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“Beautiful Ocean View from rooms, that's about it..”

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BelleVue BeachFun4Life Puntarena
Ranked #51 of 65 Hotels in Varadero
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Level 5 Contributor
30 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Beautiful Ocean View from rooms, that's about it..”
Reviewed 20 June 2014

We visited April 11 - 18 out of Halifax NS, we arrived around 11 am and received our room (3rd floor) immediately as we had upgraded to Superior Ocean view. The room was clean but smelled musty.. Opened the doors and the smell went and everything in the room was satisfactory. We have no complaints about the room or house keeping. The walls are pretty thin but after a long day in the sun it wasn't an issue. We didn't watch the TV as the view from the balcony was amazing..

We arrived in time for lunch and we went to the beach grill, the food was OK at best.. They had pork and rice.. That was the best meal we had all week with the exception of a meal at the Asian A la Carte. There was never any ham or bacon at breakfast, egg station didn't work so the eggs weren't cooked properly. That didn't matter much because I didn't want an omelette with cut up hotdogs. Hotdogs were in plenty supply for each and every meal as well. Good thing for the hotdog lovers. There was always bread, sometimes it wasn't cooked fully through but when it was it was really great. Lunch was the best meal in my opinion. I was disappointed that coffee wasn't always available and that sometimes orange juice wasn't available. The staff worked hard for the guests though..

there is a bar close to the buffet that ran out of coffee, milk and BEER all week. 5 of our 7 days these things were not available by 6 pm. there were no slushy drinks which weren't a problem for us but a lot of people were bothered by this. The swim up bar was closed all week as well. Not an issue for us but we don't use the pool.

We went to a few shows at night, they weren't bad.. The dancers were good. They open a bar close to the show in the evening.. Bring a bubba mug for your drinks because the small plastic cups don't hold much.

There seems to be a cab scam going on with the security guard and the front desk. They call old cars with an opening rate of 10 CUC to go to Al's House. We chose to walk.

The biggest issue with this resort and it's lack of resources and non working stations is the beach being filthy.. This is not the fault of the resort, they have garbage cans on several different spots on the beach.. the sand is littered with cups, straws, cigarette butts and coconut husks from coconut drinks. The staff couldn't keep up on this if they stayed there all day. Bring a bubba mug for your drinks, if you smoke use a plastic cup with sand as an ashtray and don't be a pig. Throw your garbage out. This beach has tons of shade for everyone, the sand is soft and the water is deep after 2 steps. This wouldn't be a beach I would take a young child to. But the waves are big and fun.. Walking on the soft sand is a work out.. Other than the garbage this beach is stunning. There are small shells in the sand as well.

If this resort fixed the running out of beer and food issues I would return in a heart beat. I found the staff lovely and the view from our room amazing! I didn't even need to use the AC with the door open.

I complained when we returned to Air Transat of the condition of the buffet and beverages and was offered $100 voucher as compensation. I wasn't overly thrilled at this but it at least acknowledged that there were issues that need improvement.

Room Tip: Pay for the ocean view, superior rooms are $10 more and they are upgraded, if this is important to y...
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Loreen S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Montreal, Canada
1 review
Reviewed 19 June 2014

Two friends and I when to Hotel Puntarena from Mai 25th to June 1st 2014.
The hotel was almost empty since it is the low season but this doesnt change anything for our vacations. We had an amazing time there! People were so nice and always tried to gave us the best vacations. Entertainement is amazing even if we were only few people on the site.
The chef of entertainment was the best! They even organise a party at the best on Saturday!
One of our friend was older than us so she enjoy a little bit of peace at the hotel and on the other side me and my other friend went out on the clubs.

Food was very good even if it is Cuba and usually it is hard to find something good!
Beach is very nice and beautifull! We had our chair every morning.. in the afternoon the pool was pretty good!

We loved the dancer which performed an amazing show every evening.

Ohh and because of the number of person on site they decided to not open the a la carte restaurant. One of use decided to ask if we can go one night and they openned the restaurant just for us! Its was a really nice night and we bought a bootle of wine for 10 persos!

Thank you Puntarena for these amazing vacation and again thank you the the chef entertainement which was always there to be sure we were having fun and enjoyed every minutes!

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with friends
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Thank 412kimberly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sackville, Canada
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 April 2014

Pros: Small enough 250 to enjoy the beach and get chairs, everyone knows your name. Great staff, atmosphere and nice. Cons, the pool bar and lobby close at 6 p.m. so there is only one bar open upstairs but everyone goes for social time. The food is sufficient, the rooms need a little work but clean and they are doing the best they can. The beaches are the best in Varadero no matter where you go. I like this resort as you are close to Varadero, you can walk, bus or taxi, the Beatles bar, the Catarman and Jeep Safari are well worth the money. If you want the beach, a nice safe and friendly atmosphere, you can always find something to eat, you can relax or go downtown, this is a good place for the money. A week is perfect.

