Hotetur Palma Real Hotel, Varadero Beach Cuba. 4 stars,
Start based on 55 reviews
- Destination: Varadero Beach
- Address: Ave. 2da y Calle 64, Varadero, Matanzas, Cuba.
- Phone: (5345) 614555
- Accept child:Yes
- $ No pricePer person
Description: Hotetur Palma Real Hotel Cuba
The Hotetur Palma Real Hotel, in the heart of Cuba
Mapa de Hotetur Palma Real Hotel
24 hrs. emergency medical service, babysitting, beauty salon, bell boy, board games, buffet, business centre, car parking, car rental, conference rooms, cyber cafe, disabled facilities, discotheque, grill, gym, hotel shop, laundry & dry cleaning service 24 hrs., luggage storage, massage, money exchange, motorized water sports, multi-language staff, no smoking rooms, Piano bar, post office, Reception 24 hrs., room services 24 hrs., safety deposit box in room, satellite tv, sauna, scuba diving center, Solarium, swimming pool, taxis, tennis courts, theme Restaurants, tourism bureau,
- 87 % of people enjoy this
“Nice people who can't do anything to help ”
We arrived at this hotel on Sunday night. As usually occurs, it took a little bit of time to check in, as a result we just missed the dinner hour. After consulting the information papers about a snack bar, it said we could go to the bar in the lobby at 10pm. We did so and were directed to a snack bar behind a pool. There are 4 pools and behind none of which we could find a snack bar. We went to bed hungry. The next few days went fairly well. The food was very good, the hotel needs a little bit of maintenance (paint jobs/fixed cracks in pool, etc). When meeting with our tour representative, be mentioned we should have gotten a free bottle of water in our room, we didn't and he said he would as the front desk. The next day, nothing. Asked the front desk who said ask the maid and the maid said to ask the front desk. Upon our leaving, we still had not seen a single bottle of water. As I said, the food was excellent! This is the closest the home cooked food that myself and other travellers have experienced. There was something to eat for anyone every day. I recommend the fresh grilled fish fillets at lunch time. Things went fairly throughout the week. There was a hiccup or 2 but nothing that couldn't be fixed. The hotel was decently clean, minus the used condom my mom found by the pool on Wednesday morning at 11am. I'd love to know why that wasn't cleaned up before the general public was around, what if a child had found it? Gross! At this point in time I would have rated the hotel about a 3. The real problems for us began on Friday. We returned to the hotel from the beach and we overheated. My mom wanted to lie down in the room and the air conditioning was not working. We assumed it was because she was overheated so we let it be. After she awoke from her nap it was more noticeable that it was not working. I went the the front desk and asked about it and was told that within 1/2 an hour someone would be there to look at it. I waited in the room for a technician who never showed up. I went back to the lobby and ran in to fellow Canadian travellers who experienced the same issue along with no water. We tested ours and had none either. I approached the front desk and was told that they would look for a new room for us but the woman told me a "air conditioned room is hard to come by these days". She told me to hang out in the lobby until she called me over with an answer. She called me back and I was told that the people working on the pool needed to turn off all the water to the hotel. By the time the dinner hour had passed the damage had been done, my mom had gotten heat stroke resulting in vomiting and diarrhea all Friday night. I was unable to get her cooled down. On Saturday morning my mom was not able to function. The air conditioning had been turned off. I went to the front desk asking for help and all they said was to go to the doctor. They refused to change our room and refused to let her sleep in the air conditioned medical office without charging us or contacting our insurance company. I asked to speak with a manager and was told he was In a meeting and we could not speak with him. We went 24 more hours without air conditioning before it finally went on. It was hotter in our room than it was outside but we couldn't keep our balcony door open because mosquitoes. By Sunday morning after breakfast the air conditioning came on for 2 hours. Enough time to pack our belongings and get the hell out. Sundays lunch was alright although you could tell that the upcoming week the hotel would be holding a higher capacity. The line up for the fresh grilled meat, which usually would take minutes, took upwards of half an hour. Finally, when speaking to other passengers that were with the same tour operator, we were told that some people had air conditioning throughout their entire trip. Also, found out from another tour operator's rep that there was a hospitality room to stay in along with confirming that we should have had the bottled water daily, as we were told about in the beginning. Needless to say, we will not be going to another bellevue property or one of its sister properties ever again!
“You get what you pay for!!! ”
If they fixed their air conditioners they would cut their stress and complaint by 99%. Virtually everyone I talked to moved 2nd day cause of no air conditioning... after several complaints. I moved and my new air conditioner worked 1 % maybe. Food, was ok, again I opted for a bargain. Location was superb.. 5 min to walk downtown. The beach was 2 blocks away!! The rooms were fine, sparse and dated, but very clean. $14.00 for safe. The staff were amazing, and the best deal on taxi's after much bargaining was Edwardo, large 56 orange car outside hotel. 52388082 0r 522169 to call him. He took me way past Havanna and took me to his friends for 1.2 price cigars. and went way above and beyond helping me for not a dime extra. (yes I tipped him well)
“DON'T GO !! ”
The food was almost inedible, the rooms were gross with bugs, no cable, no satellite, no channels, the shows that they did have were terrible "low rent" productions that mainly included the audience participation and that was the good part of the show! The ceiling in the lobby leaked so much that they had buckets everywhere to collect the water! The service was fine from the wait staff but front desk staff was awful! Don't go don't go don't go!1
“Only thing going for it is the location ”
I visited this resort March 2014 for one week solo. I had previously stayed here on two occasions approximately eight years ago and had a great experience both times. About 10 days or so prior to this vacation, I emailed the resort stating I am a repeat guest and would appreciate a room in such and such a building on second floor facing the pool. You would not believe the room I was assigned! Way out in another building on the main floor facing the highway. I am not one to complain but the air conditioner did not work in this room and it was tiny. After speaking to the front desk I was moved, to the building of my choice, but to a higher floor with a view of another building. Again this room was smaller than any I had on my two prior visits but I was not in the mood to complain further. I could see the resort has deteriorated somewhat and the bar in the one building was no longer open. The buffet had two nights of good food and then it went downhill from there. The service in the buffet, however, was always excellent. Carlos is an excellent server. I really enjoyed him this trip as much as in the past. The other thing this resort has going for it is excellent employees. I did not have a negative encounter in that respect. The beach is a bit of a walk but the price of this resort is much cheaper for this reason so it is reasonable. They could use more loungers at the beach as some days I had to lay on my towel until I could find a free one. The food and service at the beach bar was also superb. Always friendly bartenders who made the perfect drinks. Bathroom there always had toilet paper. I did not try any of the a la carte restaurants. I found the pool snack bar, where the serve breakfast, to be my favorite early morning eatery. Freshly fried eggs and bacon were delicious and again very friendly staff. For the night time, I had some great times at the Havana Club although I was somewhat disturbed by having to "check" my purse at the door. This was new to me...was my 11th trip to Cuba and never had been asked to check my purse previously. Honestly, feel free to search my purse and it was a tiny one. I suppose they must have had some outrageous situations occur in order to have to enforce this. At least next time I will be prepared and have pockets for my money, etc. The pools at the resort were always clean and drink service was good. I met some lovely people on my vacation. Will I stay here again, not likely since the rooms and food were horrible. Even my second room was awful and smelled of stale cigarettes. I complained to the housekeeper and after that she changed the bedding and it was a bit better. So how long had that bedding been in that room? Location is close to everything, great beach and lovely staff. If you get this place for a steal maybe consider but be prepared to go out for most evening meals, at the least. I do not think they will be seeing me again.
“The location is good, but the hotel should be rated with maximum 2 stars ”
This hotel might have been good in the old days, but is very poor now (2014). The food is very bad, but because you are in the centre of Varadero you can eat in the near by restaurants. Most of the resortsin Varadero are beach resorts and not on walking distance from the citycentre. Palma Real is located next 2 nice bars and restaurants so if you like 2 go out at night and enjoy life music like we do its a very good location. But there is a nicer hotel close by, unfortunatly I forgot the name. Palma Real is old and not taken care of, plaster comes of, tiles are broken and most important the food is very bad and drinks are either not available or watery since it's all inclusive like most of the hotels in Varadero. So please check the reviews before you book this place and don't get fooled by the 4-5 star rating.
