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“Location location location” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Hotel Roc Barlovento

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Hotel Roc Barlovento
Ranked #25 of 63 Hotels in Varadero
Kitchener, Canada
Level Contributor
18 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
“Location location location”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 May 2013

I recently returned from the Barlovento , having stayed from April 19th-26th . I have been going to Cuba for 30 years and have been to Varadero numerous times and I can tell you that the best thing this hotel has going for it is the location and the staff. The rooms are tired but clean and the maids do a great job with what they have to work with . Who cares though, you really are only in your room to sleep and shower . Having said that , the shower pressure left something to be desired (I was on the second floor) but at least I had hot water every day but one !

The beach anywhere in Varadero is a given and you can walk for 20 plus km if you want so that is never an issue for me. The hotel itself is an older hotel with under 300 rooms . This time I was travelling on my own so the size of the place was appealing .....and did I mention the location ? Great spot on the very edge of town , approximately ave. #13 so you can walk to other restaurants, shopping, nightlife or a cab is maybe $5 CUC to get to spots up around ave #60. Try the Beatles night club - no cover charge and a great band playing covers of lots of bands , including the Beatles . Take a cab there for about $5 CUC. There is another great outdoor club within walking distance called FM17 as it is at avenue 17 :) where you can usually find a live Cuban band and some other good entertainment. No cover charge and cheap drinks for a change of pace from the hotel. There are lots of other places to try out in Varadero so don't be afraid to venture out at night. As a single female, I felt perfectly safe walking in town during the day and at night.

So back to the hotel...........the grounds are quite beautiful and the gardeners do a great job of keeping everything in tip top shape. There are 3 pools- a quiet pool with very few chairs and umbrellas to keep it that way , a wading pool for kids that I rarely saw anyone using and the main pool where most of the action took place. That pool has a raised fountain that provided some additional fun for those who chose to jump from it into the pool.

Having been to Cuba so many times, I never have high expectations for the food but I must say that the main buffet landed solidly at middle of the road .........pretty boring but enough decent food to get by . I did not try the a la carte restaurants although heard that the Mexican one was pretty good. The drinks at the bars varied but I did have a couple of wicked Mojitos at the beach /lunch bar . There was no white wine the entire week I was there so I can't comment on that but the red was ok.

Activities were available - usually something on the beach in the morning and around the pool in the afternoon , with bingo and dance lessons happening every day . The staff were friendly and the evening shows pretty good for the most part. Another bonus, even though the hotel seemed fairly full, I never had to fight for a beach chair or a pool chair no matter what time of day .

I met many people who have been going to the Barlovento for years and love it for the staff and the location and I would have to agree with them . It is rated a 3 to 3 1/2 star and I would agree with that rating as well. For the price I paid , even with a single supplement , well worth it overall.

Room Tip: Based on other reviews, I asked for and got a quiet room facing onto the tennis courts. A bit furth...
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  • Stayed April 2013, travelled solo
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank trisha07
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
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English first
Halifax, Canada
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 April 2013

First off, be careful reading these reviews (this one included). Each contributor has had their own experience and we all have our own opinions. I will try to be as objective as I can.

Let me say at the outset that I was not disappointed with our visit to the Barlovento during the week of April 18 – 25. Having been to Cuba a few times before, my wife and I had realistic expectations for the hotel and overall, it is fair to say that our expectations were exceeded. Our target: a clean bed, shower, good beach and good weather. We knew the food would be no problem as we would always be able to find something we liked. There are probably some people who do not realize it but DO NOT GO TO CUBA FOR THE FOOD – that would be a big mistake. At the same time, there is a lot of very good food – different from what you are used to and not gourmet, but very good. Even so, the pork stir-fry, bbq fish, deep fried fish, bbq sausages, potatoes, bread, lots of butter, Mexican a la carte restaurant were all highlights for us.

A lot of the points mentioned in previous reviews are true:
• The friendliness of the staff seems to be directly proportional to the tip provided
• Rooms are “tired” and deficient in some respects
• We found the food the best we have had at any of our Cuba stays
• While quite serviceable for now, the “sports pool” is in need of repair or maybe a replacement
• The beach was brilliant
• There seems to be an inability to make a decent coffee (probably just my problem)

Now let’s get serious here – we paid $654 each to fly from Halifax to Varadero, get transported to and from the airport and stay at a hotel with unlimited food and beverages. This hotel is situated on one of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean. Heck, just for me to fly Halifax to Toronto and back is over $500 and there is no beach, no free mojitos and no 32 C heat in April.

