12 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
wonderful ..the best
"we had a marvelous time at Melia Los Americas...we felt like the king and queen...treated so wonderfully by all...we plan to return soon...the food, the ambiance, the decor, the friendly staff, the beach, the hotel, everything was beyond our expectations..and I am a tour operator who has stayed in many places..
very impressed indeed....felt like we had been there forever..anxious to meet all the staff again who
treated us so royally...how can anyone complain about this gorgeous place....it is the best... we stayed two
weeks and loved every minute of it..
see you soon...April or May...
annie and lyle, canada
- Travel date: Tue 28th of February 2012
Melia Las Americas is an adult only hote...
"Melia Las Americas is an adult only hotel set right on the beach at Varadero. We were on the 4th (top) floor and had a fantastic sea view but no balcony. When I enquired about a room with a balcony the staff were very willing to change our room, but warned us that the only available room on the 1st floor had a balcony but nowhere near as good a view. We had a look at the other room, but in the end we decided to stay where we were. The room itself was spacious and clean.
The main buffet restaurant was nothing special. It was fine for breakfast with the usual selection of fruit, cereal, cooked meats, etc. There was also a station where omlettes and fried eggs were produced to order. At lunchtime and dinner the buffet served a pretty standard selection of food with pork steaks, chicken and fish cooked to order.
You can book into each of the 4 speciality restaurants once per week. There's a barbeque/fish restaurant which was fairly disappointing but we enjoyed the Italian, the international cuisine and especially the Japanese restaurant where food was cooked for your group on a hotplate right in front of you, making it more of an event.
The Italian and the barbeque restaurants were also open at lunchtime and no bookings were required. We ate at the Italian a few times as it's in a great location right on the beach.
The beach itself had plenty of loungers and umbrellas. Although some people were up fairly early putting towels on loungers there wasn't really any need as you could usually get a place at most times of the day. However, the hotel wasn't full when we were there either side of the Easter weekend. The pools weren't used by many people. Again there were sufficient loungers around for everyone who needed one. The pool outside the main hotel building is very nice, but there's also a pool at the far end of the complex which we preferred. It was always very quiet when we were there and it's sheltered if there's a wind from the sea.
The staff were mostly very pleasant, friendly and helpful despite what it says in some reviews on other sites. Maybe you get treated according to the way you treat them, as some guests had an appalling attitude towards waiting staff."
- Travel date: Tue 1st of April 2008
Very Clean Place & Great Food
"Date of Trip: January 9-16, 2005
We got an all inclusive package for Melia Las Americas. We got a really nice view on the 4th floor facing the golf course and ocean view on both sides of the island.
The food and the hotel staff were excellent. The hotel was very clean and nice. The room was spotless.
The staff there were really nice to us even though we did not tip them. The lobster, sandwiches, hamburgher, pasta and pizza were delicious. We also really enjoyed the 24 hr bar.
I was told by some people that the staff treated us so nice because we were two young ladies and that the place lacked young ladies so that's why. I'm not sure if that's true though.
The beach was very beautiful. The beach chairs were nice and clean. You could always ask for the cushion layer to be put on top of your beach chairs so it's more comfortable. The cushion layer for the beach chairs I know many resorts do not have.
The pools were really nice too but a bit cold when we went.
They had beds and hammocks facing the beach so you could take a nap. This is something which made our trip more enjoyable if you plan to stay at the resort most of the time.
Golf is free that's right next to the hotel. You just have to rent the golf carts for 33 pesos for the whole day.
It's right next to their so called "biggest mall in Cuba" and convention centre so it's very convenient because you can catch all kinds of transportation next to the hotel.
The hotel had an offer for everyone every Monday and Tuesday for a trip to Havana for 30 pesos. You get to stay over at Melia Habana for 1 night but you had to give up your room in Varadero for that night. It's a really good deal considering the excursion price is over 76 pesos. They were offering this the week after we left so I think this offer is continuous but I'm not sure.
