Royalton Hicacos Varadero Resort & Spa
33 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Like a bit of paradise
"We have just returned from a family holiday here & cannot find anything bad to say about it! Our cases were brought to our rooms while we received a glass of champagne & an introduction to our own butlers. Super attentive staff our 2 'butler's were superb & could not do enough for us! We celebrated 3 of our birthdays while there on different days & returned to find champagne in mini fridge with 4 glasses each time. My husband even had a cake too! They helped out with booking taxis & tours in fact anything you could ask for. Place is so clean & pretty. Pools cleaned every morning. The beach is amazing & the water so clear & warm!
Staff always friendly & polite. The food was lovely in all restaurants & we especially enjoyed breakfast with so much choice, the omelettes being our favourite! Entertainment every night & bar staff very attentive & make some delicious cocktails!! The Cuban day was fantastic they made so much effort. They would spend time talking to you too. I would definitely return another time & most definitely recommend this place to anyone. Having read some reviews .... well some people just can't be satisfied ...."
- Travel date: Mon 1st of January 2018
"On the best swimming beach in the Caribbean, Hicacos is a relaxed, very friendly resort.
Its small enough to get around very easily -ask for a room close to the beach and restaurants (the sunset side is best for this)
While fruit choice, unlike other resorts, is very limited in Cuba the breakfast buffet pancakes, waffles and omelets are outstanding!! the coffee tastes different but is actually more delicious than Nirth American coffee once you get used to it - that takes a couple of days.
Some rooms are tired, some updated with the rest scheduled for this year.
We were in one of the updated rooms. The bathroom was the best-designed we've ever had! The bed was firm but soft but very high off the floor. Not sure how short people get up on it!
No fancy dressing here, just nice summer outfits, no purses. Short-sleeved shirts for men worn outside of light-colored pants and sandals (not flip-flops) or light-weight shoes.
Women dress in sleeveless dresses, short-sleeved tops, cotton blouses with skirts and pants. White, linen is very practical for both men and women, its the coolest.
Limited menu at beach lunch restaurant . Loved the fish once used to pulling the fillet off the bone skeleton! Hamburgers taste different at first but are the most popular item.
Pool is too shallow to swim, will be re-done soon apparently. But with the best beach its not urgent.
Some are tipping too much and could make the resort less popular as 1$ for every drink and 3-4$ for suppers adds up. Its an all-inclusive and some don't even allow it. Keep that in mind. Some, but by far, not all, waiters save their best treatment for the big tippers. Its getting out of hand in our opinion. See .TripAdvisor for excellent Cuban tipping advice.
Many great diversions at this resort, highly recommend it!"
- Travel date: Sat 28th of March 2015
"Went to Royal Hicacos expecting a dream holiday having just payed Â£1000 extra for a royal suite was very disappointed ,the place was a poor 3star all the staff wanted was tips you had to tip 20 times a day food was poor senior management looked down their nose at you. Don't go to them with any problems because there not interested entertainment was terrible same crap most nights,wish I had spent my Â£4,000 to change my car wouldn't take a free holiday back"
- Travel date: Sun 15th of March 2015
If you want your luggage stolen stay here
"In few words, do not stay here. My luggage was stolen from the hotel secure luggage storage room. On reflection I suspect it's an insider job, that's why the hotel is refusing to show me the cctv footage despite my requests!
This hotel ruined my holiday completely as they "stole" (ok they claim "lost") my luggage with contents valued at over Â£3000 from their deceivingly named secure storage area, which I had to store my luggage in after checking out at 11:30 am and prior to be picked up by the bus to the airport at 2:00 pm. I consider the hotel to be fully responsible as I placed the luggage in their secure room, but when I went to take it back after 2.5 hrs it was gone, and it was stored under their guaranteed secure room with CCTV! All that I got from the hotel is "hollow" apologies and false promises of investigation and that they will check the CCTV camera footage (assuming it works as they claimed) to determine what happened to my luggage, but to date nothing happened and my luggage had disappeared for good.
Virgin holidays confirmed they got part of the cctv showing me placing my luggage & going back looking worried I can't find it. The important bit in between is not referred to. I leave the judgement to all intelligent readers.
When the incident happened I was left in complete limbo with no jacket or shoes to go back to England in the middle of winter.
The luggage secure storage facility is a complete joke. The hotel staff refuse to tag the bags as I requested, and even though they have a security personnel on the door, it appears that anyone can have free access to the storage area to pick any luggage without interruption. I suggest they change the name of the area to "help yourself to any luggage" as this is more appropriate name. To my fellow guests, please do not use this facility as your is luggage is seemingly left for anyone to pick up & walk away with it.
