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“Great resort!”
Review of Hotel Bella Costa

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Hotel Bella Costa
Ranked #33 of 64 Hotels in Varadero
Reviewed 23 August 2014 via mobile

We switched to this hotel after the place we booked turned out to be abysmal (allegro veradero). Stayed here July of 2013.
This was a nice resort it is on the smaller scale which is a nice change, everything is within walking distance. The rooms were clean and we could see the beach from our room but we could also see where they did laundry and where the staff lined up to enter in the morning. We were on the 3rd floor. The pool was nice and wasn't ever too busy. The food was okay, we enjoyed the snack bar by the beach. The made to order pizzas were great. The beach was beautiful though it did have large rocks along the edges so you couldn't see too far down the beach but that probably kept locals from walking up the beach. Snorkeling was ok here we saw quite a few fish but there were no reef areas here that we found. We had a lovely time here. It was clean, had some great shows and the area was beautiful. There was barely any walking because it's all within or just outside the main building. Overall it was a great vacation, we enjoyed staying here.

  • Stayed: September 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank Jakeesmom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 21 August 2014

This is my third time to Cuba, first in Varadero.
My wife and I traveled with our two girls (21 and 13) and stayed in 2 Garden View, adjoining rooms facing the Golf Course.
We booked through Sunwing.
Our previous visits to Cuba (for comparison) included Guardalavaca and Cayo Santa Maria.

Flight was great.
We upgraded our seats to Elite Plus and if you can afford the $40 per person, each way, I strongly recommend it.
Inbound we had an emergency exit seat and I have never had more room on any other flight, ever.
Outbound we stayed at the front and had lot's of room.
Another big advantage is that with Elite Plus, each traveler is allowed an additional 10kg (each) of luggage weight.
Tip - book in advance (online) as they will sell out at the counter.

I'm not going to discuss the food debate, as by now everyone traveling to Cuba should know that Cuban food is not what you would get at home.
If you're traveling for the food experience, don't go to Cuba.
With that said, none of us lost weight on this trip.

We ate dinners mostly at the buffet because we prefer not to be on a schedule.
Although the beach restaurant does have a certain ambiance at night if you make reservations there.
They have theme nights throughout the week.
Mexican - gotta try the fajitas
Cuban - Grilled whole red snapper
Asian - fantastic fried rice
Cuban - Fresh fish and typical Cuban foods
Thursday is their "Gala" night and includes Cuban Lobster at the grill.
Always a great night !!

At dinner and lunch they always have the customary pasta bar and it's great.
They also have two (2) grills running the variations on the theme nights, and include roast beef, roast chicken, turkey with mashed potatoes, etc, etc.
You will not go hungry !!

Breakfast was in the buffet rest, as the beach was rarely open.
I believe that at other times of the year, both would be in use.
They had the typical egg station for eggs anyway you like, as well as a pancake/French toast station that always had something different.

Lunch was always at the beach, and this suited us just fine as that is where we spent most of our time.
They have a pizza station during lunch and keep it open between lunch and dinner if you want a snack.
It's requires a little bit of a wait sometimes but the pizza is great.
They also run a bbq grill during lunch (up to 2pm) with burgers, ribs, chicken, etc. and that was really good.

Now, with that said, Bella Costa is an older resort hotel, and it does show it's age.
Although it may be older, it is, by no means, dirty.
The resort was spotless, the rooms were clean and kept that way.
We sleep in our room.
That's all it's used for.
The rooms were just fine.

The resort itself is a little smaller than we have been used to, but they suited all of our needs.
The one thing that we always look for is the pool being close to the beach.
At Bella Costa, it's a minute walk.

At night, there is always a show, around 8:45/9:00.
They start off with some games and entertainment for the kids, followed by a pre-show game for the adults.
The show starts around 9:30 and is not bad, as far as entertainment goes.
Once a week they have a "Water Ballet" which if you have been to Cuba you probably have seen before, yet it's still pretty "cool".

After the show we headed for the lobby bar, which has live entertainment up until 12:00am.
They also have a "Disco" on sight that stays open from 11:00 to 1:00 am.

Through the day they have the typical activities on the beach and the pool area, so there's always something to do.

We used the paddle boats, free, as well as the catamaran trip.
Be prepared to leave the catamaran gent a tip (2-3 CUC), it's customary.

