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“this is where god goes to relax-from steve and tracy-st albert alberta”

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Hotel Melia Marina Varadero
Ranked #11 of 63 Hotels in Varadero
Certificate of Excellence
canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“this is where god goes to relax-from steve and tracy-st albert alberta”
Reviewed December 9, 2013

We just spent a week at this fabulous resort. Where to start is the hard part. We booked this resort after reading all the reviews and we certainly agree with all the excellent reviews. The resort is stunning. The layout, the rooms, ammenities were all first class. But after being there a couple days you realize what makes this place is the amazing service and staff. Never did we see a staff member not smile and offer you a friendly '''hola''''. The manager himself walks around the resorts and meets and mingles with all the guests and genuinely thanks you for your visit and his first concern is if you are happy with your stay. Everyday room service called us to see if we are doing well and if there was anything we needed. That has never happened at any other resort we have been to. The a la cartes were world class. The buffet was awesome, on some days they would not have something you had the day before but perhaps thats part of the charm of cuba. The buffet food was more then plentiful and you always left with a smile and a full belly. A special mention goes out to Alberto behind the bar in the main lobby. What a great guy, very friendly and a howl to just sit and talk too. We will miss him very much. This isnt the kind of resort to go to if you are looking for a week long drunken party. This is very upscale but not snotty.You can still party with the great entertainment but we feel if you are into total relaxation with a blend of entertainment this is a great spot. We can safely say that Cuba now has a world class resort. I would absolutely recommend this resort to anyone looking for a great time and relaxation. We meet many other guests at the hotel that quickly became friends whom it was great to share the experience with. Hope Paul and Fung read this lol. Our heartfelt thank you to the staff and management of the Melia Marina Veradero. We will be back!!!!! and as promised with Canadian NHL banners for the new sports bar.

Steve and Tracy

Room Tip: The marina side was very entertaining and peacefull.
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
6 Thank happytc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gildas_Renaux, Director General at Hotel Melia Marina Varadero, responded to this review, December 10, 2013
Dear Tracy and Albert, it was certainly a pleasure to meet you personally at the Melia Marina Varadero and I would like to thank you for reporting your nice comments on Trip advisor.
It is good to see that you left the sunny island of Cuba and our resort with such a fantastic souvenir of your holidays.
I will be waiting for you to come back with the promised Canadian NHL banners... LoL!
See you soon ion Cuba and warmest regards from all our staff..
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English first
Kingston, Canada
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed December 8, 2013

My husband and I travelled to the Melia Marina from November 29-December 6. We were planning a joint celebration for our birthdays, mine occuring while we were there. We travelled with Sunwing, and had no issues with flights, transfers etc. which was good. We arrived around noon to the hotel and our room was ready. Pool view standard, which was very modern and well appointed and clean. Nice view of the pool, and easy access to the gym, pool, lobby. Beds are very comfortable and firm. Bathrooms are really nicely set up with separate shower and tub.

Food was pretty good for Cuba. We don`t go for the food, mainly the beaches, the people and safety. We ate at the buffet for breakfast once, the rest of the time at the pool snack bar where we like the quiet, the view and great service from Yanet. Lunches were either at pool or beach restaurant which has a lovely view and food was decent, great calamari! We tried two a la carte`s, the Italian which was very good and the French which was excellent--very good lobster bisque and lobster thermadore. They also brought me a cake for my birthday when my husband told them it was my day which was nice.

The bars were pretty good, nice drink selection and great cappucinos and specialty coffees. Language was a bit of a barrier with some of the servers at times. We found that sometimes they would be right on you to serve you drinks, and sometimes you would be left waiting and not even acknowledged. That said...I would like to highly recommend the Cigar Bar, which was a wonderful experience. The attention paid to us was excellent, all the staff here from the lady working in the humidor, to all the servers. A special mention to Carlos, so personable and attentive--he really cares about his patrons and made us feel special.

