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Upon arriving we had to walk at least quarter mile to our room, the room was averaged, had a phone, but it wasn't plugged in, no plug for the wall just bare wires, we sat on balcony, closed and locked door when going for dinner, got back to room and couldn't open door. Dinner was awful , food installed, everything was cold, complained, but no one spoke English. Following day just as bad, cold food, long walks to the office to complain about food, locked balcony, etc. But still no one spoke English. Called Transat holidays, no response, once they even hung up on me. NOT IMPRESSED! Had to change hotels, paid extra 750 Cuban. Dollars for 5 days. Our trip started at 1100 dollars can, and ended up to be 2300 dollars can. Cuba is now off our list.
Beds hard. Food, Cuban. Staff great. Ocean right there! Never been that close before - nice change, sound wise. Glad I went, probably won't go again. There is this wonderful lady named Tania who does the burgers. She's a sweetheart and made the whole stay a lot nicer.
My fiance and I booked this place because I want a hotel with the real, old cuba feel, however, there are definitely a lot of improvements to be made. We paid extra and booked the premier room from the website. Upon arrival and checking-in, the hotel staff assumed that we booked the standard room. When we told her that we booked the premier room, she said that only stand rooms were available for the night and that we will have to be switched when if a premier room becomes available in the next couple of days. I normally would've been more understanding if that was really the case, but I heard the couple in line before us asking for a room upgrade and they got it. (There are only two types of rooms, standard or premier) Were we really that unlucky? I don't know... After checking in, we walked around in the pitch dark for half an hour before find our room, which was located in a building on the farthest end of the hotel ground. I couldn't believe they did not have any lights for such a huge place as all the buildings were very spread out. Asking the hotel staff there was also pretty useless. I was naive to think that a hotel star hotel in Cuba would be like a Ramada or Holiday Inn in Canada. It was more like a 1.5 or 2 star Canadian standard. The band they had playing in the buffet performed very well and was one thing we enjoyed. The food was mediocre and buffet standard, but can't expect too much from food when you're in Cuba. The best part of our stay was other travellers we made friends with. Many of them were very friendly and down to earth. The hotel and service were average. 3/5 stars.
club karey is a gem for the "glass half full" budget traveller. be aware that star ratings in the cuba do not equal star ratings in north america. it's unrealistic to have 1st world expectations in a country that struggles daily for basic resources. with common sense, cuba is a very safe country to explore, with an extremely rich & varied culture, a well educated population, beautiful historic cities, gorgeous beaches and a varied geography. i tend to focus on these things and not so much hotel amenities. keep in mind that mentality is reflected in my review. my adult daughter & i stayed at club karey for 1 week (march 19-26). having stayed in cuban 2 star properties before, we've come to know what to expect. over-all we really enjoyed our stay and considered the all-inclusive price tag of $583 per person an excellent deal. here's my rather detailed breakdown:hotel overview: club karey is located at the beginning of the varadero strip with the canal across the street from the hotel and the beach running directly in back of it. all rooms are housed in once private, "seen better days" villas that stretch in a line along the beach for quite a distance in both directions from the small centrally located hub of amenities which include: the small lobby/24 hour bar, pool/snack/beach bar, buffet & a' la carte restaurant, a tiny convenience store, gym & massage building, kite surfing office & tennis court. the hotel is on a very quiet section of beach and is low key in general, with hotel entertainment wrapping up at around 10:30pm. the hotel's small lobby bar is open 24 hours and depending on who's hanging out there, the entertainment can go much later! there is always night life a short cab ride down the street in central varadero.amenities ("close by") :WALKING toward central varadero along the canal (that's left, facing the canal): in 5 minutes you reach casa d'al restaurant. in 10 more minutes, a small public money exchange kiosk & few more shops. (ps. there is no money exchange at club karey's reception desk, so if you plan to plant yourself at the hotel, exchange your money at the airport on arrival).5 minutes further you'll