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Trip Reviews by:
GefM October-05
GefM October-04
GefM October-03

Sol Cayo Guillermo Flopnfly Toronto

Sol Club Cayo Guillermo
April 21 - 28 2006

Just got back yesterday from the Sol Club Cayo Guillermo.

The beach is amazing, it will blow you away with the many shades of blue, and the white sand just tops it off. When the tide is out it is very shallow for quite a ways out. It is ankle deep most of the way.

The water sports hut is at the far end of the beach but worth the walk. The staff is friendly and always willing to help out. We took the Hobie Cat out to the reef and did some snorkeling. Highly recommend it.

The resort is fairly small, only about 200 or so rooms but it seemed like the perfect size. Everything seems to be around the pool area, so not a lot of walking is needed to get from one bar to the next.

We originally had a ground floor room but changed it to an upper floor room. Our room 1005 had everything we needed including a large balcony that faced the ocean. Nobody was in front of us and the view was amazing. Pictures don't do it justice.

We had a coffee maker in the room, but no coffee until the last day. There is a hairdryer in the bathroom that seemed to work well. Plugs are all 220.

The food was great. Good selection of pork, beef, chicken or fish every night, and there was a separate meat station where they would cook up your meat on the spot. There was also a pasta station and a seafood station.

I didn't manage to do breakfast more than once, but there was a good selection, as well as an omelet station. The toaster was a hit or miss but you eventually ended up with toast after a couple of tries.

We did both al a cartes and have no complaints. The food was good and the atmosphere was nice. The Cuban restaurant is open aired so remember you bug spray, we got eaten alive.

The International restaurant is small and more formal. The food was very good here.

For lunch you have a choice of the buffet, the beach grill which becomes the Cuban restaurant at night or you can grab a toasted sandwich at the 24 hour bar.

Cubanitos was our favorite bar to hang out in. Situated near the beach, and the bar tenders are very friendly and talented. They kept us entertained.

There is a bar at the Grill, and the 24 hour bar near the lobby. The coffee is amazing at the 24 hour bar.

The pool is not very big, and it does not have a swim up bar but it's a great place to cool off and meet some new friends.

The entertainment shows at night were great. Those kids work so hard and they are very talented.

After the show, the disco opens until 2 am. Drinks are included at the disco.

I would recommend the resort to families with small children, the beach is nice and shallow, and for couples. I think it might be a little too quiet for teens, because there isn't much for them to do after the sun goes down.


Sol Cayo Guillermo GefM October-05 Muskoka

We stayed at the Sol Cayo Guillermo (SCG) from October 22nd through to October 29th, 2005. We are a married couple in our mid 30’s to mid 40’s from Ontario, Canada. This was our third trip to this wonderful resort and as before we are looking forward to returning again and again.

As this was our 3rd trip and I have written a review the other times, I will write this one somewhat differently as I don’t know what else I can say to tell you how much we enjoy this resort, it’s staff or about the resort grounds and accommodations.

To read more of my take on this resort, you can read my past reviews at… http://www.7daysinparadise.com/tripreports/cu-sc.html

You can also see pictures of this resort on my webshots page at… http://community.webshots.com/user/gef_m

This year our trip was with Air Canada Vacations. As the past 2 years, we booked our trip with Coco Toth at Bravo Travel, in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. As usual, Coco was great to deal with and very helpful. I highly recommend her as a travel agent.
This year our departure date was to be at the same time that Hurricane Wilma was ravaging the Yucatan Peninsula and the Western tip of Cuba, (Pinar del Rio and Havana). While many friends and family were very concerned about us flying to Cuba, there wasn’t any need for it. Our flight was perfect! Very few bumps and the Air Canada flight staff were great as well. This year we were lucky to fly Executive Class and what an option this was. Only 2 seats per row, nice leg room and complimentary drinks. We arrived in Cuba in good time and we were one of the first through customs. We exchanged our money for Pesos at the airport teller that is after customs. No problems but we had to wait about 20-30 minutes for others to clear customs and find the bus. We had time to talk to our rep. while we waited.

