The Melia Las Americas is a dated and tired resort in Varadero; a conveyor-belt med-style tourist resort. It is let down in particular by the low-budget low-quality food, and the ageing accommodation. It shares a stretch of beach with the lower-budget (?) Melia Veradero, which is similarly run-down, but seems to have a better vibe.
We booked four different hotels over two weeks, in Havana and Varadero; the Melia was by far the worst. Thankfully we only had to endure three nights here.
We arrived at 1430 and were told to go away and come back at the regimented check-in time – 1500. We had booked a “special offer” room with Virgin Holidays, which was spacious but dated; the bath had cracked and blistered enamel and was unusable, so we requested a move. We were shown a couple of other carbon-copy rooms, very much aligned to our “special offer” price band, and ended up in the room next door where the bath was less cracked and blistered. We spied a few beach-side rooms, and these were all the same, just beach-side. The balcony doors did not lock, and this was resolved quickly. We then got a typed apology and a bottle of rum the next day.
An upgrade (at cost or otherwise) was not offered, but I asked to look at one of the “bungalows” (two-storey apartments). We were offered one at the very edge of the large resort at 30 pesos per night extra (£20+), but the one we saw was again in poor condition so we declined.
We were also not beach-side, so we were exposed to the endless procession of very noisy coaches, the noise must be amplified by the shape of the hotel. There is also noise from the highway on this side of the hotel.
We got used to a technique used at reception where they do a very good job of appearing to try to help, but ultimately don’t. The same is true of the Customer Services line.
There was an iron, safe, flat-screen TV and kettle in the room. We were left with two decaf coffee sachets in the room and no whitener, this provision was never replenished so we couldn’t see the point – unless you want hot water for something? A conversation with the maid then with the “Customer Services” helpline to request whitener proved fruitless.
The food was awful in general, and mediocre at best; it was cooked or stewed to oblivion, presumably to mitigate the questionable food hygiene practices. There seems to be a habit of stewing leftovers, or presenting them in a roux or gelatinous white sauce. Pizzas were pre-prepared and had an awful sponge base.
Curiously (for an all-inclusive), they offer room service which we tried and regretted.
It is easy to get plastic cups of cheap (mostly ice) drinks around the beach and pools, we were not offered bottles of water.
Staying three nights, we were allowed to make one booking at a “speciality” restaurant. We were told by a repeat guest to avoid the Italian. We chose the Japanese and it was fine. The Italian was shut one of nights we stayed, and so was the Arcada.
It has a large gym which is not air-conditioned (unlike others), two out of the three treadmills were “out of order” for the duration of the stay at least. It also had a couple of Jacuzzis but none worked.
In its favour, the hotel has a beautiful beach frontage, a good choice of swimming pools, a golf course if applicable. The housekeeping is good. Bar service is fairly good. The rooms are spacious with high ceilings. You get a minibar which is restocked daily if somewhat randomly with a couple of waters, beer and pop.
Come on Melia, this has dented my faith in your brand, a brand I often enjoy in Europe and beyond.
The hotel needs renovation, and more attention to the quality and variety of food at the buffet.
The hotel is way overpriced, it would struggle to attain a 4-star rating in Europe, and serves 3-star food at best.
Apart from the Melia, we found the standard of the hotels we stayed at to be very good in Cuba and higher than expected, many on par with Europe – with good restaurants and service, flat screen tvs in rooms, aircon, aircon’ed gyms and even an aircon’ed squash court in one case.
Cuba is an amazing place. Have a great time!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Meliá Las Américas is the premier Golf Resort in Cuba and it is also the only one with direct access to The Varadero Golf Club. Located on The Varadero Peninsula, a tropical paradise jutting into the clear waters of the Caribbean on Cuba’s northern coats. Poised between the beach and championship golf course, the 5-star hotel is an upscale all inclusive adults only (over 18 years). ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Melia Las Americas Hotel Varadero
- Melia Hotel Varadero
- Melia Hotel Las Americas
- Melia Las Americas Varadero