“No air. No water ”
First few days were great, than no air conditioning or water. That was a Thurs, came back on for few hours than was out again and never came back on, we left on a Sunday. We were told by rep it would cost to move us, or if we wanted to leave earlier it would cost 300.00 each for flight. The staff could not help us in any way. My first and last trip. Location was excellent.
My husband and I jumped at this very last minute AI vacation after a friend of his recommended it and the price was awesome. I loved the location but really recommend you pay a few hundred more dollars and stay across the street. This was our 3rd visit to Cuba and my most disappointing all time vacation. We arrived in the late evening. There was about 8 people from our flight staying here. Check in took almost 2 hours. We were escorted to room 1 in building 4.When we opened the door, we walked in on people as the room was occupied. Back to reception. Wait again. Room 2.Opened the curtians and found we were facing a closed dark small area that received no sun, or view of anything except other balconys. There was garbage at the bottom of it. Back to reception and wait. Room 3.(All rooms are a small basic square with a simple washroom). Climb into bed and pass out. Wake up about 6am to honking and beeping and trucks and traffic. I am so hot as the air conditioner doesn't work. Its so loud. Reception shows me a room in building 2.I'll take it and stay although the door didn't lock. There was no safe keys available for our entire week .I used mouthwash and spit into the sink before going out and came back to 30+ ants crawling in my sink and toiletries on the counter. I asked housekeeping for some spray but the communication was not very good and I chose to wash everything down and put my things into the tub after use. They have one bar going for the main area and I had a very hard time getting service as a shorter,quiet woman. The men were taller and more obvious. I had to send my husband each time I wanted something. I even had a hard time getting my morning coffee as they would serve over me.( I always smile and tip well for good service).I later chose to sit in the lounge area in building 4 for cocktails which was usually empty I also had a hard time getting something to eat. I wake up at 9 drink coffee on the balcony(no coffee makers in the room) and read for a bit then try to find some toast or eggs. Everything is closed after 10:00am .So I had to wait for lunch. A snack bar is open around lunch to dinner where I could get a grilled cheese sandwich or a hot dog. Lunch buffett opens later. And the area across the street at the beach serves the same thing in the afternoon. The buffett at dinner was quit good for a buffett. We went to Havana for the day. They feed us at about 11 on the trip. We returned to the hotel about 10pm and I was starving. There was NOTHING to eat at the resort. Everything was closed. NO food available. I was to tired to go into town for food. Then after sleeping all night and waking late, I had missed breakfast again and had to wait for a grilled cheese for lunch.( I can definatly afford to loose a few pounds but darn it I'm at an all inclusive). So I was sad and wanted to call home and check in with my children. For 3 days , reception they said they could not call Canada. I walked to town to a woman in a booth but she couldn't help me out either. So I went to the resort across the street and they easily let me call home. I was so appreciative. On day 3 another couple could call home but they had to ask the man at the front desk not the woman. Yep after that we could call home if we asked him. There is a bit of entertainment that we caught by mistake as they do not display anywhere that they have entertainment or activities. It was a weird trip for me and our flight was delayed for hours to come home. We went for the weather and got that but it's the last time I will be letting my husband book our vacation. We loved being in town but would really recommend you stay elsewhere.
“Cheap holiday, so you get what you pay for.”
Just returned from a week with our son. Met Annie-Luu-N there and agree with all she said, apart from the locals staying at the hotel. They are either Venezuelan, Columbian or Brazilian. Locals could not stay there. Cubans are warm, friendly people with the odd exception, the driver of horse carriage 21 who ripped us off and the staff at the El Ranchero restaurant who tried to. These are our top tips, I wish someone had told us: Take insulated traveler mugs for your drinks at the hotel, keeps you drinks cold and you don't have to have the stupid plastic cups. All the south Americans knew this. Take enough toothpaste, it's a hell of a job to find there (beauty shops do it) in fact take everything you may need, wipes, sanitiser, etc. OH! Immodium is a must, we know! Agree the price of the taxi for the whole trip, for all the group. Said thief in Horse 21 cab agrees price at 10 CUC for the trip and then says on arrival it's 10 each. They all trot out the line it's not them, it's the government. Call the police is my suggestion and let him explain to the government. Every waiter will try and sell the men cigars on the sly. Don't pay more than 1 CUC each. Tipping your waiter may get you better service, but they change them round every couple of days so it doesn't last long. The food is pretty rubbish, in the hotel and restaurants. The best was the Barbacoa and you can get some descent wine there. The food in the buffet at the hotel is obviously recycled if not consumed, and makes regular reappearances. They have a ploy of bringing out the best stuff; pork chops, chicken, etc. five minutes before the buffet shuts at 9.30. Nobody takes it as its closing and it disappears back to the kitchen at 9.30 sharp for the staff dinner. I don't blame them, but your paying for it. Surprise them and grab it. The building quality of the hotel is terrible. I would be surprised if the place hasn't fallen down in 20 years. It's almost laughable the lack of care the painters took, pretty much everything else is terrible. Don't get a Cuban handyman! We never saw the pools cleaned all week and the filtration is suspect, all the skimmers are full of cups and the water level doesn't even reach them. The pool drains are a forest of hair. Swim with your mouth shut. All three of us have had stomach upsets during our stay and still have, I suspect the pool water. We did two tours, one to Havana and the Jeep safari. The Havana tour was full of interesting Cuban history and our guide knew her stuff. The old city was "Old", nothing new to us as we're from Europe. Frankly the rest of Havana looks like Kabul without the bullet holes. Images of Che Guevara everywhere, it's a shame they can't stop celebrating the revolution and get on with life. Not the average Cubans fault though. You get very little time to explore on your own and are taken incessantly to shopping opportunities at flea markets, all the same stuff that is not worth buying. A contrived tour to extract your cash for the benefit of the Mr. C. The jeep tour consists driving Suzuki 4x4's around Matanzas and the countryside. If you can't drive a manual gearbox car, there's no autos. Good day out to see the countryside, there's snorkelling, a farm trip and lunch and finished off with a trip to a cave pool. It gives you a glimpse of life away from the resorts. A bit pricey though and ours spoilt by four A h***s from Sudbury. Having been to many other countries, the worst thing about Cuba is the way it's run. Compare it to India where they are poorer but free, give me India. You just get the feeling your only there for the benefit of the state. Don't think I'll return, Cuban people deserve more.
“Not bad.. But not great.. ”
We just got back from Palma real. First time visiting Cuba. Was a cheap summer get away for us. It's very hot here at this time. Plus 40 everyday with humidity. There were ALOT of locals staying at this resort, not many Canadians. A lot of Russian, Germany, UK. Check in was a bit slow, one staff working only. And there wasn't even a line up. How ever our room was ready even though it was just about noon hour. The bell boy brought us to our room with our luggage. First impression of the grounds were very out dated and run down. Elevator was kinda scary looking small. We stayed in room 1328, third floor. Keeping an open mind the room was very standard. Basic needs we're there. Bed was very used. You can feel the springs sometimes. Fridge doesn't get cold at all. We didn't use the safe there is a fee I believe. The shower had very strong water pressure. And the toilet keeps running water. Everything worked. Even the air condition worked fine. One problem is around 2-4 am light sleepers can hear drunks getting back to there rooms. The doors have a crack at the bottle where you can hear everything from kids running around to doors slamming. You only get 1 bottle of water in your room for the whole visit. So I suggest bringing a refillable bottle from home to use through out that week. The beach is about 2-5min easy walk from the resort. Varadero does have beautiful beaches and this was our main reason to visit. Soft sand, clear clam water. We had very warm water. You can walk out about 30 meters and still be on your feet. We kept seeing small fish and jelly fish that don't bite. The bad part about this beach in the summer time is there's a lot of locals coming here. They pay for chairs which take up our resort side. There's a bar behind the beach for the resort. With 3 options of snack only hamburger, hot dog and ham and cheese sandwich. The main buffet restaurant for breakfast lunch and dinner were lacking options. Breakfast was good. But lunch and dinner you would have the same thing from the last day. By far one of the worst place to eat we've been to. As for a la carte. The desk opens 10-12 and it fills up quick. They allow 10 people per the half an hour only. We finally got Chinese the last night. It's open air so with in the 10 mins we got there I got 10 misquote bites right away. Made it hard to enjoy dinner. We didn't use the pools at all. Pool #2 was very quiet. Where the main pool had the music and entertainment going on. If you have time to walk the streets outside the resort. It's safe and no one hustles. There's small markets, a mall small restaurants and some vendors. We had dinner at the barbacoa. We had the steak and lobster. Was very good meal better then the resort food. We also went to the Cuban restaurant in the garden on the left hand side of the strip. Can't remember the name of it. A full Cuban meal with soup salad drink and dessert was $18 per person. Over all this country is beautiful. The beach is worth the visit. Yet the resort isn't the greatest. It's a 2-3 star for sure. And if you get a deal $650-700 I would say go for it.
