ROC Arenas Doradas
- What's Included
- All Inclusive Features
Location: Directly on the beach, 10 minute drive to town & 35 minutes from the airport.
I always enjoyed reading the reviews before I went so I decided to write one myself for the 1st time. We were 2 families of 4, kids were 188.8.131.52.Keeping in mind this is Cuba the resort is pretty nice, rather large compared to what I had expectedLobby/main entrance: Clean, has many places to sit, a good bar, Beer was always ice cold and never flat! We never had to wait for a drink or to exchange money (either to there currency or to smaller bills for tipping). The internet was down due to issues with the router but to be honest a little less internet was OK. On the subject of tipping, the 50 cent CUC goes a long way on getting better service (do not have to tip all the time but once and a while goes a long way). The restaurants/food: We went to the Italian and International were very good, no complaints at all. Italian had 4 course meal, Lasagna, Fish and Chicken, Antipasto, Soup. The international had Smoked Salmon, Shrimp, Bisque, Fish, Pork, and Steak, and the Steak was good! If you can go as often as possible to these restaurants. The buffet was ok/good (remember this is Cuba), plenty of food, kids liked the Pizza, Pasta bar and were not fans of the fish. Desert was OK plenty of ice cream :) The pool restaurant was what they preferred (pizza, burgers), was close to the pool and quick. The beach restaurant we went twice, no complaints, was buffet style with a BBQ with burgers and whole fish which as earlier stated the kids were not a fan. I highly recommend packing Ketchup and Mustard Packets as the condiments are not what the kids were used to, if you are going start saving them now as you will use them :) The coffee bar was great, they made steamed milk hot chocolates for the kids and we had cappuccinos and espressos (with Rum) each night. Pool/Beach: Pool was great, most people went to the beach in the AM and the pool in the PM, we went against the grain and did the pool in the AM and Beach in the PM. We usually had the pool to ourselves each morning and by 12:00 after lunch as it filled up we would move to the Beach. The beach is gorgeous, clean, no bugs. The water is clear and blue, there is a sand bar 15-20 feet out where the water was knee to waste deep (depending on tide) and the kids enjoyed the waves when they came and the paddle boats and snorkeling when the water was calm.Rooms: They were clean, we emailed the resort ahead of time and asked for the '6' block as it was nearest to the beach. The beds are hard and pillows are thin but the room was clean we took advantage of a free overnight in Havana one night and got suites when we got back in the '11' block which were closer to the lobby and the beds and pillows were much better. If you Like CNN and speak Spanish you will love the TV channels :)If you are polite, and accommodating, the staff of the resort will take care of you, Yoly in customer service, Pepe and Rudy at the lobby bar, everyone at the coffee bar and restaurants will take care of you!
This was my fifth visit to Cuba and my third hotel. Overall the stay was great. Beach / Grounds: Of course the beach was beautiful but they do need to add more chairs. They could take some from around the pool as there are a lot of chairs there that are not used throughout the day. The pina coladas they served were very watered down but did hit the spot to refresh us. The grounds as at most if not all hotels were beautifully kept and clean. Staff: As in all places some were super friendly and others were more nonchalant and less attentive. For the buffet restaurant all the servers were pleasant and attentive however for the a la carte restaurants we sensed a different attitude like they wanted to let us know that they were “serving” us; hard to explain the feeling. However, at the Mexican a la carte we had an 8:30 reservation but we had arrived close to 8:55 as we had returned late from our excursion to Havana. The server made a point of telling us we were late for our reservation and had given us the impression that she was not going to let us in until we told her the reason why we were late so she seated us but with an attitude. There were about five tables occupied and about a dozen empty ones. Staff at the lobby were o.k but the Hola Sun rep that is in the hotel (I did not get her name but she is short, has short blond hair) and has a very poor attitude and talks as if she is having a hard time staying awake. She was always on the phone and when we step up to her desk in the lobby we were made to feel like we were bothering her and she had the nonchalant reply “well you have to wait” “I don’t know” and it was obvious that she did not care at all about customer service. However, our Hola Sun rep Lucia who did our briefing was a ray of sunshine. As soon as she found out our bus to the excursion was late she was on her walkie-talkie trying to find out what was going on and she came to us to let us