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“Good hotel good rooms, food a let down”

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Blau Privilege Cayo Libertad Hotel
Ranked #34 of 64 Hotels in Varadero
Reviewed March 15, 2014

Me and my sister arrived at the hotel at around midnight and after a few minutes a member of staff was on hand to greet us. When we were driven to our room by cart we were happy with the room, we were given a bottle of havana and wine as a welcome. The fridge had water and a some soft drink which were free. The only issue with he room was that there was a frog in between the shutters and the actual window, but I called reception the next day and a guy came to take it away. The beach is amazing and on our side of the beach there was plenty of space. We did a snorkeling excursion which was really good, as were the staff.

The biggest issue was the food, we went to the italian restaurant for lunch which only offered pizza at that time of the day. the pizzas were average at best. We tried the restaurant on our side of the resort and it was average but much better than the dinner places we tried on the other side of the resort. The breakfast buffet was not great the best things were the pancake and omelettes which are made on the spot by a chief. The staff are helpful and professional which is good. We did meet some other guests who had been to the resort before and noticed a decline in the food. Fortunately there is a pool bar & cigar bar which is free so can forget about the food! I would defiantly stay there again but only on this side of the resort and if they improve the quality and variety of the food as this is not a cheap all-inclusive in any country.

Stayed: February 2014, traveled with family
1  Thank Lola J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed March 14, 2014

My husband and I stayed here with our good friends for a week from Feb 23 - Mar 1/14. They were put into an ocean front suite top floor, and we were put into a garden view top floor. We had both requested Ocean front so after inquiring every morning for 4 days and finally getting a little assertive, the checkin woman gave us an ocean front room , as we knew there were empty ones. Big difference if you want to sit on your deck in the morning with a coffee, or in the late afternoon with a drink, the patio is very large with really nice lounge chairs and stools.The rooms are very nice and we had no problems with plumbing, although the air conditioning didn't work as well as the first room did. Bathrooms come with bath robes, slippers, all the towels you want (just request more if you need them), but no face cloths...next time we'll bring our own. Housekeeping is good , and very friendly, a 1-3 peso tip goes a long way ..
The food and the dining room is good, not amazing, but good. The little european type buffet at the back of the dining room every meal was really good, it was often enough for us at breakfast and lunch. The menu at all 3 meals was adequate, but agreed that the service in the dining room was probably our least favourite part of the vacation. Sometimes you got your order right away and other times it seemed as if they forgot your order. They need coffee stations or self serve coffee stands like they have at the marina side of the resort, as all the coffee was hand made cup by cup at a big espresso machine. Lots of fresh papaya and pineapple and melons, good cheeses and breads and cold meats, but also agreed that the food and the service in the dining room could be improved.
The grounds are amazingly beautiful and well kept, and the pool and the pool bar staff were our favourites. Merlin made excellent drinks but we brought our 1 liter jugs and didn't have the problems with little plastic cups as others did. She also served our champagne poolside in glass flutes every day . The cigar and piano bar was also a really nice feature of this resort. We didn't mind the walking to and from the marina side of the resort at all, it was nice to stroll after dinner to the other side of the resort.
The one thing that we'll do differently when returning to Cuba is bring more Canadian cash as it's a little difficult to get cash on a credit card - you need to go to a bank (nearest is the Plaza Americas in Varadero )and stand in line with your passport and do the transaction at about 20% exchange. A lot of places don't take Credit cards and Debit cards are useless, so bring Cdn cash and exchange at resort lobby and then wait until you go to the airport to go home to exchange it with the locals who need to get rid of their Cdn tips and will trade straight across for your leftover Cuban peso's.
We will come back to this resort next time in Cuba for a week, but will bring face cloths, adapter, and more Canadian cash. This is a really nice resort, especially after spending a week at the Memories resort just down the road the previous week. It's a solid 4 1/2* resort.

Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
4  Thank Dayle K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 12, 2014

During our recent stay at the Blau Marina Varadero they took us on a walking tour through the Cayo Libertad section. The upgrade is well worth it if you are looking for more comfort and quiet...or better yet if you can get upgraded for free as I see a lot of the reviewers before me mention getting. Their cigar house is very quaint and the grounds are meticulate and serene. Please bear that word in mind: "serene." We encountered a few younger couples who were booked into the Blau Cayo Libertad but would spend most of their day in the Blau Marina section (you do get access to the Blau Marina for staying at the Cayo Libertad) because there was more fun and activity going on at that end of the property. Another nice perk is that there are no reservations needed for the a la cartes at the Blau Marina Varadero if you are staying at Cayo Libertad.

