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“Trip Jan 28th til 7 Feb 2013”
Review of Hotel Club Kawama

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Hotel Club Kawama
Ranked #48 of 64 Hotels in Varadero
Reviewed February 10, 2013

Well, arrived on the 28th of January 2013 and they gave us room 4148... ohh boy! the room was at the end of the complex... Room was ok. Air conditioner didn't work because no remote control. The day after no water, the 3rd day no water, no electricity... the 4 day everything worked.. If you have any problem... don't go to the front desk (they just ignore you!) ask the cleaning lady..

The site is nice, clean and the beach is beautiful. The buffet is okay, but the other clients in the hotel are animals, they grab everything and load their plates and don't even eat it!! They say on the Sunwing site and phamplets that there is 2 buffets... Wrong!! only 1 ! the A la Carte resturants, hmmm... the italien one was terrible but the international one was good... ate there twice.. But if you don't mind paying $20 pesos, just go out the front of the hotel and walk down the left side of the road (not far!) and the Resturant KiKi's is the greatest! pizza.. pastas, fish...

The hotel site is runned down and needs alot of renovations, but i heard that they got the Ok and grant from the Cuban Government and going to invest 4 millon. The staff is very nice! they tried to help out but we can't blame them... they work with what they have!! it is not their fault!

Cuba is a poor , so don't expect much when u stay at a 3 1/2 hotel..

I checked out the Excursions at the hotel and they are very expensive, so I rented a scooter and went visiting... just down the road is the town of Varadero, lots of markets, resturants, boutiques. I got on the autoroute (autopistasur) and drove about 15km down the road and checked out the little villages. I found a turn off and took it, drove down the little road and came to the Jeep Safari tour, they were snorkeling.. the price was about 90 pesos.. Anyways i kept on the same road about 5 mins and came to Playa Corale (the 2nd one!) all the snorkeling u want and it was FREE! met a guy Helusus who explained everything to us... very nice guy!

The trip to Club Kawama, Varadero was nice... this was my 6th trip to cuba and still enjoyed myself.. You know... Your on Vacation... Enjoy!!!

Room Tip: The rooms from 40,41,42,43 are far away from everthing... you have a good walk...
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  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with friends
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3  Thank timothy b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed February 8, 2013

The staff were very pleasent, motel and resort disappointing. We had no hot water for 2 1/5 days, made a complaint, and did not get hot water until the day we left. They gave us 1 bottle of water for the week, if we wanted more we had to pay for it.

Sink did not drain properly, and had bugs in room. Food was not good.

I complained to manager, he was apologetic, but could not refund our money. He offered a discount for next trip there, but we were not interested because will never go there again.

Hardly no entertainment, this resort needs alot of renovations.

This is not a 3 1/2 star, I rate it a 1 star.

Lorrie wheeler Giroux

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank LORRIEGROUX1963
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 4, 2013

we have been to Varadero, Cuba 7 times. we picked this one, because it fit everyones budget. there were 12 of us going. the location to downtown is perfect. the food was a little less then average, for a 3 star. Kawama was on the empty side.i think it was less then half full. we were there on the 26 of Jan 2013. so the line ups for breakfast. were not that bad. on the other hand, we did eat off the resort every night. The bartenders are great. we had one of the oldest rooms, close to front lobby. We had hot water, rooms clean as clean can get. I would go back with the same group of friends, for the same price. By ourselves, absolutely not, never. u can get better for the same price. but if you do pick this one. BRING LOTS OF BUG SPRAY, I MEAN LOTS. plus Aveeno anti itching cream

Room Tip: up grade. try and stay close to pool.
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with friends
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7  Thank g c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 4, 2013

Very good food and fantastic drinks. I especially recommend pinacolada and mojito. Beach is amazing!!! Stuff is friendly but expects tips. Hotel offers wide variety of attractions: water bicycles, kayak, catamaran trips, ping-pong, Shops aroun are quite expensive. good opportunirt to practice spanish.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank Leon R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 4, 2013

As the saying goes… when life gives you lemons, make lemonade! Question is… how much lemonade can you handle?

This resort WAS a beautiful place… I was never there when it was, but you can easily tell by the size of the grounds, location, buildings, the old pictures in the international buffet of the resort history, etc…, that it was a top notch place a long time ago. Key word here is WAS!!!! Today it is seriously dated and in major disrepair. Overall however, I had a great vacation, since I managed to take my lemonade for 7 days at Club Kawama and found alternatives elsewhere to make life more comfortable.

