Hotel Playa Cayo Santa Maria
Cuba Resorts & All-Inclusive Hotels
I must admit, I did not expect to find as many all-inclusive luxury resorts as Cuba has. While we Americans have been prevented by our government from traveling to Cuba as tourists, the rest of the world has kept coming here, especially Canadians. A December/January week on a warm Cuban beach is definite improvement over a cold Canadian winter.
These resorts are very enticing. Mostly built on stunning pristine beaches of there keys (cayos), they offer the traveler everything: stunning white sand beaches with crystal clear water, sailing, water sports, multiple pools and bars, drinks and food just feet away. Mojitos and Cuba Libres flow like water. Sip 12 year old Havana Club rum if you want; it is generally all included in the price.
The resorts feature great rooms of course, but the pools and beaches are the big draw. These 4 star hotels are some of the best in the Caribbean.
There are too many locations, too many choices, too many variables to offer a list of "The Best" hotels. One person's #1 choice of a high-energy resort with multiple frenetic bars might be a family's nightmare. So, here are just some examples of beach side resorts.
Note re kids: Be aware (or be enticed depending on whether you have kids) that some resorts are family friendly, others are adults only.
Several areas of Cuba have the preponderance of all inclusive resorts: Cayo Santa Maria, Cayo Coco, Hoguin and Varadaro.
Villa Clara Province has some of the newest developments. These are all cayos (keys) connected by a long causeway. One of these, Cayo Santa Maria has a dozen luxury hotels. The map illustrates where these are. There are also a few on nearby Cayo las Bruja and Cayo Ensenada.
I have already mentioned Hotel Cayo Santa Maria, here. A nearby luxurious adults only resort is the Royalton Cayo Santa Maria with just 122 rooms.
The Melia Cayo Coco is an adults only paradise with only 250 rooms. Some of the rooms are built near the beach, while some little bungalows are built on stilts over a lagoon.
Iberostar's Playa Pilar on Cayo Guillermo is a family friendly resort. It gets great reviews on its cuisine as well as its white sand beaches.
These are fantastic all inclusive resorts, offering all you could want. Since they are mostly built on small islands though, they are both god and bad.
- The good: Your surroundings are all designed to impress and pamper you. Unbelievable white beaches, warm crystal clear Caribbean water in various shades of blues and greens. Luxury, good food, great drinks, music, entertainment, all at your finger tips.
- The bad: You are on an island, surrounded by other tourists. You cannot walk down the street to a Cuban bar. To see the real Cuba means a day trip off the island.
Conclusion: Spend a day or two here to pamper yourself, then go elsewhere to experience the real Cuba.
Havana itself has some all-inclusive hotels. Everything above, but you are a taxi ride from the beach or a taxi ride to anywhere in Havana. An example is the Hotel Quinta Avenida in Miramar, Havana.
See my page on overall Accommodations, including historical hotels and private rooms, casas particulares.