I went for a week stay at Kawama with a friend, and it was both of our first times in Cuba despite being frequent travellors. We had a wonderful time in the country and at the resort, the Cubans are so lovely. We went with open travelling minds, because many people often forget that you are visiting a developing foreign country. The resort facilities and buildings are kept clean although they are older. This was the original resort built in Varadero so it has a very large prime beach location, far far nicer than the beachers at the 5 star resorts on the secluded end, which some don’t even offer their own section of beach. The hotel staff were friendly and gracious when accepting gifts and tips, and always remembered those hotel guests who left them the smallest of gestures (a peso or Dollarstore gift item). The club activities were really fun, from aquasize in the afternoon, to spanish and salsa lessons, to the evening dance and singing acts (which were stunning). The food was Cuban buffet food, maybe not what we’re used to in our over-processed diet, but they do the best with available resources. It broke my heart to see all the food going to waste on plates from guests or people commenting negatively to the food staff, so shocking. For a change go to KiKis just off of the resort; the meal for 2 of us was always under $20, and that included a starter, a large entree and a few drinks. Try the mojitos and pina coladas off resort a few times – they are made fresh and delicious. The alcohol was great at the resort too, endless supplies of everything. The Cristal Cuban beer is delicious, and so too is the rum obviously. Do a few tours and get off of the resort, Cuba is very safe, especially compared to Toronto and other major Canadian cities. There are beautiful markets within walking distance with local crafts; the markets in Varadero are much nicer than Havanna as you will not get hasselled by the vendors as it’s geered for tourism to the T. There is a double decker bus for tourists that runs from 9am to 9pm everyday, and it’s $5 a person and you can use it all day and hop on and off… There are also horse drawn carriages, bubble taxis and retro car taxis, which were all really fun but pricey is used all the time. The dance clubs are great, Club Havana and Club International are good times for young people. Cubans aren’t allowed to enter a hotel night club on their own, so they wait outside to go in with people. We had no problem signing them in, they are polite and kind and just want to dance and talk to the tourists – and they are GREAT dancers! Go and enjoy your trip, I promise you’ll want to go back!
So easy, we went to our alloted Nolitours bus off of the plan and our Cuban rep met us with a comedy/info session on our ride to the resorts. Make sure to tip them at least $2!!!
Older, but kept clean. We always left the made little gifts so she’d leave us blanket and towel creatures, so fun. We also brought ant traps, raid spray and citronella candles, but never needed any of them. Kept our air conditioner on all the time, and curtains closed throughout the daytime sun to keep it cool. Water pressure and water temp were just as good as here at home, the water heat is solar powered so obviously in the evening it is cooler, it’s not rocket science for those that complained. The rooms are musky and damp, which is beyond their control, it’s a humd island and those are their living conditions, which is why leaving the air conditioning on helped. You need a plug converter for hair curlers and straightners, there was a hairdryer. Bring your own face towel, they don’t have them. They have toilet paper as well, but you might want to bring more because they don’t offer paper or soap in toilets off of the resort.
Restaurants and Bars:
No complaints, just make sure you tips with little gifts or pesos!!!
Beautiful!!! Little wild cats and dogs are so cute and friendly and add to scenery, I know they bothered some people, but come on, really? The beach I will always have dreams about, it’s gorgeous. One day we did have jellyfish, but the lifeguard got everyone out of the water and no one got stung. The pools are clean and well kept, and are very refreshing. You will have to go early to grab a beach or pool chair… They fill up quickly and people just go down and set their beach bags on them before breakfast to hold them for the day.