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“first time in the south definetaly not the last”
Review of Hotel Los Cactus

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Hotel Los Cactus
Ranked #21 of 64 Hotels in Varadero
Reviewed January 10, 2013

Me and my wife travel and stayed at Breeze Varedero Resort. It was our first time in the south. we stayed from November 9 to 16, 2012 and had a fantastic trip. food was good, the cleanliness was excellent, the beach was in great condition even if it was 1-2 weeks after hurricane Sandy.
now for my advice :

-If you plan to stay at this resort make sure you try the coffee bonbon at the coffee shop.
-try the small personal pizza at the beach grill they are fantastic be beware of the hotdog they are good but it a little bit strange in the mouth... try one !!
-if you seek A la carte menu you should have no problem, just ask your server and he'll find you a place the next days.
-we went for the catamaran and dolphin but to our opinion it is not worth the 125$ each. we stop in the middle of the ocean to go snorkeling but none of the 80 person on the boat could see a fish and for the dolphin we stayed about half an hour and around 10 minute in the bassin on a rock and could only touch ...
-if you want night life go to the 62 avenue at the bar it worth it but don't go at The Rumba near the hotel, it is expensive and most of the time there's nobody in there.
-don't bother to spend like 50$ or more at dollarama for toys and other gift, leave 2 pesos everymorning for the room service and they will be even more happy then returning home with a king size bag full of toys and other thing they have in triple or more.
-Go see Humberto at the Buffet in the morning, he make fantastic omelette and ask him to fry up the potato a bit :)
-If you see Noel at the beach grill, get a beer for him, he love's it
-At the beach, there's a chance you might see jellyfish, be careful :)

Anyway we had fantasctic time, met new friends, enjoy our time together and going back in the south April 2013 but this time for another country

Have fun

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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8  Thank Martin C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 10, 2013

Spent Christmas and New year hear, we did have to change rooms due to the noise in the Garden View block, but the receptionist was very helpful. We were upgraded to a suite but the room was musty and needed some upgrading - i understand many already have - but it was quieter (apart form the trolleys bringing all the food to the restuarant at 6am every morning)

But all in all the place grew on us, and yes dont forget you are in Cuba.

Staff great nothing too much trouble, the termal mugs for the drinks - what a great idea and a must!! in fact they would fill them up with champagne...

Gala shows were some of the best i have seen - very professional.

Food was ok and became a bit samey .. we almost got feed up of lobster !!

Our choice to go to Breezes was due to it being adults only which has to be a bonus.

Try it

Room Tip: ask for an upgraded suite
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  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank chin0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 9, 2013

This was my first time traveling to Cuba and I absolutely fell in love with it. I wasn't sure really what to expect upon our arrival, as I read a lot of reviews and they were mixed. I traveled with a close friend from University and it was our first island get away. We stayed December 27-January 3. We had a fabulous time, met so many nice people and the staff treated us like royalty.

Resort: The resort was beautiful, clean, well maintained and easy to navigate. There was a pool, 3 Jacuzzi, tennis courts, basketball courts and a few tiki bars. We spent most of our time on the beach as it was a 1 minute walk from our room.

Room: We stayed in the Junior Suites on the first floor. We were close to the resort beside us, which did play loud music at night - but we survived. Our room was also located in the same building as the disco, but again we survived. We were able to see the ocean from our balcony - which was a bonus for us. The room was average - just like your typical hotel room. This did not bother us because we did not spend a lot of time in our room as we were always out. We always had fresh towels and extra water put in the fridge for us. We left our house keeper small gifts and a few pesos every day - as we did not know if we would have the same house keeper for our whole stay. We had no issues with bugs.

Beach: what can I say - it was AMAZING! White sand, turquoise water! The beach was kept very clean and there were always enough lounge chairs - no matter what time you went to the beach. There were vendors on the beach - but they did not hassle us. They would walk by and just say Hola and we would politely say no thank you and they would be on their way. We made friends with a lifeguard - Yury and a security guard- Ramon, who gave us great tips for on and off the resort.

