard for such tiny little gifts. How I wish I could have given more.
The beach was rocky in front of the resort, but as a previous writer said, go a little to the right and it was clear and sandy. You could walk for miles on the beach and never run into another resort. You could walk the sand bar for an hour or longer and it was just beautiful. Great for the vacationers that want to spend some time alone There were beautiful fish which we would feed bread and bananas to, and it made for good snorkeling. The water was warm with the exception of 1 day out of 7.
The pools could have been cleaner, the hot tub was nice, but also, could have had the sand removed. The resort is rated a 4 plus, a stretch for sure, but some of the staff definetly made it a 5 star in our books. If we did return to Cuba, I would probably go back to this resort because to me the people make the place, not necessarily the "fancy" digs.
Oh yeah, the beer was good and so were the drinks after you figured out that they were not using the right type of rum. Once you told them how you like your drinks mixed, they were great!
|Oasis Playa Coco|
|My family just got back February 13 from a wonderful week at this resort. Before leaving I was reading the reviews and became very scared and had many second thoughts about going. My oldest daughter convinced me to stop reading the reviews as they were more then likely from people who had nothing better to do or were just constant complainers and expected everything for nothing. Wow what a smart girl, she was very right.
We arrived at this resort in the evening of Feb. 6 with a large crowd as we were all going for a wedding. We were greeted with juice and check in was very smooth. We had no problem finding our room and our luggage arrived approx. 1/2 hour later. Although it is the custom there to tip and tips are very much appreciated we never felt any pressure to tip. All the staff was very friendly and always eager to please. Our rooms were very spacious and very clean. Down on the beach Felix and Elvis were always there to lend a helping hand with a lounger or set you up with paddle boats or kayaks. If you wanted to go to the Cave disco, these were the two men to talk to. The food in the beach bar was fabulous and always served with a smile. Our favorite waiter there was Armando. The piano bar always has some excitement going on and Embarto and Young keep things lively.
The food was great and there was always something there to suite anyone no matter how picky an eater you are.
There was construction of the new resort going on next door but was never overpowering of distractive. In the late hours of the night, cows and horses could be seen roaming the resort but were never invasive or a threat. It was actually pretty neat to see.
I've come to the conclusion that the reviews written by the complainers are more then likely people who think of themselves as royalty and have expectations beyond realization.
This was a wonderful week and sad to see come to an end.
|Oasis Playa Coco|
|Tom & Jane |
Fort Erie ON
| We just returned yesterday from this resort in Cayo Coco Cuba.
Had a great time!!
Flew via Sunwing out of Toronto and everything was on time with no hassle or wait time. The flight was great with food and beverage provided and we arrived in Cuba on time and transported on time to the hotel.
Check in was smooth and the room (building 5) was clean and neat and provided an ocean view with a king bed as requested in our on line booking.
The beach is fabulous with white sand that stretches for miles in each direction. Going right of the resort was the best. In front of the hotel the beach is a bit rocky but the sand is a short walk out and there is a small shoal where you can feed the fish.
The food in the buffet and the al a carte restaurants was good as well as the beach bar and 24 hour bar/restaurant.
In all the service was EXCELLENT and we enjoyed a quiet and relaxing time with good weather 6 of the 7 days there.
The piano bar in the main lobby is also open 24 hours a day and provides good entertainment. We got to know one of the trainee bar tenders who treated us as special friends.
Tipping is very much appreciated by the staff at this resort.
There is a new hotel under construction next door which we understand is scheduled to open in Dec 2007. There was little activity while we where there and no disruption to our holiday.
While rated 4+ stars, it might be slightly less but still very enjoyable.
Don't go if all you want to do is shop but if you want to have a quiet relaxing holiday this is the place.
The flight home was also on time, no delays and clearing immigration both in Cuba and in Toronto was smooth, easy and fast (even getting our luggage!)
We would recommend this resort and the tour company (Sunwing) to anyone.
|Oasis Playa Coco|
|Kevin and Elizabeth |
|My wife and I just returned from Oasis Playa Coco on January 27, 2007. We would like to warn people that this place is a "3 star" only resort, NOT a "4 plus" like they advertise. There were 6 of us together and we had visitted different resorts in Cuba in the past, altogether 10 times, so we can compare.
We were very disappointed. We paid for a "4 plus" rate.
