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“comfortable, great beach, great staff”
Review of Hotel Los Cactus

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Hotel Los Cactus
Ranked #21 of 65 Hotels in Varadero
Halifax, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
“comfortable, great beach, great staff”
Reviewed 10 May 2014

Just returned from a week at Breezes Varadero. It was our first time and my husband and I were not sure what to expect....we usually stay at the Melia las Americas. While it is not the Melia, we had a great time with our friends who chose the resort, and give it a four star rating because it is great value, and because the staff were more welcoming, friendlier and kinder than any I have encountered in the carribean. They work hard and do not seem to resent serving patrons like some at other resorts. The resort is tired, but maintenance is good. The beach is fantastic; you can walk for miles. There is just one pool but it is large and I did not have difficulty finding a place to do laps. The loungers at the pool are new and comfortable. I did not enjoy the food at all, but our friends did. There are birds at the buffet, netting notwithstanding. Alcohol is not top shelf and I do not know if it is available.... I did not see any. But I did not have a problem finding a drink I liked. I would hesitate to recommend this resort for those looking to party and be very active. (This resort is adults only.) Most of the patrons were older.

CHECK IN. We arrived with a bus load but check in was efficient. We were not in the same building as our friends and were asked to come back in an hour. We did, and were kindly placed in the same block as our friends....block "b", at the outskirts of the resort.

ROOMS. Block "b" has not been renovated/refreshed and I was not comfortable in the room. Sometimes rooms are so tired it is not possible to tell if they are clean. Our friends did not mind it, so it is a matter of personal preference. The suite was large, with a extra room at the end opposite the balcony and everything seemed to work. There are 2 double beds pushed together, hair dryer, iron and board, fridge, coffee maker and quiet air conditioning.
When you arrive at your room you will find a bottle of rum and cigars. The fridge is stocked with water and pop, but it will not be refreshed ...you have to go to the bar or buffet for more if you want water for tea or coffee. We had to take the caraf to the bar to get ice. There are no ice machines or buckets. The bathroom is stocked with the small bottles of shampoo, lotion and shower gel. These are refreshed. There hand towels but no wash cloths. If you need facial tissue, be sure to bring your own...there was just one small package. The next day, with Tanya's help, we were able to upgrade to "J" block which has been renovated and the room was fantastic...same size and configuration as that in b block but refreshed. Block "J" is centrally located and the patios and balconnies (2 floors) face the pool. For Canadians, if you book air canada vacations, you will be placed in an upgraded block. If you book Nolitours, you will be placed in an older building or the "disco building" which is noisey.

BEACH AND POOL. Beach chairs are a little tired but still quite comfortable. There are lots of cabanas. There are a few fantastic beds with huge vinyl covered matresses...very comfy and I have never seen these anywhere before. Folks get to the beach early...around 7, to reserve these and other chairs in the prime locations. The beach is quiet ....you can faintly hear the music from the pool. Beach security is 24/7 so you can swim comfortably at night. Vendors do walk up and down the beach but they do not approach you. The pool deck is a little rough...wear sandals for fear of broken glass, and the pool has not been painted below the water line for awhile, but it is cleaned regularly and I enjoyed my swims.

FOOD. The buffet is open at set times for breakfast, lunch and dinner. You have the option of having hamburgs and hotdogs and pizza at the beach bar. There is no mustard or relish or mayo but lots of other fixings. Carlos is lovely and he dispenses great hugs. There are tasty sandwiches at the lobby bar and fantastic special coffees at the coffee bar which became one of our favourite places. We ate off resort in varadero at the Pink Cow and it was a fantastic experience. The pizza margarita is fabulous as a starter and the mains are 6 to 15 convertible pesos. My margarita was the best I have ever had for 2.25 pesos.

ACTIVITIES. We did not take in the shows or the disco. We all had colds so went to bed early. There did not seem to too much going on at the pool....volleyball and bingo. There was an activity board, a games room with pool and ping pong and a fairly well equipped gym. There were massages for 25 cuc. We did go to Havana and would highly recommend it. We also did the tour of varadero for 9 pesos and that was great. Golf is included but you have to take a short taxi ride.

