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“Beautiful resort”

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Ocean Varadero El Patriarca
Ranked #13 of 64 Hotels in Varadero
Ontario, Canada
Level Contributor
38 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
“Beautiful resort”
Reviewed 21 July 2014

Stayed June 7-14th. Booked with Air Canada Rouge. Flight was ok, no frills, and not as nice as a Sunwing flight. Rep at the hotel was helpful and was kept busy. Flight and arrival was smooth, transfer from the hotel went without a hitch. Took approx. 20 mins for check in even with 2 coaches arriving. The staff at the main bar (excellent cocktails + remembered your favourite drinks), beach bar buffet and coffee shop (amazing choices) were wonderful and extremely attentive. Staff in the main buffet were very pleasant. The maids cleaned the rooms daily, fresh towels, floors swept, towel animals every day, again amazing. This resort is a 4 star, food = 2-3 star but this is Cuba! We don’t come for the food. By mid-week I was a little tired of it and felt nauseated at the same buffet over and over. There were some strange concoctions, but we tried most of them. The al a cart restaurants were a nice change from the buffets. Asian, Italian and gourmet. One of the al a carts was closed each night, they closed on a rotation. We went around 7pm and got straight in, when we went at 8pm and were asked to come back for 9pm. The beach was just amazing, clean and the bluest water! We saw star fish and fish swimming around. Snorkel out a little further and you’ll see all different kinds of fish. They had paddle boats and you could go out on a sail boat with a staff member. The bathrooms were always clean. We were in the 32 block, this was midway between the main bar and the beach, perfect. There was construction nearby in the 33-34 blocks, we only saw a distant crane, no construction noise. There was a very cosmopolitan mix of people, which was nice to meet travellers from all parts of the globe. We went to Havana which is always a fantastic trip. Our rep took us personally to the Havana rum shop so I could purchase Havana club glasses- this was not on his itinerary. We were so appreciative of this. We also did the catamaran trip, the trip out on the boat was beautiful, we stopped at an island for lunch, it rained for a little while so we just drank more rum! One thing I can applaud is the efficiency of the staff here. A glass was smashed in the bar area and the maid was there to clean it up as soon as you turned around. Our air conditioner wasn’t working one day, we called font desk and someone was there to fix it within 10 mins! One of the best Cuban resorts we’ve stayed at.

Room Tip: Ask for second floor, less bugs when it rains
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
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Helpful?
4 Thank Horrice123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Liverpool, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
16 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 July 2014

Lovely hotel and very friendly staff. Got to say a big big thank you to 3 people who made our stay even better, "Demis" a gardener, a really lovely man who would do anything to help you and so friendly we will really miss him. "Jans" part of the entertainment crew who was very proffesional at his job and really nice too and last but not least "Chabele Liliasea" from the buffet restaurant who is one of the nicest and most helpful waitresses you could meet. There are plenty more but these made our holiday special.

The hotel is very clean and the grounds are very well kept too. The only problem we had in our room was with ants. The room was sprayed 3-4 times but the little tiny ants just kept coming back.

The hotel is situated about 15 mins taxi ride from Varadero town, this will cost 20 pesos in a cab or you can go by bus and this costs 5 pesos and you can use it all day. The hotel is isolated but if you want a quiet holiday to relax then this hotel is perfect.

We did 3 trips whilst we were there, 1, Catamaran which was excellent. 2, Havanna with rum museum and cigars which was also very enjoyable. 3, 3 citys overnight stay which I would "NOT" recommend. We only went to 2 of the 3 citys which was a disgrace. The guide had no itinary for anyone and the two day were a complete disaster. We stayed overnight in what was supposed to be a 3* hotel but at the very best it was a 2*. It had mold on the ceiling and we could not wait to checkout the next day. We were supposed to swim in the "caribbean" at this hotel but I can honestly say the water in the "River Mersey" was more clear then the water we swam in ( for 2 minutes). The showers were cold, the food was disgusting, the whole hotel was a disgrace and "Thomas Cook" should withdraw this trip as it is being seriously missold in my opinion.

The Beatles bar in the town centre gets high rating on here but I didnt think much of it. It has bouncers working on there and there not the friendliest or most welcoming of Cubans. The park next to the beatles bar has a lovely restaurant set in a cave that is well worth a visit called "La Gruta De Vino" the owner is lovely and his assistant and the band that play in there are the best we heard in our 2 weeks in Cuba, 2 girls and 2 men. One of the girls did a solo of "Adele" for us and it was amazing. Well worth a visit.

