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“Enjoyable 2 weeks in a good (but not really great resort)”

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Melia Peninsula Varadero
Ranked #31 of 64 Hotels in Varadero
Reviewed 13 November 2013

We spent two weeks at the Melia Peninsula Varadero during the first two weeks of November 2013. We travelled with First Choice from the UK and had a standard double room at the resort. Overall we enjoyed the stay although the resort became much busier during the last few days of our stay which changed the atmosphere (and not for the better). Upon arrival we were checked in efficiently and the helpful porters took us to our room. We had been given twin beds but really wanted a king so asked to change that they were more than happy to do, I recommend contacting them in advance as your holiday company may not give you the option to specify which you would prefer and saves you having to change upon arrival. We were given a map of the resort and a leaflet in German which I couldn't read so dismissed it. I later found out that was the leaflet with all the details about what time restaurants open e.t.c. Our rep from first choice did get us an English version once he realised I had not been given the correct leaflet albeit 3-4 days into the holiday. Overall the resort is well laid out, the gardens well looked after, the beach is spacious and clean and overall the look of the complex is a credit to the staff team. We found all the staff polite, helpful and very welcoming. The room was clean but more basic compared to similarly ranked resorts we'd stayed in elsewhere e.g. Mexico and Morocco. Maintenance in the room could be better and whilst we were there we had problems with the stiff patio door, the plug not working in the bathroom sink (which our rep had to ask twice for it to be sorted), a small table only appeared on the balcony after being there one week and a dripping toilet which we reported twice but was only fixed having mentioned it to Abel from customer services. The motto is go to customer services with problems not to reception, their office isn't labelled but is next to the Internet cafe room (there is no wifi, again blame the USA) and they get things sorted. Overall the resort would benefit from more visible information to residents about what is happening and open and when. Our leaflet told us that certain restaurants were closed during periods of low occupancy but nowhere in the hotel told us what the occupancy level was (we later found out they were approximately at 450 guest during our first week rising to 800 at the end of our second. They can accommodate 1200 at peak times). The drinks available can be limited as whilst we were there at various times they didn't have cognac on at least 2 nights or were unable to do banana shakes some afternoons. Food in the main buffet was fine and reasonably varied but remember Cuba is an importer of many foods and has quite challenging trade conditions imposed on them so the team have to work with what is available and do so very well. We went to all the a la carte restaurants that were open. The Japanese was good fun with the show cooking and very well seasoned, neither of us enjoyed the French restaurant but the star was the Cuban restaurant, excellent food, beautifully presented in lovely surroundings. Booking for these restaurants is confusing as you get 2 bookings per week however you get offered extra bookings if you buy flowers for the wife or pay extra for lobster basically you can 'buy' extra nights. It took us over a week to get a booking in the Cuban but strangely enough they could find a table that very night if I bought the flowers.

My only other gripe is with you, the other residents. The resort quite rightly has dress codes for the restaurants but does not enforce it. Yes I'm a Brit and we do the whole dress for dinner thing and I understand that others don't but vests and baseball caps (especially on Canadian men under 30), flips flops, shorts which don't come down to the knee and badly fitting sarongs over bikinis (an affliction of women over 40 it would seem) are not appropriate wear in the restaurant. Basically the only burnt flesh I want to see at mealtime is the stuff on my plate. I'd like to see the hotel turn people away if they can't turn up suitably dress for dinner.
Whilst I'm on the subject the Buffet restaurant is exactly that, not a workers canteen, could I politely suggest you get a table, order a glass of wine or water, then go and get some food and not walk in, grab a plate, pile up the food then wander around with your dinner in front of you as you search for a seat. It would be beneficial if people were seated at tables by the staff rather than the current free for all.

So overall if you are reading this because you've already booked, go and I'm sure you'll enjoy it, the staff are wonderful people and the resort is beautiful. Any problems speak to customer services who will get things sorted quickly and try to turn up for dinner suitably attired.

Overall the resort gets 90%right, the other little things were ultimately fixed and didn't spoil an enjoyable holiday but a little more attention to detail could make this a genuinely great resort.

Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
3  Thank Stone73
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, warm 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 November 2013

I just came back from Cuba where I spent a week in quite nice, but not an extraordinary hotel Melia Peninsula in Varadero (before Tryp). My trip was in between high and low season and I could see the difference in service even during my short holiday there. So if you are travelling in high season everything should be cykloseryn to perfection.
The hotel is quite old (renovations are now in progress). Nevertheless a room was clean, quite big and comfortable.
Food was average (finding really top class food is quite difficult in Cuba). I rather recommend you à la carte restaurants with better food and much better service. The best was Cuban with delicious shrimps in red salsa; Japanese was good too, especially because of the cooking show.
Coctails in bars were correct. In high season they are supposed to serve better rum (3 years old instead of the simpliest anejo blanco). It is good to give some tips to waiters, if not you can wait for your order for quite a long time.
Spa was not so good, one of saunas didn't work, for the other one I had to wait; the gym was old, jacuzzi as well. I don't recommend you hairdressing service.
To sum up- the hotel was good, for Cuban standards very good, the biggest inconvenience was lack of high speed internet (logging in to the mailbox took me 10 minutes, than sending every email about 10 minutes as well; regarding the price of 10$ an hour it was quite expensive).
Do not expect european standard of Melia hotels.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with family
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6  Thank AFTraveller20
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, warm 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 November 2013

We visited the hotel at the end of October for a friend's wedding. Although there was some construction happening, it did not interfere with our stay at all. Our room was very clean (although it was on the ground floor facing the pool, so we had a bouncy castle outside our room during the day as they moved the Kidz Zone during the construction). Some of the others in our group found their bathrooms were not working, but they were moved that same day to a new room.

The beach was clean and not too crowded. You can walk down the beach and see other resorts, it's pretty open. There were a lot of people out in the water and at the pool, but I spent most of my time on the beach.

The wedding itself was awesome and the wedding coordinator ensured we did not have to do too much in the way of set up. The wedding was right on the beach and the staff did an amazing job of helping to get the site ready and putting out decorations we had brought. The day was very special for the bride and groom and we had a great party afterwards. I must also give a special thank you to the bar staff who put up with a lot of crazy antics during the "bachelorette party"!

The two restaurants they had open were the Japanese and French restaurants. The Japanese one was worth it, but the French restaurant was underwhelming. We ate most of our meals at the buffet and found that was fine. If you go right when they open, you can avoid the long lines for the special order items. As always the coffee was incredible and the drinks were good!

Overall, the staff were very helpful and polite. We left gifts for the cleaning staff and they did a great job. As a special touch they left a handwritten note for us our last day and thanked us for coming. While we were waiting to go on a day trip one of the guests was very drunk and carried on in the lobby first thing in the morning. I was so impressed with how the staff at the resort handled the situation and kept calm through the whole thing.

If you can, take day trips to Havana and Varadero, I only wished I had more time to explore the cities before having to go back to the hotel. Overall, it was a great trip and I would go back again.

Room Tip: Until they move the Kid Zone, try to get a room away from the pool.
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  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Daisee05
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, warm 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 November 2013

We stayed with our two young sons in April 2013. I found the food to be average at best and often had a hard time finding something decent to eat. The best meal of the day was lunch at the cafe by the kids pool. My 3 year old lived on ham and cheese sandwiches and us on hamburgers. I know that the food in Cuba tends to be subpar but I found this to be below average.

The rooms were nice and large with decent sized bathrooms. There was a separate shower stall and bathtub.

The pools were FREEZING!!!! I think we went into the kids pool maybe one day. The beach was nice and the coffee was good. We didn't use the kids club at all so I can't comment on it.

If you're looking for an average no frills vacation in Varadero that's close to the airport, has a kids pool and decent sized rooms then this place would be suffice.

Room Tip: If you have small kids, stay by the kids pool.
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  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank JanaGee
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, warm 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 29 October 2013

From the day we arrived 13/10/13 to the day we left 24/10/13 everything was GREAT. The room was clean and quite spacious, the pool area and pool were spotless, the open spaces kept tidy by the gardening staff, the food lots of choice eggs cooked to your request at breakfast, a special mention to both chefs cooking pasta dishes while you wait at dinner, your dishes were perfect everytime, you are both an asset to the hotel thank you. Also to Jose in the Japenese resturant you are a not only a great chef but also a showman. A very special thank you to the maid who kept our room clean and amused us everyday with a different towel model also 'Randall' whom looked after us on both British nights that the hotel kindly held, we hope everything comes good for you in the future you were a great host and always stopped and made sure everything was ok when we saw you around, last but not least 'Yeleine' for making our stay a time to remember and meeting us on arrival and saying good bye when we left. We will be back to visit in the not to distant future, if anyone is thinking of staying at the Melia Peninsula don't hesitate book it.

