We had an amazing time, the rooms were clean, and the service was great!!!
- Free Parking
- Breakfast included
This was our first time travelling to the caribbean and we went in with the attitude that as long as it's clean then we will have a good time! We are very adventurous people and are not overly picky. We didn't expect a top of the line resort and stayed here because of the price. We had a fantastic time because we did a lot of excursions and didn't spend much time at the resort. Here is how everything went:
Food: My fiancee and I are definitely not picky eaters. Finishing university not long ago, we lived on kraft dinner for years so most food is fine with us! I had heard that the food in Cuba is not amazing but I went in with an open mind and thought maybe it was just people being picky. I ate food the first day (at the buffet because all of the restaurants were booked before we even arrived) and it was HORRIBLE. It smelled like rotten fish in the buffet and even outside of it. The fruit was old, dry and tasteless. For dinner I got pasta and the guy running it was very fun and high fived everyone. It was okay. After that, I didn't eat for 3 days except for packs of peanuts and cashews from the store which were about 10 bucks a bag! By the 5th day, I couldn't even go into the buffet as I would become physically nauseated. The coffee upstairs was great thought! The best food was when we went on excursions and ate at local places. We ended up getting reservations to 2 restaurants and it was the same food from the buffet in a nicer setting. One last thing about food: my fiancee ate a burger on the beach and it was red on the inside and we are pretty sure it was pork not beef. Our friends snuck us onto their resort a few resorts down and the food was much better I don't think I have ever been so hungry in my life. I lost 5-7 pounds on this holiday !! Drinks were watered down and tasteless as well.
Room: Didn't feel clean; we checked for roaches every night. There was a huge hole above the shower and I was paranoid that a bug would fall onto me while I was showering! The room had an odd smell and the bed was almost a mattress sitting on the flood. Felt very unclean and after the first night of sleeping I had a huge rash on one entire side of my body. It was millions of little red bumps and it was SOOO itchy. Luckily I had hydrocortisone cream with me but it didn't fully get rid of it. I had the rash off and on until a few weeks after I returned home. After the first night I slept full clothed with my own beach towel between me and the bedding. Not exactly a setting for romance for you and your significant other!!!
Beach: Highlight of the resort: amazing beach. Easy to get a chair. Be careful of the tiny little jellyfish, we all got stung a few times (didn't hurt THAT much though). Beware of the topless and almost bottomless old men and women!!! It made me laugh but sometimes I didn`t know where to look hahahahhahahha.
Service: The woman cleaning our room did an amazing job with the cute towel art everyday. Other than that, it felt like we were unwelcome and inconveniencing people. We never asked for anything but if we had a question or were just saying hello, people were not friendly. They did not seem happy to be working there (can't say I blame them).
Excursions: We did the dolphin trip, the jeep safari, the deep sea fishing and the Havana trip with the rum factory.
Dolphin trip - this was run well, although I will never do this again. One of the dolphins had a huge deep scar across its eye and down its face. I don`t even know why I did this as I just kept thinking about the documentary `The Cove` so I couldn`t really enjoy myself. I felt a bit freaked out as the water was very thick and murky and I couldn`t sea what was underneath me. The dolphins would just pop up out of nowhere or bump into my legs and it kind of scared me!!...Then they told us to swim out and put our legs out away from our bodies. We did this one at a time and then 2 dolphins would push the bottoms of your feet and throw you into the air. The other people on the excursion were all larger women and men and would go a little bit into the air, but I am a smaller girl and they shot me about 15 feet into the air! When I hit the water I smacked my head and had a major migraine!! Not their fault but just be aware!!!
Jeep safari: By far the best excursion. We went snorkelling at a secluded area, then went to a plantation and had the best meal (although it was goat if you don`t like to eat that!). We visited a local`s house and he was the most hilarious man ever. He didn`t speak any english but he was about 5 feet tall and wanted a lot of pictures with us and him haha. We got to swim in an underground cave (SOOOO COOL!). We also went on a riverboat and got to jump out the windows into the lagoon...best part of the whole vacation.
Deep sea fishing: The boys wanted to do this, so we went along! I was excited but I got extremely ill. It is a 4 hour excursion and within the 1st hour, I was vomitting every 20 minutes off the side of the boat (even after taking gravol). If you have any motion sickness, you may want to sit this one out!!! The two men that took us out were VERY understanding and did everything they could to try and make me feel better. They stopped the trip halfway and took us to a call spot where we went snorkelling instead and it was less wavy! The two guys jumped into the water and just picked up a bunch of lobster and cooked it right on the boat (too bad I was sooo sick I couldn`t eat). I felt so bad that I was sick but they were VERY accomodating!
Havana trip: worth seeing, but do not wear a Canada shirt, we got harassed and then pulled into a back alley where a box full of drugs were offered to us...needless to say we got out of there pretty fast!!! Cool trip though.
