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“Better than the reviews!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Roc Arenas Doradas

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Hotel Roc Arenas Doradas
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3.5 of 5 Resort   |   Autopista Varadero km 17 | Playa de los Tainos, Varadero, Cuba   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #24 of 59 Hotels in Varadero
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Better than the reviews!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 27, 2014 via mobile

Our family went to Arenas Doradas from May 28- June 4 and I really enjoyed it.
Pros-
Food was edible but the grilling station, pasta station and snack bar were what I preferred.
The Eden village staff were awesome with us even tho we are Canadian. They loved our kids and we could talk to them whenever so I'm thinking some people just had a bad experience. The Italians were just as friendly as everyone else.
Didn't see any strange bugs and that makes me SO happy. A couple mosquitoes when it started to get dark and a lot of bugs on the beach when we went on the catamaran however.
Rooms were always very clean.
Grounds were lovely and we could swim in either pool with our kids.
Beach was great! Didn't see any area for Italians but there were loads of free spots too.. Maybe because we were in low season
Cops on the resort beaches to keep people away who are trying to sell stuff Etc. They are hardly noticeable but the natives know they're there.
Excursions were nice and the busses were great
Shuttle bus was free and we took classic car taxis back to the resort for $10 saving us money as the double decker would've cost us $15
Piña colada and lemonade slushy machine in the lobby were awesome

Cons
Staff expected tips (I read about it but was still surprised- One even asked if we would be willing to leave our tablet lol)
The exchange rate was painful. $700 turned into 580 cuc and it was incredibly difficult to barter with the people on the Main Street in varadero. And the prices weren't great in my opinion..
Hard to say as there weren't a lot of cons. We loved being there and enjoyed the experience. It was great and I recommend this resort for anyone! Beautiful and for a GREAT price :)



  • Stayed June 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Hotel_Arenas_Doradas, General Manager at Hotel Roc Arenas Doradas, responded to this review, July 12, 2014
Dear Guest, I thank you for your kind words.

It is a pleasure to know you have enjoyed your holiday with us.

On behalf of Roc Hotels and I personally thank you for choosing us for your vacation.

Thanks for your comments make us improve every day in search of excellence.

Greetings from Cuba.

Agustin Sainz Parrado
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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 (244)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Korean first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Toronto, Canada
2 reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 22, 2014

we have been to Cuba before but this was our first time in Varadero.
we went from june 6 to the 20.
the hotel is very good . The gardens are beautiful and well taken care every day. The beach is excellent and there is always a spot in the shade. There are always different options in the buffet and restaurants and the food is very tasty , tots of salads , deserts and amazing ice creams . The café bar serves excellent varieties of coffee . Drinks around the resort are very good ,specially the moyittos at the beach bar . STAFF IS ALWAYS HELPFULL and for the most part with a smile.
rooms are very good by Cuban standards , We were a family of four and were upgraded to a suite that was more like one apartment . Spacious and well taken care every day.
there are a lot of Europeans at the resort and the also they have events and activities to keep you entertained . There is a specific team that works with Italian clients and usually most activities around the resort run around them , but that was fine with us.
there weren't many activities to engage our children 13 and 11 ,but they had a great time snorkling around looking for sea stars. Also they really enjoyed the pool .
There are Cubans having mini holidays there ,specially on weekends so can be more crowded , specially by the pool . There are vendors at the beach or locals asking for things but usually security is good keeping them away .

Room Tip: building 5 is close to the pool and the beach and recently renovated . Building 11has excellent suit...
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with family
    • 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.
Hotel_Arenas_Doradas, General Manager at Hotel Roc Arenas Doradas, responded to this review, July 12, 2014
Dear Guest, thank you for your kind words.

It is a pleasure to know that you have enjoyed your holiday with us.

On behalf of Roc Hotels and I personally thank you for choosing us for your vacation.

Thanks for your comments that make us improve every day in search of excellence.

Greetings from Cuba.

