Turquoise Net

Home : Destinations : Photo Gallery : Maps

Where to Stay
Featured Accommodations
Featured Villas
Boutique Hotels
Private Islands
Sandals & Beaches Specials
Special Deals
All Places to Stay
Discussion Forum
Hotel Reviews
Trip Reports
Things to Do and See
Art, Music & Culture
News & Media
Tourist Boards
Tour Operators
Book a Hotel
Book a Flight
Currency Converter
Events Calendar
Caribbean for Canadians For Canadians

Home > Destinations > Cuba > Trip Reports > Trip Report

Cuba - Trip Reports

Iberostar Daquiri, Cayo Guillermo

Words and pictures cannot describe the beauty and elegance of the Iberostar Daquiri in Cayo Guillermo, Cuba (Rated Four Star).

We arrived in Ciego de Avila after flying Air Cubana (we were delighted with the flight, plane, staff, and meal. Enjoyed complimentary movie on the flight down (Miss Congeniality). They had bar service as well.)

Long line up at immigration/customs as two planes arrived at the same time, but we chatted it up with the people around us and in no time we collected our luggage and hopped aboard the air conditioned motor coach bus. The guide sold water & pop and beer ($1 and $2)and gave a very interesting tour as we drove the 90 minutes to the resort. It was relaxing and beautiful to see our surroundings and get some facts before arriving to the destination. Made the journey go by quickly.

The trip across the causeway was interesting and and really a unique experience.

Once at the Iberostar Daquiri you are greeted with the colours of summer in the superb front yard garden. All the grounds are covered with vibrant flowering plants and shrubs.

Upon arriving inside the porter and front desk staff were so friendly and helpful...they even escorted us to our room personally. NOTE: The front desk reception is open 24 hours a day. Can't believe how helpful and courteous they all were.

The room was large and very clean. Two 3/4 beds which we pushed together, satellite tv, fridge, safety deposit box, hairdryer, four piece bath (including the bidet). Our first floor room (3130) had a nice balcony and patio area which faced the swaying palm trees and ocean.

TIP: You use the magnetic key (card) entry to get into the room and from there you should insert the key (card) into the slot on the wall to activate the lights and air conditioner. Luckily I had read a previous post which told me that any magnetic card would work so we used a phone card with a magnetic stripe on it and it kept the air conditioning on for us. Also, if ever your key stops working, just go the front desk and they will reprogram it in a second flat. I think this is a security measure they do once a week.

The Beach

We packed our summer clothes in our carry on luggage so we didn't have to wait for the bags to arrive before going out and exploring. So out the patio door to the ocean! Gorgeous turquoise green/blue tepid waters with white powdery sand beaches. Appeared to be enough beach umbrellas and lounges for everyone, but most days was a bit too windy for us. Great for walking and some shell collecting. Sand bars were awesome mid to late day. Water not too deep or wavy -- great for cooling off. The ocean floor was sandy not really any seaweed to fight with.

Didn't see any jellyfish but did spot a conch shell. There are two piers down either side of the beach to walk to.

The Pool Area

Pool area was very nice and not too loud despite acitivites being carried out. We usually reserved our lounge chairs in the morning with our towel. Seemed to be plenty to go around, although not enough set up with umbrellas for the shade seekers. Pool was always perfectly clean and water kept cool so it was very refreshing. One side had aerobics, water polo, volleyball, basketball and the animation team was instrumental in helping to organize games and referring. The other side was more relaxed with the swim up pool bar under a waterfall.

The club house was the centre for the animation team. With a voucher received at check in we were given fresh towels all week. At the end of the holiday we asked for the voucher back which was required for check out. The entire staff spoke excellent English so communication was never a problem.

We never did end up using the archery, kayaks, paddle boats, tennis courts, bicycles. Not enough time to do everything!

For kids it appeared they had a very structured "play time" with terrific staff and lots of activities and a little playground, ping pong, as well as a pony ride through the complex.

