More about Club Amigo Mayanabo
Excellent Value for your Money
My Husband and I loved Club Amigo Mayanabo, we were there for a week, April 16th, for a 3.5 star hotel in Cuba it was more than we expected. We usually stay at 4 stars, but got such a good deal decided to take a chance on the 3.5 star, of course the amenities weren't that of the 4 stars. The variety of food wasn't as good but always found something to eat. My husband is a rum and cola and beer guy so drinks were great for him, but I'm more a fancy drink person, and they were lacking in those so I drank mostly pina coladas.The staff were very pleasant, the place was spotlessly clean, lobby, pool, and pool bar area were just done over. Rooms were small and old but as I said very clean. Our only disappointment, we requested a second floor room thinking we would get a balcony, but although the first floor rooms have patios, the second floor have no balconies. The beach was beautiful, and the bar out on the pier at the beach was great. What we liked most being a smaller hotel even though the place was booked up there were no crowds (except maybe once and awhile at the pool bar, bring big glasses). If you are looking for all the extras, all night bars and restaurants, discos, lots of choice of restaurants and bars then stick to the 4 stars, but if you are looking for a quiet place to relax and enjoy the sun and beach this place is for you. I would go back in a minute.
Mayanabo Exceeds Expectations
Let me begin by saying that by my rating of excellence I don't mean to compare Mayanabo with a five star experience. Mayanabo far exceeded my expectations. We each paid what works out to be roughly $105.00/day Cdn. for air, hotel, food and drinks. We were tickled!
Having stayed at numerous all-inclusive resorts over the years we wouldn't have gone below a four star rating. (based on advise of travel agent) After reading the reviews, we were convinced and have no regrets. Mayanabo was superior or equal to all in many regards.
Food was great (I like seafood, veggies and fruit)and usually included something fresh on the grill to complement the buffet. Deserts were adequate. (even included ice cream sometimes) Drinks were nothing fancy, but contained plenty of booze. Bring a large thermal mug. This will save you some trips to the busy bar.
The room was small but clean and secure. We had a beautiful view of the turquoise ocean and opening the window made our room allot bigger. The beds were comfy and ear plugs helped filter out the noise from the halls and other rooms. Hot water a plenty in the afternoon. I think it's solar heated. I showered in the morning as well and it was sporadic, but never really cold.
The entertainment was standard fare various comedy skits etc. What was really impressive was the house band. Very professional. Very talented. They even serenade you while you dine. If you expect a different show every night and a different band every night or if you expect the band to perform North American tunes, you will be disappointed. You may want to plan on entertaining yourselves at least part of the time.
Note. Bring tea candles and a penlight in case of power outage. (typical in the Caribbean)
Locals appreciate gifts that may not be available to them; School supplies, nylons, candles, etc.
The beach was nice. (always chairs and pallapas available) The water was clear and warm. Not a drop of rain. My wife and I will probably return next year. Hard to pass up.
Great value - awesome experience
I am back one day from Club Amigo Mayanabo and wish I were still there. Most of the reviews I read before I went away were of great value to me and I promised I would write one when I got back as well.
I would give this hotel 5 stars instead of my rated 4, but I travel often and I am picky, although I cannot come up with anything specifically wrong with this place, or the whole trip for that matter.
The flight over was fine. The boxed lunch on the plane - well - what can ya do?
We got to the hotel late and while there were no leis or drinks to greet us, we were told we could scoot to the dining area for some food before they closed at 10pm. The dining area is clean, staff are friendly and there when you need them. My room was in building 1 and it was quiet, clean and I did not see ONE single bug the whole time I was there. The Chamber Maids were great and love when you leave them little things for their service.
I travelled alone as I sometimes do and was not alone at this resort unless I wanted to be. As a single blonde blue eyed traveller with a teeny bit of Spanish I fared out just fine!
The pool tiles were very slippery when wet - be careful!
Do bring a travel mug to keep your drinks cold. The cups are very small but u can get a drink relatively quickly at the pool bar. No swim up bar though.
