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Ocean Varadero El Patriarca
Ranked #13 of 63 Hotels in Varadero
Barrie ON
Level Contributor
129 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 88 helpful votes
“Watch out, you wont want to leave.”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 August 2014

I just asked my beloved what she thought and she couldn't think of anything to complain about. Not that she has a perchance to complain....because she doesn't (though may tend toward pinching depending on what I write).
The welcome was pleasant and we were efficiently booked in, went to the room which was new, clean and modern. The only things about the room were, you have to leave a key card in the AC to keep it running, if you leave sweets or unwashed mugs in the sink there are ants (it is a tropical resort not the city) and on one very windy night the door whistled but a towel against it stopped that.
The pool was cool and refreshing, the beach was beautiful and so were the grounds.
For food you will always hear the usual negatives about Cuban food there was always something we could eat. The lunch buffet by the beach was sometimes an adventure often tasty but not always what was expected. Dinners at the A la carte's were ok we tried the Italian and oriental and they were fine but not great.
Mike's coffee house had latte's that I am told were fabulous, the piano bar had live entertainment and good service.
The staff for any hotel related service was consistently great, always pleasant and friendly returning a smile with a smile.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
19 Thank CdnWineLover
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, 25 August 2014
Dear guest, we are happy to hear you enjoyed your stay with us. We thank you for your good comments and welcome your observations. We aim to improve every day and your feedback is very important into us reaching this goal. We hope to have the opportunity of hosting you again in the future and have the chance to receive you as part of our very valuable returning guests.
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3,420 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 (836)
Date | Rating
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English first
Aberdeen, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 August 2014

We had a fantastic time at Ocean Varadero. After dropping several others off at other hotels, I am glad that we arrived here! The hotel itself was not too busy, I'm told this is because we were staying during off-peak times (which I'm told is November - March).

Staff could not have been more polite, welcoming and friendly. We were part of the privilege section of the hotel and if possible, would suggest upgrading to this package. It includes (amongst other things) private pool, executive drinks, 1 hour free wi-fi, access to privilege lounge, on-call butler and probably the biggest perk - queue jump and prior booking at the al acarte restaurants (the looks we got from other hotel guests suggest this perk was well work having!). Our room was spotless, the hotel itself was very well-maintained and had excellent facilities. Special thank you to "Ayda" at the privilege pool bar who was wonderful during our time - I developed a worrying addiction to her iced coffees!

If you are looking for activities / things to do, there are plenty to choose from. We went sky-diving, swimming with dolphins, snorkelling and kayaking to name but a few. Thoroughly recommend this hotel for your holiday in Varadero!

Room Tip: Privilege section is closest to the beach / privilege lounge and far enough from main pool to be &qu...
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Katie M
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, 25 August 2014
Dear Katie M., We want to thank you for your positive review and are very happy you had a good time with us at the Privilege section in our resort. We will pass your “hello” to Ayda with our congratulations on having created a positive difference in your stay. Once again we thank you for taking the time in sharing with us your comments and we hope to be able to host you again with us in the not so distant future.
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Victoria, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 August 2014

Just returned from a week in a Cuban paradise (7th Aug to 14th Aug)! Attended a family wedding and what a great time was had by all. It was hot and humid but soooo good. The staff were amazing - so very friendly and helpful. Our room was kept immaculate - clean towels every day! The beach has lots of place to relax and the pool was clean and has lots of loungers available. The food was excellent too! Lots of choices for all - the fruit and bread and cheeses are delicious - the blue cheese is OMG delicious! We had been warned that the food at the resorts can be 'iffy' but this resort had the best by far. Beats the Sandals resort we stayed at 2 years ago big time. Mikes, the coffee shop is excellent - great drinks and friendly, happy staff to serve you. You gotta go here! Had magnificent sunsets on the beach. Will return to Cuba in future instead of Mexico.

Room Tip: Choose a room away from the theatre and disco - can be noisy at night
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  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
10 Thank Lesley B
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, 25 August 2014
Dear Lesley B., we are glad to hear you had a good enjoyment of your vacations with us while attending a family wedding. We thank you for taking the time in sharing your experience. We feel so proud to have contribute in your decition of returning to Cuba instead of other countries for future vacations. Hope to have you back in our hotel.
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Irricana, Alberta
Level Contributor
13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 August 2014

This review is long overdue; we traveled and stayed at the Ocean Varadero El Patriarca with a wedding party group at the end of February, 2014. First off, before I give my review I just want to say how amazing the people in Cuba are. We have traveled now to several Caribbean countries and Mexico and the Cuban people are probably some of the most welcoming and warm people we have met in our travels.....that alone is the reason I will return to Cuba.

