A Wonderful Stroll Back Through the Golden 20s.
Tall marble pillars, actual wicker furniture. In the corner, Latin jazz - live music, the sound of peacocks - the aroma of cigars – a cool breeze rustling the tall palm trees. Over there, the vast blue ocean. The vantage from the back of the hotel cleverly disguises the road between us, and where the waves meet the sand. And the staff - so well dressed, so polite and accommodating. That's just the back of the hotel.
There is always someone to greet you at the impressive front doors. Inside – regal and elegant. Clean, and beautiful. Sculptures, crystal chandeliers – art. The cabaret show – so fun. The room, lovely. Nothing extravagant, just clean and cool and neat.
Can we talk about the food? When you read reviews about the food, I would have you remember, as some are clearly not aware, that the climate of the country must always be taken into consideration. This is not Canada. The food was fine, and honestly, we were there the day the mandatory mask issue lifted…we were lucky. After two years of almost no travel – when tourism is so important, the country was suffering.
And to that…tipping. We brought with us things that are very difficult to get in Cuba. Toothpaste, toothbrushes, feminine hygiene products, aspirin, school supplies, make-up – it is on you to do some research, and bring something good to this country. In retrospect, I wish we'd brought more. Believe me when I say, rather than a tip of money, their economy is very complicated, they were so grateful to have gifts of small bottles of shampoo, razors, etc. To give you an example, when we were there, toothpaste was in such high demand, and so difficult to get, it cost them, at the very least, $16 Canadian. To give you some idea – the average Cuban makes about $150. US dollars per month.
My only complaint, is to save anyone from my fate. There are two sets of elevators at the hotel. The old ones, with the brass arrow over them, and the new ones. The second last day of my trip, I was getting off the elevator, mask on, carrying something, and landed face first sprawled over the hallway. I hadn't seen the elevator was still about 8 inches from being level with my floor. The two maids were more upset than me, and when they sent up a doctor to look at my knee and take my blood pressure, and my roommate showed up in the midst of the drama – one maid, still crying, she suggested the doctor take her blood pressure instead. It was a month before I was walking normally.
It was a great trip. I'd recommend the hotel. You'll feel like you've just fallen into the book – The Great Gatsby.