Osmany - the pool guy - gotta love him - hard worker dawn till dusk.
The beach was not as nice as Veradero but beautiful all the same - windy though - never gets too hot. The colours of the ocean will take your breath away. The guy setting up the beach chairs on the beach was a hoot too! There everyday!
DO go horseback riding on the beach for $5/hour. One of my best days. You go on a restricted beach and see all the washed up conch shells.
DO go to Cocoa Beach and have the lobster for $25. You go on a tourist train and it takes some time down a dirt road but worth the wait. Lobster was huge and best I ever had.
DO go to the town across the street. Wow, we are spoiled here at home. Bring some trinkets for the kids.
DO experience the Rumbos club next door. Gathering place for the locals and we learn quickly that Canadians cannot dance!
The locals are friendly - I alwats felt safe and they would give you all they had, which is very little.
DO get a safe deposit box key for your room, peace of mind. $1/day.
DO make sure you save $25 at the end to get out of the country.
DO NOT bring US $ - bring Canadian and change it over there - airport or hotel.
There is not always hot water in the rooms. Be prepared.
Food was fine. Pasta Bar great but a wait at times and there was some budding. Again, what can ya do?
DO try the fish there. Great.
Eggs were great at the omelet bar area. Ice cream was to die for.
The entertainment - I am not one for the night shows but other enjoyed them. You do have to go off the resort for the discos - 3 to choose from. The Jungle was fun at Club Santa Lucia. $5 gets you in - all you can drink. The night life at Mayanabo consists of a piano bar - small.
DO take a horse and buggy through Santa Lucia. Very relaxing.
The weather was terrific. Give it a chance in the morning - can start out cloudy but it burns off by about noon.
I hated to leave - wait at the airport was not long... and the staff on West Jet were great. Another boxed lunch but hey! All in all a great trip and I would go back in a second! Love the Cuban people.
You may be weary as I was that this place is a 3 star - DON'T BE! Go with the flow and enjoy the people at the resort that go back over and over again, some are there for a month at a time! That has to say something!
had a great time, spent 4 weeks at mayanabo a single traveller. white sand beach, huge pool, food ok, hookers ok too very cheap, great place too relax or go crazy will return hopefully for a longer time 4 weeks not enough.
It was a girls week away at mayanabo and we had a great time. The entertainers were great, the local discos awesome and we met some really great people that we hope to keep in touch with. Hey Eric(Montreal) if you every read this hope you had a great time. The bartenders and their rum were awesome. The food was good but in Cuba you cannot expect western food . It was good though but plain like everywhere else in Cuba. Fish was awesome. Pool was very clean and big. The beach was beautiful and the hammocks great on the beach bar. Santa Lucia was very close by and the cab ride very cheap. We went with a local up to death point(called that because of the tortoises that die there) to snorkel and it was very beautiful. Our rooms were very clean and the grounds spotless. Being without our husbands in a strange country, we felt very safe at all times. We would walk to the discos without a concern of being bothered. We want to thank all the people at Mayanabo for our time there. We miss you all!!
TRUST ME, READ THIS ENTIRE REVIEW...
First of all, if you're planning a trip to Cuba, you're not going for the food (I hope). Secondly, Cuba is awesome for its natural beauty, the people, the music and the rum... IF YOU'RE LOOKING AT MAYANABO FOR ANY OF THESE, YOU WON'T FIND IT! The hotel is pretty isolated, except for two 'discos' which are crawling with "working girls". The food on the other hand was fantastic for cuban standards. I've travelled throughout Cuba and this was the first time I didn't go hungry, or running to the bathroom. Be sure to have dinner at the restaurant on the water at the back of Grand Club, they will personally climb into the holding tank and pick out your lobster. The entertainment staff was the worst and laziest I've ever seen. Two out of about fifteen were nice and friendly, the rest took more smoke breaks than worked, didn't smile and didn't care one way or another about anything. The worst thing about the hotel was there was only one bar....ok, well one way out on the beach (which is full of rocks and sea grass), but the main bar always had a 15-20 minute line up with only 1 bartender. At night, there would be a second bartender, but you still had to wait, even for a juice or water, forget the rum. The piano bar (which is open 11pm-12:45am) smelled like vomit for the entire two weeks we were there. Also, heaven forbid if you are near the maid's supply room because you will hear (very loud) spanish gossip from 7am onwards. And I hope you never have to ask the front desk anything, because you will be treated like a pain in the -well, you know.