Agustin Sainz Parrado
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 9, 2014

Stayed with my boyfriend at this resort from May 2-16th 2014. A brief overview of the things we did and did not like are as follows:

PROS
1 free shuttle bus to and from Varadero x 4 per day (9am-5pm)
2. Majority of the staff were very friendly - especially the cleaning and landscaping staff
3 food was manageable. We could always find something to eat. You are only able to have 2/4 el la cartes during the week - most resorts allow at least 3 so this was a little different! Since we stayed for 2 weeks we were able to try them all - the seafood el al carte was awful, but the other three were fine.
4 beach was beautiful
5 always lots of chairs by the beach and pool

CONS
1 the resort has something called "club Eden" which is only for Italian people. We were told this was because the owner of the resort is Italian. There are no more Italians visiting the resort than any other nationality yet they get: a section of the beach roped off just for them, special dining and show options, their own staff that follow them around and cater to them in Italian and many more games and activities just for them (they have the option of playing their own games and joining the resort games too).

2 you have to pay extra for the safe and no clocks in the room
3 TVs are small and work when they want too (I know one does not go on vacation to watch TV but it's nice to have when getting ready to go out or going to bed)
4 bed was as hard as a rock and almost unmanageable!
5 Towel service is not great - there is hardly anyone there and when the one lady was there she was busy talking on her cell phone... Clearly more important things to do than work at the towel hut!!!

CONCLUSION
This resort is dated but if the owners would pay attention to the finer details this resort would be close to excellent. The whole special treatment for the Italians was inappropriate at best. We were not the only ones who were irritated by this - we even asked a few staff members who clearly did not think there should be special treatment for one class of people either. Since I don't enjoy being treated like a second class citizen on my vacation I will not return to this resort and will explore other options for next year.

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotel_Arenas_Doradas, General Manager at Hotel Roc Arenas Doradas, responded to this review, July 12, 2014
Dear Guest, I thank you for your kind words.

I want to tell you that the resort property is not Italian but Cuban, the resort is run by a Spanish chain called Roc Hotels.

The differences that have been seen with the Italians is that within the Resort is a Club of Italians that coexists with other customers.
This agreement implies their animators and staff, is not that the hotel has had a different pleasantries with them but the Italian agency expects its customers by the Club with the resort staff.

Sorry if you have felt bad, is not our objective but rather we believe that all clients regardless of their nationality are equally important and our duty is to make you all happy because it is our reason for being.

We have taken note of your feedback to improve all these and that all customers can enjoy all the services.

On behalf of Roc Hotels and I personally thank you for choosing us for your vacation.

Thanks for your comments make us improve every day in search of excellence.

Greetings from Cuba.

Agustin Sainz Parrado
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Halifax, Canada
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 4, 2014

We visited Arenas Doradas from April 19th to April 27 2014. This was our 4th time at this resort in 3 years. Last year when we arrived we were greeted with open arms, special
coloured braclet indicating we were repeat guests, a welcome letter in our room with a bottle of rum.
This trip we felt like we were putting them out!
If you do not belong to the special club Eden Village and are not Italian prepare to be ignored!

I love this resort but there have been a lot of changes in the pas 11 months that I had been there, Good and not so good. The grounds continue to get better and better, they are beautiful.
The beach has added more palapas , they continue to upgrade the buildings and rooms. I cannot wait until they get to block 8, that is where we always request.

We just felt that they really only cater to Eden Village. The entertainment is only done in Italian,
they have a Italian chef, their own side of the beach which irks me to no end because it is roped off for their use only but they do not use it and go to the side of the beach that the "yellow" braclett guests use.

I think the management of "Roc Areanas Doradas" forget where most of their guests have come from and still do for all these years.

Canadians LOVE Cuba because os it"s beauty and it's people, but we want to be treated right.
The club you have treats your staff like their servants..they do not thank them and they certainly do not tip them, I watch them just snap their fingers and expect the
the servers to jump. It really bothers me to see this, a lot of the staff have become friends over the past 3 years and you can the frowns on the staffs faces, but they have no choice.

Thank goodness you can see the canadians still leaving their tips and saying thank you to their servers, they s
treat you like family not because they are told to but because they want to!

Dear Areanas Doradas, I will give you another try but if the real guests ,in my opinion do not start getting similar treatment I will sadley have to move on to another resort and take all the couples we have recommended with us.

I just want people to know this resort is beautiful, the staff are beautiful it is clean and small, the beach is breathtaking. I just think all guests should be treated equal. It really would not be that hard to do, start with taking down the rope on the beach!

