We stayed at Melia Peninsula from May 30 to June 7th but our experience began 6 weeks before we left home. Our family enjoys a beach vacation every year and traveling to the tropics with a son who has a few allergies is not as easy as you may think. Before we book a resort we always contact the resort to see if they can accommodate us. So I narrowed my choices down to 3 hotels in Varadero that I thought my family would enjoy and e-mailed all 3 asking if they could accommodate my son’s food allergies. The first and only response came from the hotel within 2 hours of me sending out my e-mail. This is our 3rd year traveling with my son and no hotel has responded within 2 hours. The average response time if I get any response at all has been less than 1 day. I was impressed! The response came from David Salgado (Resident Manager) who assured me that they are a family resort and were fully capable of accommodating us. A few e-mails later and all my questions were answered so we booked our trip to Melia Peninsula and felt good about it. Over the next few weeks David & I exchanged a few more e-mails and I requested to meet with the Food & Beverage manager when we arrived. So on May 30 we were on our way. I must say I was a little apprehensive after ready almost every review in the 8 weeks prior to going. Once we got to the hotel we only had to wait a few minutes for the couple ahead of us to check in. Once it was our turn the desk clerk noticed there was a notice to call the F&B manager for us so he did. A few minutes later David came out to greet us and introduced us to Angel the F&B Manager who took over from here. He took us to directly to the Palma Real (Buffet Dining room) and assured us that they do not use peanut oil in the fryer and the staff was aware of high allergy foods. At this point Angel could see that we were hungry from our journey so he found us a table and invited us to eat. He got us all drinks (I got a Mojito) and he said he would be back in a few minutes. When he came back I was at the buffet with my son waiting for my order at the grill station and I could here him in Spanish telling the grill chef that these are special guests. He then handed me my ala carte reservations and his card and told me that if I could not find something for my son to eat I could pick up the phone and call him. We never had to take him up on his offer. Now this is a large buffet serving several food items. We never felt the repetition of food because we are sensible eaters and chose 3 to 6 items of food per meal and are open to trying some new things or new spins on food we know however I can see how if you go to a buffet and load your plate up with a mass of 10 to 15 items.
Bottom line we would go back to this resort in a few years. This resort was a great value and my family had a great time there. I recommend it.
Clean and cool. Legaudra did a great job cleaning up after us and when we met her near the end of our trip she thanked us for the gift we left her.
Beach/Pools/Grounds: Over the last 11 years we have been to St. Maarten, Mexico, St Barths, Costa del Sole Spain & Jamiaca. This was one of the nicest family beaches we have been to. The water was warm, the sand was great for castles, plenty of chairs & Shade. We loved it.
The grounds are beautiful. They are constantly being maintained and there are labels on many of the plant species if you are interested. The pathways are lined with majestic palm trees and there are plenty of beautiful things to see as you walk around. My son loved the pirate themed playground however it could stand a little maintenance. This is a large resort and our hotel room was at the far end f the resort near the kids pool were usually ended our day. Our room was a 2 minute walk to the main restaurant & bar, 3 minutes to the sports center, 4 minutes to the main pool or ala carte restaurants and 5 minutes to the beach. As for the insects on the resort, Only found a little bug in the room all week, Never saw any spiders or other larger insects and for the mosquitoes, yes if you happen to be out at dusk or early evening I can see that you may be bothered but we brought bug spray and had very little issue with them at all. I think we had it worse in some of the other locations mentioned above. The resort did do things to handle the mosquitoes such as place insecticide pucks in the lagoons and every evening at around 7pm they fogged the resort, which I had mixed feelings about.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
The kids staff was pretty good and they have a schedule of things for the kids to do. My son did enjoy the mini disco. I only stayed up 2 times to enjoy the entertainment after the mini disco but both times I was impressed. The first evening I enjoyed a show with a band & Cuban dancers similar to the entertainment you would expect to find at the Flamingo & the other evening was a traditional Cuban band playing similar music to The Buena Vista Social Club.
People = of all the places we have been to the Cuban people rank as one of my favorites. They are hard working, kind, and humble yet proud people. I can only say this to the people that rank the service or people unfavorable; you will get with people what you put in. When you treat someone with kindness & respect they will likely treat you in a similar fashion. That is not to say that this will always happen but it did for us at this resort.
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