44 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
I'll Be Back
"My family went to this beautifull resort May 03. My only concern was that I (nobody else in my group) was very sick when I returned home.
The only thing I ate that no-body else did was I had lots of salads.
When (and I will return) I would avoid salad. Amazing weather, clean rooms...wonderfull staff!"
- Travel date: Tue 11th of November 2003
we went in Jan /02
"well I disagree 100% with that Iwent to El Senedor with my whole family there was 15 of us and not one had anything bad to say about the place the rooms where great the sevice was great so was the food the entertanment I can not think of one bad thing to say about it it was breath taking"
- Travel date: Wed 5th of November 2003
"The positive aspects of the El Senador Resort in Cayo Coco are that it is only a 15 minute bus ride from the airport and on the bus you get an envelope with your room key and a card to fill out for registration. This is a great time and energy saver.However, on the negative side: - some of the staff are downright surly - the buffet was limited - meals in the restaurants were just OK. The best was the VIP. - the air conditioning was barely adequate and as a result, we were never really comfortable and the room smelled musty. - the bar fridge did not keep water cold - our beds were lumpy and so were the pillows - clothes were a bit difficult to put away as the closet rods were too high. Also, the closet doors stuck and were difficult to open and close. We should have asked for another room, but by the time we discovered our room's shortcomings, we already were unpacked and didn't want to move everything. We only had a 6 days!!!! - There were no drawers in the dressers and the bathroom had no towel bars or shelves near the sink for storage of toiletries. - The music played by the beach was repetitious, loud and annoying at times (showing my age here). - The beach lounges are very uncomfortable In closing, I must say the negatives outweighed the positives for me at El Senador and after paying $1,200 for the privilege (including insurance), I will not be returning there nor would I recommend it."
- Travel date: Tue 21st of October 2003
Gotta try the Havana Special
"Hello, I travelled to El Senador with 3 other girls in July of 2003. We
went for two weeks, which was barely long enough for us. Room--The room
was fantastic. We only paid for and expected to get a Club room however
when we arrived we found we had been upgraded to a Jr. Suite. That was
fantastic. The only minor (very minor) complaint was that we had very
little water pressure. The other two girls in the room next to us has
crazy amounts of pressure. So i guess it was very hit or miss. Pools
and Beaches--They were fantastic. Since it was the low season when we
went there was only one pool that was open. Open in the sense that the
pool bar was open and that was where all the activities took place.
However all the other pools were open in the sense that you could swim
in them if you wanted to. I swam in nearly all the pools and they were
all warm and clean. Food--I did not love the buffet food. But that
being said Cuban food is very bland and i am not the most adventurous
eater. There was tons of seafood, and the other girls seemed to love
the food. The food in the restraunts was much better in my opinion. We
only tried the Steakhouse and the Italian restraunt. We found that we
usually forgot to make reservations until it was too late. So we did
eat buffett a lot of the time. Entertainment--There was tons of things
going on all the time. There were various competitions (kayaking,
tanning, games etc.) dancing, shows. The shows were very high quality.
The dancers in the shows were very good. We were there for two weeks
and saw a different show every night. There thankfully wan't too much
audience participation either. Staff--The staff were very friendly and
warm. If you dont' speak spanish not to worry. Almost all of them speak
English. And many speak french as well. All the animation team speak
english and french fluently. Everyone was very friendly and quick to
remedy any slight
you have any questions feel free to email me directly at
[email protected] As well if anyone is planning on travelling to El
Senador who wouldn't mind taking a letter to my friend, please email me
as well. Thanks"
- Travel date: Sat 13th of September 2003
"Fantastic hotel. I had heard reports that Cuban food may not be up to international expectations, however, the El Senador was definitely an exception. All the restaurants that we tried were good and the seafood one was exceptional. Service in all aspects of our stay was very professional and we lacked for nothing. Pool, beach- it was hard to say which was the best. High season in Feb. was a family time and as adults we felt we might choose as alternative month next time. We look forward to a return visit this November."
