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“2 weeks in Cuba Sept 2013”

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Melia Peninsula Varadero
Ranked #31 of 64 Hotels in Varadero
Reviewed 23 September 2013

Although we got off to a less than stellar start to our vacation, due to unexpected renovations and repairs to the hotel we were won over by the exceptional level of friendly and professional service levels of the Cuban staff. The grounds of this hotel are beautifully kept and are truly an oasis. We chose it because we did not want the typical highrise hotel environment. If you are travelling as a family, this environment is designed for you with special emphasis in the children's pool area. The beach was fantastic, clean white sand (which will be pristine once they begin to rake the discarded cigarette butts from it, however, this is just the way it is in a country where so many smoke) We don't smoke but we managed to look around that problem around the insensitivity of of smokers. The Japanese and French restuarants were the better of the four a la carte offerings. The serving staff in all though, as through out the entire location, were exceptional! The room was very clean and current (remember you are in Cuba which is not a wealthy country in of itself so please be kind in your expectations ie. tv stations and western levels of comfort overall) If you are going here please be sure to seek out the entertainment staff who will help to make your stay even better! Canadians are loved by the Cubans as they say that we have the same heart. During our two week stay the hotel was undergoing some minor renovations, however, it was quite clear that these will bring it to a 5 star rating quite soon. Each area has musical entertainment throughout the day. The general buffet, although plentiful and with some excellent fare, does want for flavour. If you get the chance please venture to Havana and eat some real cuban fare which is rich in flavour. Havana is a must see but be prepared for the lack of oppulence. This is part of the overall wonder of Havana. It is rich with life, character and soul around every corner in the old quarter. If you are a photographer be prepared to take hundreds of great shots of life here. I went horse back riding in Varadero, and would not suggest it. I ride at home here in Canada and this will only upset horse lovers as per the condition of the animals. The Beatles Bar in Varadero was worth a drink or two, we heard that it was really good on the Sunday night whent he live band was playing. Of course the 1950's cars (although many are patched together understandably) are wonderful. The bus to town is the Hop On Hop Off 5 pesos for all day, double decker ride and worth the money. Advice, take the Red bus that you get from the road outside of the hotel grounds rather than the Blue one that comes right to the door. The Red is faster as it does not stop at every hotel on the route. Just remember that you must return on the colour of bus that you first left on. Or even better still, go down to Varadero on the bus and come back in the 1950's Convertible Cab. If you are into the Dolphin swim, you may want to check the location in Varadero out before you decide. The Varadero Dolfinium is no on the ocean and looks less than appealing. No one came back gushing about how great it was in this particular location. There are other options so you may want to explore them. Enjoy and our advice is to be sensitive to the people, they are very well educated, thoughtful and welcoming so please ask them questions, leave tips (1 peso = about 1 dollar and since they make from 20 to 40 per month on average as pay, 1 peso will go along way) They also enjoy other items that we don't consider a luxury such as soap, shampoo, body wash, toothpaste, tooth brushes, pens, candy (but be careful the heat melt them easily), a quick trip to the dollar store before you leave will bring pleasure to many a cuban). Lead with your heart and your vacation will be wonderful! Bon Voyage

Room Tip: Ask if you may please look at your room first. The center of the area such as in the 2400's wer...
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  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank 2CubawithLove
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MPV_General_Manager, Director Comercial at Melia Peninsula Varadero, responded to this reviewResponded 29 September 2013

Dear client:

We appreciate your review from the nickname 2Cubawithlove. It is really refreshing when you read it and also empathizes some important characteristics of our country and people, such as warm service, friendly staff, beautiful gardens, tropical environment.

Our Management team is taking on count your comments about cigarettes on the sand; we shall enforce the communication at the beach. Thank for your idea.

You have appreciated our entertainment staff and our family area; it is one of the most important experiences we want to share with our clients, since we are opting to be recognized as a family resort. I hope you can join us on the near future and enjoy next holidays in Meliá Península Varadero, with all the refurbishment done. We are looking forward to welcoming back!!

Best regards,

Sergio Jesús Martínez
Sales Manager

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Reviewed 21 September 2013

My two children (aged 12 and 15), husband and I have recently returned from our 7 day trip to Cuba where we stayed at Melia Pennisula Varadero. This was our first time to Cuba. After reading some reviews in July we were very concerned about our trip to this hotel. I will start off by saying this is a 4.5 star in Cuba but in Canada’s rating system it’s more like a 3.5. Here’s a detailed review about our stay in the end you can be the judge. I should add my husband can speak Spanish so can my daughter and we left many tips and gifts throughout our stay.

