42 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Won't recommend this hotel
"This is our 6th trip to Cuba,the 4th to Cayo Guillermo and the first and last to this hotel. The Melia is the most expensive of the 4 hotels on the island, previously we have stayed at the Iberostar and thought we would give this one a go.
The rooms were most probably on par with the Iberostar, both quite tired. But the restaurant was the worse we have ever come across.
Most days you had to queue for anything between 5 and 20 minutes just for a plate, and if your lucky it will be clean! Very often there was never any bacon. The scrambled eggs were so watery, if you wanted fresh cooked ones, you would then have to queue again, another 10 - 15 minutes. By the time you have had breakfast it is nearly lunch time.
Evenings would be the same, once again you had to queue for pizza's, pasta's and most cooked meats. If your partner gets something off the hot trays, then you will find that they have finished there dinner, even before you get yours!!
Towels are also in short supply, turn up too early and you get told to come later, get there later and you are told to go back the next day!!
Don't leave ANYTHING out in your room. On our last but one day we returned to our room to find a gap on the dressing table. This had quite happily been home to the following for 2 weeks: a magazine, small clutch bag, prescription glasses (worth Â£400)a necklace that I had bought locally, a pedometer, toothpicks etc. I reported this to Sandor, the customer service representative, who assured me that security would look into it that evening. When I said we were going home the following day, he once again reassured me he would stay all night to ensure I got a result before going home. Later that evening, he told me that the maid thought we had left these things for her as a GIFT, as we were going home the next day. You could tell by the way he said it, that he didn't believe what he was saying, but his job would dictate this. I was to return the following morning, where security with the maid would hand the items back to me. Sandor I can't praise enough, he was so helpful and understanding. The following day I returned to reception and was treated very abruptly by the other Customer service rep. She told me the maid would return these things to our room - would you want her back in your room after STEALING from you? Security, the maid and the Thomas Cook rep (Norma) were all quite adamant that these things were a gift, and that people do leave things prior to leaving - in exactly the same place for 2 weeks!!!! Prescription glasses??? Toothpicks????
The weather was great, the beach lovely and we met some really great people and had a great time. Just don't go to this hotel. "
- Travel date: Thu 7th of April 2011
great value holiday
"Visited this lovely place for the third time April 2009 and as always found it to be a fantastic hotel with lovely, friendly staff and a great atmosphere. OK it needs a little bit of updating here and there but you cant beat it for value for money. Dont take any notice of negative reviews, try it yourself and you wont be disappointed. "
- Travel date: Sun 26th of December 2010
A week was enough
"Have just returned from our first holiday in Cuba staying at the Melia Cayo guillermo. The hotel was ok, abit dated and probably no more than a 4 star really, but clean enough, and served a purpose. the beach was fantastic, and the best part. Very quiet when we were there, got the impression things were winding down for the end of the season. Food Ok, buffet restaurant lacking atmosphere, too big for number of people in the hotel. International restuarant great. Service was good, people very friendly, but it was obvious that there was definite favouritism for guests who were regulars at the hotel, and apart from serving in the restaurant or bar, the staff didn't communicate with us apart from an occasional "hola""
- Travel date: Sun 27th of June 2010
Enjoyable holiday at Melia Cayo Guillermo
"The wife and I arrived at Melia Cayo Guillermo having never had an all inclusive holday before and overall I would say we were satisfied with the our holiday there. Some parts, like the large dinning hall and buffet style catering for instance were a bit of surprise for us being "all inclusive virgins" however whilst the dining lacked any level of atmosphere the food was good. Especially if you had it cooked fresh while you waited. The other resturants at the hotel, the Italian, the International and the beach resturant were all good so we booked these most nights and kept away from the dining hall experience.
The beach is great, as are the pool and hotel bars plus all the staff were friendly and keen to help.
We spent just our second week at the hotel having travelled around Cuba independantly, we had just left the Grand Hotel in Trindad which was a true 5 star experience, I have to say the Melia is probably really only a four star,the bedrooms are getting a little tied now. Also don;t change money at the hotel the rate is shocking, walk down the beach to the next door hotel , the Daquerri which has an independant bank.
