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“BRILL HOTEL + STAFF” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Blau Varadero Hotel Cuba

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Blau Varadero Hotel Cuba
Ranked #4 of 63 Hotels in Varadero
Certificate of Excellence
Nottingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
2 reviews
“BRILL HOTEL + STAFF”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 7, 2011

What can you say but everything with hotel was fantastic, from reception to gardener, all staff was polite and chatty. Hotel was a wow factor inside, very clean.
If you greet all staff with a Ola, how are you, they smile and have a chat with you and dont expect a tip. we did not tip much till end of holiday, so if you complain about staff at this hotel, your doing summit wrong.
You need to know a bit about cuba to understand it, Like the Full Trade EMBARGO placed on cuba by President Kennedy, which restricts import n export still today.
Their is a sightseeing open top bus thats runs to valadero all day hop on, hop off, but it was a walk to main street for it, but from hotel their is a Train bus on wheels that run every hour to valadero from hotel door n back, you must try it. cheaper than bus,

The hotel is very spacious to say how big it is, no problems with seating or beach.
Rooms was bigish, lack of drawers, bathroom clean, Free safe in room, tv, The mini fridge comes with ! water n 2 cola n 2 beer which is replaced free everyday. we did leave maid a little tip n make up.Towels was made animal everyday.
Dinner time we went around 8pm cos it opens evening at 6.30, buy 7pm their was a few people trying to get in, the food was bland but their is spices n sauces for you to add, not bad to say how many international people they cater for, big on canadians. few russians. so for variety of food available it was good. one of best I have had. seating is split in to small sections, with 2 staff to fetch your drinks.
Their is 2 restaurants you get tickets to book, but we did not try these as we was happy in main restaurant.
Pool side bar, If you like a pint, take a travel mug, as all drinks are served in small 5" plastic cups. you see all canadians with big travel / thermos mugs. Kids have a fenced of area with playground n small pool.
Pool was freezing, sea much warmer.
Pool side toilets are small, to cater for Pool and beach, runs out of tiolet paper by afternoon, but the cleaner thier dont speak good english,
Garden sunbeds is where we sunbathed as usual its quieter, some activities around pool, when we seen the 2 gardeners we fetched them a drink, and they made us animals out of palm leaves, they was happy to have drink as no Staff is allowed to eat or drink, so when you go for yourself get on for staff, weather is beach attendents or waiters or gardeners.
Beach was clean The sunbeds belong to hotel, but beach is public, so we used to get sunbeds in garden n stroll to sea as they cant protect you valubles on beach. watch out for red jelly fish they do sting, but it was not a problem. Life gaurds on beach and activties is free,pedal boats ect,
The only complaint we had that lets this hotel down is Beach bar, Its small and its open 24/7 out of hours it serves hot toasties, Not like our toasties, 2 plain bread with either tuna, ham, cheese filling, or small pizza, alright at end of night if you wanna snack.
It has spa free, massarges you pay, and good keep fit room and weights ect.
this hotel has everything, did not take kids but we heard from parents it was good for children.
We saw at this hotel a few weddings on beach n in garden it was fantastic.
Overall we enjoyed this hotel n cuba were going next march.
" night clubs either side hotel or taxi to valadero.
We split our gifts to various hotel staff when we left, shoes clothes sun lotion as they think more of gifts because they cant get what we get due to Embargo.
we took crayons n plain books, make up, nail varnish, extra sun lotion, toothpaste +brushes, chocalate, up to you.
Telephones are expensive and internet no broadband so its very slow. mu pay as u go mobile worked n cheaper. O2.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank dorjan1963
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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English first
Kenora, ON
1 review
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 6, 2011

Went for two weeks, staff was very friendly and courteous. Rooms are in need of a paint job but other than that everything was great. Would definitely recommend to others. Some of the excurtions were a bit of a letdown but overall great vacation.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Twiggy65
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Weston Super Mare UK
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 5, 2011

We chose this hotel after seeing reviews.
Some reviews were critical so we were prepared for some things to not be great.
Management must have fixed the complaints (or people were just picky) it was very good.

Food - No issues, put on weight....
Room - rear view 10th floor, large clean good view, maid was very good
Staff - best I have had in the Carabean, very professional and friendly, I did not tip untill we were leaving.
Location - Nice country, beach was good, snorkling not great.
Trips - Habana and the Sugar / steam, good value, learned a lot.
Bars - that 7 year black rum was smooth
We would like to return.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Brian_5600
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leatherhead, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
20 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 4, 2011

From the moment we arrived we were made to feel welcome, and we had a truly relaxing and special holiday. I would recommend it to anyone, but as a family with a young child, it was also brilliant, because there was plenty to do, but in a really chilled out way!

