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Reviewers Rating: Excellent
Travelling dates feb25-mar4th/04.
Booked our vacation with world of vacations in nov/03 got the early booking bonus. our travel agent gave us a lot of info about the resort then i did a lot of research myself and with help from all of you we decided to go with bahia.had been to cuba once before,but also travelled to hawaii, punta cana,riviera maya so have stayed at a few all inclusive and i know the worse thing you can do is compare. We left halifax airport at 5:30 am travelling on air transat the usual cramped quarters, but the staff are very nice.this time we had a boxed lunch-bagel,fruit cup.coffee,tea, juice.we were only interested in sleeping at that point,but they did have a movie playing.flight was great left on time and smooth all the way.landed in varadero at 9;00 am got through immagrations quickly and out to the bus where the rep was waiting for us.it is about 1/2 hr ride to the resort.we arrived at the resort at exactly 10 am we knew our room wouldn't be ready so went prepared with swimmsuit,snuscreen etc in our carry-on.after we checked in got our bracelet we checked our luggage in this room until we got our room.they told us to come back about 1:30 for the key.off we went to check out the resort grounds.the lobby is 2 levels beautiful marble with huge comfy chairs and couches,flowers everywhere ang lovely paintings and vases.there are lots of stairs at this resort so if walking is an issue then this might not be the place for you,although there is an elevator also.i did see a lot of people with kids and strollers.they are working all the time on the grounds and there is beautiful flowers and shrubs everywhere. we heard that club-med had let it get run down the last few years so they are now making all new paths and renovations.nothing that will interfere with your stay.
Rooms- i had e-mailed for a ocean-view room on 2nd or 3rd floor and boy did they deliver! They gave us a suite on the 3rd floor with king size bed and adjoining room with double bed.in the main room there was double doors that opened with a view like you've never seen! Then the other room had sliding doors to a balcony.we didn't need all that room,but we sure enjoyed it.we could actually lay in bed and look at the ocean the bluest water you ever saw.there was a walk in closet with lots of hangers and shelves,a fridge stocked daily with 2 water,2 beer and 2 pop.there is a safe for $2 a day.but we just put our passport and extra $ in our suitcase and locked it no problem.we found the people very friendly,but in no hurry everything is on cuban time so if you're impatient that way well you might be dissappointed.
There are 3 bars one at the pool one at the beach grill and one in the lobby piano bar where everyone seems to hang until dinner.there is 2 buffets one at the beach just at lunch time then the main buffet with a smoking and non-smoking side.there are 3 a la cartes a sea food,italian and international you can reserve at all 3 for 1 wk stay. On wednesday they had a barbeque on the beach.chicken,pork,huge shrimp and different types of potatoes and vegetables.
Shows.there are nightly shows very well done ,we missed a few since they only start at 9:45 .i thought the dancers and singers did a great job.after the show the disco opens,never got there too tired.
Beach-nice long beach with cool sand to walk on.you don't need water shoes unless you walk further down by the rocks and coral.one poster said the beach was small and she couldn't go for walks,well i'm not sure where she was you can walk around the rocks there is a stairs that goes over the rock and you can walk for miles past all the other resorts to the right we did many times.
Pool-there is only 1 pool a good size they have water games going on in one end .we weren't interested in that so didn't pay much attention.they have salsa music playing all the time.they have umbrellas and palm trees around the pool so always able to find shade.
Food-this is a tough one and mainly a personal matter so i will only say we found lots to eat.there were lots of dishes i wouldn't eat, but tons of fish,pork,chicken.lasagna,spaghetti.veg,french fries,hamburgers,hot dogs potatoes of every discription and a whole table of breads and rolls,desserts of all kinds wine with your meals.
The resort was at full capacity when we were there now a few things that may make a difference to some of you.
There are a lot of steps and walking here so if that is an issue with you you may not like it.
In my opinion the supper is too late 7-10pm the show only starts at 9;45 so most people go to supper at 7pm there is nothing to do from supper until the show starts .we felt the supper should start 6-9 and the show at 9 o'clock. Most people just sit around the pool area until show time.
The beach only has 1 bar and it is at one end of the beach so if you're not sitting near there it is quite a hike to get a drink and use the washrooms.
Now for the" towel rage".yes,if you want a chair at the pool go before 9 am because people put there towels out when they go for breakfast at 7 am same at the beach if you want close to the bar go down early and pick your spot.we were always able to get a place at the beach,but further down..a little tip i will do next time,bring an old towel from home,because if you leave your towel on a chair and someone steals it it will cost you $ 25 they do that to prevent people from reserving chairs,but it dosen't seem to work people still put there towels out and take the chance.
We didn't have good weather the first 3 days in fact the beach activities were all cancelled we couldn't even go in the water to swim it was "red flag" the water was real rough and so windy so everyone was at the pool those days.we choose to go to varadero one day and another day to havana.i took 4 rolls of film there what an amazing city for history and old archicture (sp)
Now to sum it all up,it depends what your expectations are for your holiday.we went for sun,rest and relaxation and we got all that still came back with a good tan.found the cuban people in general to be very friendly and loving.learn a few spanish words and treat them the same way you want to be treated and i don't see any reason why you won't enjoy your stay at this resort.i am not a complainer and will overlook little things no place is perfect and it certainly is not like home,but isn't that why we travel?
I hope i have helped a few people with there decision.all in all we had a great trip and would go back again,but probably next time would try somewhere else maybe holgin.
Thanks to Sandra for this trip report ...