All in all we had a great time and although while at the resort, I did not think I would go back, now I am sure I will. i have tried to be objective about my review, but much of these things are personal preference.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with friends
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    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank chrissybe131
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Nelson, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 May 2014

My fiance and I stayed here for a week in March. We booked our trip online, and I was skeptical about the hotel as I had seen some negative reviews, but the price fit our budget.
Upon arrival we checked into our room (a "garden view room" in the older part of the resort). Our room was right next to the discotheque (night club)! The room isn't wasn't terrible, but we had 2 double beds instead of a King, the room had old furnishings, was dark and smelled musty. We went to the Front Desk to inquire about moving rooms but the night staff wasn't able to move us.
The next day we were able to move into a room in the newer part of the resort - what a difference! We were closer to everything, and the room was bigger, King bed, and brighter. The A/C worked better too!
The hotel grounds were pretty well kept, and there were always staff out sweeping leaves or doing work. The only thing I noticed was quite a bit of garbage debris a little further down the beach, but our section was kept tidy.
We really enjoyed the hotel's beach and buffet restaurant. We found there was lots of variety in the food, a great pasta and omelette bar, and amazing ice cream and coffee. The hotel offers sandwiches are burgers when the buffet restaurant is closed, but they are pretty basic. Most of the staff were friendly and courteous.
If you have time while staying in the area, definitely try and catch a baseball game - Cubanacan offers a tour that includes transportation to and from the stadium in Matanzas and entrance to the game including really good seats!
We also had a great dinner at the Mansion Xanadu, a 5 minute drive down the road from the resort, and ventured into Havana for a day and night.
This resort hosted mostly older couples - pretty sure we were the youngest ones there! But we didn't mind. We would certainly recommend this hotel to others travelling to the area.

Room Tip: Definitely get a room in the newer section of the resort - it's worth the extra cost for a good...
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank Mel L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Amherst, Canada
Level 5 Contributor
42 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 April 2014

My third review of this resort so I will not repeat what I have said before. I am constantly surprise at some of the reviews and wonder if we have even stayed at the same resort. My suggestion is that you sift through the reviews, find the creditable ones in your mind and go from there! Oh by the way I am one of those 50 plus year old Canadians but not noisy .

Food , Buffet - I notice several improvements in the Buffet menu over last year, quality of food and variety that is offered. They have a new Food and Beverage Manager who has made several positive changes.

You will note that in previous reviews birds in the dining room were an issue, to address this in a very decorative way, nets have been hung around the dining area.

To keep this review real, I did notice this year in some areas of the Buffet, table service was not as good as it was. We found the best service to be either to the left of the main entrance or straight ahead in the area with windows on three sides. There are several new servers there and I could not help noting how hard two young ladies worked to serve their guests and kept a smile on their face.

Accommodations - As noted this was my third time at this resort not realizing each time I had booked a junior suite which are the rooms in the same building as the Disco. On each of the previous occasions I was given a free upgrade to a suite with without being told. (Greatly appreciated the upgrade) On this occasion the resort was fully booked and was placed in the "Disco Building". I was on the main floor and on one end. The noise from the disco was not that bad. As I had grown to prefer the suites I asked to be moved and was once a suite became available was moved. So the moral of the story is if you do not want to be in this building do not book a junior suite.

Room Service - As noted above we move during our stay which actually took place mid-afternoon. We had requested an extra pillow upon our arrival and the maid as we were moving suggested we take the pillow with us and she would have a maid bring us a fresh pillow case. I thought to myself that we would get it the next day. Not so a maid arrived at our room that evening with the pillow case. I mention this not that it was a big thing but displays the attention to detail to make sure this small item was taken care of.

Travel Agent Representative - This is a Premiere Nolitours Resort as such has a representative on the resort daily. The Reps are very helpful having a good working relationship with the staff and can quickly facilitate any issues you may have. Our Rep this year was R Martica. Even though I have attended this resort before I usually attend the briefing held after arrival. I always learn something new. This year I learned Cuba is changing its currency and will not be using the CUC in the future.

Entertainment: On the Stage in the evening it was nice to see the some fresh faces providing some variety to the entertainment. As a returning guess the dancers, for me, are getting stale. The song trivia night was very entertaining. I think what would go over very well would be a dance at the dining area. The disco is way too loud and too hot for many of the guest. The sound system here would be just fine and the location would provide a more comfortable setting.

I was amazed to read in one recent review concerning staff being bold and asking for clothes and never being satisfied with tips and gifts. My experience has been very different than this. Neither my wife and I have ever been approached at this resort asking for our clothing. I did have this happen at another resort. We have always found staff very appreciate of tips and gifts. On more than one occasion we have received a note from the maids thanking us and wishing us a safe trip home. One maid even expressed her surprised that we had left a gift for her on consecutive days.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank HsppyTraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Riverview, Canada
Level 2 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 April 2014

Went from April 17-24 2014 with my husband and had a wonderful time. We booked a Gardenview Suite (Not Junior) and were given a second floor room in building I close to the pool, beach and buffet.
Room: very large with 2 double beds pushed together, lovely balcony overlooking the trees and beach with we sat on every night to enjoy the breeze blowing through the palm trees. Beds were a little hard but manageable. The only issue is the tub did not drain very well.

Food: Left a bit to be desired as I am a very picky eater but I was always able to find something to eat. Pasta and bread was delicious as well as the ice cream. Ate at all 3 A la Cartes and Martino's was the best.

