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“Very Enjoyable” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Blau Varadero Hotel Cuba

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Blau Varadero Hotel Cuba
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4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Carretera de Las Morlas | KM 15, Varadero, Cuba   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #4 of 59 Hotels in Varadero
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Aberdeen, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
80 reviews 80 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
“Very Enjoyable”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 24, 2013

Just returned from 10 nights. Generally I prefer villa type holidays and this is my first time in this sort of all-inclusive hotel. I was pleasantly surprised.I found the hotel in general to be extremely well run with helpful and attentive staff and (generally) good facilities. I agree that it would be nice to have more lifts, but that's a small thing to me.

The room was pleasant, overlooking the pool, kept immaculately clean and had efficient aircon and toilet facilities. The only significant improvement I'd have liked would have been some sort of shade for the balcony.

With regard to the food, I found it far better than I had imagined. The temptation must be to cut back on quality/choice to increase margins, but I found no evidence of this. I also did not notice any of the unhygenic practices mentioned by others and did not suffer any gastro-intestinal events. Maybe I have a cast-iron constitution? Just as a small aside, I talked to two people who were transferred to the Blau Varadero from another hotel after food poisoning and they were genuinely amazed at the quality on offer.

The pool area (where I spent a lot of time) is kept assiduously clean and well maintained and seems to have plenty of sunbeds available both around the pool itself and in nearby grassy areas. Even the toilets around the pool and other outdoor areas are kept pretty clean.

All in all, I'd recommend the Blau.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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English first
Manchester, United Kingdom
1 review
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2013

Me and my boyfriend stayed at the Blau from the 4th June – 12th.
I would not recommend this hotel for a number of reasons:-
• Our hotel safe was broken into and my gold ring stolen, so far neither the hotel or First Choice are taking responsibility for this even though there are signs in the room stating the Hotel does not accept responsibility for items outside the safe. The safes let you enter your own code so presumably they are secure – not so. The day after putting my ring in the safe our safe code no longer worked. We reported to reception who sent someone who used a small machine and opened our safe within minutes. When we asked him why the code no longer worked for us he just shrugged and would not answer.
• Our room (537) stank of smoke when we entered, presumably from the previous occupant. There was a clump of long brown hair on the bathroom floor and an empty beer can on the balcony chairs. The room just seemed dirty and stank so we requested to change rooms – we were just told no and that the room would be sprayed.
• On returning to our room on the first night (Tuesday 4th June) we found 2 plates of food – rice, chicken, chips, ice-cream – had been dumped on the floor in the corridor of the next room along. This food remained in the corridor until Thursday 6th when we complained to our First Choice Rep. We were told it was our responsibility to report it to the hotel so advised customer services and were just told ‘Thank you for making us aware’. No apology or explanation. The maids had even pushed their cleaning trolleys through the food and spread it up and down the corridors!!!
• We found blood on some of the fresh towels left in our room.
• The bed sheet was too small for the bed so our feet were lying directly on the mattress.
• The sauna/Jacuzzi room stank of sewage/drains.
• Food in the buffet at lunch time was left uncovered with flies and birds helping themselves while staff did nothing.
• The hotel lifeguard tried a number of times to sell cigars to my boyfriend – we had been advised by the first choice rep not to buy cigars from outside of a Tabaco shop so this should not have been happening within the hotel and I am sure is illegal!
I must say the beach at this hotel is wonderful! And we found the beach bar and toilets fine. This is where we spent most of our time at the hotel.
If you do visit this hotel please do not take anything of value to you as I am devastated about the theft of my ring from the safe!
Overall I am extremely disappointed with the Blau and First choice and their poor responses to dealing with the problems we have experienced.
I would just like to say I have visited hotels all over the world and never wrote a negative review about any of them but I want to warn people about our experience here!

This hotel has the potential to be brilliant but we found it to be lacking in cleanliness and basic hygiene. At the very least you expect a 4* hotel to be clean! I do not know if we were just very unlucky with our trip here but I would not recommend anyone to go here!

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 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.
Scotland
Top Contributor
56 reviews 56 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
76 helpful votes 76 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2013

I have been trying to put some distance between my food poisoning at this hotel (most definitely the cause) and writing a review. I booked this hotel because of the good reviews but this certainly wasn't our experience, and indeed shortly after arriving here I did wonder if we had arrived at the right hotel.

