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“First time in Cuba...Great Resort”

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Royalton Hicacos Varadero Resort & Spa
Ranked #2 of 64 Hotels in Varadero
London, Canada
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“First time in Cuba...Great Resort”
Reviewed May 1, 2014

My wife and I went to this resort for 7 days at the beginning of April. We had a great time. Everything was perfect. The flight (Sunwing), the weather, the room, food, service, beach! The Manager greeted us and provided an overview of the resort when we arrived. Our room was ready within 1/2 hour of our arrival. We ate mostly at the buffet. I had the steak, chicken and pork. It was all good. My wife enjoyed the pizza and the pasta. The waiters/waitresses were wonderful especially Carlos. The entertainment staff were very enthusiastic and friendly especially Big Alex and Mojena. Our room was very clean. The whole grounds and beach were kept clean. We will definitely go back.

Room Tip: We liked the Sunset Garden room on the 3rd floor.
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Tpnish
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
royalhicacos, Manager at Royalton Hicacos Varadero Resort & Spa, responded to this review, May 25, 2014
Dear guests:

Thank you for your beautiful comments! It was such a pleasure to read you!

Your happiness is important to us. We guide ourselves by the level of satisfaction of our clients. It is so important to us to know that we exceed your expectations and we know we have done our job correctly when we read that you are coming back to visit us!

We appreciate you taking the time to share your experience with us dear guests, thank you!

We look forward to welcoming you again to Royal Hicacos, your great hotel!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Exeter, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed May 1, 2014 via mobile

This is a great resort made special by the staff. The beach bar is a gem. Particularly great for breakfast. Pedro the tennis and squash pro. Will keep you fit. Whilst Ernesto at the beach bar has service, with a genuine smile, off to a tee. The golf club and Du Pont house nearby are worth a visit. The bar has awesome 360 degree views. Beach is superb. Sea beautiful. Enjoy.

Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Gerrysones01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
royalhicacos, Manager at Royalton Hicacos Varadero Resort & Spa, responded to this review, July 22, 2014
Dear guests:

Thank you for your comments. It is important to know every experience our guests have with us!

Nothing makes us happier than reading that you have enjoyed your stay and that we could provide you with an unforgettable experience.

We still make a point to revise all of our departments regularly to ensure that our future comments will be exactly like yours. Our job is to make you happy and that is a full-time job! We love the name of your comment! Exceed expectations is what we do.

Thank you once again for sharing your comments with us dear guests, it is very much appreciated!

We look forward to welcoming you to Royal Hicacos, your best hotel!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Switzerland
Level Contributor
76 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
Reviewed May 1, 2014

We just came back from a 2 weeks stay in the Royal Hicacos and we have to say we had never had such a great vacation! 

Even the Tripadvisor ranking climbed to the top in the last weeks what almost speaks for itself.

Location and hotel:
Varadero beach is a dream! It is long, flat, cleaned, beautiful bright water color, in the Maldiven direction! With the difference that it is much wider!
The hotel itself is well taken care of and you can really see that the new owners invest on it. The garden is well treated, the complete area is cleaned, the rooms have plenty of space, and all everything from light to air-conditioning was working flawless.

Food and drinks: 
Cuba has its limitations about availability of some stuffs and food is one of them. Everybody who wants to go to Cuba should be aware of it. I even don't understand the discussions about it. If u cannot live without real Coke, take it with u! If u cannot live without your mega soft toilett paper, take it with u. Even when u find a supermarket, u see they don't have amount of choices of products. U see one kind of toilette paper, one kind of orange refreshment, etc…but nobody will starve there. You have 24h food and drinks so don't mind missing a lunch or dinner time.
The selection of food is great, the main restaurant has several live cooking places, including fish and meat and from time to time you can also grab a fresh lobster, a chocolate fondue and plenty of other " goodies “! There are also other restaurants and the best snack bar and beach bar that serves great sandwiches! Better sandwiches than many that I eat here in Europe.
Only don't mind the theme restaurants. Probably the risotto u gonna eat there is maybe not exactly like a typical italian risotto for exemple and etc…. almost after every visit we took one of the great burgers of the snack bar. The beach bar offers also breakfast, sandwiches, lunch and dinner. Great view with good sandwiches!
The drinks were always good. Also plenty of water, drinks at the beach and fresh coconuts. Cuban beer is really good! The beach bar even serves you directly on the sand!!!