The room overlooked the construction site next door. It was loud and unattractive. The room had furniture that was falling apart. It took us 3 days to get our shower head fixed. It took 4 days to get an iron and ironing board. There were no clocks in the rooms. The bar fridge in our room was never stocked like they advertised. What's the use of having a bar fridge if they will not stock it. We asked for bottled water but were told we had to pay for it at the resort store. We were given 1 bottle at the start and that would be it. The beds were hard as rock including the pillows. I watched roaches running around at night near my bed and in the bathroom. We were itching all night from the bugs living in our mattress or bed sheets. They advertised 2 Hot tubs. One was empty and the other was the same temperature as the pool the entire week. They advertised free non-motorized water equipment. They charged us $10 per person for a catamaran and they never had snorkeling equipment available. The Seafood Specialty restaurant served the same food as the Buffet. We asked for Lobster and were told we had to pay extra. They advertised 3 computers for internet use and only 1 was operational the entire week. So there was a line-up.
We spoke with our Sunwing Rep. He stated that he spoke with the managers who would meet with us. They made us wait 1 hour for them then sent the Sunwing Rep back to tell us they could not meet with us.
Well we made the best of the week and enjoyed the beautiful sea and sand.
Just a reminder, make sure you get a "4 plus" when you pay the "4 plus" rate. I hope all you travellers think twice about this place until they improve it to a true "4 plus" rating.
|Oasis Playa Coco|
|Just returned from the Playa Coco resort on Cayo Coco. This is our ninth trip to Cuba, all on the North coast and all in the 4-5 star range. Considering how new this resort is (3 years in February) it was not built to last.
A number of deficiencies surfaced very quickly. Lack of hot showers for most of the week, air conditioning was weak until I complained, shower handle fell off every time you tried to take a shower, mold on tiles and grout, ants in the room, had to fix the screen door myself to make it work, had to ask for shampoo and no facecloths ever.
The staff was friendly and usually very helpful in all locations on the resort. Good pool and swim up bar area. The lounge chairs were beat up as were the umbrellas poolside. The buffet was acceptable and the restaurants served up a good meal as well. Due to bad weather a lot of the entertainment moved to the main reception area indoors. This created an impossible situation for a conversation because of the noise levels. Will not be returning to this resort.
|Oasis Playa Coco|
|Was pleasantly surprised and totally impressed with this resort after reading all the bad reviews!! Was incredibly worried about all the negative reviews but oh my god – you people should definitely not travel – you should stay home. We had a credit that had to be used up with Sunwing and basically had no choice on where we really wanted to go but am very glad we had the experience of Playa Coco – we met lots of special staff members who we will hopefully visit again.
I love the location of this hotel as it is the only hotel around – if you don’t like being remote from other hotels, do not go here. It is located between Cayo Coco and Cayo Guillermo.
The food was some of the best I’ve ever had at a resort. The buffet was great as were all of the a la carte restaurants. We went to the Japanese, Seafood (which also serves meat dishes not only seafood) and the Italian. The service we had from everyone was incredible at all restaurants including the buffet. You can go to the a la carte restaurants one time each per week.
The staff were all very friendly whether they were a gardener, maid, bartender or waiter or front desk or whatever. It is a complete disgrace how some “clients” treat the staff – no manners, bark their orders to them like they should be their slave. It is totally embarrassing to see the behaviour of some people and I would assume, these are the types of people that have given this hotel a bad rap. I made sure I had caps or teeshirts to give away to the gardeners as they never get anything and they were absolutely thrilled. All the people make about 12-15 pesos per month so even one peso tip once in a while is a great help. We did tip and were appauled at the amont of people who don’t even leave one peso at an a la carte restaurant after getting a top notch meal and great service – it really is an embarrassment.
All it takes people, is a smile and a hello or good morning from you to the staff – there is no need to be rude and demanding. If the bars are busy, and you have to wait a few minutes for a drink, so what – where are you going? Do you have to be back at the office in 10 minutes – NO, so relax and enjoy. Yes, there are sometimes little tiny ants in the bathroom sink but I have never been to any resort in the caribean that hasn’t had these.
I must say, however, I have been to properties that have been more lush but this property did still have some very pretty areas also. Some of the trees definitely have not grown as well as they should have. The land does seem to stay wet and doesn’t drain well which would probably account for this. Once I get my pictures on the web, you can email me and I will send them to you and you will see it is definitely not like what people describe. What are you there for? Sun, beach, food, booze or very large palm trees?
The beach is absolutely gorgeous. You can walk for miles and miles either side and not see a person. It is beautiful not having any other resort that you can see anywhere. The water is so clear. Our weather was great – a few sprinkles but nothing that lasted more than a minute than the sun was back out. It rained a couple of times in the middle of the night but that was no problem.