Past the pool area was the other side of the pool bar (Havana Club) where one could get a drink from the happy bartenders, eat lunch (different themes -- pig roast, burgers, etc.), play bingo or enjoy dancing. Different afternoon activities were set up in this little hall.

The Restaurants

Then there was the Beach Restaurant "La Marina". We chose it most times for lunch as it had a nice cool breeze blowing through it and a great view. It was open for drinks 10-6, contintental breakfast 10-noon; lunch 12:30-4 and Snacks 4-5.

The main buffet restaurant was quite large and very nice. Quite a large selection to choose from including fruits, pastries and cakes, breads and rolls at every meal. Breakfast served up cereals, pancakes, toast, eggs, and really good bacon. Lunch time was typical salads, rice, chicken, pork, fish, monte cristo sandwiches, pasta, fries, burgers. Dinners were a little more creative with specialty dishes from BBQ shrimp, crab to steak tartar. The in between dishes included salads, pasta, beef, chicken, pork, rice, vegetables. I was impressed that they even had real ketchup on the tables! (At breakfast, we did however enjoy the little packages of peanut butter we brought from home). Even the coffee was good was here! Made sure we tipped at least a $1 every single meal. We also brought some little Avon perfume samples to give to the waitresses.

The specialty Mexican restaurant "Gregorio" was quite nice. We managed to arrange it so that we could go there two times during the week (through the P.R. desk). They served us wine, sangrias, beer. Lovely atmosphere where you can get out of the buffet line ups and relax. Air conditioned comfort while you are serenaded by singers. Food choices were varied and ample. Appetizers included Mexican plate (Quesadillas, Tacos mmmm mmmm mmmmmm!), Caesar salad (mmmmmm mmmmmm), salmon, cheese, salads. Main course was a choice of shrimp (mmmmm mmmmm), Hake fish (mmmm mmmmmmm), beef/pork/chicken kabobs, Salmon. Desserts included a lot of little cakes, flans and pastries.

The Lobby Bar

We enjoyed quite a few games in the pool room (as in billiards)just outside the Mojito Lobby Bar. This bar served drinks in bottles and glasses (not plastic) and they sure knew how to make a mean Pina Colada, Daquiri, Amaretto Sour, Rum & Coke, Tequila Sunrise, Mojito, etc.

The lobby was absolutely huge and gorgeous. Big tropical plants and high cathedral ceilings. Cool ocean breeze flowing as you lounge about in the lovely rattan furniture. Off the lobby are the tour representatives' office, three stores, the Public Relations office (do make sure you visit.... Miladis is the most sweet and gracious P.R. person!!).


Lots of good shopping for cigars, t-shirts, cuban cookies, magnets, crafts, postcards, shot glasses, shoes, umbrellas, shorts,etc. Local crafters set up shop near the pool almost everyday too. Some very unique and wonderful gift items from handcrafted wood carvings, toys, leather purses, crocheted clothing, keychains, etc.

The hotel also houses a modern workout room, bicycle and scooter rentals, massage parlour (highly reccomend the hour long for $20!!!, Oh, and the flamingo pond...be sure to check out your surroundings and find the Flamingo pond. Absolutely gorgeous and stunning!

Scooter Excursion

We rented a scooter from our hotel for three hours for $15 - $20. Toured down to the marina (very small, not what I envisioned for a marina); checked out the other hotels' properties, and travelled to Play Pilar (about 20 minutes away). This beach was spectacular. Greenish cool waters for swimming, black lava rock at the end of the beach. Spacious and uncrowded. Bought a beer for $1 and drank it in the shade of the restaurant/hut.

Coming back we took all the little side roads which offered terrific views and secluded beaches. Had a great time. Playa Pillar reminded me more of Cayo Largo beaches....larger and secluded.

TIP:Another friend told us they exited Playa Pillar and instead of turning around to go home again, they followed the other road which led past Pillar which took them to the tip of the island. There they spotted dolphin and lots of birds.