Room Tip: We stayed in room 2346 which had a side veiw of the pool and was close to beach and quiet.
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  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank Trebor1_12
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 30 October 2013

Dear Sir Trebor:

It is a pleasure to read your message, we are very glad to know you have had a good experience not only because our environment and services, but our friendly staff which is one of the most important values of the Hotel.
Actually, Jose is a very special cook and showman, with lot of experience, also your maid, should be Tatiana, and Yeleine, who has recently joined us in Sales. I hope to meet you next holidays in Meliá Península Varadero.

Thanks a lot for the recommendation. It is a good proposal to the travelers and readers moreover when we have updated the lobby, reception, pool and some rooms.

Best regards,

Frederick Andersen

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Reviewed 17 October 2013

Went to this hotel in January and going back in December.

Big resort, pretty clean rooms. The food at the buffet is pretty good, didn't even reserve at any of the a la carte restaurant. Back in January, the hotel was changing name from Tryp to Melia and everything went smoothly. The staff are friendly and helpful. Can't wait to go back in December to see the new lobby and all of the renovation that was made.

Muchas gracias por la fabulosa vacaciones. No puedo esperar para verlos a todos de nuevo :)

  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank MTL_Critique
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 24 October 2013

Dear Sir:

Thanks for your review, we are very glad to share it with all the travelers and know you have expent good vacations in Meliá Península Varadero.

We welcome you as part of out family and for sure we appreciate you will to come over. This time you can enjoy your stayas returning customer. Please, if you wanted to have more informaton about the new facilities, please, do not hesitate to contact directly to the hotel and give your references on our webpage. I suggest Facebook.

Hoping to meet you soon,

Sergio Jesús Martínez
Sales Manager

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Reviewed 16 October 2013

We stayed at the Tryp Penninsula in September 2012 for 2 weeks.

The hotel was very nice, the grounds were beautiful with plenty of greenery and trees, we had a room with a pool view and it was lovely. There was a pretty good shop in the reception also, selling everything from Cigars – T-shirts – beach balls - souvenirs – sweets – coffee ! There were also a few stall type shops in the hotel grounds, mainly holiday souvenirs on sale here.

Mario the holiday rep. was very helpful and knowledgeable. The staff at reception and the cashier were very helpful, the staff at the bar and restaurants were very good and looked after us very well all the time. The waiters and waitresses were friendly and helpful & the dining room was spacious and well-organised. I believe that the hotel wasn’t ‘full’ when we were there, and there was a mix of Canadians, Mexicans and Brits/Europeans staying.

The maid was really good & we left her a gift in first week – some basic toiletry items in a make up bag, hair items, body spray, etc. she really appreciated it and even left us a present and a beautiful thank you letter, we were really touched by this.

The food and drink was good, with quite a good choice of evening meals, and a few a la carte restaurants – French / Mexican / Japanese – the Japanese was particularly good. The staff made the Brits very welcome with a British night / meal laid on with a complimentary bottle of Rum thrown in! Some great cocktails to be had in the bar !

The main pool was quite nice- big with plenty of choice of sunbed positions , we didnt use any of the other pools.

The beach was beautiful, very special –we like to spend some time on the beach on holidays and this one was superb. The sea was warm and there were shoals of fish swimming around you! You also had use of the boats & pedalos if you wanted!

There were sellers who would appear now and again but they stayed a distance away (walking along the edge of the sea!) just holding up what they were selling for you to go on to them if you wanted to.

The evening entertainment on the whole was very good – in particular a 5 piece Cuban band with a fantastic lady lead singer who played every other evening or so - we saw them plenty of times and they were fabulous !

Outside the hotel there is a bus stop where you catch the bus to Varadero and nearby shopping mall for just 5pesos & you can use the ticket all day. The bus ride is fab – open top double decker along the coast of Varadero – beautiful!

We would certainly go back again !

  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Lesley B
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 24 October 2013

Dear Sir Lesley:

It is a pleasure to read our review and are it with all the travelers.

Meliá Península Varadero is now finisheing a renovation program, so if you perceived a good attention when staying here at Tryp, you will have a better service eoth the new brand. We have a new Lobby and Bar, and the pools are updated. It is greater news to know you are willing to come back, do not hesitate to contact directly to the Hotel to have more information about the facilities.

Hola from Cuba, we hope to meet you soon again!
Best regards,

Frederick Andersen

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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)
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
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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