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“Wonderful Holiday” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Blau Varadero Hotel Cuba

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Blau Varadero Hotel Cuba
Ranked #4 of 63 Hotels in Varadero
Certificate of Excellence
Rayleigh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Wonderful Holiday”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 May 2012

We we amazed to read the review by" eattravellove "from Canada. We stayed at he Blau for two weeks from 26th April. On arriving we were at first dissapointed to be allocated room 206 especially as I had read reviews and everyone seemed to say ask for a high floor, which I had requested. Anyway the room was great no noise as we were right at the end and added bonus of not having to use the lifts. Our bedding was immaculate as were the towels and bathroom and believe me I am very fussy on these issues, I always check the bed linen when I arrive, shower gel and shampoo were provided and loads of kleenex. Our maid did a wonderful job with the cleaning and we had no complaints whatsoever. The rest of the hotel was also kept immaculate and as for the birds in the buffett restaurant they must have flown in after we left!!! We never had a problem getting beach towels could change them twice a day if needed the beach was cleaned every day in the morning and if litter was left by the end of the day it must have been down to inconsiderate guests hardly the staff's fault (incidentally I never saw any rubbish) a few cigarette stubbs but again down to guests inconsideration. There were some beach vendors that came along selling dresses hats cigars etc but they never pestered you and I certainly never saw anyone begging. We were one of the so called jet lagged English who were down on the beach by 7.30a.m if not before because we enjoy that time of day beach combing we are also guilty of reserving our beds and unbrella at that time but would be sitting on them by the latest 8.30 and there we would remain for the rest of the day. Lucky Canadians I say only having a short flight time. The food was much better than we expected in Cuba although as said before a bit bland but you could always ask the chefs to add spices to your fresh cooked meats and fish. I think the positive's about the food were that not one of our party of four was ill and that goes a long way to making a good holiday. The staff were very friendly and never seemed to be waiting around for a tip and I am sure most guests would hate to do their job. We did the two day trip to Havanna which was wonderful and not to be missed. Also we never once felt unsafe in Cuba. I am now wondering if Mr eattravellove was staying in a different hotel to us. Anyway all in all the holiday was amazing having done most of the Carribean including Mexico I would definitley say Cuba was a favourite and would return tomorrow to the Blau.
Braby Rayleigh Essex
England

Room Tip: Room 206 end of corridor and very quite poolside view over gardens and tennis courts
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
24 Thank Braby972
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
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  • Rooms
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  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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English first
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
36 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 May 2012

Like others, we chose the Blau Varadero due to the number of positive reviews, and its (relatively) modest price point - Tripadvisor ratings put it 3rd in Varadero, but it was quite a bit less expensive than the top 2.

As you can see in the title, this is a first/first for me, so I can't compare to other Cuba hotels. Yes, I have heard just about everyone say that the food is (at best) mediocre, but for the purpose of this review, I will compare to various Riu hotels I have stayed at in Mexico. Some may find this unfair, however given the price is roughly the same, I think it's the only way.

1) Hotel Building and accommodation - the Blau is 6 years old (i.e. build around 2006), and so the entire building is modern, clean, and has many areas to sit and relax.

Rooms are fairly standard and clean, although towels, soaps and bottled water seem to be on ration. Yes, the maid created a wonderful animal daily, however we had to tear the creature apart in order to use the towel, PETA be damned. I read other reviews suggesting folks brings small toiletries...I find this truly odd. We chose an ocean view, and on the 9th floor, the view was wonderful. The hotel is set back from the beach, and given the calm waters, we couldn't hear the ocean, but this is minor.

The hotel is spacious, with lots of areas to sit and relax. In the evenings we alternated between the nightly show and the piano bar, which was open from 6.30 to 11 (or so). The piano bar was very relaxing, and just far enough from the other areas that there was little noise to be heard outside of the piano.

2) Food. At best, food was inconsistent, generally overcooked and at worst inedible. And there were a variety of things that were inedible. For example, the "maple syrop" was actually watered down molasses. One one day, the bread was horrible, however the next day it was just fine...and on our final day, one of white breads was just excellent. Go figure!!!

