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All reviews the mexican restaurant lobby bar fish chicken renovated room beach chairs the grill pizza nightly entertainment a la cartes beautiful beach small resort magic show main buffet other resorts great vacation evening shows
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Reviewed 18 April 2006

Me and tree of my girlfriends just came back from the Balovento hotel 3 days ago... It was AMAZING! The food was good, the hotel is nice, the beach what can I say...... The room was average but who care... it was very clean. One advise, if you want a clean beach towel, you better go early because you won't have one. For the animation, it wasn't that good.... Let say that people from the animation stayed under the palms trees all week.... beyond that we had a great time! We meet great people from Calgary, we had a blast !
I've been to Cuba five time before but it was my fist in Varadero and let me tell you if you want to party it the place to be!
Be sure to go to Calle 62 and The Havana club, the bartenders are amazing.
I'm going back for sure...

Date of stay: April 2006
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9  Thank GoPlaces16684
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 April 2006

Jarvenpaa/Finland:
We just returned from our vacation in Cuba. We stayed the first week from 28 of March 2006 in Barlovento Hotel in Varadero. We are a family with two teenagers (sons). We all loved this place!
The personnel was kind and helpful. The rooms were comfortable and clean. The meals were good (prefence: the mexican evenings which you have to reserve early!). Drinks were served all the time (but remember to bring your own thermo mug to keep them cool!). Pool area was simply great and there were plenty of chairs available for sunbathing. What I enjoyd most was that the most beuatiful beach was just behind the hotel area -only some steps, not more (see photo). There was even a nice beach bar with free drinks and chairs for everybody.
There was not much happening outside the hotel (execpt in the other hotels) but the Barlovento hotel offered entertainment not only durind days but also every evening. The location of the hotel was maybe the best in Varadero (if you are not interested in golf!) because it was close to the center of the city and shops (not many there but f.ex a nice market for arts and crafts very close).
Nothing to complain!

Date of stay: March 2006
11  Thank Paradise6833
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 April 2006

This was our first trip to Cuba for me and my boyfriend. We went with another couple and two other singles from March 26-April 3. We were also very lucky to meet another group of six on our same plane and others from Canada and Europe.

Before I talk about the hotel I must share this story. When we first arrived to our hotel we had a little incident. My boyfriend and another friend took a cab to the hotel (unfortunately the bus wasn't accessible). Between getting out of the cab and checking in my boyfriend realized he left his book bag in the cab. It had a digital camera, a couple pairs of sunglasses worth over $300, change of clothes and liquor. We thought it was gone. The next day our Go Travel Direct guy was very helpful in trying to help us locate the bag. In fact, while he was on the phone the cab driver walked into the hotel to return the missing bag. We were thrilled and were more than happy to give him a big tip. I just wanted to share this story to show how good the people are.

Now, more about the hotel. The hotel was great. I spent a lot of time on the beach and had many drinks from the beach bar. The room was average with two beds pushed together to make it king size and was cleaned very well everyday. It is an older hotel, so it's not perfect, but it is a comfortable room. I was also pleased to have a small fridge and hot showers everyday. I also loved that as soon as I walked out of my room I was outside.

Now, me being a vegetarian it was changeling at times to find something to eat, but the al a carte always found something for me. Ramone will treat you all very well. And if you're lucky the waiters may even dance with the girls (good times). It's also a good idea to tip well especially if you weren't able to get the reservations you wanted. If they say they're serving meat, it's just a variety of chicken, pork etc. Many of my favourite moments were spent at the al a carte and drinking wine with our new friends. But be careful of the tequila shots, but do cheer others on. The breakfast was always good and I ate a lot of very tasty french fries and bread for lunch. For a change we did eat at the pizza shop across the street, as suggested by previous posts.

I also went to the Havana Club (small, with lots of tourists, but a Great spot) and La Rumba (Tourist and locals and some really great dancing. It should cost $7 or $8 CUC from the hotel to La Rumba in a cab). Make sure you ask for a price before getting in the cab.

A friend of mine brought sunglasses which were very well received by the bartenders. The best bar is in the lobby because they have better alcohol. Most of the hotel workers love Canada gear, so if you have it, bring it. They also love water bottles and thermal mugs. Toothpaste and panty hose are two other popular items. One of the front reception girls has heartburn, so if you have Tums please leave it with her.

The beach was always clean with lots of chairs. Be sure to exchange your towel in the morning as sometimes they will run out during busy times. Bring a hat or bandana because your scalp will burn.

It's also a great location and you're right in town. There are two markets in walking distance and many restaurants.

Overall, everyone was very pleased with the hotel and said it seemed more like a four star. I did get to eat at a 4.5 star in Havana and the food was better, but mostly because they had more variety. Enjoy the Barlovento! I certainly did! Oh and please say hello to Louis. He runs a crafts table every other day near the pool.

Date of stay: March 2006
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17  Thank StaceyHalifax
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 April 2006

We just returned from a week at the Barlovento, and it was an amazing trip! We were a group of people in our mid twenties (singles and couples) and initially we were a little hesistant travelling elsewhere besides the typical "Spring Break in Mexico", but because of the hurricaines and the damage we decided to try something new. The trip was phenomenal! There were tons of young people from all over Canada at our hotel. Everyday the beach was packed! Although there were several prime tanning locations at the various pools, the sun and heat was a little overwhelming, and the breeze by the water was a lot more comfortable. Besides you can lay by a pool anywhere, not like a beach. The sand is white and the waters, when calm is absolutely amazing-clear blue!

