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“Really not at all bad.” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Club Puntarena

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Hotel Club Puntarena
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3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Ave. Kawama y Final, Varadero, Cuba   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #37 of 59 Hotels in Varadero
Thunder Bay, Canada
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Really not at all bad.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 1, 2012

I was very pleasantly surprised when I walked into this resort. My only comparison is Mar Del Sur, but really the lobby is very beautiful, my room was amazing; very clean and updated, and the staff were very professional and nice.
So, the beds are cheap....... My bf jumped on his, and it broke. We joked about it for the trip, but when he went to the front desk and told them, the very promptly switched the beds up and brought us a 40 of vodka to our room. I was impressed.....
The third night at the resort I could really smell the whatever smell it is on the canal side. I remember that from last year in town as well. I really do think it is just Varadero in general, but I thought, why not and upgrade to an ocean view room for the rest of the trip. And wow, I am so glad I did. The view from our balcony was amazing. I savoured every minute of it. Just beautiful!!!!!!!
So, trip was great, resort was nice and clean, but my bf was kind of bored sometimes. I'm happy to lay on the beach but he wanted to do more stuff. We didn't bring a lot of money so we were depending on resort stuff. Red and yellow flags make for not so fun beach time for some people, but who can help that, right? Oh, and once I asked for a volley ball, and they said it was already signed out. One volleyball? huh.
It is what you make of it, the rooms are clean, the staff is great. oh, and the food really is not that bad, and the beach is breathtaking. No swim up bar though, and I thought that the main lobby bar (24 hour bar) maybe would have been better if it was outside.

Room Tip: Both sides of the resort are fine. But, the ocean side view is amazing. Didn't hear any noise...
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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677 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3 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 (124)
Date | Rating
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  • Italian first
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English first
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 30, 2012

So all I can say, is i'm booking another trip and taking everyone.
I miss it so much, including everyone at the 24 hour bar Steven, Jose, Jorge, and C-Lo
If you get the opporituity to actually talk to them, they will tell you lots.
Always leaving a tip at the beginning of every night, if you want amazing service from the 24 hour bar. Make sure to give a good tip to the bartender thats there all night.
IGNORE ALL THE NEGATIVE COMMENTS, because there only like that, because there cheap, rude individual.

Went there Febuary 24 to March 3rd.

Be sure to cheap out Route 62. Good Cuban and Tourist mixture Bar.
Drink Mulata Cacoa. And Puntarenas.

Volleyballs, Basketballs, and other equipment is found in the fitness center.

Be respectful. and you will have the most amazing trip ever. They will give you bottles to take home.

Not for families. Only individuals looking to have an amazing time. With NON-STOP alcohol, and fun.

Room Tip: 7 floor, ocean-view is amazing. However, it hasn't been reno yet. And quick acess to the roof.
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Caledon
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 30, 2012

Hotel Puntarena was clean friendly and fun! Staff amazing and if you couldn't find something to eat you werent looking. Had the time of my life!

Room Tip: oceanview 6th floor
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Weyburn, Saskatchewan, Canada
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 26, 2012

The Ocean gets deep very fast, and the beaches are hard to walk on as they are sloped sharp. The place was clean, very friendly staff, and no reason to be disappointed. Try to ignore the rude french Canadians, as nothing will ever be good enough for them. Great place for a short 7 day getaway. Beautiful people!

Room Tip: We did not upgrade to oceanview, but you may want to consider it if the upgrade price is not a big...
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2012

I was at Gran Caribe Puntarena from Ap 9-16th. I paid $500 including taxes so made the best of it. The hotel was rated 3.5 stars but it was a 3 star in my opinion. I went with no expectations.

I had a great time but also realized at the end of my trip that you get what you pay for. It was my first time in Cuba and even the Caribbean. I went alone and was a little nervous the first few days but as the week went on I met some great people and formed friendships. So ladies don't be anxious about going alone. You can sit and relax if you wish or make new friends. I did both.

WEATHER - The weather was amazing!! It was 29C all week long. It got a bit windy the last 2 days I was there but that didn't bother me at all.

BEACH- the beach was gorgeous! It did have shells but it is a beach....what do you expect? I think the people who complained about the beach being shelly are probably ultra-spoiled. I will agree that the beach had some plastic cups and other garbage lying around but that didn't bother me at all.

FOOD- I read and heard that the food in Cuba is not good at all so I had low expectations. But oh my I was very disappointed with the food at the hotel!! I am not very picky but even I was disappointed. For breakfast stick with the fresh stuff - they make yummy eggs, pancakes and the juice is good too. I stayed away from everything else. They didn't have too much freshly made food during lunch. Also they do recycle the food from the previous day a lot. So be careful when you choose what to eat. So when they had stirfries, I stuck with that. They had lamb and chicken one day but they were very dry. For dinner I stuck with bread and pasta because the other dishes were bland. I found the fish dish to be either overcooked some days and undercooked some days. I didn't want to get ill so I stayed away. The coffee and cappuccinos on the L2 bar were the best. Don't get the coffee from the machine in the restaurant. I've heard that it is not good at all. I tried the 2 a la carte restos. One was an International one and the other was an Italian one. Stay away from the chow mein at the international one because it is just spaghetti with veggies. I loved the pizza in the Italian resto. I heard and agree that the food in the a la cartes are so much better. So make your reservations early. The person you need to see to make the reservations is only there a few days a week from 10am - 12pm.

