Memories Varadero Beach Resort
11 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Needs some work!!!!
"Was at this resort with 30 others for a wedding...some stayed 2 wks, others 1 wk. Wedding encountered some definite problems..no bridal suite as promised; hair dresser charged 40 CUC for a comb-out, music all wrong, rude strangers cutting through the service..etc. This resort has NO security..leaving the disco, one of our party was fisted in the face by a drunk woman; during the wedding reception, we had an interlude by a drunk; and had the same drunk appear after the disco one evening showing everyone his private parts!!! SUGGEST that security be on scene when disco closes....One of our rooms had no A/C and mold on the ceiling/walls and management did not move guests for 10 days!!! Could never figure out when the NoliTours staff was on duty..SUGGEST they post their hours on the door! Also they need better orientation of what the resort has to offer (doing orientation at 10 am after not getting our rooms until nearly 5:00 am is not an option!!!) Evening shows were just cancelled and no one advised; ie waited for Sat.circus show, only to be given another dance competition...show one night just did not happen!!!! SUGGEST a couple of bulletin boards in buffet and lobby to advise that is happening! No carts available so if you cannot walk long distances, this is not the resort for you! Although you wait in line and make dinner reservations, quite often they are not honoured and you are eating at 8:30 instead of 6:30. Japanese restaurant was the best food at the resort; BUT there was a mouse running around while we were having dinner!!!! Other ala cartes are never full, but they only take about 20-30 guests per seating???? Steakhouse is a misnomer...it actually only serves chicken, most of the time! Advertised mini-bar service daily, but usually every second day. The biggest shock of all was that three evenings about 7:00 pm a big blast of what we thought was smoke appeared! It was BUG spray like DDT or similar and had a terrible smell...for anyone with allergies, this could have been deadly..SUGGEST if spray must be done, do it in the middle of the night!!! Definitely got better service with better tips!!!!"
- Travel date: 2nd May 2011
A few crazy eights made it worth it.
"This place is too big for my tastes but it was new and clean. The staff and resort are new so expect a lot of minor or major inconveniences. I met some crazy eight from Air Italia and it takes me two and half days to run into her again. The resort should have a better system to transport people around so that they can hook up easier. The Kelowna 3 were fun and I wish I had more time to party with them and celebrate Tim the Tank's birthday and check out the root system on Dina's palm tree. Hey , your husband said it. Kerri and Agatha were cool and we are glad to have met the dynamic duo from Sarniatown. Send me some photos! A lot Quebers were there(80%) and most won't speak English but a few were really friendly and cool. Weather is cool this time of year so it is great for tanning, golf, tennis ,shopping, and grinding.Swimming, not so much. The winds were high but so were most of the staff as they couldn't figure out some very simple things like how to clear a table for guest arriving for the buffet. You seat yourself and then have to fight with them to get a spoon or fork, I found it amusing but others were pissed off . Some server lady standing around doing nada yelled at a guest because she showed up 1 minute after the buffet closed and went into get some bread for her child. I will send a review with the pro's and cons later with a few photos Hasta la vista peechka and friends"
- Travel date: 12th November 2007
"We (my wife and little one) are heading to this resort next week. Just wanting to know were to exchange Canadian to Cuban Peso Airport or Hotel ? Thanks for the help"
- Travel date: 11th November 2007
Great vacation at the Sirenis La Salina
"My husband and I have just returned from the Sirenis La Salina hotel in Varadero. Our stay was from November 2 to the 9th. I had really shopped around on the internet and I always verify the reviews on this website. However, you must always keep in mind that travelers have different tastes and preferences, but most of all: different travelling backgrounds as well. Do not take all of these terrible reviews too seriously! I have been to many different resorts and hotels and this hotel is wonderful, beautiful and the Cubans are great people! The important factors for us were cleaness (5/5), beach (5/5), hey! You can't order mother weather nature around! O.k. it was windy, who cares! There were waves! Who cares! You have fun swimming in them! The sun was out there every day! I did not tip until the last day of our trip and was very well served! I guess when you treat people with RESPECT, you get treated with respect. The hotel is very big, but just beautiful! There is a wide variety of food. If you can't find anything you like, might as well go to the US where there McDonald's restaurants! I will be more than pleased to return when the resort is complete. We got to travel for a trip that cost $575! What on earth do you expect! I would have spent more money than that staying home. We had a romantic dinner in Varadero one night. That was just wonderful. You can have a seafood platter of langustines , wine and beer included for 15 pesos. If you travel to Varadero on your own, you must know that the buses do not run until 9:00 pm as stated on the ticket! You are better to take a taxi back. We waited for over one and a half hours and the bus never came. But we did encounter musicians and they played for my husband and I until we decided to take a taxi back to the hotel. Go shopping in the city and dine as well! You get a much better feel for the people! If you do not like to walk, do not chose this resort. Other than that, get in shape and go go go!!! I f you can't walk 900 meters, maybe best to chose a smaller resort. We definately enjoyed our stay and will return next year. I believe we were lucky to go to this resort while it is so cheap! Mark my words, it won't be that cheap for long."
