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Sol Palmeras
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Reviews (6,697)
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Reviewed January 19, 2010

Let me start by saying that I am use to staying at a 5 star resort! Went down with a group of 8 of our friends for one week. We decided to pay a little extra to stay in what the hotel described as a delux bungalow, thinking that it would make up for the fact that this hotel is only a 4 star. That was a big mistake! Apon arriving in Cuba and entering the main lobby of the hotel at 11pm, we were greeted by a smoke filled lobby and no one to check us in! Finally one lady came to help us and the check in took about a half and hour.
HOTEL ROOM
The walk outside towards our bungalows looked promising! But boy were we wrong. As soon as the door swung open an blast of moldy air greeted us there! The rooms looked like they had not been touched since the late 80's! Apon further examination, there was mold everywhere in the suite and it was obvious that it had not a a decent cleaning in years! The beds were 2 doubles that had been pushed together. The bathroom was spacious but signs of mold and what looked like human poop were on the walls. The idea of the bungalows was a great one, and with a little bit of TLC they would be a hit! We decided to take a look at the rooms in the hotel the next day! they were much smaller but a lot cleaner, so we decided to make the move into the cheaper rooms!
BEACH
It was pretty cold for the first 3 days of our holiday, so we did venture down to the beach to sit! The beach was totally empty except for a few daredevils! The wind was very strong and the waves high! After the cold front left on day 4 we ended up spending the entire day on the beach. The sand was beautiful! White and super soft! The water was crystal clear and about 75 degrees which was perfect to cool off from the warm sun. We decided to sit our chairs infront of the beach bar which was really nice to be within steps of food and drinks! I would rate the beach as a 5 for sure! I am a huge beach lover and have stayed at some resorts that are 5 star and this beach is definately comparable!
THE LOCALS
At first we were pretty nervous about how the service would be! The english is not great there. But after a few days we were loving the people. The bartenders (which my husband knew quite well) were very prompt and cheerful people. They recognized him as soon as we were enter! We did tip periodically through out the week, when we felt it was deserved! The staff inside the resturants were fabulous! Continually filling up your water and wine as soon as it got below half! The plates were cleared quickly and they seemed to have a well organized dining room! We met a life guard named Alex that did the water sports. We fell in love with him instantly. He was warm and welcoming. We ended up going on a private trip with him and a driver to Havana for the day! It cost us 40 CUC and was great in comparison to the 80 CUC's that the resort was charging. This way we could work on our own schedule. He was a fabulous tour guide and showed us both Old Havana and New! There was some pan handlers and small children begging for money. We brought candy and crayons for the children and found the kids following us for long periods of time! We did not mind though! The architecture was beautiful! Little shops and art galleries lined the narrow streets and it felt quite welcoming. We went for dinner and then mojitos at a local bar and listened to a Cuban band play the local music. It was a great day to sightsee since the weather was only about 15 degrees. If you visit this resort please find Alex! He will forever be in our memories of Cuba!
FOOD
We had read the reviews about the food in Cuba before going. I admit that I have been spoiled in the past by some awesome food! This was definately a 4 star menu! I found that there was pork in much of the food there. I struggled to find chicken which is what I mostly eat. They did have a cook that would make you a grilled piece of chicken but the wait was sometimes 15 minutes and the grilled was used for chicken, pork and veal so sometimes they would cross contaminate! I found myself eating the same thing daily. Lived mostly on eggs, bread, salad, cucumber and tomatoes! I admit I am a fussy eater so I am likely not the best judge. My husband who will eat anything, had a full plate everynight. We were disappointed with the fish and seafood selection which was poor! We ate at the Steakhouse twice and the steak was very good! The service was excellent and they even made my husband a second steak cause he was still hungry! The poolside food was fries, hotdogs and burgers. I did not try anything except for the fries which were ok. I did feel that I was definately protein deprived by the end of the trip! But I did know about the food selection when we booked so it was what I expected and what I paid for!
To sum it all up, you get what you pay for. I am not sure right now if I will ever be heading back to Cuba or if I can now just say that I have done it! We usually try to get away once a year but have always paid more and been very happy! I would rate this hotel at about a 6.5 out of 10!