Just one final point if you do go to the Cayos please take time to visit the real Cuba somehow, rent a car or take trip out otherwise you have no real idea on what the country is really like and it would be a shame to miss this.
For us, for a week of 4 star beach loofing it was fine. "
- Travel date: Mon 1st of February 2010
Just Awful For A Wedding!
"We went as a party of 15 for our daughters wedding. I am afraid I thought it was awfull. The toilets in the grounds were disgusting to say the least. Never a door that shut, a loo that flushed or had soap of any kind and that goes for the resturants too! The food was cold unless you stood and had it cooked for you on the spot, tasted ok but who wants to queue all the time. But the wedding arrangements were the worst. The deal was a photographer and to pay an extra Â£100 to have a video too, but didn't realise it would be the same person doing both. Also we didnt realise she had bought a friend with her who mamaged to get in all the photos as they were standing in the background, yes I could have asked him to move but I thought he was just a member of the public and didnt really want to start a problem on the day of my daughters wedding! I could go on and on about how little they seemed to care about our daughters special day. The wedding co-ordinater was the first person to kiss the bride & groom after they were pronounced man & wife.GREAT! Were me and my husband suppoes to rugby tackle her? Holidaymakers just walk passed as it is being filmed and photographed, I wouldnt mind but it only takes about 15 minutes. The only good side of all this is that my daughter looked beautiful and so did the bridesmaids and everyone else who had made the trip for them, but if you dont mind about all the sunbeds and strangers in swimming gear in the pictures I am sure you will be very happy."
- Travel date: Sat 23rd of January 2010
still love it!!!
"Forgot to do my review again. Went on the 25th june this year - for 3 WEEKS!!!! brilliant time as usual, so good to see our friends again. In our eyes the hotel couldn't get much better but they have a new general manager PACO and he is lovely, never have I known a manager to be so friendly, he acknowledges everyone with a wave or a smile. He is in evidence every day going about the resort with members of his team, the gardens are looking super good. Had the most fantastic room with a view this time, but no I'm not going to tell you or I might not get it next time! Had some great times as usual, the salsa night at the bowling alley was the best party ever, these cubans certainly know how to party. Hired a car and visited Camauey with Ismavis, Elain and Sairo. Stayed at the hotel in Moron, there is only one, not brilliant but was ok for 2 nights. Second day went to a house party at Ismavis' parents house in Ranchuelo and had the best time. If you do ever go to Cuba please get to know these people, more genuine souls I have yet to meet. Once more we had a fantastic time and still didn't want to leave after 3 weeks. It's just as beautiful as ever, we've already booked for next year, and yes we still love it. Just go.............................."
- Travel date: Fri 2nd of October 2009
"I went to this hotel last year and I had one of the best holidays I have ever had,
the staff could not do enough for you, food was excellent with a good choice, the area is very romantic and to walk along the shoreline at night is great, facilities are good and the swimming pool and the beautful blue sea are great for swimming or snorkeling.
We had such a great time we are going back this year ."
- Travel date: Thu 12th of March 2009
Fantastic Cuban Experiance
"I have just come back from holiday at this hotel and we have had a fantastic time here. The hotel is lovely and the staff really looked after the grounds, beach and hotel.
The Rooms: Large, clean and very comfortable. We had a standard twin double room and the beds were clean and comfortable. The airconditioning worked well but unfortunately it did leak once and caused a powercut, this was quickly rectified by the onsite electrican and had no further problems with the A/C. The bathroom had a large bath with shower which worked well and we had contstant hot water. Towels replaced when ever you asked them to be. We had a seaview from our balcony but was partially blocked by palm trees (not the biggest issue as you don't go to a beach resort to look at the beach from you bedroom!)
Remember 5* in Cuba is equivalent to 4* England, there is nothing there that would cause you not to have a great holiday i:e a little paintwork required or a cracked floor tile, and thats it, otherwise perfectly maintained.
