Alternate names for resorts | Debbie's Caribbean Resort Reviews Forums

I’m hoping to get there. We considered it for this time around, but with my mum coming along I wanted lots of flights…just in case. I think there’s only one day a week that there are flights (won’t swear to it, but I recall trying to plan a 10 day trip and couldn’t). That’ll be a "just my husband and I" trip.

Looks like Sunwing just bought out the RIU Varadero and re-branded it. Calling it the Grand Memories from what I can tell on their site.

Interesting how much Sunwing is investing in Cuba lately.

Monctonguy – "Investing" – in what ? – do they even pay for the sign changes, or get the hotel owners to pay for those ?Anyone know what El Senador was called before it was El Senador ? It was apparantly half built before the Canadians got involved. I think NH Krystal had two or three official names for the resort.
You know what I meant..Sorry I dont know all the legal ins and outs…I know that Sunwing is "taking" over many resorts in Cuba…but I also know they don’t actually own them.So whatever you want to call it….its a SUNWING brand now…sorry if I confused you and cant explain the process and costs invloved with these and the legal agreements in place they may or maynot have..

FFS…..this is a thread about name changes…I was contributing…

I don’t know all the details of how the contracts between Cuba and the hotel chains work, but in general, I think that Cuba owns the hotels, and the hotel chains have a management contract. There must be some cost to the hotel chain to obtain that contract–sort of like a franchise fee, I am guessing.Also, thee apparently is some expectation that the hotel chain is responsible for a certain amount of the maintenance costs.An example is that a few years back, Sandals had the contract to operate Beaches Varadero, with Cubanacan as the Cuban partner/owner. Sandals wanted to do some renovations and repairs, but they couldn’t come to an agreement on how the costs would be split between Sandals and Cubanacan. I think the story at the time was that each party felt the other party should pay all the costs.In the end, Sandals pulled out of the operation, and for a very short time, it was operated by Cubanacan, until Melia came in as the management partner.So, monctonguy, I hope that helps some to clarify how the contracts work. I don’t know if that applies in all cases, but I suspect it does. I have also read that in some cases there is a 51%/49% ownership split, but I’m not so sure I believe that, as I have always been under the impression that foreigners can’t own property in Cuba.Anyway, by way of a hotel name change, the former Beaches Varadero has been Melia Las Antillas now for about 10 years or so.
Well Sunwing brand is putting their name on alot of resorts, whatever that entails.Under the Memories brand or Starfish etc.It’s an investment of something on Sunwings part…time, money, branding, promotion whatever.

I was simply notifying people on this board and thread that the RIU was now a Memories(Sunwing)

A lot like here in Canada where few hotels actually own their properties. Big difference in Cuba is the staff, supplies, services, daily maintenance etc, etc are supplied by the owner of the property. Some hotels only have a few of their own corporate staff on premises.Here, that would be like a Sheraton Hotel, staffed and serviced by the Ontario Teacher’s Pension REIT.

Thanks for the update monctonguy.

You can take it a step further at hotels I’ve stayed at. Front desk, office, accounting, etc are supplied by a different ministry branch/company than the contracted service sector staff.In the end it is still the same pocket.
There are various ways that foreigners can own property in Cuba – and a hotel joint venture is one. (They can be 50/50). In Havana the Saratoga and Parque Central are joint ventures, in Varadero the Hicacos, in Cayo Coco the El Senador. In all those cases the foreign owners are not hotel operators – there is a separate operator (or not, in the case of the Saratoga). Whilst hotel operators can change relatively easily, it is a lot more complicated to change owners. CJ – I don’t know about the ins and outs of the Sandals story, but it could have been a question of whether the costs were normal repairs and so were to be paid out of the hotel’s operating cash flow (which affects the operators percentage), or to be paid solely by the owner.Spunky – yes, where there is a foreign operator, they usually only appoint a few staff (2 or 3).

Beans – do you recall any specific places ? The examples that I have seen, all come from the same ministry – so a Cubanacan hotel, all staff are Ministry of Tourism; the Saratoga, all staff come under the City Historian’s Office; Gaviota – all staff are military.

I’m always here to learn. Perhaps mistakenly, I thought the Ministry of Tourism was a branch of the military or MINFAR/MININT and all tourism sector workers were contracted thru either.At Gran Caribe properties I stayed at in the past the management were proud to point out they were 100% Cuban owned and operated. Curious what this meant (or why it was being pointed out) I asked some of the staff where their paycheque comes from. Gran Caribe? No. I don’t remember the department names, but do remember a split and a different Gov’t branch paying the front and back staff.

Most times I ask if the bar is open 24 hrs and my curiosity is satisfied.

There are various ways that foreigners can own property in Cuba – and a hotel joint venture is one. (They can be 50/50). In Havana the Saratoga and Parque Central are joint ventures, in Varadero the Hicacos, in Cayo Coco the El Senador. In all those cases the foreign owners are not hotel operators – there is a separate operator (or not, in the case of the Saratoga). Whilst hotel operators can change relatively easily, it is a lot more complicated to change owners. Thanks for that clarification. I really wasn’t sure if a foreign company could actually have ownership. I imagine it might be a lot more complex to go that way than to have only a management contract. But I understand how there could be advantages for both participants.
CJ – I don’t know about the ins and outs of the Sandals story, but it could have been a question of whether the costs were normal repairs and so were to be paid out of the hotel’s operating cash flow (which affects the operators percentage), or to be paid solely by the owner. I don’t know all the details, either, but I had gathered from what I heard, I think a big part of the disagreement was over whether the costs should be considered normal maintenance or upgrades. Of course, a lot of that was speculation, both on my part and on the part of those who tried to explain it to me.In any case, Sandals has had three locations in Varadero that I know of (Beaches, Royal Hicacos and Princessa del Mar). I can’t remember if they opened the Princessa before or after they pulled out of Beaches. But now, they are out of the area altogether, since the Royal Hicacos has become Royalton Hicacos. So Sandals is out of Cuba altogether.

