Hotetur Sunbeach Hotel

3 out of 5 stars3 Stars

Calle 17, esq 1ra y 3ra, Cuba, Caribbean

3 Reviews

  • Acceptable if on a budget

    by

    We have just returned yesterday from our vacation in Varadero at the Sunbeach. Since we got a really good deal from a family of three, two adults and a child, we had low expextations for that resort. This hotel is very old, not as fancy as the ones at the end of the city. The room was clean, with the double beds, a small sofa, a desk that can barely stand. The bathroom was more recent than the rest, let's say 12 years old, all tiles. We had no balcony and a small window with a view of the streets. What I didn't know when I first booked is that the Sunbeach is one of the first hotels of the city. So you can hear the cars, trucks and buses early in the morning, let's say at around 7 am. So you can't expect a quiet morning. The beds were not confortable. It was fine for our child, but for us, the matresses had very little support.

    As for any all inclusives, there's a buffet and one restaurant where they serve pizza and pasta. It's my third trip to Varadero and it's the first time I actually have trouble with the food. It might be the dairies. But as my husband and toddler had no problems at all, I just chose meals without milk or cheese. I would say the chicken and white fish were very good, the rice and the bread as well. You can expect grilled shrimps, ham, pork chops, salmon and turkey. The turkey was one of the best diner we had. Very well cooked and super tender. Only one diner though in the whole week. Overall for the food, you will little variety, but tasty nonetheless. There were a lot of people during our stay and sometimes the staff ran out of utensils, plates and cups. Most of the staff at the buffet were nice and helpful, especially with children. There are two high chairs and there was always one available.

    The pool was very clean and you must reserve chairs first thing in the morning with your towel. Same for the beach. The good thing is that this Hotel is close to the stores, some restaurants, the airport and the bus stop. So if the weather is not so nice, there are things to do. The tourists coming from Russia and Germany did not seem as friendly as our fellow Canadians with the staff. I found that suprising. Overall, I would not recommend this resort to families with young children. However, if you want to travel on a thight budget, this resort will provide you with an acceptable service. I'd keep this hotel at a 3 stars flat, no more, no less.

    Unique Quality: The activities around the hotel, the pool is nice. Some water sports included in the price at no extra charge. Walking on the beach is great.

    Directions: Beginning of the Varadero area

  • Great holiday

    by

    My wife and I have stayed here for the past two winters. The food was good, the service was very good and the amenities were excellent. The beach was world class. The staff remembered us from the year before and went out of their way to make us welcome.

    The BEST was the location. It was near the market, the beach and transit

    The WORST- Some tourists treat the staff like crap. Not a good idea. Cubans are poor but they have pride. If you enjoy bullying the "servants", do not stay here.

    See you in January.
    Bryan

    Unique Quality: Good wine

  • Camping_Girl's Profile Photo

    Budget 2.5 Star Accomodations

    by

    For a budget hotel, I was pleasantly surprised. The staff (with the exception of front desk staff) were very friendly, very helpful. The food here was very good, better than some 3.5 stars I've been to. The buffet was certainly smaller but the quality was very good.

    The pool was wonderful, as were the 2 bars at the pool :) The ladies at the lobby bar took a couple of days to warm up to us, but turned out to be the most helpful of all by the end of our stay. I always looked forward to my cafe con leche at the lobby bar in the mornings!

    One thing that drove us crazy was that there is only one key available for each room. If you are not staying with a spouse, this can get to be problematic if you and your room-mate are going your separate ways during the day. But the front desk staff will hold your room key for you in this case so that whoever gets back to the hotel first can get back into the room.

    One word of warning to you - do not drink the water from the lobby bar; it is unfiltered and I can almost guarantee you WILL get sick if you drink it!

    Unique Quality: The beach is across the street from the hotel, and it is extremely clean, I couldn't believe how clean! It is very easy to cross the street to get to the beach, and the restaurant on the beach has fabulous food! (15% discount to Sunbeach customers) The guys working the bar at the beach were very helpful to us as well and I have to thank them once more for their great service to us.

