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“Good first Cuba experience!”

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Hotel Gran Caribe Sunbeach
Ranked #58 of 64 Hotels in Varadero
Guelph, Ontario
Level Contributor
28 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Good first Cuba experience!”
Reviewed 22 March 2014

We just spend a week at this hotel with our two teenagers boys. Our experience was pretty good, our rooms were well located and kept really clean. We enjoyed the location, right in town. We felt very safe even if the rooms safety fixtures couldn't be improve. The food was good! Few items were not always hot and not all cooked properly but we were able to have plenty to eat. The fresh fish was really nice. The pork roast and the roasted chicken were really good. They always have a daily meat cooked on the griddle. The cooks are really good but with the pressure of people waiting in line they may not wait long enough and served uncooked meats or omelet, just make sure to tell them to cook it longer. None of us got sick. The pool was nice and kept clean. The evening show were amazing but it could have a better communication for guest about what is happening. The hotel should invest a little and buy supplies for programming. Few balls, a new set of darts, some toys for children in the pool would be nice. Our boys found the place little boring at time without the WIFI and internet. We rented scooters and had a lot of fun. The beach is nice but not there is not enough chairs, some guests were very annoying, they walked to the beach early morning and took four chairs, put their towel on it, leave and did not came back until late in the afternoon. Everyday we saw chair unused for most of the day. The hotel should control this better by asking for room numbers. We had our own cheap beach towels. 90% of the staff were very pleasant. If this hotel would get a new coat of paint on the outside and in few areas in the inside, this would make a big difference on the rating.

Room Tip: Rooms with a balcony are the best, bring your own beach towel, a nice mug for coffee and drinks.
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with family
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank OntarioAlex
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Crawley, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
433 reviews
68 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 438 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 March 2014

My wife and i have just returned from 2 weeks staying at the Sunbeach hotel, and whilst it is far from perfect, you will struggle to find a better value for money hotel. I am surprised to read about all of the negative reviews, this is Cuba after all, and they have import sanctions against most of the western world , so you will not find top of the range products, but my comments are as follows and as always I try to give a balanced report.
Location- excellent , 15 mins walk from Downtown Varadero , 5 mins walk to their excellent beach , nearest bank is on Avenue 1 just after Calle 32 - don,t forget to take your passport when exchanging money
Pool - Large and spotless but its not heated and takes a few minutes to get used to the cold, plenty of new and very comfortable sun beds
Food- Plentiful, you will not go hungry here, in addition to the three buffet sittings, you can get made to order pizzas, hamburgers and hot dogs throughout the day. The Buffet meals are varied although some of the food in the trays is only luke warm and it could be hotter. There are some great priced restaurants within a 10 minute walk of the hotel selling great lobster dishes and if you are on all inclusive and fancy a change the hotel offers a set Italian meal in its pizzaria every night ( bookings required )
Drinks - Good quality , beer wine and spirits available in generous measures, Top Tip Bring your own thermal mugs as the cups the hotel use are very small and it saves repeated trips to the bar
Beach- excellent , beautiful golden sand and turquoise waters, I was told at dusk the beach does have sand fleas but I did not experience this personally
Beach Towels- Provided by the hotel subject to a 15 Cuc deposit, I had to wait 5 days before a towel was available ( excuses about laundry etc ) and other guests had complained that their towels had been stolen from their beds by other residents so they could get their deposits back, Top Tip - Don't bother with hotel towels bring your own
Staff- 90 % of the staff and extremely pleasant and helpful and go out of their way to assist, 2 good examples of this is Tania in the dinning room who could not do enough to make your stay a pleasant one and Gladys in the lobby bar who always served her drinks with a big smile and loved to chat to try and improve her English. The hotel is let down by the reception staff whose favourite word is NO , and in particular the old bald gentleman who is just downright rude.
Entertainment - the hotel put on a show every evening, its pretty good but repeated weekly so ( 2 long stayers beware ) the shows are pretty standard except for the aquatic show which is superb, particularly bearing in mind they are doing it at 10 pm in a freezing cold pool.
Rooms- Are large and kept spotlessly clean , only even numbered rooms have a balcony so Top Tip ask for a balcony at the time of booking.
Toilets - are checked regularly but can run short of paper, so always carry a roll of paper with you at all times, this is even more important if you venture out of the complex, even to local restaurants
WIFI - No WIFI at the Sunbeach but this is common in most of Cuba, they do have an internet cafe that has one old slow PC , but its easy to use and costs 4 cucs for 30 mins
The Smell. There is a refinery of shore at Varadero and if the wind is blowing in the wrong direction and nasty smell can hover overhead, its not limited to the Sunbeach the smell covers the whole of the peninsular - Top Tip take a air fresher block with you, it keeps your bedroom smelling nice at all times and makes a great gift for the maid when you leave.

