Melia Varadero Hotel – Varadero, Cuba – August 1-8, 2012
I travelled with my mother to Varadero and stayed at the Melia Varadero the first week of August 2012. We booked our vacation with WestJet Vacations. This was our first vacation to Cuba. The bus ride from the airport was two and half hours long.
When we arrived at the Melia Varadero, we requested a room with on ocean view but we were given a room that was overlooking the pool and we could hear the loud music from the pool below. The room was dirty with ants crawling all over. The fridge was broken and leaking water all over the floor.
We returned to the reception area complaining about the state of the room and they gave us another room with partial view of the ocean where we enjoyed the view and relaxed in the morning and before dinner enjoying the beautiful turquoise ocean. We wasted almost two hours of our vacation with the check-in scenario. The hotel had many rooms available, since it was only the two of us that arrived that afternoon, and the only ones to check in. So why would the hotel not give us a clean functioning room to begin with and not waste two hours of our time, especially when we have travelled for 8 hours to get to Varadero??
The hotel has a gift shop in the lobby, but it is expensive.There is also an internet room, very expensive $5 US for half an hour of internet use.
From the beach you have access to the Plaza America Mall, where you have a variety of different shops, pizza restaurant, souvenir shops and a grocery store where you can buy the Cuban Rum at very reasonable price.
The main buffet, the 24 hours restaurant and all the a la carte restaurants are all A/C. We commend the amazing service at all of the restaurants, the staff was very attentive to please us and make our vacation memorable. We enjoyed the a la carte restaurants, the service and food was great. We celebrated my birthday at the a la carte restaurant - FUERTEVENTURA - 'Lorenley' was our server and gave us fantastic service! The steakhouse LAS RESES was lovely. Great food. Great live music. Great service from 'Dianeisy' The buffet had a large variety of delicious food, something for everyone. We did not get ill once from the food. The pasta station was amazing. 'Boris' was quick, friendly and made us delicious pasta.
I have to give a special thank you to two people who served us the whole week at the buffet - ARAMIS and YANEISY!!! They were extremely couteous, friendly, quick to please, hard working, attentive, personal and made our vacation a memorable one! I hope that if the general manager of this hotel reads this, that they personally commend and compliment Aramis and Yaneisy on their hard work and exceptional customer service!!!
We tipped the staff at the restaurants and bars for the amazing service we received. They deserve to be tipped for their amazing attitude, friendly service and hard work!
The lobby bars are fantastic, the staff was very helpful and pleasant. The lobby bar had amazing live music at night and tables to relax at and enjoy cocktails after dinner. We ate lunch at the paella restaurant which is outdoors and open for lunch and close to the pool. The paella was incredible! Thank you to 'Alejandro' and 'Wikey / Luis' who cooked our Paella. They were very nice and treated us like queens. If you love seafood try it, you will not be disappointed. The bar at the pool is outside the pool area, it is not a swim up bar, the service was good and very pleasant staff. Try the cold beer on tap! Very refreshing! There is a toddler pool for young children and another activity pool for water volleyball. The resort also have a tennis court and a basketball court. There is a restaurant right on the beach called, Varadero Beach restaurant. Thank you to 'Miguel' (friendly service) who made my tasty beverages and prepared for me delicious hot dogs and fries.
The nightly shows were about one hour long and the performances were excellent! We enjoyed them very much. Extremely talented young staff! Incredible dancers! Beautiful costumes. Unbelievable talent.
In the lobby of the hotel on some of the nights, the staff put on fashion shows showing beautiful clothes and beautiful Cuban models. Entertaining! We enjoyed the singer and the piano music located across from the lobby bar.
The beach is narrow with white sand. Be aware, there are rocks on the way into the ocean, so bring with you your beach shoes. Once you are inside the ocean you feel like you are in heaven! The ocean is the nicest ocean we've ever seen! Turquoise in colour, warm, calm and absolutely amazing. We stayed in the ocean for hours at a time! There are plenty of sun beds and palapas for shade on the beach. As part of the vacation package, the hotel provides beach and water activities. We took advantage of the Paddle boat and Kayak. We enjoyed and loved our experience with the water activities! The beach is patrolled by the hotel security staff. Makes you feel safe. Infact, we felt very safe at the Melia and in Cuba, the whole week.
The sunsets over the beautiful turquoise ocean are out of this world. A must see! Especially if you are a photographer. You can capture wonderful and breathtaking photos.
To get the flavour of what Havana Cuba is all about, we booked through our WestJet Rep a day tour to Havana, which is a must! The drive is two and half hours long each way. The cost is $70 per person, worth every dollar. They pick you up and drop you off right at the front lobby of the hotel. Explore Havana!!!! You won't regret it. Rich in history and culture! Bring your camera to capture some amazing sites. We also got to experience going to a real Cigar and Rum shop during our trip to Havana.
The Havana airport has duty free shops where you can buy famous Cuban rum, so no need to purchase the rum anywhere else because you are not able to carry it on the plane with you, you will have to pack it in your luggage.
There is a $25 US exist charge per person when you exit Cuba paid at the airport. So ensure that you have the cash available, they do not take any other form of payment.
We had an incredible vacation, celebrating my birthday and we definitely are planning to return in the near future. We loved the Melia Varadero and loved the beautiful beach of Varadero!
Recommendation: 1. Bring your own coffee jug / large cup. It's convenient when you're on the beach or at the pool. 2. Bring bug spray or OFF clip on if you get bitten by mosquitos. 3. Bring lots of sunscreen and a hat with you. The sun is scorching hot in Cuba.
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- Also Known As:
- Melia Varadero Hotel Varadero
- Varadero Melia
- Melia Varadero Cuba