The entire resort is absolutely beautiful and when we first arrived and were handed a glass of champagne each, we were so thrilled we had decided to stay here. But after a few days we found ourselves with a whole heap of complaints. I’m not one to usually moan and pick at little things at all, in fact I’m usually very easily pleased, but there were just too many things about this resort that we couldn’t ignore.
I had asked for a sunset room which we got – they are at the far back of the resort so are a bit more of a walk (only a few minutes) from all the main goings-on but this meant it was nice and quiet. We couldn't really see the sunset from our balcony though! The room was huge with a separate sitting area with sofas and a coffee table and then the huge bed which was so high little me almost had to jump to get in it! We had a huge square bath which was big enough to fit 3 people in but most of the towels were quite hard and rough.
The majority of the staff were lovely and friendly and helpful, especially one of our butlers, and all the staff in the nightclub who were always run of their feet but still managed to chat and have a few laughs with guests. Some of the staff were just plain rude though – whether it was just someone being miserable taking a food order or the manager in the Italian restaurant who was incredibly rude to us and another couple and seemed to do everything he could to do the opposite to what we asked for. A few of my curlers also went missing after our room had been cleaned which I was pretty annoyed with.
The buffet restaurant is pretty big and only a couple of times did we have to wait a few minutes for a table. There are different sections that you can just help yourself from – pasta and pizza, seafood, meat, salad, desserts so there was always a lot to choose from. The food was very repetitive though so after 2 nights of eating here we were glad we had booked into the a la carte restaurants for a few nights. There were a couple of birds flying around inside the buffet restaurant which, understandably, it must be hard to get them out but we noticed that a lot of the chairs had bird poo on the seat backs which is really quite disgusting and unhygienic in an eating place.
The Italian a la carte restaurant was nothing special but was probably made worse by the rude staff member. There was no pizza on the menu which we found strange for an Italian restaurant! The Tex-Mex in the beach hut was nice enough but it was a really windy rainy day which meant we were extremely cold and wind-blown through the whole meal and the main course of fajitas was literally just one fajita which didn’t fill us up at all. The Caribbean was by far the best restaurant with a much more romantic setting, friendly waiter service, more choice of wine, and 3 courses of delicious filling food.
We had butler service but the only time we used it was to change a reservation at one of the a la carte restaurants and it turned out it was quicker for us to do this ourselves.
The day time entertainment wasn’t brilliant as my husband and another guy had to ask for a ball and round up people themselves for beach volleyball. The evening entertainment went from one extreme to the next – we had some brilliant evening shows of Michael Jackson and water aerobics (don’t miss either!), but another night there was just a catwalk which was very strange! The nightclub is fun to spend the evening in with a group of people but the air con is turned up high even on cold days so bring a cardigan! After a few of their delicious strong cocktails the cold didn't seem to matter much anyway!
This resort has so much potential as it really is beautiful with a fabulous beach and so many facilities, but unfortunately it managed to fall flat in a lot of places. Many people we spoke to said the same thing so it wasn’t just us being picky. I’m really hoping they try to sort out these things as the Royal Hicacos could be an amazing resort.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Nestled within lush tropical gardens and just steps from the azure blue waters and powder white sand of Cuba's finest beach lies the award-winning, Royalton Hicacos Varadero Resort & Spa, an Adults Only Luxury All Inclusive Resort. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Sandals Royal Hicacos Varadero
- Sandals Cuba
- Sandals Royal Hicacos Resort Spa
- Royal Hicacos