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“Glorious setting, lovely place, decent food.”

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Ocean Varadero El Patriarca
Ranked #13 of 64 Hotels in Varadero
Reviewed March 18, 2013

We have just returned from this resort with an AirCanada vacation from Montreal. The resort itself is very nice - lovely staff, gorgeous setting, clean, spacious rooms - all very good in terms of an all inclusive.
My only 2 complaints are more to do with the all-inclusive system and travelling in Cuba itself.
Getting to and from on a package is a bit of a nightmare - and it would be nice if there was a hotel shuttle going into town but the bus system works - for 4 people cabbing is much more efficient and about the same cost.
The restaurants have good food but the restaurant reservation system is flawed as 'privilege' guests make reservations that they don't keep and the places are half empty - perhaps a 15 minute window of arrival would fix this problem.
All in all - a great place to spend a week.
Getting non-alcoholic beverages is a bit of an issue = especially water - but you can always get it from the bars.

Room Tip: try to get some distance from the nightclub... :-)
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with friends
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3  Thank dickeyclan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
OCT-CustomerService, Manager at Ocean Varadero El Patriarca, responded to this reviewResponded April 14, 2013

Dear Guests,

Thanks for sharing yours comments. We are glad to hear you enjoyed your stay with us.
We have passed your comment regarding the reservation window to our F&B manager to review what happened since in fat the established time for this is 15 minutes and this is even printed in the reservation slip. We hope is not too long before we get the chance to host you again.

Regards,

The Management
Ocean Varadero El Patriarca

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed March 18, 2013

I have been to many resorts in the Carribean and have much experience with the overall perception of a resorts when it comes to comparing with other resorts in Cuba.
The major positives for this resort are:
1. Nice Layout of the grounds-clean, however the vegetation still needs time to mature
2. Rooms are very clean-fridge restocked daily
3. Food quality varies from day to day, but nonetheless is satisfactory
4. Plenty of beach chairs available including the palapas
5. The night shows are excellent, however some of shows are a bit boring to watch. The good shows are the Magic Show, Clown Show, Couples Show.
The major Negatives of this resorts are:
1. The Animation Team needs to spend time with the guests than eachother. The activities that were scheduled were attended by no more than 5 people. The Animation Team I believe lack character and entertainment qualities.
2. The staff at the main lounge bar seemed to want to spend time talking and laughing with each other, rather than provide customer care service. This made guests feel unwelcomed.
3. The snack bar service is satisfactory, however if you want a snack ie fries, ham & cheese toast after 11pm, the line-up wait is more than 30 minutes. Instead of the bartender taking orders from everyone at once, they choose to take orders one at a time.
4. Overall, I did witness that half the staff were professional and honestly did provide excellent service. For the other half, I am suprised to see the lack of respect and ignorance they present to the guests.
Overall, the resort itself is great, however I have never seen staff be borderline rude. Thts attitude and service would not be accepted in any hotel in Toronto. Management should open up their eyes and start Customer Training Service ASAP.

Room Tip: Rooms in Block 4 5 6 are good.
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Mac L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
OCT-CustomerService, Manager at Ocean Varadero El Patriarca, responded to this reviewResponded April 14, 2013

Dear guest,

We thank you for taking the time to share your comments and your observations. We apologize if any of our staff at any given moment did not perform or showed a proper attitude as they are expected to. Since some time now, have been immersed in doing some staff chances as well as staff rotation to improve performance in different areas. This to solve any weak links we may have within the service areas. We have also a service training program which we will be reviewing on the light of this feedback. We hope you allow us another chance to host you again as part of our valued returning guests to show you a great time in sunny Cuba.

Best regards,

The Management
Ocean Varadero El Patriarca

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 18, 2013

My partner and I stayed at this resort from march 7 to the 14 and we had the greatest time. The food was much better then we thought it would be, although they could add a few items to the menu. Ask for your pizza cooked well. The privileged package is well worth the money and the breakfast in the privleged lounge is unreal. Some amazing staff we encountered were yoel, Jenny, gorge and the butlers think his name was yudin. One thing I wish this resort would have a cart to take you from the lounge to then main area that would make things a lot easier for people. Also I wish the Internet in the privleged lounge was working while we were there. A big negative was the staff at the front desk, they were very rude and would not do anything to help make your vacation better. They spoke Spanish the whole time to each other and gigged while you waited for them to do anything for you. I called to get late check out and they said no but then I went to the privleged check in/ concerige service and they did it for me. They would not ever say hola to you when you walked up. Very rude, but that being said we had the best vacation at this resort. Most of the staff would do anything for you and we're so nice. I would recommend this resort to my family and friends

