10 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
"Arriving in Varadero at 2 am at the Cuatro Palmas was a tiring experience: two front desk clerks on and a large number of guests arriving on the Halifax flight. It took a couple of hours standing in line to get checked in. The room was certainly adequate, with no problems whatsoever. The food in the buffet restaurant was good, if not fantastic. The one night we went to the a la carte restaurant was a disappointment though. There the food was ok, but certainly not plentiful and the waitstaff were slow to the point of we felt ignored. We left there and went back to the buffet to "top up". The beach was very nice with loads of beach chairs available, as was the pool. However, the best part of the whole thing was the Cuatro Palmas' location. Out the front door you are on 1st Avenue up near the flea markets, shops, bars and restaurants. Every bus, horse and buggy and taxi went right past the front door. Transportation was exceedingly convenient. One could not ask for any better in Varadero. Took the all day bus tour into Havana to see it -- we've seen it -- no need to repeat it. Of all the resorts, this one seemed to be the most convenient for seeing the sights of Varadero. I'd strongly recommend it to anyone who did not want a lot of walking from room to pool to restaurant to bars to beach."
- Travel date: Wed 2nd of February 2005
Wish we had booked two weeks
"This was my second trip to Varadero and my travelling companions fourth. and we were very impressed with the Cuatro Palmas. We arrived around midnight and were one of the first to check in. There was a group of 22 arriving at the same time so one of us waited for the bags while the other went to the desk. We were talking later with others who arrived when we did who ended up behind the 22 and waited an hour. My suggestion, keep yours ears open as to who is travelling with you and plan accordingly. (put your bags on the bus last, so they are off first).
Our room was in the colonial building, was dated but clean and our maid was very friendly.
The buffet was as follows:
Breakfast- lots of fresh fruit, fresh orange juice, wonderful breads, omelets or fried eggs made to order and more.
Lunch- only had lunch one day and got there very late so not much left.
Pool bar has hotdogs, hamburger and grilled sandwiches available
Dinner- Wonderful, lots of salad fixings, fresh breads, desserts that were out of this world and a different carved item each night( Turkey, beef, pork, grilled fish along with some other hot buffet dishes. Table staff was always friendly and we always had a great table. House band entertained at both lunch & dinner.
Beach was nice & close and the minimal walk to the pool bar was no big deal as the washrooms were near the bar. (You can't do one without the other)
All desk staff we dealt with spoke and understood some english and were very helpful.
When our week was over we both wished we had booked the second week. May go back down the end of March.
In closing, Cuatro Palmas is an excellent bang for your buck."
- Travel date: Thu 20th of January 2005
Enjoyed it here.
"All in all we enjoyed staying in this hotel.
We stayed in the main block on the first floor. The room was modern and always clean.
Most of the staff were very friendly with the exception of one or two who had a bad attitude.
The buffet breakfast was really good - but it's advisable not too arrive too late (after about 9.15) as it can be difficult to get everything you want. However there was a huge variety so something for everyone.
The property is right on the beach which was handy.
Also the pool was cleaned every night whilst we were there (for 2 weeks).
We were only on a B&B deal and didn't eat there in the evenings so I can't comment on the other meals. The House of Cheese (I think Casa de Queso Cubana or something similar) across the road is recommended.
All in all a very relaxing holiday in a good and modern hotel."
- Travel date: Tue 4th of January 2005
Not bad.... Tipping is key
"I stayed at the Coralia Palmas for a week, pretty much what I expected for a 3 star hotel. Descent service, food at the buffet wasn't anything special. My stay was from Dec.12-19, 04. What got me through the week was my genorosity in tipping. I tipped almost everyone who provided a service, a little here and there got me the extras at the hotel...walked around like a king. Became friendly with the bartenders, security, maids, drank like animals, they loved us... Bartenders gave me a bottle of rum one night, bottle of wine another...handed me cigars and lit them for me as well... Thanx for the gifts... Shout out to my maid... Peace...
- Travel date: Fri 24th of December 2004
Badly run hotel
"This Hotel has the worst staff i have ever encountered in hotels.
The only exceptions were the staff in the pool bar who were extremely friendly.
They kept running out of soft drinks and at one point actually ran out of rum!!.
The food is terrible, no variation in meals and badly cooked.
The complex is fine but spoiled by the above"
- Travel date: Thu 7th of October 2004
Coralia Cuatro Palmas
"We stayed in this most charming of hotels in early April 2004. Situated right in the beautiful little town of Varadero, where we could stroll around the park, street markets etc. The ambiance of this hotel is incredible, staff great, beach second to none. My first impression was of a beautiful hacienda, with lush vegetation. We were delighted with our room located in the Colonial building. Hope we get the same location next year. This was our first holiday in Cuba and Cuatro Palmas exceeded our expections, enjoyed the varied buffet, not to mention the vast quantities available and have to add that the standard of cleanliness was far better than a lot of places in Canada and Europe. Can't wait for next year."
