Looking for Cuba all inclusive resorts? Gran Muthu Imperial in Cayo Guillermo is one of the best all inclusive resorts in Cuba.
I visited Gran Muthu Imperial resort in Cayo Guillermo, Cuba for 7 nights from Toronto in November 2022 and, let me tell you, it was such a great experience!
It was my first time in Cuba, and I couldn’t have chosen a better place for an enjoyable and relaxing first time.
In this Gran Muthu Imperial review, I’m sharing everything you need to know about this Cayo Guillermo & Cayo Coco all inclusive resort and what I learned and experienced during my time there.
Gran Muthu Imperial Cayo Guillermo
With its stunning beaches, clear blue waters, and lush vegetation, Cayo Guillermo is a popular tourist destination for those looking for a tropical getaway.
Located between Gran Muthu Cayo Guillermo and Gran Muthu Rainbow, Gran Muthu Imperial is a luxury 5-star all-inclusive resort located in Cayo Guillermo, Cuba.
This resort is known for its excellent service, comfortable rooms, and wide range of activities and amenities that make for a truly unforgettable vacation.
And if you’re looking for a kid-free resort, Gran Muthu Imperial is one of three adults-only all inclusive resorts in Cayo Guillermo (Hotel Playa Cayo Guillermo and Melia Cayo Guillermo being the other two).
I booked my trip through Sunwing which included the all inclusive resort accommodations at Gran Muthu Imperial, round trip flights and airport transfer to and from the resort, making it a truly stress-free experience.
Gran Muthu Imperial is my third all-inclusive resort experience after Sandals Montego Bay in Jamaica and Sheraton Buganvilias Resort in Puerto Vallarta.
Gran Muthu Imperial vs Gran Muthu Cayo Guillermo
With both resorts being in Cayo Guillermo, Cuba and being right next to each other, most people wonder what the difference is between Gran Muthu Imperial and Gran Muthu Cayo Guillermo.
Here are the main differences and observations I found from my experience:
- Gran Muthu Imperial is adults-only for guests ages 18+. Gran Muthu Cayo Guillermo is family friendly so expect children and families enjoying the resort.
- Being a family-friendly resort, Gran Muthu Cayo Guillermo has more kid-friendly food options.
- Since Gran Muthu Cayo Guillermo is family-friendly, there is typically more guests there than Gran Muthu Imperial (unless during max peak season). When I went off-peak, Gran Muthu Imperial was very quiet but Gran Muthu Cayo Guillermo was still busy.
- Gran Muthu Imperial has its own private beach and also has beach access to the same public beach Gran Muthu Cayo Guillermo has.
- There are activities and entertainment for families and kids at Gran Muthu Cayo Guillermo.
- Gran Muthu Imperial is a newer and larger resort than Gran Muthu Cayo Guillermo with a more modern design than a classic one.
Travel Requirements For Entering Cuba
As you get closer to your Cuba trip, make sure to follow these travel requirements for Canadians for a seamless entry to Cuba:
- Canadian nationals with a valid Canadian passport or a Canadian permanent resident card do not require a visa to enter Cuba. They can enter with their valid passport and tourist card, which is included in the holiday package and provided on board the plane or at the airline counter during check-in at Canadian airports.
- Cuba requires medical insurance that covers all types of medical emergencies, including COVID-19. If there’s an emergency, the tourist will be responsible for all medical costs. As such, it’s advisable to have medical insurance for all types of medical emergencies.
- If you cannot obtain medical insurance in Canada, you can purchase it at the airport in Cuba or visit www.cubatravel.cu.
- Since January 1, 2022, all travelers going to Cuba must complete the customs and health declaration form.
- This can be done online through https://www.dviajeros.mitrans.gob.cu/, and it should be completed 48 hours before travel. Once completed, a QR code will be sent to your email, which you need to present in electronic or printed form to the authorities upon arrival.
- If you can’t complete the form online due to a lack of internet access, you can fill out a printed copy at the airport in Cuba upon arrival.
As travel requirements may change at anytime, be sure to check the latest information from the Cuba Tourist Board of Canada.
Getting To Gran Muthu Imperial
Are you ready for your tropical vacation in Cuba?
If you’re flying to Gran Muthu Imperial from Canada like I did, there are several cities that offer direct flights to Jardines del Rey Airport in Cayo Coco, Cuba.
Multiple travel sites offer all-inclusive packages to Gran Muthu Imperial like Sunwing, Transat and Air Canada Vacations.
