- What's Included
- All Inclusive Features
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.
Will update this after we get there- but expectations in check. First time to Varadero, was in Cuba 20 years ago though- and we are experienced Caribbean travelers.We are bringing lots of snacks for ourselves and our Cuban hosts (as well as lots of other personal toiletries and other items)- and we've been taking salsa lessons for 6 weeks. We're gonna fry under that sun though, but we're gonna love it. Me = Isaac, Her/Fiance = Bobbie. Visiting May 29-June 5.
This hotel is a 5 minute walk to downtown Varerdero. We chose this hotel for that reason. We took advantage of the location with evening strolls thru Varedero, horse and buggy rides and browsing flea markets, restaurants and cafes. We stayed at the Arenas Blancas. It was overall clean, and nice, nothing fancy. Our room had 2 double beds. the bathroom was a bit dated, but kept clean. No bugs in the rooms and no mosquitos at all , bonus ! The food was typical of Cuba, always found something to eat, plenty of variety. I was not impressed with the drinks however. I like my pina coladas to be made with real juice, real pineapples and not a watered down slushy mix from a machine. The only place that made pina coladas in a proper blender was the bar inside the Solymar lobby. that was yummy ! As well I always crave Cuban coffee, here however the coffee comes from a machine ! a Vending style machine, press a button for cappuccino, or hot chocolate or black coffee, YUCK ! very Americanized ! I want a true cappuccino made with an espresso machine and steamed milk ! The service in the lobby area and patio was next to none, 90% of the time I had to clean off my own table, go stand in line for either a coffee or at the bar to get a drink, rarely did I see a waiter . understaffed?? The buffet as well, I had to find my own cutlery, knapkin, clean off my own table, always waiting on service for drinks. The lobby was a disappointment as well. I enjoy relaxing in an open air type of lobby on big comfy wicker sofas. This was very plain, hard wood benches, and small round tables and dining chairs. Not comfy not relaxing. The Solymar lobby was much nicer with its furniture and plant décor, but always very busy. The beach was lovely, white sand, plenty of shade, plenty of chairs, clean.The pool... busy ! constant music, games, and entertainment. if you want to sleep or peace and quiet, go to the beach. The highlight of the trip was our tour of Havana , definitely a must if you go to Varadero. We did a private car tour, way cheaper than the organized bus tour . Blexie tours highly recommend ! you can find great reviews on Blexie here on trip advisor, tours Varadero to Havana.
Stayed at the Barcelo Arenas side of the resort from May 14th - 22nd. Hotel is located close to lots of restaurants and pubs and shopping areas. Food was good and lots to eat. Entertainment was also good each night. Staff at the bars Karen & and Edwardo were great, at the restaurants the staff were polite and helpful a big thank you to they chef that made pancakes for my kids each day can't recall his name but they enjoyed it a lot , front desk receptionists needs to be more helpful and a little politeness will go a long way.Yunia was the maid that took care of our room and she was great. Room 4322.Beaches are amazing and pool was clean.Place was clean only there needs to be some no smoking areas as it seems like guests were smoking everywhere.Some tips if you plan to take a horse and carriage ride please ensure that you negotiate the price before. They driver said it was $10 for everyone for a ride to the town and back and we can pay him after both me and my husband confirmed with him the price and thought it was a good deal. Once we got back he then said it was $10 per person and seemed he pulled this trick on a couple guests.Great excursion is the Jeep Safari this was a day well spent. There is a bank just out side the resort that you can change your canadian money there the hotel was 65 pesos for 100 Canadian dollars and you got 67 at the bank.I asked a couple of the locals what things you can bring as gifts most said children clothing and any type of medication. However they are humble and will accept anything that you would like to give.Overall a great experience and I will return to Cuba in the future.
We were able to spend another awesome week at the Barcelo Solymar May 7th - 15th one of many times returning to this hotel. We return to the Barcelo because of the great staff and service we receive there. The managers Juan and Miguel are very personal and friendly. We want to thank Lala, Grey, Grety, Abel, Juan, Miguel, Onay, Hermes, Denis, Oscar and all the rest of the staff from the gardeners to the bartenders, buffet staff, entertainment staff, bell boys, lobby desk staff, and on and on. That is the reason we return to this hotel at least 3 - 4 times a year. The beach is also amazing the location is a number 10. We are already looking forward to our next trip. Thanks again BARCELO SOLYMAR!
