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Melia Peninsula Varadero
Ranked #31 of 64 Hotels in Varadero
Reviewed 11 April 2013

We were at the Melia Peninsula Varadero from March 31- April 7, 2013 and would not recommend it for those who like it peaceful and quiet. I got very sick there from bad food at the buffet; fortunately I'd had my Dukoral doses and took Immodium with me or it may have been worse. Still, it took days to recover.
Check-in was fast but it was late and there were only about eight of us from the airport. We asked for a quiet room in English and Spanish and got a room at poolside which was very noisy in the afternoons with the music and the activities through the sound system. Even the instructor of the aqua aerobics blew her whistle for every beat, which also went through her mic.
Our room’s closet had open slats in the ceiling and you could see up into the mechanical area above. Behind the two tiny drawers in it was a cement wall thus allowing ants and bugs into our room. It was in block 15. The maids were efficient but lowered the AC to 19 o C daily when we had it set at 24 o C.The lock on the balcony door was broken and repaired quickly but broke again, thus locking everyone out including the maids.

The pool and the beach are both very nice as are the gardens. The gardeners work hard planting and maintaining them.
The bank/ money exchange in the lobby was always slow with long lines.
The buffet was always very busy and noisy with average food while the two restaurants were very nice and had good food. The live music at the hotel was always great but children ran around screaming and riding their scooters during the evening pianist in the lobby while their parents and staff sat oblivious for five nights. When I spoke with the resort staff about them they said, “It is a family hotel.” The hotel’s stereo was on at one end of the lobby while the live pianist played at the other so I asked them to turn it off, which they did. The live shows in the theatre at night were also very well done.
The Cuban restaurant had a great Cuban band from 1:30 – 3 p.m. some days and a fairly good food at the buffet at lunch.
If you have problems speak to your tour rep. Ours was helpful.
We took the City Tour which was good and well worth the $8 CUC.
We had been to Varadero and other places in Holguin before many times but would not return to this hotel.

  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank WendyC15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MPV_General_Manager, Director General at Melia Peninsula Varadero, responded to this reviewResponded 19 August 2016

Dear Customer :
First of all, greetings from Melia Varadero Peninsula.
We regret the fact that you never has come a response from management. We would like to come back to share with his family Melia Peninsula.
Best regards

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 11 April 2013

This is a great resort. We went down from April 2-9 for a wedding with a group of about 40. The staff were very friendly, the grounds were kept clean, and the beach.....AMAZING!! It was a little slow getting our rooms but as soon as we were in ou rooms everything else was pretty smooth. We had a great time and would recommend this resort to anyone.

Room Tip: We were in 1611, close to the restaurants, beach and pool!
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  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Janis_M_123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MPV_General_Manager, Director General at Melia Peninsula Varadero, responded to this reviewResponded 19 August 2016

Dear Customer :
First of all, greetings from Melia Varadero Peninsula.
We regret the fact that you never has come a response from management. We would like to come back to share with his family Melia Peninsula.
Best regards

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 April 2013

We just returned from a week long stay at the Melia.We were there for a wedding and it was our first time to Cuba .I have never written a negative review but unfortunately this will be my first.

Check in - Was without a doubt terrible.We arrived at 230 and our rooms were not ready.We found out checking wasn't until 4pm but at 530 we were still waiting

Money exchange - One window in lobby that moves so slow and no hours are posted for operation. It is just the luck of the draw if it is open.No $1 bills just coins

Rooms - They are Ok .We were in the 1900 section.They were not cleaned daily ,just the beds made and maybe a quick wipe.My friend left a bug on her sink and it was there 3 days later

Staff - Most were friendly. Quite a few rude travellers. Excuse me...is not in their vocabulary...I will never understand why some people treat others who work at the resort as they do

Food - Buffet- Oh boy...the food was never hot enough, the water was never cold,they ran out of bread constantly,(which by the way was excellent) Not much variety.Caramel ice cream is delicious!Went to Italian and Mexican ala Carte and the were very good.Friends went to the French and they really enjoyed it as well.The worst thing though was when someone in our group went to eat at the Mexican and they went to drink their water and it smelled terrible...it was kerosene! It also happened at the buffet.The waitress poured the water, they actually took a drink(she did smell a funny smell but she thought it was coming from the BBQ that she was sitting by)Then they looked at it and could see it was kerosene...unacceptable