- Travel date: 11th November 2007
A very differemt Hotel
"Just returned Nov 1-8 The food is bad even for Cuba If you dont tip at the Lobby bar you wont get served. They finally got their golf carts but now it is dangerous to walk the paths because they are so narrow someone will get hit sooner than later, Beach just sucks too steep wind and no shade. The activities are non existant other than pool volleyball and someone yelling about trivia in a microphone. There was a very large Quebec percentage and they are just plain rude push in front of lines and scream at each other across pool. The rooms are nice. People who work there are great except lobby bar. Weather was good but allways windy. Overall a good but very differet place."
- Travel date: 9th November 2007
"Returned Nov 8, our first trip to Cuba Disliked: Weather - there wasn't a day when it wasn't windy at the beach. Our week there consisted of red flag and yellow flag days only (you're only allowed water sports if it's green flag). We found it impossible to stay in the shade for too long at the beach because the wind was chilly, especially when it was overcast. If you're into having fun with the waves you will be annoyed by the lifeguards that keep whistling at you to not venture out too far. Beach - we thought the beaches at Varadero were amongst the best but we were greatly disappointed by this one. The sand area is way too short (3 huts aligned and you hit the water) and smothered by seaweed and other debris. We like to be able to walk on the beach for more than 10 steps before hitting the water but this beach was just pathetic. Don't expect white powdery sand. The beaches at Punta Cana simply blew this one away. The water was cold and bearable only if the sun was out. Have to be at the beach early to find a chair, otherwise they're all gone by about 11 am. The worst were the beach attendants as they're always looking for tips to set up a chair for you. I don't mind tipping someone to set up a chair for me, but it's disgusting to see them "run" to a chair when someone has left and stack it at the back so that they can "set it up" for somebody else. Pool - water was way too cold, definitely colder than the ocean water. Cushions are only available here and not the beach. The same problem here with the pool attendants "running" to take away the cushion when someone leaves and "set it up" again for the next person. Restaurants - we'd rather eat at the buffet. The food that we ordered at the Italian restaurant can actually be found at the buffet. We did not finish our steaks at the Steakhouse. At the buffet, we didn't like the fact that you had find your own free table. This lead to the problem of potentially sitting down at someone else's table when they went out to get food or have your table taken when you go out to get food yourself. Liked: Cave bar is the main attraction of the main pool - a distinct feature that's not too common elsewhere. If the water wasn't that cold, I would've liked to spend more time there. Good maid service - rooms are always clean and replenished with towels and refreshments. Majority of those that work there are very nice people Water ballet show was the best of the nightly entertainment shows - dancing and synchronize swimming in the pool at night was amazing. Other: If you pay for a safe, expect to wait in your rooms for a few hours for a technician to set it up. There were several rooms with the A/C not working including ours. We asked for a technician to come by but you're required to be in the room for them to come in. Basically, expect many calls to reception a lot of waiting for the technician just to fix your A/C. Havana day trip (67 CUC) was good as it included lunch at a 32nd floor restaurant with a 360 degree view of the the town. However, expect to spend 45 minutes rounding every other person from other resorts before starting the 1.5 to 2 hr drive to Havana. We didn't go for the Tropicana show so we returned to the resort at 7:30 pm, this following an 8:00 morning start. Exhange - we paid 1.06 CDN for 1 CUC on the way there, and received 0.91 CDN back for 1 CUC when we left. There's no clock or coffee maker in the room, but there's an iron. A lot of the items in the resort gift shop can be found at the airport at lower prices. Don't exchange your CUC when you enter the airport on the day of departure. Pass customs first and there are more duty-free and souvenir shops upstairs. There's a money exchange service there. There were mosquitoes at night, especially at the reception area and the theatre. Conclusion: We understand that being a new resort there would be problems and hope a lot of them will be resolved soon. At this point we would not recommend this hotel."