Keep this in mind. Cuba is in a state of transition from the Communist country to a market economy and they are trying to manage the change. My guess is that many of the hotels are hedging their bets and trying to decide how to manage their investments. Will they continue to have a stake in the new market economy or will they be jammed out? Until they are clear on how the future will unfold, I expect they are reluctant to invest lots of cash in improvements and upgrades. That said, at the same time, there seems to be endless development of new resorts (and I’m guessing some condos) at the end of the Varadero peninsula – take the Hop-On/Hop-Off bus to the end of the peninsula and take a peek.

We met some great folks at the hotel and enjoyed our discussions and meals. The activity coordinator’s name is Frank and you will not find a more personable and helpful guy at any resort. Evening entertainment was good and finished up by 10:30 – 11:00 each evening. Because the resort is in the town of Varadero, guests can always find some night-life downtown if that’s what you are looking for.

Without a doubt, I would recommend this hotel, I will return to this hotel and, although it is tired and requires some upgrades, I expect I will enjoy the hotel again next year. I hope this review is helpful.

/Javaminit

  • Stayed April 2013, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
8 Thank javaminit
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SK Canada
Level Contributor
25 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 April 2013

Our first stay at the Barlovento was April 2012. We returned for the location and price.

We were disappointed in our rooms this time around. At check in, we were given a room that we were not happy with (bad odor, bed was missing legs and generally didn't seem clean) and were able to change our room. Our second room was better but missing a toilet seat (which was fixed the next day) and had a leak above the toilet. Each room was not as nice as the room we had last year. We were told they were doing some 'renovations" to the rooms but didn't notice any renos happening. The front desk staff were helpful. Staff came to follow up on the repair of the toilet seat.

Overall this hotel is good value. The resort is kept clean. Staff are friendly. Food is pretty good, always had a decent breakfast, fruit, eggs, toast, butter, jam. Lunches and supper were alright, always fresh bread or buns, veggies, and some kind of meat. I thought there was a good variety of food, even better than what I remember from last year. We ate out a few times just for a change. Many restaurants near by that are nice, just to get away from the buffet.

The hotel computer wasn't available for use. Not a big deal for me.

Best part about this location is the beaches. Walked everyday along the beach, and would pop out at beach access to the main street to grab a beer or a bite to eat and back to the beach.

I want to mention for all those smokers out there to please do not use the beach as an ashtray. There are several garbage and ashtrays around to use.

We would return to this hotel. For the location and friendly staff.

  • Stayed April 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank prairiegrl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lienden, Gelderland, Netherlands
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 April 2013

The hotel/resort was nice, big and on a good spot. Every evening there is something to do with the entertainers. (quiz, dance, salsa lessons, shows) however the staff behind the receptiondesk are lazy and will only do something for you if you do something for them in return. The food was not so good, but there is a very good italian restaurant arround the corner.

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Ton W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
43 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 April 2013 via mobile

I am not to picky, don't care about decor in the hotel room or if the lamps match the curtains. I want to go away an explore the country an dance the night away!!!
I booked this trip as a last minute deal, an was not disappointed at all! The resort grounds them self are well kept! The rooms an buildings are dated but I could care less! The beach was great! White sand blue warm water.
The food wasn't to bad for Cuba! (This is my 3rd time in Cuba an this place had the best food by far) We did the Mexican al la carte an was very pleased with the food!
The staff for the most part is friendly, the front desk staff is lacking in friendliness. The hotel is pretty close to shopping, clubs an other sights. Be sure to change your $$$ at the bank because if you do it on the resort the exchange rate isn't so good!
We had some problems with not having
Water in our room but that was rectified quickly!
Not every room has a balcony, I suppose you could ask for one, I was fine without a balcony as for I spent the majority of my time off the resort or on the beach!
I loved the location!
What can I say this isn't a 5 star resort but if your looking for a place to rest your head an take in the shopping an nightlife then this is the place for you!
Loved all the classic cars!!!
Will be back to Varadero, an would not hesitate to go back to this resort!

  • Stayed April 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Kristy_3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vancouver, BC
Level Contributor
14 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 April 2013

This resort is set up very well. Every room is close to the "centre" and the staff are very friendly. It's on a fabulous beach and there are two pools that are well kept. Rooms are dated but clean and our maid was lovely and very thorough. I suggest you bring your own pillows and beach towels - the pillows are hard and beach towels are rarely available. The food is pretty typical for the locale, and there's lots of it.

We took the "tour" to Havana which was really nice - our tour guide was very knowledgeable and helpful - but you'd be get more benefit at least cost from a personal tour arranged through the staff. Speak to Rafael at the Italian restaurant.

Rafael and Willy (Italian) and Ramone (at the Mexican restaurant) were great; we really enjoyed their company.

The most memorable part of our stay was the nightly entertainment - the dancers were very good and the dances well choreographed.

If it's your first trip to Cuba, know that you are expected to tip for Everything. They will let you know how much is expected.

If I went back to Cuba (which is unlikely), I would stay there again.

Room Tip: Choose a room away from the pool. It can get noisy at night.
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  • Stayed April 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank SunSeeker13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pontiac, Canada
Level Contributor
9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 April 2013

Location Location...We looked at other hotels but then decided to take the Barlovento to be close to Varadero and we did good. Rooms are clean and done daily, hot water, a/c, beds everything needed for a perfect sleep. Food, well let me say that it was great and we always had a choice of vegetables and fruits with either pork, chicken or we even had the best fish I ever tasted. Some people at the beach will offer the biggest scampies I ever had in Ottawa and serve it right at your lounge chair.
Restaurants in Varadero close by and good.
Staff at the Barlovento are relax, pleasant and even some speak french :) they are happy to be there and work and do their best to help.
The pools (3) are cleaned daily and they are never overcrowded always chairs available.
The buffet is great and menus are not the same everyday. Three different a la carte and we enjoyed the Creole but preferred the Mexicain (Ramone) great person, we were unable to get a reservation at the italian and were given the run around from Willy (i guess he tried but some people later told me he prefers to be tipped) to bad.
Our service at the buffet was well served by many nice people but two to mention did even better Manuel and Jacelyn, Thank you again.
At the reception there is a small cuban employee who speaks french he is smiley and very helpfull forgot his name starts with Yo...
The Beach, yes it is the nicest sand and water and the employees there help to get you a chair and place them either under a palapa or somewhere in the sun, we were at the beach three days and at the pool the other days both amazing.
We took the full day special at Havana and saw so much and even the Tropicana show it was worth the day and money.
Towels, you get a card to exchange against a towel and may trade in your wet towel for dry one when available, the last day because we were leaving late when we checked out we either had to give them either a card or the towels, if we wanted to keep the towels for the day and we did each towel required 10 cuc deposit and once we were ready to return them our money was returned.
If you do leave late on your last day they have an area where they lock your luguage so we kept in a back pack some necessities and when ready they offer a room for you to change and shower (bring a towel and soap not provided) before taking the bus to the airport.. this is all free and you can eat at every meals also (lunch and super) or you can keep your room for extra hours at a small fee.
In Varadero there is a bus open deck that costs only 5 cuc for all day. Taxis honk their horns to pick you up and there are a lot of horse and buggies to drive you around also.
Weel we enjoyed our first experience at the Barlovento and met great people who have returned more than 5 times and we now understand why. Thank you for a wonderful vacation and memories.

Room Tip: Any room will do because the noise at the show ends around 11 pm
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  • Stayed April 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank soulbeaug
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Roc Barlovento

Property: Hotel Roc Barlovento
Address: Ave 1ra e/ 9 y 12, Varadero, Cuba
Region: Caribbean > Cuba > Matanzas Province > Varadero
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#21 Luxury Hotel in Varadero
#22 On the Beach Hotel in Varadero
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Roc Barlovento 4*
Number of rooms: 293
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Hotel Roc Barlovento is located on beachfront and just a few meters from town centre of Varadero only 25 km away from the airport.This large Caribbean-style resort is in perfect harmony with its natural surroundings along an extensive, fine white sanded beach and turquoise waters .Adults only hotel, over 16 years.Services Around the gardens, there are a tennis court, a solarium, three swimming pools and one jacuzzi. 3 Out Door Pools Sunbeds & Umbrellas Reception 24 hrsStores, shops Air Conditioning Tourism office GardensInternet, with charge Telephone and fax, with charg eMassage, with charge"All Inclusive" Services Buffet service for breakfast, lunch and dinner 3 á la carte restaurants (prior reservation required and upon availability) Fast food, snacks, grill y paellas. Cocktails, beverages: national and international brands. 24 hrs Service. Non motorized water sports (upon availability), snorkel, windsurf, kayak, pedalboatl, catamaran, windsurf . Voleyball, football, tennis, ping pong, billard, petanca, dards, archery and table games. Basket, beach volley, water polo- Gym Sunbeds andbeach/pool towels Day time entertainment programme: aerobics, yoga, dancing lessons, Spanish lessons, pool/beach games. Evening entertainment with a variety of international shows and theme nights (resident band and dancers)GastronomyThe All Inclusive offer includes, in addition to the three complete buffet meals per day, à la carte meals in the 3 specialty restaurants (with reservation) snacks, alcoholic as well as non-alcoholic drinks throughout the day. A great variety of gastronomical treats awaits our guests in the hotel’s 4 restaurants and 4 bars . The hotel offers a 24 hrs service. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Barlovento Hotel Varadero
Barlovento Cuba
Gran Caribe Club Barlovento
Hotel Barlovento
Barlovento Varadero

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