We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Royal Renovation”

Best prices for -
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 6 more sites!
Royalton Hicacos Varadero Resort & Spa
Ranked #4 of 64 Hotels in Varadero
Reviewed July 20, 2014

We had the pleasure of staying at Royal Hicacos from July 8th to 15th, 2014. Upon our arrival, even though I was aware of renovations ongoing, we were driven past the main lobby, and welcomed at a side entrance. For a moment I thought I might see Mike Holmes directing the reno crew, but no such luck. I must admit it was a little disappointing not to enter the resort through the once impressive lobby. Perhaps next time.

This stay marked our third return to Hicacos, so I was curious to see how the resort had changed from its Sandals’ days. The following review will consist of my before-and-after snapshot of what we experienced while at the resort. Curious?…..then read on….

Rooms. We purchased “Concierge” service, so, as a result we were in the Concierge area of the complex. Much has been said, in many previous Tripadvisor posts, about the rooms however please be informed that they are all furnished the same, whether you have concierge service or not. The Royal and Presidential suites are furnished differently, as you would expect, however we have not stayed in either. As well, non of the rooms have an “ocean view” due to a large green belt between the buildings and ocean.
Our room was 2715, and had a newer “pillow top” mattress, which was softer than previous Hicacos’ rooms we’ve stayed in. The bathroom had a new hairdryer, so gone is the “fire breathing” wall mounted dragon that used to be present. You folks who get all uptight about tarnished fixtures, and other microscopic trivia, can breathe a sigh of relief as all fixtures sparkled. No doubt, you’ll find something else to complain about. Patio furniture was also new, and very comfortable. Lastly, our room had a digital, yes digital, A/C control which worked flawlessly. Otherwise, the rooms were painted and in good repair.

Grounds. Well, in a word, immaculate! The gardeners were out everyday working very hard, in extreme heat, planting new shrubs, cutting grass, cleaning up, etc. Everything looked great, so a huge improvement from our previous visits.

Buildings. Everywhere we looked work was underway. Yes, I know this is the slow season, however painting crews were “at it” the whole time we were there. Regarding the Lobby Bar and Main reception, I peeked in both often and they look promising, but still not complete. Hopefully soon? Either way, when management says, “We are polishing our diamond….”, they’re not kidding! Work is underway in a big way! As our week stay ran out, a temporary structure was being built on the beach in front of the existing beach bar. We asked, “What is it?”, of many servers and they said it was going to be the “temporary bar” while the main beach bar was gutted and redone. Hmmm…..the temporary structure was kind of small…so…don’t really know where everyone is going to sit? Stay tuned!

Beach. Well, it’s still the best beach along the strip! Don’t believe it, then go for a walk in either direction. Wide, beautiful, better groomed than last year, and we saw a gentleman walk along with a rake and bucket picking up debris off the beach everyday. New beach loungers everywhere, as the ugly, old worn out blue and yellow ones are gone! Beach bar service is excellent, as a server walked up and down the beach many times, all day long, asking you if you wanted a drink. We were very impressed!

Security. As before they are everywhere keeping an eye on things. We had no issues with “pesky beach sellers” of any sort. We had no concerns with leaving our personal items on the loungers and going for a swim. Excellent security! Thank you!

Restaurants. As with previous visits, themed restaurants were open on alternate nights. Since we had Concierge service, we had NO problem getting same day seating. I heard many people complaining about not being able to get seating, so, perhaps Concierge is worth the slighter higher cost? I’ll let you think on it.
Overall we found the service in all themed restaurants, and buffet, to be much sharper and attentive. It was as if the servers were reading your mind, as more water, wine, coffee, etc. was quickly, efficiently and politely served as needed. Well done! Regarding the actual food, well, we enjoyed it thoroughly no matter what restaurant, and I believe management has heard the universal cry of, “no more frozen vegetables, please!” Could not find any this year, so well done!


Entertainment. Wow, what a difference from last year! Programmed, on time, varied, and overall excellent! In our room we found a laminated schedule that had a grid of activities from Monday to Sunday, along with the times and places. Whether morning, afternoon, or evening you would be hard pressed not to find something to do, if you chose to. Resort staff worked tirelessly to amuse, exercise, or otherwise entertain guests. Evening shows, in particular, were much more polished and snappy then previous years. The “warm-up” man, named El Chaca, was brilliant as he not only spoke French, Spanish and English fluently, but was also extremely clever and entertaining! I only hope he is compensated fairly for his talents, along with the rest of the evening entertainers, as they were outstanding. So, in short, if you found nothing to amuse you, besides the beach and incredible ocean, then perhaps you didn’t really need a holiday.