The pools were very nice. The pool with all the action had a swim up bar and then there was the quiet “children’s” pool that never had anyone at it.
People complained about having toads around or seeing lizards or even horses. Seeing these things make the experience of being away real. One night waking back to our room at 3:00 am we saw 3 bulls on the property – at first we thought we had had too much too drink but no they were really there – it was wonderful!!
All the animals from nature are protected so they may wonder onto the property – no problem. I thought it was a fantastic perk to see wild animals so close. Some people were very angry that they saw toads and crabs all over the property – I could have strangled these people. I wish these types of people would stay home and not put a damper on the staff’s work day or us “normal” people’s holiday.
Our room was huge with a sitting area and king bed, beautiful washroom, overlooking the ocean. We had block 5 on the second floor. Each building is 3 story’s high and I would request either 2nd or 3rd floor. We traveled with Sunwing and the flight was good – brand new planes with leather seats. We had to stop in Veradero to pick people up on the way to Cayo Coco but wasn’t much of a problem as we got off the plane and got a beer and changed money. The rate was better at the Veradero airport than it was at our hotel bank.
We rented a jeep for 3 days which was fantastic. It is unfortunate that most people just stay at the resort and never know or get a feel for what the real cuba is like. We went to see friends we met at the Sol Cayo Guillermo 2 years ago – they were all still working there. We went to Pillar beach which again was incredible to see. We went to a National Park called Baga which is a 5 minute drive to the hotel. We also drove to the island of Santa Maria where we have been 3 times in the last year to visit friends that work there. It was an incredible drive through the towns, countryside and mountains – it took 3 hrs 45 minutes one way to get there but it was worth it. The drive through all the different towns is almost unexplainable – no traffic except for horse buggies, bikes, pigs in middle of road, etc. – what an experience. We also drove to Lake Redondo and got a speed boat ride thru the mangroves and then we went on to Moron. If you get a jeep for one day it is $55.00 with 100 klms. If you get a jeep for 3 days it is $166.00 with unlimited mileage. We ended up driving over 750 klms in 3 days so it was a fantastic deal for us.
This property through hola sun was on sale for $379.00 for a week and some people that got that deal had the nerve to complain. Well, how much would it cost to get a hotel room in “Toronto” for the week and drink unlimited drinks 24 hrs a day if you wish and eat 3 meals plus per day. The sunwing deal was $599.00 at the same time as the Hola Sun deal.
The lobby bar (piano bar) is open 24 hours. There is beach restaurant for lunch which is open til 4. The quiet pool bar is open til 5 as is the pool/swim up bar.
There is another burger/sandwich place where you can get food and drinks until 11:00 pm each nite. There are very many trips you can take if you wish. I definitely would recommend getting a jeep and doing some touring.
There is also a hop on hop off bus you can get everyday from the front of the hotel (they have schedules available) and it is 5 pesos return – you can go to any of the properties in cayo coco or cayo Guillermo and check them out.
If you have any questions, please email me at email@example.com
|Oasis Playa Coco|
|Well I am so shocked and disappointed by some of the reviews written on here. I have just come back from spending 2 weeks at this resort with 2 of my friends. Ages ranging from 23 - 26 all of us female. We usually go for the clubbing type of holiday but thought we would treat ourselves to a bit of luxury. After seeing the hotel in the brochure we couldn't wait for our holiday.
Firstly our flight was delayed. The delay totalled 14 hours and half a day of our holiday was lost. We didn't complain there's nothing that can be done if there are technical faults with the plane.
We arrived at Cayo Coco in the early hours of Monday morning yes immigration check your passport and look at you, but at the end of the day they have got a job to do I'd rather they look at me and complete the relevant checks than just let anyone into the country. It didn't take that long either and also the luggage came off fairly quickly. ( Much quicker than on our return to Gatwick!)
We arrived at the hotel and told to check in that the bus driver and bell boys would take our cases off the bus. We were given a fruit juice as we checked in which was refreshing after being on a plane for 9 hours. We got our room keys and went to get our suitcases. We had been told on the bus by Avril that we could either take our own luggage or the bell boys would deliver it for us. We decided as we didn't have any pesos we would take our own suitcases as we weren't able to tip them. We explained this to Avril and she spoke to the men who said that they wouldn't require a tip. Still we took our own cases. Later we learnt that it had taken some people an hour to get their cases so if you do ask the bell boys bear this in mind. But what's the rush your on holidays.