know that the bus is on its way and she even gave us the bus number. Maria and Raphael were great at the lobby coffee bar. Our maid was nice but did not do anything fancy until Wednesday when we each left a five peso tip for her; then she made a swirly thing with our blankets. All the other times I gave a daily tip but this time we decided to give the tip at the end….Food: As the saying goes we don`t go to Cuba for the food. Overall o.k. but you do need to circle a bit until you find something. One side seemed better than the other both in food and attitude of the servers. On the left side of the restaurant the server was always pleasant and we could take condiments, peppers, onions…. whatever we wanted even if we didn`t take anything from that side. On the other hand at the burger station that was next to the pizza station the “chef” had a poor attitude and didn`t let us have anything. For me the best night at the buffet was Cuban night. The roast pork was excellent as was the rice and beans. They usually had good soups though. For the a la carte restaurants we booked the Mexican and international. The Mexican; the Galleon by the beach is the one to be avoided at all cost as the food was beyond terrible. I can`t even tell you what we ate but I guess they figure if it`s rolled it a fajita it`ll pass for Mexican. The dessert was a dollop of ice cream served on a cardboard brownie; totally inedible and they don`t even offer a coffee or tea to end the meal. As for the international; the Natura, it was so-so. There are two choices for entrée; garlic shrimp and smoked salmon. My friend who doesn`t like either got no third; I had taken the shrimp. We overheard others mention that they don’t like fish but no other option was given. Both were good (as my friend had given me her salmon) but served with canned vegetables! There was a choice of a shrimp bisque (it had one shrimp in it) and a vegetable soup which my friend said was good. For the main meal we took the chicken breast which was actually quite good but again served with canned vegetables. The dessert was a chocolate cake which was o.k. Apparently the Italian restaurant is the one to go to but it was booked two weeks ahead we were told by other guests. Excursions: We did the Havana tour which was awesome but it`s a long day but really worth the trip. In our all-inclusive package we were offered an excursion including a tour of Varadero, the caves of Bellamare in Matanzas and a stop at a craft fair. The bus was scheduled to pick us up at the hotel at 8:30 but arrived at 9:20. Upon arrival at the caves we were told that for five (5) pesos we would be given a picture/souvenir at the end of the visit. When the cave visit was over we asked our guide about the souvenir and we were told that they had run out. However, they had not told us this when we paid our five (5) pesos. There was also a photographer that followed the tour in the caves and made a video of our adventure. For twenty (20) pesos we could have a DVD of our adventure which my friend and I bought. I viewed the video when I got home and it`s of such a poor quality both video and audio that it`s unwatchable. Also, because the pick-up at the hotel was 50 minutes late the guide told the driver to head back to the hotel as the return was scheduled for 1:30-2:00 so we did not have time to go to the craft fair. We went to the bank in Varadero to get more money to spend at the craft fair for nothing. Also, be prepared to pay a peso to use the washrooms. Actually they “charge” for the toilet paper as there is none in the stalls. It didn`t take long for most of us to keep extra napkins and toilet paper in our purse so when we went to the bathroom we just waved our toilet paper at the “attendant” and didn`t pay. On the way to Havana our guide explained that the people who do this don`t have any other employment and they are doing a job no one wants to do (cleaning bathrooms). At the first stop on the way to Havana this explanation was plausible as it wasn`t even really a toilet; almost a whole in the ground. However, when you go to a mall or are at the airport, they do have maintenance staff so we`re not sure why they were still asking for a peso to use the toilet. Animation: Not much going on during the day; granted we spent most of our time at the beach but the only we could see going on were volleyball games. Around the pool there were activities scheduled but the days we were at the pool none of the activities took place other than bingo for kids. The evening shows were not much. We actually walked out on two of them; one a musical quiz where everyone who got up on stage was given the chance to answer the question even after the first person had already given the right answer. We left after the second question. The rock`n`roll show was more rock; loud and annoying and because the shows are outside and the evenings are cooler it really wasn`t worth sitting there getting cold and not really enjoying the show. However, overall I would still recommend this hotel.
