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“Very good location for a family” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Memories Varadero Beach Resort

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Memories Varadero Beach Resort
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4.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Autopista Sur, km 18,5 Parque Natural | Punta Hicacos, Varadero 42200, Cuba   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #17 of 59 Hotels in Varadero
Montreal, Canada
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
“Very good location for a family”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 21, 2013

I read a lot of bad reviews about this hotel from people who went there in December 2012 and January 2013. Since I didn't payed too much attention at this aspect back then, I was afraid we'll have a bad vacation at Memories. Still, it was a very good experience.

We have 2 sons (4 yrs and 1 yr old) and we wanted a location where they could have a lot of fun. I agree that the water slide we saw in photos was a huge hit and contributed at our decision to go in Varadero.

We enjoyed especially the area. It was clean and beautiful. We stayed only 2 days at the beach and the rest of the time at the pool. Beach was pretty clean and beach sellers were civilized. No one to try to convince you to buy their stuff. Also, we appreciated that there were always enough loungers for everybody. Staff were always there to bring them back when it wasn't needed so the beach were always free of unwanted things. It was our first vacation to Cuba and we were pleased to see that there are lifeguards. Since my 4 yrs old kid was about to get drowned in Mexico, we were pleased to know that here are qualified personnel to intervene.

The pools (2 big and 2 for children) were astonishingly clean. Water were great and the in-pool bar looked awesomely. It looks like a cave with 3 water curtains that you have to break to get in. The water slide is huge and sometimes it gets crowded, but the waiting time is about 2-3 minutes, so it is bearable. Lounges get occupied pretty quickly and if you don't go in the morning, is hard to find a free one. Most of people left towels or other stuff on lounges before going to take breakfast. While I disagree this manner, I shall say that there were lot of people doing so.

Activities are great! Kids have their own pools, there is a kindergarten (open from 10 to 12:30 and from 2 to 4:30) and shows for them usually at 3 pm and 8 pm. I can say that my kids never got bored. It was always something to do. As for us, there were as well enough activities. We enjoyed the in-pool gym and the 9:30 pm shows (with kids sleeping in our arms). We were pleased to see that the artists were very good and their shows were enjoyed by most of people.

Personnel were great when tipped and poor when not tipped. We offered about 120 CAD in tips and we had always great service. As others said, you should tip BEFORE service, not after. As well, we bought many objects from Canada (toys, earrings, necklaces, soap, etc.) and we offered them to persons that were kind. I did a mistake with the guy that refill the in-room mini-bar. I thought that is the maid that refills so I didn't left any CUC for him. Next day he put only 1 beer and the day after none. I talked to the maid and she confirmed that is someone else who refills. I called customer service, but the guy came only next day. I left him 1 CUC inside fridge and he filled it reasonably :).

Food was the part that we enjoyed less. It was tasty, agreed, but not as diversified and enough like we had in Mexico. To be sure you get the food you want, you have to go in the first hour after opening. Breakfast is from 7 to 10:30. If you go after 9:30, be sure you won't find much left and from 10 am they will start removing plates. There are line-ups for omelets, eggs, fresh cooked fish, pasta or steak (I found it tasteless and hard o chew) but it wont take more that 10 minutes. My wife were going first to get food for the kids and after I was going with 2 plates for each other to get in line. Like this, we had always a good spending time at the buffet.

À la carte restaurants aren't our temptation because of the kids, but we booked. We tried the Mediterranean restaurant tho. It was actually a buffet and we found that the food weren't enough. We had 1 full lobster each and was pretty much all. We had to go back to buffet to eat. You need to do a trick with this particular restaurant if you want to eat lobster: book at 6 or at 6:30. After, there are low chances that there are still lobsters left. Our friends booked at 8 pm and there were no lobsters at all. We found as well that Japanese and French à la carte restaurants were the most booked and since we went 3 days later to book, we had no chance for them. You have 2 bookings for 7 days vacation and you can book at the same time both at the theater from 9 to 5. If you want Japanese or French, go as quick as you can to book, even on first day if you can.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
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English first
Edmonton, Canada
1 review
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 21, 2013

We stayed here from jan 11-19 with our two young boys. We booked last minute and got a great deal plus a free 'upgrade' to diamond club.

