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Reviewed April 13, 2018

We stayed at the Sanctuary Grand Memories last March for a week. We have visited Varadero at least 2 times a year for the last 15 years. We have stayed at some 4 stars hotels and some 5 stars hotels all around Varadero. Having travel the world I Can appreciate good servie when I see it. Everything was perfect, food, rooms, beach, activities and staff. Our concierge Jose Mario was always around to make sure we did not need anything, he went out of his way to assist us with our everyday activities. Another big mention has to be given to the Director Luz Hernandez Nava. She has brought this hotel from a regular hotel with average reviews to the number 1 hotel in Varadero. A very good accomplishment. We will be back again at this hotel later this year. Din't hesitate to choose this hotel for your next vacation to Varadero, Cuba.

  • Stayed: March 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
5  Thank lucio a
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Director G, Manager at Sanctuary at Grand Memories Varadero, responded to this reviewResponded April 16, 2018

Dear Lucio,

First of all we would like to thank you for your super nice review and the time that you spent to write it.
Nice comments make us very happy because that means that you had a good time during your holidays with us, we work every day in order to improve our service and your suggestions are always welcome.

Our staff has received your comments and appreciates your effort, one more time thanks for providing part of your precious time to share your experience.

We are looking forward to see you soon at your second home, Sanctuary at Grand Memories Varadero

Best regards,
Luz H. Nava
Resident Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed April 13, 2018

We stayed for 4 nights in April 2018. I must say that the resort itself is very clean, the beach is absolutely stunning and the rooms were kept clean always. We found that some of the staff at the bars were very rude at times, especially at the Sanctuary snack bar.

The food was absolutely awful, it is very clear that it is mass produced and there is no thought put into it, ever. We did not once eat any fries that were cooked properly and there were times where they had been fried and reheated. Our stomachs were in bad condition after a couple of days. On the final day we were served pancakes with maple syrup and garnished with tomato ketchup. In the sanctuary restaurant, at breakfast time they did not have half of the items of the menu.

The thing that really bothered us was when we asked our butler to organise a taxi for us from Varadero to Trinidad. Despite other friends visiting Cuba doing this exact route and reading online that the cost should be 100-150CUC, we were quoted 220CUC. When we challenged this, our butler was very defensive and said that this is the best price. We were told that the driver would have to go through three cities on the way and pay tolls for this (we did not pass through 1 toll nor did the taxi man have to pay anybody along the way).

When we arrived to Trinidad and were speaking to people they were absolutely appalled that we had paid 220CUC for a taxi from Varadero and said that we had been scammed and overcharged. We took a taxi from Trinidad to Havana a few days later, which was the same distance for 75CUC in total. We were extremely unhappy that as tourists we were overcharged for a service that we knew was cheaper - we were not even given any other options of how to get to Trinidad.

If you're looking for luxury this isn't the place. If you are willing to eat crappy food and have a dodgy tummy then this is the place for you. We enjoyed our time here despite everything and the beach was one of the best I have ever been on. We will definitely not be returning.

  • Stayed: April 2018, travelled with friends
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
2  Thank Darren B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Director G, Manager at Sanctuary at Grand Memories Varadero, responded to this reviewResponded April 16, 2018

Dear Darren,

On behalf of the Management and the Sanctuary at Grand Memories Varadero we would like to thank you for your honest review about our Hotel. We are very glad to know that after all, you had a good time, thank you very much for your feedback regarding the Hot water and the issues with the towels. a situation that you should lived during your holidays. Please accept our most sincere apologies and be aware that we are reinforcing the maintenance supervision in order to provide the best service for all our guests.
Your opinion is very important for us , which help us to improve the excellence in our service.

Please be aware that we are looking forward to see you at your second home.

Best regards,

Luz H. Nava
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed April 13, 2018 via mobile

We just got back from paradise. Travelled with my 81 year old mom and my aunt. We arrived April 1 for 10 days. Check in was great and our room was ready early for us which was great as the ladies were extremely tired. Our first room was on the first floor and there are no elevators so the next day we were moved to the ground. We had a few issues with our rooms as we were moved a few times but they took very good care of us each and every time. If you have any issues let Luz the manager know right away and she will do her best to make thinks right. Some people choose to say nothing and write a bad review which isn’t far because she will go above and beyond to get things fixed, such a sweetheart.
Everyone is so friendly and willing to make your stay very relaxing.
We were in building 30 and had Militza as our Butler. She was so helpful and always around asking if we needed anything etc. My husband and I are planning to return in Sept and I hope we get her again.
For those that expect 5 star dinning that isn’t the case anywhere in Cuba. What I can tell you is the food is good, best I have had so far on my seventh visit at different resorts. You won’t starve but please remember where you are and what you paid to get there. This is the only resort that I have been too that I can’t wait to return. We are planning a girls trip again next April. It is one of the safest places to go. The Cuban people are so friendly and will not bother you.
The entertainment is non stop between the 2 resorts. So much to see and do and if you want to take a cab into town to the Beatles Bar that’s also safe and so much fun.
They have carts to take you back and forth between the resorts and I have to give a shout out to Alfredo who was so prompt and would drop us right at our door each night to make it easy for my mom, thank you.
The bar staff is amazing and put up with a lot. I don’t understand some guests that come there and let people wait on them and never leave a tip. Would you get away with that at home NO so why do it there. We all know what they make and how hard they all work so bring money for tipping it’s the least you can do.
There are 2 things I would like to suggest the resort needs to do for improvements. First they need to put a railing in the pool. There are a lot of people that require assistance and it’s extremely slippery and as a result my mom fell. They also need more shady areas for the guests. If you were to cover the wooden structures around the pool that would help.
Thank you so much everyone for our vacation it was truly a lot of fun and we have made some great friends and can’t wait to return.