- Travel date: Tue 18th of May 2004
Two thumbs up ..........
"My wife and I just returned from a one week vacation from this resort.
All I can say is, for a 3 1/2 star, this resort is worth it. The staff is very helpfull, the hotel is very nice and clean and it is very nicely located in Varedero. For those who like to walk and browse, this is the place to go. Our Maid was the best we've had yet. The only thing we did not like was the flag system on the beach, but it's a regulation they have in Cuba. W e were unlucky because our week had three very windy days. The food is OK but can not be compared to the resort we went last year to the Dominican last year, but we had gone to a 4 1/2 star. Overall we enjoyed our vacation and we would return to this resort anytime. One thing to point out, this is a 3 1/2 and don't try to compare this to a higher rated resort.
Yvon & Claire"
- Travel date: Sat 10th of April 2004
Disappointment, Big Time
"Arrived around 12 midnight, service OK, and porter helpful.
Hotel,rooms, pool clean. Maid service excellent. Beach beautiful. Nice to be in village for walking at nite. BUT - other than breakfast, the food was not good - tasteless, cold and not cooked well. I became a vegetarian for the week. The bars - big time attitude problems. Even when you did tip, not even a smile and they were always running out of beer. Only two bars included for all-inclusive. The beach bar was a paying one, and always empty. You had to walk up to the pool bar for service. Thank God I am not a heavy imbiber. This bar was always running out of beer. Plus, the bars were the only place to get coffee or tea noon and evening. Water hard to get - most times they gave you soda water! One thing more, the bedrooms clean, but bed spreads should be washed at the end of each week, not sure they are. Came home filled with bites and with all the mangy cats running about, not sure if they are mosquitoe or flea bites. Been in Cuba in the past. No bites then."
- Travel date: Thu 18th of March 2004
not the best hotel by far--
"we arrived at this hotel at 12 midnight and waited a long time to check in as staff were in no hurry and not very friendly. we did expect to be treated as guests but the staff felt different.we had requested a first floor room and a king size bed -- guess what we got neither and just too bad we were told since we were all inclusive we had to take what there was, we were willing to change when our requests were available but staff didn't think that would happen. we went go travel so contacted our rep next day and he did say he would do what he could .
That drug out the whole week and still no satisfaction. the food was fairly good for the first 3 days and after that none of the meat, poulytry, lamb or pork were cooked enough--just warmed and nearly raw.
this was too bad as the quality was good but poorly prepared. the snack bar was terriable and the drinks were even worse. coffe was scarce except at breakfast as that was only time it was served in dinning room, other wise you had to get it the bars and if they had coffee-they had no milk and they sure were not going out of their way for guests.
You pretty well had to tip for everything or don't ask a second time.
this was my first trip there and my last sometimes it expensive but I sure learned a lot and not much was good. Just don't go to this hotel .How they got their stars I would like to know as I have stayed at 2 star resorts that were much better."
- Travel date: Mon 15th of March 2004
Vacation February 15, 2004
"My husband, myself, my sister and niece just got back from Cuatro Palmas. We arrived at about 12:15 a.m. and check in was done without any problem and very quickly. We had some problems finding our room and there was no one to take our luggage. When we finally found someone to direct us, we ended up in the far end of the resort in the 5000 block.
It was not a bad room and was always kept clean by the really nice maid we had. We always had clean towels and she always left the towels on the bed in some sort of design. The was a deck with a table and two chairs and although it was quite small it was very nice to have in the late afternoon to sit and relax. The weather for the first four days was not very good but no one can control that. We just toured Varadero and did some shopping until the sun finally came out. There are alot of vendors along the street and the prices are reasonable. I found most of the staff to be friendly but there were a few who could use an attitude adjustment. They just didn't want to be bothered trying to figure out what you needed or wanted and either just shrugged their shoulders or walked away from you. This was usually the case at the front desk. I found one waitress in the restaurant to be extremely rude but the rest were very nice and helped as much as they could. From all the reports I had read before going it sounded like we would have to pay for our beach chairs but we didn't. I don't know if this was because we only had two days on the beach or not. We only had two full days of sun. The food at the restaurant wasn't that bad but there wasn't much variety as is usually the case wherever you go. We tried the a la carte restaurant and I wasn't that impressed with it. If I were to go back to this hotel, I wouldn't bother booking it. There is a nice restaurant just down the street from the hotel which we tried and really enjoyed. They have Canadian beef and it is a small stylish place. The prices are not bad at all. We both had our dinner and drinks for only $22.00. The restaurant was located right next door to our hotel. When you leave the hotel you turn left and it is on the same side of the street on the next block. It is well worth going to. Zoom Airlines was excellent to travel on. The service was very good and the food was actually pretty good. The Go Travel Direct travel guide was very nice and was always available when he said he would be. Thank you to Ivan. All in all, we had an enjoyable vacation and although I wouldn't go back to this hotel, for the price it was worth it."
- Travel date: Mon 23rd of February 2004