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled on business
    • Cleanliness
2  Thank LittleTigerLily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 12, 2014

We arrived at the resort after spending two days in Havana. The receptionist was very friendly and although we arrived early, well before the check-in time of 4pm she said she would do her best to get our room ready quickly and we should come back in an hour. We duly looked around the resort and beach and noted it to be very clean with well manicured gardens. The sea looked turquoise and inviting. The buildings all appeared to be well maintained. After an hour, our room still wasn't ready so we went to have some lunch. There is only a small buffet containing salad, cold meats etc., and desserts. Everything else is ordered from the menu and served to you at the table. We ordered lunch and after 40 minutes it came and was lukewarm - the alarm bells started ringing !! We went back to reception and our room was ready so the "buggy" took us and our cases to the room. The room was extremely spacious with a huge double bed, sofa, table & chairs, large bathroom, separate toilet and separate hanging/clothing. area. There was also a huge balcony overlooking a plain grassed area with trees. If you looked to the right you could just see the beach and sea. Two very old loungers were present on the balcony with a table all in need of serious renewal but they were in fact comfortable. A bottle of champagne and a bottle of rum were also awaiting us together with a welcome letter from the management. The room has a TV (hardly any channels available) and a fridge which is re-stocked with soft drinks and beer every day (provided you drink what is in there). There is a coffee percolating machine which was little better than useless, the coffee was foul and there was no milk or whitener. I called for our maid and gave her a very generous tip to start with and thereafter for the whole of the stay our room was kept spotless with beautiful towel decorations every day. Our room was well situated on the ground floor and close to the pool and restaurant.

The staff are friendly and helpful and the resort as stated before very clean. There is however only the one restaurant (unless you choose to go to the sister hotel). There is no entertainment in the evening other than the cigar/piano bar which has a pianist and a violinist and a pool table. That's it for entertainment unless you go to the sister resort. The beach is lovely, not the best I've seen but powder soft sand albeit lots of seaweed. The sea is beautiful quite warm but beware the sea at this resort doesn't just shelve there is a sheer drop about 20 yards out and I was completely out of my depth together with this there is an extremely strong current and although I am a strong swimmer, I had difficulty getting back to within my depth - this is an adults only resort and the sea here is certainly not suitable for children.

The food was ............... absolutely awful, the worst we have had anywhere in the world. Poached eggs are like bullets toast is brittle and always cold more like hard stale bread. They never changed the menu in the seven days we were there and half the things on the menu were not available. Yes I could have had grilled lobster every night but the meat was grey, mushy and almost cold yuk. The beef is like shoe leather, the chicken breast was never available and the pasta almost always came up lukewarm. Coffee is lovely (but takes at least 15 minutes to come) Ice cream is good. Creole shrimp was good the first time, next time it was completely different. The specialist restaurants at the sister resort are not much better. You have to book these 24 hours in advance and we found several were fully booked. The Italian is just about edible, the Spanish was edible but eat before you go as you don't get a choice and you don't get much food and the red wine in the Spanish restaurant is so watered down it is literally like coloured water. As for the Fish restaurant take my advice don't even try it, we ended up walking out (and so did a few others) food was cold and just awful, shame because the location in the lighthouse is lovely. There are shows and entertainment at the sister hotel but it is extremely crowded and busy with screaming kids everywhere so we stayed away. We did go into Varadero itself and found a lovely restaurant in a Cave called The Grotto, not too expensive and wonderful lobster and prawns. We also went to the Beatles Bar which is a short walk from the cave restaurant to watch a live band. This was a very pleasant evening culminating in a taxi ride home in a 1927 Model T Ford.

My husband loves fishing and fished everyday in the resort in the "sea" lagoon. Caught lots or fish (nothing big) and a lobster. There is of course big gaming fishing if you wish to book it.

Lastly, the pool bar serves ALL its drinks (beer, wine, cocktails) in tiny plastic cups which are totally inadequate. We noted lots of people had brought their own "insulated beakers" and the bar staff are happy to fill these with beer, wine, cocktails, water or coffee. We tried to buy a couple of these there but they are not to be found on sale ANYWHERE not in Varadero or Havana so TAKE YOUR OWN WITH YOU.

