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“Location, location!”

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Hotel Horizontes Herradura
Ranked #56 of 63 Hotels in Varadero
Thornbury, Victoria
Level Contributor
69 reviews
53 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
“Location, location!”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 January 2010

My husband and I stayed here for three nights. We had foolishly purchased a Cuban flexi pass which gave us a basic model hire car and a choice of a few hotels in each town. The Club Herradura was one of the very few in which we were entitled to stay in the expensive tourist strip of Varadero. This was the end of our Cuban adventure and we were looking for a few days of relaxation and we were well aware that this area is not the real Cuba.
Our first impression of our room was not good but we knew how few options we had to stay somewhere else. Our room was one of the tiny bedrooms attached to the apartment style accomodations at each end of the U shaped hotel.We shared a livingroom and balcony with others. The room was very run down and tiny with access along one side of the bed only, and the bathroom fittings were rusty. My husband didn't sleep at all the first night with the upstairs air conditioner dripping every second of every minute of every hour (!) onto the metal casing of our air conditioner less than one metre from his head. The next night he placed an old rag there and the dripping was muffled and that problem became manageable.
Once we got over the terrible room, we looked at the upside and there were quite a few. 1.We were right on the beach and the turquoise sea was magical.
2.The meals were inexpensive and delicious - we had fish every time as it was superb.
3.The mojitos were the best I had tasted in Cuba and were cheap and well dosed with rum .
4.The waiting staff were all helpful.
..and ultimately for us, the overiding factor was location, location!

  • Stayed September 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank bcmegan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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133 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    2.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    2.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (10)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Angela
Level Contributor
12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 January 2010

Booked into the Herradura with realistic expectations however was apalled and left the following morning at sun break.

I am by no means fussy and have travelled extensively in 3rd world countries, however, this was far and above the worst hotel I have ever experienced.

The rooms are small dingy, SMELLY & damp with plaster falling off the walls. No hot water, toilet broken, FULL of cockroaches, I hardly slept a wink and couldn't wait to get out of there, various other people were at reception complaining when I went down to tell them about the broken toilet...

Stayed December 2009, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
5 Thank anj_keenan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Varadero hotels

Canada
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 November 2009

I rated this hotel so highly because you have to realize everything in this country is relative - relative to the poverty found in Cuba, relative to the standards we're accustomed too, and relative to other hotels (obviously).
This place is located in a country where people line up to pick up their weekly food rations...know many places like that?

So let's begin:

Location -perfect in Varadero, close to the center of town, restaurants, shops, nightlife either walking distance or a few of pesos cab ride away.

Appearance - clean lobby, simple yet welcoming. Leads straight out into a patio. The small bar and the restaurant are at either end of the lobby, each with direct patio access.

Rooms: The rooms were small but clean, set up apartment style with every three rooms sharing a large "living room". Nothing special but an interesting touch. Washrooms are fine.
Note here: The main door can be locked (but nobody does) as well as each individual room door. I don't suggest leaving anything in the living room area unless you don't mind risking it stolen. Anybody can come in from the stairs or one of the other rooms. A friend had his electric shaver stolen -he shouldn't have left it there though, probably not a good idea no matter where you are.

Stairs are not well lit and there is no elevator. I don't think this is a problem except for geriatrics.

Staff: Great staff, those at reception were helpful but slow-paced as per normal in Cuba, cleaning staff did a good job cleaning every day. Everyone was usually friendly but like many Cubans they look at you with a combination of curiosity and envy. This doesn't reflect the hotel though but what I'm trying to say is, give them a break - most of these people are well educated and doing menial jobs instead of following a successful career path; a snooty tourist is hardly a priority.

Restaurant: Really good fried pork and fish. I'd rather pay a couple of pesos here than eat some of the food at the all inclusives, can't complain about food at all.

Beach: Great beach, semi-public, but you have to pay for the chair rental. This place really isn't an all inclusive.

Overall I really liked this hotel, i think it was about $70 a night and much better than the all inclusive 3-star id been to previously. Not as good as the 5-star Solymar, but you're paying a 3rd of the cost and when you put that into perspective it stacks up really well. The food is so inexpensive it's not a big deal that it's not all inclusive. Same with drinks, it'll add up if you buy them at the bar, but get a couple of 7 peso bottles of Havana Club, some Colas, and you're set for the night.

It's an average hotel but not disappointing either. If you're looking for a no-frills inexpensive stay and you're more interested in the beach and exploring outside the hotel, then this is the spot.

  • Stayed April 2009, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Arbap
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 February 2008

Herradura is right on the beach, right behind the bank, and much much much nicer than i expected it to be.

I liked it better than the 3 star resort i stayed at just down the road, 1 month prior to this trip!

Reading reviews of this hotel on Trip Advisor, i was expecting terrible food, service and accomodations, but BOY WAS I EVER WROGN!!!! I wasnt planning on spending a great deal of time there anyways (just needed a place to store all of my stuff while out adventuring). The price sure was right, and i was most deffinantly PLEASANTLY surprised!!