At one time, I believe there was a Club Med in Varadero, but no longer. I think for a while, it was called Playa Varadero 1920, or something like that, and I believe it is now called Allegro Varadero.

Dealing with Gran Caribe managed properties in Cayo Largo, the front end and promotion manager were separated from the Gran Caribe staff manager. Maybe because the "Comercial" side of the business is operated as a different arm.

The Ministry of Tourism is a separate ministry – though since Raul took over, the military have a strong influence. But the only ones which are properly military are the Gaviota chain. Oh and MINFAR and MININT are separate ministries. MININT don’t have any direct involvement in tourism, but do own "private" security firms which may provide guards.Cubanacan, Gran Caribe and Islazul are all Ministry of Tourism. I don’t know if there is one employment agency covering all MINTUR or if they are separate.Habaguanex comes under the Havana City Historian’s Office.Gaviota have management contracts with foreign operators for some hotels, but own their hotels 100% as far as I know.Cuabanacan, Gran Caribe and Habaguanex have some joint ventures with foreign ownership and some hotels with foreign management.

I’m not sure Desmei, but I think it might have been the Turquesa. And I think is was really TUI? But I thought TUI was a European travel group – but I’m talking decades ago (and as I said before, old age is catching up and I might have a hazy memory).

It definitely said TVI on the map. It also said "Sol Melia" on it…it was a hotel my neighbours stayed at and it was probably a good 8-10 years ago? It was towards the end of the peninsula, and one of the last ones at that time. It looked like sort of low-rise buildings, rather than a high rise building.

Desmei, I have a copy of an old map from about 2005. I have blown up the end of the peninsula, and I hope it includes the part you are thinking of. Can you remember roughly where the TVI hotel was, relative to anything that is shown on this one?

Wow! Thanks Jack. Lots of history in those working names. It’s amazing how fast that area has grown. The Laguna Magnon has 3 resorts on it now and everyone wonders why there are so many mosquitos, LOL

Is it possible to twist your arm to post a couple of more views?

Wow! Thanks Jack. Lots of history in those working names. It’s amazing how fast that area has grown. The Laguna Magnon has 3 resorts on it now and everyone wonders why there are so many mosquitos, LOL

Is it possible to twist your arm to post a couple of more views?

Sure, I can do that. Just a reminder for everybody, the (partially) updated version is available at post #16 on this thread:

www.debbiescaribbeanresortreviews.com/forum/thread/17783/varadero-maps-hotel-locations

I will see if I can zoom in on some other areas so we can compare some of the old names. Will post them in a while.

OK, as promised, here are a few more maps.The next section of the peninsula, moving west from the previous image:

And then the next section westward:

And, getting more into town:

And, finally, the westernmost end of the peninsula:

As before, all of these are from the 2005 version of the map. Many places have new names, and there are some new hotels that didn’t even exist when this map was originally printed. Does anybody have some details on what is new compared to this one?

Thanks Jack. That brought back memories! I can’t remember the last time we were in Varadero (only been there twice); and can’t remember the date of the last (I think it might be in the mid-late 80’s). But looking at the map, I realized that we saw some of those places and some closer to town or in town are still there. And I do believe the peninsula has expanded considerably. I don’t think we’ll be going back there but it’s interesting to realize how much it’s changed in a relatively short time. Thank you again for your research.

Ha! I had no idea exactly where on the peninsula it was, but I had my letters mixed up. It’s got to be the LTI Jardin del Caribe. What is it now?

GREAT map, BTW. Playa Caleta and Club Scarey aren’t on there, which is interesting; Karey can’t only be 10 years old.¬†

Caleta and Puntarena were probably one property at the time of the map. (They were before they became AI.) Club Scarey was there at the time of the map. I don’t remember Punta Blanca, but a lot of the older properties along that stretch changed names and morphed into and out of neighbouring properties.Casa d’Al was once offered as an a la carte choice for Kawama.I stopped by one this year. Maybe Punta Blanca? I couldn’t find anyone at reception nor lobby bar.

Ha! I had no idea exactly where on the peninsula it was, but I had my letters mixed up. It’s got to be the LTI Jardin del Caribe. What is it now? By looking at the Wikimap, I think the LTI must be the Iberostar Playa Alameda now, as it is shown right next to the Tryp Peninsula. Then the next one shown on the old map is the Gran Lido Varadero, where the Paradisus Princessa del Mar is now shown. And then there was the Barcel√≥ Varadero, now the Blau Marina.

wikimapia.org/#lang=en&lat=23.196701&lon=-81.128755&z=15&m=b

I should add that the file date on my old map is 2005, but I think the map itself is a bit older. It seems to be the same map as the one that was handed out to us on our first trip in January, 2002. Club Carey probably was there even then, but just not shown on the map.

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