Mar del Sur Hotel, Varadero Beach Cuba. 3 stars,
Start based on 43 reviews
- Destination: Varadero Beach
- Address: Ave. 3era. y Calle 30 Varadero, Matanzas, Cuba.
- Phone: (5345) 612246
- Accept child:Yes
- $ No pricePer person
Description: Mar del Sur Hotel Cuba
Large but friendly, embracing a familiar but intimate concept of itself, this is a well conceived complex to enjoy the countless attractions of Varadero beach. It is a hotel that pleases its guests with the cheerful treatment and personalized attention of its employees, the creativity of its entertianment animators, its nightly music, the variety of its cocktails and drinks, and the meticulous touch of its Chef. And, for those wishing to make long stays in Cuba, this facility places its well-equipped apartments at your disposal. 48 two-room and 98 single-room apartments, 60 equipped for long stays, and 130 air-conditioned hotel-rooms for a total of 366. Others: restaurant buffet, 3 bars, 3 snack bars, swimming pool for children and adults, cyber-café, shops, safe, currency exchange, tourism bureau, car rental, taxis, parking, massage room, small format event room, day and nighttime animated shows, national and international telephone service and children’s playground.
Mapa de Mar del Sur Hotel
- 60 % of people enjoy this
“Damp and in poor condition ”
We have been staying in casa particulars throughout our time in Cuba and stayed in a hotel as we arrived varadero at 12pm without a prebooked casa, so had to go to this hotel (24 hour reception). The room walls were peeling with damp, and smelt strongly. No key for the safe, and just generally the room was in a poor state. We stayed one night and left as soon as we could to stay in a casa. I wouldn't stay here if I had a choice.
“Burn this place to the ground ”
This is hotel where people go to end their lives. It doesn't deserve 2 stars, it deserves to be burned to the ground. Our beds were infested with dead bugs, sheets were stained, towels were old and dirty. Nothing in the "kitchen" except a fridge that didn't work. The bathroom was so old dirty and beat up that I felt even dirtier after I attempted to shower in it. Stay away from this hotel.
“Don't believe any positive reviews ”
I read through the reviews of this place before booking, taking the negative ones with a grain of salt and putting more faith into the good ones. This was a mistake. This place would be shut down in Canada - no question. The first room we were taken to had a puddle of rainwater spanning a good 1/4 of the floorspace, which the porter seemed to think was acceptable. We insisted that it was not. While waiting for a second room, we sat there taking in our surroundings. The "pillows" were literally no more than an inch thick and we suspect were folded up pieces of blanket. We could see huge patches of mould that had been painted over on the walls. The furniture was dirty and broken down. There was no seat on the toiled - I'm not talking about the bit that you cover the seat with, I mean the bit you actually sit on. Finally the porter came back to show us to a new room. It was down one floor and he, the employee, slipped down the stairs because they were soaking wet! You can imagine the threat this poses to drunken patrons making their way around... Our second room was no better than the first except that the floor was dry. It honestly felt like a health risk, so we decided to go have a drink in the bar to calm our nerves. It was late at night and we knew we were stuck there 'til the next day. The lobby bar was like a basement tricked out for a teenager - dark, dirty, loud and unwelcoming. We had one drink there and took a second back to our room, finished it and tried to get some sleep, folding the "pillows" up to try to get more than an inch of support for our heads. Then came morning, and daylight. We walked to the buffet room, passing the pool on the way. The bottom of the pool was not visible and there was yellow scum floating on top. Charming. Breakfast itself was stone cold - I mean everything. Reconstituted mashed potatoes, unidentifiable meat, pancakes and some kind of coleslaw looking salad were on offer. Again, all stone cold. My friend took some of the salad only to find bug legs in it. We didn't eat breakfast. We met with our rep later in the day and paid a minimal fee to upgrade to a four star place and it was like going from hell to heaven. This place is not worth saving a little money on. Please, please, I implore you - do NOT stay here. It's awful.
The hotel is more geared for locals needing permanent housing. Only one buffet that is closed most of the time and has maybe 5 choices for breakfast!! Waited 45 minutes just for a clean glass to get orange juice!! Beach is 3 blocks away and no mention of chairs or loungers to be used. Staff totally not friendly or helpful!! Bartender was the only friendly person on staff and helped us get in contact with travel rep to get out of there after one night!! Rooms, well picture a half way house and that would be an upgrade!! Closet doors didnt open or close without alot of effort, tiles broken in shower, walls really dirty and paint chipped, nasty bed nothing like the pictures. Ocean view is fooling you, as you look across a busy 4 lane highway at the rocky shore of the penicala. My advice spend more and enjoy more of Cuba in a better resort!!
I was very disappointed and mad I was told good things about this resort so i went there with my husband when i got there it was not good at all. The buffet was the worse buffet ever and i go to varadero cuba once a month the only thing i ate was cucmbers and soup, what ever they served at lunch is the same at supper, the only thing i ate was at the snack bar it wasnt the best but better then the buffet. The room was not that good either smelled bad and when the maid cleaned it was still dirty and hair that wasnt ours was on the bedding and everywhere else so gross. Then when i wanted to know about my flight home no one knew the answer and the day i was leaving they took my braclet off early when i checked out 12pm and i wasnt leaving until 8pm so then when i tried to get a drink from the bar they gave me a hard time acting like i was a dog or something they called the front desk to make sure I was still aloud there i felt like a piece of dirt. when you are on vacation you should feel like a king and all the other resorts i went to in varadero treated me like i was a queen. when i went to the show it was participation but they only spoke in spanish so i had no idea at what they were saying i was very angry maybe because it was all cubans there, there was only maybe 5 tourist. I will make sure I never go back to this one and tell everyone not to go here. it is the worse resort ever.
“Terible Hotel ”
for the canadians dont ever go to iMar del sur hotel its a dirty hotel ...Rude receptionist raises and no manners...i like the waitresses and waitere very nice but in the front desk 0% attitude to the people dont speak spanish toilet dont flash lizard around the wall of the wall and the beddings they ont change it when you check in ...have a cur nails in the bed...yuk!!!!!
