More about Hotel Oasis Turquesa
Rio Turquesa - Varadero
Nice resort hotel, but not broadband Internet!
Nice bars at night, but the best is this "cave" club not far from the hotel. The hotel staff will invite you to come there with them after the shows at night. Its magic! Really nice show and a lot of fun, all drinks in the club are inclusive you only pay 5 or 10 dollars to be brought to the club and back later.
Depence what you are looking for
Well, most of info I put on Cuba accommodation tip. Just a shortcut. Very simple but clean. Food fresh but repeatable. Quite far from Varadero Center. Taxi costs 10 peso one way. If you are looking for comfort, dont look there..
Accomodation was quite nice. Very nice grounds and pool area. Right on the beach. Lovely lobby bar with great Mohitos. Very friendly people.
Riu Turquesa, both sides of the medal!
Just got back from Riu Turquesa, for a 7 day stay with a crazy bunch of 14 people! I thought of sharing all of our thoughts, comments, suggestions in one shot since we all had consulted Trip Advisor before leaving. Hope the following will help you in your decision for your next trip, while considering Turquesa.
What Riu Turquesa is all about:
Extra friendly staff - can't get enough of those Cuban smiles. From the front desk to the guy mowing the lawn, all friendly. Everyone is so happy to be there and chat with tourists from all around the globe...
and thank god NO Americans like Cancun!
Very large rooms and cleaned by devoted cleaning ladies who are just so happy by receiving gifts which they can't get in their own countries.
Nice balconies. Large washrooms as well, though glass door which doesn't allow lots of privacy! Don't expect a nice view, you either have a view on the other condo or the next resort which is the Tainos Iberostar. You can't see the beach or ocean at all from the resort, though very close in a walking distance. I could hear the waves from my room though...
Very cozy resort - the cottages/condos are displayed wisely and make you feel at home in a small village.
Yes, lots of birds flying through the snack bar and restaurant terasse.
They sing loud and fly low, but they won't come to your plate like some other people said on this side. They'll wait until you leave and manage to get some bread crumbs or other goody leftovers! I think it adds some ambiance!
Food - always an issue amongst the tourists in Cuba! Always think that with all the embargos they have, they try to make the best with what they have available. Only 1 buffet and 1 grill / snack bar, which becomes very dull after 2-3 days. Variety is ok, but you get the feeling everything tastes the same. Vegetables are sometimes too boiled, but if you like the fried stuff, you'll be happy. They have good cheese every day (gouda, blue...etc). Coffee is the worst I tasted (especially in the carafes in the morning), however ask one from the automatic machines.. they somewhat taste better. Staff is SO nice, and don't be cheap, tip your waiter or waitress, and you'll see how nice they'll treat you during your stay!
No washroom close to the beach, you need to climb back the hill and come back to the resorts.
Nice large beach with lots of shade spots, lots of chairs (no need to worry to book yours in the morning), friendly staff on beach - although the bar is a bit far. Clean sand, and not too much people bugging you to buy crafts or other junk.
Handy & acccessible showers outside all over the place to clean to sandy feet when coming to eat and get some drinks on the resort.
Good animation but poor sound quality (too much echoing when they talk). You can see they put lots of energy in the shows, but the crowd doesn't always respond well.
Daily animation/activities is practically non existing! No music around the pool other than the echos from the evening crew rehearsing on the stage. Bring your own music.. and get away from the pool - the beach is so nice, you can't stay a full week by the pool.
Not alot of young people. Lots of families and retired folks, mainly from Canada, Germany, France and South America. You can tell the Europe influences when spotting bare breasts on the beach!
No discos/clubs on site - when the daily evening shows are over (around 11pm), everyone disapears! Thank god we were a group and we would stay later to dance among ourselves. If you want to dance in a real Cuban bar, you will need to grab a taxi and zoom to Varadero. The staff will gladely suggest you the best spots in town (the Rumba or the Mambo Club). Expect to pay around 8$ (one way) to go to town. The resort is somewhat a little further in the hotel strip, which walking to town is out of the question.
Drinks come in tiny plastic glasses, which are usually empty by the time you're back to your beach or pool spot. Either walk all the way back to the front lobby bar and get a real glass and keep it all week, or do like my friends, bring a large coffee mug with a shutter on top (to prevent sand going in) and the bar staff will clean it everytime and fill it with all the drinks you can think of.