This is a long winded review but I just needed to get it off my chest before I head back to Cuba in August.
I pray it will improve!

PS... towel girl is very cranky! She was the only staff member who did not smile.

Room Tip: Stay close to the beach if you prefer a more quite and peaceful sleep!
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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
    • 3 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.
Hotel_Arenas_Doradas, General Manager at Hotel Roc Arenas Doradas, responded to this review, July 12, 2014
Dear Sir, first of all I thank you for your comments.

It is a pleasure to know that you have enjoyed your holiday with us.

I would like to comment the following, Roc Arenas Doradashas no customers whatsoever, contrary to us without exception every client is equally important.

I know that must have been a surprise to you meeting an Italian club in this hotel but it is what it says word one Club within the complex that coexists with other customers.

Because his contract staff bring his country together to the Hotel tries to provide the best possible service to its customers.

We are saddened by your feeling and ask him to give back to the hotel and its staff a new opportunity, I assure you that every day I keep improving to provide the best holiday.

On behalf of Roc Hotels and I personally thank you for choosing us for your vacation.

Thanks for your comments make us improve every day in search of excellence.

Greetings from Cuba.

Agustin Sainz Parrado
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Canada
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 30, 2014

I knew we were going to Cuba since May last year, two of our friends have decided to do a destination wedding and to my amazement and excitement they chose Varadero, Cuba. I have been there before and fell in love with the culture and Cuban people. I hold Cuba close to heart. Being that I travel a lot and know what to expect when I go to different places, I knew what to expect out of Cuba. Last time we were there we stayed at Barcelo Solymar resort and it was amazing. This time we chose ROC Arenas Doradas. We opted out of wedding group because we were on a budget this time since we were taking our kids and my mom. The price was great for two weeks and we booked it through Sunwing. I researched resorts since May last year to make sure I book what my family would enjoy the most. I heard mixed reviews of Sunwing and ROC Arenas Doradas. Again, some reviews were not accurate as it seemed that some people went with higher standards over there and not sure what they expected but these resorts are amazing for standards in Cuba. Unless you are all not aware but Cuba is under sanctions and has been for over 50 years. Even with that in place, they are thriving. So, when you go to Cuba, keep that in mind. My review is going to be long, so be ready.

We stayed in ROC Arenas Doradas from May 9th to May 24th with two little girls’ ages 8 and 9 and we also took my mom with us.


PLANE RIDE: We flew from Calgary on a direct flight with Sunwing. This was our first time flying Sunwing. Flight time was 5 hours and 35 minutes. I heard lot of negative comments about Sunwing planes, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. However, to my surprise the plane and plane ride was great. Experience with Sunwing is definitely positive one and will fly with them again. We were on an overnight flight from 9:05 PM and they served us constantly drinks and food. We had a very delicious supper. It was a choice between pizza and hot sandwich. I chose pizza and it was great. On the way back, plane seemed a bit smaller but another great ride to Calgary. We were served delicious breakfast that consisted of a choice between cheese croissant or bacon and egg sandwich. One thing I wished I did for myself is bring my own headphones since theirs are really bad and if you don’t keep them on the way back, they don’t give you another pair. I did buy myself a pair at the airport so I was in luck and not sure if they would have any spare ones on the plane in case you lost yours. Overall, Sunwing is great and will fly with them again.

Arrival in Cuba: We arrived in Cuba at 4 AM (we were a bit late), got through customs no problem, got our bags and within 20 mins, we were outside looking for Sunwing rep, which was waiting for us right outside the airport with the big sign. Gave us welcome card we had to actually fill out and bring back to him at our orientation. We were tired and bus ride seemed long to our resort but that didn’t stop us from interacting with Karim (Sunwing Rep) and he is funny. We got to the resort at around 5:30… Check in was fast and with no problems. They were fully booked so we had to wait for our rooms. We were all tired so we didn’t leave our bags in the office we just sat in a lobby and kind of slept a bit there until our rooms were ready. Only bad thing was that the rooms were not ready until 11 AM, however Sunwing did explain this to us before booking these tickets and we accepted these terms anyway because it was a direct flight, oppose to having to go through Toronto and switch over with 2 little kids. So, I wasn’t mad about the situation at all because this was explained to us that if there are no rooms available we might have to wait. We got our rooms around 11ish. Onay (at the reception) is amazing, she is the best and you can tell she goes out of her way to help you each and every time.