“Worst Hotel Experience Ever!!! Avoid Avoid Avoid ”
From the moment my family and I walked in this hotel, it was a horrific experience! Check in was okay but was very slow as the staff there weren't really interested in working that day. We get to our hotel room and it was disgusting how dirty it was, like it hadn't been cleaned in years! Broken lights, curtains, mirrors, hair in the bathroom and film so thick, it looked like it had never been dusted. My wife went to complain and the disinterested check in staff gave her keys to other rooms and told her to go check which one she wanted... that's not our job!!! Fine, we switched to the least dirty one. Once in bed, I could not stop itching and I felt gross so I took a shower and as I went to turn on the water, the shower handle came off. I then had to wake up my niece and have her change rooms because my room did not have any functioning electricity which I need at night for my sleep apnea mask. The next day, we had a friend visit and was allowed to by security. Throughout that visit, security came back and dragged her out. When we went to see what was going on, the same security guard proceeded to yell at my wife and get in her face like he was about to hit her and I then had to step in. Then a maid passed by and asked what was going on, the security guard said that we were the one's that complained about the cleaning and she then proceeded to attack us by yelling and stating that if we want a clean room and our towels changed every day, then we need to go to a 5 star hotel. My wife then said that its our vacation and we'll stay where we choose to stay to which the maid replied to my wife to "shut up". I instantly got the manager involved as I could not believe what was going on during my family's vacation. After that, I have never be made to feel so uncomfortable in my life as staff at the hotel stared at us where ever we went. Later that night, I went to the front desk to ask if they could have some toilet paper sent to our room. They told me no problem. We then went to the lobby bar for a drink and the lazy hotel staff brought me the toilet paper at the bar... unbelievable! The pool was full of algae and so cloudy, you couldn't see the bottom. They ran out of mint for the mojitos, they ran out of hamburgers and french fries... The restaurants were shut down and only the buffet was open and let me tell you, the food was terrible. The coffees were like water, I chipped a tooth from a rock in my rice and beans, the tomato sauce for the spaghetti was also like water. The games and shows were less than entertaining, only the show staff were pleasant. Bartenders and wait staff didn't care about anything... lets just say, it was the worst resort stay in my life!!! Avoid this hotel at all costs!!!
“Our Mar del sur stay ”
I must say when vacationing to Cuba you can?t expect much if you are staying at a two star hotel. I?ve been to Cuba 4 times but this was my first time in Varadero I kind of expected a lot more only because it?s one of the big cities the country has to offer. I have mixed feelings about this hotel. Dislikes, the food bar isn't 24hrs and the resort is not just one hotel, but a series of small buildings that are spread out for example your room might be at one building and the actual resort somewhere else. Our room was a big disappointment kept clean but very very run down ... had some major issues (few things were stolen). The entertainment of this hotel is very SHORT. limited/ drinks were poorly made. There is two bars and the main bar only serves beer until 10 pm and the other bar only serves liquor. The food limited choices and not that great again, wasn't maintained well at all.. flies everywhere!! on the food. The ONLY GOOD THING ABOUT THIS HOTEL IS ITS LOCATION, THANK GOD FOR THAT. ITS LOCATED NEAR THE BANK AND SHOPS AND THE BEACH. We will definitely go back to Varadero but we will not return to this resort.
“You've Been Warned ”
Trip booked though SUNWING OMG Don't go to this DUMP, if you already have plans then I suggest you cancel. If your already there then there will be no help available, and you will just have to weather out the storm. A photo says a lot, I have uploaded lots. The first room we were giving reeked of mold, open the door and had an instant asthma attack...the smell was horrible, curtains falling down, window broken, bed covers dirty ...the list goes on. Second room...had to argue for this....At the front desk for about an hour, it's getting close to midnight now and they are saying there is nothing available, yet 2/3 of the keys are still there. It really isn't that nothing is available, how are they going to top what we have just been offered. WONDERFUL NEWS: They are upgrading us to a 2 bedroom apt.......As I slowly open the door wondering what is on the other side, and to my surprise the smell of mold as now been replaced with urine. I am going to be OK I tell myself, I brought Lysol wipes and I can clean myself. I switch the light on and see some critters running across the floor, Ok so the place is old and it got some bugs.....My partner was quick to let me know that they are not just any bugs, they are special one' that they call COCKROACHES....well let me tell you I sobbed and cried like a baby, I felt sick. Being so exhausted from the long day I though I was going to have a mental break down, I am sure I would have been in a better place if I had. We decided to leave all the lights on as this should keep the COCKROACH hidden out of sight. Besides it would give us the opportunity to get a great view of the mold on the walls, the mirror broken, dirty sheets, water coming from the light fixture. This is not fiction, I couldn't make this up if I tried. Rather than pull the two beds together, we used one, to keep our luggage on. Couldn't sleep, tossed and turned all night...thought I could feel something biting me, but I convinced myself that it's just my imagination..just like the song. Morning finally arrives: What a dump, See uploaded photos of my room, It ain't the ritz!! I can handle the place being old, but this place is just plain neglected, filthy, infested with cockroaches, ants, covered in mold, stinks of urine....it is just plain GROSS. This place is a hotel for locals....The food is not fit for human consumption...it smelled and looked like dog food. I've been to Cuba before and their food I can eat.....It you don't mind eating a little bird poo, ants, crunchy cockroaches then maybe you will be OK with the food. Before you consider going to this hotel, ask yourself this question"""Would you sleep in the slums of downtown Toronto and risk bringing home Bedbugs or Roaches with you?"" If you answer no, then find another place to go to. Sunwing advertised this place as a place of standards and states that it's been visited by a Sunwing rep. I have ask Sunwing are they talking about Canadian standards or Cuban standards, and when was the last time a Sunwing rep inspected the place. To no surprise they will not answer those questions. You on your own when you go there. Before I forget, don't expect to crystal clear water in the pool, that is clouded with God knows what.....I am sure I received an infection from the one time i risked getting in it....I am now being treated with antibiotics infection, steroid cream and allergy meds for the bedbug bites I suffered in the om.....they keep appearing even after I returned home, apparently this is normal. I unpacked my luggage in the garage after returning home....all clothing items were washed and suitcases placed in the backyard for 2 days. The second morning when I got up the bed was covered in ants, not just a couple, more like a couple hundred....ants were everywhere there. I though it was safe to have a coffee one day and found ants floating in the top of it.......making me sick thinking about it....I went back to the coffee machine and found the sugar container full of ants. You can have all the beer you want, or cheap rum....nothing special....they didn't even start up the ice machine while I was there. Coffee in the lobby and pool bar looks and taste like black tar, no clue what that was. A la carte is closed during low season, yet SUNWING still has it listed in the hotel description, it also states it is non-smoking, but people smoke everywhere, and Cubans love to smoke. If you have any questions that I may have failed to answer please feel free to contact me email@example.com Last note..Don't try to be cheap cause it will cause you more in the end.
“Well, how can I put it.... ”
I've been happy with this hotel in the past, but not this time. The majority, and I mean 98% of guests are locals, who hoard the food and then leave it on tables untouched to be thrown out. Very disheartening. The beach area is filthy... wrappers, empty cans and plastic cups, feces, and used feminine products line the sand and the sea. The times of getting a really good deal in Varadero's lower grade hotels in the downtown area such as Mar del Sur, Villa La Mar, etc. are over in my opinion. Unfortunately...
“If yoor family whant to get sick choose this hotel ”
Welcome , waiting time 10-15 minute if you are first , receptions talk on the phone .food , there is not food ,if you do not wake up early,dirty table clots , fly's everywhere in the restaurant, no milk no drinking water YOU WILL STAY HUNGRY and go outside with your children's to eat ,buy it outside of hotel and if you came with the children will make you pay big buck $ to move to other hotel and that is what we did it after 1 night. if you think you will drink pinacolada you are wrong you will get only pina there is no milk so no colada. la carte restaurant , there is but you can not book it they do not have the paper to put you in and you will be bounce from relationship office to the receptionist and to the restaurant back and ford . Tv in room not working wait for repair man who is working only afternoon, If you are thinking it is family resort you are mistaken , if we did not have baby milk for our 9 months daughter 2 years old and 5 years old will be starving cos there is no eatable food. After meeting with sunwing rep at 420pm we request to transfer to the other hotel and big fee $890 and after put down to $590 apply even we want to relocate immediate and they made us to go in the other hotel on your expenses ( it is just $50 for taxi )but bell boy will tell you i have friend who will take you for $10 and after make you wait 30 minute or so we walk to main road just 3 minute away to take local taxi.
“Thankful to Iberia for this experience ”
After our plane to Madrid had a technical failure, Iberia sent us to this strange place which they called a "hotel". I had the best sleep ever, since I found a bed after 30 hours but the hotel is really loosy. Nothing to tell, its old, dirty, uncomfortable .... I cant complain since I didnt choose it and didnt pay for it but, I can suggest travellers that are thinking to book this one, "stay at home for two years and have a vacation at a better place"
“Varadero is amazing! ”
Although I have been to Cuba many times (mostly Santiago), this was our first trip to Varadero and it was fantastic. It all depends on what you are going for and what you want to do. If you just want to get to a resort, relax, and not leave the grounds, then pay the extra money and book into a 4 or 5 star resort where there will be decent food and some entertainment. If you plan to explore, go on adventures, and spend very little time at the resort and take many of the great excursions that are available as we did, then book into a 2 or 3 star resort. There are so many things to do and to see in Varadero, and great reasonable restaurants everywhere. Do your research online ahead of time, decide what you want to do, and don?t expect that your travel rep or resort staff will be knowledgeable. When you get there, go to any CubaTour office for the best advice and bookings. We stayed at Mar Del Sur in the downtown area, which was only tolerable because we were away from the resort from 9am to 9pm every day. The entire resort, our room included, was tired and shabby. Clearly, the management is bent on sucking every last dollar of profit out of this venue, and does not invest in upkeep. The food really was of the poorest quality, and badly prepared. Have you ever heard of a Cuban resort that couldn?t make a Mojito because they never had mint?? Or, no bacon for breakfast?? Cuba is a country that survives on pork products! It was very clear to us in every way possible that the management of this hotel really could care less about their guests. The pool bar shuts down at 10pm even before the evening ?show? ends, and the 24hour small lobby bar doesn?t serve beer at all. The over riding message from the management is that they don?t want to have to spend money on their guests, and they want everyone to go to bed by 10:30. Nonetheless, Varadero itself is a great and safe place to vacation for all ages ..... just make sure you bring really comfortable walking shoes and bug spray.
“Avoid Cheap Hotels ”
You will never get a good value for your money in Cuban State owned Hotel chains. Food is tasteless, service is poor, moral of workers is even poorer. I didn't feel my valuables were safe either as my "safety box" was broken. Also all of the cheaper Hotels like this one can be quite dirty. Cheap & Fake atmosphere here. If you want a good value for your money, you can get "casa particular" accomodation in good & safe location in Varadero also. More expensive than the rest of the Cuba, like everything else tho'. If you like to stay near the beach, restaurants and nightlife i recommend looking between Bus Station & Central Park, near the main road.
“Will never go back! ”
We brought our family of 5.. Which included 2 adults & 3 children - ages 1,2 & 13. I would not recommend this hotel to any family to bring there children. We tipped house keeping 5CUC a day to keep it clean & free of ants.. if you are single & are accustomed to old apartments with moldy water taps & showers then it is a great deal to stay at the hotel. It is not a family hotel or good for a family.
“YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR IS RIGHT! WHAT A DUMP ”
The hotel is very run down, the rooms aren't the best, the mattresses are very old and smell, the pillows are round like bowling balls. The resturant has very terrible food always out of something or the machines "Toaster, Coffee" machines are broken a lot....etc. The bar is always out of something, but they still want tips. The entertainment is way below the standards of the other Hotels in Varadero. They don't have enough guests activities such as exercise, dance lessons, spanich lessons, and they play the music very lound and mostly cater to the younger generation music.
the pool is great and the animacion is very entertaining - especially on the odd rainy day. the food is typical food found in Cuba. the rooms are clean and are exactly as depicted - nothing fancy but you aren't staying in your room much. Staff are for the most part friendly.