Check-in - we had a smooth efficient private transfer from IB Parque central, Havana, taking 2 hours. When we arrived the bell-boy very quickly took our luggage and piled it up in the central hall with others - then we had to wait for the one receptionist to deal with us. Eventually probably after an wait of 30 minutes, we were given paperwork to complete and then given our AI bands and told to come back later to get our room as check in wasn't until 4pm, but we could use the facilities. We had a late lunch and then had to sit in the un-airconditioned area next to reception. we checked for our room at 3.30, 3.45 (as directed) and then at 4.15 - no room ready yet. Eventually at 4.30 we were offered our welcome drink and another attempt to elicit a room met with me being told it would be 8pm or later as we were part of a large family group and needed an adjoining room! Now this was the same person who originally helped the two of us check-in with the form. I may be overweight but not at the stage of giving birth to triplets! Explaining that this was not the case, I was greeted with shouting, and told it was my fault!!! Finally threatening to phone our virgin rep to move us to another hotel meant that we were allotted a room at 5pm. Unfortunately the room only had luke warm water when we got ourselves unpacked and started to shower to get ready for the evening. We assumed this was because others were doing the same thing at the same time, but when we came back to the room at 10 the water was stone cold - it was still stone cold in the morning, and we phoned guest services who said they would report it. We then later in the morning met our rep from Virgin who said he would sort it. By 4.30 pm on the Friday we still had cold water and I spent a huge amount of money using my mobile to contact him again - he said he would phone us back but didn't and it was left to me to try to explain to the poor woman in guest services that we did not have any hot water and I had to negotiate a change of room - we had to change rooms ourselves and were not offered the help of bell-boys or anyone else. By the way, there was no plug in the sink either and no plug in our new room - we were told there are no plugs in the hotel so if you like the idea of using the sink in your bathroom - bring your own plug - about an 1inch in diameter.

so Friday night we were in our new room where we got a lukewarm dribble from the shower - partner being a building maintenance techie guy realised this was because the shower and taps were full of crud and not properly cleaned. After using implements to decrust the shower head we did manage a quasi luke warm shower. Then at the evening dinner, I ended up throwing up in the toilets near reception - I had felt unwell since before lunchtime - the stink from the toilets whilst throwing up did not help. This was followed by the most major food poisoning I have ever experienced in 33 years of travelling the world - eating at street markets in India and Thailand did not produce the 6 days of holiday I totally lost to D&V - definitely brought on from food/drink in this hotel.

Luckily they had a great medical service on site - this only takes CUC's so do take extra cash, but after 3 injections, antibiotics and the doctor checking on me every day, I did manage to be well enough to enjoy the last 3 days of our stay in varadero.

Good points for this hotel - bar staff are really good and attentive especially after giving them tips - although this didn't stop one of them keeping the wrap I left in the piano bar on the last night. the wee meeter and greeter lady at the buffet rest. is lovely and very sympathetic to my attempts at Spanish and helped with my vocab and pronounciation.

Bad points - lifts - slow idiosyncratic and no air con - they need more for the size of the hotel. god help you when the thunder and lightening turn the generator off - you will be stuck!
Noise - all rooms off the atriums so noise travels upwards - don't expect to sleep until they stop the bars, etc. Food - hygiene in food preparation does not exist - beach bar staff wiping faces of sweat with paper napkin, coughing and throwing up in same then without washing hands starting to put a toastie together - no I didn't eat it either. Beach bar probably the worst - ice and food carried over in same golf cart seen earlier picking up rubbish and bits of dead gardening rubbish, Ice in flimsy bin bag then dragged over floor of beach bar to be put in ice hopper - same floor which had people treading on fresh from the overflowing beach bar toilets... I could go on. Undrunk wine being put back into wine bottles (with water) for others to drink!

Public toilets - don't worry about finding them on the hotel map - you will smell the sewage before you find them - no soap often and often no lights in the cublicles - take hand santiser and your own toilet paper. No aircon - and even when the cleaner cleans them they still have the same diarohea stains/blocked toilets.
Shower heads and taps - never cleaned - so lukewarm water and shower heads and taps means that legionella has an extremely good chance of infecting you.

