My girlfriend and I decided on a one week Christmas trip to Varadero and we initially chose Hotel Los Delfines because of it's central location in the downtown core of the city. I also much prefer the option of walking the streets of the city rather than being stuck on a resort for my entire stay and this hotel was perfect.
Quality/Price/Initial Impression: The hotel is an older one but is well maintained. Previous reviewers also gave this hotel a more positive rating than others in its price class. You can see that the staff really do care for the cleanliness of the rooms and grounds. Some previous reviewers have indicated having problems with their toilets and/or showers but ours were functioning. There are three main areas of the hotel, the buildings surrounding a large pool and stage area, the old colonial building which also has the buffet restaurant and the more modern building which has the clubhouse on the lower level. The more modern building and the colonial building are separated from the rest of the hotel by a small public street. All areas have rooms for the guests to stay. We paid more for our trip because of the time we went but there were shows on the main stage every night and the Christmas meal and stage show in particular was really well done. In addition, the staff always have optional beach activities planned for the guests which we also participated on a regular basis in and made our trip even more fun. I have stayed in a higher rated resort in Cayo Coco previously but this hotel was definitely more enjoyable overall so I personally feel that I got more than my money's worth.
Beaches: Simply put, the beach is amazing! This is the main reason you go to a resort and this beach does not disappoint. Los Delfines has access to a large area of the Varadero beach and there is always a place for you right by the water. You never have to fight for a spot. The beach is clean and the water is warm (even in December!) and was never too wavy. Highly recommended!
Room: The standard room we initially received was not very large. The bathroom area was also divided between the sink and the toilet by a door which made it somewhat inconvenient. We requested a room change but because the hotel was full (on account of Christmas) we could not change it until 3 days into the trip. However, the hotel manager, Efram, personally took care of things and changed us to a larger and more expensive suite overlooking the ocean. The unobstructed ocean view from room 312 was simply incredible. Please note that the new room was also located above the clubhouse so the music was playing until 11pm but we were out every night so it really didn't matter to us. For those preferring a more quite room, other reviewers have suggested getting a room overlooking the pool or one in the old colonial building also overlooking the ocean. This is of course assuming the hotel has them available when you request them.
Front Desk/Reception: The girls at the reception desk were helpful to our needs and pleasant to deal with. I also personally dealt with the hotel manager and found him to be very agreeable. He seemed genuinely concerned in our comfort while at the hotel and this was something I really appreciated.
Cleaning Staff/Security Crew: The cleaning staff was also good with keeping our room organized on a daily basis. We had absolutely no issues. There are plenty of security personnel on staff and visibly present so you always feel safe. We made sure to tip when possible and brought items with us like toothpaste and soap to give away as tips to staff because Cubans have difficulty in obtaining these items.
Food/Restaurants: Regardless of what some may say about Cuban food, I found it to be quite good overall. The buffet had a wide selection of dishes for guests to sample on a daily basis. All selections were also well prepared. The hotel also has one a la carte restaurant which you have to book early on to ensure you get a table because it is small. This restaurant also had excellent food and service although the menu selections were more limited. We also tried a restaurant outside the hotel on Calle 43 which served 2 lobster tails as well as salad and a drink (a Mohito) for only 15 pesos per person which we thoroughly recommend for those willing to try.
Phone/Internet: I did not use the internet while I was at Los Delfines. Cuba has difficulties in accessing the internet in general because of the current embargo as most internet infrastructure is located in the major US cities. As such, do not travel to Cuba expecting to use your computer devices or smartphone. Cellphones will work in most places but are expensive to use ($4/min for talk and $.75/text). Besides, aren't you on vacation? If you must use internet, you can buy minutes to use in a public internet location but it is also very expensive for only very limited time. Phone service can also be spotty. I called home to Toronto from my hotel room which worked both times (which I recommend over other communication options) but a public phone card did not work at all for me (I wasn't able to put out a call when I tried). I did not use my cell phone except to text which worked only at the airport.
Overall: We were thoroughly impressed with our first stay in Varadero. Despite the hotel being older and smaller, the staff and in particular the hotel manager went out of their way to make our trip memorable and pleasant. I will certainly consider booking here again and I would recommend this hotel to anyone looking for a thoroughly enjoyable vacation experience in Varadero Cuba.
- Also Known As:
- Los Delfines Varadero
- Los Delfines Hotel