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Blau Privilege Cayo Libertad Hotel, Varadero Beach Cuba. 5 stars,

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  • Description: Blau Privilege Cayo Libertad Hotel Cuba

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    Review about Blau Privilege Cayo Libertad Hotel
    Poor Tammy C

    “Below standard even for Cuba ”
    We were at this resort from February 25-March 4 , 2014. We chose this resort as it has many great reviews from past visitors. I don't know what has occurred in the past few months, but here is my views regarding the resort. PRO'S - weather, rooms are large, free safe in room, drinks at the outside bar were great and service was fast, servers at the swim up bar were amazing, very quit by the pool, fast check in and check out. CON'S - septic smell very bad throughout the resort and was emptied during the early afternoon on a daily basis, food was terrible i.e., toast everyday came out hard as rock like Melba toast with no butter, ran out of tea on day 4 of our trip, most fruit was canned fruit, vegetables were canned, alway running out of food and not replenishing it. lobster was overcooks and like mush. Never any staple foods on the resort such as potatoes. I can go on and on about the food (enough said). The servers in the Cayo side of the resort were very rude and not helpful to our requests. Alway running out of plates and bowls and it was like pulling teeth to get more. We started eating breakfast at the a la carte restaurant for the first 2 days, but took 45 minutes the first day in which we only order French toast. The second day, it took over 1 hour for service and there were only approximately 20 people in the restaurant. We like to tip everyone the gives us good service at the resort. No peso's available at the resort (1.00). The beds in the rooms are 3/4 beds pushed together to make a king bed but both beds are made separate, linen dirty, towels dirty, not enough staff. The sunwing rep (female) was very rude and aggressive with us and not helpful at all. This will not discourage us from going to Cuba, but will never go to this resort again. We paid good money for this resort expecting more that what we received, which was nothing.

    Average JoyBarnet

    “Beautiful but don't go for the food ”
    We arrived at the resort after spending two days in Havana. The receptionist was very friendly and although we arrived early, well before the check-in time of 4pm she said she would do her best to get our room ready quickly and we should come back in an hour. We duly looked around the resort and beach and noted it to be very clean with well manicured gardens. The sea looked turquoise and inviting. The buildings all appeared to be well maintained. After an hour, our room still wasn't ready so we went to have some lunch. There is only a small buffet containing salad, cold meats etc., and desserts. Everything else is ordered from the menu and served to you at the table. We ordered lunch and after 40 minutes it came and was lukewarm - the alarm bells started ringing !! We went back to reception and our room was ready so the "buggy" took us and our cases to the room. The room was extremely spacious with a huge double bed, sofa, table & chairs, large bathroom, separate toilet and separate hanging/clothing. area. There was also a huge balcony overlooking a plain grassed area with trees. If you looked to the right you could just see the beach and sea. Two very old loungers were present on the balcony with a table all in need of serious renewal but they were in fact comfortable. A bottle of champagne and a bottle of rum were also awaiting us together with a welcome letter from the management. The room has a TV (hardly any channels available) and a fridge which is re-stocked with soft drinks and beer every day (provided you drink what is in there). There is a coffee percolating machine which was little better than useless, the coffee was foul and there was no milk or whitener. I called for our maid and gave her a very generous tip to start with and thereafter for the whole of the stay our room was kept spotless with beautiful towel decorations every day. Our room was well situated on the ground floor and close to the pool and restaurant. The staff are friendly and helpful and the resort as stated before very clean. There is however only the one restaurant (unless you choose to go to the sister hotel). There is no entertainment in the evening other than the cigar/piano bar which has a pianist and a violinist and a pool table. That's it for entertainment unless you go to the sister resort. The beach is lovely, not the best I've seen but powder soft sand albeit lots of seaweed. The sea is beautiful quite warm but beware the sea at this resort doesn't just shelve there is a sheer drop about 20 yards out and I was completely out of my depth together with this there is an extremely strong current and although I am a strong swimmer, I had difficulty getting back to within my depth - this is an adults only resort and the sea here is certainly not suitable for children. The food was ............... absolutely awful, the worst we have had anywhere in the world. Poached eggs are like bullets toast is brittle and always cold more like hard stale bread. They never changed the menu in the seven days we were there and half the things on the menu were not available. Yes I could have had grilled lobster every night but the meat was grey, mushy and almost cold yuk. The beef is like shoe leather, the chicken breast was never available and the pasta almost always came up lukewarm. Coffee is lovely (but takes at least 15 minutes to come) Ice cream is good. Creole shrimp was good the first time, next time it was completely different. The specialist restaurants at the sister resort are not much better. You have to book these 24 hours in advance and we found several were fully booked. The Italian is just about edible, the Spanish was edible but eat before you go as you don't get a choice and you don't get much food and the red wine in the Spanish restaurant is so watered down it is literally like coloured water. As for the Fish restaurant take my advice don't even try it, we ended up walking out (and so did a few others) food was cold and just awful, shame because the location in the lighthouse is lovely. There are shows and entertainment at the sister hotel but it is extremely crowded and busy with screaming kids everywhere so we stayed away. We did go into Varadero itself and found a lovely restaurant in a Cave called The Grotto, not too expensive and wonderful lobster and prawns. We also went to the Beatles Bar which is a short walk from the cave restaurant to watch a live band. This was a very pleasant evening culminating in a taxi ride home in a 1927 Model T Ford. My husband loves fishing and fished everyday in the resort in the "sea" lagoon. Caught lots or fish (nothing big) and a lobster. There is of course big gaming fishing if you wish to book it. Lastly, the pool bar serves ALL its drinks (beer, wine, cocktails) in tiny plastic cups which are totally inadequate. We noted lots of people had brought their own "insulated beakers" and the bar staff are happy to fill these with beer, wine, cocktails, water or coffee. We tried to buy a couple of these there but they are not to be found on sale ANYWHERE not in Varadero or Havana so TAKE YOUR OWN WITH YOU. All in all a fairly relaxing break but I would definitely not go back and in all honesty wouldn't recommend. There are millions of other countries that have beautiful beaches and sea, lovely staff and rooms but never before have I lost weight on a holiday because the food was so bad. Feel free to message me if you have any questions. Joy

    Average Geraldine F

    “Very disappointing !”
    I have been to Cuba six times and am very aware of the limitations of the Country . We have found the resorts we previously stayed in to go above and beyond in their attempts to provide a good service . However, this resort was less than advertised , even for Cuba standards . While we enjoyed the beautiful weather , we were terribly disappointed in the overall quality of service in particular, and the food quality was poor . While some staff were friendly and helpful, others appeared annoyed ! I would not recommend this resort and would certainly advise that this is about a 3.5 stars at best . There are many other resorts in Cuba that are far better!!