All in all a fairly relaxing break but I would definitely not go back and in all honesty wouldn't recommend. There are millions of other countries that have beautiful beaches and sea, lovely staff and rooms but never before have I lost weight on a holiday because the food was so bad.

Feel free to message me if you have any questions.

Joy

Room Tip: Our room number was 3005 which is near to the pool, beach and restaurant.
  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank JoyBarnet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 11, 2014

We booked Sell Off Vacations with Rosemarie and she was amazing she advised of this hotel and it was stunning. We got upgraded from the main resort to hear and it was absolutely breathtaking. Our room was huge and though not the best view who cares we didn't go to on vacation to spend in our room. The bed was broke the first night as soon as we mentioned it they fixed it right away. Our mini bar was restocked every day with water, soda, and beer our room was spotless. Our maid left us the best towel art. They had an a-la-carte restaurant right on the island no reservations ever required and you could order anything. We had lobster almost every night. They had the most amazing infinity pool on the island overlooking the ocean, you could step right from the pool into the ocean in less than a 100ft. The cigar bar the had a bridge out into the ocean was amazing. They had golf carts to take you back and forth from the main resort up to the island however, most of the time they were running out of battery power and you often had to walk. So management decided to rent cars so guests wouldn't have to do that. They bellboy Carlo's was AMAZING and told this most wonderful stories about his family They even put on a little skit for us one night when we were being driven back to our room. This was my first time down South and it raised the bar beyond high. If your thinking of visiting here stop thinking and start booking you wont be disappointed. The only other negative was they ran out of ice alot but hey when it's sunny and warm and there is a beautiful view some things can be forgiven. If you're looking to take a vacay book it through Rosemarie at sell off vacations her ext is 2202 she will find you something awesome.

Room Tip: Definetly try to get upgraded to this island if you cant make sure you ask for rooms away from the m...
  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
5  Thank Nice1ang
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 11, 2014

We were at this resort from February 25-March 4 , 2014. We chose this resort as it has many great reviews from past visitors. I don't know what has occurred in the past few months, but here is my views regarding the resort.
PRO'S - weather, rooms are large, free safe in room, drinks at the outside bar were great and service was fast, servers at the swim up bar were amazing, very quit by the pool, fast check in and check out.
CON'S - septic smell very bad throughout the resort and was emptied during the early afternoon on a daily basis, food was terrible i.e., toast everyday came out hard as rock like Melba toast with no butter, ran out of tea on day 4 of our trip, most fruit was canned fruit, vegetables were canned, alway running out of food and not replenishing it. lobster was overcooks and like mush. Never any staple foods on the resort such as potatoes. I can go on and on about the food (enough said). The servers in the Cayo side of the resort were very rude and not helpful to our requests. Alway running out of plates and bowls and it was like pulling teeth to get more. We started eating breakfast at the a la carte restaurant for the first 2 days, but took 45 minutes the first day in which we only order French toast. The second day, it took over 1 hour for service and there were only approximately 20 people in the restaurant. We like to tip everyone the gives us good service at the resort. No peso's available at the resort (1.00). The beds in the rooms are 3/4 beds pushed together to make a king bed but both beds are made separate, linen dirty, towels dirty, not enough staff. The sunwing rep (female) was very rude and aggressive with us and not helpful at all.
This will not discourage us from going to Cuba, but will never go to this resort again. We paid good money for this resort expecting more that what we received, which was nothing.

Stayed: March 2014, traveled with friends
5  Thank Tammy C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 10, 2014

I have been to Cuba six times and am very aware of the limitations of the Country . We have found the resorts we previously stayed in to go above and beyond in their attempts to provide a good service . However, this resort was less than advertised , even for Cuba standards . While we enjoyed the beautiful weather , we were terribly disappointed in the overall quality of service in particular, and the food quality was poor . While some staff were friendly and helpful, others appeared annoyed ! I would not recommend this resort and would certainly advise that this is about a 3.5 stars at best . There are many other resorts in Cuba that are far better!!

Stayed: February 2014
2  Thank Geraldine F
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 #34 of 64 Hotels in Varadero
Price Range: $190 - $451 (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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