Here are some of the Canadian cities with the corresponding airports and flight times to Cayo Coco:
- From Toronto: Pearson International Airport – 4 hours and 30 minutes
- From Halifax: Halifax Stanfield International Airport – 4 hours 30 minutes
- From Montreal: Montreal Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport – 4 hours
- From Vancouver: Vancouver International Airport – 10 hours
- From Calgary: Calgary International Airport – 6 hours and 55 minutes
- From Ottawa: Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport – 5 hours and 30 minutes
Upon arriving at Jardines del Rey Airport, you will go through customs and then take an airport shuttle that transfers you to Gran Muthu Imperial resort.
You will find a representative from your booking airline standing at the exit who will tell you which shuttle bus to take.
How far is Gran Muthu Imperial from the Airport?
A direct transfer from the Cayo Coco airport to Gran Muthu Imperial is about 40 minutes, but this can take longer as the shuttle makes stops to drop off guests for other resorts along the way.
The transfer was included in my all-inclusive package with Sunwing, but be sure to check with the package you bought if it’s included or if you need to make your own arrangements.
Travelling Foodie Tip: Fly in the morning or afternoon if you want to enjoy aerial views of Cuba from the plane and scenic views while you make your way to the resort.
Gran Muthu Imperial Check-in and Check-out Process
The check-in process at Gran Muthu Imperial is straightforward and smooth.
Once you arrive, you’ll be given a welcome drink at the entrance, and you can head to the reception desk to check-in.
You will need to provide your passport information as part of checking-in.
Once completed and you receive the keys, you can head to your room to unwind, or head to the Lobby Bar right beside to start your vacation drinking.
The check-out process is also straightforward.
You simply go to the reception desk to handover the keys and you can have them store your luggage while you wait for the airport transfer.
You can continue to enjoy the resort until the time your airport shuttle arrives.
If your flight is at night, they allow you to extend the use of your room an hourly fee.
Travelling Foodie Tip: There is a complimentary courtesy room you can reserve for a 1 hour time slot so you can shower and freshen up before your flight.
Towels, shampoos, soap and toilet paper are provided.
Basic Amenities Included With Your Stay At Gran Muthu Imperial
At Gran Muthu Imperial, you’ll have access to a range of amenities that are included with your stay.
Some of the basic amenities include:
- Daily housekeeping services
- Complimentary bottled water in your room replenished daily
- Complimentary access to the resort’s Wi-Fi network
- All-inclusive dining options including buffet and a la carte restaurants
- Unlimited alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks at any of the resort’s bars
- Daily activities and entertainment, including live music, shows, and games.
- Access to the resort’s pools and beach
- Use of beach towels and loungers
- Depending on your all-inclusive package, you may also get complimentary cans of beer in your fridge.
In addition to these basic amenities, guests can also take advantage of the resort’s facilities such as the gym, sports bar, game room, swimming pool, and infinity pool.
Gran Muthu Imperial also offers a range of excursions and tours that can be arranged for an additional fee.
I’m covering all of these in more detail on other sections.
Also Read: Where To Eat and Drink in St. Croix, USVI
Gran Muthu Imperial Wifi
A lot of people wonder if there is free wifi at Gran Muthu Imperial, or if you have to use roaming, pocket wifi or local sim with data.
There is free internet throughout the resort at Gran Muthu Imperial Cayo Coco.
During check-in, they will provide you with a printed slip with wi-fi information specific to your room.
The wi-fi login provided has a fixed duration.
Once the time runs out, just go back to front desk to ask them to reset the duration or provide a new login.
It’s good enough to check emails, scroll through social media and search stuff online.
It’s not fast enough for watching movies/shows on streaming services, unless you want a pixelated quality.
I was able to share posts on social media and my friend was able to work-from-home on some days.
Gran Muthu Imperial Facilities
Gran Muthu Imperial has a wide range of facilities for guests to enjoy.
The lobby of Gran Muthu Imperial is spacious with seating areas, a great place to relax and unwind when returning from excursions or waiting for the shuttle bus back to the airport.
The staff at the front desk are friendly and always available to help with any questions you may have.
The lobby is where the Welcome Meeting will be held the next morning after your arrival.
During the Welcome Meeting, your airline representative will give you an overview of the resort and Cuba in general.
You’ll also learn about the different excursions and tour packages you can book with them as well as the times during the day they will be available.
There is a small shop at the lobby of Gran Muthu Imperial near the reception desk where you can buy souvenirs, Cuban cigars and rum.
If the Cigar Bar is not selling cigars, you can buy the cigars here and use it at the Cigar Bar.
