18 – 24 Feb 2011. Varadero Internacional and it’s Toilet Creature: it’s not a 3 or 4 star hotel as advertised; no way. No upkeep or maintenance of any kind. Location is great, you’re within walking distance of town and the great beach is right at your doorstep. But the toilets don’t flush, many showers only dribble at best and it’s never hot water; occasionally you’ll get warm water. We finally were shown a fourth room before we said, "This will do." The food at the daily buffet is always the same, bland and unexciting. Turkey once or twice was a real surprise considering they didn’t put any effort into anything else. Always a shortage of plates, leaving many customers walking around like zombies looking for anything to put food on. Several people brought their own condiments too, ketchup, etc. Good idea. The adjacent dining room restaurant is a pleasant change, with variety and taste and they serve you in proper dining room style. There is also a very worthwhile restaurant up beside the old Tower; a nice change from the buffet and not expensive (chicken, beef dishes for about $6 – $7, unless you order lobster ($18). Bring your own glasses; the hotel serves most drinks in plastic glasses which are flimsy and tiny, maybe 6 ounces maximum, making your trips to the bar a lot more frequent and frankly annoying. Beware of anything labeled "Universal"…whether it’s a sandwich, salad, omelet or a freaking breakfast pop tart…."Universal" means Ham and Cheese. A couple in a neighbouring room gave us a detailed account of a large creature which surfaced in their toilet in the wee hours of the morning…"about 10 inches long, 5 inches wide with 5 or 6 legs and was walking around in our toilet." They couldn’t identify this creature but soon flushed it away. After a lot of speculation, we still could not figure out what it must have been. My guess is it’s still living inside the hotel plumbing. This made every trip to the bathroom a nervous adventure. We asked for a hair dryer twice a day and left 7 days later with no dryer ever appearing. The towels were not replaced daily with fresh ones. People: bring your own toilet paper… the hotel toilet paper is like crate paper and they’re not generous with it. And everywhere else you go in Cuba there is No toilet paper and no toilet seats.
We went with very realistic expectations, but will choose another hotel next time. The Solymar is right next door and is a colourful, proper 5 star hotel. A few hotels to the West is The Four Palms (Cuatro Palmas), also a nicer place to stay and close to town. Good luck!
5th floor, east end
Arrived alright, no trouble at airport or with Security system.
Rooms need work. The entire hotel needs serious renovations. We finally settled on our 4th room, deciding this one will do but still not what I consider good for the money I am paying.
Restaurants and Bars:
Never spent much time in the bar, but pool table was always taken over by young local boys about 10 yrs old, never giving hotel guests a chance to play. The outside restaurant gave a nice change in dining, nice atmosphere, nice music, good food and tasty, proper dining room manners used by staff and very attentive waiters.
Beach was great, groomed by workers in the morning, but they need to clean up the dangerous and foul-smelling jellyfish daily, not once a week. Nothing wrong with the pool at all, I don’t know why people knocked it. Enjoyed the pool very much and it was not overrun by kids at all. Grounds were kept very clean, never saw any trash lying around at any time.