Old Reviews – Blau Varadero

Arrival – January 11th at 11pm. We were met at the airport by our rep and taken to our hotel. Check in was easy, quick and friendly. Any questions that I had were answered at the desk, and my bags were taken to my room by a bellhop who explained the safety deposit box and the other room features. Staff at the hotel are friendly and in most cases they say hello (Hola) without prompting although some are more shy likely due to lmited english, but they will say hello when prompted at all times. Just ask any question, and they will politely answer you to your satisfaction.

Rooms – Room was on the eighth floor, it was clean, overlooked the south ocean (non-beach side). It included a balcony that had an excellent view of the ocean, marinas, etc. Television with satelite, bar fridge with water, cola, and beer, stocked daily. Maid was excellent, I left her a peso/day and she kept the room tidy and made up the room with special touches

Restaurants – There are 3 restaurants and two bars. The main restaurant is in the hotel, and is buffet style. It is open for breakfast and supper. Plenty of selection. It is typical of Cuban hotel fair, nothing terrible and nothing absolutely spectacular. For those people who complained, perhaps they should stick with Canadian vacations or pay the extra and go to Barbados. This is an isolated socialist 3rd world country that prepares food as they know how, and it is certainly acceptable. The other restaurant is for lunches. This one tends to be busier so get there 5 minutes before they open and you’ll be fine. Otherwise wait until before closing. They offer a range of grilled foods, pastas, etc. The third location is near the beach and they offer snacks and drinks.

Bars – There is a bar by the pool which is heavily used, and the lobby bar which is much larger and located in a great atrium with an excellent breeze from outside. Many seats are available. They make an excellent capucino or expresso which is nice because the restaurant coffee is weak. You can pick up a drink at the lobby bar and take it in plastic wherever you need to go.

Beach and Pools – Beach and pool are both great with many chairs. It is best to arrive early in the morning as the choice locations get taken up by 9:30am and beyond. Beach is nice to walk along the ocean in the mornings.

Grounds – Grounds are well cared for, with extra lounge chairs away from the beach and pool under trees where it is nice and quite to read or rest.

Activities – I spent time in town with some friends of mine so I didn’t partake in hotel activities.

Tours – I took the day tour to Havana which takes all day, includes a 2 hour ride (one way), with a stop half way for washroom, pina collatas, etc. Our guide was great. You go to Old Havana, museums, parks, new Havana, Revolution Square, Cigar Factory (not Mondays), and stop for a full lunch with drinks included. Culture is amazing, and this is a busy town to be sure. Old cars, horses, people, all make for interesting things to see and experience. I enjoyed it.

Conclusion – I really liked this place. I have been to Cuba on many occassions, and will always go back. I have been to Dominican Republic and while the beaches are nice, you are isolated, and it can be boring/quiet, whereas, Varadero is bustling, completely safe and fun. There is plenty to see and do in Varadero itself.

Anyone who complains doesn’t understand Cuba, and should really consider whether they want Canadian standards or Cuban. I would highly recommend Varadero and the Blau to anyone.

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