To the left when you enter Gran Muthu Imperial is the lobby bar.
The atmosphere at the lobby bar is lively and inviting, and it’s a great place to make new friends or catch up with old ones.
Usually, when you arrive at Gran Muthu Imperial from the airport, most guests would head to the lobby bar right away after checking-in to get some drinks.
Here you can enjoy a variety of spirits (lots of different rum!), wines, and beers, as well as non-alcoholic beverages like juices and sodas.
The bartenders are friendly and knowledgeable, and always happy to suggest a drink that you might like based on your preferences.
In the morning, they are also a cafe serving Cuban coffee with a small section of breakfast items.
I loved that they use sugar cane sticks as a sweetener option.
Also by the Lobby Bar is the A la Carte Restaurant Reservation Desk where you can make reservations for the nights you want to do a la carte dining instead of the buffet.
If you’re a cigar aficionado, then the Cigar Bar at Gran Muthu Imperial is a must-visit.
This intimate and cozy bar is the perfect place to relax and enjoy Cuban cigar with a drink in hand, preferably Cuban rum for the full Cuban experience.
The bar has a wide selection of spirits and wines to enjoy with your cigar.
Travelling Foodie Tip: Ask for a strawberry gin and tonic and thank me after!
Sometimes, you can buy Cuban cigars directly at the bar but, if they don’t have any available, you can buy from the resort’s shop.
The Cigar Bar has a cigar cutter and lighter so you don’t need to worry about bringing those.
The staff at the cigar bar are knowledgeable about cigars and can help you choose one that will suit your taste.
Gran Muthu Imperial Gym
Gran Muthu Imperial also has a well-equipped gym with cardio and weight training machines.
It’s a great way to stay active and fit while on an all-inclusive vacation.
Especially to work off any excess calories from all the food and drinks!
In the full tour video section, you can see what the gym looks like inside!
Sports Bar and Game Room
For those who prefer a more laid back and casual atmosphere, there’s a Sports Bar and Game Room at the Gran Muthu Imperial in Cayo Guillermo.
You can enjoy a drink or two and catch up on your favourite sports events on TV.
There are also billiard and foosball tables for you to play.
I enjoyed sitting right at the bar where bartender Yadianis will whip up some amazing cocktails!
Travelling Foodie Tip: Ask Yadianis to surprise you as she has some special off-menu concoctions up her sleeve.
A la Carte Restaurant
The Gran Muthu Imperial resort also features an A la Carte restaurant that serves different cuisines.
There are multiple A la Carte restaurants throughout the resort, but how many are open during your visit depends on the season.
During my visit, there was only one restaurant open where the menu rotated daily between Cuban, Mediterranean and International.
You’ll need to make reservations at the Reservation Desk beside the Lobby Bar.
Depending on the staff at the desk, they sometimes allow you to make reservations for multiple nights at the same time, but sometimes you can only book on the same day you want to dine.
The A la Carte restaurant has a nicer dress code than the rest of the dining options at Gran Muthu Imperial.
It’s at least business casual, typically long pants, polo and closed shoes for men and date night dress for women.
I noticed it is not strictly enforced, and you can still find guests wearing shirts, shorts and/or sandals or running shoes.
In regards to the food, some of the dishes are the same as what you can find at the buffet, and other dishes are a nicer or elevated version.
At the very least, you know the dishes are freshly made compared to the dishes sitting at the warmer trays at the Buffet Restaurant.
For those who prefer a more casual dining experience or do not want to be constrained with time, Gran Muthu Imperial also has a buffet restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner.
This restaurant is not 24 hours so be sure to take note of the hours they serve so you don’t miss them.
Lunch and dinner options are usually similar.
There are multiple ready-made food stations including rice, meat, seafood, salad, fruits and desserts.
What I was surprised to find out was there were also made-to-order stations for meat, pasta and fish.
For the meat, you can choose chicken, pork and/or beef, and they’ll grill it to your liking.
Travelling Foodie Tip: Ask to cook the meat with red wine.
For the pasta, you get to choose from different pasta sauces and toppings, and they’ll make the pasta fresh for you including topping it with freshly grated cheese.
For fish, you can choose from four different kinds of fish and they’ll grill it for you.
I typically get food from the meat and pasta stations because I like my food made fresh, and would also try some of the lamb, rice and fried plantains from the ready-made food.
Though food is taken from the buffet, drinks are ordered from your server.
Breakfast is a bit more different than lunch and dinner.
