"We'll I travelled with 11 people they all had comfy rooms but me and my other friend stayed on the first floor this was my first time in Cuba I imagined it the best our room stank like mold and then I started getting sick bad cough weezing finally asked for a room changed they told me everyday you can tomorrow I go they told me that till the last day of my trip there was also cockroaches in my room and im scared of bugs I called front desk for help they came 2 hrs later.. and the food I warn you dont eat the meat 7 out of 11 of us got really sick vomitting and dirreah 3 days out of 7 days being there for 10 days ive been sick still from Ecoli lost alot of weight. Id advise you dont eat meat and stay on the second or third floor if you go." [...]Reviewer:
Apr. 20, 2014Rating:
"The hotel was nice, the grounds were all coming into bloom. It appeared that they were always working on the upkeep which is good. the food, I must admit was not as good as we have had in other parts of Cuba. The housekeeping (Yoly) was amazing. the wait staff was average...some went out of their way to serve you quickly, others did it at their own pace, which was very frustrating at times. the beach was lovely. If the food improved, I would have no problem going back here again." [...]Reviewer:
Apr. 07, 2014Rating:
"I was highly disappointed with this resort and trip. From the cramped airline seats to the room mix-ups - I paid for an ocean view and because my travel companions were put into a pool view (hotel's error) we asked for a switch so we could be in closer proximity - I got moved on day two but not until the hotel gave my room away (new guests entered my room at 1am - yes, they had keys and entered while I was sleeping) If you needed something at night (like a blanket) after two calls I still didn't receive one and there is no one around to get any amenities until morning.
The food was bland and the 24 hour garden club had a minimal menu and sometimes only a hotdog on a piece of flat bread. The beach was okay for clean but certainly not pristine (plenty of cigarette butts everywhere). There are line-ups for everything.... money exchange (up to an hour, usually 30 minutes), Sunwing reps for questions and excursions - again at least a 30 minute wait, a la carte reservations - a very long line-up. The entertainment was fine. The coffee bar was good. The staff were friendly and tried their best with what they had to work with. There were no internet cards available the entire week I was there. The grounds were quite dirty in the morning from the night before - staff should be up earlier to clean up. The rooms were clean and the water was kept stocked in the mini fridge. There seems to be a lot of mis-communication among staff - as nobody has a consistent answer to questions. The Havana bus excursion was extremely rushed!!! From the start we were running late and the entire afternoon and evening continued that way --- and at midnight we had to leave the Tropicana even though the show wasn't finished. Overall - I would not recommend this trip." [...]Reviewer:
Apr. 29, 2013Rating:
"We found the beach very nice. The grounds clean and the food was not to bad. The workers were all friendly and helpful. Our biggest concern was the mold in several of the buildings. We stayed in building 30 and there was a bad musty odor. When we began to look around, we could see mold in several places and it was just painted over. The electrical room was open one day and black mold covered the walls from floor to more than half way up. We complained after I became ill and we moved to another building. It did not smell but it too had mold that was just painted over.
What made me mad enough to write this review is that when I contacted my travel agent with this issue, we got a reply from Sunwing stating that they are not responsible for things beyond their control. Well they own these buildings and they are in control. They just did not care. If this issue was in Canada, the place would be shut down. " [...]Reviewer:
Feb. 13, 2013Rating:
"I Have not yet been to this hotel yet i must admit ,,,but i do have something to say about anyone searching reviews !! Everyone must remember when looking at reviews that some peoples standard are much higher than others .I have been to many resorts in many locations & if u want great food & perfect clean places ,,,stay home .I have gone to places that the food is better than others but never have the been amazing . These places are poorer than our places ..don't expect perfect . U're vacation is what u make of it !!The only reason i am writing this is that hearing a few of these bad reviews is scaring the peple in my group . I will give another review when i get back ...i'm just saying don't expect perfect ,,u prob won't get it !!" [...]Reviewer:
Jan. 22, 2013Rating:
"We just returned on January 3rd. Our stay was from Dec. 27th-Jan 3rd.The resort is very large, lots of walking. Many of the restaurants ran out of food and the line ups were time consuming. (45 mins in the pasta line up)The al carte's Italian and French were the only two we tried both weren't great. There were 7 in our group and 4 got bed bug bites.Very annoying. Also noticed many other guest there with the same bites.This was our 4th trip to Cuba as we love it, but our first time to Varadero and a Memories resort. Other times were 2011 Blau Cayo Coco excellent!