Cuban Airport- Disgusting service, we arrived late at night and you have to get your picture taken before picking up baggage. We didn’t know we had to go one at a time, and the women screamed at us and looked like she hated her job. She didn’t even speak just rolled her eyes and expected you to know what she was talking about. Big turn off for me, these are the first people you see and you do not feel welcome.

Check in- Very easy quick check in, friendly staff, got a great room near the beach and pool.

Rooms- We had a room on the second floor our room was very clean, spacious, no problems with uninvited guests and the maid did a great job of cleaning our room every day, making the bed and our mini fridge was always restocked. (2 beers,2 cans of pop, a water bottle) There was never a shortage of towels and toilet paper.

Beach- We went to the beach a lot, it was unusually wavy when we were there but the water was still warm. The sand does have some broken sea shells, I highly recommend wearing sandals. As for the lounge chairs and shade umbrellas, you can always find some before lunch but after that it gets busy.

Food- IF YOU DO NOT LIKE THE FOOD GO AWAY to THE CITY FOR ONE MEAL Then YOU WILL APPRECIATE IT MORE. Main buffet has lots of variety; there are a few flies but not an infestation or anything. The pool snack bar has good items as well. (Pizza, ham and cheese sandwich). The Laguna Restaurant is outdoors so there are more flies, my daughter found one in the pasta but the food there was alright. We went to the Japanese and French a la cartes. The Japanese is very good; the food and the service. The French food and service was bad. We were told that the food in Cuba is tasteless and bland ,this is true, pack ketchup. Whatever you eat make sure it is cooked (meat, breads, eggs, everything!)

Service: The service is good, some people go above and beyond and others just do their job. The only issue we had was multiple times I went to the bar with my kids and ordered 2 drinks and they gave us one drink and forgot about the others. Once I ordered my son a coke and they gave him rum & coke! One early morning our safe broke and the repairman came very quickly. Special thanks to these employees Sandra, Judith, Yaima, Barbara, Daylena and Vladamir.


Pool- There is an adult pool and a child pool. The adult pool is clean and has a swim up bar.

Overall we found the hotel meet our standards and we would return again.

Havanna Trip
I definitely won’t do this again it’s a long drive to Havana and as soon as you get there and step off the bus there are women dressed in floral dresses who put their arm around you and coerce you to take a picture with them. You walk a block where there are men who draw you, even after you tell them you don’t want a drawing, then they demand you take it and after you take it they demand money. My husband refused to pay because we didn’t ask for them and the man took our drawings back. Only he forgot my sons drawing and 3 blocks later comes back with another man demanding the drawing, when we gave it to him it was folded, he started shouting at us. It took us telling them we were going to tell other tourist not to come for them to finally leave us alone. Then there are child beggars and other beggars. As for Havana itself there’s not a lot to see or do, imagine a Europe in decay only with pre 60s American cars – the cars were cool. Our tour guide was very informative. During our free time we just hung around the bus because we didn’t want to get harassed again.

Cayo Blanco
This is a whole day trip aboard a catamaran where you stop to snorkel and then go to an island and then if you choose to go to the dolphin show. I REALLY RECOMMEND DOING THIS! It’s only a 1 hour ride and the host keeps you entertained very well. Snorkelling was fun and all equipment was provided. The island is very beautiful, the sand is white and the water is clear. On the way back we went to the dolphin marina. My son watched the dolphin show while my daughter touched and swam with the dolphins. It was a nice day, well worth the money.

Room Tip: Try and pick a room on the second or third floor, if you don't have small children. Tip often a...
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  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
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4  Thank Sunshine77782
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MPV_General_Manager, Director Comercial at Melia Peninsula Varadero, responded to this reviewResponded 25 September 2013

Dear guests:

Thank you very much for your refreshing comments! It was a pleasure to read you and to share your joy!

We are very well concentrated on your needs here at Meliá. The hotel is now inside a renovation program, but,as you said, we will be better rated soon. We know that every guest is different and that is why it is important for us to know your preferences in order to satisfy them. Your satisfaction is the only purpose of our staff. If we have reached it, we did our job. It all comes down to you! We would not be who we are without you!

We very much appreciate you taking the time to give us your opinion, dear guests. We certainly look forward to welcoming you back at Meliá Península Varadero, your family paradise!

Best regard,

Sergio Jesús Martínez
Sales Manager

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Reviewed 16 September 2013 via mobile

Second time for my friend and I at this resort. Last year we went in peak time and before some of the renovations. We have to say we enjoyed our time more this time around despite the pool closing part way through.

We arrived and our room was ready for check in immediately. Norberto took us and our luggage to our room and we were impressed as it was recently renovated and upgraded. Later that day a welcome letter arrived for us. Our maid Yanelis was fantastic and left us champagne and key chains. We took many gifts for her and I also brought a ton of Band Aid's for the medical staff as they do not have them in Cuba.