As I mentioned, we arrived in Cuba while hurricane Wilma was around, but our weather turned out to be fairly decent. The first few days were sunny, very hot and humid with highs of high 30’s C (high 80’s into 90’s F). By mid week the weather did turn somewhat overcast with sunny breaks, but was still warm and we were able to enjoy the beach every day. We did have rain showers from time to time but again nothing that lasted the entire day. We were never cold in the evening and were always in our swimsuits during the day. Other years we have had perfect weather in October but this was a banner year for hurricanes.

As usual, check in was a breeze! While our bus to the resorts was full, we were the only ones staying at the SCG, so there wasn’t any waiting in line.
Our room was ready and waiting for us. This year we had room number 902, a couple of doors from our usual room. It was still in the same single story bungalow and was just as nice. The one difference of this room was that we had a king-size bed instead of 2 doubles. The bed also had a bug net hung above the headboard, but it was never needed. In our room waiting for us was a bottle of Dark Rum and a fruit platter. A very nice touch to be welcomed with!

Still in very good condition and as usual the gardeners are working hard everyday!

I was worried about this when we were leaving home. I wasn’t sure what Wilma would have in store for our lovely beach. It turned out that the beach was as beautiful as ever and I noticed that the tractor and beach crew had come by to clean the seaweed even before we got down to the beach. Of course this also does depend on the tides. They tend to clean the beach, starting from the Cojimar working towards the Sol Club during the time that the tide is low. The ocean, while somewhat wavy, was never too wavy to swim and enjoy.

I have to say that even with the resort being at the lowest capacity I’ve ever seen it the food didn’t differ from the past years.

While I’ll agree with some posts who say the food at the buffet can become repetitive, it is still decent. Personally I usually go to the grills and have some fresh food cooked for me. For breakfast I would have 2 omelettes with onions, peppers, ham and cheese. I sometimes had beef with onions and peppers grilled separately. For dinner I would have grilled a mixture of beef, pork, fish, squid, onions and peppers. The buffet usually consisted of dishes with shrimp, potatoes, mussels, pork, chicken, meatballs, beef, pizza slices, sliced meats, breads and pastries for the dinner and some of the same for breakfast. We never ate there for lunch, but I’m sure it was close to the same. For breakfast be sure to have their freshly squeezed orange juice! It is the best! Dinner also had a collection of tasty desserts like crème brule and other pastries, fruit, and the all time favourite, flambeed bananas.

For lunch the beach restaurant is called the El Vigio. For the evening dinner the restaurant changes to an a la carte that you need to reserve and is known as the Conuco. For lunch, there is a small buffet that consists of sliced pizza (very good I might add), fries, sometimes sausages, potatoes, sliced meats and breads, fruit and ice cream. You also have choice of ordering off a menu that has dishes of pork, chicken, and my favourite, pizza. Actually I would walk down the beach, order pizzas for my wife and I and then walk back to our loungers. There is also a bar area. As this is a beach restaurant for lunch, you can walk off the beach with swimsuits and cover-ups.
For dinner the Conuco has a menu of dishes of beef, pork, chicken and salmon. I ate the beef and also some of the pork and both were very tasty and tender. My favourite though was the beef. The seafood chowder appetizer is delicious. The desserts consisted of ice cream, chocolate cake, fruit, and a few others I can’t recall at this moment.

As usual this restaurant did not disappoint us. The dishes consist of beef tenderloin, salmon, pork, chicken and a few others that again I cannot recall. The appetizer I enjoyed the most was a smoked salmon, wrapped in seaweed, drizzled in honey and seasoned with dill. My wife enjoyed a shrimp appetizer. Another selection I enjoyed was a seafood soup, similar to chowder. My favourite here is definitely the beef tenderloin. Cooked to your liking. Also the chocolate cake and ice cream is delicious.
For every restaurant and buffet service is great. At the main buffet, you serve yourself, but you are catered to for drinks. Don’t forget any of these people when you are finished your meal. While you are at an all inclusive, the meals are well worth a little monetary appreciation.

