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“Great Week”

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Barcelo Solymar Arenas Blancas Resort
Ranked #28 of 63 Hotels in Varadero
Yarmouth, Nova Scotia
Level Contributor
25 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Great Week”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 August 2014 via mobile

Beautiful spot. Lots of eating places to choose from. Great young crowd! Beautiful beach, pool, lots of amenities, and close to all the hot spots downtown.

Clean rooms, friendly staff, great massage staff! the lakes at the hair salon are wonderful!

Mother nature was too kind. We had sunshine all week. Unfortunately, it was late for me to travel and I found it hot! won't go that late again.

Lots of a la cartes with the two resorts being connected. We walked to the Barbados.... steak house. Yum!

Traveled here in April with a friend of mine. Met many wonderful people!
Would go back:)

Stayed April 2014, travelled with friends
Helpful?
2 Thank Angela C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (853)
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English first
Edmonton, Canada
Level Contributor
18 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 August 2014 via mobile

We just got back stayed from july 24-31 on the Arenas side in oceanview room 5347 and it was fantastic..the nightly shows were ok and the nightclubs off resort were great ..you def need to check out the cave..our room had an awesome view , our air conditioner worked great as well as the fridge..the only flaw was our shower didnt have the best pressure but had hot water ..we never had nor seen any roaches in our room or around the resort..the staff was all pretty good everywhere around..we had a bit of a problem trying to book al lacartes but thankfully we happened to meet and greet the management who quickly had 2 reserved on his behalf immediately..our maid was great..overall we had an amazing time as always ..the food could be a bit better but you will not go without..this was my third time to cuba this yr and i will prob be back before the end of the yr..Again thanks to all the Staff and Management for making our stay an enjoyable one ..

Stayed July 2014
Helpful?
5 Thank tina b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 August 2014

First of all this was not my first time at Barcelo Solymar. I was here 2 years ago and had a great experience so I decided to revisit. I came with 4 friends and booked an oceanview room. The resort has declined astronomically in quality since my last visit. We found cockroaches in places they should never be, a lot of the servers were generally unenthusiastic and at times rude.

Last time we were here, we experienced great service and everybody was generally more pleasant. This time the hotel was a disaster. Upon arriving in to the hotel the reception barely paid attention to us and seemed to make it obvious we were a chore. Moving in to the rooms our AC was literally cut off everyday around 8 am. This made sleeping in unbearable. Moving on to the hotel room itself, it was clean until we experienced roaches crawling on our floors, not to mention the one that crawled on my friend who was relaxing on my bed. Then we started finding roaches daily! We were told by the other tourists we met on the resort that they also had cockroach problems. The worst thing is when we found cockroaches on top of the food in the buffet.

Moving on towards the hotel staff. The servers in the hotel lobby were ridiculously rude whenever we went to order drinks. They would have their own conversations while we wait in front of them. Despite tipping regularly they remained unchanged in their attitudes. At one point we had to get our own ice from the bucket and the server THEN turns around and gets angry we did that...but had we not we would have been there for 20 minutes just for ice! Last time we were here it was peak season and the hotel was full, yet service was wonderful. This time, the hotel seemed half empty and although there were less people to serve, service was mediocre.

In respect to the food itself this was a complete shock, scare, and ultimate disappointment. We watched as the chef would cook chicken, beef and pork using the same tongs for both cooked and raw meat. My friend watched as a chef dropped a hamburger patty on the floor during a late night snack and the chef threw the burger back on the grill.

The front desk kept telling us they would have wifi cards on Monday. We go to pay for them and at this point we are informed only the computers have wifi cards. An hour later I go to the desk to pay to use the computer and was informed that the resort was out of wifi cards and were not aware of when more would be a available. I was also told that their resident computers had no access to the internet either because it too use the same wifi cards to connect. How does a hotel whose travellers come from all over the world have no proper internet?

Now in respect to the crowd this was a little better. While there were families it was filled with young people which made the hotel night life fun and engaging. The pool bar servers were the only ones at night who seemed to understand good service and more than obliged us with our choice in drinks and quantity.

Last time we were here I would rate the resort at least a 4/5. This time though, I wish i could give a lower score than 1. Next time we come back to Cuba we will not be returning to the Barcelo Solmar.

Room Tip: Stay in the Arena Blancas side, it seems to be newly renovated and thus the resort puts more effort...
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with friends
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Zack T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Varadero hotels

Dublin
Level Contributor
15 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 August 2014 via mobile

Stayed on the Solymar side for ten nights. Check in was quick and staff were friendly. Our room was really nicely decorated with a flat screen tv and giant double bed. Rooms had all facilties you'd expect; safe, hairdryer, iron, coffee maker amd complimentary mini bar. Towels were changed daily and the maid would leave towel art and flowees etc. We lost our room key one day and it was very easy to get a replacement, which concerned me security wise.

