Good place to stay
Went here in December 2005.
-Nice pool and great beach
-Good capuccino's :-)
-Location is off the main highway so it is not walking distance to downtown Varadero. It will take 15 minutes on the moped to get the markets.
Beaches Varadero was really...
Beaches Varadero was really great - food, drinks, staff, activities. Opened in 1999 so is still in good shape. I highly recommend this all-inclusive. You won't be disappointed.
A week runs from $1200 to $1400+ Cdn. depending on the date and length of time to go hen booked. This price is for a charter including air and hotel - all inclusive.
Best All-Inclusive Resort
Lovely accomodations. Try to get the last villa to the west of the main building. It is closest to the pool, and beach bar where all the activities take place.
Food was great, and the staff were wonderful. The Animation team was the greatest.
I would recommend this resort to everyone and anticipate returning myself one day soon. Not on top of the beach but not too far of a walk. I would have to say the staff was one of the most outstanding characteristics of the hotel.
WONDERFUL RESORT IN VARADERO
After deciding we wanted to stay in Varadero, now we had to research to see what Resort we wanted to stay at. After reading many reviews, we decided upon MELIA LAS ANTILLES and were very happy with our choice.
Located on Los Tainos Beach in the Varadero Hoteles District, the Resort, (formerly Beaches Varadero) was built in 1999, has 350 rooms, 4 Restaurants - one buffet & 3 a la carte, 6 Bars, Snack Bar, Disco, 2 Tennis Courts, huge swimming pool (piscina) wonderful beach and beautiful grounds and gardens.
Our Junior Suite had two twin beds, satellite TV, in-room safe (no charge), mini-fridge stocked with water, softdrinks and beer, sitting area with desk, bathroom with tub, shower & hair dryer and balcony / terrace.
We were in Modulos 66 (6601-6628) "Villa Colonia" Room 6605
Its great to be back!!
I am a veteran Cuban traveller. 1999 and 2000 Beaches Varadero, 2001 Breezes Jibacoa(2weeks), 2002 Breezes Varadero returned to Beaches Varadero in April of 2003 and just finalized 2004s' trip for 2 weeks in Beaches Varadero. My experiences have been nothing short of fantastic.
My wife and I travel with 2 other couples and we are all in agreement when it comes to this resort. The rooms, food, staff. entertainment and service are as good as any resort I've ever been to. Don't put too much stock in reports of theft and poor food. I know it happens but it happens in all resorts. If you treat your maid with respect they will take good care of you (it doesn't hurt to take some cheap jewelry, make-up, tylonol etc. to leave out for the maids on a daily basis) its an inexpensive way to show your appreciation. Don't be afraid to do a little tipping, you don't have to get carried away but a couple of bucks in your bartenders hands every couple of days goes a long way.
Lets face it money talks! Anyway, go to Beaches Varadero, have a great time. You won't regret it!
Mixed reactions Christmas 2003
Beaches Varadero could be a world class resort, if only !!!. My family and I have just spent 2 weeks at Beaches. Although we enjoyed it it could have been so much better. The resort itself is firstclass in an outstanding location. Food at Beaches buffer restaurant ranges from outstanding (Christmas Eve and Christmas day) to apalling (Boxing day).
Biggest issue is that food is never hot. Also potential problems with food cross contamination as different foods are cooked on the same grill surface. There is no excuse - it's the quality of staff. Buffet restaurant good, other restaurants not worth the visit as the food is poor. The day before checkout be careful that the night staff do not attempt to rip you off and pay your bill in cash which they pocket. It happened to several people we know.
Resort Review and Advice for Cuba Trip to Varadero
Fortunetely I stayed at the Beaches Varadero Hotel / Resort which was probably the minimum standard for a good hotel in Varadero. I heard from many other tourist that were staying in other hotels that were 4 star or lower that their hotel was not that great, and they had all kinds of problems ranging from plumbing to food. My trip was not negative, but I will point out some problems to look out for and give you as much an objective opinion as possible. I think these comments are extremely important to preventing some dissapointments, or problems for people going down to Cuba for the 1st time.