Two City Tour

Took a full day to travel into Ciego de Avila and into Moron. What an experience. Took an air conditioned mini van and ventured into Cayo Coco where we picked up some other vacationers at the El Senador. Our guide was bilingual offering English/French translation.

Saw a real Cuban market, butcher shop (WOW! Culture shock!!), department store, Cuban run store, cigar factory, museum, parks. Stopped for a delicious lunch. Toured the local train station, took a horse and buggy ride.

TIP: We brought candy, birthday candles, pens, pencils, pads of paper, soaps, perfume, and toys to hand out to the locals ..but we gave them out quietly and slowly. Kids greeted us as soon as we took the horse ride but we knew we would be pestered but a large group if we handed out much all at once. We gave them things upon our return and also handed out gifts discreetly to moms walking down the street with their children.We didn't bring anything into the cigar factory, but they would have accepted things at the end. We ended up just tipping a few dollars instead.($45 each includes lunch and a drink)

Cuban Panorama

Drove in an air conditioned van through Moron as a mini tour and then to a lovely sight at Laguna de la Leche (Milky Lagoon). This area is where Cubans go to the disco, park area, beach and celebrate a spring carnival/ flotilla on the canal. Really pretty.

Then we travelled up to the summit of Loma de Cunaugua. We hiked with a local guide along an ecological path for about 1/2 hour (there were a few steep spots)and spotted Cuba's national bird. (Apparently the bird is rather elusive so we counted ourselves lucky).

Afterward we got on horseback and treked a bit more through the paths. After about 20 minutes we dismounted and drove the rest of the way up the mountain where we were greeted by a table full of delicious papaya, mango, pineapple, plantain, coconut and watermelon. This small mountain top area doubles as a sort of Forest Ranger site / three room guest house. There was a pet monkey and domesticated endangered species which was like a muskrat/beaver. It ate fruit from our hands and drank beer too!! Some of us did more horseback riding while others stayed behind and enjoyed the huge wooden rocking chair, scenic view, and open bar.

Had the most delicious home cooked meal I have ever eaten in my life (consisted of a breaded pork cutlet (and i'm not a huge pork lover), vegetables, rice, black beans, mashed potatoes, bread, and sweetened coconut and tea for dessert. MMM MMM GOOD!

Afterward we travelled to the Alligator Farm where we learned some facts about this species and were able to handle a one year alligator. Great photo opportunity! This tour cost $55 each and was well worth it! Had a great time.

Jungle Tour

This was highly recommended not to be missed by friends who did this tour. Not wanting to miss anything we signed up for it too. $35.00 each bought us two hours of piloting our own "Jungle Boat" -- two person speed boat, exploring the intricate network or channels cutting across virgin mangroves.

You follow the leader with about 6-8 boats going out together at a time. About halfway through we stop for a snorkel and this was awesome. Saw a huge starfish, parrot fish, and lots of other assorted fishies. This was very different from any other snorkelling we've done before. Really enjoyed it. Had a refreshing drink then travelled by boat back to shore! Excellent adventure! NOTE: Life jackets are provided. You also get to keep the snorkel.

In Summary:

We had a totally excellent time at the Iberostar Daquiri and would not hesitate to return or recommend it to anyone! The staff were wonderful and we did leave them gifts of baseball hats, tshirts, shoes, medicines, which were very appreciated. The weather (other than the first day when they had a torential downpour) was around 28C each day but windy. According to most, it was windier than usual. It still didn't deter us from our fun in the sun.

Pictures of our adventures can be found by linking to: http://community.webshots.com/album/35895567MtJjFf

Thanks to Karen for this trip report ...
April 2002

    Places to Stay  
    Hotel Reviews  
    General Information  
    Photo Gallery  
    Real Estate  
    Trip Reports  

About Us : Advertise with Us : Disclaimer : Privacy Policy : Contact Us

© 1995-2016 Turquoise Interactive. All rights reserved.


Suriname Online Tourist Guide