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“Great resort”

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Ocean Varadero El Patriarca
Ranked #12 of 64 Hotels in Varadero
Reviewed February 1, 2014

All in all resort was great very fairly rated.
Food was very good we travelled 5 people as we do every year to Cuba and the food was outstanding
Rooms beautiful decor and well kept is a little run down for a brand new hotel
Service in the restaurants were simply amazing friendly and really did their best to remember where you liked to sit and your drink order
Shows were ok. Michael Jackson show was the best show I've ever seen.
Kids mini club was excellent great playground and shallow pools for the kids fantastic resort for families
All a la carte were very good the big downside there's no reservations which you would think is good so you can go as many times as you want but you have to line up 30min before dinner service not easy to do with children
Pool area was great only downside here for people who enjoy the pool over the beach no music being played as the entertainment team is on the beach all day until 3 or4pm but lots if seating all the time
Check in and check out was easy and hassle free
But on the downside not a good souvenirs shop had to wait to get to the airport to buy gifts
Beach was very nice and clean water was beautiful
Lobby bar tends to be over crowded with way to many drunk people
Mikes coffee shop was very enjoyable
Disco was nice played good music
Snack bar was fantastic
Didn't eat at the beach restaurant based on other reviews but did go to check it out and I defiantly agree with others about not trusting the food out there

Stayed: January 2014, traveled with family
9  Thank MeyNun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 31, 2014

My husband and I returned today from one week at this resort. We have been to Cuba many times and generally enjoy smaller resorts that are a bit more secluded. Ocean El Patriarca strikes a good balance. We called ahead and asked for a particular section, if possible, and they were able to accommodate us, for which we were both grateful and surprised. Great view of the trees and partial ocean view. We loved our room, and the lovely Diria, who made it up so beautifully each day; loved the beach and all the beach staff (from those who got us our chairs to the bartenders and the servers in the restaurant at lunchtime); the staff in the buffet restaurant were friendly and efficient, without exception; the food itself was not exceptional but was plentiful and good, and we always enjoy trying new things, especially "cake" in all its forms, Cuban stews, squash (they make it special), eggs perfectly fried to order, and so many other treats, such as the previously mentioned churros! Also thanks to the lobby bartenders and servers, and the front desk staff, who were always willing to help, and the lovely lady in the post office kiosk. The gardeners and cleaners who keep the resort so well maintained deserve a special mention, too, as they often go unnoticed and their work makes a huge difference in our overall experience as guests. We didn't try the a la carte restaurants because we dislike lining up and much prefer the informal atmosphere of the buffet. It's one of the things we enjoy when we go to Cuba. One more thing that made this resort great is that the tour rep was able to give us information right away about the Mass schedules in town, which is often difficult to find out about. It's been said before, but I'll say it again: relax and enjoy your stay. The staff are working hard to make your stay enjoyable - let it happen! Remember: you could be doing dishes or making beds or shovelling snow, and all you
have to do is decide when to eat and where. Not bad, eh?

  • Stayed: January 2014
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8  Thank MCPinCUBA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 31, 2014

It's my third time in Varadero, and I must say this hotel is the best out of the other two I stayed at (rated over 4+). The staff are very nice (except for a few I will mention later) and attentive regardless if they are very busy or just randomly walking around the resort. It is fairly new which is reflected on the facilities. It's the first for my husband and he liked this place as well.

The food is not bad at all; I can't say that every food option is great but I think even anyone who is super picky will have an option to eat. I had omelet freshly made every breakfast (which is a typical option in other resorts), a couple of other breakfast selections (quite a few sausage options) and a smoothie made by Martha (she is a super nice lady at the smoothie counter). Lunch at the beach bar is blah but the main restaurant has plenty of selections including grilling options (beef or chicken or fish). Dinner has better selections. The ice cream selection I appreciated although it changed every meal - tropical flavours of guyabano and guava are must tries. I find that they try to change the menu everyday which is good, but for the most part the seasoning etc. could taste the same. They have other selections of desserts - cookies, cakes, etc. I tried the crepes and liked them. We did try the Italian and Gourmet a la carte restaurants and must say that we preferred the main restaurant. The staff of the restaurants are very attentive though with drinks and such. Mike's Coffee & Tea House is a must try. The selections of coffee (with or without alcohol) are great and again staff very friendly! The snack bar serves burgers,sandwiches and pizza (loved the Hawaiian!). The drinks are very good and you have tons of selections - loved the pina coladas!