Entertainment:
We are not so much into the hotel entertainments, but the shows were made with lots of work and you could all day long see staff walking around with games, dancing lessons, sports, etc. There is no how to be bored there. Many times the Hicacos Staff that serves, at the Lobby Bar, Piano Bar, Cigar Bar, etc…. are great entertainers by themselves! The owner of the hotel should consider this when pay them their salaries! The Royal Hicacos Staff is for sure one reason why many guests come back.

Audience:
90% Canadians I guess. But we experienced that the canadians as very friendly and polite people. I must say they made the vacation more delightful than other folks we have encountered.

Service:
Service was exellent! No glas stays empty for long, always taken care of your needs. 
Every little wish we had was taken care of, and also the management that is constantly walking around takes care that everything is allright.

What we did no like:
Like everywhere in the world there are the guys that need to reserve the best beach spots at 6:00 in the morning and don't use it all day long. The management promised us to change this in the future,  but don't try to get a front seat on the beach after 7:00 in the morning.
The theme restaurants are not worth trying.

Something more to say:
The people in cuba are in need of almost everything. Also nobody there is hunting for tips, but don't forget to tip as the wage is very very low. And reserve a place in your baggage for some presents: shampoo, make up, school stuffs for children, headphones, everything is welcome. And as soon as you have contact with the sympathy of the Cuban people you just want to present them.

the most important of all:

The Royal Hicacos STAFF!

We`ve been to Dubai, Maldiven, Thailand, etc… but we`ve never seen such lovely, friendly, warm and service oriented staff like they are in Hicacos.

Almost all of them works with a smile. Even the ones caring heavy stuffs were working, making jokes, singing sometimes, always with a smile, always concerned about your well-being.
From the cleaning girls to the management everybody is friendly and helpful. Cause of it, I say DONT FORGET to bring them some presents. You will feel in need to present them.
The staff and the way we were treated is a reason to come back.
We just hope the hotel gives enough worth to this asset!
Hard to point out some special people, but nevertheless our special thanks and greetings go to:

J.B of the Lobby Bar
Anna of the cleaning staff
Maggie of the Piano Bar
Pavel in the caribbean restaurant
Carlos of the Cigar Bar
And Jorge of the Snack Bar

Closing comments:
As the management told us by end of the year they re-open as a diamond resort with even better service. Right now you will have already a perfect vacation, so lets see what they can even make better.

Room Tip: If you like your nights quiet try staying away from the main pool where every night are shows.
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Oliver S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
royalhicacos, Manager at Royalton Hicacos Varadero Resort & Spa, responded to this review, June 8, 2014
Dear guests:

Thank you for your comments. It is important to know every experience our guests have with us! Nothing makes us happier than reading that you have enjoyed your stay and that we could provide you with an unforgettable experience.

We still make a point to revise all of our departments regularly to ensure that our future comments will be exactly like yours. Our job is to make you happy and that is a full-time job!

Thank you once again for sharing your comments with us dear guests, it is very much appreciated!

We look forward to welcoming you to Royal Hicacos, your best ever hotel!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sidney, Canada
Level Contributor
91 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed April 30, 2014

Friends recommended this Resort. Our stay was 2 weeks and EVERYTHING was FANTASTIC ! The food, the room, the pools, the entertainment,the variety of things to do and see. The tour to Havana, visiting Varadero market. But the most and the VERY BEST thing are the STAFF and the PEOPLE of Cuba. The STAFF are truly amazing,so friendly and helpful. There will be a new remodeled Resort and I understand New policies for how the staff are to greet the guests.If that goes through the true honest feelings of the people will be lost. That is the greatness of the Cuba culture,a true love of people. We will be in touch and see what will happen to see if the changes are for the better ! That will be our returning factor.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
3 Thank freedom552014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto Canada
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed April 30, 2014

