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“First Cuban Experience”
Review of Sol Palmeras

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Sol Palmeras
Ranked #7 of 64 Hotels in Varadero
Reviewed 1 October 2013

This was our first winter holiday with our six year son to a hot destination. We chose Cuba because of the temperature and the cultural environment. We chose Sol Palmeras because of the availability of bungalows, the reviews of the beach and the reviews of the quality of food. Thanks to trip advisor, we feel we made a good decision staying at Sol Palmeras.

Our vacation to Cuba did not start off on the right foot - two hour delay at the Winnipeg airport due to Sunwing and a school band was on the plane with us. Great for the school band to be playing in Havana but at the Varadero airport the only luggage, etc that came out first was the school band stuff. Needless to say, we were 2+ hours late checking in ~ 2:30 amish. The front desk gentleman was very friendly and personable. We were delivered to our bungalow by club car by another friendly and personable staff member. Varadero had a couple of bad days of weather before we arrived so early morning the garden staff was out and about raking up the leaves and coconuts. How did the gardener know that we did not get to bed until 3 am!

Service all around was very good - front desk, restaurant (buffet and a la carte), and housekeeping. The buffet service staff was exceptional. We always sat in the same section for breakfast and for dinner. In the morning, we sat over by the station that made omelets and the two gentlemen that looked after us were great! They always kept an eye out for us and always made room in their section. In the evening, we sat over by the windows looking out onto the garden. The young man that looked after us there was personable and again catered to our every wish i.e. making sure that our wine glasses were full! Our housekeeper in the bungalow was very good at her job. The bungalow was always clean and tidy. Sure there were little ants around the fridge and in the bathroom on the shelf above the vanity but there were not bothersome. There was nothing that she could do about that! She always left us something designed out of a towel, etc.

I can't really speak to the location of the resort as we only left twice - Havana day trip and the dolphin excursion. The location of the bungalow was something of question. Now, I am not sure that we had booked a standard bungalow or a luxury bungalow. We were under the impression that we had booked a luxury bungalow which was supposed to be closer to the beach and the hotel. Now this issue, I feel is not an Sol Palmeras issue but a Sunwing issue. Our bungalow (402) was certainly not close to the hotel and certainly not close to the main beach. We did have some issue with the location of the bungalow at first however, as the days went along it was an enjoyable walk to the hotel for meals and entertainment and to the beach. This would be the first vacation that I did not put weight on! The exercise was good for us.

The bungalow as I mentioned previously was on the outer edges of the resort but it was quiet which was one of the reasons that we chose a bungalow. We have stayed at many hotels were partying has been going on all hours of the morning; children running up and down the halls; doors slamming; and bathroom noises i.e. showers running and toilets flushing. We never heard our neighbours and most of the time never saw our neighbours. The electrical outlets in the bungalow were the only thing that we had problems with - could not plug in our dvd player for our son. The plug covers did not allow the plug from the dvd player to be connected. However, the resort handyman fixed that problem with a make shift extension. So, from our experience take an adapter/extension.

Food was of good quality and abundance. That was one of our concerns but we always found something to eat and it was good. Now, you have to remember you are in Cuba not at home in your kitchen or in one of your neighbourhood restaurants. We always had omelets in the morning, croissants, fruit at the buffet. In the evening at the buffet, there was stations set up for salad, cheese, cuban food, pasta, seafood, grilled meats, dessert etc. It was good, we never left hungry. We dined at three of the a la carte restaurants - Italian, Chinese and Seafood. The Italian was good - a lovely antipasto bar, my husband and I had the minestrone soup which was good. The only questionable meal that we had at the Italian restaurant was the lasagna my husband had but that maybe a preference thing. Decor and ambiance was in keeping with the Italian theme. I think that our favourite a la carte restaurant was the Chinese. General Thompson's chicken entree scored a 10! Again, the decor and ambiance was in keeping with the Chinese theme. As we had read in reviews before we went, the best steak was at the seafood so we had the steak of course and it was good. I particularly enjoyed the seafood salad! The beach bar and restaurant served average beach fair food when we were there - paella, hamburgers, grilled sandwiches, etc. We always at the beach for lunch. The plus at the resort for our son was the ice cream hut just on the beach side of the pool. Ice Cream every day!

