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“Resort Staff Makes You Feel Like Family” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Roc Arenas Doradas

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Hotel Roc Arenas Doradas
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4.0 of 5 Resort   |   Autopista Varadero km 17 | Playa de los Tainos, Varadero, Cuba   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #23 of 59 Hotels in Varadero
Shelburne, Canada
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
“Resort Staff Makes You Feel Like Family”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 12, 2013

This was my second trip to Cuba, and I was leery of staying at a larger resort. My wife and I had stayed previously at a small, older ( the original building was pre-revolution) hotel in the middle of Varadero. However, we were going with a large group of "Family" and the final descision of our accommodation was out of my hands.
I was pleasantly surprised with the hosplitality and freindliness displayed by the staff. Our first morning, we were greeted by the Grounskeeper, Mike who promised to speak to a higher authority to ensure that the weather was perfect for the rest of our stay. We were "amigos" for the rest of our stay and talked every day. We wanted to go out to a restaurant in town for a birthday dinner, but had an excursion planned and couldn't reach the restaurant before we left. The receptionist phoned all day and finally got through, arranged for a cake and cab rides while we were out.
I made arrangements with Jesus, a server in the buffet, and we had a table for 10 reserved every night. Jesus and Arelys served us almost every night and we were given the royal treatment. Jesus told us that he wanted to give us a gift before we left and cooked us a homemade lobster dish which I think was the best meal of the trip. Arelys said she wished we could stay and invited us to her house the next time we came to Varadero.
The rest of the staff were just as helpful and freindly from the maid to the entertainment staff we were made to feel special and that we were family. A really great vacation.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (302)
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Rugby, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
55 helpful votes 55 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 12, 2013

After the first hotel we stayed in this was a nice refreshing change, front desk staff were friendly and helpful. Rooms are nice and clean and the pool was lovely. Only fault was that the chef in the buffet restaurant that cooked the meat could have used 2 seperate tongs, one for raw and 1 for cooked as thsi is seriously unhygenic and resulted in our prolonged food poisioning! As my spanish was limited I couldn't explain it so avoided the meat station altogether. Cuba is not renowned for having good food, which is a shame.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lethbridge, Canada
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 11, 2013

I was there from Jan 26-Feb3. This was my second trip to Cuba in 8 weeks. I plan to go back in 8 weeks. I love Cuba. The people are so nice. The country is amazing, safe and so beautiful. I cannot say enough about it. My stay at the Arenas Doradas was unforgettable. First I have to say "Thanks to Jesús, Havier(I called him Ed for the first few days. Until I found out it wasn't his name. He didn't care.) and Julia. I love you guys. You made my trip". even if I do not return to the Arenas Doradas. I will make it a point to visit with them on my return. The ladies at the front desk were always friendly and willing to help. Remember it all starts with a smile from you. This is Cuba not Mexico. Things are different not bad just different. The resort was clean and well managed. I stayed in building 5. It was close to the beach but farthest for the main building. It was quiet, and set back from the pool. My only complaint was. I am an early riser, before everyone. So in the early morning the shower was cold and stayed cold. I think it had a long was to travel to get to my room. I would turn on the tap and wait an hour before it would warm up, but later in the day and early evening it was warmer.The food was better than my first visit to Cuba. I actually enjoyed it. I would recommend this hotel to anyone. Its not a 5 star nor do they claim to be. I will return again for sure, but I want to check out some others first. This wont be my last trip to Cuba.

Room Tip: Buildings 1&2 are close to the night entertainment. It ends at 1:30 am all is quiet by then. bui...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LaSalle, Montreal Quebec
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2013

I spent two weeks at Arenas Doradas Hotel from Dec 24th 2012 to Jan 7th 2013. I had the best holiday vacation to date. This was my 3rd stay at this hotel and I will return again. I was treated like a Queen. I love this hotel I love the Cuban people, and I love Cuba.The food was usually good. The room was well cleaned and beautifully presented. The grounds beautiful and well maintained. The beach the pool the bars the memories club the snack bar, cafe bar, buffet speciality restaurants and reception desk all excellent. Iam not a fussy person so I enjoy any vacation I take. If you are a true 5* person stay in Canada. And if you are like me not fussy then this hotel and Cuba is a good vacation spot. I give my 5***** to this hotel and all the staff, my beautiful Cuban friends.Muchas Gracias!!!

Room Tip: Each person has their own preference!
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  • Stayed December 2012, 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 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Etobicoke
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2013

This hotel should have been rated a 4.5 or a 5. Everyone was friendly, the grounds were prestine. The room was immaculate and the beach was surreal. The food was excellent as well and we were very surprised because everyone knows the food isn't the best in Cuba. This place was completely the opposite and we were well fed.

We had bacon and eggs in the morning with fresh baked bread and there were enough fruits and vegetables as well. The beef, bacon and veal were the types of meats that we did eat. If you're really creative you can grab items from the buffet and take it over to the chef to styr fry pretty much anything you would like so one of the days we had beef styr fry with onions, mushrooms and green peppers. In the morning I would go and grab the potatoes and some onions and had the chef cook those up on the grill.

We went golfing at the Veradero golf club which is super close, we went on the catameran and snorkelled in the coral reef.

