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“Wonderful Vacation”
Review of Hotel Bella Costa

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Hotel Bella Costa
Ranked #27 of 63 Hotels in Varadero
Oakville, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Wonderful Vacation”
Reviewed 30 May 2012

In April, a group of 7 women went to the Breezes Bella Costa, and as part of the group (and as an infrequent traveler) I can honestly say that this resort blew me away.
I had never been to a resort before, only on cruises, and I was not sure what to expect. As soon as we arrived, we were welcomed by the GM, who told us "Welcome home. This is, and will always be your home". It was very nice to have that kind of welcome, as the only experience I have has is on a cruise ship, where they don't really care if you are there or not.
The staff was very friendly and welcoming. I made friends with several of them, and still correspond with them now. The staff seem to have an attitude that once you are there, you are family.
The guest services staff was wonderful. They took care of our every need. For instance, I have to sleep with a CPAP breathing machine (for sleep apnia) and I needed an extention cord for my machine. They were more than happy to provide this, along with the adapter so I could plug in my machine. Jose in guest services is the most wonderful person you will ever meet on a vacation.
The food and beverage manager, Renso, was very interested in what we thought of the food, and was open to suggestions, no matter how small. The restaurants were amazing and had a wide variety of dishes to suit every taste.
The wait staff was wonderful everywhere you went. Javier, Dania, Marlene, Hanoi and many others in the lobby bar were very good at remembering what you want, or anticipating what you would like. We never had to wait for service in the lobby bar.
At the pool bar, the bartender, Renee, was equally as attentive. You had to wait a little longer for service at the pool bar, but you also have to keep in mind that they are not only serving the people at the pool, but those at the beach aswell.
So, with all that being said, here are my "beefs" with the resort.
As a picky eater with food allergies, I was not impressed by how the items in the buffet (especially Jimmy's Buffet) were labelled. I understand that some of the dishes were authentically Cuban, but calling something "Cuban Stew" does not help in identifying what it is. Also, I noticed quite frequently, that only about a third of the dishes were labelled. This is not good if you have food allergies and most of the staff were unable to help or translate what the dishes were. However, the bread and cheeses in the buffet were the best I ever had.
Secondly, I know that this is a family friendly resort, and the entertainment staff want to get everyone involved, but I did not like how the poolside or beach games were run. They have a kids club by the pool that holds games and activities for children, however many of the staff looked the other way when children wanted to play the "adult" games. I did not think this was fair or responsible as the adult games had "alcoholic" prizes. I saw no need for 10-15 year olds being allowed to participate in games where the prize was a bottle of rum. It made several adults feel uncomfortable.
My last complaint, which had nothing to do with the hotel or the staff, is that the beach is very "steppy" and rocky. This is due to the hurricane damage that is going to take a while to fix. Going from the beach to the water was like walking down a flight of stairs. But, the water was warm, crystal clear and very shallow. You could literally walk out for a mile and still fine sand bars to go shell hunting on.
All in all, I thought that the pros outweighed the cons on this trip. I would definately vacation here again without a second thought.
I highly recommend this resort to anyone, especially if they are a first time traveller.

Room Tip: The rooms with an ocean/pool room are very breezy, but definately worth the extra money. You have a...
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank Kim H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Toronto
Level Contributor
26 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 May 2012

I went to this resort with a friend of mine for a week in April. The resort itself is quite small in comparison to other resorts in Varadero and Cuba but it has a very nice community feel there. It is obvious that the resort itself needs updating but don't let that deter you from making a decision to come there.

Room: We stayed in the building, not the villas. The room is an average room. A bit outdated but no huge issues there. Remember, you will most likely just be sleeping there and that's about it. I don't suggest bringing open food (if from home, make sure it's sealed and just don't bring food up from the buffets) or sweet drinks into the room because I did see ants from time to time and they will flock to those types of things. The maids were extremely nice and did a good job every day. We had no issues with the room otherwise and the washroom was in good condition.