    There is a cadeca at the hotel but it is open rather sporadic hours - you may have to come back a few times before you are able to exchange your cash!

    There is a market right across the street from the hotel, it is one of the larger ones. You will be able to do most of your souvenir shopping right there.

    Directions: Right downtown, in the heart of Varadero.

More about Hotetur Sunbeach Hotel

Great time at the Sunbeach

by TripAdvisor Member SandyMontreal

After having spent one week at the Sunbeach hotel in Varadero (formerly the Bellamar), I would not hesitate to recommend it to anyone. Couples, singles, families- all were present and made to feel welcomed at this resort. The food was good (not an easy thing to find in Cuban resorts), staff was friendly and our room was very clean. A little bit of problems with the lack of hot water and cats at night, but all in all a fabulous time. The beach ansd pool areas were always clean. Nightly entertainment is average but there are some great local bars a few steps away from the hotel.

Varadero

by RKyle about Sun Beach

I usually stay at the Sun Beach and book online for a cheaper rate. There are casas in Cardenars (pardon my spelling) you have to bus or taxi to the beachs and that is a pain,
Sounds like you are moving on if staying one night, I have done that many times when flying on charters. Last time we went out and paid cash $20cuc to ride directly to Havana on a Tour bus and skipped Varadero.

Great Relaxed Holiday

by A TripAdvisor Member

We stayed at Hotetur Sun Beach Varadero for 2 weeks (beginning of May 2005). We had a very good last minute deal (Tour Operator: Sunquest ) and we expected less for money that we've paid.
My husband and I are from Toronto, Canada and we are in our late 30. Weather was perfect during our 2 week stay, with only rain whan we arived (1 hour) and for 3 hours in Varadero (we were in Havana that day so we didn't even see 2nd rainy day).

RECEPTION: As we arrived we've waited for some time (with the smile and good attitude) to get the room (apparently the gests didn't leave on time) and while we were waiting our luggage was securely locked near reception so we could have lunch at the pizza restaurant (buffer was not open yet). Our first impression of the reception stuff was that they are not very talkative and polite but when we asked to change our non balcony room to room with the balcony and ocean view, we were given a new room with the smile immediately.
After a day there, my husband didn't like the traffic noise (the room was overlooking road, some Cubans homes and ocean on two sides) in the morning with the buses, motors and old cars. I didn't hear anything.
Anyway, we asked to be transferred to other room that overlooks pool and ocean and we were told to come the day after, when we were given the keys to see our new room and after we OKed it, we were given the key with the smile again.
We gave them some gifts - after we were transfer because we liked their professionalism and help. I think that smile and nice words from a guest are having similar (or better) effect as tipping.
HOTEL: Mainly renovated. 2 Towers, but only one was working during our stay (smaller one). 3 star. Nothing really fancy. Nice plain clean L shape pool with 2 bars around and Pizza restaurant near. We ate there only once and I didn't like the pizza the way it was prepared. But, I heard some people enjoyed the pizza and pasta and instead of having lunch at the buffet they were eating there. No reservations required for pizza and was open the whole day.
Nothing fancy with the drinks and cocktails. Mostly bear (Crystal) and wine as well as mojito (without the herb) and rum punch that was prepared every time the other way. The people that serve drinks are expecting the tips and the quality of the liquor in the punch is often related to the tip.
No kids club and only two kids were at the hotel while we were there (we didn't mind that - almost like adult hotel without the price tag).
Our room was on the 5th floor (higher the floor better the view) and the elevators were not working only one afternoon during 2 weeks while we were there. Although, we used stairs (recreation) every day.
We were happy to find out that there was Internet Access available in the lobby and was working 24h/day. We used it few times per day/every day during our stay. 15 min was 1 conv. peso or 1h - 4 pesos. (They had 2 computers) and you can purchase your time at the reception. There was also a massage at the hotel (extra $). The electricity outlets were the same as in Canada, so we were able to charge our camera bateries with no problem.