It had been raining before we arrived and the paths were a little bit flooded along with the grass. There are lights along the path but they didn't all seem to be working (They were all being fixed before we left though) The room numbers are on the walls at the entrance of each block. You could ask at reception what colour your block is before leaving as this may make it easier for you to find. We were in block 6 which is behind the 24 hour bar but we got a little bit lost finding it! We had a quick tour of the grounds while trying to find the block! All good fun though! Each morning we would go for breakfast by 9am there was always plenty of food but don't expect to eat what you would normally eat here. There's always the option of fresh fruit. The man cooking omelettes always had a big queue and so did the pancake man (and they were delicious, he'd make then in heart shapes for us!)
If you want an umbrella down at the beach you have to be down fairly early. We would go down before breakfast and put our towels down first. They have people on the beach who get you a sunbed and dust it down for you. Felix used to get ours everyday and knew where we wanted to sit. They do accept a tip but hey what's a peso for a sunbed when we earn an awful lot more than they do.
For lunch we used to go to the beach bar as they have a menu. Ok its the same food on the menu every day but the service is great. The bar staff are so happy and friendly and end up dancing infornt of the bar for you. Nothing is too much trouble for them.
We used to eat around 8.30pm every evening there was always plenty of food (except ham off the bone which went really quickly) You had the typical cuban food then a man cooking meat and fish. There was also another one cooking pasta. There were separate pans for the 2 different sauces. The waiting staff were quite quick, very friendly and watched when our glasses were running empty then would ask if we wanted a refill.
The Japanese restaurant was superb and definitely worth a visit too. The Italian was nice aswell. We didn't try the seafood as the other girls didn't like fish but we were later told they don't only do fish.
The piano bar is always busy if you can't find a seat there you can usually get one in the reception area. The first night there was one member of staff on but after that there were about 3 or 4. None of us had any problems being served by the bar staff and they were friendly enough. There is no air conditioning in either the bar or the lobby just fans so it can be quite humid. We tended to sit by the windows and there was a lovely breeze. The games room has got air conditioning though. Check out the water feature in the lobby it was great.
Our rooms were lovely and spacious and always cleaned well by the maids. We always had a something made from our towels we used to enjoy going back to see what they had made us. The brochure does say your fridge is stocked with water and soft drinks and can be stocked with other things on request. They leave you a bottle of water every day when they clean your room. The air conditioning worked brilliantly and we often had to turn it down to med/low in the nights as it got too cold with it on.
They were doing alot of work to the grounds while we were there. Re planting new palm trees and shrubs and generally keeping it looking nice. Yes there are frogs and hermit crabs but your in the Caribbean not far from a nature reserve and mangroves and the sea what do you expect. They do no harm to you.
Invest in some strong insect repellents as they do like to nibble. The hotel do stock one and that seemed quite good.
The grounds were clean there was always someone going around emptying bins and even collecting the seaweed fro the beach. The only thing I will say is the brits that just flick their fag butts in the sand should be ashamed of themselves.
The beach was gorgeous and if you go to the left or right of the main part of the beach its like you are on a deserted island as not many people go to the sides. The sea is gorgeous take some bread in with you and you can feed the fish! It was great fun!
Throughout the holiday we found everyone to be very friendly and pleasant and not once did we feel intimidated. While we were there we decided to try the catamaran trip which was great (again take bread to feed the fish as you go snorkelling) Sunset cruise, speed boats (they were fantastic we were Charlies angels for the afternoon). We tried salsa dancing (don't believe Felix when he says he can't dance!)
The reps were both great Felix is from Cuba and he was very friendly and more than willing to help you. During the welcome meeting we were told about the cave club which is lit with fairy lights Its in Moron which is where alot of the hotel staff live and its a local club. Its not an official Thomas Cook trip but if you fancy a night out in a cave you need to speak to Felix or Elvis on the beach who arrange the trips on a Wednesday. It costs 10 pesos for a return bus and 10 pesos entry but you do get either free beer or rum. Its well worth a look and the guys are great hosts.
All in all we thoroughly enjoyed our 2 week holiday in playa coco. We had a brilliant time and the weather was great. To all the people who complained about the wildlife I suggest you try holidaying in this country or perhaps the moon!
|Oasis Playa Coco|
| Aug 24th 2006 - -2nd September 2006
After reading some of the reviews we had mixed feelings about visting this hotel. We have visted Cuba twice and stayed at the Sol Club Cayo Coco. As you can see from the dates given at the top of the review we managed to last just over a week before we could stand anymore of this hotel!
