Grand Memories Varadero
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- All Inclusive Features
In our opinion the Grand Memories Varadero is a solid 4 stars, not quite 5 star as some suppliers rate it. It has an active pool area with lively entertainment staff, as well as a nice white sand beach. Rooms are spacious but just average in terms of decor and maintenance. Service is good, tips go a long way. For larger families, Royal Master Suites can accommodate up to 5 adults and 1 child or 4 adults and 2 children. An attractive price points makes this resort a popular choice in Varadero. If you're looking for a nicer option in Varadero, take a look at the Iberostar Varadero.
We've heard numerous times you don't go to Cuba for the food. We had the opportunity to try three of the a la carte restaurants, as with most food in Cuba flavors were a little bland. That being said presentation was great and you can see the chef tried to work with the ingredients given. Staff was always friendly. The main buffet was pretty repetitive and a lot of the time the food was room temperature. The pasta station was nice at dinner and the chef had an excellent sense of humor. At the buffet we sat in the diamond club section, for breakfast and lunch we had the same waitresses, Yoseleidys, Lianet and Marilyn. They were all very attentive and quickly learned what we liked to drink with which meal.
After much research - opted to go to Grand Memories Varadero (Jan 1st to 8th). A cold front came through the night we landed...so weather kind of miserable for most of the week. Some of my family members even wore their winter coats for a few days! Was told that this sometimes happens during winter........so a good data point for those that are not sure of going to Cuba in Jan. Even though the weather was in the low 20s for most of the week...it was the wind that got you. [though I have traveled to Cuba in Jan before and had fantastic/hot weather] On the plus side - limited mosquitos and sand fleas to deal with. Travel from airport: took about 40 minutes. Bus stopped off at a few other resorts...but not an onerous trip. Sunwing reps were easily visible to get us all on the right bus. Check in: fast. Additional staff was available to help folks quickly get rooms sorted out. No problems at all. Rooms: we had requested and received 5 rooms in the same block (block 14). Block 14 is across from the quiet pool. It is beside block 15....which is beside the cuban bar...which had music/bands playing most nights until 12amish...sometimes close to 1am. Net - it was pretty loud in block 14...but fun some times given music was really good. But if you want something quiet...avoid blocks 15, 14, 10, 11. I think 12 should be ok....given it was the furthest from the bar. Note that these rooms are the furthest from the beach/party pool. Is about a 2-3 minute walk to the lobby/main buffet. And then another 2/3 minute walk past lobby/buffet to the beach. So, if you prefer to be closer to beach....pick something in the higher blocks (ie 23, 24, etc). Or the Sanctuary (adult only) area. The spa/gym is also near sanctuary/higher block area. The rooms were big and pretty much clean. The ones in block 14 where we stayed were dated and did show wear and tear. Maids do not really clean the rooms while you are there...they straighten things up and provide water/towels. But had no complaints about general cleanliness....beds were a bit lumpy too...but ok. Note: the bathtubs are on a raised platform. Which makes it a pretty big step to get into and out of the tub....some of my aunts had to sit & pivot to get in and out of tub safely. Speaking of bathtubs - other then the first day, we did not have hot water for the rest of the week. I would have to get a courtesy room for my family so that we could have hot showers. If we had known it was going to be all week...we would have moved rooms. But every day they told me it was fixed or going to be fixed....and I kept believing them! Resort features: is a really great "walking" resort. The paths are well lit, flat and without potholes or loose stones. Really good for those that enjoy walking/running. Is a big resort...so you have lots of room to get those walks in. And the layout is pretty simple, so after the first day...pretty impossible to get lost as there is only one exit off the resort (other then the beach exits). There are 3 pools...the party pool...quiet pool...and sanctuary pool. Even the quiet pool had music playing.....and there was always some kind of entertainment/activity going on at the party pool. Pools were clean and well maintained. Absolutely not enough chairs at the pool we frequented (quiet pool). Often we saw folks sitting on the ground, benches, grass....as there were no beach chairs available. We did grab chairs from the cuban bar. But Management should consider investing in more chairs. Given the bad weather, we spent more time then