I talked to the hotel few times & was promised a written email to use as part of my insurance claim, but after 2 weeks this still has not come through. I have confirmations that they read my emails, but no reply.
In addition I was promised that they will replace my two souvenirs I bought from the hotel shop. But nothing has been arranged.
Based on this incident I will never return to the Royal Hicasos or to Cuba at all. My lasting memory from a doomed holiday is my STOLEN luggage from the better-to-be-called "Insecure Storage Room".
I have written evidence from Virgin holiday & a signed statement from the hotel staff at the day that this incident happened (I'll send to whoever is interested). I'm still awaiting the hotel to compensate me as they are responsible for the value of the stolen luggage. Oh and the Virgin holiday bus abandoned me at the hotel & left to the airport without me."
- Travel date: Fri 2nd of January 2015
Wow, so good we are going back again in June
"We had an amazing holiday, despite both my husband and I both having very bad colds/flu when we went on holiday. The service was so good the care and attention of all the staff team still made our holiday wonderful.
People are friendly,the food was varied, fresh interesting well presented and of course tasty. Every where in and out of the hotel was particularly clean much cleaner than the uk.
The beach is gorgeous, the gardens pretty and well cared for, the hotel complex is lovely, a copy of the traditional that really works. The rooms are big and comfortable, a bath built for 2 while drinking free wine is never bad in our view.
The entertainment offers something for everyone and what ever your mood, but never encroaches if you what to be alone and /or romantic.
You are never pestered to buy things on the beach as it can be in so many countries they ask never more than twice if you say no thank you they politely leave you in peace.
I would suggest you do tip at the end of an evening ,meal etc but just .30p- .70p . this will ensure service second to none, but if you dont tip service is still very good. I heard no other guest complain about anything during our holiday.
We have been all over the world, mostly in 5 star hotels, we have been in smarter hotels especially in places like Germany, but no where we have felt so welcome and comfortable. We have never ever felt like writing in these type of review sights before ,but the staff team deserve to get the acknowledgement.
Cuban people are well educated and friendly it is a safe country with a low crime rate, it is something you are aware of when out and about in the towns.
We cant wait to go back!
- Travel date: Wed 2nd of March 2011
best ever vacation
"traveled from london gatwick june 2010 for two weeks,on arival mini bus transver,thirty min on bus arival,met by reception staff with cocktails,taken by them to our rooms. two level split ,big bed,double bath,coffee,tea,rum,wine,soft drinks,bath robes,all there.pool water very warm but shallow depth.food was a lot better than i expected waiter service for drinks waiter serving about four tables and wanted to talk to you about your country and family.some local sparrow birds in restorant,no bother to us beachbar good staff food basic,burgers hottdogs ect,soft drinksand hard if you want them.poolbar again cannot do enough to please you .traveled to havana fantastic two days including sights food good hotel and show tropicana music and dance.so good that on my retern to uk,have rebooked for june 2011,thant you jim and mary cooper cardiff uk.
- Travel date: Tue 1st of February 2011
"We've just spent 2 weeks at the sandals resort for our honeymoon and didn't find a single fault with the hotel or the staff. Everyone was so helpful and couldn't do enough for you,especially Barbara and Hermenes from buffet and Julio from the grill bar. Rigo the Thomas Cook rep was very helpful aswell,we forgot our european plug but he went out of his way to get us 1. I also want to mention the very nice gardener that picked us flowers every day and gave us shells. Overall this was an excellent holiday and we can't wait to return. "
- Travel date: Sat 7th of August 2010
"went to cuba for my honeymoon i have to say that the whole experiance was great we spent 4 days in havana first at the hotel de naticonal cuba sorry if that is spelt wrong , it was great to get out and about in havana did not find the locals to pushy and it was great to go somewhere there is no YELLOW M on every street corner the hotel was good and havana is a great place to go, try and do it before certain countries lift their travel ban if you know what i mean ,