The Sunbeach is not the Ritz but its a clean hotel, with great staff and in a lovely location, its a bit run down in places but so is most of Cuba, would I return again - the answer is a definite yes.

Room Tip: Ask for a Balcony , bring your own beach towels, thermal drinks mug and air freshners. Never go any...
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
11 Thank andycoldham
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Victoria
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 March 2014

It looks like some people on this site booked a cheap, 3-star Cuban hotel and expected to get the Ritz-Carlton. Come on people, you get what you pay for. Of course there are nicer hotels in Varadero than this. And they cost more. I've stayed at better hotels, but I've stayed at much MUCH worse than this.

My girlfriend and I stayed here for one night while on our way to Havana. We had no complaints. The people at the front desk were helpful and polite every time we asked for help, and they helped us book a taxi, get directions, exchange money, etc. In English, even. The room was clean, the shower water was hot, plenty of tp, and so on. The food at the buffet was just fine. The pool was nice enough and very clean. My only minor complaint was that the nighttime show/DJ is fairly loud for the folks who are in bed early. But it's unwise to go to an all-inclusive if you're looking for peace and quiet. Choose a casa particular instead.

And I don't know why some reviewers said they couldn't get cocktails; Pina Coladas and Mojitos were pretty much all we drank during our stay.

Room Tip: If you're a light sleeper and plan to go to bed early, ask for a room away from the amphitheater...
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
5 Thank PeeblesNFeeb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Barrie, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 March 2014

I went with 3 friends for a week Feb 26-Mar 5, 2014. Pro's: The beach - it was across the street which was less than ideal, but a nice area, they have a dessert called a Flam (flaun) it was the only thing in the buffet I cold eat by the last day. That is it. Cons: Old, run down and in desperate need of updating, buffet was boring and the same every day - literally so pack alot of snacks in your luggage! The service was slow and the staff unfriendly for the most part and often would have conversations while you stood waiting for service. The snack bar" served 2 things - pizza and hamburgers and was SLOW, if you spoke Spanish they would serve you before any other guests and hold minutes long conversations with them instead of filling your order. 1 umbrella at the pool...that is it, so get up at the crack of dawn if you want shade at the pool, the beach is not much better with 3, but there are some trees you can use..we had to be at the beach at 6:45am daily to reserve one of the shaded spots, otherwise you were out of luck. There is no bar on the beach you have to walk back to another spot - it is not far but not convenient. The entertainment was sad - a magic show that spent 15 minutes showing us how a man can untie knots in a rope - the first and last show we watched. They are stingy with toilet paper, so bring some when you leave your room, the hotel bathrooms run out and they do not replace. Beach towels were not easily replaced, we had to wait 3 days before we could get a clean one and that was after my friend refused to leave the desk without one so they sent a staff to pick some up - he came back with only 10. Not a place for kids, nothing to do aside from swim - and for adults NOTHING to do at night other than the boring show - the staff costumes were ripped and in terrible shape as well which took away from the show. We paid $530 for 7 nights so all in all we had a nice beach and drinks so not bad, we met other Canadians who paid 800+ and when they found out what we paid we even more angry. Nobody we met said they would return to this hotel. Sadly, none of our group want to return to Cuba. Gorgeous beaches yes, but that alone won't bring me back.