Instead of the meat station, you get an omelette station where you can choose how many eggs you want and your choice of toppings.
If you don’t want omelette, you can still ask them to make your eggs a different way too.
Instead of the pasta station, you get the bananas foster station.
Bananas Foster is a dessert made of bananas, dark rum sauce and vanilla ice cream.
The banana is flambéed with rum too as they make the dish so it’s quite a show to see!
If you’re looking for some night-time entertainment, the Gran Muthu Imperial has a theatre bar that features live music and shows.
The schedule of shows can be found at the end of the lobby right at the fork on the way to the Sports Bar or Cigar Bar.
This is a great place to relax, unwind and enjoy the local talent, while enjoying some drinks from the bar.
Some of the shows have audience participation so you can be on stage too!
Swimming Pool and Infinity Pool
Gran Muthu Imperial has two beautiful swimming pools, including an infinity pool that overlooks the sea.
The pools are surrounded by comfortable loungers and umbrellas, making them the perfect spot to soak up the sun and relax.
The infinity pool also has a swim-up bar so you never have to leave the pool if you want some drinks.
There are small bars by the pool areas, including the Havana Bar which only serves Havana Club rum.
Be sure to check the daily schedule of activities at the lobby because they also have pool-side entertainment, games and activities.
For those looking for a more private and romantic setting, there’s a beautiful gazebo at Gran Muthu Imperial that’s perfect for couples or small groups.
You can enjoy a drink or two while taking in the stunning views of the sea.
Even better is having a Cuban lobster dinner there!
For those who need a quick bite between meals, the Snack Bar at Gran Muthu Imperial serves light snacks and drinks.
This is a great place to grab a sandwich or a snack to tide you over until your next meal.
The best thing is it is 24-hours so you can eat and drink all day and night here!
My favourite to get at the Snack Bar is the Imperial Muthu Burger (beef patty with fried egg, cheese, ham and vegetables), French fries and sweet potato fries.
The Snack Bar is such a gathering hole for guests late night when the rest of the facilities are closed so it’s a good way to meet new people.
And some late night action happens here when people have had a lot of drinks… or shots!
Travelling Foodie Tip: When doing tours/excursions that leave in the morning before the breakfast buffet open, eat your breakfast here or you can order food for takeout.
Snack Bar is also where some of the themed lunches are held like the Cuban Day.
During Cuban Day, you’ll get more traditional Cuban food setup here with a buffet and made-to-order stations like Cuban roast pork, grilled fish and churros that are usually not available at the Buffet Restaurant.
Gran Muthu Imperial Beach
Gran Muthu Imperial has a beautiful beach that’s perfect for swimming, sunbathing and water sports.
The sand is soft and white, and the water is crystal clear.
One thing to note is the water is quite rocky so I recommend bringing water shoes in the water.
The water is also very shallow.
I walked all the way to the buoy and the water was only up to my knee.
The beach has plenty of loungers and umbrellas for guests to use.
There’s also a beach bar for you to enjoy drinks, including Bucanero on draught.
Travelling Foodie Tip: If you don’t want to pay for excursions or on a tight budget, the resort beach has daily complimentary use of water equipment daily like kayak, paddle boat, canoe, even a small catamaran.
For those who love to stay active and do some non-water sports on their vacation, Gran Muthu Imperial has a Sports Club area that has outdoor tennis and basketball courts.
Gran Muthu Imperial Standard Room
I booked a Standard Room during my visit to Gran Muthu Imperial, and it was clean and comfortable.
The room had a balcony, fridge, shower, toilet, and seating area.
The fridge was stocked with beers, and you receive a big bottle of water daily.
Travelling Foodie Tip: Be sure to finish or hide the bottle of water so housekeeping would put a new one.
During my stay, I had an ant issue in my room, but the staff was nice enough to switch me to another room.
Also Read: Park Hotel Alexandra in Singapore
What To Pack For Cuba All Inclusive Resort
Here’s a list of items you should consider packing for your trip to the Gran Muthu Imperial in Cayo Coco:
- Sunscreen – It’s important to protect your skin from the sun, especially if you plan to spend a lot of time at the beach or pool.
- Mosquito Repellent – While the Gran Muthu Imperial is well-maintained, Cuba is still a tropical country where mosquitos and bugs are common. It’s always a good idea to bring mosquito repellent to protect yourself from any bites.
- Swimwear – If you plan to spend time at the beach or pool, be sure to bring a swimsuit or two. Find swimsuit for women here and men here.
- Light, comfortable clothing – Cuba can be quite hot and humid, so it’s best to pack light and airy clothing that’s easy to wear.