onto sandals after a 3 hour drive we arrived at the hotel to a nice glass of bubbly, after we was checked in we were taken to our rooms i have to say the room was a good size and the bed was huge it was a shame that the room had not been cleaned however with in 10 mins there was 2 maids cleaning it for us , NOW I HAVE TO SAY HERE AND NOW THIS IS NOT A REAL SANDALS it just uses the name under liscence i beleive so if you are a sandals regular you will probably be disapointed, saying that we found the hotel great the food was very good from all resturants the staff were not pushy for tips we just made sure that they knew we would be tipping at the end of our stay and only to people who provided good service , my tips for going here would be do as the canadians do and take a thermos cup with you it helps keep your drinks cool in that heat , do not get drunk and shout and swear its a adult only hotel and that behaviour is something i would expect from a hotel full of kids on the beer for 2 weeks and to be honest we can all swear it does not make you big or hard it just shows you up as a bit of a idiot or maybee a huge idiot and it is supposed to be a hotel for 2 people in love so why would you talk to your loved one like that , also if and when you tip do not high 5 your mates because you gave some one a tip they only earn 15 pounds sterling a month you do not need to show your wealth to these people it only shows you as a ignoramous ( that is not aimed at any person or people from a paticular country however if the cap fits ) we made freinds with both fellow brits and canadians its amazing how many canadians serverd here in the 1940s and after ,and we also kept away from some fellow brits and candians all i can really say is go enjoy remember its a cuban 5 star hotel so probably 4 star anywhere else , oh yes the beach is great nice white sand warm sea enjoy yourself there also go to the beach in the morning and you will probably see the pelicans feeding right by the sea front "
- Travel date: Fri 19th of March 2010
"My wife and I were rebooked from our original hotel because of the hurricane but were not disappointed. This is not a Sandals Caribbean standard but a Sandals Cuba standard so lower your expectations slightly. The room, pool area and beach were very good and the restaurants were generally good but the theme restaurants were nothing special. We went on a catamaran trip and swam with the dolphins which was one of our main reasons for going to Cuba. On the downside. the coach ride down from Havana was about two and a half hours with one stop and some other airlines fly direct to Varadero which is much closer.
In the main restaurant there was always freshly cooked food and plenty of choice, our only concern was a cold buffet of meat and cheese seemed to be swarming with flies. We spent hardly any money except on tips which were gratefully received and left some t-shirts etc. with the gardener's. We had no stomach upsets or mossie bites so we must have been lucky. One other advantage is that this is an adults only complex and the silence without any kids around was excellent. We will go back to Cuba again but perhaps to the original hotel we had booked which had been recommended by friends."
- Travel date: Fri 15th of May 2009
Shambles not Sandals
"I have just returned from two weeks at this resort and have never been so disappointed. A hairy, two and a half hour transfer, we arrived at our destination. The rooms were ok apart from the fact that we had no mosquito net so got bitten to hell, the windows were filthy with brown packing tape all over it. The TV broke down, the bath trim came loose exposing rusty screws, no bath plug, sink plug, door handle loose, intermittent lights and of course the table lamp shades kept on falling down, the phone wasn't connected to the handset as it was broken and the mattress protector was on upside down. Oh and the bottled water wasn't replenished daily and on occasion neither were the towels,A/C was useless and had to rely on the ceiling fan. The Lobby bar was being replenished while we were there and when it re opened, there was a leak all over the floor. Then we went for breakfast at the buffet bar, apart from the fact that at times they ran out of Eggs, Butter and Bacon.You know basic breakfast items. When the omelette was cooked it was raw inside. Then go for a lovely dip in the swimming pool, more like a paddling pool. It was so shallow in places that you could lie in it and not drown. The swim up bar was still being done, two weeks to do and still not finished. The Restaurants faired no better. We went to the best one, El Caribe, only to be served cold starters on a cold plate, the main course,also meant to be hot again served on a cold plate. No bread rolls as a starter. when offered Chicken and Shrimps in a curry sauce, you expect more than one shrimp and the sauce to taste of curry. We left almost immediately. The buffet restaurant was dangerous. I watched them cook chicken on the hot plate, then got some rice and added a curry vegetable sauce for flavour. The sauce was bland no taste and cold, vegetables that were undercooked and RAW chicken. I ended up with a cheese and tomato pizza with Ice Cream for afters. mmmmm. Bearing in mind this is an ultra all inclusive resort with the reputation of Sandals known the world over. I paid Â£4000.00 for this holiday and was woefully disappointed and short changed. Never again will I venture to Cuba, EVER."
- Travel date: Sat 22nd of November 2008
Having read alot of these reviews before...
"Having read alot of these reviews before we set off, we had expected a number of things from...
1) Bad rooms
2) Bad food
3) Birds in the food halls
4) Mossie's eating you alive all night
5) Staff that stood waiting for tips (as they do in the USA, and you CAN NOT get rid of them)
BUT, we booked it, and went on the holiday...
