Coral Level At Iberostar Selection Ensenachos

Coral Level At Iberostar Selection Ensenachos
4.254.254.254.254.25
4.25 based on 8 reviews
#18 of 24 hotels The Monarc.ca popularity scale (#1/15) classifies all the hotels of a single destination according to the number of grades received on 5 and the total number of reviews. in Cayo Santa Maria
Rated 4.5 stars
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A paradise named Coral Level

, Saint-Raphael, QC
2019-12-26
My husband and I were in Coral Level Iberostar Selection Ensenachos for 2 weeks. We are seniors. This was our 4th stay and we are so in love with the place, we are returning in 3 weeks and considering a further return in March.

What is it about this place that is so overwhelming? Mostly everything! The sandy beach is long and there are lots of palapas, the water is as turquoise as can be, we are offered bar service to our lounge chairs and we are blessed with Janet to watch over our safety. We spend most of our days at the beach enjoying the relaxing, quiet, lovely, private heaven. Unfortunately, the storm in previous weeks has done some damage to the walkways and to the beach restaurant. Work is in progress to repair so the restaurant can be re-opened and both walkways be safe. Meanwhile, lunch is served at the pool bar restaurant.

The Coral Level itself is about 25 villas, some double, spread around a magnificently maintained landscape. Each villa is very private and offers a homelike environment: large bedroom, living room, dining room, kitchenette, 2 bathrooms and a wonderful terrace where a brand new jacuzzi awaits us 24/7. Everything is clean and very well maintained. The service to the villa, be it by the maids, the jacuzzi person or delivery is timely and well done.

The pool and its surroundings, the restaurant El Colonial and bar lunch area, the bar and lobby are always staffed with great people who will do their utmost to please you, especially our butlers, mostly Yandry and Michel but also Dismar and Marechal. The food, either at the Coral Level or at the main Lobby restaurants is offered in a wide variety and is tasteful. Despite the shortages we know about, we have not suffered during our stay, far from it. The shuttle is frequent and takes us anywhere including to our villa.

Now sure enough, there are things that break or don't go as planned sometimes but in no time there is someone taking charge and fixing the situation.

Although we understand the necessity of such, in previous stays my one and only critic was the bug killer which travels the resort around dinner time. Working with our butler, we now go out before or wait until after the spraying occurs. It works fine and it leaves us with no real negative to share with you about this resort.

You don't have to believe what I say. You can travel there and delight in all that Coral Level has to offer except if you are the type of person who would damage the private, the quiet, the beauty, the magic, the heavenly ambiance in which case I suggest you go elsewhere. [Details]
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The strong points
Private, quiet, beautiful, excellent staff. The beach and turquoise waters. Site very well maintained. Villas much better than rooms. Food and drinks together with service. Our BUTLERS.
The weak points
Currently beach restaurant under repair but will reopen when fixed. One need to work around bug killer spray schedule. Wifi not quite stable but good enough to make vacation use of it.
Hotel reply, PR/Marketing, on 2020-01-02
Dear France and Michel, We are grateful to you for choosing us for your recent holiday and for sharing the experience you had with us. It is great to read your enthusiastic comments about many of the prime pillars that we set in place many years ago to guarantee fabulous holidays. Amazing locations, professional staff, cleanliness and excellent standards of gastronomy are very important elements of our company and reading that you found them to your liking is brilliant news. It is amazing to read that you have returned home with a sense of satisfaction and we look forward to doing the same for you again in the future. Once again, we are truly grateful for this complimentary review of your time in our hospitality. Best Regards, Quality Manager Coral Level At Iberostar Selection Ensenachos

Return trip.... 8 years later!

, Dollard Des Ormeaux, QC
2019-06-03
We stayed at the Iberostar Grand Village from May 25th to June 1st 2019. We are a couple aged 44 and 43. We were last at this property when it was the Royal Hideaway Ensenachos 8 years ago - at that time we stayed in the Spa section so this is not an apples to apples comparison.

As we remembered the Cuban people were warm and welcoming, always wanting to please and the beaches were magnificent.

