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“Rundown property - terrible food!”

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Hotel Roc Arenas Doradas
Ranked #19 of 65 Hotels in Varadero
Grand Cayman
Level 5 Contributor
60 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
“Rundown property - terrible food!”
Reviewed 17 July 2014

The only good thing about my visit to this hotel is that it was a visit for one day only.

The property is in extremely poor condition, rooms smell like mold, a/c doesn't run properly (room 318) and there area broken things all around.
It is true about the italians guests but we were nit bothered by them... ok, maybe seeing some old man in speedo was disturbing but hey, they are like that in Europe.
The buffets are terrible! TERRIBLE! Food is cold, not fresh and certainly not variety. For lunch the salad bar was tomato, onion, olives and COLD SPAGHETTI.... No greens, no dressings.....
The hot options were as bad...
Not even the fruits were good.

Do yourself a favor and stay somewhere else.... Old property with bad service......

Room Tip: Don't stay here
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank ichaves25
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotel_Arenas_Doradas, Director General at Hotel Roc Arenas Doradas, responded to this review, 4 August 2014
Dear Guest, first of all I thank comments.

We have taken note of them to improve and strive for excellence in each and every one of them.

I imagine that being just a day at the Hotel have been unable to enjoy a varied and themed kitchens Hotel offers.
Cheff have a high international reputation and an Italian Chef who daily strive to give the best to all our guests.

On behalf of Roc Hotels and on my own behalf, I appreciate that you have chosen us for your vacation.

Hope to see you soon with us and can enjoy the improvements we are making in search of excellence.

Greetings from Cuba

Agustin Sainz Parrado
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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Fredericton, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 July 2014

How was the Hotel Roc Arenas Doradas?

It was "ok". When I say it was "ok" I mean that I would probably give it a 2 on trip advisor. If I could I'd probably rate it around a 2.3 star, but it's definitely closer to a 2 than a 3.

I knew most of what I was getting into (thanks to you and other reviews), so nothing was a huge shock.
Anyone who says that the Roc doesn't give special treatment to the Italian customers is not paying attention. A few times at the lobby I was being helped and they immediately left me to help an Italian. I mostly took it in stride. The only time I was a bit ticked was when I placed an order at the coffee bar. The fellow next to me placed an order after I did and the Barista served the other (Italian) fellow first. I immediately left. My wife thought I was being a bit unreasonable, but I wasn't in the mood to be treated second-class at that moment. However, I didn't let it ruin my week.

The night-time entertainment was bland, but I've come to expect it from tropical resorts. We did leave one night when it became apparent that the show had become Italian-only. For the most part we spent our nights outside of the lobby bar to avoid the smokers.

It was only later in the week that I noticed the daytime English activities. It may have simply been our timing/location, but that's when I noticed first a beach-game and then the next day a pool game. I did end up winning a bottle of rum, so that's always nice.

Food was so-so. I always found something to eat. The a-la-carts were not that great. The international was better than the Cuban restaurant, for certain, but the food still wasn't "great"... I wasn't expecting to have canned shrimp :^P

Drinks varied from good (morning pina colada's in the lobby bar from the older gentleman) to down right poor. I did manage to test every drink on the International and Cuban menu, as was my goal for the week. I'd say that half of the drinks I ordered were OK, and there was always the trusty beer and Havana Special to fall back on.

For the most part the staff was friendly, especially as the week progressed and we got to know the pool bar staff. At the end of the week I purchased two bottles of rum directly from the bar staff. I did find the lobby desk staff sometimes ignored me when I walked up, but I gave them the benefit of the doubt and assumed they were busy. I've read that others disliked the bell ringing when you tip at the lobby bar. I found it a bit odd, but it didn't bother me.

We originally had a room in building 10, and asked that night to switch (kind of funky smelling). The next day we moved to building 6. Much better. We were in room 629, our friends were in 630. I think they had the best view possible, straight down the boardwalk to the ocean. The beds are basically pieces of concrete with a bit of plywood thrown in to soften things up a bit. Otherwise the rooms in building 6 were fine with me, and and the AC was new and worked well. And once we figured out that the towels were always brought to the room sometime after the room was made up and cleaned we took it all in stride. Our housekeeper left us a nice note thanking us for the gifts we left.

