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“Clean hotel, average staff, horrible food”
Review of Hotel Palma Real

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Hotel Palma Real
Ranked #49 of 63 Hotels in Varadero
Ontario
Level Contributor
52 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 120 helpful votes
“Clean hotel, average staff, horrible food”
Reviewed August 28, 2013

Four of us stayed at the Bellevue Palma Real - or as called in Varadero- Palma Real - August 15 - 23, 2013.
The hotel is "downtown" but not on the main strip. The beach is a 2 block walk away but is clean and kept up.
We loved the pool at the resort with the swin up bar and the bartender was attentive.
I have been to other resorts and was quite disappointed with the "animation team". At the resort the only thing I saw the "team" do was dance lessons which was the same lesson everyday. The lady who did it was enthusiastic but it was lame to see the same moves everyday. If you don't care about the activities then by all means being at the resort in the pool with the Spanish music is fine and we enjoyed it. No spanish lessons, darts, aqua fit in the pool, nothing.
The La Pizzaa restaurant near the pool was great for pizza, pasta and hamburgers and we lived on this for the week for lunch. The pizza is not like ours in North America but was edible and got us by.
Breakfast was scrambled eggs or an omelet with a few ingredients we may be familiar with.
The buffet was lacking in so many ways - no pasta bar for dinner either. It was so hot and the buffet restaurant did not have air conditioning so it was quite uncomfortable everytime we went to the buffet.
Our room was clean and had a great balcony. We were in room 1417 and the view of the swimming pool and the beautiful ocean was breathtaking. The bathroom also had a lot of little windows near the ceiling which we liked. I did see two baby cockroaches in the bathroom when I was there at night.
HAVANA CLUB was amazing and a very short walk from the hotel. We got into this club free because we were staying at the Palma Real. Great club, 5 CUC cover and the drinks were around 3 - 4 CUC each. Just a short walk down the street is Calle 62 which is a snack bar turned into outdoor club at night whith great shows and a fun atmosphere.
I usually bond with some of the staff and am sorry to say I did not feel this way at all with any of the staff at this resort. While being decently pleasant, no one went out of their way for us. They did their job and thats it.
The lobby bar was nice and the bartender was happy to make us an array of different drinks to try.
Tipping: We tipped once or twice a day at the swin up bar and left 2 pesos for our maid everyday (we had 3 in our room). We tipped a peso at each meal. We tipped at the lobby bar if we drank there. We did not tip if we received bad service which was rare.
CONS: No money exchanging at this resort, not even at the front desk. We had to walk to the neighbouring resort to change our money. Change your money at the airport. Get one or two people to get the luggage and the other people to go outside of the airport to your left to the bank. Better exchange than changing it at the other resort.
No international calling. Most resorts have a telephone room to make international calls home in case of emergency but this resort does not.
No air conditioning in the restaurants or lobby of the hotel and during the summer it is so hot as to be uncomfortable.

Would I go back? The resort is in a great location, close to Havana Club and Calle 62 which we loved. Given this we may decide to go back.
If you like great service and good food don't go here. I am not a picky eater but we all struggled to find a decent thing to eat at dinner and ended up going out to Kiki's Club, Varadero 60 and Waco Club for dinner to escape the buffet.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank erikatyrell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (419)
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English first
Brighton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
18 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed August 20, 2013

This hotel is good if you are not looking for buisness class standard and is an average holiday stay for a eager family with hyperactive children. Most of the staff are relatively friendly talking you commonly although some scowl sometimes, the rooms are complete from small overlooking balcony to hair dryer in the bathroom , most of them are set up the same two large beds with night lights and a tv with a remote which sometimes works - a fridge on the other side of the room under a wooden table with two draws and a mirror above, opposite a wardrobe with two sliding doors that may I note might be broken. The bathroom is nice, fit with a bath and a connecting tedious shower that you really have to get the hang of if you want it to work, a sink with a large clean mirror, and a toilet that works but is sometimes quite hard to flush and remnants remain in the toilet. Overall I have made it look bad when it is an average cheaply priced room which anyone would be happy to stay in - by the way there is only the balcony in terms of sunlight no windows but thats ok because the lights although do actually let of quite a lot of light and the balcony is next to the bed with curtains. The food, hmm.... well I can only say it one way absolute rubbish you walk into the restaurant "flamboyan" which in my view the name is highly puzzling and doesn't exactly make sense a waiter greets you in a room with about 20 small tables which unless you get there at seven in the morning will not of been cleared and may have a few drinks or scraps of food on the table before you even sit down, you grab a plate and make your way throughout the buffet there is several cold Burnt eggs and selection of cold greasy hams bread which is the kind of stuff they make burgers out of in mcdonalds with dome shreds of bland but sugary cake as you move further up there may be some almost white water melon and hard pineapple also some papaya that distinctively tastes of sick. Also four types of cereal that are usually stuck together or so dry the taste has gone also when you or child goes looking for milk there may be a kind of box of drinks a third being either yogurt or off milk, a third being chunky fruit juice and the other may be milk that ok when I was there I once or twice poured yogurt into my cereal so be carful of that. Between two stands is a man or waiter that is making some kind omlette thing and scrambled eggs - which I admit looks nice but I never tasted it lots of the Cubansluke it though

The swimming pools are nice and clean you can play ping pong on the table, and there is a lifeguard if on need. But the drinks are very watered down and not nice in terms of alcohol and lemonade. I do warn that if you don't like Abba music you may be in trouble as that is all that is played. Now there is a Chinese cuisine for dining but I warn you we rang up the reception to see if you has to book and they said that you don't ; but we got there and there where about 5 tables free with no reserve sign yet we were notified that we could not eat there as we had not made a booking at our own hotel .... Overall nice pools , games and view , appalling food and bad staff , and just take this as a note we has several items stolen from our room with no assistance we guess not anyone climbing 3 floors up.