Wifi was an issue, they ran out of cards about three days into the trip, which was a bit inconvenient for communicating back home. There was an issue with hot water for about two days, tepid or cool showers which weren`t very nice. We also had an issue when the maid took our towels for washing and didn`t leave more, wouldn`t have been an issue--but we had to call four times over three hours to have some sent up when we were wanting to shower after a day at the beach.

Pool is lovely, beach is good--even though small --but still very lovely. They needed more chairs available, in off season we had to be out there by 9:30-10 a.m. to get a spot, so hopefully for high season they will have done something about it. From what I was told and could see they ran from about 600-1000 people during our stay.The walk from the pool to the beach is nothing to be concerned about--maybe four or five minutes--I`ve walked further for other resorts.

Overall, it was a very good stay and we enjoyed ourselves. With a bit of tweeking of these growing pains in service etc, this resort will be excellent and certainly has the facilities and potential of a five star. I cannot rate it as such yet, but hopefully if we return--which I would definitely do--it will be on that visit.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank ginetteinkingston
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gildas_Renaux, Director General at Hotel Melia Marina Varadero, responded to this review, December 9, 2013
Dear friend form Kingston, thank you for reporting your holiday’s feedback n Trip Advisor. I am glad to see that you left the Melia Marina Varadero with such a good feeling of our resort and to see that you really enjoyed both, quality of our food as well as the genuine attitude of our employees.
Your comments are extremely valuable and will be reported to our employees.
We hope to see you back soon in your “home away from home”.
Best regards.
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Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
51 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed December 7, 2013

Overall we had a good stay at this hotel. We booked it due to how new it was and also very much based on the reviews on Tripadvisor. From our experience some of the reviews proved to be true while others weren't as accurate in our opinion!

Check in: We arrived at the resort at 10:30 in the morning and we did not get our room until 6:00 pm. Our first initial day was frustrating. We were exhausted and couldn't access the pool because we were unable to access our beach towels until we got our room where the beach towels were supplied. We basically spent the first day sleeping in the lobby and checking back in
with front desk every half an hour after 3:00 pm when our room was supposed to be ready. This was the case for many fellow travelers who arrived with us.

The Room: The room was really nice. Very clean and modern. Our housekeeper Zoraina who cared for our room all week was wonderful. We left her gifts every day+ little notes and she took the time to write back. She was very hospitable and gracious and kept our room clean and fresh. The air conditioner worked well and the water in the shower was always hot and had good pressure. The only downfall we encountered was the mattress. It was very hard and
unsupportive. We are a young/fit couple and were dreading sleep because we woke up sore every day. I was contemplating accessing the spa for a massage just to help ease my back/neck pain.

The buffet: The food in the buffet was very bland and unappealing (and we say this having been to Cuba four times prior and we are very aware that the food in Cuba is not always spectacular due to their limited resources!) We found there was a lack of variety and the food that was
available was often inedible at times. We are not very picky eaters but we did come to the resort with higher expectations of the food because the reviews boasted how delicious is was and also
considering this is a 5 star resort. With that being said...

The A La Carte Restaurants were absolutely amazing! There were only three available/open during our stay and we managed to make a reservation at all 3 and had delicious, well prepared meals at all 3. The Asian food was authentic and so flavourful. The Latino restaurant served some very unique and savoury meals and the French restaurant was definitely our favourite. The food was succulent and the service at all 3 restaurants was impeccable.

The lobby bar: The lobby bar made the best drinks (whether you chose an alcoholic beverage or a cappuccino!) All the bar staff were fantastic. However, Alberto was our favourite! His English is superb and he knew our orders after the first day and took the time to talk to us and make
us feel welcome. He recommended different sites to see when we went to Havannah and he was always approachable and funny!

The Pool area: The pool is very clean and large and there were always plentiful access too the chairs and umbrellas. The pool staff were attentive ensuring you were delivered a cushion for your chairs and checking to see if you needed a drink. We would set ourselves up by the
pool and walk over to the beach whenever we wanted to take a dip in the ocean or go for a walk.

