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“Nice for Cuban standards ..... or so I've heard”

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Melia Peninsula Varadero
Ranked #32 of 65 Hotels in Varadero
Lethbridge Alberta Canada
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Nice for Cuban standards ..... or so I've heard”
Reviewed 24 March 2012

This was our 1st trip to Cuba and had been given lots of advice on what to expect/not expect. Apparently, this hotel is very nice by Cuban standards, but we usually go to Mexico and believe me it does not compare equally with any of the resorts we have stayed at in Mexico. It is listed as a 4 1/2 or 5 star depending on where you check, and by comparison in Mexico, I think it would be hard pressed to make the 3 star rating there. The resort is about 12 years old and definitely starting to show signs of age.
The need for repair/upkeep could be overlooked to a certain degree, but the fact that they were extremely understaffed is not acceptable. When they know the resort is at full capacity, it should be a no-brainer to bring in your maximum number of staff. I like to go on vacation to relax and enjoy the scenery and just totally mellow out. I do not find it relaxing at all to spend time after time after time in a lineup. Lineup for drinks, lineup at the buffet, lineup to get coffee, lineup for eggs in the morning, lineup to make reservations at the a la cartes, lineup at the pasta station in the evening, lineup for pretty much anything and everything.
I think some of it can be attributed to lack of training or poor training. Example being the egg station in the mornings. Instead of both stations being open, they only had one open. Even though there was a long line up. And the fellow cooking the eggs had his grill turned way down low, so it took forever to do a single order of eggs. Similar problem in the evening at the pasta station. The cook ran out of sauce, so he disappeared in the back to get more, which is reasonable. But he was gone for easily 10 - 12 minutes. Then when he got back with the fresh sauce, only then did he notice that he was out of all 3 types of pasta. So he disappeared again. I'm not sure how long he was gone that time, because I gave up and went to find something else to eat. I know for sure it was at least 4 or 5 more minutes because after I had found something else, I wandered by and the same people that were in front of me in the line were still there waiting.
After the second day, we were determining where we would eat by "which place has the shortest line?" Had nothing to do with the food quality. Actually, the place with the shortest line strangely happened to have the best food as well. It was the barbeque restaurant down next to the beach.. Only problem with this restaurant was that it was only open from noon til 4 o'clock.
Maybe I went there with my expectations too high, because normally I'm quite easy to please, but I found myself frustrated time after time with things that just should not happen at a resort that is listed as high as this one.
I do have to put in a few positives as well because it was not a complete doom and gloom trip. The Italian a la carte restaurant was excellent. Great service, terrific food and a live band that was perfect for the surroundings. Two violinists and a guitar player. They even took requests and did a great rendition of everything they played.
Also, the housekeeping staff were great. Very attentive, and quick to have anything fixed very quickly. 2 things we had a problem with were #1 the toilet. The plastic handle came disconnected (still usable) and our houskeeper happened to be in the area. She had the maintenance guy there and problem rectified in 10 minutes. Same with our phone. Went to use it and no dial tone. I saw the housekeeper at one of the other units in our complex and again, withing 15 minutes, all was well.
The beach was great if somewhat crowded. Not much room from the edge of the water to the edge of the trees, so the palapas are quite close together. Also, if you would like to get one, you need to get there fairly early. They fill up quickly, especially on the nicer days. Same as around the pool. The chairs there all seem to have towels on them by 9 or 9:30, but that happens pretty much at any resort. Even more so when they are operating at full capacity.
Front desk service was great. One of the few places where we did not experience lineups. Staff were friendly and helpful.
The money exchange was also not a problem. We had heard lots of horror stories of lineups and having them close the window in your face. We did not experience anything like that. What we did do however was keep our eyes open and if we needed to exchange some money, we just wandered by at different times and went to the window when there wasn't a lineup.
To sum it up, I am glad we went to Cuba, because it is one of the places we have always wanted to see. Our trip was enjoyable but not what I would call memorable. If we were to ever go back (which is unlikely) we would definitely spring for the extra several hundred dollars and stay at one of the top 4 or 5 rated hotels in Varadero. (eg. Iberostar)
Hope this has been at least a bit helpful to someone. If you have any questions, feel free to e-mail me and I'll do what I can to pass on what I learned while there.

