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adele b
Manchester, United Kingdom
Could be perfect
4.0 of 5 bubblesReviewed Oct 27, 2014
we stayed here for a week after visiting havanna for 3 days prior. From a melia we expected it to be 5 star and mean it. I loved the place from walking in allthough the staff on reception are somewhat laxidasical. We were shown to a room, lovely decor but unfortunatly it had a odour of a old musty kind that was not acceptable, we were then shown to another room on a different side of the hotel wich was identical in decor but unfortunatly the same smell was present, I would say maybe a little worse there was also some damage to the furrniture and a genral sence of unkeptness i.e wonky pictures&stains on the sofa. We were eventually moved, on the same night to a room on the level which is the top floor, there is an option to upgrade upon check in for a extra cost. These rooms are by far the best so ook thenm or upgrade when you ght there if possible. They include access to a private VIP bar and restaurant and give you extra toiletries ect in the bathroom also bathrobes and slippers. The Level has its own reception with concierge service and you can book you al al cart dining there too.You get 3 didnig al a cart experiences if you stay here without staying in The Level which you must book everyday between 9-4 with the lady on the bottom floor, we did not do this as you can book your didnig choice through The Level reception if you are staying or paying in thoses rooms.

The Level bar&restaurant is lovely with panoramic view over the fromt and back of the hotel, the food is good as it is all served al a cart, even breakfast! It makes your day to sit on the balcony in the morning and have your breakfast served to you in the sun befor you start your day. All the stall at the Level are fantasic, concierge Michael is very good as is the 2 male members of staff in the bar&restauraunt, sorry didnt get their names. The menu doesnt change but the food is of a good satndard and includes lobster, chicken, duchess fish fillet and beef. The wine is good and the sevice is impeccable. Other restaurants include,
Don Ernesto LATIN - a lovely setting but bland food. Nice wine and good service.
Casa Bagueete FRENCH - better food than don ernesto but by no means frech classic. Nice wine and again, good service.
BANA: ORIENTAL - restaurant, by far and away the best food of them all, set menu, cant go wrong, good service too. drinks are also nice.

The rooms: i can only review THE LEVEL rooms . lovely decor, luxourious furnishings, nice layout bathroom especially good as you can take a bath whist looking out of the patio doors. T.v, not many english channels or news, mostly american, they have a coffe machine and mini bar with a choice of 3 drinks, beer, water and their version of coke (not diet) you may need to ask the concierge for water if you run out or need more but this is no problem. The wi-fi is very slow and expensive. The rooms are done everyday the maids seem nice althought I never encounterd any. They have a hairdryer, ironing board and iron in the rooms too.

Beach: Lovely paradise setting, blue sea, clear and weather is great. The sunbeds are hard though and it can be busy. The watersports are free but the lads may try to talk you into going snorkeling with the for 20 pesos extra. Also the catamarans do not go out if its windy. Pedalos are good. The lifeguard will try to sell you cigars, if you are in Havanna before, please get them there they are much cheaper and better even than the ones in varadero town.

The Beach Restaurant: 11-4pm . Very nice setting, shane about the food, some lovely waitresses and drinks are ok, a bit warm for my likikg and on the small side.

Beach bar: relly nice staff, proper drinks but small plastic cups.

The pool: can get rowdy about 5pm as its open untill 6pm and people may have been drinking all day. Nice guys on the pool bar, drinks seved in plastic small glasses so take a travel mug with you for the beach and pool drinks.

Gym/Spa: Fantastic, go if you can. the staff are lovely and the pool/jacuzzis/sunbeds are in an amazing settinf and you can just relax! we were lucky enough to have it to ourselves for an hr. Price is extra.

Buffet restaurant i the hotel: I cannot comment on as I never used it, seemed ok.

On site shops: All staff are surly and seem moody. sells cigarettes, snacks drinks ect. There is a supermarket, souvineer, clothes shop, purfume and bits and bats. They do not belong to hotel they are just on the marina. There is also a bowling ally, coffe shop, tapas bar, sports bar & ice vream palour on the marina all extra charge. There is a seafood restaurant too which didnt seem busy but the menu seemed expensive.

Night time shows, every night on the square unless its rainig then they are in the lobby which gets packed out! Michael Jackson by far the best show.

Lobby bar, allways full, needs a couple more staff on at busy taimes, drinks are served in real glasses, frapppes are good.

Cigar bar: sells cigars, has a bar, open till 1am. All included, nice rum coffes and ok prices of cigars.
Our rep, couldnt understand him very well. Bought a trip to see Buena Vista Social Club, please note the 65 pesos trip for two DOES NOT include interaction with the musicians and the place they sing is like being in a lecture hall. Go see them in Havanna if you can.

