- What's Included
- All Inclusive Features
Our OpinionA clean but basic hotel located in town on the beach. No elevators. Please note that hotel standards in Cuba tend to be lower than in other Sun Destinations. Unless travelers are familiar with the resort or Cuban hotels, we typically recommend that travelers book a minimum 4 star resort when traveling to Cuba.
My Second ReviewThis review is based on our most recent trip to the Roc Barlovento where we stayed from April 6 to April 16, a full 10 days on the beach.The weather was sunny every day but there was a constant breeze, verging on wind many times. Swimming at the beach was pretty much impossible because of the wave action. That did not keep us out of the water though - lots of fun surfing the waves and jumping around. I would suggest that you pay attention to the beach-condition flags. They switched back and forth from yellow to red for almost our entire stay. But the flags are up near the palapas and not down on the beach where they would be easier to see. Also, they are more like little rags than flags and it’s worth your time to seek them out and consider the sea conditions.If you are heading into the ocean, make sure you see a lifeguard around. The government is responsible for the lifeguards and the hotels have no control of the lifeguards or when they are on-site. Pay close attention. Depending on the wind and wave action, there can be strong under-tow and rip currents along the entire 20 km Varadero beach area. That said, we had almost zero under-tow issues.I continue to try to understand just how the Cuba system works – from what I hear, the government owns the resorts – the real estate – and management companies bring expertise to run the resorts but I’m not at all clear on where the money comes from to do repairs, upgrades and improvements.It was interesting to see the construction on the sports pool. We spent a fair amount of time around this pool in our first two trips to the resort but now there is a total reconstruction of the pool and pool area, I expect. I look forward to seeing the results.Another thing we noted was a number of new cardboard boxes for air conditioners as workers tidied up after installing them. We saw a lot of scraping of old paint and new painting of the exterior areas of the hotel. This year, the grounds looked particularly good and neat. They were very neat and clean and it is clear that the groundskeepers are doing a very good job.One of the first things we noted on this visit was the presence of little cabanas around the main swimming pool. In the past there were a few umbrellas but that was it. The cabanas provide needed shade around the pool. Also, there were loads of new beach lounge chairs.The Roc……ah…..the Roc. More than once at the resort I asked myself why I go to the Roc and maybe we should check out another resort. But then I see the location, the beach, the good food and the generally friendly staff and figure, ‘this is pretty good – what else am I looking for?’. We could travel down the strip to the newer resorts but once you move outside the main Varadero town and onto the highway, the resorts are all more or less self-contained. We enjoy roaming around downtown Varadero checking the restaurants and coffee bars.We took the hop-on-hop-off bus from the Roc to the end of the peninsula and back. Although we did not get off the bus at the end where the marina is now, I was really struck by how modern it looked. It reminded me a bit of the Dockyard area in Bermuda except at the marina, the shops are integrated into the accommodations. I get the sense that the government would like to export this model of development to the rest of the country and modernize all tourist facilities but there is little money in Cuba for that and, as I noted before, I’m not really sure where the money is coming from to do the new developments.During our trip last week we met the hotel manager, Francisco. He is a friendly and serious man who seems determined to make improvements at the hotel. We saw him almost every day roaming around the dining rooms, kitchens, lobbies, pool areas and even down toward the beach. It would not surprise me to learn that he is the force behind redeveloping the sports pool, but I do not know that to be the case. He is genuinely concerned with improving the Roc Barlovento experience with quality, consistent food choices.In previous visits we have found the food at the Roc to be good. This time I would rate it as very good. We noticed that there was a large variety of cheeses, better selection of vegetables and a larger choice of hot meats in the serving lines. We had a beef stew that was excellent, the calamari was tender and the chicken is real – I don’t think they are raising them from egg to table in 16 weeks.At the ‘Ranch’ restaurant near the beach, there was a daily BBQ with chicken, ribs, hamburgers, vegetable kebabs and a big pan of paella. There was always fresh fish either on the BBQ or on the griddle. The bread this time was exceptional. I do not know what is going on but this bread did not even require butter (and there was lots of butter available).At both dining rooms they never ran out of ice-cream. One day at the ‘Ranch’ restaurant they had the hind quarter of a hog all roasted up and they were slicing off big chunks of ham and they had deep-fried pork rinds – in my opinion, it was almost worth the trip just for the rinds.We met fantastic folks there – great people from Natalie & Alan to Roy & Gail to Ron & Brenda to Dave and to Gilles. That’s one thing that does stand out about the Roc – the guests. I’m not saying you won’t have the same experience at the other resorts, but a lot of these guests are perennial Roc folk and keep coming back year after year.We will definitely return to the Roc Barlovento, maybe even in the autumn of 2017. Because we have been there a few times we are more familiar with the facilities and the staff – I’m sure this is a factor for people at all resorts in Cuba. There is a comfort level that builds after repeat visits. This can be both good - you have more of an ease with your visit and maybe bad - inasmuch as you may not try other locations. But for us, unless we have a particularly bad time, we will continue to visit the Roc Barlovento.That’s all I have for now…..
I stayed at the Roc Barlevento from April 8-15, and it was amazing! First of all, my check in was 4 pm, and I arrived at 10 am. The desk clerk noticed that I was pretty tired and did her best to have the room ready earlier, which was nice. I had mentioned that my mother and sister would be joining me in a few days and asked if it was possible they could have a room near mine although it was last minute. It was taken care of and they were only a few doors away!The rooms were spotless, and everything was in good condition and worked properly.The hotel grounds were beautiful with a short walk to the beautiful beach. The fact that you could reach your room from any entranceway came in handy especially after a few drinks! The buffet was pretty good with a large selection , and the staff were very helpful even letting you put your bacon on the grill if you liked it a little crispier. A special thanks to Daisy and Pedro for going out of their way for us. The bar staff were excellent and even remembered what I liked by the second day!The evening shows were top of the line with the most talented dancers (these kids work REALLY hard! ), and a singer that was very good and a lot of fun. The emcee was great and kept everyone entertained in at least 3 languages!All in all, it was the perfect vacation, and I'll definitely be back again!
