We stayed at the Blau for 2 weeks from January 7th to January 21st, 2010.
We are a couple in our mid and late 50’s that enjoy the Varadero beach.
Bus ride was nice and we arrived at the Blau just before lunch time. Even though check-in is 4:00, we were very pleased to find out our rooms were ready.
Our room was 735 which was the front of the resort view. We found that this room had a nice view of the ocean but not the beach view. We found that it came in handy to be on this side which I will explain later due to the weather conditions we experienced during our stay. The girls did a great job keeping us supplied with towels and changed our sheets whenever we requested. You receive 2 cans of coke, 2 cans of beer and 1 large bottle of water daily in your refrigerator. The safe was located in the closet and was free of charge.
Restaurants and Bars:
Buffet restaurant was always clean but the food was only 2 star quality. Very repetative and meat was always very chewy. You always found something to eat but it may have been burger and fries. A la carte restaurants were a bit better. Pool bar was a great location but poorly stocked liquor and food. Everyone we spoke with complained about the food and we are not really picky eaters, but this was pretty bad.
The beach was the best as always in Varadero. Always found chairs. Pool was clean and the grounds were well kept. There is plenty of grounds with nice grass were some people perferred to lie on their chairs instead of the beach and pool areas.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
The Blau had many activities during the day and the entertainment was the usual that you find in Cuba.
Other Comments: Not the fault of the Blau, but our weather for about 2 days into our vacation was extremely cold because of the earthquake in Haiti. This cold weather lasted about 4 days. We were in our turtlenecks and winter jackets all 4 days and put a damper on our vacation. The sauna was well used and enjoyed for warmth. The resort lost alot of money during these days because there was nothing to do but eat and drink and we ended up doing alot of this. As mentioned before, our room was located on the front side of the resort and the sun was always there, even when it was cold. We found that if we sat in the corner of our balcony, we could sit with our bathing suite on and tan without any cold wind.
The Blau over booked for the first weekend we were there and so they offered a free overnight trip to Havana but we had to actually check-out and leave our suitcases in a room location at the Blau and pack an overnight case for Havana. We were taken on a tour of Havana the first day and had a wonderful man named Jerry, who was our tour man, talked to us the entire 2 hours to Havana about the sights and history of Cuba and Havana…he did a wonderful job, he was very knowledgable. We were taken to a 4 star hotel in Havana which was located by the ocean for a beautiful view. After dinner we were taken to the Topicana where we enjoyed the nightly show with champaigne, rum and a cold platter. We were returned to the hotel and in the morning had breakfast and a tour again and returned to the Blau for 4:00 check-in. All was completely free….it was a nice break from the sitting around in the cold weather and the weather started to warm during this short trip. This time when we checked-in, we were give a beach view and it was wonderful. The weather was absolutely wonderful for the remainder of our trip and we were home with nice tans.
Servers and Hotel Staff:
The servers and most of the hotel staff were extremely friendly and always helpful and cheeful. The front desk staff was another matter. They were grumpy, unfriendly, not helpful. They do not look or think outside the box. If you are wanting to use the internet, make sure you go directly to the money exchange person at the front desk for a internet card which will cost you 8 pesco for 1 hour. If you go to any of the other persons at the front desk, you will not only limited information but sometimes, the wrong information This was hard to get used to.
Overall, we had an enjoyable time. It was a very nice resort but they need to get their menu revamped because most people were not pleased. Not only will we not return to the Blau, we are not returning to Cuba. We have been 6 times and we have had enough.