we wanted inside. Cuban bar is only open at night. So during the day, it was a nice place to hang out and play games/cards. There were very few smokers in this area. Most of the smokers hung out in the lobby...where there was also ample seating, good entertainment and also a very good coffee/tea bar (I had my share of spanish coffees...lol). There was also lots of nooks and spaces to sit around the resort...benches/tables, etc. So a very nice layout. Buffet/Food: This is where the wheels fall off the bus. I can appreciate that there are limitations due to economic/political situation. But the food was very repetitive and there was not much variety. Even that is fine. The problem was that the food was pretty much always cold. For the first couple days, it appeared the warming trays were not turned on. And then eventually they were turned out. But I think a lot of the food was cold coming from kitchen. Was really tough to get a hot meal - unless you wanted to stand in a long line to get omlets/eggs for breakfast...or pasta at lunch....or wait until to soggy fries came out. I think the cold weather played a role here as well.....but so did having the AC turned on. Sometimes the buffet area was uncomfortably cold. The meat grilling stations were ok....though I found a lot of the meat tough. The bread was amazing. Breakfast was tough...especially if you were a vegetarian....even changing up cereal/adding some nuts...perhaps oatmeal? (I eat eggs, so I was happy.....but a lot of my family are vegetarians...so they did not have a lot of options). Lunch was usually the best meal of the day....and dinner options once again were limited for the vegetarians. And the other thing to note was there was a lot of cross contamination going one (people were using random serving spoons across the various trays because sometimes there were not enough serving spoons). So, while no one went hungry....the meals were not really enjoyable. We were not able to get reservations for any of the restaurants as there were 11 people in our party, and were told that they did not have any seating for us (even though we tried to book the first morning we got to resort). So I cannot comment on any of the restaurants.Beach - this is why I keep coming back to Cuba. Beach was beautiful...though was only able to get in the last day...because it was red flagged for most of the week due to winds. But the day I went in it was a lot of fun - no rocks, water was a murky cause of all the wind/waves. But am sure it is really clear if the water is calm. Beach chairs seemed limited too...as the beachfront for Memories is pretty small....and they have about half the area set aside for folks who have upgraded (I think it is called diamond club). Regular folks get white plastic chairs..and upgraded members get the blue fabric ones. Can't comment too much about beach...as I only got to go in one day...and therefore we never had to try to get chairs on the beach...imagine they probably go pretty quick too. Entertainment: only saw one show...the Michael Jackson one. It was awesome. The person playing Michael Jackson was really, really great. At one point, whole audience gave him a standing ovation. I talked to folks about some of the other shows....and heard positive things about them as well. (especially cuban show) But I truly enjoyed the one show I went to. Staff - always awesome, friendly/helpful. Another reason we keep going back to Cuba. The staff at Grand Memories are the front line workers that are being held responsible by many frustrated vacationers for a lack of investment in kitchen process improvements/resort infrastructure. During my week at resort...and many trips to the lobby to get a hot shower room key, I saw numerous unhappy folks complaining to the front desk. I felt really bad from the front desk folks...not their fault that buffet/plumbing not up to par. What I would say to Resort Management - folks spend their hard earned/saved money to come to Cuba. And while we are coming to enjoy your beautiful beaches/amazing hospitality - we have basic requirements such as hot water and reasonable food. These are fundamental building blocks for a good vacation experience. I can appreciate that the weather is out of all our control...and that the cold front did contribute some of the other problems. And that you are also still recovering from recent hurricane season. But I am hoping you will make appropriate changes to ensure that the food is improved and that the plumbing challenges are addressed. Net - this time around the was some bad with the good. If there was no cold front, maybe this review would be different. We still had a good time. The days the sun came out - it was really pleasant. We enjoyed the walks and sitting by the pool. The classes (ie dance lessons, boxing, aerobics) were good. But until I start seeing better reviews, definitely not a resort I would come back to (sorry).