We went right to the money exchange which is located by the children's pool now during construction in the lobby.

The beach is absolutely beautiful and the pool is being repainted for another week or so. No big deal as we had a great time at the beach and never had trouble finding chairs. Once the pool closed Vladimir,from the pool bar, was on the beach serving drinks. At the beach we paid 20 pesos to take a catamaran out to an area with fish to snorkel. Another day we took out a kayak on our own.

We did a guided day trip to Varadero for 9 pesos and got to visit a restaurant, two markets, and Mansion Xanadu. We chose this instead of the double decker buses as we didn't have an idea of where to go. We also did the excursion to the Delfinario to swim with the dolphins.

Being slow season the service was amazing whether in the buffet or the a la carte restaurants and our glasses were never empty. The shows were the same as last year with the exception of the Michael Jackson show which was phenomenal. The nightclub was also fairly empty but we managed to have a great time every night.

We had a repeat guest dinner in the Mexican a la carte on our last night with a couple who had visited the hotel four times and a gentleman who was on his tenth visit.

The staff here makes your trip! Shout out to Jorge and Randall who are part of the animation team, Yossel the DJ, Miguel and Frank the bartenders in the nightclub, Ernesto in the buffet, Dayana in Customer Service, and many others I am forgetting.

Also we met some great people from England and our new 'adopted' parents Babs and Brian who are also from the Toronto area.

Absolutely nothing to complain about with the exception of the pool closing part way through. We will return again next year!

  • Stayed: September 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
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3  Thank dominication
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 17 September 2013

Dear customer:

We highly appreciate your review, since it is wonderful to know you have had a good stay in this home. The staff and management focus to give the best service as possible which you have realized during your holidays.

Unfortunately, renovation works are needed. This is a low season, and it is required to do it, so the clients will note better facilities and services.

Thanks for your preference.

Best regards,

Frederick Andersen

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Reviewed 12 September 2013

2nd time to Varadero and really enjoyed this vacation. Only disappointment was at the beginning when the Bell man NORBERT was rude as I did not tip him when we arrived, as I did not have convertible pesos, he uttered something loudly in Spanish, when we did not tip him which I know it was something bad as he left in anger. I felt horrible.

I even explained that we needed to convert our money and I would tip him tomorrow, he said why don't you give me Canadian as it works better for me in anyway, I only had large bills and $50.00 for carrying my luggage, I was not going to part with. Perhaps, the only thing about Cuba that I disliked, was that a few of the staff seem to demand tips.

I felt the same with the person at the pool bar, serving his regular tippers first. You could wait a long time before you got a drink if he did not know you.

But, I thought, I will not let this incident ruin our vacation and am glad I did not. I certainly respect the other staff that seem to put in a lot of hours and were not as demanding.

The other staff in the resort certainly work long hours and provide good service.

The effort made regarding the food, was also much appreciated. I was surprised at the large food choices.

The entertainment was also great and enjoyable.

I just wish there were more beach umbrellas and beach chairs as they seem to fill up quite rapidly and were quite close to one another, Also the staff put in more than eight hours, close to 12 hours and there is a shortage as sometimes when it was busy at the bar there would only be 4 bar men and they would have no glasses to serve beverages in.

The beds were a little uncomfortable as mattress were hard, but the room was spacious and clean.

The gardens are beautiful, like everyone writes.

Overall we enjoyed our vacation, except for the experience with the bellman demanding tips, but for my next vacation, I would try our another resort in Varadero instead.

Room Tip: If you prefer the Ocean choose one closer to the Ocean as it can be quite a distance to the dining r...
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  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
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    • Location
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
8  Thank Andrews S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MPV_General_Manager, Director Comercial at Melia Peninsula Varadero, responded to this reviewResponded 15 September 2013

Dear Mr. Andrews:

We appreciate your sincere review and give you the welcome once more to our family. Meliá Península Varadero is leading a renovation program in the resort with a new Lobby, refurbished pool and rooms.

Unfortunately, your experience began that way, but you finally enjoyed your holidays at the Resort. This kind of incidents is not allowed in our enterprise and it is been analyzed with the implicated.

However, we would like you to come over next holidays and consider our Hotel as you home too, you will receive the best attentions as returning customer.

Best regard,

Sergio Jesús Martínez
Sales Manager

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Reviewed 3 September 2013

Just returned before the kids went back to school... awsome vacation no complaints. Room was good (do not understand negative reviews on the rooms) much better than the average hotel in Cuba; beach is good and the Kids Club was great they had a blast!!!! Food was ok.... remember you are in Cuba; the snack bar was good especially when the kids got hungery between meals. Staff are great and the kids disco was a plus. Hopefully will return at XMAS...