  • Stayed: March 2013
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1  Thank Jennbee123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
OCT-CustomerService, Manager at Ocean Varadero El Patriarca, responded to this reviewResponded April 14, 2013

Dear guest,

We are happy to hear you enjoyed your stay at our resort and at our Privilege Section.
We are very sorry to read your comments about our Front Desk staff and have passed these onto our Front Desk Manager to evaluate her staff and take all necessary measures.
We will pass your comments with our compliments to Yoel, Jenny, George and Yaidiel (the butler) for having a positive effect on your vacation. We hope is not too long before we see you again and get the chance to host you as part o our valued returning guests.

Regards,

The Management
Ocean Varadero El Patriarca

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 18, 2013

The good:

Beaches are beautiful.
Great beach bartenders.

The bad:
Cheap decor.
Paper thin walls.
Terrible service.
Long line ups for restaurants and bars.
Poor front desk service.
Terrible food.

If you are looking for a week at the beach to relax and drink, this place is fine. But if you like to eat well and service with a smile I would look elsewhere. I was very disappointed with this resort and will probably never return to Cuba.

Room Tip: Try to ask for a room near the beach and pool area. If you have a room on the outer edges you spend...
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
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6  Thank Stella P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
OCT-CustomerService, Manager at Ocean Varadero El Patriarca, responded to this reviewResponded April 14, 2013

Dear guest,

We are sorry to learn you did not enjoy your stay with us and for falling short on your expectations. We would have welcome being informed on how your felt while still at the resort which might have allowed us to find a more timely solution to help you have a better enjoyment of your vacations. Rest assure we will keep working hard on a daily basis to always improve our service and offer to our guests.

Sincerely,

The Management
Ocean Varadero El Patriarca

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 17, 2013

This is my 3rd time to Cuba and it was the worst. This resort is too new and there is absolutely nothing to do.
The main pool is very shallow and too cold to enjoy.
The beach was okay but it was windy the whole time were there (March break - Mar. 10-17) and there were jellyfish everywhere washed up shore.
The food was absolutely disgusting and my stomach was sick for days.....
Drinks were okay but service dismal. If you didn't wave a peso at the bartender, forget about getting service. Piano bar was quite tiny! Just a few couches and a bar.
The check in process was the worst. After travelling all day, we waited in a line that didn't move. The other line emptied out before our eyes. There was only two people working and the one who waited on us was incredibly ineffecient.
On a rainy day, I was offered a deck of cards by the entertainment staff, and it was held together by an end of the condom. I was shocked and disgusted...and my kids were wondering what kind of elastic it was!! I have never seen that in my life!The staff left it with me but ended up taking it away and apologizing; they likely did not want to see a picture of it on TripAdvisor.
THe shows were rudimentary and boring. They started so late each night around 9:45pm. Nothing to do before and only the disco afterwards. There is a basketball court without any nets. One ping pong table in a massive room. NO poolside activites.
The line ups outside the a-la-cartes were very long each day. They lines ups block the hallways and no one moves to let people pass. It was not efficient. We went to all 3 restaurants because our family stayed in Privilege and were able to make reservations. Even with a reservation we had to wait almost 1/2 hour. There were many empty tables with a throng of waiting guests. It made no sense whatsoever.
Visited the spa with my daughter. We were not given robes, or towels or anything. The towwls in the treatment room were dirty. It was really quite gross. They didn't'ask me for ID or anything, just my room number. I could have been Jane Doe and they wouldn't have known. The sauna's were cold and there were no towels to be found anywhere.
I was incredibly disappointed in this resort and do not think it was ready to be opened. I will not return.

Room Tip: We stayed in the 51 block and it was very centrally located.
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
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19  Thank Kingston_kid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 17, 2013

We were at the Oceans Varadero from March 2nd to 9th. Our overall experience was fantastic. I feel the hotel really did a great job especially given it has only been open for a matter of a few months. I found all the staff to be helpful, cheerful and attentive. Take the right attitude with you and you will have a great time. It is a vacation remember.

The hotel itself is clean and new. To be expected. The rooms were above what I had envisioned. Very modern and very nice. Some of the complaints I read about seem very inconsequential. We had upgraded to Privilege and felt it was well worth it. The breakfast section for Privilege is outstanding as is the location of the rooms for it. The upgrade also offered premium alcohol but it was not hard to find a good drink outside of this. A good decision to make going Privilege but the standard rooms were also very good.