“Unforgettable Vacation ”
I booked this trip through Air Canada Vacations. I had a party to attend in matanzas and celebrate my dad's 91st B-day. I arrived to the hotel and I had two heavy luggage. Security was there but seem useless never helped me with a luggage. It was two receptionists socialized with new drinkers they have arrived that morning day. I was so upset. Finally after half an hour they directed me to my room was clean air conditioner. What do you expect of communist country in a everyday menu. I cannot complain I enjoy the food very much same as my dad. Of curse the Cubans have more preference for the outside Cubans than the tourists. Average was very good food very good customer service not so good. They always expect for any little thing a dollar CUC is no much, no stingy but all the time just for doing her own job. Just one advise management should be changed. Have better upgrade in the rooms lizards and bugs coming all the time and the towels are not changed every two days. Since the moment that I have arrived they never changed the towels or bed sheets. I don't think this hotel is consideres 4 stars two or three are okay. Anyway that is my opinion
“Go if you get a deal! ”
We went on the second week of July 2014, here`s what you can expect. Rooms are below 3.5 star standards in my opinion, odor, broken down, dirt spots, etc. Air cond stoped working after 3rd day, (same for all people i spoke to) hotel hallways resemble a horror movie (I heard the same comment from others staying there), dark hallways and hotel lobby, old motel looking like doors.. Not a good first impression when you come in. Lots of locals staying here. I really enjoyed the food and service at the buffet, the food just kept coming and never left empty, pool was great (there`s the party pool with music and games till 5pm, and another one all the way across the resort for more relaxing bathing) the outside area was clean and well maintained and nice for taking exotic pictures (lots of palm trees). Walk to the beach is cool, get to see the streets and locals, but its a public beach, not private for the hotel, so again, lots of locals and not well maintained. I personally don`t mind the locals, they`re cool and it is their country after all, but some people prefer to be around other tourists.. not the case here. Close to medical institution, currency exchange office, shopping center, bars, restaurants, etc. Overall, I wouldn`t pay more than 600-700 to go here for a week. If you don`t mind the rooms and hotel inside, you can still make the best out of your trip with what`s available outside.. I however will pay an extra couple hundred to go somewhere with better rooms and hotel interior.. As for the staff, not too impressed. There`s the good and eager to help personel and others that are just there to work and do there job without smiles.. from my experience in Cuba, you get the same everywhere you go. there`s always good and bad!
“A good experience all in all. ”
In mid June 2014, my friend and I were not given a choice by Westjet and although we were displeased with their local services which was almost nil until the last couple of days and they did nothing to help us even then! As others have said this was a huge hotel with lots of facilities. My main beef was with the smoking and no respite area for us non-smokers other than to go to our rooms; we got some Montreal stations (in English) on the t.v. but could not take part in any evening activities because of the smoking and the bugs! The first three days were torture but after that they did try to spray all the open areas to keep the bugs out! Besides the main buffet which I agree did their best to meet everyone's tastes and have a different variety almost every day, the other 3 restaurants were not all that great; the Thai place chef really needed not to serve up burnt fried rice! the Italian chef was no better!!! I was told the food in outside restaurants was better but we never got to try it. During one of our day trips with a guide and driver in one of their 50's classic cars which were very impressive, airconditioned and running smoothly; roads very impressive and well maintained and clean and it was wonderful to be traffic free! Sorry I digress, they took us to a small home/rest. where the patrons were very accommodating to serve up vegetarian food for my friend and gave me a taste of 3 kinds of fish very well cooked. The heat was terrible but the people there were all so eager to please and the musicians too. A small tip here and there went such a long way and they showed such gratitude! I understood from 2 of our guides that women find it hard to find good daily wash gels deodorants hair products, cosmetics and they need to earn our convertible pesos to be able to shop in stores for tourists where these may or may not always be available. So my advice is to carry a lot of this stuff and give away as "tips" rather than cash. Like someone said the maids were very inventive with the towels and bed-spreads and made boats, hearts and swans with them and the towels which were changed daily. The hotel tourist info lady was much better than West Jet's reps. who never turned up the day after we arrived as they were supposed to and we just found our way by ourselves. We learnt the hard way not to exchange money at the hotel who charge interest over and above the low exchange rate. The Cadesa (banks) large or small are the best bet for this. Crime is almost negligible there as the law is very strict in keeping the given sentence of imprisonment, no parole or relief for good behaviour, so people are not too eager to do anything wrong. Lots of good history in the place and I enjoyed visiting all the museums, etc. I understand there are a few hotels that have some non-smoking areas. The evening entertainment needs to be upgraded to suit all ages; not all adults only smoke and drink, and we could have had some more entertainment in a bug/smoke free environment. Also the youngsters need to learn that just because they have the freedom to drink, smoke, and use the pools - when it comes to a restaurant at least a shirt is expected in the restaurants! I am surprised that they have so many coconut trees but they don't serve them us as cool refreshing drinks and the "flesh" inside them, like we would do in India. Like one of their guides said they are extremely sweet toothed and use too much sugar in juices and drinks which made it sick and I could only stick to water or on the rare occasion when we got sugarcane juice which again could be marketed in the summer rather than just used commercially. The people are very enterprising and smart and learn to make a little income on the side to survive like any of us.
“Off the beach, poor lounge/bar atmosphere”
Given the amount of time one spends waiting for the little drinks from the bar, it's an important part of the all-inclusive experience and at the very least it should be comfortable. But it's far from that. In fact, the main bar in the BelleVue Palma Real makes waiting for your drink painful. First, there are no seats at the bar itself. Secondly, the lighting in the bar and the entire lobby/lounge looks like something out of a horror show: old fluorescent tubes buzzing as greenish light. It's noticeably bad. The lounge shares this atmosphere. All I'm saying is they could make the atmosphere much more pleasant with better lighting...and this goes for the entire resort. Another resort (cuatro palmas) I stayed at has this figured out at least to some extent, and it shouldn't have to cost a fortune. There's really no excuse. The resort itself is not too bad. It has several large pools and many loungers. One pool has a swim up bar which is fine. But if you're a beach fan like me, you won't enjoy having to walk 5 or so minutes to the beach from the resort each time. Other resorts for basically the same rate are located right on the beach. I'd rather go back to Cuatro Palmas next time. On a positive note, this resort does have a bar at the beach which also serves hamburgers and hot dogs, but it does close early so beware. Not that it's all about food and drink, but when you're there, you'll see that this is an important component of your vacation, and it shouldn't be ignored.