2003 Breezes Holquin, and 2006 Blau Holquin excellent both times.Yes we will return to Cuba again but not Varadero. AND certainly not a memories resort!
Perhaps Blau Varadero would have been better." [...]Reviewer:
Jan. 06, 2013Rating:
"Memories Varadero is a colorful beach resort with appealing architecture and a beautiful beach. I traveled with my spouse, and my sister and brother-in-law. We are 20-something non-fistpumper types, but we like to get our party on occasionally. The crowd here was mixed with family, couples, and groups of friends, so I recommend this resort for all resort traveler types.
**SPECIAL NOTES** 1. Bring TONS of mosquito repellant if you travel here during the storm season. We were here May 26-June 5 and the mosquito situation was pretty intense at times. 2. Bring tons of sunscreen to avoid what we coined the "Cuba burn" which is when you are so completely lobster red that it's painful for others to even look at you. My boyfriend and I used about 4 aerosol bottles over a 10 day period- and we have good tans. 3. If you like condiments, bring your own! I thought people were just being picky or rude when they said Cuban food is bland, but it's the truth! Our Havana tour guide even joked about it. There was plenty of mustard here, and one of the a la carte restaurants served gravy with a dish, but otherwise, there is NO KETCHUP! We did see red bottles on our first day, but it appears it was a group delusion and they were never seen again. We spotted travelers with private condiments from ketchup to nutella, so if you fancy flavor, you should at least pack some ketchup in your suitcase. 4. BRING YOUR OWN TOWEL! You will receive a blue beach towel, but on stormy or very humid days when your towel can't dry, you will not be receiving a replacement very quickly. The maids do the laundry in the camarera right in the bungalow, so to get a fresh towel, they have to wash yours first, and their schedule is here and there so there's no telling when you'd get your clean towel back.
ROOMS Don't bother paying for an "ocean view" room. None of the bungalows are near the water. We did pay for a "garden view balcony" suite, however, which gave us a fresh air location for hang drying towels and clothing, as well as a place to have some balcony drinks that was close to air conditioning and a bathroom! Yes, the rooms have air conditioning! We had two queen beds in our room so we pushed them together to form one giant bed. The mattress is hard, but the pillows are sufficient, same as the blankets.
FOOD Special note: SALT AND PEPPER ARE YOUR FRIENDS. Salt and pepper everything, it helps to make the food less bland! MAIN BUFFET (by the lobby): If you are not sure what to expect, the first day at the main buffet may be underwhelming. You'll quickly learn what you prefer. My sister and I had cucumber sandwiches for breakfast every day as there is always a lot of bread available, while our spouses opted for the omelettes. Anything that is cooked right when you order it is the best option in Cuba. During the dinner buffet, order the pasta! There are sometimes vegetables you can add, and they even had parmesan cheese! You can also gather your own vegetables or meat from the buffet and have it added to the pasta while it cooks, or add it afterwards yourself. We attended the lunch buffet here a couple time, and it was a similar variety to the breakfast and dinner buffets. I suggest you head to the beach buffet for lunch as it has a better, fresher variety, and a manned grill for fresh hot dogs or burgers. BEACH BUFFET: They also serve the pina coladas at the lunch buffet by the beach. SNACK BAR: The snack bars aren't like in Mexico. You sit down and order food. At the snack bar by the pool with the grotto, you can order from a menus of burger, fries and pizza. LATE NIGHT SNACK BAR: The menu is the same here as the other snack bar, but this bar is open during the late hours of the night.
