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“Loads of great advantages over the 5 Stars at the tip of the peninsula...”

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Barcelo Solymar Arenas Blancas Resort
Ranked #30 of 63 Hotels in Varadero
Toronto
Level Contributor
24 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
“Loads of great advantages over the 5 Stars at the tip of the peninsula...”
Reviewed 27 July 2014

Economical for a family of 3, Thank you we did book a bungalow totally worth it. Best Cottage option in Varadero. I will only write about my Bungalow experience, with kids age 7-8.
We loved it.

Choose your flights accordingly...I would not choose Sunwing ( not enough plane to take over a delay..) We always fly with Air Canada, West Jet or Transat.

Sun, Sea and City Resort all in One... Economical for a family of 3, YES we did book a bungalow totally worth it. Best Cottage option by the beach ( based on price ). I will only write about my experience in a "villa style" Bungalow. Located between the quiet pool and the Arenas Blanca's Pool.
New sectional pull out bed, nicely decorated and clean we used 1 level as our mud room ( sands )...and beach & golf bags were not in the way...Up the Stairs and we loved our Tropical Views of the resort - 2 half beds together make it a HUGE King. New white bedding...Clean and inviting with a flat screen to enjoy your French, English and Spanish channels. Clean towels daily. Mini Fridge re fill with beer and water daily. No issue with water pressure or Air Conditioning.

...Excellent City Location across from the Adidas Flagship store, walking distance to the "Beatles" for live music and parties, 5 mins walk to the International for the partiers...Should you wish to splurge on a 5 star dinning experience try Barbacoa $$ Steak House.

Barcelo combined in 1 location offers the most Exceptional Beach ( the best of Varadero) correct nothing like the... "Iberostar Varadero 5 stars with amazing grounds BUT a very disappointing narrow beach 10 feet wide of sand at best" see my review on the Iberostar Varadero. ( we stayed at Iberostar 2 nights / 3 days to enjoy "luxury"...$500. We purchase with Manuela from Cubatur in the lobby. She is the most helpful. They do not make commissions so a nice tip is in order. ($10)

Solymar's lobby is inviting with it's large sofa ( recently renovated ) plenty of seating, the lobby bar is a place of gathering...and where you can enjoy Cappuccino's in the morning ( coffee at the restaurant is ok), we enjoyed the live music before a casual dinners....a nice wine, and cocktails - before enjoying the Buffet ( get creative ) and or Pizza & Pasta ...( Best Thin, Crispy Pizza ) ...
Restaurants a la carte requires your Reservation with the Guest service also located next to the Reception. If you like "Langosta" Caribbean lobster...book your dinner : 1 is included ( value; 30 dollars per person ) We enjoyed the seafood and the service. or and The Spanish - Nice for a Steak grilled to your liking. * ( not a filet mignon ) please remember that your hotel management including food and beverage gets about 35$ a day to feed you,...including drinks, and you hotel room...so based on what we paid, it is more than fair, and we would return again.

TIP:Stay away from Unhappy people with unrealistic expectations and respect for the people of Cuba. Treat it as a secluded world with unique & different standards... it is an island with limited resources.

We loved the Barcelo's professionally trained Dancers...at 9h45pm 4 nights a week...( mostly at the Solymar ...except for the Tropical show presented outside by the Pool at the Arena''s if you appreciate choreography & quality dancers they are inspiring and amazing talents.

Kids Club is not recommended unless to cool off inside the little house. The animators are ordinary, not interested or organized. It's very hot and easy for kids to get an isolation / sun-stoke, they are under paid over worked and i understand why they do not care.

Room Tip: Bungalows great to be away from the main Hotel & Party Pool and Drinkin 20 years old- Pre book...
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank MelDeCoteau
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
29 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 July 2014

We assumed we had paid for a 5 star hotel "barcelo solymar arenas blancas" but on arrival we were told there are two parts to the hotel (solymar, 5 star and Arenas blancas, 4 star) and we will be staying at the 4 star building!!!! We could use both buildings' facilities but regardless it is unacceptable to sell a room labelled "superior' under a hotel name that is not clearly indicated as being two parted and then provide the room in a different building! We realised that 4 and 5 star ratings have a totally different meaning here! Our room was an average room with beds covered with low quality, dated bedding, the bathroom was dated, the roof of the bathroom was leaking and the towels were over-washed and no longer white! Food is horrifically bad, there are several restaurants that you can eat at but you need to book them between 9-5 and for sundays you need to book the previous day as the booking service is closed on sundays! We did not manage to try the restaurants as we had only two days in Varadero of which one was Sunday! We asked the staff if there are any restaurants out side the resort and they said there is only one! which happened to be next to the resort (wondering if it belonged to the resort)! but then when we explored the area we realised that there actually is life outside the resort! several restaurants, a trendy young cafe (named Beatles) and little shopping spots.