BEACH: We knew that the hotel was located on one side of the road and the beach w/ beach bar across the street and we found it exactly like that. Not to much walking to cross the street and there was a nice path to the hotel beach. There was security guard at the gate from the hotel to the beach. No guard on the path, but there was security on the beach together with the Hotel employees.
We've seen Cubans walking the beach and coming on weekends near the hotel beach and we didn't mind seeing some real not tourist related Cubans around.
We were leaving our hotel beach towels (you pay 30 Conv. pesos deposit and you get towels you can exchange while you are at the hotel and when you return them you get deposit back) and other stuff on the beach chairs while on lunch and we never had anything missing.
During our 2 weeks there, we couldn't find sun umbrella only once.
As the pool is not fancy and the beach is breathtaking, the guest were all mostly at the beach unless there were huge waves or wind.
The thing that we didn't like was that the beach chairs were taken and secured at 6.30pm and as we liked staying on the beach until 7.30 or 8.00 pm we could do that only sitting on our hotel towels.
The beach bar was serving drinks (all inclusive) and sandwiches only.
The ocean was great for swimming. Some parts were shallow, while some not. So for us that like to swim a lot and walk a lot on the beach it was great.
Nice white sand and the long beach you could walk forever (we liked west side better ) with many small nationalized villas (now small motels) and big hotels. Great clean turquoise ocean you could swim for hours. For sea lovers - looks like paradise.
The beach was cleaned every night but not in between the sun umbrellas and you could see some cigarettes around as most of the guest were smoking on the beach as well as everywhere else.
We are not smokers but we didn't mind that, except for the sand that didn't look to its best.

