This is my 5th trip to Cuba. My first time to Varadero as we wanted to be closer for our trip to Havana on our own. I’ve stayed in 3* & 4* in Cuba so I am fully aware of what to expect with regard to food. I feel this hotel is grossly overrated 3.5 or 4 is way out of line(just my opinion) 2* only.
Arrival smooth bus/airport/immigration.
Quickly rec’d room key unfortunately it was on the main floor of the 1st 5 story building. Gross smell & window facing street would not lock. 10 pesos later a room that didn’t exist as the hotel was full appeared. This new room was on the 5th floor facing canal side & pool it had a nice view. The room itself was small yet very clean. Our maid was very efficient & did a nice job with the towel art. Absolutely no complaints about the maid service. The exterior halls & elevator were filthy. The elevator which I didn’t find out until going back to my room at 7PM had zero lights working out of the 6. I didn’t like the idea of getting on a pitch dark elevator at night with complete strangers & was told that people at the hotel had been complaining for 5 days that there were no lights in the elevator. On the 6th day of our trip the lights were finally changed.
Restaurants and Bars:
Food – forget it. This was the worst I’ve ever experience in Cuba. Long line ups for anything cooked in front of you. For the most part just different versions of left overs disguised as some kind of salad. Fish was usually available but the inconsistency was insane. I would get to the front of the line & a small piece of over cooked bony fish would be thrown on my plate & then as we are leaving a new batch of entirely different fish would appear at the cooking station. Sometimes it looked quite good. I think they have limited amounts of half decent food which occasionly appears so that some people end up thinking it’s not half bad here. Cabbage raw is OK for awhile but I can’t stomach it every day for each meal. Chicken scarce, rice and beans which is fine for I love rice and beans. Not one banana seen the entire time. Beautiful bread the first nite then never seen again. Zero cheese with exception to occasionally a tray of extremely thin sliced cheese that you couldn’t pick up without mushing it into a ball. Oh well enough about the food.
Beach is beautiful. If you arrive after 10am forget getting a chair & note if you need shade you’ll be a sardine. Beach Staff absoulutely terrible they would rather sit on their butts and whistle telling 2 fifty something ladies where to put the paddle boat onto the beach. Thank you to the tourist guys who got out of their chairs and helped us as we were having such a hard time moving the boat onto the sand. My last day on the beach was entirely different- seemed that the boss had showed up and a few different workers who were fabulous. So I guess the beach staff are hit & miss as well.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
We did the Cat as well as an overnight in Havana on our own. I’m glad I experienced Havana. Varadero is bar after bar and restaurant after restaurant & shops. Some people like it and others hate it, it all depends on what you are looking for.
Other Comments: THE RECEPTION AT THIS HOTEL:
Be on guard when it comes to fake telephone bills. A gentlement & his daughter as we were checking out was told he had a 75.00 CUC phone bill. He told them (the blonde receptionist) that No he didn’t make any phone calls. She proceeds to tell him he did then calls security. He request the manager but he is not at the hotel at the moment. A print out sheet appears and she shows him the print out. See she states right there on Jan 21 all these calls. He finally gives up because he knows that they have his Credit Card # anyway. He pays it & then shows us the print out and I see a separate line where in Spanish it means date of call. All the calls were made on the 16th & 17th of January. He did not arrive in Cuba until the 18th on the same plane as us. He is now very furious and marches back to reception where a new load of 50 people are arriving. He goes directly to the front puts the paper down & asks for the manager. The manager arrives does not speak to him directly only to the blonde. The blonde looks at the sheet and he points out I wasn’t here on the 16th & 17th. She looks at the manager says something and voila a credit is given the man. No apology for the attemted rip-off nothing. So folks if you do go to this hotel do not give your credit card # to the front desk it is not necessary. Your passport is sufficient.
Was this review helpful? Yes Thank you for giving us your opinion.