> Destinations > Cuba > Trip Reports > Trip Report
March 12, 2004 to March 19, 2004
I am the type of person who likes to do a lot of research about the place that I will be going to. I found this site to be invaluable and the reviews extremely helpful. I was quite concerned about all the negative reviews I was reading before I went to Hotel Tryp. I was hoping that these things would not bother my family and me.
My wife, myself and my two sons (15 and 18) went to the Hotel Tryp Cayo Coco over the March Break. There were two reasons why I decided on this hotel. One is because there would be lots of other teenagers for my sons to hang out with. Two, because of the price. It was $1000.00 cheaper than the other resorts we had been to over Christmas or March Break in the past.
We have traveled to several all inclusive resorts in the Caribbean; Barbados, Punta Cana and the Mayan Riviera, Mexico. I would like to share some of my thoughts of my experience at the hotel over the week of March Break. I offer these comments so that those who are considering booking their trip at the same time will have the benefit of my experience.
Departure from Toronto: We left Toronto on Friday afternoon and arrive in Cayo Coco around 8:00 p.m. I would recommend this as the next day you can enjoy a full day. The same is true with your last day.
Check in at Tryp: TIP: Someone suggested to me that if you take a taxi from the airport instead of the bus from the tour company, you will get there quicker and avoid the confusion at check in. The taxi is only $15 USD and it was well worth it.
Weather: The weather was warm and very windy most of the week. The wind helped to make it more comfortable to sit in the sun.
Bring a few sweaters to wear in the evening, as it can get quite cool.
Buffet: The food at the buffet was really bad. There was a great variety of food, but much of it you could not tell what it was. The table clothes were not changed and were therefore constantly dirty. There was not enough wait staff and the ones that were there did not do much to provide any type of service unless you went over to them and asked for something. There was a bad sewage smell from the stagnant water just before you got to the buffet.
Restaurants: The best restaurant was the Cuban. Try the pork steak or the "fried cow", they were excellent. The Seafood and the International restaurants were nice, but nothing great.
There was an awful smell of sewage right beside the Beach Grill (which is the Seafood Restaurant at night). It made you gag each time you walked by. The pizza restaurant was okay, not as good as everyone claimed.
Beach Towels: You get your towels from the "Club House" a small hut by the pool. You have to drag the towels with you back and forth each day, as you must exchange them for fresh towels. Other resorts I stayed at gave you a towel card which allowed you to get towels and get the card back when you returned the towels when you were done each day.
Loungers at the Pool and Beach: As many reviews have noted, there is a severe shortage of loungers at the pool and beach. You will find yourself playing the game of putting your belongings on several loungers to reserve them. I refused to wake up at 6:00 am to reserve a lounger. If I saw that there were loungers that had not been occupied for hours, I would take the towels off and leave them on the ground, and then take the loungers to another location. Toward the end of the week I saw workers bring about a dozen loungers. TIP: There is a local fellow at the end of the beach near the pizza restaurant who usually keeps a few loungers to the side. For a dollar or two you can get them from him. The pool itself was very nice. There is a smaller "adult" pool near buildings 10 and 11 which is much quieter.
Staff: While the staff were friendly, I found them to be much less attentive then other resorts I have been to. They can sometimes be encouraged with a tip. I think the attitude of the staff is the result of being in a Communist country. I found the animation team sitting around much of the day talking to each other.
Rooms: We were in building 1 which was farthest from the lobby. The benefit of this was that it was extremely quiet. The room itself was very comfortable and had a beautiful 3rd floor view of the ocean. There was only one bottle of water provided for the entire week. TIP: Leave the empty bottle with a $1 USD and the maid will give you another (it is $2 in the store).
Grounds: While the gardens were well taken care of they looked extremely brown and dry. The view in the opposite direction of the beach from my building was unappealing. I am used to a much greener and lush environment.
Beach: Breathtaking!! The beach was long and one could walk in the ocean with soft sand underfoot. Because of the wind, there were always large waves to jump through. We only had one calm day that was good for snorkelling. There were no beach peddlers.
Snorkelling: was good at some coral areas not far off the beach. It is worthwhile to bring your own equipment as there are not many sets at the water sports hut.
Buildings: I was told that this was the oldest hotel in the area, and it shows it.
Cleanliness: There was not enough staff to keep the areas clean, especially around the pool, beach and lobby. The maids did very minimal cleaning.
Bikes: I was excited before I went to know that the hotel supplied bikes, as I like to ride. I brought my riding equipment with me. This was a waste as most of the bikes don't work. The bikes have several gears, but only work in one gear as there is not gear changing mechanism. This was a disappointment.
Departure from Cayo Coco: Our flight was not until 9:00 p.m., so we had most of the day on Friday to enjoy. We paid an extra $30 for a late check out. TIP: To beat the line ups at airport, pay the $15 USD for a taxi. We were supposed to get into Toronto at 12:30 a.m. What we were not told was that we had to stop in Santiago du Cuba to pick up more passengers. This resulted in us getting back to Toronto after 2:00 a.m.
Overall: Despite all of the shortcomings, my family and I had a good time together. My family's conclusion is that we would rather pay the extra money and go to a country were we could get the customer service and quality that we are accustomed to. I would not recommend this resort unless you are prepared to accept the negative aspects.
Thanks to rb (Toronto) for this trip report ...