- Comfortable shoes – If you plan to explore the local area, be sure to pack a pair of comfortable shoes for walking.
- Water Shoes – If you plan to walk on the beach waters or do water activities.
- Cash and Credit Card – While the resort does accept credit cards, it’s always a good idea to bring cash for any purchases you might make outside of the resort or for tipping. Credit card is required when booking tours with your airline provider like Sunwing. Note: US Credit Cards are not accepted.
Currency in Cuba
The local currency in Cuba is the Cuban Peso (CUP).
The Cuban Convertible Peso (CUC) has been discontinued and is no longer accepted in Cuba.
At Gran Muthu Imperial and other tourist areas, US dollars and Canadian dollars are both accepted, but Canadian currency is generally preferred.
However, it is important to note that fresh, crisp bills are needed as it can be difficult for staff to use or exchange wrinkled or torn bills in Cuba.
In fact, the staff will typically reject the bill if it’s torn or wrinkled.
When payment is only accepted with debit or credit cards, only Canadian cards are accepted, even when you are being charged US dollars in some cases (like the excursions).
Payments outside the tourist areas are typically all in Cuban pesos (CUP).
Customers who do not have a credit card can buy a prepaid card in Cuba at the airport or at any money exchange kiosks at hotels.
During my trip there, I was recommended to exchange Canadian dollars for Cuban pesos only as needed and only if I planned to travel OUTSIDE of tourist areas, since you will not be able to change the remaining pesos into Canadian dollars at the end of the holiday.
I didn’t have to do any currency exchange during my time there.
Watch the Gran Muthu Imperial Cayo Guillermo Full Tour
If you want to see how Gran Muthu Imperial looks like, let Travelling Foodie Raymond Cua take you on a full tour of this 5-star adults-only Cayo Coco & Cayo Guillermo All Inclusive Resort.
This travel vlog features all the facilities and amenities mentioned in this Cuba all inclusive resort guide.
Things To Do Outside Gran Muthu Imperial
Here are some of the things you can do outside Gran Muthu Imperial Resort in Cayo Guillermo, Cuba.
Explore the nearby Market Square
A short walk from the Gran Muthu Imperial and Gran Muthu Cayo Guillermo, you will find a Plaza Hemingway, a market square where you can buy souvenirs and gifts.
On top of that, there are restaurants, bowling alley, massage parlour, disco bar and more.
It’s a great place to pick up some authentic Cuban products and interact with the locals.
Visit the lobster shack
A 5-minute walk from Gran Muthu Cayo Guillermo beach, you will find Ranchon Punta Rasa, a local lobster shack where you can enjoy fresh seafood and Cuban lobster.
It’s a great place to try some of the local cuisine and taste the flavors of the region, especially if you love lobster because Cuban lobster is so different from Nova Scotia lobster.
It was so good I actually went twice: the first time at night and the other one for lunch so I can see what it looks like in both setting.
Coming from Gran Muthu Imperial, you can also walk to the lobster shack though it will take longer.
Travelling Foodie Insider Tip: Speak to the bellboy at the front desk!
They can help make reservations for you so you are guaranteed the seafood, especially the Cuban lobster which may run out.
The bellboy will also bring you to the restaurant using the golf cart and will pick you up after your meal (or whenever you feel like going back since the restaurant will just call the bellboy).
Watch what it’s like at Ranchon Punta Rasa lobster shack for lunch and dinner on the travel vlog below:
Take a Catamaran Excursion
If you’re looking for a unique and memorable experience, the catamaran excursion is a great choice.
This sea tour is the most popular excursion/tour at Gran Muthu Imperial.
It’s an all day tour where you leave in the morning and get home in the afternoon after lunch.
During the catamaran excursion, you’ll get to see the stunning coastline and enjoy activities like snorkeling, swimming and sunbathing.
They provide life vests and snorkeling equipment so you don’t have to worry.
It’s also perfect for drinkers since it’s open bar the entire time in the boat.
It was such a fun day and luckily the weather cooperated though the water was quite rough for me to snorkel.
And for lunch, you get your choice of chicken or lobster plus a buffet.
Not going to lie, the lobster wasn’t great (it was pretty dry), but I would still pick it over chicken.
If you want a true taste of lobster, visit the Lobster Shack or the Playa Pilar restaurant.
Cost: USD79 booked through the airline representative using credit card
Watch my full experience of the Cayo Coco catamaran sea tour on the travel vlog below:
Visit Playa Pilar / Pilar Beach
This beautiful beach is a must-visit while at Gran Muthu Imperial.
