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“Absolutely nothing to complain about - great place to stay!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Melia Peninsula Varadero

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Melia Peninsula Varadero
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4.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Parque Natural de Punta Hicacos | Matanzas, Varadero, Cuba (Formerly Tryp Peninsula Varadero)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #22 of 59 Hotels in Varadero
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Absolutely nothing to complain about - great place to stay!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 26, 2009

I travelled to the Tryp just under a year ago, and stayed for two weeks with my girlfriend. I don't normally post on websites my opinion/review - I've always considered it something you would do if you have something to complain about. However, I think this hotel has had some bad press and it is not deserved.

My girlfriend and I had a wonderful holiday, partly because Virgin Holidays handled the majority of our arrangements and we went on some excellent excursions.

The hotel itself was great. Large, plenty of facilities, plenty of choice when it came to eating and sat right on a fantastic stretch of beach. What more do you need??

We spent many days and evenings taking advantage of the hotel's bars and entertainment and found the staff to be very friendly and very efficient. We could not fault them. Particularly in the lobby bar - a fresh ice cold beer presented to me when I was barely half way through my last!!

The rooms were spacious and cleaned daily. And provided everything you would need in an All Inclusive resort.

The only minor complaint I would have is the large number of badly behaved Canadians that flock to Varadero. Unfortunately there is not much the hotel could do about them, which is a shame. At times they were thoroughly unpleasant and rude to staff and showed a complete disregard towards other guests when rolling around drunk after a glass and a half of beer! And after a night of stupidity, it was generally the same ignorant Canadians queing at reception the following day waiting to complain about something minor. They should be ashamed of themselves. If you can't handle a beer then get out of the bar, children.
This bad behaviour wasn't confined to this hotel, we spoke with many other holidaymakers when on excursions and in Havana, and it seems that this is common at most resorts.

It makes a change to see the Brits behaving abroad!

  • Stayed November 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 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
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  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
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Galway, Ireland
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 26, 2009

Stayed in Varadero for 6 nights after travelling the Cuba for 4 nights. We decided an all inclusive package would be ideal and it really was. Food and drink was great. We really couldn't get enough off the food!! They have a lovely pool area with one of pools boasting its own bar - you can swim up and drink your cocktail right in the pool!! Fab!! There were loads of activities and great air-con in the rooms. Highly recommended

  • Stayed August 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
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North east
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 25, 2009

Travelled to the Tryp Penisula on 16th October from Manchester airport. Flew with Thomson seats which was well worth the extra money and which was a great start to the holiday. Unfortunately, it was all down hill from there.

The rooms

I can only describe them as 'squalid.' The first room we were allocated (block 17) smelt so bad of damp that within 10 minutes of being in it we rang reception and asked to be changed. They were polite and sent the bell boys to help us move - this took about an hour in total. The next room we got was pretty much the same really, though it did smell slightly less damp so decided to accept it as couldn't see that any other room would be any better - this was room 2565. The first night I slept in the room I woke to find insects crawling across the bed sheets - I was bitten on my legs about 25 times. It was later confirmed that these were not mosquito bites! They became infected, began to weep and needed medical attention (an injection) to calm them down. This made the first few days of my holiday extrememly miserable! The shower was coming off the room, and the towels were so dirty that we put some of them straight in the bath without using them. Sorry but I don't actually have anything positive to say about the room!


It was awful. With the hotel only about 40% full - if that - the food had constantly run out and what was there was cold (really cold) and unflavoured. We were told this was just Cuba - read on and you will see that it wasn't. The only positive news I have to report is that if you queue up for 10 mins in a morning you get a decent omlette. There were flies all over the food at all times! Despite the hotel being so empty there were never any tables set when you entered the dining room. On more than one occasion we had to sit at a table with dirty plates on and take them to the waitress station ourselves! I even had to eat my meal one night with just a fork as I couldn't find a knife! Unless you tipped contstantly the staff were just not attentive. You could be sat 10 mins waiting for a coffee in a morning and someone would walk in and sit behind you who had obviously given huge tips and they would be straight over giving kisses and hugs and fresh coffee! It was so annoying - and yes we did tip! The thing is you should only tip when you get good service - in this place you had to wave your cash about to even get a seat! The 'al a carte' restaurants were a joke too - the food, although hotter, was just as bad although the staff in there were much nicer.

