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Reviews (7,560)
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Reviewed 15 February 2018

I just returned from Cuba last weekend, it was my second time in Varadero and WOW- I already am planning to go back later this year!! The Barcelo Solymar is an excellent choice for accommodations in Varadero. The location is fantastic as it is very central to downtown Varadero, 5 minute walk from the Beatles Bar and the main strip. The hotel is so clean and very visually appealing. The staff are incredible!! I love the Cuban people, they are so warm and welcoming. The pool bar staff really made the trip! Rico, Lala, Miguel- Beautiful, amazing people. The food was pretty decent compared to most resorts in the area! I ate very healthy while I was there. It was an unreal trip, I will return to Cuba again and again. Thank you Barcelo Solymar for your outstanding customer service and hospitality!! :) 10/10 would recommend to anyone

  • Stayed: February 2018, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
2  Thank Kennedy A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BarceloSmAb, Director General at Barcelo Solymar, responded to this reviewResponded 16 February 2018

Dear Kennedy A, Thank you for taking the time to write a review about your experience at Barceló Solymar Arenas Blancas Resort. We were very pleased to read that your stay was "AMAZING TRIP/STAY" and found every member of our team to be ¨The hotel is so clean and very visually appealing. The staff are incredible!! I love the Cuban people, they are so warm and welcoming. The pool bar staff really made the trip! Rico, Lala, Miguel- Beautiful, amazing people¨. It truly was a pleasure to personally take care of you and your family. Thank you very much! My team and I thank you once again for your great comments and I personally look forward to welcoming you back the next time you visit Varadero. Best regards, Juan Marqués General Manager

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Reviewed 15 February 2018 via mobile

You may be reading the reviews and wondering how there can be so many reviews that are dramatically different from each other .... I believe the answer lies in what type of traveller you are; so instead of reviewing the hotel, I am going to make a recommendation of whether this hotel will suit you!

Beach. First of all, if you prioritise a quality of the beach above all other critieria - then this hotel may work for you. The beach is stunning - I have been to many of the world’s most acclaimed beaches and Varadero is up there with the best. Miles of powdery white sand, crystal clear and warm water, a generous amount of loungers and umbrellas for guests etc.

Hotel room standard. Cuba is a developing country; it is not a first world fully developed nation and the standards in this hotel reflect that. The rooms are tired, cleaning is sub-par, yes there are stains on the duvet (and we literally found a soiled diaper in one of the kitchen cupboards). Yes there are ants on the floor, holes in the walls etc. So if you need a perfectly clean room to have a good time, or plans to spend a lot of time in your room - this hotel may not be for you (and you should probably choose another travel destination). We only slept in the room so didnt mind the issues - because we spent our days at the beach!

Food. Given how limited supplies are in Cuba and how difficult it is to access fresh food, beef etc we thought the food was terrific within the context. Always lovely fresh fruit on offer, lovely service, lots of variety etc. Again, if you expect Cuba to offer ‘world class’ cuisine which is similar to developed nations - Cuba may not be the destination for you.

Internet. I have noticed complaints about internet access, which again I attribute to people not understanding the context. This isn’t a resort issue, it is a whole of country issue; nobody has good access to the internet and Cubans must also buy the cards and find a wifi spot to use them. The cards at the resort were cheaper than most options in Havana and the wifi was excellent in the foyer. Again, if you can’t live without constant wifi access in your room and on the beach ... maybe don’t visit Cuba.

Grounds and surrounds. Gorgeous! Perfect pool area, super clean and impeccable gardens - five stars

All inclusive. We loved the all inclusive package and certainly availed ourselves of the included drinks - which were excellent. Yes the small plastic cups were annoying but the bar staff are amazing and generous and the drinks excellent (for an all inclusive package).

In summary, if you are the type of person who visits a developing country and expects it to be on par with developed countries in terms of food, decor, wifi etc then maybe don’t visit Cuba at all. If you are a flexible, easy going traveller who appreciates other cultures, loves the beach and are happy with free drinks - then this resort will work well for you. This resort worked very well for us as a fun group of friends (in our 40s) who loves the beach and drinking :-) We did not want to leave (ever!). I hope this review is helpful to making your decision.

Stayed: February 2018, travelled with friends
9  Thank Deezagood
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BarceloSmAb, Director General at Barcelo Solymar, responded to this reviewResponded 16 February 2018

