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All reviews main building daiquiri bar fish pasta bungalow room a la carte repeat guests ocean view king size bed house band beach chairs rice ranchon restaurant free shuttle lots of fun public relations small island
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Reviewed 17 June 2018

We returned to Playa Blanca for a second visit in April 2018. We stayed in the villas of Belleareana section of the resort this time and the small additional costs to upgrade were more than worth it.
The room had a king size bed which was very comfortable, the air conditioning worked great. The bathroom had a huge walk in shower with 2 heads with lots of hot water.
The room was cleaned daily with fresh towels supplied.
When you stay at in the villas you have access to our own restaurant which while we there featured an italian chef who prepared some wonderful dishes, the meals were great with no complaints at all.
For the first few days the beach in front of the resort was available -lots of chairs available. Half way through the week the winds changed and the surf didn't allow hanging out on the beach, however the beaches on the other side of the small island where calm.
You can get there by a number of means, the free shuttle which involves a short boat ride, taxi or you can rent a 4 wheeler. Very worth while to go over to the other beaches- they have lunches/beer available.
The service from all the staff was great, they couldn't do enough for us
We had a great week and hope to return

Date of stay: April 2018
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5  Thank tcdc44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 May 2018

For those of you who are female and traveling solo to Cayo Largo, specifically Iberostar Playa Blanca, be careful as I was assaulted at this resort. There is a private bar and restaurant on the outskirts of the resort, on the way to the beach, where a bartender there took special notice of me. After the fact, I realized that he marked me as a solo traveler and ensured that I had plenty of drinks that he made "special" for me (his words). That evening ended in non-consensual, unprotected sex, with this bartender, that I made very clear verbally and behaviourally that I did not want to have.

Please be careful when you visit this resort. Make friends and ensure that you go to and leave events together. Better yet, choose an alternative destination.

Date of stay: March 2018
Trip type: Travelled solo
40  Thank Mel1520
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 May 2018

This was a wonderful trip with our kids! It was clean and well kept. The only downfall was the numerous times that we did not have running water- whether it was to wash our hands or flush the toilet. Thankful we did an excursion on the one day that the resort without water for the majority of the day. The staff was friendly and view was beautiful!
The rooms itself could be remodelled or the beds be updated with newer mattresses was our only complaint.

Date of stay: February 2018
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank Tara L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 April 2018 via mobile

To all the great staff had player Blanco we made on our visit this April thank you. What a great place for rest relaxation and poolside entertainment. The massages are priced to bring you to heaven. Friendly bartenders never leave your glasses empty. The food for Cuba scrumptious. The beautiful saltwater pool perfect. Great job Ibero star. But honestly it’s the stuff that makes this hotel. Great fun at the marina Monday Wednesday and Friday. Fifth nicest beaches in the world exclamation exclamation!! Don’t be shy book without regret!
Bobbio loves you guys!!

Date of stay: May 2018
6  Thank Bobbio B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ada B, Gerente at Playa Blanca, responded to this reviewResponded 7 May 2018

Dear Bobbio,
On behalf of all the Staff of Iberostar Playa Blanca, we appreciate your valuable comments. Our greatest satisfaction is that our customers get wonderful and unforgettable memories.
It will be a pleasure to meet you again in the near future.
Thanks for sharing your experience....Best Regards...

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 April 2018

After four visits I'm torn between keeping this place to our very selves, or sharing the secrets that can make it a special visit. Sharing the secrets seems to have won out ... here are some tips.

About the beach. Or beaches.
Playa Blanca will have trouble attracting guests unless the beach returns full time. During our most recent visit we found we could swim daily off the rocks, however there were sand stretches on only approximately 4 of the 7 days of our visit. To us, this is a blessing! Whilst others assume there is no place to set down and relax, we've found all sorts of private nooks and crannies to stretch out, snooze and read. Of course it requires a little poking about and adventurous spirit.

Most folks however head to Paraiso and Sirena. They are lovey beaches in their own right and offer shallow protected water for swiming and the reef in the south end has limited snorkling off the beach. Should you be of the social sort, you'll find lots of activities here. Should you wish something quieter, head east from the taxi/shuttle drop-offs and you'll find plenty of escape room.