    Average Janelle_Mi

    “Not the kind of 5 star I am used to ”
    Visited Cayo Libertad (CL) in Sept, 2013. There was a 30 min bus ride from the airport to the hotel. The bus was clean and air conditioned and dropped us off at the CL main desk. Upon arrival, we received a glass of champagne and were upgrade to a suite. The suite was clean, but were a disappointed as it has two twin beds and it was really dated inside. Room did have a complementary bottle of rum and champagne, and huge downstairs and upstairs decks. In the main hotel you have access use of the gym, salon, buffet, car rental services, ect. Golf carts shuttle you back and forth ? when they are available. It can be annoying waiting on golf carts and you are somewhat reliant on them. A good tip is to call when your close to ready for pick-up. The main hotel gym is air-conditioned, has a few treadmills and bikes and a bit of weights and weight equipment. It was small, most of the equipment was dated and there were no mats or towels available. I would just swim in the ocean and forego the gym experience. I went to the salon for a mani / pedi. I advise against this. It was unclean and I felt uncomfortable. The equipment came out with visible remains of another client on it. It was not relaxing at all. CL customer service is not the best. If you are having problems with service when calling the CL main desk, try the main hotel desk. The things I loved about the trip were the private feel of the CL and the spaciousness of the suite. The CL restaurant is pretty good, awesome service and good food (My fiancé had the grilled lobster every night). The private pool for CL guest and pool bar were also really great (mojitos and pina colodas for all). The private beach was also beautiful. We were here in low season and there was a total of 12 people at the Cayo Libertad ? so it was sort of dead and not a lot of energy. We went rented scooters from them main hotel and went on our own excursion into Varadero ? I suggest doing this ? it was really fun. This resort was a fun place to hang out - kind of what I would equate to a camping experience. If you want all the bells, whistles and luxuries of a true 5 star resort, I suggest you look elsewhere.

    Average Yahoo67

    “Wont be back. ”
    Stayed in Block 35 the week beginning Jan 26th. I had emailed asking for an upper floor room but was given a ground floor one looking out into trees and to not a nice area at all. Dump trucks continuously running up and down a temporary made road as they build the new marina, that was our view. Don't believe EVERY ROOM has an ocean view because they don't. Ok , we didn't stay in the room much other than to change and sleep, but if you are roomed at the side of the resort facing towards the Marina and the Melia Hotel, I think you may be disappointed. Constant drilling noise 7am to 7pm. THE GOOD. Small resort with 85 suites. Nice pool area and pool bar. Pool bar service was excellent. ( MERLIN was just great ) Plenty loungers and lots of room. One thing lacking is a pool area snack bar instead of having to go into the A La carte Restaurant to get something. There was a big old bbq sitting outside but it wasn't used the full week we were there. Our week was just full of Canadians from BC , Winnipeg, Ontario and Nova Scotia. Brilliant week with sooooo many friendly people. Throw in the 2 English couples that were there and you couldn't ask for a better bunch to vacation with. This is where the good ends , Im sorry to say it but in my mind, the bad definitely outnumbers the good. THE BAD. The idea of A La carte for breakfast lunch and dinner doesn't appeal to me. You order a 3 or 4 minute boiled egg in the morning and you can wait 30 minutes for it. I ordered chicken fingers for lunch and again waited 30 minutes only for pork to arrive. The small cold buffet that they have laid out is continuously covered with flies. The service, and I heard this easily from a dozen other people , in this restaurant is very bad. They are probably the un friendliest bunch I have ever came across in Cuba. Only on the night that the resort management turned up did the staff become friendly and attentive. Please Mr Raul, don't announce to your staff when you are turning up , just turn up and see the way the place is really run. Just so you know there wasn't one day in the restaurant ( or pool bar ) that I didn't tip. I always tip, good or bad, every drink or service. Maybe in this case I shouldn't have. So, its golf cart to the main hotel ( Blau Marina ) . Hit and miss with the carts. Plentiful during the day but at night they go missing. Battery trouble they told me as we waited 25 minutes and decided to walk in the end. I know everybody had problems at night with the carts. Know what , buy spare batteries to use as other ones charge. !! Its a no brainer. Its only a 10 minute walk from the Privilege but not everyone can manage it, especially when its hot. Buffet at the Marina . the food was a lot better here but boy is it busy. Go later rather than earlier believe me its worth it. The beach. You know it could be a beautiful spot at the Privilege . Its so quiet, so private and peaceful, but its totally disgusting. If you are a beach person you are going to have to go up to the Marina beach because there is nothing at the Privilege side. When I say nothing , I mean nothing !!!. There are some beautiful beaches along Varadero as most of us might know, but you are not going to write home about this beach, that's for sure. The room. It was decent with the room safe thrown in at no charge. Take the bug spray to kill the army of small ants. I sprayed once and didn't see any after that. Shared the shower with a frog which was funny. Took me a while to get him out the door lol. Had to buy my own Cristal cans of beer at the store as they only put Buccanero in the room fridge daily. I gave my two daily cans to the gardeners. The hard rubber mattresses seem to be the norm, but they are not the worst ones we have slept on. The screen door wouldn't close and a Russian weight lifter would find it tough to open and close the patio door. The Piano-Cigar Bar is a nice little hang out at night to play pool or just relax. The service in here was pretty good too. All in all, Id rate this resort as a 3. The beach and the restaurant are a big disappointment. Maybe others will think different. I am only comparing it to other resorts I have been to in Cuba . We have been 10 times now and although this wasn't the worst its nowhere near my top 3 or 4 choices. Its definitely lacking big time in certain areas. We do not plan to return to the Blau . Anyway, hopefully this review about this resort helps you. :) I HEARD MORE HORROR STORIES ABOUT EXCHANGING YOUR DOLLARS AT THE AIRPORT WHEN YOU ARRIVE. IF YOU DO THIS, WATCH THE DOLLARS BEING COUNTED OUT TO YOU. DO NOT LOOK AT THE PERSON UNTIL THEY FINISH COUNTING. WATCH THE ACTUAL NOTES BEING COUNTED OUT FOR YOU. I FELL FOR IT MYSELF YEARS A GO AND I HEARD ABOUT IT AGAIN ON THIS TRIP. IF YOU WATCH THEM , THEY DONT PUT THE NOTE DOWN BUT STILL COUNT IT. I HAD NO PROBLEM CONVERTING ANY AMOUNT OF PESOS AT THE RESORT.

    Very good EastTravels

    “Great first time trip to Cuba”
    We were originally booked at Blau marina ,the main resort. We were given this up grade to the private "island" due to overbooking. What a great surprise. This is the very last property on the Varadero strip, very private, very peaceful and very pretty. Our room was huge suite with a view of the ocean. Never had any issues with water, fridge, restocking or maid service. Our maid, Barbsie, made animal creations every day from towels and blankets. We ate half our meals at the restaurant but it did get repetitive so we also went to main resort buffet. The Beach area here is very quiet and secluded, beautiful and peacefull. Main resort section has alot of activities if thats what you want. As for comparing Cuba resorts to other countries, no its not as fancy, no the selection of food is not as good (we had no issues) and no your not as pampered. However i found the water and beach perfect , the weather was perfect and the people were amazing. went into Varadero many times as well as a trip to Havana. Never felt unsafe, never felt pressured. i will return to Cuba because of its people and this resort is a great upgrade for couples looking to relax, if you look for things to complain about then perhaps Cuba is not for you.

    Very good Gurumir

    “Amazing area and beach. Bad food and coctails. ”
    An amazing area in Varadero. Nice poolside bars and lounge chairs. Beach was very good. Staff was friendly and the shuttle always ready to take you to the main building. Very confy rooms. On the downside food was consistently very bad with the exception of breakfast which was excellent. Drinks always too strong if you did not specify that you want a tiny bit of alcohol. Cigar bar was the best! Best mojitos and a pool table :) Wifi expensive 4,5USD/hour as is the case in Cuba..It is a new thing.

