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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. :)
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.
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.
- 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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