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Reviewed 28 February 2007

We stayed at the Tryp from Feb. 12 - Feb. 19. We absolutely loved the resort and the people and plan on returning next year.

To begin we arrived at The Varadero airport and within 10 min. or so we were through customs and exchanging our money. My husband decided last minute not to exchange it all and he was wise. The airport and the resort both had money exchanges but their rates were within a penny or so but we changed money in Havana at one of the Bank's and got the best rate of 1.24.

We went outside to our bus and didn't have any problems with people wanting to carry your luggage and expecting tips. What was really nice though expecially for my husband is they were selling ice cold crystal beer and the guy was so good he sold my husband 4. Which was a nice relaxing way to begin our vacation.

We arrived at the hotel at around 12 noon and that is check out time so the rooms weren't ready but we were given our bracelets and room #'s and even though we couldn't go to our rooms yet we were able to go have lunch and a drink and I even changed in one of the wahrooms. By 2:00p.m. our room was ready.

I was slightly disappointed because I had emailed ahead and asked to be in one of three buildings and we didn't get that in fact it was at the children's end that we were to be in. But oh well I figured lets make the best of it we're on vacation in a beautiful country on a beautiful resort.

We went to wait for the cart and the bellboy to drive us to our room. He came and loaded our luggage into the golf cart and we climbed in. He asked what room and when we said 1015; he began to laugh and I said it's that building right there isn't it. Sure enough it was. We were on the third floor and the view we had was gorgeous. Two of the children's pools below us and right across the court yard between the two buildings was a perfect view of the ocean.

We were close to the Lobby building with the bar and buffet as well as the gift shop and business center and unlike we thought the children's area was quiet and beautiful. The garden's throughout the whole resort were beautiful. I don't think we could have been in a better location for us we loved it.

I had also emailed ahead to book our ala carte's but assumed they did not receive this email either so we went to the business
office to book. When we told her our name and room number she informed us she had us all booked. She had received our email and was pleased we had done this. I don't know if it was the email or Our MAS membership but she gave us 4 dinners instead of the normal two so we were able to try 4 of the restau-rants. The Italian and the International were my favorite although
the seafood at the Cuban was awesome too.

We also booked two excursions. We went on the day trip to Havana with the cigar Factory tour. This was fascinating and Havana is a must if you go to cuba. This cost for two of us was about 174 pescos Pricey but worth it. The other excursion we did was
our favorite- The Jeep Safari. I think it's called the discovery tour.

We teamed up with a couple from England - Cathy & Ron if you read this hello from Richard & Marilyn. We had a blast the jeeps were great but the speed boats were the best and the whole day was a blast although the lunch was a little different and not my husband's favorite.

We really enjoyed the buffet breakfast but normally ate lunch at
the Laguna since they had an open grill - very good. We also went to the shows in the evening which the one's we saw were great. The staff work hard on these and it shows.

We only had two downsides to our stay. The day we went on the tour to Havana we came back to the resort to find our air conditioner not working. We called and within 10 minutes a guy was there to check it but we were on our way out to dinner. We came back from dinner to find it still not working and the guy was gone. We called the office again and she said she'd find out from him what the problem was. She called back and it couldn't be fixed until the morning. They offered to switch our rooms but we really liked where we were and we were both exhausted so we just opened the door with the screen and with the night air it cooled the room enough. Like they promised it was fixed the next morning. Unlike the coffee maker. We reported it on Tues. and when we left on Mon. it still wasn't fixed. But like I said thosewere the only two downsides and we can't wait to go back. We actually had the priviledge of staying at two resorts since we were stranded for an extra day in Cuba because of NFLD snowstorm.
They took the 144 of us to The Blau for the night and the next day.
This was a beautiful resort too but I could definitely see the
elevators being a problem. We had long waits - they are very small. Also it is more hotel style where as Tryp is bungalos no more than three stories. The buffet was nicer though at the Blau. Seemed to be a younger crowd as well there. But all in all we loved Cuba; loved the Tryp and can't wait to go back to both.