Room Tip: Make sure you pay for Solymar! (Although I am not sure of the quality of the rooms in Solymar)
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank 2Mosafer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rennes, France
Level Contributor
79 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 July 2014

We stayed in the Arenas Blancas part of this hotel for two weeks in June this year. We were so impressed!

Room: our room was really spacious with a very comfy bed, balcony over looking the pool area, free mini bar stocked up daily, big TV and most importantly excellent air con. Room was cleaned everyday.

Pool: there are three pool areas in this complex and they are all beautiful but my personal favourite was the pool at Arenas Blancas. Loads of sun beds, great little sheltered areas, surrounded by Palm trees and beautiful flowers. Games and music at the pools everyday and each pool also have a pool bar for snacks and drinks. The pool at the Solymar side was a little louder and had a lot of teenagers having fun so if you prefer to relax, Arenas Blancas pool is for you.

Beach: both sides of the complex have easy access to the beautiful beach. The beach has security guards and life guards and is kept spotlessly clean. Free water sports are also offered as part of the all inclusive package.

Food: the food is my only negative point. There are two buffets (one in either side of the hotel) for breakfast, lunch and dinner along with two beach bars, three pool bars and several à la carte restaurants that open for dinner. Needless to say, there is loads of choice. However, the food wasn't great in my opinion (could be irish taste buds)! This seemed to be common place in cuba though. That said, there was always something there to eat in the hotel complex and plenty to choose from, so no fear of starving!

Staff: the staff at the hotel are so friendly and helpful. They really make you feel welcome and go out of their way to help you. Be sure to tip them!

Location: great location right in the middle of varadero town if you want to venture out in the evening to try some of the bars or clubs. Also perfect location for exploring the rest of varadero on the hop on hop off bus.

Overall an excellent stay. We will definitely return to varadero again and I wouldn't stay anywhere else!

  • Stayed June 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Emerbc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Exeter
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 July 2014

I was one of three that stayed at this terrible hotel, I have been to Varadero 21 times over the last eight years and love the place, this is the worst place I have ever stayed, the rooms are dirty, the air conditioning was not working in two of the three rooms, the staff were not helpful at all, I am not one to complain usually and understand the culture and the fact that it is difficult for the Cubans, please don't let yourself become a victim of this awfull place and let it spoil your holiday, I complained about the air con on the Monday when I arrived then on the Thursday a so called engineer came to fix the problem on the Thursday, he couldn't fix it so I had no aircon during my stay and wouldn't give me another room, the food was fit for pigs swill, I complained on checkout again to the manager who promised to email me an apolagy on my return to the uk, two weeks on I haven't received anything.

Room Tip: All the rooms that I saw were bad
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with friends
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
10 Thank David G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Varadero hotels

Toronto, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 July 2014

Booking my trip for the 2nd time at this resort. Everything except food was perfect. But who goes there to eat when there's the beach right behind you? Nothing to complain about, hotels clean, people were nice and weather was HOTTTTT.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Jessica S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pickering, Canada
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 July 2014

While we have been there 3 times already we are going back for a fourth time. We love it there
and can't wait to get back there this September. It is like a second home to us and we love the people we meet and the staff. The beach is nice and clean and so are the suites we stay in. The food is pretty good.

Room Tip: Well we like the Garden Suites so we always now get one.
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Mommie1950
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ontario, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 July 2014

i was in Solymar for a couple of weeks in June, my boyfriend and his gang:)

we enjoyed an incredible trip and we could meet some quite cool people, including the hotel's staff and specially the spaniard manager, Albero.

though the place conditions are not state of the art, they've created an excepcional atmosphere; our room was in Arenas Blancas Section wich is older and and a little wary. Our maid was Lisbeth and she was so cute, she even gave us a farewell gift last day. One good virtue on the Hotel is that you can use the newest section to nevertheless having a room in Arenas Biancas. That is good thing of course, since there we had breakfast, lunch and sometimes dinner. People working in Cuba are quite smiling and givers forgetting their unposken living conditions. We met a guy who used to sell hand made artcraft for a living. what he told us was outraging, such as not having tasted real milk since a couple of years ago...

i dont go to CUBA to exploit them or to take advantage from their suffering, that's a big time shame, I will keep coming because I like it and I have some good friends out there, I enjoy Solymar and I have the intention to go next year. This is my opinion and I encourage everyone to go there and see that beach...

Room Tip: ask for the spanish director
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank tania v
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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