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“Simple Paradise.”

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Hotel Roc Barlovento
Ranked #22 of 65 Hotels in Varadero
London, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
161 reviews
62 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 126 helpful votes
“Simple Paradise.”
Reviewed May 31, 2010

We stayed here in Barlovento Hotel for 11 nights of our 14 night trip to Havana, and we left with mixed ideas, although the agreed consensus was it a was a great pick for value, relaxation and beach. On arrival we were impressed with our quick check-in and took to explore the lovely low-rise complex. We found a large buffet, a Mexican restaurant, an Italian restaurant, 2 pools, a few bars dotted around, a tennis court and the breathtaking beach.

Our room was simple, two comfy-enough double beds, a balcony overlooking the pool. It was cleaned daily and we had fresh towels upon request. The shower was powerful, though it was always hit and miss if it would be a hot shower or a cold one; but on the bright side- if it IS hot, its all the more reason to share. Outside of our room, the pool and beach are were very inviting, and there is also an activity hut which contains all the ingredients for on-resort fun (snooker balls, table tennis bats, tennis rackets etc). There is nightly entertainment, and the animacion guys who work this are often seen around resort chatting to the residents, challenging them to table tennis, football etc. Nightlife outside of the resort seemed very limited, however if you choose to remain on site, or take an early night-cap, you simply will not get any sleep as the music begins around 10 and booms on for over an hour.

Outside of the resort you will recognise you are at the beginning the the peninsular, in 'down town Varadero'. You are a short stroll from the best two markets, offering wood crafts and other Cuban gifts. There are also afew local restaurants, and more choice the further you travel, all offering a mix of international and cuban cuisine at prices that are most impressive. 'The bar' of the strip is located on Calle 62, about a 7CUC journey from the hotel (£4-5).

We seemed to have arrived at this hotel during a quiet period, meaning the buffet restaurant was closed, and the Italian closed halfway through our stay. This resulted in a reduced and heavily repeated breakfast and dinner-time buffet service inside the Mexican, and a small table also offering some cuisine from their near-neighbour. This was most dissapointing, however as mentioned there is an array of eateries in the locality, which is honesty provide a much needed break from the resort- the beauty of Cuba is that you can venture of in a very safe environment- so make sure you make top use of this!!! On the bright side, the lunch was delicious and the drinks are free-flowing. Sun, sea, sand, rum, fun and... sun... erm.. what more could you wish for?

There are also many day trips to venture on from this resort. I would recommend a boat trip, or a visit to the free local park. Both of which are accessible via a tourist bus which runs daily along the length of the peninsular. For those seeking a really refined meal in a beautiful location with a stunning sunset backdrop, i would recommend asking to eat in Xanadu Mansion, owned by a historic cuban landowner who turned millionaire. I hope this came across more positive than negative, the beach, the staff, the location, the sunshine and most else was exceptional- the only downer for us really was the low capacity! So Enoy CUBA, you'll be sad when you leave!

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank carlversuslife
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Quesnel
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed May 11, 2010

We went there not expecting too much after reading some of the reviews. There was seven of us in our group and not one of us had a bad experience while we were there. The pillows aren't bad. They are like a body pillow so fold it over if it is too flat. There was always at least a few delicious things to eat at every meal. We did take our own pepper but only used it a couple of times. The travel mugs came in handy to keep our drinks cold and nice to have a bigger size. Most of us gained about five pounds in two weeks. The Italian A la Carte was delicious. They serve a great big block of parmesan cheese that is in a bowl casing about 16 inches around. It tastes a lot like Balderson. Yummy. They do have a habit of running out of certain alcohols at the different bars but you just had to move to the next one when that happened.

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank JeanineQuesnel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
laite07
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed May 10, 2010

First of all , The staff are so amazing, you couldnt ask for nicer people to have to see for a week, people who made rude comments about them were usually the kind of people who were just as rude to them, and who would want to be nice to a jerk :)...

The location was perfect,the resort was right on the beach, and if you are a shopper there are 2 markets less then a 2 min walk away ! And any woman who want to get their hair braided, there are people who will ask you at the first market , they take you to their home to do it but dont worry , they are very nice people and there is no need to not feel safe going, and also if you dont want to pay for them , bring an old tshirt,soap etc and they will do it for the trade!

The food was great, mostly the same stuff everynight but i always found something i liked.

Tipping, we did lots of tipping just because they have nothing there , be kind and dont forgett about the security , offer the ones who stand on the beach all day a beer.

Overall My trip was amazing and i would return to this resort , but the only problem my family and i had was sandfleas... out of the 5 of us who went 3 broke out in bites that look more like hives , and was the most annoying thing to have to deal with on a plane ride home, drive home & to have to live with for a week , it was more of a burning then an itch ,myself only had a highfever as a result to the bites,but i was lead on to believe the hotel was sprayed down every night, but not once did I see it being done...SO BRING BUGSPRAY !