  • Stayed September 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank pistache620
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Varadero hotels

Winnipeg
Level Contributor
10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed August 10, 2013

My fiancé and I booked into the Palma Real for 2 weeks and after 1 week we paid to move to another hotel. The location was great but the service was so bad. The resort was clean and offered great shows. They have a pizza restaurant that makes good food and the service was pretty good (but you cant eat pizza and pasta for lunch and dinner everyday for 2 weeks). The main buffet had good food but very very bad service. We would pick a table then get our food, we would wait 10 minutes for cutlery and we finished our meal before we every saw a drink. We tipped, we smiled we tried everything but they did not want to serve us. The pool has a swim up bar but the women working made us feel like an interruption to her break. She did not want to work, she wanted to sit and do nothing. We tipped her and did not even get a thank you or a smile.This is not a bad resort for the money! if you are in a large group you will have more fun, if you like to go of the resort you can walk almost anywhere. If you want friendly service then I wouldn't recommend here.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Palenzuela
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sao Paulo, SP
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed July 30, 2013

The hotel and its location are great! It´s very close to the beach!
The rooms are very clean and the maids are very sweet.
Bars have a good variety of drinks and mojitos are nicely made.
Generally the food in Cuba is not good!

Room Tip: All rooms are good.
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank anacbaldani
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
25 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
Reviewed July 16, 2013

I went here for Spring Break and got a pretty good deal! This was clearly not a hotel for children, there were escorts with older Canadian men, people were yelling at every corner, and all crammed in the tiny lobby. The rooms are very clean and the maids are very sweet, all tips and valuables left to them are greatly appreciated. Rooms have everything you need, but the fridge doesn't cool or have anything in it. You need to buy your own water (if you plan on even drinking any :) Bars have a good variety of drinks and mojitos are nicely made! Coffee is absolutely fantastic, especially Americano. Walk to the beach is nice and short just be careful when crossing the street! Location is absolutely perfect! Close to great bars and clubs! We didn't make it to Havana Club, but if anyone has, message me, I'd love to know how it is! Strongly recommend taking some salsa classes before you go to Varadero/Cuba since a bar like Calle 62 is SO amazing, and many locals come to show you some of their moves haha :) ! We didn't go to any of the pools during the day but many people were there, and it seemed nice! Beach is fantastic, rent the catamaran its great! Many lounge chairs just come earlier to get shade! Ok, so now to the one and only problem with this hotel- the food. Ive been to hotels around Cuba and this might've been as bad at Playa Caleta. The mangoes, cheese, ham, bread, eggs, and chicken/pork/fish are the only things I ate that week since I'm not a fan of french fries, hash-browns, bacon, but that is just my personal opinion, if you do like these things then you probably wont find the food a problem and in that case you should book your trip NOW ! I do recommend this hotel if you look to minimally eat here, party, and tan at a beautiful beach. This is not for families but mostly for solo or friend trips! If you booked here already, have fun, enjoy, relax, go out and party at Calle 62, Havana Club, The Cave, and don't think about your problems or expect to find this resort perfect! Message me for any questions you might have!

Room Tip: In Building 4 you can hear Havana Club every night, and on Sunday nights there was a large party mus...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank srbijaloves
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed July 16, 2013 via mobile

Location is greate, you'll need to know what's around to eat cause the food at this all inclusive is awfull. Little to no choise in menu. And the dinner staff and bartenders are rude, making requests seem like a bother.
And the drinking water is from the focit. I got a stomac virus from this place for 3 weeks after the trip . So bring your own whater cause
The room fridge was empty. The nightclub that is included is behind and called the "Havana Club" catchy considering the place. But it's was awfull , a completely missed concept. The do not play one drop of Cuban music and the drinks are expensive. One R&C was 5cuc. Created a cruise ship nightclub atmosphere. We hopped down the Street to a local spot called the Comparsita and 5cuc cover but open bar all night and local music hits and people.

This hotel is only good to sleep but will spring price difference for a 5 star.

  • Stayed June 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Yogiyawns
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed June 15, 2013

- Great location for shopping at local markets
- Food choices were limited and not very appetizing
- Service depended on who you got (some good/some bad)
- Maintenance was obviously not a priority (dining room air conditioning wasn't working all week)
- Note the beach is not on the resort (have to walk a couple of blocks)
- If you just want a cheap vacation to Cuba rather than a really nice resort with good food then this is the place for you.

Room Tip: Bottom floor room makes it easier to enjoy the pool while avoiding the stairs and being able to have...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Brian D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Palma Real

Property: Hotel Palma Real
Address: 64 St | 62 And 1st, Varadero 42200, Cuba (Formerly BelleVue Palma Real)
Location: Caribbean > Cuba > Matanzas Province > Varadero
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#31 Top resorts Hotel in Varadero
#32 Luxury Hotel in Varadero
#36 On the Beach Hotel in Varadero
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Palma Real 4*
Number of rooms: 466
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Also Known As:
Hotetur Palma Real Hotel
Palma Real Cuba
Hotetur Palma Real Varadero
Hotel Palma Real Cuba
Palma Real Varadero Cuba
Palma Real Hotel Cuba
Varadero Palma Real
Hotel Palma Real Varadero Cuba

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