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.
- 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