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Blau Varadero Hotel
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Reviews (7,311)
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Reviewed April 28, 2013

Upon arrival we were upgraded to the penthouse suite. I had emailed and said it was our anniversary and they very kindly looked after us like superstars. The room itself was at the top, overlooking the sea, and consisted of a large room with two sink bathroom and a separate walk in wardrobe leading from the main corridor, all topped off with a lovely balcony.

The food was poor, but always is in Cuba and was definitely better than the Sol where we have stayed before. The best bit is that mojitos are always available...even at 7am. As advised on trip advisor, we had tipped very well on the first day and then every time we appeared in reception the staff had already starting mixing our drinking. You can't say much better than that!

Room Tip: Email in advance.
  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank BeccaB521
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 28, 2013

Spent a fabulous week at the Blau, very impressive hotel. Overall very satisfied with stay, in fact wished I would have booked two weeks. Staff and Director at the Blau are extremely attentive and continually asking if services are adequate to ensure stay of visitors is pleasurable. Would definitely recommend, one of the few gem hotels in Varadero!
Lucy

Room Tip: Ocean view if possible, worth the extra money.
  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank lucie2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 28, 2013

Choosing a vacation, especially when you don’t know what you want, or what to expect, it’s very hard. But ever since my family and I have first visited Blau Varadero in 2011, the answer to the question “where do I spend my vacation” is a no-brainer anymore.
Blau Varadero has won our heart ever since we stepped in the large, open-space concept, luxuriant reception area, were a wonderfully helpful staff is always available to accommodate you at the highest standards. And I have been to Spain, south of France and Italy too! I found them all hard workers, no laziness there, great energy-inspiring, and, despite their life (not too easy, really!) with a constant smile on their face. I found the same at the buffet, I found the same at the piano-bar (great for a quiet afternoon!), I found the same at the lounge. The hotel’s architecture is stunning, a bit space-ship, but the inside vegetation makes you feel like in a very well designed jungle. And the view looking down from the 14th floor...spectacular!
Food! Many people go to Cuba expecting to find the food they are used to. I witnessed anger for not being served the same hamburger like in Canada! Silly! I went there expecting nothing like at home. And I am happy I did that. Food had variety, it was fresh, and it was tasty. As about the restaurants, maybe the Cuban would not raise to the a la carte standards, but the International...WOW! Classic in all ways possible, from the exceptional service and food, to the great cafe-concert music! And the beach bar wasn’t bad at all!
Beach! Wow again! Never touched sand so smooth, so sandy-white, and so clean! And I was born in a country with a sea shore! Never bathed in water so pristine that you could see the ocean’s bottom, so warm that you feel like in your bath tub! You cannot get ever bored there, as the beach activities are quite entertaining.
The night shows! Interactive, fun, exciting and divers! No single show repeated within the week.
We went back next year and found nothing changed. We found the same warm people, who it seemed they became our friends! I found the same exotic food, even more variety; and if I didn’t try the sushi is just because I can have that anytime in Canada. And the shows...different! . I would say this was the best trait of Blau Varadero! These people really know how to entertain!
At Blau Varadero I found out how to feel “at home” without the work you usually put-up with at home. I cannot wait to go back again this July.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank Miki C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 28, 2013 via mobile

This is my 5th visit to Cuba and my 3rd stay at this Hotel. There have been changes, some good ( food is more varied ) some not so good ( poor service from some staff ) and some down right deplorable ( no flotation device ON the beach)
The food has changed, many new choices to pick from, they even had sushi one night which was excellent!
The staff are not as attentive as in previous years , I must say the staff that hs been there since the beginning are still excellent, but the new faces we saw looked bored or tired and very few smiles, we were even ASKED for a tip from a greeter at the dinner buffet!
The weather was beautiful and the beach it's usual greatness the only exception was one afternoon 3 of our party were in the ocean as it was a yellow flag ( safe for swimming but not boating) some medium size waves but nothing extreme. They were walking on a sandbar and suddenly walked off the end. They were in deep trouble and no lifeguard to be seen. Thankfully one of them was able to reach the beach and find the only lifeguard and get help. But the lifeguard had NO flotation device to assist in the rescue. The member of our party who had made it to the beach had to run to the beach bar to get the flotation device!!!!!! We will be forever grateful to Corry the lifeguard for rescuing our party but its really unfortunate that he was the only lifeguard on the beach and that he did NOT have basic rescue equipment with him, we later noticed that there are 6 flotation devices at the pool which is only 4 feet deep. Also I would like to suggest that the lifeguards spend LESS of their time selling black market cigars, a fact I'm sure the hotel must defiantly be aware of as they will ask you not only at the beach but also at the pool and make NO secret as to what they are doing.

  • Stayed: April 2013
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1  Thank Susan570
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 28, 2013

Ok well our first impressions weren't great. No welcome cocktail as promised & I can't say reception were friendly (I don't think this improved and we had the same opinion in our Havana hotel so maybe it's a Cuban thing?!?!)

Then we went into our room. First impressions were a bit deflating, but we did try and appreciate we had come from a very high standard hotel. Bath had some black marks and the yellow sofa in our room was grubby, but the room did grow on us and the view from the balcony over the pool and beach was lovely.

