Barcelo Solymar

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Our Opinion
In a great central location, close to local shopping and nightlife. The Barcelo Solymar 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. Merged with the Arenas Blancas Resort to become one resort complex with two sections. A good 4 star resort because of its location, pool and beach area.

Overview

Couples and families alike will experience an unforgettable holiday at the Barcelo Solymar. A wide variety of daytime activities await you at the beach or around the pool. Then relax and enjoy the nightly entertainment. As the first Barcelo hotel in Cuba, this property offers both hotel room and bungalow accomodations, and is within easy walking distance to the cafes and shops of the town of Varadero.

Location: Beachfront between the Arenas Blanca and Hotel International, 25 minutes from Juan Gualberto Gomez International Airport, 5 minutes to Varadero and 2 hours from Havana.


tripadvisor Traveler Reviews
  • ElPasoMaker : el paso
Bad bad malo malo

As per other reviews which were extremely correct the air conditioning does not work in the main building rooms simply does not work ;management doesn't seem to care as this seems to be an ongoing issue. It got so bad in the rooms that we actually cut our trip short.I understand Cuba has its limitations but most of my gripes are with lack of proper management that has nothing to do with the limitations of that country.Food handling was simply atrocious, no wonder so many complaints about people getting sick with the food.Also The amount of flies on the food on the plates on the tables everywhere is simply unacceptable. The staff was overworked and stressed out which comes across in their behavior with the guests.The cleaning staff you could tell have not been properly trained as they would forget things from one day to the next visit ; be it that they forget to refill the soap in the shower or to replace the proper towels or to even clean out the trash sometimes.The mattresses are from the Soviet union era,extremely soft and with the bedsprings going right into your back.The beach was amazing however do not stay around the bar area as the personnel there use the bushes to urinate and the smell is quite strong especially when the sun kicks up; again how can management miss this type of thing.The hotel was overcrowded with long lines due to the lack of proper training of the personnel which slowed things down from checking in to drink lines to extremely long lines to enter the buffet .Left and right I would see other guests complaining as well; for not getting the assigned rooms correctly;from filth and lack of proper cleaning in certain areas;running out of things at the bar. Imagine going to Cuba and not being able to have a mohito at your hotel; simply flabbergasting.I must mention however that the entertainment and quality of the musicians in the evenings was very good.Shame on you Barcelo to let the limitations of Cuba affect international standards of hotel management; A lot of simple things you could do to make experience visiting hotel more acceptable.

  • kukicg : toronto, ontario
My first bad review ever - Horrible hotel!

I have been to Cuba 12 times now.....with this last trip to Varadero being my 10th visit there. I love Cuba and everything about it. I have never written a bad review on Tripadvisor as I am an easygoing traveller.....but this last trip to your hotel was the worst I have ever been on.A few things you should know - our room was leaking and it took 2 days to get us in to a new one. So we spent the first two days of our trip unpacking and packing and moving things around in our room so they wouldn't get it wet, and the entire time WE had to keep approaching your front desk to see what was going on every few hours as no one was following up. A lot of unnecessary running around. No one made any effort to assist us. Now, I am a manager in a luxury hotel in Toronto and a Front Office Manager...so I know there is always something that can be done in situations like this one where the maid was putting garbage cans around our room to catch the leaks. When we finally got shown a new room, it was the exact same room as the one we had been in....and I had asked for a possible pool view because I thought that was the least the hotel can do for not moving us immediately and losing out on two days of our trip already. Well I was told that those rooms are PAID for and would have to pay....AFTER all this crap has happened. So I got upset, and only when I mentioned that I am a top reviewer on Tripadvisor and work as a manager in a hotel, well then suddenly a pool view room appeared! The front desk manager (I can't remember her name) ended up being really nice about everything so I would like to mention that.Next, when asked to upgrade to a bungalow, we were told that they were all "full" and it was impossible. Funny that when we met two couples that same evening, who had just checked in that day and asked to be upgraded....they told your hotel they were planning a wedding for the fall and were coming to check out your resort (a lie)...and guess what....they were shown 4 DIFFERENT bungalow room options WITHOUT an upgrade fee. Funny. And yes, they got upgraded to a bunglaow FREE OF CHARGE.Next, on 7 separate occasions (yes I counted cause I was pissed at this point) whenever I approached your front desk....they were NOT busy, had NO ONE in line, but were talking to eachother and COMPLETELY IGNORED my friend and me. 7 TIMES! This also happened at the lobby bar EVERY SINGLE DAY. The evening staff at the lobby bar were wonderful...it was the daytime staff who cared about no guests, just hugging and kissing eachother as if they hadn't seen eachother in years, instead of acknowledging the guests waiting in line.Next, our hairdryer in the new room didn't work. We called down and no one came. Called again, nothing. Called again, no answer. This continued for the next two nights, and then eventually we just gave up.As you can see, I DO NOT complain AT ALL on vacations...in fact, I am the opposite...I make the best out of every single situation. But at your hotel, this was absolutely impossible. Most of your staff are rude and unhelpful, the hotel is falling completely apart, and the customer service is HORRENDOUS. Even if the hotel was falling apart and is in bad shape....if your staff were pleasant and caring like every other Varadero hotel I've been to, they can completely turn around a guests experience around, but they just don't care. Overall, I think your staff need some more training on customer service. It would help you guys in the long run.Also, when the manager is reached out to about this situation, I would expect some sort of response, but nothing has come of it, so there you have it.