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank laite07
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
northern ontario
Level 5 Contributor
11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
Reviewed May 6, 2010

We just returned from two weeks at the Barlovento Hotel in Varadero. We flew with West Jet Vacations out of Thunder Bay....with a plane change in Toronto. The flight was good...we picked up a snack at the Tim Hortons in the airport as West Jet only gives lunches on flights over 4 hours. On arrival in Cuba the process went quickly through security to picking up the luggage. We were on the bus in less than 45 minutes. Our friends were detained...the cute little dog seemed to like her son....they missed the bus and were sent by taxi half an hour later.

Check in was really quick...front desk has an amazing group of very friendly and helpful people. There was a bell boy there to take our luggage to our room...no waiting. Thanks to West Jets generous luggage allowance we had quite a bit!

Our room was great. We were in a bungalow just down from the beach, across from the out door lunch buffet and the quiet pool. The room was smaller than our friend’s but our balcony was huge. The room had a fridge that was stocked with bottled water every day so we never had to buy it. The maid service was very good too....no too many fancy sculptures on the bed but that’s ok as long as the room is clean.

We booked all of our al a cartes as soon as we got there as they fill up fast. We went to all three...they were all great. Mexican was the most fun and the food was very good. We were the last sitting so we never felt rushed. The tequila shooters were funny....”no lady the camera never worked we have to do it again!” A great bunch of guys working there! The Cuban restaurant...in the same place as the Mexican...was really good too. The Italian was a nice quiet change from the others...the music was more classical....food tasty.
There are three pools at the resort. The two near the lobby are the busiest....as well as the noisiest. The music and entertainment team are always there. If you like the involvement then that is your spot. The kids pool is next to it. There were a few small ones enjoying it. When it is windy on the beach this pool is more sheltered so not as cool. The pools were always being cleaned. The one night the aqua ballet was done in the larger pool...they are really amazing artists. There were always enough chairs by the pools...never saw the towel game played.

The beach is beautiful...what we go to Varadero for! There are too few beach loungers so get there earlier in the morning....9ish is fine. Coming at 11 you are not likely to get a chair. They do need to invest in a few new ones. Beach bar was a fun place with one of the nicest bartenders I have ever met. She is always smiling and happy....even when it was a little cool and windy. They don’t have beer at the beach but she can come up with something for you. There are hobi cats, kayaks and paddle boats to take out. The water doesn’t get deep fast but is not too shallow either...perfect for everyone...my grand daughter loved jumping into the waves.

The food in the dining room was basic. We always found something we liked. Some days were better than others. Breakfast was really good as you have the fresh juice bar, eggs cooked the way you like them....bacon too if you take it to the grill. Lunch is at the beach restaurant with burgers, pasta, fish, sausage, chicken and pork....you wont go hungry! For supper there was something different at the carving station every night. We had a very nice white and red wine at meals also...it came after day two.

The shows were very good...the dancers are all very talented. The make fun of the tourist shows are not my favourites so those nights we walked down to 13th street and listened to the house band there.

This hotel is at the edge of the town so is a perfect location. You can walk to the flea markets and restaurants in town. If you need a taxi the most we paid to get to the other end of town was $6. I would go back to this resort in a second and would recommend it to anyone. We loved it!

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
5 Thank sunnyone114
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed April 29, 2010

I have waited a week before attempting to write a review for this hotel as my visit there was my first and more than likely my last. The main reason for this mainly negative review is the reception staff.

I arrived on the 18th of April with a party of 14. From the beginning of our interaction the reception staff had an attitude. I was due to depart on the 21st however the check in clerk booked me in until the 20th when I showed him my reservation he turned to his colleague and started ranting in Spanish that my holiday company keeps on wanting more days.

After his rant to his colleague, he continued to book me in up to the 20th gave me my room key and told me my room number with out telling me where room number was. I asked him where my room was he got condescending and slowly repeated my room number. I repeated my request as to where the room was and he pointed me in the general direction.

The following day at 12noon a number of the members in my party were locked out of there rooms as there was some sort of miscommunication between our holiday company and the hotel. Among the members locked out of there rooms were two individual over 60 and 80yr respectively. The check in clerk was arguing with the members of the party shouting and screaming at them (I am not making this up). The manager of the hotel stood looking on with a smile on his face for at least 5 minutes and was identified by another member of staff when he was asked for. There was no apology forthcoming. The surprising thing was that he appeared to be even more arrogant and rude. He explained to us in a tone I would never dream of using that the clerk had no power to resolve our problem. He said he would get back to us however he never did.

I had to contact my holiday rep in order to resolve my issue wit h my room. My holiday rep emailed me the hotel’s confirmation of my reservation until the 21st was received by him three weeks prior to my arrival. After speaking to my rep I requested another hotel but we could not get one because of the ash cloud there was no free rooms. I then requested an apology from rude check in clerk. My rep spoke to the clerk and he kept us waiting another 10 minutes while he argued in Spanish why he should not have to apologise to us, as he did not have all of the information. He ultimately gave me an apology but told me it was not his fault. I asked him to apologise to the people that he locked out of the room, one who was physically sick at this point. He did so after a third individual spoke to him.

