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“A Totally Amazing Holiday” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Ocean Varadero El Patriarca

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Ocean Varadero El Patriarca
Ranked #13 of 63 Hotels in Varadero
Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
28 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“A Totally Amazing Holiday”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 July 2014

My name is Susan and I stayed at the El Patriarca, Varadero from 27 June until 11 July and I can honestly say I had an amazing time. Check in was swift and the bell boys took me and my cases on a little electric buggies right to my accommodation door, straight away it becomes apparent how Cubans are friendly, welcoming and always smiling nothing is to much trouble. I thought the hotel, and staff were the fantastic, especially the bar staff, SHOUTOUT TO NESTOR and JERRY They were great entertainment! So sweet and kind to everyone and always just so happy, they went out their way to ensure you were having a good time. As soon as my glass was empty, there was someone there to top me up! I spent more time people watching from there as the bar staff did amazing stuffs with zambuca (bar was on fire most nights). I thought the food was good and don't know what people complain about. I love fish and ate different types most night (mainly shrimp!!!)
The piano bar is another place that is a must (well-air-conditioned), great pina coladas and bloody Mary's.
I went to a few of the night-time shows and find them entertaining - the showmen were very professional.
I spent every single day at the beach as the views were stunning and the sea was warm, there was also a little breeze (which you don't get at the pool!) and the beach bar is a very short walk from the beds. I got in the water most days and danced the merengue/salsa and found it great fun.
The pool is large and has plenty of sunbeds but I preferred the beach!
I also have to tell you I loved the coffee shop (Mike's) and would go in for a fresh cuban coffee often - better than Starbucks!!!
Wifi at the hotel isn't great, you can only use it in the lobby area and it costs 4.50CUCs (£3.00) for an hour. It is the only small disappointment I had!
Rooms were a very good size and well presented.
I booked a trip to Havana with I got in the water danced the merengue and did water aerobics,Yosel Vazquez in an old american car, it cost 140cuc for two/four people and he takes lots of pictures and gives you a dvd at the end of the tour. It was the best money I have ever spent. The taxi was with us all day and we saw all the top attractions in Havana with our own tour guide.
Thank you to everyone in Cuba for giving me a fantastic holiday and I will be back!

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Susan C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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3,354 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (829)
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English first
Vaudreuil-Dorion, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 July 2014

We stayed at the Ocean from June 29 -July 6 and it was great. I don't know why people complained about this place, they must be real fussy but everyone knows that Cuba is Cuba. You don't go to Cuba for food. But this place was good. The food was good. The hotel rooms are real nice. And the best coffee ever. Mike's coffee shop was fantastic the best coffee I had ever had in Cuba. The drinks at the Piano Bar were real drinks with lots of alcohol. They were not watered down. This hotel is great. I can't tell you what it's going to be like in a few years, cause things change in Cuba but this year it's WOW!!
The staff was great and we always had a change of beach towels.
Thanks guys for a great week.

Room Tip: what I recommend is that you take a room away form the disco. it gets loud at night.
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
8 Thank bettyboop197509
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 July 2014

I stayed at Ocean Varadero for 2 weeks for my honeymoon and it was amazing. The weather was perfect considering it is classed as the rainy season. We saw rain twice in 2 weeks on an evening when it was fun to watch the lightening from the lobby bar.

It is unbelievable how nit picky people can be. I read the reviews on here before we left and the negative ones did stick in my mind, however I had absolutely nothing to worry about.

Yes, when we arrived we did have to queue for 10-15 minutes but given that we arrived from the airport with a group of 30 guests it was expected. We were told on check in that we were kindly being upgraded to privilege as it was our honeymoon which was very kind.

Our room was immaculate. Not sign of these "bugs" people describe. The maid did a brilliant job and left different presentations of towels/blankets on the bed everyday and picked fresh flowers for the bathroom.

The food was lovely with lots of different stations and plenty to choose from including freshly cooked fish or pasta dishes. The buffet restaurant staff are lovely and remember your drinks orders which were often already on the table before we were seated. On our first week you could walk ino the a la carte restaurants and be seated immeidately. It got busier the second week and sometimes this wasn't possible. However, if there was a wait we didn't mind sitting at the bar and having a couple of drinks while we waited.

My favourite part was the lobby bar. You would either sit at the tables and receive excellent table service from the lovely waitresses or sit at the bar and be entertained by the bartenders and their flaring. The cocktails were excellent and again they remembered your regular order but also helped you to choose more experimental drinks. Nester was the loveliest bartender you could ask for. He took great pride in making me a real Cuban mojito and explained to my husband the best way to drink proper Cuban rum. Some comments have said that the measures are small and believe that the alcohol could possibly be watered down. This is definitely not the case! More than generous measures!

I cannot understand where people come up with their ridiculous complaints. I had a brilliant holiday and am considering going back nest year. My one piece of advice would be to take some sort of travel mug purely for convenience as when you are at the beach they only give you small plastic cups.

Thank you Ocean Varadero. I had a fantastic holiday!!

