Ocean Varadero El Patriarca
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Our OpinionAn amazing resort for couples wanting a nice and relaxing stay in Varadero. The resort facilities are amazing at this resort. The rooms are new and modern. You'll very rarely experience issues with the fixtures of your room. If you do, the attentive staff ensure that all of your needs and concerns are met. The housekeeping staff are amazing at ensuring that all rooms are maintained, well-stocked, and kept clean. The resort grounds are beautiful and always clean. There are two sections of the resort available for guests: the regular resort grounds and designated areas for 'Privilege' guests. Try to take the latter option, as you do get more freedom and options at the resort. The food is OK. There is a great variety available. However, sometimes, it varies in quality and taste.
This is the second time my wife and I came to this resort and like the first time, the second visit was "AWESOME". Beach was GREAT and the pool was GREAT. The grounds were kept clean. The staff members were amazing. The Buffet could have had a bit more variety at dinner time but not the end of the world. Food was still good. Special thanks to Thainey in Block 51 who kept our room clean every day and was spotless. Outstanding job. EXCELLENT service in the Italian Restaurant from Disney, Sandra and Lily. The lobby bar girls, Rosana and Ivelise always had a smile on their face with excellent service. To the 2 trainees at the pool bar..Osmai and Escarlet...raise your glasses for these 2 hard working people. and most of all, to the BEST bar tenders in Cuba...Yaremis and Enrique. OUTSTANDING Service and can't wait to see you folks again soon.Some basic tips:1) Bring a beach towel...just in case2) Bring a couple of rolls of toilet paper...just in case3) $$$ for tipping the bar and wait staffMost of all...take time to get to know the people of Cuba and what they have to offer. Can't wait to go back.
Just got back from 11 nights. Lovely hotel and staff. Theatre bar which is apparently like a club never opened so little to do on a night. Food was repetitive and needs work. Al a carte restaurants were very poor. Food types and flavour needs work. Need more omelette and pasta chefs especially peak times as these were best things. Staff and gardeners were lovely very friendly. Entertainment staff were very good. Non stop. Evening entertainment isn't for everyone. But still good. Rooms were lovely and clean and good facilities. Loved the holiday x
I'm going to make this as brief as I can, but there is a lot to cover off and if you can get through the review you can draw your own conclusions about visiting this resort. I just returned to Canada with 15 other family members, after spending a week and over $16,000 CDN for all of us to go to this resort. Personally I didn't set the bar too high and was more interested in a well deserved break with family, enjoying the weather, a nice beach, the pool and some fun. It's probably best to break down my review in chunks starting with:Rooms - we were on the ground level block 33. Other family members shared the same block, or were in 34, 36 etc. Each block has 8 rooms, 4 on the ground level, 4 on top. Rooms were large, with a separate shower/shower bath combo, toilet and an separate area with a counter/sink/mirror and closet/safe. The room had a small fridge with a one bottle of water, one can of beer, one can of orange soda and one can of cola. It was not stocked regularly and we had to remind them to at least give us extra water. The air conditioner was noisy but worked ok, we had to have it cranked in order for it to work. Decor was ok, not 5 star for sure. A sliding glass door leading to an outside sitting area was right beside a large solar panel/water storage system with a great view of the pipes, and some scrub brush. We didn't bother spending too much time out there. The balconies on the upper rooms were nice. The room was a short walk from the restaurants, beach and pool. Each room had two hand towels, two bath towels, and two blue pool/beach towels. They all had a distinct smell and looked dirty but the two blue towels were the worst, with one of them smelling like feces, sweat and popcorn... no joke, but more on that later! The Bed - we had a king size. Imagine sleeping on a rock hard worn out mattress with the coil springs jabbing into your back and two pillows as flat as pancakes, with pillow cases optional most days. There was a plastic sheet over the mattress which may have protected it at one point but crinkled so loudly under the fitted sheets it woke me up every time my wife and I moved. I think my elbow broke through it once as I heard it crinkle and crack. You get the picture. Sleep is optional, accept the fact you will be stiff and sore, even after a day of rum and cokes.Toilet/bath/bath-shower combo - there was a bath/shower combo with a hand held shower head on a plastic rail on the wall to raise it up and down, and the shower curtain was too small for the bath. On the first use of the hand held shower, the plastic rail fell apart, and left the hand held shower twisting around like a fire hose, spraying water everywhere. I