- they don't serve coffee/tea for lunch and dinner at the buffet restaurant, except for breakfast. Therefore, you had to get coffee/tea at the bar or at another restaurant
- no night time entertainment past 10:45 p.m. so those of you that wants to do some dancing, you have to go somewhere else
- no scruba diving
- you have to go to Melia Varadero for tennis which is located 5 minutes walking distance
Important to note:
Make sure you keep your towel card when you check out because that's the only way the hotel can tell if you returned all the towels.
Overall, we really enjoyed ourselves at this resort and we would be back."
- Travel date: Wed 19th of January 2005
The problems through frustrating, did not ruin a nice week
"We arrived at the Melia Las Americas with our bus load of Sunquest vacationers from Toronto. We had heard of problems and had written to management who assured us these were being dealt with and would not occur in future. The hotel is in a really good position. Central location, with access through the lobby directly to the beach, and if you golf a short walk on the path from the lobby will take you to the club house. It's perfect for golfers, as you save on taxi costs, time, etc. My husband had breakfast before eight, walked to the club house, and was finished his golf in time for a nice lunch and afternoons free. He booked tee times ahead of going, and a message was waiting for us in our package with tee times approved.
We did enjoy our week there, and would go back again, but yes, there are still problems, which we could overlook simply because the hotel suited our lifestyle and age group. We like quieter hotels, close to a golf course, especially a hotel with the bonus of a package of four rounds of golf as this one had. We enjoy the peace of not having as many children around the pool and beach. We donât enjoy a place where you are hassled to join in pool games, or have your peace interrupted by music blaring around the pool and beach so that we canât hear the surf that we came to far to enjoy. This hotel has a peaceful atmosphere. There is a nice spot on the beach for games, and dance lessons, but itâs not intrusive. Itâs not a hotel for children really, and itâs not a resort with masses of entertainment. Nor would I say it is suitable for anyone in a wheelchair, or who has to push strollers around all the time. Not too many ramps, and lots of stairs. It has a lovely stretch of beach, with room enough for privacy with people not packed like sardines in a can on the sand. But if the weather turns bad you have to make your own entertainment for the most part. The hotel does have a games staff, and on bad days will provide games, but there is no childrenâs club, and at night, a piano bar, fashion show, and so on but no big âShow Numberâ reviews.
So, regardless of my saying we would go again willingly, I can still provide a âno holds barredâ review from our prospective. Some are small things which most people can easily get over, some need improvement if the hotel wishes to keep their high rating, but from me you are getting the whole enchalada. Here goes:
When we had pulled in and got our luggage, most of us lined up at the reception to check in. It was a bit of a chaos. After it got a bit more chaotic we were asked to sit in the lobby at any of the sofas, and wait. People were scattered, and as they came in, signage was lacking and no real direction occurred and it would have defused a few people had there been a welcome drink, as weâd travelled long and hard since early morning. There was no welcome drink, and as weâd not been checked in, we could not get one till we had a room number. We could not even purchase a drink, as there was no Cuban money available for any exchange until later that day. Sunday it is difficult to get exchange money, as the banks are not open.
Eventually, the reservation staff came round and handed us packages, which did save us time as they contained room keys and information on what you were entitled to. In addition, the customer service lady gave us a brief overview of all the package contained and a warm welcome. So, we all had our registrations done already and rooms allocated. It was just that there wasnât enough staff to hand them out and deal with us all on our initial entry. As is usual in Cuba, they took our passports, and said we could pick them up later.
With an apology, it was explained that this kind of problem with check in was unusual, as there were many people to process and this was their busy time. But, it was the first impression of the resort, and people who want a vacation, and are tired from travelling, donât want to hear about their hotelâs problems the first time they enter the doors. I made a later suggestion to avoid this by meeting the bus, announcing to the passengers where to sit, and having welcome trays of drinks ready, or even some signage in the lobby.
The hotel itself is a lovely hotel, with a nice foyer, and although aging shows in some ways, itâs still a lovely spot. The grounds are landscape well, dotted with clay sculptures, and quiet areas. However, some of the pathways, and stairs are worn in spots, so you have to be careful. Our room was large, with a huge bathroom, good beds, good lighting, and an oceanview. Clean and with a welcome note from the maid, it contained coffee maker and a multi speed hairdryer (donât bring a curling iron, it will take forever to warm up to anything like a decent temperature), much drawer space, a mini fridge, and large sliding closet, and good lighting. But the one thing we both noticed right away was a stale musty smell, so we opened the balcony doors wide and loved the view and the sound of the surf. We have experienced this humidity and musty problem often in similar climates - humidity will also sometimes make linens and bedding feel damp, even when fresh from the laundry. I noticed when I opened the drawers the smell was much stronger, same with closets and even the mini fridge cupboard. Having vacationed in many similar places, I carry with me a small travel spray bottle with the brand name product which takes odours out of fabrics and such. This climatic problem is not the hotels fault, but they could consider things to eliminate it like clean air conditioning filters more often, put odour eaters in rooms, etc. I spray drawers, and also use fabric sheets to line them to eliminate musty smells that wicker and wood unfortunately gather and never lose. Unlike linens, they canât be laundered. Also, Cuba has no non smoking rules, (there is one section in the buffet restaurant) and it is something to consider if you have a real aversion to smoking, because smoke also gets in wicker, air conditioning vents and filters....which I also use the odour remover product in. Fabric softener sheets also are hated by mosquitos. My husband always wears one tucked in his belt when on the golf course.
Unpacking we started to hang our clothes in the closets. Hereâs one small thing that is frustrating. They really need to upgrade their hangers, and their hanger connectors on the rail, as half the clothes constantly fall off most of the time, or when you move the closet doors. I wished I had brought with me a few of those wire dry cleaning hangers.
We met our maid, who was a lovely lady, and willing to help all she could and she did through the entire week.
We had requested a king size bed, but the room had two singles together. Told that king size were mostly on the lower floor, which may not have balcony, so we preferred where we were. We heard the sea at night, but bear in mind we also overlooked the pool, so if there was entertainment and you were bothered by noise, you would be best to consider a golf course view. Bungalows I was informed also have some king beds, but they are on two levels, with the bed above up stairs, so not good for kids, or the infirm. The bungalows are also further from the main hotel and its amenities.
So, being pleased with our room, we decided to venture out and check out the restaurants.
We decided on the buffet the first lunchtime, for quickness and to see the choice and were surprised. On average, over our visits during our week, it was very good, if compared to other âAll inclusiveâ spots. The advantage at this hotel is that you also have other choices. The lobby bar has a menu with snacks and sandwiches, which you can get any time. Hamburgers are made with chopped ham, and are good, as are the cheese and ham sandwiches. Italian restaurant on the beach is open for lunch, and their pizzas and pasta are really good, and itâs in the open air on the beach. We ate there most days, and they soon got used to making me my special drink of a strawberry daiquiri, mixed with ice cream in the blender. La Robleza is the BBQ restaurant which is open for lunch and dinner, and near the pool bar. Menu at lunch seemed to be better than dinner, which did not change the twice we went. I found that menu a bit lacking in other choices for dinner if you didnât like fish and seafood, especially as it didnât change and you can go there twice for dinner. There is also a pool bar at the other pool at the Bungalow end of the grounds, which we never ate at ourselves, but it seemed to have similar to the lobby bar menu. La Arcada is the bit more upscale place, and itâs better, with better presentation, better wine, and meal more gourmet style. With the package from Sunquest, we also could get a voucher if you wished to take advantage of it, for 20 CUC towards a meal at the Dupont Mansion, near the golf club house, which is a gourmet style historic restaurant. Itâs not owned by the hotel, but they have this voucher exchange, so your bill does get reduced. We ate there on the last night. So, you have a choice of eating spots, and on the whole we enjoyed them and found most times things to enjoy eating and we didnât starve. The wines we were served varied to some real good, and even those not so good were an improvement on some we have tasted on all inclusive packages. In addition to the open restaurants, there is room service 24 hours.