As last year it was comical and very entertaining. In fact this year on the last night we were there, I was asked, with a very pouty face I might add…lol…to assist in the show with a few others, 4 couples in all. This was a complete riot and I loved every minute of it. Lets just say, that the end of the skit involved a blindfolded female partner with a pitcher of beer, an empty glass placed in either the front or back of the pants, or on top of the head or like me, in between my legs while lying down and shouting out to my partner where to pour the beer. I’m sure you can imagine the outcome! The audience loved it and so did all of the staff and us unsuspecting volunteers. We did go to the disco this year more, but unfortunately as the resort was at low capacity, there were few people there. Not that this is a complaint at all, but more an observation. The DJ still played the music, a few of the entertainment staff came and we still enjoyed it. It would have been that much better if more of the guests had taken part. If there is something you want to play, be sure to ask the DJ. If he has it, he will do his best to play it.

I can never write any review and leave out saying something about the staff. The staff is the best. Even at low capacity and with many having to come by bus 1 1/2 to 2 and sometimes 2 1/2 hours to work, they are still friendly and warm. They always have a smile and have an “Hola” for you.
As this was our 3rd trip, we knew many people and as soon as we arrived at the resort we were greeted by “Hola, my friends...when did you get here?” Along with big hugs and the traditional 2-cheek kiss
I am amazed by how people can remember us from one year to the next. This trip we were approached by a few different staff members that we hadn't really got to know last trip, so they didn't really have a reason to remember us. They came up and asked..."you were here last year, yes? I remember you, do you remember me?" Well of course I did, but it was a whole lot easier for me to remember than her!
This year we took down some letters to staff friends from others who frequent the resort. While you should be somewhat careful about doing this, I am very happy we did. We got to meet new people and made even more friends.
It is amazing how much you already great trip can be enhanced when you feel like you are at home with many friends!

A question I have from time to time is “why do you choose the SCG over the Melia CG and the Iberostar Daiquiri?” Quite simply, we like the layout of the resort. We like a small resort with bungalows. It consists of about 268 rooms in 1 and 2 story bungalows. It is laid out to stretch along the beach instead of stretching back from the beach. This allows for less walking to get to the beach. The small resort also is easier to get around and seems more personable. Also, because the resort stretches along the beach, there is more beach area for the guests and you are not packed into a small area.
Another question I have had is, “Why is this resort rated a 3 1/2 star and not a 4 star?” This is our favourite resort. While it is great and we have never had problems with food or water or anything, it does not have as many amenities as the Iberostar and Melia CG. I’m sure that this has a lot to do with it. We go to Cuba for the R&R and to enjoy the friendly people. We have never been disappointed by the SCCG in any way. In my honest opinion it warrants more than a 3 1/2 star and if this resort had more amenities, it would easily receive a high rating.
I will also state again to those who are looking to purchase cigars. Black market cigars are not worth the match to burn them. These cigars are quite typically made of banana leaves or worse. Many are not able to be smoked because they are plugged and if they can be smoked, taste horrible! DO NOT purchase cigars from any of the resort staff or off the beach or street. You will be throwing you money away. Please do yourself a favour and only purchase your cigars from the Government approved stores, which include the airport, and resort stores. Cuban Customs is checking everyone that they see with cigars. They want to see the official receipt that is given to you by the stores. If you do not have this receipt, your cigars WILL be taken from you. When you buy from the store be sure to have your passport with you, as they will need some information from it for the official receipt.

Geoff (aka GefM)


Sol Cayo Guillermo GefM October04 Muskoka

Sol Club Cayo Guiilermo

We stayed at the Sol Club Cayo Guillermo from October 25th to November 5th, 2004. The resort was maybe 40% full. This was our second time at this wonderful resort and it certainly won't be our last. In fact we have plans to return again next year. This was our first time away for 11 days and it was perfect. Usually we have had 7-day vacations. The 11 days was so much better. I highly recommend it if you can find one. As I mentioned, this was our second time there and I wrote a review last year so I don't want to make this review too long winded by repeating many thoughts and observations that are the same.

This year our trip was catered through Signature vacations . As last year, we booked our trip with Coco Toth at Bravo Travel, in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Again Coco was great to deal with and very helpful. We originally booked a 7-day trip, but Coco had called us to tell us that for a mere $140 extra, we could get 4 more days. That's why I use her, a travel agent with my best interests at heart. Thank you again Coco.