Beach was of course beautiful. Would be nicer if rude litterers knew how to properly dispose of their cigarette butts.

I was lucky when it came down to the mosquitoes and sand fleas. I think I may have been bitten once. My wife, and my friends wife, were basically both sacrifices to the bugs. They were both bitten many, many times. In fact, my wife's legs took a few weeks to heal from the bites. I'm sure if I was bitten more, I would have lowered my score more.

We didn't end up going on any excursions. I've come to realize that this (for me) was a mistake. I love the beach but I eventually need some variety, so next time I'll definitely get away from the resort (not counting our trip into town).

Did I have fun? Sure, especially our afternoons hanging out at the pool bar. I also really enjoyed relaxing and reading at the beach. And we were with friends.

Will I go back to the Roc? No, I'd rather spend a few hundred more/person and upgrade to a nicer resort. I'm not an "English-only" guy, but I do think everyone should be treated the same and that staff shouldn't care whether you are "preferred" clientele or not. I wasn't outraged by this, but it did leave a sour taste.

Room Tip: Try to get into one of the newer buildings (6,7,8) near the beach.
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with friends
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Troy L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotel_Arenas_Doradas, Director General at Hotel Roc Arenas Doradas, responded to this review, 4 August 2014
Dear Guest, first of all I thank you for your kind words.

We welcome your comments which have taken note to improve and strive for excellence in each and every one of them.

On behalf of Roc Hotels and on my own behalf, I appreciate that you have chosen us for your vacation.

Hope to see you soon with us and can enjoy the improvements we are making in search of excellence.

Greetings from Cuba

Agustin Sainz Parrado
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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Edmonton, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 July 2014

I have stayed at this hotel twice now for a total of four weeks.I love the location, the beautiful beach, the friendly staff, the food,( I thought was not bad for Cuba), nice swimming pool with a swim up bar, I found the rooms acceptable,(A mattress upgrade would go a long way), a very nice nightly selection of live entertainment,(musicians, dancers,), who were very talented, a nice foyer with a bar where you can socialize and listen to the occasional pianist's playing a lovely old piano,(I was amazed at the talent of these female pianist's).I consider myself to be a very easy going guy who seldom complains about thing's, however, while attending the live entertainment one evening with my father we witnessed a complete flush of entertainer's and audience and soon discovered that the "New Crowd" were all Italian's who had , (unknown to us), some special entertainment event planned. We thought we would stick around to see what it was all about and within 15 minutes we recieved some very loud spoken and rude insults from one of the Italian performer's, obviously intended to let us know that we were not welcome in thier area.Obviously, we left the area with a very unhealthy opinion of this group of people, not to mention their impact on the quality of our hotel experience.Due to this negative and untolerable experience,I have now revised my rating of this hotel from "Very Good" to "Average". J.R.R. , Grande Prairie, AB. Canada

Room Tip: Ask for a viewing of room and choose a location away from the "Memories" nightly entertain...
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank Joseph R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotel_Arenas_Doradas, General Manager at Hotel Roc Arenas Doradas, responded to this review, 15 July 2014
Dear Guest, I thank you for your kind words.

Sorry you had discussed the drawbacks which give us an immediate solution.

On behalf of Roc Hotels and I personally thank you for choosing us for your vacation.

Thanks for your comments make us improve every day in search of excellence.

Greetings from Cuba.

Agustin Sainz Parrado
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Edmonton
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 July 2014

