I am just returning for the second time in 2008 from the Barlovento in Varadero, Cuba and I have nothing but rave reviews of the staff and the hotel! This hotel is clean and attractive but the staff is the shining star for sure! The first trip in February 2008, I was accompanied by 4 of my girlfriends and we had such a wonderful time! We enjoyed all of the staff who are very warm and friendly and incredibly helpful – I have nothing but the deepest respect for all of the staff here. I loved it so much, that I returned for a second trip in March 2008 and this time I travelled with my teenage daughter. We were both amazed at how helpful, friendly and inviting the staff are at this hotel! Particularly the Animacion staff of Yovani, Alberto, Leticia, Regla, Alex, Legna and Dinorah – we were awed by how incredibly accomodating this staff was to us! We love them all and we would love to thank each of them personally for making our vacation incredible! The food at the Barlovento is better than most other foods we ate in both of my trips to Varadaro (we did try some local cuisine to compare to it and it certainly doesn’t compare). Food is not a huge factor for Cuba overall as we discovered on a day trip to La Habana as well – it’s either very bland or very salty (to be fair, I am a chef and restaurant owner myself, so I can be a bit of a critic). At the Barlovento, however, the Mexican restaurant called El Cactus, the food was always well above par – and the staff of Ramone, Mango aka Junio, and Yanet went above and beyond the call of duty! The beach grill for lunch was always excellent with Chef Luis being exceptionally helpful and pleasant. The Creole restaurant was very tasty and for those travelling as a couple, this restaurant is also very romantic. The buffet hacienda restaurant was so/so but if you choose wisely, the omelettes are made a la minute and are always very tasty (I would recommend bringing ketchup from outside Cuba for ketchup conneseiurs, lol) We encountered many servers during my two trips to the Barlovento but shining above them all was Annabel who I made efforts to find and have her serve us during our stays — what a lovely person! Thank you Annabel!! Muuaahh! There are 4 bars at the Barlovento with rotating staff but I would really like to thank Teo, Josehp, Hilda, Miquel, Jaquelin, Gretel, Javier, Joel, Pelly, Leo and last but not least, La China for making both my trip in Feb and my trip in March amazing! They were incredibly welcoming and, not only did they remember me, but they went out of their way to make each and every day special for me/us! Thank you, my Barlovento/Cuba friends and we wish God’s blessings on you forever! You have created wonderful memories for us that we will treasure always!!!! I hope that you will make sure to thank your staff personally for me and I will definitely return many times to the Barlovento! Sincerely, Darlene Whitmore
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