Concierge. Worth a mention because they were so incredibly helpful, and ready with answers. Alex, you’re the man!, made a big difference in our stay as he helped out with some minor annoyances. Yes, I know, many of you have said, “it’s not worth the extra cost…”. Well, up to you, however I didn’t have to stand in line to make dinner reservations,….did you? As well lots of discounts for massages, shops, and or course, private airport transfers. More than worth the extra cost.

Staff. Getting bored yet? Well I’m almost done, but to not mention the amazing staff would just be wrong.

Breakfast Buffet: Osvany, you are the “Eggman”. Wow! Serving sometimes six people at once, you always got the eggs right! Osnay and Hermes, thanks for “reading our minds” and always having the coffee ready! Coco, the waffle guy. Thank you for my morning tic-tac-toe!

Lunch Buffet: Osiris, Miladys, Marleny. Wow, as soon as the plate was empty you whisked it away! Thanks so much!

Beach Bar: If you haven’t met Kirenia or Ernesto, then you haven’t been to Hicacos! Truly the life of the Beach Bar! Funny, spicy, efficient, everything you could want in people working at a resort. You made our beach experience priceless. Gracias!

Los Morlas: Yuri, you are the picture of efficiency, and professionalism! Your service at dinner was unforgettable

Piano Bar: Rodney, you are the “Mix master”. Your Royalton was a thing of beauty. Just wanted to look at it, and not drink it.

Maid: Dayana, you kept our room spotless, and we loved seeing your daily “towel art”. Many thanks.

Tipping. Yes, many of you Sandals’ advocates just love to sing the song, “You don’t tip at Sandals” Well, it’s no longer a Sandals! Did we tip? Oh yes! Did the service get better? Don’t really know, as I was too busy having a great time on my holiday to notice. Do I tip for great service in my own home town? Of course, don’t you?

Final thoughts. Oh thank God, he’s finally done! Well, almost…..I wanted to say a few things about management. Clearly we saw you watching us, as we were also watching you do your jobs. I must say that there has been a huge increase in the number of managers watching the resort workers. Yes, all aspects of Hicacos have improved, I only hope that the workers can benefit from the improvements as well, and not just work even harder than before for the same or less pay. We have always believed that the strength of any organization is its workers. You have a great team of workers at Hicacos. We hope you care for them as much as they cared for us, and helped make our time memorable. We will return, in the future, to see the new Royal Hicacos. Viva la Renovation!

Room Tip: Concierge service is worth the extra cost. Be kind to the resort staff, they work hard for you!
See more room tips
  • Stayed: July 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
17  Thank Greg T
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 reviewResponded July 22, 2014

Dear guests:

We love your title! What an amazing review! You have us down to a T!! Amazing! This will be so helpful for our future guests! We could not have done it better ourselves!

Your comments about our rooms are very interesting, but mostly, all accurate. Furthermore, all of our rooms will be refurbished starting January 2015 as we have a beautiful proposition for you! We are so proud of our new diamond and you are right, we do love polishing it, but it no way do we wish to affect you vacation in any way.

Of course, your appreciation of our new diamond is also correct (how about that Royalton drink!), but we would like to address the most important part of our review which is our staff. What we would do without them we simply would not know. Our workers will benefit from the improvements as they are just as much a big part of our polishing. What is the point of having a beautiful hotel without beautiful people attending beautiful guests?

Thank you, thank you, thank you dear guests, your review was very inspiring and gave us even more energy to ensure your utmost satisfaction!

We look forward to your 4th visit to Royal Hicacos, your Royal hotel!

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review
Reviews (4,494)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language
  • More languages

2,787 - 2,793 of 4,494 reviews

Reviewed July 20, 2014

I'm not one to do a lot of traveling, but fell in love with this place. i felt that I was among family the Staff seem to go that extra mile to make our stay memorable. Can't wait to go back. We have made many friends among the staff and other guests that we now try to plan our visits around. The place is fabulous location to take photos especially the Sunsets at the beach.

Don Coughlan
Saint John N.B.
Canada

  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Service
2  Thank Don C
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 reviewResponded July 22, 2014

Dear repeat guests:

What a heartfelt review. You do not know what it means to us that even if you don’t travel much that you prefer to come visit us every time! That is priceless for us!

Your happiness is our utmost satisfaction. Your review makes us so proud and gives us so much strength to keep on giving our 110% so that guests like you visit us again because our new diamond feels like home to them. Our dedicated staff is where the magic happens, and when we mix them with your needs and want, it makes for a perfect vacation!

We do not know how to thank you dear repeat guests, we appreciate your review so much and it has touched us deeply!

We hope to welcome you back very soon for your 4th visit to Royal Hicacos, your fabulous and memorable hotel!

