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Blau Varadero Hotel
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Reviews (2,486)
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Reviewed 23 March 2015

My wife and our three children (two under 10, one over 12) booked this resort when we went to Cuba. It's a nice resort with a beautiful beach. You can walk out safely in the water for a long distance even with children under 10.

Food - The food is Buffet style and is the average food you would expect in Cuba. Breakfasts offered omeletes made right in front of you.

Kids Club - This was terrible. They have one water slide on the resort and a "Kids Club" offering activities for kids. This consisted of one ping pong table and no supervsion and that was if you were lucky to get to use it.

Rooms - The rooms were okay. A little older, but clean. Not noisy at all. Had to book two rooms for a family of five - a single room here only can accomodate family of four at this resort.

Staff at the pool bars were quick and courteous and very professional and fun.

Buffet staff were also very helpful, but for dinner and breakfast expect a ten to fifteen minute line-up to get seated most of the times.

Entertainment - They have nightly entertainment on a large stage that the children are welcomed to participate in. The shows start around 9pm and are fun and entertaining. They have a full bar right there and seating is comfortable with no obstructions to the stage.

Bottom Line - If you and the kids love the beach and pool then this resort is a great choice - for the price.

If you need to get off the resort I highly reccomend the Jungle Tour. Its a long drive, but it gives you a chance to see the island and stay in a remote mountain hotel for one night. The food at this hotel was fantastic. In the morning you set off on your adventure and walk through a flowing river through the jungle. You can take the river and jump off 5-10 ft section as you go down the mountain or you can take a dry route around the river. We did the river - it was safe for the kids and both my wife and the kids loved it.

Would I come here again, probably not, but not because it was awful. It was good and I was not dissappointed we booked here. There are just so many hotels to choose from at the same price I would like to try a different one.

Room Tip: I can't compare with other rooms, but it was nice and quiet on the third floor of our building which I liked for afternoon naps or bedtime.
  • Stayed: March 2015, travelled with family
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2  Thank lewis010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 March 2015

The hotel was not horrible, but it definitely could have been better. The overall atmosphere of the resort was dirty. The beds were extremely used, and the pillows were horrible. We had three people in the room and were only given two pillows. It took two days to get a third one. Food was so, so but that is to be expected in Cuba. Staff were not overly friendly and it seemed as though you were inconvenience them when wanting something.

Room Tip: We stayed in Block 10 Ocean View Suite. AMAZING view
  • Stayed: March 2015, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Rooms
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2  Thank Meghan D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 March 2015

Went as a couple March 13-21, 2015 on our first trip to Cuba. While we will definitely visit Cuba again, we won't be going back to this resort. We are a very low maintenance couple, and went in with low expectations (especially as we usually go to 3 star resorts in Mexico). We packed lots of mosquito repellant, and stuck to eating the grilled meats or pasta which were quite good at the buffet. We only brought one insulated mug, and wished we had brought one for each of us. Snorkeled once right off the beach, but didn't see much of anything other than sea grass. Probably would be better snorkeling if you rent a catamaran, but we couldn't be bothered to pay the $40 each. Beautiful clear water, and we had great weather.
The good :
1 - the beach. Beautiful, sandy with no rocks, and can walk for hours.
2 - the pools. When it gets too windy at the beach, the pools are a great place to soak up the sun. The ones with the pool bars are best, as they are quieter. If you have young kids, the pool with the water slide will by your main hangout.
3 - the entertainment staff. A few nights were pretty cheesy, but compared to other resorts, the entertainment is good as they have professional dancers and circus performers. Daytime beach staff are always friendly and fun.
4 - our maid. Tip well and tip daily, and you will get good service.
5 - day trip to Havana with an evening at Tropicana. A long day, but definitely worth it. We did the " Havana special" day long tour, and our tour guide Irene and driver Roberto were amazing.
6 - room size. Rooms are big, which is nice. Our air conditioning worked very well, and it was relatively quiet in block 15. It is not immaculate, but definitely adequate.
7 - wait staff at the Buffet - most of them are very friendly and do a great job. Only a few times where we were ignored, but overall the buffet staff are great.
The bad:
1- No towels. We only managed to get beach towels for one day out of our entire trip. Some people didn't get room towels, but we managed to always have fresh ones I think because we tipped our maid well. For our courtesy room on the last day, we had no towels at all, which is ridiculous when you are only using the room to have a shower.
2- The staff. Very hit and miss. Most staff are grumpy and unfriendly. Bar service at night is very disorganized and often led to arguments between resort goers. Unless you are one of those people who sit at the bar all day and night, you are ignored. One or two front desk staff are good, the rest are clueless or just really don't care. Don't expect much from them if anything goes wrong or you require some help.
3 - Lack of amenities. We couldn't get into any of the restaurants except for the Cuban...which is basically the same as the buffet. Buffet only open for 2 hours at a time, so if you miss a mealtime...you are out of luck. The "24 hour snack bars" are not really 24 hours, and the food at these is not very good, plus you have to wait forever for your food to arrive (it took us about 2 hours just to eat a pizza for lunch, as it took well over an hour to make us a pizza at the Lighthouse snack bar). Shops close at night, which is too bad as who wants to give up beach time to shop? Not much to do at night, other than the evening show from 9:30-10:20pm, or wait in long lines at the bars. The disco looked dead every time we went by, and was basically a small freezing room with very loud music.
4 - the smell at the beach. The closer you go to the end of the resort, the smellier it gets. Not sure what it is, but it is not pleasant.
5 - beach chairs. Many are broken, and when its a busy beach day it can be hard to find a decent chair. Jose will come by to help you find one, but he can only do so much. Wouldn't be so bad if you had a beach towel to help soften the chairs...but only the lucky few get towels.
6 - not so much a bad thing, but surprising - lack of security. We didn't see any security, which is unusual at a resort as big as this. This meant people of all ages could pretty much get as drunk as they like, and that they could access the pools as late at night as they want (despite officially closing at 7pm).
7 - cheap and pushy tourists. I am amazed at how some folks feel they are so entitled that they can butt to the head of long lines, and don't think they need to tip the staff. Cubans average 250 pesos a month, so they really need tips to survive. What is a peso or two for a meal, maid service, or any other service to us relatively wealthy Europeans and North Americans? And just because you are on vacation, it doesn't mean your manners are on holidays too.
8 - smoking. If you are a non-smoker, Cuba can be hard on the lungs. Between all the cheap cigars and cigarettes, Cuba is a smokers paradise. Be prepared for this, as there are not many non-smoking areas.