Please don't let this review scare you away from Cuba. If you are lucky enough to get this hotel at a very, very low price (that's all its worth, we paid less than $500 a week, thanks to Jill at the Flight Centre, Erin Mills), book it anyway, but get off the resort and see Cuba for what it really is; an amazing, beautiful and safe country with incredible landscapes, and charming and gracious people!! Don't be afraid to rent a car and hire a driver-you will forever be greatful for the experience!
Great food , also loved the area and will return some day.
The rooms are very clean, but are older. My daughter and friend had a great time , and we all enjoyed the local pride. If you enjoy snorkelling then do try this area.
I went to Club Amigo this December (Dec. 2004) with my fiance, for a week.
I promised myself to write a review of this place when I got back, so here it is:
The pool is big, but shallow (maximum 1.6 m), and it has a volleyball net, and waterpolo nets (in the afternoon). The water is very clean.
The beach is fantastic, the sand is white, and the water is aqua (very light blue). There are pieces of wood on the beach which make it a little annoying to walk on. But other than that it's great.
The food was better than I expected. It's not overly delicious but it's well done. The grill is good, and they also make great pasta at night. The deserts are amazing.
The Entertainment staff is very talented. Their Chirstmas Eve show was superb (They had interpretive dance with the Conquest of Paradise song). I HAD to tape it all! Eduardo is hillarious. The dancers are very friendly.
Very friendly. The staff is very friendly and helpful. I can't believe how I grew to love them. Tip! One dollar for them is 10% of their monthly salary. Also, they really appreciate other things, like soaps, shampoos, lotions, etc etc...
The rooms are average. The water is not always hot. But the room service is great. The maid was very nice and friendly.
Things to know:
-The hotel's voltage is 110V so Canadian's don't worry!
-The plugs support everything! I could use my electronic devices without a converter.
-Make a photocopy of your passport
-Definitely go to the Camaguey tour ($38)
-Definitely go to the Coral Reef tour ($20)
-Visit the little town across the street. You'll appreciate life here more.
-Cuba is very safe (as much as I had experience with)
-It's okay to buy cigars without the blue paper, as long as you open the box and take one cigar out. In other words, you need the paper if you buy a box (25 cigars), but you don't need it if you buy 24 or less.
-There is a restaurant on water in front of Club Santa Lucia resort, lobster for 22$. Great atmosphere
Worth the $
We stayed there for a week in January, and had a great time. The place is from at least the 70's, but a lot of reno's have made the lobby/pool area really nice and new looking. The rooms are old, but kept very clean - no bugs! The food is not bad. After a week I was a little sick of it, but they did try to provide choice and variety.
Overall, I was really impressed and plan to go back. Although its definitely not the Hilton, for the money spent, it is definately worth it.
bicycling and snorkelling
I just returned from Club Amigo on Jan. 14 from a Christmas present trip for my 19 year old daughter. We were mother and daughter travelling alone. We weren't sure what to expect and I was concerned there may not be enough for her to do as we had visited Cancun the previous year but were up for something different. We were pleasanly surprised that even though there were no mopeds, parasailing, jet skis etc. we enjoyed the simplicity of the area.