“Great friends - Average resort ”
While the resort itself was average in décor and beauty, and the food was typically Cuba bland, we made the best of our visit by meeting some amazing people. The poor weather didn't help our mind set regarding the resort either. One day of sunshine out of four days. Listed as a 3 star and I would have to agree (maybe even a 2.5). The walk to the beach is not that big a deal. We saw hotels on the beach that were just as far from the water as our hotel was and ours wasn't actually on the beach. Right in town and within walking distance to markets and clubs but as ours was a short visit we did not take advantage of this. The staff we met were friendly and made an effort to remember your name. Because of the people we met we had a blast.
“Right in town- lots to see and do- ”
Before I even start reviewing the hotel if you haven't been to Cuba in a while you will be very surprised! It has gone through terrific growth since the last time we were here the last time with many changes... which has its positives and negatives. We have been to Cuba many times and have always loved it... you either love Cuba or you don't. We stayed in late March into early April and the weather was a perfect 35 degrees everyday with no clouds in the sky so that always helps with a review. Check In: As you have read is slow... but hey you are on vacation.... go get a drink at the bar (which is right beside the lobby) and relax you have 7 + days to enjoy... the service is slow and we knew that going in by reading the reviews. We had an absolutely beautiful view of the ocean... the best I have had in Cuba and our room was extremely quiet.... at night on the pool side it was loud however (we went with a group of 18 people who stayed all over the resort) and needless to say their review of the rooms would be different. The room was clean and simple... again who wants to stay in the room anyway! Okay so now the resort itself... relatively clean... a little run down.. but the staff work hard and things were picked up and cleaned (every morning and night you see the staff working very hard to get the place clean). There are nice little walking paths which were entertainment for my little ones when they got tired of swimming. The paths are not long but they are fun Speaking of pools.... The kiddie pool (as we were there with my two children 5 and 2 years old) was the main area we spent most days at... they loved it! It was also very quiet at that side of the pool as the swim up bar pool attracted most of the visitors. They also did enjoy the pool with the bridge... the larger one right beside it The bartenders and drinks were great... with a good menu and you can get pretty much any drink you want... except mojitos... only certain days did they have the fresh mint. Mostly rum based but they had whiskey and vodka and other drinks. I love Cuban coffee so needless to say it was good... my wife is a tea drinker and is particular so she brought her own) The food..and I hate to say it... because I really am not a complainer (and have never complained about the food ANYWHERE) was the worst we have had in the many times we have gone to Cuba... it was hot however and thoroughly cooked... but certainly was below Cuba standards (we usually stay three star). Bring garlic ketchup peanut butter and hot sauce. The line up for omelettes was so long in the week I went I never had one (again with the little ones they have no patience for these things) but I hear they are good. The dinner menu was super simple. The ice cream however was really good! The snack bar (hot dogs and hamburgers and ham sandwiches) was the best food on resort by far... including the a la cartes. The entertainment was nice and they work very hard to make it fun for everyone. Location here is amazing.... you can walk all over Varadero and rent a 1940's convertible for very little! The local restaurants are very good and make sure you budget to go a few times for some variety. We didn't do any of the excursions as we have done all of them at least once in the past but we did find a little Fair very close by (5 minute cab ride) that had rides... a little old but a lot of fun (didn't do the rollercoaster/ not that trusting in Cuba or Canada!) My wife and I developed severe strep throat on our 5th day... so I can review the medical assistance as well. The on site doctor was AMAZING and WONDERFUL and so was the nurse... they worked with us and helped us sooo much to get better including a prescription that was delivered to the resort...we felt blessed to get the help we did after spending two days suffering and not sleeping (except sleeping sitting up as we couldn't swallow) My favorite part of the trip has to be the time walking around the city of Varadero with my family and with my friends... its safe... its fun... and its great for everyone! 2am walks are just as safe as 5pm.... I don't think I would return to this hotel as I prefer smaller hotels but certainly will be back to Cuba... it is changing though.
“2nd time there in 5 years, ok if you get a good deal ”
First TMR we were the worst service I ever got travelling, the confusion your mistake caused at the hotel check in almost destroyed my vacation! Meaning that even if I presented my voucher or invoice to hotel clerk, my reservation at the place WASNT MADE! If I would have been travelling in high season, my daughter and I would have been in BIG trouble to find a place to stay, NOT GOOD AT ALL !!! Ok, that said, it was my daughter and I second trip at this hotel, we returned because of the good service we receive on our first visit and also on the great location of this hotel to the clubs at night since we love to go dance! The service at the Palma real is still great! Sure front desk is slow, but for that I blame the management who puts only 2 clerks at the desk during a check inn. The best is the bar service, they are just perfect, love them all! Thank you guys for your fantastic service! For those who complain about the food, its a 3 stars in Cuba, wake up! If you want a good steak every night DONT chose Cuba and a 3 stars! I was fine with the food, pork, chicken and fish were great and soups delicious! The place is clean, bed comfy, hot water no problem, ac no problem, pool clean, beach is nice even if you have to cross the street, its very close no problem. Problems that should be worked on are: -move the volleyball back to the beach, no beach fun activities, move it back to the beach. -Even if service is excellent at the beach bar n snack, food lacks variety; no more chicken or special rice like they use to make, it was fun for the beach lovers who likes to spend their day at the beach. -A little paint all over the resort would look great too, after all your gardeners are doing an EXCELLENT job, but management is apparently not doing much! -Fix the elevators if you can, 4 floors is long way up at 4 in the morning, they were out during the whole week, poor baggage guy, come on management. So in general, like I said in the title, if you get a deal its ok, but the managers at this hotel don't care much about the place, it is holding up because of the GREAT personnel its got and that's it.
“Decent Hotel, Good Location ”
I was at this hotel from May 9th, 2014 to May 16th, 2014. Overall it is a decent hotel with average amenities and a good location if you like the night life: close to the Beatles Bar and other party bars. I was in room 1124 which is on the ground floor and has a small balcony with a table and chairs and is just opposite the swim up bar which has music during the day. The music stops around 5 PM and it is quiet in the evening. It was a perfect room location. The food was fine and the service for beer or wine or juice in the AM was excellent. Some people who were helpful at the resort were: Ernesto who works in the lobby and can get things done for you Oscar outside the front doors who helps with the luggage. Luis who works in the kitchen and brings food out - he decorates, sings and is an extremely friendly individual to whom you warm up too immediately. Alex at the beach bar; pours you drinks and always has a smile for you. I did not meet anyone who was curt or rude - very friendly staff. I did not have my room cleaned every day - it is not nescessary: give the maid a break! Any negatives were with the tourist who never say please or thank you: children who say "give me" when they want a drink - never "por favor" or "gracias". Also tourists who leave their garbage everywhere: should be ashame of yourselves - you would not do that at home. There were few Canadians at this time of year - mostly Cubans and Russians who keep to themselves. I did not see the manager once; you would think that the manager would be walking around talking to the guests of his hotel, seeing if there are any problems or just making sure the guests are happy. I rate the hotel as average with above average workers. If you are going, please bring the maximum weigh allowance in goods for the cubans. They can uses anything you bring: they may be dollar store items to you but valualbe items to them. I would certainly go back again.