So, for the resort itself:

We stayed in the Privilege Section and it was well worth the extra $200/person to upgrade. Not only did we have the wonderful and amazing Jay (LOVED Jay!), but we did have the option of having the à la carte breakfast in the Privilege Lounge each morning and the ability to make reservations for the à la carte restaurants at night (we were the only couple in the party we traveled with that upgraded and we did hear from some of the others that waiting to get into the restaurants at night was sometimes a little frustrating). Also, check in was a breeze, Jay brought us drinks (there's nothing better than your first mojito in Cuba) and then took us right to our room.

BEACH
The section of beach the resort sits on is very nice. However, the Privilege section of the beach was underwhelming and was located on the worst part of the beach. No worries, you just picked up your stuff and moved. That being said, when you pay for an upgrade, you do somewhat expect that the section of beach reserved for you will be on a nicer section of the beach (it always has been at any other resorts we have stayed at).

The ocean was warm and great to swim in and the sand was soft - just watch out for the jellyfish (the blue one's that as locals told us, have some of the worst stings).

RESORT GROUNDS
Give the grounds a few years and they will be lush and beautiful. Most of the foliage right now is quite young.

We did see several staff working on the grounds throughout the week, however, of all the resorts we have stayed at, the grounds at the Ocean Varadero were the worst kept. There were a lot of weeds and overgrowth in some areas, and there was a lot of garbage that needed to be picked up (especially between the section of the beach between Privilege Lounge and the Privilege section of the beach). If people were to pick up after themselves (i.e. throw their plastic cups out after using them), a lot of this could be avoided (I wouldn't throw my plastic cup on the ground in my own back yard so why would I do it on a beach????).

ROOM
We stayed in a top floor room in Building 41 which overlooked the Privilege Section pool (I believe all the Privilege Section rooms overlook the pool, but don't quote me on that). For the most part the room was clean and the furnishings were modern (I did have to wipe the bathroom vanity and mirror off our first day in the room as it doesn't look like they had been cleaned from the previous guests). The biggest downside for us is that we were given 2 single beds instead of a king.

The daily maid service was great - we always had the cutest towel art to come back to at the end of the day - we were always given lots of towels and the bar fridge was always stocked.

The biggest down side to the room was the size of the verandah's - the verandah's were very small and the furniture wasn't the most comfortable. One of the things we like to do at night is sit out on the verandah (especially if there's a whirlpool) and have a couple of drinks under the stars.

POOL
We spent most of our days on the beach, however, spent a couple of afternoons by the Privilege Pool. No complaints. The water was a little on the chilly side getting in, but this is typical of many resorts we have stayed in (I personally wouldn't want a heated pool when it's 30+ degrees out anyways).

We did love the shaded pergola at the Privilege Pool - we did spend a couple of hours with friends we traveled with at the main pool, but we much preferred the Privilege Pool.

At the Privilege Pool you also have the bar right there, and the bartenders were constantly coming around to make sure your drinks were full.

FOOD
So, this is where the Ocean Varadero really falls short. First off, I know you don't go to Cuba for the food, the things is, the food wasn't bad, it was just cold (as in not even luke warm sometimes), unless you ate at one of the à la carte restaurants. We heard from multiple people in our group that the food available at the breakfast buffet was horrible (we always ate in the Privilege Lounge for breakfast and it was always good), and after having a couple of lunches at the buffet we gave up and just ordered pizza or ham and cheese sandwiches from the snack bar by the main swimming pool (at least the food here was made fresh for you and came out warm).

The à la carte restaurants, however, were all quite good (the Italian and Oriental were our favorite).

I just don't get why more local Cuban cuisine can't be cooked on the resort. One of the best meals I had was lobster in pineapple sauce at a restaurant in Havana (it was amazing!).

ENTERTAINMENT
As we traveled in a group, we didn't go to a lot of the shows (most of our entertainment involved sitting and closing the lobby bar) and then some heading over to the disco.

We did see the magic show (it was cute and actually quite good), and part of their Cuban show.

There are local musicians who sing or play musical instruments in the lobby in the evening and it was always great to catch a drink before supper in the lobby and listen to whoever was performing.

We never did make it to the piano bar - we sat outside it a million times - but never physically made it in.

