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“WE LOVED MELIA VARADERO!!!”
Review of Melia Varadero

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Melia Varadero
Ranked #6 of 64 Hotels in Varadero
Reviewed November 8, 2012

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.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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14  Thank AlexaJade1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed November 8, 2012

the food is abolutley disgusting!. coffee is nasty. the hotel and staff a 10 plus and the food a 1. it was garbage. i was sick for 10 days because of it. melis las antillas varerdero cuba the resort it self was nice. i just didnt eat some days cuz the meat was so tought like shoe leather. everything was so plane and bland. like people like spices and taste. i couldnt believe the food i was expecting more especially beause we spent 1000$ each. deffinetley not inpressed

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Amanda F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 5, 2012

A group of 60 went here last week for our bi-annual Caribbean business conference.
This was my first time in Cuba and I read up on what to expect, especially at our hotel.

Being a good food and booze kind-a-guy, my standards are high, and expectations here were low. Melia Veradero managed to deceed those quickly.

Front Desk: arrived at 11 am, told us room ready at 1, got in at 5 pm. The males behind the desk were downright surly, the women seriously out numbered but nice all things considered.

Rooms: ours was just fine. 3408 - two beds overlooking the ocean. Everyone complained about the water pressure, execept us.

Restaurants: THIS IS THE BIG PROBLEM! First you can only book the a la carte restaurants (of which only 2 were open) 1 x each per week. If you arrive without a reservation, they will ask you if you have one, naturally. This really means "will you give me anything above 5 pesos and I will get you a table?" We caught on and it worked every time.

The bad news is that the food is okay, at best. The lobster was fine, but seriously over-salted.the piped mash potates sure looked and tasted like they were "instant" potatoes and the brocoli piece had been boiled for days. In the steak house, the lamb and beef were actually almost good, but everything else was bizarrely sad.

The worst however was the caffeteria. Very nicely set up, and waitresses were very nice. But the food was almost all completely inedible. How you can remove the taste from so many things is really amazing. I mean, they couldn't make ANYTHING taste good, even pasta or pizza - how difficult is that?!?! And the "chefs" were downright grizzly. Just about everything was cold. Even the fresh fish was awful - it was truly embarrasing to every on of us. We took it on the chin for a couple days and then desperately looked outside the hotel for food. Fortunately there is a pizza joint next door, and of course we went into Veradero and Havana.

Desserts were nice looking but again tasteless, and the cheese section was just fine.

The coffee is terrible (I drink it black) but the expressos and cappucinos were first notch. There is an outdoor Paella place that is worth a lunch, and the outdoor BBQ lunch was decent too. But there was no getting over the fact that overall the food was at best a 3 out of 10 on Canadian standards.

Booze: poor quality poor selection. If you wanted an upper brand name (Chivas etc) it cost an extra $6 per drink. To be fair the rum is fine, just ask for Anjeo so you don't get the $3 bottle white stuff. Wine was drinkable too but the piano bar ran out of stuff almost every night. Don't ask for liquers even though they are visible apparently the bottles are empty unless you dole out a peso or two. I did have ask for a Baileys, and they poured it from a Baileys bottle, but it wasn't Baileys - that is for sure!

We went to Veradero for dinner and ate at the El Rancho. I had lobster and steak, which was okay (again no vegetables in Cuba that aren't seriously over boiled). The problem was the bill for one bottle of white was $42 - our big mistake for not asking the price, since there are no wine lists. Ended up costing $120 for two - oops.

Never saw any of the entertainment shows, and the poolside stuff was loud and annoying but managed to focus on reading and suntanning.

We were just at the tail end of Hurricane Sandy so ALL of the sand was removed from the beaches - however it made the waves huge and that was fun!

The worst part of all was, we were supposed to go to Melia Americana just down the beach but they don't take kids and a couple had them. We got on the bus to go home and someone from there said the food was ALL good.... BAH!

Bottom line, would never go back to this hotel.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled on business
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6  Thank Ross C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 28, 2012

we arrived misd afternoon to brilliant sunshine , we were driven from the great melia habana hotel in Havana in a taxi by a happy cheerfull taxi driver who gave us a list of the areas we were passing through . The hotel first view was amasing basked in brilliant sunshine , the reception staff were efficient, cheery and very proffesional , our room on the 5th floor overlooked the pools and the beautifull light blue sea , a very clean and cosy first impressions. We went for a walk about and were immediately greeted by hotel staff and made very welcome. The restaurants and food were great and such a variety The 24 hour small buffet bar was a dream , as you could eat when you felt like it so no rushing about to fit in with times. WQe went to a few of the evening stage shows ,what energy and talent , visiting dance group danced and flew through the air with great enegy and style wow!! so talented and so much energy many thanks to all of the entertainments team . The beach is a pleasure even though some resurfacing work had been and was being carried out , but was no problem a superb relaxing area and the sea so warm . We thank you all for making our first trip to Cuba so memorable and will return

We do hope the hurricane Sandy Did not do too much damage as it passed through Cuba, as the tropical storm was forming out in the Atlantic as we were there 8th to 19th October our prayers are with you all The people of Cuba are to be admired for their pride and love of their country which made our stay so great thank you again Peter and julie ( barneys mate )