Each room has a safe and also a minibar which is updated daily with a bottle of water, 2 cokes and 2 beers.

First thing to do is then explore! So I will give a bit of info about each important aspect of an all inclusive!

FOOD

Breakfast - This is in the buffet restaurant. There is choice, but nothing I'd ever eat at home really. Bread generally had that sweet taste you get when abroad, a lot of cold meat and cheeses which is very European (not something us Brits really have) - so generally we didn't make an effort to get up for this. I can see why others would be happy with it, but just not to our taste that's all!

Lunch - This was another buffet restaurant at the pool. If you like meat (and this applies to dinner as well) you are golden. We just found they lacked choice as to what put with the meat. There is always chips and rice. But any other attempt just wasn't too convincing... would have been nice to have different types of potatos a bit more often to mix it up. Always some veg, but again just not done to how you would do them at home. Green beans or carrots but in some sort of oil or liquid. Was warned that no one goes to Cuba for the food and I would agree... it was fine just nothing spectacular!

Dinner - Opinions are the same as lunch but the venue was different. This was the same as breakfast. Also there is a bit more at dinner plus you can make your own pizzas or have them cook up some pasta dishes while you wait.

Snack Bar - This was open from 12pm and did hotdogs, burgers and chips.

24 hour Beach Bar - From 11pm-7am you could get a pizza or from 7am-11pm you chould get a toasted sandwich

Palma Real A La Carte Restaurant - You get one meal at this a la carte menu during your stay. Very nice, pink champagne on arrival, music playing, attentive staff. Food was nice. Wasn't busy so bit of a shame they only limit you to 1 meal in a 10 day stay.

Mexican A La Carte Restaurant - Again you get one meal at this a la carte menu during your stay. Disappointed with this one as really it was a set menu not a choice which I expect with a la carte. I felt like I wasted food. First course was a shrimp & lobster course which I didn't touch as I can't eat seafood. Then we had a spicy burrito which was lovely. This was followed by a soup again not something I would have picked and then main course was fajitas. At this point we actually told them not to bring us dessert as I wasn't too hungry but again was something I wouldn't have chosen. If you are vegetarian avoid this restaurant. Just felt like a bit of a waste on their behalf. Should have been some choice like the other restaurant.

DRINK

Main Bar - This is open all day until midnight. Grab a table and be served or take a seat at the bar. Can get very busy so often didn't have a choice sometimes than to sit at the bar. But we didn't mind that as we're chatty ladies and found people would often stop for a chat at the bar!

Piano Bar - Quieter bar but we only drank there once as we found that they didn't have many staff working that bar so service was slow

Pool Bar - We didn't sit round the pool so we didn't have sun lounger service so we would always go to the bar. Service was awful! One thing we observed with this bar was it was being run by women (the only difference from the other bars) and service would take ages!!! We stood there once watching 3 female staff members. One was tidying napkins, one busying herself and one helping herself to a drink, but not actually serving anyone!) We learnt to avoid this bar in the end wasn't worth the effort

Beach Bar - Quiet in the day and during the evening from 11pm-3am is where you might find a bit of a party!! Had some amazing partying in this bar. The guy who runs this bar from 11pm onwards was great and learnt our order and we had a good time celebrating his 40th!!

POOL

Pool was nice! We didn't sit round the pool ever as the shade is seriously lacking. So we sat on the grass area between the pool and the beach where the trees provided shade. (Although if there are weddings you can get bumped as they want the shade! Maybe that should show the manager something! Lot of people fighting for some shade!)

The best hotel in my opinion for the amount of sun loungers tho! Always some round the pool, grass area or on the beach!

ENTERTAINMENT

Always a show each day. Some better than others. They did a couple round the pool which were very nice. Pool ballet and some dancing.

If you sit round the pool during the day there are games and stuff going on which can get very loud. So depends if you like that or not! Generally between 3.30pm-4.30pm

At the end of each evening show they would try and get some dancing going. The area where they generally have the shows doesn't really seem like it's the best area for dancing. When they had the pool party there were so many more people dancing. Maybe if they laid out the show area better people would dance a bit more. Plus they did a lot of showing you dances, I think most people just prefer to get up and have a bit of a shake without being told what they should be doing!

If you are like us and really wanted more of a party vibe. Then just enjoy the show and the drinks in the main bar and head down to the beach bar at 11pm - that's where they best party is

SPA

There is a spa area. Has a hot tub and sauna. We tried this out and it was empty! Makes a change from going outside. There is also a gym there.

We asked about massages and was told the lady didn't work Wednesdays. Which was a shame as that's when we wanted it! So we went without in the end.

LIFTS

2 lifts on each side of the hotel. Weren't too bad but no air con in there so can get very warm!!!

STAFF

Reception - Could have been friendlier

Maids - Very good, friendly

Bar Staff and Waiters - Very lovely from the males. The females were just lacking slightly

Conceirge - This is where you book a la carte restaurants. One desk but obviously a popular desk so always a wait

All in all I did like this hotel. I wasn't ready to go home after 10 days and could have easily stayed another week! Would recommend to my friends and follow tripadvisor readers!

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with friends
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3  Thank sair1985
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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