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“What a Great Place!”
Review of Hotel Acuazul

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Hotel Acuazul
Ranked #55 of 64 Hotels in Varadero
Reviewed 9 March 2009

We just returned from another great week at the Acuazul. This place is a gem. Many canadians retur year after year and stay for weeks at a time. On a previous visit there were 70 Canadians, 70 Russians and 60 Czechs staying at the hotel. A few of the guests had some difficulty with over- consumption of alcohol the first day or two, but they were cut off and security made sure it didn't happen again. Our room was, lovely and large with 2 balconies. and a great view of the Ocean. Extra pillows were promptly delivered and the room was well cleaned every day. Food was typical Cuban fare. Great toast and eggs at breakfast. Pack some granola bars and cereal to take to dining room in dollar store containers-great with the steamed milk from the coffee-beverage dispenser. Good hotdogs and hamburgers at the pool side bar and even better ones at the Hotel Varazul right next door on their front terrace patio, fries too. 1cuc each. Change your money at the Cadeca at the airport before you board the shuttle bus to hotel. Exchange rate thereis 73 cuc for 100 can. dollars. Hotel rate was 68 cuc for 100 can. dollars, way better than some hotels. Pool drinks are served in flimsy plastic cups so buy a couple of plastic dollar store cups to keep your cocktail from blowing over. Also a small ashtray if you need one or buy one for a peso at one of the nearby flea markets. Wonderful friendly people. Keep in mind that the average monthly wage for these hotel workers is equivalent to about 12 cuc. So don't go overboard with the tipping.On average we probably went through 10 cuc a day on tips for bar staff, dining room people etc. plus a tip for chambermaid and Maitre D' on last evening. If you can take a few cosmetic items for the girls at front desk and bars.they love black pantihose and brightly coloured nail polish and lipsticks as well as other basic cosmetic and toiletry items available at the dollar store. Pack them in sheer tulle dollar store bags. I really can't beleive that some of the people that have written poor reviews of the Acuazul actually stayed at the same place. This was our second trip there and I'll definitely be going back. Great cappacino, particularly at lobby bar. Many Canadians have discovered this place. Great value. Wonderful location, right in the heart of town. Get out and walk around every day.

  • Stayed: March 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank stella5210
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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99 - 105 of 228 reviews

Reviewed 27 February 2009

This place isn't worth the effort to write a long review. All I will say is that I'm still working on the English translation of Acuazul, but, I think that it means "$hithole of the earth". If the hotel manager came to my house and offered me a free stay, I would decline.

Varadero = bano (look it up your Spanish/English dictionary).

Go to Holguin.

  • Stayed: January 2009, travelled with family
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2  Thank slipathetongue
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 February 2009

I stayed at this hotel for two weeks. had a nice bungalow on the beach. Some bungalows do not have wardrobes or places to hang clothes and some do not have toilet seats. as far as accomodations it was fine, the Acquazul is basicaly a hotel where people travel the island and stay one or two nights, its not designed to stay long term unless you eat out. The food is terrible same thing all the time very tiresome. The breakfast is the only enjoyable meal. The hotel caters to about 90 per cent Russians who are very rude ignorant people, you will not find many Europeans or Canadians there.
The entertainment is fine but not many people show up for the show at night maybe fifty.
The hotel is about two blocks from the beach which is not a problem and they have a beach bar there, I notice in other reviews that they complain about the stairs to the beach bar. Good news these have been repaired. Bad new is they are still tricky.
If you stay here just get the breakfast plan and eat at nearby restaurants (they are cheap enough) and use it as a pit stop to do some touring.
Not advisable for the elderly or people who have difficulty in walking.

  • Stayed: February 2009, travelled solo
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2  Thank prp0492
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 January 2009

We went to this hotel between Xmas and New Years - we loved Varadero, but this resort left something to be desired (I've done alot of travelling and been south for the last 30 years).

This hotel is on the main Varadero drag, but we were surprised it sided and backed into an area with all the local homes so there is virtually no hotel grounds to speak of besides the pool and bar.

The hotel lobby was pretty especially the area just outside the main floor bathrooms (painted like you were in part of Greece). and the stained glass fish on the windows leading to the pool. The pool however, was small, shallow (no swim up bar here), very cold and half is shaded most of the day. You could always find a seat around the pool as most people left for the day. There was no towel service at the pool.

The hotel rooms here are very basic, but clean (no bugs). A pay safety deposit box was in every room and a tiny tv. We had 2 single very firm beds which you couldn't push together so not ideal for couples. Bathroom was a good size (large counter), we had hot water most of the time and had a toilet seat although heard some rooms did not. They provided soap, shampoo, bath gell, and 2 bath towels (no face clothes or hand towels) and the hair dryer did not work (lucky I bought my own). There was no bar fridge provided in our room and when we requested one, we never received one (would have been nice for bottled water). The room had 2 balconies facing the pool which is fine, but it also faced the local homes so you saw their laundry, chicken coups etc. on top of their roofs. We were not amused to be woken up every morning at 4:30 a.m. by a rooster living next door and their dog barking at the rooster for hours on end (would recommend street view although noise of traffic may be loud). Would recommend anyone to bring ear plugs if stay at this resort. We also were woken up a couple nights with the awful smell of sewage seeping into our room (perhaps bring noise plugs as well?).

