Just got back from Melia Las Americas last week after a fantastic 10 day trip to cuba. Usually I would visit other destinations in the Caribbean (Barbados, Antigua, Jamaica etc) but this time decided to mix things up and visit somewhere new. Had a fantastic time - the staff at the hotel are really really friendly - hi to Raul and the girls serving lunch to me and my brother - thanks for a great stay - miss my lounger by the corner of the small pool already...
The hotel... itself is as good if not better than any others I've visited in the Caribbean - rooms are very clean and the hotel is large but not unfriendly....you won't feel like you are on a business trip! Pools are great and of course the beach is fantastic....the hotel has a very long beach....and I mean long so no problems finding space.
The food....was great. The buffet has plenty to choose from and we didn't get bored with the food there. Has the usual egg stations in the morning and pasta cooked fresh in the evenings along with lots of salads and fruit...the buffet was great. The hotel also has a number of "theme" restaurants....personally I dislike the idea of theme restaurants but we gave them a go anyway. Top of the list (head and shoulders) was the fish restaurant which was fantastic....it's also open for lunches and we ate there almost every day. The Italian restaurant was OK - please remember you aren't in Italy or in NYC or London...this is very much Italian "theme". Least favourite was the Japanese restaurant....this wasn't a great experience....although to be fair I've eaten teppanyaki at some of the best restaurants in Europe and China/HK so was probably setting the bar a little high.
Weather...was rainy season....it rained a couple of days but mainly in the late afternoon/evening which was very nice as the nights were much cooler...overall I'd say Cuba/Valadero was fantastic and couldn't fault the resort or the island - apparently it rains more in Havana though.
Room...was kept very clean. We stayed in the main hotel building....as Valadero is a peninsula you have sea views from both front and back of the hotel. Power sockets were 220v....if you are from the UK you need to take a US style plug adaptor. Internet is only available in the hotel lobby and costs about 8 dollars per hour...you get a card so you can use a few minutes to check emails etc....not that Skype is blocked in Cuba so be warned (although I'm sure if you are smart enough you might be able to figure this one out :-)....(but needs setting up before you travel of course!)...I didn't mind the cost of the wireless...I'd rather pay 8 dollars an hour and have something I can use than have free wireless that doesn't work because it can't cope with the bandwidth!
Negatives....The Japanese restaurant...please you guys why not have a Cuban restaurant on site instead....I really wanted to sample some of the local food....there is a Cuban buffet night but more would be better I think. Also more mangoes please....sometimes it felt like a scramble for mangoes....less stuff that you think we want to eat....tinned peaches....err yea I can do without those.
Tipping....OK this one is interesting. Personally I never tip staff during my stay at an all inclusive BUT I wait until the last few days and had out big tips to staff who have gone above and beyond at the end of my holiday...I think this is better than walking around with a fist full of Peso bills and slapping them down on the bar like you are a millionaire (I'm not kidding...I saw this happening)...your choice of course but I think the latter encourages staff to play for tips which will ultimately ruin the atmosphere at the resort for everyone....I did see some of this happening which is a real shame but ultimately the blame rests with us the tourist. Your choice of course....but at least think about it...in the end you'll still be spending the same but at least you'll know people are being genuine.
Overall we had a fantastic stay....the few negatives weren't enough to knock anything off. I saw a few bad reviews before I left but decided to go ahead anyway...I'm glad we did. I appreciate that if you get ill on holiday that isn't great but people do get sick. Water on the tables for breakfast/lunch/dinner was always straight out of a bottle....if you have a weak stomach I'd suggest using the mineral water in the rooms to brush your teeth as an added precaution (I did this when I visited china)...I used the tap water in Cuba and was fine...as I said my brother and I both had a great stay....food was great and we'd definitely go back...
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Meliá Las Américas is the premier Golf Resort in Cuba and it is also the only one with direct access to The Varadero Golf Club. Located on The Varadero Peninsula, a tropical paradise jutting into the clear waters of the Caribbean on Cuba’s northern coats. Poised between the beach and championship golf course, the 5-star hotel is an upscale all inclusive adults only (over 18 years). ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Melia Las Americas Hotel Varadero
- Melia Hotel Varadero
- Melia Hotel Las Americas
- Melia Las Americas Varadero