“I am going to this hotel in April/2014 ”
If this hotel ok for a single mom and 2 girls? Is the location good for walking every where? Any info would be greatly appreciated.I have been to Cuba before but Stayed at the Palma Real which i loved...but this was a good deal for me and my kids
“Great vacation! ”
We just loved the experience. Our family had a great time. The Resort is clean, food is good and the people are friendly. The beach looks like paradise. Of course we can't compare the shower with the ones we have in Canada, the water pressure is not that great in Cuba, but it didn't bother us at all. We want to come back.
“Great bang for your buck... ”
Crap food, lots of locals daily using the pool & slow service. Decent location but beach is 3 blocks away. If you stay here get an apartment. I bought my own beer( bucanero wasn't available)& ate out lots but you can save a bundle here if you just need a place. I stayed in worse for more money in varadero & it wasn't all-inclusive... Not a great family place nor for higher maintenance people...
“great time in mar del sur ”
Reciently got back from this resort and must say, the staff are amazing,there considerate and very helpfull. I arrived late with my son and were booked in fast,the gentlemen on the front desk that night was great ,he upgraded us with no cost just wanted to make our stay compfortable,which he did.The beach is just a block away ,catch a drink on the way at the beach bar.One thing i can say for this place and 2 star places are you don,t have to wait in a line up of more then 2 people if that!!! I,ve stayed at 4 stars for 3 yrs and hated them, too many people and long long line ups for drink,this is not so for 2 stars. The resort is smak in the center of town walking to restaurants and night spot are convient,no taxies needed BONUS!!! i highly recomend this resort ,great bang for your buck!!!!
“Better than expected for the price: prime LOCATION, 24 HR BAR, spacious ROOMS ”
Several times to Varadero over the past few years and the experience isn't always just the hotel. It is the people you are with, the people at the resort at the time, the weather you get, and what the hell your expectations are!!! Open mind = fun time. Chances are, nothing will kill you in Cuba, the people survive off way less than what you get even at the most basic 2 star hotel like Mar Del Sur. I had a better experience overall here than at most 3+ star hotels. (I also visited two 5 star hotels during this trip and found I preferred Mar Del Sur staff!) POSITIVES: 1) Food - buffet has cooks who know how to spice up the food, the meat was plentiful *some places serve the meat so you get 2 slices at a time of whatever, here you can eat all meat if you wanted to. Ice cream = always plentiful. Fruit = always there just don't expect bananas!, basic rice, tomatoes, cucumbers, soup, bread daily. Nice dining room staff 2) Staff - tipping goes along way and is APPRECIATED! I recommend tipping early and you will get great service. This is not the case in all resorts where a tip is forgotten quite fast! All bartenders were amazing EXCEPT one who just had attitude. One rotten apple did not spoil the whole bunch in this case! Less bartenders = chance fo ryou to get to know them as well. Maids were nice and did a good job with the rooms, security and bell boys nice as well, 1 entertainment and 1 dj staff both nice guys. 3) Pool - very large, nicely maintained, lots of cabanas for shade and lots of working chairs! (some resorts have broken chairs as an issue) 4) Room -got a 1 bedroom so I had 2 FULL size fridges (one was enough), a grill, excellent working AC, lOTS of space for luggage and arranging your items, good workign toilet and showerhead hot water. Nice view of the pool. 5) Location - excellent. Walk to hamburgesa joint for late night partying, 20 25 minute walk to Beatles bar (rock and roll music) and Havana club or Comparasita nightclubs. Taxi was 3-5 pesos depending if you know how to talk down the driver! BAD: 1) food = NONE past the buffet dinner time. Have stuff in your room or go to the hamburger joint, a 24 hr bar is dangerous when you cant eat to soak up all that alcohol! Also pool snack bar guy was a little slow and ran out of items pretty quick. 2) beer = available only till 10pm at pool bar 3) drinks = no real fancy stuff and no juice during my stay only soda to mix with 4) beach = short walk away but the beach bar was lame and there was no music or activity on the beach 5) entertainment = give or take. Not nightly. Saw 2 good shows in the week and 3 bad ones!!! Still laughed and enjoyed myself though! SO there ya have it. If you know cuba...you know that you learn the workings of the resort........coffee? from lobby bar only........good food? arrive in the first 30 minute of buffet hours.......need things in your room fast?? leave a note and a tip with the maid and chances are you will get.....this place was sooooo inexpensive that I couldn't complain. No bugs or smells bothered me at all at any point. Crowd was mixed both young, couples, singles, and seniors ( ha ha ha playing cards). Ask me specific questions I would love to help!