Rooms: Try and book a room on the main floor if you are a bit claustrophobic. The second floor rooms do not have balconies and the lighting is very poor. They have a small touch light in the rooms and you constantly see the maintenance staff walking around with them as they rarely seem to work and when they do, they are very dim. If you are planning to read at night and don't want to use the bright overhead light, I would suggest bringing a reading light. The main floor rooms have nice little patios and face the ocean and also have seating areas outside the front door. The rooms are small and sparse but clean. TV reception was good and had TBS. We didn't have any problems with hot water but showered later in the day when there was lots of solar heated water. You barely spend any time in the room anyway.
Food: We found the food excellent. There was some mystery meat, but we just steered clear of it. I think my daughter was eating 5 meals a day. At breakfast Santa will cook your eggs any way for you, so we had omelletes, fried egg sandwiches etc. Lunch was a great variety and at dinner there was always a very home cooked selection, (one night roast turkey, roast pork, pork chops - very good and always rice, mashed potatoes and great veges - carrots, beans) bread is great and at dinner there is always great ice cream. We loved the food. I have been to Varadero 5 times and found the food here much better. Not much selection outside the hotel however.
Drinks: The plastic glasses are very small. Everyone seems to have a thermal mug. The wine is only available at dinner. There are no diet drinks. I brought my own and just got rum with ice and added my own mix. You can buy large diet pepsi in the gift store at the hotel. They only use the local Tucola as mix and it is very sweet. This seems typical of Cuba as there were no diet drinks in when I visited Varadero either.
Activities: There is a great little building out of the front of the resort where you can get bicycles (Escander the guy who works there speaks very good English and is very funny) and a massage and spa treatments. My daughter got a $20, four hand massage from Angela and her partner and loved it. We pretty much rode bikes everyday to investigate the area. The small town nearby is interesting to roam around and it is safe to go anywhere. There are a few little kiosks selling food, clothing, housewares (dollar store stuff) at the entrance to the town. There are chickens running around everywhere and in spite of its unpainted, dilapitated appearance, I thought it looked much more put together than what I have seen in Mexico. We visited the school and brought school supplies (crayons, smelly markers, scizzors etc.) and the principal took us to visit a classroom of grade 1 which warmed our hearts. The children were all waving and saying "hola" as I was allowed to video them. There is not much else to do unless you take side trips and the snorkelling trip we booked was cancelled due to high winds. It was quite windy each day. We snorkelled just outside the hotel and there is not much to see but more than we see in our lakes in Canada. My daughter found a star fish and conch shells. The pier at the resort is right out of Robinson Crusoe. It has hammocks and beach chairs and a bar. You should go to Mar Verde, the cultural centre right outside the front of the hotel, at least once. They put on a show each night and the Cubans there are extremely friendly. When Mar Verde closes for the night, you can just walk next door to the other disco. The disco is very small and all open air but can be a lot of fun. Be careful with your money however and keep it close by.
Shopping: I didn't think there was much shopping, but my daughter and friends are all into Che Guevera and there are many T shirts and other items sporting his image so she bought up a lot of that stuff. The one little shopping centre has a small cigar store, souvineer shop, cosmetics store and not much else. They don't seem to take Visa Anywhere. There is an interesting little shop in the Cultural Centre Mar Verde. Some of the hotels have local crafts for sale. Prices are very reasonable. One problem we encountered was with changing money at the front desk. If the Canadian bill has any imperfection or anything written on it, they will not exchange it and then you will have to go to the bank (about a 15 minute bike ride, and don't forget to take your passport) This was a problem as many of the bills I brought had little tiny tears in them, even if they were new bills. Check your money carefully before you go.
Overall: The Cuban people are so friendly you instantly fall in love with them. The Animation group at the hotel make you feel so welcome. We loved Virgin and Elier. We had a great time. I am really glad a took my daughter here, it was a more cultural vacation. Just one more little anecdote in case it happens to someone else. We changed rooms the first day from a second floor room to the main floor to have a patio and I must have left my return flight ticket in the first room. On the day we were leaving I could not find it. So, if this happens to you, don't panic. Alex, the tour rep, replaced the tickets and the fee was only $35.00 per person.