Finally, the Beach.
This is why I travel in the first place.
The beach in Varadero is absolutely immaculate, and I'm not stretching it.
Many have told me that it's the best beach they have ever been on, and I have to agree.
The water is spotless and in most cases flat as a lake.
We could see the bottom 10-15 feet deep when we were out on the boats.
There is some coral stone on the beach entry on the right side of the resort but it posed no issues getting onto the water.
Once in there is no coral or obstructions at all.
Absolutely the best beach I have ever been on.
My girls are typically pool lovers, but on this trip we spent maybe a few hours in the pool and usually it was just before going upstairs to wash off the salt.

We took a number of tours.
We paid $9 CUC each for the guided tour of Varadero and I would recommend this before you try and take the bus into town yourself.
It gives you a good sense of where to go.
We booked a horse back riding trip on the beach, through the "guy-on-the-beach".
It was great.
We also took the Havana tour through Sunwing.
This cost us a little more than hiring our private guide but for us, the reasoning was the comfort of being in a group.
We know people who have taken the Havana trip with a private guide and you wont have any issues.
Their are people at the resort who can offer you this if you like.
Just talk to one of the bartenders, or the towel guy.

For souvenirs we went to the Las Americas Mall, which is a 5 minute and $7 CUC cab ride away.
There, they have the usual array of souvenirs as well as a bank and Habanos House for cigars.

Cigars are also one of my passions and Cuba does not disappoint.
You will have opportunities on both tours to buy cigars.
I strongly recommend buying cigars at any "Habanos House" instead of at the resort.
On both tours we were taken to Habanos Houses and the prices were the same as everywhere else, but the prices at the hotel were higher.

As I don't like to carry large sums of cash on tours, I bought all of my cigars (6 boxes) at the Mall (see above).

I also did buy some from the "guy on the beach".
Now I know they aren't prime cigars, but they are still Cuban, and as far as price goes, very cheap.
These I smoked during my stay and will smoke as "golf-course" cigars here at home.
If you're a first time cigar buyer, don't get the beach deals as they may turn you off.
Get the real stuff until you can taste the difference.

If you are a golfer and book through Sunwing, golf is included in you package (up to 3 rounds per week).
The only cost is rentals and cart (#33 CUC each).
They had a special on during our stay where the rentals were free, but I forgot shoes and cannot golf in "flip-flops".
If you golf, plan on at least one round.
The course looks great!

The only complaint that we had was related to the locals and their use of the resort amenities.
During the summer, locals (employee's and their families, and other Cubans) stay at the resorts, some staying for 3 days or so.
We found the locals to be somewhat "poor-mannered", mostly with respect to the food.
Not really a surprise as most don't have access to the same food served at the resorts.

As an example, they would "hog" the buffet lines, one of them standing in line then 5 or 6 would join him before ordering and you had to wait another 10 minutes or more after their order was completed.
This was especially frustrating at lunch for the pizza line.

At one point, the majority of guests were locals staying at the resort.
Outside of the "manners" issue, we really didn't have anything to complain about.

We thoroughly enjoyed our trip.
Would we recommend the resort, yes, but if you can spend a little more we would opt for a newer and possibly larger resort.

Will we go back to Varadero?
Absolutely!
Not next year again, as we like to mix it up, but definitely again!

Room Tip: Gardenview rooms are quieter as they face away from the main hotel area (pool) and offer views of th...
  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
14  Thank domin8r
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 August 2014

This being my first trip to Cuba, I was pretty nervous mainly because I travel in the summer and I heard a bunch of things about Cuba that were not too good. First off, I just went in August, weather was FANTASTIC, very very hot though and humid, but it did not rain at all during the daytime, only thunderstorms very late at night which was perfect. I also saw some posts about Cuban locals being rude and over crowding this hotel during the summer months. I can tell you that not a single Cuban was rude to me, or anyone else that I saw there. They seemed to love the pool mostly which is fine by me because I hate pools, would much rather be in the ocean.

Hotel Staff: EXCELLENT. Very kind and always attentive. They really work hard to entertain guests nightly, I just wanted to say I really appreciated the effort they put into everything, even the games people played by and in the pool looked like loads of fun.

