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“Nice enough hotel - typical cuban hotel”

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Memories Varadero Beach Resort
Ranked #32 of 65 Hotels in Varadero
Canada
Level 4 Contributor
39 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Nice enough hotel - typical cuban hotel”
Reviewed May 17, 2013

This resort is huge! We were staying in building 32 and it was a very long walk to the lobby. Most days we enjoyed the walk but be prepared - the only time we managed to catch the golf carts was early in the morning (before 9 am) before the resort got busy.

The food is not very good (as is most cuban food). We found the buffet food over cooked however, I did enjoy the breakfasts there. Lots of fresh fruit.

French A la Carte - AWEFUL! DO NOT EAT HERE.

Mexican A la Carte - the best of the ala cartes..... But not really mexican food.
(Jenny and Roberto were awesome there - best serving staff in the hotel!)

Japanese A la Carte - not bad. The service wasn't great and the waitresses were snotty. They used so much soy sauce it almost drowned out the flavour. The people who ordered food from the kitchen were forgotten. Just order from the Teppanyaki in front of you.

Italian A la Carte - not bad. Service was good. We ate here once.

Dinner at Buffet -did not enjoy it.

Beach bar: We ate buffet lunch one day at the beach bar - it was aweful but we ordered fries another day and they were good!

Hot dogs on the beach - very good. Didn't have the hamburgers.

But they say you don't go to Cuba for the food. I drank alot of calories and still lost weight!

We were diamond club so spent our time on the diamond club side of the beach bungalows. We didn't see much of the butler. We didn't really have a problem with people reserving chairs etc... but we were either there by 11 am or went around 2 pm......

There seemed to be a huge influx of university grades (ages 20-25) young adults and they were extremely loud and obnoxious - the young party crowd seemed to like this resort. They actually kicked a couple groups out while we were there for vandalism and fighting. The loud pool during the day was full of the partiers and made it uncomfortable and not enjoyable to be there.

The excursions:

Havana - we asked the tour desk to get us a private driver (english speaking) and she brought in our own tour guide (Sonya). She was excellent. for 140 CUC we drove to havana in an old Bel Air and she gave us a walking tour of Havana and a history of the entire trip. Excellent. NOTE: it is 67 CUC per person to take the bus trip - so get a private car rental.

Catamarin with Dolphins - loved it! The lobster on the island was just okay though - over cooked

Jeep tour - best snorkelling we had. Except they made us wear life jackets. Lots of fun. Bring lots of Candy and small gifts for the kids as you drive through the villages for them. Watch your bags at the cave.

Our maid was excellent. We left her small gifts every day and she took good care of us. Even hugged and kissed me when we left.

Fridge - I left small gifts in the fridge every day and our fridge was stocked to the brim. Couldn't fit any more beer or water in it.

Gifts - I have read many articles saying to bring or not to bring gifts. The thing is - they don't get paid alot and don't have access to many of the things we do. Any gifts you leave them is extremely appreciated. Anything!

Beds - ARE HARD!!! uncomfortable. Loved the 1 CTV channel in the room. Not that we watched much TV but nice to get local news in the morning.

All in all, I enjoyed our resort well enough but likely wouldn't stay here again. It was very large, there was too many party groups that made it impossible to get drinks in the evening or enjoy sitting in any lounges. I also would get a hotel closer to Varadera so that it wouldn't be such a process to go into to town if we wanted.

Room Tip: Ask for a room near the beach if you don't mind the walk to the lobby. Many people complained a...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Toronto, Ontario
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed May 16, 2013

I don't know what all these negative reviews are about. We came kind of nervous and not knowing what to expect, but now we know we can chalk those bad reviews all up to picky and unreasonable people. This resort was lovely, but you have to know what to expect. You're not staying at The Hyatt in North America. You're in Cuba. If you want your vacation to be like at home then....STAY at home.

The resort itself is absolutely massive. We were so impressed with the size and amenities. It took a little long to get from lobby to the beach, but we could use the walk since we are lounging around all day. I don't think I would pick a resort this big again though. I prefer smaller and quieter. The party pool was awful. The music was ridiculously loud and there was always someone screaming spanish into the microphone. We were being deafened and had to leave. The grotto swim up bar is packed 24/7, good luck getting a drink.
We spent most of our time at the quiet pool, which is much nicer. I should emphasize it isn't really "quiet" so much as it is "quieter" because there isn't pumping music. We played some beer pong here every day and it became our "go-to" spot in the afternoon after we left the beach in the morning. We never had a problem getting chairs.

The rooms were nice. I liked the decor and it was clean. Obviously some things are a little "off". For instance, we touched the towel rack in the shower and it just fell to the ground. Whatever, didn't really bother us. The rooms and bathroom were a good size and they were clean, what more can you ask. We had a lovely maid as well. Left us towel art and extra towels and always did a nice job. That being said, we were tipping quite well and our friends who weren't tipping well were not receiving the same service.
The fridge was stocked with 2 beer, a big water, and some pop. They came every day but one day. We left a peso in the fridge every other day.