Just one heads up - there is no swimming pool.

Larry, the lead of animation is really nice.

All the boys who work the bar are great, Dennis and Oscar are my favorite.

The food at the restaurent is ok - try the pescado empanada. It's only $2 and reminds me of my grandmothers home cooking... Breakfast is pretty weak though, but its free, so who cares!

The rooms are clean, and smell fresh. The airconditioner is effective, the TV's get Canadian channels as well as channels from across the globe (just incase of a rainy day)

The housekeeping staff are really fantastic, and are always willing to help you with things beyond carrying your bags or cleaning your rooms - bring gifts for those hard working ladies, and they go the extra mile.

On 1st street at 37th or 38th there is a restaurent called Melaito - AMAZING PORK! Just fantastic. GO there!

If you want to get around and see Varadero, you will be fine walking - Varadero is very safe, I never have had any problems while walking with my family, or on my own... or you can take the Varadero Beach Tour bus (you'll see far more, and it's a $5 all-day hop-on-and-off pass).

Do the Rio Canimar tour - swimming in freshwater pools in beautiful caves at the Cueva Saturna, fanatsic Snorkeling in the ocean, and free time in down town Matanzas... River boat tour, then horse back riding, and lunch in a nature preserve. B-E-A-UUUUUUUTIFUL!!!! Dennis, your friendly tour guide, is AWESOME! and so is Roberto (the unofficial "Hospitally Manager").

I would go back for sure.

  • Liked — The staff, and the location
  • Disliked — Nothing - I loved it all!
  • Stayed February 2008, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
11 Thank nomiebunny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
England
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 October 2007

I've travelled to Cuba many times but never stayed in a place quite as bad as this. In need of complete reburbishmnet, or better still demolition, it's only good point is that it's right next to the beach and very near the bus station. Customer service was non existent, with the staff completely disinterested in actually doing anything. Breakfast was absolutely dreadful with hardly anything available. The concrete structure is literally crumbling before your eyes and there are blown double glazed windows obscuring any view of the beach. While I was there all the matresses were being changed and the new ones left piled up outside my room making entry almost impossible. Also being on the 4th floor I had to climb a filthy hand painted wooden staircase, and there was no hot water 4 days out of 5. As a final insult, on check out I was followed to the bus station by a porter who announced to the whole waiting room that I had a problem as I hadn't given back the safe key (which I'd never even been issued with or paid for). The only reason I can think of to stay in this hell hole would be the opportunity to see state socialism at it's very worst.

Stayed September 2007
Helpful?
8 Thank MarcoPoloEngland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Barrie, Ontario
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 May 2007

This hotel was amazing!!

This was my first trip to Cuba but not to the Carribean. I went with my school for two weeks, April 14-28. This was an amazing experience.

Entry:
The staff was very friendly and was ready to help. The bartender that was around most of the time took a while to get to helping you, it seemed like he was just taking random breaks, however when he did help, he was very polite and speedy.
Upon check-in the staff was very polite and found our reservations quickly. There is no elevator in this hotel, so be sure not to pack lots and lots. You have to carry it yourself. When I went to exchange money or complain the staff was generally friendly, however sometimes they were a little rude or took a while to get to things. For example, my shower head broke as did the toilet. It took about a day for the toilet to be fixed, however it was understandable as it was close to 11 PM when we complained, but it was fixed the next day. The shower head however was NEVER fixed. It basically just hung on the floor. It was annoying, but definitely made showering take less time, and it wasted less water as you would have to turn off the shower to not spray everything.
The waiters in the buffet restaurant were very friendly, there was a weird looking beef stew in one of the pans one night for dinner, upon asking the man behind the buffet what it was he pointed to his chest and said "corazon"-which means heart- YUMMY!! haha actually I didn't try it, but others in my group who didnt know what it was said that it was really good...poor saps...

Room:
The room was a little small and I stayed in three. Basically there were three girls in the first one-couldn't stay like that for two weeks- the second the toilet kept breaking and the shower head was never fixed- the third was pretty good. The toilet I think broke once, possibly not at all. There was a desk in the room and each room had a common area that was shared with the guest in the room beside yours. In your actual room you had a view overlooking the street-which was beautiful- and the common room had a balcony which overlooked the beach, the stage where there was perfomances, and the outer dining area and lounge chairs. My first maid was not that good, however I only stayed with her for one day. My next maid I had for the next two rooms, she was absolutely nice-I don't know her name- she did my laundry for free, but I tipped her 10CUC- and on two occasions she came up to my room to make sure everything was ok and just to chat and learn some english. She was really really nice. When I would see her as I was walking through the hotel we would say hello as the Cuban's do- with a kiss on the cheek and a hug- we became like friends. The other maid I had was also very nice and both of them made the bed everyday right away, and the sheets where cleaned once I believe-which is fine because I was sleeping on it- the one thing I didn't like about my third maid(not the one who was friendly) was that the day before we checked out she asked my roommate if she could have two of the Canada hats we brought for our Cuban counter-parts (it was like an exchange program). The beds were very comfortable, the AC was easy to use, it would have been nice if there was a clock in the room, but I brought one just in case. The pillows however were very thin and I'm used to using one thin one and a large squishy one. But they were more than acceptable.

