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“Arenas Blancas Has Improved”
Review of Barcelo Solymar

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Barcelo Solymar
Ranked #30 of 64 Hotels in Varadero
Reviewed April 29, 2013

We have been guests at Arenas Blancas resort in Varadero for 3 different times. Our last trip was in March, 2013. Though we have always enjoyed the resort, it has improved over the last few years. Food quality is better and more choices, the pool and grounds are very well maintained, the Alacarte restaurants are very good (eg Spanish, Chinese. Mexican), the staff are all very courteous and helpful. Front desk staff are very effective at their jobs.
We were particularly impressed with Yenifet (and her ability to converse in 3 languages), Jorge & Julio (Chinese), Liliancy (my favourite), Julio and Dunisky (Pool Bar), Gabriella (Towel service), Joel, Olga, Estefan and Tamara (Buffet); Ana and Mevelys at the Solymar buffet; so many great people. Alvaro, the manager was very appreciative of feedback and is dedicated to making the resort a first class destination.
Arenas Blancas is a perfect location for walks downtown and all of the very interesting stores, friendly people. The place could use an aggressive schedule of repainting the outside walls which is difficult due to the damage from wind, maybe some introduction of more grains for breakfast, increased quality of the pizza served would help but this is a wonderful place to spend time.
We feel like family at the resort and will always come back at least once per year.

Room Tip: It is always best to book a Superior Room with Ocean view. They are great rooms and always kept ver...
  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Ken R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 29, 2013

We traveled from 6-20 April and stayed at the Solymar- two couples (over 50). Mostly everything was great. Beautiful beach (except for the smokers throwing cigarette butts in the sand). Food was good-be sure to try the a la carte restaurants and the buffet at the Arenas Blancas since you can use the facilities at both resorts. The buffet at the Solymar has more choices but the buffet at the Arenas Blancas was quieter. Check-in was very slow - they need more staff at the front desk. The staff were really nice and helpful though. Changing money wasn't a problem but getting single pesos was always a problem (we like to tip). Our first room (3401)had shower problems that we reported every day....it was never fixed so we changed rooms. Room was always clean and we got fresh towels every day.
Excursions were great. We went to Havana, the catamaran and the Jeep Safari and loved all three. Went to Varadero twice, once on the double-decker bus and once by horse & buggy. Varadero is only a few minutes away and if you are planning on buying souvenirs, wait until you go there. The prices are better than at the resort. We took an hour tour in a horse drawn buggy from the resort and drove through Varadero for 20 pesos.
The resort has small catamarans that you can go for a ride on (they provide someone to drive it). They take you out for about 20 minutes. They also have peddle boats and kayaks (free).

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with friends
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2  Thank Lise_Barrie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 28, 2013

This resort was a lot of fun! It was my third time to Cuba and I travelled down with my brother. We are both 2 single guys and can fairly say it was a good way to be at this resort. There was a great deal of nice scenery and the weather was great!

We ended up getting a free upgrade to a 2 floor villa after an early error on the part of the hotel. We were treated great by all the workers and service attendants of this resort too. The resort was attached to the Arenas Blancas as well and allowed you to use both resorts freely. It is definitely more of a party resort to say the least.

Amazing bar tenders for the most part. The best one being Karen! Karen worked at the quieter of the 2 pools on Solymar and she made the most perfectly mixed drinks...she is also a sweet heart! Anyone who travels to this resort has to go see Karen!

Overall it was a great experience and left the resort happy, with new friends and memories. Beautiful Beaches as always in cuba!!

Room Tip: Villas are always a great idea! Great water pressure and hot showers!
  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Chad M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 28, 2013