Food: Before we left everyone was telling us how not to expect much of the food. We went to the buffet everyday and only booked 1 a la carte. Breakfast we only ate one day at the buffet – which was great. Huge selection of fruit (freshly cut in front of you), toast, pancakes, hard boiled eggs etc. We only ate breakfast once because we usually do not eat breakfast. For lunch, we usually ate at the buffet or the grill. We loved the grill because of the mini pizza’s they would make for us! Dinner was always at the buffet – huge selection, but very pork and fish heavy (which I don’t eat either). I was quite happy with all the vegetables and rice! Our a la carte we booked at the Italian restaurant – food was great but we missed our wait staff at the buffet. Alex, Pablo and Brian were absolutely amazing to us! Always saved us a special table, which was super nice and we knew we were always welcome.

New Years: They really decorated the buffet and there was so much food! It was probably the best New Years we have had in a long time. The entertainment was good and all of our favourite staff was there to ring in the new year with us!!

Overall great trip and we will plan on returning in December 2013! Your trip is what you make of it people – don’t sweat the small stuff and enjoy the Cuban culture!

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with friends
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11  Thank Lisa M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 8, 2013

we again visited the week of Dec, 9th - if possible.it was even better than our last trip - our requests re room were honoured and our stay in the gardenview suite was wonderful - they have renovated almost all of these units and have done a great job - always hot water and always lots of towels. The staff are the most friendly and Umberto the Cook is great....special thanks to Luiba on the fruitbar who makes the most wonderful fresh fruit smoothies.!! The staff is what makes this place so good that we continue to go back - they all go out of their way to help and nothing is ever too much trouble. Thanks also to Gladys who took care of us in the dining area. We will be reurning again!! |If u are looking for a nice and clean and friendly place, this is it...

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank krazykatsToronto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 8, 2013

Staff and service wonderful Hotel facilities OK. Food and general condition of facilities and rooms just OK. All Inclusive facilities very misleading.

I read a review on this hotel saying it was difficult to place in and I find the same. The staff make it. Very friendly and helpful. The hotel, pool, rooms etc is all a bit tired and could benefit from a refurb. The Christmas meal was excellent as are the smoothies and fresh fruit but the rest was very average, frequently running out /short. Evening entertainment above average, to be fair a shortage of guests and general lack of interest made the daytime entertainment tricky for the animation team.

Taking 3 teenage plus sons, what had swung it for us was the free water sports. Contrary to the advertised facilities the water skiing and banana boat do not exist, the catamaran is with a member of staff only and the free windsurfing lessons were not free. We did resolve some of this with the hotel and we did get the free windsurfing lessons. They even offered us some compensation for our lost holiday time having to fight for what we had clearly booked, which was a nice touch. They also promised to eradicate this misleading info for future guests.

Overall, taking above into account would we recommend it? Yes. It was good value.

  • Stayed: December 2012
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4  Thank Steve S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 8, 2013

We have been to Cuba 4 times and loved this resort the best. 15 minutes from the airport, 15 minutes from town. The Varadero bus has a $5 per person day rate and you can get on and off and go wherever you want for that rate. We went in to El Ranchero restaurant one night and had beef fillet dinners for $15 each. Excellent meal.