Room Tip: Building #'s in the low to mid 20's seem to be fairly central, however this resort is spre...
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank BusdriverLth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MPV_General_Manager, Director General at Melia Peninsula Varadero, responded to this review, 24 August 2016
Dear Customer :
First of all, greetings from Melia Varadero Peninsula.
We regret the fact that you never has come a response from management. We would like to come back to share with his family Melia Peninsula.
Best regards
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Haltwhistle, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 March 2012

We have stayed at the Tryp in 2011 and again in March 2012 and enjoyed both stays.
The resort is lovely for children, our 4 year old son loved the huge childrens pool, paddling pool and mini disco show. The pirate ship is also good fun.
Rooms are a good size ( we were block 11 which is fine, situated next to childrens pool area). They are a little worn, but that's to be expected in Cuba, we did not spend much time in the room.
Food was good, again, don't judge by European standards and you won't be disappointed. Buffet was varied with fresh fish and meat cooked freshly for a small wait. The staff work really hard and are friendly and cheerful.
The grounds are lovely to walk around and we loved lizard spotting.
Would recommend for a family holiday.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Jackie K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MPV_General_Manager, Director General at Melia Peninsula Varadero, responded to this review, 24 August 2016
Dear Customer :
First of all, greetings from Melia Varadero Peninsula.
We regret the fact that you never has come a response from management. We would like to come back to share with his family Melia Peninsula.
Best regards
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 March 2012

We stayed from March 4-March 11. We have been to Cuba several times and by far the resort was the nicest. Much bigger than the ones we usually stay at which we didn't like too much. We traveled with a 4 year old and a 10 month old. The room was huge and ready on arrival. Even the crib was set up and a separate twin bed was available for our 4 year old. The weather wasn't the greatest the first two days and would not say the beach is as nice as Pesquero, cayo coco beaches. Sand is more course and browner. Much busier in Varadero also.
Food was great but busy at times which made it hard for our children. The buffet was poorly set up with prepared dishes in the middle of lines for cook to order items. Very confusing. Have not seen a good buffet yet in Cuba and the "pigs leading to the trough" is seen at everyone. Big race for the food.
Our oldest broke out into some itchy rash so bring Benadryl. Not sure if it was heat, bugs, or food.
The kids pool and kids club was just great. Waterside, playground pirate ship and smaller pool for our 10 month old to stand in was definetly a bonus and close together. Small kids bar gave out ice cream sandwiches daily made by Nestlé.
Hubby speaks some Spanish. We befriended some waitresses and grounds workers. Very nice. Obvious signs of trying to upkeep and remodel which is good
Overall good trip.

  • Stayed March 2012
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank OwenSoundinCuba
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MPV_General_Manager, Director General at Melia Peninsula Varadero, responded to this review, 24 August 2016
Dear Customer :
First of all, greetings from Melia Varadero Peninsula.
We regret the fact that you never has come a response from management. We would like to come back to share with his family Melia Peninsula.
Best regards
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Edmonton
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 March 2012

We have been all over the Caribbean and have stayed at nothing less than a 4 star resort, this one is just as good as other 4 to 5 stars we have stayed at. I spent a lot of time on this site reading the "terrible" reviews on this resort and I am a believer that it all starts with you! If you are a picky person and love to complain about the smallest details then you will have a bad opinion of this resort. If you a person that can over look a few things because Cuba isn't Canada and understand that then you will have a great time. We got bang out of "the line up to exchange money", We had a couple behind us that was complaining to us about everything, the food, the line ups etc... I just said to her "your on holidays, where else are you going to go?" She said "the beach" Well the money exchange line was about 10 maybe 15 minutes long. I told this lady " if it wasn't for this line up we wouldn't have met". If you have a mindset that you are expecting a 1 1/2" to 2" thick Alberta AAA grade beef tenderloin steak cooked to perfection every night with all you can eat Alaskan King crab legs and Lobster tails keep dreaming..... The food in the Caribbean is not the same as we are used to at "home" where ever that might be. We were at this resort for 2 weeks and never had a problem with the food, but that being said we are not picky eaters. The salad bar was awesome! Ok, ya there were a few dishes that had small fruit flies all over it from time to time, but then don't eat it. Let the Staff know and the change it promptly. The staff were very pleasing at this resort. In most circumstances, we Canadians don't speak Spanish, but yet the staff is good at getting you what you need, and we speak English and French. (how much do we complain about people that are in Canada that don't speak english..) The fresh pasta was good, along with the fresh fruit. The breads were awesome! There was a couple of things we didn't like. Other than that the food was overall very good every day. The La Laguna grill was spectacular! the chicken was really good and the rice was a bit salty for us (we don't use salt) depending on who made it and what day it was and I'm sure maybe even a little fishy for some, but I loved it!

