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“Two great weeks”

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Ocean Varadero El Patriarca
Ranked #13 of 63 Hotels in Varadero
Parry Sound ON
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Two great weeks”
Reviewed December 3, 2012

The Oceans opened Oct 31 .There was quite a bit of damage done to parts of the beach due to the hurricane but they rebuilt it very quickly by dredging sand from almost a km. out to sea.
It was a fascinating process done by a Spanish company. The only real inconvenience (which was really minor) was having part of the beach roped off for 3 days. When you got beyond the roped area, the beach was huge.We walked over 1 hour east and could have gone further.
The sailboats, kayaks and paddle boats were only out a few days because of the wind. It was sunny most days so it was still nice to walk along the beach.

THe restaurants (a la cartes) were closed every 3 days which seemed strange. The food was OK (but hey-it's CUBA!) The Cubans tend to fry or stew so if you are expecting roasted chicken or beef it is not available. The beek was pretty tough-avoid that.
The buffet was almost a carbon copy of the Barcelo Marina Palace (which is under construction and bought by BLAU) The buffet had a fish fry bar, a pizza bar, a pasta bar and a chicken/beef fry. In addition there were cold pasta type salads and cold cuts/cheese.
(No lettuce, rarely tomatoes, a bit of chopped spinach) The bread products were fantastic. Soup good as well. Desserts fantastic!

There was a snack bar (hamburgers, fries, sandwiches) but the service was quite slow.

Lunch was served at a separate buffet-soup, hot foods, cold salads (beets, pickled carrots, seafood pasta, lentils) desserts and breads. I tend to get tourista wherever I go but I didn't get it here!

The staff was amazing-very friendly and helpful. The dining staff really worked as a team and were well trained.

Leave a couple of pesos(CUC) at each meal or in your room and you will be spoiled!

We had 2 double (I don't think they were queen) beds which were really comfortable. The bath had a separate shower and tub
The room was cleaned well daily-no complaints. The frig was stocked as needed.

There were several areas that they were still working on (probably 3 blocks with about 120 rooms in each) Most of the work was either gardening or interior work so it was not disruptive.

The pool was lovely with several arbors for those who wished shade.

The entertainment was typical Cuban style-lots of color, dancing and Spanish music. It was so loud hardly anyone went. It was also hard to sleep but fortunately we brought ear plugs.
I really think this is something that needs to be addressed as the decibal level was unbelievable and more importantly unhealthy.

The piano bar on the other hand had an excellent multicultural group. The trios in the lobby at night were also very talented. Both these venues were well attended.

The entertainment at the pool and beach included dance, aerobics, polo, competitions, Spanish classes etc. The young organizers were enthusiastic. It was very loud though.
However we found that they were at the beach in the morning and the pool in the afternoon so if you didn't want the noise it could be avoided.

There were a lot more people there our second week.

Although this resort is in its infancy we both agreed it was a good choice and will improve with time.

Room Tip: If you want a quietr area go to the privilege section or ask for a room as far as possible from the...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
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16 Thank MaisyDay63
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed December 3, 2012

We have just come back from a 7-night stay at this brand new 5-star resort and, overall, we were very impressed by it. The resort was extremely clean, well maintained, and remarkably well landscaped, considering that it has been open only a month.

The best feature, hands down, is the staff. The staff at El Patriarca were unfailingly superb. Dayle, Naylet and Alinet made breakfasts and lunches a pleasure; Dinia kept our room spic and span, Idalmis in the spa was great—as were so many others whose names we didn’t get. No question in our minds, the staff at El Patriarca are the very best!

As reported in other reviews, the beach is excellent, and they were adding new palapas every day. The pool is large (but cold), and in need of many more umbrellas, but presumably these will be coming.

Entertainment in the theatre was colourful with talented dancing, but somewhat repetitive. The piano bar was marvellous. The Jose Nunez trio entertained us three of the four nights we were at the piano bar and were excellent.

It was a treat to have unlimited champagne (sparkling wine) at every bar and at meals.

