We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“First time in Cuba” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Ocean Varadero El Patriarca

Best prices for -
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
Ocean Varadero El Patriarca
Ranked #13 of 63 Hotels in Varadero
Milton, Canada
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“First time in Cuba”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 25, 2013

Myself and my boyfriend stayed at Ocean Varadero El Patriarca from September 12-September 19 2013. At first glance, the resort lobby was beautiful as it was spacious and had marble tiled floors. The front desk personnel didn't seem very friendly and lacked passion. We were given a welcome drink and then driven to our room with a mini tour of where everything was. The resort is not large in size so everything is a short walking distance to get to.

GROUNDS
The resort grounds were clean. However, we found that the grass was dead in several areas around the resort which took away from the look of it. We did see gardeners out every morning though.

ROOM
The room was spacious and was very nice. However, after being in the room for 7 days we were able to tell that the furniture needed repair and the mirror and headboard were dirty with some sort of stain. The washroom was big as it contained a standup shower, a tub and a toilet and the sink was located right outside of it. We did not have a problem with ants in our room. We did bring ant killer spray as mentioned in a review. This worked wonders as other people did complain about ants.

BUFFET
The buffet was good during breakfast, lunch and dinner and we had no complaints on finding stuff to eat. Everyone told us that the food is extremely horrible in Cuba, but in our opinion those are just really picky people. We stuffed our faces with the food and did enjoy it. The a la carte restaurants were good. We really enjoyed the Oriental restaurant and had it three times during our stay as there was no limit. This is the first time, I have experienced a no reservation policy at the a la cartes which I liked. Every time we went to the restaurants we didn't have to wait very long due to the low season. However, I'm sure that it would be difficult to get a seat during high season. There was a 24 hour restaurant where we were always able to get something to eat when the buffet and a la carte restaurants were closed.

POOL
The pool was very nice and once again because of the low season, it was always possible to get a lounger. We did notice that the tiles were missing in parts of the pool and tiles were also falling off and floating around the bottom of the pool as we were swimming in it. During our 4th day at the resort, the main pool was completely shut down as the pool tiles were being repaired. Although, we were sad that the pool shut down, we were all given access to the privilege pool which was smaller in size. Once again, no problem getting a lounger there either because of the low season.

BEACH
The beach was very nice as well and we did not have any problem in finding a hut to sit under. The water was clear and the sand was white. There were a lot of shells on the sand but we didn't seem to be bothered by it.

DRINKS
I have travelled to other resorts in the past and have found the alcoholic drinks to be very watered down. We found the drinks here fantastic including the wine that was served at the buffet and restaurants.

STAFF
We really enjoyed the staff at the lobby bar as that is where we spent most of our time relaxing and drinking. We especially enjoyed talking to Yania, Nestor, Jerry and Roberto. They were all very attentive when our drinks were running low. The staff at the a la cartes were very nice as well. My boyfriend especially enjoyed Chabeli. :)

ANIMATION TEAM
I have been to other resorts and found that the animation team was far more active around the resort. I found that the animation team was lacking at this resort. There were about five of them that we would see on a regular basis. During the first 3 days at the resort, the animation team would play games at the pool which kept everyone involved. However, shortly after, the games stopped. I also found that the animation team did not do any of their own performances during the night shows that started at 9:45 pm. All of the performances were hired from outside the resort. The entertainment was good, however, nothing spectacular.

EXCURSIONS
We booked a day trip to Havana which we found to be a waste of money as our tour guide was horrible. She chose to speak on a microphone really close to her mouth on a small bus that seated 10 people. We would have enjoyed Havana a lot more if we knew what it was that we were looking at. We also booked a jeep safari tour which we had a lot of fun on and was well worth the money. We def recommend this tour.

Overall, being my first time in Cuba this was a good resort and I would recommend it to other people. However, I would not return as there are a lot of other resorts that I would like to experience.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Luv2CtheWorld360
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

3,353 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    1,334
    1,243
    517
    157
    102
See reviews for
948
1,468
40
11
Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (829)
Date | Rating
  • Czech first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Hungarian first
  • Italian first
  • Norwegian first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Slovak first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Москва, Россия
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 25, 2013

First of all I want to thanks the animation team: Jenny, Roberto, Joel, Yandy, Dayan. Guys really made ​​our holiday unforgettable!