ANIMATION: Animation stuff was working hard and they had morning exercise on the beach around 10.30am and some dance lessons near beach bar in the shade appx. around 11-11.30am and than the beach volleyball.
The same stuff was arranging entertainment in the evening (after the show or other happenings) or on days when there was no show. Only 6 cabaret shows for 2 weeks. All entertainment (games & other funny stuff) was done by 11pm. There was some restaurant just next to the hotel, with shows every night, magic show, cabaret, dancers, singers etc... that would end at 12am and that quietly continued until 1-1.30am. No entry fee and driks were appx. 0.5-2.5 conv. pesos. As there was loud music from the hotel until 11pm and than from this restaurant until 12am it was not easy sleeping for people that wanted to go to bed early. We didn't mind the noise as long as all was finished by 1-1.30am.
There was a meeting at the Reception at 11pm every night for guests that wanted to go to disco and they went together with the Animation stuff -sharing taxi (van or few cars or vans) often to Havana Club (techno disco regeton music), Mediterano (live Cuban music - outdoor), La Rumba (we didn't go there and heard only from other guests that is the best) etc.
They were all around 10 conv. pesos all inclusive with the drinks with Mediterano being ?! as the board was showing 5 conv. pesos for all inclusive entrance with the drinks, but the security guy was asking 10 anyway and putting in his pocket.
As the hotel is located on the 1st and 17th street, there was a lot of restaurants with the music and show within the walking distance in either direction (better on the west) as well as many restaurants offering lobster & fish. As we paid a really good price for our hotel we enjoyed eating lobster and fish in some restaurants on the beach (from 12-25 conv. pesos for lobster to 5-10 for fresh grilled fish).
Big souvenir market is near 1st/44th street and taxi is appx. 4 conv. pesos from the hotel to there or maybe less. They charge in average appx. 1 conv. pesos for 10 streets. You can always find somebody from the hotel to share the taxi for shopping or evening fun. It is good to negotiate the price before sitting in taxi.
Bus station is at 1st/35th or 36th and there is VIAZUL air conditioning bus that goes to Havana at appx. 8.30am and return at 6.30pm from Havana (often half empty).
Check with receptionist. This is tourist bus and the price is 10 conv. pesos per person one way - 20 return ticket. It is good buying one way each time. Bring cash for return.
You can arrange with the driver to leave you at the Old City and pick you up there around 6.30 (ask the street and place they will write that for you) and than drop you off near your hotel on your way back. Otherwise, you can always go to the bus station.
Visit to Havana is a must.
Other way to go is to go on private tours offered by some stuff at the Beach (ask Beach Animation Stuff for help) or there are some people offering you drive and tour by small bus or cars for 30-35 conv. pesos per person (return).
You can also rent a car for 60-80 conv. pesos a day and share with two more or check tours with your travel agency or hotel they sell it from 70-95 per person. Once you are in Havana, (if you take rent a car) park in secured parking and all you should really see is in Old part of the City and we would suggest you to go on foot. It is really great experience seeing architecture and people live their life and there are several museums, galleries, well known hotels etc.
The famous tourist street is Obisbo - there are few banks there to change your foreign money to either conv. pesos (no more US dollars).
The rates are posted and as far as we noticed, they are government dictated. Other good more Cuban street is San Rafael.
Hotels in Varadero often have not as good rates as at the airport or in Havana, but the difference is really not important.
Rum is cheaper to buy at Varadero (appx. 5.60 conv. pesos for a 1l - Silver Dry) comparing with the airport. There was a store at 1st/23rd - like a corner store with shampoos, food and drinks that offered all kinds of drinks for sale.
There are some tobacco stores (really nice), but we bought all our cigars at the airport. They had much better selection of medium priced wooden boxed cigars. (if you buy cigars ask for receipt and check boxes carefully as we noticed when we arived home that one seal on the cigar box was broken even though we bought cigars at Cuban duty free).
We had snorkelling trip - 30 min drive by the catamaran and that 1h snorkelling. We paid appx. 12 conv. pesos per person (4 of us went by the catamaran) with a "sailor". It was nice but nothing spectacular.
There was a tour to Cayo Blanco for 75 conv. pesos for a day and all that did it were stunned.
The same tour can be likely arranged by the beach hotel stuff or at the hotel reception and we would do it next time for sure.
We did horse back riding for 15 conv. pesos per person for 1 hour (including transportation) and it was good experience, but.... Partly on the beach (not very nice part, lot of Cubans bothered by us, some strange smell around etc..) and near Freeway. The horses looked very tired and skinny and I felt sorry for them. I wouldn't do it again.

YOU SHOULD HAVE BOOK - CUBA - guide or similar with you. It is a great tool. You can borrow it from the library or buy it. It explain everything including places you should visit, restaurants where you can eat good food etc.. We borrowed it from the couple from Slovenia (former Yugoslavia) and it helped us a lot while in Havana and in Varadero.

ROOM & ROOM SERVICE: We were presently surprised that rooms and washrooms were renovated and decorated nicely. You can see some moisture impacting melamine white furniture but overall was fine and OK. Two doubles that you can pull together if you like. They have Central Air in the room but we didn't use it as the weather was fine for us. The water preasure was fine, and we run out of water only once for less than 1hour (early morning).
We found that rooms with a balcony are much larger and have a sitting area also (even numbers). The room was cleaned every day and we were happy to notice that the badshits were changed every days together with the towels and new soap was left in the sink. No shampoos or face cloths. No bar in the room and no fresh water daily. Safety deposit box was available for extra 2/day with deposit of I think 25. We had it while there where we've kept our documents and cash.
We left some tip (conv.. pesos or some stuff for maid every or every other day). As there was no laundry service in the hotel we asked maid to was some stuff for us (pants) and even though we asked her how much she said nothing but we left her some tip and gift for that.