Room Tip: Rooms face the beach or canal. The views are good on either side. I did get an oil odor from canal...
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank kayebars
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 April 2014

We went at end of April 2014. The staff was helpful. The excursions were well planned out and excellent adventures. Try the Snorkelling and Saturn Cave excursion. The rooms weren't anything to write home about, but the views are great if you get the right room. We had pool side. We could see the ocean on one side and the canal on the other. I heard the ocean side was amazing as well. If you go to bed early, you won't like the pool side. There is nightly entertainment at 9:00 so it will annoy you, unless you just decide to go join the fun yourself. Drinks were always available. Try their Spanish coffee in the morning at the bar near the front desk and the pina colada at the pool bar! The food at the buffet was not bad. We liked the omeletes in the morning and they do excellent chicken legs. Other than that, it wasn't anything amazing. The beach is not protected by a reef so the sand is rougher, but if you travel down the coast a few miles there is powderlike sand. For the price it was an excellent deal!

Room Tip: Pool side is noisy at night, but still can see ocean. Oceanside you can see the sun set from your ro...
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Dkd L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Canada
Level 3 Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 April 2014

I just came from 7 day all inclusive vacation in Varadero. The weather was nice, sunny and breezy and I definitely will be back. Hotel Puntarena is an old hotel with a big lobby, a lot of greenery and good staff. The coffee bar is good and generally the food was fresh.

The beach is nice, with white sand and a lot of room, There were a lot of tourists that disposed the cups from their cocktails and cigarette buds directly on the beach, so probably the maintenance guy should clean the beach twice a day not once a day. There is a drop almost 2-3 m from the shoreline and the water is deeper than the rest of the beach. The room was clean, but the hotel is a little bit neglected. It needs some small repairs, but it was a good value for the money that we have paid.

Room Tip: The rooms on the west side, away from the pools and the entertainment area are quieter.
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank Tania85
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, ON
Level 5 Contributor
46 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 119 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 April 2014

I visited Puntarena, Veradero from April 10 to 17, 2014. I am going to be candid and try to set out what I would like to know as a tourist. My constructive criticism is for the hotel to read. This is an old building and expensive to refurbish. Bearing that in mind, it is on the road to recovery. My problem was I wanted a “superior” ocean view room and was advised by my travel agent that all ocean view rooms are the same. Not true. If you want comfort, get the “superior”. I am attaching pictures for your review. Because we were a large group (19), to upgrade me was not possible upon arrival and when they could, it was too late to pack and unpack again. Prior to going, I did what we all do and went on Trip Advisor and thoroughly researched. Most of the reviews were not too bad. We flew Can Jet with Nolitours and a Transat Rep was on site for our group. He was not a happy camper. There were a lot of complaints. Bear in mind this is a 3 star before leaving. For a 3 star in Cuba, it is not bad. If you require 4 stars, don’t go here. This is a 9 storey building and the first two floors are restaurants/bar/lobby. There is no difference between the canal/ocean view rooms. I saw a lot of the rooms. The big difference are the rooms that have been refurbished. They are really nice “superior”. It’s a nice view from the canal side as well. We were on the 6th floor ocean view. The sound of the waves at night is magnificent if you leave your sliding doors open (if they open). You can buy large bottles of water for 2 pesos each at the store downstairs and then fill them up at the buffet or any of the bars. Our fridge did not work initially, but they fixed it. Our drawers fell apart on the side table and they replaced the table. Numerous things like this happened with 19 rooms booked and some of the things were fixed, if possible…

The other building (Caleta) is available to Puntarena visitors. There are 2 swimming pools in the middle of the buildings. There is no point going around and around with the restaurants and buffet. It’s all the same in the end and clearly depends on the day. You can always get something. However, I need to say that in the week we were there, they ran out of butter, bread, eggs, tea, cups, vodka, etc. Eventually it came in – BUT, remember where you are. The line-up for eggs to be cooked in the morning can be scary as not everyone wants to get in line and they also want to get 4, 6, 8 eggs per person, while others wait in line. This is not the fault of the hotel. However, the hotel would benefit by putting someone who can understand English a little better at this section to speed things up and also monitor the line. The Italian restaurant only had two main courses available from their menu. We waited 5 days to get into this place...