The resort is kept so nice, The beach has white sand and the ocean has sand bars that go out, great for playing in the waves (remove glasses and jewelery though because the waves will knock them off and you will not find them. They have these wonderful palapas with huge padded leather mattresses down at the beach and 2 of them pool side, these are so comfortable but limited comodity. The pool is large and the volleyball area is well away from the swimming area. They have a cafe on site that serve spiked coffee in the afternoon. The massages are $25 for 1 hour. They have two warm Jacuzzi tubs and 1 cool one. The rooms have a bedroom and second room for your fridge with a couch. We all had ground floor rooms and had patios out front and back. We packed some cheese and crackers in our suitcases so we could have an afternoon snack of simple home food, I took my own tea bags, we took junk food, if you like hummus or things like that take it with you. If a particular mix of pop or juice makes your drink better take it with you. Next time we will take a small jar of peanut butter with us. If you guys like cow milk instead of heated goat milk buy some containers at the airport after you have gone through customs from the food vendors in Toronto and put it in your carry on. You are allowed to do this because the airport has already cleared these products through security. I usually pack a flashlight and clock (I get up at night and worry about power failures and we notice that most Cuban hotels do not have clocks). This particular resort had converted outlets to plug in Canadian products. They have an internet room upstairs from the lobby, cheap pass code from the front desk. The buffet food was great and they had salad most nights (we brought some extra salad dressings from home for more variety. We were not impressed with the food from the a la cart Cuban restaurant but loved the Italian food. The servers and staff at the resort are so friendly and accommodating. We had a few things in our room that we asked at the front desk to be fixed and it was done the same day. They have a pizza and burger hut just down some stairs from the pool area, it is open all day and late at night. There was only one market vendor set up near the pizza hut when we were there and her prices were comparable with town but much less selection. Can't wait to go back again this October.

Room Tip: We did not have any issues with bugs and stayed on the first floor.
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with friends
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9  Thank Fairly-New-Traveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 7, 2013

We just returned from a 1 week vacation with WestJet Vacations. This was the 3rd all-inclusive I’ve been to. I was expecting better, and was disappointed in a few areas. Here’s what I saw.

Arrival at the hotel was smooth, quick drive from the airport. Check in was smooth, and they had honoured our requests to be placed near our friends. Got the standard issue pool towel cards, and safe key as well. Safe was free to use, unlike some other resorts I’ve been at. We exchanged some currency at the front desk. The exchange rate wasn’t great, but I don’t know if anywhere was better. We only got 91 CUC from $100 CAD. Currency converters say the exchange rate should have gotten us closer to par. So they charge almost 10%. We were walked over to our room, and they brought our bags for us. We were on the 3rd floor of the main building (the big building) with a room facing the tennis courts, but due to the large size of the balcony, we could actually see the water on both sides too. The room was large, 1 king size bed (which was actually 2 single beds pushed together (you can see the bedskirts underneath). Beds weren’t super comfy, but no worse than anywhere else in the Caribbean. There were 2 free cigars in the room, small sitting area (only 2 chairs. Other people in our party had 2 couches, a chair and table) and a fridge. The fridge was stocked with 4 cans of soda, 2 juice boxes, and 1 large bottle of water (no beer). There were NO outlets in the room that could accommodate North American 3-prong grounded plugs. The standard 2-prong plugs worked fine, provided your device can handle 220V. The only 110V outlet was a shaving outlet (wouldn’t work for anything else). Their solution was to rip out the ground prong from my cord. I wouldn’t let them. Super frustrating as I couldn’t charge my stuff unless I went to the gym. The air conditioning works pretty well considering how hot/humid it is.

We tipped the maids GENEROUSLY, and left gifts everyday, and saw nothing really in return. They pretty much view their job as to make the bed, fold the towels in fun shapes, and sweep occasionally. After the 1st night, they restocked the fridge with 2 small bottles of water, and after that we got no more water for the rest of our stay. I left notes asking for more, and even talked to the maid personally. She said the hotel was out of bottled water. In the back room of the store, I saw pallets of it. So there were no more FREE bottles of water. Super frustrating, and completely inappropriate considering the travel reps said to drink bottled water only. So we were relegated to drinking tap water, or buying bottles of water.

Not sure if it related or not, but at one point or another 2/3’s of our group had gotten sick during the trip (not-related to alcohol). So I started buying bottled, and avoiding ice after my episode.