The quiet pool is lovely and you won't have to set your alarm to stake out a prime spot...the activity pool is another story - leave it too late and you'll be in th swampy side with a view of the water slide structure. The drinks service is a bit iffy...lots of people to attend to so savour your drink if you can't make it to the swim up or snack bar.

The resort is huge. Too big. Far too much walking for little kids and the golf carts are busy. Tip well and the drivers will look out for you and hurry back if they are full. But there is no rhyme or reason to when the buggies will cruise by.

The shows are late. We stayed out until 10:30 waiting watching the sound check one night. The kids show was painful...our boys asked to leave.

Food was either too bland or overly salty. The ice cream was delicious!

Orientation is poor. We were given a photocopy map of the resort and left to fend for ourselves. No info in rooms.

Diamond club is a sham. No robes in rooms. Same booze in mini bar...when stocked. Had to continually ask for water. 'Butler service' consists of a fellow coming to tell you he is your butler, asking if everything is okay - not really caring if it is, and if you do indicate you need something he will tell you someone else will do it...but don't get your hopes up...they won't. waited an hour in line to book restaurants only to be told computer didn't show 'diamond club' entitlement (fancy bracelet did!) booking clerk offered fewer reservations than promised by sunwing and restaurants i requested were booked out...for the remainder (6 nights) of our stay. The good part is having access to a side dining room that is less of a gong show than the main area. There is no 24 hour room service as promised!

The staff are lovely. Many of the travellers are rude, drunk, chain smoking people looking for their next bad tattoo.

Beach is far but gorgeous.

Lost faith in sun wing...diamond club deception...but will return to Cuba.

Room Tip: Block 28 is close to lobby, quiet pool, buffet
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fort Erie, Canada
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2013

We stayed at this resort in August 2012 and had a good time. We didnt get the room we had booked(we had requested beach side) but the room was clean and the service excellent. We did the Habana tour and it was long but wonderful. We paid a little extra tor the dvd (25) and it was totally worth it .Dont believe the bad reviews, the entertainment was great and so were the staff. The cave bar was really cool and the beach was amazing!Food was okay and we never went hungry and tried lots of different things . I did miss pancake syrup though lol.Also bring a plug for the tub if you want to soak.We love to walk and the scenery is beautiful. The Cuban people are fabulous and so very friendly.We also met some very lovely people from all over the world.We will certainly return!

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edmonton, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2013

