Charms of Cayo Guillermo

A couple of months back, I finally made it back to the beautiful tropical island of Cuba. It amazes me that this beautiful and unique destination is only a few hours away by plane, but feels like another world in some ways. This time, I made it to Cayo Guillermo - a very quiet and unspoiled destination that's about 45 minutes away from the Cayo Largo airport. It had been close to 5 years since I set foot on Cuban soil, and it was really nice to be back. The people are warm and friendly, and it was nice to support the economy in pandemic times (though things were a bit safer in mid November) We thought the pandemic was winding down, but this was just before Omicron made its debut. 

 The hotel we stayed at was Grand Muthu Cayo Guillermo, a relatively new property with some beautiful and dramatic pool and ocean views. While it is advertised as a five star, I would say it is more like a decent 4 star for Cuba. There were a good selection of restaurants and bars, and some decent a-la carte options. There was some character and comfort to the layout of the resort. Not too small, or too large; and fairly easy to navigate. Entertainment options were a bit limited, but this was likely based on the pandemic restrictions. The double decker bus was available though, and I recommend taking it to head to beautiful Playa Pilar Beach (pictured below). It is only about 10 minutes away; The view is stunning and the sand is nice and soft. 

 There were several charming moments I enjoyed on this property. The morning and afternoon cappuccinos were lovely to enjoy in the lobby, over conversations and a game or two of UNO. The many other friendly and laid back guests were a delight to have conversations with here and there. The atmosphere was really chill and easy, and the service was good everywhere. There were some standouts but it was always pleasant. I loved the beach hut bar, the incredible views, the seabirds melody.. There was an enchanting gazebo that was almost a little hidden and had a unique aura. It was a wonderful place to get lost in the power of the movement of the sea. The beautiful flowers on the pathways, the shining sun, the incredible stargazing at night and the relaxed, friendly environment made this vacation a welcome and memorable break. 

Cayo Guillermo is a great destination to get away from it all, and it's less than 3.5 hours from Toronto. Moments of it will stay with me warmly.


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