We arrived at around 11:30 local time after having a seven hour delay in Manchester airport we arrived very tired and i don't think any of the 5 of us ever recovered from such a long day. By the time we arrived the lobby was empty check in was quick and we made our way to our rooms thinking our luggage was to follow us shortly. An hour later it finally arrived. We then decided to have a night cap an walked down into the bar in the lobby which was very hot and wasn't air conditioned. This was my girlfriends first time in Cuba and she seemed happy with the hotel.
The rooms itself are fantastic, they are huge and we had a sea view that was the focal point for most of our photographs. the air conidtioning was relatively good. The hotel itself is very modern but the thing that let it appearance down was the fact everything was so far apart an you would walk ages to get to dinner and to the bar.
After 3 days we knew we had made the wrong decision to come to the hotel. The 2nd nite me and my dad went to the bar an we waited about 25 minsutes to be served by the single barman or barmaid that was working there. We noticed on the floor some broken glass. after being served we told the barman about this glass and he nodded and sed "thank you ok". Amazingly 2 and a half hours later when there are small children running round barefooted the glass was still there. We weren't very impressed by this and complained to the rep Felix the next day. Felix was very helpful throughout the holiday even after us complaining so much.
The canteen was another major issue for us. we saw it as a canteen rather than a buffet because you knew what you were getting every day. To be honest it was almost like what was left out at dinner was used again at tea. 3 out of 5 of us had stomach upsets more than once on this holiday i spent one day in the room keeled up in a ball with stomach cramps. The service was appalling to say the least. for such a big canteen only a handful of waiters were there an even then they weren't worth being there. One morning my sister wanted some water we waited half hour before we realised that the woman who took our drinks order was stood by the bread eating it with her friend and gabboing away! One evening in the Gunatanemera bar we ordered our drinks and we had to wait 10 minutes for our beer whilst the chef was fillin 3 empty cola bottles full of Lager. That was pretty much the final straw we were that annoyed with the hotel that we decided to book one night in another hotel that we knew was fantastic and had stayed there twice before.
The animation team in the Playa coco were non existent the only reason any of the daytime activities took place is because the guests organised it themselves! this wasn't what we were used to in Cuba. So many of the other guests in the hotel had the same view as us and were very unhappy we became reluctant to tip anyone because the service was atrocious.
After our night in the other hotel The Sol Club Cayo Coco we realised what a huge mistake we had made. The staff instantly remembered us from the previous two years an we were treated like kings. This was the Cuba that we knew and loved. Even my Girlfriend said she had been there 1 day and felt so much more welcome there than at the other hotel!
We returned to hell the day after all deflated as if it were the end of our holiday. We knew we had made the worng decision and what we were hearing in the bar that nite confrimed this. A man who was travelling with friends was 75 an he sadly died whilst on the beach. Reception were informed and a cart was sent down to recover the body. They covered the body with his friends towels so they could get him through to the ambulance. The friends he travvelled with had decided that they were going to make the most of the holiday anyway and enjoy themselves despite the terrible news. They went to reception and explained what had happened to there towels only to be CHARGED for new ones. This in our eyes was a disgrace and the day after we checked out an tried to salvage what was left of our holiday by staying at the Sol Cayo Coco! As a final note i would recommend anyone to stay clear of this hotel as it is appalling to say the least it was more a 2-3* than 4+*.
Anymore questions e-mail me Kysey15@aol.com
|Oasis Playa Coco|
|Having just read the latest entry by Tina from the UK , I feel like I must write in .. where was this person ? Obviously not in the same hotel I was. I also just returned from Playa Coco ( Aug 25-sept 1st) and either I am blind , deaf and dumb..because I can not disagree more with the last review.
The hotel is fine, rooms clean, and staff very friendly. The beach is nice, white sand , water clear blue and warm. Food is fine and drinks are plentiful.
Have you ever considered that if the staff if unfriendly to you, maybe it is because you are unfriendly to them ? I never once felt pressured to tip, and was always served quickly, whether it be at the bars, snack bar or restaurants.
If the lawn sometimes had straws or cups on it, it is uncivilized tourists who can not move their butts 2 feet to throw away their trash in a bin ( and there are plenty around ). The cleaning staff worked around the clock to pick up trash, mop floors, clean tables ect. I witnessed one lady cleaning the lobby floor every night at 3h00am.