Food: buffet was OK only 3 a la carte restaurants to choose from so not much variety there, had lobster twice though so that was delicious,I never ate any of the fruits because I was paranoid about Hep A and water contaminants. Veggies are not too good though they did not look fresh so didn't eat them either. I really loved how the buffet changed themes every night so guest never got bored of eating the same thing. Breakfast buffet was my favourite, pancakes, French toast and omelets ughh so good. Plus tons of other options.

Hotel Grounds and rooms: This place is old, could definitely use a lot of maintenance, Lobby roof leaks a bit, which is unpleasant but not that bad. This hotel could really benefit from all around upgrading. I stayed in the Villas section, honestly I would really recommend staying in a Villa room, closer to the beach, very good air condition (better then in my own house here in Toronto) and very spacious. Again though needs some maintenance, example a step to the villa was broken, and on the last day the roof in my bathroom started to leak, not sure why also the handle on the balcony sliding door was loose and eventually broke off when I tried to open it. Everything is spotless though extremely clean, no garbage or anything on the hotel grounds either.

Beach: THIS BEACH IS AMAZING, LONG, AND CLEAN BEAUTIFUL WATER, thankfully I went in low season so not busy at all, plenty of chairs and shade. Non motorized sports were available too.

Over all awesome experience. I would go back any time in the summer again. Varadero is a beauty and this hotel is only about a half hour away from the Varadero airport. One thing about the airport though, the staff at the Varadero airport are tip hungry, they will ask for tips for anything even using the bathrooms. I just found that really annoying.

Room Tip: Villas are the best, quiet at night time and spacious.
  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
13  Thank Nicole P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 August 2014

Ok this was a really nice hotel back in the day and the staff were fantastic along side most of the food and cocktails. How ever DONT GO TO THIS HOTEL!!!!! If you know anything about the "1980 MARIEL EMIGRANTS” and you want to share your hotel with "SCARFACE" because the hotel was full of ex Cuban convicts wearing string vests, shaved pattern heads, playing gangster music from their iphones’ still thinking they are in prison.

I still enjoyed my time in the hotel, just sad to see the staff put out such high standards to scummy people

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with Virgin Holidays
7  Thank Steffan27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 August 2014

Had really nice time at Breezes Bella Costa (July 5 to 12). Highlight of the week though was going to Havana with Josel Vazquez. You won’t meet many Cubans with red hair and fair skin! He took pictures all day and provided us with a DVD. So, leave your camera at the resort. Yosel has a degree in English and his communication is excellent! If you want to understand Cuban culture, Cuban history, Cuban economics don’t go to Havana with anyone else. You’ll be missing out. There are other tour guides – a good way to make a living off of wealthy tourists. But Yosel is a true Cuban ambassador. His website/contact info is below.

As far as resort goes, it was fine. This was our first time to Cuba. We’ve done the “all inclusive” thing in both Mexico and Costa Rica, and this was certainly different – but we anticipated that. It’s really about managing expectations. Our rooms were clean, secure. The air conditioning worked, there was hot water. Beds weren’t very comfortable. The food was underwhelming, but we knew that going in. If you have high expectations re: dining, you’ll be disappointed. If you’re the kind of person who goes to “all inclusives” with a view to constantly gorging yourself on great tasting food (especially meat, desert) don’t go to Cuba. You can eat healthy at every meal though. There’s always fruit, vegetables, etc. There’s good pizza available at the beach. Remember,beef is a luxury item in Cuba. In my opinion, tourists shouldn’t complain about Cuban food. (p.s. We brought good wine with us to enjoy on our balcony – that was the highlight of every evening.) The beach, the ocean was spectacular! Better than anything we experienced in Mexico or Costa Rica. There was always good entertainment (music) in the main bar/lounge of the resort in the evenings. Because we went in low season (I’m guessing) everything seemed kind of slow and quiet – which is what we were hoping for. We didn’t care about the pool – never went in it once. There is no wifi available in rooms. You can buy wifi time in the business centre, but we heard internet generally is very slow. If you take a lap top, beware there are no three-prong outlets in rooms.

If you’re looking for something different in a vacation experience, I would highly recommend Cuba. It was a very interesting cultural experience (especially the day trip into Havana). You need to remind yourself how truly inexpensive this is compared to similar places one could go. You get what you pay for – and most tourists pay very little to go to Cuba compared to other beach resort vacations. Remind yourself that the sun is shining, the ocean is beautiful, and your beer is cold. Leave your 5-star expectations in Europe or Canada or wherever you came from. Breezes Bella Costa was a lovely place to spend a week.