All the staff were brilliant - right from the gardeners to the life guards to the chefs to the maids - friendly, efficient and happy to serve. Pool service was great, and the cocktail bar staff were quick to remember regular orders! The staff at Reception were very helpful in giving tips about the local area as well. We used the kids club too, and our 5 year old daughter adored the woman who ran it, and was always very keen to go. She even babysat for us on 2 occasions, so we could go to dinner a little later then normal - which felt safe and was very reasonable.

Yes, we did tip the bar staff ( not every time we were served, but a couple of times throughout the day or evening), the maid (1cuc every day), the waiters etc, but, in total, we tipped about 7-10 CUCs a day - which works out at about £4-6 a day - and if you were on holiday in France or anywhere else, you would spend that on ice creams every day!!... it means a lot to the staff and it's not really that much to us, so why not? People who didn't tip were not ignored, but if the staff knew you, and had chatted to you before, it is probably true, they served you first ( but that's the world over).

The food was of a good quality - much better than I had expected. The main restaurant is based on a buffet style with lots of different areas to categorise the food. It was varied and fresh - breakfasts were amazing - so much choice! There was a full range of continental styles but also cooked and american style breakfasts - pancakes, bacon and maple syrup being my favourite!! The restaurant by the pool served a great lunch ( salads, burgers, fresh grilled fish, pizza etc) with fantastic live music every day.

Our room was really spacious and the bathroom was modern and very clean. The maid came every day and cleaned / remade our beds etc, leaving lovely towel displays, much to our daughter's delight.

The beach and gardens are amazing and well cared for - staff are tending to the grounds every day and you could often get a freshly cut coconut form them if you wanted. The beach was breathtaking - the colours of the sea, sky and sand were just heart warming - I've been to some beautiful beaches throughout the world, but honestly... this was simply gorgeous. The beach staff were happy to help set up beds and if you wanted to be a little further away from the (small) crowd, that was easy to do too. Our only issue was the jelly fish being washed up every morning - very harmful to touch, but no fault of the hotel and an unusual event ( and as the whole world is experiencing unusual events..). However, we still went swimming because the sea was so calm and warm and you could easily see if one was approaching and have plenty of time to move out of its slow journey towards the shore. The day beds in the garden were really inviting and comfortable and the whole place had a really peaceful atmosphere.

The pool area is more lively, and the Reps organised events during the day such as salsa dancing, volleyball or water aerobics. These were fun and there were enough people willing to join in to make it a social and fun break from reading your book or having a snooze!

The standard of entertainment was also good - evening shows, beach discos, afternoon shows by the pool, and even a show for the kids one morning.

We had a wonderful time and thought everything about the hotel, it's staff, it's location and the weather we experienced was fantastic. We loved it so much we are hoping to return next year (only on a direct flight this time!!)

Stayed February 2011, traveled with family
Helpful?
4 Thank Joanne M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 3, 2011

I returned from Blau on the 31st March 2011 after a stay of 8 nights, and agree with the posts left from some time ago, so I will keep this review short.

The beach area is stunning, although not good for snorkelling as nothing to see. The refreshing change was that even at 8.00 am there were plenty of sunbeds available with shade so no need for an early start to ' reserve' spaces. However, the toilets and the bar are a fair walk which when the drinks are served in small plasic cups can be annoying. Bottles of water are only available in the room 1.5 l per day so fluid intake can be an issue. Many people took travel mugs and although this annoyed me as I queued in the limited staffed bar I can see why they did this and would recommend this to any potential travellers.

The pool although a little cold for me was very clean and again plenty of sun beds available, the same comment rings true here about drinks service so be warned.

The room was basic but functional, the fridge however very noisy and the beds a little hard for me, but that is a personal choice and not limited to Blau from my experience. Bed linen is changed once a week unless you specifically request more and cleaning looks ' quick'. Our sink had no plug, and whilst a minor point annoying for my husband whilst shaving, and common across the hotel.

There are 4 lifts that service the hotel, be prepared for a wait as they are very slow and hold few people in practical sense.

I had no issue with the food, although it is repetitive, however as an all inclusive I understand that this is often difficult to please all tastes, the most important thing is that neither my husband or I were ill at any time.

My main issue is with the drinks, service at all bars is very slow and the management of the bar area lacking, on 3 seperate days ( out of 8) there was no tonic water for drinks, or no Sprite / 7 - up, no olives for a vodka martini and the restaurant even ran out of milk on on evening for coffee.

