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Puntarena
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Reviews (1,038)
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Reviewed July 28, 2012

I had such an amazing time this time in Cuba, last time I went to Holguin and was not very impressed because of general lack of colors and the beach water was not clear like Varadaro, I was glad that I went this time cause I now love Cuba It was like paradise. The hotel is indeed falling apart- there was a tarrencial rainstorm while we were down there and the hotel was litterly a swimming pool, even some rooms got flooded-mine did not and I was facing the ocean. There is a rumor that the hotel will close from october to december for repairs.The bartenders were amazing! They let you do your thing and even let me get behind the bar to serve shots whice was so much fun. One of the bartenders will have you cracking up with his mucho hehehe (you would know when you meet him) he even specially brought me tequila which I greatly appreciated. We were only about 40 people in the hotel but we all kind of bonded together and had some great parties at the disco... we even did the ymca :) so much more fun when you interact, There was very little service at the buffet its serve yourself even to the point of getting your own cutlery... but the a la cartes are great and had the best pizza I have had. If you're a picky traveller then this isn't the place for you, there was a constant battle to get toilette paper. not much difference from the ocean view to the canal rooms as my brother had a canal on the 2nd floor and mine was on the 7th floor ocean. Really just the views. Good working fridges in your room. I would go back here again anytime for the same price!

Room Tip: Didnt find big differences between the canal or ocean views. 7th floor has best views and i think slightly newer no major differences. Nice sit down balcony sliding doors though ( some mothers had concerns of the sliding doors though for their children)
  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with friends
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10  Thank Redalicious
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 27, 2012

Just returned from a week stay at the above named hotel. Other than the view from the higher floors of the hotel rooms and the friendliness of a few of the staff working there, the place was bad. The food was the same for every single meal, recycled veggies, meats, chicken ended up in the evening soup that was reserved the next day. The restaurant did not have any air conditioning to speak of, there were flies all over the food, the cheese was melted on the plate from the heat, one kind cut into different shapes. The pork smelled most days, the lower part of the chicken leg was tough and felt like the chicken had lived way too long before being served. There were only two meals where dry breaded fish from the canal was served, that was like fired cardboard. The only edible items were fruits and some veggies, if you were lucky to get to these before the flies did.

The animation team were nowhere to be seen, there were no organized activities as advertised and no assumed responsibility for the lack of it. There was a blues/jazz band that came nightly for one hour that was very good. The 5 person dance team put on a nightly show with little imagination, although they had potential.

There were serious leaks fro the ceiling of many of the rooms and electrical shorts because of it, but no one seemed to care or repair these. The drains in the shower stalls in the rooms do not work, they overflow. Young people were very noisy after 2am and they slammed the doors of their respective rooms. The hotel staff did absolutely nothing about it. The cots for a third person or child are worst than sleeping on the floor.

Try to eat in restaurants in Varadero, even the a la carte restaurant at the hotel is terrible.

Health and safety was a grave concern of mine and I would never return to this hotel.

Room Tip: Higher floor rooms 6 or 7the floors are better looking over the Atlantic ocean. Pre-book rooms prior to departure, when possible and inspect the room prior to unpacking. Many guest including myself changed rooms two and three times in less than a week.
  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with friends
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10  Thank marisemm50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 24, 2012

We (fortunately!!) got this hotel as part of our all inclusive package from Calgary. And I have to say, boy were we glad. The hotel is old, has a few faults here and there, and if you are the picky kind, needing immaculate rooms and shiny new hotels, this may not be for you. It is run down, but very well maintained. The best thing is, you literally can walk out the the back of the hotel in your bath robe onto the BEACH!!!

It is right at the beach and we got the beach view which was exceptional to say the least. The staff were all very courteous and helpful.

Tips:
- If you take the Havanna tour, try the two day, rather than the one day tour. We had the one day and regretted because there was not enough time. And the price difference is really not that much.
- Reserve a day or two for Varadero tour by yourself using the all day double decker bus pass.
- Do not miss the Catamaran boat tour since it is great!
- Try renting the scooter if you want to scoot around on your own in Varadero rather than the bus. However, be very careful renting (we did not) anything if you are afraid of any hassle should you get into trouble (hit someone or something) because, they will then try to milk you for everything you have!
- Just keep an eye out on any locals trying to steer you away into some place promising a good party time! If you are brave try it. We steered clear.
- For food, try, if using other hotel buffets, with the band you already have, and see if you get lucky.
- Bring tumblers or mugs with you for those take away drinks (for us they were the non alcohic juices!!) from the 24/7 bars that you may want in your room or when you are out and about!

Our 7-day all inclusive was worth every penny!! We got the deal from Airline Ticket Centrel in downtown Calgary through Nolitours Tours.

Cubans do not stamp your passports, they give you a tourist card on entry.

Also, remember, try to get exchange at the airport first day you are in and try to keep with you atleast 25 cuban dollars (I think, you will have to confirm) on your way out to pay your "EXIT FEES".

Room Tip: Go for the beach view (rather than canal view) for exceptional ocean views.
  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled as a couple
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9  Thank Majid S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 20, 2012

My husband, daughter and I stayed there lasts week. First impression was "why did I book this place", and by the time we left I was like, "I love this place!" The food could have been better, but it was ok, and the first day for dinner, I was really turned off by the birds that flew into the diningroom while we were eating, but that too changed, and I was quite amused by them. The rooms were clean and the balconies small but fabulous views. The entertainment was good - they put alot of effort into the shows, and the live band that played in the bar for 3 nights were really good too. The bar near the diningroom was alot of fun, and a neat group of tourists staying there while we were there, really enhanced the vacation - lots of fun Canadians! The beach and pool areas were really good, and good weather added to it all. The resort is tired, and is apparently getting an overhaul soon, but it still is nice and reasonably priced - if you are looking for North American amenities at really great prices, then you should stay home. It was a nice experience - felt like we got a taste of Cuba, not just a big resort experience. I would go again.

Room Tip: ocean room was really nice, but the canal view would be nice too.
  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
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7  Thank reflex1958
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 14, 2012

me and my wife loved it. Made friends with everyone and the service and hospitality was great.The rooms are nice food not 5 star but well get you by, but whos going there to eat anyways, its about relaxing and getting hammerd lol. We ate there couple of times, when i made it to dinner, but when i didnt we went to La Casa de Al, wicked restaurant in the honer of Al Capone himself. Im going again on july 19 2012.

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank gabriel f
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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