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I have just returned from 16 days at Jibacoa, my second visit to this hotel - and definitely not my last!!!
Reception/Check-In: Check in was simple and straightforward, with only one form to fill in, which just takes a few minutes. The reception staff are helpful and speak quite good english.
Rooms: The rooms are clean and spacious, with everything you could need, including coffee/tea making facilities, TV with english speaking channels, iron, hairdryer.....
Gardens: We had a garden view room, over looking the pool - which was lovely. The gardens are immaculately kept, with gardeners starting at 7am EVERY morning and working throughout each day tending to all the plants and cutting the grass.
Restaurants: The main buffet restaurant is large and bright. There is usually quite a good selection of foods for main meals, with a few themed nights such as Chinese, Cuban, Mexican, Seafood etc.....
For breakfast there is a large choice of cooked breakfasts including bacon, sausages etc. Also pancakes, fresh fruit, pastries, cereals, and best of all the omelettes. These are made fresh to order and are just lovely!!!
There is also a Cuban a la carte restaurant 'La Taberna'. I didn't visit it this stay, but did last time.....worth a visit.
The Italian a la carte restaurant 'Martinos' is a must!! You can visit it once each week of your stay, and has to be booked with reception. I have read many reports of people saying that you should book this the second you arrive to be sure of a reservation, but we have never had any problems. The service in Martinos is excellent, and with 6 courses to choose from you won't go hungry!!!
Bars: All the drinks and cocktails you could ever imagine!!! Keep an eye out for the daiquiri of the day.....and try a Banana Mama - yummy!
Activities/Entertainment: There are daily activities such as Aqua-aerobics, beach volleyball, dance lessons etc.
There are also 2 walks each day, with Erick....definitely good for a laugh if nothing else!! The first is at 9am when Erick takes you up the mountain behind the hotel. It is a bit of a steep climb to get up there, but without a doubt worth doing.....the view you get from up there is amazing, so don't forget to take your camera!!
The second is in the afternoon, when you go to a local farm. It is only about a 10 minute walk from the resort, but again, worth a try. The farmer has all kinds of animals from Turkeys and chickens, to Tree Rats and cockateils. The main attraction has to be his 2 year old crocodile though!! He will happily let you hold it and have your photo taken - I was the only one daft enough to do it when I went - thankfully it's mouth was tied shut!!!
The nightly entertainment is also worth a look.....there are different shows each night including Cuban and Mexican.
Pool/Beach: The pool is large and is never crowded.....you will never have a problem getting a sunlounger.
The beach is beautiful and great for snorkelling too. If you head straight out from the beach bar, you will seem some amazing coral and heaps of different coloured fish. you don't have to go far out to see fish.....we stood about 6ft from the shore at one point and fed them some bread from the buffet......there were dozens of them!!!
Staff: The staff are excellent. The vast majority of them speak very good english and are always friendly and ready with a smile. Although the hotel is a lovely place to visit, the staff definitely make it that little bit better. Officially, tipping is not permitted at the hotel, but a very discreet dollar here and there is very much appreciated. We also left small gifts on the pillow for the maid.....they will not take anything from your room unless it is left on the pillow.
As you can see, I have thoroughly enjoyed both my visits to Jibacoa, and will definitely be going back a third time!!!
If anyone has any questions, feel free to e-mail me at Mand2512@aol.com.
Thanks to Amanda for this trip report ...