Now about the hotel:
My wife and I stayed here in September 2013. The hotel is almost at the end of Varadero. It is located in the former territory of the park. There are a 420 rooms in the hotel, so people are not so much. Pretty quiet and well suited for a relaxing holiday. Nice and friendly staff. Clean rooms. The grounds are quite clear, however, there are a lot of plastic cups on a beach, although nearby there is a trash. Another disadvantage is not enough variety of food.
However, it is a great hotel. I think we'll be back here again.

Detailed information you can found at the official site.

Room Tip: Ask for a room away from the disco (music bar).
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Vitaly_gc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
La Ronge, Canada
Level Contributor
38 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 113 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 24, 2013

This was our 4th trip to Cuba and our 2nd to Varadero. The other 3 stays were all at Iberostar properties, and this property is definitely inferior!
My first impression when we pulled up was good… the lobby is very nice with beautiful marble tile, modern furniture and is large with a lot of seating areas. Both sides of the lobby are open air and have a water feature in the middle with tables all the way around. This was our favorite place to sit in the evenings.
Rooms are very attractive, done in beautiful greens and browns with modern fixtures and a very comfortable king size bed. There is a sofa, a large table, coffee maker and flat screen TV. Rooms are sufficiently spacious for 2 people and the set up is really nice. The bathroom, with shower , very large soaker tub and toilet are in a separate room, with the vanity just outside that room. There is large closet with a built in dresser and shelves, with also houses the safe. The balconies are small and very cramped. The extremely negative thing about the rooms were the tiny ants… they were everywhere! They didn’t bite ( we didn’t get any bites of any kind at all during our stay ), but they were annoying. I did not at anytime see them in our bed, but they were always on the counter tops and the night stands! The maid service was not great… the rooms were “attended to” every day and we had awesome towel art every day, but the rooms were never really clean! Mirror not cleaned, vanity top not wiped, shower not cleaned, floors not swept. And just for the record we did tip daily… did not improve the service though!
The buildings are like townhouses with 8 units in each building. It is amazing to me though that this resort is less than a year old… it is showing so many signs of disrepair and appears very run down already. Example … the pool was being completely renovated while we were there ( we were aware of the shut down for repairs when we booked, so this has no bearing on my review ). All of the tiles were removed and were being replaced, with less than a year of use, it seems very soon to need such a major repair. Many of the buildings showed the same wear as did all of the public washrooms, the bathrooms at the beach always smelled of sewer! I can’t help but wonder what this place will look like in another year!
The food is where the inferiority is really obvious! I know it’s Cuba and one does not go to Cuba for the food, however, the main buffet was actually terrible for lunch and dinner. Terrible because the hot food was only luke warm and the cold food was also luke warm….. There was little choice and what choice there was, was the same every day! There was no lettuce salad at any meals and there was only one pasta salad and one potato salad offered the entire week. There was the usual, pizza, pasta, fish and sometimes beef. Much of the buffet trays were not even being used. In the hotels defence though, we did visit during low season, so perhaps the buffet would be much better when the hotel was busier? Breakfast was always pretty good with enough choice to keep it from getting boring! We ate at all 3 al a cartes, which you do not need reservations for. This was great during low season but it would be very chaotic when the resort is full. I can imagine very long waits for a seating when the resort is busy, as the restaurants are all small with limited seating! The meals at the al a carte restaurants were all pretty good.
The pool (on the days we were there before it closed for renos ) is very nice, large and has plenty of loungers. The swimup bar was great and service was very good. We were able to use the pool the first 2 days of our stay and we did enjoy it. The Privilege pool was open to all guests after the main pool closed and it was also very nice… small, but when reserved for only the privilege guests once the main pool is open again, this pool would be great for the number of privilege rooms available.
The beach is very wide, the sand does have some shells and is not the soft white sand the beach near town has, but it’s still very nice. There are LOTS of palapas, 4 rows with about 40 in each row… Privilege guests have their own section on the beach. I would say that even during the busy season, it would not be hard to get a lounger under a palapa at any given time of the day. There are ample loungers and if you are there early, there is a staff member to set up chairs for you. He vanished after about 10 am though!
The animation team was great, they work very hard to entertain the guests and always had people up dancing and having fun. The service was good for the most part… at times it was hit and miss in the buffet and at the lobby bar. There were actually a couple times when it was hard to get served at the lobby and believe me they were not busy! At other times, the service was excellent… not sure what that was all about, but it was very noticeable, not only by us, but also other guests who commented to us about this! We spoke with a lot of guests and nobody seemed to understand why there was such a difference in service at times…. Even by the same staff members, just seemed like at times they did not care if you were waiting or not! Other times, they seemed to go out of their way to serve you. (??)
All in all, we had a good vacation at Ocean Varadero! I would not return to this resort though and I would not recommend it to a friend either… mostly because I know that there are other resorts there that are so much better. We got a great deal on this vacation, so it was worth what we paid, however, had I paid full price ( high season price ) I would have been very unhappy. The rate at which this resort is deteriorating is puzzling to me… obviously it was not well built to begin with.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Travel4Fun56
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Keighley
Level Contributor
12 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 24, 2013

