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Barcelo Solymar
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Reviews (7,493)
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Reviewed 6 May 2014

I just returned from the Solymar on May 5th. I have been there numerous times in the last 11 years and this may be my last visit. I try and not compare it to previous years but it is hard to do. I love the staff at the resort but wish it hadn't turned into a party resort as this trip turned out to be quite aggravating due to the large amount of drunken students The main pool has been taken over, ditto with the buffet and any lounging areas. The pool bar area stinks of reguritation and apparently it will remain this way until the end of June. I feel sorry for Lala and Yosvani who have to put up with all of the rudeness. I have been told by management that even if they kick the rowdies out more will just appear. If you are not ready for the total lack of respect do not go there in May and June. I was there last May as well and although it was a party scene, it was not as bad as this year. I was also there at the end of November and it was much better.

My room was on the side facing the International. There was little to no noise from the construction but in Sunday and Thursdat nites the party is at the International and it was extremely noisy. My room -1151- also has very little air conditioning and although I asked for it to be fixed it never improved. However, I did not see on cockroach in my room and was not willing to change rooms incase my good luck changed. For those who do not like bus though, there was an amazing amount of "flying beetle" type bus every night everywhere around the resort. The hallway going to my room was extremely dark. A lot of light bulbs out but maybe with the expense of all the liquor being drank and thrown up they can't afford to replace the light bulbs. Woke up one morning and someone had thrown the couch cushions from one of the lounging areas out of the window onto the roof.

The food was okay - I am used to it. The crescents at breakfast are awesome and the gluton free diet soon disappears! The lobby bar opened on Sunday nite. I asked through the week for a late checkout and was told it was no problem - just to come back and pay on Sunday. Sunday I was told that the hotel was full and late checkout was not possible. I then spoke to guest relations and was told I could check out at 4 instead of 12. I told them that wouldn't help me as my bus wasn't coming until 11:30 p.m. and I wanted to sleep from 5 til 7 as my flight wasn't until 3 a.m. Late checkout is advertised for $50 until 8 p.m. There was also no courtesy room available to shower in and I was referred to the gym for a shower, which also lacked light bulbs. There was also no return guest dinner but I imagine that was because there may have not been enough return guests. As well, I asked for an additional card key so I could keep the power and air conditioning on. I was told that they had no extra keys (my original key was advertising the Blau) and that if I folded a paper and stuck it in the power box where the key goes it would work just as well, which it did. Had a good and friendly maid this time - not like the one who looked after my room (1215) last May and November who drank the beer in my fridge and who placed my bottle of "return guest Havana Club rum in my room and made it magically turn into a bottle of Cubay a couple of hours. I still haven't fully figured that one out.

Took the hop on/off bus for the full circuit and was pleasantly surprised to see that the new marina is fully open.

I love going to Cuba, the weather is awesome and the people great. However, if the resort itself doesn't improve I will be staying somewhere else next time. You can tell that even the management has given up on it. Love goes out to Yosvani, Lala, Karen, Ever, Anna; Yanny, Gonzales and Daimylis - they are the best!!

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled solo
    • Value
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4  Thank calgarycrazy4cuba
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BarceloSmAb, Director General at Barcelo Solymar, responded to this reviewResponded 1 June 2014

Dear Guest,


I want to express thanks for taking your time to write a review about Barceló Solymar Arenas Blancas; but I would like as well, express regret for haven’t made this vacations an unique experience, the way we like in Barceló Hotels.

Your review has been very detailed, be sure I will bring it over all the departments heads, and the appropriate measures will be taken.

Again, thank you for your nice feedback.

Have an amazing week!

Juan Marqués
General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 May 2014

It was my first time at this resort and was pleasantly surprised. Great service, ocean view room and fantastic food. I've traveled to Cuba 6 times before, this resort by far had the best food....I traveled alone and had no instances that i felt my safety was threatened. The beach was amazing, it had plenty of long chairs and umbrellas. The room was very clean and huge and comfortable. The staff in the buffet were very accomidating. I did not try the "a la carte" resto, but heard that they were good. Iam looking forward to going back.

Room Tip: i stayed in section 5 on the 4th floor. great veiw and very spacious
  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank Dianne B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BarceloSmAb, Director General at Barcelo Solymar, responded to this reviewResponded 21 May 2014

Dear Dianne B,

Thank you for taking the time to share your positive experiences on your recent stay here at the Barceló Solymar Arenas Blancas Resort.

We are thrilled to hear you had such a wonderful time at our property and that you enjoyed our friendliness and service.

No doubt we will have in mind your feedback to improve the speed at the reception desk, as well as the standards of food in restaurants, thank you.

We cannot wait to have you back with us soon, Have a perfect week!!

Juan Marqués
General Marqués

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 May 2014

I visited Cuba from April 25th to May 2nd and had a great time! I am a 22yr old girl who travelled with 4 other friends and we all loved it.

