Our Return To Paradise
My wife and I have been traveling the Caribbean for 38 years, and we've come to learn that our best trips are those where we can enjoy outstanding beaches.
The island of Cayo Largo delivers some of the world's best beaches in Sirena and Paraiso.
They are a short 10 minute taxi drive from Memories Cayo Largo.
Anyone that does a bit of advance research on Cayo Largo knows that the hotel beaches come and go on a daily basis, but the two splendid western beaches always provide an incredible beach experience.
The sand is baby powder soft, brilliant white, and the Caribbean Sea has magnificent turquoise hues.
The water is warm, calm, clean and shallow.
We have previously vacationed at various Cuban resort destinations, including multiple trips to the Melia Cayo Coco in 2021 and 2022.
The Caribbean Sea of Cayo Largo is far nicer than the Atlantic side of the island.
We have found our post pandemic experiences in Mexico and Cuba to be different than pre pandemic times. Typically, less staff, less amenities available, poorer food selection, lack of maintenance, etc.
This was our 4th time at this resort, previously known as Sol Cayo Largo.
Surprisingly, our experience actually surpassed our pre pandemic vacations at the Sol/Memories.
Rooms: All of the rooms are grouped in charming 4 room buildings, designed in an ocean side breezy theme. Lower levels have regular ceilings, upper level rooms have vaulted ceilings.
The rooms have all been painted, fresh linens, towels, and pillows in our room.
Furniture is old, bathrooms are basic with tubs, and some parts were tired but serviceable.
Our AC was a new heat pump unit, efficient and quiet.
Entertainment: Typical resort shows in a theatre, which didn't interest us.
The real entertainment is at the central bar. Miguel is a an ambassador for the brand. Cheerful, respectful, and he keeps the place hopping. We found the other vacationers were very inclusive and friendly, and we thoroughly looked forward to the evening camaraderie at the main bar.
Buffet: Lovely atmosphere, open air with cooling breezes, always a warm welcome upon entry and very attentive servers.
We were there for week 3 of the reopening, and the food was the absolute best of any resort we've experienced in Cuba.
Other guests we spoke with, all seasoned Cuban travelers, felt the same.
Freshly grilled shrimp, sea bass, tuna, mahi mahi, lobster, meat skewers, pork, beef, chicken, it was all there and in abundance.
Never a lineup of more that a couple of people.
Multiple types of fresh pasta, fruits, soups, bread stations, prosciutto, smoked salmon, delicious deserts, prime rib, roasted chickens, carved turkey and pork roasts.
Far better food than we've seen at 4 star resorts in Mexico.
They even had Canadian maple syrup at the crepe station.
First Cuban resort that actually cooks the bacon at breakfast properly, where we never had to request undercooked bacon to be re grilled at the egg station.
The morning coffee was far and away the richest, smoothest blend we have ever enjoyed anywhere.
Blue Diamond group has obviously made a huge difference in the quantity and quality of food being brought into Memories Cayo Largo.
Beach: As previously noted, a cursory glance at any Facebook group will inform you of the current beach status in front of the various resorts.
During our week of November 18th, the beach varied from barely there to perhaps 20 feet in depth.
We did walk from Memories east to the Starfish ( formerly Pelicano) twice, sandy but narrow beach. The ocean varied from quite rough to choppy.
Instead, we took the short hop to Sirena Beach every day. When one of the top Caribbean beaches is only minutes away, why not take advantage of the opportunity?
Pools: Loved the pools. Not as much shade as in years past, but we only spent time there in the late afternoon. The water was clear and refreshingly cool, although the liner is starting to ripple in areas.
There is one large pool, divided into a quieter section and a more active section which adjoins the snack bar and a swim up bar.
Public Bathrooms: Bright and clean
Staff: Friendly and very approachable. We had delays on several days receiving water bottles in our room due to the barge being late. Either a butler, the front desk, or the bar would always provide us with a large water bottle.
We found tips of any amount were always appreciated and received with gratitude.
We really feel that Memories Cayo Largo is the best kept secret in Cuba. It is a very special place that we will always return to. I made a point of chatting with countless other tourists from Quebec and Ontario, and everyone I spoke with expressed similar sentiments.