Signature vacations on the other hand, I have a few issues with. While it didn't effect our great vacation in any way, we never saw our Signature tour rep at all. In fact we didn't talk to him until the second last day, and that was by telephone. As it happens, we were the only ones from Signature Tours staying at that Resort, and I think on all of Cayo Guillermo. So the Rep didn't see the need to meet us and leave the standard info for us to check up on. Not good in my books. If we were a couple on our first trip to this resort, we would have been lost.
My concern would have been magnified if this wasn't our second time there and we didn't know the FANTASTIC staff we did. It was our Staff/friends Dayanis and Mykel that took the time to find out the information as to when our regrettable return flight was leaving. Many thanks to them!
The flight itself was very good and the staff of the Skyservice airplane were also very good and friendly. With a great tailwind, we arrived 30 minutes ahead of schedule.

The weather was very good for the entire stay. It did drizzle a few times throughout our stay, but for the most part it was Hot (about low to mid 30's), Sunny, and Perfect. Last year we vacationed one week earlier and I think we would try for that again. This year was windier and therefore wavier. Not too wavy that you couldn't enjoy the ocean, which we did every day. Unfortunately, it was too wavy some days that my Scuba diving had to be canceled.

As last year, it was a breeze! No problems and the reception staff were very friendly and helpful.

We had requested the same room as last year (904) http://community.webshots.com/photo/98207725/98210252mMCztU and they had left a wonderful fruit platter and a bottle of Rum for us. This room is our favourite because of it being so close to the ocean, it's privacy, and still not too far to walk to the main amenities. It is in one of the four unit single story bungalows and I found out it was considered one of the Ocean Front rooms, not a Superior room. As far as we're concerned, it is a Superior room. Please see my last years review for the description of the room.

The resort is in excellent condition and the gardening staff deserve a lot of praise for it. I'm amazed on how beautiful they can keep it and usually with using hand tools, such as machetes. I wish my home grounds could look as nice!

I consider myself a person who knows good quality food. While I understand that some people don't care for the food at some Cuban Resorts, I have yet to understand why. The food at the Sol Club Cayo Guillermo is quite tasty and very filling. I have yet to have ANY problems with food. I wish I could eat that well at home! My favourites were, the Beef Tenderloin at the A la Carte (Don Guillermo) and the flambeed bananas at the Buffet. Also make sure you have the pizza, and fresh squeezed orange juice, as well as at the Main Bar be sure to have the custom toasted sandwiches.

One restaurant I should touch on is the El Vigio (Beach Restaurant and Grill). It's called a different name for the evening fare, but I can't remember it. This was closed for renovations last year so I couldn't comment on it. For lunch, you can wander in off the beach and enjoy a small buffet as well as order food off a menu. You will find dishes of pasta, fries, potatoes, pork, cold cuts and buns as well as custom pizza. Very tasty! In the evening, reservations are to be made in advance (at the beginning, if you stay in peak season). This is an open-air structure with a canopy and a windowed wall facing the ocean.

I also have to mention a little (off the resort) restaurant. The Catec is located down the beach past the Sol Club as if you are walking toward Playa Pilar. We decided to grab a Lobster dinner off the resort and it was great. We actually had a platter that came with one lobster each, fish, shrimp, a plate of cucumber, and a plate of fried plantain all for $20 each. Sergei and Ernesto were wonderful to chat with and I highly recommend their place for a different atmosphere apart from the resort. We even had the whole place to ourselves.

This year the nightly show had a more comedic tone to it. Quite entertaining! We also went to the disco a few more times this year and really enjoyed it. Some of the staff venture over after the nightly show as well and it's quite entertaining to watch some of the dancers move to the rhythm of the Cuban (and other) beat. I definitely recommend it to anyone who likes the nightclub scene.

