This vacation was booked generally with a budget in mind. Wanted an ocean view room at an all-inclusive with a great price at a hotel with UN-atrocious reviews. The Playa Caleta looked like a great option. The 3.5 star rating made me uneasy but I was willing to give it a try. My past experience in Cuba was at a 4.5 star hotel so that will be the base of my comparison.
- The hotel is the first stop after the airport, so this is good to get off the bus quick. Took a day trip to Havana and we were also the last to be picked up, so that minimized our time on the bus.
- The staff is very friendly and helpful
- The beach is amazing
- The air conditioning worked great
- The water in the shower was warm and the bathroom was fairly modern and fully functional.
- The room was clean
- The view was also beautiful
- This hotel was "coupled" with the next-door hotel "Puntanera" of the same design, so our wrist bands worked as though we were guests at both hotels.
- There was always food available.
- The safe was large and reliable
- The TV worked and had channels in several languages
- There was also a functioning fridge in the room. We found it very useful.
- Didn't get sick (much)
- The road from the highway to the hotel was under construction. It was messy walking and the Varadero 5$ all-day tour bus would not come to the hotel on its route as the road was too bad. We felt a bit disconnected/trapped as a result. Not sure when the construction will be complete, but this was not cool.
- The room was ice cold and had a very strong smell of insecticide when we arrived and the bellboy/man was very aggressive/desperate for a tip. The insecticide smell dissipated through the week, but it was always there.
- The buffet was pretty much the same thing at every meal. Sometimes strange, but sometimes we got lucky and it was very good. - Best to take little bits of things to test, then go back for what you like.
- A la carte restaurants were just OK.
- There were not a lot of people staying at the hotel. It appeared that they only were using the top 2 floors during our stay. It was a bit of a ghost town at that hotel but I assume this was because it was the beginning of the rainy season.
- our front door would not lock properly. We found this out at the end of our stay when we tested it. The security guy came and fixed it, then left. 15 minutes later, it happened again. He played with it and showed us a trick for it to lock properly, then it was ok.
- There was a sulfuric smell of exhaust coming in the room at times. Perhaps exhaust from a generator near the central air conditioning intake?
- The decorative pillows and comforters were majorly stained and really gross.
- The pool was closed (but the Puntanera pool was open to us right beside)
All in all, the value of this trip was there for the price that we paid. We spent a nice week in an exotic, sunny location. My advice would be to check out and test everything in the room, and if unsatisfied, ask to be transferred to the Puntanera next door, which has newly renovated rooms. Once the construction on the road is done and the area is cleaned up a bit, I would go back for that price before the rainy season.
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- Also Known As:
- Playa Caleta Varadero
- Playa Caleta Hotel Varadero