11 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
One of the worst experiences of my life
"My partner and I asked for a recommendation on a hotel in Cuba at our travel agents, and needless to say it looked great on paper.
When we arrived though, I was gobsmacked.
From the outside the place looked very run down. We were given a room right next to the club that was on the grounds and had to move rooms three times because of the noise. Not something you want just after you've landed at 10pm in the evening.
We started to get bites all over us and found more each morning. There just so happened to be an ants nest in the ceiling and nothing at the bottom of the door to the outside to stop termites coming into the room and trying to eat us alive. We slept in our clothes for over a week when we discovered what it was.
The food was terrible. We ate it for the first couple of days. After that, we gave up completely and ate the bread when it hadn't been left out for three days and was completely hard. We even tried one of the resturants and found dead cockroaches under the table and a hoard of black bugs underneath the plates that were already placed on there.
We had food poisoning after the first 5 days. We had a 17 day vacation booked. And when we asked if we could be transfered to another hotel, the woman said it would cost us. We then asked if we could get a flight home. She said it would cost us Â£650 each.
The restrooms in the hotel lobby were disgusting, and never cleaned.
We whitnessed rats and cockroaches going into and coming out of the kitchen areas.
The water proof paint around the pool was peeling off to reveal concrete. I had so many scrapes you wouldn't believe.
There was a tropical storm while we were there and it bought up a lot of seaweed onto the beach. That was on day 6 of the vacation. Instead of staff cleaning it up and moving it, the made small areas where you could put sunbeds. The rest of the beach was covered in green seaweed and wasn't moved at all for the rest of the time we were there. So much for white sandy beaches of Cuba.
The greatest part of the WHOLE vacation? The TV - They had American channels and great programs, like Dirty Jobs and Myth Busters
I wouldn't give this place any more than a 2 star... And that's really pushing the boat out"
- Travel date: Tue 28th of June 2011
Very disappointing experience for an all inclusive
"We stayed (2 adults and 2 teenage sons) from Dec. 30 - Jan. 6 and we were very disappointed with the accommodations, lack of training of the staff and lack of activities. While there were some good points, the above put a damper on our vacation. As one of the previous reviews stated, there were several negatives. Ademir was very accommodating (to the best of his ability as the Operations Manager) and took note of our concerns. Betty (Sunwing rep) on the other hand was not approachable and I am sending a letter to Sunwing with reference to these concerns. Basically, in a nutshell, if you like to drink - you'll enjoy this place. Most guests who were drunk didn't care to complain as they were too drunk to notice. Mini-fridge at other all-inclusives is stocked daily. We were told this should have been the case but reception said they don't. Beach as another review stated was difficult to walk on - it was covered in twigs and burrs. Food not great but could be if they learned to cook it properly. Meats & poultry were undercooked. At the Snack Bar the burgers were deep fried and then grilled - yuk! Games room sign out wasn't available from 12 - 2pm daily. And it was also closed from 5pm for the evening. Therefore nothing for teenagers to do. Lots of deficiencies as it was opened too soon - I would suggest anyone wishing to go there, don't book your trip until next year - by then it should be much better. The resort definitely has potential but is lacking too much right now. The pool is freezing and very shallow (less than 5ft deep). Animation staff and bartenders took awhile to warm up to the guests. I felt like I had to be extra friendly to them when they should be courteous to the guest. Not a great guest experience. Plumbing problems too - our washroom toilet seal needed to be re-caulked as well as the sink pipe needed to be replaced with a longer one. I don't like to be so negative but really I have been to Cuba before and my previous experience was much better. I have also been to Panama and Mexico all inclusives and received much better service!"
- Travel date: Mon 12th of January 2009
Blue Bay: A paradise in the making
"We stayed at the Blue Bay from December 23-30. I traveled there with my spouse and my two tween-aged girls. We had a fantastic time, and would recommend the Blue Bay without reservation for anyone. We figured the stay would not be without its glitches, since the resort was brand new, but everything met or exceeded our expectations, especially considering the ridiculously low price we paid to go.