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 19, 2014

On arrival I was very impressed with the resort, the layout and the beach. I couldn't wait to check in and start exploring.

Our room was well laid out, with a lounge area and a bedroom area on different levels within an open-plan room. The bathroom was spacious and included a double bath. However, the room was very dark and relied on lamps to light the room. The towels were a bit frayed and old looking, and some of the bathroom fittings weren't clean. It was a very good room otherwise. The bed was so high I almost needed a step ladder to get into it!

The resort does offer a free dive lesson and a free dive to all guests. These are only available on certain days, so arrange this at the start of your stay to enable you to make use of it.

The number of nights you stay with the resort entitles you to a number of bookings for the a la carte restaurants. This is also something to check and book at the beginning of your stay, as the restaurants book up quickly with the arrival of new tour groups. The buffet restaurant is available for all other meals, although the quality of food was less than I'd expected. There are a number of smaller cafe type places to eat at during the day too, but the food was of a similar quality.

The internet service is slow and expensive (£3 for one hour). You can only access the wifi from the hotel lobby area.

The evening entertainment was very good, with various singing and dancing acts on each night and a water ballet.

All of the staff were friendly, the pools were great and the access to the beach was superb.

  • Stayed: May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
6  Thank desigoodall
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 reviewResponded July 22, 2014

Dear guests:

Thank you for your comments! They are so important to us!

You will be happy to learn that we will soon start to renovate all of our beautiful 404 rooms! Starting 2015 we will still offer you our amazing lounge and bedroom area but with a well-deserved refurbishment!

As you mention, the WIFI service in Cuba is still relatively new and is not yet up to ultimate speed. Progression is seen though and we are still very proud to be one of the few hotels offering the service on the island.

Thank you for mentioning our scuba diving services! It is quite an experience as we offer free scuba diving lessons and one free dive per person per day! Schedules are subject mostly to weather conditions as we have your safety at heart. Even if sometimes the weather seems safe, it is very strictly regulated by the Cuban regulations which need to be respected at all times.

We very much appreciate your comments dear guests, thank you for taking the time to share them with us!

We look forward to welcoming you back once again to Royal Hicacos, your exclusive resort!

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 19, 2014

This is our first time in Cuba and was impressed how beautiful Royal Hicacos was. The resort is a perfect escape as it offers a beautiful white sand beach, great service from the staff and the food were delicious (get the lobster thermidor from Las Morlas). The night entertainment especially the Michael Jackson show was amazing! The swimming pools were very nice and warm too. While at the beach, a covered hut is always available and a waiter takes your bar order. We even had a coconut from the gardener.

For the excursion, we took the Havana one day - it was a historical event, go see it. Make sure they stop over the "pina colada and banos (washroom) place." The sugar cane excursion was also nice. The guide explain how it was made, the "machete" guy gave us fresh sugar cane sample to try. Lunch and 2 museum tours were included - plus 2 rum give away!

We were there for 5 days July 12 through July 17. I wanted to thank my waitress and waiters, Yuni (coffee shop) - always with a beautiful smile. Osany, Dania and Mercedes from the buffet - very friendly. The receptionists were also very friendly and helpful. Our maids made the room clean always with a new “towel art” design everyday on top of our bed. My butler Fernando arranged my reservation at the restaurant and arranged to have a coffee machine in the room as there wasn't any. Shout out also to Sandy – in charge of pool entertainment.

Take a bunch of 1 peso coins as the cook, waiters and maids will appreciate a tip everyday – they deserve it!

Lastly the resort is only 30 minutes away from the airport.
We will be back! Thank you Royal Hicacos for a vacation well spent.

  • Stayed: July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Rod M
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 reviewResponded July 22, 2014

Dear guests:

What a beautiful review! Thank you so much! How refreshing!

Of course the city of Havana is not part of our hotel, but you are right, what a historical city, it is worth a look!

5 days is way too short to visit us! You have to make sure you come back for more time on your next vacation! Thank you for your beautiful comments about our staff, we are all here to ensure that your vacation is unforgettable from the beginning to the end! Your happiness is the most important thing to us. If you are satisfied, we are satisfied and we know that we are on the right track.

Thank you so much dear guests for your beautiful comment, what great news that you will be back!

We certainly look forward to welcoming you back again for a longer visit at Royal Hicacos, your perfect-escape hotel!

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 17, 2014

After 8 times in Varadero, in different resorts we believe we found the right one and the only best in Cuba- Royal Hicacos. Everything starting with welcome, lobby bar, the staff, food, beach and shows were to our satisfaction. Wonderful trip ever.

  • Stayed: July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel
10  Thank Tom N
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 reviewResponded July 26, 2014

Dear repeat guests:

What joy to read your review! After 8 times you are still satisfied and want to come back! Thank you so much for your trust and loyalty!

