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Reviewed April 14, 2018

Shh! Don’t tell anyone.

The down side of giving this resort another 5 star review is that it serves to encourage others to stay at Sanctuary, thus making it more expensive and harder to book.

But you’ve got to go!!

From arrival to departure, we were made to feel like the most special people on earth.

First of all, know Cuba. Understand that a 5 star in Cuba is not the Mariott in Hawaii.

Now, let yourself enjoy the beaches, the resort and the slowed down Cuban lifestyle.

While our three butlers Noel, Ivet & Belinda, were outstanding and tended to all our needs, the butlers, bellhops and cart drivers we’ve met on previous trips all made a point of saying hello and making sure we wanted for nothing. If your cart driver clucks, that’s Tony. The bar staff around the pool (Yamila, Amaury, Marvelis & Barbara) not only remembered what we drank, they even remembered our preferred chairs around the pool. The bartenders inside are pretty great too. I depended on Mara & Jesus for the morning coffee and poor Yunal drew the short straw and was serving our rowdy group until 2 in the morning. Giselle quickly learned how to make the espresso martinis and demonstrated the perfect pour.

Dayana & Alex had a great team around the pool. Nelly, Ernesto & Deglys, entertainers in training were awesome. Never forget May that provided amazing energy. I don’t thinks she capable of doing anything but smiling.

The food is good; we ate a lot of lobster. There are so many choices that if you can’t find something, you are too darn picky. If you choose the Sanctuary restaurant, with Vincenzo in the kitchen, each lady/gentleman will provide service with a smile.

Luz is found everywhere and leads the brigade. The smiling women in the office, working had behind the scenes. The thoughtful lady that makes sure I always have a ground floor room. And of course, Jose Mario, who manages to make each one of our trips special. He was our butler on a previous visit but this time we he was found in the reception hut at the reservation desk. I can only imagine how many visitors he made smile and they only knew him as the voice at the other end of 8622.

If you look around, you will find the gardeners, not only caring for the property but stopping and making art for the guests. You might get to take home a hat or a bowl or a fish or a grasshopper. Their talent is amazing.

Because I didn’t mention a particular person’s name does not mean they weren’t special. It means my fifty something brain can’t remember it at this moment. Have you noticed I’m writing about the people?

Yes, the beach is great, Yes, the rooms are good; the maids keep them clean & the fridges were stocked. We stay ground floor and had no critters. Sometimes we surprised crawly things on the patio but I think we scared them as much as they scared us. The physical facilities are great. But it you choose this resort, it is the people that will make your trip special.

Book a trip & decide for yourself.

  • Stayed: March 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
6  Thank Lino 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 Lino,

We love the title you chose for this review and we really appreciate you took the time to share your expereince with other TripAdvisor users. 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.

Warm regards,

Luz. H.Nava
Resident Manager

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Reviewed April 14, 2018

To many people this may not be important at a resort, but staying fit while on vacation is huge to me. I was beyond happy to see they bring in pro instructors from Canada to do yoga and Zumba. Thank you CHERYL from NRG2GO Halifax, NS for leading us through the best classes!

Entertainment staff is the best at any resort we have been to! Service was top notch and never a wait! Our first time here but won't be the last. We liked the fact we could use all The Grand Memories as well.

See you in 2019 Sanctuary!!

  • Stayed: April 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank plgreen2018
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 Guest,

On behalf of the Sanctuary at Grand Memories Varadero team we would like to thank you for your super nice comments about our service, rooms, beach, food and staff.
It is really gratifying to know that you enjoyed your holidays with us.
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.

P.s See you in 2019 to pamper you as you deserve.

Best regards,

Luz H. Nava
Resident Manager

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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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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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