Pool - nice, but small for the size of the resort. Lots of chairs, and beach towels can be changed everyday by going to the friendly lady by the pool. In-pook-jaccuzi isn't always on.
Toilet paper - either bring your own or hide the unused ones everyday to get new rolls. Their rolls are small and won't last long if you're more than 2 in the room.
Mini bar - they fill it up every 2 days and with rhum as well. Add a friendly note and 1 US$, you will see that the booze guy will surprise you!
Very flat pillows but once folded in 4, you can get some comfort out of it. Stiff beds and sofas, but had no trouble sleeping.
Don't bring any US related credit cards (like I did..) ie. CitiBank cards are refused there. Any major bank credit cards are accepted, however not for the moped rentals in front of the lobby. Like they say: you break it, you pay cash!
Internet access is a little pricy.. 4$ US for 30 minutes (dial up of course).
Souvenir shops are very practical when you run out of your favorite cigarettes... you'll get a variety of harsh Cuban cigarillos to the best Cohibas cigars! Comparable prices to other stores in Havana or in Varadero.
Grab the Havana Day package, it is a memorable trip and you will once and for all understand what Cuba is all about (other than the all inclusive resorts)!
Grab the catamaran trip, you will get to visit some of the paradise islands Cayo Blanco and see the most beautiful shades of blue and cristal clear water, dolphin show and snorkling as well, with a very tasty lobster tail lunch! The crew is alive and very funny, it's a like an ongoing party from when you leave until you come back at night!
Don't forget to bring a 220V converter for your battery chargers or other electronic devices. Ladies bring your own hair dryer as the built in one takes forever to dry!
That's it - long to read, but at least it will give you a clear objective view about the Riu Turquesa resort. Overwall, I enjoyed my stay - a 4 star resort... not too sure about that, but it's definately a good spot for a good relaxing vacation at a very affordable price!
Enjoy your trip!
A holiday to remember
Me and my friend spent 2 wonderful weeks at the Riu Turquesa which we shall never forget. The weather was great , the beach was beautiful but most of all the staff were 1 in a million. They made us feel very comfortable and relaxed and would have done anything for you. The rooms were really colourful I found the beds really comfy and very clean the maids are excellent. The grounds are so beautiful and very well maintained. Manwell (coffingy) at the lobby bar is amazing love him to bits hell always sing you a wee song or cheer you up plus he makes killer cocktails. Yoversi, Gorge, Rapheal, Yoanna down at the main bar love you guys you made the holiday for us thankyou so much. Thankyou most of all to Yoversi you made every part of my time there so special I will never forget it. I hope to return to Riu Turquesa as soon as I can. I would def reccommend Riu Turquesa everytime. Its the best!!
What a Disappointment
We stayed at Riu Turquesa between August 13th to 27th 2004, and concluded that it was not a 4 star hotel, as advertised in the brochure. The food was very montonous, with the same buffet night after night. Cleanliness was not paramount either, with cochroaches scampering across the bar areas, birds in the dining room and dead rats by the snack bar! We had a power cut every evening, and one time we had no electricity for 2 hours as the engineer struggled to fix the fault.
The dining room boasted a dress code; but the standard of the food did not justify it. We were warned to dress appropriately for dinner, with men to refrain from shorts and sleeveless tops; but to me it did not seem that the dress code was abided by, and I spoke to a senior member of staff, and said that you either have a dress code or not, they seemed to be caught between two extemes. I, for one would like to dress in shorts and sleevelss tops, with the hot weather, but I conformed. But, I don't know why I bothered as there were regularly men in shorts and vests being allowed in, and women in not much more than swimwear!
We would not recommend this hotel to anyone!
A 5* holiday!
My friend and I enjoyed two excellent weeks from 30th June to 14th July at Riu Turquesa. Being two young girls we really didnt know what to expect, although we had read many reviews here on Tip Advisor.
I have to say with the Sun, Sea, Sand and Staff we had nothing to complain about. The weather really couldnt have been better, with just one thunder storm which was no surprise as we knew we were there during the rainy season. However, this shower started at around 6pm and only lasted an hour. Nothing to worry about there. You can imagine the intense heat the following few days, but with the nice breeze at the beach it was perfect. Any girls looking to straighten the hair for going out at night, forget it, with the heat at night you'll be lucky if it stays straight for an hour.