Well this year we didn't do any tours/excursions, but I'd still recommend the Jungle Tour that we did last year. One thing we did this year was Tandem Parasailing. What a blast! I highly recommend this. If you talk to Amigo (Carlos Amigo), tell him Geoff from Ontario says Hola and how is the beer mug! The parasailing consists of being harnessed in with a Pilot (not sure what you call the person controlling the chute) while you are attached to a boat by a cord http://community.webshots.com/photo/217394520/217400702QZEaeW . You are then pulled up to an altitude of 350 metres and then at a certain point you and your tandem guide are released from the boat, take a short tour, then glide silently to the beach where you started from. Be sure to take your camera, as the view is breathtaking. http://community.webshots.com/photo/217394520/217405868qLvpvv The Parasailing was $40usd each and it lasted for about 15 minutes. Well worth every penny!
One other thing I did this year was go Scuba Diving. I'm a certified Diver but the Sol Club does offer courses. The Sol Club and The Melia Cayo Guillermo, share the dive centre that is located at the beach near the Melia. If you talk to Dayanis at Sol Club, she'll be able to get you a discount. As previously mentioned, it was too wavy to do more than one excursion, but what I did was great. We dove off a beautiful reef and saw a lot of colourful fish as well as a puffer and a sting wray. The equipment is Mares and is in very good condition. The staff are also good. I'd recommend at least one dive. One dive through the centre is around $45usd, (less if you book through the Sol Club sales department). I was told that usually you are required to book a minimum of 5 dives.

I mentioned it last year and have to again this year, the staff are absolutely wonderful. Our North-American resort could learn a few things about hospitality from this staff. This time I'm going to elaborate more.

First of all I have to say, thank you so very much to Dayanis, Gretel, Yulima, Mykel, Marilyn, Orisbel, Yudy, Juan Alberto, Iray, Hector and Carlos (our favourite Beach Bartenders), Marlon, and so many more!!! Without a doubt they continually make our stay the best we can have. This year I had the pleasure of vacationing during my Birthday. If you ever have a chance to vacation during your birthday, spend it at the Sol Club Cayo Guillermo! Mine had to be the best birthday I've had since I was a child! I have to again thank Gretel who with the help of my wife made it a very special and memorable birthday. I was treated to a special table with a beautiful flower arrangement at the Beach Restaurant which we happened to book for that evening. After dinner I was presented with a marvelous cake that was too big for just the 2 of us to share. After dinner we took in the nightly show, and then went back to the room to change for the Disco. As if the evening couldn't get better, a knock at the patio door gave way to the House Salsa Band (Cuba Sun) serenading me with a Spanish version of Happy Birthday as well as one other tune. Now this was very special, since the band had to leave for their 1 1/2 hour bus ride home. A Cuban tradition is to celebrate your birthday at Midnight on the eve of your birth. We were apologized to because the band had to leave at 11 and wouldn't be able to serenade me at Midnight. Definitely no apology was needed! What a perfect thing to happen for my Birthday! One I'll not soon forget! Thank you so very much from the bottom of my heart! I thought it would be very difficult to top last year, but this trip certainly did.

For anyone thinking of going to this resort, please feel free to email me with any questions. gef_m@hotmail.com



Sol Cayo Guillermo GefM October-03 Muskoka

Sol Club Cayo Guillermo

We stayed at the Sol Club Cayo Guillermo (SCCG) from October 19 to the 26th 2003. The weather was next to perfect, with it only raining part of one day at the beginning of the week after which it cleared up and was beautiful. Our stay was without a doubt unforgettably fantastic. While our ages fall between 34 to 42, I was quite surprised with the age range at this resort. There were many young couples, singles as well as a few retirees and only a hand full of small families. Last year we stayed at an amazing 5 star in Varadero and while the food may have been a little better, I had an equally amazing time at the SCCG. This resort is rated a 4 star but in my honest opinion when it comes to the Sol Club's friendly staff I would rate it a 5 star. While many have written a review for this resort I would like to write one as well and for risk of leaving out any details it will be a lengthy one.