Our trip was 12 months, waiting to finally get back to Our Home away from home. The many times i have wished for time to go faster so we could finally get back to what i can only say is paradise. The weather was 30 plus every day, sunny hardly a cloud in the sky, the ocean was so warm the pool in the early part of the day slightly cooler but in the afternoon was very warm. Although we did not ask for the Conceirge Service as we new it was under New Management it was given to us as they stll respected the fact we have been repeat customers, i thought that was a real touch of class. The new management team headed by a wonderful Lady Julie from Montreal was front and centre every day at the resort. The Manager Julie would meet you every morning at the buffet entrance say hello and was always willing to discuss any issues that you had and she had a great memory for remembering your name i found that amazing. The Resort is still beautiful with the ground crew always working to keep the Resort looking so pristine and clean. They are working very hard with many great plans to improve this resort and make it one of the finest resorts in Cuba. The food was excellent in the buffet much improved over our last trip, with managers always checking to make sure food was fresh and replaced if not. To see the head Chef always out checking to see that there was lots of food at the various stations and the buffet. But i always save the best for last the Staff remains the best of any resort staff i have ever seen,professional always with a smile and a handshake and when they get to know you Hugs and Kisses when they say welcome home they remember you year after year even knowing i like my coffee very hot. I never used the Ala Cart restaurants but people i talked to said the food was amazing. The beach is the very best in Varadaro walk out into soft sand and warm waters, twice i saw staff in the mornings cleaning crews picking up anything washed up on the beach to keep the beach pristine.I could go on for hours but do yourself a favour The Royal Hicacos is the best Hotel in Varadaro come and visit you will not be disapointed. We are looking forward to the improvements that are coming and to our next trip in middle of Sept. 5 months away wish it was tomorrow and to all the old friends we meet every year and the new people just want to say see you soon.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank TorontoCanadaJohn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Halifax, Canada
Level Contributor
42 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed April 30, 2014

I travelled with my family to Varadero on April 16th for a weeks vacation. Our trip began on a sour note due to the uncaring and very unsatisfactory service of our airline which was Sunwing. We boarded in Halifax to be notified at that point tat we were stopping in Moncton to pick up more passengers. There was no mention of this on our itinerary and when we questioned the flight attendant, he scoffed and said, "What do you think…we're going to fly to Cuba with only 42 passengers?" This flippant remark was uncalled for. We were preassigned seats with no opportunity to change even if we were the first to check in at the airport. As luck would have it, we ended up in the very back of the plane.
Things went from bad to worse when before we got to Moncton the plane began to get extremely warm. The air vents would only pump out hot air. In spite of knowing about this problem, they chose to take off without addressing it while on the ground. Two hours later, after being unable to resolve the problem mid-air…duh… we were re-directed to Montreal where we sat for four hours while they fixed the problem…three to get it fixed and another hour to gather a crew???? We were offered a $10 meal voucher. Good luck getting a meal at the Montreal airport for $10. A sandwich alone was $12.99. Two hours later we were offered another voucher but by this time, everyone had had to cough up their own money for a decent bit of food with a drink.
We finally got to our destination at 9:30 p.m., when we were due to arrive at 1:30 p.m., thus losing half s day of our vacation.
Our flight home was also with pre assigned seats and no option to change. They offered two food choices but by the time our aisle was served there was only one food item and that was a very bad, half cold pizza…mostly dough. The flight attendant was rude and unapologetic.
There was no duty free service on Sunwing either direction.
I strongly suggest that if you are able to choose an alternative Airline,do so. I would jump through a lot of hoops to avoid EVER travelling with Sunwing again.

Once we arrived, check in went smoothly enough, but the promised refreshing cocktail was nowhere to be found. When we asked, the desk clerk called but they did not show up before we had to go to our rooms.Sure could have used it by that point.

Our rooms were clean and close together ( we were travelling with our adult children), and when my husband and i requested a change due to being very close to a public walkway, we were quickly accommodated in a very friendly manner. We were very grateful for that.

Overall, Royal Hicacos is a beautiful resort and there are ongoing improvements being made. Gardeners are always busy as are grounds keepers and maintenance staff. The beach is second to none and there are many activities going on. The entertainment is fantastic and we really enjoyed ourselves.

