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“Great time in Varadero”
Review of Sol Palmeras

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Sol Palmeras
Ranked #7 of 65 Hotels in Varadero
Certificate of Excellence
Budapest
Level 4 Contributor
20 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Great time in Varadero”
Reviewed 14 July 2014

We spent a week in Varadero at Sol Palmeras Hotel.
First of all it has such a beautiful garden and beach, that it was always a pleasure to take a walk there.

Area:
The main building of the Hotel is quite good. There is a huge lobby, where every night you can have fun or only drink a coctail or something. There are some shoppingopportunity, pictures, dresses, bijou etc.
Our accomodation was in a bungalow. It had a living room with tv (we didn't use it), a small kitchen with a small fridge, A/C (it was really noisy), a small bathroom and a bedroom. The bed was comfortable, the garderobe was enough and had a safe (use this!). All together I was satisfied with the bungallow.
The garden and the beach - as I mentioned - are beautiful! We had always sunbed on the beach.

Food: We were satisfied with the food. There is a big restaurant in the main building if you don't want or could not book table in other restaurants in the hotel, you can eat there all time. There are a lot of variety of foods (included breakfast). You can choose between at about 5 restaurants: eg: seefood, steakhouse, mexican, chinese and the main restraurant (where you can eat everything.) At breakfasts I liked the smoothie-bar, there were fresh juices, shakes and fruits. (We never had indigestion!) First we didn't drink the water that was given in the restaurant (they don't give you a bottle, and I though that is a water from the tap, but once I was really thirsty and I drank it. It was no problem! But there is a water-tank in the pool-bar. I haven't tried it.)

Staff: It's Cuba, never forget it and don't expect anything! (but pay for everything :-) )
Cleanliness and hygiene: Wherever you are in Cuba, you won't meet this two :-) and you shouldn't forget, that this people don't know what this two words in Europe or in Canada etc. mean. In spite of this I recommend you the Hotel, you will have grate time and fun during your holiday!

(During our holiday in Cuba we never expected such service, food, cleanliness etc. like in Europe accordingly we never was disappointed.)

Room Tip: Choose a bungalow
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank BudapestTunder
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
alc52, Director General at Sol Palmeras, responded to this review, 19 July 2014
Apreciado BudapestT,

Thank you for choosing Sol Palmeras Hotel to stay on your holidays, and we are glad you enjoyed them.

We appreciate all your complimentary comments which were published and shared, on the Trip Advisor. You describe our services very well, especially our Food and Beverage services.

Thank you for your review, but we do not agree with your opinion about cleanness and hygiene, of course, this can be improved, as everything can improve by everybody everywhere in the world, therefore we are working on it to improve it, because we know the importance it has, everyone knows what is the meaning of these words.

Hoping you choose our hotel to stay again. Receive best regards.

Sincerely,
Tomeu Alcina
General Manager
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English first
Toronto, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 July 2014

Since 2009, we have been to Cuba 15 times, staying at the same resort Sol Palmeras! We have travelled with friends and family - including young grandchildren. We stay in the hotel - usually a junior suite. The rooms are clean with spacious balconies. The hotel itself has seen many upgrades. There are new ceramic walk ways around the pool,new walkways and showers leading to the beach, a gazebo for beach weddings, a spa,a gym, the lobby itself is now clad in marble, and for those who smoke, a new lounge for smoking with comfortable seating. We have eaten in all of the al a carte restaurants - our favourites are the Italian and the Chinese! We have never had any difficulties in communicating with the staff and have always received good service whether we tip or not. In the Buffet there is always Continental cuisine along with fresh grilled items, pastas, salads and a hot plate section! Personally, we think there is quite a wide variety of foods-without the many preservatives we experience at home. All the bars were great- no matter how many people were there- service was prompt and friendly. The beach is one of the nicest in Varadero. There are many activities such a volleyball, sailing, paddleboats, aqua-aerobics and a childrens supervised club during the day If you like to snorkel, there is an area on the west end of the beach where there is a small reef. We have seen stingrays, an octopus, swam with schools of fishes, but the coolest thing we saw was a group of six cuttlefish! We all just floated together for awhile! That was great! In fact we had such a wonderful time - we are going back in three weeks! See you at the Foam Party!!

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank RickNor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
alc52, Director General at Sol Palmeras, responded to this review, 19 July 2014
Dear RicKNor,

Thank you for trusting on us, staying in our hotel on your holidays, and we hope you will continue trusting on us for a long time, we will not disappoint you.

We appreciate deeply, your review with your complimentary comments, published and shared, on the Trip Advisor, which we will share with our staff.

You describe our hotel on your review very well.

We are very glad to know, you like the improvements we are carrying out in our hotel.