The tourist money (CUC) is going to be done away with in the near future, so don’t keep any for your next trip. Havana is a 3 hour coach ride. If you want to see the show in Havana, the tours are all day or half a day. The show starts at 10:00 p.m. for 2 hours. You get back to the hotel at 3:00 a.m. There are numerous things to do and ways to do them. We took a horse cart into town and that was easy and nice going slow through the neighbourhoods. There are two Catholic Churches – St. Elvira(in town) and Our Lady of Fatima(near the hotel). One priest says mass at both so there is an evening service at one and morning service at the other. There is a free shuttle bus into town. An open air double decker will take you up and down the peninsula all day for 5 pesos (approx. $5.50 CAN). BEWARE the beach can be very treacherous. We had a few scares. The undertow is strong at times and big waves. This is not a beach for kids. The mornings are a lot calmer and if you can get in safely – it is heaven. They have a warning flag, but it’s on a small stick in the sand and you have to look for it.

Note if you are booking your seat in advance, ensure that you have the itinerary receipt showing both ways. Mine had outbound and the total amount paid. In Cuba they want to see the return seat booked or you may not get it. There are a few shops at the airport prior to security. However, there are numerous shops inside. Duty free was more expensive than outside – except for Havana Club.

GOOD: I thank the hotel for respecting Canadians and allowing one minute of silence for John Flaherty at the evening concert; view from the ocean view balconies; water pressure; cleanliness; new umbrellas on the beach; always a lounger available; entertainment – in particular a sax player named Daniel who is a real talent – there is always something going on - for a 3 star, excellent; sound of the ocean from the balconies.

BAD: Running out of items every day. Disorganized. The restaurants need reservations and always indicated they were fully booked. However, there were never more than 8 people in any of them.

UGLY: Bathrooms in the regular/standard rooms; Bedding;

Room Tip: Rooms towards the canal side would be more quiet - but they are not the cheap rooms. The beach party...
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank mcole
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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Newfoundland
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 April 2014

I don't know how I felt about this trip honestly. I made mistakes, such as not asking about weather the dining area was open at the Playa Caleta for all meals or not, therefore I had dry toast ( no butter most of the time ) and tiny pre made pancakes that were cold and not good like the big fluffy pancakes made by Marta next door. Like most Canadians, I like rice but mostly I like POATOES!!!! On my last day there they had them and since the dinning area opened at 6;30 and by bus was at 7;00 they were the best potatoes ever! I am not a fan of cooked pineapple or pumpkin, and the pineapple was almost always include in hot dish like beef in gravy with pineapple! I don't know why, but after eating at the Playa Caleta for the past 5 years I found this to be the worst for me yet. I think you need to have the chef's at the Play Caleta teach the chef's at the Punterena how to cook the food they way they do. I know they had some training from a Canadian Chef so please take our taste buds into consideration since we, the Canadians, are a big part of your clientele
Other then the food, I don't really have any complaints. I see that some of the reception staff from the Playa Caleta are working in this Hotel and I am so thankful for that. Mercy has been wonderful to me every year I have been going there starting at day 1 and welcomes me back with a heartfelt hug. She makes me feel like I am coming home and that is a great feeling when you are traveling alone and so far from home. What a pleasure to see Yodanka too. Both ladies are number one! the other ladies seemed to be very nice too. I was happy that I could go to the Playa Caleta to visit the other people that work there, Aniel, Adyles, Marta and a few others. My family away from home. I am considering coming back this fall, that is if I can find a different Tour Company to travel with. Nolitours is the only one I know of that deals with your Hotel and it costs me extra to fly from my province of Newfoundland to Nova Scotia just to be able to go to the Punterena and Play Caleta. Is there any flight that you know of that leaves newfoundland that deals with you and your Hotels? I don' t want to stay anywhere else but in order to be able to afford to take my yearly trip to Varadero I may have no other choice but to stay at a different Hotel. The cost of a flight to Halifax, Nova Scotia from Deer Lake, Newfoundland is almost another $600.00 added to the cost of the trip through Nolitours. Getting too expensive for me to go that way so I might have to go to a different Hotel unless you know of someone else other then Nolitours that deals with you. Any suggestions?

Room Tip: Ocean view on the upper floors. Renovated, bright and clean, no tub to climb into only a shower sta...
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled solo
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Helpful?
2 Thank CBKer
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 y Final, 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:
#31 Luxury Hotel in Varadero
#37 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:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Hotels.com, LoveHolidays, TripOnline SA, 5viajes2012 S.L., Evoline ltd and Cancelon so you can book your BelleVue BeachFun4Life Puntarena reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Gran Caribe Hotel Puntarena
Gran Caribe Varadero

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