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Caroline D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lincoln, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
23 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 July 2014 via mobile

Stayed at El Patriarca in may was a lovely hotel , very clean and something for everyone . Rooms were a very good size and well presented.

Staff were all excellent including all the bars, restaurants and maid service couldn't do enough for us and always happy.

Drinks and food were of a good standard with plenty to choose from , it isn't fine dining but I was always spoilt for choice .
My partner loved the coffee shop and would go in for a fresh cuban coffee twice a day.

Beach was well maintained and the sea was like a bath always beds available.
The pool is large and has plenty of sunbeds all day can get busier in the afternoon .

We would definitely here again and I would definitely recommend it.

Tip : Ask cuban rep for trips prices as cheaper than thomas cook and better service.

Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
7 Thank WolvesConrad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Carrying Place, Canada
Level Contributor
26 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 July 2014

The El Patriarca is a beautiful new hotel with wonderful staff. The buffet is average with plenty of food choices for even the picky eaters (for those parents travelling with kids). The other restaurants were my preference with great food.
The beach was nice (not as nice as other parts of Cuba) with a rocky section off to one side.
The pool was clean and usually busy in the afternoons. The disco was the usual top 40 mix with spanish dance. The evening shows were always entertaining.
Our room was in a quieter section on the second level..the room was clean every day with no bugs or lizards. The maid was wonderful with creative sheet animals a surprise each day!

Room Tip: ask for a room away from the disco
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
7 Thank CraigL907
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kitchener, Canada
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 July 2014

My sister, her friend, my mom and I all visited the hotel on June 27th for 10 days! My family and I have been to Cuba 5 or 6 times before this and I always said visiting other hotels is the best choice but i will be coming back to this hotel forsure for as long as i can!!
Since the second we arrived, we were welcomed with drinks. Check in did take about 20 minutes maybe a little less due to the group of people we arrived with. As sooon as we were done the driver took us on a golf cart and drove us around the resort explaining it all and showing us around!
The grounds are beautiful! People are working on them all the time! The room... amazing! The bathroom was so beautiful! it had a separate room for the toilet and shower and then your sink and mirror, so ladies one can shower while your friend or room-mate gets ready for the night! We stayed in 3223 and 3226!
I HATE PICKY PEOPLE! the FOOD was AMAZING! I can say for sure; I've been to Cuba so many times and some resorts food was blah, so that's what I was expecting but these people really did a wonderful job! There are 3 a la cartes (which you go eat at 630 when they open or go wait in line at 630 to reserve a spot for 8pm or after. sometimes you can just show up and get a table depending on the night) which is way bettter because you can eat there as many times as you want! It was fantastic! italian and gormet were my fav! We ate lunch at the buffet and always so much to choose from!
I think what i mostly love about this place is the people. Not going to lie the beach bar guys... (ONLY SOME) were snobby some days... but most of the time they were ok, other then that everyone there was the most happiest and kindest ever!
Our friend Justo at the pool bar was seriously such a kind hearted man, and my lobby guys...
I'm surprised I didn't cry when we left. They will forever be in my heart! Always making sure your good with the drinks, goofing around with everyone, entertaining and just making sure your time there is wonderful!
They also have a coffee bar which is amazing! The ladies are such sweeethearts! The snake-bar was also amazing!
I see people love to complain about beach chairs... I think there is 2 for every person on the resort... so dont listen to those people!!
The beach was AMAZINNNNZGGG!!!!! I LOVE Varadero beaches! best ones forsure! And this one was the same. Clean and had a bunch of chairs and shade tents haha no matter what time you showed up at the beach!
I personally didn't spend to much time at the pool, but it was great to! A lot of chairs and shade, no problem! And once again Justo was amazing and so kind!
Overall I'm coming back here forsure!!! I always thought why not go around see other hotels but this one is perfect. paradise. nothing more.
Its a perfect size, not to big or small so you can get to know everyone there. The workers are the best people so far I've ever met! and its just such a pleasant place to be!

SHOUTOUT TO MY #1 NESTOR! He has the biggest heart ever! So sweet and kind to everyone and always just so happy! I miss him way to much and I've been home for only one day lol! Nuriel, Jery, Jorge = <3 to! Such sweet and wonderful guys!

Like I said, its only been one full day of being home and Ive been looking online for another ticket!
Please do take the time to read this review! I'm kind of a picky person.. but HELLO PEOPLE you're going to a hot humid place. Cuba. There will be bugs, sometimes some food wont taste like your food from home but then stay home! Because I'm telling you this is the best resort I've been to.
FORGOT TO MENTION THE DRINKS... 20 cocktails to choose from. 3 types of beer. WHITE WINE IS THE BEST!


OH I ALMOST FORGOT... our plane broke down so we spent another night in cuba. they took us all to melia marina varadero! it was a beautiful hotel also but nothing compaired to Ocean Varadero! we tried the food and it wasnt anywhere close to as good as at Ocean! Our friends we met on this adventure went to Bella Costa and by the sound of it our hotel WINS!

I hope you go visit this place! Maybe ill see you there!

