So I want to start by saying we are really easy travellers and typically find it annoying when people complain about petty things like chipped paint or tiles. But we found ourselves more and more throughout the week saying "Im having a really great time but..." We've been to several resorts in this region and would not agree that this was a 4 star.
Room was nice and clean. Unfortunately our screen didn't work on the door but the a/c would very well. Almost too well. It was nice to come in after being outside but waking up in the morning was quite chilly. The room card seemed to need a little trick that took us a few days and we were sometimes left struggling to get the key in. Not fun when you're dripping sweat. Bed was just ok. Plastic sheet was scratchy and would peek out under the regular sheet. Hurts the sunburn! Pillows were great. Hybrid outlets can be tricky if you have even the slightest bend in your adapter. Nice shower water pressure. Safe always worked.
Food was pretty good. You can't expect much from mass cooking. Buffets at home are just ok. My partner with allergies had very few issues and had lots to choose from. There is no reason for anyone to go hungry here. There was tons of fresh fruit and veggies every day, fresh grilled-in-front-of-you meats, kid friendly foods, Cuban foods and desserts. Cooking staff very friendly. Most of the servers were great too but it was easy to tell who was in a bad mood.
Gin Seng al la carte
Skip it, food was not good.
The pool doesn't seem to be deep enough to get cool on a really hot day.if there is no breeze, there is no relief. The pool is pretty gross. There is garbage and broken tiles and white floaty things. They dump enough pucks into it that I'm sure it can't hurt you, but don't look at it.
The beach was beautiful. We didn't mind the walk so much as it was nice to walk in the trees. There were a lot of broken chairs though. The water is spotless! So beautiful and clear!
Day time activity
Salsa dancing, games and aerobics were very fun. The staff were very charismatic and funny. However sometimes it is nice to relax by the pool without someone shouting for you to get in it.
I really enjoyed the snack food bar. If you love your Heinz classic ketchup make sure you bring it with you! I don't know what they gave us but it was not ketchup.
The lobby has everything, but the other ones have less offerings available. Mojitos are really good. The pool bar is often full of annoying dude bros and it can be hard to get a drink. Other than tright after the disco closes and people swarm the Snack bar it is easy to get a good drink.
Shows were really great. These dancers are obviously very well trained but the shows perhaps could use some more rehearsal time.
Was pretty fun. At first we loved that in Cuba they would play lots of Latin music as well as English pop songs as some resorts just play the top American 40. However we soon realized, that unlike older Latin music, the modern stuff they were playing sounds all the same. Literally. The same. We identified 5 songs with the exact same chord progression. That grates your nerves after a while. The DJ was really bad. Transitions were very jarring And he liked to use this loud air horn sound? All the time.
Perhaps this place needs some time to adjust to the new ownership but for now operations seems to be patchwork system.
Tips: no debit cards work in Cuba. You have to advance cash off you credit card and have to do it at very few available locations with your passport. Closest place is Plaza Americas. There is a bus for 5 CUC day pass that can take you there. Wifi is available but don't count on it. The resort uses a card system for Internet and was often out of cards. In an emergency like when I lost my credit card, there was no way to check my balance or transfer money to someone to get money out for me. You have to pay to use the phone even if it is a collect or toll free call. 2.10 a minute.
OMG SAND FLEAS. These things are beasts from hell. I came home covered in welts.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Enjoy Cuba's blissful year-round climate, stunning white sand beaches, and crystal clear waters with a stay at the luxurious Grand Memories Varadero. Elegant and spacious guestrooms are available in a variety of room categories in our child-friendly and Adults-Only sections. Lounge by the dazzling pools, get active with a variety of land and water sports, work out at the fitness centre, or pamper yourself at the luxurious spa. Children will have a great time at our Kids Club, which features a children's play area with supervised games and activities. Guests of the Adults-Only area will enjoy extra luxuries such as complimentary 24-hour room service, club house, cigar room, butler service and more. ... more less