- Sandals Royal Hicacos
- Melia Varadero
- Iberostar Varadero
- Paradisus Varadero
- Paradisus Princesa del Mar Resort & Spa
very big, perhaps too!
Flew in from Calgary to Varadero direct on Sunwing, left Friday evening and arrive in Cuba at 4am. By time get to resort it was after 5 am and a lot of people on flight are at this resort as it is the largest right now of all resorts nearest that I can see. In hindsight would of made arrangements to share a cab or some sort of shared ride to resort as be able to beat rush of long line of everyone trying to check in at once. I paid for Diamond upgrade and really think it's worth it if you are coming in at this time as gives you an extra day's stay as I got the room soon as arrived while those without Diamond Club had to place there things in storage till their rooms became available. Flight in a little before us was from Vancouver and they got rooms however had to check out at noon on Friday. Our bus was out around 1am on the Saturday return so if not paying for upgrade think I would rather have room when get there as opposed to have room Saturday afternoon, but it's not up to you, depends on luck of draw.
My room had a decent ocean view in building 34 which was one of the 3 buildings that were closest to ocean (33 and 35). The main buffet is up at the front of the resort and for me took about 15 minutes to get there. Found it to be easiest to cut along the first floor buildings straight into the theater turn right and out into the plaza then left onto the path between the plaza and the path's around the quite pool or the non activity pool. This path between the plaza and the non activity pool is a true bottle neck which only lasts for about 50 yards but in my opinion is a safety issue as not only do all the people have to use this section of path but also all the carts that most have one if not both headlights not working at night. The buildings on both sides of this pool are in the 20's (except 29) and building number 40. They are called the Sunrise Buildings. They are closest to Check in-out and Buffet but have a little bit of a haul if want to spend time on the beach. The second pool is called the loud pool or the activity pool and is closer to the beach. The buildings closest to this pool are 29 and all the 30 something pools and these are the Sunset Buildings. A decent map that is far better then the one that they give you at the resort even in terms of being accurately drawn is at http://www.resortsmaps.com/popup.html?maps/map-SirenisLasSalina-Varadero.gif . Which ever building you end up in, most likely your going to do more then your fair share of walking, it is what it is as they say.....
I don't like buffet's as have worked a lot of camp jobs and am now very sour to them for the most part. One of the only things that really enjoy about buffet's in morning is being able to have lot's of bacon.... mmmmmmm bacon. The whole entire time at this resort they didn't have bacon which seems just wrong to me, they had pork so why not bacon? Most of what I had for breakfast was a little fruit and maybe a bit of cheese and bread. The first few days lost a lot of weight from walking tonnes and eating little at the resort, plus sweating my Canadian but off in temp's that took getting used to. I went into town the first few nights until got on to my a-la-carte meals which ended up really enjoying. The nights in town really enjoyed my meal's especially lobster for 19 dollars (read around lots about cheaper deals on lobster but didn't really find any but still better then paying $60 or more up here)
My first A-la-carte was the Gala dinner which was beside the quite pool near the snake bar. I was told would get to enjoy a lobster dinner at the Gala event when booked it by concierge. Sad to say they were out of lobster and I was in the first seating, however the Shrimp in some kind of sauce for the starter was really good and they gave me another one after finished it (maybe was licking the glass clean.. lol jk). The rest of the meal was ok, but nothing to write home about either good or bad.
The next night had the Mexican dinner which the Diamond Club concierge said was the second best restaurant in her opinion. This is located at the snake bar at the activity pool and is upstairs giving you nice views of sunset. The Chimchangas were really good in my opinion that ordered for my starter, the chicken that had for entree was a little bit skimpy but tasted good but not great. Had a really good pepper that I thought was medium spicy that liked so much asked if could have more (my neighbors thought I was a mad man as thought was extra hot in their opinion), This is when made the best discovery of trip in terms of staying here in regards to food. Rather then letting self get all worked up about what didn't have or didn't like which is a stretch for me sometimes I asked for more of things I did like and gave them the chance to be able to make me happy which they did. Before left restaurant they asked if wanted more and said yes please and they brought me my 3rd serving this time with 5 peppers and one red one that was warned about being extra calente. Still had 3 of the great ones to go when tried the red one and was hot, but not end of world hot, but hot enough that made last 3 as hot as red one. Should of saved red for last, but still really happy with the Mexican experience and lesson learned in regards to taking what liked and leaving rest.
My 3rd A-Al-Carte was Cuban which was my first inside a enclosed building for a meal. It is in same building as sports bar, Italian and the Japanese and while food was fairly good, the serving size was little small and kind of felt still hungry when left. Enjoyed the meatballs the most at this meal.
My last meal was on last full day at resort and was the best in terms of reviews read and didn't disappoint. Similar experience to Japanese Village where have chef cook on hot top meal for a group of 10 with an entertaining show as he goes. Met nice people who plan to keep in touch with at this meal, was a lot of fun. They didn't have chop sticks which was kind of disappointing but had to roll with punch's. Another note about buffet is that they did have sushi most nights stopped to see what could of had if wanted buffet for dinner but didn't have Wasabi which thought needed to kill bacteria of raw fish?