We had the best ever holiday here. Yes the tiles in the pool where bad, but they where fixing them the day We was leaving. Our room was cleaned every day and the food was good. The beach and the entertainment staff where brilliant really tried to get everyone to have fun. Jenny was amazing she remembered everyone's name after only meeting them once. The life guard was a lovely man and so funny. And the pool bar staff where the best. I loved the piano room the bar staff always had a smile on there face. As for going out of there way, they couldn't of made our 20th wedding an, any better they brought us breakfast in bed. Wow it was a feast as well. Then they booked us into one of there restaurant for a romantic meal. The staff could not of made us feel any more special then they did. thank you. Please be open minded when going to Cuba, it's not a rich place. But what they do have is well worth a visit. X

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Joyce T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Eastbourne, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 23, 2013

My partner and I travelled to Cuba 29th August for two weeks. This resort is lovely. Firstly, when you travel to Cuba, it is not comparable to resorts like Mexico as it is completely different. The resort grounds are well looked after I saw a Gardner there everyday cutting the grass making sure the grounds looked tidy.

The reviews which say "our room wasn't cleaned" "our minibar was not restocked" seem unreasonable. This happened to us once we rung up the concierge who had a maid come to our room straight away to do it and it never happened again. If you ask for anything at this hotel the staff will go out of their way to ensure it is done.

We stayed in the privilege section which you can have an "a la carte" style breakfast which was lovely. Carmen who works in this breakfast section and bar is absolutely lovely. Everyday she has a huge smile on her face and welcomes you, remembers what drinks you like and is so friendly. The bar stuff at the privilege pool bar are also lovely, Jorge particularly. One day my partner, myself and another couple got caught in a storm by the pool and I was quite anxious. Jorge reassured me that everything was okay and it would pass which it did!

The bar stuff at the lobby bar are brilliant, such great people and really made our evenings fun! Particularly Jorge L, Jerry, Nestor and Ivis, they made the best cocktail (lemon daiquiri with blue we called it). Every night they had so much energy and made you feel really at home. The other bar staff yaimara, Yania, yilian were also lovely. Plus Jenney from the entertainment team at the beach, she is fantastic at getting everybody involved.

The food in Cuba has a lot of comments by looking at reviews in all Cuban hotels, the food in this hotel is good. A lot of choice, paella, freshly cooked meat and fish, pizza, pasta all freshly made in front of you. Nelson in the buffet is lovely always cooks the noodles, rice and pasta in front of you and always has a smile on his face. The a la carte restaurants are nice, we particularly liked the gourmet and oriental.

The beach is lovely, there was always sun beds for us no matter what time of day it was.

The staff in this hotel are fantastic, everybody says hello to you, the golf buggy drivers are always driving around picking you up to take you to wherever you are walking and are always very happy and chatty!