    Very good Wally42

    “Great place to relax ”
    Four of us stayed at the Cayo Libertad for a week in March. For my wife and I, it was the second time being there. The last time, was 5 years ago when it was a Barcelo. Now I don't know if the new ownership had anything to do with it or not, but the food availability and quality had slipped a bit in my opinion since our last visit. Also the wine selection I think has been paired down a bit. FYI, this is our 5th time in Varadero, so we know what to expect. If this is all I'm picking on, it's only for comparison. Other than the above, I can't fault the place for anything. The service and people are fantastic and personable as with all of Cuba. The facilities are great. Any short-comings or repairs were taken care of in a timely fashion. The musicians at the resort are very talented. Check out the cigar bar, the talent is very good and it's just a nice place to have a drink. If you need anything, Edel and Carlos can hook you up. They arranged for us to attend a baseball game in Matanzas that was one of the highlights of our trip. Also, Tuesday night, check out the Michael Jackson Tribute night in the main Marina Place theatre. This was also a good night out. Also, I can't forget about Ivan at the Cayo Libertad pool who was serving us fresh coconut poolside and all the ladies and Leo in the restaurant who took care of our dining requirements and Armando the bartender. All these people are so nice and personable and want to help you have a great trip. Can't say enough. We would definitely return to Cayo Libertad

    Very good Barry H

    “Beautiful resort ”
    This would be our 8th or 9th trip to Cuba. First time to this resort and it is the best overall. The Cayo Libertade section is very nice and peaceful, every morning sitting by the pool sipping coffee was a delight. Yudier was the pool bartender and he is by far the best bartender I have ever experienced in Cuba, he took time time chat and teach me some Spanish while making drinks for everyone. I would go back to this resort just to see him again, on our last day on the resort we left him everything we had in the way of sunscreen and bug spray etc he was very thankful. I was very lucky to not get one bug bit, my wife was not so lucky, she has about 12-15 on each leg and they are still very itchy and irritated. The food was ok overall, I was never hungry but as always in Cuba nothing is very tasteful. We did take a sunset catamaran cruise to a private island that included a lobster or chicken dinner (the best meal we had all week I might add) all booze included for $50 per person. This was by far the highlight of our week, highly recommend this cruise, book it at the main lobby. Overall awesome trip, people of Cuba are the best in the world!!

    Very good BRI_735

    “Very Good Resort ”
    We were originally booked for the Marina Blau, but upon arrival we were upgraded to Cayo as Marina was full. The upgrade made the vacation experience much better from day 1, but this will be an honest review of Cayo with some Marina Blau mixed in as they are sister properties. Room - very good. His and her sinks, large closet/bed/living space/balcony. Very nice space. The room is a bit dated from the 90's but hey, it's Cuban after all. No complaints with the room except to say the bed was very low to the floor. Minor issue. Grounds - Cayo was very beautiful, well maintained. Someone was always working on making it look better. Zero complaints here. It was as nice as it gets. Marina Blau's grounds were also in very nice shape. Pool - Very nice pool area. Minimal shade for those who don't arrive at breakfast to reserve their chair. You snooze, you lose. The bar service by the pool was very good. The pool itself had a great view of the ocean. Overall it was very quiet and laid back. No real party atmosphere and to the benefit of many, no children. (it's an adults only resort if you didnt know). Marina Blau's many pools were either party or family atmospheres, depending on the pool. Food - Every meal was a la carte and included a smaller buffet as well for salads, fruits, cheeses, etc. It was amazing to eat outdoors and no matter the time of day, the view was relaxing and beautiful from where we sat. The breakfast was very good every morning (love the coffee and all the fresh bread!). Lunch was decent, and dinner was pretty good. Overall the food was better than I had expected for Cuba standards, but it's still Cuba and they still lack in the variety and flavor departments. But they try very hard! . I will mention by day 7 of our 10 day trip we were growing tired of the smaller a la carte menu.. Note - Marina Blau's main buffet is huge, loud, and insanely busy during peak times. The quality of food in the main buffet is 'good', but never great but also not awful. Alcohol - Rum rum rum. Very good. Tip a bit more for better Havana Club types. Cristal is the main beer, also pretty good. If you want top shelf booze, you're going to have to tip for it. I was a bit let down as they don't do blender drinks like Mexico resorts do. I stuck mostly with rum. The cola mix is not Coke or Pepsi, it's a bit more flat as well. But after a couple drinks, who cares? Service - Tremendous! Zero complaints. The Cuban people are friendly and work very hard and long days. From the front desk to grounds crew to bar tenders to servers, they all exceed expectations. We learned the servers work 1 day on, 1 day off, working 16 hour days each shift. People, please respect and appreciate your serving staff! Tip well, they deserve it. They are always smiling and helpful. When you eat at 8am and then 8pm and the same person is serving you, I think a healthy tip is warranted. Beach - private and very quiet with no bar or party atmosphere. It's quiet, relaxing, and beautiful. If you want the party, go to the Marina Blau beach area. We did that nearly every day. All the beaches and water are amazing and will please you no matter what your needs are for beach atmosphere. You can walk down the beach for a long long time in both directions. Excellent sea shell variety, as well, the water is very very clear. Probably the nicest beach and water I've ever traveled to. (Disclaimer - as we had full access to Marina Blau, we did use their beach most days. The food at the Marina Blau was definitely a notch or 2 below Cayo, so be warned. The a la cartes at Marina were better than their buffet and we found the Cuban one to be the best tasting.) My only negative comment is a 'poor me' complaint. This is a VERY large property. The main lobby to Marina Blau was a 20 min walk from our room. There are golf carts running back and forth all day and they give you rides, but they are not always available. The walk is long and can be tiring for some. Again, minor complaint and most of us could use the walk after eating at a buffet every day. The only reason this resort does not get 5/5 is because it's Cuba and the food quality is not excellent. If they had access to better quality, this would be hands down a 5/5. I would give it 4.5 if TA would allow for that type of rating. Overall we were very pleased with our vacation and resort. Had we ended up actually staying in Marina Blau, we would have still had a pretty great trip, but having a bigger room, no kids near us, an ocean view, a la carte choices for every meal...well, that's just better.

    Very good Guy D

    “Excellent place”
    Very nice and quiet place.very professional staff. Only 1 restaurant closed to the hotel...we had to go To the other resort Blau marina to have access to they other facilities(buffet and other restaurant). The Blau is a family resort versus +18 years .

    Very good Danyl1967

    “Almost brilliant.... ”
    Our experience was in line with other reviews. This hotel is almost brilliant. It misses being exceptional on a small number of, it would appear easily rectified, points. On the plus side the location is simply gorgeous. The rooms are spacious, cool and spotlessly clean. The poolside (great pool and bar!) is also spotless and well maintained. Top marks to housekeeping and all cleaning teams. The extra touches like the lovely 2 gentlemen who make the flower baskets and hats with palm birds really add to the experience. As does the welcome gift of champagne and a bottle of local rum! I can?t fault the cocktails (top job), and have to say the beautiful ?Cigar Bar? which sits on stilts over the water really made our stay memorable. Bar staff there and the delightful pianist made for an excellent all round evening experience on several occasions. The resort is relaxing, peaceful, easy on the eye and is effortlessly superior to its larger (and somewhat shabbier) sister resort next door. If you go look out for the wild hummingbirds that hover round the bush in front of reception? Reception team, by the way, also did a very good job. Polite and helpful. It was a lovely few days. In terms of improvements like other visitors have reposted I don?t really understand why the stunning sea views are blocked by huge overgrown hedges? Surely some pruning would reveal the resort?s best asset?! It was disappointing that the a la carte menu in the restaurant was the same every night. With one vegetarian option only it was boring and repetitive. There is a good salad bar but we vegetarians want a main meal too! You can walk to the sister resort to use their restaurants, but the one here is smaller, less crowded and child free which makes it more appealing for a couples trip. The ?soup lottery? became a running joke. You get what they want to bring not what you order, which would loose the fun factor for anyone with an allergy. On 3 occasions we were brought a different main course from the one ordered, which is odd for a ?5-star? establishment. My husband ate meat each night ? in every case totally over-cooked. This might simply be cultural taste (it was the same in Havana) but make for a lacklusture culinary experience overall. One or two restaurant staff lifted the experience, but we too found that the breakfast and lunch teams in the main seemed pretty disinterested. This contrasted with the experience at both bars, where staff were engaging, interactive, professional and friendly. Well done to the bar teams ? really super! This place is close to being perfect. If management raise their game a little in terms of food variety and restaurant service, and get the gardeners onto maximising those sea views this could easily be the best report in the entire area. We would return. Thanks for a nice stay.