We stayed 10 days, which mean we paid a premium, but we were expecting a bit more. If not for the jetlag we could have went to SE Asia for 3-4 weeks for that price, including flight. To address some criticisms: 1. Yes the beds are very bad and the pillows too (Take the decorative pillows and put inside to make them better), but it's all over the country. It's likely due to the blockade put in place, some goods are hard to come by. We had terrible pillows and beds in Trinidad, Vinales, Cienfuegos, and Habana. We had friends during our time stay at the much more expensive Naviti, and a Blau hotel and they had the same thing. 2. Hot water. Every room has hot water but if you shower during the peak hours (Just before dinner after people are getting back from the beach), you have to let it run for 10 minutes. Yes it's wasteful, but you get hot water that way. We were in one of the farthest, removed complexes and we got hot water the entire time by letting it run. During off hours, it's 30 seconds for hot water. We met friends in several complexes and they said the same thing. There is hot water, people were just impatient. This isn't Hawaii or Nassau. 3. The food: Better than expected and in 10 years Cuba should have good cuisine. They do pork well, bbq fish, bread, cheese, chicken, etc... If you stay outside of a resort Cuba is starting to get great food, but we didn't backpack this trip, we wanted no stress so the food wasn't amazing. It's much better in Trinidad or Habana. For my own feedback. Friendly staff but a bit overworked by the hoards of tour groups. The a la cartes are okay. The Cuban one is fine and the Tex Mex one isn't close to the Mexican you get in Texas but good and great service. For coffee, the coffee bar is by far the best place to get it, but overrun by Italians and French during our trip. They are the only one to draw a long shot, the rest have 3 second espresso or powdered coffee in the buffet. The beach bar makes the strongest drinks and great margaritas/mojitos. The lobby bar makes great mixed drinks as well and they have the 7 year rum for you. Their mojitos are good if you ask for a bit less sugar. In fact, if you ask for light sugar on everything it's much better (No option for pina coladas). We didn't try the pool bar much except one cloudy day, we came for the beach. No clocks in rooms but you should bring a travel one or your watch with alarm or phone/tablet, whatever. I used my kindle fire for excursion alarms. Room Safes cost money. I think it was 1CUC or 2 CUC a day, which was a lot. Our mini fridge was moldy so we shut it and forgot we had one. The non-motorized rentals are great and not many people were using them. This hotel also suffers from the other's in terms of people getting up at 7 to reserve a beach chair and not coming back for hours. It's infuriating. The German's, Russians, and French seemed to love doing this. Other resorts seemed to have enough chairs. The entertainment was good for a small resort. The rock act was really animated and the Cuban act was fantastic. We didn't see others but people said the aquatic ballet was good. Tipping is hit or miss in terms of quality of service. Ironically, change is hard to come by everywhere, or they make a deal out of giving it. I'm not tipping with 5 and 10 CUC's, so if you want me to tip 1 CUC for a meal or the maids or for coffee or whatever, stock more change. We found it true on this trip and earlier backpacking trips. It also adds up due to the CUC being so high (Being pegged to the USD is why Cuba, Laos, etc... is more expensive than it should be). We tipped every day what others were and two days received no towels at all. 8th block. We also tipped more and asked in Spanish for two water bottles a day but never got them. Other's did. The security is fast at addressing people acting like jerks. Overall, we overpayed for the quality but that's on us and the price Westjet was selling for. Some reviewers are complaining for paying under $1000 for a week? Are you mad? For all you can eat and drink and flights and transfers and visa? It's more than worth that price. If you want better value stay in a casa particular and eat like the locals do. Overall it was a good time. The Cubans are friendly, the tipping culture is a bit out of hand (Understandable but I've never seen anything like it in over 50 countries), the hotel is good for Cuba and they make good drinks if you know what to ask for. Beds and pillows are terrible and service is hit or miss. Maybe we were in a complex with Europeans that didn't tip and the maids were tired of it. For the price though, SE Asia is cheaper and tempting if you are doing two weeks.