arrive at hotel villa tortuga and club kiki & sangria restaurants. it's across the street from these two restaurants that you can catch the hop-on-off bus which is 5 pesos for all day use. the route covers the entire varadero peninsula...or... walk about 10 more minutes and you'll be at the beginning of central varadero with lots and lots of shops and restaurants, tourist info and a central bank. there are also lots of cab, horse buggies and coco taxis you can catch out in front of the hotel if you don't like walking.check in: we arrived at around 10pm. check in was fast & friendly. we were taken to our room by golf cart. a few sandwiches are set aside for late arrivals at the 24 hour lobby bar as food service at the hotel ends at 10pm. so if you're a late night snack-er bring your own stash.room: we were lucky enough to score the coveted room #1307 at check-in. it's close to all the hotel amenities. a 2nd floor room with two decks! one directly overlooking the beach (5 star view!) and big enough to accommodate 4 patio chairs, a coffee table and a settee. the 2nd deck at the back of the room looked toward the canal (view blocked by a tree) had 2 patio chairs, one of which was home to a mother cat & her 4 kittens. we thought it was a bonus to have vacation pets. others may not. AC & mini fridge worked. large bathroom stocked daily with fresh towels & toilet paper. room & bath well cleaned daily. the mattresses looked new and were bug free. some things people might consider negatives but didn't bother us were: the newish flat screen TV had no signal, some rust & patching on the bathtub, a jerry-rigged flushing mechanism on the toilet (but it worked) and the handle to the beach balcony was broken. we were without water for about an hour one morning due to ongoing renos at the hotel. other than that we always had plenty of hot water...you need to run it for a bit. we didn't bother renting the in room safe. zero issues with theft. one thing to watch for in 1307 is the railing on the front beach deck is very wobbly...i wouldn't put my full weight against it.beach & pool: varadero = 21 kms of white sand & brilliant turquoise water. the beach in front of club karey is narrower than in other places along the strip. just as gorgeous though and all the easier to pull up your chaise ocean-side. the beach drops off quite quickly in front of the central lobby/pool area, but as you walk left (facing the ocean) the sand becomes finer and the ocean entrance far shallower. the beach is machine raked daily. some people had issues with sand flea bites. i wasn't bothered. i attribute to using coconut oil as a moisturiser. it apparently it acts as a natural insect repellent and it smells great. i think i saw 3 mosquitoes during the entire week. the ocean is calm in the morning, with a bit of chop & swell arising as the winds pick up in the afternoon. there's a paddle boat available to guests for free and a small catamaran sail boat that you can go out on (guided) for 15-20 pesos per person. there are only 3 palapas located on a rise above the beach, between building 13 and the a la carte restaurant...so not a lot of shade on the beach at this hotel. you can find some shade beach-side in the shadow of the pool snack bar/beach bar building. there are also thatched palapa's poolside. the pool is small but clean, with nice views of both canal and beach. surrounded by swaying palms, the pool area is the centre for the hotel activity program. restaurants/food:most importantly...none of the food made us sick. the steam-beds for keeping food hot at the buffet didn't seem to be functional though. we tend to eat late, so by the time we got there most of the food was stone cold with the exception of what was being served at the carving station or being prepared at the breakfast grill in the morning. there was enough selection to fill a plate easily. i actually found the food to be well seasoned and thought it would have really good if it had been hot. you're not going to find a typical north american menu here. there was a lot of meat, rice and potatoes in various forms. fresh fruit and veggies were sparse. ice cream and a couple of dessert options. lots of bread. made while you wait omelets at breakfast and sometimes pancakes on the griddle. always sausage, bread and cold cuts...sometimes bacon. the buffet restaurant sits smack dab on the beach with floor to ceiling windows looking at the ocean. it could be a really pleasant place to eat, but the blurry film of salt spray from the wind off the ocean was never cleaned off the windows while we were there. unfortunately it kind of gave the place a dingy feel. we've learned from past trips to bring along a couple of take-out containers and some plastic cutlery. that way you load up at the buffet and eat on your own patio if you have a nice one, picnic