- Travel date: Wed 10th of September 2003
Fun in Cayo Coco
"We just returned from one week at El Senador hotel in Cayo Coco Cuba. We were there the week of August 24th, 2003. We had a great time with our family. We took our two daughters 6 and 1 yr old. Overall I think that this hotel is incredible, it's huge, beautiful gardens and paths. However it must be amazing during peek season. One thing you must be prepared for is do not sweat the small stuff. We were diappointed that half the resort was closed down, but yet it was large enough for us to enjoy. The only down part is the value for you money would be way more if you go during high season.FOOD: Only 4 restaurants were opened out of the 12. However all 4 were very good, and the staff was great, in particular the waitresses at the Steakhouse, the Seafood restaurant and Cuban restaurant. And Simon at the Italian restaurant. The buffets were also good, especially for breakfast. One night they had a seafood dinner buffet which included lobster. The only short comings of the buffet was the lack of good fruit. Plenty of bananas and green pineapple. There were No SNACKS which was a real dissappointment. I think this was because their 24 hour snack bar/restaurant was closed for low season as well. I brought snacks with me for the kids good thing I did that. You could also grab extras from the morning buffet and keep it for later.ACCOMODATION: We stayed in the junior suite which was nice , very large. The only problem was that there is limited drawer space to put clothes away, and that there is no iron and board in the room. Ironing service is available but it adds up at aprox $1.00-$2.00 US per item depending on what you want ironed. The room was very clean. However they did not change the sheets too often. I had to ask, because the sand was all over our sheets making it difficult to sleep at night. They changed them with no problem when requested to do so.CRIBS: The cribs they provide are not really safe. There was a metal tin piece jutting out of the sides of the crib they gave me. I had to bend the metal piece back and then wrapped two towels around the corners so that my daughter would not get hurt. Also the crib is not very low so any toddler that climbs can easily climb out. Be prepared for this.Bring your own hair conditioner and shampoo, because they don't give you much shampoo and no conditioner at all.RESORT: Only one of the pools were opened, but it was beautiful, and well maintained. The good thing about coming off season is that it's not too crowded. We still managed to get up and save a spot under the umbrellas by the pool. This is a brand new resort and the trees are still growing in, so there are spots were shade is definetly lacking. But it's so beautiful. There was only one Pool /Swim up bar opened, and unfortunatly it closed three times within the week. This was inconvenient because it's far to walk to get your drinks. The Beach Grill/restaurant also closed once during our time there. Which also was a bit of drag, because the beach is quite a distance from the main areas of the resort. Which reminds me bring a stroller if you are travelling with kids you will need it. Ours doubled as a high chair, because the ones in the restaurant have no seat belts and my daughter is quite the squirmy one. The BEACH is amazing, water is so clear and turquoise. The sand is powder like and really soft on your feet. Kids love it. Also the water is shallow, so it's perfect for the kids. For adults you can put your beach chair right in the water and just sit there with the waves lapping on you. It's incredible. The only down side was that it's narrow, and at times during high tides there is no beach. I think the hotel needs to clear some of the bush/ vegetation and make the beach wider. Also would be a plus because you could sit under the palm trees which lign the beach further back. There is alot of man made shaded areas though, but again during high season it may be a problem to get a shady spot.STAFF: The staff were fabulous, I loved the cuban people. They were fantastic, and even in low season they kept the moral going. All the animation staff were great, and the hotel greets you with music and dancing. The song you hear the day you arrive is carried through as the theme song of the hotel. Also when you depart they play the music and the dancers also come out to say good bye. This is a very nice touch. We bought the CD with the music as a momento of our trip. The kids love to dance to the music.CHECK IN SERVICE- No need to wait you check in right on the bus. You get your keys and information package. I think its the only hotel that does this. That was really nice, because you did not have to wait to check in etc... when you get there, you just go to your room. Biggest draw back that we did not expect was the US Cash thing. You need to bring quite a bit of it with you. Although your food, stay etc.. is included, you need cash for tipping which is not included, and departure taxes, as well as souvenirs, and excursions or activities only take american cash as well. There are no bank machines in the hotel, they do not give cash advances on your visa, they don't accept AMERICAN EXPRESS travellers cheques. I think they said you could take a cab and go 10 minutes away to a bank, but that's it. The artisan shops in the market square only accept US cash as well. All tipping is in US Cash. The only places that take credit card are the hotel itself, and the few shops that are part of the hotel complex. Also the doctor only takes cash, and it's pretty costly. However I was so impressed with there doctor, he was so nice and so caring. I had a problem with my ear, and it was the day before I had to leave. He really helped me out, and went out of his way. I wish our doctors were this caring and patient. Anyway just be aware of this, if you are not prepared it could be a problem.KIDS CLUB: again off season it was pretty non existant. They converted one of the junior suites into a kids club area, and really it was not very good. I saw were the kids club is usually held and it looked really nice. The only thing that was good was the mini disco at night. It was very cute and the kids loved going. And because we were with our small daughter we did not get to see any of the shows. However we heard them from our room, and they sounded really good. Also the other guests that we met that did see them said they were good.Sorry we did not go on any of the excursions, we did go snorkelling off of the glass bottom boat. Which was incredible, lots of fish to see. However you need to snorkel to get the real experience. If you are only going to see from the boat it's not worth it. The boat is not really all the impressive. The snorkelling however was well worth it. My six year old daughter loved it. My husband and I took turns with the baby. So it was really fun. That's about it. I do recommend the hotel if you are going with family. Again there were some short comings with going off season, but overall it still was great. You really felt like you were in Canada/especially Quebec. All the people there were Canadians, most from Montreal. Take care and have fun!"
- Travel date: Tue 9th of September 2003
Our family had a wonderful time
"We just returned from 2 wonderful weeks at the El Senador hotel and cannot say enough good things about it. The rooms were big and the folding doors which seperated the kid's area from the main bedroom came in handy when we did not want to go to bed at the same time as the kids. The staff was very friendly and helpful. Our kids ( 4 and 9) loved the kids club staff and wanted to take them back home with us.
The food was very acceptable (not gourmet though) and there was plenty of it to go around. One piece of advice though, take some Peptobismol and Imodium with you. Although none of us got seriously ill. we all had a bit of traveller's diarrhea for a few days. Also, if you are looking for a lot of action at night, this is not the place to go in the summer. Since the resort was mostly occupied by families, it was very quiet which was great for us."
- Travel date: Mon 18th of August 2003
El Senador Rocks!!
"Just got back from one week at El Senador resort in Cayo Coco. We had a great time. THe resort was Only half open due to the low occupancy, but this resort is huge and there was lots to do. Some of the restuarants were'nt open due to the low occupancy and that was a bummer, but there were still about 5 or 6 to choose from. THe bars are very very well stocked (you can even get a BLoodly Ceaser!!) and the bartenders can make whatever you want. THe beach was a little narrow for my tastes.
Our standard room was well appointed and everything worked properly.
The entertainment was great. Their ent. staff is top notch, and super friendly. All in all... we had a wonderfull vacation at El Senador, and that was just with half the resort in operation."
- Travel date: Sun 3rd of August 2003