If there is a less than 5 star aspect to El Patriarca, it is the food. But that is just the way it is in Cuba ; not a lot of variety, relatively few fresh vegetables, and uninspired meat. Fish was good and kudos to the chef who cooked lobster tails in the buffet one night! One suggestion the chef might consider is that meat does not need to be added to potato salad, beans, eggs, etc. as vegetarians won't eat it, nor will certain individuals for health and/or religious reasons. More vegetarian options would be a good idea.

We wouldn’t hesitate to recommend El Patriarca to friends, and we hope to return in February or March. It will be interesting to see how the resort reacts to having all of its rooms available. It is off to an excellent start!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
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20 Thank JWWToron2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed December 2, 2012

I must say the property is really beautiful definitely has the modern touch to it. From when we arrived to the grounds we were greeted with cocktail drinks and cannot forget Jose who was just great in helping us bring our bags and take us to our room. He is soo friendly and always cheerful.

We stayed in room 3322. We wanted to be far away so that we didn't hear any noise but still be close to the pool. Beautiful room with the modern Colors green and brown. Shower was great. Everyday our maid would ensure our room was clean and we always walked in to a beautiful surprise on our bed.

Beach- Beach is beautiful, long stretch of white sand with turquoise blue water. All the repairs from Sandy had been completed and they were still building the huts for shade as we were leaving.

Food- We tried every restaurant and our favourite would be the Italian, Gourmet, and Buffet. We wish there was more variety in choices and the portion would be a bit larger as we noticed lots of couples would leave after dinner from the a la carte restaurants to go to the buffet. Service was good as we went during when the resort wasn't as busy, although not sure how they will accomodate everyone once they occupy at over 60%. Beach restaurant didn't have much variety and food was sometimes cold. Our favourite was the snack bar must try the burgers and the seafood pizza.

Staff- Everyone always greets you in the morning with an hola or hello. From the gardeners to the hotel staff and maid staff. Really loved how happy they always were and just how hard everyone works. Some of the waiters and waitress work over 12 hour shifts and it was nice to see they still kept smiling. Remember to bring extra tip as they don't make much and they are always so appreciative of the tips we give them.

Entertainment- Our favourite show was the magic show and the Acqua show. Otherwise, we would've wished for more variety in the shows. Every night was the same singers, we would recommend changing it up every other day or so. Also, beach entertainment and pool entertainment were always the same and not much people participated. A tip would be to incorporate prizes as I'm sure more people will participate if that is the case. We didn't find schedules for the nightly entertainment, i'm sure more people would go if they knew what was being performed on a tv screen or postings around the resort.

Hangouts- Loved hanging on the beach and we met some amazing lifeguards Peter & John. Further, loved hanging in the lounge area and the Piano Bar. We would say the Piano bar was the best entertainment. The bar tenders in there were fabulous and always happy. Also, must have a cafe latte or spanish coffee from the lounge bar.

Overall our first experience of cuba was great. People are amazing and the culture is definitely changing and worth experiencing. We met some amazing people from trip advisor and facebook.

Thank you to the staff for a wonderful first time to Cuba experience.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
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35 Thank katerin2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Barrie, Canada
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed November 29, 2012

I travelled to Cuba for the first time with a group of 35 people from our condominium building. I expected there would be a lot of problems as the resort was not completed and there had been a hurricane shortly before. However, that was not the case at all. the staff did everything they could to make our stay as comfortable as possible. They were also very friendly and helpful. the rooms were excellent and very well looked after. The food was also excellent and a good variety was available. There was some damage to the beach, but repairs were underway and didn't interfere with our enjoyment of the ocean. Any small problems were dealth with immediatly. The only negitive comment I have is, the shows were very loud and the sound was badly balanced which made it difficult to enjoy. The content lacked variety, the shows were almost the same every night, except for one night which included a magic show and a water ballet which were fun and different. I'm sure this will improve when the resort gets on it's feet. I think I would consider a return visit and would certainly recommend the resort to others.

Room Tip: If you are not satisfied with your room the staff will do what they can to make you happy. We were o...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
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28 Thank Joe J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Port Colborne, Canada
Level Contributor
17 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 117 helpful votes
Reviewed November 27, 2012

General information

Franz Acevedo Heinsen, the General Manager who you will see around the resort checking on things and talking with guest and staff. Thank you from my family you and the staff are doing a wonderful job.