was here with my daughter 2014: May 28 - June 7
my 2nd trip to Varadero, 1st time here (I like to spread my stays around to other places)
hotel staff are very nice and easy to speak with ... no issues whatsoever
check in was quick and efficient, money exchange was always easy and quick
what a gem of a place, love that it is not 1 big hotel but a lot of smaller units.
rooms were very comfortable, clean and plenty of hot water and A/C unit worked perfectly
grounds are very well kept and very beautiful
beach is spectacular.. although sand flies have been bad this year.. just coped with spray and Benadryl but they itch for days....
would have to say the drinks were not good as the bartenders seem to think the more alcohol the better but I actually like a good tasting drink so didn't do much of that (which is fine with me)
the bartenders are great otherwise, so friendly !!
food was ok, could be better variety but always has something to eat that tasted very good... I am not overly picky and pork is my favorite.. so not a lot of complaints from me... had a good laugh at the theme nights tho as the food was always pretty much the same thing...lol
we went at a great time when it wasn't over crowded, never had any troubles finding chairs ...
found the nightly entertainment to be pretty good, but daily pool entertainment was very much lacking... this is the first resort I have stayed at that did not engage in poolside activities through out the day... but I was also ok with that as I was there to soak up the sun and relax.
I see a lot of complaints about 'EDEN' and the Italians..., but honestly never really noticed any problems ... I think people like to have something to complain about
a person has to keep in mind that your in the Caribbean and 3rd world country
so availability of things and standards are different... and as long as your clean, fed and for some boozed, it is all good
would I go back here? probably but as I stated I like to try different places...
would I recommend this place? absolutely...
Cuba is a beautiful place and I feel so safe there... if your going to go and pick apart the resort and the people then stay home, they don't need ppl like that in their country. appreciate what is being offered to you and what they have to offer.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Mexicougar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotel_Arenas_Doradas, General Manager at Hotel Roc Arenas Doradas, responded to this review, 12 July 2014
Dear Guest, I thank you for your kind words.

It is a pleasure to know you have enjoyed your holiday with us.

On behalf of Roc Hotels and I personally thank you for choosing us for your vacation.

Thanks for your comments make us improve every day in search of excellence.

Greetings from Cuba.

Agustin Sainz Parrado
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 June 2014

Our family went to Arenas Doradas from May 28- June 4 and I really enjoyed it.
Pros-
Food was edible but the grilling station, pasta station and snack bar were what I preferred.
The Eden village staff were awesome with us even tho we are Canadian. They loved our kids and we could talk to them whenever so I'm thinking some people just had a bad experience. The Italians were just as friendly as everyone else.
Didn't see any strange bugs and that makes me SO happy. A couple mosquitoes when it started to get dark and a lot of bugs on the beach when we went on the catamaran however.
Rooms were always very clean.
Grounds were lovely and we could swim in either pool with our kids.
Beach was great! Didn't see any area for Italians but there were loads of free spots too.. Maybe because we were in low season
Cops on the resort beaches to keep people away who are trying to sell stuff Etc. They are hardly noticeable but the natives know they're there.
Excursions were nice and the busses were great
Shuttle bus was free and we took classic car taxis back to the resort for $10 saving us money as the double decker would've cost us $15
Piña colada and lemonade slushy machine in the lobby were awesome

Cons
Staff expected tips (I read about it but was still surprised- One even asked if we would be willing to leave our tablet lol)
The exchange rate was painful. $700 turned into 580 cuc and it was incredibly difficult to barter with the people on the Main Street in varadero. And the prices weren't great in my opinion..
Hard to say as there weren't a lot of cons. We loved being there and enjoyed the experience. It was great and I recommend this resort for anyone! Beautiful and for a GREAT price :)



  • Stayed June 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Efeez
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotel_Arenas_Doradas, General Manager at Hotel Roc Arenas Doradas, responded to this review, 12 July 2014
Dear Guest, I thank you for your kind words.

It is a pleasure to know you have enjoyed your holiday with us.

On behalf of Roc Hotels and I personally thank you for choosing us for your vacation.

Thanks for your comments make us improve every day in search of excellence.

Greetings from Cuba.

Agustin Sainz Parrado
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
Level 2 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 June 2014

we have been to Cuba before but this was our first time in Varadero.
we went from june 6 to the 20.
the hotel is very good . The gardens are beautiful and well taken care every day. The beach is excellent and there is always a spot in the shade. There are always different options in the buffet and restaurants and the food is very tasty , tots of salads , deserts and amazing ice creams . The café bar serves excellent varieties of coffee . Drinks around the resort are very good ,specially the moyittos at the beach bar . STAFF IS ALWAYS HELPFULL and for the most part with a smile.
rooms are very good by Cuban standards , We were a family of four and were upgraded to a suite that was more like one apartment . Spacious and well taken care every day.
there are a lot of Europeans at the resort and the also they have events and activities to keep you entertained . There is a specific team that works with Italian clients and usually most activities around the resort run around them , but that was fine with us.
there weren't many activities to engage our children 13 and 11 ,but they had a great time snorkling around looking for sea stars. Also they really enjoyed the pool .
There are Cubans having mini holidays there ,specially on weekends so can be more crowded , specially by the pool . There are vendors at the beach or locals asking for things but usually security is good keeping them away .

