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“What a great resort”

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Royalton Hicacos Varadero Resort & Spa
Ranked #2 of 63 Hotels in Varadero
powell river
Level Contributor
28 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“What a great resort”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 August 2014

Having been to Cuba numerous times simply because its not that far and the beaches are usually great my expectations of the resorts have not been so high in recent years. Well I really cannot say enough about the Royal Hicacos Resort. The staff was great, they are remodeling but it caused minimal disturbance. I mentioned in an earlier review that for the last few holidays I have been following the advices of the reviewers here on Trip Adviser and it has not failed me yet.

Room Tip: we had 3101, a good room, just know that because of a nature reserve they have no "oceanview&qu...
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank frozen998
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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3,983 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (859)
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Brampton, Canada
Level Contributor
41 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 August 2014

My husband and I spent 7 days at this resort in mid-July.
The service was excellent. Our Concierge Gabriel was very attentive and prompt.
The staff are extremely friendly, and helpful.
We especially bonded with Lazaro in the Cigar Bar. What a lovely man!
Always welcoming, and an expert in matching cigars with rum or brandy. Wonderful conversation, and historical information about Cuba.
We were told that the food would be bland, and that we should carry hot sauce with us to counterbalance. NOT TRUE!
The food was excellent. Fresh and lots of variety...and flavourful as well.
I especially liked the large window with the slats in the shower which provided excellent natural light in the shower without compromising privacy.
The room was clean and every issue we had was immediately rectified with a follow up call from the concierges' office to make sure we were satisfied.
No complaints here.
If and when we return to Cuba, we'll stay there again.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank BrankiC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Courtice, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 August 2014

My husband and I spent an amazing week at the Royal Hicacos Resort. The room was perfect - no issues with the a.c. The food was great - always available and plenty of variety. The service was excellent.The swimming pools were just the right temperature. And the beach was awesome - powder sand and clear water. We had such a great time at the Resort that we only did a one day excursion to Havana. We will definitely return to this Resort - we loved it!

Room Tip: Room numbers 1001 to 1500 are close to the main area (restaurants, pools, beach access & bars) a...
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Ideal60
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Romsey, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 August 2014

We have just returned today from 11 nights in this lovely hotel. We were made to feel very welcome by all the staff we met and although we had the concierge service to call upon at any time we never felt the need to do as we never had any issues or complaints.
The room was always cleaned to a very high standard every day and the multitude of arrangements for the towels was a joy!
The food was exceptional, we had been led to believe that the standard would not be the same as other 5 star hotels but this was not the case.
There were so many sun beds to choose from, it was almost too difficult to decide!!
Special mention has to be made to the dive centre who were fantastic, friendly, helpful and a joy to spend time with.
Yes there are some works going on, but bear in mind this is low season, and they went out of their way to ensure none of it affected the clients.
Overall it was a fantastic resort and I would definitely recommend it to others.
Thank you to ALL staff, you made our holiday very special!!

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Dizzysmum
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 174 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 July 2014

My wife and I recently spent one week (July 22 - July 29) at the Royal Hicacos. I have vacationed in Cuba 15 times (10 times in Varadero) and have to say that this indeed is the best resort I have been to. We were upgraded to concierge service which was a nice surprise. Our butlers, Yetsi and Roberto Carlos, attended to all our needs, from taking us on a tour of the resort upon our arrival, to booking the four a la carte restaurants at the seating times that we requested, as well as providing a complementary late check out for us upon our departure. A special thanks to them.

We stayed in building 24 on the sunset side which was perfect. It was closest to the beach yet furthest away from any noise from the resort, which helps in quieter sleeps. The room was spacious with a king size bed with soft pillow top mattress, a large tub, newly installed hair dryer, a large balcony and digital A/C. It may have been one of the newly renovated rooms over looking the quieter smaller 'private' pool.

Renovations were going on at the resort but did not hamper our stay as it was seemless and not disruptive at all. The main lobby and lobby bar seemed nearly completed.

The food at all four restaurants was great, being offered lobster twice at two different restaurants was an added bonus. The service is top notch. As well, lots of choices in the buffet and the food freshly prepared.

As others have mentioned, the beach is the best part of Varadero. The Royal Hicacos has the largest beach area of any of the resorts with finely groomed white powdery sand. Drink service right on the beach is a welcomed touch. The animation team has many activities going on at the beach and pool areas so you can be as active as you want to be or just simply relax with a nice cold cerveza!

The shows at night and the band that plays are top notch! From the Michael Jackson tribute to the aquatic ballot in the pool, all shows were fabulous!

Just like to thank all the wonderful staff for their service, making our stay a very enjoyable one, with special mention to Ernesto at the beach grill, and Didi and Chaka of the animation team. Met a lot of couples at the resort. Shout out to our new friends from Denmark as well as our new Canadian friends.

I can confidently say after 15 times vacationing in Cuba, we have finally found our "polished gem". We look forward to returning when all the renovations are completed and the resort officially opens as a Royalton.