- Travel date: 9th November 2007
bring good walking shoes
"Just came back on November 4. I have to agree that the place does require more carts. It is a very big place. This place in my opinion has alot of potential but for now I found the service very slow. The bartenders are slow or not enough of them. Dont be suprised to wait 15 minutes to be served, so bring a big cup. The food was okay. Again they were running out of dishes, food, coffee etc. The beach grill is nice to eat for lunch. The beach still needs some manicuring. Not set up very well for beach vollyball. The pool with the cave is the best place to relax, but come early or you wont get a chair. Go in the cave for your drinks, faster service. People dont hang out in there because the waterfall makes it to loud to talk. If travelling with children who like to swim, be advised that the pool cuts up the bottom of their feet. My daughter and the friends she made all had cuts on the bottom of their feet. New pool has sharp edges on the tiles. Also the tall lamp in the room will give you a shock. A big jolt, dont touch it. WE were not the only ones. Ive stayed in cuba before Playa turquesa, and found their service 100% better. Being so new I am sure they'll get better. Lastly bring ketchup if you have kids, they wont like cubas!!!!"
- Travel date: 6th November 2007
Try and Book a "smaller" resort.....
"Unless this resort provides a constant shuttle service to and from the Lobby & Beach it's really not worth it. It's way way too big! This has to be addressed! They have golf carts BUT they're used only when travellers arrive and depart (because they "will" be tipped); The rest of the time, the driver is in the lobby bar "chatting up the female workers". There were many many upset and frustrated people over this issue! I'm not sure what all the problems were with other travellers BUT we witnessed many many "heated / yelling arguments" at the front desk. This is the 1st resort I've been to where the Buffet resaurant was better than "all" the a la carte restaurants. I don't understand why this resort is not taking "food & service" seriously, it's a new resort and they're going to get a really bad name. The staff is completely "Tip Driven" and they're not afraid to show their displeasure. The pool staff was excellent (when they're not trying to sell you cigars. The beach staff was excellent (when they're not trying to sell you cigars. The front desk staff needs to learn to speak english. They cannot have a conversation with you and they just keep repeating the same english phrases BUT they definitely do not understand english. They do know how to "cuss you out" (in spanish) right in front of your face. The language barrier is 99% of the problem! *Do yourself a favour, Don't Go To This Resort !!! *Trust me.... I'm a very passive & easy going person *I never complain - this time I had to! *I haven't written a letter since highschool. If you've already booked..... good luck! & bring rollerblades...."
- Travel date: 5th November 2007
New Hotel Lots of walking But Was Fantastic
"Went by myself, first time to Cuba, everyone was very friendly,staff was eager to help with anything you needed, if you tipped you got better service & they noticed you the next time you came around because they knew they would get a tip. Grounds very well looked after, beach was great rooms and maid service was excellent never touched athing, night very quiet, found the shows to be the same, no envolvement with the tourists just dancing for you & very very loud music, not enjoyable. i was there for relaxtion a l got it. l had a great time at this hotel and would recommend it to anyone who does not mind walking alot. The food was OK but what do you expect it's Cuba, there was alot of seafood and i hate seafood, so l ate alot of pasta & rice, l did not starve.snack bar over the pool was great food was good as well as the service the girls were great, never had to wait to be served. Pool boys were very nice and helpfull always there to bring me a cushion or what ever l needed. Thanks Ariel & Ozmal"
- Travel date: 31st October 2007
New, so with a few wrinkles
"We were 4 guys aged between 44-53. stayed between Oct 13-20.. OK...here we go... I have been to cuba 6 times now, first time in Varadero. Hotel is new, and big. we were in 30 block facing the activity pool. Yes you have to walk alot, but that did not bother us that much, hey the weather was nice, but if it had been raining every day could have been a bummer. Also we were about in the middle of the resort, so we were about a 5 min walk in each direction, either to the buffet,lobby, beach a snack bar. and like i said for us the walk wasn't bad at all. Check in....what we did since we had no children, is when everybody went to go check in we went straight to the lobby bar, had plenty of drinks,and by the way we found all the drinks in every bar to be very good, so no problem there. so we didn't wait in line to check in but when we did it took 2 min got our stuff, got on the golf cart and were takin to our rooms, everything went smooth no problems there at all. Staff... Oh by the way i lost my passport and tourist visa, which fell out of my bag and a staff personal who found it hunted me down and returned it much to my relief......also my brother left his camera in the scooter rental booth, and it was also returned