As you know, we have the beach party in our hotel every Friday, we hope to see you there when you come again.

Truly yours,
Tomeu Alcina
General Manager
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London, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 July 2014

After moving from another hotel to this, I was very very relieved that we did! This hotel is a great 4 star hotel as you expect. It is a 3hr transfer to hotel so be prepared especially with children, but it's a scenic route along the sea and towns.The atmosphere is fantastic with lots of lively staff and evenings full of varied music and shows. The food is good for Cuba, especially the Oshin Chinese restaurant which my husband compared to that of what you get back home in a Chinese restaurant. Seafood restaurant is fantastic too along with steakhouse and Mexican. Italian was ok, although one particular member of staff, what looked like the boss lady playing an instrument , was very rude to us, for just turning up to dinner , we felt like a huge inconvenience to her as she huffed and puffed away. The rooms are good although dated but your only there to wash and sleep. The beach was outstanding, best beach I've been to in the caribbean. Full of colourful fish and even starfish! The pool was good, despite works going on around the pool they did there best to minimise noise and disruption.

Tips;
Be camera ready for the hotel transfer ,you go through lots of towns and rum factories, biggest bridge in cuba and the sea.
Turn right and walk as far over as you can past the rocks for private beaches and find lots of pretty shells.
Turn left and keep walking till you hit the next hotel, there's a cliff edge which you can capture an amazing photo of the beach.
Make sure you see the sunset around 8-8.30pm it's truly mesmerising!
Bring cash, as they accept no credit debit cards to exchange money or pay for trips/upgrades.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank MrsE151
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
alc52, Director General at Sol Palmeras, responded to this review, 15 July 2014
Dear mrsE151,

We are glad to know you enjoyed your holidays among us in our hotel.

Thank you for all your complimentary comments published on the Trip Advisor, and we appreciate your comment about food, in particular about our Chinese restaurant.

We took note of your remark about our employee at the Italian restaurant, who will receive a strong reprimand.

Hoping to welcome you in our hotel in another occasion, receive best regards.

Sincerely,
Tomeu Alcina
General Manager
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Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 July 2014

As a party of four who have travelled extensively throughout the Caribbean, we had a fair idea of what to expect in terms of accommodation & property maintenance…ie a little tired / shabby / run down etc etc. However the Sol Palmeras really pushed this to the limit.

Overall the facilities were ok at best, but some areas were in need of serious attention. The main being La Panchita buffet restaurant (aka ‘the canteen’), which was quite frankly filthy. Given that most of the food was prepared & served here, large areas had rotting timber surfaces, ingrained grease & grime, dirty cutlery storage, and a feeling like this restaurant was last properly cleaned when it was built. The layout was dreadful meaning every visit was like entering the Crystal Maze…pot luck in food selection & constantly trying to avoid the other 3000 guests & staff, neither of which seemed to understand the concept of moving. I’ll get back to this & the food later on.

The pool area was nice & clean, although we only visited once, choosing the beach instead as we had not booked a kids club break. While we were there, there was some construction work being carried out around the pool, and whilst we appreciate there is never a ‘good’ time to do this, a little acknowledgment or prior notice would have been nice. The gardens & surrounding area were cleaned & maintained well though, so maybe these guys should be promoted indoors.

The beach was beautiful & clean with ample sun loungers. Location became extremely strategic though as being too close to the centre meant loud music (the same CD on repeat) whenever activities were underway, but further away meant a long trip to the bar to acquire a thimble full of drinks. Take a tip from the South Americans and take a flask or drinks holder to prevent this. It’s also worth noting that most beds have been reserved by 7.30am.

The rooms were adequate and water was provided everyday. We had a kettle & cups, but in our 10 day stay received no tea, coffee or milk! As mentioned in a previous review, the cleaners seemed more interested in the towel animals than cleaning. Not entirely sure our towels were changed at all, and our sheets certainly weren’t. We always leave tips for our maids, however one day, one of our party who popped back to the room during the day encountered their maid in tears whilst telling how hard it was to look after their family. No pressure then!

The food. Wow, where do I start? Dreadful.

Breakfast is served in ‘the canteen’, and whilst seemingly lots of choice (you can even have last nights chips or veg) is the same everyday. There are only two coffee machines, and given the amount of guests is just not enough. Be prepared to negotiate around a million other guests & children. Lunch here is pretty much the same, but be careful what you chose as if you eat here for dinner (not recommended) you will face exactly the same choice in dishes. One evening I decided to have the roast pork on the bone as it looked delicious. After the guest in front of me was served, the chef decided this would be the ideal time to go back to the kitchen to replenish the nearby condiments. 10 mins later, as the queue was growing, I finally got served. Don’t expect any fresh vegetables. There were lots of tinned peas, carrots & green beans, and if you were lucky on occasion, actually warm.