Checkout - Was a breeze and went off without a hitch

Wedding - Was beautiful

Beach -Beautiful
Pool - Ok..needs cosmetic work

Went to Veradaro and went to all the little shops.Prices really good. We also went to the beach there and it was absolutely stunning.We also went to a tiny restaurant down by the canal (when you go in town on the double decker bus ,stay on until they go to the end of the long street) It was called Kiki....great prices and great food!

Sorry to sound so negative but there is no excuse for the cleaning and the kerosene.We know Cuba is not as well off as other places, and we went knowing the food was not the greatest,but this resort definitely needs some TLC and cosmetic work.It looks old,paint is peeling.

Cuba has some beautiful places and beautiful people, unfortunately this was not the resort for us.

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled with friends
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1  Thank keasterp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MPV_General_Manager, Director General at Melia Peninsula Varadero, responded to this reviewResponded 19 August 2016

Dear Customer :
First of all, greetings from Melia Varadero Peninsula.
We regret the fact that you never has come a response from management. We would like to come back to share with his family Melia Peninsula.
Best regards

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 April 2013

My husband and I stayed here for our honeymoon April 2nd-9th 2013 and had a great time! A co-worker of my husband recommended it to us and we are happy to pass the recommendation along. It was our first time to Cuba and we will definitely be going back.

Despite all the warnings we got from "veteran" Cuban travelers the food was good, there was enough variety and a few good staples through out the day. The à la cartes were good too, we went to the French and Italian and both enjoyed the meals.

The beach was amazing, always clean and there were more than enough chairs and lots of space if you didn't need shade, but we only had to sit in the sun once or twice, other than that we had a little tiki hut.

We stayed in a regular suite the first night and it was great, nice and clean, we were on the first floor so we did see some ants but there weren't many. The second day we got our honeymoon upgrade so it was a nicer suite, better kept amenities, again on the first floor but no bugs this time and we looked out onto a nice little square with a fountain. There are about 20 little villa buildings with 16-24 rooms each, the kids pool and accommodation section is well separated from the other villas and only 2 look out over the "adult" pool. The grounds are very well kept, there are walking paths connecting the restaurants and the villas, they're well lit at night too so it's easy to get around.

Our only real "complaint" would be the bank situation. We would suggest changing money BEFORE getting to the resort. There is a national bank kiosk in the lobby but the line is always really long, there are always people from other resorts coming over to use the kiosk, she closes for no reason and with no warning, and the computer "goes down" a lot. Someone else mentioned the lack of 1 peso coins of bills being distributed from the bank, and we noticed this too, it just meant we would tip more, infrequently. But other than that the staff were great, always friendly and smiling.

We couldn't really complain about anything else. It was a great trip all around.

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Branorama
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MPV_General_Manager, Director General at Melia Peninsula Varadero, responded to this reviewResponded 19 August 2016

Dear Customer :
First of all, greetings from Melia Varadero Peninsula.
We regret the fact that you never has come a response from management. We would like to come back to share with his family Melia Peninsula.
Best regards

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 April 2013

We just came back from a one week vacation at this resort (Mar. 30-April 6, 13). We were a family of three adults including two seniors, and this was our first time to Cuba. I did my research and I'm happy with my choice. Everybody in the group enjoyed the stay very much. The food are very good and abundant with lots of selections. I didn't even have enough time to try everything and we all have things we like for every meal. The buffet is great with lots of hot meals and the chefs made some main dishes on the spot and to your taste, hot meals for all three meals. We went to three a la cart restaurants. The music in the Italian one was great,we like especially the violin player; the Maxico one is fine but nothing special , and the chef in the Japan restaurant put up an excellent show of cooking in front of you. As for food itself, we all believe the buffet did a great job.

Our room is reasonably big and clean, except for the poorly fixed ceiling. The bathroom is of decent size with separated shower and bath, it could have been cleaned more thoroughly. The deco is really simple and completely painted house, very much no frill. Walk-in closet is a bit small but a nice touch as it can be used as a change room.