to him. We found all the hotel staff friendly and professional...Manual at the pasta bar....most excellent, as were all the buffet staff, we were treated very well. served quickly and with a smile,at all the bars and restaurents...a few pesos here and there does the job, and we had no problems giving tips, it wasn't expected because we waited to see how the service was before we tipped and it was how i stated above, so then we started tipping daily. the 4 of us must have left about 50.00 each in tips for the week... Food.....It was not bad at all. Nobody got sick. Lunch we usually went to the snach bar at the beach and they had a ok spread, but the bbq fish was fantastic....get that if you like fish..give the cook a peso here and there and it really pays off.. The buffet's lunch was also ok....supper was pretty good, one day we had giant crab claws....excellent...pasta was very good... bring manual a beer... Breakfest to me was the worst selection but their juices were fantastic....eggs and omletts toast not really that much else. Dessets.............now that part sucked....not good at all Annimation......friendly but , i found that their annimation needs more work.. Beach...it was nice...nothing like cayo largo.... but nice. What they really do need is a beach bar. That was a dissapoinment. We always had a place to sit..they are building more palapas (spelling) Pools....They had a problem there. The pool with the slide, which is smaller then the other pool was open the first day we got there but had to close because of a algee problem, which wasn't fixed even as we left, so no pool bar. They did open the other pool, but it is only 3 feet deep, but twice the size... and the water gets really hot. they have a bar there. Once they fix the algee problem, i would prefer that pool...They were nice though. Night life..............DEAD.....which is one thing that i didn't like. They really have to work on that Kids club......we didn't have any with us, but from what i saw, there were no kids there for the whole week....but like i said, we didn't have kids with us. Overall.....this hotel will be a very nice 41/2* soon......it's new and they need some improvments in entertaining, more buggy's to pick up people. and a better night life.....oh when this place is going to be full, they better get more staff, they have the biggest buffet's i have ever seen......i was a good holiday, as they are what you make them.. ps....rooms...they were always cleaned, good size also, fridge was always full of beer and drinks. no problems there"
- Travel date: 23rd October 2007
Glad this wasnt our first trip to Cuba... wouldnt return!!!
"Understandably there is a lot of interest in this new resort, I will try to cover as much as I can to give you an indepth look. If you still have questions or concerns after reading this review, feel free to ask. Returned from this resort Oct 15, party of 8, ages spanning from 13 to 52. This was our 8th trip to Cuba so we knew what to expect regarding food, mosquitoes, beaches etc. Booked last minute, via Nolitours, flew out of Toronto via Skyservice (a whole other story) No problem with Nolitours, reps at the airport and hotel were accessible and informative. About a 45 minute drive from the airport, air conditioned bus with guide.No problems with transfer. <<<<First Impressions>>>>> Beautiful new resort, greeted with Rum Punch, Lobby Bar close by and available while we waited to check in. <<<<Check In>>>> Okay, this was bad, very very bad.We have had slow check ins before but this was inexcusable. After more than 2 hours waiting in line to check in , we were given our key,paid for safe, towels etc. We were about 3/4 of the way back in line and felt certain the people at the back of the line would wait closer to 3 hours. Cuban hospitality? Not! Taken to our rooms on the golf cart... good thing, as the beachfront rooms are indeed 1km from the lobby. <<<<Beachfront Rooms>>>> Beautiful! All new bedding, towels etc, and the pillows the nicest we've ever seen. Nicely decorated, tv., cd player,stocked mini fridge,iron, large closet with small dresser. Air conditioning worked fine, and the patio doors have screens, very nice. No coffeemakers, but they did have weigh scales.lol..hmm whats up with that? The beachfront rooms are indeed beachfront with a view of the ocean.. no need to upgrade. All the villas are 3 stories, we were in the 33 block, although Im not sure if the ground floors would have a great view as we were on the 3rd floor. <<<<The Beach>>>> Have seen better, but was nice nontheless, clean with gray sand, private for now, will change once the new complex next door is finished. Definately not enough umbrellas for the resort. A chair steward will clean and set up your beach chair wherever you like, did expect to be tipped everytime. No natural shade.Ocean, warm and welcoming. Nice walk along the beach.The nautical team is situated on the beach, available were pedal boats, kayaks and 3 hobie cats.There is a speedboat that comes along for banana boat rides ( the teens in our group had a blast ) 5 dollars a ride. Music played at the beach in the morning. No bar on the beach, a 5 minute walk to beach restaurant. <<<<< Activity Pool>>> the other pool was closed during our visit Beautiful! Very nice, large, clean and warm with the depth ranging from very shallow to about 5 