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“Never going back”

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BelleVue BeachFun4Life Puntarena
Ranked #48 of 63 Hotels in Varadero
Hamilton, Canada
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Never going back”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 April 2014

We went to this hotel from april 4 to 12th and stayed in a canal facing room... well 4 out of the 7 days the room smelt like sewage/sulfar during the overnight hours waking us up gagging.... The dancers from the entertainment team were very rude and always looked at us like they were better than us. One even called my friend RUDE when she brought a coca cola into the buffet. Our maid was great and very friendly always pleasant to speak to.... As for the food.... well if thats what you wanna call it ok...If you like pasta then you will be fine there, theres always pasta for lunch and dinner. as for the casablanca and la costa al le cartes dont waste your time. We met a few great people and liked most of the staff and bartenders
This hotel has 4 stars under its name on the building and i would NOT rate this a 4 star.. This was our first time going there and would not return. Sooo many of the regulars were saying this same thing.

Room Tip: Always get ocean view less smells.
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank disappointed2b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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971 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (205)
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Barrie
Level Contributor
206 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 142 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 April 2014

This is our second stay at the Puntarena and since the new owners have taking over we have already seen an improvement in the food and the hotel itself. The staff is wonderful as always the ocean view breathtaking. We were 8 on this trip and everyone had a great time. the weather was 30 degrees and sunny everyday. We are planning another trip in the fall to the same place.

Room Tip: Ocean view is the best.
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
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2 Thank gdwilson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ontario
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 April 2014

This was my sixth trip to Cuba and my third to Varadero.

The Room: We stayed on the 7th floor in a renovated room on the oceanside. The view was lovely, the room was clean and the maid service was good. There was no coffee maker or iron in the room and no water or beer etc. in the fridge. Everything worked fine and I loved the fact that the renovated rooms had one outlet for 110 service so we didn't require a converter. The elevators are not reliable but got us there eventually.

The beach: Very large and beautiful but difficult to walk on. Water is not good for families as the drop off is almost immediate. We had six different things stolen from our chairs in the early morning which leads me to believe it was the beach staff.

The food: The buffet food was tasty but lacking in choice. If you got there later the food was not replenished. The Chinese restaurant was very good in my opinion. The Italian was fair.
The beach grill spaghetti was not bad but the pizza was poor.
Walk down the street to Al's if you want a delicious Steak and Lobster meal with a lot of ambiance. Kikis restaurant makes great lunch sandwiches, pizza etc. at a good price.

The coffee bar in the Lobby made delicious Spanish coffee but was open at weird hours. Would have been nice to be able to go after supper. Instead, all they had was a cafeteria style bar that was full of kids playing beer pong!

There was no escape from the noise of the gangs of kids between 1 and 4am. They slammed doors all night and screamed inside and out with no-one doing anything about it. We averaged about 2-3 hours sleep a night.

The pools were nice and not too crowded and one is quieter than the other.

I would not return to this resort and probably Varadero. I much prefer Cayo Coco and it's serene beauty.

Room Tip: ocean view...higher floor. Only bothered by the refinery smell one night.
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
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3 Thank SuzeeMc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Grimsby, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 April 2014

This is my first time staying at this resort and I was pleasantly surprised. The staff were great and very courteous. They work long hard hours but are always friendly to the visiting tourists. This resort is combined with the quieter Playa Caleta. You have the choice of eating in either hotel for the buffet meals. Caleta often had the better choices.
I was amazed at the quality of the shows in the evening. The costumes, dance, lighting and stage were many levels of what I had expected from the resort I had visited in the past. The "Haunted" show which was on my last night there was particularly entertaining.
The food was pretty good considering that Cuba is still under an American embargo and a third world country as a result. The Chefs made omelettes in the morning and pasta for lunch and supper so there was more variety than a few of the previous reviewers had hinted on. Puntarena was full of Canadians - from the west coast to the Maritimes - they were well represented. Unfortunately, I was there when the drama couple was there and there was also a large drunk in a consistent catatonic stupor. I also got to take my photo with a vacationing Santa Claus who also gave me his business card (I guess he is charging to deliver presents now??).
As with anything all inclusive, this trip attracted some wild colourful people who could not stop themselves to the non-stop flowing liquor. It was sad that they did not give a second thought to how they were representing Canada to a foreign country. Nevertheless, most people were relaxed and open to socialize which created a nice ambience for all to be part of. I sang a few songs with the lady piano player at the bar and many of the alcohol-filled merrily joined in.
After the show, the disco would start and some nights were hit and miss with it. If one followed the full schedule of the activities, one would indeed be very sleep deprived. A few days I opted in a late afternoon siesta after my maid had finished with the room. The rooms were well furnished and very clean.
The weather was outstanding. There was a small problem with the beach in that there is a slight drop..almost tunnel like before you really get into the water. Getting out required help from a surging wave to save one's graceful pride.
I prefer the villa style resorts like Kawama and Tortuga also because they are closer to town, to the bank and to the Kiki's Club where the best pizza and pasta is off the resort. I had not been to Cuba in almost eight years and I felt that there were more things that had not changed than had. I look forward to going again in December.

