Vacation Blog! Hotel Playa Coco, Cayo Coco, Cuba!
Hotel Playa Coco
January 25-February 1, 2015
Needing a break from winter, we booked last minute(1 week prior) and off we went!
Check in went smoothly. We were in the green building(#3) by the lobby. The balcony faced inward, not to the ocean. The closest to the beach are the pink and yellow buildings. Room was exactly as all the pictures you've seen. You're not going to be in there much anyway! I've seen complaints about water pressure, etc. We were on the 3 floor and had great water pressure, but the hot water wasn't overly hot. Big deal. Other buildings were fine or had pressure issues. It's a big resort, meh. I've seen a lot of complaints online about the rooms are from people that spend too much time in them. Find an ant? Kill it and move on, people!
The grounds and public areas were all undergoing improvements, but were not disruptive. You didn't really notice unless you saw the workers doing it. All public areas were very clean and service was great.
Enough of that. FOOD TIME!
TIP: Bring your own ketchup/spices/sauces, if you're picky!
The buffet itself is not as huge. One side had hot foods, salads/cheese/deli and dessert was at the end. For your protein portion of your meal, your best bet is to wait in line at the grill tops or the pasta station. Ideally, go during off-peak times; the wait can be long.
I wish the lines for the grill top were more organized. You just end up standing in the middle of an aisle and you may not know which line you are in. Either way, the cooks there are great. English is pretty good and they are good at what they do.
The pasta station was not great. They use the same utensils for everything and don't cook your veggies all the way through. They just heat them up, so beware unless you enjoy raw onions.
The station was awesome! Banana, papaya, pear heated in syrup and set on fire. Yes, yes and yes. I was there almost everyday.
At breakfast, there is a smoothie station. Recommended. They also have fresh juices on the buffet too. Mango juice was to die for. Disappointed I didn't see an actual mango there!
Desserts were better than expected. I thought it would be similar to our Chinese buffet desserts, but they were way better. As a chocoholic, it was enough to cover the craving.
Beer Garden & Ice Cream Shop
Tired of the buffet? Here's your spot. If you don't eat the Fish & Chips, you are missing out. The fish is super fresh and the batter is fabulous. The portions here are smaller, but you can always order more! The fries at this resort are pretty good and come with everything you order at the Beer Garden. I never saw a menu there, but the server can list what they offer.
The hamburgers are not made with beef, but sausage. It reminds me off the sausage patty on a Breakfast Sandwich at Tim's or a Sausage . It's not as salty, but salty enough. I don't usually eat hotdogs, but they were good. The grilled ham and cheese sandwich was another go-to for my man. Any of these with friends and ketchup is a good snack(or meal, if you order more than 1).
The ice cream shop is a nice touch. A small, air conditioned building right beside the Beer Garden, it has 4 tables and 4-5 with toppings. The ice cream isn't as sweet as we're used to, but it's still refreshing!
The food choices at the beach were the best. There is a beach grill that shares a hut with the beach bar. When it gets close to 1pm, LINE UP! It's freshly grilled in the beach restaurant and brought to the grill hut. It's hot and ready and fantastic. I've missed BBQ a lot this winter and this was giving me my fix.
The beach restaurant has a small buffet that is usually vegetarian; salad, fries, rice, pasta, etc. If you want meat, you can get it from the beach grill or order something off the menu. They have similar offerings as the Beer Garden, but slightly larger menu.
This was a great option for lunch if you are getting tired of the main buffet.
Now for the A La Carte.....
Much better than my previous "Italian Food in Cuba" experiences. We were happy with it and left satisfied.
We started with the minestrone soup. It's probably the best minestrone I've had anywhere. Packed with fresh vegetables, it wasn't just in an ordinary broth; veggies were pureed in the broth giving it a delightful texture.
As the main, I had the lasagna and my guy had steak. The lasagna was not like lasagna at home. It was everything that goes in lasagna, but in a pile. The portion wasn't very big either(there's always the buffet!). It was ok. Cheesy, meaty(pork sausage) and saucy. My man said the steak was good, but he couldn't eat all of it because it had a lot of gristle.
We both ordered the Tiramisu and were pleasantly surprised. It was pretty good! Served in a bowl made of sugar, it was beautifully presented and tasted close to what restaurants serve at home.
Service was fantastic. The A/C was blasting and our server gave his uniform vest a woman that was freezing. Aww. I would've loved to go again to try more; I heard the seafood pizza was good!
Try to make this reservation early because this dinner takes at least 1.5hrs. I like that if you don't have 8 in your party, you are seated with other guests. It makes it fun! You never know what will happen when the chef pulls you to the flat top to show your skills. Some chefs were more entertaining than others. Our reservation was at 9pm, so we were the last table for our chef, so he kept it to the point; only making us flip food in the air to catch it on a fork.
They cooked chicken, beef, fresh fish and shrimp with the veggie fried rice. It was pretty good. The portions were huge! No one left hungry!
If you're there a week, you get 2 a la carte reservations, so we didn't get the go to the seafood restaurant....my man is not a seafood person, but we heard there were non-seafood choices, like steak.
Everyone we spoke to said the seafood was amazing; they couldn't get enough lobster and if you're really nice, they might give you another lobster! This one doesn't have it's own space, so it could be on the beach or by the pool or at the beach buffet.
If only we got 3 dinners! BOO!
On a budget? Take the bus around the island. It's 5 CUC for a day pass. ASK THE FRONT DESK FOR THE SCHEDULE. There are 2 schedules, one to go to the market and another to go to Playa . We got on the 10:40am bus to the market, but we didn't get back until 4:30pm. If you want to spend the day at the beach, get on the first bus of the day. There is a restaurant there and you pay 2 CUC for a beach chair. The bus comes every 2 hours. So, if you go to the market, you are stuck there for 2 hours. At least there's beer!
Got some CUC to spend? We went on the Cigar, Sugar & Rum tour to Moron. The name is deceiving because at the end they just give you a cigar and a bottle of rum. It's the only time they appeared on the tour. It was a good tour though! 2 stops for shopping, boat ride on a lake through mangroves, horse buggy ride, sugar mill, train ride through the sugar cane fields, buffet lunch and a crocodile farm. I held a baby croc!!!! Great day!
Not a bad vacation away from the snow, I only wish the weather had co-operated!