Let me start by saying we have been to Cancun MX and Dominican republic and Varadero, Cuba more times I can remember (15 years, 2 or 3 times a year), this was our second visit to a hotel in the Cuba keys. To this hotel we went a big party, 5 rooms 5 nights
The hotel experience overall was great, the hotel staff is friendly and helpful, we like to travel on off season months, June, Sept etc to avoid full hotels and problems with lack of staff or resources. The only draw back is usually hotels take that time to do repairs etc
The Beach was amazing, one of the best of cuba no doubt, the hotel has beach access from all buildings, although the side of the higher number buildings 15+ is the best side, has an incredible Bar right there in front of the beach (shout out to the couple that works there, they are some of the people that made our stay feel special) as well as the lunch restaurant (shout out to Adrian at the grill, that guy is the best!) .
The main pool was also incredible, closer to lower number buildings clean well maintained and the pool bar was excellent, with the beach like that we spent little time at the pool, if you like pools this pool has 3 levels, good for kids and adults alike, choose your level of quietness, the quietest being the completely separated pool closer to the lunch/main beach entrance (family pool), cant say much about that pool because we never went there, only pass by on our way to/from the beach.
Our routine was simple, we stayed at building 8, and every day we go have breakfast then head out to the beach walking or by cart, spend the whole day there including lunch and then back to the main pool (closer to our building) around 5pm until 7pm
The room - was clean and confortable, nothing special, not modern or anything worth mentioning, the mini bar was stocked daily with 2 beers , 2 sodas and a big bottle of water. Some of the rooms on my party got ocean view from the 1st and 2nd floor, not us, but we really did not spend much time in the room. Other than that not much to say about it.
The food - Dinner OK, plenty of fish but some items will disappear for times depending on popularity, ice cream, cheese etc. The buffet had the same stuff every day, never went to specialty restaurants due to the large party and the trouble coordinating.
Lunch was great, they always had different fish, burgers, and the chicken from the grill was awesome.
Breakfast was also OK, omelet station, pancakes etc. did not see much yogurt etc but plenty of fruits
There is a 24h snack bar next to the main pool that serves burgers, sandwich, hotdogs fries etc.
Entertainment - Great, every day different show for a whole week, loved the Rock band and the Flamenco
The negatives now in order of gravity
It gets very hot, the lobby area where you spend most of the time has a 24h bar (Bartender Orlando was great guy, fast and efficient, same with the girls that attend the tables) great place to spend the time until late but the whole building has a air circulation problem, it gets so hot there that you do not stop sweating. they need to do something about that, install industrial ceiling fans, open the windows from the top, or have a large A/C area or something (not the cigar bar which closes at 11 and smells like cigars).
Drinks, all bars do not have the same stuff, the lobby bar has plenty of drinks, whiskey, tequila, vodka etc but the others, pool, snack bar, beach bar lack on selection.
Music in the lobby area was on for a few days then off, then back on. We like to dance and party, not seat and drink. Some time we took our own speakers to animate the place.