    Very good SM20142014

    “Terrific vacation but gotta laugh sometimes ”
    We payed a bit more to stay at the Blau Privilege, and in return we received a beautiful, quiet, uncrowded, vacation spot, but with a few drawbacks. Our room was large, well appointed, and clean with a large bathroom and large balcony. However, while all rooms look out towards the water, our requested ocean view never materialized. In fact, few if any rooms have an ocean view. Some look out onto a dense line of trees that separate the hotel rooms from the beach, while other rooms look towards an inlet and marina which is under construction. We had asked for an ocean view before arriving but didn't receive one. We asked again at reception to be moved to an ocean view room when one became available, but never heard back. The pool was terrific. An infinity pool looking out over the ocean, with swim up bar. Because Blau Privilege is a small resort, the pool and pool area were never crowded or noisy. A perfect place to lay in the sun, only a five minute walk from hotel rooms. The beach was also perfect. Down a short boardwalk we found a private beach with about thirty palapa (grass topped "umbrellas") and loungers, a nice sandy beach, and shallow water. Again, even though the resort was fully booked, there were never more than a dozen couples on the beach at any one time. Another perfect place to lie in the sun, though at times it was a bit windy and onshore winds brought a fair amount of seaweed onto the beach, which was always gone by the next morning. Great rooms, great pool, great beach, great weather, but unfortunately not great food, even by Cuba standards. There is only one restaurant. It is conveniently located beside the pool. Again, it was never crowded, but even when the number of servers equalled the number of dinners, service was slow and disinterested. Breakfasts were fine with omelettes, eggs, pancakes, etc., but lunches and dinners were very disappointing. Meat was tough, chicken was under cooked, pasta was tasteless, lobster was dry from over-grilling, and ingredients were highly variable. One day a hamburger was a meat patty between two slices of white bread, with no topping or condements. Another day it came on nicely toasted crusty bread with french fries...but still no toppings or condements. A club sandwich was a fried egg with cheese...we didn't risk ordering it a second time. Rather than having an upscale restaurant, the Blau Privilege restaurant was at the opposite end of the scale. We found the food quality, food selection, and food service to be much better at the Blau Marina next door, and made the ten minute walk over for breakfasts and dinners. The Cuban restaurant was our favourite, a barbecue of beef, chicken and fish, with lobster and salads on the buffet. Italian restaurant was also very good. But book reservations for these restaurants as soon as you arrive as there is no priority given to guests staying at the Privilege and they book up days in advance. There is a shuttle service between the Blau Privilege and Blau Marina which uses oversized golf carts. It is slow and it was always quicker to walk. We never saw a mosquito, but we did get bitten by unseen insects and bites swelled up and were painful for days afterwards. Taking bug spray AND after-bite medication is a very good idea. A day trip to Havana (two hours away by bus) arranged through onsite airline representatives for about $60 Canadian per person including lunch was also very good. Finally, transfers from airport to hotel and back arranged by the airlines were well managed, but the airport on the return voyage was caos. We stood in a line to check bags, not moving, for more than an hour, followed by three more lines for airport tax, immigration, and security, finally making it to an overcrowded departure lounge just in time to see a man standing in an emergency exit shouting out our flight number. Fortunately we went to investigate and were whisked down a flight of stairs, across the tarmac, onto a bus, off again, up more stairs and onto the plane. All in all, a terrific, still pretty low cost, vacation. Would I recommend Blau Privilege to others? Yes, if you are looking for a quiet vacation and can appreciate the positives while laughing off the minor inconveniences.

    Very good Angie D

    “Best staff ever, some improvements needed. ”
    Us: 40 something professional couple needing some r and r (not into partying or constant busy-ness or entertainment) Highlights Staff was the most accommodating and friendly that I've come across in a long time, especially the restaurant and reception staff. Pool and bar were excellent and food was very good (I was surprised). A la carte and buffet served daily. You can have surf and turf every night if you want (included). Cigar Bar: great, relaxed atmosphere in the evening. We enjoyed the music (piano and violin) and great selection of drinks and cigars. Food: try the calamari, lobster, pasta is perfectly cooked, omelettes, french toast and crepes (we ordered them plain) and of course, best coffee ever. Disappointments: Maintenance: 1st room the safe did not work and the air conditioner rattled and kept us up all night. We heard from another couple that their room did not lock. Eventually we moved (and so did the other guests). The other guests heard from someone else that they had been given the room that did not lock, guess it wasn't fixed. Maid service: we agree with other complaints on cleanliness of towels. When we requested new ones, they never came. Although we appreciated the flowers placed in our room by the maid, we would have also appreciated DAILY cleaning of tub and shower and removal of dirty glasses. One day we were without running water in our room from 11am until 5pm. Biggest disappointment: was actually on the adjoining resort in the seafood restaurant. 1st of all, if you make reservations, know that it is outside so dress for the breeze. We waited 90 minutes for our dinner, then received it stone cold. When we went to leave the manager insisted on buying us lobster dinners (arrived 5 min later). Her attitude was quite positive and helpful, but the system of that restaurant isn't working. Many complaints from other guests as well. You are better to forget the a la cart restaurants on the family side of the resort, we found the food better on the cayo libertad side. With some fine tuning, this could turn into a fully booked and five star resort, especially with such good natured employees. One last note: I was really surprised at the contrast of the Blau Marina side. It would be 3 stars at best. Much different crowd and service. I was surprised to see men in the lobby without shirts, and just a lack of class in general. If you're an adult traveller without children, stay on the cayo libertad side.