The main pool was shut for the first 3 days we were in the resort - we were told that it had only been closed for a few days but I knew this was not the case as I read reviews saying that it was shut in September. Even when it opened it didn't look great - the other pool just looked dire - there is no way I would have swam in it the water looked stale and dirty.


Beach was nice and sunbed man was really helpful - bar was a joke! It was a table, with some jugs on it swarming with flies - although bar man was good fun.

On the fourth day of being in the resort we went for a long walk down the beach and cam across some fantastic looking 4* hotels (pls remember that this is being sold as a 5*) and feeling completely depressed, with my insect bites weeping and throbbing I decided that enough was enough. I had previously rang the Thomson helpline twice (i was placed in a queue for 5 mins each time which will have cost a fortune) they just said speak to your rep. So I did and wish I had done so earlier. He immediately rang the Varadero office and arranged for us to move hotel (I think the bites from bed bugs on my legs maybe had something to do with the way we were moved so quickly). They did want us to pay nearly £300 but I point blank refused - afterall I booked this hotel because it was 5* and the others were 4* and already paid £900 for the priviledge - for one week!

Within 3 hours we were stood at the reception of the Iberostar Varedero (though we did have to make our own way there and pay for it) - wow what a fantastic hotel! Please don't beleive people when they tell you that all cuban hotels smell of damp and all food in Cuba is mank because I have travelled all over the world and the food in this hotel compared to some of the nicest I have had. Our last 3 days in Cuba were fantasic - food, hotel, people, entertainment everything. If you want to go to Cuba go to this Hotel - it was perfect - don't even think about going to the Tryp Penisula. If you are sat reading this and you have booked please do yourself a favour and get your holiday changed - now! I read some reviews before I went but the worst ones I read were within 14 days of me going so when I rang to change they said I couldn't.

We had booked a day trip to Havana during our week away but were so exhausted by the experience of moving rooms 3 times and all the other trauma's that we cancelled it as would have only had 2 days in the sun (we have to claim the money back in the UK apparently).

I blame the holiday company for continuing to send people to this hotel when they know that there are so many problems with it - I will be seeking compensation in full for this holiday. Oh, an finally, I nearly forgot - this is next to a major construction site!!!! So for my partner, who happens to be a builder, it was a busman's holiday!

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
Toronto, Canada
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 24, 2009

This was my first time visiting Varadero and had a great vacation. I went with my mother and the hotel was very accomodating to with our special requests. A special thank you to Liset for all her help at making this a wonderful vacation for us. The staff were friendly and always had a smile on there face. This is the third time for me travelling to cuba and always stay at a Melia resort. I will be going back next month again. Yes I am addicted to this country. People need to realize that when travelling to a different country they need to have an open mind and not expect the same as at home. I mean that's the whole purpose in travelling to experience new cultures. Just a tip bring gifts thye appreciate it so much because they cannot buy it if yu do give them money. Most needed items baby clothing, toiletries,hygene products. Have a great trip !

  • Stayed October 2009
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 9, 2009

The service was very pleasant. All staff chefs,waitresses, ground keepers and front desk
clerk did their jobs well eager to please. Disappointed no king bed, room was very clean,
bar was stocked and lots of water, Linens always fresh.
Pool bar was great, snack bar was close by. Meals at all the restaurants were all fine no problems lots to choose from. Entertainment was good enough, beach was a 10 out of 10
close to the walking paths not far from the rooms. pool was large and clean.

I'm sorry i never wrote before but was starting to plan another vacation and
remembered the wonderful holiday and how much we enjoyed our stay.

I brought soap and shavers, hair ties, school supplies for the children I think the people of the island can]t afford the simple things and were thankful. Beautiful people
of the island.

