Iberostar Playa Pilar is a brand new resort located in Cayo Guillermo, a key that together with Cayo Coco and other small islands forms the “Archipiélago de Jardines del Rey”, which belongs to Ciego de Avila province, on Cuba’s north coast.
Access to the key is possible through the airport Jardines del Rey (Cayo Coco's international airport), then taking a causeway connecting both keys; or by land using a longer causeway (17-kilometres-long) that links the mainland to Cayo Coco, and then the above mentioned causeway between Cayo Coco and Cayo Guillermo.
Cayo Guillermo is famous for its natural beauty, amazing coral reef system (the world second largest, after Australia’s Great Barrier Reef) and above all, for hosting one of Cuba’s most stunning beaches: Playa Pilar, named after Hemingway's boat.
The resort’s itself has no access to a long sandy beach. There is a very attractive boardwalk though, leading to a small yet beautiful beach and offering many beds + gorgeous views of the sea.
Playa Pilar is at least a 30 minute walk along the shore and through the sea, when the tide allows walking there; otherwise there’s a double-decker bus which costs 5 CUC per person both ways, taking only a few minutes to get there (the schedule of which is on display in the lobby at the main desk).
The hotel features 482 rooms which are spread among 15 modern buildings; 3 free-form swimming pools + 1 children’s pool with water park, a marina, a SPA, various sports courts, a theatre, motorcycle rental, a wedding gazebo… almost everything one could want or need. Besides, pool area is lovely, animation team makes a great job and the nautical centre offer pedaloes, canoes and catamarans as part of the inclusive package. They also offer excursions to a nearby reef to snorkel, for an additional fee...totally worth it.
But according to most guests’ reports, the best feature of this resort is its staff: hard working, friendly, happy…one will made to feel right at home.
It could be a good idea to bring snorkeling gear since there is a lot of fish along the very rocky shore.
Take insect repellent and anti-bite remedies, since there are mosquitoes and other insects.