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“If you like peace and quite, good service stay here”

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Blau Privilege Cayo Libertad Hotel
Ranked #35 of 64 Hotels in Varadero
Reviewed November 22, 2013

My girlfriend and I enjoyed a peaceful week here. The rooms and grounds are first rate. Not very crowded in November, sometimes the pool was empty. Food is excellent especially shrimp, fish and lobster. All the staff were very friendly, with no real expectations for tips, however they were appreciated.

We often walked along the beach to the Blau Marina to hang out on their beach (better than the Blau Privilege beach) and have lunch (good options with cook to order pasta/pizza). Due to the location of the hotel, highly recommend a private tour if you go to Havana as a typical bus tour will require stopping at many resorts out towards town on the way out which would add at least 45minutes to the trip. A couple of days we took the hop-on, hop-off bus to Varadero and enjoyed great meals for lunch/dinner (very high quality - check Tripadvisor recommendations)

Message me if you want a recommendation for a private tour.

Room Tip: all rooms on 2nd floor have water views.
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  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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8  Thank skyguybri
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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247 - 253 of 437 reviews

Reviewed November 17, 2013

The very good- quiet,pool area can literally be empty at times, relaxing, staff all willing to please and helpful. Rooms excellent. The not quite five star bit, some service issues ie struggle to get coffee for coffee maker, no change of beach towels throughout stay, no information provided in rooms. Innumerable mistakes in dining area always with an apology and a smile but never a solution. Great place but could do better

Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
5  Thank Andrew H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 10, 2013

I'm 32 and came here by myself and had a blast! You have full roam of the complex, so its what you desire! the whole compound is beautiful! Food was good at both resorts. it was off season so they do , do maintance . but its not like its going to bother you for anything . you have loads of options with staying here !
Like many people that read reviews , you read lots of bad ones before you find good ones, i'd just like to recommend to those who do decide to write bad reviews for everyone to read , Figure out what you can do yourself to make your vacation better before complaining .perhaps i should write a book! " how to vacation!" hahahaha
with all jokes aside, the only downside of my week here was people complaining about the odds and ends . Tips to help: For about a total of $15 you can jump on the bus and go downtown to eat. Other resorts didn't seem to mind if i came by to look around and have a drink( i didn't do this with a group , just one other person) I found a nice pair of sunglasses on the beach during a morning walk! Fill a large suit case with either dollar store stuff or your own old clothes or i understand you can fill garbage bags at second hand clothing stores for a cheap price, whatever you fill it with , just fill it ! The Cubans cant buy alot of brand name things and they love them. You don't need to worry about tips as much this way.As a added bonus! Please= por favor,Thank you= Gracias,You're welcome= de nada, and most importantly! Hello=hola.
chances are , you are a Canadian,acting like one never hurts! and can go a long way.

Room Tip: Varadero gets windy so if you choose ocean view ,it is posible that you'll hear the wind.
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  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled solo
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10  Thank Mike F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 9, 2013

Stayed here for 7 nights and whilst we loved the stay which was down to mainly the weather, beach, pool and tranquility. The hotel at times really frustrates and i don't buy this "it's Cuba" reason for shortfalls as having stayed in hotels in deprived areas of India, great service goes very far and the issue here is service.

The fact it was off peak and only 25% full should have meant outstanding service not reduced staff so things take so long in resolving.

Considering visiting here is not cheap, like tourists understand that they don't get paid much and tip generously, they need to understand that the vast amounts spent by tourists are not easily afforded and need to return the understanding by providing good service.

Check In:
Fast, efficient, took us to our room very quickly after a long flight made longer by a delay.

Room:
We were given a room on the ground floor which on the first day the toilet stopped flushing but was "fixed" once we called to report the issue. Later in the evening we discovered a frog in the bathroom which we called to get removed but due to limited staff in the evening took an hour to do.

The second day, in the evening the toilet flush broke again and another frog found in the bathroom. This time it took near two hours for someone to come, so decided to see the manager the next morning.

This time we were upgraded to a suite and all was perfect with the room which was much better than our previous one.

Whilst staying here we spoke to many guests and discovered most of the ground floor rooms have issues with bugs and toilets breaking down.

Beach:
Stunning, clear blue with white sands, absolute paradise. However, as this was off peak they don't man the beach or open the bar so you cant enjoy drinks there unless you bring it with you. In a "privileged" hotel not good enough.

Entertainment:
None at this hotel which we were fine with, but if you want some the Marina Hotel is only a 10 Min walk or a few minutes away by buggy.