fixed it as best I could and in the end left the shower head pointing towards the wall/back of the shower. The set up worked but barely. The shower stall had a rain shower head, which oddly leaked water towards the ceiling of the shower. Water temperature was luke warm at best but felt ok on sunburnt skin. The glass door of the shower didn't seal much and both the bath and shower left a huge puddle on the floor after use. We mopped the water up with our dirty hand towels and figured they would be changed daily anyway. The toilet paper was about the same as a 100 grit sandpaper, and my wife actually pulled a twig out of one roll. I wouldn't say it if it wasn't true! Advice, bring a few rolls of charmin, and lock it in the safe, you will need it by day 3....trust me. Cleanliness/Cleaning staff - We met our cleaning lady on the first day before leaving for the beach with our smelly blue beach towels. She greeted us warmly, smiling and calling us family. She seemed a bit too nice, and fake in her approach. She also yelled at other cleaning staff, in a not so nice way, so she must have been in charge. In general she surface cleaned the rooms and one sink daily, but the corners of the bathrooms had a lot of dirt, hairs, and black residue to contemplate while sitting on the toilet. Both the bath and shower were surface cleaned as well. On the morning of the second day we quickly ran out of hand towels mopping the water up from our showers, and my smelly blue beach towel was ready to walk away on its own. I couldn't take it, and before leaving for the beach my Wife kindly asked the Cleaning lady to exchange the towels for fresh ones. I could hear the conversation outside the door, and the Cleaning lady curtly reply "No towels." No matter how much my wife asked the cleaning lady just got more curt and refused to help. In the end she just folded them up and gave them back to my wife. My Wife gave up arguing and was very frustrated as the lady just kept saying "NO!" When my wife came back in the room with the wet folded towels and the smelly beach towel, I took them from her and it was my turn. I sincerely tried my best to understand why we couldn't get new towels. All she said was "She your Wife?" pointing to my Wife, then "No towels." I was losing my patience as it was getting personal. Maybe it was a language barrier I thought? So I held the smelly beach towel in front of me, pointed to the black stains, and pinching my nose, then dropped them all on her cart. She grabbed the towel and the two other wet hand towels and scowling at me, she walked away. Nice service I thought. I watched her go into the storage room and proceeded to fold up the smelly/stained beach towel and place it on a rack for the next poor beach dweller. We got nowhere with her and left for breakfast carrying our one beach towel, amazed at the conversation we just had with the head cleaning lady. When we got back into the room late in the afternoon there were two "clean" hand towels, the cleaning lady also took our two bath towels which were hanging up, and we were down one blue beach towel. The fresh hand towel was stained with what looked like blood? There is a picture if you want to see it. I got the impression we were being punished for asking for something! I quickly took the stained dirty towel off the rack and looked for the cleaning lady, and found another one who by the way was much nicer. I showed her the towel and she cringed, but held up her hands and said "No towels". "Why?" I asked. "Laundry every three days. Tomorrow new towels." I left the stained towel with her, and began to walk away. She told me to wait, then went into a storage room and gave me two fresh hand towels, and a bath towel. Success I thought as I put the two hand towels in the safe, figuring I would need them. I was NOT left with a good impression after only two days. By day three we were still down one bath towel and a beach towel, and I went to the front desk to ask for some. "No towels " was all I was told. On day four the laundry must have came in and we had fresh beach towels, two bath and hand towels plus the two spare hand towels from the safe. We generally never spoke much to the cleaning lady after that, but she did try to mend bridges by being super friendly once and telling us that she had the day off, and would be with us on the last day. She was obviously trying to get us to tip her for her exceptional service on our last day. Needless to say we didn't.On a side note there is a pool side area supposedly for changing smelly blue beach towels, but it was NEVER opened. I would highly recommend taking your own towels with you!Bar/Restaurants/Food/Beach - Being up front I'm not a picky eater. We ate at the buffet mainly for breakfast and the occasional lunch and one dinner. The staff was generally smiling and happy tried to accommodate the group in moving tables/chairs etc for us to eat together. For breakfast I would recommend the omelette line up, most of the other food was ok, not very hot and some things looked downright sketchy. Food is a personal thing, but essential so choose wisely. Toast/bread/pastries were good. Mikes coffee lounge was a good place to go for specialty coffee