  • Stayed: January 2010, traveled with friends
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3  Thank peanut_1836
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
alc52, General Manager at Sol Palmeras, responded to this reviewResponded January 25, 2010

Dear Guest,
Thank you very much for writing at the Trip Advisor sharing the experiencies of your recent stay in Sol Palmeras.
We highly appreciate it that you have taken part of your time to make some remarks of the negative and positive aspects you found during your stay, mainly the negatives ones, because your comments let usknow where we should intensify our daily efforts in order to avoid other guests suffer the same experiencies.
Regarding the check in and the room, we have taken the necesaary corrective actions of supervision in order to eliminate these thing happen again, so we canachieve a better supervision of our rooms and faster check in with kind treatment as all our guests deserve.
When you said the room is of the 80,s, our rooms actually are of the 90,s, nevertheless our hotel is the one with the highest occupancy all over Cuba, it´ll be for a good reason.
As we can see in your wrinting, apart from your arrival and your room, you liked the res of your stay in our hotel.
Thank you for your comments about our buffet employes, and the ones of the bars and Steak House. Also about our beach and beach bar.
Your remark concerning the use of the same grill for pork, for chicken and veal, we inform you that it can be done that way , we do it like this, because if we use a grill for each meat, there will be a large amount of grills.What cannot mixed is meat and fish in the same grill, we cook them in separately grills, of course.
You expressed in your writing that you are accustomed to stay in 5 stars hoteles, but I´m sure the kindness and warm treatment is not better than in our hotel, although it´s only 4 star one.
Hoping you give us the opportunity to be your host again, in case you decide to come to Cuba again.
Truly yours
Tomeu Alcina
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 18, 2010

You have to try the Sol Palmeras. We have been on every island in the western Carribean and truly feel at home in varadero and at this hotel. This hotel is simply the best. You will be very impressed with the beauty of this hotel. The beach is breath taking. The staff are out of this world. The Food is always great! The Buffet always has a wide selection of food anything from Salads, pizza, beef to fresh grilled seafood. The Chinese restaurant is the best tasting chinese food you will ever have. You will find this restaurant nestled in the beautiful gardens! The steak house has a variety of meats that can be cooked right at your table! The Mojito poolside bar is a great place to wind your evening down. Or keep it going with nightly entertainment. This Jan was our 6th time to the Sol Palmeras and we already have another trip booked in March to return. We took our children in Jan for the first time and it certainly has alot to offer for kids. The hotel staff go out of their way to ensure you are taken care of. Special mention of Lisy, she always makes us feel welcome and does such a great job for the hotel. We welcome everyone to try this hotel you won't be disappointed!! Enjoy your stay and Welcome to our second home!

  • Stayed: January 2010, traveled with family
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4  Thank ReginaAv8or
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
alc52, General Manager at Sol Palmeras, responded to this reviewResponded January 31, 2010

Dear Guest,
We appreciate it very much that you have part of your valuable time publishing and sharing at the Trip Advisor your stay in Sol Palmeras.
Thank you very much for your nice comments, and please believe me, they made us feel happy and proud when you said that you consider Sol Palmeras the best hotel in Varadero.
We will share what you wrote about our hotel in general, with all our staff. I would like you to know that these comments are the best reward we can receive, they give us enough energy to keep on working for the satisfaction of all our guests.
I agree with you that Lizy has made a good work for our hotel, we´ll especially mention this to our satff.
Considering Sol Palmeras your second home make us feel lucky. We are glad that your children also enjoyed their stay here.
Looking forward to seeing you in our hotel next March.
Thanks again for your very nice comments.
Sincerely
Tomeu Alcina
General Manager

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Reviewed January 17, 2010

Having read the reviews on tripadvisor - I was feeling a little bit more positive as some excellent reviews had been recently posted.

After a delayed flight and a long trip to the resort, we were tired and in need of some rest.