What we did for all three meals was to try small tastes in order to find what we liked. And we did like a fair bit. Eggs and bacon each morning, and some nice fruits either raw or made into a shake, and some of the cheeses were nice. Lunch was almost exclusively either hamburgers or hot dogs, with occasional fish/chicken. Dinner was again inconsistent - one night, steak was medium rare, good taste, and the next night it was leather. Tough leather. Angry cow tough leather. For whatever reason, the Cubans seem to like to smother things in sauce, however don't trust the sauce...like I said, try some small tastes just to see what you like. The small restaurant at the beach is, well, small, and even more inconsistent than the others. All buffet restaurants had pasta, but I can get good pasta in Toronto - in Cuba, I want Cuban food.

Our final night at the Palma restaurant was a veritable feast, with the entire meal (fish, steak and chicken) being excellent, with an excellent tiramisu dessert. And the service was fantastic!!!!!!

So, food was, in summary, bloody inconsistent. Too bad, as just a little more effort here would really have made the stay memorable.


3) Service - Check-in, similar to all the service during our week, was slow. Not maddeningly slow, however other resorts are now checking in on the bus to the hotel, so a 25 minute wait (at 10pm) was not what we wanted. Overall, the staff displayed that lackadaisical (and all too-typical) attitude found in communist countries. Don't get me wrong, we were never ignored, and all our servers were friendly (if unsmiling), but it is a real contrast with the talkative, effervescent Mexicans. Maid service was timely and efficient, and without any real drama. The nightly show was typical for the most part, however I do wonder if the Cubans realize Michael Jackson is dead, and that the middle aged folks (me) really don't care for Rijanna (or whatever her name is) skits, where it seems the farther apart one's legs are, the better. That said, one evening the show was done in the pool, and this was superbly done. Really different and well executed.

4) Beach - Excellent!. Clean water, clean beach (dragged each night it seemed), a few rocks/coral/shells as you enter the water, but this is a nit. Other reviews (quite recent) suggest that the usual assortment of vendors were everywhere and annoying. I was never harassed, although one set of ladies did ask my girlfriend a) when she was leaving, and b) could they buy stuff from her - however this is really as far as it got. There are less vendors than Cancun/Puerto Vallarta, and I found that they all did the same thing, namely walk up and down the beach, with the occasional calling out.....I never found them annoying. It is true that if you want to get under a parasol (and in May, you DO want to get under one), you need to get out there early with your towel - however, parasols freed up just after lunch, and by 2pm many were available.


So, in summary, compared with Riu's in Mexico, BV is a 3. However, if they would just pay a little more attention to the food and service, this hotel could easily rate a 4 - it has all the right ingredients (no pun intended). I don't mean more food, nor more variety, but A) fresher food, B) less overcooked food, and C) more CONSISTENCY!!

  • Stayed May 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
13 Thank Mike427
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Birmingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 May 2012

Food brill, location brill rooms clean and spacious. Had a amazing holiday

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank lorraine s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 122 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 May 2012

The mistake we made in staying at the Blau on our 5th visit to the island was expecting more than what we normally do in Cuba, based on its many glowing reviews on Tripadvisor. We thought it would be very different than the other hotels we have stayed at, either in Varadero or elsewhere in Cuba. However, the Blau is not superior to any of the other 4-star resorts in Cuba we've been to. That is to say, it's not comparable to any 4-star resort in the developed world, and thus you will have to accept the lack of amenities that goes along with that.

We don't go for the food, and so we keep reminding ourselves of that every time we arrive at the tired buffet and see the same food being recycled over and over again, the multiple stations offering the same dishes and therefore the illusion of providing more variety than there actually is. We don't go for the entertainment, which was pretty mediocre, bordering on cheesy, night after night. We go for the beautiful beach and the warm, clear, pristine water, and it's this thought that motivates us to get up out of bed at 7:30 a.m. every morning so we can actually snag a couple beach chairs and an umbrella - by 9, forget it, you're of luck. Perhaps jet lag is on the side of the many British and German tourists who frequent this resort and can get out of bed that early in the morning to fling a towel on a beach chair, only to return five hours later.

The rooms are no better than what we've seen anywhere else, and compared to some resorts, worse. When we arrived in our room and got ready to settle in for the night, the bed sheets were stained. On several occasions our towels were stained too. Maid service was confined solely to changing the sheets and towels; no other part of the room was cleaned, though it sorely needed it. In the buffet restaurant on the 3rd floor, you could see evidence of the birds that flew in and out because the side walls, near the floor, are adorned with bird droppings. Mmmm, so appetizing.