“2nd time to Palma Real some better some worse, still good deal for money paid ”
This was our second trip to this hotel and our 8th time in Cuba. The hotel is located on the edge of town so there is easy access to everything. It is close to many nightclubs so does get qute noisy especially on the weekend. We arrived on Sunday evening to a quiet resort, the lobby has been updated and is more comfortable than before. The rooms were just ok but everything worked well enough. There is a mini fridge and phone in each room. Phone calls to Canada can be made directly from your room phone and paid at the reception counter. I called home twice and the cost for 2 quick calls was about $12 pesos total. There is a snack bar open all night and the lobby bar is also open 24 hours. You can get coffee there 24-7. The staff are mostly very good, we did have one front desk lady who was rude and told me no calls to Canada from the hotel- which was untrue.... everyone else was very good and friendly. Considering the price of the resort we were overall quite happy. Short walk to the beach, and I loved the quiet pool. Nightime entertainment was good too. The food was very good during the week, lots of variety and Uncle Louis the singing chef made us feel like one of the family. The house band at dinner time was excellent and very friendly also. Now for the 'room for improvemnet section'- -the a la cartes have to be booked daily for that day only. If you are not there immediately when the woman arrives to book you will be out of luck. We did manage to book the italian restaurant one night and it was very good. We did not bother again since it was too much of a time consuming thing and we were happy with the buffet. -the weekend rush at this resort is ridiculous. I have never seen anything like it. The resort becomes flooded with locals from Friday to Sunday. I generally like the locals but the behaviour was crazy. Doors slamming and shouting in the hallways all night on Friday. Some of the other guests complained and then it was better on Saturday. The locals were filling bags of food from the buffet and taking it off resort on the weekend. It was quite an entertaining sight. The wait staff pretended not to see it. The food trays were emptied very quickly and they were taking everything they could carry. It was slim pickings for the rest of the guests especially on Sunday. Fresh food would be brought out and a few guests take it all and empty the food into tote bags. In spite of the weekend vultures, we did enjoy the resort. I would however advise management to get control of the weekend situation because they are feeding much more than the paying guests judging from the amount of food leaving through the front door. It cannot be cost effective. Would I return? sure would! for a cheap vacation it is great!
“Great value!!!! ”
Excellent location! 2min walk to beach 2 min walk to night life and restaurants Close to bank and markets for shopping. Beautiful beach, beautiful people! Reasonably priced! Met a lot if wonderful people while there for my 2 week stay!!!
“Nice Budget vacation ”
Bellevue Palma Real can be described as a fun resort in an excellent location. If you managed to get a good deal on this resort then it is well worth the money. I paid a total of $670 which included taxes. The key is to relax. Don't expect things to be perfect ( or even close) and you will have a great time like we did. The food isn't that bad but the line ups can be annoying. I went to the Italian and Chinese restaurant and to be honest it was a nice change of scenery but the food wasn't great, Make sure in high season that you "claim" a beach chair and shade before 8:00 am. I saw quite a few annoyed guests spending the day in the hot sun on a beach towel directly on the sand. The rooms are hit and miss. We checked in on a Friday and the hotel was completely booked so when I asked to change rooms I was told I would have to wait until Monday. I found the receptionist to be very nice despite the fact that she really could help me. I have been to different parts of Cuba a total of eight times and the one thing that stuck out with this resort was the fun atmosphere.
+ Great swimming pool, beautiful environment with a lot of palmtrees, friendly staff, good buffet restaurant, great theme restaurants (chinese + italian), good animation by the pool, beautiful beach with nice beachbar - Rooms are clean but very old, not beautiful, and a little bit smelly. The building itself is of age (like nearly all the hotels in Cuba) although everything is clean. Bar at the beach and swimming pool close early. The hotel is infested with people that want to get drunk (karaoke night was a disaster).
“pretty good value ”
We stayed there for 3 days at the end of our trip. Overall pretty good for the price we payed, but its a big contrast with the casas particulares where we stayed before. The rooms in the casas were much nicer and we missed the real Cuba in the hotel. But if you're looking for sun, beach and relaxing, this is a good spot. +Great pool and beach, food was pretty good, friendly staff, clean rooms - Old rooms, very basic. Shower temperature was not constant, pool and beachbar close early.
“What a great hotel!! ”
I had a blast at this hotel. It is very big, large pools etc The food was good too, and the view from my room balcony was to die for! The best part was the staff! Tons of friendly, happy, nice cubans that serve you like a king! I really dont have anything bad to say about that hotel. I paid 1000$ for 15 days and it was absoluetly worth every dollar! Compared to other 3 1/2 stars i have been too, this one was by far the best. The only little downside for me was that it was not adults only, and as a single 24 year old, sometimes kids are a bit much for me but eh!! Im easy going still.... I would go back anytime if the price is right! Finally I would like to name a few of the poeple that served us during our vacation, and I hope the manager reads this because those poeple work hard and they do an amazing job. Ivett, bartender, friendly and nice Tatica, bartender, so sweet and friendly Barbaro, server at buffet, amazing service Lazaro Hernandes, server at buffet, amazing service Barbara, bartender, sweetest woman and beautiful Oscar, security guard always smiling and helpful Another (black skin) lady that worked mostly at night in the snack bar, she was just so sweet and nice, I saw other tourists be rude to her and she kept her pretty and professional face on!! So sorry I forgot her name... Our maid, which I dont know her name either but she was amazing and brought me a gift on my last day!! Room 1327 building by the pool. See you soon Palma Real !!!
“It is Cuba, salsa, sand and music ”
I went to Palma Real from August 6 to 16, 2014. The weather was very warm and humid. I have been going to Cuba for the last 30 years and travelling solo for 10 and this hotel is average to what i have come to know in Cuba. It all depends on what you want from your vacation. The rooms: I was in the last building (4000) first floor. Nice room and the AC worked. I even had to close it sometimes because it was too cold. For those who don't like the smell in the room, i always bring a small bag of incense cones, just light one a day and the smell goes. The Food: well it is cuba and not everything is always available, but we have more options in the hotels than the cuban. And if the food is that bad, there is always restaurants on the 1er avenue. Good coffee is available in the lobby bar. There is also hamburgers, hot dogs and ham sandwiches if you are tired of the buffet. The cooks at the buffet makes great shrimps or fish a la plancha and other meats as well. The beach is gorgeous and a short walk from the hotel. They have 2 swimming pools. One was pretty quiet and the other had entertainment every afternoon. The service is ok. I speak spanish, smiled and gave tips every once in a while. Got to know a few of the workers. And yes the cuban national where at this hotel. They now have access to the resorts and those that can afford them go. Got to exchange with a few of them. If you want to learn a little bit more of salsa, go and see Maya at 2 in the afternoon at the show theatre. She gives advanced classes every afternoon except sundays. She is pretty good. Cuba is what you make of it. You may or may not like this hotel. If you want a small hotel close to the city with access to a nice beach then go, you will enjoy it
“Vacation in July ”
I decided to go to Cuba in July - price was great $1700 CDN for two in all-inclusive resort in Varadero - couldn't resist. The people in Cuba are very friendly and helpful. My waiterwaitress (Jesus and Libia) at the buffet would welcome me every day and would remember the drinks my wife and I ordered and had them always ready for us - feel free to leave a tip for this extra service as it was nice to be greeted at the buffet and to be looked after so well. The beach is simply amazing. The water was warm and crystal clear and there was barely anyone in July so we could go to the beach at any time and use a lounge chair. At times it felt like we had the beach all to ourselves. I found that there was some garbage on the beach and would like to see more garbage cans on the beach. The room was clean but basic and nothing to write home about. The air conditioner would not work 100% but if you turned it off for a bit when you left the room,it would not freeze up and it would work at night. The water would shut off sometimes during the day as well for a brief time. The maid always made the room and left a different towel design daily. The pools were beautiful and I often had the pool all to myself. The all-inclusive bars were great and I tried a variety of concoctions during my stay. I never had to wait for than a minute in line for drinks. The all-inclusive food was OK and there was a variety at the buffet but nothing great that stood out. I kept trying to reserve for the "a-la-carte" but the lady who was supposed to be at her desk to reserve was never there even after I asked at the reception. In the future I would like to at least try the "a-la-carte" restaurants but the hotel will have to improve the reservation methods for it. The reception people were very polite and friendly. One lady saw that it was my birthday when I checked-in (off my passport) and was quick to wish me a happy birthday. As for attractions, #1 is the beach by far. #2 would be the Beatles Bar which is walking distance from the hotel - the band is great and the beer is relatively cheap. #3 is the Coral Bay snorkelling - it's definitely worth the price and our guide also took us to the Saturno Cave which was awesome - thanks Alfred. #4 was the people who are always kind and courteous. #5 - Havana - take a trip to Havana for a day if you want to see the city - I found it eye-opening. Also, right beside the hotel is the House of Rum where you can get free samples but don't buy there as it is $10 there and $3 at the grocery store two block away. I enjoyed my stay partly because it was very quiet and sunny every day. I never had to rush to the beach for a lounge chair or wait in line for drinks or food. In the end, if I went back to Cuba, I would probably choose a nicer hotel even though the people were great. The location of the Palma Real is also excellent - beside a lot of places. Bottom line - people and attractions great, hotel and food - just OK.