I would like to highlight the extraordinary customer experience provided by Yunexy in the colonial restaurant and Yandry a butler on the grand village side. Yunexy's smile and her warmth are a valuable asset and I hope the Iberostar management knows how special she makes clients feel. Yandry was so serviceable, calm and accommodating. Such a respectful young man who does his job with quiet confidence. Bravo to both these standouts!

We arrived on a late flight and so by the time we got to the resort all we had time to do was get a snack at the 24 hour snack bar near the main lobby. Be warned - very slim pickings. There was a choice of three sandwiches. That's it! Hubby chose the one that appeared least dangerous and off we went to find our room (or villa) never to return to the snack bar again!

Our first villa was beautiful but we quickly realized that we had serial smokers in the attached villa and our bedroom quickly reeled of smoke. Next morning, first order of business was to request a room change - which was too bad because everything worked and was great- but the constant cigarette smoke was a deal breaker. We were quickly accommodated and our new home was 5402 which has lovely views for those looking for an ocean view (see pic).

We didn't see a d-link access point in this villa though so if having internet your villa is a deal breaker then 5402 is not for you.

The villas are huge. Not sure why they were built this way with kitchenettes and dining rooms etc as with an all inclusive plan no one will be cooking but other than looking grandiose when you first enter it doesn't serve much purpose. The new jacuzzis they have installed however are divine and we very much enjoyed unwinding after our beach days and before heading out to supper.

The 30 minute free massage was another nice perk that we both enjoyed. In terms of entertainment - forget it. The best offerings were the live music (pianist on the grand piano on monday evenings only in the main lobby bar was outstanding; and the cuban trio in the el colonial restaurant grand village side some evenings were amazing).

At Megano beach we saw a stingray, we snorkelled at the wreck and had lunch at the snack bar before they closed it for the remainder of the week due to low occupancy. This was a recurring theme, where due to low season things were closed like the Cuban a la carte. I understand not having all the a la cartes open every day but they should have a rotation in order to increase variety since Cuba in general has a negative reputation for its gastronomy. This would help customer satisfaction.

The breakfast was definitely better on the grand village side where we had access to mango, cappuccinos, pancakes and French toast - which we didn't see at the buffet. Perhaps these options are available at the buffet during high season but we didn't have that experience.

The only other good meal we had was also in the grand village el colonial restaurant for dinner, but the experience was uneven. The first time we had the steak it was perfectly cooked and tender. The second time we ordered the same thing four days later and it was definitely not as good.

I would qualify the entire week's food as edible. We really wish Cuban all inclusives would up their game in this respect but with the recent embargos it really doesn't appear likely.

At ensenachos beach I saw an octopus, several starfish (although I believe there were much fewer than last time we visited - and don't know whether to attribute this to human impact, hurricane or ?) Speaking of climate change - 8 years ago we also visited in May and I do not recall the mosquito situation being anything remotely like this years. They were devouring everyone and anyone - locals and tourists alike. The only reprieve was to go to the beach - otherwise - you were eaten alive!

There is much talk of quality decline overall. I have nothing recent to compare to. I do believe the food quality and variety is worse than last time we were here. I'm still trying to decide if the wonderful Cuban people we met and the beaches we enjoyed outweigh this negative and wil cause us to return. For sure it won't be soon....there are too many other beautiful places to visit and experience in the world and Iberostar needs to get the food quality sorted out to lure us back.

Overall - if you are in need of rest and relaxation and love beautiful beaches this is the place for you. If you need entertainment and/or good food you should look elsewhere [Details]
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Certified