Our vacation was catered by Hola Sun and the airline was Air Canada. I would travel via Hola Sun again without hesitation. Our travel agent was Coco Toth (pronounced Soko) at Bravo Travel in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Coco was just terrific, and arranged a fantastic trip for us. She went as far as contacting a Melia resort Manager friend in Cayo Coco who undoubtedly helped make our vacation more memorable. Thank You Coco!
We had to be at the Toronto terminal at 4:30 am for our 7:30 am flight. If you have to catch a flight early in the morning try to have all of your paperwork beforehand. The only snag we ran into was that the Hola Sun person was not in yet and we had to pick up our Tourist card before we could go through into the waiting area for loading. At this time of day there aren't any refreshment stands open, so be sure to bring your coffee with you. As for the flight itself it was perfect. The view from the airplane was amazing as we passed over Nassau. We landed and were through Cuban customs in about 10 minutes. The new Cayo Coco airport is beautiful, bright and clean. The Hola Sun Rep met us and told us some information about the island on the way to the resorts. The trip to the resort was around 45 minutes on a nicely air conditioned Mercedes bus.

Check in was a breeze. Having your check in form done before hand (given to you on the bus) certainly helps to speed things up. Once you're through the small bit of paperwork you are handed a map, your room keycard and then shuttled to your room. The check in staff are very pleasant to talk with and very accommodating as well.

We had one of the ocean view rooms (904) which I highly recommend. This particular room is more like an ocean front room. It is in one of the single story buildings and is very private with a short walk to the beach. The room is beautiful, not large but still roomy with a high ceiling. It consists of 2, 3/4 beds, 2 night tables, a 3-drawer long table wall table, small cabinet that housed the mini fridge and the television and a table with 2 chairs. The 3-piece bath off the entrance was roomy and nicely decorated. It had the typical small bottles of shampoo/shower gels as well as a couple small bars of hand soap. My wife really loved the hairdryer that is mounted to the wall, in a plastic box in the sink area. It can be used as a hand dryer while in it's box or pulled out of the box and used as a standard hair dyer.
The room is decorated with colourful paints as well as a few murals. As you enter the unit, opposite the bathroom, is the closet, which had a small 3-drawer cabinet, hangers as well as the wall-mounted safe. Attached to the outside closet wall is a cute stick structure that provides a horizontal platform raised off the floor, which we placed our suitcases on and under. There was also an upright part to this structure that worked well for hanging towels and other stuff on. The floor is tiled throughout, including the terrace, which has another small table and 2 chairs. This was a perfect spot to sit in the late evening and enjoy a drink and the wonderful ocean breeze. I surprisingly found the mattresses as comfortable as mine at home. In fact I found them softer than the ones at the 5 star resort we stayed at last year. I must mention that at this resort I didn't need a converter to use my electric razor, but you would outside the bathroom

Quite simply they are beautiful! Very well kept with a large variety of flowering plants and trees. Coconut palms, hibiscus and bougainvilleas (I believe) were the main flora here although there were many other varieties to be seen. At the entrance in the centre of the circular driveway is a beautiful, lush garden that contains a wonderful sculpture that resembles a prow of a ship with a figurehead. There are 2 other sculptures done with wonderful detail around this resort that are life-size and are of a man and woman embraced. One of which is in a small garden area with a couple of benches and colourfully painted arbors with beautiful flowering bushes climbing the arbors. As you enter the resort there is a stunning central colourful mosaic fountain. This open area with high a vaulted ceiling and tiled floor houses the reception, 3 small gift shops, as well as some wicker seats and tables Off the reception desk is a small room with 2 computers for the internet ($3 for 1/2 hour or $5 per hour). Beautiful murals also decorate much of this main area. I continue to be amazed by the talent and attention to detail that I have found at the Cuban resorts. Not only are the murals very well painted but in some cases the paintings give the appearance of 3D. The A La Carte restaurant has paintings that depict columns and is done by different use of colours and shading. For those who want to play tennis there are 2 very nice tennis courts just past the main bar and the reception. In the same area is the shooting/archery area as well as a soccer and games field. Just past the tennis courts is the bridge going to the ¡®island' disco.
The pool is just outside the entrance area and has 3 bay areas and is very nice and refreshing. While we didn't spend a lot of time at the pool we found it refreshing to finish our day there from being at the beach. There are a couple of bridges that pass over the pool. One that divides the shallow kids area and the second that divides off the area that is used for volleyball and other activities. The pool does not really have a deep end but rather has varying depths never too deep to be over your head. Located around the pool are a few cabanas with padded loungers. Between 2 of the cabanas is the hot tub which is drained every night. Nearby is the sauna and fitness room and there is always music playing. On the right hand end of the property by the beach is the nautical centre where the kayaks and catamarans can be found as well as the scuba centre. Unfortunately I never looked into the scuba diving and can't really comment on it. More centrally located by the beach are different beach bars. The Ranchon ¡®El Vigio' is a large open bar and grill and the ¡®El Cubanito' is the typical beach bar with a grill set up for lunch. Nearby the ¡®El Vigio' is an area for shuffleboard and volleyball as well as a few hammocks. A small distance away from the ¡®El Cubanito' is a gazebo and a few more hammocks. The whole resort is very well kept and the gardeners work very hard to make sure it is. They deserve a lot of praise.