I read the negative reviews before traveling there with a grain of salt -- you can't please everyone, and some people have different expectations. I consider myself to be pretty low maintenance, and it was my 5th time to Cuba, so I knew (I thought) what to expect. While I would return to Cuba, I would not return to this hotel/chain. My friend who traveled with me was a first timer to Cuba, and likely will not go back at all because of our experience. First off, the hotel did not give us what we booked/paid for. After a middle-of-the-night discount Sunwing flight that landed at 2am, we arrived at the "resort" at 4am and were given a 1st floor hotel room. We had specifically, on purpose, booked a "bungalow" -- closer to the beach, outside of the main hotel, etc. On arrival we were informed there were no bungalows available, due to "construction". They told us the hotel room was an "upgrade". My friend didn't want to argue about it at 4am, so we went to the room. The room was awful. The air conditioning didn't work, the toilet didn't flush, the balcony door was hard to slide open and the handle was dangling off. The door wouldn't lock, and from the balcony there was a sewage odor coming from the hotel grounds below. If this was an "upgrade" we were afraid to see the rest of the resort. After a short and uncomfortable night, I approached the front desk again and was told a bungalow had now become available, but was not yet clean, as people had just checked out. Clearly this was a mismanagement of rooms issue, not a construction issue -- they should have had the required room type available on the day we checked in. They offered to move us to the bungalow, but suggested we look at it first to see if it was acceptable before they cleaned it, reminding us our hotel room was an "upgrade". The bungalow, even unclean, was way better than the hotel room. It had air conditioning that worked and a flushing toilet, and the room, patio etc as a whole was brighter, cleaner and in better condition. Further, it was outside of the main hotel and away from the hustle and bustle. In the main hotel, people were still partying loudly in the lobby and hallways when we arrived at 4am, and first thing in the morning, the families and maids in the hallways were yelling and calling to each other...sleep was next to impossible in the main hotel. The bungalow was much quieter. After this room issue came to the attention of our Sunwing rep the next day, he negotiated a "late checkout" on our last day as "compensation" for the inconvenience. It was a $50 value. It meant we could keep our room (which we received 8 hours late) for an extra 8 hours on check out day - checking out at 8pm instead of 12pm. Our bus was scheduled for after midnight, so we still had to vacate the room and store our luggage at the lobby. We then hauled all of our suitcases to the bungalow at the edge of the property, by ourselves. Note: They do have golf carts, and staff, and we saw a tour group arrive mid-week who were given the benefit of those things and had their luggage taken to their rooms for them; however, they are not offered to the standard guest. We carried our own luggage to the initial room, and then the following day across the resort at 30 degrees and up the stairs. I am not a diva, but most resorts will over luggage delivery for a fee or a tip; this was not an option, so if you have any mobility issues, stay away. We finally got our actual room we booked at about 2pm the day after we arrived, got settled, and started to try to enjoy our holiday. Unfortunately, as other reviewers have said - this is seen by young people as a "party resort". It was like being stuck inside a weeklong frat party. Young people everywhere, drunk, loud, inconsiderate. I was lying by the pool once and got hit by a football. They're sitting on the bars, playing beer pong at the tables. My towel was stolen halfway through the week. I assumed it was a drunk frat kid who had lost theirs and simply grabbed mine -- I was 15 feet away from my chair in line at the bar for a drink -- but others we spoke to had their towels stolen as well. The hotel insists guests are "personally liable" for the towels and have to pay $25 if you don't have one at check out....that would add up to quite a lot of revenue for the hotel over time.....customer service was unwilling to help. Things and services changed all the time without notice or warning -- they started closing the snack bar without posting a notice halfway through the week and sent you to the next door resort. The dinner reservation man would be there one day, the next day you would reserve at the front desk, the next day you would wait in line at the front desk only to be told to go to guest services....Sometimes the restaurants were open on the posted hours, sometimes they were not and they would send you somewhere else for cold fries..... it was a gong show. After our move, our room was better and we had a really good cleaner who kept the room clean and the towels stocked (in the afternoon when they became available, as the hotel does not have enough towels to replace every day while cleaning - they have to wash them and replace because they do not have enough). The bar staff and cleaning staff and grounds staff and the wait staff were all great! Wonderful Cuban people I had experienced in the past. But front desk staff, management and guest services could care less -- they were pretty terrible. On our last day, my friend asked the manager if we could have a few extra hours -- 11 instead of 8pm -- as no one would be cleaning the room that night anyway -- and he told her yes -- but when she checked the front desk said no, and lied and said there was staff waiting to clean the room at 8pm. This was completely untrue (we went back and checked) and when my friend asked the same manager later, as he passed through the lobby saying goodbye to his favoured repeat customers who had been given a midnight checkout -- he got angry and said "they come all the time so it is their right", and was yelling as he walked away from us. Just rude and ignorant. The food? Well, as I said, it is not my first time to Cuba, so it was mostly as I expected - except the hotel made no effort to change the menu in any way each day. Other places have a different theme every day/night. This place was exactly the same, lunch and supper, every day, days on end. Pasta. Meat. Some sides. Exactly the same. It was ok, but it got to be a bit much after the same thing for 7 days. We went to the Spanish restaurant on our last night and it was the only redeeming thing about the whole hotel -- good service, good food. Cuba is beautiful -- the beaches, the weather, the people, the sights outside of the resort. I would definitely recommend Cuba -- but I recommend steering clear of this resort.
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
- Lounge chairs & towels (pool/beach)
- Daytime tennis
- Hobie cats
- Banana Boat Rides
- Boogie Boards
- 1 Introductory scuba diving lesson at pool/person/stay
- Use of bicycles (1 hour/day)
- Game room
- Exercise room
- 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
- 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
- Cable/Satellite TV
- In-room safe
- Balcony or terrace
- Full bathroom
- Hairdryer 220V (adapter required)
- 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
- Hotel Contacts
- Extra Info
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.
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