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Beautiful resort, but....
The first night we were locked out of our room because of "faulty card keys". At bedtime I was left standing in the hall for a good ten minutes while my son returned to the lobby yet again so we could gain access to our room.
The next day we were locked out again in the morning and again in the afternoon.
The mini fridge had only pop and beer no alcohol.
The shower was horrendous, that huge shower head fell off every time we showered, hitting me an [... read more]d also my son on the top of the foot.
We decided to use one of the drawers and found two syringes inside!!!!!
One day instead of being taken by the "train" directly to our room we were chauffeured around the grounds and I must say I was stunned. The grounds etc were absolutely beautiful. The kids area with the swimming pool and large water animals looked great. I was amazed at how large and gorgeous the property actually was.
We were compensated with two half bottles of Barcelo Bavaro rum and a plate of chocolate which were very nice and totally not expected. So yes, I would recommend Barcelo on the given that all the above problems were resolved.
Gorgeous resort, fantastic staff but disappointing beach
About 45 minutes from the airport including stops at other resorts. Rooms, the large pool, and grounds were beautiful and modern. We had a fantastic ocean view (bungalow 9). Drinks were very good. All restaurants and food was really good albeit somewhat limited at the buffets (but that could have been because of the time of year we went - mid January). Asian restaurant was very entertaining. Shows were ok. All staff were terrific, adorable and very hard working including but not limited to b [... read more]artenders, gardeners, front desk, maids, wait staff, and bus boys. The one very big downfall is the beach. If you are a beach lover its not the place for you (very small and corally). It had a waterfront boardwalk with loungers and beds and stairs into the water, although there was one small area you could enter via the beach, where the water sports hut was. Good beach bar on the boardwalk but no beach grill while we were there. Not sure if the hut we saw on the beach was it and only open during peak season. The resort is within a 20 minute walk on the road to Pilar beach which is gorgeous and has a really good grill.
"Roulette" option took us to the Grand Bahia Principe Cayacoa. They definitely look after the grounds and main part of the resort here. There was always someone buffing floors, wiping woodwork, grooming grounds, pressure washing and there was lots of soapy suds in the buckets when cleaning rooms.
We had a large room with high ceilings and it seems that most rooms here have a good view. Either ocean, lagoon, or "city" view. The views are gorgeous all around this resort!
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There was a medium variety of food offerings at the buffet. It was well seasoned and the majority was good. There was less "mystery" dishes that at previous resorts we stayed at. The mini fridge was re-stocked daily and the drinks at the bar were good. Its been a long time at this price point that the drinks were good.
The pool. Smaller that other resorts, but it didn't crowd up early. The water was a bit cold though. There was never a shortage of pool towels to exchange and the pool lounges were comfortable. The beach is small and seemed smaller even than in photos and was not a highlight for me.
The hilly terrain was a negative point for my husband and I am definitely glad we were in the main resort at the top. The "beach" buffet is down on the lower level on a second water inlet and it desperately needs a new roof. Leaked in in several places when it rained. Can't say much about how the lower villas or pool was maintained as we didn't wander around too much due to the inclined terrain.
Daytime generally was quiet with entertainment staff trying to get guests interested. We never stayed up for night time entertainment but the resort sounded like it had more activity in the evening/night as we could hear the activity from the lobby. (the roof top beyond our balcony had a 3 story palm tree growing up through the lower level, up through the lobby and out the top of the 3rd floor).
Overall out of about 9 all inclusives in the last few years at about $1200-1500 per person, the resort was one of the more clean and well maintained ones although the beach was the smallest.
Better than expected. Can't wait to go back!
The beach is absolutely breathtaking—also very clean. We would go back to Cayo Coco for that reason alone. The service at Melia Jardines del Rey was terrific and everyone was very friendly.The food was as expected. People told us, "You don't go to Cuba for the food." True enough. But silver lining, we didn't gorge or gain weight. A vacation win in my opinion. LOL! My son had some digestive issues during our stay so we were grateful for the doctor on site who fixed him right up.
[... read more] For the price, this resort is excellent and we are already planning to go back again next year.
Home away from home!
Our 4th stay at this exclusive resort. The staff are all genuinely willing to help. The food is fresh and nicely presented. The resort is small so you get to know your neighbors enough to say 'hi'. The one bdrm suite is perfect if you travel with children. Everything you could ever need plus an extra full bathroom! (Laundry facilities on lobby floor too).
We cannot wait to return next year!!!
A big thank you to our super travel specialist Debbie Maguire! Profess [... read more]ional, fast and accessible! #1