BMP Review This past March my mother, brother, and grandmother and I went to the Barcelo Marina Palace for an all-inclusive vacation with a Nolitours package. This was my second time at the resort and my mother’s third time visiting this same resort. My mother and brother and I have been to Cuba many times but it was my Grandmothers first visit to Cuba. Each time I travel to Cuba a make a point to review the resort I stay at because there are so many negative reviews out there. I think that my reviews provide a nice even view of the resort and the area. I am not super demanding but I do expect a certain level of comfort and I am super observant. The following is my review of the BMP in early 2011. Trip Central – Our service with Trip Central was great. We normally choose to go with a local agent but everyone was discouraging us from going to this resort because of bugs. The Trip Central Agent stated that it was up to us but did warn us of the bug issue (not really an issue, but I will get to that later). So we booked. The price went up the day we booked but she called Nolitours and got them to give us the day befores price. Nolitours – Nolitours was good. The only issue that I have with Nolitours and Air Transat is that from Halifax they use Canjet and the planes are so small with so many people jammed in. Typical charter though. The tour rep in Varadero and the BMP is great, really friendly French guy that will bend over backward to make you enjoy your trip or if something goes wrong. Canjet – Seats are tiny, service is okay, food is just barely okay, it makes for a long 4 hour flight. Varadero Airport – When we arrived there were a few other flights from Montreal and other places arriving, they had been delayed. The airport was crazy busy. People everywhere, waiting hours for luggage. Varadero airport is not normally like that however. Border stuff is super easy and you just get your luggage and go out to the awaiting buses. BMP is a big enough resort that your bus will likely take you directly to the BMP not stop at a million resorts on the way. The bus drivers and the Cubanacan hosts are very nice and make the bus ride seem shorter.
Arrival/Lobby – To arrive at the hotel in the day time is wonderful. You drive up to the covered lobby area only to see the white sand and crystal clear blue water beyond. One of the most memorable things of this resort is the arrival in the daytime. Check in is quick and painless and a golf cart will be awaiting to take you to your room.
Rooms: Room – Our room was ocean view and it was wonderful. My mom and grandmother shared a room and my brother and I shared a room. There are no room with two bed in this hotel, to my knowledge, however the bed is large enough that my brother and I could share an bed and not bother each other through the night. Our fridge was restocked each day and I left a note saying that we would like more water and pop and left a peso and our request was granted every day. The room was nice and clean, they are seeing a little bit of age, mildew and the like, the climate is very hard on them, and they are very nice despite this. Our rooms were close to the pool, lobby, beach, and buffet restaurant.
Restaurants and Bars:
Food – The food at this resort is good. Not the best, but good. It gets a little bit repetitive. I can always find something to eat. If you like fruit, bread, cheese, and things like that you will be fine they are always on the buffet. There is pizza and meats and pastas as well. The ice cream is the best!
Beach/Pools/Grounds: Beach – The beach at this resort is the best part. It is long and large. You will never fight for space on the beach at the BMP. There are also almost always palapas and chairs available. Not usually a need to get up early to reserve a spot. The water is nice and warm and there is usually a breeze to keep the hot Caribbean sun from frying you. (It will still fry you)
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Excursions – Go on the trip to Havana you will not regret it. Have a mojito at the bar where Hemmingway wrote (and drank). Excursions are great for the price charged. Another great one is the river boat tour and snorkelling.
Other Comments: Service – Serivce at this resort has really improved over the years, everywhere but the buffet. The lobby staff, bar staff, pool staff, beach staff, and cleaning staff are all wonderful. Flowers for the ladies almost every time we went out. One issue I found was the buffet, it was hit or miss in the service department. I found sometimes the staff in the buffet area were not attentive nor did they even really want you to sit in their section. Other that the buffet service was superb and has gotten better of the years since my last visit. Weather – This trip was in March, however I have been in February, and mom has been in April as well. All times are great for weather. In February you might get some cool nights and in April the rain begins to be a problem sometimes. Okay so the warning that was given to us was that the bugs were out of control at this resort. Each time we have been to this resort that bugs have NOT been an issue nor were they this time. The time that mom was there in April it rained a few days and the bugs came out after that. So perhaps if it rains the bugs may be an issue. But they are NOT if it doesn’t rain. Past Review – As I mentioned I have been t this resort before and I wrote a review of the resort on my previous visit. I sent this review to the hotel manager and he said that he very much appreciated my feedback and I really felt like he did. So they do listen and it shows in the improvements since my last visit. Final Thoughts – This resort if wonderful. I recommend it just as much now as I did in 2007 when I first visited. The service has improved over the years and there still are some improvements to go. Overall I would very much recommend this resort.
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