ROOM - I liked the room. I was on the first floor which I do not recommend at all. If you arrive at the hotel or even before you get there, make sure you get a room on the 4th floor or above. Also some people paid extra for the ocean view but I didn't have to. If you have to pay extra, do it. I loved the view of the sunset and sunrise when I was on the balcony hanging out with my book and cup of tea or coffee. If you are anal about having a clean room then this is not the place for you. I thought the room was fine. The bathroom was clean but old. I also heard that some floors were renovated and some weren't. Apparently the new ones were a lot better than the older ones. I did get the smell of the oil refinery a few times but it didn't bother me at all. Some people I talked to did smell it and some didn't.

STAFF - the staff were so friendly. The bartenders at the L2 bar were a lot of fun. I always tipped 1 peso in the beginning of the day and was always treated well at the bar. I also left the maids a tip of 1 peso everyday along with little gifts I got from the dollar store. I always got great service from the restaurant and bar staff and the maids. But the front desk were not helpful at all. My balcony door didn't work the first 2 days and I had to call them 6 times for them come fix it.

Overall I had a great time because I needed to get away from everything. I booked it on a Thursday and was gone the Monday. If you need to get away and don't care too much about food, aren't anal about a clean room, don't mind too many smokers and noisy college kids, then this is the place for you. But if any of the above bother you, then pay the extra cash and do a 4 or 5 star.

I didn't visit Havana or downtown Varadero but that is because I didn't want to. I will go back to Cuba especially Varadero but I will spend the extra cash for a 5 star. The next time I go I want it all - a great beach, a clean hotel room but even more importantly great food.

Room Tip: Get the ocean view even if you have to pay for it. Request a room above the 4th floor so you won'...
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
montreal
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2012

I was there for 7 days and I was sick before my trip and the staff was always helpful and checking on me. Not in a "give me a tip " way.. Arturo was really nice. Especially. There were some harassing boys and he kept them away from the girls when they got too much.
The staff by the bar were a bit rude but it's understanding considering some of the crazy youth visiting. Communications wise..awful you have to go next doors to the next hotel.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 14, 2012

Our stay at the Punterena was from April 3rd-10th, 2012...lots of sun and warm temp"s! My husband and I took our 13 year daughter and 5 year old boy for a family fun vacation. Fun...forget the golf...dry bumpy grass and no holes for the ball. Outdoor chess...no pieces...basketball...no ball...soccer net...no ball. Thank goodness my kids loved the pool and beach! I had hoped the pool would have a volleyball net or children's games, but they didn't. The water was beautiful and clean though...just pack your own water toys for the kids.

Lets talk about the food...some say you don't don't go to Cuba for the food..well, at least not this resort. The food was horrible!! Bananas once and no variety of fresh fruit, unless you like pinapple and tiny pieces of seeded watermelon. I love fruit and had withdrawels from none. If you love your morning coffee, then go to the bar accross from the buffet. The coffee machine rarely worked at the buffet and if you ask for help, forget it. I found the buffet area very messy at times and limited untencils. Getting a clean glass for your juice or water was a challange at times. Forget booking the a la carte...we did and very disappointed. I must mention the pancakes...they were really good and my kids lived off them for each morning breakfast. To sum up the food..I've been to other resorts in Cuba and the food was much better.

Rooms...they only accept 3 people per room, so when booking I had to book 2 rooms for the 4 of us...weird! I requested ocean view and adjoining rooms...got the ocean view, but 1 room was on the 7th floor and the other on the 4th...so much for family time. Each day I went to the lobby and asked the front desk for what i requested and was told, sorry we're booked. The room on the 4th was clean, but the bathroom was in dire need of a new tub...down to rust and the metal. When we went up to the 7th to see our other room, I first checked the bathroom and yes...it was renovated and where I was staying. Beds were clean and we slept well. Our maid was very friendly! Little red ants on the floor, so don't leave food spills there...ewe..

Would we go back to the Punterena? No....service and food are musts for us, so a sure 5 star will be next. Talked to some people on the plane back to St.John's, Nl and they stayed at the TRYP Penninsula, a 5 star...had fresh mussels, lobster and shrimp most nights. Summary, I guess you get what you paid for.

Room Tip: Ocean Room View is a must!
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
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Additional Information about Hotel Club Puntarena

Address: Ave. Kawama y Final, Varadero, Cuba
Location: Caribbean > Cuba > Matanzas Province > Varadero
Hotel Style:
Ranked #37 of 59 Hotels in Varadero
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Hotel Club Puntarena 3*
Number of rooms: 255
Also Known As:
Gran Caribe Hotel Puntarena
Gran Caribe Varadero

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