We were the very first guests to arrive at the hotel, and our bus from the airport was greeted at the Blue Bay by a band, dancers and cocktails while we checked in. The room was a nicely-sized, typical room. We had problems with the air conditioning one night, and with the water pressure one morning, each of which was promptly attended to and fixed. The staff seemed to be trying extra hard to please. We asked for, and got, a power converter for recharging various devices in our room, but I think it belonged to the construction crew- I don't think they're equipped to give them out to everyone.
The food was always good. The buffet was fabulous, including an Xmas eve feast that was photo-worthy. We never had any problem finding good things to eat, nor did my kids. The pasta bar and the cook-in-front-of-you stations of meat, shrimp, and fish were very popular and yummy. Breakfast at the buffet was amazing- very good yogurt and fruit, and great donuts and pancakes (but no maple syrup!).
On the third day, the lunch was switched from the buffet to the beach-side restaurant, which was not set up as well, and which had somewhat less in terms of selection. There, the food line-ups were a bit more noticeable, but I would chalk it up to the room set-up, rather than the offerings. As well, you could order chicken, fish, or burgers from the wait-staff (in addition to the lunch buffet), which was a hit with my kids.
The sit-down restaurants had very good food, but there was really nothing for the kids, and the wait for food arrival after-order was overly long. We tried the 2 of the 3 restaurants, the Italian and the international, but not the seafood one.
There was a snack bar with limited options at the pool, which had a bit of trouble getting their fryer going, leading to (e.g.) oily fries, but they too got better over the week. We had sandwiches there and the kids had hot dogs.
The beach was incredible. The sand was beautiful, the water was crystal clear and even at high tide you could walk out at least 200 meters without the water being more than waist deep. No jellyfish, though that could be different at different times of the year.
There are only about 10 lean-tos, so a spot in the shade requires an early stakeout, but the beach chairs were plentiful and seemed to be multiplying- the day we left there was a shipment of 300 or so waiting to be deposited onto the beach. There was a 10m buffer of scrub bushes and trees between the resort and the beach, and only one boardwalked entry from the resort onto the beach. It looks as if future plans include at least 2-3 more- at any rate it only added 25m or so to the walk.
There was a human-made reef in front of the Oasis resort next door to the Blue Bay that had lots of kid-friendly snorkeling and fish-feeding activity. We snorkeled every day, and saw something new each day.. nothing really exotic, but a yellow tang and other tang-like fish, and a family of lion fish that were pretty cool. It was a perfect way to spend an hour or so, and we sometimes snorkeled twice a day.
There was an impressive array of watercraft available for use, but it was too windy the first few days of our stay, so the staff didn't allow the use of any of it. When we finally did get to go out, the kayaks and paddle boats were fun. They also had catamaran sailboats, and you could check out snorkeling gear as well.
Some random thoughts:
Yes, there was construction going on, but it was in area of the resort opposite where most people were staying. They were working on landscaping, cement pouring, and shrub planting virtually around the clock.
The kids club looked like it was for very small kids- more like 5 and under- so my kids vetoed it.
We saw only a few snippets of shows, but we watched lots of practicing for them- they looked like they'd be typical resort shows.
The gift shop was small and didn't have much.
The money exchange rate was better at the airport than at the hotel!
The signage was inadequate- no posting of daily activities, for example.
The games room by the pool had nothing at first, then ping-pong and pool tables, which we tried. there were also board games available to check-out from the pool staff.
The mosquitoes arrived suddenly, just at sundown. We seemed to have the worst luck with them at the piano bar. They were non-existent on the beach or in any windy location.
Overall, it was a great experience, and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend the Blue Bay to anyone. We'd go back in a minute."
- Travel date: Mon 5th of January 2009
Don't do it
"This hotel was an overall disappointment. The hotel was not completly open as yet, and construction workers were still on the grounds. This wouldn't have been so bad if they didn't stop and gawk at my 15 year old daughter every time she walked down to the beach or the buffet. Although the website indicates two buffets, this is not the case. Only one main buffet where you get breakfast and dinner only (if you are lucky to get in line early enough) and a lunch buffet that offers only 5 dishes to choose from. Very disappointing. The grounds have the potential for being nice, but for now simply mud and debris everywhere. We went two days without water, and when it did get turned back on or fixed it was brown, so much so it left a ring in the tub. Not pleasent at all. The staff were very friendly, especially the pool bar where Alfredo made the best drinks.