“Had a great time! ”
I will start my saying I do have mixed reviews but all in all I did have an amazing time and experience in Varadero! There was great things and there was not so great things about this resort. Alot of them were minor but I thought I would share. I will start with the good parts of this resort: *The pool is amazing. Big and super clean and very well maintained. Lots of chairs available. We enjoyed the pool everyday, very refreshing. *The drinks were great and the bartenders were super friendly. *Staff overall was very nice. *We liked that we had a 1 bedroom apartment for a room. Room was kept clean but had some issues. *The location is amazing, sooo close to everything within minutes to everything. Banks and markets and all the shops. *They did have turkey, roast beef, lamb, great fish and ham most nights. *Basketball court on the resort which was nice. Used it everyday. *They did have a great band one night which was great entertainment. The things I did not like: *The room. It was ok and clean but very run down. Mold on the ceiling, stained blankets and something in the room made my boyfriend and I have allergies very badly because the minute we left the room we were fine. This was everyday evertime we were in the room and within minutes of leaving and being out side totally fine. *We only got fresh towels after 3 days of being there. *Toilet paper. Warning - bring some and kleenex if you go. We got 1 roll a day and when we asked for more 1 day we got it was too late or it took 2 hours to get it to us. When you have allergies all the time your in your room and no kleenex it was quite annoying. We ended up buying our own. *The amenities on the resort are limited. There is 2 bars but only one bar serves beer and only until 10 pm. The other is open 24 hours. *Food not bad but limited choices and seemed to the same for a lot of it everyday. But that can apply to alot of locations. *If you stay here please ask to not be in the main building where the 24 hour bar is ....soooo loud at night and at all hours of the night. I slept with ear plugs in and my boyfriend had such a hard time trying to sleep. Very loud and not just the tourist, the staff. Ask to be somewhere else. *Two mornings we woke up our room had the most awful smell in it, smelled like sewage. Awful. All in all the location is amazing and the pool and staff were awesome! We made the best of it all and did have an amazing time in Varadero! This is a 2.5 star so I do agree with you get what you pay for but there were a few things we learned. This was our first time in a 2.5 star and in Cuba. We will definitely go back to Varadero but we will not return to this resort. If you want a place that is close to downtown and has good drinks and a pool and decent place to be put your head at night, for the money it is an ok spot :)
“Great time! Location was amazing! ”
I would not have traded this hotel for a five star at the end of Varadero, based on its location. Sure, it's not a glamourous place, but it was clean with fresh towels daily, hot running water and the floor was always clean. Air conditioning works and TV channels are good for news (CTV and CNN). The food...well...it was Cuban food and there were restaurants just a few hundred feet away. The food was always fresh, just not a lot of choices. Remember you are going to a third world country and they really are poor. You certainly get what you pay for. Bring a pillow for sure. Also, there is a toothpaste shortage, so bring some for the locals. Don't go to Havana without a tour. The Catamaran trip is worth every penny, the snorkelling was mediocre, but it was a swim in the middle of the ocean...not to mention the dolphin enclosure in the middle of nowhere. Very cool. Be sure you understand how the towel and lock box deposits work, you should get all your money back before you leave, keeping in mind what time the towel area closes each day. Rooms off of the main building seem far away at first, but they are much quieter than the buildings around the pool. Security guards are everywhere, very safe area. There is a beach area especially for Mar Del Sur guests where you can get snappy cocktails and a cheese sandwich. Always have single CUCs with you for tipping. I will return.
“It was alright; could have been worse! ”
This review comes very late as I vacationed at this resort in June 2007 (first trip to Cuba). My friend and I went with low expectations and we had a great time! We just used the room to sleep in as we were on excursions everyday. The food is not as bad as we thought as we heard horrible things about cuban food. It's not great but it is okay and we didn't starve. There is not a lot to do around the resort. They had 1 or 2 "entertainment nights" but it was all in spanish. The AC didn't work very well but the room was clean. I wouldn't recommend this resort to a family with small children or if you are looking to just lounge around. If you plan to be out all week and just looking for somewhere to sleep and don't care about a 4 or 5 star resort, this is your place.
The resort is a little old, but it was spacious, it was downtown and close to all amenities. The staff was friendly and they treated you good. The maid service was good and the rooms were clean. Excellent price for all inclusive resort, the beach was awesome, would defiantly go back.
“well, it's a budget option... ”
This is a cheap hotel and the service and rooms fit the bill. It's fine - the room was clean but in need of refurbishment, and the rest of the hotel is in a similar state. There were no glitches while I was there and I found the staff friendly and helpful, if a bit ineffectual.
“good stay but marred by bad experience ”
This was my second stay at the Mar del Sur. My room was much better this time and was clean and comfortable. For some strange reason there was no light switch or plug in the bathroom but there were enough 110 volt outlets in the room to compensate. One problem that I did have was that the night staff seemed to congregate on the grounds outside my room and talked and laughed loudly,making it hard to sleep. All the good things the other reviewers said were true.However,good desserts seemed to be scarce this time around but I found lots of tasty dishes and good salads.Also they had lovely home made potato chips. The reason that I am writing this review is because of a disturbing experience, which when I mentioned it to someone else, found that it was not a unique occurrence. The second day of my stay I went to the beach after lunch. There, I consumed 2 drinks while lounging. These were the small drinks they hand out. After my 2 drinks, I fell asleep and slept for at least an hour, if not longer. When I woke up I was completely sober, and thirsty and went to get another drink. After finishing this drink, I decided to go for a swim. I was happily swimming close to shore when all of a sudden 3 lifeguards blew their whistles and motioned me out of the water. Puzzled, I complied and when I reached them I was told that I had had too much too drink for my age (I'm in my 60s). I was then given no choice but to be marched back to the hotel by one of the lifeguards. He explained to me that if anything happened they would go to jail. I mentioned this to another hotel guest and he said that he had heard similar stories. He told me of one incident at the Villa La Mar next door, where a woman was refused a soft drink(for her friend) because she had gotten a drink for herself 15 minutes earlier. What happened to me was not only embarrassing but totally unnecessary. I will rethink any future visits to Cuba as a result of it.
“Stop Complaining! You get what you pay for!! ”
Well ! I will start by saying it hasn't changed in 11 years,,I was there in 2001 and went back this year for a week March 31 to April 7, Went from Halifax for a little over $400.00 All Inclusive and knew it was a 2 * so really can't complain. ROOM::: 2 Bedroom Apartment,Shower, Dining room, Living room, Kitchenette and large balcony,, Rooms cleaned every day,Beds changed every day, Beds are comfortable,,Rooms need a good coat of paint and new windows and it will be a great room Reception,, Excellent ! What ever we asked for we got,, Very pleasant ! Beach :: Big dip in the sand,, That really needs looking after,,Hard to get in and out of the water.. Dining:: Not a big selection but none of us went hungry.. Pool:: Great !! Cleaned every morning as I sat there and watched them do it.. Bar :: Always ran out of Vodka but had plenty of rum and beer.. All in All we had a good trip,, we went from Halifax and if I stayed in Halifax for 7 days in the WORST DUMP POSSIBLE it would still cost me more than what I paid for with Flight,Food,Drinks and Tax FOR Mar Del Sur !! By the way! SUN WING WAS THE BEST CARRIER I HAVE HAD IN 20 YEARS OF GOING SOUTH
“Reviews are alittle harsh on this hotel!!! ”
Just got back from Cuba and staying at this hotel. the room was small but clean everyday the bathroom was clean and the toilet flushed better then the 4 star that I stayed in at Cayo Coco. If you want to have a great vacation and still have money to see everything cuba has to offer this hotel is a great deal. Again you get what you pay for and YOU make your holiday not the hotel. Meet some wonderful older people hear and had a blast. Everyone don't be so critical on everything in cuba cause remember it is a 3rd world country and its not Like what you get in Canada. Come with an open mind and enjoy the hot weather, the best beaches in the world and the cuba life. Yes I would go back in a heart beat!!!!!