This is the one thing that we were a little disappointed with, the children's activities. We were looking for something a little more organized and structured. Our son is our only child and we thought that this would be a great way for him to meet other children. We found that he met children at the beach. He in particular met and made friends with a boy from Argentina who was on vacation with his family. I think that this is something that Sol Palmeras could invest some time and money in developing a great children's activities program. Now one of the young women that was involved in the children's activities commented that it was a slow week. Not sure, we were not the only couple there with a child. Something to consider.

We enjoyed Sol Palmeras and look forward to staying again!

  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled with family
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5  Thank DLM_TravelJunkie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
alc52, Director General at Sol Palmeras, responded to this reviewResponded 27 October 2013

Dear guest,

Thank you very much for publishing, and sharing, on the Trip Advisor, your opinions about your stay at Sol Palmeras Hotel.

Thank you for choosing our hotel to stay on your first stay in Cuba.

We are glad to know, by reading your review, that you enjoyed your holidays, and we appreciate all your complimentary comments you wrote on your review about our hotel and the services we offer.

Regarding entertainment for children, we would like to inform you that we have shared this remark with the Head of the Entertainment Team, so that he can take the necessary actions in this case.

Hoping that, you choose Sol Palmeras again for your next holidays.

Truly yours,
Tomeu Alcina
General Manager

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Reviewed 30 September 2013

A friend and I stayed at Sol Palmeras Sept 14-21. It was everything expected and more. compared to other 3-3.5 stars we have both stayed at in Varadero, Cayo Largo and Holguin, we both enjoyed this the most. Staff were attentive, whether tipping or not, food was plentiful in both volume and choice, multiple staff in the buffet meant better service and quickly cleaned tables. We went to the Steak House, Mexican and Chinese a la cartes and had a wonderful time. This is the only hotel that both of us would return to!

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled with friends
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4  Thank DonnaB_M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
alc52, Director General at Sol Palmeras, responded to this reviewResponded 4 October 2013

Dear guest,

We appreciate that you have shared, on the Trip Advisor, your opinions about your stay at Sol Palmeras Hotel.

We are glad to know, by reading your review, that you enjoyed your holidays among us in our hotel, and we were also very glad to know that you consider Sol Palmeras better hotel than other of the same category, and you only will come back to our hotel. We appreciate it.

Thank you very much for all your complimentary comments about the food we offer, our buffet restaurant, our staff and about our speciality restaurants.

Looking forward to seeing you soon in Sol Palmeras. Receive best regards.

Sincerely,

Tomeu Alcina
General Manager

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Reviewed 27 September 2013

We stayed at the Sol Palmeras in April this year. I booked this particular Hotel as my daughter wanted to get married abroad and this seemed absolutely ideal. Once we had booked with Virgin Holidays we were contacted by the Hotel Wedding Planner in order to plan details for the big day. I have to say that they were very helpful indeed offering advice on location, time and extras etc. We were a group of 18 for the wedding. The staff at the Sol Palmeras could not have been better, they did their utmost to make the wedding special and to also ensure that as a group we were able to sit together for meals and even were closely grouped in rooms etc. Our rooms were adequate, comfortable, spacious and clean. The beach area was lovely, plenty of loungers and plenty of room, probably a very good time of year to go. The 'speciality restaurants in the Hotel were very good, especially the Chinese. My only criticism of these is the booking, you had to make an effort to book each restaurant individually, which was from 9am in the main foyer and being a large group this proved awkward for the staff trying to book us all in together! The waiters were fantastic - we were looked after extremely well - whenever they saw us arrive they would rush around collecting enough chairs and tables for us to be seated together which was brilliant.
The wedding took place in the gazebo on the beach and could not have been a better day - the weather was perfect, the location was sublime and everyone involved went the extra mile to make it perfect for my daughter, her husband and the rest of us. We had champagne after the ceremony and could stay in the gazebo as long as we liked. We then went to the main hotel for drinks and everyone smoked Cuban cigars to celebrate! We booked the Italian restaurant for the 'Wedding breakfast' and this was superb! We even had a huge cake made by the Hotel which was delicious - all the staff were amazing and helped make this day extra special. I would definitely recommend the Sol Palmeras and hope to go back next year - in fact everyone on the trip has said they would go back once again - perhaps we will have to make it an annual event!