Room Tip: You can choose the ocean view but you will not escape the gas smell from the gas plant on the other...
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled solo
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Helpful?
3 Thank Robert O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 April 2014

We arrived at this resort at 11:30 at the end of March only to be told that we had to wait until 2 p.m. to get into our room...even though the hotel was only 1/3 full. At 2 we were told to wait and that normal check-in time is 4 p.m. Too bad, so sad! What made us unhappy was that others in our group got their room by 2. We waited until 3:30. It was on the first floor overlooking the canal and was one of their older rooms. What we didn't realize was that the theatre that held the evening's entertainment was within 200 feet of the hotel and our room. During the day, it blasted out the usual Cuban music fare, but at night it was used for the evening's entertainment and it could be heard very clearly on the top floor. So you can imagine how it was in our first floor room. Noisy and loud. And if you wanted to get to bed early, or if you had small children with you, you only had to endure it until 10:30-11:00 p.m. when all the fun and merriment stopped. Well, that's only partially true. You see, there's a bar that's just below you which just happens to open at the same time as the theatre empties out. And that's where the folks, who have come down to drink the cost of their vacation, congregate to prepare to celebrate the coming sunrise. And how do they do that??? They drink copious amounts of alcohol and get really loud and boisterous to say the least. One fellow managed to punch his wife in the face in his drunken stupor. And did the hotel do anything. Not really. No security for those that might be accosted by drunken guests. And bartenders who won't say "NO".

So after being woken at 2:30 a.m. to this revelry and it not stopping until 4:30 a.m., I went down to complain to the reception area later that morning. They wouldn't accommodate a move to the other side of the building, saying that the room type was not the same as the room we had in our package. But as a consolation, they gave us a room on the same side, 2 floors higher and one room further away from the theatre. Did it make a difference? Not in the least.

I thought that our Nolitours rep would help make things right. I told him about our experience at this resort and let him know this was my 23rd trip to Cuba and that this resort fell way below anyone's expectations, even for Cuba. All he would do was empathize and say since I was the only one to come forward, he would do nothing about my concerns. Great rep! But he did suggest I speak to the Director and gave me his name.

I made an appointment to see the the Director, Oscar next day. I told him about the noisy atmosphere, the loud and obnoxious drunks, and, the absolutely the most boring and repetitive food I have ever had at any Cuban resort. There were always chicken legs for lunch and dinner. Whatever you didn't eat at lunch appeared again at dinner. Chicken legs for 14 lunches and dinners. Along with pumpkin squash. With the same very limited selection of fruit. This was the first time at any resort, that I needed to salt the bacon, never mind the fact that it is always undercooked. One night, the grill had "pork chops". What it really was, was paper thin slices of pork thrown on a grill with some oil and there you have it boys and girls, grilled pork chops. And after trying the fish offerings a couple of times and finding it having an odd fishy taste, decided that it might be unsafe to eat.

Well, Oscar thanked me for bringing this to his attention. He said he was trying to make changes with the staff and the resort. He did offer to move us to a quieter room on the other side of the building and far away from the stage. The room was such a nice change. It was quiet, had been recently renovated and it had an ocean view to boot. Thank you, Oscar.

But what really made the trip was the typical guest this place seemed to attract. I've never seen so many tattoos on so many people in one place at one time. It was like being in a trailer park. We had Trailer Park Jesus walking around, and we even had Santa pay us a visit.

Now this property is kept up pretty well. The beach is huge and expansive, but the sand is much coarser than up on the beaches on the peninsula. What it certainly lacks is customer service excellence. What you get here now is customer service indifference. On the front of the building, the name of the resort is at the top with 4 stars below it. This is definitely not the case, it only rates 2 stars at this time. Oscar certainly has his work cut out for him before I'll ever go back here or recommend this place.

Room Tip: Only get a renovated room with an ocean view. Everything on the canal side is too old and very loud...
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with family
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank kotter76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Varadero hotels

Richmond
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 April 2014

We loved our stay at this hotel, people were always nice and had a positive attitude with a big smile.

The beach and the pools were so relaxing, even if we could see there were a lot of guest in the hotel, the pools and beach were never crowded.

We ate at all the restaurants. The food was good, do not expect a first class 5 star restaurant. The food was tasty and healthy, it fulfill our expectations. There was a variety of fresh fruits, salads, and meats. There are many places where to get good snacks (jam & cheese sandwiches, grilled cheese, coffee, and drinks), and pizzas. It was always a place to eat around the clock (24 hours).

We will go back for sure to the same hotel without hesitation.

The tours from Cubanacan were excellent, very well organized.

7 days were too short, next time we will stay longer.

Room Tip: Hotel Caleta is more quiet, better choice from my point of view for families with small children. Ho...
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank Klinda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 April 2014

The hotel itself looks like a Soviet-era building. The service is not any better than the rest of Cuba. You have to wait everywhere and the service is not very nice sometimes. Our lock broke three times and we had to wait a lot for it to be fixed. The beach is a spitting distance away and beautiful, although it could be slightly cleaner. The rooms are alright but the washroom could be cleaner as the toilet was not clean and smelt pretty badly. Bring your own toilet paper because there is never none and the washroom are dirty. The entertainment was average. THe food was actually quite good and better than many other Varadero hotels. The service could be improved upon for sure, as could the sanitation. All in all, nothing fabulous except for the ocean and beach.

Stayed March 2014, travelled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank sabjan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about BelleVue BeachFun4Life Puntarena

Property: BelleVue BeachFun4Life Puntarena
Address: Ave. Kawama Final, Varadero, Varadero 42200, Cuba (Formerly Hotel Club Puntarena)
Region: Caribbean > Cuba > Matanzas Province > Varadero
Amenities:
Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#35 Luxury Hotel in Varadero
#36 On the Beach Hotel in Varadero
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — BelleVue BeachFun4Life Puntarena 4*
Number of rooms: 255
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Gran Caribe Hotel Puntarena
Gran Caribe Varadero

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