While I was at the check in desk another guest was speaking to a colleague of the clerk explaining that they had misspelt their name. The response “there is nothing I can do about that now” The general attitude of the reception staff was you are lucky to be here and we are doing you a favour. To be honest having to argue with the reception staff for two out of three night stay is not the best experience one could hope for

It is a pity as the general staff had a completely opposite attitude very helpful and pleasant. The range and quality of the food was great. My only other criticism of the place was there were flies in the dining area, not a swarm it was a bit off putting.

If you still insist on going after reading this review I would recommend booking through a holiday company. and try the sailing it’s free and Igor was great!

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank trav32
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Varadero hotels

nova scotia
Level 3 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed April 28, 2010

This trip was our 4th trip to Cuba (2nd to Varadero) we picked this resort on location. Last time we stayed out on the strip and found it too far to get into town easily. This resort has an excellent location for strolling into town at anytime. It is a smaller resort which we liked because everything is close and not spread out like the bigger resorts.
We found the food was very good, probably because they don't have to make it for 800 or more people like the big resorts do, therefore the taste was alot better then previous resorts we have stayed at in Cuba.
The staff were very friendly, even if you tipped or not. Had alot of great conversations.
Rooms were average to Cuba. Clean and a place to lay your head and have a shower. That's all you want anyway.
The beach was beautiful. You could walk a long way in either direction. They kept the beach very clean, and the beach bar was great also.
Now for the bad part. We found that the resort catered mostly to the French (Quebec). Which is not Balovento's fault by any means. But they were very rude and ignorate. Shoving their way in front of you in line ups , etc. and not knowing the word excuse me or sorry. While out on an excursion everyone was asked where they were from (Europe, Russia, Canadian, etc.) Their comment was they were from Quebec. Am I wrong but I always thought Quebec was in Canada?
Other than that, we had a great time and met some great people. Hi, Brenda & Brian and the rest of you from Vancouver.
We'll definately be back to Cuba because the people there are so friendly and we love it!

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank lovingcubaNovaScotia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hinton, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed April 28, 2010

Arrived in Varadero in the morning but did not get checked into our room until late afternoon so we had to wait around in the lobby with our luggage.First day of our holiday wasted.The beds where in the shape of hammicks.The food was not great,not much for salads or fruit.Usually lunch was leftovers from dinner the night before.But the most disturbing to us was the staff.If you did not tip with every interaction you made with them they would totally ignore you! In fact the were just down right rude.So be sure to have lots of cash on you if you want any kind of service.We will never encourge people to stay at a Barlovento resort! e

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank HAPPYTOGO_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Roc Barlovento

Property: Hotel Roc Barlovento
Address: Ave 1ra e/ 9 y 12, Varadero, Cuba
Location: Caribbean > Cuba > Matanzas Province > Varadero
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#6 Best Value Hotel in Varadero
#18 On the Beach Hotel in Varadero
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hotel Roc Barlovento 3.5*
Number of rooms: 293
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Hotel Roc Barlovento is located on beachfront and just a few meters from town centre of Varadero only 25 km away from the airport.This large Caribbean-style resort is in perfect harmony with its natural surroundings along an extensive, fine white sanded beach and turquoise waters .Adults only hotel, over 16 years.Services Around the gardens, there are a tennis court, a solarium, three swimming pools and one jacuzzi. 3 Out Door Pools Sunbeds & Umbrellas Reception 24 hrsStores, shops Air Conditioning Tourism office GardensInternet, with charge Telephone and fax, with charg eMassage, with charge"All Inclusive" Services Buffet service for breakfast, lunch and dinner 3 á la carte restaurants (prior reservation required and upon availability) Fast food, snacks, grill y paellas. Cocktails, beverages: national and international brands. 24 hrs Service. Non motorized water sports (upon availability), snorkel, windsurf, kayak, pedalboatl, catamaran, windsurf . Voleyball, football, tennis, ping pong, billard, petanca, dards, archery and table games. Basket, beach volley, water polo- Gym Sunbeds andbeach/pool towels Day time entertainment programme: aerobics, yoga, dancing lessons, Spanish lessons, pool/beach games. Evening entertainment with a variety of international shows and theme nights (resident band and dancers)GastronomyThe All Inclusive offer includes, in addition to the three complete buffet meals per day, à la carte meals in the 3 specialty restaurants (with reservation) snacks, alcoholic as well as non-alcoholic drinks throughout the day. A great variety of gastronomical treats awaits our guests in the hotel’s 4 restaurants and 4 bars . The hotel offers a 24 hrs service. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Barlovento Hotel Varadero
Barlovento Cuba
Gran Caribe Club Barlovento
Hotel Barlovento
Barlovento Varadero

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