We only had one day with the problem of fridge refill, most likely because the door was locked from inside. The maid made blanket sculpture twice twice. We leave some small gift for the maid everyday as the airtransat agent on-site said the best thing to give would be stuff like shampoo, soaps etc. We also gave them to the buffet and bar waitresses. We felt that it was appreciated. The ladies at the buffet of the outside sitting area to the right side (towards the main pool direction) were very friendly and that was where we seated most of the time.

Be prepared that reuse your beach towels as we only get exchange of fresh ones once after several trips to the sport centre. The guy there was very friendly and adorable and he offered the phone number to call to confirm the availability before hand. But I didn't call as the sport centre was on our way to the poor or the beach.

I took the SCUBA diving in the pool and dance lessons on the beach and liked them. We also took the peddle boat and kayak out a few times. Felt great on the beautiful sea. We saw some people doing snorkeling and they said it was great. You can just take the equipment and swim out about 100 m from the beach. One disappointment is that the windsurfing lesson was not for beginners. The wind-surfing lesson was one of the reason I chose this resort but couldn't do it. The good thing is that they have more than enough kayaks and you could almost always get one if you want to do it. The beach is absolutely beautiful!

The shows in the theater were ok. The first one we watch was ballet espanol, which is more like flamingo. One girl was pretty good, very professional. We also watched the international show and a Latin night show. The entertainers did their best and very engaged.

We had a private tour to Havana and Varadero and we loved it. It cost about the same r. We had a tour guide we took our own pace. We also visited the hotel where Hemingway stayed for seven years, and ordered the mojito drink there, very good and refreshing, a bit strong though.

We bought some rum in Varadero, but it turned out the resort had the best price, cheaper than the duty free or Varadero. Havana is the best place to shop for rum among the three.

There were many French speaking guests and guests from many different countries. Most of the people we met were very friendly and there was a pleasant atmosphere at the resort.

We stayed in building 12 and it is pretty much at the farthermost end from the beach. However it didn't feel far even to the elderly people. The layout of the resort is very good, with nice garden everywhere. Bars at the pool provide 24 hour snacks(pizza, sandwiches, hot dogs etc) and drinks. The swim-up bar and the bar at the beach were very convenient for people to get cocktails and other drinks.
Overall we are happy with this resort and we would recommend it to friend. I don't think I'm going to come back as I would like to try different ones. This is a good place for the money for sure.

Room Tip: second floor is nice. Buildings near the street and the adult pool may be noisy at times,
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  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled with family
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4  Thank Hong068
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MPV_General_Manager, Director General at Melia Peninsula Varadero, responded to this reviewResponded 19 August 2016

Dear Customer :
First of all, greetings from Melia Varadero Peninsula.
We regret the fact that you never has come a response from management. We would like to come back to share with his family Melia Peninsula.
Best regards

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 April 2013

This was our 5th time in Cuba and our last time in Cuba. There were four adults in our group. We were there for one week and were lodged in the 1500 block which is garden-view.

Veradero has changed so much and not for the better. Capitalism is taking hold with a vengeance and in my opinion the country is getting ready for the Americans. Even the huge open market in town is gone - it's been broken up and scattered up and down the main drag, each small unit of stalls situated alongside brick & mortar businesses. Breaking up the market makes people venture farther along the street. That's not a bad thing for business owners but it's not so great for tourists.

There are now more licensed beggars in Varadero and they remind me of their counterparts in the DR - more aggressive. I hated that in Punta Cana and I hate it in Cuba.

There are other people on the beaches early in the mornings begging. My brother-in-law went for walks each morning to watch the sun rise and every morning he was confronted with men who wanted him to give them his clothes, his sunglasses, his sneakers. One of those men he saw later on the beach - he was resort security! A fellow tourist we befriended asked a staff member on the beach if she could have her picture taken with him - the man tried to charge her 5 CUC! Needless to say she declined.