The Mexican restaurant was a let down considering the amount of South American guests! It would be fair to say we’ve had better fajitas in an Old El Paso kit, and the waitress couldn’t have been more miserable if she’d tried.

Opinion was divided on the Chinese restaurant. Interesting use of pickled onions, and only 3 spring rolls between 2 as a starter wasn’t great.

The meal at El Marino was quite frankly terrible. We ate at the 9pm slot as this was all that was available, which may or may not have affected this. The seafood starter was left untouched as it looked like it had been left out all evening. None of the steaks were cooked as requested, and again the prawns looked like they had seen better days.

The steak house was great! The service was how you would expect in a restaurant and the food was delicious. We ate here twice and with hindsight would have been more.

We did not try the Italian.

We avoided lunch at the beach bar as none of us particularly like burger & chips and the unattended paella covered in flies was not particularly appealing.

Most of our evenings were spent in the pool bar (if we could get a seat) or on the terrace of the main reception bar. Big thanks to Anesto & Hector who were friendly & attentive & a credit to the hotel. The entertainment wasn’t really our thing but went to the beach party as it looked fun & we were all up for some partying!! As it turned out, it was more like an X rated Take Me Out, and certainly not for the children that were present (and coming from Geordies that says a lot!)

A word to the wise, don’t even bother trying to glean any kind of information out the receptionist staff whatsoever. Be prepared for them to walk away & ignore you for a good 15 mins before any kind (if any) contact. Go instead to the customer relations guys in the mystical glass box just next to reception. Again, do not expect a friendly response.

On the whole, the entire holiday felt like a 2* all inclusive in the Canaries, and whilst this is not the kind of holiday we would chose, we would have certainly preferred to pay the equivalent price. If you like burgers, chips & fighting for your food this place is for you. Smiles here (unless you speak Spanish) are as rare as an American tourist. If you expect any kind of exclusivity or luxury and value for the money you have paid, go to Barbados.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Minxstral
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
alc52, Director General at Sol Palmeras, responded to this review, 23 July 2014
Dear Minxstral,

We appreciate that you have chosen our hotel to stay on your holidays, and we honestly apologize for not having fulfilled your expectations during your stay.

Thank you for your comments on your review, which was published on the Trip Advisor. Those are negative comments, but we appreciate them all, because they give us the opportunity to know where we can direct our efforts to improve in almost all departments, according to your review.

We are receptive to your remarks, and we accept all the comments of our guests, but it does not mean we agree with all of them.

Regarding the buffet, there are some moments in which many guests coincide to go to the buffet at the same time, it seems all of them agree to arrive at the same time, then the buffet restaurant is crowded at those moments. The capacity of the restaurant is 350 persons at the same time, and the maximum of guests in the hotel is 1,200 guests, and you said 3,000, it is impossible. And we would also like to inform you that each week we carry out a general cleaning at the restaurant.

You are right, we are renovating the external floor at the swiming-pool, we apologize for this.

We inform you that, according to our standards, towels are changed daily in all our rooms, and the bed sheets every other day.

We regret you have this opinion about the food we offer, we will work to improve it in all our restaurants, including our buffet restaurant, although we would like to tell you that the opinion of each guest is different, it varies according to the taste the guests have. It turns difficult for us to make all our guests happy at the same time, therefore, we are always working to improve things.

With the staff at the Reception, we will take the necessary corrective actions, so it would not happen to any other of our guests.

We are very sorry that you have the opinion that you felt as if you were at a 2 stars hotel at Canary Islands. I know Canary Islands, as well as several other countries at the Caribbean (5), surely not as many as you do. But I honestly tell you our hotel does not have anything to envy to those places. It all depends on each one's taste, and what one can afford.

Thank you for all your complimentary comments about our swimming-pool bar, and the persons you mentioned will be congratulated on your behalf. We also appreciate the good opinion you have about the Steak House.

We apologize again, and we assure you that we will take the necessary actions to improve the aspects you pointed out on your review.

I know it is difficult, I would say impossible, that you give us another opportunity to be your hosts again, but I ask you to consider it, to show you that your comments have not been in vain.

Sincerely,
Tomeu Alcina
General Manager
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Montreal, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 July 2014

I just came back from a wonderful and happy 10 day vacation at the Sol Palmeras which was our 1st time going there. They up-graded our room to a suite per their error which was better than we originally had. Everything there was excellent from the management staff at the check-in who were very friendly and caring, the bar people always with a smile, the entertaining people and to the maid.They were all great in helping us to have a very good stay.They made us feel at home away from home. Always in a greeting mood which made the day wonderful. The grounds were spotless. The shows at night were excellent as well the food at the restaurants a la carte. Just super....At the buffet there was plenty of food to choose from... The people who complain of the food are Picky Eaters as they will always find something wrong no matter what you give them. The beach is so clean and also the water without a rock or weed. Plenty of lounge beach chairs to choose from. All in all I would go back and have a good time again. One last thing is that people who complain, look for mistakes or something wrong with the place.