I guess the first place to start would be at the very beginning. First this was our first trip to Cuba, my wife and I are both seniors and live in Alberta Canada. We stayed at Memories from Jan. 6- 13. We are not seasoned international travelers but we have travelled a lot in Western Canada and the Western United States with our trailer and pets and have visited some popular gambling resorts in the U.S.A. First you can only get Cuban money in Cuba so when you land in Varadero you probably have no Cuban currency. We landed in the middle of the night and found that the currency exchange kiosk was upstairs in the departure lobby that you can't get to easily as soon as you clear their customs etc. you are expected to get onto the buses that are waiting to take you to your resort. The bus ride to Memories took a little over 30 minutes in our case in the dark so you don't see much. We were on the second bus load with just a few people and so check in was quite fast and painless for us. Important point no 1. Do not try to find your room by yourself in the dark at this resort you will not make it trust me. This resort is absolutely huge and has 21 blocks of 3 story buildings each with 42 or so rooms in it spread out around the resort over an area that is about 1 kilometer square.
Get a porter who will have what looks like an elongated 6 to 8 passenger electric golf cart to take you and your luggage to your room. As we did not have any Cuban money yet we tipped him with a Canadian bill which he can easily change at the resort bank for Cuban Pesos he was very happy with the Canadian Bill. Do not try to use U.S.A. money they can't exchange it and do not try to exchange or use Canadian coins as coin cannot be exchanged here.
2nd Point. Your life will be easier if you ask for a map of the resort at check in and study it a bit before leaving your room for the first time, this resort is huge as I have stated and you will save some needless walking if you study the map. As you will read in other reports the main lobby which has the main eating buffet beside it plus the internet room and the telephone room and the small store and a few other amenities is a very long way from the beach, a good 10 minute walk. During this walk you will pass by the Beautiful quiet pool which is large, kidney shaped with a swim up bar and a nice sit down snack bar that is open sided where you can get drinks, hamburgers and fries etc. We found the service to be good but nothing happens fast in Cuba so relax savor your drink and the views of the pool until your food arrives. They do have ketchup of sorts but it is not Heinz so if you are a Heinz fanatic take some with you. Moving past the quiet pool ( hint ) use the pathway through the quiet pool rather than the long curved pathway that skirts it and you will cut a lot of walking out. A little further on after you leave the pool pathway you will come to a large central square with a large fountain in the middle. There are quite a few amenities spread around this central square.
If you are still facing the way to the beach you will see a large building to your right which is the theatre where some of the shows take place and it is also where you go for your first morning orientation meeting.
Don't miss this meeting as you get a lot of info about booking the A La Carte restaurants and info on all the off resort trips you can book. We went on the swim with the dolphin’s catamaran tour and it was awesome. You also get to go snorkeling near a reef on this trip. Tip, if you have your own mask and tube bring it as there are many fish to be seen just in the water off the main beach at the resort. They also take you to a small island for a chicken or lobster lunch with an open bar and music on a beautiful white sand beach where you can suntan or swim for an hour or so after lunch. The cruise back to the dock was a blast with the crew leading Cuban dancing and singing with the bar man being kept busy. There are bathrooms on the boats similar to what was on the airplane. Other people we talked to also had a blast going on the jeep tour into the outback and the tour to Havana was also highly recommended.

In between the theatre and the fitness center which is close to the theatre there is a pathway that takes you to a small building which is the secondary money changing place at the resort. It is open during the day except for lunch and coffee breaks and we found it to be way less busy then the one in the main lobby. Continuing towards the beach from the central square you will come shortly to the activity pool where you will want to be if you have kids who like waterslides and basketball etc. There is a smaller kids pool and play area right beside the big pool. There are activities going on in the big pool all day long scuba lessons, dancing lessons (Cuban style ) water polo and endless music. If you like it noisy and busy this is for you. If you skirt the big pool and keep on the circular path you will soon come to the pathway to the beach which is spectacular. On your left just before you hit the beach you will see the Playa Puerto Carenas restaurant and bar. You can go here for breakfast and lunch if you don’t want to walk all the way up to the main buffet. It is buffet style and is open sided and usually quiet compared to the main buffet. It is also not nearly as large and the selection is limited compared to the main buffet. The bar there opens at 10.oo until 18:00 At night it becomes an A La Carte Restaurant that you have to have reservations for. Carry on past here for 50 yards and you will run into the beach snack bar and the beach bar bar which can get busy in the middle of the day. Take large mugs with you if you don’t want to be walking back and foreword a lot. As stated the beach is fantastic but has limited sun shades so if you want to be under a sun shade you have to be down there early. There are sail boats , paddle boats and some small kayak type boats that you can use for free. When we were there they were not used that much but you never know. There are some really negative reviews up there but honestly I don’t know where they are coming from we were treated like royalty the whole time. We were in the 32 block near the beach on the 3 rd floor and our little maid was fantastic. Our room was kept spotless every day and everything worked. You have to be a bit careful with the toilet because they have the low flush kind and if you stuff it with toilet paper and paper towels and stuff you will have a problem. There was a 110 volt outlet for a shaver and the 220 volt outlets did accept the 2 blade flat prong plugs that we use in Canada. IF you have electronic devices with voltage converters like most battery chargers, tablet chargers etc make sure that on the labels it says that the voltage is for 110-250 volts most of the recent electronic stuff can be plugged into these higher voltage sockets.