The food - Meh. I will say that the variety is impressive. They had pretty much any food you could think of. But it certainly wasn't the best food in the world haha. Breakfast was pretty good because you can have a custom made omelette. There is lots and lots of food, but just not all that impressive, taste and quality wise. What I WILL say though is that the "24 hour snack bar" is a JOKE. That is, far and away, my biggest complaint with this resort. If you missed a meal or were just hungry you pretty much were going to go hungry. The 24 hour snack bar had nothing. They would be out of burgers by 10 pm. It would take an hour to get a tiny plate of fries. They had nothing they advertised on their menu. And all the staff here were miserable with you. It was incredibly frustrating. We learned to take buns and other things from breakfast and keep them in our rooms if we got hungry later.

The bar - always packed. Would usually take awhile to get drinks. One night we decided just to tip one of the odd servers that will come around in the lobby. We gave them 10 peso and they just kept coming back with rounds of drinks, which was nice not to wait to get drinks. Another weird thing is that bars frequently ran out of booze, which baffles me since its supposed to be an all-inclusive. The swim up bar would be out of beer by 4. The disco had to shut down at 1 am because literally the only alcohol they had left was rum. This is pretty ridiculous. If you are paying for an all-inclusive I would always expect that there is booze.

The beach - beautiful, of course. We never had problems with people trying to sell us stuff, I don't know what those other reviews are about. It was easy to get a chair as well. We had the odd person come up and offer us skydiving or horseback riding tour but you just say you're not interested and they move on.

Tours - Do not go through Gaviolta (sp?) tours. There are other tour operators that will come into the lobby and grab a table and you can approach them and ask about their rates and tours. The woman at the Gaviolta tour desk (Memories main tour operator) is incredibly rude and not informative at all. She would be changing the prices of tours in our conversation and even said "don't book that one, I don't make any commission off of it." Um....I don't care? I don't care about your commission, if I want to book a tour I should be able to. We didn't end up doing any tours for this reason. Something worth doing is paying 5 peso (return trip) to go into Varadero city. It's a double decker bus that just shuttles people back and forth to town and picks up and drops off people at other resorts on the way. It's about a 20 minute ride, but worth it. Sit on the top deck if you can, it is fun. The bus just dropped us off in the town centre and we got to shop for souvenirs and grab food off the resort for a change which was nice.

Misc. - changing money took awhile. Use the money exchange by the fitness centre, no one was ever in line there.
The coffee bar was great, I'd recommend it.
Most of the staff were incredibly friendly and lovely.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank rach_cain
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed May 15, 2013

This review is based on my previous trips to various all inclusive resorts and this being my first trip to Cuba.

Ok so to begin...the resort was not as bad as everyone is saying on here.. The grounds are actually beautiful and the beach is amazing.

However,

I travelled with my boyfriend and when we arrived the "fun pool" was fool of drunk university students (which I realized is their right and you can't blame them for having a good time and in all honesty good for them - to each his own) however I feel that because we fit into that same age group we got treated differently by the staff. The staff was pretty rude at the resort. I was actually surprised because everyone always says the people in Cuba are really nice. Attitudes were pretty bad especially from the lady that booked your a la cartes - (it says on the sunwing website that you get 3 but you end up only getting 2) - on top of that the lady kept on referring herself as "the boss" and constantly talked down to us. The people also didn't really seem happy to be there. I know it is not the best job but the other resorts I have been to the people are genuinely happy to talked to you and to have a conversation.

The food was not that bad.. the first day you kind of have to get use to it but that is the case everywhere you go. You can always find something to eat although it may not be your preferred item of choice. The 2 a la cartes that we went to was the Japanese and Mexican. Both were really good but Japanese had by far the best food.

The walk around the resort if FAR. So if you don't like walking I would suggest you go somewhere else. I didn't really see a problem with this as I enjoy taking walked by I can see where this would be a problem for others. There are little carts that take you around by it's pretty hard to actually find one.