We stayed at the beach for the most part of our one-week stay. It was windy in some days and the waves were strong but in the days when the water was normal, you could use the kayak, pedal boat and the catamaran which is included in the package. Although for catamaran, they offer you for 20 convertible pesos a trip farther for snorkeling. We didn't go though so can't comment on what you could see compared to our other snorkeling experience. The beach bar has friendly and fun staff. Everytime we went the bartenders were either dancing or singing while pouring you drinks. The beach is nice and even if you go a bit later around 10-11 you will still find beach lounge chairs/bed (in our experience anyway).

The lobby at night is alive. There are entertainers walking around singing and dancing. The piano bar, which is a separate little bar type lounge also located at the lobby has great musicians playing. The bartenders and the servers work non-stop making sure everyone's happy with their drinks. Chabeli, Nestor and the whole staff of the lobby bar are great! There is an open theatre (also has its own bar) that has nightly shows - I find the Michael Jackson and the Musical Theatre performances really entertaining.

The hotel is bungalow style so you do have to walk from one place to the other. We didn't mind this as it gives you a little bit of exercise. Our area was block 23 and it's a 3-5 minute walk to the lobby/restaurant area, 10 minute walk to the pool area (which we went once for an hour before it closed at 6pm) and a 15 minute walk to the beach area. We had a king sized bed room that has a full wooden type long couch and a balcony area. Our maid made sure we were stocked up with water. The fridge I don't think was working properly but we didn't really need anything from it anyway so didn't report it.

They do exchange rate at this hotel. The day we exchanged it was C$100 to 84 convertible pesos. With the bank rate (we went one time in Havana), you only get 3 pesos more so with the line-up that the banks usually have in the city, it's no big deal exchanging at the hotel. There is a tour operator at the lobby which is also used by our Air Canada Vacations rep. We did the Havana modern/colonial/rum/cigar factory one with lunch included for 90 convertible pesos/person. Not bad at all as the bus was comfortable and our tour guide was amazing. There are buses you can take from outside the hotel (about a 10 min walk from lobby) to take you to Varadero city (takes about 20 mins to the city). The non-double decker bus will cost you 2 convertible pesos one way to city but if you take the all-day roundtrip double decker, it's 5 convertible pesos but packed. There is internet access through paid cards, 1 hour is 4.50 convertible pesos (although when they don't have 50 cents they just tell you "no change" so what I did was buy two cards at one time so it's flat 9!).

Overall our experience at this hotel was great! The only real pooper was when we were leaving already - the staff at the reception who I think should be very helpful and accommodating are very dismissive of our queries especially we had questions about extending our room stay, how we could use towels after we check out etc. We eventually got our answers but in different occasions as it's almost like they could only answer one question at one time and leave you hanging. Unfortunately, I didn't get their names. It was a different occasion though when we checked-in and that was super late at night like 11:30 pm. The receptionist was super nice!

Definitely recommend this hotel and will not hesitate to go back.

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank Jennelyn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 31, 2014

This All Inclusive Hotel has almost about everything we expect from a 5-star Hotel. Comfortable and spacy rooms, good and plenty variaty in restaurants and buffé as well as the different bars and the coffee-shop. Polite, friendly and efficiante staff. Clean and well-maintained areas like the pool, the gym and the public spaces. Also the hotel's SPA and buity-/massage area (not included in the all-inclusive package) were very inviting, but with the somewhat stiff prices, we never used that. Finally we enjoyed the daily evening entertainment with proffesional music- and dance-groups. Overall we had a very nice and relaxing week.

