Home | Dominican Republic | Write a Review | Blog | Advertise

Varadero resort recommendations, help!

I have been asked to help newbies to Cuba figure out which resort to book in Varadero. Unfortunately, it is 30 years since we stayed in Varadero so I know nothing about the resorts. I do know where to find experts, though ;D

Based on their criteria, I’ve narrowed down the ones listed in the poll and I would greatly appreciate input from those of you who have stayed at any of them with your reasons for recommending or not these resorts. “Other” is there to cover any resorts you might want to recommend.
They want a resort that offers decent gym facilities, rooms that offer good ocean views, decent and varied food, a resort that is clean and well maintained, tennis courts, nice beach, friendly staff and he’s an avid golfer.
They aren’t into “party central” but do want some night life.
Thanks, in advance, for any help you can offer them in making a decision. They want to go the middle two weeks of February out of B.C.
steffiej

Barcelo Solymar has gained a reputation for being a “party” resort in recent years although it wasn’t like that when we vacationed there in Jan. 2003. You don’t mention the age bracket of your friends. This resort is closest to town and the beach is lovely.

For the free golf, ambience and suited for “more mature, classy” clientel, I’d highly recommend the Melia Las Americas. Read ages 45-50+.

If they don’t mind a resort geared more to a european flavour, but without golf included then the Paradisus. This would have been my first choice were it not for the golf requirement.

The Iberostar attracts a more ethnically diverse clientele with many more Canadian guests than the Paradisus and it’s more popular with families.

Hey there,

Here is my 2 cents in regards to the Iberostar Varadero. You can’t go wrong with an Iberostar Resort especially when it comes to their service and staff. Absolutely amazing! The Staff is most of the reason we keep returning to the Iberostar resorts.
The gym is good, a few older machines but Juan Carlos (Gym Trainer) is amazing. He will show you how to use the equipment and show you lots of great exercises.
Block 17 is a great area for the Ocean view rooms. That is the block we stay in when we go.
The food at the Iberostar has a wide selection to choose from for sure. I can’t see anyone going hungry at this resort. The A La Carts are very good as well. The Japanese is our favorite out of the three of them( They put off a great show and the food is extremely tasty). The other two are the Mediterranean and Cuban.
You mentioned clean resort and well maintained well the Iberostar fits that to a tee.
The tennis court is awesome and the tennis instructor is very professional as well.
The beach is slowly getting back to what it was but will take a bit of time for sure. Due to hurricane Ike the beach was hit pretty hard but it looks pretty nice now. It was always a nice part of the beach. Not as nice as the beach are closer to the Bella Costa but it was still amazing for sure. The golf coarse is around the same area as well, close to the Bella Costa. It is about a 5 minute cab ride from the Iberostar to the golf coarse. Should cost around $5-7 .
Like mentioned previous the Staff are exceptional and great night life.
As YVRck mentioned depending on how much golf they plan on doing then the Melia may be a great choice for them as well.

Hope that helped a little.
Any other questions please feel free to ask.

Jackie ;D

Thanks for the helpful responses. It didn’t even occur to me that any of the resorts would be offering free golf. With the cost of rounds, now, that could be a great incentive to this avid golfer I’m trying to help out.
What about getting around Varadero? After looking at the Wikipedia map, these are all well up the peninsula so will it be easy (as in not costly) to get to the town on a regular basis?
Any other tips or suggestions from Varadero regulars would be appreciated.

How about Superclub Breezes Varadero. :sunglasses:

Great beach.
Lovely grounds.
No children, mostly ages 35+.
I found the food and a la cartes to be quite good. Beach grill is terrific.
Staff friendly.
Fairly close to town.
Alot of packages include free golf.
Tennis courts, but I did not try them.
I peeked into the gym, but did not use it, looked good.

The only one I’ve personally stayed at is the Iberostar Varadero and it is a very nice resort. The size is manageable, rooms were clean and service is good. The food was also decent, while recognizing that nobody really goes to Cuba for the food. Our only complaint was with the pool, which we found to be too small for the resort. Ended up spending more time by the underutilized spa pool.

However, my sweetie stayed at Paradisus Varadero a few years ago and we have walked through it a couple of times and that is where I would personally want to stay in Varadero next time. The pool and grounds are simply amazing. However, it is the farthest resort from “downtown” Varadero so it has a very sedate nightlife and I’m not sure if that would work for your friends. It really depends on how heavily they rate the nightlife compared to other amenities.

I don’t think any of the resorts have particularly fantastic ocean views from the rooms, because of the green belt that runs between the resorts and the beaches.

I agree that if there is free golf at the Melia Las Americas, that might be enough to tip the balance for your friends. I’ve never been past the front door but it looks like a nice enough place. My other half is an avid golfer, too, and he enjoys the Varadero golf course very much and usually goes a couple of times when we’re there.

Varadero is very easy to navigate. It’s not that big and transportation is plentiful. I recommend a little side trip to Parc Josones for a stroll and some delicious mojitos. The market at Varadero is also worth exploring, although it is much smaller than the one in Havana and the deals are not as good. However, the vendors are friendlier and give less pressure. Hope that helps a little!

During the day, using the double decker bus, with hop on/hop off privileges, is definitely the best way to get around the Varadero peninsula.

I managed to get my hands on a map showing the bus stops/routing. I offered to scan a copy of the map and will submit it to Debbie for her Webshots maplady files.

Hope to have this done in the next day or so. I’ll provide the link shortly.

Also there are plenty of bus stops where you can get a Transtur shuttle van that goes back and forth all day long as well. It cost $2 each way .We found that route perfect for us.

Jackie

Thanks, everyone. Your responses are most helpful and truly appreciated. I’m planning to pass on whatever I can to them by Sunday evening so they can start making their decision about booking early next week.
This forum is fantastic for getting help when you need it :-*
I’ll pass on the link to the forum to them, also, in case they have further questions after booking.

steffiej

[quote=@steffiej]Thanks, everyone. Your responses are most helpful and truly appreciated.
steffiej[/quote]

You’re welcome steffiej, but we’re all volunteers/amateurs and of course we give our help/info/opinions for free.

I’m most curious to know which resort your travel agent relative (your sister-in-law?) would have recommended for your friends based on the criterion given.

I don’t know the backgrounds of the members of Debbie’s, who participate on the Cuba forum, but I do know the most important thing: they are a fount of valuable travel experience & knowledge who are generous in their willingness to share their experiences and help out others. There are so many resorts in Varadero that it can be overwhelming to try to make a decision. The opinions of past guests give great insight. Kudos to all the “amateurs” on this forum and the great help you have provided many over the years :-*