Ole Villa Marinera
- What's Included
- All Inclusive Features
Our OpinionPlease note that hotel standards in Cuba tend to be lower than in other Sun Destinations. Unless travelers are familiar with the resort or Cuban hotels, we typically recommend that travelers book a minimum 4 star resort when traveling to Cuba.
Here are some notes on my first visit to Cuba and the island of Cayo Largo specifically. 1) It is not Cuba mainland - this is a small island that inhabits tourists and no one else save the workers that rotate to the island for work. Don't expect anything more, except beautiful weather, incredible beaches and a very laid back attitude.2) Like mainland Cuba, you don't go for the food. It is edible, always available and you will not starve. If you don't mind chicken, fish, shrimp or rice, you'll get by. Made to order eggs for breakfast were delicious, hot and readily available. Same goes for pasta at dinner and pizza on occasion. The Ranchon a la carte restaurant offered amazing sea views, open air and a slightly different menu - though be prepared for substitutes. Service in all restaurants was efficient and accommodating. 3) Rooms: I booked Best Deal and was pleasantly surprised to find myself in a centrally located garden view bungalow. I was on the 2nd floor with a wrap-around porch that offered distant views of the ocean. It was clean, well kept and had A/C to keep things cool. My bungalow (3400's) was close to the main lobby, the pool & theatre, and on the west walkway that lead to the public beach. Others I knew booked Best Deal and were placed in the main hotel, with 2nd floor views of the resort and ocean. The staff was very accommodating to those who had issues with their rooms and would move you if necessary. While I was there, the hotel seemed under booked. Note, however, that the IPB also maintains an off-site space, the Villa Marinera and if you don't read the fine print while booking, you may find yourself in-town instead of at the main resort 10km away. This small hotel is quaint, right in town and offers everything within walking distance of the marina which is convenient, but solitary if you were expecting the main resort. Free shuttles were included to the main hotel daily if you wanted to utilize the services there. My only complaints with the room I received - I needed to ask for my complimentary (daily) bottle of water the first couple of days, and I had toilet issues that required maintenance 3x during my stay. Nothing major, just slightly annoying.4) The Beaches. There was no beach in front of the IPB. It's gone thanks to a shift in the island winds. The closest beach was a 10 minute walk to the West in front of other properties. As all Cuban beaches are public, there was no problem staying, palapas and chairs were available for use. The beach bar was included with the price and if you could find it, you could have a drink on the beach (like the beaches, the bar shifts with the tides). Those with limited mobility, however, would likely want to stay by the pool. This beach had a fair bit of nudity, some pretty big waves, but its warm sand and generous sunshine made up for it. If you wanted a calmer beach, the free daily shuttles to Playa Sirena were well worth it. The IPB offered 3 morning shuttles that would take you in-town to the marina where you catch a boat to the beach. Early birds get the best palapas, those arriving later will have to settle for a palm tree further back from the beach. You paid 2 CUC for a lounge chair and it was yours for as long as you stayed. Playa Sirena also offered a paid bar and restaurant. Beach activities included paddle boats, kayaks, volleyball and paddle ball. The beach here was calm most of the time. Walk 20 minutes to the west and you'd find starfish, walk 30 minutes to the east and you'd find Playa Paraiso - an unbelievable stretch of white sand beaches, turquoise water, and sand bars. Limited palapas were available here, but it is absolutely worth the walk.5) Excursions. If, like me, you like to keep busy, excursions are available on the island from the hotel. You can rent a moped, an ATV or small jeep from the hotel and explore the island (from about $25 CUC and up for 4 hours). Off island excursions include a half-day trimaran snorkeling trip ($79 CUC), a full day catamaran snorkeling trip ($89 CUC) and a afternoon sunset catamaran snorkeling trip ($79 CUC). The catamaran trips included a delicious lobster meal (chicken is available if you ask) and there was a bathroom on-board. You can also wander Cayo Largo via various dirt roads - walk to the east to find hidden beaches and island flora and fauna. Remember to bring water though, it's hot and there is little shade to offer protection from the sun.6) Hotel grounds. They were a little dated, but neat. I am not the type to draw attention to the negatives like some reviewers - when I'm on holiday, I focus on the things I enjoy and the IPB had plenty to offer. Its pools were salt water, cool and refreshing, there was always a palapa and chair to be had. The bar was close by, the area kept clean and its location central to all rooms. The shows at night started at 10pm and were better suited to an adult crowd, rather than kids. The lobby was open air and offered bar service. If you wanted to disco - a free shuttle took you in-town to El Pueblo every other night to party with other hotel guests and off-the-clock workers. You could also use the hotel's small fitness centre, book a massage or spa treatment (manicures / pedicures) and partake in the daily pool activities with the animation team. There was never a dull moment unless you wanted one.7) Tips to remember. Bug spray is necessary if you visit the a la carte after 7pm - they come out at dusk and will eat you alive. They were also bad at the seating in the front entrance of the lobby, though the back of the lobby seemed better. Sunscreen is a must have - bring lots and use it to avoid burning. It's expensive at the hotel if you need to buy more. Tipping - will get you more smiles and usually better service. Bring CDN bills or exchange them to CUC at the lobby desk - they always had smaller tender if you asked. Gifts for the room attendants went a long way and guaranteed decorative towel art. In summary, I had a fabulous time. Met fun people, interacted more here than I usually do when staying at larger resorts and would definitely recommend it to travellers looking for a beach getaway. A vacation is what you make of it - the staff here are welcoming, accommodating and hard working. The hotel offers everything you need and, while not luxurious, it was easy enough to adapt to provided you settled with island basics, island attitudes and can learn to move to island time.