  • ninamscanada :
Trust the reviews! The worst hotel and food!

Please read this as it may save you from making a good vacation decision and not fall for advertizing arenas blancas to be a 4 star hotel.I have been in Cuba 10 times already so I am not picky about food or accommodation but I firmly believe that hotel needs to follow certain standards to be a 4 star hotel. This hotel does not deserve a 4 star and is likely to be a 2 star. Once we arrived at the hotel we were given a very small room with 1 bed even though we indicated clearly that there is 4 of us, 2 adults and 2 kids.After complaining and only after being persistant we were given the right room and beds. Not good for a 4 star hotel and makes me wonder who got our room as we later found out from another family that they were facing the same issue on their first night...so someone is making good deal for other visitors by switching rooms. All 4 of us got sick from tap water after 2 days as in restaurant and bar we were served with tap water even though we were told that this is not happening.In the main buffet restaurant located in the lobby air conditioning was not working and there is vertually no ventilation...flies were landing on our food and the heat was unbearable...looks as someone in saving electricity at customer's cost....we did pay for 4 star hotel. We even saw cockroaches in mexican restaurant all over our table....so in these conditions no wonder that the food was spoiled and in some instances even smelled poorly. The lineups for grill were so long that they were running out of food to cook..and plates..not to mention utensils....I wonder how expensive is to order some for the 4 star value. This hotel has bad management of food quantity and quality needed for it's capacity and 4 star reputation. They were running out of some common food found in other cuban hotels that would work for picky eaters such as pizza and butter...even orange juice!!! Toast machine was not working and there is only one in the entire restaurant so again long lineups for some easy pleaser food ...heated breadFresh fish was not available and most food was canned....reminded me of camping trips....definitelly not the 4 star hotel!!!!!Our room was also not cleaned one day and we were not given clean towels. All 7 days ants were crawling over furniture everywhere and the furniture was even scarce so we had to leave clothes in our luggage.....some simple shelving in closets would do the trick .... this is also something that should not be problem for a 4 star hotel. Beds were having issues with deteriorated springs or whatever was supporting them...again easy fix by better maintenance. In conclusion, I would not recommend this resort to anyone as it clearly lacks good management and is not 4 star even for cuban standards.

