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“Some good, some not so good”

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Barcelo Solymar Arenas Blancas Resort
Ranked #30 of 63 Hotels in Varadero
Chestermere, alberta
Level Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Some good, some not so good”
Reviewed 9 April 2014 via mobile

Unless you are a large enough party to need multiple rooms do not waste your money upgrading to a bungalow, basically you will be sharing a living room and dinette with total strangers and sleeping in the equivalent of separate hotel rooms upstairs.
Water pressure was good
Food was better than expected however the service at the a la carte's wasn't the best
The bed was terrible, hard and lopsided
The alarm clock in the room was kind of funny, you set it and within 4-5 hours it would wrong by about 2 hrs
Don't bother trying to call the front desk, you will almost never get through but if you do the service is poor, the service at check in and check out was less than friendly also
The beach and pools were both outstanding
Pool bars were also very good, service and drinks were great, in fact outside of the al a carte's the found service was really great
The resort is maybe a 10 minute walk to town
Nighttime entertainment was very good


Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
3 Thank Jason K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (873)
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Port Dover, Ontario, Canada
Level Contributor
12 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 April 2014

This was our 4th time back to Arenas Blancas and we will definitely come back every year. Many of the staff are like family to us so we come to Cuba primarily for the people. The beaches are the best anywhere in the world and you can walk all over Varadero in a very safe place. Very few Caribbean locations provide so much freedom to roam. As for the staff, my close friend Lilly at the Pool Bar is the best person you ever want to meet, George and Julio in the buffet are energetic, entertaining hosts, Estafan is a great guy and always with a smile, Jennalese at Reception is the best at welcoming guests and so responsive to your needs, Orestes has full command of the English language (including jokes), Lisbet is the absolute best at maintaining your room, Gabriella at the towel exchange is the most friendly and energetic person on any resort.
Alvero, the Manager with Barceló has done a great deal to establish standards of service so, under his watch, everything has improved. Overall, for the price, Arenas Blancas is a wonderful place for a warm family atmosphere, great beach, good food, solid management of the facility and perfect location inside of Varadero. Arenas Blancas is an older physical plant and there are hotels up north on the beach which are more modern but the AB location is the best. It is steps from the shops, restaurants and clubs of Varadero, no isolation from real Cuban culture. We can't wait to go back every year.

Room Tip: Always book the Superior suite on the high floors.
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Ken R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Grand Falls Windsor, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 April 2014

Just got back from another trip to Arenas Blancas. This was our 8th stay at this resort and for sure we will be back again next year. The weather was great, no rain at all. The only complaint I have was the location of our room. We had requested a room overlooking either the pool or the parking lot and what we got was a room (5219) overlooking the back of the hotel where I believe the kitchen is and all day and most of the night the fans or whatever it was, were running and they were very loud. When sitting on the balcony my husband and I could barley hear each other. But the room itself was great. Both the air conditioner and the fridge worked great( which I think was a first). We tried changing our room but just got the run around. Being an 8th time returning guest this did not impress us.

Many of the staff recognized us and came over to say hi when they seen us.

I have to say the food has improved a great deal. If you say you can't find anything to eat there's something wrong. They always have chicken, pork and beef there. There is always pasta and sandwich meats(just to name a couple). I had sushi , quesadillas and pizza. I absolutely love the bread and pastries there. At the snack bar they now have poutine and club house sandwiches along with hamburgers and hotdogs.

We ate at three a la Cartes. The food here is OK but I think its better at the buffet. Not sure of all the names as friends booked them, but the one on Arenas side on the beach (here the service was very slow) and I didn't really enjoy the food. There was no good selection of desserts. We also ate at the Mexican which was good. Here the desserts were wonderful. We also ate at Don Quijotes which was also OK, with good desserts.

Can't wait to go back again next year, as long as there is sunshine, heat and no snow.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank newfiegirl_45
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mississauga, Canada
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 April 2014

We went on a group tour to this hotel. It's a decent hotel for 3 star standard however faces issues of cold water, uncleaned washroom and uncleaned pool, occasionaly. Overall, we had a good time. Due to Cuba's economic conditions hotel lacks proper facility such as running elevator, Internet and food sanitation.

