lets start with the plus points.
hotel location and beach are first class , the sea being even better than mexico and we thoght that was fab.
make sure you do the following trips as they are definately worth the money,
1 the catamaran cruise .
absolutely brill time , entertainer on board made it even better ,drink all you can and party.
only downer was the scuba diving wasnt as good as what we had done in mexico.
2 havana day tour and tropicana show.
havana is a facinating city and makes you appreciate what you realy have when you find out the real life of the cuban people.
our rep/guide on the tour hector was superb and gave us an insight of life in cuba no-one would know about.
tropicana show was fab too.
in havana as you walk around you do get approached , but if you say no thank you they leave you alone.
3 jungle tour
jet ski/boat across the waves into the ocean and into the water jungle.
again good guides.
the first choice rep was very good , helped with everything asked of him. my partner had food poisoning (we think) from the muscles and he made sure that extra water was sent up to the room almost immediately, and showed a real concern for her welfare.
now sorry to say the minus points
1. almost non existance of the air conditioning in the dining room , bar and reception area - very poor for 4* hotel especially when temp was 35c +
2. entertainment was very poor.
staff tried to make a go but one show they put on was so bad it hardley raised any applause.
not their fault , it became apparant over the 2 weeks that cost cutting measures were obviously being implemented or so it appeared not just to us but also other people who we spoke to.
entertainment finished at 10.45 and apart from the pool bar being open till 12 and the cocktail bar that was it .
after hours food and drink in steakhouse was non existant and was forced to take refuse in resteraunt for late drink and snack , and then made to feel so uncomfortable that we only stayed for 15 minutes moving into reception and having lights turned out on us ,as if to say GO TO BED.
generally Cuba is a great holiday destination but i am almost sure that there are far better hotels in varadero than this.
in comparison to mexico and the riu hotel we stayed in the previous year it was like chalk and cheese.
i rest my case.
Travel operator: first choice
Evening entertainment great and the dancers/staff work really hard to put on their shows (rehearsing in the afternoon sun every day). They are really fun, although after 2 weeks of salsa/mambo music it does get a little tiresome.
Food is fine. What you would expect from an all inclusive. Varadero has some really nice bars and restaurants if you take some time to look around.
If you go, top tip.........DO THE HAVANA OVERNIGHT. Great value for money. Don't usually go for these coach tours, but you get loads of free time, hotel in Havan is really nice. Time to swim and explore and Havana has a great vibe. Tropicana show is great too. There are loads of beggars however, so just ignore them and they soon get the message. I personally would not go back to this resort as 14 nights is plenty, but I would definately recommend it to anyone who is looking for a great holiday. (Would agree about the tipping though, it does get a bit stupid).
Travel operator: First Choice
Food was typical of a large resort, the buffet had good, smaller, fresher options. The a la carte restaurants were great, lovely locations...especially the Italian.
Rooms were very clean, though the shiny tile floors were rather slippery.
Staff were very friendly and accomodating. The tipping was a little ridiculous at times though...they are all placed in a pool (typically cuban) and really did not represent the service one individual provided. Better off to have some little gifts for those who stand out to you if you like.
The entertainment was ok, no disco on sight, so for a nightlife of dancing, you need to go out of the resort.
Travel operator: Air Transat
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