“Amazing experience! ”
I went with a few friends, and I had an amazing time! The food was simple, but I had to say it was one of my favorite parts of the trip, there was always a variety. The beach was beautiful and the bar was nice too. The beach wasn't right on the resort it was a little ways down the steet but if you pack up your beach bag you can just go down and spend the day there. They have lobster and rice for sale on the beach for like 10 peso's I think it was and it was honestly the best lobster I ever had!! What else, hm, the people! The staff, and people staying we're all so sweet. They had to be my favorite. It was a small resort so you often saw people you knew around. There was so many people we met and regularly spent time with. The resort down the road, Villa de Mar, was also available for use from people at our resort. You can go back and forth from resort to resort. The shows at night were awesome! There was singing, dancing, water shows, magic shows, etc. and they were all spectacular! If you're someone who has high expectations, like have been to 5 starts and whatnot, you might not enjoy it, but I can guarentee you it was the best week I've had!
“Enjoy Your Adventure”
When a person seeks the cheapest package to travel to a developing country like Cuba you are giving yourself a great opportunity to learn about your patience and your ability to ask for what you want WITHOUT GETTING UPSET. My bang for my buck includes my own cleaning materials (for the first day only) and the adventure of discovering what works rather than what doesn't work. Sure, the furniture is older than most of the guests and the hot water runs out early. My bottom line is security and minimal comfort, thereby allowing me the pleasure of suprise! I go to Cuba for the sun and relaxation and because I want to help the country and its people. I never starve because I always find something warm and healthy to eat.. At the pool area I and my wife stay away from smokers while almost always having to clean an area of empty cups and butts. Folks? If you want a smile, respect and some service then offer it. The staff do a great job with what they have! Mario, head of services pull his rib cage out while putting out a fire started by a guest with a cigareet! Drink, eat and act responsibly with your family. I KNOW you dont act like this at home, so control yourself and enjoy your adventure. Roberto and Mabel
“Been to Mar Del Sur 4 times and would go back again in a heartbeat! ”
I've been to Mar Del Sur 4 times since 2006 and would not hesitate to recommend this place to people who are no frills, on a budget, type of vacationers. Let me start by saying that there is absolutely nothing wrong at all with vacationers that want to be waited on hand and foot and do absolutely nothing....to each his own! But if that's the kind of vacation you want you just won't get it at Mar Del Sur or any other 2 star resort that I've heard of for that matter. Now that this is out of the way.....I can say that for my husband and I, we have absolutely the best time on vacation at this resort than at any other resort I've been to. For us it's a combination of the best beach we've been to, the knowing where things are and a couple of the employees because we've been here before, the excitement of finding new things about Cuba and Veradero each time we go, the inexpensive restaurants and inexpensive alcohol. The food.......there wasn't much to choose from it was edible and we always found, for each meal, something to eat that we liked. The room......it was a standard room. It had a small hallway type sitting room (not that I stay in my room for any length of time), one bedroom with 2 double beds that my husband and I pushed together and a bathroom with a sink, toilet and shower in it. Definitely sufficient enough especially since we hardly spent any time at all in our room. The entertainment......we went to 2 shows. There was a show each evening but we were out and about for most evenings. The 2 shows we did catch were good shows with dancers 1 evening and magician the other. The location......fantastic! It is downtown close to everything. You can catch the Veradero bus if you want to go up or down the strip. It costs $5 CUC and you can get off and on anytime you like the whole day. The Beach........is 1.5 blocks. If you want to walk onto your beach from your resort this is not the place to go but it is by no means far at all to get there. And the Mar Del Sur beachfront is one of the best along the strip (we've been to 4 other resorts along the strip). It's not crowded, at least not when we are there during April, and there is a big covered bar area that has picnic tables to sit at. We've been to many other Caribbean destinations and Veradero has, hands down, the absolutely friendliest, most humble, kindest people we've met anywhere! Can't wait to go back in Nov/Dec if our finances allow it. That's all I can think of for now but if you have any questions don't hesitate to ask.
“Loved it!! ”
I know a person should not get to worried about bad reviews, I believe some people will find fault no matter what, but still I got a little concerned:) Those concerns were laid to rest a soon as we arrived. We got a one bedroom apartment, It was great, Its not super fancy but so what.. it was clean and the staff was lovely :) The beach is of course amazing, just a short walk..I don't mind the walking as you get to see some cool cars! The staff at the Beach Bar.. super nice! No beer at the beach bar which sucks.. did it spoil my trip..will I whine about it no!! The buffet was alright.. Lots of veggies..which is great when you don't eat any meat :) The pool was beautiful and cleaned daily!! Had a super time and would for sure go back!!
“Good Price! ”
I had a reservation at a family house for 30 CUC a night, no breakfast included. When I arrived the family was not there so I started walking and thanks to my Lonely Planet I arrived to Mar del Sur. I paid 49 CUC a night ALL-INCLUSIVE...I could not believe it! The food is good and 24 hour open bar! They have a rancho on the beach with bar too. One night there was a magic show...excellent! The staff is friendly although they don´t have the information of the surroundings. The rooms are in regular shape, but hey! It is Cuba. As long as they are clean, I am fine with it.