Bring LOTS of tip money, because everywhere you go you will need to tip, including the entertainment.
Would never go back to this hotel or Cayo Coco as it was extremly windy, and to swim in the ocean you pretty much had to take a 3/4 mile walk out to the water where it would finally reach your knees. Beautiful to look at, but not so nice when you have kids since you wouldn't want them that far away from the shore."
- Travel date: Mon 5th of January 2009
This Place is Amazing A+++ and the staff is unbelivable, ENTERTAINMENT STAFF A+
"Being honest, when we first arrived at the hotel, it looked like paradise, they were singing on the entrance and serving you drinks in line, we were one of the first groups to arrive....the hotel is brand new, so everything was new to the staff, the beach, pool and resort was amazing, This first stay was a little bit shakey, but after that everyday got better and better, the food was great morning buffet and night was a buffet with a huge selection from shrimp, pasta to steak cooked right in front of you. As soon as you walked in there would be people singing..the staff again A+ service but if you go you go...ask for Reinier, he was my number server and sadly missed. Next the beach bar, from the manager to Alfredo, which was a great guy that would serve you drinks and smile all the time, no matter how tired he was from working all day..he would still treat you like one of his family at the bar like the rest of the staff....But last, my stay there will never be forgotten was for the entertainment staff that treated me and my family like I was part of there family, from the manger to Denis, Donnie and all the girls where unbeleivable..when ever they seen you they say hello to all the fun games to the nightly entertainment. THe entertainment staff makes this resort a place that will keeping on coming to, every year, they know how to party..just remeber tell them Amedeo told you to come there because I felt like I left my family there!......"
- Travel date: Sun 4th of January 2009
Blue Bay: Thumbs (relatively) Up
"The following review is quite lengthy but since Blue Bay is a brand new property -- and many posters in the Cayo Coco forum are craving details -- I figured I will offer up everything I got, including the kitchen sink (except when the water stopped running in said sink).
BIG THREE POSITIVIES OF BLUE BAY:
1. A major shout out to Ademir Perez; he represents Blue Bay (the corporation), was transferred from Mexico for the year, speaks perfect English and is incredibly helpful. He wears glasses and is always around with his notepad taking down requests and complaints. For example, our toilet stopped working and he got repairmen to come fix it within the hour. In Cuban time, this is remarkable. In comparison, our bathroom window, when we first moved in, did not lock (a security concern as anyone could conceivably climb in), and we tried to handle this complaint ourselves (through the front desk). The repairman came the following night â¦ at 11:30 PM. Fortunately, I had just emerged from the bathroom and we were not sleeping yet.
Thanks also goes to our Sunwing rep, Betty, who was quite harried, as Blue Bay has just been added to her itinerary so she had to rotate back-and-forth between Oasis and Blue Bay, and didn't have her POS machine installed yet, and had to run off to call the excursions and make bookings. She was very friendly and attentive. She ably booked me for next-day scuba diving at the Melia Cayo Coco, and booked us â the same day â at the Acuavida Spa Talaso, which was an awesome experience, with numerous different saltwater pools and very attentive masseurs and spa staff (http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g580450-d1059832-Reviews-Acuavida_Spa_Talaso-Cayo_Coco_Ciego_de_Avila_Province_Cuba.html). Thank you Ademir and Betty for your patience and assistance throughout the week.
2. There are two types of units, two-story blocks that have 8-10 (smaller) rooms and probably not much of a view (i.e. facing other units), and one-and-two story âmini-suitesâ that have 4 rooms in total with better views (i.e. facing the pool or gardens). Although it was random the way Sunwing (and probably most other all-inclusive charters) allocated the rooms, we luckily received a mini-suite. For Cuban standards, the suite was excellent (it is the second photo in the room gallery here: http://www.bluebayresorts.com/en/hotel/bluebay-cayo-coco.html). It was a split level with very comfortable wicker chairs and a pull-out bed/couch and desk; the higher level had a surprisingly-comfortable (but firm) King bed and two side tables.