The beach was fantastic – a really good stretch of sand. The Oceans Varadero had an abundant amount of beach palapas – more it seemed than other hotels. Lot of chairs around the pool. More than larger hotels near us. Nice work. That alone will get me to come back. Some complained about towels but this was a non-issue for us. Always there and easy to exchange.

The beach buffet lunch location and food was very good. Overall, I was happy with the food. Some expect hotels in Cuba and all inclusive resorts to be a Gordon Ramsey meal every night. You won’t get this here or anywhere else in Varadero but you will find enough to eat and enjoy it. For the al a carte restaurants, I liked the Gourmet the best. Might have just been what I had each time. Were they the best meals I have ever had? Of course not but I was not expecting that. The location, the company, the service, the vacation is what is was about for us. The main buffet was fine. A little to open for my liking but once again, well within my expectations. The service was always good there. Many times I saw the chef coming out to inspect the buffet at the beach restaurant. They paid attention to making sure all was topped up and going OK. Nice job. Many comments seem to be around trying to get into the al a carte restaurants. Most figured out that all you need to do is put your name down on the list at the restaurant when it opens and 6:30 and come back. Everyone seemed to want to eat right at 6:30 so things get busy and you could be disappointed. There are a lot of guests if everyone wants the same dinnertime. The 8:00 and 9:00 seating never seemed to be an issue. We ate at 8:00 each night to give us more time during the day and to get ready. Seating or waiting was never an issue.

The GM of the hotel is working hard to make this a great location and is seen walking around trying to make it a good experience for all. The staff all did a great job – I had no issues. You need to pay attention to the internet. You need to not only disconnect your wireless connection but also logout of their main server in order to not have the meter running using up all your paid minutes. You can buy a wireless card, accessed in the lobby only, for $8 CUC for 30 minutes. Not too bad.

There is a great Nature Reserve close to the hotel. $5 CUC each to walk the route. Takes about 45 minutes and is worth the visit. There is a cave you can get into and stand up in once you get in. Pretty cool experience. You can rent a moped for $25 CUC for the day. Not a bad deal – good to take into Varadero and stop by the Nature Reserve. Make sure you see the large cactus on the property. The entrance is off the beach.

My only complaint did not come from the hotel but the Hola Sun vacation representative. She was argumentative and wrong with much of her information. Telling us she has been doing this for over 20 years and knows what she is talking about. She tells Canadians’ they can bring back two 750 ml bottles of alcohol each. Wrong information – it is 1.14 liters each and has been this way for years. She also would not take Scotia or CICB credit cards saying they are American banks. Once again wrong. Both issues by the way were correctly stated in the Hola Sun binder in the lobby. Guess she needs to read her own companies book. I ended up buying two tours from other companies in the lobby and they had no issue with the two banks.

Won’t hesitate to go back to this hotel again. Will be my only choice for Varadero.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Sean M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 17, 2013

This was our first trip to Cuba. The hotel is very modern and the rooms are spacious. Our room was kept very clean . I was really pleased they honored our room requests that I had made in advance. Block 50 is a nice section and close to the beach. We always found something to eat at the main buffet-pass on the beach buffet. Selection is not as good at the beach buffet.They even had roasted turkey one night. We tried the a la cartes. We walked right in the Oriental and had no trouble getting reservations for the other two. I liked the Oriental. Portions were a good size. Most staff were wonderful. Yoel, the gardener was super friendly and welcoming. People like him are why we would want to come back. My husband and son really enjoyed meeting Eric, the pizza chef, and I always liked getting pasta made by Nelson. We had a wonderful server( at the main buffet) when we sat in the far left corner at the back but didn't get her name. These people give the hotel the charm. Unfortunately, the charm does not extend to the front desk. We did not even get a ola when we checked in. They did not welcome us to their hotel and barely spoke when we exchanged money. I really don't understand why the front desk people are the least inviting of all the staff. They really took away from the friendly atmosphere that is abundant everywhere else. We had a late check out so the courtesy rooms are perfect for getting showered before leaving. We requested one the night before. There was plenty of shade on the beach and lots of chairs. The hotel was at full capacity but we never felt crowded. We had no problem with towel shortages, bug bites, or ants. My advice is not to worry about the small things and enjoy this beautiful country

Room Tip: Block 50 is close to the beach and quiet
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with family
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3  Thank Capergirl16
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

Address: Autopista Sur km 18 | Punta Hicacos, Varadero 42200, Cuba
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Cuba > Matanzas Province > Varadero
Amenities:
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 64 Hotels in Varadero
Price Range: $195 - $481 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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