The rooms were spacious- we were in room 36316 and it was pretty close to the beach and fun pool. The only problem we had with the room was that when we showered we ended up having a flood in the other room by the bed. We called a couple time and then on the third try the came and fixed the problem. Otherwise it was pretty nice.

side note** The one thing I must say is that I am so impressed at how proud the people are of Cuba. They truly are people to look up to in matters of politics and pride. They love their country and they are very proud to be Cuban** this is a side not and has nothing to do with the resort but I liked this part about cuba

Overall it was a pretty good trip but I won't be coming back to this resort.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank mnka14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed May 15, 2013

I stayed at this resort may.4th to may.11th. This was a beautiful resort nice rooms beautiful grounds and just an overall nice place . There is a bit of walking but nothing crazy I would say from the lobby to the beach maybe 5 minutes. The lobby was very nice and well kept an the lady at the front desk for check ins who I don't have her name but wish I did was very pleasant. When we had checked in and we were on a different floor from the people we were with , she had done what she could and got us our room on the same floor with our people . Pools are very nice and love the swim up bars . My favourite was the cave bar where yulson ( Wilson ) treated us very well and made sure we were taken care of at all times ! The beach was even more beautiful lots of different areas to sit with little huts if you wanted to get out of the sun. They even had entertainment if you wanted something to do during the day . We only experience one of the a la carts and it was the Japanese . It is a must ! Such nice people and awesome food . The buffet at the resort has lots of food to offer but not always what you may want . But there is always something to eat ! People go on about how the resort is dirty and the food is disgusting and that there are bugs everywheres but it's cuba ! Your not in Canada . The resort may have some garbage on the ground but it's because we Canadians are too lazy to find a garbage can and the food seems gross because some of the stuff is natural and it comes from cuba ! What do you expect . And for the bugs in your room obviously your going to find Some . So when people go on about how dirty it is and how slow it is , don't believe them experience it for yourself. I loved this resort and had an amazing time ! There were a couple things that I wish they had done. Like the water slide they didn't have the water running and the bank was closed for a few hours during the day but I wasn't going to let these little things bother me ! The people are wonderful they are as helpful as they can be ! There were a few cleaners who I asked questions to and they pretty much only spoke Spanish but they listened and did their best to help me find what I was looking for ! Her name was mabel and she was very helpful ! So if your thinking of this resort I would definitely give it a try I loved it and will be returning again next year.

  • Stayed May 2013
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank amandalee-22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Niagara Falls, Canada
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed May 14, 2013

Let me start with this is not my first visit to Cuba,, yet it will be my LAST to this resort!!! I have stayed at lower starred resorts and higher. I was vacationing at Memories for 2 very long weeks. I arrived at the resort on April 28 and left May 13 2013. I first didn't realize that the first week we were there it would be packed with graduates from universities \ colleges. If only some parents knew what their kids were like, which is not the resorts fault, however running out of food at the 24 snack bar and only serving beer at all bars except front lobby is!!!! We were only able for change our beach towels 2 times as they had on every time we asked none!! The bartenders at the theatre need to be replaced ASAP, as my husband went to the bar for both of us they told my husband that if he wanted 3 drinks he had to give them a paso for the third drink...lol remind me why it was all inclusive? These bartenders were like this the entire 2 weeks we were there. Now I tried to give them the benefit of doubt due to dealing with these raving kids, yet while they the graduates left it didn't change! All but the Japanese a la carte were a joke. The daytime entertainment needs improving yet the night theatre shows were Fabulous WOW!!! We found that the vendors on the beach were allowed after they paid off the security guards also the staff would be asking for my shoes, swim suit and or money for their families, which I would like to add that, we have no problem in tipping and helping out as we ended up tipping out in total 354 pasos. but when asked it is a problem. This is a very large resort and if your room is by the beach you got 1 km to walk to the buffet and vice versa if your room is at the front you have 1km to get to beach. The grounds are very nicely kept, rooms are good, there is water pressure and hot water. So I guess if you are only going for resort this is a good place if your going for some sort of service from staff totally forget it!!!! I am hoping truly that Sunwing improves this place before its tooo late!!!

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
6 Thank Shelley M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Varadero hotels

Toronto, Ontario, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed May 13, 2013

I travelled to Memories May5-12, the resort is very big so if you dont like walking it is not for you! Its very much so a family resport.

The Rooms- We did not mind the look of the rooms, it was pretty spacious and the bathroom was massive. However, the showerhead was terrible, there were earwigs, ants and who knows what else found in our bed on a daily basis. Always pay for the balcony view or you'll be stuck in a garden and the bugs are ridiculous.
BEWARE: the maids WILL go into your room even if you ask them not to, they take things without asking even if they are tucked away and clearly not for them.

The Beach- Varadero has one of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen. The water is very blue and the sand is so white. At memories though the beach is very blue, yet the sand is dirty with twigs and seaweed and all of that. They could clean it up better.

The Pool- Fun. Activities are great during the day. Cave is fun, beware it does smell like pee and the bartenders (Wilson and Cecilio) are very creepy, and were undoing females bathing suits when they had their backs turned. Disgusting.

The Quiet Pool- Absolutely gorgeous. Very relaxing and much easier to get drinks rather than anywhere else!

The Food- BLAH. Bland bland bland. Bring your own condiments!!! On a positive note: no one I ever spoke to complained about having an upset stomach. The Al La Cartes are nothing special.