Pool:
A little cold but other than that perfect. Great bar and service from the team here who will bring you drinks and take care of your every need. Also have gardeners around who will give you fresh coconuts to drink from if you like them. This is the best part of the hotel.

Cigar Bar:
Very nice venue, which unfortunately was often so quiet we would be the only couple there due to off peak. Drinks here are excellent and can be enjoyed listening to a live piano player.

Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner:
Due to season they had the same menu for all 8 days! That is not good enough for a 5* resort. Food was bland and basic which meant we often went to the Marina Hotel to eat which we shouldn't have to as we paid more to stay here. The worst part is the service is the worst i have ever had in a restaurant. All three sittings are a la carte which sounds good at first but in the morning it would take 20 Mins to make toast if they remember or often they would forget and you would have to do without.

This is the first time we have had all inclusive and i have come back 5Kg lighter than when i went.

Regardless of peak or off peak this should never be an issue.

Overall:
A great place but made great by nature more than the hotel. If you are going to stay here make sure you get a really good deal but if it's more than other hotels im not sure the extra is worth it.

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank TightGuji
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 20, 2013

My wife and I have just returned from a wonderful holiday at this resort.It is simply wonderful.Very well maintained,quiet and very secure.All our requests were meet without exception.We were made to feel very comfortable.
Rudens the manager was wonderful and very helpful.We unfortunately had to leave early due to a family illness and Rudens went out of his way and refunded the remaining days we had paid for in advance which we thought was not only outstanding.We have travelled a lot and never have we had such kind consideration with regards to a matter such as this.
We will definitely return to the resort in the future for a quiet relaxing get away in a safe very well maintained resort in a gorgeous setting.

Room Tip: We had a suite on the second floor and we found it to be very nice and a great view .As well we were...
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  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank windwavegal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 16, 2013

My husband and I chose this hotel purely because it seemed the quietest of the Varadero hotels on offer. At this time of year it is particularly quiet - often only one or two couples by the pool. We decided to 'go for broke' and booked the Grand Suite Palace...it was worth it! I would recommend it to anyone celebrating something special. 'Smiley_face 2013' has pretty much covered everything I would wish to say about Blau Privilege Cayo Libertad. The pool, garden, cleaning, bar and waiting staff are absolutely wonderful. We tended to tip every day i.e. in the restaurant, the bar, to our cleaner etc. Tipping didn't seem to be expected, but was always gratefully received. Mozzies abound, so take creams, sprays, anti-histamines etc. I would have given a 5/5 rating but for the fact that our check-in was a nightmare. Having booked the most expensive accommodation and tired from our first week of touring Havana and Santiago de Cuba, we were looking forward to getting on with unpacking and relaxing. The receptionist had other ideas and refused to believe that we were the rightful occupants of the Grand Suite. Firstly we were told 'this is not possible' and then that someone else was already there. Even upon producing the paperwork, we were not believed and rather abruptly told to go and have lunch; there would be an answer upon our return. Fortunately there had been an error and Raul, the manager, could not have been more apologetic, but by then the damage had been done. Make sure you take all paperwork! Lastly, I left my camera behind in the reception area when I left the hotel. Totally, totally my fault - no excuses. The camera I can do without, but I would love to get the memory card back if at all possible. I have emailed management twice, but no reply.

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Suzietwink
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 12, 2013

My partner and I have just spent 11 days at the Cayo Libertad. It was 'off- season' and quiet but we had a wonderful stay.

Raul the manager was very helpful, always on hand and nothing was too much trouble. He is rightly proud of his hotel and is very conscious that you are there to have a good holiday. There are always certain shortages in Cuba and sometimes basic commodities which we as Europeans take for granted are simply unavailable, even to the hotels. There was for example a problem with flies in the restaurant and the management was aware of this but were unable for the moment to get hold of the insect spray (or 'zapper' machine) which would have solved the problem immediately. It must be very frustrating but as I've said 'that is Cuba'. Keep this in mind and 'go with the flow'; if you make a few allowances you cannot fail to be impressed by both the hotel generally and the overall effort that the staff put in to making guests welcome and comfortable.

Our room was very well equipped and spacious. The balcony/terrace was huge and a good place to sit and enjoy the view. The fridge was kept supplied with water, soft drinks, and beer. Blocks 46 - 48 are the best situated with good views and are conveniently placed with regard to the pool and restaurant. An upstairs room (two storey blocks) is the best option since the ground floor rooms have a view restricted by dense vegetation on the shoreline.