As for the assorted contents of the mini-suite, the room safe worked fine. The CRT TV (guess they still make those in China and ship 'em over) had a nice selection of satellite feeds (CNN, BBC, TNT, Showtime), even though it had static at times and a temporary dialogue box that appeared on-and-off over the Showtime channel (asking us to call the satellite provider... as if). The mini-fridge was quiet and efficient. The A/C was fine, after the first night of it not working (but it worked well the other six). And the bathroom was roomy and pleasant (separate room for toilet and shower from sink), at least, when the water was running and the toilet was working. Being on the second floor of the 2-story mini-suites, and hence, having more leeway of what we could leave outside, we placed the wicker chairs and footstool outside on the (covered) balcony, which was far more comfortable than the cheap (but standard) white patio chairs and table that are on every unit's balcony. Nice comped 1.5L bottle of water and two surprisingly tasty Cuban-style coke cans in the fridge, too.
3. The staff were to-a-T very professional, from the wait staff to the cleaning staff -- maybe too professional, as they were kind of reserved (one exception to this professionalism, as I will comment in the negatives). For example, my girlfriend brought a fair number of womenâs clothes, perfumes and cosmetics as we were told the Cuban people are lacking in those items; however, upon receiving them, most of the staff smiled and pocketed them with not much of a thank you.
On the other hand, I went scuba diving outside the resort, and the dive instructor and staff were very enthusiastic and appreciative of the baseball caps I brought them. (BTW, I dove with Blue Divers located in the Melia Cayo Coco and the staff was friendly and competent and the equipment was professional, even though the boat to the dive site was dinky).
Please note: we did not bring Western goods in the anticipation that the staff and residents would bow down and worship our benevolence (that would be beyond patronizing and insulting), but we were kind of surprised at the recipientsâ lack of enthusiasm, considering the hassle it took us to pack extra things to give away. In the future we would probably rather just tip with pesos, at least to the Blue Bay staff.
BIG THREE NEGATIVES OF BLUE BAY
I pre-empt the negatives by stating that Cuba is a 3rd world country, and a backward, communist nation to boot, so all tourists have to be conscious of this fact and not take mishaps too seriously (see: the aforementioned 11:30 PM repairman visit). This is coupled with the fact that Blue Bay is a new resort, and new residential or commercial properties in the Western world often encounter problems as well. And yes, about Â½ of the units were not even ready yet, which was not a problem for us, but would certainly be annoying for people already booked at the Blue Bay but had to be moved, especially since the resort was supposed to be open for guests in 2006. However, there are some issues that Blue Bay *can and should* change to ensure a better overall tourist experience. Here goes:
1. Relating to the staff professionalism in point 3 above, the outlier group in this was the animation staff. First off, in their exhortations to participate in the activities (aqua fitness, salsa lessons, drinking games, etc.), they spoke at least 75% in Spanish, which is not helpful to the 90% English- and French-speaking Canadians who stayed this week (plus sundry German, British and other Europeans). And when they did speak in English, they YELLED AT HIGH VOLUME. Even worse, for the first couple of days, they started the incessant nightclub-volume-level salsa and techno music that accompanied their appearances â at 8:00 IN THE MORNING! Oh yeah, and they had one techno mix CD, so it was the same early 90s songs each day, every day, at least 5 times a day. This was simply unacceptable for tourists anticipating a relaxing vacation.
After two days of this incessant noise, we had had enough and complained to Ademir, who managed to get the cacophony turned down/off until, well, 10:00 AM. This continual distraction forced us to hit the beach a number of times to escape the incessant music and instructions/yelling, which was not a bad thing, except during the first couple of days when strong winds blew sand in our faces, so we were stuck. Note: I went to the Melia Cayo Coco for diving, and the pool area was very sedate with NO music being piped in, at least, when I was there.
2. Infrastructure issues that have to do with it being a brand new place and/or being in Cuba:
- The bright blue beach towels, being newly offered, released blue fluff over all our clothes and bags.
- The aforementioned toilet not working and bathroom window not having a working lock (at first).
- The aforementioned first night when the A/C did not work.
- The aforementioned morning when the water main broke and nobody had water in their units; this was repaired in 2-3 hours but it was annoying trying to deal without running water (that morning I refilled our toilet using pool water). Then it seemed that when the water turned back on it ran cold-to-luke warm for the rest of the week. Didnât mind this much, though, do you really need a hot shower in the tropics?