FOOD: Only two places to eat in the Hotel- Buffet Restaurant (Nautilus) and Pizza Restaurant (Beach Bar had only ham and cheese toasted sandwiches). Selection at the buffet is plain but acceptable. There is always something to eat like pork, beef, chicken and fish for almost every meal with one or two national Cuban dishes (tail, tongue etc..) , same salads every day and few vegetables like potato, bean, rice, etc....
They even had hamburgers (grilled) with fries few times a week.
Pastry table with some cakes, rice pudding for almost every meal and of course always selection of 3-4 fresh fruits for every meal.
As we like grilled fish or meat, boiled vegetables and fresh fruit we didn't have any problems finding something to eat.
There was only one soup for lunch and dinner - often very oily or from concentrate (tomato). Only few times a week they had nice bean Cuban national soup.
Very nice ice-cream (hazelnut, vanilla, or fruit) - only two selections and only for dinner.
Breakfast was always with eggs, ham, cheese, butter, jam, cereal and great yoghurt and of course fruit table. There are coffee and tea machines as well as juices for you to serve yourself for breakfast.
There was a grill table with the cook to make you eggs the way you like (and with what ever you like) for breakfast and to make grilled fish or chicken or pork for lunch or dinner.
We never had line ups for grill or for lunch or dinner (never more than 2-3 people in front of us and that happened only 3 times for 2 weeks).
We were always able to find clean table to sit. Well, we were always last to come so maybe that was the reason why we never saw any crowd.
We think that the fish served was frozen and we were sorry to find that no shrimp or other seafood than frozen fish was served at the restaurant.
There was a restaurant across the road of the hotel (I think hotel owned) with nice selection of food and decent prices where gests have 15% discount.
Lobster was appx. 15 conv. pesos and fish appx. 6-8 (and all -15%).

TIPS: We brought some stuff, some close, cosmetics, soaps, shoes and money to give to the people. We gave tip and some gifts to the maid (every second day) and we gave some gifts (pens, nail polishes, soaps, shoes, some bathing suits etc..) to the kitchen help stuff, buffet girls, towel exchange guy, reception stuff, animation stuff but mostly to some very poor looking Cuban people on the street (while walking around Varadero). The ones that are in tourist industry (maids and barmen's) are constantly and daily getting a lot of tips and gifts and they are considered very rich by other Cubans that are working for 10 conv. pezos / US $ per month. The food is very cheap so feeding the family is not a problem, but TV, Fridge, Stove etc.. are very expensive (same as here) as well as cosmetics (soaps, shampoos), shoes, clothes etc... Few security guards asked for our shampoos or other toiletry. We were looking for some ordinary non tourist related Cubans to help them with some gifts and items they can not buy or get elsewhere.
They were often so happy, surprised and grateful. Nobody ever refused.
As for the hotel, we often tipped for the service. When we noticed that there was difference in the service based on did we tip that day or not, we stopped tipping that person. As we were there for 2 weeks, we couldn't have enough change/cash to tip every employee at the hotel every day, so we made difference as who is doing his job good and who is just laying around and doing bad job just to get a tip. We never felt it is necessary to tip. Though, maybe we are not the right to tell, as we are not heavy drinkers. We had only few drinks for the day - yoghurt or tea for breakfast, water during the day and mojito or rum punch during the night show.

OVERALL: The hotel is plain and quiet with a lot of guests from Europe (Germany, former Yugoslavia, Spain) and some from South America. Only few were from Toronto and more were from Quebec. While we were there the majority were Germans, guests from former Yugoslavia and then some from Quebec. Mostly adults and only few teenagers and two small kids. We made friend with some German tourists, few from Quebec & Spain and with some tourists from former Yugoslavia and had some great time. We found that all Hotel stuff that we spoke with was speaking English in addition to two or three other languages. We didn't have any problem communicating with the hotel stuff. With the German / Quebec / Spanish tourists it was possible but not as easy.

