Monday, April 16, 2007

Thomas Cook Books Another Disaster

Board Basis: All Inclusive
Date of Holiday: Aug 2005
Tour Operator: Thomas Cook
Submitted By: Miss LJ Taylor
Overall Rating: 1/10
Comments: TRYP CAYO COCO, CAYO COCO, CUBA

I WILL BE HONEST! I appreciate some people may think the hotel was wonderful, but I can honestly say it was a 0/10 for me.

First impressions of the resort was BASIC. I have been to Mexico, Dom Rep & was really looking forward to spending x2 weeks in sunny CUBA. I couldn't wait!!! Friends had been to Cuba (not this hotel) and praised their holidays, so I was really excited.

The journey there on the plane & coach was good. After checking in, it was a good 5 minute walk from the main reception area to our apartment block, which gave us a chance to see what the hotel was really like.

The hotel was spread out & set in a large area of land. However it was starting to get run down & could do with a good lick of paint, however the landscape gardening between the apartment blocks was always cared for well by the gardeners (with their trademark straw hats). They were always polite and would say hello.

ACCOMODATION:-
We reached our nice but BASIC room. I just had to keep reminding myself that the holiday was 3*. Whatever you do, don't go with high expectations..... The room had x2 double beds, dressing table, bathroom with bath & shower over head. The room was fairly clean but was just very worn out. The furniture had scratches all over it & the cushioned seats in the room had stained covers. This may have been spilt drinks or anything else.... - but I made sure that I did not investigate too closely. We did have a sea view (JUST) but we had wasteland directly in front of our room, which appeared to be a cut through for staff on a regular basis. However you could see the sea!!!

Overall impressions of the room was OK, it was not in a noisy area which we had requested and again was BASIC. Just don't go if you have high expectations.

MAID SERVICE:-
The maid service was excellent, they would always work around you in case you wanted the room to be done later etc.. Definitely worth the tip!

SWIMMING POOLS:-

There was a small adult area pool, a few minutes walk from the main pool area. This was a very quiet area with a small bar and appeared popular for couples, however it was always busy. The main pool areas consisted of x1 child area (hardly used, I saw adults in it more than children) but looked nice enough for kids to use if they wished to do so. Then very close by was a separate pool, however this was always really, really dirty. I think it was because it gradually sunk in depth, so people would often paddle in it, which meant rubbish (leaves, plasters, hair & general debris) would get trodden in. Not nice to see in front of you as you are having a nice swim!!! Then there was the main pool which had a pool side bar in the middle. It was always busy as it served food (chips, burger & hotdogs) which you would help yourself to & drinks. It had the same barman most days who was a lovely chap, however they really needed to have some more staff as it would get busy at times. The orange squash there was lovely!!! See there’s one good thing I have said - definitely a 10/10 for the squash!!!

FOOD:- I'm really sorry to have to start moaning again but the food was awful! I love my holidays & appreciate that you have or you get to sample some odd food (some good, some bad). Myself & my partner are not a fussy eaters at all! I will try most things, however this place was awful. Breakdown as follows:-

AM'S:- Breakfast in am's was ok. Standard type of thing as normal, fry-up type food, toast, croissants/cakes & fruit. Otherwise you could go to snack bar & order a toasted sarnie.

LUNCH:

You can choose from a snack @ snack bar (sarnies, well toasted sarnies - they don't do all on board advertised, the whole 2 weeks was the same. Only ham & cheese, tuna and then chicken).

Pizza restaurant on the beach - lovely. Could not complain/fault it. Service was gr8 but always busy so you have to wait sometimes for a seat.

Diner restaurant on beach(can't remember the name) - you can choose from burger & chips, hot-dogs & chips, toasted sarnie & chips, fish & rice/chips or they would have a special out on a buffet table which would often consist of a stew/curry looking dish with rice/chips/salad etc. YOU WANT TO HEAR SHOCKING - One day we were eating & at the main grill area of the kitchen which you can see (it pokes out into the restaurant area), whilst the chef/cook is flipping the burgers, there was a chap/maintenance man painting the archway above him. I am not joking - it really happened!!!! I had a good look in the kitchens whilst stood near grill area, you could see that plates were stacked up on shelves with burger baps & salad on. I guess they think it's easier to get the food out to customers when a plate is already made up, but surely this is not hygienic.

Buffet - never went, I'm sure was like the evening buffet however. Did not touch it!

Pool bar - burger/hot-dog & chips - you help yourself.


DINNERS:-

BUFFET:-Like with most all-inclusive restaurants you could only eat at some of the restaurants once per week. This meant eating at the buffet restaurant or as I did on a few times buying crisps etc. and snacking on them. The restaurant had a variety of things and again like most places nothing seemed to go with everything. It was all very strange. There was around 6 tables of buffet food in total if I re-call?, and the same day would have the same old things. Chips, fried chicken & pork, all sorts of fish, curries, rice (DON'T TOUCH THE RICE....I WILL TELL YOU LATER), vegetables & pasta etc.. There was a massive salad cart & x2 grills with fresh fish & meat cooked for you. These grill areas would do anything from all sorts of fresh fish to meat (steak, pork, chicken). Downside was queues (often busy) & BE WARNED the chap on the fish grill counter is a ladies man, he definitely tried hard for those tips. Bless him! No he was a nice chap but would come out with all the lines trying hard for those tips. Most days I would stick to getting some meat from the grill area (be warned they stick loads of oil on everything - they drown it without asking you) and get some salad or chips. The waiters/waitresses were always helpful and would get you drinks etc.. & bring to your table.