Prices have doubled. What used to be 1 CUC (Cuban Convertible Peso) is now 2 or 3 CUC. Market prices are closer to those of the DR than the old Cuba. Non-market prices have risen dramatically. A 'Che' t-shirt that I paid 7 CUC for before is now 17 CUC.

The resort staff are not as accommodating as before. They're still friendly but more.....unavailable is a good word. It's like they don't really want to be there and definitely don't want to bother with tourists. Most staff can't speak or understand English making it extremely difficult to interact with them.

The resort - Melia Peninsula - was visually beautiful with old-growth palms and beautiful vegetation but looking a bit closer, it was in very bad repair. The main pool needs to be drained and redone. Huge areas where the paint is gone, open drain holes. No life guards or trash collectors. Garbage cans piled high with trash by the end of the day. Although there were sunken receptacles for umbrellas pool-side there were no umbrellas to be had.

The buffet which is always my preferred place to eat was atrocious and it had nothing to do with the food. There is an indoor diningroom and an outdoor. The weather this year was brutal...feel-like temps in the low 40s and people wanted relief from the heat but guess what, there's no AC inside so the inside was basically unused. There's not enough seating outside so for the first time ever in our 6 years in the Caribbean we had to leave the buffet without eating as there was nowhere to sit. We did try eating inside but it was so hot in there that perspiration was literally streaming down both sides of our faces.

Also with the buffet and again for the first time ever, we had to stand and wait holding our plates of food for our tables to be cleared! Anyone who has ever been to the Caribbean knows what a no-no this is.

There was no AC anywhere except our rooms. Just to remind you - the feel-like was low 40s most of the week. Not the fault of the resort but come on! Needless to say, if I wasn't in the water somewhere I was in my room. I would love to have been able to use the lobby and the lobby bar (another favourite thing for me) but it had no AC, it wasn't entirely open and get this - it was non-smoking. In Cuba!

The one currency converter window in the main lobby wasn't nearly adequate. My husband and his brother wasted probably 3 hours each in that week while waiting in line. During our previous trips we would always be given countless 1 peso coins or bills in the currency exchange. 3 pesos bills were rare. This year for some odd reason the 1 peso coin/bill was extremely scarce and the 3 peso bill was there in abundance. We figured out why: tips. Before, we would tip everyone with one or two pesos. Now most of our tips were the 3 peso bills. See what I mean by Capitalism arriving in Cuba?

I like to have at least one TV channel from Canada in the room so I can keep up with the news. The only English channel was CNN and we all know how much they talk about Canada. On the day we were leaving we discovered that CTV Edmonton was being picked up in the building next to ours!

We took one excursion - the Catamaran tour/dolphin interaction. We've done the Cat tour before from Varadero but this time the excursion was different. The Cayo Blanco I know is not the Cayo that we sailed to. We were directed like sheep directly to the new building that is equipped with probably close to 80 long picnic tables. There's no sign of the quaint palm roofed buffet or eating area scattered around the site. The organization was almost military. Don't get me wrong, sailing on the Cat is wonderful. It's just not the relaxed laid-back experience that it used to be.

So if anyone is thinking about going to the Melia Peninsula in Varadero, don't. The place needs to be shut down and completely renovated.

Oh btw, if anyone here has been to Varadero, they will know what I mean when I describe what the Hicacos point looks like beyond the Barcelo Marina Palace (which is now owned by Blau) - across from that resort it was a very small marina and wilderness. Not anymore. It's unrecognizable. There is a huge marina being built along with tall high-end hotel resorts. They even dug away the land and brought the ocean in closer! At least one of the new hotels will be situated directly in front of the water which really surprised us because the country used to have a rule that no resorts were allowed on the water.

The construction on the point is crazy with cranes and activity everywhere.

And finally our departure from the airport in Varadero. What happened there sealed our decision to never return to Cuba. The word 'chaos' comes close to what happened and we kept hearing over and again, "this is my first time in Cuba and my last". Remember, we've done this before and NEVER have we been confronted with the pandemonium of that night. Several hundred tourists jammed together in one huge mass trying in vain to get to one of three points - 1.) Check-in, 2.) currency exchange or 3.) the leaving fee windows (all two of them). There were no line indicators, no airport staff and no order. All we could do was enter the foray and try to keep the leaving fee windows in our sights. Then we were just pushed along by crowd movement alone. There were accusations of "line-jumping" by other frustrated tourists but what line?? There were no lines.