While at the Hotel, we didn't have anything stolen or missing (as far as we know for now). The service was better than we expected and hotel stuff was polite and helpful. The food was plain but it was possible finding something healthy to eat for every meal. The drinks were limited quality and selection for heavy drinkers. Wine was sour and having strange taste, bear (Crystal) was fine, juices were from concentrate and punches and mojito served with bare minimum. The Night Bar barmen was serving the worst drinks (punches) - every each time different taste and quantity. So if you are OK with simple grilled food, boiled vegetables and fresh fruit, water, maybe bear and rum punch/mojito here and there you will not be disappointed. The Hotel has own beach, but with no fence, so you can see Cubans around. They are not mixing with the tourists and often stay at the end of the beach but they are around. There are only few vendors allowed on the beach (souvenirs and some that offer trips to Havana and horse back riding) and they are not bother. Do not make arrangement to visit Cuban family for lobster dinner at the beach as they charge 15 conv. pesos and promise more but offer less than you get in the restaurants.
Private (homemade) dinner should be appx. 7-10 conv. pesos and you should get 2 lobster trails with vegetables or lobster and shrimps for that money.
If you meet nice person in the Hotel you can visit his/her family for dinner or just go to the restaurant. The Hotel have some nice stuff going when big tourist groups are coming and leaving (the best food, live music during the diner, night cabaret show and beach cabaret & music during the day), other days it's just simple and nice. Some fun around the hotel (games, dance lessons etc..).
The Hotel is in the town, on 2 streets, surrounded by some Cuban homes and few restaurants. For younger and active guests who like to wonder around it is great as you have a town feeling while in the hotel and around and just when you cross the street you are on the path to beach and on lovely outstanding beach with relaxed isolated resort like feeling.
For us, this holiday was better that we expected for the money we've paid. We heard some guests complaining for food, soup selection etc. but they paid just a little less for a week than we for 2 weeks and they were comparing with a hotels where they paid less and get better food and service. At the end it comes just to a price you pay and what you expect for that.
As Varadero Beach is stunning wherever you go in Varadero you'll get the same white sand, palms and great ocean, so it will come only to a food, drinks, pool shape and maybe resort isolation and privacy and if you pay more there are plenty of hotels to choose in Varadero. For the price we've paid we would always go back. We are beach lovers and we enjoyed the beach. Everything else was decent and acceptable. We had great relaxed holiday, wonderful white sand beach with palms and at the same time we've seen real Cuban (Varadero) life as the hotel was in the town with Cubans living and working around.
Great beach and holiday and great Cuban experience (for us)!

The worst hotel ever - Don't stay here

by A TripAdvisor Member

Well, where to begin!

My boyfriend and I (I am 22, he is 23) stayed at this hotel from June 24th - July 2nd, 2005. We flew out of Vancouver, BC. Having bought the all-inclusive trip a month prior to leaving, with taxes, etc it came to about $1,200 CAD per person. We were told that this hotel was the best value for it's money and it was rated as 3 stars. I have stayed in 3 stars resorts in Mexico, and they were just fine. Well, my boyfriend and I didn't have a great vacation.

We arrived in Varadero Airport...it was small and ***ty. Our bags took forever to get, and then when we finally got our stuff we had to rush to meet with our Sunquest Rep to catch the bus that took us to our hotel. Be careful of people wanting to take your bags right away to walk a measly 20 metres to your bus...expecting to get a big tip! Being a female, I unfortunately fell into this trap.

Anyhow, we were the first ones to be dropped off, as our hotel was at the beginning of their "so-called strip". The lobby was overcrowded with ugly furniture and not air-conditioned. The staff did not speak English very well, and mostly spoke only Spanish...thank god for my boyfriend, who spoke Spanish very well. We got our room and had to haul our luggage to the 6th floor. One elevator was out of order. Our room was disguisting. Air conditioner was loud and didn't always work, there were two single beds that we had to shove together, there were only 2 small towels, no fridge, no soap, no shampoo, etc (I'm glad I brought my own toilettries). We had no balcony, and the only view we had was of an ugly, dirty, cracked sidewalk with stray cats and dogs running around. We requested a room change, but they never got back to us during the course of our stay. The toilet didn't work well either and there was no pressure.