Room Tip: Avoid the rooms near the pool it is where the stage is for the shows and DJ VERY loud at night.
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Rowfin2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Varadero hotels

Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 March 2014

My friend and i stayed at Sunbeach for 7 days in february.
Pros: good location. Right across the street from the beach.
: nightly professional dancers are very talented
: rooms are clean
: great cappuccino
: food not horrible for cuba

Cons: the whole building and rooms need an upgrade. Very scary at first walk in.
: elevators are the slowest ive ever witnessesed
: if u need clean towels in ur room good luck. You have to complain to front desk
: bar is sad. Only well drinks and beer. Dont expect fancy vacation drinks. Not even mojitos.
: Nightly music ends at 11pm. But only starts at 945pm, then nothing to do
: beds are as hard as a rock.
:staff not very friendly. In one week I only found a handful of nice staff
: Never any toilet paper in handsoap in lobby and poolside bathrooms
: Pool looked yellow most days
: window in bathroom over looks the neighbors balcony. So they could see u shower.

My advise is spend the extra money to go somewhere else. Even if its for the alcohol. This hotel is definitely not a 3 star. If you do decide to stay, ask for a room with a balcony. A tad bit better then one without.


  • Stayed February 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Brianne P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Amsterdam
Level Contributor
88 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 March 2014

Me and my 3 friends visited Varadero 2 weeks ago. The location of the hotel is comfortable and beach amazing. We stayed 8 nights and paid 200 GBP. It did NOT rain even for 5 min. The hotel itself is old but the rooms surprisingly spacious. Service is very basic, very often not even hello or bye from reception staff! Rooms were not cleaned at all. The only thing cleaners did was to fold the bed sheet back on a bed. The sheets itself were maybe changed only once in 7 days! They gave us 1 tiny towel for 2 people and changed it every 2-3 days!! It happened very often that I had to go to reception to pick up a clean one. And when I left a dirty towel on the floor, they hung it back instead of changing it!!! I was located in a tower without a balcony. I had no problems with beach towels as was getting fresh ones from reception everyday (15CUC deposit). Food is boring and monotonous but its because of Communism I think. Restaurant staff brings drinks to the table which is great ,however plates and cutlery are missing all the time. DO NOT BOTHER to use internet as it does NOT work and is overpriced! I spent 8CUC and 1 hour on checking my email and trying to print 4 pages. NOT WORTH. In case you need anything extra, reception manager and people from the office are helpful. It is very loud in the rooms at night because of the show they do every night. In general , the stay was Ok but I would not pay more than i did.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Aneta L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Quebec
Level Contributor
16 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 February 2014

I will not go at this hotel paying more then 600$ for a week for the all-inclusive. The hotel is old, dirty and not well maintened. The don't have enough staff to give a good service and some of them should learn to smile, especially at the bar. The rooms were old, not that clean. The bathroom was in an excessive bad condition as well as the elevator. The buffet was below average, but the snack by the pool was good. The beach is located on the other side of the street, but it's not a problem.

Paying more than 600$ for a week is way too much for what you get, but under that it will worth your money.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank kingpaddy99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Gran Caribe Sunbeach

Property: Hotel Gran Caribe Sunbeach
Address: Calle 17 e/ 1ra y 3ra, Varadero 42200, Cuba (Formerly Sun Beach by Excellence Style Hotels)
Region: Caribbean > Cuba > Matanzas Province > Varadero
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#34 Top resorts Hotel in Varadero
#38 On the Beach Hotel in Varadero
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 272
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Gran Caribe Sun Beach's Hotel is an inclusive hotel, 3 stars of category. Property of Gran Caribe's Company. An economic hotel located to the entrance of Varadero 80 m from the beach, beside the biggest commercial center of Artesany of the peninsula. 15 minutes from the airport of Varadero. Has 4 bars, 2 restaurants, comfortable rooms with hot water, air conditioning, activities and shows at night. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Bellevue Sunbeach Hotel Varadero
Hotetur Sunbeach Hotel
Resort All Inclusive Hotetur Sunbeach

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