A LA CARTES Mediterranean: My sister and her spouse went to this restaurant. The menu had mainly seafood options and while my brother-in-law likes seafood, he said he would not recommend this a la carte. Mexican: This restaurant is located by the party pool, above the grotto. The pool is closed at 6:00pm so there was no pool noise during dinner. The food served was sub-par at best, so if you've ever been to Mexico or had Mexican food, do not expect this to be at all like what you've had before. PASS. Italian: The Italian restaurant is located in the central square by the theater and had cute ambiance! The food was yummy (I had a pasta dish), and the wine is endless! The service was great too! Japanese: This was the last restaurant we went to, and after the Mexican experience, we didn't have high hopes.. But THIS RESTAURANT WAS AWESOME! I suggest going here for your first a la carte dinner. The food is FLAVORFUL and the cook puts on an awesome show, so order the Tepan Yaki! Beware if you eat here near the end of your trip though, as the delicious flavor burst may affect your digestive system, but it was seriously SO GOOD!!! It blew Teriyaki Experience out of the water.
POOLS The resort layout is easy to navigate because of the pools. It's basically peanut-shaped, and in the center of each peanut is a pool! The pool closest to the lobby is quieter. It is also near the "late night snack bar" and has some good bartenders during pools hours. The other pool closer to the beach has a grotto and slide, which was so much fun! The grotto is located under the lunch snack bar. BARS The swim up bars are great. I heard some people complaining about there only being one swim up when there should be two, but the other swim up bar is in the grotto!! The lobby bar can make Miami Vices and Mojitos, which not all of the other bars can. There is also a coffee bar in the lobby, which makes good cappuccinos. I suggest you try the "Ron Punch" (rum punch), and "Sex on the Beach" (beverage!) at the lobby bar. ENTERTAINMENT The entertainment here was awesome. There are special times during the day where kids can go for their own entertainment, but the evening shows are also appropriate, except for the "Romantic Show", unless you're okay with your children seeing somewhat scantily clad women.
RESORT STAFF SERVICE The resort staff were friendly and approachable. We had to have our fridge fixed and get an extra room key, and they were on it very quickly. SAFETY When you are traveling, be smart. Only bring what you need, and keep your belongings close when in town and in groups of strangers. There were rumors of a pickpocket during one of the night shows, but maybe the lady had her purse open or on the floor, you never know. We also met a man whose wallet was taken right from his pocket, so again, only carry on your what you need. Use your room safe to keep your stuff secure, and travel with a photocopy of your passport. MONEY EXCHANGE Use the money exchange at the resort. It's where you'll get the best exchange rate in Cuba, and it's painless. You will need to bring your passport to make exchanges, though, so heads up! Also, leave tips in convertible pesos, using Canadian or American is just a bother. Since the Canadian to Cuban Convertible Peso rate is about par, we just tipped in convertible pesos as we would tip in Canadian. COST OF SOUVENIRS Souvenirs are so cheap in Cuba! The Cuban people do not try to rip you off like in the Mayan Riviera, and they are open to bartering. The gift shop at the resort is a good place to buy cigars and alcohol, especially to drink while you are on vacation, but the other trinkets and such are much cheaper in town in Varadero." [...]Reviewer:
Sep. 18, 2012Rating:
"We had a fantastic time. The room was nice. We were a little worried at first because the lock on the patio door was broken but decided to chance it and rely on the chain and stick in the door as this was the only option given to us. When you go somewhere like this, you just have to be extremely laid back and be positive. The food was the one thing neither myself, my husband or my 6 and 10 year old had a problem with. There was always something good to choose from. The shows at night were amazing! Very well done. Some of the staff were friendly but for the most part we found them to be only friendly to the children. Not sure if this is cultural or if it had something to do with the fact that the resort was changing owners the week after our stay. A lot of guests were also speculating if this had to do with the constant power outages. I still gave a good rating because the power outage never really seemed to affect us negatively except for one night. Bring flashlights! We did and this is probably why we were fine. We had a wonderful time and I would recommend it to people who don't have high expectations and are going for an experience, not to be pampered or with high customer service expectations." [...]Reviewer:
May. 01, 2012Rating:
"Excellent resort, good food, good for kids as they a lot of stuff for them." [...]Reviewer:
Mar. 19, 2012Rating:
"First I want to say that Nao at Escapes.com is AMAZING!!!