Wherever you decide to stay in Veradero, be sure to line up Yosel for an excursion to Havana. http://ilovecuba.webs.com .

Room Tip: We had 3rd floor balcony room facing to the west. Quiet. Lovely view of the ocean.
  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
15  Thank 773Ken
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 August 2014

Stayed at the Bella Costa for 1 week July 12-19th with my DH and son (7y). Stayed in the hotel section room 334.

Well. I read a lot of reviews prior to booking and a lot of things in the reviews I mostly agree with; but I guess it all depends what is/isn’t important to you. I was glad that I was forewarned that it is old and run down, especially the rooms, as even though I was somewhat prepared it was still a bit of a shock walking into the room for the first time. It was 930pm before we arrived to the room so it was dark, and the lighting in the room is poor (more lamps and overhead lighting needed, hard to put on makeup J) so I just took a deep breath and dove in. Yes it was musty, but I conquered that with things I had brought from home (Glade, candles, Scentsy tins, spray, etc.), and never had an issue for the rest of the week. Yes, the furniture was very old and dilapidated, but it was functional and found room for all of our things and even room to tuck our 3 large suitcases out of sight. But the room was extremely clean. I hate to admit it but after watching several hotel horror news reports I am the kind of person who upon entering a room will go over things with Lysol wipes. It was spotless. Everywhere. And the maid kept it that way for the rest of the week – you could eat off the floors! I have been in fancy 5 star hotels in Disney and Vegas that were not kept as clean. There is a small fridge that kept things quite cold. An ironing board and iron, a safe (old key style) and a TV with a DVD player (we used neither). A coffee maker, with a tea bag, glasses x4, 2 mugs, lots of hangers were also in the room. The bathroom had a little basket of shampoo, soaps, etc., but we never used them as we had our own, but I am sure they would replace as needed. No facecloths – being my 6th time in Cuba I came prepared. The water was always present and always hot, good pressure. Oh and the AC worked well. Loud, but constant, so we got used to it and forgot about it. They give you an “electricity card” upon arrival and you use that to keep the AC/power on.

The reviews about how bad the beds/pillows I found to be untrue. It was a reasonably comfortable bed with enough good pillows. I even took my pillow from home but did not need it. We had a balcony that overlooked the seating area for the stage and could see the ocean in the background. We did not find it conducive to hanging out there as the balcony was shared with our neighbours, with a small waist high cement partition separating the area. But our neighbour hung out there and read and smoked and we don’t like smoke, plus we did not want to bother her. We only used the area for drying our clothes on the mini cloths rack provided. We never had any problems with the elevator; was slow at times. Just took the stairs.

Check in was quick. We arrived at 850pm and they told us to run to the buffet to get something to eat – which we did. Then went back and got our keys and stuff. Reception was friendly. Reception staff was always friendly. They always seemed busy but were efficient. Antonio always seemed to be working when I had a question or needed money changed or wanted to sign out the pool balls (for pool table by lobby bar) – he was great. In fact the staff were all very friendly and you were always greeted with an Hola from all the staff. This is why this is my 6th time in Cuba – I love the people!

You booked your a la cartes on the left side of the Reception area. We were allowed 3 for the week plus they had made a reservation for my bday (and had a cake delivered for dessert) and for our anniversary (with a bottle of champagne). So we only ate at the buffet twice for supper, our first night and Thursday night “lobster night”. Very typical buffet you would see at any Cuban resort, in my opinion. We stuck with the pasta station and the rice and beans. I was looking forward to the Lobster Night, but not worth the wait. Not cooked well (under and over cooked) and no other different dishes prepared to go with lobster, just the same ones. I am from Eastern Canada and we have the best lobster in the world, so perhaps I am just spoiled. (teehee)

