the good, the bad and the ugly
Recently just returned from LTI Varadero after a stay of seven days.
For starters I would take some of the good reviews posted here with a grain of salt. The "maybe next time" review from Jan 7th says it all truthfully. Whoever said the food/pork was "great" must be kidding. The food inflicted on you is horribly bland and repetitive. It was no where near what you would get in a place like Mexico. The staff were mostly indifferent or rude, even after generous tipping. As others have mentioned Alberto was the best waiter, he works the breakfast & lunch shift and he really worked hard to earn a tip. In fact, Alberto came out to the lobby on the departure day to personally say goodbye to many. Sadly, this kind of service was the exception and not the rule.
The front desk staff were outright rude and inattentive, often finishing long personal conversations amongest themselves before helping you. Most of the staff speak very little english. The animation team wasn't really visible and the disco and theatre were so far removed from the resort and so poorly advertised that most people we talked to didn't even know they existed. The beach is wonderful, but bums roam it when the sun starts to set, taking anything not nailed down, including our sandals. The grounds were really beautiful and the rooms were fine. The place was very quiet, almost boring (it was only at 33% capacity or less, this perplexed us because the neighboring TRYP resort looked FULL). We overheard some guests say that LTI was an overflow resort, because they were moved to LTI when their resort was overbooked. I wouldn't recommend LTI Varadero, it has potential but it's not there yet. One note, it is transitioning from LTI ownership to a local company "Maritim". Cuba is a great "once only" trip, Havana and Cayo Blanco are MUST see's!
Not a honeymoon
We went to the LTI for our honeymoon and stayed for one week over New Years. Our experience was mediocre at best, with very inconsistent service. Some people were wonderful, but most were not, particularly at reception. When we arrived, they checked us in to a building the the farthest away from the beach in a ground floor room with TWIN BEDS! (We were on our honeymoon). The resort was nowhere near full so we found this room appointment somewhat confusing and went back. After getting a manager they changed us to a waterfront 3rd floor room with a king size bed. The honeymoon package of champagne, fruit, etc. was never deleivered. In retrospect, it seemed like they expected us to tip them to get a good room. The front desk staff were by far the most indifferent and rudest, but the bell boy was excellent and very friendly and hardworking. The facility iteself is very beautiful, the beach is nice, though the pool is a bit chilly. The food was decent, but plain and, as everyone says, Alberto was the best waiter that we found. Tipping is definitely overrated as some people alluded to. We left $1 and items for our maid, and she left sweet towel designs for us. We would recommend only tipping your maid, at meals and try to get the same person so they remember you, for music that you like, and your tour operator if they did a good job. Tipping the bartenders was a complete waste of time as it never changed their service (as it should be being an all-inclusive). DO NOT feel obligated to tip people for using the washroom when you're on an excursion. Take your own tissue and give them some attitude and they'll leave you alone. We were too nice about this and ended up spending way too much money to use a filthy bathroom at a resturaunt we ate at and provided our own tissue.
We learned to late:)The trip to Havana with the Tropicana show was excellent, but be prepared for a long day and bring a change of clothes (pants and collar for men). We weren't told about this and had to borrow from other tourists, which was actually quite fun--we had a great time!! The jeep safari was a nice way to see the countryside and we did enjoy it, but if you've ever gone 4x4ing or live in/see the countrysie regularly, you might find a better use of a day than the jeep safari. It's like driving along logging roads in BC and passing through farmland. Overall we had a nice time on our trip and met some great people because that's what we do, but I would not recommend the LTI to my friends or family.
5 stars resort but 3 star food and entertainment
I came back from a week at LTI on February 9th, 2004. In general we had a nice time and our vacation was very relaxing. The rooms are very spacious and always clean. The resort grounds are clean and very well kept. I would rate the rooms and grounds at least 4.5 stars. As for the food, we thought it was marginal... the a la carte restaurents were much better than the buffet... the first couple of days we were there it the resort was only at about 30% occupancy and I think because of that there was very little selection of food at the buffet and what was there wasnt good... later in the week when it became busier the selection was much better but overall I would say the food was mediocre, that being said we did not go to Cuba for the food so we didnt really care. The beach was ok, the sand was a little dirty... not what I was expecting, I thought the beach in Punta Cana was nicer and the sand much cleaner. Overall the beach was ok but nothing spectacular. There wasnt very many young people (ie between 20 and 30 years old) at the resort, it was mostly people over 50 so if you are looking for a place to party dont go! Evening entertainment was marginal at best. We thought the staff were very friendly in general...
most did everything they could to make our stay enjoyable and I cant understand all the reviews that say the staff was unfriendly... this was not the case for us. All in all it was a nice, relaxing vacation.
a great holiday!!
i stayed at lti varadero beach resort last july and had a wonderful holiday. All staff were friendly and helpful and the hotel was really clean and modern. The only problem which i encounted was an upset stomach, due to undercooked meat.