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“A tiny bit of TLC and this would be paradise”

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Blau Varadero Hotel Cuba
Ranked #3 of 64 Hotels in Varadero
Certificate of Excellence
Leeds
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“A tiny bit of TLC and this would be paradise”
Reviewed August 19, 2010

The Blau from the outside cuts an imposing figure on the Varadaro landscape, but once inside it's a really charming hotel with lovely people. Not everything was perfect, but overall we really loved the resort. I'll be as honest as I can with the things we found good and not so great.

Staff

Everyone we met were so lovely and helpful. Nothing was ever too much trouble. If someone didn't immediately spot you wanted something, we only ever had to call them over and ask.

Cuban people in general (mainly in Havana) are not shy in asking for a tip - but as they're paid such small amounts in comparrison to us, I happily tipped when I felt I'd been given good service. The chambermaid was the cheekiest in asking as she left a note to tell us it was her birthday and last day in during our stay.The waiters and waitresses never implied they wanted tips - but were always very appreciative when they recevied one.

Building

Hotel has a lovely outside inside feel - lots of plants and indoor gardens. Main bar has a parisian feel and lots of stain glass windows. Plenty of room to sit and have a drink - never stuck for somewhere to sit. Very spacious and clean.

Only comment would be that as we went at a time when humidity was high, there was no air circulating in the main bar and it was far too hot at times.

Lifts

Yes they could be slow - but never really found this too much of a problem.

Food

The main buffett always had plenty of choice. Lots of fresh stations where food was cooked in front of you. I had lots of steak, fish and stir frys. My compliments go to the pastry chef as I've put on 7lbs in 2 weeks - I'm sure down to the amount of pastries we ate!

The cuban a la carte in my opinion was not great. Food was weird.
The international was lovely - air conditioned restaurant, silver service and nice food.
By all means the food in cuba is not amazing - but with the resources they have it was okay - if you want a gastronomic feast then Cuba isn't the right destination.

Bedrooms & Bathrooms

Lovely spacious room - 3 girls and all with our own double bed. Plenty of wardrobe space, fridge that was stocked daily with beer, cola and water.

However - this is the area of the hotel which I felt really needs to be looked at - it's easy to fix stuff and would make it a better stay.

Marks and stains on lampshades, walls and tears in the curtains.Shower pressure was terrible - barely a drip. Had to ask the made to change pillowcases after 5 days.

Entertainment

Was amazed at how much they invest in entertainment - always something going on, but never any pressure to get involved. Live bands, water ballet, magic shows, circus acts....never seen anything like it in a hotel before.

Trips

We did the Buena Vista Social Club and Havana Overnight - with the Tropicana show - enjoyed both.

Beach

Quite possibly the best beach I've ever been on - powder white sands and clear blue water that felt like a warm bath.

Pool

Massive pool with plenty of seating - waitress service was very nice!

Overall it's a nice family/couple orientated hotel. Not much to do in Varadero. So if you just want to stay put and flop it's perfect.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
4 Thank moolis1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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neston, cheshire
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed August 19, 2010

Stayed 10 nights at Blau (Had 4 nights in Havana which was great too) Hotel was excellent, great food, friendly staff, good service with proper spirits being served, clean, superb location on beach. Always lots of sunbeds available at pool or beach whatever time of day.After being busy in Havana didn't do much, just relaxed but did take Catamarran trip ( Incl interact with dolphins) which was brilliant. Yes, lifts were slow but hey, what's the rush! Learnt some salsa so would recommend, young Danny? and another girl were both patient and good fun. All in all a great holiday, strongly recommend.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank junebasnett
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
wales
Level 4 Contributor
23 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
Reviewed August 18, 2010

Travelled 28th June 2weeks with our 3 teenage children (21,19 and 16). First time to Cuba and carribean as been to Turkey past 4 years . Read all the reviews and decided hotel Blau best choice.
On arrival at hotel greeted by Salsa band and dancers and a non alcolholic cocktail. Great start to our holiday!!
Rooms extremely spacious and clean although could do with a little modernising. The children had 3 double beds (room 1130 nb 11th floor) with large balcony and central fabulous view of sea and pool. We had two double beds (rm 1126) with huge bathroom with fab views.
Beach is lovely with white sand and turquoise sea and plenty of shade. Weather a bit mixed for first few days with storms but still swarm in sea as warm rain!! you can walk for miles in either direction. Pool and surrounding gardens always kept clean.
Buffet restaurant for breakfast and evening meal in main hotel air conditioned - food good but not wonderful always had choice of freshly cooked fish (had lobster) and grilled meat every evening. We're not fussy eaters and the children enjoyed the food aswell. The manager is often around checking on everything.
Lunchtime use the beach bar or restaurant by pool - had freshly cooked meat burgers not processed (not burger fan as usually fatty but these weren't), plenty salad choice and freshly cooked pizza, grilled meats etc.
A la carte - only two, both good but out of choice I prefered the international one as air conditioned and felt really special with fabulous music from 4 piece orchestra. The Cuban restaurant really good food and had music aswell.
Staff wonderful all friendly whether you tip or not. Special thanks to Oscar who served us at breakfast and at the beach bar.
I loved some of the evening entertainment - the underwater ballet/ the Cuban night with drums dancers and Cadillac that you could sit in and have photos.
I love music / dance so really enjoyed the saxophone player, the various salsa bands, pianist in the different bars.
Maids in room make clever towel decorations.
Entertainment staff wonderful but not pushy. The dancers that put on the shows at night are very talented/ professional and are as good as some of the other shows we saw. Special thanks to Pepito and Bito who did the water aerobics and water polo etc . We went to the early evening Salsa lessons and really enjoyed Cuban Salsa and Ruada taught by Micheal and ? - my only regret is that we didn't go to Salsa club with them. We only found out on the last night that they took some of the hotel guests to the local Salsa venue!! That same night we went to the caves with the entertainment team - this was good 10cuc entry pp plus small cost of taxi. Cuban show to start with live cuban band and then disco to follow. I had fab time but hubby couldn't stick the pace and went home early and left me with my eldest daughter..
Trips - We did the Havana overnight stay - Hotel Melia Havanna 5* includes one day Havanna tour, Club Tropicana and free day in Havanna (although our bus had accident with car so we were held up for at least 1.5 hrs). We met some lovely people on the same trip as us aswell! We had fun time exporing Havanna on our own - go to the market that sells paintings and other gifts. We ate in cafe restaurant that make their own sugar cane juice and add to local rum - lovely!! Cuban people are friendly.
Al caponne house Varadero- we decided to get a taxi to the house after confirming with the reception staff that house would still be open. It was closed and we had paid 30 cuc for taxi there and back! The manager did allow us to take photos but we couldn't have a drink. This was really disappointing especially as I had checked with reception!
I would definately recommend hotel Blau and will go back one day. I would like to visit some of the other areas in Cuba. The family want to go back to Cuba next year as they loved it so much.