When we arrived at check-in - the staff were rude, unhelpful and functional. There was not warm, greeting information - NOTHING!!!!

We went to our room - oh my god !!! Shabby, dated, basic, dirty, poor location - is just a few words I would use to describe it. I have take photo's to complain.
Next day we changed rooms - which was a little better.

The hotel itself is like the hotel on Benidorm. Very dated, in need of updated, very chavy is all I can say. The hotel was 95% full so meal times and getting served at the bar was a nightmare!!!!

Food was very basic and repetative!!! They ran out of moijto's pretty much every night - mind you - you couldn't really call them proper cocktails at all.

I didn't find the staff friendly at all - if anything they seemed very resentful at the holiday makers. Entertainment was poor. I have seen better in Butlins.

I cannot say anymore I am getting depressed just writing this. 7of us went on this holiday it cost over £1000.00 each and was not worth the money.

Like other travellers I would not go back if you paid me!!!!

  • Stayed: January 2010, traveled with family
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5  Thank Michelle S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
alc52, General Manager at Sol Palmeras, responded to this reviewResponded January 31, 2010

Dear Guest,
We appreciate it very much that you have taken part of your time sharing your opinions by publishing them at the Trip Advisor.
First of all, we sincerely apologise for not having acomplished what you expected from our hotel, at the same time we would like to thank you for your remarks, which are valuable for us because they give us the oportunity to see where we should direct our efforts to improve our work.
Your comments will help us to take the necessary corrective actions to avoid the same things happen to other guests.
Regarding your remarks about check in, room and food, we inform you we have shown your comments to our Reception Manager, our Executive Cheff and our Housekeeper, indicating them to take the inmediate corrective actions in each case.
You have the right to publish your opinions, which we respect, of course, but we do not agree with them.
Our Hotel indeed has 20 years, but I inform you that it also has the highest occupancy all over Cuba, during the 12 months of the year, it will be for a ood reason, because if food were bad, the satff unfriendly and the rooms were bad, ect. ect. I´m sure our hotel would not have such occupancy.
Sincerely
Tomeu Alcina
General Manager

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Reviewed January 16, 2010

Myself and my partner were due to stay in Sol Palmeras for 11 nights at the beginning of January after spending 3 nights in Havana, however we only stayed one night at this hotel before paying extra to move to the Iberostar Laguna Azul as it was so bad! Another couple also moved hotels for the same reasons as us. We had read some pretty bad reviews on Tripadvisor before leaving for Cuba but weren't too concerned as were not fussy as long as a hotel is clean and comfortable. Sol Palmeras was not.

The entire hotel is extremely outdated and is no way a 4* hotel by any standards - having stayed in 4* hotels in Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Cape Verde this does not even compare and I would rate it as a 3* at very best. It wasnt cheap either - we paid around £1300. A lot of people had said that hotels in Cuba are not up to the same standard as elsewhere but the hotel we stayed in in Havana (NH Parque Central) and the Iberostar we moved to in Varadero were both excellent so I'm not sure about this.

Room - Very small, there was an extra bed in the room and hardly space to move around. The sheets were clearly years old and decor was horrible - the bathroom was floor to ceiling in old grey marbled tiles. The fridge didnt work.

Hotel in general - the entire hotel needs a refurb and a good clean! The lobby area has a whole wall of tinted windows at the back which makes it feel very dark and as it's all indoors as opposed to open-air it stinks of smoke 24/7. Just generally not a nice place to be, the entire hotel felt really claustrophobic. After reading the reviews we had expected it to be outdated but it was outdated in a horrible way rather than being rustic! The bell boy who took us to our room was wearing a tracksuit!

Food - the main reason we chose this hotel was for the excellent food ratings it had, as a few people had mentioned that the food in Cuba has a bit of a bad reputation, however it wasnt impressive. Although the buffet was quite varied the food wasn't enjoyable. My partner actually found a stone in his steak whilst eating at one of the a la carte's! Food is served on plastic plates at the snack bar and most drinks in plastic cups which is not really 4*! After hearing some horror stories about Cuban food it probably could have been a lot worse but the food at the Iberostar was fantastic.