Hello Deezagood, Thank you very much for your review, it means a lot to all of the team. And for taking the time to review your experiences of Barceló Solymar. Like you said - our beach / location truly is perfect for guests and we thank you for your mention of this. Being within a 5 minute walk from Calle 62 or shopping, bars ("Beatles" Bar) and restaurants all within walking distance. Rooms or bungalows are perfect for a families, friends or couples. All of our rooms do indeed come with the usual items you would expect i.e. hairdryer, iron, mini-bar and coffee. Our guest relations team are here from 9am to 9pm every day, after which time our duty manager / security team take over. They are here to look after our guests during the night and are on stand by to assist you or answer any questions you may have. Finally I would like to thank you for pointing out the things that you did enjoy: our amazing staff, room, restaurants & buffets, our entertaiment and how well you found the Resort ("In summary, if you are the type of person who visits a developing country and expects it to be on par with developed countries in terms of food, decor, wifi etc then maybe don’t visit Cuba at all. If you are a flexible, easy going traveller who appreciates other cultures, loves the beach and are happy with free drinks - then this resort will work well for you. This resort worked very well for us as a fun group of friends (in our 40s) who loves the beach and drinking :-) We did not want to leave (ever!). I hope this review is helpful to making your decision. ."). All of the team, we very much hope to be welcoming you again soon in Barceló Solymar - Occidental Arenas Blancas - Allegro Palma Real & Varadero. Very best wishes - Thanks for your great review. Juan Marqués General Manager

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Reviewed 14 February 2018

I stay at Arenas Blancas. It was a truly amazing experience. Love it! The food was different, not bad but different but I ended up eating healthier than I do at home. it was not luxury 5* but people were amazing and everything was clean and the beach was out of this world.

Stayed: December 2017
3  Thank Jannpe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BarceloSmAb, Director General at Barcelo Solymar, responded to this reviewResponded 15 February 2018

Dear Jannpe, I thank you for the kindness of sharing with other online users your very good impressions about your stay in our Barceló Solymar - Occidental Arenas Blancas - Allegro Palma Real Resort, where we recently had the pleasure of serving you. Thank you for praising our offers and services, as well as the attitude of the staff!. I hope you come back very soon! It will be a great pleasure to meet you again! Sincerely, Juan Marqués General Manager

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Reviewed 14 February 2018 via mobile

This resort is quite average in terms of overall quality, food, rooms, etc. However, I am ranking 4/5 because of the great environment and the amount of fun I had when I visited. Don’t book this resort with a high expectation but to meet people and have fun.

Stayed: March 2017, travelled with friends
Thank MeghanPrt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BarceloSmAb, Director General at Barcelo Solymar, responded to this reviewResponded 15 February 2018

Dear MeghanPrt, Thank you very much for your review. Thank you very much for all your compliments about our Resort. Have shared all your remarks with them, it is always my pleasure telling the team how positive their right doing influences on all our customers' holiday enjoyment. You honor us again with your visit in your next stay in Varadero. Thank you very much for your ranking 4/5. Warm regards for you and all your familiy. Juan Marqués General Manager diralojamiento@resortsolymar.gca.tur.cu

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Reviewed 13 February 2018

Travelled last week to Varadero, solo, for my 60th birthday.. Had read reviews, knew what to expect .
Rooms.. It looks like about 90% of the bungalow rooms have been refurbished but I chose to stay in hotel ... Rooms are dated but how much time does one stay there. When I arrived I had a problem with my patio door and the front desk sent service men up right away to fix .
Food.. Breakfast, lunch, dinner... Lots of options at buffet.. Always a variety .meat/cheese bar , fruit bar, dessert bar, bread bar, pasta/ pizza bar, and lots of hot choices.. Rice, potatoes, veggies and mostly pork for main meat selection, although one night they had full turkeys being carved. I only tried the Italian al a carte and pizza was significantly better than buffet pizza . I heard a lot of people talking about the lobster they had at the seafood restaurant and how delicious it was. And although you have privileges at arenas Blanca I didn't bother trying it.. Oh buts there's a little Bbq bar located at the beach over there where you can get hot dogs, burgers, sausages etc, pretty good
Drinks.. Average.. Not blended
Here's why I give this place four stars....
BEACH...AMAZING... Water is lovely, all kinds of chairs and lifeguards
LOCATION... So close to the town of Varadero.. You could walk but for $5 you can hop on and off the double decker bus which goes the whole length of the peninsula
STAFF... Every single person I spoke to at this hotel was AWESOME... From the front desk ( Yanies) to the pool bartenders ( LaLa and Miriela) my room maid (Marisela) the guest services (Onya) lobby bartenders, the staff of the buffet especially Mayra, even the Internet girl and gardeners , were always more than happy and willing to go out of their way to make your stay enjoyable .
I went for vacation but next time I'll return for the people and the lovely Cuban sun☀️

Stayed: February 2018, travelled solo
1  Thank Maureen M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BarceloSmAb, Director General at Barcelo Solymar, responded to this reviewResponded 14 February 2018

Dear Maureen M, "First time in Cuba"- Thank you very much for all your kind words. Our aim is for all of our guests to have the best holiday experience possible and we could not be happier to know that this was the case on this occasion. It's lovely to read that you were happy with your room and that you found the food to your liking. It's true that we can't please everyone but we sure do our best to do so! We hope to get the opportunity to welcome you back to Barceló Hotel Group in the near future! Kind regards, Juan Marqués General Manager diralojamiento@resortsolymar.gca.tur.cu

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