1/ What ever you do book only a 4.5 (Four and a half star hotel or higher). You are really playing with fire if you go with a 4 star in Varadero or lower. Unless you are under the age of 30 and don't really care about the conditions of the hotel, the service, the food quality than you should really save your money for any 4.5 star. Even with some 4.5 star hotels there could be problems such as noise going through the walls from one room to another if there is a loud family next door, or shower heads that don't work, or no proper hot water flow during peak hours. If you are a couple and want to enjoy the beach, have a relaxing time, and are into simply getting away (not thinking or worrying is your goal), and you want (need) good food and service, including great entertainment in the resort during the evening shows then you should try to book a 5 star. The 5 star hotels in Varadero are significantly above and beyond the 4.5 star, there is really a large jump in quality service, and design of the resort from 4.5 to 5 star. The big jump in food quality and service is from 4 to 4.5 star.
Here is the key to selecting good quality resort in Varadero. Varadero land area is shaped like a baseball bat, or a cigar which is long and thin. The land area is about 30 km long and maybe 2 km wide. So the main city / town of varadero is at the base or the handle of the bat.
The city is a small town with a population in the 1000's of 10s of thousands, very poor and run down and what is expected for a Cuban town. The resorts/hotels line the beaches area along the long strip of land starting from the town all the way up to the tip area of the bat/cigar or landmass 30 km away. So the newer hotels (less than 5 years old) start at about the 1/2 way or 2/3 ways point up the long land mass. Near the end of the long strip they are still building about 3 new hotels, not to be completed most likely until 2005/6. If you want to be away from the noise, and the younger single party animals/pigs, then you need to be atleast 1/2 way up the strip. Beaches Varadero resort is the area where the quality begins. However there is one more hotel connected to the major gold course that is still acceptable quality from what I hear.
Another couple of very nice hotels are Paradisus Varadero, and Sandals Resort.
Here is my breakdown:
a) Food, the food is mostly imported from Canada and thus the buffet at Beaches Varadero is good quality and there is a wide variety of foods.
The other restaurants within our hotel is acceptable quality but not anything special, just to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner in the buffet hall is sufficient since there can be on most days atleat 15 meat dishes to choose from, 20 vegatable dishes, rice, pasta, noodles, breads, fruits, juices, wine, liquor, beer, water etc. And atleast 10 different desserts to choose from. 80 to 90% of the food is good quality, and the other you can dare at your own risk, some choices taste bland or like they are rotten, but not anything you can't hide with large quantities of the sauce. Most of the true cuban food tends not to taste good, but is acceptable for most unless you are a restaurant bug. Food at the Beaches Varadero resort is probably the best compared to all other resorts so
FOOD QUALITY: I give it a 8.5 / 10.
Service: The level of service is satisfactory, some bar tendors are well behaved, while others don't see you behind the bar unless you wave a $1 bill. I would have to say the service is slighly lower but marginally than service in most motels/hotels in other countries. This is becuase of the attitude the people of Cuba have grown up with, its not really a capitalist state and thus customer service is not really inbred into the people like it is at a Hilton for example. However if you find a few waitress/waiters that are very friendly then you could stick to thier service and you may not notice the other marginally substandard level of customer service. But if you give your service provider a $1 bill, it will be good service for atleast 2 days. The consierge is acceptable service, and the room keepers provide the best overall service. Food service varies widely depending on who is serving you. Here is a rating of the service levels:
Bus Boys: 8.5/10 Always excited to help you carry your bags.
Food Service: 6/10 (long line ups and disabled cooks that sometimes don't see that there are 10 people lined up for grilled fish or pasta, but still refuse to rush, or turn on the 2nd grill not being used, or the 2nd frying pan).
Food Waitress/Waiters: 7/10 Wide variance, some can't make a proper coffee, while others provide outstanding quality of service.
Check-in: 4/10 Poor introduction, long line ups, slow service, and lack of organization. You end up waiting for 1/2 hour atleast to get your room if you are not 1st in line off the bus.
Bar Service: 7.5/10
Room Cleaners: 9/10
Overall Service at Resort: 7.5 / 10
ROOM: The rooms are usually well maintained and very clean. Try to avoid 1st floor rooms or mainfloor rooms. My room was the 2nd floor (3000's) but had some tiny ants running around at one point, not many but bearable. The rooms otherwise are clean, and very nice. Considering that you won't be living in your room they are acceptable and better than most USA hotel rooms that I have stayed in.
Hotel Room Design: 9/10
You may want to upgrade your room once you arrive at the hotel, this is done very easily by simply asking once you check in. To upgrade it may cost you anywhere from about $10 per night to $50 per night USD. The beaches are not really visible from the rooms since the elevation and the palm tress are in the way so don't expect to look out your Florida window and see the beach line. I think most hotels 95% don't offer a beach view anyway unless you go up about 6 floors and there are no palm tress around. The hotels need to be atleast 100 meters from beach with palm trees to absorb any hurrican winds and water that can damage the hotels if they are too close to the shore anyway.