Considered one of Cuba’s best beaches, Playa Pilar is a stunning place to soak up the sun, swim in the turquoise waters, and simply relax.
Pilar Beach takes about 5-10 minute drive from Gran Muthu Imperial so be sure to book a taxi in advanced either through the front desk or your airline provider representative.
The taxi costs $5 cash/per person (same for both USD and CAD).
You have to tell the driver what time to pick you up at Playa Pilar to return back to the resort.
Also, we were told not to pay the driver upfront but instead on the trip back.
This guarantees that the driver will come back to pick us up.
At Playa Pilar, the chairs and shaded cabanas you see aren’t complimentary to use.
For $20 cash (same for both USD and CAD), you get a shaded shack for 2 people on the beach and 3 drink tickets for the beach bar.
I highly recommend arriving going there for lunch since there’s a beach restaurant there.
The grilled lobster meal was so delicious and cooked differently from the one at the lobster shack.
There are excursions available at Playa Pilar as well if you want alternatives outside of what’s offered at Gran Muthu Imperial.
Watch the travel vlog below to see my experience visiting Playa Pilar Beach and trying the lobster lunch at Playa Pilar Restaurant:
Go on a Sugar, Cigar & Rum Excursion
The Sugar, Cigar & Rum Tour is the second popular excursion at Gran Muthu Imperial.
It is perfect for those interested in learning about the local history, culture and experiences because you actually go into the province’s capital city of Moron.
In this tour, you’ll learn about the history and production of Cuban cigars, rum and sugar.
You’ll get to visit a tobacco and coffee farm and a sugar mill and learn about the production processes.
For lunch, you’ll be doing a buffet of authentic Cuban food.
This is followed by a speed boat ride through the La Redonda Lagoon.
And since Ciego de Avila is the land of pineapple in Cuba, your last stop is a Pina Colada at Parador La Silla.
The Pina Colada is $5 (same for CAD and USD and same price for non-alcoholic version) but is optional if you don’t want to drink.
I highly recommend it though because it is so fresh, Instagrammable (they serve it on a coconut) and you get to put as much rum as you want.
You can also enjoy the Pina Colada on their over-the-water huts.
What’s also great about this tour is you get take home gifts of a big bottle of rum (Havana Club 3 years when I did it) and a small cigar.
Cost: USD75 booked through airline representative using credit card.
Watch my full experience of the Cayo Coco Sugar, Cigar and Rum Tour in the travel vlog below:
These are just a few of the many things you can do outside of Gran Muthu Imperial Resort in Cayo Guillermo, Cuba, and the ones I got to experience.
Whether you’re looking for shopping, adventure, relaxation or cultural experiences, there’s something for everyone.
How is the food at Gran Muthu Imperial?
As a travelling foodie, a lot of people asked me how the food was during my time at Gran Muthu Imperial.
I heard a lot of bad things about food in Cuba all inclusive resorts in general so I came to Gran Muthu Imperial with zero expectations in regards to food.
It definitely wasn’t bad like how people described it to me as bland, disgusting and inedible.
A lot of people even said to bring your own condiments like salt and pepper to season your food.
Maybe I was lucky, as well, but I didn’t find the need to season the food more.
There were condiments available too, though I didn’t need to use them except for ketchup with the fries.
I was honestly quite surprised that food was decent enough that I was content, and I won’t tell you not to go here because the food is bad.
But don’t expect too much when it comes to the food…
I would say that food is not the main reason you would go to Gran Muthu Imperial or to a Cuba all-inclusive resort, in general.
With zero expectations on food, I came with an open mind and was happy there were made-to-order stations at the buffet and at the Snack Bar.
I’ve heard stories where Cuba all inclusive resorts, including Gran Muthu Imperial, run out of ingredients or there’s a shortage of food and supplies, but luckily I didn’t experience that during my stay.
One thing I will say though, and I’m sure it’s true for all-inclusive resorts in general, is that food gets repetitive especially since I was there for 7 nights.
This is why as a foodie, I went out of the resort to try other food… and more local food.
I didn’t go to Gran Muthu Imperial expecting many authentic traditional Cuban food.
In fact, most of the food at Gran Muthu Imperial are less traditional Cuban cuisine and more touristy and geared for foreigners and what’s easily enjoyed by most people.
They even had poutine (though not real poutine using curds) because most of their guests are Canadians.
If you do find the fresh churro station, do try it. They were delicious!