The Beach: it is a very short walk over a bridge to the beach. I would say it was less than 2 minutes. We enjoyed the walk and never utilized the shuttle service; however, there are shuttles readily available to transport you over if you require them. The actual beach front area for
the hotel is small and it is very difficult to access a chair there. I'm guessing you have to get there early to get a beach chair. However, the beach was glorious and you could walk for miles if you turned left and if you turned right you basically could walk to what we think was the end of Varadaro's beach.

The pool restaurant/beach restaurants are similar in the sense that they work on a menu basis for lunch and they offer limited choices. We waited 30-40 minutes for our meals at both restaurants so if you want a quicker lunch- I would suggest the buffet. The food was ok in these restaurants. Quite often the dish of food you received did not match the description of what you ordered from the menu.

The workout room/Gym: The gym facilities were very clean and had brand new, up to date working equipment. (3 treadmills, a few upright bikes, 2 steppers and then a separate weight room) They offer complimentary towels and have a personal trainer on site at all times. Only downfall was that they close by 7:00. So if you want to get a quick workout in prior to dinner keep that in mind.

We went to Havannah and chose to book through our representative who arranged a private tour with another couple. She set us up with a guide + his car and it was $75 per couple (much cheaper than paying to go with a big group and we had more control over our itinerary and agenda for the day) We were thrilled with the intimacy of the trip and the knowledge of our guide. We booked through Leidy (Hola Sun) and she secured our guide Gillbert (Pronounced "Hilberto") We would strongly recommend him and taking this route to see Havannah if you can find
another couple who is interested.

Currency Exchange: We never had a problem converting our money to their convertible peso's. There was sometimes a line up but they always seemed to have enough money on hand and they were great with giving smaller bills/coins as well.

WIFI/Computers: When the wifi was working (and that was basically one
day out of the seven that we were there) we could access it by paying $4.50 an hour. They stopped offering these cards because of how bad the server was. An hour for the internet on their computers was $10 and they had 3 working computers so it was sometimes tricky to get one during busy times (after dinner, morning time)

Overall we had a nice, relaxing week. We were very impressed that we were personally greeted by the General Manager one evening who seemed genuinely interested in how our stay was. He appeared to be introducing himself to all guests. That was a nice touch. Lastly, we did encounter
some language barriers with many of the servers, people working on the
grill and front desk staff. We found it very difficult to ask simple questions and receive accurate answers or outcomes and we felt bad because many of the employees seemed frustrated with this. If you can't seem to get your point across or a question answered I suggest you go to
the customer service room near the luggage room and speak to someone there. We accessed them for help a few times and their English is great. They always followed through with whatever
request or issue we brought forward.

We had a pool view room and are very grateful for not paying more for a Marina View room as a few people we met had switched rooms with the Marina view due to the noise and high volume at night. (The show, bands and bar are all outside on the marina side and it can be quite noisy
until 12:00-1:00 am) Just something to keep in mind if you have small children or are light sleepers.

We would return to the resort with the hopes for a more comfortable bed and some improvements in the food being served in the buffet. We would
say the Melia Varadero at the moment is a solid 4 star but with time and as they grow in their reputation, it can achieve a true 5 star status. I also believe their price will continue to rise as people discover this new and modern resort in Cuba so get there soon while prices are reasonable!