This is where we spent most of our days and for good reason. It is breath taking! It is not a very deep beach especially at high tide but it is absolutely beautiful with the tourquois water glistening in the sun. For those of you who like to walk there is plenty of length to do so, as well for anyone who likes to wade into the water this is the resort for it. When the tide is out you can walk out for a fair distance before it deepens. If you walk to the left (facing the ocean) there aren't any resorts beyond and you can walk for miles along the beautiful white sand. Be forewarned that a short distance down is an outcrop of lava rock and then past is another beautiful beach, which then comes to more lava. So be sure to take your sandals if you want to walk for a few hours. We walked to the second outcrop of lava rock and then turned back. I didn't bring my sandals and I didn't think my feet could stand any more punishment. We later learned that we were just around the bend from Playa Pilar. Walking to the right from the resort is another great stretch of beach that will take you past the Melia Cayo Guillermo, Iberostar Daiquiri and the Cojimar.

RESTAURANTS My worries about going to this 4 star rated resort was that the food would not be that good. I was pleasantly surprised by the quality and quantity of the food from our first dinner. Do keep in mind that Cuba isn't the place to go for gourmet food. I found everything prepared well, and very tasty. Before we went on our first trip to Cuba last year we were warned that the beef would be chewy. I have yet to find that even at this 4 star resort.

The El Eden (buffet)
Located off the pool, it is set up with the buffet in the centre under a beautiful 4 columned area. There are 3 different grills along the far wall for preparing beef, pork, fish, chicken, etc., just the way you like it. Also there's a large table for breads, buns etc. The tables are scattered around the room with some looking onto the pool area. There are different stations of prepared dishes of pork, beef, fish, chicken, and even mussels, crab, shrimp, pasta, paella and pizza as well as a desert station and salad bar. The Ice cream and flambð— bananas are a must. I personally think that there is something for everyone.

The El Cubanito (beach bar and grill)
We enjoyed many of our lunches here as well as many mojitos! A barbeque is set up to grill pork chops, whole fish, and very tasty hamburgers. I personally enjoyed the pork chops the best.

The Ranchon El Vigio (beach restaurant and bar)
Unfortunately this was under renovation and I can't comment on it. It looked like it would be a very nice spot to enjoy the food and the ocean breeze.

The Tocororo (main bar)
This is located off the entrance and attached to the entertainment area. While this is more of a bar it is very roomy and is open 24 hours serving grilled sandwiches. The sandwiches are prepared the way that we would prepare grilled cheese, but you can add meats and vegetables and are made to order. The bar has a good selection of drinks. For $5usd you can purchase a few more expensive scotches, whiskies, brandies, and cognacs. I personally was fine with the inclusive selection. They also have very good espresso and cappuccino.

The Don Guillermo (A la carte)
This is a very quaint restaurant with very good food. Dishes consist of: beef fillet, beef ragout, cod, grouper, chicken as well as some wonderful appetizers and deserts. It is a very romantic setting with a high vaulted ceiling colourfully painted and decorated with hand painted columns. I very much enjoyed the beef fillet as well as the grouper. The waiters go out of their way to make evening perfect. Lobster is also available at $15 to $20usd extra

10 o'clock nightly show
While we didn't take in every show, the ones we did were performed beautifully. The entertainment staff work very hard and it shows. They are very talented and are a pleasure to watch.
We actually only went here once but the music was a good mix.