For drinks, they have all kinds from beers and wines to spirits and cocktails, but the restaurants and bars don’t carry the same options so you’ll need to scout them based on your preference.
For example, you can’t get cocktails at the Snack Bar but you can at the Sports Bar.
You can’t get gin at the Lobby Bar, but you can at the Cigar Bar.
For wine, I recommend sticking with the white and rosé wines.
You really do all-inclusive resorts for more than just the food like the escape and relaxation, the waters, the people and the all-you-can-drink alcohol (which is extra if you go on a cruise).
And Gran Muthu Imperial gave me exactly that!
What To Expect At Gran Muthu Imperial and Cuba All Inclusive Resorts: Expectations VS Reality
When I was doing my research for this trip, I read polarizing reviews not just on Gran Muthu Imperial but about all-inclusive resorts in Cuba.
I think the biggest dissonance when it comes to Cuba all inclusive resorts is the expectation vs reality:
We tend to have glamorous notion of all inclusive resorts from media, from our past experiences in other countries, or from stories from friends and family.
The reality is we cannot compare Cuba all-inclusive resorts with other countries because it’s a very different situation and experience.
From what I learned, the star rating is different in Cuba: a Cuba 5-star resort is actually 3-star in other countries.
In Cuba, availability of resources, supplies and food can be scarce compared to others, and shortages are common.
Cuba all-inclusive resorts are perhaps the cheapest all-inclusive getaway you can find in North America, which is why they’re so popular.
The fact that I paid CAD950 (taxes and fees included) for my 7 nights at Gran Muthu Imperial with the Sunwing package says it all.
Mexico packages were ~CAD2,000 and cruises were ~CAD3,500 when I reviewed and compared alternative options.
With what you’re paying, do not expect the most luxurious experience.
Go with the appreciation that you got a great deal for a tropical getaway, most likely away from the brutal Canadian winter.
My biggest tip is to come with an open mind and don’t expect too much.
Enjoy the moment and you’ll have a great time!
Frequently Asked Questions on Gran Muthu Imperial
If you’ve never been to Gran Muthu Imperial, or it’s your first time visiting Cuba or doing an all inclusive, you will definitely have questions.
Here are the most frequently asked questions I received and read about Gran Muthu Imperial and Cayo Coco & Cayo Guillermo All Inclusive Resorts.
Is tipping mandatory at Gran Muthu Imperial?
Tipping is not mandatory at Gran Muthu Imperial, but it is highly appreciated by the staff because it goes a long way for them.
Luckily, they accept both US and Canadian dollars.
It can be difficult to always tip with $5 Canadian bills so it is still okay to tip with Canadian coins.
Just note that these coins are not usable to them and are meant as tokens for exchange into proper Canadian billa later on.
Staff at Gran Muthu Imperial will typically ask if you can trade their coins for bills once they’ve accumulated enough to exchange.
When tipping, also consider tipping staff members you have less interaction with such as the gardener, bellboy and reception.
What gifts are appreciated by staff in a Cuba all inclusive resort?
While gifts are not mandatory, resort staff in Cuba do appreciate them as certain resources can be hard to find or unavailable in the country.
- Toiletries: shampoo, soap, lotion, toothbrushes, toothpaste, shaving cream, razor and other toiletries.
- Snacks: chips, chocolate, cookies, candy, gum or crackers.
- Clothing and wearables: hats, shirts, sunglasses, shoes, shorts, and pants
- Tools: gardening, plumbing, electricity
- Office supplies: pens, pencils, paper, notebook, desk fans, LED flashlights, phone chargers,
- Feminine products
- Medicines: antibiotics, muscle relaxant, pain relievers
- Children’s items: crayons, coloring books, toys, medication, school supplies
- Bags and backpacks
- Kitchen: Kitchen, cooking and baking accessories, spatulas and spices.
It maybe hard to bring gifts if you are only doing a carry-on instead of check-in luggage.
Depending on which airline you use, you may have complimentary checked luggage instead of carry-on like Sunwing.
Is it safe to drink the tap water in Cuba?
As a general rule, it is not recommended to drink the tap water in Cuba.
You should only drink bottled water and make sure that the bottle is sealed when you purchase it.
Gran Muthu Imperial provides a big bottle of water daily, but you can also purchase additional bottled water from the resort or from local stores.
How far is Gran Muthu Imperial from Havana?
On my trip, people asked if I was going to visit Havana while I was in Gran Muthu Imperial.
Unfortunately, though you still can if you wanted, I didn’t find it was feasible for me nor worth my time to visit Havana from the resort.
