Memories or Tainos | Debbie's Caribbean Resort Reviews Forums

I could use some input from you Varadero resort experts.Varadero in October to get out of Havana for some relaxing. Just dad and 8 yo girl. Dad up for relaxing, kid up for going nuts.Looking at Memories or Tainos. Have visited both, but never actually vacationed at any of them, so could use some advice, especially if someone has stayed at both. Memories seems good for kids what with the water slide and all. Tainos smaller and seems more laid-back. But putting the dad aside, other kids around would be great. Last year we were at another resort in September and there wasn’t a single other kid there. Good enough to have the entire pool to yourself, but a little borring for the kid. Then again, don’t need 200 screaming children partying in the pool, so if anyone knows which resort has exactly three other eight year olds in October, that would be perfect :-)Also, if there’s any difference between the two, if at all possible would like to be at a resort with a ‘relaxed’ crowd not running all over making frens, gifting shampoo, soap and crayons. Not to offend anyone reading along who enjoys that game, but it makes me crazy if I have to sit and watch this all day long.Oh, and I guess I just revealed the dad in the group would be me.Not too picky on food, but if there’s a big difference between the two let me know. If one of them gets a few Cuban visitors, that would be a plus. Trying to avoid the gifting-hysteria maybe the demographics would also be a factor if there’s a difference between the two, one perhaps having more visitors from gifting countries, the other maybe having more visitors from, how do you say it without offending, countries East, West or South of Cuba…I was pretty set on booking Memories just so I could impress the kid with the water slide, but the size of the resort and walking distances when kid falls asleep watching the evening show and I have to carry her to bed every evening had me think twice, and I figured I should seek some words from you true resort experts before booking.So, hoping for some input. If you don’t want to give it to me because you got offended by the gifting-hysteria criteria, that’s okay, I can’t use the advice of people with that mindset anyway as we don’t travel for the same reasons.

Sorry for the long post by the way. To me, anything and anywhere else in Cuba is pretty much easy and unscary, but resorts scare me a little, so that’s why I might be way over-thinking this the same way resort-tourists used to that world can spend weeks planning three days outside a resort… I’m basically not a resort-person and am going to make the kid happy and not just have her spend weeks in Havana, so I guess in the end the perfect resort is one where she’s totally happy and entertained and her dad surviving a week there being reasonably comfortable and not going out of his mind 🙂

You have more experience at both those resorts than I do. Most north American, Brit kids, and others (?) are back in school by Sept. Someone once told me Memories has a capacity of 3000. Es verdad? Law of averages would suggest more young peers there. And you can’t argue with an 8 yr old about a water slide! Maybe look into a 3*, at the other end of the peninsula. More locals and kids on the weekends?

It it were me (and my 9-year old son), I would choose the Tainos, mostly because it is smaller and because Iberostar animation is usually very good – they will keep your 8-year old occupied. The food is usually decent at Iberostar properties.

Stick with Memories if you have the chance. The beach at Memories is great and the mini-club for the kids is the best I’ve ever seen. They have a giant area to play, a private pool and a great jungle gym structure. The noisy (main) pool gets a bit crowded in the afternoon, but there is another quiet pool, which is even larger and usually almost empty, which is a great place to relax.The beach is, in my opinion, one of the best in Varadero. It is wide, the water is calm and shallow for at least 100 meters in. It’s good for kids. And your resort is surrounded by the higher end places, so generally, the people on this area of the beach at not so much the rowdy student types. On the flip side, you are far from town; you can’t have everything. But this has the advantage that there are fewer local vendors on the beach.If I recall correctly, the resort is now partially owned by Sunwing. Most of the guests are Canadians. It’s not as international as some other places. But the food is solid. You get all the good stuff, but just not every day and in as massive quantity as in higher star resorts.In October I don’t think it will be very packed at all. But there will be kids, no doubt. There probably won’t be many Cubans. But I would not think there are many Cuban guests at any of the resorts in October.
Well, Tomas, I can’t help you with any first-hand experience on these two resorts, either. But here are my thoughts:On our first trip to Varadero, we stayed at the hotel next door to the Tainos, and accidentally wandered into it from the beach. It looked very nice and clean. I think Iberostar has a reputation for being quite child friendly, as we did once visit the Iberostar Varadero, and they had some early evening shows that were very much oriented to the kids. (Mrs. CJ and I enjoyed the shows a lot, as our kids are all grown up, but we have no grandchildren yet. It was fun to see the kiddies enjoying themselves so much.)I don’t know for sure whether your daughter would enjoy the water slide more, or playing on the beach. But the beach at the Tainos is very nice, and it is wide enough to give lots of room for kids to play – building sand castles and such.