The lobby area was nice with comfy couches and the lobby bar did nice coffees and cocktails. The buffet restaurant was good, plenty of choice and always something to eat. They grilled fresh meats of your choice and also made pastas with your choice of ingredients. Service in the restaurant was good too.
Tried the mexican restaurant which was not great. Italian was delicious, they had delicious thin based pizzas. Also went to the snack bar for burgers and hotdogs after the nightclub, which was handy!

The pool was lovely, they had daily entertainment at the solymar pool and there was always beds. The beach was fab, also with plenty of beds and shaded areas. We did scooba diving through the hotel and Id highly recommend it, it was an amazing experience.

We drank at the pool bar most eveings before heading out. The bar would close at around half ten everynight which was annoying, the cigar bar near the lobby opened till 12. But there didn't seem to be any 24hr bar on the Solymar side. There was a small nightclub on the arenas blancas side but it smelled of vomit and had hardly anyone there.

Although not intirely perfect, we got the hotel at a good price. Id recommend it and would stay here again if I returned to Varadero!

Stayed July 2014, travelled with friends
Helpful?
3 Thank GrandBeat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Burlington
Level Contributor
12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 July 2014

I stayed at Barcelo Solymar June 8 as a solo guest, I have been there 11 times and thought I knew what I was in for. I asked to be placed in a quiet area as I know it is a party resort and is usually very load in the Hotel around 3AM (as the clubs end ) and at 5 am when most decide to leave teh 24 hr bar. I was there is March and there are some changes whn I returned in June.. The loby bar is now open and looks amazing. The italian A la Carte is back open and just as teh Mexican you no longer need reservations. I liked it better before as you knew you could plan you dinner when you had a reservation, now you are lucky to get in as it gets very busy.. The 24 hr bar has moved from a quiet place by beach to The Mexican resturant in the Arenas Blancas Hotel and I believe it is also part of the dicso. so if you wanted to have a drink and a conversation it is impossible.. The thing that stunned me the most is a Lady passed away on June 10th by the pool at Arenas Blancas, The lifeguards from the beach tried forever to bring her back but it was unsuccessful. The staff at Arenas Blancas placed pool chairs around her and covered her with a bed sheet and left her in the hot sun for over 3 hours.. It started to pour rain and I left but when I left she was still there out in the rain. I can't believe they would just leave her around teh pool all day, as I felt extremely bad about her, it kinda put a real damper on eveyone elses day arond the pool.... Anyway the staff is very good and friendly , The entertaiment team is great but they really miss Jennifer who could get people up and involved in teh activities of the day.. The staff now is there if you want to do something but really can't be bothered.. The Location is amazing and beach is the best, Food is good and teh drinks are strong.. They don't have a good rye so I usually bring a few bottles of Crown Royal with me ... I will be back again soon for # 12 to this resort, I only suggest you don't make changes to thnkgs that are working just to make changes .. remember if is isn't broke don't try to fix it. Put teh 24 hr bar back to the beach !!! See you soon

Room Tip: Arenas Balncas Hotel or a Bungalow.. Do not stay in Solymar rooms as you get a 3am wake up call ever...
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled solo
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank rasian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 July 2014 via mobile

Check in was fast, friendly and efficient. Thank you Oscar for the oceanview upgrade, you amazed me and exceeded my expectations. Room was big, beautiful and clean. View from balcony was priceless. Thank you so very much. Mini-fridge re-stocked daily, clean linens daily, beautiful towel art - a big thank you to our maid Marisela, amor bonita, besos. To the staff at the buffet, thank you for the awesome morning omlettes and coffee and for the napkin roses, all are very charming, warm and friendly. Loved chatting with them. Bartenders at the beach bar are amazing and always smiling. ELI IS THE BEST ENTERTAINER BY FAR!! Had a blast on the beach - contests with free bottles of nice Cuban rum, volleyball tournaments, dancing lessons, always beautiful music. Eli knows how to get the party started and encourages everyone to join in on the constant fun! I miss you Eli, warm hugs. Beach and water was beautiful but of course. Plenty of palapas... free sailing and paddleboats. .nice bonus. Pools are very well kept, grounds were immaculate - thank you to the gardener who prepared the coconut for me..I didn't even have to ask..he offered. Everyone went over and above to please us and keep us smiling. Nightly entertainment - live band in lobby bar lounge- you do not want to miss this- this was the highlight of the evening that proceeded delicious food from the Italian restaurant and Mexican. Coffee from the lobby bar is by far the best..these bartenders work very hard and are always friendly. Met a few groups of travellers along the way..great times..great memories. Gracias.

Stayed July 2014, travelled with friends
Helpful?
5 Thank Jennifer H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto
Level Contributor
24 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles 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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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:
#20 Top resorts Hotel in Varadero
#23 On the Beach Hotel in Varadero
#23 Luxury 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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