If you are thinking of visiting Cuba then I woul not hesitate to book this hotel. The only disappointment that I can recall was my wifes new perfume "DKNY" was stolen from her room. We did report it but did not want to involve the police. The hotel said that only 2 people had access to our room and that was the maid and the contractor who tops up the fridge, so Really the police were not needed. We didnt get it back but I hope the hotel did a proper investigaion to stop this happening to other guests.

Our stay was from the 4th July to the 18th.

Room Tip: The rooms are generally very good but have a look for the small ants as they are a real pain. We wer...
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Paul W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Montreal, Canada
Level Contributor
29 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 July 2014

El Patriarca, barely a 3 star. We stayed for two weeks from July 4th to the 18 , 2014. We were 9 people traveling together.

There are so many things wrong with this hotel but I will start with every thing that is great about this hotel.

The pros
This hotels best asset is the staff. The people that work there are just really fantastic. I will say that the bar and restaurant staff is really great, nice, funny, welcoming.

Shower: great water pressure

The cons

To everyone that will say that the following is to be expected because it is Cuba, I will answer that it is not a valid answer. These hotels take our money and they should give us what we pay for. The tour operators should not sell this hotel as a 5* because it just isn’t. These are the reasons this hotel just isn’t good

1. We had cockroaches in our room. In our bed. Other travellers had roaches in their suitcases.
2. I had a dead baby lizard in our couch.
3. We had a colony of ants in our room.
4. The food is just horrible- and this is the part where I think it is unacceptable. There was little fruit- pineapples were not ripe – the watermelon was not ripe – the papaya was the worst papaya ever and there seemed to be a shortage of mangoes. Little choice in salads. I must admit that their Cuban night was good.
5. They would run out of certain items really quickly at the buffet and they wouldn’t refill (such as ice cream, the prosciutto , the green salad)
6. Beach towels – if you went to the beach prior to 11 am then you couldn’t change your towel for new one because they had none. If you came back from the beach around 5pm then there still wasn’t any because they had given out the clean one. We had sticky beach towels for 3 days in a row. Apparently there is a shortage of facilities to clean towels and sheets.
7. Our towel for the room were stained ( there was a rumor that due to the inability of the Laundromat to fulfill all the hotels orders sheets and towels were not washed but only passed in the dryer- I was a little disgusted by the idea of that –I am hoping that it is not true)
8. The bed. The mattress is covered with a bed cover that is plasticized. This means that the bed always retains humidity but it also makes noise like you are sleeping on plastic sheets. The mattress is very very thin.
9. They fill your fridge with one can of beer, one sprite, one Fanta and one bottle of water. We are two per room we both wanted a beer. We had to argue in order to get an extra beer.
10. There is little to do at night- there is the animation show – if you are on a two week stay then the second week is a repeat of the first week! The theater is quite nice –under a bid pergola but the problem is that there is no air circulating. – It is extremely hot. There is the lobby bar but you are still indoors and a jazz bar that can accommodate around 50 people). Last year we went to the paradisus –princesa del mar – they had a outdoor square where you could watch the shows – and there was several bars – a cigar lounge a jazz bar that were big enough to accommodate their guest.
11. The public relations asked me what it would take to make me happy- I requested a late checkout – to checkout at 1pm instead of noon for two rooms. (we had four rooms) They said that they would need the manager to sign off on it but that they believed it would be ok. They following day I went to see them since they never got back to me, and they gave me the following answer.
• “we are unable at this point to let you know if you can do a late checkout since we do not know the amount of people that will be checking in on Friday, and if we will need your room.”
They wanted us to believe that two days prior to the arrival of their guests that they do not know how many people are checking in. If that was the truth then that would explain their lack of towels – of food etc. and overall poor planning of their part.

• I asked the public relations: “if I go to the front desk right now and ask them to pay for a late checkout would they take my money ? Needless to say she didn’t answer
I requested to speak to the manager who conveniently enough was home by 5pm. So I requested a call prior to 8:30 am. The following morning they called me back and we were given two rooms with a late checkout.

To everyone that will give me the excuse that it is the governments fault I will say that this is faulty reasoning- Iberostar varadero, Paradisus (both locations) have more than decent food- This Hotel was just unwilling to offer it to their guests

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
13 Thank patrizia d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 July 2014

Two 20-something year old girls stayed at El Patriarca in June 2014 for 1 week, and loved every second of our Holiday! This was my first trip to Cuba, but my 10th All Inclusive Vacation in the Caribbean so I have my fair share of resorts to compare to.