Travelling from Gran Muthu Imperial to Havana takes 6 hours and 48 minutes by car (551.4 km in distance).
It also takes 6 hours 24 minutes from Cayo Coco to Havana, specifically.
Yes, I could’ve flown to Havana from Cayo Coco, but I feel like it’s unnecessary expense that I don’t need to do when there is things I can do in Cayo Coco already.
If I wanted to do Havana, it’s better for me to have a separate Havana trip, or do Varadero then make a trip to Havana from there.
Is there a currency exchange available at Gran Muthu Imperial?
Yes, you can exchange currency at the front desk.
They will only accept fresh, crisp bills to exchange.
Are there any shops or stores nearby the resort?
Yes, there is a small shop at Gran Muthu Imperial where you can buy essentials, cigar, rum and souvenirs.
There’s also a larger market, Plaza Hemingway, within walking distance where you can buy local products and souvenirs.
See my section on things to do outside Gran Muthu Imperial for more information.
Is there free Wi-Fi at Gran Muthu Imperial?
There is complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the resort at Gran Muthu Imperial.
You’ll need to get your login information at the reception.
See my section on Gran Muthu Imperial WiFi for more information.
Are there any organized activities or excursions available at Gran Muthu Imperial?
Yes, you can enjoy a variety of activities and excursions at Gran Muthu Imperial through the tour desk or your airline provider in the lobby.
From catamaran excursions to exploring Playa Pilar, there’s something for everyone.
See my section on things to do outside Gran Muthu Imperial for more information and videos.
There are also daily entertainment and activities at the resort as part of the amenities.
Is there a dress code for dining at the resort?
No, there is no formal dress code at the resort.
Guests are advised to wear comfortable clothing, including swimwear and cover-ups at the beach and pool.
For the A la Carte Restaurant, there is an expected dress code (at least business casual) but it is not enforced.
Are there any medical facilities at Gran Muthu Imperial?
There is an international clinic and on-site doctor next door at Gran Muthu Cayo Guillermo where you’ll be allowed to visit should you need to see a doctor.
During my time there, one of the guests had a bad fall which caused a long and bleeding cut on his knee.
He went to the on-call doctor where they stitched him up and continued to observe for healing during his time there.
But his travel insurance was not accepted by the resort’s doctor and only cash payment was accepted.
In case of a serious medical emergency, guests may need to be transported to the nearest hospital.
It’s recommended to have travel insurance to cover any medical expenses if you need to go to a hospital.
Travel insurance is also a requirement when travelling to Cuba.
Are there any vegetarian options at Gran Muthu Imperial?
Yes, there are vegetarian options available at the restaurants at Gran Muthu Imperial, including a salad bar and various vegetarian dishes on the menu.
How safe is Cuba?
Cuba is considered safe, especially in Cayo Guillermo where the island is driven by tourists.
But like any other tourist destination, it is important to be cautious and aware of your surroundings, especially when carrying valuables.
Is it easy to exchange currency in Cayo Coco, Cuba?
Yes, it is easy to exchange currency in Cuba, but it is recommended to bring Canadian or US dollars and exchange them into Cuban pesos (CUP) at the resort or at a currency exchange office.
There is also a Currency Exchange House (aka CADECA) at the Cayo Coco Jardines del Rey Airport to the left hand side when you go outside the doors.
It’s also advisable to have crisp and clean bills as they will not accept the bills if they are torn or worn.
They also do not accept coins.
My trip to Cayo Coco and my stay in Gran Muthu Imperial in Cayo Guillermo was a wonderful first time experience.
I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a relaxing, all-inclusive getaway in Cuba.
The resort offers a range of amenities, facilities, and excursions to keep guests entertained and comfortable.
The staff are friendly and accommodating, and the local culture and scenery are truly breathtaking.
I hope this Gran Muthu Imperial review and guide helps you decide if this is the kind of Cuba all-inclusive resort you’d want to stay at.
I tried my best to make sure this will be one of the best and most comprehensive Gran Muthu Imperial reviews you will find!
If you have more questions about my time at Gran Muthu Imperial or in Cuba or this review, feel free to reach out.
Wednesday 15th of March 2023
Gran muthu imperial is one of the best resort with gorgeous and amazing beach. Front desk staff were friendly and accomodate all guest needs. Porter are very helpful accomodating all the luggages to bring to your room. Shout out to all the front desk staff and the porters specially to yandy
Wednesday 15th of March 2023
The staff at Gran Muthu Imperial are so nice!