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Barcelo Arenas Blancas

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Our Opinion

In a great central location, close to local shopping and nightlife. The Barcelo Solymar Arenas Blancas is a good choice for couples and singles looking for a lively vacation as there a few nightclubs within walking distance. A great beach and nice pool area. The rooms could use some updating. Arenas Blancas merged with the Solymar to become one resort complex with two sections. A good 4 star resort because of its location, pool and beach area.

This 4-star resort is situated in the best beach area of Varadero. The 358-room property features spacious and tastefully decorated accommodation with great amenities.

Location: On the beach, a short 5 minutes walk into town and 25 minutes from the airport.

tripadvisor Traveler Reviews
  • Emily C : San Francisco, California
Awful Food, Bad Service

Food was across-the-board terrible -- buffets and the a la carte Spanish restaurant we went to. Often the hot food was cold and just flavorless or too salty. Really there was no balance. The meats were tough. Even a simple sandwich from the cafe was disgusting somehow. The most I can say about any of the food (besides the ice cream) was that it was edible.As far as service goes, it was horrendous. Nothing was explained to us when we checked in -- where we could eat, how we could book our a la carte dinner, etc. When I asked for help any other time, it really depended on who was helping me. Some people at the front desk were completely unprofessional and unhelpful. Others were a little kinder but mostly offered about the same amount of assistance. The place was completely disorganized. I paid for late checkout and they insisted that I hadn't and we were locked out of our rooms. Eventually the woman arguing with me at the counter called her manager and realized she was wrong, but basically wasted half an hour of my time. More or less, 1/3 of the time I was there was dealing with the disorganization and incompetence of the staff.On top of all this, my friend hurt her knee badly the first night we got there and the staff were completely unhelpful. For one, they didn't have any bandages bigger than a small bandaid. Also, when we got locked out of our bungalow because of the situation with the late checkout, an employee refused to help her even though she was clearly injured and having trouble walking. Basically 90% of the people who work there hate their jobs and their lives and want you to know it. I'm not a high maintenance person and I don't expect rooms to be spotless or employees to be begging to serve you or even rooms to be cleaned every day, but when you need assistance -- and as Americans traveling in Cuba, you will need it -- the staff at Barcelo Solymar will only be a source of serious frustration. I would absolutely not recommend staying here. I will say that the beach was nice, but there are also lots of beautiful beaches in the world where you don't have to suffer through nearly non-existent service and terrible food.

  • CamperVBeetle : Fonthill, Canada
Clean property and hotel with a great location. Skip the buffet once in a while.

I stayed at Arenas Blancas from Feb. 1 to 8. The resort was quite good and I may stay here again, but it won't be my first choice when I return to Varadero. We were given a room on the first floor and it was spacious, had 3 beds, the AC worked great and our shower was hot and had lots of pressure. The only downside was that the first floor rooms do not have any sort of balcony or outside sitting area. That was a bummer, but because everything else in the room was excellent, we sucked it up and didn't ask for a different room. The fridge was stocked daily with water, pop and beer. No Cristal mind you. It’s Buccanarro only at Arenas Blancas. The maid was fine, although we never made much of a mess for her. You won’t get any new towels unless you ask for them. We had ours for a week.I found the hotel grounds, pool and even the beach area to be quite clean. The staff did an excellent job as far as I am concerned. The hotel décor is very plain and not fancy at all (in the lobby for example), but it too was kept very tidy by the staff. This is probably the first hotel that I have encountered in Varadero where there were more than enough loungers both poolside and at the beach. So that was a big plus. The food at the main buffet was average for Cuba. The food was pretty cold if you grabbed it from a heating tray, and the buffet needed more variety. I have stayed at smaller resorts that gave you a number of options for dinner, with staff members preparing it fresh for you. At Arenas Blancas the same food is served night after night and you’ll probably find yourself eating the same thing over and over. I understand, it’s a buffet and you are going to be sick of it by the end of the week, but I found the food to be merely OK and the selection and variety were lacking. The Italian a la carte on the other hand was excellent and I recommend the penne and Bolognese sauce. The Seafood restaurant on the other hand was a big letdown for my seafood loving father and we wouldn’t go back. I didn’t like the calamari dish, but the lobster soup was very good. You have to pay for your beer at this restaurant as well.The beach itself is of course gorgeous and finding a lounger was not a problem. There was a waiter taking drink orders on the beach as well, which was a first for me in Cuba. Compared to the Solymer side of the beach, the crowd was very quiet and tame on the Arenas Blancas side. There are no Bluetooth radios or twenty year olds yelling at ten in the morning. Much more quiet. It is the same with the pool area. The animation team occasionally gets a contest going but they leave everyone alone for the most part as this is the quiet side of the resort. The poolside bar was not finished so you had to walk to the lobby bar for your drinks.The staff is welcoming, friendly and professional. No complaints there at all. Overall I liked the location of Arenas Blancas and for me that is its greatest asset. The hotel and the grounds were clean and our room was spacious and in good condition. Even the bed was quite comfortable. I guess my main issue with the hotel was the quality and selection of the buffet food. I also prefer to stay at smaller resorts. The Arenas Blancas side is very quiet though and that was a concern for me before I went. I would go back if the price was right, but I would make sure to get a room on the second floor or above and I would plan to eat a few more dinners out on the town.

  • redj_et_nick : Montreal, Quebec
Almost paradise...

My husband and I stayed at the Barcelo Arenas Blancas for a week (10 to 17) and are absolutely charmed by the grounds. Situated near the city of Varadero, everything is close. Only regret: buffet terrible. Restaurants à la carte are good, and some even great. Would recommend.