ft. deep. The swim up bar, in the cave... very cool... loved it, but wished the service had been better Water slide was a blast for all. Music played in the afternoon, a little on the loud side. The boys responsible for handing out the mattresses for lounge chairs were sometimes there, sometimes nowhere to be seen. <<<<Landscaping>>>> Landscaping on this property is very young. Lots of young trees, flowers, shrubs planted everywhere. Fountains, statues and gardens line the walkways, given time to mature the grounds will be gorgeous!! <<<<Bars>>>>> Lobby bar, snack bar, beach bar,piano bar, theatre bar, swim up bar all open at dfferent times throughout the day, with the exception of the lobby bar which is open 24 hours Usual selection of alcohol, Cristal on tap and slushie machines at all. The staff had a hard time making cocktails, made differently at each bar, even the few which are listed on their menu. Piano bar our personal favourite, nice air conditioned place to chill before or after dinner.. We found overall the bar service to be terribly slow... possibly not enough staff to blame... the swim up bartender played hide and seek im sure, waited countless times for someone to show up. On average waited up to 15 minutes for coffee.. <<<<Restaurants>>> Buffet...if the mosquitoes in the evening didnt carry you out it was hit and miss, mostly miss, lots of strange dishes.along with the usual pasta bar, carvery, and fresh meat grill there was lots of recycled food, which although Ive seen often, never as much as here.. the same food would appear day after day and service here was the worst. Not that it was busy... it wasnt. Served soda water for drinking water , the never ending wait for coffee, Not much fresh fruit, and the usual odd salad offerings. Japanese..... show cooking, order from a menu.. cooked in the kitchen or on the show grill... food was ok, better than the buffet, service with a smile Italian.... nice ambience, good food, depending what you ordered,and excellent service, would recommend Steakhouse.... odd menu items, most showed up in the buffet service ok Pool Snackbar.... Menu items, hotdogs, burgers, fries, pizza and club sandwich... as well they have some buffet items...food was good Service here... what service?? The staff would blatantly ignore you, waiting sometimes as much as half an hour for menus to be offered..remember, the resort was not busy, but given the distance to the buffet... (took 20 minutes to walk to) we ate most of our lunches here.. wait or walk... we opted to wait Beach Snackbar.... Offered light breakfast items, strange lunch items and turned into the Meditaranean ala cart in the evening. After waiting half an hour for coffee one morning, didnt bother again.There were 3 guests in the restaurant at the time. Closest bar to the beach. <<<<Animation>>>> Lots of it and very friendly animation staff... one of them a Tiger Woods lookalike..lol Everything from beachvolley ball to salsa lessons on offer.. you will be given an animation schedule with your hotel package. Ask the boy running the towel/game shack to show you a magic trick <<<Evening Entertainment>>> A beautiful theatre, with bar... sound system LOUD...sounded better from outside Shows not impressive... with the exception of the aqua ballet. After the shows, the piano bar turns into a disco... good for the young uns'..lol <<<Kiddie Club >>>> We had no need for it, but has a small playground, wading pool, and was completely fenced... didnt see anyone using it <<<Hotel Services>>> A nicely equipped gym, sauna, showers Tennis court, Basketball court A bank Hair Salon Hotel shop... avoid if at all possible.. very pricey Yes, there are mosquitoes. They do fog, which i think just chases them indoors. Very annoying in the buffet. <<Checkout>> Checkout time is noon. Late checkout is possible but will cost an additional 10 pesos per hour..No exception. They will lock your luggage in a room and allow you to use the facilities. Although promised, no hospitality suite was given. Everyone on our bus were told to go shower and change at the gym. Most opted to just forego a shower and dressed in the bathroom. Return transfer to the airport was on time and problem free. Biggest concern here is the size of the resort, lack of golf cart availability .... long walk between your room, beach and the lobby and buffet. We all agreed the facilites and appeal of the resort a 4 star plus...unfortunately the service is not. Dont use the "Cuban Time" as an excuse here..would not put up with anything close to these wait times at home. The reason most of us fall in love with Cuba and continue to visit time and again was seriously lacking at this resort. Previously I have found Cuban hospitality to be the best, their service usually outstanding and their friendliness like no other place. This resort has no Cuban appeal. Yes its new, beautiful with lots of promise but without the affection of Cuba, it could have been a beach resort anywhere in the Carribean. Very dissappointing. Even for a good price, I would recommend a smaller, friendlier resort. Bigger is not always better."
- Travel date: 18th October 2007
Top traveller tips for Memories Varadero Beach Resort
"More security in common areas; bulletin boards to advise guests when changes are happening."
Memories Varadero Beach Resort is also called
- Sirenis la Salina