Just got back from Playa Blanca. Visited for a week (April 8-15). There were 3 of us, each with a single room (in the main building). Overall, you get what you pay for. We didn't expect too much in terms of food & accommodation. We each had an issue with our respective rooms. One had to be moved to a bungalow on a first night, another had issue with flushing toilet (fixed) and I had issue with leaking AC (fixed).Rooms are spacious but somewhat run down. Service was good and staff helpful. Food was exactly what I expected if not worse. I didn't stay hungry but I wasn't looking forward to a meal by any chance. You also had to adjust your taste buds when it comes to 'salty' coffee :). It is a tiny island and it is to be expected not to have drinking water readily available for everything.Hotel beach is a bit of a walk from the main building, about 10 min max (depending on which part of the beach you go to). First day was amazing and almost no waves (but they were there pretty much constantly). The most of our beach time was spent on Playa Sirena and Playa Paraiso. The last day of our stay we decided to spend back on the hotel beach and we couldn't believe it. The beach was half gone in the 4 days we weren't there. The waves have done a real number on it. I am hoping it will be restored to its previous state soon!As for the other beaches, Playa Sirena and Playa Paraiso, you just simply have to go!There are free buses running from the hotel to the Marina (little village a short ride from hotel) and then short catamaran ride to the Sirena beach. I was worried it would take long but it took no time if you take the early bus (8:45). It is all free.Ultimately you can take a cab (order one at the front desk) or rent a scooter or ATV. We took cabs few times coming back to the resort - 2 CP per person if 3 people or more in the cabSirena beach has chairs, umbrellas, bar/restaurant, washroom facilities, beach volleyball, kayak rentals etc. Playa Paraiso has a small shack/bar with some umbrellas and lots of beach chairs. We spent first part of the day at the Sirena - moving to the restaurant when sun was the strongest and playing cards & sipping on a beer. In the late afternoon we would take a walk to Playa Paraiso and spend the rest of the day there. Sunset can be quite beautiful if you wait for it. We would normally order a taxi while at the Sirena beach for a pick up at Playa Paraiso (just talk to any of the guys at the restaurant to get in touch with taxi driver). It worked perfectly. There are always cabs circulating between resorts and those two beaches.We would pack a few sandwiches in the morning to get us through the day (along with some snacks we brought from Canada - nuts & granola bars). It would definitely tie us over until the dinner. We did maximize our time at the beach(es) as they are normally the most beautiful in the late afternoon & evening.The day before last we walked from Sirena back to the resort - all along the beach. It was recommended by someone on this site and I highly recommend it too. It took us about 2.5 hrs with two stops for a swim. You will end up walking on the beaches of the rest of the resorts on the island. They are all situated in a relatively short strip along the shore. For people staying in other resorts, this walk will be quite shorter as Playa Blanca is the last in line as you walk from Sirena/Paraiso.Be aware (if you are not already) that there are many people enjoying naturism or nudism along those beaches (but haven't seen any actually at the Sirena beach.Playa Blanca beach is about 50/50 if not more nudists....We had great, sunny weather, enjoyed all the beaches and the water! People at the resort were nice and helpful. The resort has some really nice features - the a la carte restaurant has amazing view, a terrace overlooking the water is there for anyone to enjoy at any time of the day. We didn't spend any time at the pool so no comments there.It was only my second time in Cuba and in a resort overall so not much to compare to. I don't normally go to resorts for vacation but I would consider to come back to Cayo Largo as the beaches are not overrun with people and you can always find a quiet spot.