  • Stayed April 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 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 3
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1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 29, 2009

Well how do i begin.
Rooms on arrival first room stunck so bad of damp we asked to be moved, no bell boy available reception staff not very helpful and we had to move by ourselves. Rooms not very clean air-con a nightmare water leaking from air-con and running down the walls, this was reported numerous times but maintenace just turned the air-con off and placed the fan on. When we returned to our room it was so hot and there was water all over the fall, when we turned the air-con back on quess what more leaking water, this was ongoing for the full two weeks we stayed.
Food dont even get me started on this all I can say is YUK there was more flys then there was food, hygene was very very poor, food not cooked properly we tried pork one day this was raw,by the end of the holiday we called the chefs Sam-Onella and Ecoli get the picture.
Food only improved if you went to the Al-A-Carte and paid you where entitled to two visits per week, as the restaurants are only open alternative nights you are lucky to get two visits,however if you paid £30.00 pesos the hotel always managed to get you a table.
It took five days to get tomatoes, thirteen days to get lettuce.Are you getting the picture complain and you can get some food.
Drinks big NO NO we paid all inclusive but everytime we found a drink we liked the hotel ran out: example Champayne Cocktail only allowed two a day, diet coke had non but you could buy it at the shop, tonic water no supplies until we complained.Vodka you could only get at the main bar quite a lot of drinks from the bar list were not available.Mojitos are a big drink in Cuba, this hotel actually ran out of MINT how can that happen.
We complained about the lack of drinks and over the next week we where followed around the hotel by their security how imtimidating is this. All inclusive its a joke.
Pool oh my god what a cess pit, dirty, fithly not maintained, paint pealing and flaking off the walls and floor, the pool actual closed on the day we returned home for maintenance shame this had not been done before we got there.
I would never go back to this hotel or recommend it to anyone go at your own peril.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sheffield, United Kingdom
1 review
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 28, 2009

Well, the week before we were supposed to go, out travel agent rung to
tell us that the main pool would be closed on our second week for
refurbishment. Nothing much we could do so just went with an open mind.

Our group consisted of 7 adults aged 20 - 46 1 teen (17) and 1 baby
(1year), 3 of which had visited Cuba before, but a different hotel.

First impressions, fantastic hotel, very big and friendly welcoming
(live music playing at the door as we got off the coach). Took about
40mins to check in, it did take a while, drinks were served but when you
have been travelling for hours in the heat of 30degrees, the first thing
you want to do is take your clothes off and dive in the pool.

We were taken to our room which was bang next to the pool, fantastic.
First impressions of the room was very spacious, walk in wardrobe, 2
massive beds and a huge bathroom. Very clean. The fridge i think should
be stocked up every day but towards the end of the holiday, we had to
call reception as it wasn't getting stocked as regularly. A note was
left with a number to ring when we required a top up. They were always
at the door within 30mins of ringing them.

The pool is huge and to be honest it was very quiet. You could get a
sunbed no problem, we only needed 8 but as there was no shade round the
pool at all until the afternoon, we ended up with around 10 at the end
of the day as people wanted to catch the ray and some in the shade. If
you ask at the pool bar or the person cleaning the pool in the morning,
they have big umbrellas if you want a bit of shade during the day. We
tipped them a couple of peso every time and they were very grateful.

The baby pool is also big with a water slide and cool water. There is
lots of shade round there.

We heard there was only 400 guests there while we were there, compared
to the 1400 it normally holds at peak time.

Omg, words cant describe how clear and warm the sea is. Personally i
didnt spend much time on there as im not keen on sand. But it is crystal
clear waters, warm sand and cool breeze was lovely.

For the whole of the hotel, this was a let down to be honest. There were
3 main bars which were very small, and imagine at peak time with 1400
guests, trying to get served in these places would be very hard!

The bar over the water near reception, sit there at night and you get
eaten to death with mosquitoes. The 24 hour bar, the staff were quite
rude and took for ever to get served, tip a waiter/ess though, and they
keep coming back to get you drinks which is nice as soon as they saw you
they would bring your drink without asking!

The bar at the pool, the 2 people that were on were rather unpleasant,
would leave you sat waiting while he finished his convo. Give him a tip
and your chances of getting served next time improved slightly!

There is a small hut bar on the beach and sometimes there is a waiter,
find him and tip him, your sorted!

The food was very repetitive, but you have to remember Cuba is a very
poor third world country and food they can get is bonus. They did run
out of some foods sometimes but it wasn't the fact that the hotel ran
out, the whole of Cuba had no stock. e.g. pizza bases, tomatoes,
sausages, beer and orange juice. It was soon stocked back the following
day or day after.