And I beg to differ that there were no flowers, there were tons.. and yes, the palm trees are young, but so what ???
The rooms are big, cleaned daily and nicely decorated. So what if your mini fridge is not restocked every day or there is no ice.. hello…. There are bars everywhere , including two 24 hour ones, where one can get whatever you please. Yes.. the rooms are a bit humid.. YOU ARE IN CUBA.. NOT THE NORTH POLE… Come on people…
The food was fine.. so maybe not everything appeals to everyone all the time.. but YOU ARE IN CUBA.. if you want fancy food, go to Paris. Not once did anyone go hungry ( hello.. 24 hour snack bar serving hamburgers and fries.. ) and might I add that the 3 restaurants ( especially the Japanese ) were excellent.
The shows were fine, and so what if they are a little predictable.. if you want to see the Cirque du Soleil GO TO LAS VEGAS.
I am so fed up with ridiculous tourists who should simply stay home if all they want to do on vacation is complain. I for one, have travelled around the world, and yes, things are not like at home.. but that is the whole point is it not ? I expect to have a clean bed and room to sleep in, decent food to eat, sun , beach and a pool. Which is what I got. I personally do not go on vacation to nit pick every single detail. RELAX PEOPLE.
I am saddened by the fact that others will read the bad reviews and choose another hotel.. yes of course , others will be better, and others will be worse. Go with an open mind, you are on vacation, it will be what you make of it.
|Oasis Playa Coco|
|Hello we have just returned from what we can only describe as a holiday from hell. We were so looking forward to our first visit to Cuba and even more excited that we were going to the Cayo’s. We had seen several reviews on here and other review sites about the Gaviota Playa Coco, but we decided to be open minded. We truly wish we had gone with our gut feeling.
Upon arrival in Cuba from the UK, we were greeted at Jardines del Rey airport by some very intimidating soldiers who seem to get great pleasure out of making us stand in the cubicle for what seemed like an eternity while they just stared back at forth at us and our passports for some 20 minutes. We then journeyed on our way the short distance to the GPC. On arrival we were greeted by dancers and musicians and handed a plastic cup which was supposed to contain fruit slush, but either it hadn’t had time to freeze or it had melted but either way it was watery and luke warm. Check-in was rather swift and we were given a map that we could make head nor tail of. We then ventured off to find our block, heading in every direction but the right one. As we walked around the resort we noticed how littered it was with bins overflowing and plastic cups and straws every where. We also noticed how worn and tired the resort looked considering it was only 2 years old. After some 15 minutes we found out block. The blocks are not numbered but painted in bright colours. There are 9 blocks each has 3 floors. We were in block 9 on the 3rd floor. On our way to the block we noticed lots of frogs on the footpaths and in the grass, as we entered our block we saw a young Canadian boy run into the block carrying a 2ft snake. This startled us somewhat to say the least. But we were tired and made our way to our room. As we entered the room it was as it was depicted in the brochure except the curtains were hanging on by 5 hooks at the most. There was an awful smell in the room which I can only describe as rotting cabbage. But the room was spacious and the view of the sea was amazing. The fridge was contained two cans of soft drink and a bottle of water. There was also a coffee maker in the room but the coffee was disgusting and there was no milk. The only thing that was restocked daily was the water. Also note there is no ice in the rooms. We then waited some 2 hours for the bell boy to bring our baggage. When they eventually arrived they were insistent that they carry the luggage up, so as to get their tip we presume. After getting our cases we decided to have a proper look around the resort. We headed for the beach as this was the main reason we go to the Caribbean. We love the crystal clear waters and white sands. On our way to the beach we noticed an awful lot of water around the grounds, the grass and plant beds were bogged out with water. Leading us to assume they had, had a heavy downpour of rain. We later learned it was nothing to do with rain but more to do with the poor drainage and the leaking blocks. We passed through the beach bar and restaurant on our way to the beach and were shocked to find a stray cat sitting in there. During our stay in became apparent that this cat was not so much a stray but more adopted by the hotel. I don’t know what we were expecting but when we saw the beach we were a little disappointed. The sand was very narrow, and the beach was very dirty with over flowing bins and rubbish strewed around. We then made our way to the main buffet and decided to sample the food. Again noticing the frogs along the way. We found the buffet and when went in there was no one there to greet you, it was more like a canteen than a buffet restaurant. It has two sections smoking and non smoking, but the only thing separating the two was the food island in the centre. There were no restroom facilities in the restaurant. We also noticed there were no fans or air conditioning. We sampled the food which wasn’t very appetizing and then heading back to our room to unpack. It had been a long day and we had been up some 20 hours. We traveled with our 11 year old daughter and took her 12 year old best friend with us. We had booked two rooms but the rooms were not interconnecting so they ended up sleeping in our room. The following morning we work early and headed off to breakfast. It was a gorgeous hot day and we were all anxious to work on our tans. The buffet was not busy as it was only 7:30am. There was bread of all descriptions in abundance as you entered but no butter. For the duration of our stay they frequently