Evening Shows: 7/10 Its worth sticking around most of the nights from 9:45 pm to 11:00 pm to watch the evening shows/entertainments. Its mostly dancing and its well worth to relax, have a drink and watch the shows put on by the pool in the theatre stage setup. Only 2 nights were a dissapointment, but either way it was fun talking with other guests /couples/groups from different parts of Canada/UK/Australia/France/Italy/Germany/Whales! while having drinks by the poolside in the evening.
Most water activiities are always cancelled if the winds are too high (30 km/h), or there are currents or waves at the beach (1 foot or higher). I would not recommend visiting Varadero in the winter if you are really into water sports since 6/7 days they cancelled all water activities due to poor weather, which really wasn't poor by our standards. The water has to be very calm, otherwise under cuban law the water activities are not permitted. Calm means very calm with no waves, the problem is that in December the winds are always around, and the waves also. So your chances are that only 2 out of 7 days will be calm enough for these activities at any resort. I couldn't do any of these actiivites except of 1.
SCUBA Diving: require to pass a swim test of 6 laps in the pool before moving to the next tests of removing water from your mask underwater in the pool with the gear on.
Snorkling: not really a good idea, the cubans hype up the quality of snorkling, other tourist told me that its really poor, nothing like other places in the world.
Sailing: couldn't do it due to weather
Catamarin: couldn't do it due to weather
Kayacking: fun to try on the beach
Wind-surfing: couldnt do it due ot weather
The weather in December/January tend to be the following:
2 / 7 days usually rainy and overcast 1 / 7 days perfect hot crystal clear sunshine 3 / 7 cloudy with suny breaks 50% but windy 1 / 7 sunny half day, and rainy half day
Expect to get sun 3-4 days during the week, but expect windy conditions 30 km/h, and lots of waves in the ocean for most of the days of the week. Thus water sports are out of the question most of the days so plan your trip accordinly.
Insects: Little or no bugs during December /January.
Important and Useful Things at this Resort:
a) $20 deposit for metal safe in room, keep your money, passport, etc in the safe.
b) International Long-Distance Calling Office, $2 per minuts (USD) to most places), operator assisted and cheaper than Bell Canada.
c) Internet / Email Kiosk, open 1/2 days and costs $3 USD per 30 minutes. Good for checking your hotmail/yahoo emails. Note, its very slow connection so you can't really do browsing, about 1/5th the speed of dialup.
d) Gym/Sauna/Massage (optional fee)
e) Minimarket in hotel for buying gifts, and also a gift shop.
f) Tourism Desk on bottom floor. The only way to book your excersions.
The best way actually. You get discuss and book any day trips etc with the person at this desk, or even rent a car.
g) Moped Rentals ($10 1st hour, $3 the following hours). Highly recommend you do this to visit Varadero, its better than the $5 bus that only visits certain parts of the city. Ask for a map of varadero before renting the moped. You can also visit other resorts and check out the 30 km strip with the moped. You can visit anywhere in Varadero with the moped, free parking. There are 100's of moped renters everywhere. Just be careful to avoid potholes, and choose a moped that has the rear breaks functioning.
h) SPANISH COFFEE (must try it !!!, don't forget).
Nightlife: The major resorts have their share of bar/clubs which are acceptable quality, the town of Varadero also has a couple of nice bar/clubs. Traditionally most if not all the nightlife bars / clubs have some sort of show going on, followed by opening up the dance floor to salsa, merenge, mumba, etc for the visitors, then they mix in typical dance music until 2 am, or 3 am. The clubs in general are not as good as the ones in major cities of north america but are acceptable quality and good enough to enjoy if you like dancing to spanish music.
Speaking to a local apparently Castro cracked down on Varadero as a party town back in the mid and late 90's when it was getting out of control with prostitution, parties, woman/men, etc. so now its more tame without as much nightlife or action as there used to be, thus its more of a couples town. So don't expect to have a massive nightlife, if you are intending on going to Varadero.
Taxi Ride: $10 USD one way to varadero from Beaches, it may cost you $12 depending on the cab.
Here are some major excursions advertised:
-Havana One Day (1 day)
-Havana Overnight (2 days)
-Havana Special (1 day + evening show Tropicana)
-Underground deep cave tour (near Matanzas) not for those with heart conditions.