This place is really nice. It’s was my second time at this hotel and i’ve planned to go back again when i will have more time . I loved the pasta they are always good. I go eat at 8:00 because because there isn’t a big lines. The entertainer are the best . I really like all of them . Hanny, duniel , lucky , coco , yani , osleidy, and i can continue! They are really nice and kind. The staff at the cuban bar too . They always make my favourite drink when i come! I don’t bad comments to say about the grand memories.
We actually visited around 2016 but I’m glad I waited to write this review because after trying the all-inclusive in Cancun, I can make a fair comparison. The restaurants are much better than the buffets but the buffets aren’t the worst. Sure the OJ isn’t very good & the processed meat could be better, but if you stick to the traditional cuisine as much as possible, I don’t think you’ll be too disappointed. The rooms are slightly stale before you turn on the AC, but don’t open the doors as mosquitoes will flock in! This is expected in a tropical climate, why would I complain about that?! The live entertainment is exquisite & abundant. The disco is alright depending on the night, but I didn’t get to see the shows - my only regret..I will suggest if your young & single you’ll have an interesting time with the male staff, so if that’s not your thing be sure to have your guard up. Overall I think it’s a great resort, don’t expect a 5 star experience but it is Cuba after all.
On our arrival the reception service was one of the worst welcomes we ever had.We ask one of the managers for direction to the room and he just couldn't care less (Tall young man with glasses slim).We spend New year's Eve there and everything was super desergonizide. People sat in Buffett had the drinks served went to get some food and by the time they come back someone else sat in the table.There was broken glass everywhere included by near the pool area.Public areas were dirty in general.By 09:30 there were no sunbeds in the beach. Pool areas not many either.Went for lunch let towels on mine on my return was gone.Food: two restaurants were closed, there was buffet and a overflow. The other 3 the service was there but the food is the same that you get in the main one the difference it's tiny portions and cold.Lunch only opens at 1pm quite late.Tips: some staff were really nice but some it's totally tip orientated. There are a tall woman in the main bar that is the worst.Restaurants: 3days stay 3bookings,7days stay 2booking ,2wks 2bookings per week.Management: absolutely terrible worst experience in my life. We travel 4times per yr for the past 17yrs.There are far too many managers doing walking around.Drinks : most of times things were missing ,pinacolada, mojito,wine. You couldnt a get a bottle of wine.Complain to three people and nothing.Manager: There totally a waste of space.We have stayed in Cuba before and this was not up to standard.Avoid avoid avoid.Toilet cistern broken in our room. Asked for clean towels three times and nothing.Public toilets the worst I ever seen in the hotel especially by the pool areas.No paper towels.Let's just say we stay in India in a two star far cleaner then this.
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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)
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- Resort fees (if applicable) must be paid directly to the hotel
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- Items of a personal nature
- 3 meals daily
- All drinks (Domestic and select Imported beverages, 24 hours)
- Drinks at disco
- Daily activities
- Evening entertainment
- Entrance to night club and drinks
- 1110 Rooms
- 1 buffet restaurant and 6 a la carte restaurants
- 7 bars including Pool bar
- Spa (fee)
- 2 tennis courts
- Games room
- Sports pitch
- Gift shop
- WiFi in lobby (fee)
- Varadero Golf Club nearby (fee)
Hotel Room has:
- 1 king or 2 double beds
- Satellite TV
- CD player
- In-room safe
- Balcony or Terrace
- Coffee maker
- Max occ. 4, up to 3 adults
Adults Only Section Amenities:
- 150 suites with a private reception
- Complimentary 24hr room service
- Closer to the beach
- Exclusive pool
- Exclusive access to International restaurant
- Club house and cigar room
- Butler service
Weddings - Packages are available. Please inquire for more details.
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Resort Location Map
Grand Memories VaraderoVaradero,Cuba
- Hotel Contacts
- Extra Info
Km 18.5 Autopista Sur Parque Natural Punta Hicacos, Varadero 42200 Cuba
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