It goes without say that the staff at Riu Turquesa really make the hotel what it is and that is the most friendliest resort i have ever stayed at. A very big thank you goes to Gorge (anyone heading to riu soon give this guy a hug from me), Yoversi, Rapheal, Yoanna at the Show Bar. Manuel (Coffigny) and Armando (Mandy) at the lobby bar. Serguey the security man at the front of reception. The waitress with the blonde curly hair in the resturant, i really cant remember her name but she was the nicest girl you could come across. And last but not least Boni, the guy who is in charge of the water sports on the beach. All these people made my stay so comforable and relaxing, and anyone who is staying at Riu Turquesa soon please email as i have a message i would like you to pass on to a few people.
As for the apartments, our apartment 446 was very big, clean and colourful with two very comfortable double beds. Our maid Ismary was always surprising us with bed art every day. The mini bar was stacked up every two days, although become friendly with the guy who stacks it and give him a wee tip and you can expect to be getting extra cola, lemonade etc. Hes a lovely wee man, you couldnt miss him, always wears a big smile! We were given two bottles of rum to take home at the end of our two weeks.
As for the grounds and beach they were totally amazing! Very well kept, expect to find wee lizards and other strange wee things crawling around, but no worries as she run away as soon as they see you! Be careful in the toilets next door to the show bar you might just find (like we did) a crab sharing a toilet with you. Haha that was a night to remember! The beach is something from an air brushed painting, its goes on for miles we only spent one day sunbathing at the pool. The water is so clear and warm and there is every sort of water sport going on.
As for the food in the resturant, there is everything to choose from, very tasty although can become repetative after a while, best thing to do is start trying dishes you wouldnt try back home, you'll be surprised at what you had been missing out on. I tried Octopus! Dont be surprised though if your eating at the snack bar during the day and a few little birds want to join you. Cheeky little things! Just wave your hand at them and they'll go away.
As for entertainment, the animation crew have a different act on every night in the show bar. They are actually very good, the efford that goes into their acts is outstanding, you will notice them rehearsing during the day. Dont be surprised to be pulled up on stage for a bit of salsa dancing and damn can they dance!! The hotel has its own theme tune that is played at the end of the show it will become a very addictive wee song and watch Gorge, Yoanna, and Yoversi break into some moves! For those who like to party on you can go with the animation crew at the end of the night to a club in varadero town, its actually built inside a cave, if i can remember it was $10 entry and thats drink included all night! They will party on until about 3am.
Remeber to bring a lot of $1 bills to give to staff as they really do go out of their way for you in every sense. Or you could become like me and get emotionally attached to them all, end up giving away half your suitcase of clothes, CD player and sunglasses etc. Its all good!
When picking your excursions, take the havana overnight stay...it is really something, the place if full off history and at night you will enjoy an amazing show Tropicana, Havanas best night club. Also swim with the dolphins, this has always been a dream of mine and for £45 it was well worth it. You are in the water with them for about half an hour, totally amazing, they even give you kisses. To buy a professional photo of yourself with the dolphin is $15 and the video is $30. Horse riding is $15 for an hour, you even get to ride along the beach, very cool.
All in all Riu Turquesa has everything to offer, it was a holiday to remember. I will deffinately be planning on going back, i miss so many staff members. Iv'e already posted 3 letters off to staff.
I hope this review as long as it was, was helpful to you and i hope you have as great a holiday as I did. Feel free to contact me with any questions, I have a lot of pictures of the resort etc as well, if they are off any help to you.
Good, but with drawbacks
Just returned from two pleasant weeks at Riu Turquesa. I feel some of the reviews on here are a bit over the top and do not reflect my experience.
Hot and sunny all day most days apart from the odd thunder storm which did not last long and helped cool things down.
Nicely laid out and well maintained. Rooms in blocks of four in nice well maintained grounds. All rooms close to pool and beach. Nice pool with plenty of sun beds.
Next to hotel. Guards on either side of allocated beach for hotel. Free water sports/sailing. First week plenty of sun loungers. Just before we left a large group of German tourists arrived and instantly towels were left on almost all loungers on the beach early in the morning. This was especially frustrating, as these people did not even start to use them until late mid morning. The hotel literature stated that staff would remove towels if left on sun beds but this did not happen. This was also a problem at the pool, but less so than on the beach.