The resort is located between Memories Varadero and Paradises Varadero

420 room’s total which include 48 Privilege Deluxe rooms, 24 Privilege Junior Suites and 4 handicapped. There are handicapped bathrooms located in the front of the resort if you are not in your room.

No ocean view for any rooms - due to the way it has been built and in order to respect the vegetation, you will be close to the ocean, but you won't be able to see it from your room. All 2 storey Villas with balcony or terrace

They do have connecting rooms available, but the hotel cannot guarantee them. Once you have your reservation confirmed, contact the reservations department with your booking number so we can take note of it and try to fulfill your request.

2 pools (one for privilege guest only) both have some shade around pools, in the larger pool you can walk into it with a hand rail if you can not use the ladder.
plus children’s pool and wading pool. Last week there were umbrellas up and if you want one just request one.

In the privelge section there is now opened the small restarunt for al carte breakfast and bar opened till 10 at night.. all top shelf liquor and you may purchase finer bottles of wine and champange. This is the location where you can put in your reservations for the al cartes. There is a pool bar that you will be taken care of with pool side service by George or Ayda – they made our days and did their jobs very well. The pool area has shaded areas…

Note: if you go into the priveldge section and don’t have a room there you will be asked to leave the area very nicely.

They have a no reservation and no restriction policy for our a la carte restaurants, you can go to the alcartes as many times as you want.

Note: that Privilege room can put in reservations for the alcartes only, as this is part of their package.

Men must wear long pants and sleeves on shirts in alcartes, you will not have entrance to the al cartes if you are not dressed apporipately.

The hotel will be offering general room service from 11am till 11pm and Privilege guests will have an extended time from 7am till 11pm.

Gym in spa area, good equipment, I did enough walking for the week I did not use but speaking with those who did, they were thrilled with the quality and variety of the equipment.

Spa has a lot of packages. Looks really nice in there. Husband had his hair cut there was very happy with the service. A lot more pampering than just going to the barber here at home.

Beach wide and deep with, Palatas on the beach (more are being installed everyday) and volley ball net installed
Water sport equipment: catamarans, windsurf, kayak and snorkeling equipment on site

Entertainment staff on beach, yoga, dance lessons, volley ball game etc during morning
they move to pool area in afternoon, they provide a fun filled day if you choose to partake.

Kids club, speaking with people, their kids just kept wanting to go back to this area
They have built a really nice Teens Club, only one in the Varadero that will have videogames.

Disco …latest equipment, good music, lights and smoke machine, our son and his girlfriend liked it, there were not a lot of people who used it but the resort had an older crowd so as the demographics of the people changes it will be used more or less.
Note: the outside noise from the disco has quieted down considerably

Medical centre thankfully we did not need this service, but nice to know it is there.

Store that you can buy rum and other goods, it also has a humidor area for the wide variety of cigars to purchase.

telephone and internet centre 10 cuc an hour and there are plans to bring in WIFI they are just waiting for permission to do turn on.

2 tennis courts and a free instructor will be on site too
Other court which could be used for basket ball - still needs hoops installed

Honeymooners will receive a fruit plate and a bottle of wine or rum, but it must indicate at the moment of making your reservation through your travel agent.

Weddings in gazebo on beach

Entertainment for evening shows in theatre, very professional and very well done, there is also a bar in this area

They do have a Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/#!/OceanVaraderoAqua where you can post questions to be answered.

Hotel has a car rental where you can rent cars and scooters outside of front entrance

We are a group 5 - 3 generations from the age of 23 to 75 and we had the time of our life. We had 3 rooms in the deluxe section and were granted run of the whole resort.

As soon as you get to the entrance someone was there helping unload your luggage. Front desk staff very organized and check in fast and smooth. You are given room key swipes, towel cards and map of resort. You can change your currency at the far end of this counter.

The lounge directly behind you will be guest relations who will take care of any issue small or large and where you will find your tour reps.

Luggage is put on a large golf cart and you are whisked off to your room, while on golf cart the staff members are pointing out different areas of resort.

