More about Breezes Bella Costa Cuba
Wakie, wakie Bella Costa
My partner and I have just returned from Varedero (Jan 8th -16th) and we had a wonderful time. We had read many reviews on this sight before we left and it gave us alot of confidence. The hotel itself was lovely and we found the staff extremely friendly and helpful. The food, as already detailed by others, is pretty mediocre although the buffet did get better as the week went along but we thoroughly enjoyed our meals at the Meditteranean Restaurant and the Steakhouse. I highly recommend the bass at the meditteranean restaurant- probabaly the best I have ever tasted!. The wine is mediocre but other drinks really good. Food throughout the day in abundance!The entertainment in the evenings was alot of fun although it would have been great to have a nightclub on site. Often people will group up after the hotels entertainment and go dancing at one of the local clubs... I strongly recommend doing this as you get to know alot of people in the resort. Trip to Havanna well worth the US$67 although we found out from some other travellers that you can take the local bus for $10. As per other reviews- $1 tips always appreciated as are gum, lipsticks and small toys for children. If you have any spare or old brand name clothing like Adidas or Nike etc. bring them along as staff may ask you if they can buy them from you (and of course you will be only to happy to give it to them). And if you were planning to have a lazy day on the beach.. forget it. As per the title of this review one of the staff will call out "Wakey wakey Bella Costa" and get you to join in the daytime activities... but be prepared..once they know that you are game they will rope you into every football, basketball , croquet, dance, stretch activity that they can involve you in. We had a wonderful time and would definitely return to the same resort. We still call out "Wakey wakey Bella Costa" each morning... hard to let go of the wonderful memories......
All incl. Hotel Bella Costa
Our vacation 2003/2004 in Cuba was OK, the hotel Bella Costa is also OK. The staff was very friendly and helpfull, the food was also OK, but sometimes not really warm....Weather in december/january most time sunny and warm (only sometimes cloudy), atlantic ocean temperature about 27 degrees, the beach was very clean. So everything was fine, we`ll come back some day...
The Bella Costa is a good place to visit
My husband and I spent two weeks at the Bella Costa. We arrived on January 9 and left on January 23. I had a problem with the food as I am a very picky eater. If you like seafood and fish, you will have no problems. Guests need to be told what is in the meat dishes though. At lunch time, the birds peck away at the food on the buffet at the beach restaurant. We tried all of the other restaurants and enjoyed them. A lot of people I spoke to expressed the opinion that the Bella Costa should be rated less than 4 stars. Not many places, including most shops in the hotel, took Visa, which I did not like. The staff were very friendly. However, after she looked at our evaluation, one waitress was quite rude. The entertainment staff were good, but, there seems to be only so much they can do. The rooms were clean and tidy.
Our overnight trip to Havana was a great deal. Don't go for the day, go for two, it's not much more money but well worth it. If you go, don't buy goods from the Havana Club Factory. We bought two golf shirts and the next day, we saw the exact same thing for $10.00 less. The rum was more expensive there too. We spent the $25.00 each for the VIP lounge, when leaving Varadero. It was worth the money. We by-passed the long line-ups and our exit out of Cuba went very smoothly. We met many wonderful people from all over the world. Varadero is a terrific place, as is Havana. There were lots of beach chairs at the Bella Costa. We are planning on going to Cuba again. In fact, I picked up two brochures today. I have heard that there are many other locations that are very good. Coming home to minus 40 and frozen pipes, made us want to return to Cuba immediately. The Cuban people are so warm and friendly. They try very hard. One of our day trips was to Trinidad. It took 4 hours each way. It was interesting but I wouldn't go again. One thing that bothered my husband was the small children begging when we got off the bus. We did take a lot of stuff to give away and I'm sorry we didn't have room for more. The waiters and waitresses get pretty good tips.
Remember, there are outside workers that don't get any tips. I wish I had taken more stuff to give to them.
Bella Costa not quite a 4 star
My family and I just spent 1 week at the Bella Costa resort in Varadero. We found the overall resort to be acceptable. We have been to other all-inclusives and based on this, consider a 4-star rating to be a bit of an exageration (3-star perhaps). The food in the buffet was quite good, with a fair amount of seafood. The meals at the three a-la carte restaurants were fairly good, although you did not always receive exactly what was indicated on the menu. Wines here are mediocre, at best. The outdoor lunch buffet was laid out and birds were constantly in the food... our kids called this the "bird feeder buffet". The resort is laid out pleasantly, with mature trees throughout, and of course, a beautiful beach. There is one large swimming pool in the center; the water is cold. Unfortunately, during our stay, the weather was not very warm and there was a lot of wind for several days which put a damper on the enjoyment of our trip. Our room overlooked another resort, which turned out to be a positive because we were sheltered from the wind. The room was always taken care of wonderfully and we brought tylenol, toothbrushes, toothpaste, etc, for the maid.