Generally friendly and helpful. For some strange reason the cleaners had the habit of only starting to clean the room at around four o'clock in the afternoon. This was especially strange when they started cleaning the block at around nine thirty in the morning. On occasion this was a pain as around this time we were returning to the room after a day on the beach.
I did not see much of the daytime entertainment staff. On occasion they asked for volunteers for games of darts or throw the ring, but otherwise they were almost non-exisistant.
The evening shows were all right, some better than others.
People who had children said that the kids club was excellent.
In blocks of four. Well-stocked mini bar including bottle of rum and two bottles of mineral water every two days. TV with American CNN and the odd decent late afternoon film whilst cooling down after a day at the beach.
Myself and virtually every person I spoke to had a bad stomach at some stage. I would compare the food served in both the restaurants as of the standard of a poor school canteen.
The layout was confusing often with large queues. There were mostly three main choices, Veal, Fish, and chicken. None of which looked of any decent quality. I think this is because Cuba is a poor country that has a problem getting quality produce. However the food did not justify a four star rating and it would be more honest to recognise this fact with a three star rating.
Like other people who have commented about the restaurants I also had some concerns about the level of hygiene. Although the birds are cute in the dinning hall, I am not sure how hygienic this is. There also seemed to be a higher number of flies in the dinning hall than appeared acceptable.
Even if there are a number of good things about the holiday, it does take the shine away if you are poorly and hungry. I myself lost two evenings with being bedridden due to illness.
One big complaint I had was the rule with regards to the wearing of trousers at evening meal. I understand the desire to maintain standards however I objected to this for a number of reasons.
1. Firstly it did not really maintain a smart dress code at dinner. People were allowed to wear baggy T-shirts and tracksuit bottoms, which I do not consider smarter than a shirt and a smart pair of linen shorts.
2. The food definitely did not justify dressing up for (one evening a frankfurter was one of the main courses).
3. It is a very hot tropical climate and unless you went back to the room to change you had to remain in the trousers for the rest of the night.
It is a good hotel that could be better with a few adjustments, or a more honest tree star rating.
Second time even better
My wife and I returned to RIU for the second time. We absolutely love the people, location, weather, food, and the fun. We have noticed some rather low ratings of this facility, and I think they are completely unfounded.
Food: 3 squares a day! Mix and match to your desire - who could ask for more? (and wonderful to the pallet)
Accomodation: 1 room, 2 beds, a TV that should NEVER be turned on, since you have no reason to watch TV in an Enviroment like Varadero.
Big spacious bath/shower/dressing room.
People: What can I say - FANTASTIC - search out Raefial at the bar...
can't do enough for ya!
Weather: after two visits, totalling 14 days - grand total of 3 rain 'showers' lasting less than 15 minutes each. (oh yeah, can you say HOT!- with a nice breeze)
Sum it all up, and we are actually taking the kids down for spring break in '05. Please feel free to email me for photo's or questions of the resort... and I do NOT work there! hahaha
Enjoy your trip!
A world of Salsa
"Magic world and culture shock in Cuba"
Thats a frst time I have bought my trip from a travel Agency. Well, dear travelers. i dont think I will do that again! We did enjoy our vacation but only because we are adventurous and brave enought to go everywhere by ourselves. Thomson- agency we travel with - was a big dissapointment: plane was dirty, cabin crew not nice ( waiting for a beer for one hour) and rep absolutely useless. They were trying to discourage from independent traveling from the begginig pushing very expensive tours.
Anyway.... Cuba!!! That was always my dream to see a place where Salsa was born. And I am telling you now, It was absolutely fantastic! But lets start from the beginning...
"First days in Varadero"
We stayed in Riu Turquesa in Varadero. According to our agent it should be 4 stars hotels. It wasnt.. but lets not be picky....Varadero is Cuban top resort, which occupies the 19 km long Penisula. It is a succesion of hotels, restaurants, bars and shops.The main road is Avenida primera and thats where all primary hotels and city center is based. Nice place, but not really Cuban. i would say - avarage or less Caribean resort. You will not see real life there and be prepared to tip everywhere. I would not recommend it for families neither. Its not the best travel base because Cuba have a main problem with transport so its quite difficult to get anywhere. Varadero is placed about two hours travel from Havana and 3-4 hours driving to Trinidad. Varadero is for people who are looking for wonderfull beaches and resort life not adventure
Transport is one of the main problems in Cuba. Us- tourist we pay for everything double. Cubans are forced to hitch hiking. Everyone hitch hike young and old, but its not the way for tourist. Cubans always pick up their fellow countryman, but if they offer a foregner a ride they may be fined by police, unless they have permit. From other side, its very appreciated if a tourist renting a car to take a hitch hiker on his way to other places.