We were in bungelow 36 convient to pool, beach, spa and just across to kids area

Our room had a welcome letter from resort, a snack, bottle of rum and a frig with pop, water and soda. Bathroom had a full complement of hygine products and hair dryer that worked on my thick curly hair. Rain shower head in shower stall, deep bath tub that you can also take a shower in, sink area is seperated from shower and toilet area.
Electrical works on a magnetic strip card…220v electrical (bring your convertor kit with you)

In closet there is an iron, board, umbrella, hangers, room for large your luggage and electronic safe (free)

Bedroom has a sofa and room is large - our room had a king size bed, my mothers was set up as two twins. Very nicely decorated, our terrace was set up two chairs and a table.
There are black out curtains, air conditioning worked great which you can control the temperature. On one side of bed on wall were the switches one for the ceiling fan and a bed side light, the other side a bed, bed side light and hall lighting. Beds and pillows were hard but considering every is brand new, this in time will soften up. Management is thinking about a pillow service where you could pick your style of pillow.

I can say enough about the staff, each and every one of them said Hola, had a smile and were friendly, they would go out of their way to help you. From the nice lady who did our room to the landscaper, they were happy to see you and ask if there was anything that you wanted or needed, very attentive to your needs. Guest relations would call and check to see if there was anything that they could do for us…

There were improvements to the resort daily that we could There is landscaping going on all the time, nothing that will bother you, it just making this resort prettier. There were improvements to the resort daily that we could see.

Beach snack bar and bar you will have lunch here and it was wonderful, good variety and tasty
Snack bar by pool with bar ope 24 hours and has you variety of snack foods including pizza made to order
main buffet and a la carte restaurants are air conditioned

Two in privilege guest area top shelf liquor one in al carte area and pool bar
Swim up bar in main pool
Lobby bar
Piano bar
Ranchon Playa Beach snack bar and bar
Beach bar
Pool area bar and snack bar
Theatre bar

Bar drinks were excellent, if you have your favorite tell them the ingredients and they will make for you, lots of choices. Can Crystal and Buccanero beer

3 Alcartes
Oriental – which we tried every item on the menu - son and his girlfriend loved it, we did this alcarte twice while there, the best
Gourmet - try the Varadero if you like Salmon and Prawns (they were beyond huge)
Italian – Lasagne was very good

All food came out hot and some still sizzling… service in the al cartes needs a little fine tuning but given time this will come together.

There are spice type condiments in the buffet, grilling stations (meat and seafood), pizza station, food for the international guests. Morning buffet had peanut butter which was a first for us at any resort in Cuba. I can make a full meal in the buffet and was very happy with the quality.

Security walks around the resort 24 hours, they are helpful if needed.

This resort is the newest in Varadero, I would not think twice about going back if the price is right. My mother who does not travel by herself anymore has asked that I book her for Feb. in the privelge section, she felt extremely comfortable there. I watched the staff cater to her and I feel very comfortable sending her there, knowing that they will keep an eye on her and assist her when needed.

The food is very good and yes food it is very subjective. What I liked is there was no mystery stuff, the food has flavor, looked pleasing to the eyes. Just a word of caution if you see the corn on the buffet and it has little red peppers in it, avoid them at all cost unless you really like beyond hot. The corn was great … the peppers ….. milk for me.

I meet some great people from trip advisor and from their facebook page at the resort, we were there for the engagement between one of our TA member and his lady. Congrats to GaryN and Tabitha.

In the next couple of months when this resort is fully opened and all the little bumps and grinds are worked out it truly will be a 5 * resort, give them a chance they are almost there now. They are not a jumbo size resort and the staff will get to know you. We could not come with anything that make any of us in my family disappointed.

This was the best vacation that we have been on. I wanted to stay at resort but my employer needed me back to work..