Entertainment at the resort was fair, although I thought they could have more typical Cuban shows. We have one major complaint of this resort. . . tipping. Although I have no problem tipping at times, the staff here seems only to work for this. I found the drinks you received to be different, depending on if you regularly tipped or not. If you sat at a table near the main outside bar and gave a tip the waiter returned, don't tip, and you would never see them again. I tended to go up to the bar myself and request a double rum in order to get a "normal drink". We're at the beach, do you really think I'm going to carry cash around with me?! In the buffet restaurant, the waiter/waitresses, expected tips. You could tell the way they tended to their "tips glass", occassionally ringing this glass so as to remind you not to forget your tip. Personally, I would rather pay a bit more for the trip upfront, and not be bugged for tips when at the resort. The cook at the grill by the bar seemed downright grumpy. . . sorry no tip. The staff often reminds you, we're an "all inclusive" yet we felt like tips were wanted for every little thing. We went on a day trip to Havana which was definitely a highlight, and had an excellent tour guide. Cost $67 US per adult, $51 US per child. We also went to the dolphin swim and show. Cost $69 US per person to swim with the dolphins, or $10 US just for the show, $5 US if you wanted to take your own photos. The buses also have signs "please don't forget your tip".
In conclusion, if the weather would have been nicer, my overall impression of this "beach resort" trip would probably have been better.
We have been to other companies "all inclusives" where tips did not seem like such a regular requirement and will return to them instead of patronizing this chain again (Iberostar).
Travelled to Bella Costa on Jan 24-31 2004.
I am not going to write a long review but I will try to briefly share my experiences while staying at the Iberostar Bella Costa in Varadero, Cuba. I travelled with 2 other guys and we arrived in Varadero at 11:00 pm on January 24/04. We had a very quick pass through customs and our luggage was already ready for pickup when we got through. The only thing that was very upsetting was pushy guys outside the airport trying to take your luggage. I have dealt with these people before in Jamaica, Antigua, Mexico, and Nicaraugua so you have to be very aggressive with them if you don't want them to carry your luggage. The bus ride was very comfortable and it only took 20 minutes to get to our hotel. We checked in right away and within 10 minutes we were in our room and heading back to the lobby bar for drinks. The resort is amazing and food was not bad. The entertainment staff is great and we became very close with them through the week. John and Jamal are the best. We went out clubbing with the entertainment staff almost every night. Try the roomba club ( its 3-5 minutes down the road from the club), also try the cave and club international. All clubs are 10.00 all you can drink.
Do not go on the Momba club trip with sunquest, it sucked and it only lasts until 12:00 and if you wanted to stay longer you had to take a cab. Varadero is very save, it was like walking through St. Marys Ontario. If Jamal asks you to go out and try a private dinner and at a typical house in Cuba - DO IT. It was awesome. Do the Havana tour through Sunquest or whomever your tour agent is. Overall this was one of the best trips and I have been to the sunny south 4 times. If you need any other info or where to go, give me an email. There is so much more to say but I am not one to write alot.
Could that english girl have looked for anything else to moan about in her holiday?! I was there for 2 weeks and Bella Costa is a fantastic site to spend a holiday and the massages-the were absolutely superb!The staff were fantastic and always willing to help you out in any way possible. There was a great variance in the food also so take the english wingeing lightly please!
Overall an enjoyable trip and great memories
Just returned from a 1-week holiday in Varadero at the Iberostar Bella Costa Resort. My boyfriend and I overall had a great holiday, however I don't think I'd go back to Cuba again. Once is definitelly enough. And Varadero (beach, hotels and towns) is way too touristy.
Havana is a must, especially the day AND night tour with Tropicana night show.
