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.
- 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