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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34 Thank smallworldtraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orillia, Canada
Level Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 103 helpful votes
Reviewed November 25, 2012

I could truly drag this review out forever but I will try to keep it as short as possible. I enjoyed the staff and resort more than any other vacation i've been on. I travel at least twice a year and usually to 4 plus resorts in Cuba, Jamaica, Dominican and Mexico.
The most important positive to me is the staff. Every single staff member from gardeners to management was amazing and I wish I had the chance to walk around to each one of them to personally thank them. I think everybody we walked past greeted us with a warm smile and a "hola". We looked forward to going for our morning coffee to see Carmen, Ivese, May and Yaset. We also made a point of visiting the bellboys Jose Raul and Felix as we loved to joke and torment them a little. Romilio the butler was usually around to help with anybody who had a question or just needed a little help. Berta did a wonderful job taking care of our room and the towel art made us smile everyday. I wish I knew the name of every staff member that was wonderful to us but It would take me days to write them down because I couldn't find one that I didn't like.
We found the food to be above average for Cuba and probably came back about 10 pounds heavier than when we left. We were lucky to spend 2 weeks there and constantly found improvement in every area daily. Management is constantly trying to tweek things and they are doing very well at it.
The rooms were fantastic and clean and any small issues were fixed promptly. The pools were both nice and there is some shade under the pergolas for people wanting to get out of the sun. I believe they are also going to add some umbrellas as time goes on as well. The resort is not totally complete yet as they are still doing some finishing touches on some of the blocks of rooms. It actually took me until day three to notice that so I wouldn't say it would interfere with anybodys vacation. The beach was just being repaired from damage from hurricane Sandy before we left and was it ever huge.
We were also very fortunate to meet members from the trip advisor forum who were an absolute joy to be around. We spent the first week with friends and the 2nd week with new friends that we met there. The entertainment was fantastic especially in the lobby and piano bar.
We would like to thank everybody for helping me pop the question in the Piano bar to my girl as she was absolutly stunned with help from management, staff members, friends and the pianist that night.
We are already planning our next visit there

Room Tip: block 14 around the pool was a great area but a little close to the disco for light sleepers.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
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60 Thank Gary N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Barrie, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed November 25, 2012

We arrived home yesterday from spending a wonderful week at El Patriarca. Our room was located on the 2nd floor of bungalow 21 with a king size bed. Close to the lobby and restaurant area. The beach is now all redone from the damage caused by Sandy. Very large beach area and lots of loungers.

The food was very good, but found that it was not kept very hot at the buffet restaurant. We tried all 3 A La Carte restaurants. The Italian and Gourmet were the best of the 3. Did not particularly enjoy the Oriental. No reservations required for these restaurants. At least two of them are open each night.

Found the pool was very cold. The pool bar is accessible from the water or the pool deck. Staff was very friendly.

The lobby bar was the place to hang out after a day at the pool or beach for a few relaxing drinks.. Also great to visit for your morning cappacino before heading to the buffet for breakfast.

The rooms are very well appointed and spacious. Lots of storage for your clothes and suitcases. I found the beds ok to sleep on but the pillows were large and bulky and not very comfortable.

We would definitely go back to this hotel. There is no information booklet available in the rooms regarding the amenities this resort offers. (ie) restaurants, pool times, how to get towels, times the bars are open etc. Will be interested to see how the resort operates once it is open to full capacity. Right now only half the rooms are completed.

Note: you will need to take your own ketchup as there is none at the restaurants. Closest you will get is their Grill Sauce if they have it available.

Room Tip: Section 20 rooms and bungalows 11 and 12 are closest the the lobby area. Section 30 rooms are close...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
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39 Thank Lynn D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Ocean Varadero El Patriarca

Property: Ocean Varadero El Patriarca
Address: Autopista Sur km 18 | Punta Hicacos, Varadero 42200, Cuba
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Cuba > Matanzas Province > Varadero
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #13 of 63 Hotels in Varadero
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Ocean Varadero El Patriarca 5*
Number of rooms: 420
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Prime oceanfront property stretching more than 200 meters wide, Ocean Varadero El Patriarca is a five-star resort reflecting the 40’s and 50’s Varadero historic architecture. Complete with 420 deluxe rooms, Privilege Deluxe and Privilege Junior Suites; an array of thematic restaurants; a Despacio Spa Centre; Privilege Exclusive Rooms and Services, Privilege Lounge and upgraded amenities. ... more   less 
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