As for the service at both the restaurants and bars well we did notice they still have problems, and it was something that bothered us more as the week went on. Regardless of the location, all service industries in all countries can have certain staff who donât perform as well as their fellow workers do. However, at this hotel I understand before hiring staff they would give tests, staffing and psychology tests, to ensure they had the right type of character in their service jobs but I fear from some observations by the end of the week that some may need a refresher course. When I first noticed someone avoiding my eye or avoiding serving me, I gave them the benefit of the doubt. I considered perhaps they were serving another, had duplicate duties ongoing, were understaffed, or simply having a bad day. In truth there are only a small ratio who in the course of the week I noticed continued this 'ignoring service' practice. There are many others in the restaurants and bars who are considerate, obliging and give service with a smile. But there are a few who, when the supervisors are not around, seemed deliberately to be avoiding serving those with a blue wrist band. They would continue avoiding serving, whether it be a drink, coffee, or refilling coffee, even if you had asked for a coffee at your table, while you chose food from the buffet. Yet, if they saw money come out and extended to them, their reaction was quicker than the conjurer who did magic tricks on the entertainment staff. In fact the money was removed so quickly, their slight of hand was on a par with the conjurer. Those are the few that are giving the place a bad reputation, and unfortunately the good servers will be grouped with them. In addition, clients will then also end up going to the good ones, and so they get more than their share of the work simply because they are more accommodating. There are times when the staff are busy and overextended to cover the areas such as the lobby bar, and that is something management need to be dealing with, and which I noted on the comment sheet. On dull windy days people are inside more, or at night times, and on days new clients arrive. The hotel was full at one point, and for a few days at that time the staff did increase to cover the much needed service in the lobby area.
So service staff still needs improvement, and also reception at times. There is no line up policy in reception, so you all stand where you can. If you get ignored, you wait longer. Naturally clients who can interrupt and shout to get noticed will do so, and you still wait till the stressed staff try and sort things out. This could be elimated with a line, a simple roped line, where each client is dealt with fairly. Also, you can line up for one thing, and be told the person dealing with it is at the other end, and then have to line up again. I did that only once, to be told by the second person I was mistaken and had to go back to the first person. Public relations knows about such problems and is trying to ensure they diminish. But they still need to know, which is why they have the comment sheet that you will find in your room. If there is not one in your chosen language, ask Public Relations. This is the only recourse you have to give feedback directly to the hotel and one I filled in with blunt honesty. You can also speak to Public Relations, who are more than willing to listen. I also suggested that the exchange side of reception put up a sign when no cash is in/ or when cash is going to be available, so that people donât have to wait at reception for ages to find that they have waited in vain.
We had one problem, which unfortunately involved a hotel guest, and also the towels. Towels, as well as beach lounger mats are included (although there are not enough lounge mats when the hotel is full). You get a card in your package to take to the towel hut, and you get towels. When you end your vacation, you return the towels, and you are credited with the return. Failure to do so means paying for the towels. Each morning for the first four days my husband would golf, and I would wait for him on the beach in a certain spot, so heâd know where to find me. There was always this group of four people close to my location who placed towels and mats early in the morning. I would see them after I had breakfast, and go to the pool mat man, get my mat and settle down with my book. One morning I arrived, settled down, and about Â½ hour later a friend arrived to join their group. This friend sat on the end of a lounger and chatted. I moved to the lobby for a bathroom break, and met a friend, chatted in the lobby for about ten minutes total, and returned to find not just my mat missing, but the towel as well. I looked over and lo and behold the new group member had a lounger complete with mat and towel. I approached and signed that my mat and towel was missing. They signed that they spoke no English. I went to the security man at the Pool Bar. I started to tell him my beach mat was missing, and he immediately directed me to the pool man and walked off. I realised after heâd gone that he thought I wanted one, not that I was reporting one taken. So, I reported it to Public Relations twice to see if it could be handled. They told me that if security handed it in I would not have to pay. They did not hand it in so we went on our last night to hand in our one towel. The lady in towels pointed out that we were only giving her one towel, and my husband said âone was stolenâ and she said ânot possibleâ and kept the card. I think she misunderstood that we meant it had been taken that day and would keep the card until security checked if one was handed in. We already knew different, but she kept the card. So, Iâd reported it twice to Public Relations, and once to the towel girl. On check out last morning at 7 am, the receptionist told us our bill was zero, and being honest, we said we thought we had to pay for the missing towel. She asked for the towel card, and we told her the girl had kept it. The man there then said to me Iâd have to pay for two towels, and I said âno wayâ and explained the whole story again, and that I had spoken twice with PR, who were going to speak to the General Manager and also security. Meanwhile we had only 15 mins to try and settle this and get some breakfast. I told him I was getting a coffee and I would return to see his solution. He wasnât there on return, but the girl told me I had to write a letter of total explanation if I wanted to pay for only one towel. I did, but after explaining it three times to three different people, in different departments, thought it a bit disorganized. Needless to say, with my luck, Iâm probably the only person that week with such a problem, and it did kind of sour me of how it was dealt with, but the initial problem was, unfortunately caused by an inconsiderate guest.
So, although as you can see there were and still are ongoing things that could be improved, we left knowing the problems, and hoping that if we returned - and we do plan to because the hotel and its amenities suited us, that they will be resolved. For us the small things did not outweigh the good things we enjoyed during our stay there."
- Travel date: Tue 18th of January 2005
"The folks from Calgary (Jan 4 review) nailed it...The service for all-inclusive guests was really bad.
We were not told about the four included rounds of golf so If you like to golf bring your clubs. Rentals are 35 pesos a day each. Balls and other equipment are also outrageosly expensive but you can purchase balls under the table from course staff for one peso.
I hear the Paradeso is really great. Only stay at Americana if you have a high tolerance for poor and rude service. I thought I did but after a while....?"
- Travel date: Mon 10th of January 2005
There are problems
"The Melia Las Americas is a beautiful 5 star resort . The beach and pool areas are exceptional , but like the other reviews , lacks the entertainment part. After two days ( and poor weather ) I was bored , bored , bored. As previously mentioned by another reviewer, it is a nice hotel , it is not a nice resort. Just nothing to do ( unless you just want to sit around and drink all day ) . For the first three days the weather was poor, with dark clouds and heavy wind. The water was very rough and the red flags were up. Since there is nothing else to do , sitting in the room with a book seemed like the only option available.
The service to those who wear the âall inclusiveâ wristband is exceptionally poor. I agree with the reviewer who said that the staff are a very unhappy bunch and are definitely taking it out on the âall inclusiveâ patrons. After November 8th/2004, the hotel has gone to a partial all inclusive , and part not. For those who do not wear the wristband, they are treated well,( their end tab must reflect a compulsory tip component ) . It was painfully obvious that we were being ignored.
After reading the review dated December 20th , I was relieved to see that I was not âover reactingâ at the poor quality of service that we had received during our trip. My sentiments exactly ! Since the Melia Las Americas has gone to a partial âall inclusiveâ , those little wristbands are like stamping a âleaperâ sign on our foreheads. The staff were very good at avoiding eye contact and avoided us like the plague, to the point of being rude. We found the main dining room and the inside bar to be particularly bad. Staff were slow to clear tables and to reset tables for next use. Coffee was hard to get. We tried the tipping , but that made very little difference. The food tended to be boring and very much the same , day after day.
The staff seems determined to crater this new concept. By the end of our stay , I was very tired of tipping and more tipping under an all inclusive plan. As the other reviewer stated, no matter how lovely the resort is , you just donât like being treated badly . We took our adult children with us , and there was just nothing for them to do, unless you just want to sit around and drink- which they didnât want to do. It is important for all to read the reviews and to chart the dates of writing. It is obvious that things have changed dramatically since November. I will not go back again to this resort unless it is strictly for the golfing and just with my husband. We will find some other place to go to next year. Maybe back to the Mayan Riviera â now THAT was a great holiday !"
- Travel date: Tue 4th of January 2005
sad but true
"The the resort came highly recommended, which is why we were more than a little disappointed. It seems the staff are extremely unhappy because the resort has switched to an all-inclusive format and the all inclusive crowd is no longer tipping. To make matters worse, word has it that, in order to keep the resort running at capacity, the quality of food has had to be lowered. All of these changes have been implemented since Nov. 8/04. The friends who recommended the resort visited last year. Their description of the food and service is not the place we experienced.
Good points: it's lovely, the rooms are fine, chamber maids are fine, beach is lovely.
Bad points: wait staff is ------ off and treat anyone with an all inclusive package with great disdain. It was not until palms were extensively greased that the attitude changed (not that we would not have tipped generously in any event). No matter how lovely the place, we didn't care for being treated badly. Food was better than most in Cuba but not as described by friends. Wine barely drinkable. Better wine available only by the bottle (my husband doesn't drink wine so one bottle per meal was not an option).
Bottom line, nothing is worth being abused by disgruntled staff. Management must see to it that morale changes or else this place will bottom out quickly.
We will not go back. If nothing else, Cuba is known for its people. Something is very wrong with this lot of unhappy campers."
- Travel date: Mon 20th of December 2004
Golfing was great.
"I just returned from Melia Las Americas. My wife and I had a great time since we both love to golf.
The golf course is great for the average golfer. You get to use all of your clubs (sometimes on one hole) but, overall, the course is generally forgiving. The 15th and 16th holes are an exception (water holes). Since 4 free green fees come with a week's booking, you can spend 4 days out of a week golfing without undue expense and still have time for the beach. It will cost you $ 33.00 for a power cart which is an absolute necessity. You wouldn't want to walk this course as there are some long distances between a number of the holes. The course is in easy walking distance from the hotel (another big plus).
The beach is fantastic as well. It's large with beautiful clear water, lots of clean sand and enough waves to keep things interesting and fun.
We had one housekeeper looking after our room each day. She was absolutely wonderful. She made up designs with our new towels each morning (swans, elephants, hearts, etc.). Great imagination. She even brought in fresh cut flowers one day. Her name is Yolanda and you will be lucky if you have her as your housekeeper.
There were a few average things about the hotel. The food, with the exception of L'Arcata (a la carte) restaurant ranged from bad to pretty good. The service also ranged all over the place. For some reason, you can't get tea or coffee in the buffet dining room. I can't figure out why. You can't get a cocktail with your meal there either !!??.
The service in the bar area was also either excellent (if you had the young ladies serving) or really bad if the men were serving. I'm not sure if the men felt that the ladies should be doing this work because, overall, unless you went up to the bar yourself, you didn't get served if the men were on the floor.
I loved the Jazz band that they had playing one night but, generally, the entertainment was poorly attended while I was there so it was sort of dead (even though the music was great).
There is a mall nearby and we did most of our shopping there. We did take a cozy coupe like taxi into Varadero town ($ 6 + tip each way). It probably wasn't worth it except as a short getaway from the hotel. Havana is about two hours away but we didn't take a trip there which I will want to do if I return here. If for no other reason but to go to the Tropicana night club.
Overall, it was a great trip with beautiful weather. When we got back to Ontario, Canada, the temperature was -35 degrees Celsius. Cuba weather is much nicer."
- Travel date: Mon 20th of December 2004
Great Value, Food, Golf
"Melia Las Americas is probably one of the best hotels in Varadero, if you are looking for a hotel and not a resort. Keep in mind that we traveled there in November, and not on March break so letâs start by saying this place is not for kids. There really is nothing much going on as far as entertainment during the day or evening. There are no âshowsâ, beach entertainment or junk food like fries and burgers. On the other hand if you are looking for a âtop drawerâ hotel with good service, great âadult foodâ (shrimp, lobster, beef, pork and chicken) great drinks (cappuccinos , a selection of good Spanish wine, international drinks) then this is the place.