The food
The food wasn't bad.. I am a picky eater and I still got by. The cheese is not good but everything else is! I would recommend the seafood el a carte that was amazing! I also went to pizza piazza at plaza America, and got chicken parm with spaghetti, just hold the cheese and you'll enjoy it.

The resort
It was clean and I never had an issue with it. Buffets we're clean and so were our rooms. The washrooms at the beach bar were gross but everything else was great. The Towel lady named Ana was amazing! She was very welcoming and had a great heart, forever smiling. The gentlemen who did organized the el la cartes was also very funny and did a great job! Two of our favourite workers at this resort by far.

Cuba
This is my second time in Cuba and man was it hot this time around. I previously went in October and it wasn't as hot lol but the beaches are beautiful

Party
Basically the party in the day is at the solymar pool. The beach has music playing but more relaxing. At night everyone heads to the pool bar then to the beach bar and either stay there when there is beach parties or go into the city to party. The bars do close early so make sure you arrive early. We also went to Havana club which was okay kinda small and very hot but not bad. Also attended international which was fairly close to our resort and was really fun much bigger and good music. My favourite is the cave! Great music big fan so it's not too hot and amazing scenery

Overall if you're young and want to party and still have a clean place to sleep this is the resort for you!

Room tip!!
Ask for renovated room in the main building

Stayed: April 2014, travelled with friends
2  Thank Christini22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BarceloSmAb, Director General at Barcelo Solymar, responded to this reviewResponded 21 May 2014

Dear Guest,

I want to express thanks for taking your time to write a review about Barceló Solymar Arenas Blancas; but I would like as well, express regret for haven’t made this vacations an unique experience, the way we like in Barceló Hotels.

Your review has been very detailed, be sure I will bring it over all the departments heads, and the appropriate measures will be taken.

Again, thank you for your nice feedback.

Have an amazing week!

Juan Marqués
General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 May 2014 via mobile

My boyfriend and I just returned from the Barcelo Arenas Blancas (May 2). We travel every year and have been to Mexico, Dominican and Jamaica but we had heard the food was awful in Cuba so we had never booked Cuba. We were pleasantly surprised ...

ROOMS:
We got lucky and ended uo in an upgraded suite looking over the Arenas Blancas pool which was amazing! We had two bathrooms, two tv's, a comfy pillow top king bed and the A.C. was always running nicely (it was 4424)!

BEACH:
Breathtaking!!! White sand and Crystal clear blue water...most beautiful beach I have ever seen!

FOOD:
The food was actually pretty good! I would give it at 3. 5* ...it was not tasteless and you could always find something to eat from fresh fish, pizza, made to order pasta...you name it. If you complain and cant find anything to eat at this resort, the problem is you lol We went out for dinner in Varadero to Waco Club and Varadero 60 and they were fabulous meals. Waco Club was the best lobster dinner I have EVER had ..
its a must try and only a 5 min walk from this hotel.

*** We had a great time in Cuba and we would definitely return but not to this resort because this resort was a party resort and though my boyfriend and I are in our mid 20s, it got a bit much by the end of the week. There are three pools and the Solymar pool is where are the party people are but it just seemed like a Spring Break club scene lol. Also, the bars close at 11 after the show and the only ones open are at the disco and the snack bar which is where you will find 200 college aged drunk people....so the option of having drinks in a lobby after 11 is pretty much non-existent. There was no security around and absolutely no rules at this hotel. we got lucky with our room location but we met people who had issues every night with drunk people waking them up and being loud. I would not recommend this hotel for families with young kids.

Overall, we did have a great time and loved Cuba. We will definitely be back :)


Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
1  Thank Alicia M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BarceloSmAb, Director General at Barcelo Solymar, responded to this reviewResponded 21 May 2014

Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to share your positive experiences on your recent stay here at the Barceló Solymar Arenas Blancas Resort.

We are thrilled to hear you had such a wonderful time at our property and that you enjoyed our friendliness and service.

No doubt we will have in mind your feedback to improve the speed at the reception desk, as well as the standards of food in restaurants, thank you.

We cannot wait to have you back with us soon, Have a perfect week!!

Juan Marqués
General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 May 2014

I did not expect a lot from this resort based on the reviews I read but was pleasantly surprised,

The grounds were amazing and I was very comfortable in my room.

I was concerned about the quality of food, and though the selection was limited based on other resorts I visited in Varadero, it was more the edible and no one in our group got ill.

Overall a good experience!!

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Sandy U
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BarceloSmAb, Director General at Barcelo Solymar, responded to this reviewResponded 18 May 2014

Dear Sandy U,

Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback.

We highly value the feedback of our guests since this will enable us to improve our services and product wherever needed.

I would like to thank you in particular for your kind comments on our Talents who delivered a great service.

Again, thank you for your nice feedback,

Have an amazing Day,

Juan Marqués
General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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