The Service- Terrible. Getting 1 drink took about 10 mins each time. Asking questions- almost impossible, feels as though they understand but choose to ignore you. Not friendly and do not go out of your way to make great' MEMORIES' unless you are feeding them pesos.

The Disco- Always smelt like PUKE because they were serving people with underage bracelets alcohol and they were sick everywhere. Music sucks they play the same 5 sonds on repeat.

The Entertainment: Absolutely awesome. Best part of the trip! Night shows are great and fun for everyone. Dance lessons and pool/beach activities are fun and get everyone envolved.

At the beginning of the trip it feels like "why are there so many negative reviews, its not that bad" ... but just wait. All the little things add up and by the end of the trip unfortunatley you just want to go home.

Room Tip: If you want to be close to the buffet and lobby- buildings 20000's If you want to be close to t...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Iesha M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Halifax, Canada
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed May 13, 2013

We've been to Cuba approx 7 times before however this was our first with our 2 children and visiting this terrific resort from April 23 to April 30th.

Room was large, clean and colorful. Our maid Ludici was fabulous. Our fridge was stocked each and every day. Everything worked in the room, the safe, the air conditioning, we had lots of hot water in the large washroom. We stayed in the 25 block which is central to everything. The short walk we did have either to the lobby, buffet or the pool and beach was very pleasant.

The food was also great. So much variety at the buffet how could you not find something to like. Fresh made omelettes in the morning were a favorite. They were always re-stocking empty food dishes and quick to remove your plates from the table.

Drinks were great too. The rum punch was very good. I loved the iced coffee and cappiccinos!! There was never a long wait for a drink and if the odd time they were out of ice, the next time you got a drink, they had ice.

The staff was wonderful, everyone from the check in, to the drink staff, food staff and pool staff. Maid service was excellent. We always had plenty of towels.

The pools were fabulous!! The quiet pool was nice however we stayed mainly at the activity pool with our 2 children who loved the big waterslide. The slide did have an excellent man named Lester who watched the kids every day on the slide. He would be at the top watching and sending the next person down. I do hope he is there for our next visit in April.

The beach was beautiful of course. Water and waves just perfect for swimming and playing.

As for the entertainment, we only got to see the Michael Jackson show which was amazing!!! I would have loved to see the nightly entertainment however with it starting at 9:30pm, it was a bit late. That would be my only suggestion is to please have the entertainment just a bit earlier, even 9pm, especially when the children's entertainment starts at 8pm.

Excursions- we went on the catamaran which was wonderful as we went for a day of snorkelling, going to a private beautiful beach that had a fun blow up slide in the ocean for the kids!! The dolphin visit was nice but do wish they would just let you swim with them for a bit rather than just stand on the platform. Would still do again for sure!

We also took the double decker bus to the Definaro show which was great, and travelled to the market for some gifts.

Love Cuba and simply loved this resort. We loved our trip so much we are going to bring another family along with us next April....less than a year!!! Many thanks to you all!!!

Marjorie and family

Room Tip: central rooms are great, a short walk away from everything!
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
4 Thank Marjorie348
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
pbenitez, General Manager at Memories Varadero Beach Resort, responded to this review, May 30, 2013
Dear Marjorie,

First of all we will like to thank you comments about your recent stay in our Resort, Memories Varadero.

We are very happy to know that you enjoyed our services and we have shared your opinions with all our team.

We will use your valuable suggestions in order to keep on improving our services.

We will be honor to receive you once again in our Resort, please let us know of your next visit so that we may take care of any request you may have.

Best regards,
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 Memories Varadero Beach Resort

Property: Memories Varadero Beach Resort
Address: Autopista Sur, km 18,5 Parque Natural | Punta Hicacos, Varadero 42200, 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) Kitchenette Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#23 Top resorts Hotel in Varadero
#24 Luxury Hotel in Varadero
#26 On the Beach Hotel in Varadero
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Memories Varadero Beach Resort 5*
Number of rooms: 1035
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Pamper yourself on the pristine white sand beaches of Varadero, Cuba with a stay at the luxury Memories Varadero Beach Resort. The resort offers incredible value and impressive all inclusive features and is the perfect destination for a romantic getaway or a fun family vacation. Guests will be dazzled by the elegant rooms and suites that feature rich wood furnishings, luxurious amenities, and stunning décor. Relish a culinary trip around the world at the buffet restaurant and several à la carte restaurants, which offer sumptuous global cuisine, including Italian, Japanese, Mexican, and more. Spend your days basking under a golden sun on one of Varadero’s most beautiful beaches, or revel in an array of fun land and water sports and activities. Children will also have the time of their lives at the Kids Club and Baby Club with supervised games and activities. Memories Varadero Beach Resort ensures fun for all ages and helps create unforgettable vacation memories for the whole family. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sirenis La Salina Varadero Beach Hotel Varadero

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