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled with family
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3  Thank MrsWickerSwansea
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
alc52, Director General at Sol Palmeras, responded to this reviewResponded 5 October 2013

Dear guest,

Thank you for choosing our hotel for this importante ven for you, and for publishing your review on the Trip Advisor.

We are glad to know everything was perfect at your wedding and you were delighted with the service we offered, either at your wedding and the other all inclusive services.

Thank you for recommending our hotel, and we hope you come back on holidays each year.

Sincerely,
Tomeu Alcina
General Manager

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Reviewed 25 September 2013

We just came back from spending 1 week at this resort and are already planning on going back. Staff is very attentive to your needs. Very nice layout and plenty to do. Good shows at night and very good drinks also. The food at the buffet was excellent and lots of variety. You have to be extremely picky not to find something to eat. We had an issue with our room on the first night but they upgraded us to a bungalow right away (at no extra costs) and everything was perfect after. It always amazes me to see how friendly the cubans are. Imagine having to deal with a bunch of drunk and annoying tourists day in and day out. Not everyone is like that but there are lots like that on the resorts. And the staff keep on smiling and giving you great service. If you want a more peaceful area, ask for a bungalow. It's a bit further away from the pool and the restaurants but quieter.

Room Tip: For a quiet room, ask about the bungalows.
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  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Golfman90
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
alc52, Director General at Sol Palmeras, responded to this reviewResponded 30 September 2013

Dear guest,

Thank you for publishing, on the Trip Advisor, your opinions about your stay at Sol Palmeras Hotel.

We appreciate all your complimentary comments about our hotel, especially your opinions about our staff. Thank you.

Hoping you choose our hotel for your second stay on your holidays, soon.

Sincerely,

Tomeu Alcina
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 September 2013

Big hotel therefore loses some atmosphere and is very busy. The accommodation was good, we stayed in one of the bungalows which was a lot better than I expected but I found the beds uncomfortable ( thin / hard mattress ). The food was good to average, you need to get in early as they tend to run out of the freshly cooked food. There are some restaurants, I thought the Chinese was the best, the Italian the worst. I went AI which I think you probably have to do. The bar staff seem to lose interest in the various cocktails as the night goes on, running out of things etc. What they do very well is there is always entertainment, singing, dancing, magic shows etc. The beach is nice but not enough sun loungers and many were broken. The pool is ok but was occupied by lots and lots of little kids and I didn't see many umbrellas. I found the staff friendly and helpful but they don't exactly rush! The hotel was full of south Americans, many of which I think come over for short stays, this was no bother and I did not feel excluded but I think the hotel is geared towards them as they appear to be the majority, which is understandable. Its about 2 hours to Havanna, ( would recommend that ) we got a reasonable deal for an over night stay with the travel company but you can do it independently and a lot cheaper without too much bother. If you are going on a trip take your own toilet roll, facilities outside the hotels are pretty grim! This hotel is probably best for families. Think about the time of year you go as it tipped down for a few days in the afternoon. The hotel is OK but not luxury, I probably would go back if I got a very good deal

  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank sgoulding67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
alc52, Director General at Sol Palmeras, responded to this reviewResponded 30 September 2013

Dear guest,

Thank you for sharing, on the Trip Advisor, your opinions about your stay at Sol Palmeras Hotel.

We are glad to know that you enjoyed your bungalow, in spite of finding the mattress hard, as you expressed.