Please don't let negative reviews put you off this hotel, the staff are amazing, the rooms are fantastic. If something is not right, ask! They will go above and beyond. About the tiles in the pool they are all being redone as I write this review they were being redone the week I left the resort. Cuba is very different to other resorts as I said before, it is not as glamorous as say Mexico but it is very Caribbean and you feel very safe there.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Grace O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
1 review
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 21, 2013

We were there in the week of Sep.12 to Sep. 19/ 2013. Best & friendly Main Lobby bar tenders like- Nestor, Yania, Ivis & Jerry and also the Beach Bar Louis & Co.We live in unit 2416 (ground floor), I personally like my unit maid a lot. She really take time to clean our room & make sure we're free from Ants attack at night. I have been to Cuba for only 5 times & she is the best maid I had ever meet. We ready miss her a lot, too bad she is off on the day of our departure. We ready miss u & keep it up on your job. All the best to u & your family.
Our only comment are bad Lunch with not much choice. Throughout the whole 7 days, we basically eat the same kind of Lunch everyday. Can u imagine, how bad it was??? There need to change this!
I wish to re contact with the couple from Dublin- Eric & wife, sorry we miss each other on our last day in the resort. All the best to u & your wife, hope to see u again somewhere in Cuba or Dublin. Remember I always try to be in Cuba during the week of 911.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Anthony T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto
Level Contributor
15 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 21, 2013

I don't think anyone expects a gourmet dining experience in Cuban all-inclusive resorts, but it was the food at El Patriarca which really brought down the experience.

This is to say the beach, the room and the overall resort were pretty good while the food was way below average, based on 7 trips to Cuba. Certainly not expected for a five star.

The rooms are fairly new, but as noted by others poor workmanship makes the rooms look older than they actually are. This didn't bother us too much and we did not have any problems with ants or bugs, even though we were put on the ground floor.

Side note - we requested to be put on the second floor, about a week prior to the trip. Upon our arrival they said they couldn't accommodate, because the hotel was full - which was a lie, the hotel was only at 30% capacity based on my guestimate. In any case, the ground floor rooms worked out OK.

Towels - they've got to do something about the towels. The towels in the rooms and the beach towels were stained, worn and mismatched. Not how a five star resort should present itself.

The beach is very nice, although there are some sharp shells and one can get cut if not careful. During our stay, there were plenty of spots available under umbrellas, due to low occupancy of the hotel.

Didn't spend much time at the shows, so I can't really comment on these...

I prefer ocean over pools, so I did not use the pools and can't comment on problems others had with the tiles, etc.

Back to food... El Patriarca scores poorly on variety, quality and repetitiveness. There was a fairly limited number of choices every meal and the choices were repeated often.

The quality was not as good as at other resorts and it's the simplest things - margarine instead of butter, same low end processed meat every day (where's the prosciutto?) , Orange juice a-la Tang, same cheese for days, watered-down coffee, green fruit and so on... That being said, we didn't go hungry.

There are a couple of grills going at each meal, so one can have a steady diet of freshly prepared fish or meat along with some of the other stuff from the buffet.

One pleasant surprise was the bar in the lobby, it had some single-malt scotch (Glenlivet-12) as well as higher end blended scotch/whiskey options such as Chivas. The red wine was also drinkable and usually plentiful.

Overall, it was an OK experience, but we will not go back to El Patriarca...

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank where2next43
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Varadero
1243.2 mi away
Hotel Villa Lodge 4 Epices
Hotel Villa Lodge 4 Epices
#5 of 7 in Grand Cul-de-Sac
4.5 of 5 bubbles 46 reviews
1226.7 mi away
Sol Hotel
Sol Hotel
#5 of 8 in Oyster Pond
4.5 of 5 bubbles 176 reviews
0.0 mi away
Hodelpa Garden Suites
Hodelpa Garden Suites
#2 of 11 in Juan Dolio
4.0 of 5 bubbles 173 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
0.0 mi away
Royal Palms
Royal Palms
#1 of 3 in South Hill
5.0 of 5 bubbles 60 reviews
6.7 mi away
Barcelo Solymar Arenas Blancas Resort
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Ocean Varadero El Patriarca? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

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
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 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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com so you can book your Ocean Varadero El Patriarca reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing