16 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
About Playa De Oro Hotel
"We recently got back from Varadero, Playa De Oro Hotel. I must say the beach was amazing and I would definitely rank it as 5 plus stars.
We were a little dissapointed with the food though. We really went there for the beach, but I must say it was a little annoying to have the same food every day of the week. Although there seemed to be a variety of food to choose from, at times it felt like there was nothing to eat...... A la carte restaurants were also dissapointing as the food served there was just a repetition from previous day's dinner served at the buffet......
As far as enterteinment is concerned, the shows could have been longer and better, but overall they were OK.
Lots of activities on the beach, by the pool otherwise.
Accomodation was also a little dissapointing as first of all we have requested and payed extra for rooms on second floor with the view of the ocean. Instead we were given old rooms on the main floor that are due for renovation. We have seen the new rooms and I must say they look very good.
Overall, the weather was amazing and so was the beach and that's the main reason why we were there. As someone who has already travelled around Cuba and Dominican Republic I would rank this hotel as average."
- Travel date: Tue 20th of July 2010
"I went to Coralia Club for two weeks in Sept 08. Was really unhappy with the accommodation. The food was crap - more like old school dinners. Most times the meat was not cooked properly. The drinks were all rubish, and not much to choose from. Not even the real deal such as Bacardi! eh what does it say on the bottle (made in Cuba) To top it off Hurricane Ike hit our resort like mad. Our foors were soaking wet, windows shaking etc. I was really scared. The hotel entertainment was only on for one hour per night. The nightclub which was part of the complex was closed during the duration of the holiday. I was dying to get back home! There was nothing near the hotel. The only good thing about the holiday was the lovely beach. The best trip out was swimming with the dolphins, which was the highlight of my holiday. The 24 hour bar in the complex was small and round. They ran out of drinks 3 times within the week. The lighting outside outside our room and along the corridor did not work. The floor was wet and could have easily slipped. We paid Â£890 each for this holiday and was really angry at the standards. I complained to our rep by filling out the complaints form, who paid us Â£70 compensation at the airport on the way home. I would have been better off at work. Totally not worth it, trust me."
- Travel date: Tue 21st of July 2009
we spent 2 weeks at the playa de oro in...
"we spent 2 weeks at the playa de oro in february , we had a fantastic holiday , the food was very good , entertainment great , we are into salsa dancing and the resident band were fantastic the entertainment team were great always trying to get people up to dance . they did a great job . the only downside for us was the beach got a little crowded. overall though great holiday ,we are going back in september ."
- Travel date: Mon 21st of April 2008
Flight outbound: We flew from Mancheste...
We flew from Manchester with ThomsonFly, which I believe are ex-Britannia planes. The flight was comfortable, with spacious leather seats and although there was more leg room than other aircraft, it is pretty tight if you have long legs! We paid for in flight meals which was definitely worth paying the extra for- they were very good in comparison with previous experiences with other companies. The crew were very efficient and accommodating, which is always a bonus on a ten hour flight!
Arrival: having read numerous poor reviews in relation to Varadero airport, we were pleasantly surprised on arrival. we were through passport and visa control and baggage reclaim within half an hour and on the bus being served rum and 'Cuban cola'! (It wasn't free though, but it was a typical example of Cuban Hospitality)
Checking In: no problems in checking in, although the girl at reception wasn't particularly friendly.
Room: The first thing we noticed was the enormous bed! The room was a good size and was clean and well maintained throughout our stay. Every morning the maid left us with a towel shaped as a flower or swan etc. which was a nice gesture. The balcony was a good size. My only issue was that on two occasions we found a mini lizard in the room, which must have got through the air con pipes. This was a bit strange as we were on the second floor and assumed we would be bug/ reptile free in the room! I think we were unlucky as no other guests we spoke to had this problem!
Hotel: Playa de Oro is set in lovely grounds with the most beautiful beach right at it's doorstep. The pool was enormous and clean, although one gripe is that there was a need for maintenance in places, tiles a bit chipped etc. The poolside bar and the indoor bar are both in pretty good nick. The indoor bar, which is actually under a massive canapÃ© is very hot at all times, sometimes unbearingly so.
Entertainment: Playa De Oro is a very cosmopolitan hotel, with many other nationalities holidaying there other than Brits. This wasn't really a problem but it did limit the quality of entertainment available due to language barriers. We are sociable and are happy entertaining ourselves, but if you want to go away for a top entertainment package, then I wouldn't recommend the Playa de Oro. we went to the entertainment on four or five occasions and the dancing was good, but the comedy and magician wasn't really for our taste.
Every day, there is a variety of activities available, aqua gym, salsa classes, stretching, tennis and numerous water sports such as hiring pedalos and snorkeling gear.
Food: Cuba is not renowned for its culinary delights, it is a communist developing country which only has basic food ingredients to play around with. I can't complain about the food, the a la carte restaurant was delicious, with excellent service. The main buffet restaurant has a lot to offer, although slightly repetitive should you be there for a two week stay. We found that the breakfasts were lovely, the omlettes made to order were beautiful. The bread in Cuba is lovely and plentiful, as is the cheese and ice-cream. The main courses were sometimes excellent, but as I said before you can't complain if the food isn't as good as in the UK as Cuba is a developing country. Most days we had a hotdog or burger from the snack bar which were delicious.
Drink: Unlimited drink, rum, pina colada, mojito and orange juice and Cuban cola to name a few. The measures were generous but sometimes it took a while to queue to get the drinks!
Service: The service on the whole was not the best we have received on holiday, but it was mainly very good, with the staff working very hard. As with all Cubans, their rate of pay is not good, which is why they rely on tips. Despite the hotel being all inclusive we had the view that if we got good service, we would tip the waiter. In the second week we were served continually by a lovely waitress who really went beyond to ensure that we were satisfied. The bar was pretty much the same. There were bar men who exceeded our expectations and who were very friendly and there were others who seemed to be demotivated. If you tip the bar man once in the day though, the chances are they will look after you all evening and make sure you get served quickly. The entertainment team were very friendly and would readily talk about Cuban life which we found very interesting.
Excursions: Visit Havana! It is well worth the money. Our tour guide was superb and she was open to questions and very knowledgeable. Havana has stunning architecture and a lot of history and gives you a real taste of Cuba. You do see a lot of poverty and is a culture shock, but don't use this as an excuse not to go. Our hotel we stayed at for the night was superb, as was the Club Tropicana club that we visited in the evening as part of the package.
The other trip we opted for was the Seafari, which was to be honest a bit of a rip off. There were too many people cramped onto the catamaran for us to relax. The snorkeling was excellent however, we were able to snorkel for 45 minutes by a reef. We went to a tropical island which was close to paradise. Only gripe is that the food was really not very appealing at all. On the way back, we saw some dolphins which was nice. it wasn't a bad experience, just very expensive for what we actually got!
Resort: Varadero is set on a very long spit and therefore the town centre is actually quite a distance. The park is absolutely beautiful and well worth a look. The best way to see Varadero is to get a horse and carriage, which is relatively inexpensive and a relaxing experience. Some of the horses look very malnourished though, so I would wait until you find a healthy looking horse which looks as though it is well kept.
Trip back: Varadero airport departure check in was chaotic, we had to wait hours to check in. once through customs, it is ok though, as there are duty free shops and stalls where you can use up your Cuban pesos and even Euros.
Overall: Cuba is a stunning country and we would definitely go back again. We would also return to the Playa De Oro as we felt we received great value for money there.
1. Don't buy your cigars from the hotel shops as they are much more expensive than anywhere else. Instead get them from Havana or Varadero shops.
2. Always take toilet paper or tissue with you as you will have to pay for toilet paper in most restrooms!
3. Be patient- very important as Cubans are very laid back
4. Keep loose change with you at all times, you may want to tip when you receive good service."
- Travel date: Thu 10th of August 2006
We really enjoyed our stay at the CCPDO....
"We really enjoyed our stay at the CCPDO.
Itâs rated as 3.5 or 4 stars depending where you look - weâd say 3.5 was more accurate, although for cleanliness and the beach - 4 stars!
The food - well if youâve done your research youâll know that Cuba is not the place for gourmet holidays. It was basic, or at least, made with a small range of basic ingredients - the chefs were inventive and there was always plenty to eat. The bread was lovely and fresh, and the omelettes at breakfast time are delicious! Oh and the pancakes... Seriously you wonât go hungry
The weather in May was amazing. We spent loads of time by the pool just relaxing. Our room was clean, spacious, very very basic furnishings. There was a fridge - no drinks in it, but the barmen are great, they will fill your water bottles for you with filtered water whenever you want.
The animation team was so lively, there were fun things happening all day, dancing lessons, scuba lessons, aquaerobics, water polo ... Allsorts, but they get the message when youâre not interested, you donât get badgered too much.
All in all we loved this place and would go back at the right price maybe in the future"
- Travel date: Sat 30th of April 2005
This really is a dream holiday location....
"This really is a dream holiday location. The turquoise water laps on a white sandy beach which is clean, patrolled by lifeguards and always has loungers available. A flag system is in operation to ensure safe bathing. Take PLENTY of high factor sunscreen as temperatures ranged from 36 - 43deg at the end of Sept when we were there.
The hotel is superb as is the food from the buffet restaurant which caters for all tastes. Although the local fare is very much rice and vegetable based there was always at least the four choices of beef, pork, seafood or chicken. Fresh fruit is always available - and I mean fresh!
The staff at this hotel were very helpful and friendly and went out of their way to help. Tipping is not obligatory but you should take a large supply of $1 bills which are always much appreciated.
Mosquitoes are common at night but they are not the type to carry Malaria. Sand flies can be a problem on the beach during late afternoon as they tend to cause a reaction when they bite women. Common insect repellents will deal with both insects quite well. Medical treatment is available on a first aid basis at the hotel but a short taxi ride away takes you to the centre of Varadero and the main Clinic where the standards of medical care are amongst some of the best Iâve seen - even in the UK!
The people of Cuba are extremely friendly and honest even though they donât have a lot of luxuries. Spare T-shirts, shorts, trainers or toiletries are always acceptable as tips or presents.
In short, beautiful country, great people, and lots to see and do - Iâm going back!!"
- Travel date: Tue 31st of August 2004
At Your Own Risk
"Perhaps, my travelling companion and I stayed at this resort at the wrong time of the year. The Travel Agency we booked with rated this a 'four star' resort. I beg to differ.
At dinner in the main dining room one evening the 'teak' chair my friend was sitting on colapsed. [She is definitely not overweight/heavy]. Apparently, this had happened to a gentleman the evening before. We reported the incident to the manager on duty - the hotel management has no record of this. Therefore, I would suggest you be concerned about your safety and customer service if required.
The rooms are not very clean. If you are planning a stay there bring along bath soap, toilet paper and a pillow. The pillows are better suited for Barbie and Ken.
I will not even address the food. All I can honestly say is the beach, bread, wine and beer is good."
- Travel date: Thu 1st of January 2004
Avoid Club Coralia
"In all my travels down south, this has definitely been the unfriendliest place I have stayed at and by far with the worst customer service I have ever seen. I would say easily that 90% of the staff could care less about serving their customer.The front desk staff was extremely rude, I honestly was never served with a smile and hence avoided the desk unless absolutely necessary. One time, I had requested a wake-up call and was asked for my room number and told "no problem" without even being looked at. I didn't receive the wake-up call. Incidently, lack of eye-contact or looking annoyed by a request was pretty much the standard for front desk and bar staff.Even more unbelievable, our group of 7 were having dinner one night (mediocre food) and got friendly with an adjacent table of about 15 people from France. World Cup soccer soon became the topic of discussion and at one point they began waving their cloth napkins in the air and singing the French soccer anthem, at which point we replied in kind with our own anthem.Up from his table darts the general manager of the place and yells (no exaggeration) at us, telling us to "shut up". We were all astonished by his reaction and even dared ask what was the problem with some friendly fun. He simply retorted that our behaviour was inappropriate in his restaurant. We all tip-toed out of the restaurant as a gesture of how ridiculous the incident had become.One final negative comment, although the drinks (alcoholic and otherwise) are usually very tasty and spiked, they were watered down at Club Coralia. Some of us even bought our own breakfast juice from the hotel gift shop and brought it to the restaurant.In fairness to Varadero however, this was my second time there and I must say that the beaches are gorgeous and the people are very friendly, for some reason not at this resort. I would return again to a different resort, the one I stayed at the first time was excellent but has since unfortunately closed."
- Travel date: Sun 16th of November 2003
"Just returned from Playa de Oro on November 10/03. What a great resort.
All of the good reviews I read before leaving were accurate. The food was acceptable, the hotel was clean, the staff was helpful and the beach was breathtaking.... We went to the dolphinarium and swam with the dolphins which was the most exciting part of the trip. We also did the varasub day trip and unfortunately, it was a very rough day and the view wasn't very good and many people on the boat were seasick (which made me feel sick). The animation team had us in stitches during the evening shows. Great resort for everyone. Can't wait to go back."
- Travel date: Fri 14th of November 2003
great place to visit
"I too went to coralia club playa de oro. I had gone with a friend of mine. We went in june 2003 and augest 2003. We had so much fun the first time that we dicided to go twice. I spent the best to weeks of the summer there. It is a beautiful hotel. The people who work there are amazing they make u feel at home. The beach is like 1 min away from the hotel. It is like the the beach is your backyard. All i have to say is that i can't wait to go back. Anyone who goes to cuba must try this resort. You have to see it for yourself. Everyone has there own opinoin. I give this hotel a 6 star for the great feeling it gives u being there."
- Travel date: Sun 2nd of November 2003
Vacation of a life time
"My friend and I just came back from Playa de Oro and had the vacation of a lifetime. We went for two weeks September 7, 2003. It was our second time there and it was even better than the first. The food was normal (but Cuba what do you expect), the staff was AMAZING, the activities on the beach and the SHOWS (SHOWTIME!!!) were also very good. We made a lot of friends...memories to last a lifetime... We will definetely go back next year. Two staff members that we will never forget...Cannot wait to see them again...p.s. Always remember P.I.M.P. and "You are so Cute!!" We definetely recommend this Resort to all of yous!!!"
- Travel date: Fri 10th of October 2003
"I just came back from Club Playa de Oro and I miss it soo much already.
Besides the fact that we were in Cuba, a place of great history and rich culture, we resided 7 days on one of the most beautiful beaches my eyes EVER laid eyes on. Turquoise calm waters and white sands that went on forever. It looked like Paradise to me. Before I went I didn't know what to expect of Club Playa de Oro but I have to say from the minute we stepped in and were greeted by the pineapple juice I knew this place would be amazing. The pool is beautiful, the rooms neat and clean, the satellite TV entertaining in between coming in from the beach around 6 and getting ready for dinner - especially all the MTV reality shows.
Ahaha! But seriously the best part of coralia was their animation team.
I have to say all the people are AMAZING - especially the magician. If you happen to be so lucky to speak to him make sure he does the mascot/levitating paper rose trick. I hope you are as lucky as I for getting that rose after he's done his performance ;) The band played amazing classical cuban music similar to the Buena Vista Social Club.
It's soo amazing lying on the beach of Paradise (Located only in coralia's front- I checked other resorts nowhere as nice) and have the sound of the beautiful trumpet playing in the background. The food was quite good, I was expecting it to be horrible as it was in my past trips to other parts of the carribean. The best food is Cuban night, make sure you get some of those delicious plaintains ... if you go to the beach bar for lunch the waiter there is soo sweet he will fry banana's for you like he did for me and my friend. I suggest that when you go to the a la cart restaurants you tip those waiters. My only complaint about Coralia was that after the shows ended at 11:00pm you would head over to the discoteque but the animation team could only stay until 11:30 pm as they were instructed by their manager not to stay past that time. It was horrible because they were the only ones I wanted to dance the night away with. We checked out la Rumba night club it's $10 USD and that includes drink and entrance but in my opinion the place sucked. Apparently there's an amazing club called La Mambo Club only minutes away from Coralia were there's classic salsa dancing to live band dancing. We found out to little to late about it - thanks Neobe!!!! The rum was nasty, but I hate all rum - I'm an amaretto kind of girl! But you must have a mohito when u are in cuba. My advice for women is yes the sexual advances can be a bit annoying at times but don't take it to heart, laugh it off like I did and just remember at the end of the day men will be men and will always try their shot at anything that resembles a female. Ahaha! Seriously though, get to know the cubans, tip them, gift them - they are so sweet and generous.
Finally take lots of money as it is quite costly to go on those trips i.e. havana trip ($70 USD), cataraman ($70 USD) etc etc. I will definitely go back to Cuba again and I will definitely look for my cuban amigos - juan, miguel, neobe, aleman, boris etc etc I miss you guys and I still got my crazy tan to remind me that I was just in Cuba."
- Travel date: Sat 4th of October 2003