The food is delicious. The chefs appear to be 'rotated' which means that the same dish can change in both appearance and taste from one day to the next - not actually a bad thing since the menu does not change and if you are staying for any length of time the choice of food could easily become a little repetitive. We also enjoyed the complimentary room service which can be a change from the restaurant, you can order light snacks if you are not particularly hungry.

The hotel gardens are lovely, the gardeners do a wonderful job and ask for no recognition. The pool setting is amazing, very restful with beautiful views of the sea, the palm trees, and the fisherman. You can order your lunch and it will be served at the pool. Nothing seems to be too much trouble.

The beach and the sea were stunning. Given that there appeared to be plenty of staff on hand it would have been good to have had seen the beach hut utilised to serve drinks which would allow guests to spend time at the beach without having to trek back to the hotel room for cold water. The sea was a little shallow but completely safe. We were keen to snorkel but were unable to find any spots at the Cayo for this activity.

As a resident at the Cayo Libertad you are entitled to visit and use the facilities at the adjoining Blau Marina Valadero Resort. We did visit one evening; we went to the self-service restaurant and watched one of the nightly shows. Only once! The difference between the two hotels was enormous. The BMVR was huge and not a little grim, the food was of poor quality and tepid, the drinks watery. Yes there is quite a big difference in price between the two hotels but they simply do not compare in quality. Frankly I do not believe that we would have enjoyed ourselves at the BMVR whereas the BPCL experience was little short of wonderful.

The only time we were made to feel uncomfortable was by the heavy handed yet cleverly subtle solicitation of tips particularly towards the end of our stay. This took the form of loaded compliments (don't you smell nice, that is a really nice dress/wrap), or sad statements that 'we in Cuba cannot get/afford such things', repeated 'goodbyes', and even notes. It is of course understandable given the undeniable hardships faced by ordinary working Cubans but as I have said it did make me feel uncomfortable. The management would do well to try to curb this activity if it is able. That said the service was undeniably excellent. We DID tip but made sure that it was directed at those staff who gave us the best service and who did not try the forceful tactics.

Special mention and thanks goes to the waiting team led by Maitai, the pool bar staff particularly Yudier and Merlin, and of course Raul the manager.

Varadero is reached by a hop-on, hop-off shuttle bus. It is an uninteresting ride past a succession of hotels to a frankly drab and uninteresting town. Watch out for 'scams' with the horse drawn carriages. The drivers are going to charge you whatever they can get away with. Agree a fare before you get into the carriage, make sure it's not 'per person', not time dependent, and that there will be no extras. Really there is very little to do in the town itself which makes your choice of hotel very important.
I would recommend the Cayo Libertad in an instant for a peaceful, care-free and re-vitalising holiday.

Room Tip: Any 2nd floor
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  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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15  Thank Smiley_face2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Blau Privilege Cayo Libertad Hotel

Address: Autopista Sur Final, Punta Hicacos, Varadero 42200, Cuba (Formerly Blau Cayo Libertad Hotel)
Location: Caribbean > Cuba > Matanzas Province > Varadero
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #35 of 64 Hotels in Varadero
Price Range: $204 - $553 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Blau Privilege Cayo Libertad Hotel 5*
Number of rooms: 86
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This stunning 5-star hotel on the tip of the Varadero peninsula, Cuba's most famous tourist destination, is set on a small and exclusive island surrounded by the most beautiful and seductive fine white sandy beach and crystal-clear waters, offering guests luxury, privacy and rest. Barcelo Cayo Libertad Club Premium***** offers a total of 85 stunning Junior Suites and Suites in buildings over 2 floors noted for their incredible sea views and possibility of enjoying a personalised service. This romantic hotel set in beautiful gardens offers its guests a gourmet restaurant, cigar bar with piano during the evenings and an exclusive swimming pool, the edges of which seem to melt into the Caribbean. Guests can also enjoy the services and facilities as well as the "Barcelo All-Inclusive" program of the hotel Barcelo Marina Palace, for which they will have preference. Welcome to the Barcelo Cayo Libertad Club Premium*****, a new concept in personalised and exclusive service for Adults Only ideal for couples, weddings, honeymoons, anniversary celebrations, conferences, groups and incentive and business trips. Enjoy this stunning setting of the Barcelo Cayo Libertad Club Premium*****, the perfect choice for your holiday in this Caribbean paradise. ... more   less 
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