“BelleVue Palma Real - Not bad.....”
Not a 4 star like advertised. Maybe a 2 star, but how long do you really spend in the hotel. Staff were helpful. About one block away from a beautiful white sand beach. Great hotel for a family on a budget!!!!
“Back to the all new BelleVue Palma Real ”
We have been to this resort 4 times, the last being 5 years ago. The new theme (BlueBay Salsa Club) and the numerous upgrades have really improved the experience, everyone seamed exited about the changes including the staff who went out of their way to ensure that you have a wonderful time. Chef Luis kept us entertained and well fed with a great selection of food on the buffet, he is truly an amazing character, our favourite a'lacart restaurant was the La Piazza which was excellent. Mayle (animation) was always smiling, Carlos (may have his name wrong) at the beach bar was great for conversation, he was a really personable, we would like to just sit back and chat...and drink .. of course. Ivett at the building 4 lounge made the best Spanish coffees and many a night after dinner we would find ourselves here just relaxing. And I can't forget our maid Yuni, the room was spotless and the towel art second to none...she was GREAT. We had a wonderful experience would definitely return. We would like to send a special thanks to Ramon who added his personal touch to ensure all our expectations we met and in most cases exceeded. You get all this as well as one of the best beaches in the world.
“nice people ”
i was lucky to meet right people jus the first evening -" mixed "cuban -danish couple -artists who took me around to see surroundings ,meet artists -very interesting ?. and i was lucky to have Teresa cleaning my room !
“Overall pleased and would stay there again ”
We stayed here at the end of January 2014 for a week on our first visit to Cuba. Overall we were very satisfied with all aspects of the resort except for the front reception staff who were not very helpful with resolving some minor problems that we had with our room. We did end up changing rooms the first night because of a faulty toilet and the a/c wasn't working properly. (note: all toilets in Cuba are not as good as ours, as it is custom there to dispose of used toilet paper in the garbage instead of flushing it.) The resort was in a great location right on the main road and walking distance to shops. It is not right on the beach but only a short 5 minute walk across the street and down a path. There was a hotel with a Cadeca (money exchange place) right across the street, which was really handy. (passport is required to exchange money) There were several large pools, including one with a swim-up bar and one for small children. The entertainment was just ok, with some music and dancing by the pool in the afternoon, and an ok show in the evening. The food was better than expected, we had brought condiments from home, but never needed them. The buffet had a good variety of food and we always found something good to eat. The omelet bar was especially good. The restaurant staff as well as the bar staff and the maids were extremely friendly and helpful. We enjoyed the fun creations our maid Vicky left for us made out of our towels, blankets, and even some of our own accessories every day. The 3 A la carte restaurants all had tasty food as well. The room was comfortable, the bathroom was roomy and had a bath/shower which is nice for people who like to have a bath. The beach had perfect powdery clean sand, lots of lounge chairs and palapas for shade. The beach was not very crowded. The water was warm and a beautiful turquoise color, with no rocks or debris in the sand. Our WestJet representative was very helpful in booking tours and helping to solve some room problems with the front staff. There were lots of excursions available, we took the Havana day trip, Jeep safari with motorboats, the Varadero tour, and our favorite was the Cayo Blanco catamaran tour with dolphin encounter, snorkeling and time on the island for lunch and fun.
“Super staff ”
My husband surprised me with a trip for my birthday. We have been there many times and couldn't wish for better service. We stayed in building 1 facing the beach. The location is great as we love to walk into town. Out on the peninsula it can get costly to come to town if you enjoy to visit the local spots. We have been to Cuba 37 times and this hotel is like going to the cottage for a week only I don't have to cook or clean. The staff are excellent from the cleaners to the bar servers and I really think people who have a problem in this area would still have a problem in a 5 star. They are slowly fixing things up around the hotel..again on Cuban time..summer is the time for locals as the Canadian visitors are few and as much as I enjoy the locals there does need to be a control of the food and liquor as they really go overboard. All in all it's my choice as I have been to many other hotels and while they may offer more they would be hard pressed to beat the staff in this hotel they sure are a great bunch...
“Great Resort just off the beach! ”
We stayed at the resort for 6 days over Christmas and it was great. We were upgraded to the honeymoon suite as it was busy during Christmas. The people, the dood, the amenities were fabulous and there was even a private beach with bar! Sitting by one of the pools with a pinâ colada and spotting hummingbirds and pelikans flying overhead, how van you not feel you're in a tropical paradise....
“Great budget hotel! ”
I just got back from a 9 night stay at the Bellevue Palma Real for the first time and I can honestly say I was very pleasantly suprised. This was my third time in Varadero so I already had a good idea what to expect, but I was a bit nervous since I had heard a few negative comments prior to leaving. Firstly, the food was very repetitive and not that great, but anyone who has ever been to Varadero knows that this is the case for pretty much every hotel. We did have time to try the Italian restaurant and it was very decent. The only downside to the restaurants was that you had to reserve in person at the lobby at 10 am everyday. Since my friends and I would sleep fairly late, it was difficult to reserve spots that ''early'' in the morning. In the other hotels I have stayed at reservations were done at 1pm, which I feel is a bit more reasonable. Nonetheless, the food was good and definitely beat the buffet food. Secondly, The location is AMAZING! It is right by downtown Varadero and you can easily walk into town or take a 5$ bus. For those who are looking to party, most of the clubs are within walking distance and you also get free entrance into Havana Club (Great club, but no a/c so it can get very hot!) which is attached to the hotel. You don't even need to buy drinks at the club since you can just walk 30 seconds back to the hotel bar and come back. The hotel is also within walking distance of Calle 62, which is an outdoor bar, and can be a great place to meet locals and dance the night away. The hotel is not beachfront but the people staying at the hotel do have a section reserved for them by the beach. It is simply a 3 minute walk to get there, which I think is very reasonable. Thirdly, the hotel room was very clean and the maids did a great job. However, we did leave gifts for them everyday before leaving the room (like shampoo, soap and various other hygiene products). The beds were comfortable and everything worked fine. The only downside is that you had to pay 2 pesos a day to use the safety deposit box in the room, which I find a bit ridiculous. All in all, my experience at the Palma Real was very good and I would definitely recommend this hotel to everyone. It was great for young people looking to party as well as tourists simply looking to relax and have fun. I believe the price, location and staff definitely make the hotel worth staying at. I will definitely be returning to this hotel on my next visit to Varadero!
“Got what we paid for and more! ”
Here's the thing about the Palma Real, it is awesome! Now I know it needs paint in many locations and toilet seats in bathrooms just around from lobby, but really though if you stay at the resort and stare at the walls and pick apart everything you see, then, you shouldn't go to Cuba at all because it is a very non commercial country it's full of run down dwellings and places that would be condemned in Canada. But that being said it also leaves a lasting impression on you and calls you back for more! The staff at Palma Real (especially the restaurant staff) really work hard and make your experience memorable. My wife and I celebrated our 11th there from April 16-26 and let me tell ya we are already planning our next trip back! Here are some tips I would pass on to someone going for the first time: 1) Get the stomach shot before you leave ($100) it's better then your first couple of days on the toilet ;) 2) Bring lots of your own toilet paper 3) If you go to Havanah ignore the locals don't smile or look at them, they hound you for money and it robs the joy out of seeing a city rich with history! 4) Go to Cayo Blanco on the cateraman (or however you spell it) it's breath taking 5) Bring some spices for the food, it's not as bad as everyone says it is but it's not spiced like we are used to. 6) Bring your own beach towel and drink cup Hope this helps and maybe we will see ya there! :)
“Great Week! ”
What a great place to spend a week relaxing right in the heart of Varadero! As long as one's expectations are solidly in line with price and the fact this is a 3 start hotel. I have been to Cuba many times and this hotel is as good as any I've stayed at for the price and location. Yes, the property is a bit older but the location is spectacular! The food was more than fine and exactly what one would come to expect after many trips to Cuba. All and all a great week, great staff, perfect location and great hotel overall... will definitely return next year.