Some who read this will be prompted to respond with the usual retorts on TripAdvisor which include "complainer", "it's Cuba, what do you expect?", and "don't listen to her, she doesn't know what she's talking about". Thing is, I'm very well aware that it's Cuba, I do know what to expect and I do know what I'm talking about. I would much rather write a review extolling the virtues of the country and describing what a fantastic time I had at a wonderful resort. But what is the point of a review if the person writing it lies? I'm hoping that management at the Melia Peninsula will read this and take my criticisms under advisement.

For the first time in our 6 years of vacationing in the Caribbean, we can honestly yet sadly say that we won't return to Cuba.

  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled with friends
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7  Thank Deb2me2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MPV_General_Manager, Director General at Melia Peninsula Varadero, responded to this reviewResponded 19 August 2016

Dear Customer :
First of all, greetings from Melia Varadero Peninsula.
We regret the fact that you never has come a response from management. We would like to come back to share with his family Melia Peninsula.
Best regards

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 April 2013

My husband and I traveled with another couple. Despite the 2 1/2 days of unusual cold weather we had a great time.
- Norberto assisted us to our room upon our very late arrival. We met up with him several times throughout the week and he was always smiling. Great guy - Ola Coca-Cola Norberto.
- Vladimir worked at the swim-up bar. Even when we were not in the pool, we would go see Vladimir for our drinks. Very friendly, personable and offered great service. Thanks Vladimir
- My husband enjoys dessert. Every day he would get "his dessert", most times went up for seconds and even when we went to the à la carte restaurant, we returned to the buffet so he could have a piece (or two) of "his dessert". On the last day we were able to meet the pastry chef - Cesar. Thanks Cesar for the tasty desserts all week. Thanks to Raul the Food and Beverage Manager for arranging the meeting with Cesar. You have a great team. We enjoyed the food at all the various buffets and à la carte restaurants.
- Almost every day, we had lunch at the grill by the beach. Thanks to Asiel (waiter) for making us feel welcome every day. He offered great service. Our glasses were always full :-)
- Yoga was offered each morning at 9:30. My sister in-law and I attended a few sessions. Yailyn was very patient with us and we had great workouts. Thanks Yailyn.
- Thanks to our housekeeping staff - sorry I forget her name. Our room (2525) was always clean and I looked forward to seeing what creation she left for us.

Room Tip: We stayed in building 25, room 2525, 3rd floor. It was overlooking the pool and a short distance fr...
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  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank LisaA495
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MPV_General_Manager, Director General at Melia Peninsula Varadero, responded to this reviewResponded 19 August 2016

Dear Customer :
First of all, greetings from Melia Varadero Peninsula.
We regret the fact that you never has come a response from management. We would like to come back to share with his family Melia Peninsula.
Best regards

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 Melia Peninsula Varadero

Address: Parque Natural de Punta Hicacos | Matanzas, Varadero 42200, Cuba (Formerly Tryp Peninsula Varadero)
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Cuba > Matanzas Province > Varadero
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#11 Spa Hotel in Varadero
#15 Romantic Hotel in Varadero
#22 Top resorts Hotel in Varadero
#23 Luxury Hotel in Varadero
#28 On the Beach Hotel in Varadero
Price Range: £118 - £267 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Melia Peninsula Varadero 5*
Number of rooms: 581
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
All inclusive resort ideal for families, with a dedicated children's area, a marvelous tranquil beach, full of activities for all ages. Honeymooners also get special treatment in a quiet special area. Tennis courts, gym, non motorized water sports, drinks, a la carte and buffet dining included. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Tryp Peninsula Varadero Hotel Varadero
Tryp Peninsula Cuba
Peninsula Varadero
Tryp Varadero
Varadero Peninsula
Tryp Peninsula Varadero Cuba
Tryp Peninsula Hotel Varadero Beach
Varadero Beach Tryp Peninsula

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