ran out of black tea and butter. There was a Panini press at the other corner which later broke and was replaced by a toaster which in turn broke after catching fire. There was a man making pancakes and waffles but only one of his pancake grills was worked. There was a omelets man, its best to watch this as often the egg is not cooked before they put it on your plate. Then on the food island you had the usual foods, cereal, yoghurt (which was very very sour) meats and cheese, salad and bacon, sausages, fruit and juices. Frequently they ran out of orange juice but continued to label up mango juice as orange juice. We usually opted for toast or pancakes as they were probably the most appetizing food for us. Its also fair to note that flies are in abundance in the restaurant and its not unusual to see the odd frog or two. We then left the buffet and headed to our welcome meeting, all the while taking everything in. We had been at the resort less than 24 hours and already I wanted to leave. It wasn’t the 4* AI resort that we had booked or paid for. It was more like a 2-3* and we were even more shocked to see that Gaviota have it advertised as a 4* plus above the reception. Our meeting was interesting and our rep from Thomas Cook told us that we might suffer from travellers tummy and that to consider very carefully before we went to the doctors as it would hurt both our bottoms by way of injection and our pockets by way of cost. We left the meeting and heading to the beach. We couldn’t wait to step into the turquoise waters which were breathtaking to view. The beach was fairly quiet and there were lots of beds available. We found a nice spot close to the beach and headed straight for the sea. One step into the water had us reeling. It was full of coral. When you waded your way past the coral it was lovely and came to waist level. There were plenty of fish to be seen and several jelly fish too. We went for a walk along the beach but headed back as there was a lot of swamps along the way and they didn’t smell too pleasant. Later in the afternoon we ate at the beach restaurant/bbq its wise to note that the food for the bbq is pre-cooked and re-heated when you order. The food in the restaurant is the same food everyday. After 5 hours at the beach we headed back to the room and for a shower. The we went for dinner in the main buffet. Again this is very similar by way of the same foods everyday. On entering you have the bread section, there is a dessert bar, where they man cooks flambé bananas, also a selection of cakes and ice creams. Then there is the fish stand where the chef cooks, shrimp, calamari, baby octopus and muscles. There is a man cooking chicken. Beef and pork, with peppers and onions if you chose to have them. Take note by 8pm they have usually run out of chicken and beef. The centre island usually has fruit, salad, cold meats, cheese and potatoes and ready cooked stews etc. there is a pizza, burger and fries area and there is also ready cooked fish, rice and chicken. To the far left of the restaurant there is a pasta man. Please note they think nothing of cooking all the sauces in the same pans, be in the carbonara or the tomato sauce. The restaurant is very dimly lit too. They are also a little slow at clearing the tables and bringing you drinks. After our meal we chose to go to the lobby bar before going to the show. I waited some 15 minutes or more at the bar. My husband came over to see why I was so long and I was surprised to find him being served immediately. It seems the Cubans see woman as a lower class to men. There were no fans or AC in the lobby area as it was open planned. It got very stuffy in there of an evening. We then went to watch the show. This was in an open air auditorium. Maybe this wasn’t such a good idea with all the mosquito’s that were around. We first watched the children’s bit and it seemed to be made up as it went along. The adults show was very predictable. Once you have seen one you have seen them all. The one thing about it was , that it was well choreographed. There was no audience participation at all throughout our stay. By the following morning I had already my mind up that I wanted to change hotels. We were told the resort was on a nature reserve but we weren’t told there was a mangrove swamp next door or two huge lakes either side. Nor were we told that a new hotel development was being built next door. Not that it gave us any bother other than being an eyesore. I went to see our rep who told us it would cost us £1200 to move to another 4* resort in Cayo Guillermo but she insisted the GPC was the best hotel by way of food , she also told us to bear in mind that Cuba was a communist country and didn’t have trade embargos so it was inevitable that things would run out. With all this in mind and a hefty transfer fee we decided to give it a fair go. By day 3 my husband had come down with diarrhea and severe stomach cramps, by day 4 both the children had too and then on day 5 I came down with it. Enough was enough he said and we then paid £650 to transfer hotels. This whole experience has put us off ever returning to Cuba. I saw a doctor at the other hotel and she gave me a full examination and then put me on a 5 day course of antibiotics and Imodium. After arriving at the new hotel we were approached by other guests who informed us they too had been transferred from the GPC but at Thomas Cooks expense. They had also been moved for the same reasons that we had initially complained out. Needless to say we are now liaising with the travel company for compensation. In total that week we learned that over 20 people had moved. We also met many people at the GPC who couldn’t afford to move and who too had become unwell. In brief
Hotel Cleanliness: Not up to par, bins often over flowing. Toilets not cleaned on a regular basis. In fact its fair to say you will rarely see anyone cleaning what so ever. We frequently caught the maid watching TV in our room. Grounds & Gardens: Barren and water logged. Very little vegetation and certainly no flowers.