    Very good RoadWearyAndWorn

    “Great resort, but don't go there if you want to party or if you are single”
    I stayed at Blau Privilege Cayo Libertad for 7 days and will give you the real story, pros and cons. First off, I'm thirty something, have spent 10 years travelling every week for work, I like to party but I also like to relax/de-stress, as was the case with this trip, so I think my review is valid for those in their early twenties to 40s. I have been to Cuba and Dominican Republic before and I've got a good view of the range of all-inclusives. Property: Absolutely gorgeous, especially on the Blau privilege Cayo Libertad side! I suspect this is much newer property or heavily renovated because the whole property looks fresh/ beautiful and well maintained. Party scene: Ok, first off , if you are single, don't go here. On the Marina/family side it's all families.Even on the adults-only area, just don't do it. The adults only side it is all couples and mostly much older people. Bars are not the party scene at either location. The disco was dead. It's more for older/married couples or families with kids. If you are doing a romantic trip with girlfriend for a relaxed/romantic trip I think you will like it. Food: Food was ok , if you don't like something, try something else.... Is it five star? No. Is the food ok, yes. Is service slow? It's a matter of perspective.. Unlike North American restaurants it's not all heavily processed food with the "get the customer in and out as possible to free the table quickly for the next" attitude we see in the USA and Canada. Service is fine. Just don't put it to a stop watch, enjoy your drink and try talking to the people you are with. A dish to avoid: tempura vegetables at the Blau privilege Cayo Libertad side was disgusting. It was the only bad experience I had eating here. I love Asian food and Asian-fusion, but that was a travesty. On the other hand the chicken in white wine/tenderloin in red wine were quite good. I also loved the meat cold cuts at the Cayo side. Restaurants: For cuba they were ok. I was disappointed by the Cuban restaurant though. Maybe I've had too much great Cuban-American food while visiting the US, but I felt they were not highlighting some of the amazing Cuban dishes that exist. Instead it was fairly bland/generic. Although to be fair, what I've had in the past could have been Americanized and not true traditional cooking. Rooms: I stayed on the Cayo Libertad side. Room was fine, but I did find the towel cleanliness concerning enough to complain. Staff:. Staff was friendly and very accommodating. While I suppose some reviewers may have had valid issues, I suspect it was in some people's cases a matter of staff reacting to people being pushy tourists instead of treating staff like people. Everyone I met was very friendly! Carts: It is a 10 minute walk from one end of the resort to the other. Unless you are older (55+) or have knee issues, there is no valid reason to complain about the infrequency of the carts... Unless you are simply fat AND lazy.. I'm an overweight guy, so I think it's fair to say that... For the Cayo Libertad side I could see some people getting frustrated if they were going to the Blau Marina side frequently but, again, it is a 10 minute short walk... And let's face it, most of us need the exercise.... In summary Would I stay here again? I would definitely stay here next time I'm bringing a girlfriend or bringing my family. However, if I find myself single or with a group of friends ready to party, this is not the place!

    Very good Stella56A

    “Luck of the draw?? ”
    It is interesting to read a couple of the best ... and the worst reviews by others.. just to see if I am barking up the right tree... We had been in Cuba driving around and staying in home stays for 7 nights ( no complaints there- give it a go !) and were really looking forward to our end of holiday luxury..... we were NOT disappointed. Our room and bathroom were large(the casement doors a little temperamental so didnt use them) The bed (an english king size) was comfortable, tho on one of the linen changes they didnt have a large enough sheet so used 2 singles night-time entanglement ensued! The fridge worked, the safe worked, the air con worked ... we relaxed. The restaurant WAS slow ...( but dont forget you are in the caribbean, St Lucia and Barbados have been no better over the years) The buffet was samey but plenty of it and good quality- we booked (and cancelled ) some of the restaurants in the sister hotel next door as it looked awful and ate all bar one meal in the Privilege... with no complaints and no side effects (except on the waistline) The pool was chilly according to my swimming husband - which is a shame- On the first day we were offered a mattress for our sun loungers - but not after that.... The method of getting your beach towels is unusual too - they are dispensed by your room maid, which as our room was serviced in the afternoon was difficult to co-ordinate. I dont understand the cart comments either- it seemed to constantly on the go... tho we chose to walk! The cigar bar definitely worth a visit in the evening . The beach... the weather was very windy when we were there so didnt actually sit on the beach much, but we did have a couple of lovely strolls along the waters edge. The smell... I would really like to know why they choose the middle of the afternoon to empty the septic tanks ... but if you sit at the bar and hold a cocktail under your nose you will find it is not a problem ! Finally, Canadians, The resort was full of them, its a short hop with no time difference for them, they treat it like we treat Spain ... on the whole they are a fun bunch who almost to a man brought their own insulated half litre mugs for their beer so they dont have to keep walking to the bar !! Were we lucky ? I dont know - what I do know is we had a lovely child free time there.

    Very good Buds46

    “Amazing hotel but.... ”
    We have just returned from a week staying at the Blau privilege Cayo Libertad and what can we say except that we had an amazing room with a beautiful view in a quiet location. But what let it down was the food. Within the Cayo Libertad we only had the option of the one A La carte restaurant which had the same menu every single evening with the option of chefs recommendation. It was hard enough being a vegetarian without having only pasta or a half cooked vegetable stack with cheese. Before you think of salad... you only get cucumber, tomato and lettuce which is great if you want to lose weight but not what you want on holiday every single night. I did ask the chef (via waitresses) and was referred to the menu. So we resorted to eating at the Blau Marina in the evening. Slightly better choice of food. My husband who does eat meat found that the chicken and fish at the Marina was much nicer and not as try hard. Moving on to the rooms - spacious, clean, well maintained - perfect. Lobby and service overall could not be faulted. so glad we read someone elses tip that it pays to tip at the beginning of your stay. Location - AMAZING! during the day we opted to walk on the beach between the 2 hotels, its about 1 mile or so. 25mins at a normal pace. We were so lucky that the beaches werent overcrowded - at some points we were literally the only ones on the beach. Hotel grounds are well maintained and staff so friendly and helpful. Business centre was well equipped but wifi doesnt exist and dont think about trying to get onto FB. Was actually quite nice not to have contact with the real world for a few days. suggestion for hotel - a churros stand would have gone really well in the marina i think. one of the nicest spanish desserts and we were only lucky enough to get them once for breakfast.

    Very good Lola J

    “Good hotel good rooms, food a let down ”
    Me and my sister arrived at the hotel at around midnight and after a few minutes a member of staff was on hand to greet us. When we were driven to our room by cart we were happy with the room, we were given a bottle of havana and wine as a welcome. The fridge had water and a some soft drink which were free. The only issue with he room was that there was a frog in between the shutters and the actual window, but I called reception the next day and a guy came to take it away. The beach is amazing and on our side of the beach there was plenty of space. We did a snorkeling excursion which was really good, as were the staff. The biggest issue was the food, we went to the italian restaurant for lunch which only offered pizza at that time of the day. the pizzas were average at best. We tried the restaurant on our side of the resort and it was average but much better than the dinner places we tried on the other side of the resort. The breakfast buffet was not great the best things were the pancake and omelettes which are made on the spot by a chief. The staff are helpful and professional which is good. We did meet some other guests who had been to the resort before and noticed a decline in the food. Fortunately there is a pool bar & cigar bar which is free so can forget about the food! I would defiantly stay there again but only on this side of the resort and if they improve the quality and variety of the food as this is not a cheap all-inclusive in any country.