Good points - lovely medical doctor and nurse - really know their stuff (I have a quasi medical background), bar staff at both bars in hotel are lovely especially when given tips. Bar staff - doing their best/
Fanastic musicians at palma real, the piano bar - do give them tips - you would pay significantly to hear that quality in this country.
entertainment in the evenings - best dancers I have ever seen at an AI - clearly classically trained entertainment in general in the evenings is of a better standard than in europea AI's

No Wi-Fi - partly because of government censorship - you need to use one of the three terminals just next to the main reception and pay 8 pesos an hour - this is slower than any dial-up you have ever experienced in the uk - but not the hotel's fault.

transport to Varadero town and the town itself - great! unfortunately I only managed two brief visits because of my illness

Can I recommend this hotel - no - but I can recommend Varadero town and would be happy to go back to a different hotel in this area.

Room Tip: try another hotel
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cumnock, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
58 reviews 58 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2013 via mobile

This was our second holiday to Cuba staying at the cayos around 10 year ago, this time we chose the gorgeous Blau Varadero, Ok the foods not the best but there was always something to eat , and i think they do exceptionally well with the embargo thats in place. Everything else was truly amazing, the staff are a credit to the Blau Varadero with the general manager definately leading by example .I would highly recommend this Hotel.

  • Stayed May 2013
    • 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leicester, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2013

Me and my partner have just got back from staying at the Blau. Overall we had a brilliant holiday and would definitely return to Cuba and most probably back to the Blau if we stayed in Varadero again. We drove past many other hotels in Varadero and quite honestly they looked awful! The weather was good, very hot, sunny most days. We had a few cloudy days and a bit of rain although this was mostly at night and if it did rain in the day it didn't last for long and was actually quite a relief from the heat. Firstly, the hotel was lovely inside - much better than it looks from the outside - and very clean. The staff were brilliant, so helpful they couldn't do enough for you. They would top up your drinks or go to the bar and get another one for you without even being asked. Air con in the room was lovely and cold, however, we were disappointed that the rest of the hotel didn't have air con. This stopped us from watching the shows and even from sitting in the lobby bar as it was just too humid. Our room was on the 8th floor, we got some noise from the piano bar in the evening but it wasn't late so we didn't mind, other than that very quiet. I can't really comment on the entertainment as we didn't take part in a lot. However, there was always a show on in the evening and the entertainment by the pool in the afternoon was very funny even though i usually like it nice and quiet by the pool! There were always sunbeds available no matter what time you went down to the pool or the beach. There were kayaks and pedalos on the beach that were part of the all inclusive package but no motorised watersports that we could see - which we would have preferred. International and Mexican a la carte restaurants were lovely - men pack trousers for these - although the mexican one was far too hot as didn't have aircon. We got 2 visits to each of these restaurants. The rest of the food however was disappointing. Breakfast was really good so we just filled up then! Lunch was average, pizza and chips most days. However, the restaurant for lunch was by the pool and so there were birds everywhere and flies swarming over the bread and the rest of the uncovered food. I know it can't be helped but the food should definitely have been covered up. Needless to say we didn't eat a lot at lunch! Hotdogs, burgers, fries and crisps were served by the pool all afternoon. Dinner was better but could have done with a bit more variety. A lot of the food was cooked fresh which was a nice touch. Pizza and pasta made to order and meat cooked on the grill fresh for you. There was always a queue for this, although I would prefer to queue and have it cooked fresh. The only problem was they seemed to wait for quite a large queue before starting to cook anything so the rest of your food would be cold. The fridge in your room is stocked up daily with 2 beers, 2 cokes and a large bottle of water. The bars didn't serve bottled water so we ended up having to buy it from the shop. We did leave a comment on the form that the maid had left (and a tip!) to leave us more water in the fridge and most days we would get 2 bottles. I drank the water in the restaurant and the slushy drinks were topped up with water which I doubt came from a bottle and I wasn't ill once. Just a couple of things that by no means ruined the holiday but would have been a nicer touch. First off there is no swim up bar, i find it rare for a pool not to have a swim up bar and it would have been a lot easier. Secondly there is no wifi although I don't think that was just at the Blau I think that's just Cuba in general. There is an internet cafe but we were told the internet would have been like it was in the UK about 20 years ago so we didn't bother! Also they could have done with a few more lifts as you could be waiting a long time for them and sometimes they broke down or just went straight past you! We didn't do any day trips as it was just too humid. However, I would recommend the boat adventure that is just down the road from the Blau. It was about an hours jet ski ride all along the peninsula and through the mangroves and you got to stop and switch drivers half way through. At 40CUC I think this was very reasonably priced and worth doing. I do think it would be worth paying the extra to have your own jet ski but just my opinion as I love jet skis! If you get the choice it is definitely worth paying the 30CUC for the VIP lounge at the airport. You get quicker check in, an air conditioned lounge, free soft and alcoholic drinks and free snacks. Overall lovely holiday and stay at the Blau. If it wasn't for lunch then I would definitely return to the Blau without a doubt. Just a couple of negatives but nothing that ruined our stay.

