We are a family of 5 that stayed in a family suite in the villa area. We had a view of the whirlpool area and beach which was outstanding. On the front of our suite was a balcony with a view of a courtyard area, which was landscaped nicely. I won't pretend to be an expert traveller or connoisseur of the all-inclusive resort, but we all had a really really good time. The suite was a little quirky...some light bulbs didn't work, shower curtain didn't go end-to-end, one night-stand drawer didn't have a handle, the stairs were a little 'creaky'. Overall, we were very happy with the size of the suite and it did serve it's purpose...after all, we weren't there to spend a week inside a hotel room! The linens and towels were changed every day and housekeeper was friendly and super-nice.
It was very clean...the pool was cleaned every morning by staff, the whirlpools (they have two) were emptied and scrubbed in the morning as well (we could see them from our room). The beach was raked. The Bella Costa beach is pretty long, and there is a private area for Nolitours customers (which we were), but we rarely stayed there....instead just grabbed the first are where we could fit the five of us. The water was amazing...a nice quick shock of cold at first, and after about 1 or 2 minutes it seems so warm.
I have a couple of friends who stayed in Cuba saying the food was so-so, or 'okay.' Everyone's personal taste of food will be different, so take it with a grain of salt...I didn't mind it. The buffet's had quite an assortment. I found the bread to be very good, and the fresh fruit was out-of-this-world (pineapple was my favourite). There was a fair assortment of vegetables, meat, seafood, cheese. They even had hamburgers, hot-dogs, pizza and french fries. There was an omelette station in the morning, which bettered a high-end buffet omelette station here in BC. At dinner they had a pasta station which was very nice. We ate at all three a la carte restaurants. The Japanese restaurant was not Japanese food (except for the appetizer maki sushi), but was tasty none-the-less. The Cuban restaurant was pretty much the same as the buffet food (we even had to get up and get it ourselves), so that wasn't very impressive. One thing about the Cuban restaurant, was the main dish seemed very very salty...The Italian restaurant I found outstanding. Nice ambience, live paino music, and the next course came very soon after clearing the dishes from the previous course (this may not be the norm though...it was New Year's Eve when we went to the Italian restaurant).
Drinks were good...never had a problem with any of the drinks...except they ran out of mint often and early, so get your mojito's in the early afternoon! If you like coffee, get it at the lobby bar. Ask for 'coffee with milk' and they make you a latte (the other bars and buffet made coffee and just poured milk inside). The pina colada's at the lobby bar seemed to taste better as well!?!
Entertainment...again, I am fairly easy to please, so I didn't find the entertainment too bad. They had a group of 'house dancers' that are obviously professional and take their career seriously, but seemed a little 'ungraceful' at times. One show that was really good was the water ballet. It was a differet group, and they performed at night in the pool...I would probably pay separately to see that act, it was very entertaining.
When you tip the people, they are very grateful and put it into the tip jar under the bar for sharing later. But when you give them gifts, they seem to appreciate it much more. Their faces light up and a couple of them come around to give you a hug! We gave some basic items like soap, toothpaste, t-shirts, pens etc...and it seemed to go over very well. My wife provided our housekeeper with a little 'care package' the first time we met her, and the service after that was incredible. One of the locals told us the average salary in Cuba is 14 pesos per month (approx $14), for regular workers and around 40 per month for professionals. So, although tipping with money is very much appreciated, after they share amongst everyone, it probably won't go as far as an actual gift item.
One last thing...if you see guy with a machete, ask him to cut open a coconut for you...fresh coconut water was really good (even better if you add rum!).
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- Also Known As:
- Breezes Bella Costa Varadero
- Breezes Bella Costa Hotel Varadero
- Breezes Bella Costa Cuba