Date of stay: February 2007
10  Thank Marlee91
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.
MPV_General_Manager, Director General at Melia Peninsula Varadero, responded to this reviewResponded 24 August 2016

Dear Customer :
First of all, greetings from Melia Varadero Peninsula.
We regret the fact that you never has come a response from management. We would like to come back to share with his family Melia Peninsula.
Best regards

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 February 2007

I've just returned from a week stay at TRYP and I'm already planning my return for next year. This was my first time in Cuba and was very wary of going but Cuba was not as bad as I expected it to be. The hotel was beautiful with lush gardens and great service. We were two couples traveling together and had an incredible time.
We arrived at the hotel after a 40-45 minute drive from the Airport. The check-in process was very unorganized but they do try their best so cut them some slack you are on holidays so relax. We arrived around 1:30 in the afternoon and our rooms were not ready so they told to go have lunch and drinks and come back at 3. At 3:00 our rooms were still not ready but we were content with our unlimited drinks while waiting. At about 3:45 we got to our room and got exactly what we asked for ( we requested a top floor and king size bed through our travel agent).
The rooms are very spacious and very clean. I felt very much at home with the spacious area.
The buffet is by far the best place to eat because of the wide selection of foods. We had reservations for four of the Resturants and only liked 2.
The International was pretty good probably one of the best of the a la carte resturants
Laguana was also very good if you like seafood.
The Italian was awful I didn't eat my meal and went to eat at the buffet where they were serving unlimited lobster.
The beach buffet was VERY GOOD for lunch being as it is so close to the beach and also they have a very good selection of food.
Overall I was very scared that the food would be awful because I read so many negative reviews but the food is pretty good and there is alot of effort that goes into making this food
( although towards the end of the week I'm sure you'll be wanting some home food)
THE BEST PART OF MY TRIP WAS MEETING THE GREAT ENTERTAINMENT STAFF .... Adrian, Freddy, Oswald, David ...etc. are absolutley AMAZING they are so very entertaining and always have smiles on their faces. They put on amazing shows everynight (they work so very hard at perfecting these brilliant shows) They are constantly offering different activities during the day, (Tai-Chi on the beach, Danicng lessons, water polo, animal show.. etc. ) This resort really has amazing entertainment (I went to a 5 star in Punta Cana last year and their shows weren't even half as good as TRYP's)
Although we did not go on excursions we did take the bus into Varadero. It was a very good experience and we got to buy some really nice souvenirs.
The lobby bar makes the best drinks and the Banana Mamma was an excellent drink which I only heard about two days before I was leaving. They are very good bartenders and work very hard.
REMEMBER patience is the key when you are traveling to Cuba because they are all running on Cuban time which is about 30 minutes delayed from the real time.
The workers are very hard working and don't make alot of money so please think about bringing some things like soap, razors, shaving cream, advil .. etc. They really appreciate anything they are given and it feels great to see the smiles they have on their faces when you hand over these items to them.
The non - motorized water boats offered make it very enjoyable to see the beach and are very fun to take out into the water.
I'm so sad that my trip is already over but I did have a blast. The memories are great and I can't wait to go back to see my new friends next year. The only downfall was that I did not book my trip for 2 weeks but that's what next year is for.

Date of stay: February 2007
  • Trip type: Travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
6  Thank SunLover46
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.
MPV_General_Manager, Director General at Melia Peninsula Varadero, responded to this reviewResponded 24 August 2016

Dear Customer :
First of all, greetings from Melia Varadero Peninsula.
We regret the fact that you never has come a response from management. We would like to come back to share with his family Melia Peninsula.
Best regards

