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“Great stay, will return” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Riu Varadero

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Hotel Riu Varadero
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4.5 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   | Parque Natural Punta Hicacos, Varadero 42200, Cuba   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #25 of 59 Hotels in Varadero
Alliston
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Great stay, will return”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 13, 2014

First, let me start with saying I read a lot of reviews from early this year which almost convinced me to not book this hotel. That being said, I am glad we took our chances and went anyway.

We stayed in the Deluxe section, which I must say was quite nice, and worth the extra money. Rooms were clean and made up every day. I found out that if you didn't leave "enough" tip or tip and some "goodies" we had brought with us, then your room was not cleaned as well. This bothers me a bit in that when you pay for a vacation like this, you shouldn't be EXPECTED to tip, just to get what you paid for. This was the same for the mini bar. Sometimes not restocked if you didn't tip.
Our room was quite large and the bed comfy. The water pressure was good and the hot water was hot!
The short walk to the beach was pleasant and we saw lots of local wildlife (LOL) The beach itself was clean. The deluxe section has it's own area which is child free (makes it good for couples) and we had no problems getting a recliner. The only thing with the recliners are they get a bit uncomfortable after a while. I don't have enough padding on my butt to make up for the lack of padding on the recliner ;-)
Beach bar was fine, never to long a line up.

The staff were all excellent to us. My wife speaks Spanish, so that made the language barrier easier, although most understood my "Spanglish" as well.

Now, the food... That's another story. I was never hungry, but the quality of the meats and cooking was pretty gross at some times. Other times, the food was pretty good. So, hit and miss. We went to the ala cartes on a few nights and didn't find them much better. We were late for the Italian meal by 15 minutes and were rudely turned away.
The best meals were at the Deluxe restaurant.

A note to travellers, make sure to bring a 220 - 110 adapter for your devices. We had not brought ours and had to rent one from the hotel.

It is my understanding that there has been a management team parachuted into this resort to fix things based on the poor feedback from Trip Advisor. They certainly seemed to have made some headway based on reviews I have read, but they have a way to go in the food category.

All in all, we quite enjoyed our stay and plan to go back in the fall for a short trip.

Thanks to Madrian for hooking us up with the Habana trip and to Goricha (management team) for taking our feedback for hotel improvements.

Room Tip: Deluxe suites are worth the extra, and much more quiet.
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,068 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (996)
Date | Rating
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English first
St. Catharines, Canada
2 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 11, 2014

This place is stunning. The service is impeccable. The room was extremely comfortable, and i felt welcome as soon as I came. I traveled with Sunwing/Signature vacation and went on many of the excursions in the area. The food was really good. (Note to travelers - the food does not taste the same as at home) I am a very exploratory eater and I actually enjoyed the dining options that were available. I ate at the Gin Seng Restaurant, the buffet and the snack bars. The burgers taste a little strange, but after the first one they are really good, just need to get used to the way the meat tastes there.
This was my first ever travel experience and this hotel made it worth everything. I have nothing but great things to say about the hotel, and the destination. The beach is beautiful, and the pools are very nice and clean. The whole hotel is very clean and you can see the employees cleaning everything constantly.
The hotel is extremely safe, the housekeepers will not enter the room if you leave the safe open, which is actually really good. Everyone is very honest and hard working. They smile and are very happy people.
Nicholas the Barman blew my mind with his impressive flare bar-tending, and i have shown everyone videos of him juggling while making drinks.
Everything was perfect, I cant wait to come back.

Room Tip: Ask for an upgrade. If it is slower they will give you one. Higher floors are better, keep away from...
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Halifax, Canada
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 10, 2014

We just returned home April 8 2014 and it was a great week here. The beach and pool were great with lots of chairs every time we looked and we were a group of 14. This is my 7th trip to Cuba and my second to Varadero. We were in a superior room so it was in block 21 so we were close to everything. I have only one complaint with this resort ...there was only 1 toaster that took 5x putting bread through to brown and I waited every day about 20 mins to get toast and the rest of the group was done by the time I had toast everyday...there are 1100 rooms in this hotel so at full capacity there are over 2000 guests...1 toaster...everything else about this hotel we liked the bartenders, food and beach...hope when we return next year there is another toaster:)

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 10, 2014

visited the Riu Varadero September 2013 have stayed at Riu's around the world but this one was the worst expierience ever don't no were to start Hotel was run down body excrietments on walls in room bathrooms, no air conditioning in buffet restuarants til someone complained (last 2 days) watered down drinks , tricked guests who ordered premium drinks at bar took full bottles of premiums to back and came back out with half empty bottles of the cuban brand to make drinks!Hung beach towels outside rooms when guest checked out dried them and refolded them for next guests checking in (discusting!)FOOD Your choice of fried potatoes baked or boiled lots of carbs no fresh vegetables green salad the second last day for One day Icould go on forever but won't This expieriance has turned me off of the Riu's!!!!!