The toilets by the lobby and hotel area had no seats, no toilet paper, and there were human feces laying beside the toilet with flies swarming around it. The maids just did the basics, but sometimes didn't get around to cleaning our room until 3-4pm, even if they did at all during the day. The pool was small and dirty, with plastic cups floating around. There were cockroaches walking around the hotel grounds. The drinks were served in the tiniest cups and were disguisting, with no variety. The ice cubes they used were from their dirty, contaminated tap water. The beach was very ugly and unkept. There were cigarette buts everywhere, plastic cups and garbage in the ocean and not enough lounge chairs...half of them of which were broken or cracked in some way making them dangerous and not useable.

At night, my boyfriend and I decided to walk on the sand on the beach...well, out of nowhere, there were 2 iron prongs sticking up from the ground, I almost jabbed myself with them...an accident waiting to happen! The whole "Downtown" of Varadero is nothing special...it's actually quite DEAD and dirty, and boring. There is nothing to buy here except stupid touristy stuff, cigars, and cheap rum. The sidewalks are uneven and there are potholes everywhere, watch where you step!

There was nothing to do in this town at all, and there was nobody to talk to...especially because the locals are prohibited from talking to tourists, due to the secret police and communist law. The organized trips are all in American dollars and all over-priced. We visited Havanna for a day with a private tour guide and that was fun and cost us way less. We also rented scooters for a day and did some exploring on our own. Whatever you do, do not stop by the beach by the toll-booth...you will get eaten alive by mosquitos in a matter of 2 minutes! We looked like we had chicken pox by the time we came back!

By far what the worst of our trip was, was the horrible food. My boyfriend and I were practically sick 5/7 days we were there. We got terrible food poisoning that had us throwing up and having horrible diarrhea all night. The meat at the buffet was rotting, there were flies swarming around the salad bar, nobody wore safety food-handling gloves, etc. Hot foods were not kept hot and cold foods were not kept cold. There was no variety of the foods, no fruits, no pasteries, absolutely nothing. My boyfriend and I were stuck eating breadrolls sprinkled with salt the entire time. The pizza place was also gross. All of their food was either undercooked or very bland. At the end of our stay, they passed out a questionnaire about how we enjoyed our stay, well...let's just say my BF and I didn't bother filling it out. Everybody was dissappointed with the hotel, walking around with depressed looks on their faces. Nobody interacted with anyone except for their own parties and everyone suffered at least some mild form of food poisoning... We didn't have a great vacation, and couldn't wait to get back home back into civilization and eat some safe food....the airplane sandwiches on our Westjet flight back home were to die for! Oh, by the way, you have to have 25 measly pesos to get out of that country on your way back when you're at the airport. There was a thunderstorm at the time our flight was leaving, and many flights were delayed by 1-2 hours. One lightening almost struck our plane while we were grounded and fueling up. The airport ceiling was leaky, and all the staff did was just put CAUTION signs on the floors and stick a couple of garbage cans to collect the water.

I'm sure the people that stayed at nice 5 star resorts had a great time, but we sure did not. For an extra $200-300 we could have gone to another nicer hotel, or even to another place all-together!! Don't go to HOTETUR SUNBEACH, stay at 5 star resorts or go to Mexico, Hawaii, etc instead. Any questions or comments, send them to jmewa@shaw.ca. Thanks for reading.....

Enjoyed Cuba

by TripAdvisor Member water1

I spent 2 weeks at hotel Sunbeach in Varadaro during april 2005. Hotel is between a 2 and 3 star. Rooms were clean, there was a problem with the hot water, quite a few mornings started with a cold shower.Wakes you for sure. The food is ok as long as you appreaciate the problems they experience with imports. By and large the staff was friendly. Some of the entertainment staff was hard to warm up to, but the rest made up for them. I have friends that live a block down the street, so staying at this hotel again would not be a problem. The beach is great, except that it is across the street. The local people are friendly,not hard to get to know. Overall had a great time. Will definetly go back.