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank TorontoPetertoronto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MPV_General_Manager, Director Comercial at Melia Peninsula Varadero, responded to this reviewResponded 4 September 2013

Dear Sir:

We are also looking forward to your return. Hopefully, our renovation program is reaching all the areas in the resort, and you will find a new lobby and lobby bar but the French and Japanese Restaurants. We are refreshing more than 300 rooms with new fabrics, paint, TV flat screen and decoration.
Welcome to Meliá Península Family and please, let us know when you were coming back to give you the best attentions as possible as returning clients.

Best regards,

Sergio Jesús Martínez
Sales Manager

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Reviewed 28 August 2013

Before travelling read the reviews on here and did feel slightly apprehensive. I have only just returned this morning but wanted to write the review while it was fresh in my head.

Arrival.

Slow and unorganised. We weren't given any information about the resort, restaurants, meals etc and sort of found things out ourselves. After having checked in finally we then had to wait for a car to take us to our rooms. I would have quite happily walk as we spent a long time waiting and that's not really what you want after a 9 hour flight. We were then given our orange bands.

The bands.

Every other nationality was given a blue band, Spanish, French, polish. English were given orange. This really did feel like we were being singled out. I asked why ours were different and was told it was so that we received better service. Not true at all. One example of this, a friend we met out there managed to swop his for a blue band. I went to the bar to order a rose wine and was told they had ran out. My friend then went complete with blue band to the same waiter and was handed a bottle. That is wrong. Oh so very wrong. I also think the orange band suggest ' I am English and we like to que, please feel free to push in front of me.'

Food.

Buffett had a great variety of very poor quality food. Meat was often not cooked and when you had a steak or chicken it was often a game of hunt the edible part. The restaurants were ok, but similar problems of food simply running out or just being told no when ordering something. It was often easier to say you tell me what you have got and ill have that. During our second week two of the restaurants were closed!

Entertainment.
Volleyball tournament consisted of a ball being thrown into pool and twenty people with a variety of languages figured it out themselves. One show at night at 9.45pm were ok. Daytime pool side activities were non existent. There is a night club but there is no air can so it is far to hot to have a night out in there.

Staff.
Yes cuba is a poor country and yes some people are on low wages but it does get a tad boring being told the sob story. I don't think I told a single person in cuba about my wages so why was I told many times?

Pool.
Despite how the hotel is advertised there is no adult pool. This is a lie.

Mini bar.
2 cans of pop and 2 beers. Don't plan on having a wild night in on the free mini bar.


I will add at this point that I am not a negative person and I actually had a flipping good holiday. A really good holiday in fact. but there comes a point when the chips have been replaced with crisps and the lemonade has run out again when you get a little bit ticked off. But this hotel is not a 4.5 stars. No way ho say.

Now I am a fair person and a great gal so let me tell you about some positives:

Free use of boats of the beach pedals and kayaks. Brilliant!
Great maid service daily!
The strawberry dakaris were also top notch.
Beautiful clean beach.

In terms of hotels in cuba apparently this was of a high standard. But a four star in mexico should be the same as a four star in cuba.

And for now, that is all.
Good day to you all.

Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
9  Thank hannah c
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 7 September 2013

Dear Hannah:

This review has been very helpful to us, since we can organize our work much better with British clients.

Fortunately, we realize you have had a pleasant stay in our Resort, despite some issues we are now solving. Some building works are taken over in our Lobby. That had been announced in advance, but some customers, not advised about it, have felt it.

Our intention and commitment with the quality is increasing accordingly to the Meliá Standards we have already held. That is why we thank you for your comments and invite you to come over again, to this beautiful Meliá Península Varadero to perceive the improvements.

Best regards,

Frederick Andersen

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Reviewed 23 August 2013

Having travelled extensively but had not been in Cuba in decades, the hotel met our expectations. The beach is beautiful, the food is repetitive but you will always find something. The French and Japanese were alright. The service was great also.

We were fist given a room that was moldy that smelled. After going back to the lobby to ask for a different room, we were given a room that again met our expectations. Like others, I have trouble with the fact that towel exchange is in the theatre and not close to the pool or beach.

The only negative part is that meds were stolen from our room. Did not think that we had to put them in the safe! All in all, it was a great relaxing vacation.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank braz_f
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 7 September 2013

Dear Sir / Madam:

We thank your review. Meliá Península Varadero is now held by the brand and we are meeting our clients’ expectations consequently.
So far, we are refurbishing our Lobby, we placed the store where we had the towel exchange, closer to the pool. It should be done that way for security reasons.

Regarding the issue of your meds, we did what we could do, unfortunately if the client refuse to report it to the police we cannot continue over. On behalf of the entire staff I apologize for that incidence.

We hope you consider coming over soon and you will find our friendship and the best attentions as returning guest.

Best regards,
Frederick Andersen

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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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