Good things about BELLA COSTA:
-location (5 minute scooter ride to Varadero, centre of hotel strip and close to night clubs) -mostly friendly and helpful staff -massage (book in advance!) -brandname liquors and frozen drinks -beach (clear waters thoug rough, and soft, clean sand) -nightly entertainment (funny with audience participation) -fantastic European cheeses, fresh-baked bread, smoked salmon -warm showes with good pressure -lots of beach loungers, even during the busy X-mas season
Not-so-good things: -weather in December (it was COLD for 3 days) -pool was cold, shallow and small -hotel is under renovations which called for some loud, intrusive noises (but they let us move to the other side of the hotel without hesitation) -the food (however it did improve after the first 2 days) -unatmospheric lobby, bars and restaurants (this was a big disappointment)
HOPE THIS HELPS! ENJOY YOUR HOLIDAY!
VACATION REALITY - all you need to know
I have visited the Bella Costa on three occasions at different times of the year. The best month for weather and young people was May, the calmest with a more mature, older crowd was December, and March break was o.k just not extreme tanning weather. The staff is polite, fun, and friendly. The food is not like home but it is better than hotels closer to the Varadero town from what I've heard from other travellers. Good variety and three specialty restaurants. The only pain is having to make reservations to these Italian, Mexican, and Seafood Restaurants.
The beach is beautiful, sand is white, no garbage, no beach peddlers trying to sell things constantly like in the Dominican. On the beach you can snorkel, catamaran, seadoo, or for an extra cost ( $35) go parasailing it is fun.Nightlife is offered in the hotel disco, it's o.k kind of slow paced, however the " La Rumba" disco is a three minute walk and for $10 all you can drink, lots of tourists, cuban show before 12 and then modern music all night long. Tours are available to Havana, dolphin excursions, etc. talk to your travel representative when you land. If you are not happy with your view from your room the staff does try to change your room if they are available. The hotel also has villas separate from the main hotel and they are two storeys. You walk in and have a sitting room and then the bedroom along with your own spacious patio. The cost may be extra but a pool view in the villa was awesome, I guess we just lucked out to get one at no extra cost. For guys vacationing it is safe, but I went with two other girls each time and you just need to be smart when vacationing. Don't stray from each other and don't everyone over drink on the same night unless with a bigger group of tourists - the same rules count even back home. If you take a horse carriage ride to town it is nice, and there are souvenir markets there with cheaper items than at the Plaza Americas which is a mall on the Varadero strip near the golf course. The Plaza Americas has a Pizza Nova sit down restaurant if you are sick of hotel food it is worth it! Other than that the REALITY is that the cuban people don't make a lot of money and rely on tips. So try get in the habit of leaving a dollar or two at each meal for the waiters, truly your service will improve and it is nice knowing that this money improves their lives considerably. They only make about $10- $20 a month so don't begrudge them when they look at you the "rich vacationer" and expect a tip. This holds true for the bar staff inside and outside, and the luggage and maid staff. You will see that a dollar goes a long way.
Don't be surprised by the army personnel at the airport when you arrive, and as soon as you walk out of the airport there are staff that try to take your luggage to your bus that takes you to your hotel. If your luggage has wheels and you don't need help just say a firm NO THANK-YOU, or else you are entitled to tip again.
That's just the way it is, but the weather is great and getting away is always fun, relaxing, entertaining, whatever you want it to be Varadaro can be.
I've also stayed at other hotels on the Varadero strip and as long as you choose 4 stars and up you are sure to have clean accomodations and good food.
our possy at Breezes Jibacoa
Varadero resort questions
I'm planning a trip in May and am having trouble finding the following resort info:
1)Do Sol Plameras and Tryp have jacuzzi's
2)Does Bella Costa have 24hr drinks?
3)Are there any resorts there that don't require you to wear bracelets?
Thanks for you help!
Re: Varadero resort questions
I stayed at the Superclub varadero Breezes , no need to wear bracelets
drinks can be had 24 hrs.
Re: Varadero resort questions
Bella Costa has incl drinks from 10 till midnight
Re: Re: Varadero resort questions
Me too Lou...haha
Re: Varadero resort questions
No, Bella Costa doesn't have 24 hr drinks.... as I know only superclubs do ( SuperClub Breezes Jibacoa, Breezes Varadero and Beaches Vardero)... also, the Tryp is much nicer than the Sol Palmeras....newer, and better food...
The Tryp Peninsula is all-inclusive for everybody... teh Sol Palmeras isn't. If you go all inclusive to a resort that is not completeri AI, you may be frustrated by all the non all inclusive guests being served before you at all times (because they pay!)....