Helpful?
2 Thank Michelle W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cumbria
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed August 18, 2010

We stayed at the Blau a couple of years ago and liked it so much we have booked to return for our 10th wedding anniversary on October 15th. Amazing beach, great food, helpful staff. what more do you need? the rest of the holiday is up to you. Ignore any poor reviews - if you dont go you'll regret it! we cant wait until October. the only thing that we would change is that we asked for a room with a sea view and didnt get one, fingers crossed for this year..

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank nicolaandsteven
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nottingham, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed August 18, 2010

We moved to this hotel from a dump and it saved our holiday!
The staff were really helpful, it has amazing views, a huge pool and is right next to the beach! The rooms were clean and did not smell unlike our previous hotel and the maids came once a day and cleaned everything and changed the towels.
The buffet has a good selection and the 2 restaurants were nice too.
The entertainment by the pool and on the beach in the day was great there was always something going on that anyone could join in with.
The evening entertainment was OK not very varied, always the same dancers dancing!!
Beware of the hotel shops they tend to make up the prices we realised that they were making them up as they changed each time we went in.
Overall a very good hotel

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank charise_oxford
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
408 reviews
229 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 294 helpful votes
Reviewed August 18, 2010

Booked an excellent value suite on Opodo. This was my first AI experience - my first meal, lunch, was a mad bun-fight, but all other meals were much more civilised. I was impressed with dinner, which was very well run generally, although staff regarded with with some confusion when I said I was on my own (I was maybe one other sinlge person in 3 days). Bar staff varied in quality/enthuiasm, with some great staff, others just couldn't be bothered. At high tide there was no beach at all. 3ft waves meant that all watersports were suspended for most of my stay, which was a shame. Internet 8 CUC/hour, and very slow. A long way up the beach from the town, which means you're stuck without transport. Suite was nice, but needed a redo, with the skirting board coming off the wall. Lots of ants in the bins. Gym was terrible. Given the space they have, they should have build a separate adult and childs pool.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank A380fan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stafford
Level 5 Contributor
68 reviews
53 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 84 helpful votes
Reviewed August 17, 2010

I travelled to Varadero with Thomas Cook they had no earphones on the plane going so you could not have in flight entertainment and the system was broken on the return.
The staff at the Blau try to please you except for the food. The burgers at lunch time in the Beach Bar are precooked and reheated. This is against the advbice of tour operators. The food in the buffet is consistently cold and even when leaving full meals the staff show little surprise.
We booked tha Havanna trip with Thomas Cook they dont tell you that you will have cheap restricted view seats at the Tropicana. The group have to sit together so you cant pay the extra to upgrade even though unrestricted seats are available. When I did the trip 3 years ago with First Choice we had unrestricted seats.
The food at the Blau is so bad I had stomach problems the whole holiday which cleared up after 24 hours back home. I would not recommend staying in a Blau hotel if this is there corporate standard. The maid helped herself to biscuits from our fridge perhaps she couldnt stand the hotel food.

Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
4 Thank Goodhotels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BLAUVRAGM, General Manager at Blau Varadero Hotel Cuba, responded to this review, February 2, 2011
Dear
Goodhotels

I am sorry you didn´t enjoy your holiday at the BLAU Varadero hotel.
I agree to constructive reviews suggesting methods of doing things better, in your review you descibe the food as uneateble but you only talk about burguers.
As you may remember we have a very varied breakfast buffet with more than 12 diferent hot dishes, 2 "at your choice" omelette station, more than 6 juices, " at your choice somoothies" and a varied buffet of breads and pastryes with more than 20 different.
At our lunch at the grill we offer 6 different hot dishes, pasta, grilled meat, grilled fish, burguers, hot dogs, sausages, pizzas, soup, a bread buffet, fruits, desserts and a salad bar. for dinner as you know we have the main buffet plus the 2 a la carte restaurants (cuban and international) plus our 24 hour snack at the beach.
I can understand that you may not find everything exeptional, but I think that there is plenty of choice from which you can find something to eat.
Kind regards,

Roberto Iglesias
BLAU Varadero
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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 
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Also Known As:
Blau Hotel Varadero
Blau Varadero Cuba

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