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 February 2007

A group of 8 stayed at the Tryp Peninsula Varadero from Jan. 21st-28th, 2007.
This was our (my husband and me) 2nd trip to Varadero..Previously we had stayed at a hotel right on the main strip...We were within a 20 minute walk to the 'heart' of Varadero. In order to get to the heart of Varadero from the Tryp, you have to have some form of transportation...Either the double decker bus, which is usually extremely crowded, or a taxi etc...I know if we were to return to Varadero, we would definitely choose a hotel on the main strip again.
Check-in was fairly quick (around 12 AM) and we were given a ride to our room to settle in.
First to greet us in our room, was a nice sized cockroach! Not a surprise though as they are very common here...It was the only one we encountered. Not a big deal...
Our room was large and comfortable with a sitting area, a large walk-in closet with a set of drawers, and a large bathroom that had a seperate bath and shower area...Body wash, shampoo and soap were stocked in the bathroom and lasted us the week. We were very pleased with our room. Our balcony overlooked the pool and we were within a 2 minute walk to the beach..About a 10 minute stroll to the main hotel area where the buffet is located. The only complaint we would have in regards to our room has more to do with the service: our coffee was never replenished, and the beer (singular!) was replenished only once or twice. The room was kept very clean during our stay.
Once settled in to our room, we rejoined our group..We were all starving and were happy to find the Italian serves meals even at 1:00 AM!!! That was one of the best meals we had the entire trip.
The beach is very nice and we never had trouble finding lounges...We were usually one of the first bunch of people on the beach @ 9 or 10 in the morning...We only had two days where the water was pretty rough and I was stung by a jellyfish...There were jellyfish and sea urchins washed up on the beach..I'll know next time to steer clear of the water when it's that rough!
We had emailed the resort prior to our arrival and had no problem getting into the A la carte restaurants. We booked additional meals when we arrived.
The Italian and the Toccorroro restaurants were excellent.
La Laguna served lobster for dinner, but we found it 'powdery'. The lunch served at La Laguna was excellent. There is a 'buffet' style meal and you could also order from their menu... We ordered lots of deep fried calamari, which we found was very good.
Unfortunately, not one of the 8 of us enjoyed the Cuban A la carte...I must say we were truly disappointed...The meal was terrible! It's too bad that people are given the wrong impression of 'cuban' food, as our meal at a restaurant in Havana was delicious, as was a meal we had at a restaurant in Varadero.
Personally, I thought the buffet was terrible...None of us starved and always found something we could eat, but it truly was not very good.
The hotel grounds were beautiful and very well maintained.
Because the resort is so large, we found it difficult to get to know the staff. The previous hotel we had stayed at was smaller, and we enjoyed the 'feel' of it much more. We got to know the staff and it seemed much more friendly than this one.
The evening entertainment : First, I must say that the singers and dancers are very talented...HOWEVER... the sound system ruined the performances...The volume was excrutiatingly loud, every evening that we took in the entertainment. Because of this, the singers voices were distorted and difficult to enjoy..At every performance that we attended, we saw people walk out mid-performance. We unfortunately had to leave one of the performances too (which we don't like to do). The shows themselves were very poorly 'written'. It really is too bad, because as I said, the performers were quite talented.
The mixed drinks for the most part, were not enoyable at all. We all kept mostly to beer and wine. The lobby bar was very busy every night. A wait of about 10 minutes was not uncommon. When open, the small bar just off the main lobby had much quicker service.
We remember the coffee being delicious the last time we visited Varadero, but have to say the coffee at this resort, whether at the buffet (the worst!) or at other restaurants, was disappointing.
On another note...As you may or may not know, there are some stray dogs roaming in Varadero...They roam the beach from time to time...They are normally not a nuisance and keep to themselves...One night while our group was enjoying our evening at the Italian, a stray dog repeatedly tried to get into the restaurant. The restaurant staffed chased it away numerous times. After a few attempts at chasing the dog from the restaurant, we heard a few yelps...When we left the restaurant, we witnessed the same dog in the dry pond area going around in circles, CLEARLY suffering...See Jan. 29th 2007 review entitled 'Dog brutalized by staff' in Trip Advisor...We had to leave as it was very upsetting and there was absolutely nothing anyone could do for this animal. It was a terrible thing to have to witness. The whole situation could have and SHOULD have been handled much more humanely.
On the whole, I don't expect that we will be returning to this resort in the future. We are firm believers in the fact that you don't sweat the small stuff and we normally always have a good time regardless of anything we may encounter. We did have some good times and though it really wasn't all that bad, we do know that we enjoyed our last stay at the other resort, much more than this one.

Date of stay: February 2007
1  Thank LoveCubaXO
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.
MPV_General_Manager, Director General at Melia Peninsula Varadero, responded to this reviewResponded 24 August 2016

Dear Customer :
First of all, greetings from Melia Varadero Peninsula.
We regret the fact that you never has come a response from management. We would like to come back to share with his family Melia Peninsula.
Best regards

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 February 2007

A long journey there, but well worth it. Flew from UK with Virgin to Havana, and then a 2 hour transfer to hotel - a long way after a long flight, but as already said, well worth it.