“Friendly staff, good location, good price ”
Check In When we arrived we were checked in quickly and efficiently. They had someone carry our luggage up to our room (We we on the top floor). Very friendly staff when we checked in and checked out as well as helpful. Our plane was leaving at 4am and they worked a deal to keep our room till midnight. Room The 2 bedroom apartment was clean (Granite tile floors throughout), newer model fridge, TV was on the fritz, but all the TV's around the area seemed to be on the fritz. The room was cleaned daily with fresh linens and the maid often left the towels made up as swans etc... I think we saw 1 or 2 insects in the room the entire week. The air conditioning worked well and the main room of the apartment had a kitchen table with 4 chairs, as well as a small couch and 2 sitting chairs. There was also a balcony that overlooked the center courtyard area of the hotel. The water pressure for the shower was low, but others had good water pressure, so it may have just been our block and top level room that cause lower water pressure. Food There was only the one restaurant and the snack bar. The food was good and none of us were ever sick from eating there. The variety usually included 2-3 rice?s, potatoes, 2-3 meat choices, some cooked vegetables. The salads were either a shredded cabbage type salad or a cucumber type salad. Coffee was sporadically available; however there was always hot tea, juice and filtered water. The kids enjoyed the fruit and ice cream. Pool The pool was cleaned daily while we were there and the water was clean. The bottom of the pool was coloured with a brown-green colour, so it sometimes gives the appearance of greenish water, however, the water was clean for the entire duration we were there. Bars There are the 2 bars, one by the pool and one in the main lobby. Both bars the service was polite and quick. By around the 3rd day there, the staff would have our drinks ready while we were walking up to the bar still 20 feet away. I?d advise brining an insulated travel mug as the small plastic glasses don?t hold as much. Location This hotel is close to the middle of town. It was close to several banks, as well as the shops around. Some of the bigger resorts were at the far end of the peninsula making a trip to town either a bus or cab ride. This hotel was walking distance to everything. Although it was not right on the beach, it was pretty close. Never had a problem finding chairs, sun or shade depending on what we wanted. Entertainment They had a show Weds-Sat nights while we were there. The magic show on the Saturday night was fantastic, the other shows were a mixture of dancing. I thought the entertainment was pretty good considering it was part of the overall experience of the resort. Safety/Security We never had anything go missing from the room, but we did use the safe and practiced general good security measures. The area in general felt very safe and none of us were ever threatened or accosted the entire time we were down there. Overview I spoke with several travellers who stay often 3-5 months in the area and the general consensus was that this hotel was the best ?Bang for the buck? hotel you could stay at. Being a family of 5 there are very few hotels that seem willing to accommodate us, however here they had us in a 2 bedroom apartment which worked out great. Comparatively to North American standards I think any hotel may seem sub-standard (No hair dryer in the bathroom, no coffee maker in the room, etc?) however, it depends on what your expectations are going in. I had read reviews here and it seemed hit and miss so I went in with pretty low expectations and was pleasantly surprised with how much I liked the resort, and Cuba in general. Some of the hotels right on the beach didn?t have pools so a couple of days were there it was pretty windy and you weren?t allowed in the ocean, so at least the kids could still swim in the pool. All in all we are planning on returning again and will look at staying here again.
“Location Is Everything ”
So YES this hotel is very outdated BUT the location is truly amazing. Walking distance to anywhere you want to go. That being said, I agree with others when they say they have mixed feelings on this place. The Bad: 1st room we recieved didn't look like it had been cleaned since 1963. The curtains were barly hanging on with broken curtain rods, bedspread had rips and stains all over it, no hot water, no balcony, holes in walls, chipped paint from walls, etc. I really could go on. It was pretty bad. But since we got a steal of a deal for booking this all inclusive last minute (booked it on wedns afternoon and flew out thurs am @ 9 for a total of $890.00 txs in for both of us. Yes $145 plus txs each!!! Dirt cheap and dirt it was in that first room). This room was located right on the resort itself but we were able to change rooms 2 days later. We moved to a whole other location. Block 21 I think it was. Up the street from the resort. Nice and clean and with a balcony overlooking the back streets of Varadero. It was awesome!!! The food was pretty blan. But that's Cuban food. We stayed at a 4 star (Playa Caleta) last year and the food was no better there either. That being said, there was always something you could eat. AND because this location is so prime, you can walk anywhere and find delicious food and for cheap. Highly recomend Honey De La Miel. I'm pretty sure that's what it was called. Walking distance and wicked food for cheap. We ordered prime rib, chicken dinner, calamari for an appetizer, and a couple beer each for 20 bucks!!! (pesos) The pool was crappy when we were there. It was so cloudy you couldn't see through it. Only ever seen a handfull of people in it. I think that's all I can say for the bad...now for the good... Location. As Iv'e said it's prime. You definetly need to check out the Hamburguesa on the main strip. It's the 24 hr burger joint on the way to the beach. It was truly one of the highlights of our trip. 2 beer and a pk of cigarettes for about 5 cuban pesos. Can't beat that!! And the coffee is delicious!! Great place to cool down in the afternoon with a beer and people watch. Varadero beach. What more can I say. One of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen. Amazing! Mar Del Sur has it's own spot on the beach for drinks and snacks and tons of lounge chairs. Was never a problem getting one. The staff were very friendly and were actually appreaciative of a tip (unlike other resorts we've been to where their hand is always out wanting more). The cleaning lady for our room was wonderful. We left candy and little trinkets and treats daily along with a couple bucks and she went out of her way to talk with us. She was always smiling and told us on more than one occasion that we were making her son "very happy". Lol Security for all the seperate buildings for this resort. Was nice to see them when stumbling back to the room after partying with the locals. The Disco Rouge. Awesome spot!!! Check it out you won't be dissapointed. Very safe (seems everything in Cuba is safe anyway) Walking distance from the resort and free admission with your resort bracelet. Tons of locals who are just looking for a good time. They aren't bothering you for money or drinks, they're genuienlly just want to dance. And jez can they dance! ;) Despite some of the negative issues with this resort, I'm sure as long as your fully aware of what to expect in a 2 star resort in Cuba, you'll be fine. It's not the most beautifully well kept resort but it has everything you need to make your stay downtown very enjoyable. My husband & I always said that we would never stay in the same resort twice. There are way too many different hotles to try out. But that being said, this is an exception. We would definetly return to the Mar Del Sur. Truly an amazing experience.