If you're a walker, the walk from Playa Blanca to the Sirena is between 90 minutes and two hours. This year we had nice firm sand and it was a fairly easy walk. On previous visits we've had to negotiate some rocky bits but for the most part its a lovely beach walk with the promise of a cold beer and lunch at either end.

The only real tip I'd have here is to avoid the shuttles and take a taxi ... you'll get there quicker and in a better mood!

The real treasure is Playa Tortuga which lies at the east end (and deserted half) of the island is one of the greatest deserted beaches in the entire Caribbean. It's entirely undeveloped and access is via a sand road/trail heading east past Playa Blanca. While possible to access by foot a scooter or 4-wheeler makes it so much easier. In either case, it's remoteness is such that in our four visits to the island we've seen fewer than a dozen souls who have made the effort. But oh what rewards. From where it starts just past the radio tower to the tip of the Island, the beach runs uninterrupted for an estimated 15km and despite our best efforts we've yet to reach the end. Once there you'll find a wealth of basking iguana, conch shells, cruising barracuda, lurking turtles, and should you be there at the right time, migratory birds.

You'll also find that a quick walk inland through the scrub onto the spine of the Island reveals a marvelous view of the turquoise lagoons on the leeward side of Cayo Largo. While we have yet to manage it, our hope is to one day take an extended kayak trip into those protected waters to explore the mangrove tangles and the rich wild-life they promise.

Should you decide to make the trip to Tortuga, take provisions and a head cover; the sun is relentless, the breeze is steady, and apart from the occasional pine or stunted palm there are few places to find shade. Nor is there anywhere to get help should you find yourself hungry, dehydrated, or otherwise in trouble. You will be truly and really on your own.

Food.
On this visit we stayed in the Villa Bellarena section. This provids access to third dining option which includes ala-carte lunches and full buffet breakfasts and dinners. Lobster was/is available nightly (with an upcharge). I particularly enjoyed the fried whole fish. I also enjoyed the late afternoon barbecued meats adjacent to the snack bar. Coupled with two nights at the Ranchero and a third night at dining al-fresco at the Opalino we were well fed and well taken care of. That said, our single visit to the main dining room was a disappointment. If for no other reason than the food, I'd recommend booking in the Villas Bellarena. You'll find a warm welcome there.

Service
Villas Belllarena have a dedicated reception desk which was immediately responsive to two requests during our visit; once for maintenance crew when a breaker blew in our cottage, and once for house-keeping. In both cases there were service people at our door within minutes. In the last day of our visit they also exhibited patience and kindness whilst we tried to arrange alternative travel plans due to unforeseen circumstances. While I can't comment on service issues in the rest of the resort, I can say that we were impressed by the efficiency and speed with which our concerns were met.

Facilities
It's not a luxury resort. There are cracked sidewalks, broken boardwalks, and potholes big enough to swallow a bus. But it's clean and freshly painted. Our cottage had a new air conditioner, modern glass shower, and was in excellent shape ... it came with a couch and chair inside and small table along with the requisite dressing stand and safe. The porch overlooked the dunes and had two comfy lounge chairs, a hammock, and small smoking table with chairs. The rear porch had an outdoor shower and there was a hot tub, just steps away (which sad to say, was full, but not functional). It was exceptional value for the money.

Arrival
Take a taxi. Avoid the bus. You'll arrive ahead of the group and find check-in much more pleasant.

Tipping
Memory sticks are in rare supply and greatly appreciated.

Date of stay: March 2018
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
11  Thank tpaetkau2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ada B, Director General at Playa Blanca, responded to this reviewResponded 11 April 2018

Dear Customer
We are pleased with the well detailed way of sharing your experience with us. All the staff of Iberostar Playa Blanca, greatly appreciate that the rest of the world can have clearer ideas of our destination and its surroundings.
We are waiting for you to enjoy another well-deserved vacation in the Terrenal Paradise in Cayo Largo del Sur.

Saludos.

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