There are 4 main bars on the resort-the lobby bar, 2 outside along the walkway to the pool and the beach bar. They all serve pretty much the same drinks, voda, rum, gin, etc.

This was actually one of the first trips where none of us in the group really got sick from the food. We never woke up early enough to experience breakfast, but they do serve great omlettes according to others. Everyday we would pretty much eat at the outdoor grill by the pool (hamburgers, fish, fries, salad, etc), and then eat at the a la cartes. We made reservations everynight for the Cuban and Mexican restaurants, because the food is amazing and the tequilla shots make you feel like you are in Mexico.

The staff was very pleasing at the hotel, especially the maids. We made sure to leave her a tip everyday. Everyone is really friendly and no one really hassles you like other places. Same goes for the market, you never feel pressured to buy anything. The market is literally a block away from the hotel. In the afternoons around 5pm we would either walk to the market or rent the mopeds and drive up and down the main strip.

If you are in your twenties or early thrities and looking for a great place to get away besides Mexico or Florida--Cuba is the hot spot! The nightlife is 10x better than we had anticipated. For 10 or 15 CUC you can party till 3am all you can drink. The music at every club ( La Romba, Havana, Internacional, Le Composita) is pretty much what you would hear at a typical club in Toronto. They play sets of house, hip hop, reggae, rock, regaeton and some salsa. After a night of clubbing we would return to our hotel around 4am and visit the buffet, where the chef would make us burgers.

We would definitely return to this hotel. It is truly bang for your buck!

Date of stay: March 2006
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9  Thank Getaway15768
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 March 2006

Taken me awhile to get to this, but here I go. Went to the Barlovento (1st winter vacation EVER other than Florida once) from Feb. 24 to Mar. 10. LOVED IT!!!!! Was glad I took all the ratings in the various forums with a grain of salt, 'cuz it was a great place. Why?
** LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION **
The Barlovento is around calle 10th. There's good pizza place right across the street. The bus almost always picks you up 1st or last for excursions (so no long bus rides). There is a market about 2 streets over, and the new market is on calle 15. A taxi to 'Club 62' is only 5 pesos or so.
Be sure to bargain for a horse/buggy. They have a charged listed, but you can usually get it cheaper for a group of 4 or so. We did, anyway.
We heard the bank had a better exchange rate. We were rushed from the airport to the resort, so were forced to exchange at the resort, until someone told us we would've done better at the bank in town - around calle 42(?)
1) THE PEOPLE: very happy to serve you, very happy to make friends with you, very happy to accommodate; WONDERFUL, wonderful staff!
2) THE RESORT: very "cozy" - not real big, small enough to meet up with people in various places, and easy to find your friends at
3) THE FOOD: was just fine. We found if we ate later (8, 8:30+++) it was colder. But if we got there 6:30, 7ish it was overall fine. Loved the pizza, and the beef & chicken dishes (actually had flavour!) - lots of fresh french bread and rolls - their cheese is really good (never found out what kind it was, but it was different). For salad lovers, lettuce was only served, I guess due to it being their winter, only 3 times in 2 weeks over at the lunch bar. Lunch bar had good hamburgers and also a variety of other veggies and things for the health-conscious. We could get late-night snacks, thanks to the wonderful staff, even a burger or sandwiches made up for excursions. The omelettes in the AM were always something to look forward to, with your choice of fixings. No complaints, really, but we're not real picky people, as long as there's lots of variety, which there was.
4) THE BEACH: almost always found a palapa for shade - the weather was AWESOME - 14 days, only 2 of which were cloudy and maybe dropped to a terrible 26 degrees or so???? :) nice having the volleyball court nearby. WALK TO THE BEACH: next to nothing, depending on which room you were in. We were on the third floor, 32-something and loved the location - close to lobby bar, across resort from restaurant - and a short and I mean short walk to the beach.
5) PARTY TIME: We tried a disco or two (Mamba, was ok for the age group; Cave couldn't get in), but much preferred the Cuban ambience of Club 62 on calle 62. Tried to go to another "local" place, the Compasita, but was closed for renovations.
6) EXCURSIONS: Loved the DOLPHIN/CATAMARAN (there's like 3 different ones, so be careful to choose) - but if you go with a group, make sure you're able to grab a couple pics. I didn't get hardly any of myself. If you want the REAL dolphin experience, do the swim with dolphins (25 mins., everyboyd who went had a blast). Water is murky there, but it's apparently due to the trees in the area dropping stuff off them, not the water being dirty. JEEP EXCURSION was well worth the $$. Had an excellent guide who spoke English, so we got a lot extra for our dollar. HAVANA - would recommend to anyone. In fact, next time we'd like to stay overnight to see more of it. Quite a fascinating place. Be sure and go on the DOUBLE DECKER bus (5 pesos) - you see the whole island, and realize what a great spot you're in! You can hope on or off anytime.
7) THINGS TO BRING: They need NYLONS, MEDICINE (TYLENOL, ADVIL, ETC.), SHAMPOOS, FEMININE PRODUCTS, and the guys LOVE BALL CAPS, used or not. The staff are pretty much happy with anything you give them though. There is also a Cndn priest who lives in Varadero-so go visit the church there and he can help you get some of your kid stuff out to orphanages. If you get into Matanzas or another little town, bring lots of candy & small things for the kiddies.
That's all I can think of for now - but I would recommend the Barlovento any day! As I said - it really is a 3 or 3 1/2 star. But the atmosphere and people make it a 5 in our minds!

Date of stay: March 2006
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14  Thank suzieqGRENADA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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