- The bathroom window also did not have a curtain nor curtain rod, so anyone over 5â10 could peer in and see you shower and use the toilet. Fortunately, in our mini-suite floor, there was only one other couple in the other suite who would regularly use the outside walkway, but if we were on the ground floor I would be pretty uncomfortable using the bathroom.
- The bathroom tub did not have (enough) caulking, so on showering the water leaked onto the tiles, no matter how many towels we laid down. Ademir explained to us that the workers did not do the best seal job so they will have to go in and re-caulk this again.
- The drapes across the patio doors were not designed wide enough to cover the doors, letting in tonnes of light in the morning.
- The screen doors over the patio doors were not affixed properly, so we had to keep them totally closed and the A/C jacked up during the mosquito feeding times, which started from about 5 PM, even though it would have been far more pleasant to leave the patio doors open at night, if the screen doors had a complete seal.
- Even after we clearly left for the cleaning lady a nice bottle of perfume, she did not surreptitiously supply us with, say, extra towels, soaps or toilet paper. Perhaps this was not up to her, as the management could well have counted all the replenishments to ensure the cleaning staff did not pocket any products. But she did leave the same number of towels arranged in decorative swan and midget-cartoon-character formations each day, which was good for a laugh.
3. Although this is probably not unique to Blue Bay (i.e. endemic to Cuba) the food pretty much sucked. To wit:
- Ademir told us that the food is randomly shipped in, i.e. some days there is lobster available for bulk purchase, some days there arenât. This is understandable, but why, for every breakfast, were we offered 7 different kinds of sausage (I counted) â but no hash browns or roast potatoes. Not that this couldnât be prepared, as every lunch and dinner had French fries.
- Why not offer plantains, which are native to the tropics? At least we (finally) had coconuts (including coconut milk) the very last night on New Yearâs Eve. Which was a fun celebration, by the way, especially because they had a DJ who brought out a brand new early 90s techno mix CD, which was different than the usual craptacular one the animation staff bombarded us with daily.
- The prepared food was overcooked and more-or-less inedible, at least, to the palate who does not enjoy meat, chicken, pork and fish of shoe leather consistency and taste.
- The salads were skimpy, and the fruit was terrible â i.e. unripe off-white pineapples, mushy watermelon, taste-less sliced oranges. At least the sliced grapefruit was juicy (i.e. tasted normal).
- We were offered one included a la carte meal, in their âInternationalâ restaurant (as opposed to the buffet), which meant we were trapped ordering whatever was on the menu. My girlfriend was repulsed by her shrimp cocktail and mush of a shrimp side-dish to her surf n' turf (they âran outâ of lobster that evening), and I nearly choked on my "cheese"cake and bone-dry chicken. At least the white wine went down easy. Blue Bay really should not bother with the a la carte service unless they improve every aspect of the food, as most people would probably hit the buffet afterwards to at least try to find something to their liking.
- Fortunately, back at the buffet, there were ready-while-you-wait side tables that offered, on one side, raw chicken, beef, pork, shrimp and fish â so you could instruct the chef to please please please undercook the meat â and on the other side, a pizza and pasta bar (although the pasta sauces were watery and near-tasteless). And for breakfast there were decent omelettes and French toast to order. As well, the beach bar was decent with cheeseburgers and even more French fries. But after 7 days of eating the same items (because the rest of the food was terrible), we were glad that part of our experience was over.
Of course, now that Iâve bombarded you with the above three negatives, I must reiterate that the weather and beaches (when not windy) were phenomenal, the staff was friendly and attentive, and the resort as a whole compares positively to the other resorts in the Cayo Coco area (although this is from reading reviews of other properties, as I have not stayed in them -- and thus will not make any judgement calls as to their quality, as opposed to the first reviewer below; bad form).
Given the choice of a vacation spot â in Cuba, that is, as Iâve been to better elsewhere in the Caribbean â I would certainly return to Blue Bay, even though the next time it will likely be a lot more crowded once they finish building the remaining units.
... Although maybe we will wait until after management kidnaps and muzzles the animation staff and only lets them out to play after 5 PM every evening â when the mosquitoes and sand flies come out in full force so nobody is lounging outside anyway. Sigh.