Transfer time from here to airport is 3.5 hours as you have to pick everybody else up on the way.
Please note: In airport you cannot go through security with lighters put them in your bags. The check in staff will ask for a tip to get you a good seat i.e 2 together, just give them what you have left ( I gave them about 5 pesos) and we got upgraded tp economy comfort!
All in all a good hotel that could be better. Loads of choice and things to do. I think its the best hotel In Varadero. Would recommend.
Many Thanks to the customer service lasy who treated us very well and invited us to a managemnet drinks and canapes party.

we Stayed here 8 nights as a couple in september.
Date of stay: September 2014
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    Reviewed October 26, 2014 via mobile

    This was the first time my partner and I had been to Cuba and after 2 nights in Havana we came to this resort, from walking through the door all staff were friendly and we were checked in quickly and without hassle and even presented with an arrival cocktail, the bell boy then took our bags and explained the lay out of the hotel while taking us to our room, this was extremely helpful as it's a rather large place, once in our room we were impressed with the high standards of cleaning we also had an amazing view of the marina.

    The food was good in the buffet for breakfast and dinner (we didn't manage lunch) there was always a good selection and would take a real fussy eater to not find something they like, I was a big fan of the meat station where you choose your own meats and they are cooked to order an my partner enjoyed the pasta station again made to order, obviously this takes a few minutes but who cares your on holiday not like there is a rush to be anywhere.

    The pool area was brilliant and the staff at the pool bar always happy and friendly in high season there may well be a struggle to find a spare umbrella but we managed.
    The beach was like nothing I've ever seen before and well worth the short walk from the hotel,
    We used the spa facility at the hotel and enjoyed a massage and use of the pool and sauna which was very relaxing and well worth the money.

    Our favourite place ended up being the cigar bar so relaxed and the staff so welcoming and helpful when asking about cigars, the perfect place to end an evening with a cigar, good espresso and amazing rum. Don't miss it

    Overall cannot praise the hotel and it's staff enough for the amazing time we had there

    Date of stay: October 2014
    Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    Thank Rampagerossi
    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 27, 2014

    Dear “Rampagerossi” thank you so much for reporting your feedback as a “Senior Critic” on the Web site of Trip Advisor concerning your stay at the Meliá Marina Varadero and for sharing it with our friends.
    Thank you so much for highlighting the amazing and friendly attitude of our employees as well as the quality of our food in the buffet and the “a la carte” restaurants.
    It is always a great pleasure and a fantastic source of satisfaction for us to know that our customers left our premises with such a good impression of our services.
    I thank you also for your conclusion: “Overall cannot praise the hotel and it's staff enough for the amazing time we had there” which let me think that you may come back one of these days to visit us in the beautiful island of Cuba.
    Warmest regards form the sunny Varadero.

    Report response as inappropriate
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
    Reviewed October 24, 2014

    Went to Cuba for the second time to celebrate our 24th anniversary from Oct 11 to 18. We picked this hotel based on the reviews. It was an amazing experience and a wonderful vacation. The best two things are the people and staff working at the hotel, who make the difference, and the beach. The staff is very well trained to help and assist you, they are very friendly and accommodating. Every place you go, bars, restaurants, front desk, there is somebody willing to help and to ensure that you are having a great experience at the hotel. Special mention to Carlos at the cigar bar; great drinks, chat and laughs (a must go), Gerlin at the entertainment bar; joyful and helpful , Univer at the snack bar; willing to go above and beyond to satisfy your off schedule eating desires, and Marcos and Yoquiel at the beach restaurant; diligent and professionals. To all of them and to the rest of the staff at the hotel a big THANK YOU !!!. The beach is beautiful, clean and the water shallow and crystalline. Weather was perfect. Some drizzles at night time. The food at the buffet restaurant is good and varied within the known constraints. Don’t understand why people complain so much about the food in Cuba if they know beforehand what to expect and why. The food at the a la carte restaurants is good. The best for us was the French one. We also went to Don Ernesto and the food was somehow overcooked. Stayed at one of the apartments (3405). Great view to the marina, very quiet, specious and clean. Definitely we will go back to Cuba and to this hotel. Very good time and very good memories.

