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Reviewed 23 May 2018 via mobile

Just arrived home last night from starfish varadero and it was a good time. Yes some hiccups but overall it was fine. Get ready for a long one..

Airport breezy (you’ll fill your visa/declaration card in the plane) airport- hotel transfer was good! Have a representative explaining some details as you travel(airport is 45 mins away and drops off ppl at various hotels) Bus was late to Pick us up from hotel back to airport but apparently it’s common. Check in was easy, lady at the front desk was super nice *note ( I do realized if you speak Spanish you get more better attention as them being latino they understand you on a more personal level) why I feel our whole trip was great (my fam and i are latinos too) BUT it’s not necessarily also the case. Just an observation..

We arrived pretty late and was given a room that smelled like smoke and was very humid. Bellman brought us to our room as it’s harder to find (if room is in the building) Not much decor and during the night the ceiling was leaking room (2708 I believe)and unfortunately my luggage and passport got soaked. That morning went straight to the front desk complained and within 5 minutes maintenance came and checked it out. He saw how upset we were he demanded the front desk give us a new room.

Which they gladly did. The new room (3709) was awesome! Bathroom really nice, smelt good, always had running water (hot and cold)and was cleaned beautifully by the maid Elizabeth you’ll also receive one big water bottle , you can buy from the bar for 50 cents too. If you don’t have beach towels in your room ask the maid they’ll gladly give it. Go to club house to exchange for clean ones (go early as they run out) don’t lose or else pay 25$

Side note if your room in not in the garden Homes but in the actually hotel building prepare to walk. As the only exit to the beach/main attractions is the front lobby. there’s only 2 working elevators fitting 3 ppl for the whole resort and sometimes ends up not working like it did last 2 days.(all the walking/steps todo, the carrying of luggage around and especially fam with strollers/wheelchairs..)

The main lobby is where you’ll get the best drinks (2 bars on the second level)
And for wifi - on good days it somewhat works but in bad days you’ll end up wasting your 1 cuc. Best to get a data plan (for my social media ppl - Snapchat is blocked in Cuba). You’ll also find where to get money exchange etc + info on your welcome briefing meeting( good to attend for first timers)

Pool is great, there’s two but main one beside buffet is fun. Beach is amazing what can I say..

For my drinkers I suggest you bring in your own travel mug/Cubs as the drinks are served in small tiny plastic cups. They’ll fill it up for you no worries.

Entertainment is fun did really watch any of the night shows as it’s outside and the flys will BITE!

For my animal lovers- note there’s about 4-5 stray/resort cats and recently new dog momma. They do get fed mainly from the tourists but they’re in rough shape to be expected.(fleas,skin infections,hair loss and wounds) so just to be aware

Hotel and varadero is still recovering from the hurricane but they are trying to get everything up and running (you’ll notice one of the fountain isn’t cleaned)

Food- it’s not bad nor is it amazing. Remember this is cuba, a low star hotel. You won’t starve that’s for sure. In the buffet you’ll notice birds flying around .. pecking at the food SO DONT LEAVE YOUR FOOD UNATTENDED. suggest bring in your favourite seasonings like ketchup!! Also sit near the server area for getting service on drinks. There’s also the sizzler which host lunch aside from the buffet just outside the beach which is good. Snack bars is where you’ll find burgers and hotdogs (beach bar and sports bars 24hrs in hotel building third floor)

To explore Varadero you can either take a taxi, rent a car or just use the tour bus for about five dollars cuc. Goes to all the resorts and ending in downtown (central) where you can do your shopping.

Excursions - compare prices from ones offered at the hotel to your airline! We did a mistake as we realized it was a better deal to book excursions with my airline (sunwing) we did Havana which was awesome jeep safari tour (wouldn’t recommend as it’s just a drive through towns and a boat ride under the biggest bridge in Cuba) you so get to visit a
Cave but just taxi over.

Tipping is a huge thing here (especially using public washrooms!) if your out and about you must make a small donation! Your hotel and airport you will not need to.. another thing is gifting (we do this every time ) give staff toothpaste, deodorant even toys etc as well you know they’re less fortunate they’ll appreciate it more than you know.

