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Reviewed July 13, 2018

Uber polite Canadian here! I love Cuba and know when I travel there I am a visitor to that great country, I enjoy Cuba and try to give back with purchases, tips, and good will. Unfortunately, I can't do any of this with the Tropicoco/Marazul hotel.

This trip I stayed at the Marazul hotel (Tropicoco) just outside Havana from July 5, 12, 2018. Cuba is a developing country and I have hotel expectations in line with that.

This Hotel is a nightmare.

The hotel website claims three restaurants, but only had a buffet restaurant that was only open for select hours. They have one a la carte restaurant that is NOT OPEN...ever...no open hours, and no there is no snack bar. Animals were loose in the buffet restaurant and lap begged for food. The eating area was disgusting. Two bars are advertised, but they only had one that is more like a lobby cafe.
I usually never have problems with staff at hotels. I've worked in the service industry and it is not easy. However, I've never encountered more miserable front counter staff than at this hotel. To them I was an inconvenience for bothering them for checking in and was given no information about anything.
I had a minor problem with the a/c and internet card and was treated as an inconvenience by the staff who would role their eyes at me. Unsafe electrical in room especially for children (see photos).

The hotel says Adult Only, but there were dozens of teenagers for volleyball competitions there. The hotel was about a third full at most when I was there and this is peak season. I had a guest I brought to the hotel and was told (rudely of course) that I would be charged for four nights if the guest stayed. I was very embarrassed by this and mortified that my guest and I would be treated like this. I offered to pay for one night (the hotel was about a third full) that day and I was brushed off rudely. This is a hotel who would turn away a polite paying guest (so strange, I can't comprehend it).

The commission rate/exchange rate is not posted anywhere, they will not provide a receipt (even hand written) and were mad at me for asking, the exchange rate fluctuated from 60% to 70% depending which front counter supervisor I got. This was really suspicious.
Based off all this I requested to speak with a manager on three occasions and one was never available. I caught one in the lobby and calmly requested to have a conversation and I was brushed off. I've emailed them and am still waiting for a response.
Havana was amazing and I was sorry to leave and the wonderful people of Cuba.

BUT I was so happy to leave this hotel at the end of this trip I would NOT RECOMMEND THIS HOTEL.

  • Stayed: July 2018, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
7  Thank Calgarytraveler2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
adrianmpg1988, Director de Relaciones Públicas at Hotel MarAzul, responded to this reviewResponded August 2, 2018

Dear Client

Hotel Marazul has 2 restaurants, one buffet and one specialized, as well as the snack bar service with logically opening and closing times.
The specialized restaurant works on demand a minimum number of people is required for opening it.
The animals you refer to despite our efforts
We have not been able to eliminate them, thanks to the same customers who offer them food and this I can surely appreciate.
The hotel has three bars that are being renovated, only the lobby bar remains exactly that we believe will soon start its renovation.
The hotel is only for adults the youth that saw during the stay was due to an application for a sporting event it was teenagers. And an offer of Summer 2018
The changes of currencies do not depend on the person who is in reception but of the exchange rate in the day and can change from one day to another, we do not accept the accusations of the client on this subject

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Reviewed April 19, 2018

We stayed at the Tropicoco for a week April 10-17 2018. It is called the Tropicoco by everyone and the sign outside the Hotel still says Tropicoco. The bus driver from the airport calls it the Tropicoco so no one will know what you are talking about if you call it anything else. there was a Spanish GM who came and went and clearly wasn’t really interested in looking after the place.

It is being upgraded but we are talking from a two star to a two and half star. I paid $740.00 Canadian for airfare and hotel for one week. It was all inclusive, which meant shuttle for two hours from Verdero airport to the hotel, food and drinks, shuttle to Havana and return ( leaves at 10 am returns at 5 pm daily). Considering the taxes were almost half the $740 I thought it was a good deal. The place has a weird vibe. Built by Russians, it has enormous potential but they clearly do not want to put a lot of money into the property. The elevator was broken most of the time we were there so if you have mobility issues don’t stay here.

The food is typical Cuban food. Same everyday. Omelettes for breakfast. Rice, squash, bland pulled pork or chicken, beans. It was boring food but it was ok and because it was so cheap, we ventured into Guanobo ( small town 8 CUC taxi ride away)
And had food there

The beach is lovely, but I will say that there is a lot of garbage because it is mostly a public beach and so lots of Cubans use it and leave garbage everywhere. that was surprising to me. You are on the Atlantic so the waves can get rough, we had a mix of windy days with red flags on the beach ( meaning no swimming but everyone did) and flat water. The hotel has about 200 ft of beach that is for guests. Staff will get you a chair and an umbrella for free. You can go anywhere on the beach as it is public.

This is much more of a typical Cuban experience. There is no hiding behind some walled fence. The hotel is across the street from the beach. The views are good. There are no balconies which is a shame. They are upgrading so some rooms are better than others. We moved from the 5th to the 4th floor because there was an old TV mounted off the wall and it was too low- hit your head going by. The second floor might be noisy because they play music at night.

The doors to the rooms are really old. The safe worked fine. It was off season so the hotel was not busy. We had hot water all the time. Room was clean. Pillows were really awful. The staff were very nice to us. Bring your own beach towel Bring your own shampoo.

We stayed here for one reason: we wanted to see Havana but we knew we also wanted to have some time at the beach. Options are limited unless you rent a house. The Atlantico hotel is really the only other option in the East Beach. Havana is very hot so after a long day looking around it was lovely to go to the beach for a swim.

We were told December has Man of War jellyfish and March has the clear cube shaped jellyfish so April was a great time to go. The weekends (especially Sunday) are extremely busy at the beach after April. Keep that in mind when booking.

The exchange rate was .77 CUC to 1CDN$ at the bank in Havana. The hotel was .70
Get lots of small bills for tips and short taxi rides. No one has change

Room Tip: Rooms are being upgraded so it’s hit Or miss.
Stayed: April 2018, travelled as a couple
9  Thank Anne5691
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed April 17, 2018

Traveling around the world for the last 40+ years and this was the worst hotel experience I've ever had. Looked like a deserted prison with mean wardens at front door and front desk. Facilities were filthy, broken and depressing. Staff didn't care about guest and lacked basic hospitality training. NO OCEAN VIEWS. Windows are high and the size of a cheap cruise line portal only square. Beds were box springs and no mattress. Pillows were like 2" rocks and linens barely covered the box spring. Only 1 electrical receptacle worked in the entire room. Forget Wi-Fi. Purchase card and 90% of the time it doesn't work. Food was disgusting and inedible when there was any food in dining room. Elevators was broken everyday and we were on the 5th floor. Ocean view suite with deck. 1 lamp w/ 1 light bulb in entire suite. See photos. Sometimes one elevator would work for an hour or two and then stop. Front Desk didn't care or report maintenance issue as no one was in charge. Fidel failed as Communism doesn't work in the hospitality industry. Building is located across the street from ocean/beach. Area is filled with trash, broken beer bottles, empty rum bottles and trash everywhere. Trip was in February 2018. Ocean was too cold to swim in, currents were so rough and dangerous, beach was a trash heap and young locals had music so loud you couldn't find any peace at the beach. No stores nearby to purchase anything you may have needed or forgotten. No place to go outside the hotel of hell. Taxes into Havana were $40+ and you didn't know if you'd make it there in one piece. Worst experience in every single way imaginable. I feel bad for the people of Cuba and their government is just not ready for tourist. I spent 27 years in the travel business and I can say without a doubt, don't go, yet. Maybe in another 20 years.

  • Stayed: February 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
8  Thank Marianne M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
adrianmpg1988, Director de Relaciones Públicas at Hotel MarAzul, responded to this reviewResponded August 2, 2018

We have rejected opinions like these because they are comments that have no basis in reality, because they are political contents with which we do not agree, comments that for our establishment are considered disrespectful.

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Reviewed April 15, 2018

The hotel is about 45 minutes from the Havana airports. I am well aware that one cannot "judge" hotels in Cuba the same way we "judge" hotels in the USA or certain other countries. That being said, this hotel needs quite a bit of "sprucing up"!

It is all-inclusive -- meals and drinks included. Meals are served buffet style -- there is an omelet station during breakfast. Food choices were the same all 5 days that I was at the hotel. Very bland and not very good. I ate a lot of rice and beans and I ate off property quite a bit. Alcoholic beverages are pretty much limited to drinks containing rum. No frozen drinks, like daiquiris and pina coladas. The lobby bar serves coffee and espresso.

The rooms are sparsely furnished, but relatively clean. My room had 2 beds, a chair, bedside tables and one small table on which I placed my suitcase. Nice spacious closet and an alcove with small mirror with "dressing table." The air conditioner unit worked very well and kept the room cool. There was a TV, but no remote control and the reception was very poor. The sheets were quite old, but clean -- never changed during my stay. You are allotted one towel and one bath mat (which was another towel) -- those were changed out only once during my stay.

During my stay, the two elevators were regularly NOT working, making it a pain to get to and from my 6th floor room. One night, there was a pretty violent storm and some rooms were flooded -- thankfully, not mine. One day, there was no water for several hours. Luckily, no lenghty power outages.

The beach across the street is fairly nice, although heavily littered. Beach towels are available in the lower level near the pool, but be sure to return them or you will be charged 50 pesos per towel!

I was with a group, so we traveled by private bus. Taxis into Havana (about 10-15 miles) are available for a decent price and the hotel has a shuttle bus into the city.

There is a store on property where you can buy bottles of booze, wine, cigars, etc. and another one that sells soft drinks, bottled water, some clothing, gift items and personal care items.

If you plan to stay at this hotel, here is a list of things you MUST bring with you: your own toiletries, including soap and shampoo; toilet paper; extra pillow (only one on each bed and you won't get another even if you ask); Immodium and/or Pepto-Bismol; extra towels (one per person - no exceptions); Lysol/Clorox wipes; your favorite snacks.

Another FYI: many toilets in public places do NOT have toilet seats...and very few have toilet paper.

Stayed: April 2018
5  Thank ChipCoffey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
adrianmpg1988, Director de Relaciones Públicas at Hotel MarAzul, responded to this reviewResponded April 23, 2018

Dear Client.

We regret not having met your expectations and all the inconveniences suffered in our hotel, we make that your our problems will help us.
We are in a process of renovation with investment, a new project for the Tropicoco hotel we are sure will become the best hotel in all of Santa Maria Beach

Best regards .

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Reviewed April 4, 2018

I booked my package with Sunwing.ca where they advertised MarAzul Hotel as a two-and-a-half-star establishment. When I booked the flight and asked if hotel was called something else because I could not find reviews, I was not told it was Tropicoco.
The room was clean, had a view of the ocean, and always got a chair and umbrella at the beach. However, the place is run down with thread bare bedsheets and towels. My friend had to move rooms because a stench was coming from the toilet and sink. My safe did not have a key so it was useless. 6th floor is renovated. I had a room on 5th floor - hallway is repainted and working lights at night to find your door. My friend was on the 4th floor - hallways have moldy walls and burnt out lights. Five days passed before we could get a new towel for our rooms. Three days passed before we could get a new beach towel. One morning we woke to absolutely no water running which did not come back on until hours later. Food was the same day after day and if something ran out it was out. A la carte option was horrible.
Some of the staff was amazing and helpful. Daily shuttle to Havana and back was reliable and comfortable.
Go there only if you get a good deal and want to split your time in Havana and on the beach.

Room Tip: Pay extra for renovated room on 6th floor.
  • Stayed: March 2018, travelled with friends
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5  Thank Jenn W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
adrianmpg1988, Director de Relaciones Públicas at Hotel MarAzul, responded to this reviewResponded April 27, 2018

Dear Customer.

The MarAzul hotel effectively
It is the Tropicoco Hotel, which will be the subject of a renovation that has already begun
and a mixed administration that has determined to retake the name with which this hotel was created in 1976
in a few months we will be celebrating 42 years
What is significant about this is that you were able to enjoy your stay at our establishment.

Best regards

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