    Room tip: All the hotel rooms have either pool or marina view. All the apartments have view to the marina.
    Date of stay: October 2014
    • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
      • Value
      • Sleep Quality
      • Service
    7  Thank pardo9679
    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 25, 2014

    Dear “pardo9679” from Toronto (Canada), it is always a great pleasure to receive such a positive feedback form our guests concerning their stay at the Meliá Marina Varadero and I want to thank you for taking the time to share your comments with all of us.
    I am convinced that our readers, after looking at your feedback will choose our hotel to spend their next holidays on the island.
    Thank you also for highlighting the variety and quality of our restaurants despite of what some people still think about the quality of the food on the island. I am so glad to see that you are also mentioning the amazing attitude of our employees, true ambassadors of the legendary Cuban hospitality.
    By reading your conclusion: “Definitely we will go back to Cuba and to this hotel. Very good time and very good memories”, I can see that you are already thinking in coming back in our property which is for us the award and compliment we may receive from our guests.
    Warmest regards from the friendly ansd sunny island of Cuba.

    Report response as inappropriate
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
    Reviewed October 24, 2014

    Just returned from a holiday at this hotel in early October. My partner and I had a amazing holiday and would like to thank Gildas Renaux and his team at this hotel for making this a fantastic trip to remember. We found the service excellent and the facilities and restaurants offering plenty of choice for all. We particularly enjoyed the food at the Level restaurant and El Pescador for lunch where the staff were extremely friendly and welcoming. Looking at previous reviews of this hotel we were slightly concerned but these alleviated immediately on arrival. We had no complaints whatsoever and would highly recommend this hotel to all. We have visited destinations around the world and definitely on a par with these providing an excellent standard all round. Would definitely return.

    Date of stay: October 2014
    • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
      • Rooms
      • Cleanliness
      • Service
    3  Thank 870Anonymous12870
    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 25, 2014

    Dear “870Anonymous12870” from England (Arkansas), I would like to thank you for sharing with all of us your comments concerning your stay at the Meliá Marina Varadero.
    I am glad to see that you spend such a good time amongst us and I thank you for taking the time to write your feedback on Trip Advisor.
    Your conclusion: “We had no complaints whatsoever and would highly recommend this hotel to all. We have visited destinations around the world and definitely on a par with these providing an excellent standard all rounds. We would definitely return” let me understand that you are already planning to visit us again in the near future. We will be waiting for your return and I send you my warmest regards from the sunny island of Cuba.

    Report response as inappropriate
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
    Reviewed October 21, 2014

    First time in Cuba.
    Flight was just the perfect length. Our trip was in March 2014. Arriving somewhere warm was awesome! It was my two kids (14 g) (10 b) and my bf and I.

    I will list the pros and cons to make reading this easier..BUT keep in mind that I still give this resort top marks because nothing is ever perfect..and I would be on the next flight out if offered.

    CON: The airport was a little confusing but that was a good start, as there is no advertising in Cuba..so get use to finding your way around.

    PRO: The bus was waiting for us at the airport. A local sold us a few beers for the ride to the hotel :). About 40 minutes long, and very entertaining as we spotted goats, chickens, and even a camel! The lady on the bus told us very important info so keep your ears open.

    PRO: When we arrived at the hotel we were welcomed and handed a drink. We passed through quick and were taken to our room. We stayed in one of the Apartments. 2 bedrooms. 2 bathrooms. Kitchen. Comfortable beds. Dark Curtains. A handy safe. Washing machine..Livingroom..Patio doors to our own little yard. Very clean and no complaints. Very modern. The water is not always hot..but who cares! lol. Go outside to heat up!

    CON: We made our way around the resort trying to find where to make our dinner reservations.
    You do not want to wait to make them because you will miss out. Because of the language barrier it was a little difficult to get directions to the reservation table.

    CON: One complaint I do have...is that the place is soooo spread out. Our travel agent suggested the apartments, which were fabulous, but I have trouble walking. So if you have any difficulties walking ..or you have children.. make sure you stay poolside!! The trip to the beach takes forever! We would get a ride on an electric golf cart from the staff, which was handy, but I wish I would of know how far apart everything was. Even the buffet was a far enough walk..

    PRO: Staff was excellent! Very friendly and always trying to please. We enjoyed their slower paced lifestyle. No you didn't always get your food as fast as we are use too..but we are not in our own country.. We may get things faster at home, but I will trade the wait time for the caring, wonderful people anyday.

    PRO: FOOD. ok so everyone says their food in Cuba is bad, but I had 2 children who did just fine :). Sure it can be a little repetitive, but that's when you take a day trip, or get a little spontaneous and try something new. The A LA CARTE restaurants were AMAZING!!! I regret not taking pictures of the kids eating food they cant pronounce lol. The wine was always good. One thing you should know though is that if you order a bottle of wine, it will show up on your bill. Not that it really matters..its pretty cheap anyways. The breakfasts were the only meals I could say were not my faves, because we are breakfast people..but honestly I wont say it was bad either.