5 of us were bitten while here in Cuba. We expected to have a few bites
after reading reports but this was unbelievable! At one point at the end
of my first week, i had 73 bites. The itching was unbearable. Towards
the end of the holiday they stopped biting as much so maybe i didn't
taste as nice :-)

There were concerns with towels on reviews i read before we went. We
never had trouble getting clean towels at all while we were there so
unless it was because it was the low season, i don't know.

There was very little. I think you had to go and look for it if you
wanted to join in. There were shows in the evening but in the theatre,
there was no bar, it had no cover from rain, no toilets and lots of
mosquitoes. Its only 5 mins from the bar and toilets but it was off
putting watching it without a drink in the humid evenings. There was
some entertainment on a Wednesday afternoon around the pool as it was
Cuban Day but they did the same thing every week.

The night club was very quiet which was nice, no queuing at the bar, air
conditioned, and loud music. Eventually we started going in every night
after the evening meal mainly because there were NO MOSQUITOES!!!!! It
was good as well as the little one could run riot without running off.

Towards the end of the first week, 4 of us went on a trip to Havana,
speak to one of the guys in the towel stand, they can sort you out a
deal. This was absolutely fantastic, rather than travelling round on coach for hours with a time limit, we had a car with a guide/driver, spent as long as we wanted in places and because he knew people, we could go behind doors in the rum factory, cigar factory and got discounts on things. Brilliant experience, will never forget that place.

When we got back, the pool looked green. Turns out they hadn't been
cleaning it as the filter had broke and it was due to close anyway for a
refurb. One member of our group ended up with an ear infection swimming
in it so we wouldn't let the baby near it. We complained to our rep who
was absolutely brilliant. Sorted everything out as quick as he could and
to a more than satisfactory standard. The manager of the hotel came to
see us personally and apologized, he arranged a special meal in the A la
Carte restaurant for us with champagne and the meal was gorgeous.
Definitely recommend going there. Within 2 days the pool was clean again
with crystal clear water.

We spoke to the guys on the beach who organise a snorkelling trip.
15peso each i think it was. They take you out on a catamaran boat and
provide you with bread, mask, snorkel and flippers and take you diving
with all of the fish. You stay as long as you want and they bring you
back when your ready. They even caught fish with their hands...amazing!
don't forget sun cream though as you burn very quickly out there!

Before your due to come home, the hotel arranges a good bye meal for
different nationalities. Ours was Wednesday where you get drinks and
snacks, music and taken to a special room where a 4 course meal is
served with champagne, more live music and dancers and the manager gives
a speech.

Overall, i think it has been an experience, Cuba in itself is a
fantastic country and considering how poor it is, they provide the best
service they can and the manager and rep couldn't do more for you.

On our last day we took toiletries, old clothes especially baby clothes
down to the beach to give to locals, thought we would do our bit. From
going to Havana, it has opened my eyes to see how lucky we actually are.
They were so grateful they couldn't take the stuff from us fast enough,
they even took the flip flops from our feet, we didn't mind seen as we
were flying that day!

Personally i prefer a bit more of a lively holiday with more
entertainment during the day but this one was nice just to relax and do
your own thing. I would recommend this hotel if you like a chilled out

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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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Additional Information about Melia Peninsula Varadero

Address: Parque Natural de Punta Hicacos | Matanzas, Varadero, Cuba (Formerly Tryp Peninsula Varadero)
Location: Caribbean > Cuba > Matanzas Province > Varadero
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#15 Romantic Hotel in Varadero
#16 On the Beach Hotel in Varadero
#17 Top resorts Hotel in Varadero
#20 Luxury Hotel in Varadero
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Melia Peninsula Varadero 4*
Number of rooms: 581
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
All inclusive resort ideal for families, with a dedicated children's area, a marvelous tranquil beach, full of activities for all ages. Honeymooners also get special treatment in a quiet special area. Tennis courts, gym, non motorized water sports, drinks, a la carte and buffet dining included. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Tryp Peninsula Varadero Hotel Varadero
Tryp Peninsula Cuba
Peninsula Varadero
Tryp Varadero
Varadero Peninsula
Tryp Peninsula Varadero Cuba
Tryp Peninsula Hotel Varadero Beach
Varadero Beach Tryp Peninsula

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