“Alot better then I expected!! ”
My self and a friend stayed at this resort from May 4th-11th ...The weather,beach,pools,entertainment and location was perfect for us. We felt very safe on and off the resort. The room was clean and had good AC...that's all i'm looking for in Cuba....the food was NOT good but this was my 6th time to Cuba and I brought snacks and condiments....we did eat off the resort and those were the best meals we had. Kikis Pizza on 15th street is a most...we could walk for blocks on the main street and it was very safe. We are 2 woman in our mid 30s and we walked at all times day and night without any problems. Don't waste your time going to the markets that are 20 minutes away...the first ones on the main drag are better and no one bothers you. We will be going back to this resort next year because of the location.
“Had a wonderful vacation ”
My partner and I just returned from a 2 week trip to the resort and Varadero, we had a really enjoyable stay at the resort. Having read previous reviews concerning this particular resort we sort of knew what to expect, it surpassed most of my expectations for the most part. Firstly, the food really is not all that bad. There is a decent selection of choices to eat from at any meal, I would not necessarily recommend the snack bar during non-meal times, the meat is a bit sketchy in my opinion. The buffet for your meals is awesome service, special thanks to our servers for many meals, "Libya" and "Yoanna", they were amazing. Our room wasn't the most updated one I have ever stayed in, however, it was clean, quite and overall very nice. We stayed in the 300 block, facing the buffet and party pool, no problems. My only concern was the noise of people coming into the resort at late hours of the night, the doors to the rooms are not thick and therefore could be a bit noisy at times, this only happened a couple of times, so no big deal. The beach, which was amazing, only less than 5 minutes from the front door of the resort. Make sure to get to the beach early in the morning to guarantee a chair, people head out early. The staff of the resort were beyond friendly, every person in housekeeping, maintenance and hospitality was so nice, special mention to the ladies in the cigar shop and liquor store located in the lobby. The only area that I was not happy with was the front lobby bar and front desk. This resort could certainly use more bartenders at any time, one bartender for a huge line up of guests. I found another bar on the resort at the far end, located behind the "Blue Salsa" dance stage in the 400 block of rooms. This bar is in the lobby, great service and no long line ups. The front desk could certainly be improved when it comes to helping out a customer and questions, however, they are doing what they can. Just a note to any same sex couples arriving at the airport. On your flight you will have a fill out a visitors card, one per family or per individual. My boyfriend and I filled out a card together since we live at the same address. Security didn't seem to like the idea that "novio" "boyfriend" idea. We were escorted into a room in the airport, checked for drugs with sniffer dogs while the security officer snickered at the fact that we were a couple. We did sort of feel singled out, but hopefully other couples haven't faced that scrutiny. Overall, the resort is not really all that entertaining, you sort of have to make your own fun, which we did by leaving the resort and visiting the main street shops and cafes, bars. P.S. you can drink beer on the street and on buses..... if you are planning on buying cigars, get them at the duty free in the airport when leaving, you will save big bucks, almost twice the price on the resort and off the resort, duty free is great for cigars and liquor. We would definitely stay at this resort again. Cheers.
A great vacation in Cuba with family and friends. We knew on booking that this was only a 3 star and were advised by our travel agent it was basic so we went with an open mind. Budget was important and this resort was a steal! The rooms were clean and ours 1122 was a great location, walking right out to the pool bar. The decor in the rooms is a little run down but the AC worked and we had hot water almost every day plus the room was large. The maid did an excellent service with amazing towel art everyday. The buffet was again surprisingly good despite poor reviews we had read. My husband is an Italian so of course loves his food, he loved the fresh fish and the fruit available everday. Kids are quite picky eaters and never heard a complaint from them either, although they started at the dessert table and if they had room would squeeze in some meat and rice! We loved the proximity to downtown and enjoyed a tour on the horse drawn buggy and a night out at the Beatles Bar. Had a fantastic memorable trip on a catamaran and got to spend sometime in the water with Chubby the Dolphin too. Overall this resort is a great base for a Cuban experience.
“First time in cuba ”
For my first trip to cuba I would have to see this hotel was very good I never starved they always had something I could eat the water was hot in my room my room was clean and quiet toilet paper was supplied the beach was a small walk but still beautiful none the less and close to the clubs and the strip of businesses and nightlife. Would definitely stay again....
“Good hotel for very good price ”
We did not really know what to expect when we arrived to Palma Real, since the ratings from other guests are ranging from very high to very low. But it turned out to be a pleasent surprice. The pool area was good, the rooms were clean, the service was fine, the restaurants OK and the drinks in the bars were fine too (with some exceptions, but since it was all-inclusive we could take that :-).
“Enjoyed our stay ”
It's a 3.5 stars, do not expect a 5. Food was good, it's a nice atmosphere, 3 large pools, party pool, play pool and relaxing one. It's a bit run down, paint wise, but over all good for a cheap trip. I would go back.
“Major Improvement ”
Stayed April 10th to 24th. It was my 11th stay. At first it appeared that the new owners were letting it slip until it closed. I couldn't have been any more off. What a change ! New décor in the lobby and lobby bar. The new entertainment director is providing excellent entertainment. Vegas style shows, live bands, a circus, water ballet, 3 tenors, Afo-Cuban troop. The food was much improved. I did suggest that they monitor the serving tray temps a little more. The new Italian a la catre provided the best meal that I had there in 11 years. They added daily barbeques and a special dinner for returning guests. I put on 6 lbs. in two weeks. The rooms are modest but clean. The staff was awesome. Great location near shopping, night clubs and the park. The Lobby bar is now open 24/7. with music videos on a big screen all night. According to my travel agent, The Palma Real is one of the most requested resorts by people coming to that office and it's the one that they get the fewest complaints about. It has a large number of returning guests, many of which have been going there a lot longer than I have. It says a lot. I live an hour and a half from P.E.I. a major tourist destination. I can't go to P.E.I. for 1 week for what I paid for 2 weeks at the Palma Real. If you break it down, you are not even paying for a full fare plane ticket, the hotel, food, drinks and entertainment are a bonus !!!
“Check your credit card !!! ”
People who complain about this resort, should consider what they paid for their stay. I have been to Cuba at least 15 times, and have stayed at 5 other resorts as well. Obviously Palma Real is my resort of choice. Is it perfect--no--but gives me the best value. Since WestJet now offers PR, I can now get there year round from the Maritimes. Sure it needs some paint, and it's a short walk to the beach. Yes there are Cubans there on the week-end, but they are not nearly as bad as the Russians, who have no respect for anyone or anything. It was funny one evening, to see a Cuban lady walk out the front door, with a whole cake. The food has improved greatly. Each evening they have added a "carving station", with pork, chicken, beef, ham, turkey etc., Ivette, the new food and beverage manager has done a good job. There was always something to eat, in fact I gained 8 lbs. the two weeks I was there. The staff are amazing, as soon as they noticed me, they had my table ready and the drinks were waiting, by the time I went through the buffet. Treat them with respect, and you will not be disappointed. Yes, there were occasional lineups at the bar, but the staff never stopped. People ordering 6 and 8 drinks at a time caused most of the problems. AND, those standing in front of the bar talking to others, with drinks in hand was most disturbing. You experience the same lineup at home, where you are paying $6 for a beer. The location is perfect. close to everything. A 3 min walk to Calle 62, and another 2 min to the Beatles Bar. Lots of markets, fine restaurants, and beautiful Josone park nearby. The rooms are clean, and the housekeeper was there everyday, with clean towels, and left the room sparkling clean. I had a great two weeks at Palma Real, can't wait to get back there in Sept.