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank SJB2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gildas_Renaux, Director General at Hotel Melia Marina Varadero, responded to this review, December 9, 2013
Your comments on Trip Advisor are the best award we may receive from our guests and they will encourage us to try to do it better, looking for the best possible experience we may offer tour guests.
Thank you for giving such a detailed feedback with a lot of details.
I am glad to see that your stay was a good experience and that you are thinking in coming back at the Melia Marina Varadero upon your next holidays.
I wish you a good winter in your nice country and I send you my best regards from the sunny island of Cuba.
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Toronto, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed December 7, 2013

Just got back first week of December with some friends. Overall pretty impressed. We had an issue with our room and needed to have it changed the first day, but the staff was quick to respond. One of the 4 elevators was also down the entire week which made getting around a bit annoying at times. Free wifi would have been bonus too. I went to this resort not expecting perfection because it's so new, but it looks like they have a good handle on things now. When final completion of all the shops and the other condos is finished, I bet this will be one of the nicest resorts in Cuba. It's almost like a mini city.

Don't get turned off of the walk to the beach, it's not as far as some people have been saying. They built a nice walkway and they have shuttle carts running back and forth all day. The beach itself has a restaurant/washrooms/bars. The beach was very nice (right beside Paradisus) and it had a small reef right off the beach you can do some exploring with a paddle boat and snorkel. Sometimes hard to get a chair if you don't get there earlier which is common for every resort I've been to.

Food was decent, buffet got a bit repetitive but again, if you've been to Cuba this is expected. Some people go to resorts expecting a $200 a plate dinner, but they're just complainers and will find a flaw in anything. The restaurants were very good and they had much nicer red wines then the generic buffet red (which still wasn't bad).

Pool was a decent size and there always seemed to be plenty of chairs. There is a snack bar near the pool which is really convenient if you sleep through breakfast.

Bottom line, I would recommend this resort. I like trying different resorts every time I go, but I would be tempted to go back to this one again.

Room Tip: Although the top floors have a nicer view, elevator traffic can get heavy at times.
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank DVA81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gildas_Renaux, Director General at Hotel Melia Marina Varadero, responded to this review, December 9, 2013
Dear friend from Toronto, it with pleasure that I read your nice comments on Trip Advisor. I would like to thank you for recommending the Melia Marina Varadero so highly and I am glad to see that you went back home with such a good souvenir of your holiday’s experience.
We hope to see you coming back soon in our resort and I send you my warmest regards form the sunny island of Cuba. I remind you that you may follow the progress on our hotel by joining our Fan Club on Face book (Melia Marina Varadero).
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Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed December 6, 2013

It was an amazing week in this hotel. The room was probably better and bigger than some one bedroom condos in Toronto :) The food was various included seafood (shrimps, squid, octopus, different kinds of fish), meat (rabbit stew, for example). The beach is a little bit on the distance from the hotel, but you could easily walk those 200 meters or so or use electric car. Service was also amazing and friendly.
Definitely, I would return there and I would recommend this hotel.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank nord82
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gildas_Renaux, Director General at Hotel Melia Marina Varadero, responded to this review, December 7, 2013
Dear Nord 82, thank for recommending so nicely our hotel on Trip Advisor.
I am glad to see that you enjoyed both, quality and comfort of our rooms as well as our restaurant food.
It is always a fantastic award to receive your comments on your holidays at the Melia Marina Varadero.
We all hope to see back soon in the sunny Cuba.
Best regards
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Toronto, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed December 6, 2013

I thought long and hard before giving this resort the rating I did. The following is my reasoning:

Rooms:
the rooms are nice looking but lack basic necessities. No toothpaste or hair conditioner are provided. The hair dryer is cheap and kicks off randomly rendering it unusable (appears to be a resort wide problem). The ironing board is not full size and has to be placed on a desk, not really usable especially if you have something long to iron. The iron itself is cheap. The cleaning staff failed to replace towels on some occasions even though we were leaving a 3$ tip daily. The bar staff failed to replenish our water, this is even though we were leaving them a 1$ tip daily. I witnessed an ant infestation in another room occupied by a family member. When they asked for the hotel staff to deal with the problem the staff tried to accuse them of bringing the bugs with them from Canada? This is off course until they finally came up to the room and realized that the bugs were infact ants.

Grounds:
The grounds are well kept but new.

Food:
Recycled from one restaurant to another, not bad but not memorable.