Very pleased with out experience while staying here, we had low expectations seeing as this was a 2 star, air conditioners work perfect, i suggest you to bring a pillow or a extra blanket throw, food was as expected, cuban food. Staff at the buffet were amazing, always checking on refilling your drinks when they got low and taking empty plates, there are animals on the resort which were all friendly and harmless, they have wonderful security at each entrance, and have nice little seating areas all over the place, the bar served chips, hot dogs, and hamburgers, they ran out or OJ half way threw, but we blamed that on the russians, they drank alot. For the night life they had 1 amazing act that travels all around cuba and played at the allegro 5 nights a week, the rest of the nights were just singing and dancing which was fine, down the street they had a disco that you could get in to for free with your resort bracelet, locals would start showing up around 1230 so any time before that it was empty, an amazing night club was the havana club on calle 62 street, 5 bucks to get in, amazing music, amazing locals. Also another night attraction is the 24 hour burger joint that always had bumpin music and cheap and yummy burgers. its the hangout for all the party people when clubs start shutting down around 3-4pm, over all a very safe place to walk in day and night.
“I had a great time!! ”
For the money, I think you get more than what you pay for. Okay it's true, the rooms aren't perfect - there was some peeling paint and I think a bit of mold in a couple of places, but the floors were washed every day, the beds made with "swan" or "heart" shaped towels and the beds were quite comfortable and the pillows were really good. The food selection wasn't large, but always fresh and quite tasty (except I didn't like the spegetti). There were omlettes in the morning and a chef grilling or just serving fresh fish, pork, chicken and even turkey one night. And, because of the price again, we were able to go out for meals if we felt like it. We found a great little place half way up 31 called "Don Alex". He's been making and delivering pizzas for 5 years and just opened up his patio as a restaurant 5 months ago. He still delivers pizzas, some were delivered to our pool bar one night! The beach is a couple of blocks away, but the walk is short and quite interesting. The discos are a 30 block walk (most much smaller than our blocks) or a 5 c.c. taxi ride away, and the taxi drivers don't charge as much since this isn't a 5 * (apparently most people in 5 * get charged a lot and have to taxi everywhere since they are so far away from the action). If you're interested, after the bars close, the place everyone ends up is the "Hamburgosa" - it's right up the street at the corner of 1st Avenue and Calle 31. If you need a really nice hotel room to hang out in, don't book here. If you want the sort of place that if you're alone at the bar, someone will always talk to you, or you can join in a game of pool, then this would suit you. I stayed from January 10th to January 24th 2013. Another minor issue - no beer at the beach bar, so bring a big mug so you can fill up at the hotel before you go!! (If you're okay with making a few small adjustments like this, you'll have fun!)
“1 bedroom apt, no issues ”
Just wanted to take the time to write a quick review after being a little freaked out over the reviews left. Friends of ours have stayed here for the last 4 years, so we were joining an awesome group of people. Lets start with the staff. They were all pleasant, helpful, cheerful, and constantly making an effort to ensure a good stay. The facilities were nice. average, not over the top and beautiful, but its a 2 and a half star resort...you get what you pay for. I saw a few ants, none in my room...nothing in my bed, no crazy horrible stories, but when there are no doors and open lobby, there are bound to be a couple ants on the floor. I do have a few photos, i'm hoping they upload properly so i can share what we had for a room. As for the food, well, its cuban food. there were restaurants off resort that had worse food than our all inclusive meals. The food was ok, we did bring our own spices and condiments to make it more enjoyable. There was no funny smells, no filth, and in 7 days wondering around the city, i saw 1 cockroach on the street. My suggestions if you're planning a trip here is to bring your own pillow, and bring some spices and condiments. We had a great time staying in the heart of the city. It was nicer to be downtown than it was way out at the east end of the city where there was nothing but resort properties. Hope this relieves some fears...
“I'm baaaaack!! ”
Went back to Mar del Sur for 2 weeks in Nov. /13. It was like going to visit old friends. Practically everybody remembered us from our trip in March. Many even asked why our daughter wasn't with us. As before we were really happy with just about everything. Guess we're 2 star people. Just wish there was beer in the lobby bar. What can I say, loved it the first time, loved it this time too. Visited the friends we made last time at their homes in Havana and Cardenas. Were treated like royalty and saw a glimpse of Cuban life from a Cuban angle. Will be going back soon. Food same as before, can always find something pretty good. Beach excellent, location good. Kind of a bummer though, would like to check out other resorts but feel like we'd be cheating on our Mar del Sur friends.
“I'll be baaaack!!”
Spent one week with my wife and daughter after booking last minute so took what was available. Was kind of leery after reading some reviews as this was our first time in Cuba. We thought we might be making a mistake as we were the only ones to get off the bus after a 20 min. ride from the airport. Coulden't have been more wrong. Staff was great, food more than just pretty good, rooms (small appartment really) were nice,Only Mike Holmes could find something that needs fixing and he wasen't there. Had a good size brand new fridge, AC worked excellent, beds were comfy, good water pressure, endless hot water. Apparently the TV didn't work but I can't confirm that. Met many good people, tourists like us, Cuban workers and tourists, Russians and never a problem. Everyone seemed happy to be there. Beach is beautiful, never a problem with lounge chairs or finding shade if you need it. Beach bar great, pool bar even better, and the lobby bar, I know from personal experience,is open 24 hrs. Drank the water, ate the food with no ill effect. If I was looking for something to complain about all I could come up with woul be the one inch pillows. Roll them up and they're OK. We did get a smell from the refinery but only one night. In seven days probably saw only 2 or 3 flies in our room. Didn't get to use our huge can of insect repellent.
Beaches are good
Large but friendly, embracing a familiar but intimate concept of itself, this is a well-conceived complex where guests can enjoy the countless attractions of Varadero beach. It is a hotel that pleases its guests with cheerful treatment and personalized attention from its employees, the creativity of its entertianment animators, its nightly music, its cocktails and drinks, and the meticulous touch of its chef. In addition, for those wishing to stay for a long period in Cuba, this facility places its well-equipped apartments at your disposal. Varadero's "Juan Gualberto Gómez" International Airport is 13 miles away.
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