Hotel in general:
Good need of a paint job inside and out. Front service desk was efficient. Hotel is handy to a small supermarket and beside one of the biggest flea markets (good shopping). Hotel seems to have spent all its money on nightly entertainment which was good, especially the New Years eve fireworks display. We couldn't find any of the hotel activities listed on the message board (i.e. bingo, stretching) as the message board didn't indicate WHERE in the hotel activities were, if they did happen at all. The pool table left something to be desired (need chalk and new cues). The hotel elevator was very slow so most people ended up taking the stairs so not a good choice for elderly or disabled people. There was not much atmosphere at the pool bar - they could do a lot with this and hire friendlier staff (especially the females). There was no consistency in what drinks you could get at the pool bar, although it was pretty consistent you couldn't get a mojitas (wonder why as every bar and hotel in the town had them). We had difficulty even getting a pina colada. Beach bar was dead most of the time - there was a very steep set of stairs from the beach up to the bar so you'd hve to be pretty desperate for a drink.

The hotel food was bad, bad, bad.....felt sick for 3 evenings and my boyfriend was sick on the plane coming home. The same breakfast was offered every day (bacon, croquettes, scrambled eggs, cold pancakes & french toast, omlettes with only ham & cheese, break and fruit). Lunch & dinners were pretty much the same food offered every day. All the meat was definately overcooked and tough. All the Candians I met were dying for potatoes which I saw only once. Forget the seafood here...the smell is enough to turn you off. Desserts & bread were great!. Ended up just eating rice & tomatoes most of the week and going out for dinners.

The beach was great! Good for body surfing, clean and a short walk to it! We were a little surprised to find that after spending a week at the beach we never heard one person speak English. The hotel was much the same - would guess about 50% Rushians, 30% French and 20 English speaking.

I would not go back to this particular resort even if they spruced it up and improved their food as they cannot do anything about the proximity of the hotel to local homes (view and smells bad).
Best thing about Varadero is feeling safe, wonderful beaches and weather, no beggers (although experienced that big time in Havana).

  • Stayed: December 2008
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Thank Spilleypants
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 January 2009

I was looking for two things for a New Years one week vacation. First was cheap price and second was somewhere hot. I got a great price from Selloffvacations of $1180 for two at the Acuazul in Varadero. All reviews were good. The management is to blame for all the problems. First problem, they overbooked the hotel by almost double the capacity. We checked in and watched the bell boy take our luggage out the front door and down the street to the next block which has the Varazul Hotel, no restaurant, no bar, no pool, no toilet seats, a fridge in the middle of the room unplugged, an air conditioner with one speed: low, one elevator, half the tiles missing in the bathroom. I'd rate this place a minus 4. It took many arguments and three full days to get a room in the Acuazul. It was very nice for the price, but who wants to go thru this to get what you paid for in the beginning? They expected us to walk back and forth to get food or to use the pool. The only negative about the Acuazul, besides management misleading people by overbooking, is the staff in the pool bar. At times there were 4 people working the bar and you were the only person standing there and it would take 10 minutes to get a beer. Tips mean nothing to them, they are almost comatose when it comes to service. And the beach bar has steps like those to a tree house, except all six steps are at different heights and different angles. Very treacherous to climb. Never again will I use that hotel. I will post photos of the Varazul room next week along with the beach bar steps.

  • Stayed: December 2008, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Tenman9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 January 2009

When we arrived at the hotel Dec. 25, it was overbooked. They put us in another property a block away down a dark street then around the corner down an alley, Villa Sotavento. It was very old and basic, we never got hot water the 4 days we were there. Finally after complaining for 4 days, we were able to get a room in the hotel, it was wonderful to finally have a hot shower. The rooms were much better. They try to tell you the rooms are the same, don't believe them. As for food, we always found something to eat. New Year's dinner was fabulous as was the entertainment and fireworks that night. The entertainment and drinks were very good. Becareful at the beach bar, the stairs are wicked. The hotel has few Canadian, mainly Russian clients. I actually would stay again if guarenteed a room in the hotel not their surrounding properties. Many others complained about Varazul, next door property. The flea market is nearby. Bring deep woods off and boggie boards to ride the waves. They also offer free rides on a small catamaran. They really rely on tips.

  • Stayed: December 2008, travelled with family
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2  Thank sdahl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 December 2008

My wife and I stayed at the Acuazul for one night (Dec 13/08) during a tour of Cuba with GAP Adventures. Note that our trip was the basic option, and our room most likely reflected that standard.

The hotel room was basic, with 2 single beds with thin, springy mattresses. The room was located one floor above the level with the restaurant, and therefore had a large roof-top balcony with 2 reclining chaise lounges on it. The bathroom left a bit to be desired, as the enamel on the bottom of the tub was really peeling off. Also, there was some sort of vent next to the toilet that emitted a faint, yet foul, sewage-like smell. We also noticed very small ants throughout the room, although they really didn't bother us.

The other amenities in the hotel were good. The buffet was well-stocked and had a variety of food for the one dinner we ate there. The breakfast the following morning was also good with many options. I didn't utilize either of the two bars other than to buy water, so I can't really comment on them. There were a couple of stores in the lobby but we weren't there long enough to look at them. The hotel was a couple of blocks off the beach in downtown Varadero, with many other stores, restaurants and cafes nearby.

I'd recommend this hotel only if you could confirm a cleaner room than the one we stayed in, or if your travel budget prevents you from staying in one of the larger resorts further along the peninsula.

  • Stayed: December 2008, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank jThor099
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Acuazul

Address: Primera Avenida e/ Calle 13 y Calle 14, Varadero 42200, Cuba
Region: Caribbean > Cuba > Matanzas Province > Varadero
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #55 of 64 Hotels in Varadero
Price Range: £42 - £110 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Hotel Acuazul 2.5*
Number of rooms: 78
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Also Known As:
Acuazul Hotel Varadero

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