MONEY: They use CUC (pesos) and you cant get them anywhere but in Cuba. For $100 Canadian dollars I usually got around 84-85 CUC. If you don’t have to, don’t take US money with you as they have 10% charge for it on top. Changing money you can do at the airport and also at the resort and only exchange what you have to or will use as you can only exchange it back to Canadian money at the bank or at the airport, hotels cant do it. When changing it back its 1 for 1 currency. So, you’re better off just exchanging a little at time. Also, don’t bring any back to Canada as you wont be able to change it back to Canadians. Again, you can only do exchange of money in Cuba.

ROOMS: We were in building 3, right by the pool and loved it. We could watch the entertainment from our room when they had it at the pool. I loved that our rooms were right by the pool. We were kind of right in the middle of everything. One way its towards restaurant and lobby and the other way is towards the beach path. Rooms are very nice. Very clean and bathroom is nice and clean as well. Safe is in closet and it costs $2 CUC a day. Paid $28 CUC for 2 weeks, but it kept my valuables safe. My husband forgot to lock it one day and maid was in there cleaning and the closet door was open so it was visible that safe was full but nothing was touched. Our maid for first week was Daysi and she had the nicest smile and she was very, very nice. Every day, even if we didn’t ask for our room to be cleaned she would ask if we need towels and would always bring us bottle of water. We had TV in our room with few English channels on but I didn’t care about TV at all, we were barely in our room anyway. We had balcony and our light wasn’t working which they fixed right away. Bathrooms had hot water all the time but we liked luke warm after sun anyway so there was no need for hot shower at all. I brought with me my phone and my camera, also my hair straightener, thinking their plugins would be different I also brought with me converter which I did not need at all. If you like to blow-dry your hair, do bring your blow drier as they have one in the bathroom but its outdated and it doesn’t work very well. I was ok with just washing my hair and let is air dry. Beds are comfortable and nice. Pillows were too flat for me and I didn’t care for them but I didn’t need them to sleep anyway. Air-conditioning worked just fine and it was always cool in the room. I didn’t keep anything in my closet (clothes wise) because we had couple of rainy days and the water got in the closet on the wall and it had bad smell so I kept my clothes out of there.

FOOD: I came to Cuba with a cold, got it right on the night when we were leaving Calgary. Had it for the first 2-3 days and couldn’t eat much at first. However, after that I had tried almost everything. Their everyday, fresh bread is to die for. I miss it. My kids lived on pasta and their Bolognese sauce was excellent, I didn’t care much for tomato sauce. Fish is always great there. My husband was disappointed they only had fish, no lobster or crab legs or even shrimp. I personally didn’t care as I don’t eat that but he was disappointed. He did special order it one day and he loved it. I didn’t eat much meat at all, I tried their chicken and pork and I couldn’t eat it, I am just not meat eater (I can eat it but I can live without it). I did eat fish and I tried their hot dogs which were good. I also tried hamburgers but they are made with pork meat, so only had it one time. Their fries on the other hand, so good. It’s always fresh. They do have Ketchup, mayo and mustard. They have all of it, salt, and pepper and for salads they have oils and vinegars … buffets were always the same for breakfast, lunch and supper, no matter what the sign says when you are entering the restaurant. They always had a lot to chose from, not sure why people are slamming their food, but it was great. I loved their breakfast omelets and cheese and ham. Like I said before, their bread was to die for. Coffee with milk was amazing. Dessert table was amazing every day. Ice cream I heard was good since my kids and my husband ate it, but I didn’t. Fruit selection wasn’t greatest but there was always fresh cut up fruit available. Watermelon wasn’t greatest so I didn’t eat it, but the rest was great. We were sitting in the section right by the door and Jesus and Islay (I believe is his name) were absolutely amazing. There were couple of ladies that were great too but can’t remember everyone’s name. We always had table reserved for us since it was 5 of us together. They were very nice with us and gave us hugs and kisses every time we came through the door.