Room Tip: just ask the very helpful reception staff they are there to help
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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8  Thank barneysmate
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 24, 2012

First time for my husband at melia varadero and he loved it,we had a great time!!!. I was born and raised in Havana and I had been in Varadero a couple of times. We drove 1 1/2 hours from havana to varadero,so much fun and a lot to see.
The hotel is great ,the beach is beautiful,soft white sand and there is a bar and restaurant on the beach, the staff is lovely and sooo friendly, they were always offering more food and drink. Beach bar played cuban music all day. Our room was nice and clean. It was our 2nd Year Wedding Anniversary and as soon as they knew, we had flowers and champagne delivered to our room. Also someone made a reservation for our special night. Great food, the hotel has like 4 or 5 speciality restaurants;4 course meal all inc, the buffet was great. Also the Guantanamera cafe is 24 hours. Fun nightlife there were always people and cuban music in the lobby. PUEBLO VARADERO is fun take a cocotaxi ; egg shaped moped. They are parked outside of the hotel. It is safe to walk outside the hotel al pueblo no worries just have fun. We had an amazing time and I recommend this hotel !!!!

Room Tip: 310 ocean view
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank halakahiki
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 23, 2012

I travelled with my mother, sister and brother in law and we loved it.

FOOD ** who knew the food in Cuba could be sooo good. I spent alot of times at the buffet. There was even smoked salmon, yumm.. but all jokes aside, my family (who has travelled to Cuba several times) say that they were very surprised and satisfied at the QUALITY and quantity of the buffets and a la cartes... we ate like mad fools and enjoyed every minute !!!

BEACH ** We arrived after a bad storm so there was alot of reef showing which is hard on the feet but after 3 days, the waves had covered it all up again. We were unable to swim for the first 4 days on account of high waves and never really got to see the calm waters of Cuba but I am sure it exists as everyone says they do. The water was chilly, and I mean chilly... but I am not scared of that.. who cares.. so long as there are no sharks and I can swim, I am good !

ROOMS ** Excellent, clean, organized. Our maid was Mable and she ROCKED!! what a wonderful woman. We tipped her things like, baby clothing, baby toothbrushes and toothpaste, baby wipes, pens and crayons, nylons, baby creams (always a good idea because she said that when her grandchild has diaper rash, she has to boil aloe leaves and put them in he diaper and it annoys the child so his bum is always sore). The room was always clean and stocked and the shower was amazing!

NIGHTLIFE ** Surpisingly, there were always people and music in the lobby before the night shows.(which only started at 22h00) the shows were basic but fun as usual. The disco was rocking on night as well but maybe the booze and me feeling free to dance as I wanted helped too!

VARADERO ** Do get tickets for a few bucks in the lobby and take the open double decker bus from the hotel to the town. It is safe, and fun and you can get on and off as you please with no worries. We even walked down streets to get to the public part of the beach, it was great. Oh and men sell rhum coconut drink from the coconut on the bus for 5$

There is more but it has been a while but I recommend this hotel for sure !!!

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled with family
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4  Thank Gaspe23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 18, 2012

We had a wonderful time at Melia Veradero. The beach was the most beautiful I have ever seen, soft white sand, and lots of chairs available. The beach was cleaned every morning and the beach bar played cuban music all day. Our room was nice and clean and the cleaning staff did a wonderfl job. One this I would strongly recommend is paying the extra money for a ocean view. We didnt and our view was of a tree and a dumpster, which definitely discouraged us from sitting out on our balcony. There were always activities going on if thats your thing. The swim up bar was nice.

The food was pretty good, there was such a vast selection at the buffet one would have to be able to find at least a few things that they liked. The a la carte restaurants were decent, not exceptional, but definitely a nice experience and very friendly staff. The big problem was getting reservations for the a la carte places everyday. You had to stand in line for 20-30 minutes to book where you wanted to go, and often times the place you wanted was full up. They really need a better system, we ended up having most of our meals at the buffet which was ok but we would have liked to experience all the restaurants.

Definitely take a trip into Havana, it was one of our highlights, beautiful and historical, but bring a bunch of one peso bills, because there are many people there asking for them for taking pictures etc. Try many pina coladas as well! There are made with all fresh ingredients and they let you pour your own rum- so delish! The ones at the hotel were terrible in comparison...mmm..

Also worth doing is heading into veradero and having a meal and hitting up the market! We had the best meal of our vacation at "al Capones" in Veradero. Negotiate your cab fare before you get in if you are taking a non-government cab.

Golf course is amazing! walking distance form the hotel. Catamaran trip was also well worth it and another highlight-add swimming with dolphins and its an amazing day.

All in all a great place to stay, decent food. The beach makes it all worth it.
Its a very big resort so if you are looking for quaint look elsewhere.

Room Tip: Pay for the ocean view!
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  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank jess m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Melia Varadero

Address: Carretera de las Morlas, Varadero 42200, Cuba
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Cuba > Matanzas Province > Varadero
Amenities:
Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Varadero
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Varadero
#6 Luxury Hotel in Varadero
#12 Family Hotel in Varadero
#14 Romantic Hotel in Varadero
Price Range: $192 - $425 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Melia Varadero 4*
Number of rooms: 490
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Melia Varadero Hotel Varadero
Varadero Melia
Melia Varadero Cuba

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