and is a Wifi hot spot when/if it worked. The beach bar was great, the beach had lots of space and plenty of beach lounges. The beach snack bar was a good spot for lunch. At night the piano bar and lounge bar were the most popular, then the pool snack bar (open at exactly 11:00 PM, not a minute sooner the staff reminded us). During the day the swim up pool bar was great and the staff friendly and happy most days. Food wise, don't expect too much, as the menu offerings are often not available, or not what you would think. If you want, tip accordingly, mainly for better service but that is up to you. Entertainment - hit and miss but you can't please everyone. The piano bar offered the best live music and beverages. The theatre and live shows were ok. The entertainment staff did some bizarre stuff, and going into the buffet one morning a woman was dressed up as an infant, with a huge diaper, baby bonnet, frilly top and carried a plastic bottle with a pacifier on it. As people entered the buffet she literally lay on the floor with her legs spread in the air kicking them around and began screaming! I felt embarrassed for her, who wants to hear a lady screaming during breakfast, or see her flailing her legs around on the floor dressed up like a baby? What is the purpose? Very strange. She got attention but they definitely need to reconsider what they think is entertaining.Off site adventures - On day four we booked a group tour to Havana through the Transat tour guide rep. We left quite early in the morning. The driver and tour guide were young, personable and recommended places to stop along the way as it was approx 2 hours to Havana. When we got to Havana the guide took his time explaining the history, and his prospective on living in Cuba. He was well educated, funny and you could tell enjoyed his job. Before lunch he recommended we stop at the cigar factory, which had an outlet for cigars and rum. After the outlet stop the tour guide was the last to board, and it was obvious he got a kickback for bringing us there as he bragged about the 7 year old rum he had in his hand vs the cheaper rum we purchased. There is a motive for everything in Cuba I was quickly learning. By the time 1 pm rolled around we were getting hungry and he recommended a restaurant for us to stop at. The salad had ants in it, the soup was a salty broth and the chicken was edible. One drink and one coffee. Not bad for 15 pesos each. The tour guide and driver ate at a separate table, and after his kickback from the restaurant owner we left. Next the guide recommended we stop to learn how to smoke cigars, drink coffee and taste rum. Nope, we wanted a walking tour of Havana instead. He wasn't too pleased with our request, and he didn't like it that he missed out on another kickback, but we spent the next few hours walking around Havana which was worth it. He earned his keep by answering questions, and explaining the history. I hate to be cynical but if you book a tour, expect that you will be supporting the bartering system which is alive and well in Cuba, and that you need to be clear on what you expect vs being dragged around to support kickbacks. Overall I would say Havana was worth seeing. Cats and dogs, cockroaches, frogs and ants- there are feral cats and dogs wandering freely around the resort and on the beach so don't be surprised. Most are friendly, and are fed quite well from people taking them out treats from the buffet. On the last day there was dog or cat poo on the tiles outside of Mikes coffee and it got quickly smeared around, and no one bothered to clean it up. If you don't like cats and dogs or are allergic, just beware that they are part of the resort. A large cockroach set up residence in our bathroom on day 7. See pic. There were lots of complaints from our group about, cockroaches, frogs and ants in their rooms as well. The staff did little to rectify it, and sprayed one room with raid.Public toilets - according to my wife and the other females of our group, toilet paper is non-existent in the ladies restrooms. Carry wipes or have one of the men grab a fist full of 100 grit toilet paper from the men's room. Or take the charmin from the safe with you. Also be prepared to tip if you use a toilet off site.In conclusion - By day 5 the consensus from the group was that we were all looking forward to going home. We had two days to go and our experiences were about the same. We all enjoyed each other's company, but the resort was mediocre at best. On day 7 our wish was granted and we gathered in the lounge to catch the bus to take us back to the airport. We all check out except one of our group was told by the head desk manager that there was a blue towel missing and she had to pay for it. It happened to be my niece, who explained that she gave one towel to her mother in another room, as she was short changed a towel one day. Coincidentally it was the same block where the nasty cleaning lady worked. My niece became very upset that she couldn't check out and that they demanded she pay for the towel. At that point I stepped in. I kept my cool and told the manager that there were 16 of us, and we contributed over $16000 in one week to this resort and we would