Any time a country or region imposes any sort of visa stipulation - even if it’s a waiver - the travel industry sighs a collective groan, knowing the obstacles and headaches to come.
The adventure begins at Jardines del Rey Airport in Cayo Coco, Cuba. Travellers set out through colourful villages, fertile lands and, finally, the Jardines del Rey cays. The payoff is worth it, as they pull up to a stately 5-star adults-only hideaway overlooking the kind of turquoise waters you see in movies. This is the Gran Muthu Imperial Hotel.
As you’d expect from a 5-star resort, there are multiple dining options—the China Wok is always a hit (it’s not every day you enjoy classic Chinese dishes in a tropical setting). The same goes for the drinks: From romantic to festive to relaxing moments, there’s something for every occasion with unlimited domestic and select international brand drinks. Best of all, snacks and beverages are available around the clock. Because let’s face it: When you’re on vacation, a late-night cerveza and some nibbles is never a bad idea.
Most of the housing buildings are near the water, for obvious reasons. The ocean views are stunning, but given the verdant manicured grounds, you can’t go wrong with the pool and resort views either. Everyone has a balcony or terrace to enjoy the balmy breeze. The décor is modern and elegant, with tasteful splashes of colour. Amenities like a mini-bar, in-room safe and satellite TV make for a comfortable stay.
Food and drink
What to eat, what to eat? It’s hard to choose with so many options:
The bar selection has something for everyone, too:
Things to do
Let’s start with the private beach; time spent relaxing on a pristine beach is always time well spent. With its soft, ivory sands and shimmering waters, expect it to serve as a backdrop for countless selfies. And since it’s hard to get enough of a view like this one, guests can loll in the infinity pool, with its unimpeded sea view. It doesn’t hurt that the bar service there is impeccable.
The hotel is well equipped to accommodate various interests, in the water and out. Anyone who wants to make the most of the lush, seaside setting can paddle out in a kayak or sail on the sparkling waters on a catamaran. For a gentle workout, aquafitness is ideal.
Outside the water, guests can join an aerobics session for some great cardio, or work and stretch their muscles at a yoga class. If they’re feeling social and would like to spice up their stay with some local flavour, we recommend dance lessons or Spanish lessons. And to fire up the competitive spirit, there’s nothing like volleyball (followed by a dip in the sea) or perhaps even a game of pool.