Poor service, good location, maybe once upon of time this was a nice hotel, but now it is just a pale glimpse of the original grandeur, the Reception is terrible !!! Avoid it if possible, the room was not good, the door locks did not work, I asked 2 times to "reprogram" the cards, they seem to not hold the information on the strip, I asked the sliding door on the balcony to be fixed, they never fixed it in the 7 days I stayed there, I asked for a new fridge ( the one in the room did not work ) poodle of water under the fridge ! they placed another old fridge ( this one was working still...)
Very poor cleaning standards, I tipped 2 times in 3 days 5 CUC the cleaning lady, I asked her 2 times to put beer and water in the room, she said she is not supposed to do it since there is another guy who does that, constant hassle with the room cleaning ! did not change the towels even after 3 days !!!
The food was average, stay away from any milk products - since I had an upset stomach starting day 1 because of their yogurt !
There were no bananas on the shelf, I asked for some, the women that served me SNEAKED out of the back room with some bananas under a napkin so I can get some...and other tourists not request them !
Drinks are always watered down, put a lot of ice and sugar very little Cuban Rum, I asked always to put more rum, I got the look from the bartender like I was asking for the moon, had to tip them every time 1 CUC, the beer is average, they serve them in very small plastic containers maybe 75-100 ml ??? I saw people with 4-5 cups ( because I can't call them glasses ) walking around the pool, oh ... there is NO POOL BAR! and NO BEACH BAR !, the nearest to the pool is about 20 yards outside the actual pool, and the nearest from the beach is about 50 - 60 yards away ! .... imagine walking with 4-5 miniature cups of beer in your hands.
I would never return to this resort ! Big mistake !
And the cherry on the pie, the receptionist wanted to overcharge the phone calls when I left the resort, originally asking for 32 CUC for my calls, then when I said I do not have any more cash, and I provided VISA she faked she tries to put my transaction through ... did not work !!! 2 times, asked me for cash to exchange, I said this is all I have ! the VISA card, them she pretended the checked the dial up connections for the device, and surprise the VISA machine WORKED !
And another surprise ! the charge was even less ! 25 USD this would never account for 32 CUC, rather 23 CUC because of their exchange, so it was all a scenario to rip you off !

Room Tip: Avoid at all costs Arenas Blancas 4 storey !!! Choose a bungalow no matter what !!
  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with family
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3  Thank C S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 27, 2013

I have been to Cuba a number of times and this was one of the worst places the beach and pools were good...the bar staff and maids not bad (tips help) the front desk people very rude and not helpful
the food was horrid
I don't know were these people that say it was a good place stayed
I say go someplace else

Room Tip: if you have to stay here get a bungalow
  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with friends
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2  Thank frogudell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 26, 2013

Just got back from cuba and it was an amazing experience! I would definitely go here again, great value! 2 hotels combined sharing the same amenities, such as pools, bars, buffets. The staff was very helpful and hospitable. I would suggest you bring your own ketchup and the variety of food is great but do keep in mind that all resort food in cuba isn't as good as the food you can buy at restaurants in the street which is super close to the hotel and cheap. Rooms were very clean and the location was the best. The entertainment was great, different shows every evening with prizes! Try to book the a la Cartes as the food is better there. We enjoyed the Seafood a la carte and the Mexican mariachi a la carte

  • Stayed: April 2013
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1  Thank Dresre17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 25, 2013

Hello everyone, I just wanted to let you know that we have been going to the Arenas Blancas for the last 3 years. Boy the amount of improvement the hotel has made in the last year has been amazing the food especially has improved 150% the service if you tip the least little bit is amazing and if your not familiar with this we always go to the dollar store before we leave and buy a few things like panty hose, bracelets, combination screwdriver, pencils ect.. about $20 worth which we use as gift for our maid or our waiter or other staff members. All you have to do is treat them right and not as your server and they will treat you like a king or Queen seriously the service was awesome. The room have been repainted and I cannot say anything bad this year at all even there is more entertainment in the lobby every night and on stage. On top of all that they have a wonderful beach which is not too far from town and have outside entertainment very close like the Havana Club one block away and the 62 calle where they dance in the street Perfect! Well Done Arenas Blancas thank you for a wonderful trip see you next year!

Room Tip: Superior rooms are better and if you want Beach side you must mention the side of the pool or if you...
  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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1  Thank MFG1322
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Barcelo Solymar

Address: Carretera Las Americas, Km. 3, Varadero 42200, Cuba (Formerly Barcelo Solymar Arenas Blancas Resort)
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Cuba > Matanzas Province > Varadero
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Ski-In / Ski-Out Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#21 Top resorts Hotel in Varadero
#25 On the Beach Hotel in Varadero
Price Range: $110 - $303 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Barcelo Solymar 3*
Number of rooms: 525
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The hotel Barceló Solymar stands right on the sea front of the top spot of Varadero beach, Cuba’s best-known tourist destination. With a privileged setting, it’s the perfect place to combine rest and relaxation with a wide array of exciting activities. At a short distance from downtown Varadero. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Barcelo Hotel Solymar
Barcelo Hotel Varadero
Barcelo Solymar Cuba
Barcelo Solymar Hotel Cuba
Barcelo Solymar Beach Resort
Barcelo Solymar Varadero Cuba
Barcelo Sol y Mar

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