"Our expectations weren't met with the Blau Marina Varadero; we would go back to Varadero, but would try a different resort.
*** COMPLAINTS *** - BROKEN WASHROOMS: in each washroom across the resort, only 1 sink and 1 toilet would be working out of the 4 available. This was consistent across the hotel, and showed that only the bare minimum was ever repaired
- DARK GROUNDS: Although pretty during the day, the grounds were dreary and minimally lit up at night; none of the pools were lit, and very few lights were available. Because the grounds was so wide-spread, this meant you were walking in the dark at night to go to dinner
- MOSQUITOS: Damp, swampy grounds meant tonnes of mosquitos! We were eaten alive and swelled up after each evening, even though we drenched ourselves in bug spray!
- LIMITED FOOD: We knew what to expect for Cuba, however clearly the resort filled up half way through our stay and the resort got a shipment of food; for the first 5 days of our trip the food was VERY limited, clearly because the resort was not as full of people so they didn't put out more options (we would still like the options, though!)
- ENTERTAINMENT: Nightly entertainment was not good; although this may have been because due to our arrival date we missed the water show, and it rained the night of the beach party. Every other night was sub-par singing and dancing arrangements. Never did they engage the audience and have some fun.
- STAFF WAS SELECTIVE: Inconsistencies with staff and how nice they were across the resort. The maid staff was not up to expectations, even though we were consistent to leave $5-10 PER DAY for her. At one point we came back to the room to find the door wide open and no maid in sight – we were in the room for a good 5 minutes before she returned; clearly could have been raided by then. We also found the lobby bar tenders terrible except for the select few who would cooperate if you were consistent with a $1 tip per drink.
- “COURTESY” ROOM UPON CHECK OUT: Air Canada Vacations tells you to save your money and use the courtesy room to change and shower before you leave for the airport. This is because at this point you are already checked out of the room. We got the room for 30 minutes to shower and change, and we all felt dirtier upon exit than before we went in! It was the most disgusting arrangement I could have asked for – no soap, no towels, and the floor was soaked and muddy. Clearly they had let people come and go all day and never looked at it once. It would have been cleaner to go to the fitness room/spa to shower and change before leaving.
*** POSITIVES *** - DECENT ROOMS: The rooms were decently sized, and once we asked to change them in the morning of Day 2, we ended up getting everything we requested (higher floor, adjoining rooms)
- ROOM TO RELAX: Good selection of pools and beach to relax at. Both noisy and quiet options available because the stretch of land was so large; could enjoy music and entertainment, or pick a more relaxing option.
- FOOD TASTE: The food wasn't terrible, and it's not as bad as others sometimes make it out. It is more bland than usual, but the hotel does carry salt, pepper, and ketchup. We got the usual upset stomachs, but who doesn't when eating different foods than usual and drinking alcohol consistently throughout the trip? Overall the food is Cuba-average in my opinion.
*** OVERALL *** Overall, we had a great time, but it was our attitude and the other guests that made this a great vacation. There were some key problems with the resort which influenced our overall taste of the hotel (as it clearly was just not well maintained, although fairly clean in common areas). I’ve stayed at the Brisas Hicacos (previously Sandals) before, and the Blau Marina is not even close to comparable (obviously). We would not try this resort again, but then again, we got what we paid for. We ended up with a great price on this apparently 4.5 star resort--- and perhaps for Cuba it was what to expect. " [...]Reviewer:
Feb. 24, 2014Rating:
"They start loosing on details like clean beds when we got the room, no soap in dispenser, drawers Brocken, blackouts -power on and off pretty often, warm water in the shower hit and miss, very unpleasant smell from residual water canals.., the personal is pleasant and really friendly, somebody coaches them in the right way. A good inspection on the aspects mentioned above would really help them, because being superficial in their duties doesn't do good for business. At the phone they reap you off with no shame. Even if you record the time of your conversation they come up with excuses and numbers that make you angry. They got wifi internet at Melia but is hard to get in possession of the cards, and they think they do you a favor and is only for high class tourists. Here they need some coaching too, we are tourists, customers and pay for services and is not a privilege or gift what they offer." [...]Reviewer:
Jan. 13, 2014Rating:
"Everything was beyond our expectations we had after reading reviews about Cuba. The hotel was clean and had all the needed features. Some problems with toilet but fixable. Food was awesome. Beach and water beautiful, people very friendly and they like to be tipped. Nothing to complain about. Maybe one thing I would like to mention. A la carte restaurants are under the offer you can get at the buffet restaurant. That was disappointing. Anyway you don't have to go this restaurants. Guides are friendly and very useful, travel rep. Can make more efforts to be up to date with what is really happening around. " [...]Reviewer:
Apr. 11, 2013Rating:
"Me and my family had a good time there and we would love to go back to Cuba." [...]Reviewer:
Mar. 07, 2013Rating:
"I had an enjoyable stay at the Blau Marina. The food was excellent, especially the pizza and pasta stations in the main buffet, much better than I was expecting from reviews I had read. The staff were all friendly and helpful. The resort is quite spread out so it does make for a lot of walking, but nothing unreasonable. Overall it was a really pleasant trip." [...]Reviewer:
Feb. 12, 2013More Reviews