The ground keepers work hard to keep up on cleaning up after their guests but it isn't like other 4 and 5 star resorts been to where grass is like a golf coarse almost in terms of manicured. Closer to more natural approach of letting weeds, grass and sand grow where it becomes natural but the flower beds were taken better care. The plaza area is where the noise comes from at the night, not the activity pool that other posts seem to indicate. In this area none of the fountains have water in them. Not sure if this is due to idiots making it a problem at night due to over drinking and therefore have been drained, look sad and unkempt in my opinion. Whole resort has many light stands that have been knocked down and not replaced. Dark spot's aren't the only problem here at night as many of these missing post's have exposed wiring. The voltage of these lights is 220 volts. My understanding is that this voltage is between the blue which would be the Canadian version of the neutral (identified conductor) and the hot (brown,black, and not sure what 3rd color is in this system). The voltage between 2 hot wires as will be off a 3 phase system is 400 volts unless I'm not getting something right about this. If someone's kid get hung up on 400 volts don't think that anyone going to win in this worst case. On top of this at night more then half the exterior lights both on paths and in building corridors are not working having huge dark area's and in some cases whole floors being out. If want to be 4 or 4.5 star resort shouldn't have to complain about any safety issues like this, they should be fixed automatically.
As such a huge resort if go out certain times and a huge line up at Hop On, Hop Off bus stop good idea to move up a stop to catch the bus or if a really large amount perhaps go out employee entrance which is to right if going out past rent a car, cross the street and catch the bus going the other way, the strip isn't that much further and get to see some of the other hotels further down the line and also see some of the construction going on new hotels. The rental of mopeds from Memories goes really fast, I missed every time tried, so gave up and walked over to Iberostar Laguna and ordered one from them. Think paid more then had to, but still cheap at 30 dollars for whole day with gas.
The entertainment staff was awesome, really worked hard to get people involved and having fun. If didn't have so many concerns with safety would say worth going back for sure, the people not only at resort but all of Cuba make it awesome. The resort needs a major overhaul before would go back. I tipped both maid and mini bar staff everyday. This not only was very appreciated it also lets you know who has been in your room and who still needs to come back., Saving and overloading at start or end doesn't do anything for you but one day. Tipping mini bar (fridge) guy had it so my fridge was so full at one point had to empty all beer that I don't drink and give out to some of my Cuban friends that met so could get other things added the next day. Room normally got cleaned in morning or right around lunch, mini bar done normally around dinner. Some of the staff can make very artistic things with towels, but not everyone has this gift, the best I had was one took the blanket out closet and made a nice heart, I was touched. most of the time had funky designs with sheets that were on the bed, not fancy but she did what she could I assume, and that's good enough for me.
Unique Quality: Beach and people for most part. Last couple of days for lunch went to small buffet by ocean and took things liked to make really good sandwich's with bread that was so warm thought might of came right out of oven and very much enjoyed. The food worked out for most part when I did a better job of letting the people do what they could rather then complain about things couldn't do anything about. I hope this is a life lesson that sticks with me even when have it really good.
Directions: Approaching east end of the Varadero penisula.
Do not get married here
Do not get married here! The hotel lost my wedding dress up until a couple hours before we were getting married. The manager replys in an email that he knows it was stressful but not a big deal because i got it back. I had to worry about it for two days instead of having fun! We did not get breakfast in bed. Our photogragher was late! Everyone was standing in the sun waiting for them to arrive. Our flower girls were crying because they could not wait anymore. I had 50 guest and all of them had problems. Do not waste your money on this hotel. Management does not care about any problems that happen. I had another brides dress and she had mine for two days. And no one could figure that out there....
Clean and organized resort
The service was great, the people were always willing to help. This is a great place to stay. If you are looking for a relaxing time around the pool, socializing at the bar or just hanging in the lobby it was here. We would recommend staying in this location for the above reasons. I would have preferred a smaller venue with less people but that is what we like. We do not sit at the pools or hang at the bar during the vacation, we like to get out, learn and meet the people and explore the country. For this reason alone, I would like to be in a smaller establishment, but, this was very clean and organized. The people were all great and very friendly.
Unique Quality: The only dissatisfaction was the bed was rock hard which after 3 days took its toll on my back. Thinking the hot tub would help ease and release the tense muscles, we found out it is more of an Ice Bucket than hot tub. It was the same temperature as the unheated pools so it should not be listed as having a hot tub. There was only 1 for the over 1000 rooms. This was an easy item to overlook when comparing to all of the positive qualities.
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We've found that other people looking for this hotel also know it by these names:
- Sirenis La Salina Varadero Beach Hotel Varadero
Address: Playa de Varadero, Varadero, Caribbean
Amenities at Memories Varadero
- Continental Breakfast
- Swimming Pool
- Wheelchair Accessible
- Bar / Lounge
- Fitness Center
- Free Parking
- Kids Activities
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