Clean, friendly and relaxed hotel with excellent facilities that was recommended by my friendly tavel agent - The Holiday Place (www.theholidayplace.com) - as I wanted to go to Cuba with the family. They know their stuff and I spoke to a lady that had actually stayed at the hotel with her children, and needless to say the recommendation was spot on.

Hotel - good and clean, immaculate and beautiful gardens, great facilities (even a mini-spa) and right on one of the most beautiful beaches ever seen. Large pool with swim up bar (does get busy and noisy), tennis courts, basketball and such.

Kids Club/Pool - brilliant. lovely lagoon style pool that is really shallow and safe for the kids of even 2 years old. Two water slides and fountains too. Right next to the pool is a pirate ship with slides, ropes, climbing frames etc - brilliant! The kids club (from 2 years old) is right there too, and I need to say lots about this. The staff are fantastic - tri-lingual, graduates who just love the kids. They play, educate and really care for the kids from the start to the finish of the day, reading, playing, dancing, singing, puzzles, games and loads of activities including animal shows, trips to the beach on treasure hunts etc. By far the best childrens club I have ever come across. The kids can even eat there, and drinks and ice-creams are plentiful (All-Inclusive resort). The staff will even baby-sit for you too at very reasonable rates.

Rooms - big (two double beds) with en-suite and balcony or terrace. No higher than 3 floors, air conditioned, and have colour tv and coffee-maker, iron and ironing board, walk-in storage, safe and DD telephones. What more can you want? Clean, well decorated, and perfectly in keeping with the 5* rating. Also, we thought that the hotel was huge before we got there, and had requested rooms close to the beach. We got rooms in the middle, less than 150 metres from the beach, the pool, the kids pool and the main restaurant - perfect. Bottom line - dont worry where your room is!

Food - Buffet, and several a' la carte restaraunts (you will need to book these as soon as you arrive in resort).

Breakfast Buffet was excellent with good variety. Full cooked breakfasts, omlette station, cereals, fruits, salads, continental style, juice bar, pancakes etc. All fresh (and the 'home baked' bread is superb!), and perfectly prepared and presented.

Lunch Buffet is again varied - a pizza and pasta station, hot grill, seafood section and again all the salads etc. We never, not even with 2 young children, struggled to find something hot and tasty.

Dinner - again much of the same. I dont mean boring - the variety is great. Crabs, lobster, paella, tiger prawns - all freshly cooked - as well as the hot grill, salad bars and diet busting dessert sections! I would challenge anyone to be disappointed with the food, but like every buffet set-up, sometimes you have to be a bit creative and add your own spices/sauces as the food is cooked for the majority, and lacks the bite that I like.

A'la carte restaurants - Crepe bar (interesting, but didnt really impress us), Italian that was excellent - really excellent, and a brilliant French restaurant too. Beach grill that speciailses on seafood was great in the evening, but a bit of a burger grill during the day.

All in all, the food was pretty darn good, and really surpirsed us as we had been told to expect basic choice. This was not the case with our experience, and we enjoyed good meals three times a day every day - even the kids!

Beach - beautiful stretch of clean soft sand that goes for as far as you can see. Sun shades and sun beds a-plenty, beach bar, hammocks hidden in the trees, and crystal clear calm waters. Perfect, and free water-sports too - canoeing, pedaloes, hobie cats, sailing dinghies and even water skiing and banana boat rides.

Excursions - we did the dolphin show, and that was very well done, and great entertainment. We didnt swim with them, as you can, but saw plenty of people who did, and we perhaps regret that we didnt do this as it looked brilliant.

We did a speed-boat safari tour which was great fun - and really cheap too! 2 hours zipping around, accompanied by dolphins too, and then slowing down to see a very small zoo in the mangroves - excellent fun.

Scuba diving - not much here for the unqualified diver, but if you are, then it is good value, very high standard of equipment and safety, fresh lobster lunch, and whilst not challenging or deep, very memorable. 'Cuddling' a 2 metre long moray that has been tamed by the instructors on one of the many wrecks was a real experience.