So what we can do... there are few choices...
*rent the car- well, you mightstop and never start again somewhere in the middle of the island. The real problem occures when your car is not insured.
* rent the muppet - it was fun, we have done it... 24 peso and youhave 24 hours transport... the only problem , our muppet stoped after 100 km and didnt wanted to start again
* taxis- they have a lot of them, prived, goverment owned, coc taxis and rickshaws, unfortunately quite expensive... taxi from Riu Turquesa to Varadero Center cost os the same money what bus to Havana 10 peso.
Its good to negotiate a price before you take a ride. If its possible
* local busses, quite adventurous, look at the pictures
*Viaazul - we found it very comfortable and reliable way of travelling, trip to Havana cost us 10 peso, to Trinidad 20 peso. Reps from hotels are not very keen to recommend it. Dont listen to them..
* In Varadero, there is a signseeing red bus. You pay 5 peso and you can take a trip anywhere in Varadero for all day.
Hotel pool Rio Turquesa Varadero
hi : my question , has anyone stayed at the RIU TURQUESA hotel , and how far out of town is it located ---- any coments are welcome --many thnaks g.b
Hello...it is on Varadero, around 20 min drive from Matanzas. Check this web site, it has reviews and photos...
Just one thing... in your trip to Cuba, if you want to see the real Cuba avoid Varadero.
hi, i believe that this hotel now has new owners, possibly gran caribe.i would liketo know if there have been any changes, good or bad since the change over.
we stayed here in 2005 and had a brilliant holiday and going back again in september.
Trips in and around Varadero
Can anyone recommend any good trips not run by traditionally expensive holiday companies in and around Varadero. The types of trips my wife, daughter (13) and I have taken elsewhere are boat trips, jungle trails, animal parks, river rides etc. We are staying in Varadero for 2 weeks come the 8th Feb and we will definetely be visiting Havana. I believe I can get there by local bus or train. Are any of these forms of transport advisable?
Also, in Havana, can you get to drive one of the old American cars?
RE: Trips in and around Varadero
Do not take the train. If U've enough time and U considerer yourself as an adventurer, then take it. Better use the Via Azul bus company. They offer a good service all around cuba.... here is their official website:
As for the excursions try not to miss:
- Cienaga de Zapata: an enormous swamp to the south of Matanzas, the same province where Varadero is located. Lot of endemical flora and fauna to see.
- Trinidad and Topes de Collantes: in Sancti Spiritus U´ll find these 2 special places. The first one is one of the first 7 villages founded by Cristobal Colon and in the other one U can visit 6 waterfalls in a 40km radius, one of them the biggest in cuba, Caburni waterfall
- Soroa, Las Terrazas and Viñales: All of them in Pinar del Rio, the western province. Soroa has a beatiful botanical garden specialized in orchids and a wonderfull waterfall.
In Havana there are lot of 40´s and 50´s american cars. For sure some driver will allow U to drive his car for some bucks.... have fun!
RE: Trips in and around Varadero
there is a dolphin place you can swim with them and see a show the reps dont tell you about it its just over the road to the hotel riu turquesa its 89cuc
RE: RE: Trips in and around Varadero
The schedule at the official Viazul website is outdated ... the schedule at CJ.com not :))
RE: Trips in and around Varadero
THE hands down most fun my GF and I had there the whole trip was taking one whole day, (including evening) renting a moped from the hotel, ($20us) and going all over varadero. You dont need helmets or anything. it is a real adventure. You can park em anywhere too, no theft!
See my photos from this trip for more info...
Coralia Club Playa De Oro Review, Photos, Pirates Cave, Travel Tips
RE: RE: Trips in and around Varadero
Carry cash if you don't wear a helmet on the moped - it is against the law and the police may take the opportunity to write you a ticket. We've seen them park and pull over tourist after tourist.