BEACH AND POOL: I heard about the towel lady at the pool so I made sure to bring my own beach towels so I don’t have to deal with her and therefore I never even came across her. Beach was clean and beautiful. We spent the most time swimming and tanning. Kids loved it and water was so luke warm and nice. We did have few days where waves were high and water was wild and there was red flag on the beach but as long as you didn’t go too far out, you were fine with going in. And let’s face it, its Cuba. You can’t go to the beach and not go into water even when the waves are strong. Pool was great too but we didn’t spend that much time at the pool. Mostly, when we are done at the end of the day with the beach on our way to our room we would stop by the pool for kids and they would have some fun. We never went to Jacuzzi since it was way too hot for that, so I have no comment on that but I did see a lot of people go there.
Before I go into entertainment part of our trip Id like to talk about one point I read in almost all reviews that I couldn’t wait to experience and see for myself; Italians and everyone saying how they are being looked after more than Canadians. How Italian personnel are completely ignoring the rest of the world, unless you are wearing orange bracelet. Well let me set this record straight. Completely 100% wrong. First of all, Italians coming into this resort are booking their vacation through Eden Villagio and therefore have staff waiting for them and their own team working at the resort to make their stay more memorable; also because they are coming from Italy directly, there is language barrier, most don’t even speak English, so they have staff waiting for them there who speak Italian as well as Spanish and English. Eden Village has a contract with certain hotels all over the world and does this for people that book their vacation through them. This has nothing to do with the hotel or hotel staff at all. It is not anyone’s fault. Id says its Canada’s fault for not having similar contract with the hotel to have our own reps there if someone needed help. But that’s neither here nor there. Also, for those saying how their Eden Village staff is so rude to anyone not wearing orange bracelet, again this can’t be more wrong. We are def. not Italians and we def. don’t speak Italian but we had amazing time interacting with them. They played volleyball with us, invited us into other games, invited us to dance with them, talked to us, smile at us and greeted us. Even took photos with us. Enzo was my husband favorite and I loved all of them. Girls would always invite my daughters to come and play with them kids games at the pool. Vincenzo was awesome too, he one night took me by my hand and took me on stage to dance… they were amazing bunch of people. If they are not interacting with you, then maybe it’s you. With all of this said…
Entertainment: Absolutely amazing; its all I can say. From dancing, to interactive activities, to staff.. it was all amazing. Zero complaints and all fun fun fun. Keep it up guys! Lots of good memories with everyone and lots of laughs.

EXCURSION: I heard from bunch of people not to book through Sunwing, couldn’t understand why. When we were in Cuba I was looking for two excursions I wanted to do, one was to Havana and the other one catamaran with swim with dolphins. Checked all places for prices and catamaran with dolphins was none existent, they had catamaran alone without dolphins, or just a dolphin show. And if they had both I think it was called Cayo Largo it was 150-190 CUC or something like that and completely wasn’t interested since there was 5 of us. Until I saw Sunwing specials and saw catamaran with swim with dolphins for $95 per person adult and 45 CUC per child, included snorkeling, lunch and time on the island and swim with the dolphin that lasted at least 20 minutes. Booked it right away with Sunwing rep and then asked about Havana and he gave us a special Tuesday rate of $50 CUC I believe per person which included, tour of old and new Havana (which lasted about 2 hours on foot through Havana), lunch at Mr. Crab restaurant which was a good lunch, time in cigar factory and time for some shopping at the market. Absolutely amazing time, lasted all day, 8 AM and we were back in the resort at 7:30 PM. In process met some really nice people on the tour with us. Also, got DVD of the complete tour (we had cameraman with us)… and photo with dolphins cost us 10 CUC… and photo is amazing. They really do a good job.
Our Havana tour guide was great. Catamaran guide was Tito and he was funny. So I totally will recommend booking through Sunwing, they also have great buses with air conditioning; one of the newer ones, so the ride is more enjoyable especially long one like the one to Havana, trust me.

DOCTOR: My daughter ended up with a lot of pain in her ear when we landed, she is 8 and was sick before going to Cuba (same as me) but she didn’t have any problems with ear until we landed. I took her to see onsite doctor but was very reluctant since I didn’t know what was going to happen and what she has or if she will need to go to hospital and how will I communicate with them. I was scared. But let me tell you, two amazing ladies worked there and helped me so much. They called pediatrician and started my daughter on antibiotics right away since she had bad ear infection. Gave her some ear drops as well for pain, my daughter was back to being herself within couple of days. Pediatrician was also great and throughout they were holding her and making sure she is comfortable. Before I left, they had my paperwork ready for my insurance and all was well.