The grounds were tatty and there was rubbish (plastic plates, cups and cigarette butts!) everywhere, even on the beach. The pool area was particularly disgusting with rocks and dirt in the pool - I wouldnt have wanted to swim in it. The pool area was also quite cramped. It must be said though that the staff were all excellent and really friendly, as were the First Choice Reps.

Overall, this is most definately not a 4* hotel - if you are used to 4* standards I wouldn't recommend Sol Palmeras, it is not a nice place to be and (at risk of sounding like a snob) would be better situated in Benidorm.

  • Stayed: January 2010, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Townie88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
alc52, General Manager at Sol Palmeras, responded to this reviewResponded January 20, 2010

Dear Guest,
We appreciate it very much for the time you devoted to publish at the Trip Advisor and share your opinions of your stay in Sol Palmeras.
We are very sorry for not having accomplished what you expected from our hotel, and that you preferred to move to another hotel. We deeply apologise for that.
On the other hand, we thank you for letting us know the wrong items we have. Your comments permit us to see where we should apply the necessary corrective actions, in order to avoid similar situations would happen to other guests.
Your remarks are accepted, although I do not have the same opinion of many of them.
I have worked in Mexico, Dominican Republic, not in Cabo Verde-. I assure you that our hotel has enough merits.
Sol Palmeras, as you well said, has it age, and its has 600 rooms, nevertheless, I can asure you that it is one of the hotels with the highest ocuupation in the Caribbean, I think it will be for a good reason.
We inform you that all your comments have been analized with each head of our departaments and we have already taken the adecuate corrected actions.
Regarding the beach and swimming pool, they were not neatly clean because, as you surely remember, the weather was bad since January 2nd until practically January 14th, we had them cleaned but efforts made were useless to keep them completely clean.
You are right when saying we offer drinks at the snack bar near the beach, we do it because of our guest´ safety.
Hoping you give us the opportunity to be your host again in your next trip.
Receive best regards.
Tomeu Alcina
General Manager

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Reviewed January 10, 2010

I spent a week at Sol Palmeras in Varadero from December 6-13 2009, it was my 1st time in Cuba and I loved it. Gonzalo at check in was very friendly and got me set up with my room very quickly. My room was always well made up every day. The staff at the buffet were welcoming and the food was alright, not great but my expectations for the buffet weren't high to begin with. The a la carte restaurants definately did not disappoint, I ate at the Steakhouse, Italian and Cuban restaurants and the meals were great and the service(especially Manuel at the Steakhouse) exceeded my expectations. The pool area was clean and relaxing, the pool bar staff were excellent especially Popi and Osvaldo who made sure there was never an empty glass in front of you. The lobby bar was great at night with the three man band playing who gave some authentic Cuban atmosphere. The animation team works really hard to make sure you have a good time from the dance and Spanish lessons to the beach party. The beach was clean and plenty of sun chairs to relax and soak up the rays. I only did one excursion which was the day trip to Havana and it was excellent, our tour guide Carlos gave us alot of great information and insights on the history of Cuba, Havana and gave us some reality on what it's like to be a local in Cuba. Although check out was at noon and the bus picked me up at 6pm to go to the airport, the front desk allowed me to use a vacant room to shower and freshen up before leaving which was great. In conclusion I would definately return to this resort for my next vacation.

  • Stayed: December 2009, traveled solo
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3  Thank craig_1984Niagara
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
alc52, General Manager at Sol Palmeras, responded to this reviewResponded January 26, 2010

Dear Guest,
First of all, we would like to thank you for your preference in selecting our Sol Palmeras Hotel for your vacation, as well as for letting us know about your recent experience.
Your nice comments about the hotel in general are really appreciated for us, they are the best award we can receive because they help us to work more and better to satisfy all our guest´s needs. We will transmit to our personnel, especially the ones you mentioned.
Awaiting your return,se soon.
Sincerely
Tomeu Alcina
General Manager

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