Based on my complete lack of experience with either of these resorts, and going only on what I have read, and the relative size of each, I think I would recommend the Tainos. I hope someone that has some first hand experience with both can give you a better analysis.

Well my girl prefers pool over beach. Prefers the late show over any kids show. She took front seat half an hour before the evening shows took off when last in Varadero. I wasn’t even allowed to sit with her. Her greatest experience was when I took her into the resort disco for 20 minutes the one night she didn’t crash during the show and she danced reggaeton with 2-3 Cuban girls there. After that she didn’t have much time for me, too busy with her Cuban dance friends. I still have to translate facebook messages every week from her Cuban girlfriends and write new ones back. She’s a piece of work.Distance to the town doesn’t matter to me. I have a car. I also have nothing to do in Varadero town.3* I don’t think so. I was at Las Morlas last time supposedly a 4*, it was okay, but can’t imagine going down a level from that. Flying over my daughter from Europe, no point in saving on the resort. Also, not looking for a full Cuban crowd. They go a little overboard when many of them get together with a pool and buffet in front of them. Just nice with a bit of mixed nationalities, I think it makes more a more relaxed atmosphere.If Sunwing has some serious involvement with Memories, that’s probably not a plus for me. Guess I’m leaning towards letting her down on the water slide and going for Tainos. Not sure, though. Trying to overthink this as I am, no pint in taking such rash decisions 🙂

Thanks for the input so far, really appreciate it.

She took front seat half an hour before the evening shows took off when last in Varadero. I wasn’t even allowed to sit with her. Her greatest experience was when I took her into the resort disco for 20 minutes the one night she didn’t crash during the show and she danced reggaeton with 2-3 Cuban girls there. After that she didn’t have much time for me, too busy with her Cuban dance friends. I still have to translate facebook messages every week from her Cuban girlfriends and write new ones back. She’s a piece of work. That’s hilarious.Cheers,Terry

Oh she’s a blast, Terry. In a few years when she becomes a real tween, she’ll out-party me (and you!) without much effort, she’s already more Cuban than me: Making frens with everyone, not shy at all and talks about money all day long. When I was looking the other way on Prado she had put on a show in the street, then came over and told me I should collect money from Cubans watching so we could use it on candy and soda. Then she hooked up with a negrita her age and next time I looked the other way, when I looked back they were both taking a pee besides a bench on Prado right in front of a cop who called another cop over saying ‘mira, a yuma peeing on Prado!’ – They laughed so hard they forgot to give the dad a fine… And that was her first time in Cuba! Everybody in Barrio Colon calling her la candela. I’m having her over frequently these years because when she turns 14-15 I’m not bringing her to Cuba anymore. She’s way to fresh to be in Cuba at that age.