The beach was great. Lots of shade available, even a few beach beds. The lounge chairs were in very poor shape. They were stretched out quite severely. So you were laying on the bars of the lounger, as opposed to the mesh. Very uncomfortable. Of all the beach sections we saw, this was the nicest. Shallow slope (no sand-cliffs), and not overly crowded. The only downside was that there were no bathrooms on the beach. Had to walk to the buffet for this. The buffet restaurant was good. It became my favourite during the trip. Don’t leave your food unattended at your table, otherwise you will find birds eating it. The omelet station was awesome. Super fast. Most of the other food is covered with bug netting to keep the birds off. It is open-air dining. Cuban food is different, but you should be able to find something you like at every meal. You’re just being fussy otherwise. We only ate at El Mojito during the New Year’s Eve celebration, so it wasn’t the regular menu. I got sick after this meal. Martino’s was pretty bad. Food wasn’t Italian at all. Menu items consisted of “Cuban smoked ham” and such. At night the snack bar turns in to a outdoor a-la-carte. It was ok, provided the weather is nice.
The bars were good. Very well stocked. Probably the best I’ve ever seen. 1 big shortcoming is the lack of a lobby bar. It was closed. It looked like it has been closed for quite some time too. We often found ourselves not knowing where to go after dinner. This is usually a congregating spot. It looks like they may be renovating it, but we saw nothing in progress. The large outdoor patio area was therefore just vacant. They really should have just set up a temporary bar for the renovations and made use of this outdoor area. The coffee bar was great though. The snack bar at the beach had huge line ups. The guy won't take your order until he's done cooking the person before you. Food was good though.

The gym was phenomenal. Best equipped that I’ve seen for an all-inclusive. However, there is no gym towels, no cold drinking water, and no toilet paper in the bathrooms. The condition of everything else around the hotel is really starting to age. Plaster is cracking, some outlets are falling out of the wall, you can always see a burned out lightbulb somewhere, and the grounds were exceptionally dark at night. The internet didn’t work for half of our trip, and when it does, it’s dial-up speed (30 mins for 5 CUC). But only half of the computers were working. The toilet seat in the rooms doesn’t fit the toilet, and the plumbing is very poor. Our room smelled of sewage a couple days (leave your sink running to avoid this), and the garbage can was old, rusted and broken. The showers don’t drain and you end up standing in an inch of water. Coupled with no power outlets (other resorts I’ve been to in Cuba accept North American grounded plugs), and the fact that the bathroom wasn’t cleaned once during the week, nor where the sheets changed.

I know Cuba is very poor, and I wasn’t expecting phenomenal, but they could easily improve things by better service (housekeeping, gym towels, etc…) I had a lot of fun here since I was travelling with friends, but I wouldn’t go with just my wife. I was pretty frustrated by day 4. This hotel needs major upgrades to be a 4 star. I won’t be back.

We all did the day trip to Havana. It was fantastic, but bring lots of cash if you want to buy cigars. The cigar store doesn’t accept credit cards (but the prices are very good). Friends of ours did the catamaran too. It was really good they said.

Our favourite place was the bar beside the gym. Best atmosphere, but the most poorly equipped.

Feel free to contact me for more info.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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12  Thank AC_A340
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Los Cactus

Address: Carretera de las Americas, Km 3.5, Varadero 42200, Cuba (Formerly Breezes Varadero)
Location: Caribbean > Cuba > Matanzas Province > Varadero
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#10 Family Hotel in Varadero
#10 Romantic Hotel in Varadero
#14 Top resorts Hotel in Varadero
#15 Luxury Hotel in Varadero
#17 On the Beach Hotel in Varadero
Price Range: $106 - $268 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Los Cactus 4*
Number of rooms: 270
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Los Cactus is a Super-Inclusive Resort for adults -singles and couples 12 years and older , where all meals, wine, local and international beverages, water sports, land sports with equipment and instruction, entertainment and other activities are included in one single price. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Breezes Varadero Hotel Varadero
Breezes Hotel Varadero
Varadero Breezes Hotel
Breezes Varadero Cuba
Superclubs Breezes Varadero Hotel

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