Image of Barcelo Marina Palace Hotel

Barcelo Marina Palace Hotel

17 of 25 hotels in Varadero

3 out of 5 from 7 reviews
4 stars
Varadero, Cuba

7 Reviews

Traveller Rating

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Review Overview

  • Cleanliness
  • Entertainment
  • Food
  • Service
  • Location
13 years 10 months ago
The day we arrived we thought we had landed in paradise. The staff all seemed very nice and our room was brilliant.
On our second day we where given a questionaire about service etc and actually but brilliant for everything, but oh my god how my view changed.
The room was brilliant huge with a big double bath, we did ask for a sea view but ended up with a lagoon view which we didnt mind one bit.
The gardens are looked after so well and all the gardeners had a smile on their faces and couldnt do enough to help.
It took at girl on the pool bar a couple of day tp get too know us but by the 3rd day she was brilliant fun and we had a laugh with her.
The beach is brilliant and we didnt have that much of a problem with the mozzies like they did in the sister hotel complex.
Although the resort stipulates its an exclusive royal island and closed to guests in the sister hotel this wasnt policed at all so found some of the guests came over alot which is a shame because we did pay extra for this service.

Now to the stuff which spoilt our holiday.

For 7 days we asked for coffee in our room and where told by reception they would get some in there for us, not once did we get any.
We asked 4 times for ant spray as we had a problem with ants, yet again not once did we get any. We where told on the 7th day they couldnt get coffee anymore on the island, yeah erm ok.
We asked for our beach towels to be changed and this took 7 days.
We asked 4 days in a row to have our iron changed as wires where loose where it attached we where told by reception this had been done, if thats so why did i get a electric shock from it whilst ironing, thgis is one hell of a serious issue.

We reported all of this to our rep and he said he would get it sorted, so we put our trust and faith in him.

Ok now the service, i was a holiday rep for 12 years and if i thought my guests in resort where being treated they way we where i would have asked the company to seriously think about pulling this accomodation from sale it was disgraceful.
We where served our drinks by the pool in plastic cups, which yes I agree is the best around the pool, so why where people from other nationalities given glass?.
The pool bar closes at 6pm and we where refused drinks after this time, again why where the Ukrainian/Yougoslavian Canadians served later than this.
We tried the 'cuban grill' in the main hotel once but it was food poisening waiting to happen with flies and birds eating of the buffet as we picked our food so we decided to stick to the 'el penon' on libertad.

The food in the 'el penon' a la carte left alot to be desired it was allways cold.
The menu from lunch and dinner was allways the same and when u asked for many of the items on the menu where told no sorry no have.
The buffet part of the a la carte was not in a chilled cabanet so meat, cheese,salad etc where left to get warm and mostly all coverd in flies.
Only once did we meet a mamber of staff who was nice and happy about his work (mikyle) its just a shame 3 days into the stay is contract was up and he was moving to another hotel (wise idea).
We met a couple of other english couples and one night one of them caught a fish which the chef cooked and in honesty it was amazing and tasted fab, shame because it proved the chefs can cook just they couldnt be botherd with the rest of the food.
That night was the night i finaly blew my lid, we orderd our food as normal and our main came befor our starter which wasnt such a issue we ate it and then our waitress asked if we wanted desert we said yes but did point out we hadnt had the starter, at this she stormed off brought the started back and 'threw' it accross the table at me, my hubby went to pick the food off the table and me and the chicken was still raw.
The receptionist was totaly shocked and appologised she told us she would speak to the manager the next day and get it sorted.
We gave them the benefit of the doubt till mid morning.
We had a large group of Ukrainian/Yougoslavian Canadians staying at the hotel while we where there. Unfortunatly they do not have the same level of hygine standards as perhaps myself or the other people around the complex do, they all found it highly amusing that many of the children in the party with them pulled various shorts or costumes down and had a wee into the pool. This happened on a regular basis from this group, all the children used to squat down at the side of the pool and urinating into it, one day they where wild with laughter as one of the small girls stood like a man to urinate intot he pool. It didnt stop with the children either the 'grandmar' who's birthday it was whilst over there we spotted 3 times by the steps pulling her costume to one side and having a wee, my husband thought it highly amusing when one of the times she let out a massive fart and i accused him he couldnt stop laughing, they knew we had seen her as her daughter ran over muttering to her.