Other - TIPPING

We had read so much about tipping on this site before we travelled. We found that if you smile, take time to talk to the staff, and relax into holiday mode, then the service is impeccable. We tipped, far more than some and perhaps less than others, but we tipped what we though was right, not what was perhaps expected. We were served excellently throughout by lovely warm people who really come alve if you make an effort to speak to them. We left some of the kids clothes and beach shoes etc for the maid when we left, and this made her day, but only because we knew she had children of the same age. Make an effort, and you will get it back ten-fold! Tips will get you better service, but not even 20 pesos (about £10.00) will earn you the smiles and extra special service that taking time to talk to your hosts will.

All in all, a brilliant holiday - great resort, staff, hotel, beach, food and everything. Even the on-site doctor and local hospital were great, with immediate service unlike our NHS! An ear infection in one of the kids, and a fracture for me from volleyball were dealt with superbly.

Thanks again to The Holiday Place, we are coming back!

Date of stay: February 2007
14  Thank 299
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.
MPV_General_Manager, Director General at Melia Peninsula Varadero, responded to this reviewResponded 24 August 2016

Dear Customer :
First of all, greetings from Melia Varadero Peninsula.
We regret the fact that you never has come a response from management. We would like to come back to share with his family Melia Peninsula.
Best regards

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 February 2007

Spent the week of January 28th to the 4th of February at the Tryp. Arrived around 10:00 pm on the Sunday night and we were checked in quickly without incidence.
More than happy with our rooms...spacious, clean, great location and we never had a problem with either the AC or hot water supply. You dont need a voltage converter here...theres one built into the built in hair dryer!
Grounds were nice and kept for the most part. We did notice that on two different occassions, someone had vomitted. Once on the main walkway to the lobby (which took 2 days to clean up) and another time at the pool (which took all afternoon) to clean up!
Staff was friendly for the most part. Our maid was great and we left her lots of different items thruout the week for tips. In exchange she kept room clean and mini fridge stocked with water and pop. It seems that by Tuesday we couldnt get any beer stocked in our fridge....resort wide problem.... I think!
We didn't always find the front desk to be all that friendly, nor did we find the wait staff in the buffet to be all that pleasant! But the porters, the gardners, the wait staff at the ala cartes and especially the bartenders to be very very pleasant!
As far as the staff in the lobby store goes.....could they have been more rude and inconsiderate??
We found the food to be lacking in taste but edible for the most part. The ala cartes weren't much better!
Drinks were plentiful....and a thermal mug is a must! The only way to get a true cold beer was to buy it off the resort!
Entertainment staff at night is awesome....never missed a show! But during the day they did very little at all when it came to entertaining at the pool!
The beach is awesome....lots of chairs and palapas!
We went into Varadero twice, once by "duble decka" bus and secondly by rent a scooter. Beware...2 people on a scooter and 1 helmut! Also beware of the fact that the bus is suppose to run every 1/2 hour.....we missed it by minutes and then proceeded to wait for over an hour. When it did come, it was full and left us behind!
The Discovery jeep/boat/cave tour is awesome and worth every peso! This is a great time to bring treats and coins or anything....these are the people who could really use it. The smiles you get from the kids over a handfull of candies ....makes the whole trip.
As far as Air Transit goes....thats a long story. Be sure to know how much weight your baggage is...we were hit with a $160 cdn fee because the rep told us our baggage was 16 kg over the allowment. With what we bought and what we left behind....this was impossible!
ps. We did see the odd stray dog enter the resort. They are not a bother...they are just hungry! If we had read the review of the dog being brutalized before hand we would NOT have gone to this resort...possibly Cuba! During our dinner at the same restaurant (Italian) we witnessed an employee stomp and squash a small lizard! This bothered my wife and daughter enough....never mind how upset they would have been if they had witnessed the dog being hurt/killed!!!

Date of stay: February 2007
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank nashville-cats
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.
MPV_General_Manager, Director General at Melia Peninsula Varadero, responded to this reviewResponded 24 August 2016

Dear Customer :
First of all, greetings from Melia Varadero Peninsula.
We regret the fact that you never has come a response from management. We would like to come back to share with his family Melia Peninsula.
Best regards

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