    PRO: POOLS. The pools were very clean. We had a rooftop pool that we enjoyed as it was closer to our room and quieter. There is a bar as well and the staff were great! Lots of chairs.

    PRO: The BEACH is unbelievable!!!! The kids had a lot of fun in the waves and it was warm enough to walk right in! The sand was very clean. They could use more pool lounge chairs, and shade. The bar had great service. Ask them what they recommend. That was always entertaining lol. OH! AND HAVE THE CALAMARI at the beach restaurant!! OMG sooo good! Staff didn't speak the best English so ordering isn't the easiest but the food made up for that.

    PRO: If you are like me and enjoy looking for different kinds of sealife then you came to the right resort! If you walk along the marina walls, you can spot all kinds of different fish! Puffers! Crabs! and many Barracudas!!! I even spotted a Black and white Ray and a jellyfish!! That alone made my trip!!

    PRO: The evening entertainment was always fun! The music may be 80s lol but they have so much fun that how can you not enjoy it.

    *******************************************
    Things to know: Don't ask for a glass of milk! lol. My son did and they bring you warm milk in a metal pouring dish.

    BRING SNACKS. They don't snack like we do so don't even look for tacos or chips in the evenings..

    Bring a large mug for the bartenders to fill so that you do not need to run up to the bar every 5 minutes.

    Don't over tip! It adds up fast!

    Take a cab instead of the double decker bus on hot days! They are much faster, quieter, and Air conditioned.

    If you can, bring an underwater camera. The photos you take of your kids while in the ocean are amazing with the teal colour. And great for hanging on the side of the marina when you spot fish!

    Bring lots of sunscreen. Don't ruin your trip by thinking about your tan. Painful mistake if you do.

    Bring BUG SPRAY! You wont see em but they are there! My daughter was covered in bites. Sand flies maybe.. We had to buy a roll on Bite med. Worked great but cost over $20.

    Don't forget Tylenol! Another very expensive item that you probably wont even find.

    Instead of tipping the staff to leave extra beer in your fridge, just buy some..its cheaper..

    Hope this helps anyone who is looking at this resort. We have already planned our next trip to Varadero in January 2015. Royal Hicacos this time. Smaller resort..closer to the beach.. But we loved Melia Marina...and wish everyone could visit one time in their life.

    Room tip: Stay Poolside to avoid long walks.
    Date of stay: March 2014
    • Trip type: Travelled with family
      • Location
      • Cleanliness
      • Service
    12  Thank wandafmd
    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 22, 2014

    Dear “Wanda M”, thank you for your exhaustive list of tips given to our future guests (which is a very good idea) and for recommending so highly our hotel.
    I am glad to see that you and your family had a very good time at the Meliá Marina Varadero and for your conclusion: “we loved Meliá Marina...and wish everyone could visit one time in their life”.
    This is for us the best award we may receive from our customers.
    Thank you also for highlighting the quality of our food and the amazing and friendly attitude of our employees as well as the comfort of your room.
    We will be waiting for your next visit and I send you my warmest regards from the sunny and friendly island of Cuba.

    Report response as inappropriate
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
    Reviewed October 21, 2014

    I was with the same group as Frank M.......and I agree with his review, elevator was broken, after my husband and I both complained it was fixed....if I went back I would definitely stay in the main hotel has it Is closer to everything,.....bring bug spray has well, this was our first time to Cuba and this resort was very nice, food was good....loved the private pool at the condo's and our bartender Donia she was very friendly, and had a very nice waiter in the buffet by the name of Mandy......all the staff were very nice and a lot of the employees spoke very good English.

    Room tip: If you don't mind walking the condos are nice....and nice views.......but I would suggest the main hotel has it is close to everything
    Date of stay: October 2014
    • Trip type: Travelled with family
      • Location
      • Sleep Quality
      • Service
    1  Thank theresad552
    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 22, 2014

    Dear “Theresa D” from Hamilton (Canada), thank you so much for confirming the first impression of your friends concerning your stay at the Meliá Marina Varadero.
    It is good to see that your entire family truly enjoyed our facilities and I am glad that you took the time to report your impression on Trip Advisor.
    A lot of future customers read both comments and answer and it is for me a pleasure to answer all of them in a daily basis.
    I am glad to see that you will be coming back to visit us if you decide to spend your next holidays in Cuba and I send you my warmest regards from the sunny island of Cuba.

    Report response as inappropriate
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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