Room Tip: Our room was on the 8th floor, we got some noise from the piano bar in the evening but it wasn't...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Jesenice, Slovenia
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2013

Almost everything was perfect, as many of guests said ( rooms, service, beach, food...) I would like to point out very good facilities for bech volleyball ( we played 2 times per day, with cuban entertaiment guys) and Kite surfing. On beach you can rent Kite or even instructur. Almost every day you can ride with kite size 12, 4 to 5 hours. They can't advertise spot because they don ' t have internet acces.
Minus just for weithers , because they all the time expect tips for every drink, and evenings after shows ( after 10 p.m.). There were no dancing music . I got the feeling that managment of hotel just want to make borring atmosfere to become guests sleepy and to stop drinking go sleep.

p.s. Biliard was also free of charge - nice ( from 11 am to 11 pm)

Room Tip: Higher than 5th floor - no mosquitos - important
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
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2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2013

I'll try and keep this to the point, we went from 7th July - 22nd July flew from Manchester

Food -

Breakfast - best meal of the day and plenty of choice

Lunch - Awful!! Served outside next to the pool, no air con, flies and birds always near the food, which put me off so I just ended up having burger and chips from the bbq stand everyday! safe to say I was sick of it! I can't see why they don't open up the air con restaurant for lunch as well

Dinner - OK, sometimes found the meat wasn't cooked properly, pasta and pizzas made up which were nice, the A La Carte was ok, the mexican one was the poolside restaurant but 'glammed up' which had no air con so was too hot really, the Palma Real was nice and had air con, take a pair of trousers to wear for this or they won't let you in

The hotel was clean and the staff were always friendly! Plenty of sunbeds but if you like a certain spot then it's worth popping your towel down early

The rooms and spacious and clean and the fridge re-filled with beer coke and water everyday, if you want more than one bottle of water leaving, then leave a tip with a note for the maid and she'll happily leave what you want

The beach is stunning and kayaks and pedalos are free to use, I can't really comment on the beach bar and food their as we never used it.

We went into Varadero for a couple of hours and got a taxi back in a 50's classic convertible which was fun! the flea market there was ok but they all sell pretty much the same stuff

We did the boat adventure, which was fun, you follow a guide out to sea on a jet ski or mini speed boat, the take you down the the tip of the peninsular and back through the mangroves which lasts about an hour

Rum is super cheap! Cigars are not, they sell the same ones at the airport a lot cheaper than the shop in the hotel

People have said how ugly the hotel is from the outside, I think it looks pretty cool and looks a lot nicer than some of the others we seen! The inside looks stunning at night with the lounge bar lit up against a back drop of hanging vines

The lifts got annoying! they broke down on occasions and are slow and boiling hot! as there is no air con in the lobby area!?

The only thing that let it down for me was the food :( although I was never ill and I drank the ice slush drinks and had ice in all my drinks

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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José M P, General Manager at Blau Varadero Hotel Cuba, responded to this review, August 7, 2013
Dear Jason L,
Thank you very much for choosing Blau Varadero to spend your holidays in Cuba.
We are really sorry to hear that you did not enjoy the food.
Thank you for the review about the rooms and the staff.
Best regards
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 Blau Varadero Hotel Cuba

Address: Carretera de Las Morlas | KM 15, Varadero, Cuba
Location: Caribbean > Cuba > Matanzas Province > Varadero
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Family Hotel in Varadero
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Varadero
#4 Luxury Hotel in Varadero
#4 Romantic Hotel in Varadero
#5 Business Hotel in Varadero
Hotel Class:4 star — Blau Varadero Hotel Cuba 4*
Number of rooms: 395
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Just on the shore of the magnificent and famous Varadero beach, the Hotel consist of a 13 floor modern building, completely new.Ideal for those who want to enjoy the beauty and the atmosphere of the most well known beach of Cuba, with the best facilities and a wide list of activities. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Blau Hotel Varadero
Blau Varadero Cuba

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