Personally I think visiting Havana is worth it atleast, and you can also purchase Cigars from the state run cigar bars. DO NOT under any circustances purchase cigars from street vendors as the quality is terrible, and you cannot export them from Cuba without the hologram. I highly recommend you speak with other people at your resort who have just taken these trips before deciding, the Cubans tend to over exagerate everything including the quality of these excursions.
To sum up, I think if you are down to 2-3 hotels/resorts to choose from make sure they are atleast 4.5 star, and decide. I think a 5 star would be better, but if its down to 2 hotels and they are both 4.5 star you won't go wrong with Beaches Varadero. Maybe the food quality will push you over the edge and help you decide which hotel. It also depends on your personality type.
Things I recommend you bring on your trip:
Alarm Clock (Wal-mart) that winds up and doesn't run on batteries ($10). Since most outlets if not all run on 220 Volts.
Mosquito Repellent (if in the summer)
Cigar Clippers/Scissors if you will smoke
Tanning Lotions (30 protection, 8 protection: 2 large bottles)
Aleo Vera for burns etc.
Cream to moisturize any dry skin from sun.
Polysporin for cuts, abrations, etc.
Cough drops for sore throats
Dequalin Lozenges for sore throats (antibacterial).
Lip Balm for cracked lips.
Meal Replacement Bars for the day trips or other reasons incase you are hungry and away from any food sources.
Hats / Caps for sunsheilding. Bring extra ones to give away to the locals at the beach.
Atleast 2 pairs of bathing suites
Something for rashes, you may get a sea salt rash if you do lots of walking after swimming and don't wash off the salt, so something for diaper rash will be very handy.
Soap Bars and minishampoo. The soap bars in Varadero don't bubble up for some reason.
Extra Toothpaste to give away. The standard salary is $10 USD per month, and toothpaste is a high lifestyle product for cubans.
Watch: to time yourself to ensure you don't get lost when walking in Havana and you are on time, otherwise the buses will leave you behind.
Casual / Dress Clothes for Dinners incase they require it one night.
They may restrict you if you are in shorts for some restaurants.
Tylenol/Advil for fever reduction incase of fever, bring a thermometer also to monitor self.
Bandaids for cuts, ofcourse you will apply the polysporin to kill any infection as you apply the bandaid to you cut you obtained from the tropical forest walk you just completed.
There is so much more I would like to say but will leave that up to you., hope you enjoy the trip. One more point, the resorts are not very busy, they don't tend to pack the resorts as they are in Mexico or other places so at times it may seem quite especially in the winter months. But hey, you are going away to relax anyway so it will work out in your favour.
Who goes to Cuba for the food anyway! You go to drink and Have fun!
For a couples resort there were a lot on singles and we had so much fun we met so many people from all over the word! The rooms are great but get two key cards so the air and fridge work when you are out! Hopefully you will not be spending anytime in your room anyway. Our group had a wedding there although it be a little inpersonal was very well done. Very simple and quick. The management left you alone and were kinda had our run of the place. There are people of all ages. My best bud and I being mid twenties had a blast and we are going back. Food truly not great but alright bring a few snacks like chips and you will be fine. Miami Vice at the pool bar great Breaky>
Wow! Loved it!
(Nov 22-29) Beached was fantastic. We have never been so relaxed on a vacation before. Everything we tried, we thoroughly enjoyed. We paid a little extra for the Concierge Junior Suite and it was well worth it.
The benefits included: immediate check in when you get to the resort with a bus load of 40 guests, ocean view, full bar (other rooms just have beer, water and pop), concierge to book restaurants and other activities. The room was big, clean, and had a great bed. The three special dinner restaurants had a cozy atmosphere and the food was great (book well in advance if you aren't on the concierge floor). The buffet resaurant had something for everyone: fruit, salads, smoothies, pasta bar, sandwich bar,...you would have to try hard to be unhappy with the variety and quality. I found the coffee in the buffet restaurant disappointing (watery), but all the bars served expresso and cappucino, which was great. The beach was magnificent!! It wasn't hard to find a seat. You can walk for hours along the shoreline. The bars served great drinks (skip the white rum, try the dark rum). We tipped the maid and the bartender about $1/day and we had great service. But we found all the staff very friendly and helpful. We will definitely go back to Beaches.
January 2001 trip - Beaches Varadero
"Guess What This Is??"