The Hotetur Palma Real Hotel, in the heart of Cuba's world-famous coastal resort of Varadero, is very close to the beach. The establishment, which is 23 kilometers away from Juan Gualberto Gómez International Airport, features a beautiful interior decoration inspired by Cuba's cultural traditions. The hotel benefits from Varadero's condition of free port and provides guests with excellent options to practice scuba diving and snorkeling, fishing and yachting.
The beach was one of the most beautiful beaches I have had the pleasure of enjoying. But, if you want a beach chair, you have to get there early. The idea of the hotel not being on the beach was diappointing at first, but, it is only a short and interesting walk across the stree to the hotel beach area. On your walk, you get to observe local life. Lots of old (restored) cars...20's, 30's, 40's and 50's. People are all friendly. Hotel has washrooms, snack area, hamburgers, hot dogs and fries, bar and cold drinks. Washrooms (take toliet paper from your room with you, just in case, showers and foot rinsing all available. You can also arrange to have a massage at the beach...sounds like a good plan to me. Grounds are very well maintained, staff always working. Lots of plants and flowers. Pools clean and lots of recliners. Very different for us to stay right in a city, instead of a resort that is set off by itself. Wasn't sure about that at first, but the hotels all restrict hotels to the guests, staff and entertainers only.
In the first place i want to say that this beautiful hotel really surprised me. I am Spanish but my wife is Cuba and we frequently come to Cuba. I was here on July 1 for only 2 day and I like it so much that on the 28th of the same month I came backed and stayed for 5 days. It has everything. Great food and service that makes you feel at home. The Chinese restaurant is superb and the pools (bar included) is the best. I hope to go back soon. Greetings from Spain.
Beach: Yes it's a hop, skip & a jump away. There is a bar & snack bar for Palma Real guests. They had seafood paella daily. You could order others such as hamburgers & hot dogs. I did see chicken, pork & ham & cheese on the menu but most seem to order the burgers. Bartenders were good. PR has a small section with a few papalas but of course the chair swine are there. I had my own mat and enjoy social distancing so didn't bother me. There are many sections along the Varadero beach that are empty.
The pools were kept extremely clean but could use more garbage cans so that the lazy people don't leave their drink cups on the ground. The swim up pool bar area was always hopping, and Cuban music was played all day long. Join the water aerobics class at least once. The grounds were also very tidy, it was interesting to watch the gardeners at work because the only tools they use are a machete and a power lawnmower. The beach was WONDERFUL but as previous reviews mentioned, get there early for a lounger, or go around 2 in the afternoon. Our routine was breakfast, tour downtown, pool, then beach. I can't say enough about the beauty of the beach and water. Be prepared for topless bathers. There is also a bar near the beach owned by the hotel.
The location of this hotel was one of the best things about it. It is at the beginning of the town of Varadero, so walking anywhere was a treat, but we did take the horse and buggy rides a few times. Also be sure to take the double decker beach bus - we went from one end of the resort area to the other and we were glad that we were in town rather than at the end where the major resorts are. There is lots to see in Varadero. Do not save any money to exchange at the airport. We had 134 CUC to change into CDN, and the person did not know what she was doing, reversed the conversion so we got shortchanged $50 CDN. In Cuba you don't argue, especially if you don't speak or understand Spanish. We are chalking it up to an honest mistake but you never know.
Lovely pools, nice and clean. Loved the swim-up bar. Grounds were nicely maintained and clean. There was always gardeners around working on the plants ect. Beach was wonderful. The short walk from the hotel was not an issue. Lots of shady spots, warm clear water. We went on the Hobicat and the peddle boats several times. Rarely had to wait long to use the boats.
We very much enjoyed the location of the resort because we were able to walk downtown anytime. There is a lovely park nearby and lots of markets. The bank is right across the road, very convenient. We did the jeep safari excursion and really liked it. I'm not sure if any of the jeeps would pass inspection but we didn't break down, thankfully.( Some did )We had taken a suitcase full of stuff to give out and we gave it all out on the excursion. WE took clothing, baseball mitts, candy, school supplies, toys, etc. We got a chance to see lots of countryside and had a great time on the river and swimming in the cenote. Unfortunately the water was too rough for snorkeling so we missed that.
Beach is beautiful. If you arrive after 10am forget getting a chair & note if you need shade you'll be a sardine. Beach Staff absoulutely terrible they would rather sit on their butts and whistle telling 2 fifty something ladies where to put the paddle boat onto the beach. Thank you to the tourist guys who got out of their chairs and helped us as we were having such a hard time moving the boat onto the sand. My last day on the beach was entirely different- seemed that the boss had showed up and a few different workers who were fabulous. So I guess the beach staff are hit & miss as well. We did the Cat as well as an overnight in Havana on our own. I'm glad I experienced Havana. Varadero is bar after bar and restaurant after restaurant & shops. Some people like it and others hate it, it all depends on what you are looking for.
A super hotel
The hotel was listed as a four star. In comparison to other places we have stayed in Cuba, we would have listed it as a 3 or 3 1/2. But, we also got an amazing deal and so felt very happy the the overall experience. Best entertainment of any resort we have ever stayed at. Maid service excellent. Food average...tended to cater to Europeans, but, there are lots staying there, so it makes sense. Beach excellent. Close to airport. Rooms Good, smaller, but clean and lots of hot water and towels. I might suggest you bring a beach towel, because they charge a deposit of $10 CUC, per towel and if you lose the towel you lose the deposit. Also, bottled water is not included, so consider bringing an insulated cup. It will also keep your drinks cold at the beach! When leaving we paid for the VIP service. $20 CUC and it included ham and cheese sandwiches, unlimited drinks, snacks and a very quiet area to relax for 3 hours before the flight boarded. It was a freat way to not have to wait in long line to check in at the airport. And a much quieter environment. Would pay for this again, well worth it! Would return to this hotel again!
We have stayed at the Palma Real for the last 2 years. We are looking forward to our next 2 weeks in Feb. 2012. The staff throughout the resort are friendly and hospitiple. They make you feel as if you were at home and sometimes better than home. The resort is nicely laid out. The rooms are kept very clean. The staff here do a wonderful job at making your vacation memorable. I would recommend this resort to persons of all ages. I can't wait until we go back to see all the friends we have met over the years.
Each evening there was entertainment - different every night - and lots of fun. Don't miss it. The only tour we went on was the Jeep Safari and it is highly recommended. It will take all day, includes driving through community agricultural areas, snorkeling at the most amazing site I have been to, driving a speedboat up the river, watching an indigenous dance performance, driving through "ranching" country to a picnic/camp area on the river for lunch (have the lobster, only 10 CUC extra), then to the Saturna Cave for swimming, and back to our pickup area through the back streets of Varadero.
I HAD THE MOST AMAZING TRIP, EVEN THOUGH I WAS ALONE, SO MUCH SO I WENT BACK AGAIN TWICE MORE IN 6 WEEKS. THE ROOM WAS CLEAN, FOOD GREAT, ENTERTAINMENT WAS AMAZING AND THE BAR DOWN THE STREET, CLUB 69-MEMORIES FOREVER, DANCING IN THE STREET. THE STAFF AT THE HOTEL MADE ME FEEL LIKE FAMILY AS I WAS IN GRIEF FOR 2 YEARS AND THEIR FRIENDLINESS WAS SO GREAT IT WAS A HOME AWAY FROM HOME. IT WAS 2008 AND I PLAN TO RETURN THIS YEAR WITH A FRIEND AND HOPE TO SEE SOME OF THE SAME STAFF THERE SMILING AND WILLING TO HELP. THE ACTIVITIES WERE SO MUCH FUN, LEARNING THE CUBAN DANCING WAS A HIGHLIGHT FOR ME. I ALSO ADOPTED A CUBAN FAMILY AND WE WRITE BACK AND FORTH AND I SEND CARE PACKAGES. LOOKING FORWARD TO SEEING U AGAIN IN NOV. OR DEC.
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