P.S. Bring a hunk of bread over to the little coral formation at the west end of the Oasis (about a 10 minute walk from Blue Bay and 100m from the beach); the number and variety of fish that congregate around the mini-reef are simply dazzling. Probably our best snorkelling experience ever (in a small area). And since the water is only 3-feet deep, you donât even have to snorkel, though bringing a mask is recommended."
- Travel date: Sun 4th of January 2009
New and a work in progress, Small resort getting there
"We just got back from Blue Bay
Indeed the beach is magnificent
Only found Bavaro to be better.
No waves but strong winds
We could walk for miles on a sand bank at low tide.
Cristal clear water.
Not enough palapas, but you can find some shade.
They missed chairs as more guests were coming in, but got a truck load the next day.
They also now have plenty of chairs at the pool.
The pool is small. Lots of animation for those who like it.
Calm or layd back music would have been nice once in a while.
The resort is not finished.
When we arrived on XMas it had just opened.
A few things needed to be fixed like A/C and it took some time and remonder.
We found ourselves say a few times each day
Â«Thats Cuba for youÂ», but almost did not say it in the last couple of days.
Food... as in Cuba thats why its less costly
But we could always get some pasta, meat or fish done to our taste without too long lineups
So we believe that this place has potential
it will remain a small resort with a great beach
People we met had been transfered to Oasis Playa Coco but found the place very dirty and loud and demanded to be taken back to Blue Bay
Apparently some people had been also tranfered to the Blau Colonial but got transfered again to NH Cristal
Even if he NH Cristal is huge, it could not greet as many vacationers
So their stay turned to a nightmare
No towels Food shortages
So in the end
our vacation turned out to be what we believed it would be
A brand new place with startup glitches, but with their nice people trying their best
Not a 4stars yet but getting there
We paid just 1200$ each so we got a good deal
Weather was perfect Rain only a couple of nights
It is a good idea to tip often one peso for bar, food and room
Expect to spend 10 pesos per day.
It will pay off in the second half of the stay."
- Travel date: Sun 4th of January 2009
one of the BEST
"Well to start this is my first vacation and Blue Bay was a last minute thing but it was worth it. When my son and i arrived to the hotel and while we were waiting to get our room a waiter came and served us drinks and a friendly start. We got our first room when my son looked at it wasn't great. There were ants, the toilet wasn't flushed when somebody used it but then we complained and we got such a great room everything clean 2nd level. A great view.
Everything is included in the room, Beach towels.,hair dryer, Free safety box. a bottle of Cuban rum.TV , Mini bar with a few drinks. The beach was great but you need sandals or something to protect your feet because there are these things that are little but with spikes, but the water is crystal clear, warm , white sand but We preferred Pilar beach it was the best beach in Cayo coco not really different from the one in Blue Bay. The food was really good, the buffet food was better then the Ã la carte. The Ã la carte was bad, The food took forever to come and it was dry. i recommend to eat in the buffet. The food was hot, just made, Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner. The snack bar was good, Drinks were good, Great Service. Very friendly people i just loved Blue bay
The nightly entertainment was really funny and really good.
The entertainers were so friendly. The swiming pool was very clean. The activities were not much because they are still working on it. There is ping pong, pool, boat riding, Gym, dance lessons, darts, tennis, volleyball, beach volleyball, water polo.
That's about it I just loved Blue Bay Even though it had some minor issues. When its completely finished its going to be an amazing resort."
- Travel date: Fri 2nd of January 2009
Great place to relax / Super pour se reposer
"Please contact me if you need additional info
we just came back from the Bluebay me and my friend , we had a great relaxing time .
The hotel is almost finished , workers still working on the hotel but we didn't hear any construction noises during our stay .
Rooms : very nice and clean . The cleaning ladies are really nice . There are 2 type of rooms ; Bungalows and then there is the regular rooms .
there is no ocean view rooms , we recommand that you talk to your travel agent to see if in the futur they are bulding some or if they were not ready at that time .
Buffet supper : Wow , we were really surprised by the choices of food ! At supper you can have your pasta , fish , chiken , shrimp and beef cooked in front of you !