I’ll keep my personal opinions aside until the end of the review and try to give an honest unbiased opinion of what I saw. Then you decide if this place is for you.

But first, before I begin, I will tell you a little of what I was looking for to help you gauge what you would want to know.

My Girlfriend and I had already been on a fantastic 4 Star Mexican resort 4 months prior to visiting Cuba / Kawama. This time, we were not looking for luxury, we had that already, we simply wanted a winter escape for a week that would cost us as little as possible but would be safe, well located, all inclusive and provided us with the basics – washroom, shower, hot water, towels, food, drinks and a bed to sleep on. We did not want to spend more than 750 per person. Kawama fit the bill perfectly.

The grounds are huge, with buildings everywhere in no apparent order. We stayed in building 28 room 05, right by the road side on the far right hand side of the lobby as you enter. The lobby is small, crowded and has a bar. The people at the desk are busy and tend to ignore guests unless needed to do business.

The pathways between buildings are crumbling, so were your shoes at all times. There are many lamp posts that are broken, or missing. I saw a few where a plastic bottle was used to cover exposed wiring in the ground. Don’t let your kids run around!

There are 3 pools, one was closed and roped off with no real effort – not safe at all. The main pool was open but the section for kids was closed and no water fountains were active.

There is a public washroom next to the pool with showers. The showers were not functioning properly, the toilets would not flush and there are no toilet seats. The toilet paper is a hit or miss. There are no hand dryers or soap. There is a washroom behind the Italian Buffet next to the beach that few know about, and it is actually much better.

The pool bar has a snack bar and depending on who was making the burgers and sandwiches - expect either a good or a disgusting meal. The woman made great food, took her time and was sanitary about it. The young guy would constantly wipe his brow of sweat, then handle raw meat, take a napkin to wipe his hands, then again his brow, then proceed to cut the bread and lettuce. I’m just pointing out what I saw! All the drinks seemed watered down to the point of having little to no taste. But the way people were taking in Alcohol, after a while it doesn’t matter.

There are 2 buffet restaurants; one on the far left side is closed leaving the Italian Buffet (next to the Italian pizza a la carte) open for all 3 meals. Service is dependent on how many PESOS you are willing to give up. They do not seat you, you come in and hope there is a table and no one takes it from you - as happened to us and we were left standing with no table and a plate full of food. On another occasion we tipped 5 pesos for two people to share since they were really nice at supper time, then when we showed up the next 2 nights, we were treated like kings. The power of a peso! Also, after a while, they stopped putting fresh cutlery on the tables and you were left wondering which table was cleaned and ready… no one would help us out. We asked one guy for cutlery, he gave it then saw what table we were at and took it back saying we need to ask another lady who takes that section. WOW! CUSTOMER SERVICE!!! You need to ask for a soup spoon – IF THEY HAVE ONE. The buffet has little to no serving cutlery so to cut the desert cakes, you need to use a ladle – imagine the mess after 2 people cut a piece! The table cloths are not covered or cleaned in between guests. Glasses are hard to find, when you ask the staff sometimes they bring you something to drink. It is a small buffet in terms of room size and food selection. If you like bacon, forget it! It was a big pile of white fat when I saw it. If you go to the grill for an omelet, they will not cook it enough especially if there is a lineup which in many cases there is. Their tomato sauce for the pasta… it’s brown! It looks like the BBQ sauce you get at the grocery for chicken. The waiters wander around seemingly lost, only stopping to pick up dirty dishes as you leave.

The Beach is relatively clean, and vast. The waves tend to come and go dependant on the weather of course. The undertow is strong, not good for young kids. There was only one life guard that I saw, and he cannot cover the entire beach.

The entertainment is simple, but for the price don’t expect much. The magic show was the best so don’t miss it. They also had the dancers rehearse throughout the week instead of actually performing a show.

The A La Carte restaurants are basic but at least the food is cooked (hopefully!) for you on the spot. I say hopefully since at the International, I found the meatballs were not at all cooked in side, the soup was just water and the steak was as hard as the plate. The Italian was much better, but the lack of security or at least someone watching the guests/door, made for at time an interesting ‘show’. On one occasion, we had the local dog (he wanders around the entire place following people) walk on in to beg for food. Funny seeing him come in and then people chasing him out time after time. The second time was even better (or worse depending on how you feel). There was a guest who decided to hire a CHICA for the evening. It was so evident and what made for the interesting show was the fact that another CHICA barged in and started arguing with him about god knows what, but she was none too happy and pointed at her watch as she scolded him in Spanish a mile a minute! LOL!

