Let me start by saying that this is our 13th time in Cuba and 2nd time in Varadero. I will try and be as objective as possible. We travelled with two 15-year old boys.
Our experience began with an email I sent to the hotel from their melia hotels website to which I never got a response. Check in was slow. No overview of where things were or how to get to our room. Normally you are greeted with a tropical drink which eventually arrived but not enough for everyone. They kept our passports overnight which I was not happy about ... It is a safety/security issue which they should find a way around. They tried to give our teens adult bracelets which annoyed me. No big deal anyway as the whole stay, they were being given alcoholic drinks anyway, even after asking for no alcohol.
The rooms were very plain and run down but everything worked well. Our "adjoining" rooms were on different floors. Our adult room had two "double" beds that even when we pushed together, the maid kept putting them apart. We slept in separate beds the whole week. We have stayed at other places that also had the two beds but they would bring them together and make them as one bed... Not at this place, even though we did ask for a king bed when we booked. Building 25 is excellent. Right by the adult pool and as close to the beach as you can get. A little further to walk to the buffet though but we liked the exercise.
The grounds were beautiful and well maintained. Also, the trees were quite mature. One of the nicer grounds we have experienced except for the stagnant or dried up water features. The green algae was disgusting, they tried to put chlorine pucks in but it just created small clean spots. The bridged made of wood were in need of repair and they closed the major one leading to the buffet stating it was under renovation but nobody ever worked on it while we were there.
They apparently have 4 a la cartes but you can only use two. We chose well > Japanese was a great interactive experience and Jose was wonderful. Italian was ok .... It was the same food you could get from the buffet except for the tiramisu which was good and the appetizers. They really don't book a lot of times and dates so it is hard to get your two bookings... Do it as soon as you arrive. I feel that their eating hours are way off. Lunch opens at 12:30 at the grill and at 1 at the buffet. Yes, you have the 24 hour snack bar but it is ham/cheese sandwiches, burgers (which are way undercooked) hot dogs and pizza, all of which was ok. Yoyo was the best server ever. Friendly, attentive and just awesome. The food was some of the best we have had in Cuba although, yes they keep it out in the heat at the grill but it is on cooling plates. At the main buffet, there are grilling sections for meat and for fish as well as either a pasta or stir fry section. Food on the warming plates were repetitive but fairly good. Breakfast is always a favourite of ours. Hard to tell what some stuff was. The yogurt had a milk consistency. The juice bar waters down most of the drinks... The banana one was by far the best. Great ice cream but rarely cold enough.
Most of the serving staff at bars seem very unfriendly. It was perhaps the least friendly place we have been to. Not a lot of gratitude for tips which just meant we stopped tipping.
Everyone assumes we speak Spanish but we don't. On the other hand, I understand enough to know when I was being bad mouthed for not tipping (one of the men that would get your beach chair for you). Classy. Carlitos would get my beach chair (he is one of the two) but he was always nice and pleasant so I always tipped him. Always lots of shade at the beach and even though we would get there at 9 am, there was always seating. The water is by far the best feature here. So clean and warm that we rarely bothered with the pool which was much louder but also always clean. Shade is harder to come by at the pool.
After 6 pm, there is little to do. They close down the activities so you can't play pool or anything which is tough with teen boys. We did at really take in the entertainment...after 13 trips, it is essentially the same. We did enjoy the music at night at the reception area.
A couple of other miscellaneous things: the hours of opening bars or buffets were rarely on time. The one bar that opens at 4 coiled not serve anyone til 4:40 when he was finally set it. Buffets rarely opened on time. The internet was affordable at 4.50 cuc per hour and worked well although their keyboard is slightly different so I had to keep asking where certain symbols were. Our fridge was always restocked and we never had towel art. We did a late check out which was again affordable at 7 cuc per hour but of course, as always, they could not read my card so cash it was.
You could almost always get a paddle boat or such and they were quite lax about asking for room number. Same with beach towels.
Well, I think that covers most important topics. If you want to know more, feel free to email me.
- 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
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- 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