Stayed at Beaches Varadero again. Here is a picture of the fountains they have to wash the sand off when you come up from the beach.
"Wife and her father"
Two passengers enjoying the cruise...
Here is a picture of the beach at the back of the hotel. We think it has one of the nicest ones as it is broad, has a double row of thatches, and plenry of sail boats, paddle boats, windsurfers, etc. All at no extra charge. They only charge you for things that use gasoline except being towed/dumped from the big yellow banana is free. Probably that is free because they like to see the touristas getting wet!!
The beach is probably a continuous 5 km that comes to stop when you run into the cliff at Club Med.
"No Throwing Your Fellow Sunbather Allowed!!"
As you fellow tourists know, sometimes translations into Engish can be pretty fractured. Here is the best example from this trip.
There are many forms of transportation for the tourist to take to get from the hotels into Varadero. There is the bus ($1), taxis ($10), the little egg shaped things that hold two and the driver. But below is a train that you can catch at the mall in the middle (Plaza las Americas) near the golf course that goes into Varadero, and as far as Super Clubs Puntarana, before returning. It costs $4 and you can get off and on again. They will let you off at the marketplace in town or suggest a cigar place as well. We talked them into taking us back to Beaches for an extra $1 which was no problemo for them.
Main street in Varadero with old car. Street is 60 blocks long and two blocks away is the beach.
Another old car. The guard at the gatehouse proudly told me it was a 1958 Buick built by General Motors of Canada. It has had the engine removed and a diesel engine put in instead. This is quite common. I suppose that the engine last longer, with less maintenance and maybe the fuel is cheaper - all three of which are very important.
"Jolly Rodger Sunset Cruise"
As with most Caribbean islands, there are are Jolly Rodger cruises run out of the marina. There is a day time one with booze, lunch, etc., but we took the sunset one. This is a picture of the boat coming in.
"And here is the sunset."
We motored out for about 30 minutes then they raised the jib. Picture is not the best but I tried.....
"Lobsters for sail"
The "boys" tried to raise some extra cash by selling freshly cooked lobsters (no doubt obtained on the day trip) for something like $10. They looked good, but nobody bought. We were all going bacl to our all-inclusive hotels for dinner, so it was a tough sell.
Hotel Entrance Beaches Varadero
Melia Las Antilles
Shrimp at Beach Restaurant
which resort to book
Hi fellow Cuba lovers; I go to varadero every year, and I'm thinking of either the Oasis Turquesa or Playa De Oro. If you have any info on these that would be great.
If you are looking for info on Varadero resorts, keep reading...
so far I have been to:
2009 Cuatro Palmas (small, decent, incredible beach, food was good, but the rooms are not so good. first room full of mosquitos; second room across from the disco. No sleep.)
2008, 2009, Barcelo Marina Palace (beautiful, big, lots of walking, nice beach, good staff, great food, very quiet. Not very much music, boo!)
2007 Blau Varadero (switched to Alameda after one night; noisy uncomfortable rooms and line-ups for food)
2007 and 2008 Playa Alameda ((wonderful all around, food, beach, entertainment, all stellar. Really good band every night)
2005 Beaches, now called Melia Las Antillas (wonderful all around, food, beach, entertainment, all stellar. Excellent dancers and killer band)
2001 Barcelo Solymar (great bungalows, rocky beach, bad food but it was the times)
1996 Melia Las Americas (beautiful, rocky beach, bad food but it was the times)
I haven't been to cayo coco or Santa Clara; I love the beach at Varadero because it is so pristine and the waves are great for playing. can anyone tell me what other cuban beaches are like? I was at the Riu Turquesa in Holguin; great resort, beach was yucky.
Re: which resort to book
Just an edit on the Barcelo Marina Palace - lots of mossies !
But they do serve Chivas Regal in the all inclusive price !
I am going solo to Varadero for 2 weeks starting October 24th. I will be staying at Beaches....anyone else going to be there at the same time?
RE: Beaches, Varadero
Can somebody who has bee at beaches varadero over the past few months give me an update as i heard they are renovating the property and we wish to stay there in november an we would like to know the status of the property
RE: beaches varadero
do you mean private houses?, some properties have been renovating but not all of them at the same time.
Nice time in Varadero...
RE: RE: beaches varadero
THANKS FOR YOR RESPONSE BUT I MEAN DOES ANYONE KNOW IF THE HOTEL BEACHES VARADERO IN IN RENOVATION STAGE AND WHAT IS ITS STATUS?