The Pool Area: The pool was fantastic perfectly clear everyday and really refreshing from the heat. There was a swim up bar which was handy when you need a drink. Pool is also great for young chilren as there was a children's pool at about 18inch deep and the main pool had a shallow end if slighty older childen wanted to swim. plenty of deck chairs.
The beach: As described in photographes. The beach had lovely white sand for miles and the water was crystal clear great for snorkelling. The water was shallow for quite a way into the sea, which is perfect for children. Plenty of shade on the beach also. A barman would also serve you drinks on the beach if required. The great thing was is that you don't get hassled to buy souvenirs on the beach or at the hotel as only cubans working at the hotels are allowed on the island.
Water Sports like canoeing, pedaloes and catamerans were great although some are restricted (which i suppose means everyone gets a chance to use them).
The Food & Drink: Fantastic no problems whats so ever with the food. I didn't think the resturants were all that they were cracked up to be (menu very limited at the italine, and the international resturant didn't taste 'fresh') but the buffet was perfect everytime. We always got our food from the chefs who cooked what you wanted right there in front of you, they are very helpful and friendly. We tried shrimps, calamari, beef, chicken, stirfry and pizzas well everything really and had no problems at all. The drinks were plentyfull in everysense, they don't measure there alcahol so you need to say 'when'.
Phonecalls are very expensive about Â£3 a minute to the UK, we made aabout a 5 min call and cost us 26 cuban pesos which Â£20! Don't expect the internet connection to be the same as in the UK, it is slow, they are a poor country with limit resources.
Excursions: is a must we did the Cuban Way, Jeep Tour and the speedboat tour which inc snorklling. The tours were a real insight into cuban life and really brought it home as to how hard their lives are but people were always friendly. Tour guides were very informative, helpfull and interesting.
The recent Hurricane Ike caused little damage to the hotel itself but unfortunatley it did destroy the pier shown in the brochure, but they are re-building it and when we left they were a 1/4 of the way rebuilt. I think it will be completed early 2009.
All in all a fantastic holiday, you won't be dissappointed!"
- Travel date: Thu 4th of December 2008
5 going on six
"o.k. so I forgot to write my review when we got back this year, life has been a bit busy. Went back to Hotel Melia on Cayo Guillermo 22nd of may '08. Our friends were waiting at the hotel door to greet us this year and I was touched. Had a lovely time once more, cannot put into words what its like going back there when you have been before. This was our 4th time and it was great. We met loads of new friends and some old ones too (Anne & Bob have been to Melia Guillermo 15 times, no sorry 16 they are there right now (Oct 08). We spend most of our days lazing by the pool or beach, its heaven. Of course theres things to do if you want it, I'm quite happy with a book, maybe a drink and just lay in the sunshine, if it gets too hot slide into the pool and swim up to the pool bar for some refreshment. Alot of our time we spend catching up on things with our friends Ismavis and Elain, and Idael (still can't call him Flipper)and Jimmy and Adel. We had a few late nights at the bowling again, but it all adds to the holiday memories. This year Ismavis and Elain invited us to their home in Moron, we were honoured, they have a lovely little home and we met their son Siro for the first time. He is the most gorgeous little boy (6 years now). Later that day we went to Ismavis' parents house out in the countryside. They have a small holding with pigs and chickens and goats and dogs, we were invited for lunch and it was a memory I will never forget. These people are wonderful, they have very little in life, yet they welcome you into their home and share what they have with you. We had the nicest time. Each year when we go we take some things to give to our friends and the maids and the gardeners etc., they cost us very little yet they are taken aback when you give them something. So if you go to Cuba, take some stuff with you, toys, clothes, make up & beauty products in fact anything. We have already booked our holiday for next year, June 25th, its a long way off yet I know it'll just be like going home. Whatever negative comments you might read about this hotel, please ignore, its not 5 star filthy rich unadulterated luxury. But it is beautiful..........enjoy."
- Travel date: Sat 25th of October 2008
I've recently come back from a two week...
"I've recently come back from a two week holiday with my partner at Melia Cayo Guillermo and it has to be one of the best holidays i've ever had. Due to hurricane Ike we were transferred to this hotel, and I couldn't have been happier. It really is a 5* hotel, with clean rooms, ever helpful staff, a great entertainment programme and fantastic selection of food. Despite the hurricane, the accomodation was cleaned up quickly and the beach was soon clear again. The staff worked tirelessly to ensure the hotel was up and running.