I would like to comment further in hope they will read this but my husband is sat at the side of me telling me to behave.

Reception said they would deal with it after i spoke to them in the morning but the child carried on urinating and so did the family laughing at him.
The above was the final straw i saw the rep and demanded to be moved and to my delight ourselfs and another british couple where moved to the Paradisus Varadero omg this was paradise and totaly lived up to expectations.
To sum up dont book this complex you will get ripped off and you can have much better holidays in the med and come home with more money.
Thomas Cook need to pull this complex and Barcelo need to seriously re - train all the staff or sack them.
We booked here for a special time my husbands birthday and our 2nd honeymoon due to me being seriously ill on our 1st, all i did was spend 7 days in tears and stressed out. Its the 1st time ever i have wanted to come home from a holiday we hated it that much.
My ratings for this hotel

Travel operator: thomas cook

Ursula Kuisma
14 years 10 months ago
This was our second visit to Barcelo Marina Palace,we were here last in 2007. This visit was noteably different.The Hotel-resort is considerably
less clean especially in the public washrooms--toilets were often broken
with missing handles,plugged and no locking mechanisms on doors.We
found the Marina buffet area especially poor as the floors were dirty,the tables were simply brushed off from one client to the next and unused flat wear stayed on the table from one customer to the next-I often had to return dirty flatwear and plates with food stuck on them.I am a healthcare provider in Canada and was upset at the lack of handwashing
done by food staff and staff do not wear gloves while handling food-it was common to see the staff using their bare hands to move food from one tray to the next ,hotel management and staff need some up to date education on food handling practices especially in this era of super bugs.
Our room cleaning staff were friendly and did their best but the floors again were dirty-it is obvious that the hotel does not wash them regularly.The ceramic floors and grout should be scrubbed at intervals
to maintain cleanliness-The screens on the patio doors are not sealing due to lack of maintenance and even a room change did not help-the screen was not functioning ,again simple maintenance is not being done.We both love the water and water activities and due to the wind were not able to use the hobby cats until our last day at which time we were told we could not take them out as we had to book first and the remaining 3 unused ones were for the tippers.We were not told this
when we booked or on our info session and considering we tipped the staff regularly 5 pesos we were affronted.This is false advertising on the resorts behalf as these activities were advertised as free in the all
inclusive. We tipped for every drink,coffee,meal etc and gave away 2
suitcases of clothing.After spending 300 dollars in tips this week we
are most disappointed in our stay. Ursula Kuisma

Travel operator: Air Canada Vacations

Pam Harrison
16 years 9 months ago
Before travelling we read reviews from this and other sites as we always do. In this case we were so concerned with the negative comments I emailed the hotel for their views. They replied promptly and addressed all my concerns. I took a copy away with us to produce if necessary.

We found a lovely clean hotel with maids constantly cleaning communal areas. Even scrubbing the railings! We also found careless guests who left debris everywhere including the beach. The 'I'm not moving it it's what your paid for brigade'.It was a continuous job of clearing up for them ,even in the evening which I have never seen elsewhere.

The food must be difficult to get right as they have so many nationalities with varying tastes. Okay so sprouts are not my choice of breakfast but people were eating them. The item that gave us the biggest giggle was crinkle cut chips IN scrambled egg for breakfast. At times it was not as hot as I would have liked but I found the cook to order a help. Our party of two couples always found something to enjoy. After two weeks buffet food it is a bit tedious but it would be anywhere. We ate at the Spanish and had a lovely meal. We sort of ate at the Italian and had a very poor meal and even worse service.

After a chance meeting with our Rep, customer service rang us and we went to the Island Resort(the posh bit) for a beautiful meal as an apology.