Some staff are very nice and friendly, though others are rude and obviously don't give a damn about their jobs. I would say the proportion of nice staff to not-so-nice staff again does not exceed the proportion at any other resort. If you're young and female, expect to get accosted by the younger male staff members; they'll ask you if you want a Cuban boyfriend or if they can sneak into your room within minutes of meeting you. Don't kid yourself, ladies - these guys are well-practiced with the female tourists and even though they are forbidden to socialize with guests (especially if not part of the animation team), they know exactly where all the video cameras are and how to dodge them. They know their only way out of the country is by marrying a foreigner and so they lay it on as thick as they can.

Something we found frustrating was the sheer volume of locals that parade up and down the beach and ask you every 30 seconds if you want to buy a fan, sarong, mug, keychain, massage, etc etc. You simply cannot doze off for too long - unless you jump into the ocean, the only way to get away from them getting right in your face. While I understand these people are poor and trying to make a living any way they can, being asked constantly for clothes, shoes, toiletries, to fetch them a hamburger from the beach bar or empty the minibar in our hotel room got really tiring by the 5th day. I wish their presence could at least be limited to maybe a couple of hours a day. The begging and selling started at 8 a.m. and continued till sundown.

There were other inconveniences - no beach towels available, slow elevators, lots of garbage on the beach that was slow to be removed. At the end of the day, you must consider how much more cheaply you can travel here than to any other vacation destination and whether the cost savings is worth it. I do think Varadero's beaches are among the most gorgeous in the world. If you can come for cheap, do book a trip; however, this resort does not stand out compared to the others - where it may be superior in some areas, it's inferior in others, and it all balances out at the end of the day.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
14 Thank eattravellove
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bristol, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 May 2012

Myself and my Girlfriend stayed at the Blau for 10 nights from 15th April. We stayed in Havana for 4 nights prior to this and the hotel there was not great.. I had used TripAdvisor to research the Blau before our trip and from the reviews I was eager to get there after our Havana Hotel experience.

Check in was smooth, friendly staff and no queue! Our first impression from the lobby was that it looked just like the pictures, very grand! (Glass elevators either side gave it a sort of cruise ship feel, according to my girlfriend!)
The room was clean, the bed was fine and the view was great. I believe we were in room 656 and had a view over the pool and the ocean. It's worth trying hard for a room on the ocean side of the hotel as you'll see some lovely sunsets and we even saw a spectacular lightening storm one evening. Being an Englishman on Holiday though and only having two beers in the mini bar each day was a slight annoyance as we all know how long women take to get ready on an evening.. I need more than two beers whilst I'm waiting!

The pool area was great, we never had any trouble getting a bed and we were arriving at the pool around 10 am after a buffet breakfast. My Girlfriend took a big shine to the omelette’s and I'm ashamed to say I didn't have one until the last but one day.. They were amazing! Try them on day one and you'll have a few more for sure!
Anyway, the pool bar had great service, always quick and friendly.. Tips help but not required every time you go for a drink.. Once every couple of days keeps the bar staff smiling! There was always activities organised by the pool for guests to take part in, but you weren't pressured and I enjoyed watching rather than taking part.

The beach is spot on.. I can't really say too much more than that really.. The water is a great temperature and I was often in there even though I'm not usually a fan of water.
It's a great touch having a bar pretty much on the beach as well! Nothing worse than having to walk back to the pool for drinks!

There were two a la carte restaurants and we dined in both. One perk we had from our tour operator (TheHolidayPlace) was a romantic meal in the Palma Real restaurant, which included a bottle of champagne! We had a really nice meal, but did keep getting congratulated... We weren't on honeymoon, neither had we just got engaged, but we found this funny.
Las Adelfas is the Grill restaurant and was very nice also (Palma Real just pips it though). No problems at all with any of the food whilst we stayed at the Blau. The buffet restaurant and the lunch time grill bar were always fully stocked with plenty of food and a huge variety also! Theme evenings in the buffet restaurant were a nice change each night. Mexican night was my favourite!