  • Tamara S :
Large resort close to the main strip

My husband and I have been going here during Christmas and New Years with older (+20) and younger (Under 5) children for the past 5 years and we love it. It's close to the main road with many dining options and bar plus many souvenir shops. We stay in the bungalows because they are closer to the beach. The rooms could use a little tlc but who stays in their room when you have a beautiful beach with crystal clear water right there. Food is average for Cuba, I recommend the fresh pasta where you can choose you toppings and sauces. You should eat out a least twice as the restaurants are cheap with better food. Don't buy souvenirs at the resorts as they are over priced. They have a la cart restaurants on the resort but they are nothing special. The wifi is weak and only available in the lobby, when they have cards. The entertainment is great with exercises in the morning and vollyball, bingo by the pool in the afternoon to win a bottle of rum and shows nightly. If you stay at Arenas blancas you have access to everything at Solymar so check to see which one is cheaper as it doesn't really make a difference.

  • Dawn W : Fredericton, Canada
So disappointed

We stayed on the Solymar side from Oct 22-29. This was my fifth stay at the resort, but hadn't been here since 2007. The standards have certainly dropped. The hotel is frequented by 20 year olds who want to party. We were kept up all night with poolside loud music, sat on a sofa covered in vomit in the lobby in the middle of the day, and had to step over a pile of feces just outside the elevator on the third floor of the hotel. The public washrooms are not maintained and are extremely dirty.I'm sure the hotel manager will respond with "you should have come to me with your issues"...and we did, to no avail. We went to guest services three times regarding the following issues:- no hot water in our room the entire week, and we were not offered another room even when we requested to move.- faulty AC in room blew warm air- drunken guests blasting music from Bluetooth speakers until the wee hours of the morningThe lady we spoke to in guest services kept telling us the issues would be fixed, and that she made notes on our file, etc. We went back the next morning and another lady tells us there is nothing on our file.This hotel is a student flophouse. Not for families with young children. Save yourself the hassle and avoid this hotel.

Vacations packages include round-trip flights, accommodations, round-trip transfers (unless outlined below) to and from the hotel, and tourist cards (if required, unless outlined below).

If selecting an all-inclusive resort option, the package will also include the all-inclusive features as outlined by each resort.

Items not included:

  • Travel insurance (mandatory if traveling to Cuba)
  • Tourist cards ($10USD)if traveling to Dominican Republic with Sunwing Airlines
  • Departure taxes ($20USD) if traveling to Dominican Republic with Sunwing or Signarture Vacations
  • Hotel transfers for packages with WestJet to USA (with exception to Honolulu)
  • Hotel transfers for packages to Europe
  • Items of a personal nature

  • Buffet breakfast, lunch & dinner daily
  • 24 hour snacks
  • A la carte dining w/reservations
  • Unlimited House Wine, Domestic beer and International drinks
  • Lounge chairs
  • Beach towels (fee)
  • Kayaking
  • Windsurfing
  • Catamarans
  • Pedal boats
  • Sailing
  • Snorkeling
  • Daytime tennis
  • Volleyball
  • Use of gym in the daytime
  • Table tennis
  • Spanish lessons
  • Dance lessons
  • Daily activities
  • Nightly entertainment
  • 358 rooms on Varadero Beach
  • 4 buffet restaurant
  • 5 a la carte restaurants: Cuban, Italian & International (dress code & reservations may be required)
  • Cafeteria
  • 4 bars including a 24 hour lobby bar
  • 1 large free-form pool
  • Tennis courts (lights extra)
  • Gym
  • Sauna
  • Beauty salon
  • Massages (fee)
  • Boutiques
  • Car rental
  • Internet access (fee)

Hotel Rooms include:

  • 2 double or 2 twin beds
  • Air-conditioning
  • Satellite TV
  • In-room safe (most rooms)
  • Full bathroom
  • Hairdryer 220V (converter needed)
  • Balcony with garden, pool or oceanview
  • Max occupancy 3 persons

Kids Deal - First child 2-12 stays and eats free; pay a special rate including airfare and transfers when sharing with 2 adults. Max 1 child. Kids 2-12 staying in separate rooms pay special discounted Children's Room rates.

For the Kids - Kids' Club for ages 4-10.

Early Booking Bonus - This hotel may offer early booking bonuses at certain times of the year. If early booking bonuses apply to your vacation, prices shown online have already been adjusted accordingly. Please inquire for complete details.

Resort Location Map

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Barcelo Solymar Arenas Blancas Resort
Carretera Las Americas, Km. 3, Varadero 42200 Cuba

Some restaurants may be open for certain meals only and limited visits may apply. Reservations required and dress code in effect for a la carte restaurants. Time restrictions may apply for water sports.

Child pricing may only be available with select tour operators and valid for select dates and durations. Child pricing rules are subject to change without notice. Please contact one of our vacation specialists if you require assistance with child pricing.

Photo identification and/or credit card or cash deposit may be required at check-in for incidental charges.

Extra-person charges may apply and vary depending on hotel policy. Rollaway beds and cribs (infant beds) may be available and should be requested at the time of booking; fees may apply.

Special requests are subject to availability upon check-in. Special requests cannot be guaranteed and may incur additional charges upon check-in to fulfil.

Hotels do not condone unruly behavior, parties in rooms, excessive noise or any other actions that violate the hotels terms of use. Guests may be removed from the property at their own expense in the event of any disturbance or complaint from other guests or hotel staff. cannot be held responsible for any guests who may be removed from the hotel due to a violation of rules. makes every effort to ensure that the information on this page is accurate, however, all information on this page is subject to change without notice. is not responsible for any changes, errors or omissions that may occur.