You could rent mopeds directly at the hotel. There is even a medical facility at the resort just in case. The only suggestion would be that you should bring bug spray for pesky mosquitos and wipe down well if you do swim in the ocean from the beach just in case. You never know what creatures might be in the sand. That's to be expected at most beaches.

The pool was immaculate and the drinks plenty. They had a ping pong table outside, a pool table outside, dart boards, mini put golf, large chess board that you could walk and play on. Plenty of things to keep you occupied. The shows were great and there was a good mix of young people, families, mid 30-45 and older folks. Highly suggest the Italian a la carte meal as well. You can also purchase good wine at the store or in the a la carte restaurant for about the same price as what you would pay at the LCBO if you want to change it up.

Fresh lattes and cappucinos always available. They also had great vendors that came in to sell jewlery etc. The groundsman was super nice and opened up a fresh coconut for us to eat. The staff were very pleasant and helpful. We would go back to this resort without a doubt!!!! This was our second trip to Cuba and the one we went to last year would have been around the 1 out of 5 in all honesty and we were so disapointed last year. This year Arenas Doradas was definitely the best surprise and the best trip ever!!! It's a gem and we highly recommend it!!! Yes it's not a W hotel but we were treated as though we were the only guests at the resort and that says something. To the people we met from Cuba we say thank you!!! Also our great friends from Brantford and Brampton and Toronto the Uchre games were so much fun!!!

The only suggestion would be that prior to leaving at the end of your trip make sure you're in the lobby at the pick up time. Many of us had to wait for people who didn't seem to care about departure times and the staff had to go around and find them. Also, before going to the airport we highly suggest that you bring snack foods with you because the airport food is definitely not the type of food you should eat. We were a bit delayed getting back and in hindsight we realized we should have packed up something for the wait.

Thank you!

Brigitte and Nick

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mississauga, Canada
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
99 helpful votes 99 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2013

We spent a week at the Arenas Doradas with our family of eight January 19th – 26th. Halfway through the week I usually start thinking about my Trip Advisor review, and I have to say that it wasn’t going to be very positive. When we arrived we had to change rooms, which was handled with no problem, but the beds were probably the worst we’ve ever tried to sleep on. Everyone that was with us was having the same complaint all week long, and not getting much sleep. At first service in the buffet was almost non-existent. I was up getting my own coffee because it was like we were invisible to the servers. The industrial toaster got jammed, and when my wife asked for help, the server shrugged her shoulders and walked away. We’ve been to Cuba at least 10 times, and this was the first time that we’ve ever experienced such coldness. Cubans are naturally so friendly, but there was no “Hola” as we walked by the staff, and they all seemed very indifferent towards the guests. We are Canadian, we are polite, we always tip and say hello, so I didn’t know what was going on. The only thing that I can think of is that perhaps they were not being tipped, or tipped enough by the guests. We changed over about $300.00 CDN at the airport for tipping, but couldn’t get pesos at the Hotel to tip the staff, so it was frustrating for us as well.

As the week went on the mood seemed to change and the service did improve. Service at the bar was always good, and the staff at the ala carte restaurants were excellent. I always say that you will never go hungry in Cuba, and the same can be said for this resort. Breakfast was a fresh omelet from the “angry omelet guy” and dinner was fresh pasta from the “super-nice pasta guy”. The ala carte food is pretty much the same as in the buffet but you get served, which is nice. The grounds are meticulously kept, as is the pool and the beach. Public washrooms are clean-ish, but it’s BYOTS (Bring Your Own Toilet Seat) as there are none. The shows are standard Cuba fare and a lot of fun, the disco wasn’t very busy but it was fun to see people letting loose on the dance floor. We took a trip into Varadero to do a little sightseeing and to buy some souvenirs for the people at home. You can ride into town on the 5 peso per day double-decker bus or hop on the train for 2 pesos at the corner. Food in town is traditional Cuban and is very good, for a very good price.

In the end I would say that we enjoyed our week at Arenas Doradas and the beds had to be the worst part of the stay. The beach was beautiful, the drinks were cold and non-stop, and it was really a great time away from busy day-to-day life back home. And yes, we were those four crazy Canadians in the mankinis! I LIKE VERY MUCH!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sault Ste. Marie, Canada
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 7, 2013

We recently (Jan 16-23, 2013) spent a week at the Arenas Doradas, Varadero, Cuba. This was my 10th trip to Cuba, and I have to say that this may have been my best overall trip. The hotel is a relatively small hotel compared to others that I have stayed at. We never had to line up for food or drink nor did we have to race for beach loungers or palapas. The grounds were well kept and staff were friendly. The rooms were plain but clean, and the food was actually good by Cuban standards. There is a lot to be said about a smaller resort...its quieter, less hectic and more relaxing. That may not be for everyone, but compared to some of the larger resorts we've stayed at, we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Short of a few obnoxious and drunk tourists, it was a great holiday!

Room Tip: We stayed in the "800" section...nice and close to the beach, but also close to the noise...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Roc Arenas Doradas

Address: Autopista Varadero km 17 | Playa de los Tainos, Varadero, Cuba
Location: Caribbean > Cuba > Matanzas Province > Varadero
Amenities:
Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#15 On the Beach Hotel in Varadero
#18 Top resorts Hotel in Varadero
#22 Luxury Hotel in Varadero
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Roc Arenas Doradas 4*
Number of rooms: 316
Also Known As:
Arenas Doradas Varadero
Arenas Doradas Cuba

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