Overall it was great stay, weather was great and we had fun. Would I recommend and come back? .. yes!

Stayed: May 2018, travelled with family
2  Thank Kiimberrlyy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Director G, General Manager at Starfish Varadero, responded to this reviewResponded 24 May 2018

Dear Kimberly,

First of all we would like to thank you for your detailed 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.You have praised so many aspects, including entertainment and staff, which are very important booking factors.

It is a shame to read the inconveniences that you may have in your room at first; but glad to know that it was solved as soon as was possible. On behalf of the service provided on our food and beverages centers we are improving all the measures needed in order to provide a quality service.


Thank you for sharing your experience with other travelers.Thank you very much for choosing Starfish Varadero and recommending it for future customers, we hope to see you soon in our little paradise.

Warm regards.

General Manager.

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Reviewed 22 May 2018 via mobile

I went to this resort with Avery open mind. It was a much needed vacation for myself and my adult son and daughter.
The first room we were in was unacceptable. It was not clean. After several visits to the front desk we were given a new room the next afternoon. The room was better.
We were quite surprised at the buffet and the birds flying around helping themselves to the food. By the third day the dinner buffet improved.
Lunch at the poolside bars were a better choice along with Sizzlers by the beach.
The front desk needs a lot of work on their Customer Service skills. The lady that was in charge of exchange was making her own rates up and saying the screen was not working which showed 0.75 and she was charging 0.70-0.72, depending on the day. It was frustrating to deal with this.
The maids were great and our room was kept clean throughout our visit.
We became friends with a security staff Billie. He went above and beyond for myself and my children.
There are so many incredible staff at this resort and it's sad they get the backlash for things that are out of their control.
Memories needs to step up and put the much needed attention into this resort and make the working conditions for the staff better. The potential for this to be a great vacation spot.
My son fell on the beach our last day and dislocated his knee/leg. The lifeguards did their beat to help us a long with a fellow guest. The security helped out too. The front desk was uninterested and seemed not to care. The "clinic" onsite wasnt open and it was a very scary siruation for us. I give my sincerest Thank you to all who helped us!!!
On our return from a 8 hour stay between a clinic and hospital we were given a wheelchair with flat tires. The staff at the front said nothing to us. We had help from our friend Billie because my son had a cast and couldn't go up stairs.
Overall we made our trip fun.
The resort would be better if improvements were made that are obviously in need of updating. Train the front desk staff to at least pretend to want to be there.

Stayed: May 2018, travelled with family
2  Thank tmartin232018
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Director G, General Manager at Starfish Varadero, responded to this reviewResponded 24 May 2018

Dear Guest,

First of all I would like to thank you for taking the time to write such an honest and detailed review about your stay with us at Starfish Varadero.

We are very glad to know that after all, you had a good time, thank you very much for your feedback regarding the cleanness of your room and the issues with our Front Desk staff, a situation that you should not lived during your holidays. Please accept our most sincere apologies and be aware that we are reinforcing the supervision in these areas 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.
Regarding the food quality,as you might know, our Quality Control Department manages a comprehensive program in food hygiene with permanent audits performed by international companies.On behalf of the service provided on our food and beverages centers we are improving all the measures needed in order to provide a quality service.
We are really happy to see that you felt so welcomed by our staff and be sure that we will send your regards to our employees. They will be happy to read your comments.
However, we would like to point out that we have a little clinic at the resort until 5pm and after that you may go to the international clinic located only 15km from the resort.

Once again, I would like to apologize for all the inconveniences and let you know that we hope to have the chance to prove ourselves in the future.

Kind regards,

General Manager.

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Reviewed 16 May 2018 via mobile

My daughter and I just returned this morning from a trip to Starfish Varadero. This is not my first time in Cuba so I had the right expectations - which is vital for a budget vacation to Cuba. Don’t expect 5 star mexico!

The resort is older but you can tell they are working on it. Several things are in a state of needing to be repaired (some empty pools, broken concrete, non operating fountains etc.)