Room Tip: No elevators, so if you have mobility issues you might want a lower floor. This is a very spread out resort, so if you want to be near the lobby, buffet, and towels you need to be in blocks 12-18. The other blocks are a very long walk to where all the action is. If you face the pool with the water slide, be prepared for screaming kids starting at 7am and it goes on until the late evening.
  • Stayed: March 2015, travelled as a couple
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Thank KTinVan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 March 2015

First - go to Cuba! the country is as beautiful as the people. Do not stay at the Blaue Marina. My son and his girlfriend booked a scooter for 3 hrs, but within less than 60 seconds (literally) of signing to papers, the girlfriend got dizzy and it was unsafe to take the scooter. They refused to refund the money. The walkways were poorly lit and the tiles were uneven. My husband tripped, fell and broke his nose. The beef, fish and poached eggs were uneatable, Both the Spanish restaurant had dreadful service and the Italian restaurant served a congealed block of pasta called 'lasagna. 2 out of 3 pools had only waist high water. Mosquitos were intolerable (MELIA Trip hotel sprays the grounds every morning). The absolute worst service ever at the poolside snack bar. I was told to go over to another customers table to get the 'bowl' of mustard myself - on 2 different occasion, and service was beyond slow....to get a hot dog. Although it only happened once, the maid arrived at 6pm to clean our room....we were showering. After having stayed at both Sandles and the Trip ... this was extremely disappointing.
I would definitely recommend you take a day trip to Havana by renting a car (not a bus thou). We were chauffeured in a 56 Chevy, with a great driver and a super guide who was a former history teacher. Car fit 6 people in total very comfortably. Would also recommend going to Al Capone's house in Varadero for lunch - very cool and the food was awesome.

  • Stayed: March 2015, travelled with friends
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2  Thank Bob U
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 March 2015

We just returned this morning from Blau Marina. We were there from March 14-21. We absolutely loved it. I was worried because some people were so negative. It was our first trip to Cuba and we would definitely go back! The reception was very efficient and we were in our room within minutes of arriving. We got beach towels first thing Sunday morning. The food was good and often very good. The service was absolutely outstanding! What amazing staff. Everyone says hola every time they see you. We happily tipped a lot especially when you consider that for the price of a small coffee, you doubled their daily wage and they are so grateful. They entertainment was very good. The dancers were all unbelievable. The Michael Jackson show was super. The beaches were incredible and so were the pools. It was always easy to find a chair. The weather was fantastic. It was a great family friendly resort. People should remember that Cuba is a communist country and they really do the best with what they've got.

Room Tip: Try to stay in blocks 10-12. Very convenient location.
  • Stayed: March 2015, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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4  Thank Kathy I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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