    Very good Dayle K

    “Beautiful Place for R&R ”
    My husband and I stayed here with our good friends for a week from Feb 23 - Mar 1/14. They were put into an ocean front suite top floor, and we were put into a garden view top floor. We had both requested Ocean front so after inquiring every morning for 4 days and finally getting a little assertive, the checkin woman gave us an ocean front room , as we knew there were empty ones. Big difference if you want to sit on your deck in the morning with a coffee, or in the late afternoon with a drink, the patio is very large with really nice lounge chairs and stools.The rooms are very nice and we had no problems with plumbing, although the air conditioning didn't work as well as the first room did. Bathrooms come with bath robes, slippers, all the towels you want (just request more if you need them), but no face time we'll bring our own. Housekeeping is good , and very friendly, a 1-3 peso tip goes a long way .. The food and the dining room is good, not amazing, but good. The little european type buffet at the back of the dining room every meal was really good, it was often enough for us at breakfast and lunch. The menu at all 3 meals was adequate, but agreed that the service in the dining room was probably our least favourite part of the vacation. Sometimes you got your order right away and other times it seemed as if they forgot your order. They need coffee stations or self serve coffee stands like they have at the marina side of the resort, as all the coffee was hand made cup by cup at a big espresso machine. Lots of fresh papaya and pineapple and melons, good cheeses and breads and cold meats, but also agreed that the food and the service in the dining room could be improved. The grounds are amazingly beautiful and well kept, and the pool and the pool bar staff were our favourites. Merlin made excellent drinks but we brought our 1 liter jugs and didn't have the problems with little plastic cups as others did. She also served our champagne poolside in glass flutes every day . The cigar and piano bar was also a really nice feature of this resort. We didn't mind the walking to and from the marina side of the resort at all, it was nice to stroll after dinner to the other side of the resort. The one thing that we'll do differently when returning to Cuba is bring more Canadian cash as it's a little difficult to get cash on a credit card - you need to go to a bank (nearest is the Plaza Americas in Varadero )and stand in line with your passport and do the transaction at about 20% exchange. A lot of places don't take Credit cards and Debit cards are useless, so bring Cdn cash and exchange at resort lobby and then wait until you go to the airport to go home to exchange it with the locals who need to get rid of their Cdn tips and will trade straight across for your leftover Cuban peso's. We will come back to this resort next time in Cuba for a week, but will bring face cloths, adapter, and more Canadian cash. This is a really nice resort, especially after spending a week at the Memories resort just down the road the previous week. It's a solid 4 1/2* resort.

    Very good LittleTigerLily

    “A Welcome Step Up from the Blau Marina ”
    During our recent stay at the Blau Marina Varadero they took us on a walking tour through the Cayo Libertad section. The upgrade is well worth it if you are looking for more comfort and quiet...or better yet if you can get upgraded for free as I see a lot of the reviewers before me mention getting. Their cigar house is very quaint and the grounds are meticulate and serene. Please bear that word in mind: "serene." We encountered a few younger couples who were booked into the Blau Cayo Libertad but would spend most of their day in the Blau Marina section (you do get access to the Blau Marina for staying at the Cayo Libertad) because there was more fun and activity going on at that end of the property. Another nice perk is that there are no reservations needed for the a la cartes at the Blau Marina Varadero if you are staying at Cayo Libertad.

    Very good Nice1ang

    “Amazing trip for amazing value! ”
    We booked Sell Off Vacations with Rosemarie and she was amazing she advised of this hotel and it was stunning. We got upgraded from the main resort to hear and it was absolutely breathtaking. Our room was huge and though not the best view who cares we didn't go to on vacation to spend in our room. The bed was broke the first night as soon as we mentioned it they fixed it right away. Our mini bar was restocked every day with water, soda, and beer our room was spotless. Our maid left us the best towel art. They had an a-la-carte restaurant right on the island no reservations ever required and you could order anything. We had lobster almost every night. They had the most amazing infinity pool on the island overlooking the ocean, you could step right from the pool into the ocean in less than a 100ft. The cigar bar the had a bridge out into the ocean was amazing. They had golf carts to take you back and forth from the main resort up to the island however, most of the time they were running out of battery power and you often had to walk. So management decided to rent cars so guests wouldn't have to do that. They bellboy Carlo's was AMAZING and told this most wonderful stories about his family They even put on a little skit for us one night when we were being driven back to our room. This was my first time down South and it raised the bar beyond high. If your thinking of visiting here stop thinking and start booking you wont be disappointed. The only other negative was they ran out of ice alot but hey when it's sunny and warm and there is a beautiful view some things can be forgiven. If you're looking to take a vacay book it through Rosemarie at sell off vacations her ext is 2202 she will find you something awesome.