The hotel is built on a beautiful hilly landscape and the natural rock formations on the resort are just gorgeous.

We found the food to be quite good for Cuba. Spoons (seafood) was our favourite place for dinner. The surf and turf is great. The Mexican restaurant was the only bad meal we had all week. They just totally missed the mark and everything tasted a bit off. But we popped over to the buffet after and had a great meal.

The sports bar has great food made to order all day (as well as some other locations but they are the best) and sizzlers is awesome at lunch time.

Bring some hot sauce with you if you want something to have a kick, because nothing does.

There are a few hazards on the resort that come from age so just watch your step. With an accident prone 8 year old I was constantly expecting to end up in the hospital because she tripped and went flying on broken steps and concrete multiple times. Bring a first aid kid as the medical station was closed all week.

We had one night where the fire alarm went off all night and I think the only reason it got fixed was because one of the customer service staff was having a “sleepover” across the hall (as my daughter so innocently put it when we awkwardly all ran out of our rooms at the alarm the first time).

We were there during a huge storm where the entire resort flooded and really pushed the indoor amenities to the limits. They did a great job of handling that.

All week we saw the manager walking around checking out various areas and helping where needed. I appreciated seeing that.

Our rooms were old but clean. I can see some of the faults in the rooms from some of the negative reviews as they were in my room too, but I feel like you really have to focus on them to actually have them be an issue.

The beach was gorgeous but busy. Your belongings are not safe while your back is turned.

My major cons were:

Staff - the staff genuinely treat you like you are an inconvenience even when you are tipping well. Our maid was awesome and was tipped well for it but she is the only staff that I will sing the praises of.

The front desk staff were the most dissapointing. When asking directions we were frankly told to go away.

My biggest disappointment is the dishonesty of the cashier. I arrived late at night and watched her shut off the conversion monitor. I had been travelling since 2am with an 8 year old and was at my wits end so when she told me the conversion was .70 when I knew it to be .75 I just didn’t have it in me to argue and let her steal the 5 cucs.

I was only converting smaller bills after that and I made sure to calculate it out first and call them on their attempts to rip me off (which was every single time no matter how small the conversion). They really didn’t appreciate being expected to not steal from you upon conversion and I was treated like crap every time I needed assistance after that. I was polite and only asked them to match what was on the receipt (that I was refused multiple times). I can overlook all the faults at the resort except for this blatant dishonesty. I sincerely hope this gets dealt with. For this soul reason I do not recommend the resort. Without this infuriating kerfuffle every time I needed to exchange money I would have rated this resort much higher (it is far enough away from the bank that going there isn’t worth it)

Stayed: May 2018, travelled with family
2  Thank 359locke
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Director G, General Manager at Starfish Varadero, responded to this reviewResponded 16 May 2018

Dear Guest,
First of all I would l like to thank you for writing such a detailed and honest review about your holidays.
After reading your review, we would like to transmit you that we are sorry to know that we did not fulfill your expectations.
We are disappointed and surprised to read the situations presented during your holidays, we find hard to believe that the hotel you are describing it is Starfish Varadero.
We work every day in order to improve our service and your suggestions are always welcome, thank you for your valuable time and feedback, we sincerely hope to have the opportunity to prove ourselves in the future.

Best regards,

General Manager

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Reviewed 15 May 2018 via mobile

Check in was ok... the gentleman at the front desk was helpful. The room was nice clean and spacious. After a half a days worth of travel we decided to go to the beach but noticed there were no towels in the room. We made our way to the beach and saw a towel hut, after we asked for towels we where asked where are your old ones and we stated we did not have any. The attendant in the hut said "no". We tried to explain to her in Spanish that our room had no towels and we had just checked in, the attendant with no attempts to help us in any way replied again "no". At this point our first experience was negative and we where already upset so decided to just go to the beach with no towels and make the best out of it. After a few hours at the beach we decided to go to the buffet to enjoy a meal, food quality was extremely poor and the sanitary conditions where extremely poor but people seemed to enjoy since there was probably no other choices. If you dont mind roaches lingering near the food then please help yourself.