Overall: Had an amazing time!!! Hotel was kind of gross but Cuba was a great time and we have a lot of good stories after this trip! We are going to Jamaica this year instead to try something new :)
First of all, you go to Cuba for the Beach which is the best! 2nd of all you go for hopefully good weather. We were lucky and had great weather. 3rd of all , you want to stay in a clean place. This was very clean. Our room was in the South Section, nice and quiet and everything was in working order., you just had to walk a little to the other amenities. It was okay, we only went to our room at night and stayed on the beach all day. We had great hot showers, working blow dryer and lots of space. The air conditioning worked well but did not have a control..so we just periodically shut it off. The fridge worked great, but the tv reception/.cable was bad. Needs fixing. We asked for extra pillows and a bathroom rug and they brought it. The cleaning lady was very nice. You have to have a good frame of mind and not be demanding . It is not Marriot. The food was good and plentiful. We have been at least 9 times to Cuba and have stayed at different resorts and the food varies. If you are expecting to get a prime rib steak , you better stay home. The entertainment was great.., better than other 4+* hotels, and the overall hotel service here was better., except for the the 24 hour snack bar and the lobby.-they need a little sprucing up in both service and efficiency. The dilemna that we always had was with most hotels we have stayed, they might have been newer and brighter but they never have enough staff! Over all, for the price, we got great value. We are definately coming back here.
I'm a Cuban-Canadian guy how works in many hotels in Varadero before I left to Canada 12 years ago ,the hospitality industry is my profession still , I've being in many countries since then and many Hotels in Cuba with my family and friends , I've never being in this Hotel before and I was very happy with the service at the buffet and bars in general,the room very clean ; but the snack bar's workers look like to me that they are not happy with their job , I was setting there for a good 20 minutes just waiting for somebody offer me a coffee ( this was in the morning around 8,30am ) and I have to leave because nobody even notice that this 6.2 feet tall and 220 pounds guy was there ,jejej ,the service at that place was for off my expectation , the reception people were not very helpful ether , the rest of the staff...very good , I highly recommend this Hotel because the general experience was very good ( the best worker for me was Marcelino at the Buffet , very helpful and professional )
I was there Jan 13-16 2012
Oh lord were do I start lol lol . I'm an experienced traveler and I must say this hotel has been the far worst one I've been to in all my experiences . The food was bad but expected for Cuba lol , the Room well we had a Junior Suite not worth our money . The toilet leaked and over flooded in our room and no one came up to clean at all had to do it on our own , there was not enough hot water for 2 showers , the walls everywhere were dirty , the sheets were far from being white if you know what I mean . The service was bad it always felt as though you were disturbing them when you came around for a question or something to drink . In my books I rate this hotel a 2 star and no more then that don't waste your money . Hope this was helpful . Enjoy your vacation .
I'm a very experienced traveller and have stayed in many places around the world (third world countries included). So here is my advice. Stay away from this hotel! I travelled with my mother and two young daughters. We got to the hotel at 11:30pm and were not in our room until 2:00am. One very rude person at the desk serving three flights! When we got to our room in the South Family section without the help of a bell boy (far walk), the patio door was wide open and there was only one bed even though the reception lady assured me there would be two singles and two cots. I went back and she moved me to another room that had two beds and 1 cot, no air conditioning and no toilet paper. Thankfully I brought my own toilet paper. Don't even think about asking for extra blankets or pillows. The staff REFUSE to give them to you! The next morning, we were told they couldn't fix the airconditioning so we had to move a third time, this time to the tiniest room in the main building on the ground floor right across from the staff room. The staff would begin talking very loudly at 6:30am and go until 11:00pm. Needless to say we got very little sleep during our stay.
This was my third visit to Cuba and I know the food isn't good, but this was ridiculous. It all looked like gruel. Thankfully I brought peanut butter and nutella and this is what my daughters basically survived on. Pizza at the snack bar was inedible. The only food that was decent were the hot dogs at the snack bar. The staff in the buffet were very nice and helpful but it did take until the third day for someone to ask if we wanted tea or coffee with breakfast. If you give nice gifts to the maids, they will start to be nice to you but not before then. We ate at the Italian restaurant one night and my mom was sick as anything for 36 hours and had to miss the dolphin outing. No refund was provided. I went to the reception desk to ask for a bottle of water for her and was told to go to the store and buy one.
Biggest complaint: The staff at the front desk are very rude and demeaning. They need courses in manners.
The only positives I can say is the dolphin swim was amazing even though my mom couldn't come with us. We went shopping in Varadaro and the local Cuban's are very nice and giving. And of course, the beaches in Cuba are gorgeous. So I will say, we had sun, beach and relaxation instead of snow and work. But seriously, stay anywhere but here! I heard the Blau and the Azure were quite good.