Room Tip: Upper floor in the bungalows = less disturbance from the pathway that runs throug the area. Rooms aw...
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  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank andreT138
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 30, 2014

My Wife and I traveled with another couple January 18 - 25. their first time in Cuba our second. We had vowed never to travel to Cuba again but this trip, for them, changed our minds. We will return again mostly thanks to their newer resort, great staff, better food.
I would like to highlight some of these areas. First the Resort is only two years old, so in good repair and every thing works, for example air conditioning, doors windows, lots of hot water. We chose to pay extra for the "privileged area", well worth it. Our room, cleaned expertly by smiling friendly DARLIN had a nice modern look to it with separate glass shower and a big soak-er tub. Lots of room and a big balcony that looked out over our seldom used privileged pool. also a glimpse of the turquoise blue ocean.
For the extra money we had a separate place to have breakfast served at an outside area where you ordered from menus. Beautiful place to sit talk and HEAR each other without shouting as you had to in main dining room with all the clanking of dishes and voices in an enclosed area. The servers, YULAINY and MAYLEN were excellent and as they got to know us we were greeted each sunny morning by hugs and their warm personalities. They would remember how I liked my coffee and what I liked and didn't like to order. Very top notch and professional. They also worked in our small private attached bar where all the "premium" liquor was served.
In this same building was the desk for our concierge YADIRA who performed/looked after everything we asked and inquired about. She even arranged a birthday cake, (more on this), she is training one of my favorite people LAYS, pronounced LIES. This week she will be working solo, so go easy on her. Speak with her and see if you also can detect an English accent and kiddingly as her how it came about. (tell her hello from Phil), She is fun! Here you have access to a computer room too.
Most mornings you will find one of TWO "butlers" at your disposal. We loved JAY best. He never instructed us to go to the front desk to get/arrange something...HE went and DID it, quickly, efficiently and always with his big Colgate smile. He alone was worth paying the extra to be on the privileged side. The other butler, (name forgotten), was older, tried to act more professional but NEVER assisted us in any requests. he always explained where WE could go to get our request accomplished. No personality either, he won't last. For example we asked him to arrange for a birthday cake for TANIA a server/entertainer in piano bar and he said maybe tomorrow, (a day late), so we asked YADIRA, (JAY was on a day off), who produced one no problem for us, on time! She is a sweet great lady. The other butler never followed up with us the next day, useless man.
Visit the piano bar but get there early. Nice little band and they love audience participation. So does TANIA, another of my favorite people. She is funny, sweet, professional and very good for the bar. It should be called TANIA'S BAR! SHE makes it fun.
Now to my favorite place to be looked after, I'll call it "JORGE and IDA'S BAR", located on the privileged pool side area. There you sit relaxed no hustle and bustle from other guests and noisy speakers making you shout. JORGE is a great guy, funny and makes anything you want to drink and will become a friend before your week is over. Bring him a HARLEY hat from Phil. He had a different hat on every day. God we had fun. IDA is the best! She loves a joke and looks after you so well. She loves to tease JORGE and any other staff who happen by. Ask her if she is "commando" today and which guy is like a "Ken - Doll"?
The main buffet area is fine for meals, I never went hungry and still gained 5 pounds. The A la Carts, well they are ok but was not impressed, they tried and we did go to each once. With the privileged bracelet you can make reservations, (JAY made them all for us) and walk right in past the long line of waiting common folk! Haaa! We were called "Fancy - Pants" by a rude lady in line. SORRY! Haaaa.
Overall this is one of our best trips south. We ave been to Mexico 3 times, Jamaica 9 times, Dominican twice. The beach is beautiful, ocean looks incredible, on a windy day great for body surfing, hardly any beach venders, lots of shade and chairs to lounge on. Also they have sky diving, (accompanied), that land you on the resorts beach front you are staying at. My wife did it and felt very safe and loved it. She has more guts than anyone in our group.
Yes the food could be better, more plentiful, but we did not come to CUBA for the food. We came for rest, relaxation, the beach, the warm ocean, fun and finding a new experience and maybe a NEW resort to return to. WE WILL,
Do remember to tip well. They need it.