We must, however, comment on the attitude of some of the staff who were surly at best and in some cases rude. Then we listened to the way they were spoken to with no please or thank yous. Someone clicking their fingers in my face would not encourage me to serve them. Their English can only be a reflection of what they hear.In the main it was the female staff who spent most of their time chatting to each other. The exception were the staff at the theatre bar who were outstanding.

You will have read about thermal mugs and mozzies elsewhere which are correct.Don't wear highly scented products and use lots of spray with deet in it. We used Tesco's Tropical.

This was our second visit to Cuba to two different areas.

We enjoyed both holidays in different ways.You have to go with an open mind. It's not 'home' and you have to give a little,relax and enjoy.

Travel operator: Eclipse

Brian And Sue
16 years 11 months ago
Staff at this Hotel are first class, very happy and helpful, a tip is appreciated but the service is excellent tip or no tip.

The Hotel grounds and the rooms are immaculate, beautiful gardens are a pleasure to stroll round, the beach is accessible just a few metres from the hotel grounds.

Entertainment in the form of traditional Cuban dance and song is very good, once a week they also provided a troop of magicians which proved very popular with all the guests.

Location of the Hotel is excellent if you are wanting a get away from it all holiday, the open top bus which you can use to visit Varadero town was quite difficult to get a seat on, as it picked up at all the other Hotels before ours and was usually full, unless you caught the earliest bus.

If you go to this resort it is highly advisable to take a large thermal mug with you, the drinks are served in small plastic cups, most of the other guests had their own mugs which the staff will happily replenish at any time.

The one and only downside to this Hotel is the food, and this is an important aspect as you are all inclusive and you have no where else to go if the food is not to your taste.

Although there was always plenty of food on display, it was the same choice 24-7 if you like chicken, highly salted mashed potatoes, chips, sprouts, green beans etc. for breakfast you will be fine, after the first few days I have had boiled eggs and toast for every breakfast, I went into the breakfast room one morning at 7.30am as it opened, and had poached eggs which were completely cold when taken from the hot servery, this Hotel has a long way to go to provide the standard of food that the international guests should be able to expect, however we also travelled round Cuba and found the food issue was not confined to this Hotel.

The A'La carte restaurants were not up to standard, the Paella dish was so heavily salted that my wife ate only one mouthful and I ate very little.

We would not visit this Hotel again purely because of the food, otherwise a fantastic place to Holiday.

Travel operator: Airtours

Lesley Peter
17 years ago
We have just returned from the Barcelo Marina Palace hotel.

The hotel it self was very nice also we found the staff very helpful.

We found the food to be cold at times, and the 24hr bar ran out of drinks at midnight.

But the number 1 thing that was bad was that they seem to have a mosquito infestation a lot of people were covered and I mean covered in bites and I have to say it really spoilt it for me, so if you go make sure you take lots of repellent.

Travel operator: first choice

Thelma Clements
17 years 3 months ago
The hotel itself was superb. The rooms were large, had a spacious balcony and ours overlooked the sea which was lovely.

The hotel complex was very spread out and although quite new the gardens have been laid out well. There were 3 + 1 small pools which were maintained to a high standard and all the staff from management to gardeners were extremely friendly.

The only bad point was the food. Although plenty of choice in the buffet restaurant the food was never hot only warm. There were 3 a-la-carte restaurants which we considered left a lot to be desired.

If you go to an Italian restaurant you are usually served Italian bread and oil for dipping but not here. There was Paella in the Spanish but it wasn't very Spanish and the Seafood one we walked out of as the food was so cold.

The level of food really did let the hotel down. Also for a fully inclusive hotel there were not enough bars or staff to cope with the clients demands on drinks.

Travel operator: First Choice Holidays

Michael & Brigitte
18 years 9 months ago
This was a brand new hotel in 2005 and is the last resort, geographically in Valdero. The 5's describe it all.

The entertainment shows would not be out of place in Vegas.

The staff appreciate tips without being obvious and also appreciate the luxuries, to them, of soaps, toothpaste, clothes and shoes.

A good mix of German, Russian, Canadian, Italian, Spanish and S. American guests.

Travel operator: Maritime Travel


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