Room Tip: Sunset side Building 24 is a quieter area near the beach with quiet pool.
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank manfromTO
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 July 2014

This may not be the most luxurious or expensively furnished hotel you are ever likely to visit, but it felt like heaven nonetheless.
We had the most amazing stay at the royal hicacus from start to finish, helped along the way by our butler Felix. He helped sort out a few things for us including restaurant bookings. We ate in all of them and our favourite was the Italian....tasty salad bar and loved the minestrone soup! The buffet restaurant was surprisingly good and not what you imagine by 'buffet', chef's were on hand to cook fresh meat, fish etc to your desired taste. Also loved the beach bar and grill for lunchtime treats....tasty food and wonderful view of the ocean.
Our preference was to lie by the pool and there were beds a plenty and our little island provided a good base to sample all pools and still be shaded when required by Palm trees.
Our room was very spacious and always spotless. Liked the fact we had a seated area...not used a lot but gave the room even more space. Bathroom was large and clean....huge bath and shower, bathrobes wee handy. Fridge was also topped up daily with water, juice and beer. Rooms had both air-con and a large ceiling fan above the extremely high bed, which I had to hoist myself onto, but was lovely and comfy once up.
I was very impressed with the entertainment from activities round the pool during the day to the wonderful shows the various groups put on for the guests in the evening....these ranged from ballet, Michael Jackson evening, synchronised aquatic dancers, our favourite resident Cuban band and dancers and not forgetting the cheeky wee boy band d'klave...applauso!!!!
There was so much more to this fantastic holiday than I can begin to describe....but a huge thank you to all staff especially our cleaner, whose towel decorations were unbelievable and the waiters who kept us well hydrated throughout our stay.
Hopefully be back to see the new hicacus -post renovations....which did not affect us in the slightest.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Allie04
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
portchester
Level Contributor
112 reviews
50 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 110 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 July 2014

This is the review I have put off writing as we had looked forward to this for a whole year but were disappointed with some aspects. We stayed for nine nights in concierge as this had been recommended by our travel agent Cuba Direct(they did an excellent job by the way). Our room was lovely room 2701, the bed was just right and very comfortable too. The maid did not make a very good job of the sweeping in the bathroom and toilet. Most of the staff in the buffet were tremendous special mention to Barbara, Hermes and Michel who were tremendous every day we went and did not even hint at a tip for being so good however some staff if they did not ask for a tip hinted very strongly i.e. You look after me and I will look after you, I even tipped on of these but unfortunately he didn't keep his side of the bargain service wise! Sometimes the food in the buffet was not very hot but on the whole was good with an every ready omelette,fish and meet chef to cook to order. We had been led to believe that concierge customers got preference for a la carte restaurants if this is the case I can only sympathise with non concierge! We had to wait four days to have a reservation for the grill confirmed we were told on the friday that it was and a card would be in our room on the saturday this never happened and the same sequence was repeated several times until the monday when I asked to see the manager and Alex intervened and sorted it out. As I pointed out to the concierge staff we did not come on holiday to be stressed out several times. The service in the Italian on the particular night we went was terrible with the manager ignoring us when we showed up while he wrote things on a pad and wandered off eventually coming back to ask in a demanding way room number he then pointed at a table without escorting us to it. We had to wait 35 minutes for our drinks order to come and that was after asking a second time. The food was OK and the decor unexceptional, personally I don't think the musicians should be allowed to come round trying to sell their CDs in a so called high end venue but it happened. The Caribe restaurant was the compile opposite with excellent service and food, the decor was lovely but again musicians plying their wares. The seafood food was OK but ambience somewhat lacking. The grill when we eventually got there had good food and service although the toilet facilities need considerable improvement . We were told that there were about 400 people staying in a resort which is meant to cater for 800 the place seemed to be struggling in all areas when only half full so wouldn't like to be there when full! The beach itself was gorgeous but in our experience was somewhat spoilt by groups of ignorant Canadians flicking their cigarette ends and leaving their litter all over the beach. In our experience it was impossible to get a decent sunbed in a good position as most of them were saved by books or other objects being placed on them with beds not being occupied for hours at a time.Some of the guests behaved like absolute pigs in the buffet picking food off the displays with their fingers and eating it,piling their plates high and leaving half of it being rude to the staff, it was as hough they had never seen food or drink before. The atmosphere at night was similar to an 18 to 30s holiday but older.The standard of cleaning in the grounds and paths was good but again guests need to be educated about flicking cigarette buts around and leaving litter.To repeat most of the staff were very good and the concierge staff too even if they lacked co-ordination working one day on and one off. The dress code in the a la carte restaurants needs to be made clear and enforced as we saw lots of guests not adhering to it, if scruffy jeans were worn this was deemed acceptable whereas sometimes smart shorts was not. We would also like to thank Rooney in The Piano bar for his excellent service and Tracee and Davide' for their magnificent company.
Unfortunately not up to expectations and needs a lot more polishing.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
13 Thank redvanmorrison
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Royalton Hicacos Varadero Resort & Spa

Property: Royalton Hicacos Varadero Resort & Spa
Address: Carretera Las Morlas km 15 | Punta Hicacos, Varadero 42200, Cuba (Formerly Royal Hicacos)
Region: Caribbean > Cuba > Matanzas Province > Varadero
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Varadero
#1 Luxury Hotel in Varadero
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Varadero
#1 Spa Hotel in Varadero
#7 Romantic Hotel in Varadero
#13 Family Hotel in Varadero
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:5 star — Royalton Hicacos Varadero Resort & Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 404
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nestled within lush tropical gardens and just steps from the azure blue waters and powder white sand of Cuba's finest beach lies the award-winning Royalton Hicacos Varadero Resort & Spa, an Adults Only Luxury All Inclusive Resort. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sandals Royal Hicacos Varadero
Sandals Cuba
Sandals Royal Hicacos Resort Spa
Royal Hicacos

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