I had such a great time at Melia Las Antillas in Varadero. I have had the chance to do a number of all inclusives and up until this one it was the best ever.
I previously had flown with Sunwing, and stayed at one of their resorts in Dominican Republic. I had a bad experience there but knew it was a one off situation. So I decided to try Sunwing again because the price was good. I am soooo glad I did.
The Cuban people are very friendly and genuine. If they are happy with you they let you know and if they aren't so happy (like when my girlfriend and I were late for dinner reservations) they were still polite even though we could tell it disrupted the routine. However, they still treated us very well. By the end of the week we were greeted with hugs and kisses in the restaurant's and lobby by our regular servers.
I want to give special shout outs to the following people. Yamira in the buffet. She took such good care of us and made sure that we were always looked after and with a big smile and we shared a lot of Spanish jokes. Raul in the buffet. He remembered our drinking preferences and was always polite. Estrella in the Romantico restaurant. When my girlfriend was not feeling well on our last night she made sure to have food suggestions that would not upset her stomach further. Estrella was a sweetheart. Also I believe her name was Amisday from Romantico was also fantastic as well. She was so helpful in surprising us with a fantastic dessert that met our gluten/wheat free needs. Over in the snack bar.Orlando was the king of servers. Though I know some Spanish, I did not know the word of allergic to wheat and since my girlfriend is allergic to wheat he went above and beyond to make sure that the phrase I'm allergic to wheat was written down so that my lady could take it to any food server and ensure she had a comfortable and safe experience. Orlando treated us like royalty every time we were in his spot. He was genuinely interested in us being comfortable.
When we had special requests the staff were "on it". What's more there were no complaints from them. Because I know some Spanish I listened out to see how they responded and they took things seriously and always with a smile and never badmouthed us. Of all the people in the travels I've done the Cuban people are the most willing to please. The work HARD. One thing I liked is that everyone there was required to speak English as well as Spanish so communication was not a problem and when I wanted to speak in Spanish they were patient with my thick accent and forgetting some words. Yamira by far had the best English. We talked to her a lot and she said she studied hard in school and listened to English music and it serves her well
Be prepared to see people of all adult ages and body types. I saw way too many speedos for my liking. I don't care if you have a hard body or are 100 pounds overweight unless you are on a swim team Speedos should not be worn in public.
We took a trip into Habana (the way the locals spell and say it). Janet our Sunwing rep was really good at helping us decide our day trips.
Before I forget, Yaqueline our chamber maid was fantastic. She had different bed designs for us each night and kept the room clean.
Food was good, we brought Mrs. Dash with us and only used it once.
The entertainment was GREAT. The Cuban dancers were fantastic and we enjoyed the shows nightly. The singers were great especially ( I wish I knew their names) the darker skinned fellow with the dreadlocks and the lady singer (muy caliente y sexy). They were all talented and had beautiful voices.
Weather was great despite hurricane Sandy and I have to say walking on the beach was like walking on soft pillows. I want to go back now!!!