I’ve had several young kids to Cuba (nephews and friend’s children) and considering they didn’t speak a word of Spanish and came from fairly upscale upbringings in North America is was always a joy to see how they instantly glommed onto other kids in the barrio. In 2 minutes a Frisbee or a soccer ball makes friends for life. Kids just blast straight through the language barrier without even pausing, it’s fabulous.Havana is the only big city in the world where I can imagine allowing young kids to play out of sight for a bit. When my young nephews were hanging with their new pals I’d get constant reports from the neighbourhood old ladies… I’d know about them hitting a car with a baseball way before they got home, the old gals would rat them out instantly. Those kids couldn’t fart without me being told every detail before it left their pants… too funny.Several years ago my young nephew came home to his very affluent lifestyle in Canada and packed up all his computer games, etc. wanting to mail them to his new friends in Cuba. After not seeing so much as a tv show during his entire time in Cuba (let alone a toilet seat, haha) he was embarrassed to even have a Game Boy. It was a very touching epiphany for an 8 year old to understand what is (and isn’t) important in this life. I was very proud.The only issue I’ve had is with young teenagers… Cuba’s sexuality/sensuality is overwhelming for Canadian kids that age, they’re literaly babes in the woods… you can’t take your eyes off them for a second or you’re going to have a hot young Cubana chick calling you Uncle…Cheers,


We have not stayed at the Tainos, but it does get good reviews.It’s about the same size as two other Iberostars where we did stay. In ’11 we went to the iberostar Varadero for my niece’s wedding. It’s a great spot, and the price reflects (it does have a neat water feature for kids that you can see on TA reviews). In ’14 we went in April and we were looking at the Tainos but my wife wanted a gym for early am, the Tainos gym was in poor shape, so we decided on the Iberostar Playa Alameda. We had a great week (even though the gym didn’t open until after breakfast so we didn’t go there). There is a long tree lined promenade from the lobby down to the beach and after supper there was music and dancing, on the outside patio beside the lobby, that was great. There was lots of ‘animation’ going on for those that wanted to join in. We would go back there again. Didn’t see any gifting going on; except I must confess that I brought guitar strings and valve oil for the musicians. I expect that whatever resort you choose, you will both have a great time.

Thanks, John, for sure leaning towards Tainos by now. Memories sounds like too big a circus for me. Thanks to everyone for the advice, I know I’m over-doing it but Varadero honestly scares me a little. Not for a short visit, but for committing to a week there 🙂

Memories would be the best resort for kids based on any I have stayed at so far. Kids of all ages and groups last April when there. Waterslide was a HUGE hit with them.Night shows are in the middle of the resort, so really not to far from either end of the resort(and if worried about walking, request a room close to that area)Huge kids play area, food was some of the best I have had at resorts in Cuba, especially at the snack bar near the waterslide.Shows at night very well attended, and good quality. While resort is huge, it never felt overrun or crowded during my stay there.

While I haven’t stayed at Tainos, this is my 2 cents based on my stay at Memoires most recently.

Never been to Tainos but I was at memories last summer.It is a rather large resort, but if you don’t spend your time going from the beach to the pool it is not that pad. Kid club was ok, but seemed a bit dangerous. Maybe I’m just used to Canadian playground safety. There were a LOT of kids when I was there, but not much of a nuisance. Some guess at the bar were way worst! But still most of the crowd was laid back and relax.I didn’t see many soap or shampoo gifting guess, but looking at the maid cart at the end of the day some are doing it for sure!

We had a lot of fun talking about hockey with one of the sports bar bartender! He really seemed to like the sport so the following night my friend gave him his NY Islanders cap and we had even better service after that!

DT: Go with Tainos. We stayed next door at the Turquesa and had a walk through Tainos. I try to stay from kids when on vacay, and we didn’t see an influx of children! We liked the property better than Turquesa which we had booked because of it’s small size – but Turquesa had too many kids for our liking. And with your car, you are five minutes of Varadero so it’s a snap to take her out for lunch or dinner. Tainos is (I think) about 220 rooms unless they’ve built additions like a lot of resorts in Cuba seem to be doing these days. We have only been twice to Varadero and truly wouldn’t go back. Seen it, walked it, we’re over it. Now go to Santiago to really small places. But I think you would be content with your daughter in Tainos.

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