Caya Coco Hotel Transforms after Hurricane Irma
Rarely is the devastation from a hurricane cause for celebration, but every storm has a silver lining, or so they say. The Cayo Coco Hotel Pullman has taken the devastation of Hurricane Irma and turned it into a splendid opportunity. Years of scheduled renovations and upgrades were done in just a short couple of months and none of the work impacted guests, because there were none. From an expanded lobby bar, entertainment zone, new restaurant spaces and seven completely updated swimming pools, the “new” Hotel Pullman is ready to impress. If an all-inclusive resort vacation in Cuba sounds tempting this Caya Coco hotel may be the perfect place to escape to.
This is my first time to Cayo Coco and I’m pleased to see that five airlines offer direct flights to this part of Cuba. Air Canada, West Jet, Air Transat, Sunwing and Cubana all fly direct to Jardines del Rey Airport. If this is your first time in Cuba make sure to read my tips on what you need to know before you go. After clearing customs/immigration and retrieving your luggage it is a 20-minute drive to the hotel.
Registration happens in the main lobby and building, you can’t miss it. Our rooms weren’t quite ready which was A-ok with me as I was craving a glass of Cuban Rum. This is an all-inclusive after all and my drink of choice at the Hotel Pullman is the Santero Anejo 11 years. Hello Cuba.
It is hard to believe that the main building which houses the lobby, bar and many of the onsite restaurants was almost levelled by Hurricane Irma. In fact when GM Jean-Christophe Martinez first set eyes on the hotel after the storm passed the building was missing its roof.
Rooms at the Cayo Coco Hotel Pullman are spread out throughout the property into small three storey complexes. There may be over 500 rooms at the main resort area but you feel like you are at a smaller boutique property.
Check out my room.
To be honest I don’t expect to spend much time in my room, no matter how nice it is. The hotel has eight restaurants, three main pools (four smaller pools in the Adults only enclave), and over 600 metres of beachfront to enjoy. Taking a walk around the property you would never know that only a few months ago a hurricane had ripped through this Cay Coco hotel.
If you didn’t bring a book to read while you are relaxing by the pool don’t worry the entertainment team has lots of activities for to keep you entertained. I travel without kids but for those that do they don’t forget to keep your young ones entertained.
When it comes to eating at the Cayo Coco Hotel Pullman you have choices, eight to be exact. Everything from Buffet to Japanese teppanyaki table service. The full list of choices for you to enjoy is listed here. I recommend that after arriving and settling into your room you head straight to the concierge desk and plan out your dining by making reservations at the various spots. Three of the eight require advance reservations and also have a formal dress code. That means pants and collared shirts for us guys. No shorts or beachwear at the Teppanyaki table.
Of all the resort dining I have done in Cuba, this is by far the best I have enjoyed. Hats off to the Chef and his team.
Would I go back to the Hotel Pullman in Cayo Coco? In a heartbeat. The team took a devasting natural disaster and used it as an opportunity to renovate and transform the hotel to be more than what it was before the storm. Talk about making lemonade out of lemons.