The ONLY reason I don't rate this place as a 5 star is because their is ZERO beach. You have quite a journey to walk to "their" beach. My only real complaint has ZERO to do with this hotel, but rather my beef is with the poor Air Transit on site service.. so I wont go there... Although Alexis at the front desk is need of a reality check when it comes to customer service.. This hotel has really stepped up their performance when it comes to food... these guys do a very good job in providing quality food.. On 5 of my 7 days, their menu was very comparable to that of a 4 star in Toronto.. the other two days was so-so ... They have excelled in the baking and pastry section .. The room maid was absolutely fantastic.. she couldn't do enough for us, and checked up on us every other day to make sure we had everything we needed or wanted...(we were in rm 416).. she even showed us how to fix the toilet by hitting the tank.. kinda funny actually...Grounds were immaculate, and I loved how the Iguanas came into the open air snack bar looking for treats from the patrons. Leydiana in the main lobby bar did a fantastic job in servicing all the thirsty guests. This place was an absolute joy for total relaxation and an absolute best bang for the buck.
Playa Blanca is simply a great resort when you know what you are getting. We go yearly and rent a bungalow. It is quite and if you want to rest before 'showtime', you won't hear the clarinet player playing in the lobby (rooms are in the main building). The staff is wonderful, Eduardo and his crew. The food is quite good. We have friends who bring their Nutella, maple syrup, and peanut butter to up grade their experience but there is an omelette cook:) The Christmas meal was unreal and the wine was great. The coffee in the dining room is not great but the lobby coffee bar makes the best cafe con leche, Diayna is the sweetest! The beach is mind blowing and even days when the tide is high, there is a short walk to take but there is always a strip of beach to play in the waves. The water is turquoise and the waves are mighty but may be dangerous at times. Always make sure there is a buddy system. There is a life guard present at the beach at all times and he takes his job very seriously. Borris at the beach bar is amazing and has a great smile. You can also rent a vehicle or take the the free shuttle to visit Playa sirenas and pardiso...everything has a price there so outings can get expensive unless you bring ziplock bags or Tupperware for snacks from the hotel buffet.It was great:)
We travel to Playa Blanca the week of March 18.Check in was a breeze, only a couple of minutes thanks to Mayrim on the front desk and to Carlos the bellboy.We stayed in a bungalow - great view and the air conditioner was cold and very quiet.New beds are very comfortable.Francesca our chambermaid did a great - job lots of towel art. Floor was washed every day and our room always smelledclean and fresh.To our friend Dianelys, thank you for looking after everything for us. You help make our trip the best ever.Dianelys is fluent in English and a delight to talk to.Ranchon lunch and a la cartes were very good not to mention one of the best views of the ocean we have seen.Thanks to Martin and Osmani.We have seen a lot of changes since our last visit - new air conditioning units for the whole resort and new beds .The beach comes and goes in front of the resort but just a short walk in front of the 5 star section there is lots of beach anda beach bar. Sirena beach is amazing lots of starfish we seen over 20.
Vacations packages include round-trip flights, accommodations, round-trip transfers (unless outlined below) to and from the hotel, and tourist cards (if required, unless outlined below).
If selecting an all-inclusive resort option, the package will also include the all-inclusive features as outlined by each resort.
Items not included:
- Travel insurance (mandatory if traveling to Cuba)
- Tourist cards ($10USD)if traveling to Dominican Republic with Sunwing Airlines
- Departure taxes ($20USD) if traveling to Dominican Republic with Sunwing or Signarture Vacations
- Hotel transfers for packages with WestJet to USA (with exception to Honolulu)
- Hotel transfers for packages to Europe
- Items of a personal nature
- Buffet restaurant
- A la carte dinner restaurant (reservations required)
- Selection of national drinks
- Free shuttle service to Sirena Beach
- Games room
- Guests can enjoy services from Hotel Playa Blanca
- Daily round trip tansfers to Hotel Playa Blanca
- Daily boat transfer to Sirena beach
- One gala dinner by the pool at Villa Marinera
- Night time round trip transfers to Hotel Playa Blanca to enjoy the shows (twice per week)
- 22 rooms in a wooden cabin style
- 1 Swimming pool
- Lounge chairs
- Beach towels
- 1 Buffet restaurant
- 1 a la carte restaurant
- Access to Hotel Playa Blanca services
- Air conditioned
- Private bathroom
- Safety box
- 200 voltage
Resort Location Map
Ole Villa MarineraCayo Largo,Cuba
- Hotel Contacts
- Extra Info
Cayo Largo del Sur, Cayo Largo 10300 Cuba
Some restaurants may be open for certain meals only and limited visits may apply. Reservations required and dress code in effect for a la carte restaurants. Time restrictions may apply for water sports.
Child pricing may only be available with select tour operators and valid for select dates and durations. Child pricing rules are subject to change without notice. Please contact one of our vacation specialists if you require assistance with child pricing.
Photo identification and/or credit card or cash deposit may be required at check-in for incidental charges.
Extra-person charges may apply and vary depending on hotel policy. Rollaway beds and cribs (infant beds) may be available and should be requested at the time of booking; fees may apply.
Special requests are subject to availability upon check-in. Special requests cannot be guaranteed and may incur additional charges upon check-in to fulfil.
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