ROC Arenas Doradas is really great, I did not expect this level of greatness and was pleasantly surprised. You will enjoy your stay here, 100%. You have to go with an open mind and be able to talk to staff and interact, otherwise, if you are too shy or miserable about every single thing, your stay will not go good. You have to enjoy your vacation and open up to new things and new culture and accept people of Cuba. They all feel like family to me now.

Few more things to mention; tipping is not obligatory but greatly appreciated by all staff. Bring lot of sunscreen and don’t forget to apply it over and over again and not just once a day. Bring after sun and lot of it. Bring mosquitoes repellent and after bite as there are mosquitoes but we weren’t bitten all that bad. If you have small kids that still play in sand and like to play with bucket and shovel, bring it, as they do have a store that sells it but it’s a small one and costs 15 CUC which is ridiculous. After sun and sunscreen there costs anywhere from 15 to 20 CUC so don’t forget it. Store needs to change too, they will quote you one price and then when you return to buy that item they will charge you different price. So, if you think you need something buy it right away, don’t leave store, lol. Store also has chips, cookies, chocolate cookies and candy and other food items and are not that expensive… anywhere from 1 cuc to 2.50 cuc per box… We bought these to take to the beach with us all the time and are always fresh.

Being in Havana in cigar factory, cigars and alcohol are same price as in resort in a store that sells it.; if not cheaper for cigars. All other things such as shirts and other souvenirs are way cheaper in downtown Varadero or Havana market.
City buses are free to ride them from your resort to downtown Varadero, but we opted to pay 5 CUC per person to take double decker which runs every half an hour and with your ticket, you can ride it all day long. And it’s a nice experience if you can find a spot to sit in on top of the bus.

If you want to send postcard, you can buy them at the resort, there is a store that sells them, and right away you can buy a stamp too. Cards are .90 cuc and stamps .85 cuc, once you write on it and address it just bring it to the front desk there is a box for them.
As far as bugs go that some people were complaining about at the resort. I saw one on the stairs of my block, but let’s face it, its an open space and we share it with critters and bugs and other animals. We also had 4 dogs and 2 cats at the resorts but they didn’t bother us at all. They were just there wondering around.
Technically, we were supposed to check out on 23rd at noon, since we were catching flight at 5 AM on 24th but they allowed us to stay in our room until our 1 AM check out. Sunwing again did tell us about earlier check out but hotel allowed us to stay, which was very nice. At checkout, there were no problems, again, keys return and paperwork signed and done. Within few minutes it was all done.
One thing that annoyed me is that when you are standing in a line at the reception, you have to make sure you get closer to the desk, whatever you do, do not stand behind the person, someone will cut you off every time. Receptionist should call the next person she saw in line, but she is sometimes too busy to notice you standing there before someone cuts in front of you. Some travelers are just rude and you cant allow them to ruin your vacation. I usually just waited or came back later.


Overall, stay was amazing and will go again to Arenas Doradas. Thank you all for making my stay memorable and to all staff, Italian and Cuban for making it even more amazing. Special thanks to our maid Daysi, gardener Daniel, all our waiters but especially to Islay and Jesus. All Italian staff and especially Enzo, Vincenzo and Isabella (I believe that’s her name or Antonella)… all receptionists and especially to Onay… thank you all. You made a lifelong friend in me.

If anyone has any questions about resort you can always contact me at: Nina6416@gmail.com

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled with family
    • 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotel_Arenas_Doradas, General Manager at Hotel Roc Arenas Doradas, responded to this review, July 12, 2014
Dear Guest, I thank you for your kind words.

It is a pleasure to know that you have enjoyed your holiday with us.

On behalf of Roc Hotels and I personally thank you for choosing us for your vacation.

Thanks for your comments that make us improve every day in search of excellence.

Greetings from Cuba.