They have a huge array of food and ayes a lot of it id very bland but you have to remember a lot of people do not like spicy or salty so if you must have hot hot take some spicy seasonings with you. I always found something I liked, they have to cater to a lot of different nationalities so some of the dishes might not appeal to you but it might to someone else so keep an open mind and look around. They had 3 stations where there were chefs cooking food to order and yes sometimes you had to wait in line for a bit if you fancied what they were cooking. One station was all sea food and you could get jumbo shrimps and fish and a couple of nights lobsters cooked right in front of you. Another station was cooking chicken and beef kabobs and stuff and the third station was cooking a ton of different kinds of pastas with a choice of many pasta sauces and many kinds of fresh breads and buns. A huge salad bar is there for salad fans and there is a table filled with jugs of fresh juices of all kinds . Way down at the far end I found a table that was loaded with all kinds of cheeses like blue cheese, Swiss cheese, havarti cheese, cheddar cheese, Gouda cheeses etc. along with trays full of Prosciutto ham, pickles, tiny white onions, olives and a myriad kinds of peppers. There was always trays and trays of sliced cold cuts like ham and chicken breast and turkey breast like you get in the delis here. I always found fried eggs, hard boiled eggs, hash brown patties and mountains of bacon available for breakfast along with all kinds of fresh fruit including pineapple, honeydew, cantaloupe, guava, passion fruits and apples and oranges you just had to look around. The deserts were endless from all kinds of tarts and cakes to cheese cake and there was also two or three ice cream stations where you could make your own Sundays etc. like I said if you can’t find something that you like to eat then I would say that you are a hopeless case that doesn’t like anything and are probably one of those people who spend their whole time hanging over the check in counter complaining about everything. I know this turned into a book but if I have helped you understand a bit about this resort and it helps you find your way around then I will be happy.
Remember the biggest thing I think is if you can’t walk a lot easily then this is not for you unless you can be sure of getting a room close to the main lobby and buffet. These people depend on tips for a lot of their income so if you tip often, a pesos is only a $1 you will be very much looked after and appreciated.
One more thing, most of the cleaning maids do have children at home and school supplies like exercise books pens ,pencils and misc school supplies are expensive in Cuba and hard to find.They cost little in our $ stores and mean much to them. Children's clothes especially shoes are also very expensive in Cuba so if you take children and they are about to grow out of some stuff consider giving it to your maid and make room in your luggage for stuff you bought down there. One more thing at no time were we pressured to buy anything during our stay in Cuba. Not on the beach, in Varadero or in the resort .

Room Tip: Blocks in the 30 range are closer to the beach but a long way from the main buffet and lobby so you...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 42
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Medicine Hat, Canada
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
33 hotel reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
75 helpful votes 75 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2013

We stayed here from Jan 4-12 and glad that it wasn't more than one week specifically due to the food. The food was well below average at best and we are a well travelled couple who have been all over the world and are not fussy eaters. We normally do not do the all inclusive vacation thing and will probably never do it again. One thing we find disturbing is how the general public behaves at a buffet! I personally think the bad food issue might be because these resorts typically will try to amercanize the food but if they would just cook their own local fare people would probably like it much better. In our opinion the best restuarant we tried was the Japanese one and we were happy to have a good meal there.
Our room was nice enough but we had troubles getting them to stock our water and fridge daily as they are supposed to. We resorted to leaving the maid notes with gifts in order to get our fridge stocked and our towels changed and toilet paper replenished and you shouldn't have to do that! We also had problems getting beach towels.
While we were there they ran out of hand towel in the public bathrooms so they put toilet paper in the hand towel dispensers which went on like that for days. With that said we feel the resort just isn't prepared for the amount of guests that it has coming through it.
The quiet pool area was very nice and relaxing as was the beach. The party pool was like a spring break that you see on TV and that isn't what we went there for but some people might enjoy that.
We did the jeep safari tour which was fun and the river cruise was really nice. We also took the transfer to Havana and just roamed around on our own for the day, we highly recommend that as you get a really good feel for the city that way.
We really enjoy Cuba, it's history and it's people, and if we ever return we will be booking ourselves into a small local hotel and will enjoy dining at various local restaurants, no more all inclusives for us.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Brantford,Ontario
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2013

Just returned from our week at Memories. The weather was awesome. No rain and sunny every day. The beach was really nice.