not pay one peso more for a nasty blue beach towel. The manager didn't expect to hear this. I reminded them that tourism is a huge part of their economy and that we would never return after the way we were treat by the cleaning staff. She didn't get it and told me to wait while she called the cleaning lady. In minutes the Cleaning lady came up to the desk, she must have literally ran to make it that quickly. She started screaming that we took the towel. I told her "No we did not, and we are not paying." The bus arrived, and the cleaning lady started making a scene, trying to stop us from boarding the bus. We had to step around her. She even rushed over to the head desk and called security! We calmly boarded the bus and left the resort. Nice send off. Beware of being scammed into paying for any beach towels.Tips and tricks: - beware of Wifi, it's hit and miss, hard to use and expensive. If you do use it make sure you log off correctly or your time will run out. Personally I think it's a scam.- take your own toilet paper, wipes and towels. You will be grateful you did. If there is some left over leave it for the staff.- don't fall for the request to exchange Canadian money (coins) for peso's by the staff. They will give you a story about needing a "peso bill" to buy a newspaper, bus pass or something, and if you fall for it will try to get you to exchange at par. This happens more often than you think and is a quick way to get ripped off if you feel badly for them, depending on their story. In general I got the feeling that the majority of the staff just don't care one way or another, and the resort itself just didn't make up for it. If you stuck it out and read the whole review, I can tell you that I will never return to this resort, or for that matter Cuba. I give it one star.
completely worn out,food terrible,drinks second rate,no free wi-fi only payed for at really slow speed ,cell phone seriously expensive ,only works now and then,i have never seen so many cracked tiles ,broken furniture,doors that have big gaps all around,shedded towels.when things run out they make no effort to replace,and the towel fiasco we had two stolen from the pool,saw roaches in the restaurant and bedroom,whilst i appreciate some of the food is going to be different it should be served hot not luke warm, 3 of our party developed the trotts,the pool towel exchange service never opened, could go on for ages ,still the weather was hot with some great thunder storms, would not go back for a gold clock it surprises me that Thomas Cook has anything to do with it ,perhaps the £1100pw has something to do with it
This is a beautiful hotel, very well laid out over a large area. The pool was amazing, and the swim up bar was a welcome relief in the heat. The rooms were large and well kept, the air conditioning was needed at all times during the day and night. We felt that the food was a little under a 5 star hotel, and maybe the management can look at this. That said, fresh omelettes every morning and fresh Cooke fish on 8 of the days we were there. On the whole the staff were excellent, just the odd one or two behind the main bar who were not as approachable....unless out tipped them first.The piano bar was a welcome area with air conditioning, maybe the management could look at installing some fans in the bar area and reception, just to move the air around and give some relief.Unfortunately our phones would not work, something to do with EE, and having to pay for WiFi was not really up to 5 star rating either.
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)
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- Items of a personal nature
- Daily buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner
- Unlimited selected international and domestic drinks (house wine included)
- Unlimited a la carte dinners
- Mini-bar restocked daily (water, soft drinks and beer)
- Admission to the disco (drinks included)
- Selected non-motorized water sports (1 hour/day)
- Nightly entertainment
- Daily activities program
- Premium brand drinks (designated areas)
- Concierge service
- Room service from 7 am to 11 pm
- Early check-in and late check-out (subject to availability)
- Separate check-in
- Priority reservations for a la carte restaurants
- Privilege lounge
- Access to exclusive Privilege pool
- Bathrobes and slippers in room
- 10% discount on treatments at the Dispacio SPA centre
- 420 rooms
- 4 restaurants
- 4 bars (including a swim-up bar)
- Pools (1 exclusively for Privilege guests)
- Convention facilities (fee)
- Tennis court
- Internet (fee)
- Medical services (fee)
- Room service from 11 am to 11 pm
- Spa (fee)
- 1 king-size or 2 double beds
- Full bathroom
- In-room safe
- Iron Balcony or terrace
- Maximum occupancy 3 adults (or 2 adults and 2 children)
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
Ocean Varadero El PatriarcaVaradero,Cuba
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- Extra Info
Autopista Sur km 18 Punta Hicacos, 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.
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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.
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