On the first night, we eat at the BUFFET (some call it the canteen and say you need to book????, errr, no booking required here... it's an ALL YOU CAN EAT BUFFET, yep, you can have 5 or 8 cources, and still go back for more..!) as we turned up LATE (it's a 3.5 hour trip from Havana airport, and after checking in (the free champers was a nice touch) and having our bags taken to the room, unpacking etc, it was late) the food was a bit chilled, but there was a HUGE choice, I had the DUCK, but there was everything, from shrimps, steaks, chicken, and even veggie dishes available...
There was a sparrow in there, but hey, they eat off the floor, and if you get a flypast, just leave the plate and get some more, when you return to a table your water/beer etc, was refreshed and the old plates where removed... Now that's 5 star service in a buffet, what was the Al'a'carte going to be like? when the doors where left open (BY THE GUESTS) the birds would enter...! so rule of thumb, close the door behind you, it might be a 5 star complex, but there no reson to be LAZY or RUDE...
Room service is an optinal extra, BUT, they don't keep track of who does/doesn't have it, so simply call 420 and ask for whatever you want, it's usually delivered quickly and the staff don't hang around waiting for a tip... But if you tip them ONCE, your stay will be made MUCH more welcomming (i.e. the staff will try and remember your name, and what you eat/drink - saving valuable SUN time lol)
July is the LOW season...! RESULT..! less than 400 people staying in a 800+ COMPLEX, I say complex because unlike MOST resorts in the area, this one has BLOCKS of 5,7,9 ,12 or 15 rooms..!
Hmmm, long walks then? NOT AT ALL, the design of the resort means that everyone has everything close by, theres 3 pools (one was closed, but that end of the resport was like a ghost town, they only opened it during our 2nd weeks when a few more people turned up (UK school holidays had started :))
The 'booking required' resturants (that's a laugh too, you can just turn up and ask to be seated during the low season) of which there was 4, offered a small but 5 course menu (BUT, if you still hungry, you can ask for more of each or any of them). The service in each was 5 star, you where left to eat when you needed to, but your drinks where topped up by the staff (who always smiled) and after each course they asked if everything was to your liking, so anone saying the food was rubish, just had themselves to blame, simply saying it was a bit cold you would be asked if you wanted another..!
One of my reservations was the 'shirt, trouser and shoes rule', it's 32 with high humidity, and you need to dress for dinner..! well, this was a relaxed rule, some people went in shorts and sandals. It was fun to watch some couples, the woman dressed in evening wear, and the men in shorts and sandals (I however have more respect to the lady, so dressed to suit)
The main bar (Lobby bar) opened at 8am and closed at 1am...
The piano bar opend at 5pm and closed at 1am.
The nighclub (which has a bar) opened at around 9pm and closed at 3am (i never was around when they opened, so can't say for sure)
On our last night, as we had gotten to know Roberto in the Piano bar, we closed it at 2am with him...
It's well worth CHATTING to them, even asking them about how they liked Cuba would aloow them to open up, doing this we got much better service... They are PEOPLE after all, and theres no need to be rude to them, how would you like it when your at work and a vistor came in and said something to you about your place of work, or during a meeting, they simply ignored you?
Remebering that your in a Spanish speaking country, the staff have learnt ALOT of English but might need a little help with some words. While we were there Maggie in the lobbie bar also spoke a little French and German, and the people she was learning from where the GUESTS...
So, why have I only given 8 outta 10?
Our air con.... It was an issue for the whole complex, but being on the top floor, we had to use cold showers to cool down, they did offer to move us, but, being British and liking the room we had, we stayed in it for 2 weeks without air con.. So the 2 points was basically our own fault, but, it did seem hit and miss with others we spoke too, so they need to get it sorted... But your in a country that's run by the Goverment, and if it was any other Goverment, it would be a living HELL...
Mossies, yer, one or two, have a total of about 12 bites, so less than 1 a night... The rooms have screens over the windows and patio door, so unless you sit out at night, your safe...
Food 9/10 (all inc, MEANS all you can eat)
Resort Activities 10/10 (all inc MEANS all inc, Even Skoba Diving...!)
Rooms 8/10 (air con)
I'm now saving to return next year :)"
- Travel date: Fri 1st of August 2008
This is by far our best holiday through...
"This is by far our best holiday through Club Class Concierge. The best hotel we have ever stayed in, even better than Vegas last year. Next year we are off to the Maldives"
- Travel date: Wed 30th of July 2008