  • jacleg : Montreal, Canada
watch where you step

upon arrival late in the evening , the bus driver opened the luggge compartment on the side of the bus where immediately people rushed to get their luggage first , I decided to stand back and wait for the rush to calm down , I took a couple of steps back not having noticed the decorative pool and took one step back too many and found myself falling backwards in said pool as there are no barriers to stop you , I fell on a large boulder ( see picture ) and in the water injuring my arm in three places , some good souls helped me out of the pool out of which I came out soaking wet and with my arm bleeding from 3 injuries . I walked in the hotel thay way with my white t shirt stained with blood holding paper towels on my injuries to try and quench the flow of blood , and not one employee of the hotel bothered to ask me what had happened or offered any help!!! I include another photo of a decorative pool that I think speaks for itself ,I can only imagine the injuries someone would suffer if they were to inadvertently fall in this pool

  • the-traller-guy : Toronto, Canada
Worst ever experience in this Hotel

I have been Cuba 7 times but this was the worst ever that I have experienced.The most ridiculous dirty and old hotel.Unable to use the pool at all, even Tequila ( Omega ) was not real and they are just using the bottle for show.I got food poison on my arrival by fish, have to spend first too days in damn dirty room and then on walking clinic to get IV and injection.Dirt is all over, look at the pool pictures. Do not take Jeep Safari trip is just wast of your day and money, 4 hours of only driving on bad road I mean really bad, it is only touch of snorkeling 45 min ( not many fish ),then the Cave was nice, then eating in middle of no where plain and little food with one drink and woooooo woooo woooo the horse back ridding 2 to 3 min you think I am joking but its reality therefore, Do NOT waste your hard working money ($105) for whole day. By the way there is no bar beside the pool.In July they did not have Tomato and Letus do you think that is too much to ask?This is all happening because Cuban government is getting %51 of hotel's share.But I suggest you NOT go there at all they will give you the same exact food from Morning to night,

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 and dinner daily
  • 24 hr snacks
  • 2 snack bars
  •  2 a la carte dinners per week w/reservations
  • All drinks (Local and selected International drinks, 24 hours)
  • Mini-bar includes: water, soft drinks and beer only
  • Whirlpool
  • Lounge chairs & towels (pool/beach)
  • Daytime tennis
  • Sailing
  • Hobie cats
  • Catamarans
  • Windsurfing
  • Kayaking
  • Snorkeling
  • Banana Boat Rides
  • Boogie Boards
  • Boccie
  • 1 Introductory scuba diving lesson at pool/person/stay
  • Use of bicycles (1 hour/day)
  • Volleyball
  • Archery
  • Game room
  • Billiards
  • Exercise room
  • Aerobics
  • Dance lessons
  • Disco, drinks included
  • Daily activities
  • Evening entertainment
  • 525 rooms in one 4-storey building and 2-storey bungalows
  • 2 buffet restaurants
  • 3 a la carte restaurants: Italian, Cuban and Seafood, dress code & reservations required
  • 6 bars including Beach bar
  • 2 free-form pools
  • Golf nearby
  • Meeting facilities
  • 2 tennis courts (2 lit)
  • Shopping on-site
  • Sauna
  • 2 Jacuzzis
  • Fitness facilities (fee)
  • Scuba diving on-site (fee)
  • Laundry service (fee)
  • A range of watersports available
  • Kiddie's park

Hotel Rooms include:

  • 1 king or two 3/4 beds
  • Air-conditioning
  • Cable/Satellite TV
  • In-room safe
  • Balcony or terrace
  • Full bathroom
  • Hairdryer 220V (adapter required)
  • Mini-bar
  • Coffee/tea maker
  • Max occupancy 3 persons



Junior Suite Bungalows


  • 1 king or 2 twin beds
  • Pay safe
  • Balcony with pool, garden or ocean view
  • Max occupancy 4 adults, 2 adults & 2 children or 3 adults & 1 child

Kids Deals - 1st child 2-12 stays and eats free when sharing a room with 2 adults.

For the Kids - Kids from 2-12 enjoy supervised activities at the Kids' club, playground, and kids section of main pool. Babysitting service also available, (with a fee, and based on availability.)

Honeymooners - Receive a room upgrade, (if available at check-in) fruit basket, bottle of rum, Gala dinner in a la carte restaurant, breakfast in bed day after arrival. Request when you book. Requires proof of marriage.

Golf Packages - Available, please inquire for details.

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


  • Barcelo Solymar
    Varadero,Cuba

  • Hotel Contacts
  • Extra Info
  • Disclaimer
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. Escapes.ca cannot be held responsible for any guests who may be removed from the hotel due to a violation of rules.

Escapes.ca 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. Escapes.ca is not responsible for any changes, errors or omissions that may occur.