Beach: Beautiful and clean, always able to find a lounger.

Pool: Very clean and spacious, my favorite area of the resort, Loved to wake in the morning and go for a swim right after breakfast.

Staff: Absolutely wonderful. Very friendly in the buffet, would call us over to their table as soon as we walked in and got us drinks right away and anything else that was needed.

Wpould definitely go back to this resort is we go back to Cuba in the future!

Room Tip: Spend a bit more and book the Gardenview Suites!
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
7 Thank Rubykiana
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fredericton, NB CANADA
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 April 2014

What an amazing week we had. We met a lot of friends, and had such am amazing time with them. The Cuban hospitality is like no other, kind and friendly people. This resort is so beautiful, the grounds is gorgeous, the beach, the pool area. We found the food at the buffet to be very good, lots of choices. Went to 2 "A la carte" the Italien and the Cuban restaurants, the food was excellent. Try the little café, it was one of our favroite spots after supper and the lobby area we were there a lot at night, amazing. This was my first time to Cuba but certainly not the last. We booked a tour to Havana and it was worth it. I am planning to return in October 2014 with my husband.

Room Tip: We were in ther Nolitour building, where the disco is, but we did not have any problems.
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Julie292
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
23 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 April 2014

My eighth vacation at this resort and it just keeps getting better. The food has vastly improved over previous years and as always the staff is terrific. My sisters, mother and I return each year to our "Cuban family" and it is always with sadness that we have to leave. The pool, beach, gym and piano bar are fabulous and everyone at the resort is friendly and most helpful. Every year we meet more and more "repeaters" and all of us feel special and appreciated. Can't wait for next year!

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Deb H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bolton, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 April 2014

A friend of mine was diagnosed with cancer for the second time and 17 of us decided to go with her when she was well enough to travel during her treatment on April 17.
We got there at night. When I got to the room I was a bit taken aback. I've travelled a ton. I found it looked pretty outdated from what I was used to. Then I realized, this is Cuba. People told me to lower my expectations. Many have told me since I've been to Hawaii, St. Maarten, Aruba, I wouldn't like it here.

Then I realized that this was not why I was here, it was to be with our dear friend. So to the Keroke bar I went to meet up with all of our New Brunswick friends including Carole. This was her 6th time here. She knew everyone and they treated her like family.

The staff, are incredible. Friendly, hard working......The only regret I have is booking with an agent through Noli tours. I paid double the price of all of my friends because they booked directly with the resort. Live and learn.

The beds, comfy, the food is fine.......People warned me. I am gluten free, I was worried. I found plenty to eat. It was my 2nd all inclusibe. Yes, I kind of got sick of the food after a week. Lunch and dinner was very similar. I didn't go for the food. Although the burgers were pretty sweet down by the beach at lunch. The drinks were a plenty and make sure you bring your own coffee thermos. They fill it with whatever you drink.

The pool is awesome, the beach even more awesome. King jelly fish were there for a couple of windy days, we just went up to the pool. At around 3 they start games at the pool. There's also pool volleyball. The disco is a blast, the gym is nice, the coffee bar is amazing open from 3-11. The cuban restaurant is a blast with the band, the food is OK. The entertainment each night was great in the buffet dining room. The dancers are mega talented. We were lucky because it was Italia week. We got some great talent each night that is only there during Easter week. Plus the chefs from Toronto cooked pasta a couple of nights. I couldn't eat it but hear it was great. Yassel was a lot of fun from the staff, lots of laughs, very helpful arranging a Havana trip for us.

If you want a seriously relaxing trip, great accomodations, go here. I was in room 262. Bring spf protector for your lips and body. Lots of it! It's not like other places where you can buy spf cheap. And the sun is strong! Have a great time.........Lisa

Room Tip: Room 262 is right by the buffet and pool. Great location.
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank LisaM0rgan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Los Cactus

Property: Hotel Los Cactus
Address: Carretera de las Americas, Km 3.5, Varadero 42200, Cuba (Formerly Breezes Varadero)
Region: Caribbean > Cuba > Matanzas Province > Varadero
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#10 Family Hotel in Varadero
#10 Romantic Hotel in Varadero
#14 Top resorts Hotel in Varadero
#17 On the Beach Hotel in Varadero
#17 Luxury Hotel in Varadero
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Los Cactus 4*
Number of rooms: 270
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Los Cactus is a Super-Inclusive Resort for adults -singles and couples 12 years and older , where all meals, wine, local and international beverages, water sports, land sports with equipment and instruction, entertainment and other activities are included in one single price. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Breezes Varadero Hotel Varadero
Breezes Hotel Varadero
Varadero Breezes Hotel
Breezes Varadero Cuba
Superclubs Breezes Varadero Hotel

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