Your comments about our hotel in general, especially your opinion about the entertainment activities, are very appreciated. Thank you very much.

We would like to inform you that we took note of your remark about our Italian Restaurant.

We assure you we do not have any preference of any nationality, all our guests are welcomed in our hotel.

As you said, this is not a luxury hotel, but it is one of the hotels with the highest occupancy in Cuba.

Hoping you choose our hotel again, in case you decide to come to Cuba again.

Sincerely,

Tomeu Alcina
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 September 2013

We stayed here for the lst two weeks of August.I could spend all this review talking about things that were wrong or spoilt our holiday, or more precisely the very noisy German neighbours or the constant noise from the building site across the road. I would rather spend the time telling you to go to the Sol Palmeras and experience every member of staff trying their best to make your stay very enjoyable. As has been said before, the reception staff are fantastic and welcoming. The waiters do everything to make each meal time very special -many thanks Vincente, Jorge and Alberto. If you stay here or in fact go to Cuba you must remember the type of regime they are under, by nature of the system not everything is readily available, consequently no butter at several meals or no minestrone in the soup is more a fault of the system rather than the hotel. It had memories of being in East Berlin in the 1980's accept the weather was a lot better and the people more welcoming. The Steakhouse is by far the best restaurant, the sea restaurant-well, give it a miss and as I said the Italian won't be your best gastronomic experience! If you eat simply or are prepared to eat simply the food is very good in the main buffet. Will we go back again? Yes. Would I recommend the Sol Palmers - yes but only after explaining what you'll get. As I said you can't criticise people trying their very best.

Room Tip: The hotel is designed in a crescent fashion. Try and get a room at the end of the crescent not near...
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  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
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2  Thank BonnieandClyde86
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
alc52, Director General at Sol Palmeras, responded to this reviewResponded 30 September 2013

Dear guest,

Thank you for publishing, and share, on the Trip Advisor, your opinions about your stay at Sol Palmeras Hotel.

We appreciate that you have chosen our hotel, and we thank you for all your complimentary comments about the services we offer, especially we thank you for the opinion you expressed about our staff. We appreciate it.

We also thank you for your understanding.

The persons you mentioned on your review will be congratulated on your behalf.

Hoping you choose our hotel again for your stay. Receive best regards,

Sincerely,

Tomeu Alcina
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 September 2013

this hotel has everything you need ,great managers, staff are brill, good shows,a perfect location and a fab beach. only downside in varedero is the el rancho steak house,a massive rip off do not go there such a pity as everything else is perfect.

Room Tip: all rooms are good
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  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled with friends
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2  Thank denba38
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
alc52, Director General at Sol Palmeras, responded to this reviewResponded 1 October 2013

Dear guest,

We appreciate your review published on the Trip Advisor, about your stay at Sol Palmeras Hotel.

Thank you for all your complimentary comments, especially for your opinion about our staff. We appreciate it.

Hoping you come to stay again in our hotel, soon. Receive best regards.

Sincerely,

Tomeu Alcina
General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sol Palmeras

Address: Carretera de las Morlas, Varadero 42200, Cuba
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Cuba > Matanzas Province > Varadero
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Varadero
#5 Top resorts Hotel in Varadero
#7 Luxury Hotel in Varadero
#9 Family Hotel in Varadero
#11 Romantic Hotel in Varadero
Price Range: £125 - £291 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Sol Palmeras 4*
Number of rooms: 608
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in Varadero Beach, this 4 star, all inclusive hotel offers all of the great dining, activities and entertainment facilities that have made Sol Melia a recognized leader in quality hotels! Ideal for families and honeymooners. 376 comfortable double rooms, 28 junior suites, 4 suites and 200 bungalows with direct access to the beach. 6 Restaurants, 7 bars, mini club and mini-disco, mini-golf. Motorized water sports. Sol Palmeras combines great fun with a beautiful beach. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sol Palmeras Hotel Varadero
Sol Palmeras Cuba
Sol Palmeras Varadero Cuba

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