STAFF: Amazing. This resort is packed full of friendly, hardworking and welcoming people who made us feel at home from the second we walked through the door. The girls at the lunch buffet, the girls at Mike’s Café, the gardeners with fresh flowers for us every day, and the talented boys at the lobby bar, thank you for everything. A special thanks to: Hanney Absolutely (at the Snack Bar), Glenda, Marlo and the rest of the animation team, and especially to Yoel (golf cart driver) for taking such good care of us throughout the week! Keep doing what you’re doing, you are a big part of the reason we will return to this resort!

TIPPING: We never felt obligated or pressured to tip for better service. We tipped BECAUSE of the service we received. It's always nice to show your appreciation.

GROUNDS: Smaller resort. Everything was kept clean and in relatively good condition. The resort is very new and modern but nothing over-the-top fancy. The pool was a decent size, and there were always loungers available.

BEACH: The beach is beautiful. The sand is a little on the rocky side, and there is about a foot drop off from erosion. But the water was warm and extra blue. The entertainment team also has some activities at the beach that were fun to take part in (or just watch)

DRINKS/BARS: We are vodka drinkers, so on our first day in the pool when they told us they had no top shelf Vodka, we were a little worried. Our fears soon subsided when we found the Lobby Bar, and the Snack Bar carried Absolute Vodka. Everyday Hanney had a special bottle set aside for us, and drinks ready whenever we came up! The Lobby bar also quickly learned that we liked Absolute Vodka Mojitos, one with sugar, one without. They were amazing.

FOOD/RESTAURANTS: We ate at the lunch buffet or the snack bar every day, and always found something to eat but nothing to rave about. Only had breakfast a few times – and the made-to-order omelets were perfect. We had ZERO problems getting into the A La Cartes, and we ate there 5 out of 7 nights. (the other 2 nights we ate in Varadero, message me if you want details both restaurants were AMAZING). We enjoyed all 3 A La Carte’s, our favourite probably the Italian. There was only 1 night where we had to wait for a table (just enough time for a drink at the lobby bar) other than that we walked right in. Special thanks to the waitress who always had a bottle of white wine chilling for us! (sorry I don’t remember your name) Usually I don't care for the house wine they have at resorts, but the white wine was fabulous!

ROOMS: The rooms were nice, tons of room for 2 girls with a lot of shoes and clothes. Big bathroom with vanity area, 2 showers, closet, dresser and plenty of mirrors (very important). We chose to be on the second floor which was nice to be able to sit/leave things on the balcony and not have to worry about anyone helping themselves. The maids did a great job keeping it clean and full stocked (including the mini fridge!)

Entertainment: Can’t comment too much on the entertainment, as we only attended one show which my friend was on stage for! They had a guy with VERY large whips, whipping roses out of his assistants hand, mouth, etc. My friend got pulled up and he whipped the rose right off her head! The Disco was a fun place to dance the night away.

CONS: We did have a few issues with the room. The first one being the tiny ants all over everything. (I have read this on several other reviews) They were crawling all over the floor, in the drawers, and one night even in our bed. I brought some essential oils that seemed to help as the week went on, but some days they were worse than others. Now, we didn’t call to complain about the ants because we probably spent a total of 5 hours a day in our room (sleeping) so maybe if we did call, they would have come and sprayed. This would have to be addressed if/when I return.
The second issue was the smell of sewer. It only happened maybe 3 or 4 times, for 20 minutes at a time, but when it did it was awful. The whole room filled with the smell of raw sewage to the point where we had to go outside. I think it was consistent with when our neighbours were showering, so I don’t know if this is some sort of plumbing issue, but it was awful. I did mention this to the front desk, but nothing was done about it.

I celebrated my Birthday while at El Patriarca, and the staff yet again went above and beyond to celebrate with me. Birthday cakes, champagne, a birthday certificate, a gift, and the whole pool sang happy birthday! Thanks again to everyone for such a memorable birthday.

As with any resort, this one definitely has room for improvements. We are the type of people who can take small problems with a grain of salt, and I think that is why we have an amazing time wherever we go. I would definitely recommend this resort, and I do see myself returning in the future, I am curious to check out the privilege part of the resort!


Cheers El Patriarca, until next time!! Hugs from Canada xx

Room Tip: Ask for second floor.
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with friends
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Corie A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
skii26
Level Contributor
20 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 July 2014 via mobile

We have an absolutely amazing time. We had been to Cuba several times and this is one of the absolute best places to go to.