The room had fresh and hot water, a broken TV, horrible springy beds that made you feel like you are sleeping directly on the springs themselves, but at least it was clean and we had fresh towels each day. The fridge had a bottle of water when you arrive. No one told us that we would need to keep it since you don’t get more. We eventually figured this out and got the bottle filled up at the bar. The shower and bathroom area was great actually.

So… that is a summary of what I experienced. If you care to know what I feel about this place… well… it’s a dump! But we expected worse actually, for the price we paid. So overall I am happy because when times were tough (like a bad supper), we went to the local restaurants and paid next to nothing for a FANTASTIC MEAL! Go to either the two Italian restaurants around the corner and you get a great meal with real service and a great price.

My suggestions for this place is that they should shut it down for a few months, rebuild and most important, retrain the staff on customer service. A peso tip should be rewarded not expected! They desperately need someone running the buffets to make sure all is run properly. This place has so much potential and as a bonus, is within walking distance of the downtown area. I would only recommend Kawama if you are on a tight budget or if you just need a basic room and will eat out, or if you are planning on many excursions therefore don’t really need the all inclusive part.

One more thing I will say, is that I know there were people staying there for weeks at a time and love it. I heard people say they go back every year. Well if they like it, then good for them. But I think every potential guest should be aware of the basic facts I tried to point out.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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8  Thank renato_d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 3, 2013

My husband and I have just returned from our 6th visit to Kawama. A couple of things to think about if going to Kawama - 1) it is the oldest hotel 2) it is 100% owned by the Cuban governemnt - no outside investors Now having said that Kawama is a true Cuban experience.
Upon arrival you will meet the ladies at the front desk who to their best. Vivan is a sweet heart and will go out of her way to help. The bartenders through out the resort have always been more than helpful and love to pour the Rum!! I have never been asked for a tip but knowing how little these hard working people make, we always start the week off with a tip.
Yes the rooms are older but our rooms have always been clean. Some rooms are further away from the main entertainment area but are still nice. As for the hot water, never had a problem. The housekeeping in our building was excellent, Maylin is wounderful.
Now for the food. We did find a big improvement this year. turkey, ham, lots of chicken and fish. Smoothies at breakfast. If the food is not cooked as well as you would like (bacon) just take it to the guy at the grill. He is more than willing to cook it to your liking. When you are in the buffett look and Leo and Diana. Leo will the gentlemen kissing all the women and Diana dancing. Always a great time.
Kawama has become a home away from home for us. We are amoung the 600 plus repeaters. The staff is family and we hate to see others treat them poorly. Any of the gardeners will get you a coconut to take to the bar to have a drink made.
If this hotel was as poor as some of reviews stated, why would there be over 600 repeaters?? just saying

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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15  Thank 123clipper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 2, 2013

We just got back on the 26th for yet another great week at Kawama. We met yet again alot of new friends, and old friends that seem too come here to relax, and the great staff at Kawama allways make your vacation that much better. The beach was clean as were the grounds. We went to the repeaters dinner where there were 60 people at this one (some guests have been there 40 times), that says something. The P.R. rep. Leida does a wonderfull job and must have her hands full with remembering all the names of the repeaters. The coffee bar in the loby has great cappuccino and espresso as well as other drinks. The beer was cold, the snack bar was as good as allways with burgers, ham sandwiches and sweets. The buffet allways had a good selection of food so you would not go hungry..We also enjoyed another lovely dinner at Casa De Als just down the street for surf and turf. We had a maid that kept our room in tip top shape and allways was greeting us with a smile. Just remember that a few dollars go a long way when most of the staff make $10 to $20 a month. Go relax and have a great time A.K.A Cuba time.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank gregory d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Club Kawama

Address: Calle 1 | Reparto Kawama, Varadero 42200, Cuba
Location: Caribbean > Cuba > Matanzas Province > Varadero
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#30 Top resorts Hotel in Varadero
Price Range: $81 - $191 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Hotel Club Kawama 3*
Number of rooms: 235
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Also Known As:
Kawama Hotel Varadero
Resort All Inclusive Kawama
Kawama Varadero
Club Kawama Varadero

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