The entertainment programme was brilliant, with sports, beach parties and the best evening shows. There was always something to do. There were plenty of places to eat including a grill house and italian (worth booking, absolutely delicious). I would not reccomend the International restaurant however, as we were eaten alive by mosquitos and the food was disgusting.
The staff were always talking to us, or making us hats/animals from palm leaves. We were made right at home from our first night. However, they do expect to be tipped as their wages are so low and are barely enough to live on. They appreciate if you leave them items such as named brand clothing or toiletries, or even getting them drinks as they cannot use the bars themselves.
The only thing I can fault this holiday on is the lack of activities for children. They were not currently running a childrens club (as it was back-to-school time) which meant the pool area was often quite busy and loud. They couldn't participate in certain activities such as rifle shooting or some of the quizzes.
There weren't many trips to go on, and the only ones on offer to us through Thomas Cook were Â£150 each (which included an overnight stay). This was too much money, and we had heard from other holidaymakers that they weren't worth the money. But who needs trips when you have a beautiful beach and great entertainment?
I would reccomend hiring some snorkels and having a look around the broken pier, the fish are beautiful. Or hire a catamarran and check out the coral reef!
I'll try and go back there soon, but not during hurrican season! 10/10!"
- Travel date: Sat 27th of September 2008
fabulous holiday 4th time at this hotel...
4th time at this hotel and still great. the dancers and activity team were great.
especially flipper jimmy yenya and mary. the food was fantastic there is only a wait if u order fresh meat but plenty of choice. the shows were brilliant,with different shows every night. the rooms were fine very clean and what you would expect at a 5 *. the beach was fabulous and had a pier to fish on..
their was a wide range of watersports to do and the hotel also has a games place where u can play pool archery and shooting. everywhere has air-con so you are never warm when you are eating.
brilliant holiday would go back there to morrow."
- Travel date: Tue 3rd of June 2008
We retuned today from two weeks in the M...
"We retuned today from two weeks in the Melia Cayo Guillermo, our first trip to Cuba and our first long haul trip with our three children. We were absolutely delighted with our holiday, the accomodation, resort and in particular the staff in the hotel. We had a delightful bungalow room close to the beach, yes the bathroom was in need of a bit of an update but the room was clean, well furnished and our daily maid service was second to none. There is a fridge which is filled each day with water, soft drinks and beer also.
The hotel staff are probably the best I have dealt with, travelling up to two hours a day each way to work in the hotel (the cayo islands are un inhabited by locals) from mainland Cuba. The entertainment staff in particular try constantly to get you involved in a range of activities around the pool in the day time. Every evening there is entertainment by the bar early on and then in the theatre - broadway it isnt, but they are a talented bunch and you will probably see 10 different shows in two weeks.
The food (as with all all inclusives) gets a little repetative, but it is freshly prepared for you at all meals and you also have the option of one of the a la carte restaurants in the evening. The beach side restaurant was a little disappointing to be honest, but the Italian and the International were excellent.
Things I wish I had known before I went - I hadnt realised how isolated cayo guillermo is (my fault for not reading up!) but there is literally no where to walk to other than another hotel. This can also make some trips quite lengthy due to travelling time which meant we discounted some of them because of the children.
Organised trips are a little more expensive, but we got caught out by booking a trip directly to snorkell on the reef only to find that the price had increased when we turned up at the agreed time. The hotel marine centre is well organised and the equipment is well maintained so it is worth paying 5 pesos more for the benefits.
The colourful cuba day is great for kids with a full day of activities that the kids love, lunch is included but dont forget the obligatory tips (see below!)
Also get as much currency in small denominations as possible - 1 and 3 peso notes if you can, tipping is expected so keep a ready number of small notes available so you are not caught out without a ready tip.
Altogether it was a great holiday and one we wouldnt hesitate to repeat!"
- Travel date: Fri 30th of May 2008