Room Tip: building 5 is close to the pool and the beach and recently renovated . Building 11has excellent suit...
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank sunshine5352014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotel_Arenas_Doradas, General Manager at Hotel Roc Arenas Doradas, responded to this review, 12 July 2014
Dear Guest, thank you for your kind words.

It is a pleasure to know that you have enjoyed your holiday with us.

On behalf of Roc Hotels and I personally thank you for choosing us for your vacation.

Thanks for your comments that make us improve every day in search of excellence.

Greetings from Cuba.

Agustin Sainz Parrado
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vancouver
Level 3 Contributor
9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 June 2014

Stayed with my boyfriend at this resort from May 2-16th 2014. A brief overview of the things we did and did not like are as follows:

PROS
1 free shuttle bus to and from Varadero x 4 per day (9am-5pm)
2. Majority of the staff were very friendly - especially the cleaning and landscaping staff
3 food was manageable. We could always find something to eat. You are only able to have 2/4 el la cartes during the week - most resorts allow at least 3 so this was a little different! Since we stayed for 2 weeks we were able to try them all - the seafood el al carte was awful, but the other three were fine.
4 beach was beautiful
5 always lots of chairs by the beach and pool

CONS
1 the resort has something called "club Eden" which is only for Italian people. We were told this was because the owner of the resort is Italian. There are no more Italians visiting the resort than any other nationality yet they get: a section of the beach roped off just for them, special dining and show options, their own staff that follow them around and cater to them in Italian and many more games and activities just for them (they have the option of playing their own games and joining the resort games too).

2 you have to pay extra for the safe and no clocks in the room
3 TVs are small and work when they want too (I know one does not go on vacation to watch TV but it's nice to have when getting ready to go out or going to bed)
4 bed was as hard as a rock and almost unmanageable!
5 Towel service is not great - there is hardly anyone there and when the one lady was there she was busy talking on her cell phone... Clearly more important things to do than work at the towel hut!!!

CONCLUSION
This resort is dated but if the owners would pay attention to the finer details this resort would be close to excellent. The whole special treatment for the Italians was inappropriate at best. We were not the only ones who were irritated by this - we even asked a few staff members who clearly did not think there should be special treatment for one class of people either. Since I don't enjoy being treated like a second class citizen on my vacation I will not return to this resort and will explore other options for next year.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank BELLE7512
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotel_Arenas_Doradas, General Manager at Hotel Roc Arenas Doradas, responded to this review, 12 July 2014
Dear Guest, I thank you for your kind words.

I want to tell you that the resort property is not Italian but Cuban, the resort is run by a Spanish chain called Roc Hotels.

The differences that have been seen with the Italians is that within the Resort is a Club of Italians that coexists with other customers.
This agreement implies their animators and staff, is not that the hotel has had a different pleasantries with them but the Italian agency expects its customers by the Club with the resort staff.

Sorry if you have felt bad, is not our objective but rather we believe that all clients regardless of their nationality are equally important and our duty is to make you all happy because it is our reason for being.

We have taken note of your feedback to improve all these and that all customers can enjoy all the services.

On behalf of Roc Hotels and I personally thank you for choosing us for your vacation.

Thanks for your comments make us improve every day in search of excellence.

Greetings from Cuba.

Agustin Sainz Parrado
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 Hotel Roc Arenas Doradas

Property: Hotel Roc Arenas Doradas
Address: Autopista Varadero km 17 | Playa de los Tainos, Varadero 42200, Cuba
Region: Caribbean > Cuba > Matanzas Province > Varadero
Amenities:
Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#13 Top resorts Hotel in Varadero
#15 On the Beach Hotel in Varadero
#15 Luxury Hotel in Varadero
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Roc Arenas Doradas 4*
Number of rooms: 316
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Arenas Doradas Varadero
Arenas Doradas Cuba

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