Food: Remember this is Cuba and you aren't going to have all the items that you would normally eat at home. We tried the El Mirador buffet once but their selection and quality is much less than Jimmy's Buffet. You will be able to find at least one thing that you will like at Jimmy's Buffet. The selection there is decent and the quality is pretty good. The pasta station is alright for lunches. For dinner, the pasta at the pasta station is excellent (different spices and garlic can be added) and the pasta chef (Alex) is amazing! Omelettes during breakfast at Jimmy's were simply amazing and breakfast was hands down the best meal of the day. Vladimir (who works breakfast and lunch) is a great server.

The outdoor pizza station is amazing and some of the best food that I've had there. You have to try it! The regular pizza chef working there is a great person and talk to him about Bob Marley, you will have a great conversation. The a la cartes were okay at best. The El Mirador a la carte was not good at all and the meat that we ate was very chewy. The Italian a la carte was pretty good and worth checking out. The Japanese a la carte was okay, definitely not authentic Japanese food but the food itself was pretty good.

The late night food area is in Jimmy's and the staff there (Domingo and Jose) are amazing. They are extremely friendly and lots of fun to talk to while having a late night snack. Make sure to tip them as they are some of the best people on the resort. The hamburgers on the resort are good as well.

The Beach/Pool: We had no issues with sand fleas. The beach itself is pretty small and narrow but we didn't have an issue finding a lounging chair. The sand is not the best I've seen and other areas of Cuba have much better beaches. They do have sea kayaks, paddle boats and catamarans for you to use for free (30 mins).

There is one main pool area (also a kiddie pool is at the resort). The pool itself is fine and pretty standard, had no issues there but make sure to reserve a lounging chair early with your towel as they fill up pretty fast. There is no swim up bar at this resort which is a downside.

Bars: The lobby bar is good and has a good selection of liquor. The lobby bar can get pretty busy at night so it might be a good idea to order two drinks for yourself but it wasn't the end of the world. There was also live music in the lobby bar area that was pretty good. The pool bar is also pretty good. There is also a bar in the jacuzzi area. When on the beach, you will have to walk up to either the pool or jacuzzi bar to get your drinks so I would suggest bringing a really big travel mug (20 oz or bigger) because the cups that they give you are quite small. They do have diet coke (the cuban version that is) so I was extremely happy with that.

Entertainment: Every night there is some sort of show that happens outside. The shows themselves were quite entertaining and fun to watch. One of the animation staff members (his name is Jacmel but goes by Jack) is amazing! He goes out of his way to get to know you and helps you enjoy your experience at the resort. Ask him for advice if you are wondering where to go out (off resort) to night clubs. The night club on the resort was always empty so if you do want to go out to a night club, I suggest taking his advice. You will enjoy it.

Staff: The staff at this resort are simply amazing. They go out of their way to help you and are very friendly people. They are quite knowledgeable as well and have lots of tips and advice for you.

General Comments: I suggest taking the hop on/hop off double decker bus to go into Varadero itself as it is only $5CUC for the entire day and you can hop on and off. You have to walk about 5 minutes to town in order to catch it but it will be much more affordable than a cab. Getting money exchanged at the hotel is quite expensive and they charge you 5% or 10% (I can't remember which one) when changing Canadian into CUCs. I heard that getting it exchanged next door at the Tuxpan is better or at a bank itself.

If you do need to use the internet, it will cost you $5 per half an hour and the connection is quite slow so go to websites that won't take a long time to load. The resort itself was a good mix of young people, older people, families and couples when we went there. We were at the resort during the VIVA ITALIA week that was sponsored by the Evanov Radio Group. It was great and they brought in some entertainers and chefs from Toronto for the week as well.

If you are going to Havana, I suggest hiring a taxi driver who has a good command of English to give you a tour around Havana as opposed to doing the organized bus excursion. It will cost you less money and you will have a better time. The organized bus tour was terrible, bringing you to a bar in Havana to get an overpriced Mojito where you waste an hour of your time that you could spend going around and learning.

If you are in Cuba during their baseball season, I highly recommend seeing a game in Matanzas. The tickets to go to the game are $3CUC and we paid $80CUC for the taxi driver to drive us to the game, go to the game with us and drive us back. It was well worth it to experience Cuban league baseball up front and close.

This resort is definitely worth it for the price that we paid and I would definitely come back again.