The rooms were absolutely gorgeous and looked just like the photos. The food was very good in the buffet and the staff were absolutely fantastic.

The ala carte restaurants weren't the best and we skipped the final one. We had the Italian and Chinese. Both are not worthy of giving a comment on. However, the buffet more than made up for it. Of course, do you have to remember this is Cuba so the food is not always the greatest however this was the best one so far.

Justo and Enrique were amazing bar tenders and my girlfriend wanted to take them home. Felix was fantastic bellboy and advisor of all things going on throughout the resort.

It's on the return list for sure.
Highly recommended.

Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
4 Thank skii26
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Calgary, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 20 July 2014

the rooms were fine out of 7 days 2 the fridge not replentished staff was friendly still. other than the money exchange fiasco they have there wish that i would have gotten a kiss if you know what i mean, the pool closes at six and they roll up the chairs and lifeguards at the beach at the same time which sucks bad .the service staff at the evening show in the hour to hour and a half show you will be lucky to get 2 drinks to your table there is one server for the entire place. the money nthing be very careful the hotel will exchange at barely over 80 cents in return for a dollar and wont exchange it back they will you to change it back at the airport where you will get nothing above a cuc peso for dollar , and i checked when i got home and they will not exchange them at all at the airport whenyou get home so then you get nothing

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Dwayne H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 July 2014

We loved our stay at Ocean Varadero! We stayed from July 11-16th and we were very happy overall. After reading the reviews for Ocean Varadero we were surprised at how some people had many negative things to say. Yes everyone is entitled to having their own opinion and yes, everyone has a different experience from another, it seemed that many of the reviews I feel were very nit picky. We recommend this resort 100%!

The Food/Drink:

We enjoyed the buffet and really liked how there were quite a few selections. It was pretty much a hit or miss but as everyone has mentioned, it's Cuba so you shouldn't expect something to taste like what you have at home. We really loved eating the yellow rice at the buffet - we strongly recommend eating it. Also, the omelet stations were great and they have a selection as to what you want to put on it.
We were only able to try the oriental a la carte. It was good. From what we observed, 2 out of the 3 a la cartes were opened daily.

We loved Mike's cafe. We strongly recommend going there! The coffee and smoothies were delicious!
I've been told prior to going to Cuba that the alcohol would not be that good and that we should buy some instead.They were wrong. The alcohol/drinks were delicious and they were very generous when giving the amounts of alcohol. The drinks were not watered down at all. We especially liked the "Nestor Special" and "Paradise".

The Room:

The room looks exactly as what it does in the pictures. The air conditioning works well. It did get cold at night so we were happy that they provided thick fleece blankets that are found in the closet.
*Two things that we would have to make suggestions on would be:
- The shower head pointed in all different directions. We didn't bother complaining about it because we just coped with it.
- The towels. We were short towels 2 our of the 5 days we were there and had to call to get more.

The facilities:

Overall Ocean Varadero offered many different places to relax, sit,
We were excited to see that there was a vending machine that sold single cigars but was disappointed to see that during our entire stay it was out of order.
The pool was gorgeous we loved the pool bar!
The entertainment was awesome at the resort. We especially loved watching the aquatic dancing that was at night in the pool. Those dancers were amazing and the guys really know how to rock a spandex tux - tails and all!

The Service/Employees:

The maids of our room were very nice and created beautiful swans with out of our blankets.
The bellboys we friendly and accommodating.
The bar tenders were awesome and went out of their way to get us drinks and even gave us drinks when we didn't ask! They made our stay even more special!
We booked our flight/vacation with west jet and the representatives that we did communicate with were very friendly and met our needs completely.

*Upon arrival however, we did have to wait in line for 10 minutes however I would have to say that it was expected seeing as we came in on a bus with other groups and checked in at the same time. I feel like they could have a better system that can make the process run smoothly. We did like how we were greeted with drinks!

All the employees overall were very nice, friendly and accommodating.
We especially enjoyed:
Bartenders: Nestor, Ivelise, Justo, Ernesto
Mike's Cafe barista: Anislady
West Jet representative: Israel

Lastly, upon check out we overheard that a family was being accused by an employee, which looked like a maid and another lady, of stealing towels, while another couple was accused of stealing robes. This was disappointing to hear.

Room Tip: - We stayed at bloque 16 (1611 & 1613). These rooms were a bit of a walk to the central part whe...
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with friends
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Joanna A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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 64 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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