We went strictly for the golf, which was included with our package with Sunquest out of Toronto. We had four rounds at the Varadero Golf Club included, everything except the cart (USD$30.00). Itâs a great course, in good shape, a two minute walk from the hotel No need to take caddies as in other Caribbean resorts. They donât even offer them. Our T-times were set for 8:00 am, just a half-hour too early since the sun only rises about 7:45 and breakfast was rushed but, we were done by 12:30 which left the rest of the day open. If you book the all-inclusive with golf, pick up your golf vouchers at the hotel before your first round.
The rooms are clean and the hotel is spotless. The food was quite good considering the lack of spices and flavourings that are available in Cuba. The only disappointing thing was that the main dining room was in an enclosed air-conditioned room, and when youâre down south it would be nice to eat outside. (one of the outside dinner restaurants is open in the evening and it was usually fairly empty every night). The same restaurant is open at lunch as is a great beach grill.
The Melia is a five minute walk from the mall and 10 minutes from the Melia Varadero which you can also use (we didnât bother but this is where the beach games and party atmosphere is). Take any funds other than US dollars, no Amex (Visa, Master card is OK) change your money to a âconvertible pesoâ at the hotel or the bank at the mall and donât forget to have $25.00 convertible pesos for the airport when you leave. Cuba is a safe place, with very nice people that usually speak about 4 languages.
If you are looking for a quiet vacation with good clean rooms, good food and a little golf, this place is really great value. One of the best reasons to travel to Cuba and this hotel specifically is that there are only Canadians and Europeans.
- Travel date: Sat 4th of December 2004
some good things, some not so good
"First the good points: the hotel is beautiful, the beach is great and the food was very good, especially the italian restaurant by the beach for pizza. The golf course is right next door.
The not so good: the bar service was slow, the daily activities were poorly organized and often did not happen, the nightly entertainment had good variety but they are not set up with a proper stage so finding a seat and getting a good view are challenges. Also, the tennis courts are at the Melia Varadero and there was some confusion as to whether we had access to them.
Finally, the week we were there the resort was mostly golfers and seniors, not that there is anything wrong with that."
- Travel date: Tue 30th of November 2004
Ask for Olbert to Complete A Great Experience
"An excellent resort, on a perfect beach...
Not much else needed to please me on vacation however, Melia had more. Nice variety of foods in the various restaurants, good selection of drinks (stocked mini bar a nice touch too), very playable golf course next door (not too challenging, but good condition).
Take advantage of your Cuban trip and go to Havana.
We rented a car from an agency in the hotel and had one of the bartenders/waiters drive us there and show us around, on his day off. The guy's name is "Olbert" and he is awesome. His English is excellent as is his knowledge of the city. Talk to him early in the week as he often takes guests there on his day off. He doesn't charge anything for his services, but a nice tip is appreciated.
Traveling with a local gives you an opportunity to get a great flavor of the country and the lifestyle. Tell Olbert that Robert (from Toronto) sent you. The staff rotates around the various restaurants but ask for him by name and someone will tell you where to find him. He can also negotiate unlimited km on the car rental deal as well (saving you approx. $80).
The golf is best done early in the morning or late in the afternoon because of the heat. The late rounds are quicker since nobody golfs after 2pm.
Beware that most rooms do not have Queen or King beds, instead they are two separate singles made up and then pushed together. Try to reserve a room with a king bed early. Also, most rooms have an ocean view or golf course view, mine had both, ask for one when you arrive to add a nice touch.
I have traveled to many resorts (NA and Caribbean) and I would definitely go back to Melia Las Americas next time I travel to Cuba."
- Travel date: Tue 30th of November 2004
"Stayed in bungalow - a long way from reception . Room not well maintained and bland compared to hotels of this rating elsewhere in the Caribbean.
Lots of pool space and a very nice small pool with a bar away from everyone else.
Good breakfast buffet but the service was a farce each morning. A fight to get a dirty table, clear it yourself and then try to find some clean cutlery.
Other service was fine."
- Travel date: Tue 23rd of November 2004