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Williams Lake, Canada
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 10, 2014

We just got back from a 5 night Varadero / 3 night Havana trip and had a wonderful time at the RIU Varadero. We were advised to go for the adults only / deluxe section, and for a little more money it was SO worth it. Originally we had a ground floor unit, but we requested an upper story one facing the beach. The staff was very accommodating and we switched to an upper story room with an ocean view. So nice ! The deluxe area has it's own a la carte restaurant that you can go to for every meal if you want. Food was pretty good, lobster was excellent !
All the alcohol you could ever want in the rooms ..... A 4 bottle dispenser on the wall in the room of light rum, dark rum, whiskey and vodka so no shortage of there, plus all the bars in the resort.
The staff were wonderful through our waiter Juan we got hooked up with Yuri who took as for a half day snorkelling trip. It was great.
The beach was great ..... Clean and nice white sand.
All on all a great experience and good value for the money.

Room Tip: If you can manage the stairs, you might be able to get an ocean view.
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 9, 2014 via mobile

So I'm writing this review for all you moms with kids looking to go to this resort. With lots of reading I chose the Riu travelled with my husband and 3 boys aged 7mths 6years and 10. Why did I choose this one well with lots of reading and my selection of resorts willing to hold a family of five. what caught my attention was it was a clean resort and that it was! Easy to get around with a stroller we were in the 20 block of rooms on a ground floor beautiful location right near the pool, food and beach what could anyone else ask for? The weather was all sun. The food was great my kids never ate so good always a selection never had any cold or uncooked foods as if you wanted something grilled more you just asked example:The bacon in the mornings if it wasn't crispy enough they will accomadate you. The Cubans love kids and seeing our large family they just gravitated to us as most Cuban families only have one or two kids. Pools were clean and the main pool was always busy sometime with older folks with too many wabbley pops in them but its to be expected. We payed a taxie and went to Havana nothing too exciting I wanted to shop but there was better in varadero. A MUST is the catermaran tour the kids loved it so did we (109 adults 54 for kids under 6 free) bring lots of clothes to hand out kids clothes boys especially and you can trade for items they may be selling and runners if you have extra. Angry bird items were a hit and baby items and toys they can't necessarily get. As far as the beach chair thing I kept reading about never had an issue. The shows at night were entertaining I has bought a pair of "banz" earphones for my little guy they came in handy for the loud music he slept right through it. So we misplaced a few items at the pool side which never got found like my sons crocs and two towels and a baby toy our own doing for leaving them for so long so keep an eye on your stuff but don't be too paranoid. Flight with sunning was amazing on the way totally a different experience coming home very rude staff bad seating with a small child and a lot iPad how can they not find it when we were the last ones off the plane??? Loved the resort any questions email me tammymacmurray@hotmail.com happy travelling

  • Stayed April 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fredericton, Canada
2 reviews
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 9, 2014

my sisters and I just spent a week at the Riu and had a blast. Our room was clean and cool and sufficient. We were in building 10 which was right across from the Disco, and within a few feet from the lobby, buffet,and nightly entertainment. All buildings at this resort surround a pool, whether it be the quiet pool, or the loud pool. We didn't explore the Deluxe section cause we didn't have to. I love the beach and would have preferred having a room closer to the beach but it was only a 5 minute walk to the beach. the resort is not huge and everything is within walking distance. The beach was absolutely amazing and I love the Cuban people.. My sister kept on saying during our week "Cuba is the happiest place on earth". And it is true, all the employees at the resort were extremely happy and very kind and helpful. The grounds are beautiful and the resort is so clean. Didn't see one bug the whole time we were there.
The food was pretty good actually. We never went hungry that is for sure. They always had a good variety of food at the buffet. We didn't even bother going to an a-la-carte. But keep in mind I do not go on vacation for the food. I go for the beach and the sun, which we had 7 full days of.
We took a trip into Havana for a day and enjoyed it. Learned a lot about Cuban history and culture, and had a delicious or should I say two delicious Pina Colada's on route back to the resort.
You have to try the Pineapple drink that the guy sells on the beach. OMG! so good.
I have learned that you cannot take all the bad reviews that people put on here too seriously. Those people are way too picky I say and look for things to complain about. I would definitely recommend this resort and will definitely be returning.

Room Tip: really I think that any of the buildings are fine. we just had the standard room at the back of the...
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Riu Varadero

Address: | Parque Natural Punta Hicacos, Varadero 42200, Cuba
Location: Caribbean > Cuba > Matanzas Province > Varadero
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #25 of 59 Hotels in Varadero
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Hotel Riu Varadero 4.5*
Number of rooms: 1110

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