Remembering that Cuba is NOT up to North American standards, I was quite pleased with Barlovento. It's older, as most are, but reasonably well updated. Many rooms are updated/renovated as well. I didn't have one, so can't comment. Our older room was just fine. I was particularly happy to see that all the rooms at Barlovento are 110 volt electrical outlets, meaning you can plug in your familiar North American gadgets (hair dryer, cell phone, etc) without needing to use a converter. I'm told this is pretty rare to find in Cuba.Cleanliness was quite good. The staff was excellent, All staff. As for food, the usual resort buffet was typically boring after awhile, but this one has a HOT kitchen, too, where you can order fresh made meals, like a custom omlette for breakfast, for example. For lunch, we usually didn't eat at the buffet. There's a grill out near the beach which offers a variety of fresh grilled food, like hamburgers, sausages, etc. I filled up on the fabulous pork ribs! They was just great! There's a bar there, too, and a washroom, and you're near the FANTASTIC beach that this resort properly boasts. One of the nicest beaches I've ever been to.There are many other resorts in Varadero, and some are more modern, but, really, Barlovento is just fine, and right at the edge of town. Great location, and you'll absolutely pay less here than at the other monster-sized resorts, and treated just as well.Don't forget to take in the shows every evening at the theatre by the first pool. They're quite good!SOME TIPS:-Bring a big bottle of Pepto Bismal. Have a shot every morning and every afternoon.-NEVER go out and about without a good wad of toilet paper in your pockets. MANY public facilities have none. DON'T LEAVE HOME WITHOUT IT!-Get your water bottles filled at the Lobby bar. They'll happily fill them with their treated water. Don't drink the local stuff.-The Lobby Bar has STUNNINGLY GOOD coffee!-Almost all staff, here, speaks passable English.-Know, in advance, that most public washrooms have no toilet seats on the toilets. You're fine at the resort, but not outside of there.-Tip a CUC or 2 often. The staff (and other locals) are downright poor. They depend on tips, and they'll be grateful with service!- USE SUN PROTECTION! The UV index in Canada only goes to 10. There, it's usually 12 or higher!! Sunburn WILL be an issue if you're not careful! Don't want to be blistering up while trying to enjoy your vacation!- Think twice before renting anything to drive yourself. Getting into an accident there is a nightmare, and can see you unable to leave until all damages are settled. Leave the driving to the locals!- Don't photograph police officers. It's ILLEGAL to do so and can get you arrested!
I will start with the bad and end with the good. First of all this was our 2nd trip to this resort. The food was worse this year, I always find something to eat, but this year it was difficult. The food on the buffet was always cold, no matter how soon it came out. I have never seen wieners served in so many ways, we had wiener kabobs, wieners in sauce and even battered wieners ( are you freaking serious ) I do not care for fish, so it bothered me when the grill guy flipped my meat with the same tongs he used for the raw fish and chicken ugh. Now for the good....The staff at this resort are amazing!!!!! Hats off to Mario and Regla from the entertainment staff, you guys rock! Thank you so much for my birthday cake ( that you brought in yourselves ) Thank you to Jose Manuel and German from the buffet. You are the people that keep us coming back....Butttttttt until the food changes we will not be returning. Again a huge shout out to some awesome people, Regla, Mario, Jose Manuel and German, you guys are the best and you rock! I hope the the owners realize what gems you are! xoxo
We stayed from April 8-18, 2017 and this was our second visit to this resort. Big improvements over last year. The resort was clean, food was very good at the buffet, new air conditioning in the buffet was a nice improvement and the management were continuously monitoring the food at each sitting. The room was clean and well looked after. The pool and area was keep very clean and well taken care of by Daniel.Lobby bar staff were outstanding Miguel, Joel, Jose, Ernesto, Ibriany, etc.The new manager is certainly a hands on person and very nice to speak to, and I think that under his management this resort will continue to improve.We look forward to returning next year.
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 and dinner daily
- A la carte dining w/reservations
- Christmas & New Year's Gala dinners
- Unlimited Domestic drinks & select International brand drinks from 9am-1am
- House wine w/meals
- Introductory scuba diving lesson in pool once/week
- Beach volleyball
- Air rifle shooting
- Daily activities
- Nightly entertainment
- 274 rooms in three 3-storey buildings
- 1 buffet restaurant
- 2 a la carte restaurants: Mexican and International, dress code & reservations required
- 3 bars including Beach bar
- 3 free-form pools
- 1 tennis court
- Watersports centre
- Shopping on-site
- Internet (fee)
- Car rental
- 18-hole golf course 12 km away
- 1 king or 2 twin beds
- Satellite TV
- Mini-bar (fee)
- In-room safe (fee)
- Full bathroom
- Small balcony or patio
- Max occupancy 3 persons
For the Kids - Kids 4-12 can enjoy supervised activities daily at the Mini Club, playground, and kid's section of main pool. Babysitting services available (fee).
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
- Hotel Contacts
- Extra Info
Ave 1ra e/ 9 y 12, 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.
Escapes.ca makes every effort to ensure that the information on this page is accurate, however, all information on this page is subject to change without notice. Escapes.ca is not responsible for any changes, errors or omissions that may occur.