Good Hotel

by A TripAdvisor Member

I was at this hotel for one week it is good.....near downtown of Varadero,,, rooms are very clean. The staff very friendly. If you want to save some money stay at this hotel...... spend it something else......

good value no real problems

by A TripAdvisor Member

I cannot say anything really bad about this hotel at all. It was a really good deal, about 1000 ai from vancouver. When you check in they take your passport and are insistant i didnt like it but they said it was for security.

It was clean. The pool was nice, but the beach is across the street and is very clean (no sea junk). the hut has rum and ham and cheese sandwidges. The buffet was mediocre, kinda bland but i survived, almost no chicken mostly fish and ham, but it is open for only one hour at meal times. The pasta/pizza place for lunch is good. there were no bugs except one cockroach in the bathroom that i think got in i left the balcony door open on the 8th floor. i got cold water in the shower only once in the week.

Varadero is very secluded, and the tours are expensive all in american dollars, not as cheap as mexico, probably double the price. Make sure you book the bus on the way back from havana as it leaves at 5 oclock, only had 4 hours unless you want to stay overnight, which I did not know. The bus was then full and I had to pay some dude at the local bus depot to drive us to the resort for 60 american....doh!

A good 1st time experience loved cuba, next time buy the airfare and stay in a private house where they have better food. The cubans are allowed this as the only private business so they are everywhere!!!!

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SunBeach HotelSunBeach Hotel

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Transport advice

by Kardrew

Hello

We have 3 nights in Havana in January followed by 3 nights in Vinales.
We are planning to travel by Viazul bus from Havana to Vinales.

After this we are thinking of:
1 night Camaguay
2 nights Trinibad
1 night Santa Clara/ Remedias
3 nights Jibacoa (Breezes)

Please can anyone recommend how we can travel around Vinales valley, from Vinales to Trindad, from Trinidad to Santa Clara to Jibacoa.

Is car hire the only option? (we prefer to avoid this if possible). I presume taxis for all these places would be very expensive & I don't think Viazul connects these places without going back to Havana?

In addition - If Breezes is full or too expensive can you recommend another beach hotel (is there a 'nicer' part of Varadero?) where we can have a couple of days in a moderately priced hotel to relax before returning to cold & wet Britain?!

Many thanks in advance

Re: Transport advice

by juliogg

Suggest you look up www.HoboTraveler.com This site is about a guy traveling all over the world. Currently he has someone posting things during the day, as he sees it in Havana. You can correspond with him by email and he is on site to answer Q's. This might help you.

Re: Transport advice

by RKyle

Are you arriving at Varadero or Havana?
Pretty ambitious trip, you will be spending a lot of your time in buses and stations.If you can afford it car renting would be easier. Check your spare tire.
In Vinales you can rent mopeds, hire a taxi(not too $$ in Vinles) or reserve a tour at the tour shop near the bus depot. I recomend the tour first then you will have an idea of the area and where you want to go. Costs about $30cuc. don't know if you have a casa in Vinales but "Benito's " is great! Two nights might be enough in Vinales.
From Vinales you bus back to Havana, arrive mid afternoon and probably to late to catch the bus to Trinidad.
If you want to carry on that day catch a late bus to Santa Clara or Camaguay and on to Trinidad or where ever after your stay. Just remember that when you are travelling by bus in the middle of Cuba make a reservation for the day that you want to travel on or you may not get on!
I usually stay at the Hotel Sunbeach in Varadero, I have got some nice rates by booking online, full fare if you walk in.
check my homepage for more info.

Re: Transport advice

by Kardrew

Thanks both for your help

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