Most of the staff is very friendly with the exception of the beach bar. We found the bar staff there to be sullen and unfriendly in general. There were a few exceptions, but I would recommend to the resort management that this be looked into. Your guests are paying decent dollars to visit your resort and should not be made to feel like they are annoying the staff if they ask for a drink. This happened on a daily basis or I would not mention it. A smile and a nod goes a long way, even if there is a language barrier.

The food at Royal Hicacos is very good in general. Lots of choice and wonderfully prepared. The buffet is always a good choice if you do not have reservations.

The dinner reservation process is cumbersome and time consuming. The woman working it does not have a good grasp of English it seems.It would be great if this reservation process could be changed or handled upon check in.

The A La Carte restaurants are classy and the food is excellent there. The one complaint I have is that at the Cuban Restaurant, the lack of music was surprising, especially due to the fact that there is availability of big speakers which are used during the day for the beach. When we asked for music, the waiter apologized and said they had no music, but then offered his own personal phone for our table to use with his personal music.He left it for the duration of our meal so that we could enjoy the atmosphere and meal with music, which is important to our group.

This was our second visit to Royal Hicacos, last year it being Sandals. We saw little change in quality, Can someone tell me though, why the importance of raggedy blue beach towels? I fail to understand why so much value and energy is placed on making sure their towels are turned in when we leave, Only the blue ones…strange, as the white towels in our rooms never seem to be counted or mentioned even though they are much better quality and newer??? This was not an issue when it was Sandals. Why, resorts of Cuba?? Can anyone answer that question. Our maid was quite panicked when she thought we did not have one of our towels ( we did) and she indicated that she would be held responsible.

Overall, I would recommend this resort. It is truly lovely and a great value for your hard earned dollars. Well worth a visit if you are looking for one of Varadero's best.

Room Tip: We were on the west side. Beautiful sunset pool there. It is quiet and close to everything.
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank IloveCuba1636
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Burlington, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed April 30, 2014

Wonderful hotel and staff! Truly the friendliest staff I have come across in any resort. Hotel has the best beach for miles and is well maintained. The check-in experience was very unique with everyone on the bus ushered into a beautiful area where we were seated, served Champaign, given a quick explanation of the resort and our room key and then escorted to our rooms. A relaxed atmosphere from the moment we got off the bus. Rooms are clean, although they could stand an update which the new owners are working on. Food was excellent at all the restaurants. The staff work very hard at making your meals enjoyable and are professional at all times. Buffet was also enjoyable. Most staff strive to make your stay the best possible and they do a great job at it. Entertainment staff, both day and night, go over and beyond. Overall, very enjoyable vacation and would highly recommend this resort. April 18-25 2014

Room Tip: Ask for a room away from the generator building as it is quite noisy.
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
3 Thank 114Travelbug
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
royalhicacos, Manager at Royalton Hicacos Varadero Resort & Spa, responded to this review, May 27, 2014
Dear guests:

Thank you so much for your beautiful comments.

Nothing makes us happier than reading that you were satisfied with your vacation. Your happiness is the most important thing to us. If we can give you an unforgettable vacation, then our job is done. We do not stop there though, as we always continue to revise our procedure to ensure the best service and quality day in and day out.

We very much appreciate your comments dear guests, they are invaluable to us and we thank you for sharing them with us and our future guests.

We hope to welcome you back again to Royal Hicacos, your true paradise!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Royalton Hicacos Varadero Resort & Spa

Property: Royalton Hicacos Varadero Resort & Spa
Address: Carretera Las Morlas km 15 | Punta Hicacos, Varadero 42200, Cuba (Formerly Royal Hicacos)
Location: Caribbean > Cuba > Matanzas Province > Varadero
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Luxury Hotel in Varadero
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Varadero
#1 Spa Hotel in Varadero
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Varadero
#7 Romantic Hotel in Varadero
#13 Family Hotel in Varadero
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Royalton Hicacos Varadero Resort & Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 404
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nestled within lush tropical gardens and just steps from the azure blue waters and powder white sand of Cuba's finest beach lies the award-winning Royalton Hicacos Varadero Resort & Spa, an Adults Only Luxury All Inclusive Resort. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sandals Royal Hicacos Varadero
Sandals Cuba
Sandals Royal Hicacos Resort Spa
Royal Hicacos

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