No one goes to Cuba for the food but there was a good variety of food each day at the buffet.

The rooms were nice. The beds were suprisingly comfortable.

Don't believe the reviews unless you are picky like them. The rooms are clean, the food is good, the beach is very nice and there is a lot to do at the resort. What more could you ask for?

Our flights were delayed both ways by 2 hours but were given food vouchers at TO airport.

Room Tip: we stayed in room 23205. good central location to everything
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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 19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ontario
1 review
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 19, 2013

I stayed at this resort from January 6th-13th and found it very pleasant. It wasn't perfect, but I don't know of one that is. This resort was the least I've ever paid for an all-inclusive and quality-wise, it was the best. Don't believe all the bad reviews. Go with an open mind and you'll have a blast!

The staff were extremely friendly and helpful, even at 4am. The beach was fantastic; there are two pools that cater to those who want a quiet, relaxed holiday and those who want a more active one; the shows and live music in the evenings far exceeded my expectations (if the stage performers were allowed out of the country, I think some would be working for Cirque du Soleil); and the food was what I've come to expect in Cuba. As compared to other Cuban resorts, this one had a reasonable amount of variety and the food was always hot. (Suggestion: bring some ketchup and soy sauce packets and your meals will be more enjoyable)

The rooms were decent. Always clean and we found them to be comfortable. The bathroom was large which was nice. We always had hot water and good water pressure. Our mini-bar was stocked daily and we had fresh towels most days. We were also able to exchange our beach towel every day. One day we went in the morning and they were out of clean ones, but we were able to exchange them mid-afternoon.

The activities staff were absolutely amazing. There was no shortage of things to do. They have aqua aerobics and yoga by pool and on the beach each day, beach and pool volleyball, dance lessons, Spanish lessons, cocktail lessons, bocce ball, etc. You won’t be bored if you don’t want to be.

As noted, it's a large resort with lots of walking. Personally, I enjoyed the exercise. There are minor issues, like the pathways not being well lit and some foot wash stations that didn't work, but these certainly didn't ruin my holiday and wouldn't prevent me from returning to this resort.

All in all, we had a very relaxing and enjoyable holiday. I'd have no reservations about returning to this resort. You get what you pay for and then some!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 30
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Memories Varadero Beach Resort

Address: Autopista Sur, km 18,5 Parque Natural | Punta Hicacos, Varadero 42200, 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 ) Kitchenette Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#13 On the Beach Hotel in Varadero
#14 Top resorts Hotel in Varadero
#16 Luxury Hotel in Varadero
Hotel Class:4 star — Memories Varadero Beach Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 1035
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Pamper yourself on the pristine white sand beaches of Varadero, Cuba with a stay at the luxury Memories Varadero Beach Resort. The resort offers incredible value and impressive all inclusive features and is the perfect destination for a romantic getaway or a fun family vacation. Guests will be dazzled by the elegant rooms and suites that feature rich wood furnishings, luxurious amenities, and stunning décor. Relish a culinary trip around the world at the buffet restaurant and several à la carte restaurants, which offer sumptuous global cuisine, including Italian, Japanese, Mexican, and more. Spend your days basking under a golden sun on one of Varadero’s most beautiful beaches, or revel in an array of fun land and water sports and activities. Children will also have the time of their lives at the Kids Club and Baby Club with supervised games and activities. Memories Varadero Beach Resort ensures fun for all ages and helps create unforgettable vacation memories for the whole family. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Sirenis La Salina Varadero Beach Hotel Varadero

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