    Very good Kassi22

    “Beautiful grounds, very quiet and relaxing, but thats about it. ”
    Let me start with saying that I have been to Cuba several times, many years ago. My Husband and I travel quite a lot but this was his first time to Cuba so I?m basing this review on comparison to what I have seen in Cuba. Here is the brief rundown of Blau Privilege Cayo Libertad . This resort is located at the far end tip of the Varadero peninsula. It was once a ?key? but it?s now joined by a bridge and strip of beach. It is about a 45 minute drive from the Varadero airport. Privilege Cayo Libertad is the Adults only section of a larger resort, Blau Marina Varadero. When staying at the privilege side you have access to the restaurants and amenities of the Marina side. You will need to wear a bracelet which identifies which resort you are staying at. The Lobby to the resort is a small building just on the other side of the bridge leading to the island. Off the lobby is the Cigar Bar that is built over the water in a cove. Here you cross over a small bridge to get to the rest of the resort where the room blocks, pool and restaurant is located. The grounds here are beautiful. The gardeners work hard to keep the grass and trees trimmed. The room buildings are some of the nicest I seen from the outside. They are small buildings with eight units in each, four on the bottom floor, and four on the top. They are placed facing inwards in a loop around the outside of the island with the back patios facing out to the water. There is a ?palace? room at one end that was beautiful (and behind gates). While I didn?t see the inside I did walk the beach to see it from the outside and it had its own dock, pool and bar from the looks of it. Beautiful spot for a honeymoon! The beach itself was just ok. I have seen much nicer on the Varadero strip. The water was mostly calm which was nice, but there was lots of sea grass and they didn?t seem to take any care of it. They could definitely improve the beach with a few man hours. If you wanted to lay out, you would have to bring your own chairs to the beach. Very few people used the beach here. If you want to swim off the beach, please be careful. There is a seadoo tour that goes out every morning from a marina where they come roaring really close to the shore. They would not see if someone was swimming?way too dangerous for my liking. Not the resorts fault, but maybe they should say something to the tour operator as there is no need to be that close and it puts there guests at risk. One thing we did like doing was going for a walk along the mangroves and beach as you can find sea creatures. We say some interesting things like starfish, small rays, giant snails, etc. If you walk down to the Marina side, the beach there is much larger and it gets nicer, though busier. There is one main pool area that looks out over the beach. The water was cold! I see how it?s nice from the hot sun but it amazes me how cold they keep it. We spent most of our time at the pool as there was lots of chairs available at any time and this is where the pool bar is located (in and out of the water) though, mostly too cold to be in the water for any length of time. Off to the side between the pool and the beach is the main (and only) restaurant. There was plenty of indoor and outdoor seating, with some overlooking the ocean. The inside was air-conditioned, almost so much so that we sat outside most of the time to warm up. To get back and forth from the Privilege to the Marina you can hop on a golf cart that is driving around. However it?s not always available but I assume you can call for it if you need to. Most of the time we would just walk as it ended up being faster. To walk from the lobby of the Privilege to the lobby of the Marina it would take about 10-12 minutes. It was fairly breeze out here on the tip. It keeps you from baking in the sun during the day, but can make it cool at night. Bring a sweater. Also, we noticed broken glass along the road around the resort from time to time. I assume it may fall off the carts as the usually use plastic otherwise.. so wear shoes when walking. Here is a more detailed breakdown. My husband and I traveled from Feb 16-23 2014. Rooms: We stayed in a Junior Suite on the ground floor in building 53. We faced inwards but our patio faced outwards towards the small cove and construction of a new marina in the background. Not much of a view that?s for sure. There is a border of trees that line around the outside of the island that blocks most of the view anyways. If you stay on the top floor you would definitely get a better view of the ocean. The Patio was really large which had two chairs and foot stools, along with a side table. It is a great spot to enjoy your morning coffee or sit and read a book. The room was large and well laid out. It had a ?king? bed. However, what it really was, two twin beds made separately and pushed together, with a King headboard. This made NO sense! I would understand if they had twin head boards but this was obviously a king bed set up, but the beds were made up separately so not at all romantic! They could have put a mattress pad down and some king bedding and one wouldn?t have been the wiser. There is a TV system stand that also holds the bar fridge. There is a few beer, some pop and water that were refilled daily. The room also comes with your own bottle of 3 year old Havana Club and a bottle of Sparkling Wine which was a nice touch. Off the main area is the bathroom which again was large and well laid out. There was a closet space to one side that you could hang your clothes and also had the safe and some shelving. The toilet was tucked into its own room. There were double sinks and then a deep bathtub with a shower. We had no issues with hot water (which happens frequently in my Caribbean travels) which was a huge plus. However, one thing I found was that it was a little tricky to get in and out of the tub, so if you have mobility this could be an issue. The air-conditioning in the room worked well, almost too well. I?m not sure the thermostat even worked as we would set it to 26 and it would be a meat locker as it ran nonstop. Some nights we had to turn it off as it was so cold. There is a ceiling fan which worked well. Restaurants and Food: There is one restaurant at Cayo Libertad. It offers A La Carte breakfast, lunch and dinner. At each meal there is a small buffet set up inside that you use. One thing I know about Cuba, is that the food at resorts do not compare to those of other islands. However I have to say, I have had better at other resorts in Cuba. The food was the biggest disappointment at this resort for me. Breakfast buffet was a selection of breads, pastries, cured meats and cheeses. There was fruit, though mostly canned (fresh pineapple was the one thing they always had, but that was about it) and a mix of some veggies. As well as cereal and juices, but finding bowls was a task. The a la carte options were the usual eggs, omelets, french toast, pancakes, bacon, etc. All this was very good. The coffee was also very good, except it comes in small cups and the service is slow. Most mornings it would take about 30-40 minutes to have breakfast. However the first morning it was 1 hour and 25 minutes! I ordered poaches eggs and toast. I got he poached eggs which were fine, but ?toast? was a piece of stale white bread. It was not toasted, and come with nothing on it, it was terrible. We stuck to fresh rolls the remainder of the week. If you are in a rush one morning I would advise just eating at the buffet here and not to order from the menu. Lunch buffet was a selection of fresh salad type veggies (make your own) some canned veggies and then some homemade salad (like potato or chick pea). There would be cured meats and cheeses, breads and a dessert section. A la carte selection was the worst of it all. They didn?t have sandwiches on the menu (though, they did on the breakfast menu?one day I just asked for one and I got one at lunch). It was pasta, steak, and fish. Things you would see on a dinner menu. It?s ok if you like a big lunch, but I prefer a lighter lunch and bigger dinner. Dinner buffet was very similar to the lunch buffet. A la carte selection was better for dinner, but still not great and it was the same every night. They have surf and turf, grilled lobster, pasta, fish, and some vegetarian options. The first night we both ordered the steak and lobster. We both ordered medium. My steak wasn?t bad, but chewy and was cooked medium but my husbands was really small, over cooked and very chewy. His lobster was ok, mine was undercooked. It was served with some rice and mushy veggies. The pasta options where ok. The sauce was simple and tasted like cheap canned stuff (no flavor). The other nights I stuck with the Grilled lobster which was better except what it came with was different every night. It seemed that it was whatever was left over the night before at the buffet, canned veggies reheated. My biggest tiff with the food at this restaurant was that they tried to plate the food so that it looked fancy. They would drizzle the plates with designs and while it looks nice it wasn?t. When looking at it, one would think it was balsamic reduction or something similar. It was chocolate sauce or raspberry sauce, on your lobster, rice or sandwich. Definitely not for my taste buds?why..why! That being said, while the food didn?t blow us away, we always managed to find something to eat and we didn?t get sick. When staying at Cayo Libertad you get unlimited reservations at the Marina side. We made two reservations, one for the Italian and one for the Spanish to try and mix things up. The Italian was probably our favorite dining experience the week we were there. The pasta and sauce was fresher tasting then that at the Privilege restaurant. There was also a tiny buffet set up in the middle with some antipasti options you can choose from. The Spanish was a tapas style with a set menu. The food here is also pretty good. I believe it was 5 or 6 courses that you share tapas style. I heard some say they left hungry but we felt it was enough food for us. There is a pizza place (lighthouse) at the Marina we had lunch one day which was ok for a change. The pizza was like what you would get out of a box (frozen). It was ok, but nothing to write home about. Note that this restaurant was busy so you may need to wait in line. Service: Overall the service at the Hotel was ok. The service we received at the lobby was good. Check in and check out was quick and effective. We had no issues getting assistance with any questions we had or changing money. However there was a mix up with our Spanish dinner reservations. She asked ?7:30, or 7:00?? and we said ?sure, make it for 7:30?. She wrote out a slip and that was that. The night we went to the restaurant at 7:30 I handed them the slip and they then showed me it was made out for 6:30. My own fault for not checking it myself, but I thought it would have been written out correctly. The restaurant had 6 empty tables. So we stood there, while there was some talking back and forth (we felt really out of place). My husband spoke up and said if they were full (as we thought maybe people will be coming now to get those empty tables) that we would leave, no big deal, but then they finally sat us. Needless to say, they only sat one other couple after us. So I have no idea why it was such a huge problem to seat us when we did have a reservation, even with the mistake when they had several empty tables, and enough staff to run it. Other than that, service at the two Marina a la carte?s was top notch. Service in the bars and restaurants throughout both resorts was a bit spotty. The main issue was that they were obviously understaffed. It?s February which is one of the busiest times of year. Both hotels are at capacity. We went to the lobby bar at the Marina a few times as it was much livelier at night. Forget about getting a place to sit, or getting any table service. We had to wait for 20 minutes to get a drink at the bar that was four people deep. There was no organization in who got served. Service at the Cigar bar was again spotty but much better than the lobby bar. Most times it would be fine, but sometimes it would take forever to get a drink. Service at the main restaurant was slow for the most part as again, they were understaffed. Service at the pool bar was the best and where fast and efficient. Our maid was just awesome, she was so kind. Our room was always cleaned early afternoon and we always came back to a nice note and some cute towel or blanket art. My only tiff here was that towels seemed to be in short supply. So they would bring the towels later in the day (around 5:00pm) which happens to be our nap time. We put the ?do not disturb? key on the door, but every day they would still knock at the door to give us towels, waking us up. They would also then take the ?do not disturb? key away so we would no longer have one. This happened several times. Activities/Entertainment/Things to do: On the Cayo Libertad side, activities and entertainment is pretty much nonexistent. At night we would go to the Cigar Bar which was a great spot to go as it wasn?t overly busy. There is a pool table you can use, and they had live music there later in the evening. Nice spot to just sit, relax and chat. It seems that everything is hosted on the Marina side. There was a show every night, however get there early to get a seat. We tried to go to the Michael Jackson show and we arrived 40 minutes before it started at the place was packed. Not seats and barely any standing room so we left. The lobby bar area was always really busy in the evening, a little too busy and loud for our liking. We usually just headed back to the Cigar Bar. We walked by the sports center but it was too hot to do anything and it looked like it wasn?t open at the time, but its available. We did use the fitness facility which opened at 7am and didn?t get too busy while we were there. There were two treadmills, two bikes and a stepper. Then there were free weights (though they started heavy, at 10kg) and some machines. The equipment was old, but got the job done. There was a water tower, but there were no towels. Bring a towel from your room to use! They had a studio as well you could use for stretching. I assume they hosted classes here but I did not see any. Both rooms had good A/C. We walked the beach a few times and the activity area at the Marina side was always rocking. Music playing, people playing volleyball and here you can take out some water crafts. We didn?t bother using any as the water was fairly wavy while we were there. I really wish they had some kayaks or paddle boats that you can use at the Cayo side. There were some great areas you could paddle around along the mangroves of the island to see fish and birds. The water was calm and there was a beach area they could use to dock... but alas, they had no option here. Pros: Beautiful building and grounds. Rooms are big with spacious patios The staff was so friendly (one of my favorite things of Cuba) While the resort was full it did not feel busy (on the Cayo Libertad side, the Marina side was madness) Drinks were good. Pools are beautiful and plenty of chairs If you like to relax and like quiet, this is the place for you. Cons: Food was lacking, even for Cuba. It was to repetitive. Understaffed throughout the resort The beach isn?t very good The bed situation in the room was not good. The cups that they serve the drinks in at the pool are way too small.. They are like big shot glasses. Terrible for the Environment. They need bigger cups! Blau rates this hotel as a 5*, we booked with Transat Holidays and they rate it a 4.5*. I would give this hotel a solid 4* (for Cuba) due mostly to the food and the staffing issues. This resorts does hold strong in some aspects but falls short in others so I can?t give it a 5*. With some minor adjustments Blau can definitely make this place a solid 5* hotel. Tips: If you want a view from your patio request a second floor room Bring a reusable thermos mug Bring a face cloth The resort is 220V so bring a converter/adapter if need be.

