My boyfriend and I traveled to Cayo Largo, Cuba in February 2011... Here is our review for the Gran Caribe Playa Blanca resort.
We arrived Friday morning and the line-up for check-in was LONG. Took us a good 40 minutes to get our room. There was someone who came around with juice though, so that was nice!! We wanted to upgrade to an oceanview but were told they had no rooms available so put us in a regular bungalow, which was fine. The only real dissapointment I had with the room was the rust along the tub and the smell of the water.. I happened to bring linon spray so that helped with the smell of the sheets and just kept the window open in the bathroom and that seemed to solve the problem. The rooms were very big and nicely decorated.
Beach - BEAUTIFUL and peaceful! You pretty much lay on the beach and listen to the waves crashing! NO PEOPLE TRYING TO SELL YOU STUFF! The waves are big at the resort, which can be fun if you are cautious! I got taken out by a huge wave that crashed me into the sand and took my sunglassess and headband right off my face. Never saw them again. LOL.. If you are looking for calmer waters you will find it at the twin beaches. They give you free train ride too them (about 15 min from resort). Very nice and calm waters there. Lounge chairs - we had NO problem finding lounge chairs anyday :) !!
Food- AMAZING. We loved the food at this resort. We had fresh omlets every morning... breads are fresh and very good!! The guy cooking the chicken/pork/fish at the pools for lunch is great! The chicken was delicious!! Large selection of food at dinner buffet.. Pasta and pizza delicious.. The a la carts are VERY good. We had the chicken stuffed with cheese at the International dinner and LOVED it!!
Service- So, so.. Some days it was great, and somedays it wasn't.. We felt like because we are young - 23-26, the staff didn't care to service us as good as we saw they did with the "older" crowd or groups of people. There was a few time at breakfast and dinner we would have to find our own cutlery. The bar staff were great! Very friendly and always knew what drink you were coming up for!
Entertainment - Enjoyable. After a couple days the kids show music and singing got pretty annoying. It's ear peircing really... so loud!!
Pools - we didn't sit by them once, so we can't comment on them. They seemed to look clean though.
Area- Beautiful and quiet! Because Cayo Largo is a private island (knowone lives here) it's VERY safe and if you take a bike out or go for a walk, you're very likely to find a private beach all to yourself!
The ground were very clean and well maintained. The excursions are also very nice, especially the yacht trip with snorkelling, highly recommend - AMAZING coral reef here with lots to see!!! We also took out a scooter and did the horseback riding which was also great!! Definetly worth the 7 pesos.
Overall, we had a great week and would recommend this hotel to anyone looking for a peaceful vacation and beautiful beach!!