See you in September...

Stayed: April 2018
4  Thank DebbieCar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Director G, Manager at Sanctuary at Grand Memories Varadero, responded to this reviewResponded April 16, 2018

Dear Debbie,

We hope you had a nice flight back home.

It has been such a huge pleasure to receive your compliments. Our team will be delighted once they read your wonderful comments. Thank you very much for recommending Sanctuary at Grand Memories Varadero to future guests. You have praised so many aspects, including food and staff, which are very important booking factors. Receive please our deepest gratitude because we are inspired by your positive feedback. Thanks for staying with us and thanks for those stays to come. It will be such a huge pleasure to welcome you back my friend, so we could share more wonderful moments. Make sure you send us your booking details and preferences for your next year stay, we will be very glad to look after your time with us.

Best regards form our little paradise,

Luz H. Nava
Resident Manager

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Reviewed April 13, 2018

This is the first time I'm actually writing a review on an All Inclusive, never really been inspired despite always staying at 5 stars, until now.
I'm basing the review on what we paid, and the services and amenities.
The staff at this resort is EXCELLENT, and they are led by an absolute gem of a Hotel Director in LUZ. You can tell when people are led well, led by example and are genuine about providing their guests with the absolute best experience.
The food was a very pleasant surprise, especially the AVE DE PARAISO, Italian chef
cooks incredibly well.
The Sanctuary is the adults only part of Grand Memories, so make sure you get that right.
Our only frustration was the beach shade situation, we were up at 6:30 and it still didn't make a difference. I didn't let it factor into the rating because the hold your shade with a towel thing is a problem at every resort. Some people didn't show up all day.
All in all, I've stayed at all the 5* in Varadero, this is the best. Just don't come expecting your room to be the Waldorf Astoria and you will be fine. DON'T FORGET TO TIP!!!
GRACIAS LUZ, YOU ARE AMAZING AT WHAT YOU DO!!

  • Stayed: April 2018, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank Mamamiia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Director G, Manager at Sanctuary at Grand Memories Varadero, responded to this reviewResponded April 16, 2018

Our dear guest,

It is pleasant to receive such nice comments of your stay with us, the Sanctuary at Grand Memories Varadero team would like to thank you for your high punctuation, we are glad to hear that you had an amazing and pleasant stay at our hotel, our main goal is to satisfy our guests and it is very gratifying for us to know that we exceeded your expectations.

Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback with us regarding the beach palapas, we are looking forward to implement an efficient procedure very soon.

We are looking forward to see you soon, our staff will be delighted to welcome you back.


Best regards from all the Sanctuary at Grand Memories Varadero family,

Luz H. Nava
Resident Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed April 11, 2018

Travelled April 2018.
First of all, it's a great place for vacation. We are wanting to go back next year again with the rest of the family. All members of our group had no complaints.

Staff:
Overall the staff were the best we've experienced in Cuba (was in Varadero 4 previous times and Santa Maria twice). Our Butler Maritza made sure all of our needs were fulfilled and was always on the ball with everything.
She booked all of the restaurants as well. The service staff at lunch and all the restaurants were friendly and a BIG shout out to the bar staff at the Sanctuary bar who always served with a smile.
The restaurant staff were very friendly and we had a lot of fun with them. I can't recall all of the names but was very impressed with the whole staff.

Rooms:
The normal average room you expect in a 4 star in Cuba. We don't spend any time in it so we were perfectly happy with it. And yes, there is some chipped paint here and there as some people post in pictures but this is in all resorts in the Caribbean. The rooms were kept cean daily and the fridge restocked. The sanctuary section is also close to the beach.

Beach:
Beautiful soft white sand beaches with no coral. You can walk for ages in each direction. We had no issues with a palapa but we are always up early watching the sun come up every day, beautiful coming up over the ocean. Chairs were always plentiful. There's a beach bar for the sanctuary section that is almost complete. The other beach bar is not that far to walk anyway so this was no big issue.

Restaurants:
The Sanctuary restaurant had different food each night and was very good. The breakfasts and lunches here were sit down meals every day. The Italian was our favorite. The meals were delicious and the steak at this restaurant was very thick so we went here a couple of times. Gourmet was very good as well but the preference was the Italian and this was unanimous. The breakfast restaurant does not have the same selection as the buffet so if you wnat more options, the buffet is the place to go. They had multiple egg stations and 4 toasters so the lineups were fairly quick.

Pools:
The sanctuary pool is beautiful with many activities. They had dancers on Cuba Day with an outdoor buffet, a live rock band on Canada Day, cuban bands in the evening in the Sancyuary bar. Great entertainment!
Swim up bar at the big pool was crazy busy if you like that. They seemed to spend way too much time on contests and such. Just play the music.

Overall the resort was amazing and would definitely recommend this resort to anyone.

See you next spring Sanctuary.

Stayed: April 2018
3  Thank hotsunwarmwater
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Director G, Manager at Sanctuary at Grand Memories Varadero, responded to this reviewResponded April 11, 2018

Our dearest guests,

We hope your return back home was very satisfactory.

It has been an honor to pamper you in Sanctuary at Grand Memories Varadero and it is pleasant to receive such nice comments as our guest’s positive reviews are a special motivation for the management and staff.
We are glad to hear that you an your family had fun in our hotel and that the resort was clean and functional.
We are looking forward to see you again in Sanctuary at Grand Memories Varadero to celebrate another great holiday with you.

P.s See you next spring

Regards from all our team,

Luz. H. Nava
Resident Manager

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