Last, but not least (a topic unto itself) is MIKE's COFFEE BAR and the rest of the BARS in the resort. I am not a coffee drinker, however, have now been converted to Cuban coffee (only). The rum and coffee drinks they make are AMAZING!!! In fact, all of the drinks throughout the resort were top notch. Very rarely is this the case in a resort. I am now in love with lemon daiquiri's (on the rocks) and have made them many times for friends back home.

As mentioned earlier we have traveled to multiple other Caribbean countries (and multiple resorts in these countries - some 4 star, most 5 star) and although Cuba was one of my most favorite trips (and one of the best countries we have visited), the resort was probably one of the worst resorts we have stayed in - I would probably put it equivalent to a 4 star property that we have stayed in in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic (which was really a 3-3.5 star resort). There's just something missing from this resort and because of that, we likely will try a different resort the next time we are in Varadero.

Happy Travels!

Room Tip: The upgrade to the Privilege Section was well worth the extra money.
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with friends
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank beachbumIrricana
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, 26 August 2014
Dear guest, we want to thank you for your very detail review, the good comments and the constructive observations. We are sorry to know that we fell below your expectations this time around. We can tell you that on a day to day basis we are looking into new ways to improve our service to our clients and your feedback is very important into us reaching this goal. Once again we apologize for any inconsistencies you might have experienced and we hope you give the destination a second chance and that you may allow us the possibility of hosting you again as part of our very valuable returning guests.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ontario, Canada
Level Contributor
45 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 August 2014

We stayed here December 17th to the 24th, 2013. The property was very nice for Varadero, everything was newer.
However the resort staff didn't seem very happy or motivated. I felt like a nuisance at times.
The beach is amazing although there's no sunset.
The food was fairly good, remember you are in Cuba.

In short:
Go here for the beach and the rum. Don't expect amazing service or food and you'll be fine.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Chris D
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, 25 August 2014
Dear guest, we want to thank you for taking the time in sharing your observation. Our staff has been normally regarded as polite, friendly and service oriented. We apologize if you experienced anything different from this during your visit in December. Our Chef and his team are constantly working in implementing new ideas to improve and widen our food variety and selection to provide our clients with food offer to compliment a great vacation experience. Being December part of our winter, the sunset is earlier, but still a wonderful moment worth seeing. We hope you will allow us the opportunity to host you again in the future as part of our returning guests family.
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Laval, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 August 2014

Simply excellent in every way possible! We had a great time! We stayed in building 16 which was perfect, in the middle and close to everything! The rooms are really big, very clean and very comfortable! The buffet had shrimp, octopus, muscles, fresh fish, fillet mignon, lots of cheese and cold cut choices, a bunch of salads also everyday! Basically always something for all tastes! The 2 snack bars were also very nice! Would definitely go back! I LOVE CUBA!

Room Tip: We stayed in building 16 and it was great! The hotel has no beach views so don't bother asking f...
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  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with friends
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Brigitte K
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, 25 August 2014
Dear Brigitte K., We thank you for your positive comments. Guests satisfaction is our main purpose and it makes us very happy to know that you enjoyed your vacations at our hotel. Once again we thank you for taking the time in sharing your comments and we hope to be able to host you again with us in the not so distant future.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
moray scotland
Level Contributor
13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 August 2014

me and my hubby travelled with another couple! we chose this hotel as it was a special holiday...celebrating our silver anniversary!!!!

we chose paradise!!! we loooooooved everything about this place!!! the staff and the food in the main buffet bar were excellent!!! We stuck to the left hand side of the dining room as we felt the staff were more efficient and we got to know them

mikes bar was brilliant!!! the staff were sooo smiley and friendly!!! the girls were always laughing and nothing was a bother!!!

the bar staff were exceptional!!! they were friendly up for a laugh and were great with people of all ages !!!! they were all friendly and kept the same calm attitude even though they worked really hard...as did all the staff!!!! nestor jerry jorge yania,justo,yaneis,yilian,darianne roberto.....excellent!!!

entertainment was fabulous!!! good laugh with the entertainment team at the poolside!!!

i loved the spa...had a manicure pedicure and massage!!! friendly staff xx

the gardiners housekeepers etc were all friendly smiley people....and nothing was a problem!!!!

dont hesitate to choose this hotel the staff the food the atmosphere is perfect!!!

my only advice is....take high sunfactor, we took 25 and had to source 40....was sooooo dam hot lol!!! and the mosquitos are out on force!!!!! be aware!!!!

thank u to "ALL" staff and management for our wonderful holiday!!! WE WILL BE BACK!!!!

Room Tip: all rooms are equally good
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with friends
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank lossielush
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 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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