Room Tip: The best view for pool and ocean is the 4th floor and quietness..
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank montrealer2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
alc52, Director General at Sol Palmeras, responded to this review, 15 July 2014
Dear Mr.montreale,

Thank you for choosing Sol Palmeras to stay, for the first time, and we are glad to know you enjoyed these ten days among us.

We appreciate all your complimentary comments about our hotel.

Your review is the best reward we can receive from our guests, and will be shared them with all our staff.

Hoping that, following this visit, there will be many others. Receive best regards.

Sincerely,
Tomeu Alcina
General Manager
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Dublin, Ireland
Level 6 Contributor
101 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 July 2014

Check-in was prompt and despite having to wait for a room as we arrived early we were well looked after. The atmosphere, when first entering unfortunately set the tone for the rest of our stay. As a previous reviewer said, a touch of "Butlins". The food is generally poor, the buffet gets boring after a while and the à la carte restaurants are a disappointment. The Chinese restaurant that some reviewers rave about was one of the worst restaurants (food-wise) I've been too. I know Cuban food/cooking tends to be quite bland, however, the Chinese food was a poor facsimile of westernized Chinese cooking. Bland, unimaginative and quite frankly a severe disappointment. The Mexican restaurant made decent nachos and a nice beef fajitas. The best meal we had was at the fish restaurant, a fillet steak cooked to perfection with a few stray prawns in Marsala sauce (surf and turf).

The staff are very friendly, attentive and looked after us well. The room we had was very good too, though a tad worse for wear. Very good air conditioning. Nice pool, good bars and a wonderful beach.

Despite the positives my wife and I won't be coming back. The food is a real disappointment as is the atmosphere, or rather lack thereof.

Room Tip: Please ask for a room facing the pool, not on the ground floor and to the end of the corridor (nice...
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Naoise G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
alc52, Director General at Sol Palmeras, responded to this review, 16 July 2014
Dear Naiose G,

Thank you for choosing our hotel for your holidays, and we apologize for not having fulfilled your expectations during your stay.

We appreciate all your comments, the negative ones are the opportunity we have to do our our work better.

Regarding your dissatisfaction about food, we assure you that we will check up all our menus to improve them, but I tell you it is not a very easy job to satisfy 1,300 guests of different nationalities each day.

We appreciate the good opinion you have about our staff. Thank you for this.

We would like to inform you that we have planned to do a complete renovation of all our rooms at the beginning of 2015.

Hoping and wishing you would change your opinion, by then, we assure you that your opinion about food will be different. Receive best regards.

Sincerely,
Tomeu Alcina
General Manager
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Plymouth, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 July 2014

This was our 5th time here and wasn't disappointed at all in fact was amazed at all the new refurbishments that has been done. Well Done Sol!
As soon as we arrived we felt like Royalty because the check in desk and porter could not do enough for us. They were friendly and very attentive and welcomed us back as if we were family.
We were booked into a Bungalow which was very nice but unfortunately did not suit so after a couple of days we went back to reception to ask if we could have a room in the main building and they found one for us right away, just had to go back the next day to find out when the room was ready.
The restaurants were very good, we got excellent service all the time and we did not have to tip to get this kind of service, all the staff speak very good English, as for travelers on other comments saying the Cubans not liking the English we found this to not be true they could not have been more friendly to us.
The beach is AMAZING with the sand so soft and the clear water what more could you ask for.
The main lobby bar staff were brill and were always up for a laugh and a good time and looked after us very well, we never had any problems getting served.
The Cuban people themselves always had a smile and were very friendly.
We would recommend this Hotel to anyone who wishes to go to Varadero and cannot wait to go back next year.
A big big thank you to all the staff and management for making our stay another amazing memorable holiday. :)

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank chellesie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
alc52, Director General at Sol Palmeras, responded to this review, 16 July 2014
Dear Chelesie,

Thank you for trusting on us, and choose Sol Palmeras for the fifth time to stay, and we hope there will be many more times.

We are glad to know you enjoyed these holidays too, among us in our hotel.

We appreciate all your complimentary comments which were published and shared, on the Trip Advisor, especially your opinion about our staff.

We are very glad to read, on your review, that you liked all the improvements we have done in our hotel.

Thank you for recommending us.

Hoping you visit us to stay for the sixth time. 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

Property: 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
#6 Luxury Hotel in Varadero
#9 Family Hotel in Varadero
#11 Romantic Hotel in Varadero
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
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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