I did ask to speak to the restaurant supervisor regarding this, but was left waiting at reception as he did not take the short walk to speak to me despite a colleague from reception walking over to ask him to see me. I left my complaint to be addressed regarding the drinks, but left the hotel with this unanswered. Whilst a minor point to some I did not expect a hotel bar to run out of basic drink mixers, especially one that claimed to be 4.5 *'s. The measures are often small and cocktails sweet too so be warned.

However, after a massage in the Spa which I recommend I calmed slightly !

Room Tip: Take a travel mug !
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  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Davies73_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aberdeen, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
26 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 3, 2011

This was our 2nd time to Cuba to celebrate my husbands 40th but our first time at the Blau and first impressions we were delighted as we didnt know what to expect. We`d stayed at the Paradisus Princess Del Mar 3yrs ago which was 5 star. This time we just wanted to stay at the Blau being a little cheaper. The staff were pleasant and check-in was quick. When we eventually found our room it was nice and spacious and clean. We had the garden view and was very pleased, we seemed to be away from most things which ideal and was very handy with the gym and sauna opposite our room.

We were disappointed at the lack of parosels down at the beach as a result you had to get your sun loungers under them early in the the morning. Some people moaned but what can you do!

The Buffet restaurant was a little repetitive at time but you still had fine dining some evenings. Always a queue for the bacon! and often your dirty dishes were left on the table so the service wasnt the best.

Al e Carte Palma Real was a hit or a miss. We had a lovely meal the first week we were there for my husbands birthday and the service was perfect, but come the 2nd week the service was awful!! We waited 1/2hr for the waiter to serve our wine and take our order after asking for it, our 1st course took ages. I ordered Fish and Shrimp Skewers with the fish still raw so sent it back and waited a further 20mins, then they mucked up our coffees adding Baileys that we didnt request and our desserts were ages, all in all it was rubbish!

The Lobby Bar was nice but tables there are like gold, if you leave it too late in the evening you`ve no chance of getting one hence the reason we didnt see much of their entertainment, we just sat at the table most of the evening. Anelst was a really nice bar tender shes a good worker and always ensured every table was cleared and customers had drinks. One bar tender in particular (forgot his name) was hopeless you were as well getting drinks yourself! we stopped tipping him.

If you want to go into Varadero itself i`d advise take the train that comes hourly 10am 11am etc, its 4pc pp return and not the bus as we`d to stand our whole journey that took an hour and it was awful.

Another thing, our hotel was bombarbed with Canadians and they like the sound of their voices which was annoying, they so think they own the hotel! watch your sunloungers as they tend to move them if they cant get the sun under the parosels.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank jenlaing
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nottinghamshire, England
Level Contributor
214 reviews
47 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 113 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 2, 2011

We have just returned from a very pleasant 10 days in Blau Vararadero.
The Blau is a large single hotel building - from the outside that is nothing special - but the inside is spectacular - as shown by the many pictures on this site. The staff are wonderful and made us feel really special - whether we chose to tip anyone or not did not influence their pleasant approach.

We found the food in the buffett restaurant quite varied and acceptable - the cuisine in Cuba does not include many strong spices, but some limited spicy dressings are always available. I agree that you should take your own spicy condiments if you want them .
The International A La Carte restaurant is good but we suggest leaving the Cuban one alone as it is not good quality food- the usual buffett is better.

The hotel is near the end of a 20 kilometer long narrow spit of land - this stretches from Varadero itself with a busy main road supplying the many hotels. There is no shop or restaurant within easy walking distance of the hotel.
It is easy to get transport to Varadero town on the open top but or little train.

Be aware that Virgin planes land at Havana airport - two and a half hours transfer. At the end of a 9 hour flight( from UK) added to the airport delays it is exhausting. There is an international airport at Varadero that is about 30 mins transfer.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank fpg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Blau Varadero Hotel Cuba

Property: Blau Varadero Hotel Cuba
Address: Carretera de Las Morlas | KM 15, Varadero, Cuba
Location: Caribbean > Cuba > Matanzas Province > Varadero
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Family Hotel in Varadero
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Varadero
#3 Luxury Hotel in Varadero
#4 Romantic Hotel in Varadero
#5 Business Hotel in Varadero
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Blau Varadero Hotel Cuba 4*
Number of rooms: 395
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Just on the shore of the magnificent and famous Varadero beach, the Hotel consist of a 13 floor modern building, completely new.Ideal for those who want to enjoy the beauty and the atmosphere of the most well known beach of Cuba, with the best facilities and a wide list of activities. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Blau Hotel Varadero
Blau Varadero Cuba

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