Buffet Dinner , the buffet not much of choices BUT you can ask the waiter to bring you fish , chiken burgers and MUST try fried calamari
Resto Ã la carte ; 3 of them ( Italian , International , Seafood ) we liked the restaurant , The food was good .
Beach !! WOW very very very nice beach see the pictures can not describe it :)
Entertainment ; For young people wanna go out ; please do not go to Bluebay .
we recommand for travellers that wanna have a relaxing time with their family . The resort it is very quit and a relaxing . In the piano bar you can enjoy listinig to the piano or to a very talented young band play relaxing songs .
Night shows ; Nice shows .
Staff ; are very nice and polite ,"
- Travel date: Fri 2nd of January 2009
It was a wonderful time!!
"We arrived the day the resort opened, December 23, 2008. The construction is isolated to the other side of the resort and is off limits to guests. I did NOT see a lot of rubble and obvious construction in the areas that were completed. I did not find the construction that was going on bothersome at all! When we were at the beach, you might have heard the occassional truck, but in my opinion, they are at the stage where the construction involves more interior "finishing touches". Nothing that ruined our stay there.
There are a few kinks they are working out, many of which were being resolved while we were there. Really, only the occassional minor annoyance ... safe didn't work one night and the technicians were there right away to fix it.
The beach is absolutely beautiful!! Best I've ever seen ... with sandbars you can walk for miles, far out from the shore later in the afternoon. If you want a sunshade on the beach, you do need to get out early as there are only about 10 or 11 of them. The beach is nicer at the Blue Bay than the Oasis. The pool is smaller than I expected, but very nice with a swim up bar and a bit on the cooler side.
The food there was really quite good as Cuba goes. The buffet restaurant had lots of choices with cooked to order chicken, beef or pork, a pasta bar, pizza ... really something for everyone. The "International" restaurant was ok and there were two more a la cartes open just before we left so we didn't get to try them out. I would have liked to see a few more choices in the beach bar, but the food was pretty good. The 24 hour snack bar was good, they had cheese balls, cheeseburgers, hotdogs etc made to order.
We didn't see a lot of their shows, but what we did see was pretty entertaining. A pool party one night with guest participation, a comedy show another night with some amusing skits. Our kids were to old for the "kids club" so we didn't use it. I did notice a few fun things they did with the kids, like a parade (in quite elaborate costumes) one evening, disney characters at the pool one afternoon and some evenings they had a "mini disco" on the stage.
Staff was very friendly and helpful. Most spoke english and french, and really went out of their way to make your stay very pleasant.
We did have a few problems with the store closing early ... and not much selection. The Oasis next door had much more to choose from in their gift shop, so we went there.
Overall we had a really great time, I would definately go back!"
- Travel date: Fri 2nd of January 2009
All is not what it seems
"I was booked at Blue Bay Cayo Coco and was bumped at the last minute to Oasis Playa Coco next door; I spent time on the Blue Bay grounds last week taking pictures. This review is in response in response to the many travellers on the forum site who are desperate for reliable info, and for pictures. Tuesday Dec. 23 was the first night Blue Bay had guests.
The resort looked pretty grim - construction rubble everywhere, and tractors and diesel equipment running around the resort spewing fumes. Security guards were patrolling the premises.
Nolitours told us two weeks ago that Blue Bay was open but "not up to Nolitours standards". Not true - it wasn't open until 23 Dec. Travellastminute.ca told us in November (!) that Blue Bay was open at that time. Not true - it did not open until over a month after the time our agent at Travellastminute.ca told us it was already open. Blue Bay itself has had photos up for months, of a resort that was completely finished. Not sure what resort that was (maybe a clever artist's conception?), but it was obviously NOT Blue Bay Cayo Coco. Or maybe the buildings were, and they photo-shopped in the grounds.
Moral of the story: trust Nolitours only at your own risk, same for Travellastminute.ca, same for Blue Bay itself. Trust fellow travellers, if you feel that they have the truth in mind.
I'm sure Blue Bay Cayo Coco will get better. One positive thing, they had nice wind shelters on the beach, that would protect 2-3 lounge chairs each - the wind never stops on Cayo Coco.
Contact me if you like.
- Travel date: Tue 30th of December 2008