Agustin Sainz Parrado
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 29, 2014

Don’t expect much from Cuba. Take 1,5 star from official rating, that you will end up with more realistic picture. Hotel Roc Arenas Doradas is not an exception.
Having said so, I need to say, though not the standard you would associate with your dream vacation, but you can be sure, you’ll get the best Cuba has to offer.
Hotel quite dated. Food somewhat average and not much of the variety. Every day seams the same. Decoration around food may change, but not the food.
Sufficient to go on, not enough to get excited. A’la carte restaurants not any better in terms of quality and flavor, but provide some craved change to the overall day in – day out same menu in a buffet.
Excellent coffee bar and extraordinary coffee. Exceptional crew in a lobby bar – quite an addition to improve overall experience.
Shows and animation activities… well… don’t forget a good book – you will need one.
If travelling with children, be prepared to take care of them yourself. Parents I was talking to were not very pleased with what stuff had to offer. Mostly kids activities involve outside trip to nearby attractions and they are paid extra.
Good for an economy vacation option for visitors from Americas, but I would think long and twice of paying premium to come over from Europe.
I will be looking for some other place to stay on my next trip to Varadero.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Hotel_Arenas_Doradas, General Manager at Hotel Roc Arenas Doradas, responded to this review, July 13, 2014
Dear Guest, I thank you for your kind words.

We regret that the holidays have not been wholly to his liking.

The Hotel and the ROC team works tirelessly to improve every day looking for 100% satisfaction from all our customers.

I must comment that recently have joined our team two Cheff high reputation from Europe, which has achieved an improvement in all our menus and themed restaurants.

We hope you decide to come back so they can see the improvements we are making in search of excellence.

On behalf of Roc Hotels and I personally thank you for choosing us for your vacation.

Thanks for your comments make us improve every day in search of excellence.

Greetings from Cuba.

Agustin Sainz Parrado
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Windsor, Canada
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2014

I was not impressed by Sunwing, particularly their cabin service, but once I arrived at the resort 12 hours late after an overnight delay the holiday was excellent.
After a few hiccups for the first two days, the remainder of my holiday was great. I had requested a quiet room - this was not what I got! I even asked the desk staff who assured me it would be quiet when I checked in. It was very close to the pool where all the noisy daytime activites were taking place. Luckily they stopped at siesta time and after dinner. My room was comfortable and very clean. I had several problems with the key card not working on the door or room safe. And, for the first three days the phone did not work. I was offered a change of rooms.
I have travelled all over the world and to many all inclusive resorts in recent years and, overall, the food was really good. Particularly at the beach restaurant where, at lunchtime, fresh red snapper was available at the BBQ each day. The lobby bar with pianist was a lovely place to meet up with new friends after dinner. But the bar tenders need mojito lessons! The coffee bar outside the main buffet is excellent with a good variety of coffee and tea.
The housekeepers, desk staff and servers were so friendly. The servers at the buffet always made sure I got a nice table close to a window once they discovered that was my preference. I discovered early on that by bringing my water bottle to meals it would be refilled by the servers. Little tips throughout the holiday to servers and housekeepers work wonders!
Internet service was easy to access but often slow. But, on vacation, who is in a hurry?
The tours I booked through my destination rep met and exceeded my expectations.
The beach is amazing and so safe - no hassles from beach vendors at all and I walked several kilometres each day. However a couple of the life-guards did approach guests to sell cigars! Sometimes the sea was too rough to kayak but you would expect that in January.
The town of Varadero was easy to visit using the "hop on and off" bus which goes from the main road a short walk from the resort. The gardens at the resort are mature, well maintained and very pretty. I really liked the low-rise concept as compared to the high-rises that seem to dominate the area.
Overall I was very happy to stay there for my first visit to Cuba and will stay there again when I return.

Room Tip: Rooms away from the pool are quieter. Closer to the beach the rooms are quieter but are longish wal...
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotel_Arenas_Doradas, General Manager at Hotel Roc Arenas Doradas, responded to this review, July 13, 2014
Dear Guest, I thank you for your kind words.

It is a pleasure to know you have enjoyed your holiday with us.

On behalf of Roc Hotels and I personally thank you for choosing us for your vacation.

Thanks for your comments make us improve every day in search of excellence.

Greetings from Cuba.

Agustin Sainz Parrado
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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:
#18 On the Beach Hotel in Varadero
#19 Top resorts Hotel in Varadero
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hotel Roc Arenas Doradas 3.5*
Number of rooms: 316
Also Known As:
Arenas Doradas Varadero
Arenas Doradas Cuba

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