on the beach or dine poolside. i go south to get outside so this works well for me. the pool snack bar (noon until 5) had great grilled ham & cheese sandwiches & pizza (that were hot!:) it;s open air...we had lunch there almost every day. we didn't end up making a reservation for the a la carte restaurant so can't rate it. best bet for coffee... the cappuccinos at the lobby bar. we both don't drink much...pretty basic drinks at the bars, good service and they didn't skimp on the rum. you get a thermal water jug in your room that you can fill at the bars or restaurant.staff:i found every one of the staff from reception to house cleaning, friendly & obliging, whether you tipped them or not. hats off to the entertainment staff. they didn't have a lot of resources to work with but made it fun without being pushy about joining activities. we didn't take in a lot of the activities but managed to win two bottles of rum! :)the grounds:there's some nice landscaping, mature trees and it's great to see flowers in bloom! the tennis court and a lot of the walkways are deteriorated. there are a lot of steps throughout the resort. not a great place for guests with mobility issues. many of the buildings are run down and in need of maintenance. there are ongoing renovations happening though. watch out for piles of construction debris throughout, especially at night as the pathways and stairways lack lighting. in conclusion:i'm pretty happy just to swim in the warm sea & soak up some sun on a beautiful beach. not having to prepare or clean up after food or house clean for a week is always a win. our room's beach deck with it's amazing ocean view was a pretty huge bonus. building 18 is supposed to have patios with prime views too. the friendly staff and the the hotel being directly on a stretch of beautiful ,near deserted beach make this place. we may have been less taken with the place if we were patio-less and facing away from the ocean. but i would definitely return here for the same price or less.
Poor Customer Service Beware of Sunwing/Signature Vacations .....2 of 3 of my vacations with during 2015 had major issues....The 1st was resolved satisfactorily in reasonable time....The 2nd, from December has still been shuffled around and is FAR from satisfactory. I booked a trip to Cuba, cost under $1000.00 for a week and was advertised lovely. WRONG it was a DIVE ....seedy place, dirty, under construction, no water in room couldn't even use toilet, windows in common area broken and boarded up, no locks room window, build door lock broken and tied with rope.....receptionist rude and not helpful.....Rep to contact not answering his phone. Workers oogling and making comments ......just a night mare......I was shaking with anxiety since I was alone, I dont speak Spanish, and it was a struggle to get help ....while stay pretended not to understand and had a laugh After an hour on my cell costing an additional $500 on my cell bill and taxi I had to get on my own .....-another $50 I finally got relocated to a delightful place....costing an addition $721.00 ......for the total price all of this cost I could have gone yo a much nicer island and resort .....I return ......and I am given a $54 credit to my card for the registration fee at the second location lol ......and a $100 voucher while allllllllllllll customers are automatically given a $50 voucher just for answering a survey ....so my adjustment in reality of a vaction costing of $2000. Was really only $104.00 lol WOW!!!!!The first trip was resolved with a letter from the hotel apologizing and a $300.00 voucher .....to me this was VERY acceptable as the trip cost me under $1000. And since I was happy with that outcome elected to go on two trips with them. Only to be disappointed beyond words with the last and still waiting for this to be resolved......and only communication is via email ....and not able to be redirected to the contacts Superior .......and this trip was December .....Unreal!!!!!!! Beware and go Air Transit, Travel I2000, or Air Canada instead ......this is the WORST Customer Service I have ever received in my 50 years on this planet.
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 plus snacks
- 2 a la carte dinners with reservations
- Unlimited domestic drinks
- Non-motorized watersports including snorkeling, pedal boats, sailing & windsurfing
- Daily activities & nightly entertainment
- 135 rooms
- Buffet & a la carte restaurants
- Snack bar
- 3 Bars
- Tennis court
- Fitness centre
- Massages (fee)
- Internet (fee)
- 1 double or 2 twin beds
- Satellite TV
- In-room safe (fee)
- Bathroom with tub & shower
(Maximum occupancy per room is 3)
Resort Location Map
- Hotel Contacts
- Extra Info
Calle 0 Reparto Kawama, 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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