We only did the Jungle Tour and really enjoyed it. For $39usd you take a 40-horse power, 2 person speedboat through the mangroves and snorkel in a small 120-meter long by 2-3 meter deep channel. While there is a bit of a current as you swim upstream there is a rope that you can grab onto to pull yourself along. Fish including: barracuda, parrot fish, star fish, puffer, lobster and even a small nurse shark can be see along here. Other excursions included: Trip to Moron $30, Colonial Trinidad $60, Jeep Safari $69, Catamaran $69, Playa Pilar $49

I really felt I needed to add this to my review. The resort was certainly wonderful but it was definitely the staff that made it more so. I would personally like to thank Dayanis (manager), Yulima, Ariel and Daniel (reception), Juan Alberto (Don Guillermo restaurant), Iray (our wonderful maid), Ana (a super bartender and friendly person), and also Hector and Hermes (beach bartenders). It is because of these people that we'll return to this resort again and again.

If you want cigars, there is a limited supply here, but you can go to the Melia Cayo Guillermo where they have an LCDH with a walk-in humidor. Be sure to take your passport with you if you are buying a full box. It will be needed to write your passport number on the new official receipt. You will need the receipt at customs when you leave. Most of the resorts had the same items (shirts, post cards, etc) for sale.


Sol Cayo Guillermo LauraT Toronto

Sol Cayo Guillermo - April 2005

We booked our trip through Sunquest Vacations for 29 March - 5 April 2005. Our flights on Skyservice were smooth and uneventful. The travel agent called late in the afternoon of the day before our trip to say that, due to resort overbooking, we would be bumped to Melia Cayo Coco for the first two nights of our vacation. We were not thrilled about this but decided not to let it ruin our vacation. After two nights at the Melia, I was very glad to arrive at SCG. And I must say, I much prefer it to the Melia, even though it is not rated as highly as that resort. It is much livelier and certainly a lot easier to navigate and the food is much better.

The layout of Sol is very nice, everything is within easy walking distance of the centrally located lobby and pool. The grounds are the prettiest I have seen in many Caribbean vacations, with stunning flowers and many little seating areas with statues and ornate benches.

I was in room 401, an oceanview room with easy access to the beach, and my friend was given room 402 right next door to me. The only negative aspect of the room was the number of small ants present. We asked that our rooms be sprayed on a number of occasions, but on the ground floor so close to the beach, it's difficult to keep the insects from coming in. If you want an oceanview room, I would suggest asking to be situated on the second level. A couple we had met were kind enough to lend us their can of Raid bug spray and we were able to get rid of most of the ants that way. Other than the ants, I saw just one spider in the room and one of the insects that are usually found in palm trees. There were some cute little geckos running around outside the room but none of them found their way in.

What can I say about the beach? The green water was absolutely gorgeous and is surprisingly shallow for about 400 metres, allowing one to walk out quite far from the shoreline in water that only reaches one's knees. The beach is rather narrow and gets more so in the afternoon with the rising tide. Having walked down past the Melia and Iberostar, I have to say that Sol CG has the best stretch of beach of all the resorts on CG.

The food was good. Although we were told that we could eat at the a la carte restaurants for 4 dinners (rather than the usual 2) because of the overbooking of the resort, we were only able to get reservations for one night in each of the Cuban and International restaurants. They were both very good, with tremendous service. The buffet had enough choices to keep us happy - for breakfast we enjoyed the french toast, pancakes and omelettes made to order. The best item for lunch at the buffet was the pasta station, where you chose the pasta you wanted (penne, spaghetti, macaroni or rotini), then chose from a number of toppings including tomatoes, mushrooms, bacon, peppers, etc. and three types of sauce -- delicious! Lunch is also available at the beach grill, where you can choose items from their menu or from the small buffet. For dessert after dinner at the buffet, don't miss the bananas foster - they are absolutely wonderful, as is the delightful lady who cooks them.

Overall, I enjoyed Sol CG very much and found it preferable to the 5* Melia Cayo Coco due to its intimate size, lovely grounds, personalized service and stunning views.