AL A'CARTE RESTAURANTS

There were 3 ''Al 'A Carte restaurants'', one was CUBAN which was fabulous. Service was superb, it was clean, meals were nice - I could not fault it really. 10/10 for sure!!! But down side was we were only able to eat there x1 per week.

SICKNESS;-
Around the end of my 1st week, beginning of 2nd week, I got really sick. Symptoms included sickness, diarrhea, severe stomach cramps, fever. This happened AFTER eating in the buffet restaurant. I had fish (from grill bar) & rice. It was only after I was ill that I started to think...the rice was on the buffet tables in a bowl and was just being topped up by the chefs. When I had the rice & fish the rice had a mixture of cold & warm chunks. I picked at the rice, ate a little and just continued to count the days until I went home. Can you believe that - you spend nearly £1400 + for you & your partner to go to the Caribbean, only to wish half-way through the holiday it was home time. This meant the 2nd week of my holiday was spent feeling ill. I just could not shift the symptoms. Constant stomach cramps, sickness etc.. I lost weight which was gr8, but definitely not the best way to diet! We just counted down the days!!!!

BARS/DRINKS:- You could grab drinks from pool bars, pizza bar, beach diner, snack bar (it says 24 hr but you never got snacks 24 hr & the drinks often ran out (non alcoholic as well as alcoholic) & bar in main lobby area of the hotel complex. The funny thing was for days at a time they would be out of lemonade or cola, but there was always stack fulls to buy in the supermarket! Of course they would not buy it from there, they would just make us wait. Some nights its was awful, you'd get the round in and would have to go back asking what else people wanted as they would run out. It was a regular thing you would just not bother attempting to order a drink as they often were out of what you drank. When I think back to it now,. I just can't believe it. The managers one night were out with champagne toasting the workers and dishing out glasses of fizz to guests, which made me laugh.

SEWAGE SMELL:-

There was an awful sewage smell in the reception/snack area
. I had read reports on it, but did not think it would be that awful. People would say it was sewage, the others would say it was stagnant water. I'm not sure which, but all I know is that it stunk to high heaven. You would be in the reception area & smell it. You would be in the snack bar and smell it really bad. You would go to the buffet restaurant & smell it. It was horrible. Not the sort of thing you want to smell first thing in the morning.

MOSSIES -

LOTS OF THEM. Remember to take your sprays etc. however I did and still got bitten. The hotel was trying to help and help by spraying something. I can only explain it as masses of grey smoke sprayed into the air. You would be taking a walk to the bar & ten you would hear it. A mini train looking thing would be coming up behind you spraying all this stuff. However it did help. But it seemed like they only done this every other day.


BEACH - The beach was fantastic! Sea was lovely and always warm and clear. Beautiful! The beach consisted of a watersports area at one end which was always busy, then as you walk along you would go past the restaurants/bar areas which again was busy. But if you continue walking you would get to the best part of the beach which hardly nobody went to. I'm not sure why....as it was lovely. Peaceful and quiet, yet you can still wander down to get a drink a few minutes away but it's like you get to have a section of the beach all to yourselves. It really was lovely...but you can't spend your time at the beach 24/7.

Overall I would NOT go back to the hotel & it has sort of put me off CUBA altogether.

Before we left we got chatting to people and many people had the same problem. All the same type of symptoms, some lasted a few days but some were like me and just could not kick it! Some were moved to other hotels after complaining (resort in general was cause) but I just could not be bothered. I thought why move when the next one could be exactly the same. The rep had told people this hotel (being Tryp Cayo Coco) was the best hotel on island! So why?? chance moving in case??? However when the day to go finally came, we met up with a couple who had moved & they said they got moved to a lovely hotel. Typical hey - it seems the Rep was telling lies.

Once I got home I was still feeling poorly - 3 weeks had past since I got ill and I was still not feeling too good. I went to Doctor's only to be told that I had SALMONELLA. Nearly 4 months later, I am still on antibiotics to try & clear it. All because of TRYP CAYO COCO. Not even the gorgeous beach makes me want to go back to that place.

I have requested the complaints procedure & I am still waiting! I know I have left it late to complain as just wanted to get home, get better and forget about TRYP CAYO COCO. But I think of all those poor people booking their holidays with their hard earned money and think somebody else could have the horrible holiday I had! Hence, why i have been so honest in this review. Ooppps I know it's been a very long review but wanted you to know about everything the GOOD (not much) & the BAD (lots).

I can only tell you my experience of TRYP CAYO COCO, others may disagree with me? Please make sure you read reviews before going any where, otherwise you may waste £1400 like I did.

READ REVIEW SITES, GO TO PLACES OTHERS RECOMMENDED, JUST DON'T GO TO TRYP CAYO COCO.

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