Room Tip: Rooms with a balcony are better.
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank robertcer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Montreal, Canada
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 May 2012

I left Breezes Bella Costa Hotel on May 24th, from one week vacation. Every aspect related to that resort was fine. No complain at all, whatsoever. We use abundantly the massage service available. Luis, the masseur is patient, very professional and a true gentleman. Just to get a massage from Luis, it's worth the trip to this resort.

Room Tip: Rooms facing ocean are very quiet.
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  • Stayed May 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Err J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 May 2012

I've just returned from a week at this resort with my young son. This was our first trip to Cuba and I didn't know what to expect. We had a lovely time at this hotel.
Our room was fine, a decent size, the bathroom could do with some freshening up but was cleaned well, plenty of warm water in the shower etc.
We ate at Jimmy's buffet (breakfast and dinner) and El Mirador (lunches) for the most part. The food was always delicious. Lots of freshly baked bread and fresh fruit. I tended to avoid the cold salads, cheeses and meats as it was pretty warm in there but the hot food was good.

Our chambermaid, Marilyn, was lovely and very sweet, the restaurant staff were all lovely, Nestor at the towel exchange was always friendly and the entertainment staff were great. Bar and reception staff in the main building were a bit less friendly but helpful once you got their attention.

My son was most impressed by the shows in the evenings, in particular the aquatic ballet show and is still talking about it days later.

All in all, a really nice vacation and we'll definitely return to Cuba.

  • Stayed May 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank TOBrit
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cork
Level Contributor
33 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 May 2012

The resort is small compared to the other resorts, it's a nice place but needs updating .There is not enough space around the pool.
It's nice for couples and families.

Room Tip: Some rooms are very noisy depending on where they are located.Rooms on level 3 on the side of the bu...
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  • Stayed May 2012, travelled solo
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Helpful?
3 Thank corknomad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Guelph, Canada
Level Contributor
38 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 May 2012

We chose the Breezes Bella Costa last minute and agree with the other reviews presented here. Hotel is a little older and modest but the staff are truly exceptional. Room was always clean and there was plenty of options for meals. We never did get in the pool choosing to swim in the ocean. Since BC is the last hotel before the golf course its a little less crowded (and a bit longer walk to the bus). You are pretty close to the beach from the hotel which is nice. We upgraded to a balcony and got a nice sunset view each day. Pool bar had the best Moitos.
We were lucky to be visiting while the baseball championships were on and enjoyed cheering for the local team (Go Matanzas!) with staff and other patrons. Spanish lessons were good too.
You can reserve a spot in the private restaurants three times a week. Make sure you find out when they are closed. El Mirador down by the beach was not available the two nights we wanted to eat outside which was a shame.
If you have a late flight out, they accommodate you by letting you check out at noon but you still have full privileges (bar, food) and can use a courtesy suite to shower and change before heading to the airport.
Tours like snorkeling and traveling into Havana are similar in all hotels.
As has been said, the place grows on you during the week and becomes like home. Nice to see families there even though we left our big kids at home. Good atmosphere for a wide range of ages, nationalities and interests.

  • Stayed May 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank DougupinCanada
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vancouver, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 May 2012

The Hotel and the workers were fantastic! The maids were so nice saying hello and goodbye to us as we came and went from the room. When we first checked into our room we were shocked because we were blinded by PINK! The curtains in the room were closed and it was super sunny out so it made the room pink. **The Japanese A la carte, was terrible Japanese food. But the servers were very nice. Down to the Beach, it was beautiful, I would definitely go again! And this time I would take lots of bug spray, because the sand fleas ate us alive! And there was mosquitoes everywhere!
I'd definitely go back in the future.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank looovedIT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Bella Costa

Property: Hotel Bella Costa
Address: Carretera de las America km 3 1/2, Varadero 42200, Cuba (Formerly Breezes Resort Varadero)
Region: Caribbean > Cuba > Matanzas Province > Varadero
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#5 Best Value Hotel in Varadero
#14 Family Hotel in Varadero
#19 Top resorts Hotel in Varadero
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 270
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Also Known As:
Breezes Bella Costa Varadero
Breezes Bella Costa Hotel Varadero
Breezes Bella Costa Cuba

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