We where trying to book a two week holiday somewhere warm for 5 of us in May 2011 and it seemed that everyone travel's in May... After trying a different travel agent which got me no where except upset.. I called Escapes and Nao answered the phone. She listen to my concerns and panic, as it was important to us to take our 3 boys somewhere warm for their first time.. Quickly she got to work and found us the last 5 out of 6 seats leaving out of Calgary.. At this point I didn't care that I had to drive 3 hours to get somewhere.. So we decided on Cuba which we where just there in December 2010 for a week but I absolutely loved it so it was perfect!
The weather in May was very warm..To hot.. It was 32-35 everyday and then at in the humidity it was around 45 degrees in total... crazy warm.. If you sat still for 5 minutes you where sweating...
I must say that I find Cuba one of the MOST safest places to visit.. I am VERY protective over my boys and well I let them walk around the grounds of the hotel and the markets.. Yes the markets! So a very safe place for anyone..
We stayed at the Sirenis la Salina, it was a good choice on Nao's pick.. Yes the hotel is huge!! But really are we that lazy that we can't walk?? We loved it! And the boys did too! They do have those little carts that run around the grounds for people who need them so no worries there. I will say that if you are there for a little R&R you should pick something more down scaled like the Puntarena. I am not into a lot of people and there were a lot of people! But the resort is very well kept and the staff are always working to keep it up..
I do have one comment that I heard from people there saying that the grounds could be a lot cleaner. Really?? As I watch you drop your garbage on the ground and leave your glasses everywhere! Yes this is all-inclusive BUT! You could put your garbage where it belongs! And not expect someone to wait on you hand and foot 24/7 cleaning up your mess!!! So on that note; the grounds are lovely and very well kept! They have stands for glasses and plates all along the walkways and garbage's and ashtrays.. Please use them..
The other FANTASTIC thing that Nao did for us, I really wanted the boys to have there own room and still be able to get good prices for them. She did exactly that! AMAZING!! Our rooms weren't joining but they were side by side! Perfect!
Our room was right in the Middle of the resort. Which was great close to the pools and all the amenities.. So the walk was short anywhere we needed to go..The rooms are clean and nicely decorated. The only thing I would suggest is that if you want a balcony, request it. We where on the main floor and it has its pro's and con's. Be aware that if you use the safe there you have to pay for it, $2 a night. Our fridge was filled everyday with beer and pop and water just like clock work.. The boys' room well we asked them not to put beer in there so they left more of the pop and juice and water. Our maid Judy was very sweet and smiles always. She did a great job on our room and took great care of all of us! .. We left her several different items during the two weeks, I even found out she had 2 sons so the boys left her their sand toys and foam water guns so her boys could have them..
The pools where very nice and in May very warm.. I only wished that people weren't allowed to drink in them. They had two pools the quiet pool and the one with the water slide.. After a couple days the boys ended up in the quiet pool half the time. I will say that the chicken salad sandwiches at the snack bar by the pool with the slide where very good. The kids loved the pizza! Not much to look at but they loved it! The entertainment staff did a great job getting everyone going at doing something at the pool.. Great staff!
Now for the food; as this was my second time in Cuba and the first time we stayed at the Puntarena which I loved, it's a 3* but loved the staff there very personal but having the food there I knew it would be plain. BUT the buffet at the Salina was FANTASTIC! I have never seen such a big spread of food.. The staff made awesome omelets and great crepes.. All in all the food was very good.. We where allowed 4 to 6 la Carte restaurants but we chose to eat at the buffet..lol . The spaghetti was fantastic!
The beach I found very clean and quite a bit of staff there to help you out or take you out on the banana tube or the small catamarans. You can take out the paddle boats or kayaks on your own which we did. I loved the beach but again a lot of people..
We are returning to Cuba in the New year.. I think we will be staying at the Puntarena resort so we can get a little R&R.. to spend time with our Cuban Friends.
I would definitely recommend the Salina resort to all my friends.. We were very happy with our trip..
Aug. 09, 2011More Reviews