We then made our way to the front desk to ask for towels and for our safe to be unlocked... well that took almost 4 hours and two calls. At this point we where both frustrated with the service.

The following day we wanted to eat after the beach and made our way to the pool bar. After standing by the bar for nearly 20 mins, the server was talking to other guests which appeared to be locals, she made clear eye contact with me but never asked if I needed anything. finally I told her I was ordering food, she stated " kitchen is closed". By this point I was livid.... told my girlfriend for us to go to the room and come back for dinner. When dinner time came around we decided to go to one of the restaurants we saw heading to and from the beach. We decided with the one with only 2 people sitting inside since the other Italian one was empty and appeared to be closed. Upon entering the restaurant we said table for two please, the staff asked if we had a reservation and we stayed no. All the waitresses started that we needed a reservation ahead of time in order for us to eat. We reiterated again it was just two of us and they denied us again. At this point my girlfriend asked me if I noticed everything we asked for in the hotel was always "NO" atwhich point we where just disgusted with the property. Out of frustration we decided to leave the property in a taxi and dine off property. Food there was nice and stagg was very helpful. (El carbon) if anyone is interested.

Best food in the entire hotel was in the beach hut. Hot dogs were nice. We tried asking for the GM multiple times but mysteriously he was always in "a meeting" on a Saturday night. The day we checked out we went to customer service office and spoke to the lady in the desk, she stated she was aware of our situation and was the one that helped us by sending the towels that took almost 4 hours for delivery. She then called the MOD and upon her arrival she heard all of our complaints, then had the nerve to say she was aware of all our issues since the Friday we checked in!!!! We both completely lost it after she told us that for 2 days!!! She knew our issues but failed to make the least effort to contact us, we even provided guest services with a Cuban cell number so they could reach out to us and never received a call. We traveled with an open mind that we may experience differences with food or other things but this hotel needs major improvements starting with new management. I suggest you dont stay in this property stay away!!! ( the royalton next door looked 10 times better)

Stayed: April 2018, travelled as a couple
6  Thank Kevin M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Director G, General Manager at Starfish Varadero, responded to this reviewResponded 16 May 2018

Dear Kevin,

First of all I would like to thank you for taking the time to share an honest review about your stay with us at Starfish Varadero.

We are very sorry to know that you did not have a good experience at our resort, thank you very much for your feedback regarding the safe and the issues with the towels, a situation that you should not lived during your holiday, we can assure that this is an isolated problem in our hotel.
As you might know, our Quality Control Department manages a comprehensive program in food hygiene with permanent audits performed by international companies.
It is a shame to read the inconveniences that you had with our restaurants and food quality. On behalf of the service provided on our food and beverages centers we are improving all the measures needed in order to provide a quality service.

We really appreciate your feedback and sincerely hope to have the opportunity to prove ourselves in the future.
Please accept our most sincere apologies and be aware that we are reinforcing the supervision in those areas in order to provide the best service for all our guests.

Kind regards,
General Manager

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Reviewed 12 May 2018

The Buffet service is not good, my husband an I saved lots of money at the buffet as not on day did anyone ask us for drinks... NO TIPS :) Best place for breakfast is the 24 hour sports bar upstairs and at night they have the best burgers.. The spirits bar is the best, best drinks best service ... Yisel she is the best bartender in the hotel . I recommend the massage.. Its nice that you dont have to pay for beach towels and no need to reserve beach chairs ;), Bungalow # 12-7 was awesome they all look great , huge there the size of an apartment .. happy travels. we will return but ignore the buffet as the Sports bar and Sizzlers have better food.

Room Tip: bungalow any one
  • Stayed: May 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank Ange D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Director G, General Manager at Starfish Varadero, responded to this reviewResponded 13 May 2018

Dear Ange,
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, specially Yisel. Thank you very much for recommending Starfish Varadero to future guests. You have praised so many aspects, including our rooms and staff, which are very important booking factors. Receive please our deepest gratitude because we are inspired by your positive feedback. We are sorry that our food did not fulfilled your expectations.Your opinion is very important for us , so we take notes of your comments in order to improve our service in those areas. 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.
General Manager

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