Grand Village visit #5

, Dartmouth, NS
2019-05-27
Visited the Grand Village (5th visit) 2nd week of May/2019. It kind of went like this:
 Not Resort related, but pleased to report that the damaged Santa Clara airport reopened the day before heading down, saving us a HUGE transfer time to the resort, which is already long enough at 90 minutes by bus.
 The check-in was a fail: empty lobby, empty front desk, no receptionist, no 'in-room' check-in, no 'cool towel', no welcome cocktail, no glass of champagne, room not ready (waited 3 hours to finally get into it).
But, we actually got the exact bungalow & room we had requested! How Sweet is that?!? THANK YOU SO MUCH!
 Except for the check-in, all the Village staff was on the ball, friendly and pleasant to chat with. Thanks to one & all for making our stay so enjoyable. But we miss Yan at dinner.
 As usual, the food at the Village was mostly top notch.
 We got to chat with several other nice guests.
 We lucked out with the weather, sunny & 28 C to 31 C every day, with just a little rain shower 1 evening around dinner time, which lasted maybe 15 minutes. Fantastic!
 With the fine weather & usually wind-free days, Ensenachos beach was spectacular, and a BIG hit with the guests. Actually, Playa Ensenachos was so great, we didn't even bother going to Playa Megano.
 We only did 2 a-la-cartes (Italian & Mediterranean), neither one was anything special. (I guess we were spoiled too much by the El Colonial food & staff.)
 Though the Village section advertises itself as ‘14 years old & up', a large family with a 5-ish year old occupied both sides of a 2-story bungalow all week. No big deal though, best behaved 5-ish year old I've seen in a long time, and certainly WAY better behaved than certain so-called ‘adult' Spa guests who used Village shade, loungers & beach bar unimpeded all week.
 Looks like the maintenance budget has not been replenished yet for 2019. Anyone going down in the near future will have to watch your step on the beach walkways, especially the one on the east (washroom) side of the restaurant. The beach restaurant floor looks like it's getting ready to swallow somebody up too.
At night the lights in some of the Village pathways were sometimes not working…..bring a flashlight.

All-in-all we had a delightful week. Surprised a bit with the last 2 items mentioned above (and the poor check-in), especially with the Village's apparent laissez-faire attitude with letting Spa & Park section guests flagrantly help themselves to Village-only upgrades & amenities. This is a deal breaker for us, and if Iberostar Ensenachos doesn't get its house in order by the time our next winter getaway rolls around, we'll be looking for a vacation destination which is better at holding up its end of the bargain. ¡Felices viajes a todos y cada uno! [Details]
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The strong points
Beach, food, large suite, private patio with hot tub.
The weak points
Reception/check-in, long transfer from airport, lapse in resort maintenance, resort not enforcing rules regarding beach use.

IE Grand Village

, Upper Rawdon, NS
2019-05-09
We 6 travelled April 30-May 7th out of Halifax. Take off 1 hr late (no reason given), we landed in Cayo Coco due to the airport closure in Santa Clara. It was a 4 hr bus ride to the resort, so we saw some of the conditions the population exists under.
Check-in took 1.5 hrs at the main lobby for two in our party. Normally guests go directly to the Grand Village section to register, but due to staffing issues it was not possible (concierge explanation).
The room we had was huge, more like an apartment really, and immaculate inside. No complaints there. The beach is amazing. Nice gradual slope to deeper water which was nearly flat calm most days. Plenty of palapas and chairs too. On the busiest day we counted only 24 people on the beach. There is a pool that we walked around once. Rarely anyone in it.
Breakfast and supper are restaurant style, with a limited menu that has not changed in many years we were told by some of the repeat guests. But it is excellent fare, the best we've had in Cuba. Atlantic salmon and thick cut steak cooked to perfection. The pork I didn't try but wanted to, but it had made 2 repeat guests sick. The beach bar was for lunches and had a more varied menu with lots of choices and it was excellent as well. Chicken was scarce, so was only available 3 of the 7 days we were there.
We did have some major issues while staying here though: wifi rarely worked partial or no pathway lighting most nights so bring a flashlight. Undercooked burgers at the beach bar. A pina colada they shared made 2 of our party sick with gastro issues for 2 days. The Grand Village is advertised as only 14 yr.old and over. However, a large family arrived with a young boy of about 6 who ate and roamed the beaches and bars of the Grand Village for several days. They stayed in a family building there. It didn't bother me any and the child was well behaved, but others had complaints.
minor issues: NO CRISTAL!! Well actually, I did manage to get 6 cans during the week. They supplied Bavaria, Heineken, or Mayabe instead. Beach service was nearly non-existent. No big deal its a short walk to the beach bar. It opens at 10:30 or thereabouts, one morning it was after 11. It closes at 3:30 pm so there is no bar service there or anywhere else until 6 pm or later at the GV lobby bar. I found it odd that at the Ensenachos lobby bar they had 5 waiters serving 8 people in the bar, with not many guests in the lobby either. There was rarely anyone staffing the GV lobby anytime unless Michel was working that day. He, the concierge, works there every other day. Staffing is definitely an issue in Grand Village. We ate at the Italian a-la-carte at Ensenachos. I had the pork which was a fried steak, which was good. 3 others had the spaghetti which they couldn't eat. No flavor and salty, saly, salty.
Overall we think we got what we paid for, it was under $1500 pp for 7 days. Would we pay more? No! 2 Repeaters we talked to, who have been there 25 times, now stay on the Ensenachos side. The quality has dropped that much according to them. Changes are needed it seems if they want to compete with the other top resorts in the area. A larger dinner menu or even just a repeat of the lunch menu would be an improvement. We research any resort we have not been to, and did go there with higher expectations of service based on the info we found, but had a great trip. We are easy to please and can go with the flow. We know es CUBA. [Details]
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The strong points
-excellent food (except pork) - rooms - beach - most staff...if you can find one...
The weak points
- no wifi most days - no lights working along pathways to room - sick from pork dinner - terrible service in GV lobby - 1.5 hr check-in at Ensenachos lobby due to lacking staff at GV section -observed guest under 14 in GV section
Certified