Room Tip: Pay the extra for the privileged side, well worth it. Use the butlers and Concierge to book anything...
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  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with friends
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12  Thank pwelton52
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 29, 2014

Just returned from a week in Varadero (Jan 18-25) and what an amazing vacation. This was our third trip to this hotel and it is still improving. My sisters and I have never returned to a hotel twice so to go back somewhere 3 times, says it all!

We stayed in the Privilege Section, this is adults only, your own pool with private bar, as well as separate breakfast and lounge area. When you check in you don't go in line at the front desk but in to the Customer Service offices. There we were met by one of our butlers (Romilio) who greeted us with welcoming drinks. He even recognized us as returning guests.

We requested rooms side by side facing the pool and it was no problem. Thanks to Tatianna (our maid for the week) for taking such good care of our room. Special thanks to "J" our butler for the outstanding way he took care of all our requests. Also to Yadia for her outstanding help and friendliness. Many thanks to everyone who took such good care of us at the lounge, (Maylan, Maria and Annalie). Last but not least many thanks to Ayda and George at the pool bar. They always made us feel good and put a smile on everyones face. If you are ever there ask George to make you a mojito special !!

The A La Carte restaurants are very good, we really enjoyed the Oriental, went back twice. The advantage being Privilege, you also get to make reservations where the other guests are "first come first served". We ate at the buffet a couple of times and there is an assortment of dishes for every taste.


Special thanks for Chef Miguel and Mayelin for an unbelievable evening.

We will definitely be returning next year !

Room Tip: Our building 41 was in the shade all day. If you want a room in the sun, ask for building 44 or 45.
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  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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9  Thank WendyM770
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 29, 2014

The El Patriarca is only a little more than a year old. We took the Privilidge package and had a beautiful suite with a private pool at the back and an almost ocean view at the front. What we enjoyed most were the breakfasts at our little private restaurant near the beach. There we were served by two great ladies Maylen and Yulaimi. They were the greatest servers ever and they made our stay at the hotel even more enjoyable. This is a great breakfast spot and it can compare with breakfast restaurants anywhere.Our butler/concierge, "J" was a delight always ready to serve and anything we needed he was there to see to it that we got it .Besides the fact that he is extremely personable he is also quite a social director. At the spa we were treated like royalty by Dailys and her excellent staff. She is pleasant and always in a good mood and we Had excellent massages from Margarita and Frank. This was an excellent experience and we got to use the facilities at our leisure. The Italian resturant was very good the night that Ariel was there since he is so professional and adds a touch of class to the place. We were served by Lili who was excellent. At the buffet we were lucky to get Leydis and Lilima who were caring and pleasant. The best of the best will always be Maylen in the privilidge restaurant at breakfast, but all of the above made our stay very pleasant. On the down side the food needs to improve in both the quality and preparation. Some of meals wer not good and at times at lunch our supper I ate Ice cream and desserts which were not that great at times. The choices are limited I found. Thank god we were well served bsice it made the food almost palatable. This hotel needs an upgrade in the food serves since it is the only weakness. At the prices they charge for an upgraded Cuban vacation they need to get better. If they want to charge top dollar they must compete with other vacation destinations or suffer the consequences. Yes I am a picky eater but chuck roast should not be served as steak nor should the fish be smelly!
Francesco M. ( Montreal,Canada)

Room Tip: The Privilidge Upgrade is well worth it>
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  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Francesco M
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 #12 of 64 Hotels in Varadero
Price Range: $155 - $462 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Ocean Varadero El Patriarca 4*
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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