For breakfast we ate at the buffet – lots of choices and selection. Once we ate at the beachside restaurant for breakfast but he selection was almost non-existent; don’t waste your time unless you just want a cappuccino. The a la cartes were OK. We ate at the Italian twice – best atmosphere (and service). The first time I thought my entire meal was amazing, my DH loved his and even my son liked his (plain spaghetti for a very picky eater) but the 2nd time we went the meal (same one) was not as good. This restaurant is definitely worth going to though. My DH would have ate there every night. We ate at the Japanese twice, not because it was great or for the non-existent selection (plus they were out of tempura the 2nd time we went) but because the food was basic and cooked & tasted well. For a picky eater, my 7 year old liked the rice and chicken so we went there for supper twice – he did not like going to buffet for supper at all. He said it smelled funny. Then the Cuban restaurant we ate at once. I hated what I had, but it was just because I ordered the wrong thing for me. My DH loved his – and even ordered extra pork rolls and my son’s chicken was fantastic – I shared his. Beautiful views from this restaurant which is hard to appreciate during the crazy lunch hours. This was the only place open for lunch (buffet closed for lunch) and it was always a madhouse. My son had pizza every single day – he loved it. My DH had pasta everyday and I had the rice and beans mostly. Not a big selection of non-salad items. They had a bbq every day as well and had various things to offer there as well. Yes, the drinks are all in small plastic cups. Bring your own. Also bring mosquito repellent, there were a few in the evening during shows. The shows were good. Great dancers: saw moves you would not see on Dancing With the Stars! The kids show they had one might with the animal trainer was awesome! Plus my son loved the games they played some nights before the show.

One of the things we absolutely loved about this hotel was the number of families/kids who were there. This was a surprise for us. I have never seen so many kids at a resort before, not including Disney. So things were family friendly and my son had a ton of kids to play with (ironically, no one went to the kids club, so he only went there one afternoon and left early as the other kid left and he was alone) but all the kids were in the pool. He had a blast (and cried himself to sleep his first night back in Nova Scotia as he wanted to be back in Cuba!) There was also air hockey, fooz ball, pool, checkers, chess, plus they could sign out toys from the towel place (various balls) – they also had a pump if you needed something blown up. My son was treated very well by the staff and they always spoke to him and “high fived” him and made him feel welcome and included. My only critique is that I wished they had to have had more organized games for the kids. They used to have some where they won a pop, but there were far more games for the adults. Should have had more games for the kids. The pool was a fair size but always busy. And yes, the liner is loose/bunched up in places and could use a cleaning ( a lot of sand in it) but considering the number of kids in it every day it is not surprising . . . I did not see it being cleaned once during the week – perhaps they do it on the morning shift?

The beach was OK. Yes it was rocky in parts. It is a short, very small beach as there are rock formations on either side but it is still nice, but not for “walkers”. The water was like bath water! The beach was not cleaned regularly; lots of downed leaves and garbage. Did not see anyone cleaning it while we were there. There was some maintenance being done while we were there (painting) but the resort does need TLC. There are a lot of areas where the stone work/ground concrete were broken and lots of ruts. Need to watch footing. Perhaps it needs more staff to do it all? Dunno. But I do agree it needs repair/renos. There also needs to be regular maintenance as some areas were less attended to than others. For example, the area where you play with the over-sized checkers was not tidy and there was garbage and a lot of debris around. Also, we sat in the lobby a few times and the cushions and chairs are in dire need of replacement plus the ceiling dripped on us and we had to move twice from where we were sitting. The ceiling needed work.

Would I stay there again. Absolutely. It was a clean, compact resort with friendly staff and good service. Would I recommend it? Yes, but with caution: would have to ensure the people to whom I was recommending knew it was an older, run down resort that was not shiny and fancy. My DH would give the resort itself a 2 ½ star but I would give it a solid 3 with staff friendliness & service and the clean rooms giving it a boost.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
18  Thank sevp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 August 2014

We were 3 adults with 2 teenagers and stayed in the villa section. We were close to the beach which is very nice and quiet. The hotel is older but ok and the food is not great but it is Cuba. We were there December 29, 2014 to January 5th, 2014. We really enjoyed our stay the staff if kind. We would probably go back to this hotel.

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
3  Thank Nicole S
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

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:
#6 Best Value Hotel in Varadero
#14 Family Hotel in Varadero
#24 Top resorts Hotel in Varadero
Price Range: £68 - £215 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 270
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Breezes Bella Costa Varadero
Breezes Bella Costa Hotel Varadero
Breezes Bella Costa Cuba

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