Excellent place with sometimes sloppy service

, Toronto, ON
2019-04-29
Cayo Ensenachos is our favorite place in Cuba (and possibly in Carribbean in general). We stayed 3 times in the Spa section of the main resort previously; this was our first time in Grand Village. Perfect location, beach, rooms and pool - for those who value privacy and seclusion. You can order lobsters there any time of day or week (really). In general, local Colonial restaurant has smaller choice than the restaurant in main building, but quality of food is excellent, as well as choice of drinks in the bar (yes, you can find 12-year old scotch there). Service in general is not bad, but people who stayed in Grand Village for the third or fourth time confirmed it got worse over the last couple of years. From what I saw, it is rather problem of management than employees; some people a doing multiple tasks non-stop from dawn till dusk while others are walking about not sure what to apply themselves to. The worst part was transportation between the Grand Village and the main resort. There used to be at least two dozens of electric carts providing non-stop shuttle between two lobbies, but 90% of them were broken sitting in the parking lot to the left from main building (a real cemetery of carts, actually). Only two carts (!) were working, which obviously created a problem, since 3km walk under Cuban sun is not exactly something you'd like to do few times a day; consequently, some time was spent waiting for a cart in the lobby. Another problem one should be aware of, is well-known: internet. It is free in Grand Village, but getting an account and then making it work (when - and if - the connection is not down in general) is a typical Cuban adventure. Besides that, the vacation there was excellent, and probably the best we had in Cuba. [Details]
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The strong points
Perfect location, beach, pool, room size and design, quality of food and drinks
The weak points
Transportation between Grand Village and main resort; not very consistent service (sometimes good, sometimes far from that); internet connection (or lack of it).
Certified

Ensenachos

, Toronto, ON
2019-04-25
We arrived after dark, so it was hard to get an immediate feel for the resort overall, but first impressions of the lobby and buffet restaurant are very positive. While the buildings are indeed nice, they are largely hidden by the surprisingly mature vegetation.
Typically, we do not spend a great deal of time at the pool, as we would rather be at the beach, but the main pool (there are several smaller pools) is very nice and has a swim-up bar; in addition, the restaurant that serves lunch is located near the main pool as well. It became a great place to spend the afternoon...have some lunch, take a swim, have a drink.
Overall, I cannot imagine that there is another resort in Cuba that can match everything that this resort offers. [Details]
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