Plenty of reviews highlight the lifts?... Yes, the lifts are quite slow, but who cares?... Walk up the stairs and burn off the mountain of food you've just eaten!.. If waiting for a lift is really that much of a big deal to you during a holiday I would say your definitely a bit too uptight!
A tip for the females among us, the lifts are glass, so it's best to stay near the doors whilst your using them if your wearing a skirt. Tip for the blokes, keep your eyes on the elevators whilst your at the lobby bar, I'm sure you'll enjoy the view once or twice a night!

The weather was simply beautiful for the majority of our stay, 30 degrees plus! We had one overcast day (still hot) after the previous night's storm. We returned to the UK with a really nice tan, probably the best tan I've ever had..
We didn't have any trouble with Mozzies either. We seen people covered in bites, but we were hardly touched. I think I counted 3 during my whole stay and I didn't use any bug spray as I'm a stubborn bloke and thought it smelt weird!

I've stayed in 4* hotel's in Mexico and in the Bahamas and I would have to admit, this one is up there along side them, if not better. I would recommend this hotel to anyone!
We had friends staying in the Tryp Peninsula and they hated it. They said the buffet restaurants were a joke and there were 20 minute queues for omelette’s etc.. Our hotel never had a hint of a queue that long and to say they were quite envious was an understatement.

TIPS:
My girlfriend took lots of items of 'costume jewellery' for tips and the maids and waitresses were very appreciative as things like that are non-existent in Cuba.

The pool bar and beach bar serve drinks in small plastic cups... Not big enough for me, and I would recommend you take a thermos cup or something of that nature to have the bar staff fill these up instead of the plastic cups. The Canadians all had these provided by their travel agents and I must say, I was jealous of them whilst I was sipping my beer from a kids size cup! (that first pint when I got home was divine).

STAY AT THE BLAU, YOU WON'T BE DISAPPOINTED! :-)

Room Tip: Rooms with even numbers seem to face the ocean. Try for one of these, the view is amazing!
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
20 Thank StevieWoody
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vernon, Canada
Level Contributor
37 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 May 2012

My husband and I just returned from our trip to the Blau, and we cannot say a bad thing about this resort!
Like you, I read up on many reviews here on tripadvisor. All the positive ones are bang on, and as far as the negative ones go, I don't know if some people just always have to complain, or what.
Helpful hints that come to mind:
*the hotel does not have facecloths, so bring your own if you want one
*DEFINATELY bring your own reusable cups for beach/pool drinks
*there are hairdryers in the rooms
*I saw people with cheap infaltable air mattresses...I thought "wish I had brought one"
*the buffet food was bland, but not awful. The a la Carte meals were more flavorful; ketchup is basically tomatoe sauce, mayo is like watery sour cream, so you may want to bring your own packets and keep them in your room fridge
*Rey at the front desk is AWESOME!
*I had fresh fruit smoothies (made by Betty) every morning for breakfast....YUM
*The coffee is VERY strong in the buffet, but I read that if you go down to the pool bar and get an americano it is good...I took this advice and it was correct.
*there is a "hop on/hop off" bus that takes you into Varadero and back to your resort for $5
*I totally recommend the Dolphin Adventure and the Jeep Safari Yamuri as far as excursions go.
Please feel free to message me if you have any other questions about the resort, Id be happy to help.

Room Tip: we read the reviews about the elevators, and yes, at times they were slow, but not awful. Going ther...
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
8 Thank jfun72
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mississauga, Canada
Level Contributor
25 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 May 2012

The staff are the best , very eager to please you . the view is awesome , swimming pool is beautiful , the drinks .... guys comparing the price you pay to the service you get this hotel is the best choice in Varadero !

  • Stayed May 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
8 Thank khaled85
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Blau Varadero Hotel Cuba

Property: Blau Varadero Hotel Cuba
Address: Carretera de Las Morlas | KM 15, Varadero, Cuba
Region: Caribbean > Cuba > Matanzas Province > Varadero
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Family Hotel in Varadero
#3 Luxury Hotel in Varadero
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Varadero
#4 Romantic Hotel in Varadero
#5 Business Hotel in Varadero
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Blau Varadero Hotel Cuba 4*
Number of rooms: 395
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Just on the shore of the magnificent and famous Varadero beach, the Hotel consist of a 13 floor modern building, completely new.Ideal for those who want to enjoy the beauty and the atmosphere of the most well known beach of Cuba, with the best facilities and a wide list of activities. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Blau Hotel Varadero
Blau Varadero Cuba

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