Good new Hotel but need time

Room Tip: Nice view on top floor
See more room tips
  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank Alan N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gildas_Renaux, Director General at Hotel Melia Marina Varadero, responded to this review, December 7, 2013
Dear customer, thank you for reporting your impressions on Trip Advisor. It is with regret that we read your comments especially we you mention the passive attitude of our employees. So far all the comments we received highlight the genuine and friendly attitude of our staff as well as the short time of answer if there is any problem reported to our hot line.
Concerning the ants infection in one of our room I will definitely investigate why our employee told you that you brought these “bugs” from Canada… It does not make any sense at all.
Finally, I can guaranty you that the food is not recycled from a restaurant to the other as you mentioned and again all the comments we received so far are highlighting the quality and variety of our food in all restaurants.
I am sorry to see that you left our resort with such a bad impression and I hope that you will give us a second chance in order to make sure that you join the immense majority of happy customers we had so far at the Melia Marina Varadero.
Best regards.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Winnipeg, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed December 5, 2013

We stayed at this beautiful hotel in October and can't wait to go back. The rooms were gorgeous Every staff we met was absolutely wonderful and first class all the way. Alberto and his crew at the lobby bar were so friendly and provided great service and tasty drinks. The same can be said for the staff at the pool bar and the bar where the nightly entertainment was held. My husband and I enjoyed the nightly entertainment very much. The maids did an excellent job as our room and the rest of the hotel was kept spotless. I also want to mention how friendly and helpful all the bell boys were.

Food - I am a big gal who loves her food and I was never disappointed. We ate at all three themed restaurants. The food and service was excellent. Our favorite was the French restaurant but the oriental and Don Ernesto's served delicious food as well. The décor in Don Ernesto's was interesting and beautiful. You will want to take several pictures. We also ate at the snack bar and buffet and the food and service was very good there as well.

Pool and Beach - I am a pool person and my husband is a beach person. The main pool is very large with a swim up bar and waiter service. The pool was very clean and the water temperature inviting. One day at the pool they had a music trivia contest and I won a nice bottle of rum. The entertainment staff at the pool and beach were really fun high energy people. The beach was beautiful, white sand and warm water.

The general manager was very charming and talked to all the guests to make sure everyone was happy.

Cons - none. The place is amazing!!!!!!

My husband and I are planning to go back in March or April, 2014.

Don't forget to TIP all the workers including the bell boys, the people who drive the little trams and the cleaners. These people work really hard.

Darryl and Heather say "hi" and see you all soon.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank Heather M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gildas_Renaux, Director General at Hotel Melia Marina Varadero, responded to this review, December 7, 2013
Dear “Heather M”, thank you so much for writing such wonderful comments on your holidays experience in our resort.
It is great to see that you enjoyed both quality and variety of our food as well as the amazing attitude of our employees. I have to admit that Cuban people are really great and friendly and this may be the biggest asset of the Melia Marina Varadero.
Again thank you for recommending so highly our services and we hope to see you soon back to the sunny island of Cuba.
Warmest regards.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Melia Marina Varadero

Property: Hotel Melia Marina Varadero
Address: Autopista del Sur y Final | Punta Hicacos, Varadero 42200, Cuba
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Cuba > Matanzas Province > Varadero
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Ski-In / Ski-Out Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #11 of 63 Hotels in Varadero
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Hotel Melia Marina Varadero 4.5*
Number of rooms: 423
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Five star All-Inclusive beach resort, situated in the Marina Gaviota Varadero, 40 minutes from the international airport of this tourist destination. This amazing hotel boasts modern rooms; bars and specialist restaurants, well-equipped meeting rooms; swimming pools with recreation areas and Yhi Spa. It offers something unique in Varadero as its facilities are integrated with a wonderful seafront with shops and a marina. Recommended for families, yachting, diving, fishing, events, meetings, weddings and wonderful honeymoons. ... more   less 
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