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
15 Thank NikkiAla
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Erbil, Iraq
Level Contributor
21 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 July 2014

We stayed here for two weeks end of May, beginning of June. I looked at the TripAdvisor reviews before we booked and while there was a few negative ones at the time (there's actually more now) there was also quite a lot of positive ones. After staying here for just a few days I must say I was very surprised this place has any positive reviews at all!!! Though I really feel that if you speak Spanish, you will have a different experience at this resort then my husband and I. The staff seem much nicer and friendlier if you speak Spanish. We really only had a few words/ phrases at our disposal and we felt this made the staff treat us a little colder.
We found most of the staff unfriendly, and some were downright rude. Especially the bartenders at the pool bar and beach bar. Most of the time they would hardly grunt at you and forget about smiling. The lobby bar was by far the best. The staff was actually nice, the drinks were ok and you actually got a real glass. Though occasionally it has a dirty bar smell which could be a little off putting. The drinks were very inconsistent through the resort, they tasted different at every bar. Also they barely give you any rum in the drinks. I even began to wonder if it was watered down. Usually I drink one or two drinks at a time and that's it. Here I actually had a hard time getting a decent buzz on. We finally just went to town and bought our own rum and mix and just drank in our room. I just went to the bar to get ice. They will put nothing more then two cans of pop, two cans of beer, and one large bottle of water in your mini fridge. So if you want extra, be prepared to buy it yourself.
I thought our room was actually pretty nice but there was hair everywhere and even a random pill on the floor. We got two queen size beds when we requested a king size bed but we just pushed them together and the maid got the hint and started making them up as one. Our maid was very nice but to be honest didn't do the greatest job and we are by no means messy people. The shower door has a big gap at the bottom so that whenever you shower you flood the bathroom, kind of annoying but not a huge deal.
Honestly the food was full on terrible. I even went prepared for bad food as everyone warned me that the food is not that great in Cuba. The food at the buffet was very poorly presented, over cooked, and under seasoned. It frequently made us ill, many times after finishing our meal, we would have to run back to our room to use the bathroom. The cooks at the cooking stations weren't friendly and even worse they cooked your food in a pool of grease and smashed it down with their spatula to the point where the fish would come up through the holes in the spatula! One cook even refused to cook my husband an omelette because she was busy talking with one of the maids. Also it could be difficult to get water or coffee.
The only ala carte restaurant we went to was the Asian one. Only privilege members get to reserve tables, everyone else has to stand in line. Also only two of the four ala carte restaurants are open on any given night. The first night it was actually really good, we went for my birthday and they brought me out a cake with candles and everything. The food was quite a bit better than the buffet, though the tempura was soggy and my salmon was pretty overcooked. The second time we went though we ended up with food poisoning!
Mikes coffeehouse is great! The staff are friendly and they make yummy drinks. Can't say enough good things about this place as I feel that it was a bit a of a saving grace for the whole resort. We went here every morning for coffee and it was nice to have an air conditioned place to relax. We got massages at the spa and they were pretty decent. The coffeehouse and spa are the best things about this resort. The beach is great too but I really felt it could use some maintenance.
The pool is pretty nice, it's quite large but very shallow. Poolside is pretty dirty, cigarette butts everywhere and forget about finding a clean table. Also be prepared to stick to the brick, lots of drinks get spilt and nobody cleans it up. The snack bar actually has some decent fries and pizza, don't bother with the sandwiches - trust me, it's really a shame that it closes down at actual meal times. I thought the grounds were actually very nice though, lovely landscaping all around. Take bug spray as the mosquitoes are bad here. On account of a close by freshwater lake.
This is the very first negative review that I have written but we had such an awful time here that I felt it necessary to warn people. I cannot recommend this resort at all.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
11 Thank Camille P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
OCT-CustomerService, Director de Relaciones Públicas at Ocean Varadero El Patriarca, responded to this review, 10 July 2014
Dear guest, we are sorry that we fell below your expectations this time around. Your comment has been shared with the Directors of our different departments for them to analyze them and correct any situation that could have led to our service being perceived in such way. Our constant goal is to provide an excellent service to all clients that visit us. Once again we apologize for any inconsistencies you might have experienced and we hope to regain your trust so you will allow us the opportunity to host you again in the future.
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 Ocean Varadero El Patriarca

Property: Ocean Varadero El Patriarca
Address: Autopista Sur km 18 | Punta Hicacos, Varadero 42200, Cuba
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Cuba > Matanzas Province > Varadero
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #13 of 63 Hotels in Varadero
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:5 star — Ocean Varadero El Patriarca 5*
Number of rooms: 420
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Prime oceanfront property stretching more than 200 meters wide, Ocean Varadero El Patriarca is a five-star resort reflecting the 40’s and 50’s Varadero historic architecture. Complete with 420 deluxe rooms, Privilege Deluxe and Privilege Junior Suites; an array of thematic restaurants; a Despacio Spa Centre; Privilege Exclusive Rooms and Services, Privilege Lounge and upgraded amenities. ... more   less 
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