Insects & Bugs: In abundance. Flies of every variety, sand fleas, and mosquito’s that give the biggest bites I’ve ever had! Many people were privy to unusual amounts of bites but couldn’t work out if it was the mosquito’s or bed bugs? Saw cockroaches and scorpions. Loads of frogs and toads on resort and snakes of many colours and sizes. Husband also saw the biggest spider he had ever seen in his life that wasn’t in a reptile house. Rooms: Spacious but basic. They do the job. AC not always working and when it does it is noisy. Nor do cd players. Lovely sea view if you are fortunate to get block 9 or 2. Bedding isn’t changed often enough in my opinion. Food: Same food on a regular basis. Long queues at the pasta bar and pancake man. Food was not always cooked through. A la carte restaurants were ok but we felt hurried and rushed to eat as they wanted us out before the next sitting. Entertainment: Boring and repetitive. Discos was filled with teenagers. Only one bar in evening and was usually very busy we usually ended up going back to our room and watching a movie. Beach: The beach was beautiful to view but the coral was in abundance and was often off putting. There are pedlos and kayaks available to use for an hour every day. I didn’t really care for either of these. If you are going to use one its probably best to use it before the afternoon as the sea is calmer in the morning. We did notice they had a tide. Which would go out mid afternoon this made it easier to see the coral and to step safely into the water. There was usually a lot of sea grass and debris by mid afternoon when the tide came back in. and the see then became a lot rougher. Tipping: We would normally tip if we felt we had received good service. In this hotel we felt you only got good service if you tipped beforehand. We felt the staff expected a tip regardless. Service: We found this to be rather poor. As a woman I would often be ignored at the bars and when they did serve me I felt intimidated. The staff in the shop were rude and often changed the prices to suit themselves. The waiting staff were usually slow in clearing tables and bringing drinks. We also found many of them to be rude and ignorant when you approached them. We reported our AC out of order and waited 3 days for it to be fixed, however it wasn’t fixed and we changed hotels the next day so it didn’t really matter. We also reported out cd player not working on arrival it still didn’t work when we checked out. Resort Overall: Grounds are dirty and smell of sewage. The rest rooms are very dirty and the cubicle doors are very small. The worst rest rooms are by the quiet pool. You can barely get in to the cubicle let alone close the door. The grounds are littered and not maintained.
Lots of black market selling by the staff who will frequently ask you to come see their cigars. Also note if you have children in your party that they will be offered alcohol by the bar staff. Regardless if they are wearing a minors wristband. Our daughters friend who we took with us and is 12 years old was asked if she wanted rum in her pina colada. Needless to say she declined. We witnessed several teenagers clearly wearing minors wristbands, being served alcohol.
Its good advice to change money up at the bank not the reception. Also note the hotel has 3 pc's but only 1 worked for the duration of our stay. Neither did the Jacuzzi at the quiet pool.
The excursions are very expensive as there is no competition and everything is arranged by the Cuban tourist board. A day in Havana for 2 adults and children would set us back £500 and take note that children under 18 cannot go to the Tropicana show.
Note that there is an abundance of bugs and flies and you cannot escape the frogs they are everywhere.
As I have mentioned before we will not be returning to the Kayo’s let alone Cuba and we certainly wouldn’t recommend the island or hotel to others.
Although we didn’t enjoy our stay in Cuba we did take some lovely pictures at both Cayo Coco and Cayo Guillermo which you can view here
http://www.imagestation.com/album/pictures.html?id=2102612158 please feel free to sign the guest book.