Our Maid was awesome! Her name was Katia and let me tell ya, our room was spotless every single day for 2 solid weeks! Very much impressed! A few reviews on here the people were complaining that they never got any towel art.... Well like I had said before, we were at the Tryp for 2 weeks and we never got the same towel are twice! Got a bath tub half full of water and literally full of floating tropical flowers which I think she got from off the resort somewhere else. A few times our towels were still hot from the dryers. We never tipped her with money, we left her gifts daily. She was very creative with using even our pictures we got with the dolphins, a starfish and a conch shell, even the umbrella! Our bed was made perfect every day and had new sheets every time we put the card on the bed. The floor was washed every day, toilet was done everyday, and had lots on toilet paper for the excursions to take with us. Thanks again Katia! you are a hard worker and we wish you well !!!

The bartenders and waitresses were top notch, you can tell they are putting in a effort to make your holiday the best they can. We brought bubba kegs so waiting for drinks wasn't a issue, we tipped well too so yup, got what we wanted when we wanted it for a measly 5 pesos a night. The bar in the hut across from the main bar is the best to go to in our opinion, the Micheal knows how to make a awesome mijito, good job buddy! Al can knock out your hangover with a stellar spanish coffee in the morning! Both guys are very good at keeping your table clean and your drink full, how they make time to chat is beyond me but they are good at making you feel right at home! Thanks guys! Mailyn at the main bar was about the best waitress we have ever had, ever! She was very friendly, always had a big smile and always moving. Her feet must kill her every night she goes home. She made sure that we never waited for anything at all weather it was water, coffee a fresh pina colada or what have you. Thanks Mailyn! Was great meeting you and we wish you and your family all the best for years to come!

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank playersmokes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MPV_General_Manager, Director General at Melia Peninsula Varadero, responded to this review, 24 August 2016
Dear Customer :
First of all, greetings from Melia Varadero Peninsula.
We regret the fact that you never has come a response from management. We would like to come back to share with his family Melia Peninsula.
Best regards
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Maritimes
1 review
Reviewed 21 March 2012

We were here from Feb. 25-March 3, 2012.
Ground floor rooms are musty and very stinky.
Food was Horrible
We asked to be relocated to a 2nd or 3rd floor and were just told NO....
We got two double beds shoved together and a twin bed behind our couch!
Our house keeper was quite rude on our last day, I returned from the pool after paying $30.00 to stay in the room and extra 4 hours because our plane didn't leave until 1:50 the next morning, and when I arrived back at the room at 3:55 to grab our luggage, she told me, you have to get out, I have to clean.....okay then
Wew will never go back or recommend this 2 star hotel that advertises that it is a 5 star!

Room Tip: People were saying it was value for your money....They lied....The lady at the so called bank in the...
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Taurusgirl56
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MPV_General_Manager, Director General at Melia Peninsula Varadero, responded to this review, 24 August 2016
Dear Customer :
First of all, greetings from Melia Varadero Peninsula.
We regret the fact that you never has come a response from management. We would like to come back to share with his family Melia Peninsula.
Best regards
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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Additional Information about Melia Peninsula Varadero

Property: Melia Peninsula Varadero
Address: Parque Natural de Punta Hicacos | Matanzas, Varadero 42200, Cuba (Formerly Tryp Peninsula Varadero)
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Cuba > Matanzas Province > Varadero
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#5 Spa Hotel in Varadero
#15 Romantic Hotel in Varadero
#23 Top resorts Hotel in Varadero
#23 Luxury Hotel in Varadero
#26 On the Beach Hotel in Varadero
Price range (per night): $225 - $536
Hotel Class:5 star — Melia Peninsula Varadero 5*
Number of rooms: 581
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
All inclusive resort ideal for families, with a dedicated children's area, a marvelous tranquil beach, full of activities for all ages. Honeymooners also get special treatment in a quiet special area. Tennis courts, gym, non motorized water sports, drinks, a la carte and buffet dining included. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Tryp Peninsula Varadero Hotel Varadero
Tryp Peninsula Cuba
Peninsula Varadero
Tryp Varadero
Varadero Peninsula
Tryp Peninsula Varadero Cuba
Tryp Peninsula Hotel Varadero Beach
Varadero Beach Tryp Peninsula

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