We are dedicated to exceeding your expectations. It is what we do for a living. Without your faithfulness, we would not be able to do that. We cannot thank you enough for letting us take care of you as nothing makes us prouder.

We do not know how to thank you dear repeat guests; your confidence touches us very deeply.

We certainly look forward to welcoming you back for a 9th time at Royal Hicacos, your amazing hotel!

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
London, United Kingdom
13
Reviewed July 17, 2014

Royal Hicacos has survived the departure of Sandals who had run it down.Fortunately they kept the staff who are friendly and helpful.If however you want quiet beach this is no longer the place for you!It rocks with wall to wall cocktails however remember this is a Communist country so keep the exuberance in check enjoy all of it but leave only footprints

  • Stayed: July 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with Virgin Holidays
3  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
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 reviewResponded July 28, 2014

Dear guests:

You cannot start to imagine what your e-mail means to us. We are so proud to have acquired this new diamond and will do anything to whip it into shape for it to become your favorite hotel of all times!

Our staff is what makes our diamond shine so brightly. They have been so supportive during the last months and although changes are not always easy, they have been up the par and continued giving unconditional service to all of our wonderful guests. We certainly do not want to imagine what we would do without them! Thank you for mentioning our new team who has by now become family!

Thank you for sharing your experience with us dear guests, we are very proud to read that repeat guests are still satisfied with their second-home.

We look forward to welcoming you once again to Royal Hicacos, your multi-functional hotel!

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 17, 2014

This was our 2nd trip to Cuba (1st was in Holguin - Paradisus Rio D'oro; great resort as well, I highly recommend it for a romantic getaway) and for this time we chose Varadero, because we've wanted to visit Havana as well - which we did 1-day trip in a 1959 Chevy Impala, with Blexie, our 26 yrs old private tour guide(we've got his contact info from Trip Advisor, his email: blexie100588@gmail.com). Based on these reviews, we've picked Royal Hicacos and, DEFINITELY, we didn't go wrong! (Thank you to all the Trip Advisor's reviewers :))
We knew about the renovations and the fact that a new management has taken over this beautiful resort, but all these hardworking people made our stay EXCEPTIONAL! (people like Felix and Ignacio, our buttlers, who helped us with everything we wanted; Ignacio, I need to thank you again for bringing to us those amazing avocados and mango, from your home/garden!!!). "Mon Chapeau" for all the services provided! The food was very good; the entertainment - one of the best that we've seen so far; the beach....AMAZING!!! We had a lot of fun, meeting new friends and partying almost every night at the beach.
Do we want to go back? Crazy to not too!!! :)

Thank you, Royal Hicacos and...Cuba for making beautiful memories for us!

  • Stayed: July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
7  Thank Kekutze
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 reviewResponded July 28, 2014

Dear guests:

Thank you so much for your beautiful review! It is so heartfelt and so generous! We are so happy that you count us as the best hotels in Cuba!

We are also very excited to hear that you have enjoyed our new butler service with Felix and Ignacio! We are still in training until October, but we take advantage of every day to put our services to the test! Nothing makes us prouder than to read that it is working out! Exceeding expectations is what we are all about here in our new diamond!

Your comments have touched us deeply dear guests, we can never thank you enough for sharing them with us!

We look forward to welcoming you back again to Royal Hicacos, your great hotel!

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Travelers also viewed these Varadero hotels
0.6 mi away
Blau Varadero Hotel Cuba
1.8 mi away
Sanctuary at Grand Memories Varadero
2.2 mi away
Ocean Vista Azul
Ocean Vista Azul
#8 of 64 in Varadero
1,699 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
0.3 mi away
Iberostar Varadero
Iberostar Varadero
#3 of 64 in Varadero
6,886 reviews
3.4 mi away
Melia Las Americas
Melia Las Americas
#5 of 64 in Varadero
5,568 reviews
2.2 mi away
Paradisus Princesa del Mar Resort & Spa
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Royalton Hicacos Varadero Resort & Spa? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about 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 Spa Hotel in Varadero
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Varadero
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Varadero
#4 Luxury Hotel in Varadero
#7 Romantic Hotel in Varadero
#13 Family Hotel in Varadero
Price Range: $260 - $471 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Royalton Hicacos Varadero Resort & Spa 4*
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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Hotels.com, Booking.com, TripOnline SA, Evoline ltd, Cancelon, HotelsClick and TravelUp so you can book your Royalton Hicacos Varadero Resort & Spa reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Sandals Royal Hicacos Varadero
Sandals Cuba
Sandals Royal Hicacos Resort Spa
Royal Hicacos

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing