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arlene W
Mississauga, Canada

On its way to 5-star rating, not quite there yet

4.0 of 5 bubblesReviewed Oct 5, 2013
Brand new, sparkling clean, modern resort. Newest in Varadero
Lobby: marble glistening floors, comfortable sofas and chairs, 24-hour bar right in lobby

Rooms: we opted for a "studio" which had a huge closet with lots of hangers, lots of drawer space, a hot plate (stove), sink and mini fridge, coffee maker (which you could only plug in the bathroom or beside the TV??); small dining table with 3 chairs, Plasma TV with 2 english channels -- CNN and CTV Montreal; Bedrock sofa (rock hard), kind size bed, well-appointed bathroom with a small bag of amenities -- soap, shampoo, etc. If you stay in the studio or higher priced room you get exclusive use of a private pool/bar area. While smaller, there are plenty of chairs/umbrellas, perhaps 35. Worth the extra $$

Big issue for me with how hard the bed was; I thought when my 87 year old father got rid of his bed from 1956 this past winter, THAT bed was the hardest bed known to mankind -- nope, the bed at Melia Marina beat the hardness. The first night of sleeping I tossed and turned and was awake 40 times that night. The next AM I asked the maid for a couple of blankets to soften the mattress. Second night was up about 25 times, bad pain on hips in legs in AM, could barely walk. Thought a good resolution would be to ask for a couple of pool pads (foam); the customer service dept. wanted to bring me a whole new mattress instead!!! how would that solve the problem? bring me the exact same rock-hard mattress? I assertively affirmed my position that I wanted a couple of pool pads. They magically appeared, and while not the best sleep of my life, I slept much better with the pads.

Maids: top-notch, friendly and cleaned the room every day; gardeners always smiling working in sweltering heat; restaurant/bar staff top-notch, no issues

Low season: arrival on Thursday 41 guests, 114 guests on Saturday and 14 guests on Tuesday and Wednesday; we had the run of the resort! barely saw another guest (see photos and videos posted)

Pool and beach: the other thing I did not like was at the pool the BLARING boom boom music; any spot at the pool you could hear the blaring music; I had a much bigger issue with the BLARING music at the beach -- no matter how many people I asked/begged to turn down the music at the beach -- they would not listen; I explained that most Canadians want a quiet spot on vacation, to hear the waves, not Lady Gaga singing

Food: the food was very good to excellent. Due to low season the buffet was open every breakfast, the usual fare: made-to-order eggs, toast, delicious donuts, fruits, juice, etc. For lunch you had to go to the 24-hour snack bar (at the pool) where they offered club house sandwich, pretty good pizza for one, steak sandwich and even french fries; for dinner it was either the French restaurant (not a huge fan), the Latino (very good) or the Asian (poor); no reservations required due to the low season, which was nice, could go whenever we chose; one night our Butler Michael arranged a special romantic dinner for spouse and me on the outside courtyard, nice touch Michael!

Bus to Varadero: suggest the front desk and bell hops get the same information on where to get the 5 CUC to Varadero shopping/flea market; one AM we waited in lobby for 50 minutes for the bus that comes every 30 minutes? we finally gave up; next day we got correct information from the tour desk that we had to walk 2 minutes to the ROAD and catch the bus from there! Got a few bargains at the flea market, well worth the ride, to break up the beach/pool time.

Spa: the "spa" is not open yet, but we still enjoyed a couple massage (twice) for 60 CUC. The "spa" is set up in a guest room; good massage, very professional

Once Melia Marina gets to full capacity, this will be the place to go in Varadero. If the mattress firmness and boom boom issue is fixed, I would consider going again.
Date of stay: September 2013
Room Tip: Upgrade to studio or higher to enjoy the private section
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
4.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
4.0 of 5 bubblesService
2.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Gildas_Renaux, Director General at Melia Marina Varadero, responded to this review
Responded Oct 31, 2013
Dear guest, thank you so much for your nice comments concerning our property. I am pleased to see to, globally, your stay has been really enjoyable and that you appreciated both, quality of our service and cuisine.
I am terribly sorry for the bad experience you had with the sleeping comfort and I can ensure you that we will take it into consideration by buying in the near future a few softer mattresses in case of client’s need.
I hope to see you soon back at the Meliá Marina Varadero and I send you my warmest regards.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
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Reviewed September 30, 2013

We walked in off the street after a 7 hour drive and asked the rate and availability of a room, one and half hours later, feeling frustrated and tired we were shown to our suite.
The front desk staff have no ability to think outside the square, we first off were taken on a tour of the hotel when we made it clear we just wanted to see a room, the girls at the desk whilst very pleasant dont seem to have any concept of urgency or service delivery.
The food and beverage staff however are outstanding, from the beach bar to the pool bar to the restaurants all are delightful, friendly, obliging and attentive.
We booked a one bedroom marina view suite and chose well, the rooms are spacious and bright. Missing however was bathrobes, hotel compedium showing faclities, a rubbish bin to name a few but we put this down to being new and still in opening mode.
The pool area is lovely but dont overlook the beach area, a short walk over the bridge, easy to miss if you dont know its there. A great spot for lunch and the beach bar is well stocked and serviced and swimming safe and gorgeous.
Once the front desk staff get it this hotel will do well. We didnt have internet that we paid for for 2 days with some IT hiccup that only a limited few knew off and we were told we couldnt make phone calls out as the lines were down. We discovered through the concierge that in fact the lines were working but they couldnt charge the calls to our rooms due a fault in the internal system. With our cell phone not able to work in Cuba we had an issue as we were extending our stay by one night and needed to contact our next Casa to advise them of the delay. Fortunately the concierge thought outside the square and lent us his mobile phone.

This hotel will excel in Varadero being new and fresh, everything else we saw was tired and dreary. The GM is focussed as is his Duty Manager and Heads of departments, I am sure they will fix these bugs quickly.
We did enjoy our 3 nights of R & R. .

Date of stay: September 2013
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
11  Thank KellyA2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Gildas_Renaux, Director General at Melia Marina Varadero, responded to this reviewResponded October 2, 2013

Thank you so much for sending us your feedback concerning your stay at the Melia Marina Varadero. I am pleased to see that you had a wonderful time in our property and that you truly enjoyed the genuine hospitality of our employees as well as our F&B facilities.
As you mentioned it is important to focus on the fact that our beach facilities are only a short walk over the bridge from the pool.
I apologize for the minor inconvenient you had when calling outside. This was due to a temporary challenge we had in term of outside line connection which is now totally solved. I already spoke with our front office manager in order to make them understand how important it is to speed up their decision process.
Thank you again for rating our hotel as the best place to stay in Varadero and I hope to see you soon back to our property.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed September 14, 2013

We just returned from a 7 day, extremely enjoyable stay at this brand new resort, complemented with the best customer service we've ever experienced at any all-inclusive resort. When we booked, we were somewhat reluctant because there were absolutely no user reviews about the resort, but were so happy we did.

When we arrived (Sept 2), the resort was open a mere 3 weeks, and I believe we were one of the first group of Canadians to come (we met some friendly Quebec folks mid-week). I can't say enough about the extremely friendly, attentive staff everywhere on the resort. We truly were treated like royalty. It was extremely easy to get to know individual staff over the week, and it felt awesome to have servers or bartenders remember your preferences! Albertos at the main bar, Jany at the beach, and several others were exceptionable, polite, and professional! Granted, the number of hotel guests were under 100, but I have no doubts the staff will continue to be top notch with a full hotel. Do tip these hard-working people...they really deserve it and sincerely appreciate it.

The resort is new, very clean, with very nice modern decor. We stayed in the studio suite which is essentially an apartment which is not in the main building, but on the marina side (includes private pool). However, we traveled with another couple who stayed in the standard room in the main building...don't be deceived, the standard room is excellent! The food was high quality, though not choices at buffet somewhat limited due to lower guest numbers. The a la carte restaurants were unbelievable! They have an Ernest Hemmingway themed room (whom they idolized) that looks like a library, and the 1930's themed French room was absolutely high class!

Don't be put off with the walk to the beach; located near the far end of the pool, the bridge access to the beach takes no more than a 5 minute walk. If you feel particularly lazy or intoxicated, you can always have the staff shuttle you across in the cart. At the beach, there are 22 umbrellas to relax under.

The biggest challenge for this hotel is attracting guests...and this is due in part because it is low season, but mainly because they are new and trying to get their name and reputation out there. I certainly recommend this 5 star hotel!

Other notes: They have yet to establish means to exchange currency at their reception (this is coming); we had to go to the resort across the street to do this. I would just exchange currency at the airport--rates are the same everywhere in Cuba. They have yet to get their own paddleboats, kayaks...etc....you have to walk 10 mins down the beach to the next resort, but is quite a nice walk.

Room tip: Even Standard Room was well decorated and great
Date of stay: September 2013
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
16  Thank CanuckMike2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
CubaMelia, Propietario at Melia Marina Varadero, responded to this reviewResponded September 18, 2013

Hello CanuckMike2013
Glad to hear from you and such a wonderfull stay. We treated you like the royalty you are. In fact all clients are royalty for us. We asure you that this high end service you've experienced is going to continue like that and improving each day as we get our machine oiled and working as it should be. Thanks for you comments regards all we have yet to improve. We will, rest asure.
And you are more than welcomed back any time.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed September 12, 2013 via mobile

We stayed at the Melia Marina for one week from Sept 2-9.
The best place and service I ever had!

It is a brand new hotel. Everything looks clean and new.
The pools are amazing. Huge with a swim up bar etc as you would expect, and again kept very clean. There is lots of umbrellas by the pool. We stayed at the studio which is condo (not in tge maun building) and it was great! The main hotel has great rooms as well.
We had a huge condo with master badroom and two bathrooms, shower and bath. a full kitchen, fridge, stove and even laundry machine in our condo. The colours and decor in the room are great.

The staff in the main are very nice and friendly and can't do enough for you. We were treated like royalty! The maid service is excellent too.

The drinks are also excellent for an all inclusive, we certainly sampled enough of them! Cocktails are high quality, beer was nice, wine lovely esp at A la Carte. You also have a mini bar in your room that is re-stocked daily with bottled water, beer and soft drinks.

A la Carte restaurants are great!!
Our favorite was French. Had great lobsters there. Japanese and Latino are worth to try as well. Food is excellent everywhere.

Pool bar has 24 hours food restaurant and you can order from menu even some meals. They will cook it for you any time!

I cannot say anything negative about this hotel. We stayed at Blau Varadero buy this hotel is better. The only thing is a little different then other hotels is a little longer walk to the ocean but you need to walk when you eat that much :-)

What else can I say? I will be back for sure. Hopefully the service and prices will be the same in one year.

Date of stay: September 2013
    • Value
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13  Thank Nina K
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
CubaMelia, Propietario at Melia Marina Varadero, responded to this reviewResponded September 13, 2013

Hello Ninakost,
Great to hear from you and your lovely and wonderful experience with us. As we read your words we could imagine your pleasant stay and we are more than proud of being the one that have made possible this satisfaction. We can asure you that we will made our best to continue delivering nothing but excellence to our clients. As we can see you had a room by the condo , which we want to offer to all the clients that want to stay longer with us. So maybe next time you will be one of those.
Regarding the long walk, it is exactly like you stated: A walk is always well received after one had that much and good food .
Thank you once again.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 days ago
Google Translation

Date of stay: June 2024
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 2 days ago
Google Translation

Date of stay: June 2024
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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