We spent a week at this resort in March 2017, and it was our first visit to Cuba.We read all the reviews prior to booking this holiday, and we booked with no high expectations of the resort. We arrived in the early hours of the morning, with check in being smooth and quick. The room is very dated and there were no toiletries or toilet paper on arrival. We asked the rep and she said she would sort those out for us, we ended up asking the cleaner later that day. After that the TP was provided as needed, though we never received toiletries, but we had brought our own, so it wasn’t a big deal. Bedding was changed everyday, and water left daily. Our room was not that clean, the bathroom floor was dirty, there was dust on the towel rack, and the counter top could do with a deep clean. We found the beds & pillows acceptable, we always slept well.The resort is very tidy and the groundstaff were always updating something, from painting the yellow lines along the walkways, to replacing windows in one of the restaurants. The majority of the staff were friendly. The pool area is tidy, clean and can get busy. We found the service in the all-inclusive restaurant to be a bit hit or miss, and this was due to how busy they were. Place settings were not always set out, and this was because they were waiting for clean cutlery to come back from the kitchen. One evening we were not asked if we wanted drinks (beer, wine etc) until we had nearly finished our meal, but I noticed that the cart with all the clean glasses had just come out of the kitchen, so not the fault of the wait staff.We never felt that we had to tip the wait staff during our stay, the only time we felt we had to tip was with the cleaner who made a point of telling us “she was going on vacation”. However, when we did tip the staff were very gracious.This is a Cuban resort, they make the best of what they have, the staff can be friendly, the beach is sandy, the weather was hot. This is not a north American resort so don’t expect it to be a 4 star resort.
ROC ARENAS DORADAS – VARADERO I have recently been in Roc Arenas Doradas – Varadero, a 4 stars hotel All Inclusive in Varadero. The hotel is nice with good facilities and well maintained green areas. It has a nice swimming pool where they regularly offers entertaiments for guests with the basic information in several languages, just a few steps from the swimming pool, was also the beach, a really good one. At the reception the ladies in charge were nice and helpful. One of the days, at night, I saw a typical show with cuban music and dancers the hotel offers, and compared with others I have seen in Cuba, I considered it really good. My room was confortable and spacious, however some furnitures already looks a bit worn. Regarding internet, you can buy a card valid for 1 hour connection (not only valid at the hotel, but in other places in Cuba), for 2 CUC (aprox 2 EUR), however internet, the same as in most places in Cuba, is slow and very limited for download or upload files, pictures, etc.The hotel has several restaurants, but I only used the buffet restaurant, the offer was varied from the point of view of fruits, vegetables, desserts and they always had several options of main courses, including some fish, but mainly the main courses were not too tasty, maybe they should try another chef or different recipes....Sometimes, the restaurant was really full with almost no empty tables, but in my opinion, the restaurant staff did an effort to handle it, and something positive is, that at least in 4 different meals I saw the manager taking care on the spot, about the restaurant operation. One thing I specially appreciated, was the coffee station they have, specially one of the ladies, did a very good cuban coffee, I can not say the same about some of her colleagues... Just a 100 meters from the hotel there is a bus stop of the Hop on hop off bus, that allow you for 5 CUC a day/person (about 5 EUR a day), move from one place to another in Varadero, specially useful, considering Varadero is about 15 km long.I would definitively would come back to this hotel.
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 daily
- 24 hour snacks
- Unlimited drinks 24 hours at lobby bar
- Non-motorized watersports (subject to availability & excluding sailing)
- Daytime tennis
- Cocktail-making lessons
- Caribbean dance lessons
- Billiards, darts & table tennis
- Shuttle to downtown Varadero 6 times per day (3 in the morning & 3 in the afternoon
- Transportation to Colonial Havana with 5 hours free time (1 per week and based on availability)
- Daily activity programs
- Nightly entertainment with international shows and theme nights
- 316 rooms
- Massive freeform pool with a sunken pool bar
- Kid's pool
- 1 Buffet restaurant
- 2 a la carte restaurants (reservations required)
- 'Natura' restaurant for vegetarian and diabetic meals
- Pool side snack bar
- Grill bar
- Lobby bar open 24 hours
- Watersports centre
- Tennis courts
- Shopping arcade
- Internet (fee)
- Car and moped rental
- Golf nearby
- 1 king or 2 queen beds
- Satellite TV
- In-room safe (fee)
- Bathroom with tub, shower and hairdryer
- Balcony or terrace with garden/pool or oceanview
- Max occupancy 3 persons
For the Kids - Mini Club for children ages 4-12 years.
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
ROC Arenas DoradasVaradero,Cuba
- Hotel Contacts
- Extra Info
Autopista Varadero km 17 Playa de los Tainos, 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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