Food:
I would have to agree with most and say-if you're picky about your food, don't go to Cuba. They cook their food their own ways and a lot of the meals have rice with them. It is vastly based around sea-food, and chicken. The breakfast was pretty good. Every morning there was hardboiled eggs, pancakes (sometimes no syrup), french toast, frittata (basically like an omlette) sometimes stale bread, meat slices and cheese, fruits, fruit juice, coffee, and hot milk, and around the fruits there was cocoa(perfect with the hot milk for hot chocolate).
Lunch I never ate at the hotel, so I am unsure about the food. However as all of my peers call it (including me) there's "The Chicken Place" right around the corner from the hotel. It's a cute little eaterie. They don't ONLY serve chicken, however that's what we ate every single time we ate there. Don't get me wrong it was absolutely great, but eventually one gets sick of chicken.
Dinner was interesting. It once again consisted of lots of rice, however dinner had more choices than breakfast. For dinner you could have chicken, beef, pork, heart, stew, it was a wide variety.

Patio/Bar:
As was stated earlier, there was a bartender who basically did his own thing, but got to you asap. He was friendly when he got you your drinks and could speak pretty good English. The patio overlooked the beach (as did the entire hotel) and was always clean, and was never over-crowded.

Entertainment:
As I was with a school group we weren't allowed leaving after dark, but on the first night there was a band playing and about half of the girls in my group (8) and about 2 guys got up with the band and vocalist and started dancing. It was a lot of fun and we were pulled up there by one of the hotel personnell. Most nights we would just go up into one of the rooms and listen to music with our Cuban counterparts and have dancing lessons and basically party with them (no booze was allowed for us).

Overall:
The hotel was amazing and after coming home I realized this was ranked as a 2* hotel. I disagree. To me this was at least a 4* hotel. The service was excellent, the rooms were always cleaned, the beach was gorgeous (never came across any sea creatures), the atmosphere was friendly (smoking was allowed wherever and whenever), and overall impression and cleanliness was amazing.

When in Cuba be sure to visit places outside of Varadero. While in Varadero visit the markets (which are within walking distance of the hotel), visit the chicken place-it was really good.
Visit Cardenas and go to the museums and just look around.
Check out Matanzas City, Matanzas, it is beautiful, I was at the college-so different from what we have here, but still beautiful.
You MUST go to Havana. This is where you can see a cannon firing, a wall made completely of stones, just everything is beautiful and it is important to do a little research on the history of Cuba so you know what historical places to go because they are all truely amazing.

This was an amazing trip and has made me want to go back less than six months after I left. I am now looking into teaching ESL in Cuba because the people were so friendly. They do not make a lot of money, but I believe they are happier than we are. The truly are a remarkable people.

15/10 Country. Absolutely beautiful. And the hotel was amazing, would definitely go back, the shape was AMAZING!!!

  • Liked — Close to beach and anemmities
  • Disliked — sheets weren't cleaned everyday
  • Stayed September 2007
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
11 Thank L0quita
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
13 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 March 2007

After staying in the grotty Hotel Lido in Havana, I wasn't expecting much from Hotel Herradura in Varadero, but I was pleasantly surprised. The hotel room was bright, clean and welcoming. There was a lovely lady on reception who was very helpful and our maid was really sweet. The hotel is right ON the beach, which was brilliant. So you can sip mojitos while you stretch out on the sand or the loungers, whichever you prefer. If you're strolling on the beach in the evening, watch out for the washed up jelly fish! Every two hotel rooms share a lounge/kitchen area that overlooks the beach, which is great because it means everyone gets a sea view. It would be a good hotel for a group of people holidaying together. The beaches on the peninsula are stunning and definitely worth seeing, but I was glad I only stayed in Varadero for two nights as it is pretty culturally bereft compared to all the other places I visited in Cuba. So if you are going to Varadero, make sure that's not the only place you visit, or you'll miss out on the real Cuba.

  • Liked — the beach on the doorstep
  • Disliked — no evening entertainment
  • Stayed March 2007
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
10 Thank LondonSu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Horizontes Herradura

Property: Hotel Horizontes Herradura
Address: Ave. de la Playa, e/ 35 y 36 | Matanzas, Varadero 42200, Cuba
Region: Caribbean > Cuba > Matanzas Province > Varadero
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #56 of 63 Hotels in Varadero
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Hotel Horizontes Herradura 2.5*
Number of rooms: 78
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Horizontes Herradura Hotel

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