As I write this review, here in the Maritimes, we have just finished two days of -16 early morning temperatures. We ran in this temperature one morning and only a week ago we were running in 20+ temperatures as the sun was rising.
We flew WestJet from Moncton to Toronto to Varadero without any delays and arrived on schedule to the resort. Mr. Sax takes his road bike and had no issues having the transfer bus accomodate the bike from the airport to the resort.
Our arrival day was a Sunday and so we moved in for a two week stay. Upon checking in the first thing I was very disappointed in was a 34.00 non refundable fee for the safe. In speaking with the PR representative at a later time, I was advised that this is a topic that is being discussed at their managment level and is being reviewed. This is certainly an issue that needs to be addressed as the other resorts where we have stayed in Varadero either have a refund or no charge. We paid for a refundable beach towel deposit, and except for one day were able to have a clean beach towel daily. Reception staff were friendly and accomodating through out our stay.
While we were there, the entertainment center was having the roof replaced and this was finished on our second week .The main pool was emptied and repaired which took approximately two days before water was replaced. There are two other pools on this large property, both were empty. I suspect this was due to the fact the resort was not at full occupancy.
A la CARTES and Buffet:
We registered for a la Cartes at the PR desk each morning at 10 a.m. We both particularly like the dress up for dinner aspect and you will be asked to respect the dress code for dinner at either a la Carte. We were also invited to the repeat visitor dinner which is held on Thursday nights. This was fantastic. There is a particular gentleman who is a waiter at Kawama and he has been working there since 1972. He displays such professionalism. Mr. Sax is the Chef in this family and would say at different times, "it is amazing how this Chef can put food together". We have come home with a receipe for a hot bean dish that was served at breakfast, and it is being served here now most mornings. The wait staff at the a la cartes and buffet were very professional. We were not asked for tips.
PROPERTY and ROOM:
Kawama is on a large property. I particularly liked this as it appeared at times we had the beach to ourselves. For a walk we often walked the width of the resort and were amazed at how much of Kawama Avenue it occupies. We had I think the oldest brick "villa" on the beach. It was a three room apartment, on the main floor, there was one other room above us. The villa had an entry alcove, a living room, large bathroom and good size bedroom. For those of you who know our travels you know we travel with the Bike and the Case. The bike actually had for the first time ever, its own room! The AC was two units, one in the living room and one in the bedroom, silent and worked via remote control. The AC worked soundlessly. We had hot water every day except one. When we reported this, it was fixed immediately. We were provided clean towels daily and usually the maid was in for a clean up early in the day. This villa provided us with our best living experiences to date in our many trips to Varadero. We were literally on the beach. Every morning except on a the two Sundays I was given a flower by the gardener in our section. I site this as I find it was a kindness that was displayed by most employees in different ways at Kawama. We loved this villa, loved it and hope if we get to go back, we would have this spot again. We still talk about having our coffee out in the alcove every morning. Per usual we brought out own coffee, with Tim Horton mugs/filters.
LOBBY and POOL BAR/POOL and BEACH:
There was a good selection of drinks. For example, one could have a martini, (sweet), scotch, gin, rum, beer. The lobby bar has a menu of drinks available and once again I had a Mary Pickford. The first time I ever had this drink was at the Melia las Antillas in 2006. The lobby was decorated for Christmas during our second week. The bathrooms in the lobby area are kept clean continuously thanks to the hard efforts of the primary housekeeper for that area. I did note that service at the pool bar is fast and furious, I think this is due to it being the busiest part of the tourist gathering as it is right in the pool area. There is a good selection of music and during some evenings impromtu dancing would start amongst the guests which was fun. While we were there on the second week, the beach bar opened. This was due to an increase in tourists and therefore it was opened to accomodate increased traffic on the beach. It has a little terrace area and becomes a nice gathering spot. By this particular bar, one can access all types of beach equipment such as paddle boats.
The pool was clean and provided ample number of chairs. The chairs on the beach are in need of replacement. The beach as per Varadero was beautiful. I found it to be cleaner than the beach in front of the Barlovento and Tuxpan. The beach has been hit a bit I suspect by hurricane Sandy winds, with significant sections being washed away by the Barlovento and Tuxpan. It was fine in front of Kawama. We walked 20 feet from our villa to our section of the beach. I loved our villa!
The Kawama provides a gym, which is not necessarily new, but more than serviceable. I loved their sauna. It became a routine to leave the beach at 4 p.m. and go to the sauna, which is a traditional one. It was lovely. It has two working hot water showers directly opposite and I think I had more showers there than I did in our villa. I had a massage one day and found the therapist to be professional and certainly knowledgeable.
There are two great set of musicians. The first is a two person classically trained guitar players and a band of five with one fabulous trumpet player. You will be entertained at the Buffet, and the a la Cartes which was nice and at times a lot of fun!
Kawama is definitely a resort that we would return. I think we both have a preference to this side of Varadero. We enjoyed taking our drink before dinner to the canal (across the road) and watch the horses gallop home over the bridge to Santa Marta, after a day of transporting tourists in their taxi wagons. Kawama Avenue is under construction. It starts right by the Kawama and goes up to Playa Caleta. At first I thought that the avenue was being enlarged, but actually the board walk along the canal and some greening is occuring. It will look beautiful when completed. There is some discussion that Kawama, the resort will undergo a refurbishment and it it does I hope that some of the traditional buidings will be kept, especially my villa!
We are hoping to return. Kawama has a quiet Manager, always there, walking in the back ground, observing, checking. The person who is front and center is Leida, the PR representative. She is the prime communicator for the Kawama and leads by example. There are many repeat visitors to the Kawama and I certainly understand how thier return visits must be anticipated. Thanks to Kawama and staff for one of the nicest stays we have had. Please keep my villa safe!
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- Also Known As:
- Kawama Hotel Varadero
- Resort All Inclusive Kawama
- Kawama Varadero
- Club Kawama Varadero