Room Tip: If you get a good price then stay, not worth paying high price for this hotel.
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  • Stayed May 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank Waqas2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Monteal
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 9 April 2014

Everything was excellent !!! This was my third time at the Barcelo Solymar, and won't be my last. I went with my husband and son, there was something to do for each of us. The staff at the Barcelo go way above their call of duty to help you and make your stay very enjoyable. The staff from the management, front desk, lobby bar, restaurants and of course the maids were AWESOME !!!
The Buffet was good, remember you are in Cuba, and things will taste different, but the cooks are there to help you will anything that they can cook for you. The staff in the buffet are always there to make sure you are happy. The a la Cartes were awesome !!! I tried them all :) Again the staff is always there to please you. The beach and pool area were very clean. Nice Beach Bar to get your favourite drink. My thermos came in very handy getting a cold beverage. :) The grounds are very well kept and beautiful.
The resort is a 5 min, walk into town where you will find local shopping and great restaurants.
Barcelo Solymar staff work hard to make your stay very enjoyable.
I am missing all the great staff I meet and will be back to see you soon !!! I highly recommend staying at this Hotel :)

Room Tip: I always get an ocean front over looking the pool, AWESOME View !!!
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank sandragilles
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 April 2014 via mobile

I just returned from an 8 day stay at arenas blancas. This was my third trip to this hotel and I will go back for sure.

The beach was amazing as always and the hotel itself was very clean and comfortable.

A huge thank you to Rozia and Sandra at the lobby bar, you guys are awesome.

Thanks to Rosa from the supper buffet for the excellent service and always remembering me when I come back.

Now unfortunately I have some negative feedback about his trip.

When I arrived after requesting a fourth floor room I discovered I was on the ground floor with no patio ... this was a bad experience and I expected better for a repeat customer to the hotel. I did however, get a balcony room after two days ... thanks to the front desk staff and the sunwing rep yordi for your help in that.

Aside from that ... awesome vacation as always and I will be back again next year!!!

  • Stayed April 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank MattMoores
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 April 2014

My boyfriend and I just got back from a wonderful, five-day stay at Barcelo Sol y Mar. We had fabulous weather the entire time and I would certainly recommend the place – for the right kind of traveler.

The Sol y Mar section of the resort can get pretty rowdy. We were shocked to find the place so busy during what we assumed would be the off-season. The resort was crawling with young people, who had no problem dancing and screaming drunkenly by the pool all day (and dancing on the bar at night!). As a young couple who likes a good party, this was alright with us.

On Friday night there was a beach party and we danced on the sand. This was great… except for one, glaringly annoying part that nearly ruined my trip. Everyone had made a shoe pile, and those who weren’t paying attention got their shoes stolen at the end of the night (there were about five of us at the end, just talking on the sand). I doubt a Canadian tourist had made off with a huge assortment of random shoes, and the only Cubans there were the entertainers hired by the resort. So something clearly isn’t right there. I wouldn’t consider coming back on this factor alone.

My boyfriend had only brought two pairs of shoes, so he was forced to wear flip-flops for the rest of the trip. We had to walk back to the room barefoot and my favourite (rather expensive) sandals are gone. I’m not sure what the hotel could have done to prevent this, but it just sucks that even in such a lovely place like Cuba, you will get robbed blind if you’re not careful.

In terms of the food, the seafood restaurant is by far the most popular, and it's easy to see why: They serve lobster (it was delicious) and the service is good. Meanwhile, at the ‘Cuban restaurant,’ which is really just a beach buffet bar, the servers seemed confused, aloof and nonchalant… it took about 30 minutes just to get a drink (while one of them never arrived) and we couldn’t get anyone to pay any attention to us. Needless to say, we got up and walked out before dessert.

All in all, we had a great time and I'd recommend it for a group of friends or young people wanting to party on the cheap and enjoy some great weather. Just keep an eye on your things.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank sh0egal24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Barcelo Solymar Arenas Blancas Resort

Property: Barcelo Solymar Arenas Blancas Resort
Address: Carretera Las Americas, Km. 3, Varadero 42200, Cuba (Formerly Barcelo Solymar)
Region: Caribbean > Cuba > Matanzas Province > Varadero
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Ski-In / Ski-Out Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#21 Top resorts Hotel in Varadero
#24 Luxury Hotel in Varadero
#24 On the Beach Hotel in Varadero
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Barcelo Solymar Arenas Blancas Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 883
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The hotel Barceló Solymar stands right on the sea front of the top spot of Varadero beach, Cuba's best-known tourist destination. With a privileged setting just a few metres from the city centre, this exclusive resort, surrounded by beautiful gardens, offers a wide variety of services characterised by the excellent Barceló All-Inclusive program. Highly recommended for families, couples and those who enjoy diving and water activities in general. Guests at the Barceló Solymar and Barceló Arenas Blancas hotels can enjoy the facilities at either hotel. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Barcelo Hotel Solymar
Barcelo Hotel Varadero
Barcelo Solymar Cuba
Barcelo Solymar Hotel Cuba
Barcelo Solymar Beach Resort
Barcelo Solymar Varadero Cuba
Barcelo Sol y Mar

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