    Very good Dudekica

    “5-star for Cuba, 3-star otherwise ”
    This is probably very good or the best option on Cuba that one can get: Place is big, elegant and not crowded. The restaurant is good, the beach is nice and near and the overall state of bar/garden/pool/cigar club is very very good. The staff (restaurant, garden, bar, cigar club) is really nice and friendly. On the other hand, the bed linens are always slightly dirty, the bath tub is leaking, there is no room service (cleaning) every day, the facade is falling apart and the front desk is worthless and rude - something to keep in mind once one wants to organize anything. For organization of transport (Havana etc), administrative stuff, internet, shopping, general information, the best thing is to go to front desk of Marina Blau (main hotel). This hotel is the furthest away from anything: organize your transfer in advance (the ladies at transfer desks in Marina Blau (not privilege!!) will make you great offer (we payed 11 CUC for Havana transfer). Organize your stay there in advance: if you want to prolong you stay on site, it is DOUBLE the price. and for the romantic walks along the beach: it is extremely windy, so don't expect too much. This goes for complete Varadero.

    Very good kells_on_holiday

    “Peace and Quiet in Cuba ”
    For our short stay at the Blau, we were upgraded to Blau Privilege Cayo Libertad. On an international scale, this isn't a 5 star, but it is toward the top end for Cuba. The rooms, food, and beach was a nice upgrade from the noise and cafeteria style dining at the Blau Marina. I'd highly recommend upgrading if you are travelling as a couple and you like the quiet, small, boutique feel of the Libertad hotel. If you prefer the party atmosphere, this isn't the place for you!! Staff are polite and helpful enough, but don't dote on guests. The maid did leave little notes and created cute sculptures out of the towels and blankets, which was a nice touch. When we got back home, we looked at other traveler's pictures and noticed the menu options were different while we were there. There was lobster every night, but the drinks and other entree's weren't created with nearly the attention to detail and other guests experienced, but most of our meals were very good. The rooms are spacious, quiet, and our balcony had a relaxing ocean view. The beach down by the Cayo Libertad was mostly empty with lots of chairs to choose from. The Blau Marina guests don't seem to make their way down to the quiet end of the peninsula. Being right at the end of Varadero, you are really away from the noise and crowds that congregate closer to the Blau Marina. If peace and quiet is what you want, this is the place for you!!!

    Very good jamurray49

    “Disappointed! Maybe a 3.5 star ”
    We stayed at the Blau Privilege Cayo Libertad from January 24th to 31st, 2014. I was so looking forward to getting away and experiencing our first trip to Cuba. We typically go to the Dominican Republic, but find the pricing is getting too expensive. I won?t go into the details of the resort, as it is indicated in most of the other reviews? Our first day, we had a bbq at our resort with chicken, pork, beef, and lobster. My husband had to take his chicken back twice because it was raw inside. I had the beef, which was okay. That night, we ate at the a la carte and had the beef tenderloin. I asked for well and my husband requested medium-rare. We both got rare? It took a while to get our food, but hey? we are on vacation. The next day breakfast was a total disaster. The toast was unbuttered and hard. It was so hard, it snapped in two and I was unable to bite into it. The omelets we ordered were cold and flat. The coffee was disgusting. We decided to go to the Blau Marina for lunch and had a pretty good meal. Lots to choose from. We decided to book at the Blau Marina a la cartes because we were so disappointed in our a la carte at BPCL. We ate twice at the Italian, once at the Spanish and once at the Cuban. We thoroughly enjoyed all of our meals, with the Italian being our favourite. We tried our a la carte the next day for breakfast and, having waited for 30 minutes to get a coffee and having been totally ignored, we walked out and went to the Blau Marina. On our golf cart, were 6 other people who walked out of the BPCL a la carte because they were not being served. We heard of another couple who experienced the same thing, so that made a total of 10 of us walking out. The buffet at the BPCL is extremely limited and I think it is impossible to try and make a meal out of it. The rooms were spacious and the balconies were huge! We always had great water pressure and lots of hot water. The pool was never too busy and we enjoyed spending our time there. Aside from the food and, sometimes the service, it was a nice resort but we won?t be returning.

    Very good SandraToronto

    “Quiet, Beautiful,Relaxing ”
    This all adult section of the Blau Marina is a wonderful area with an infinity pool and restaurant that is only for the use of the small island guests - you will have the use of all the amenities at the Blau Marina; pools, restaurants, etc., but you will enjoy going back to "the island" for quiet, peaceful relaxation around the infinity pool - the rooms are spacious and each one has an ocean view - large balconies where you can sit and watch the sunrise/sunset - a great "cigar bar" where you can enjoy a drink, play pool or sit out on the wrap-around porch to enjoy the water views - there are trams that will drive to/from the Blau Marina or you can enjoy the 10 minute walk across the stone bridge - food was plentiful and lots of choices at the large buffet, bland, but better than other resorts we have been to in Cuba - Italian, Spanish, Cuban al a cartes were fine but limited choices - took a tour into Havana and loved the city, very historic and vibrant - only complaint would be very hard mattress on very low bed otherwise enjoyable sun-filled week,

    Very good sweeetheart

    “Overall very nice ”
    Food is the only let down at this resort. You should select this resort if you are looking for a relaxing, somewhat secluded spot. This is like a private island attached to the main resort with it's own pool, beach & restaurant. As other reviewers have noted you do have access to the rest of the hotel facilities. The resort is relatively new and in good repair - rooms are ample. I would stay at this resort again.

    Excellent 19putney

    “Pay for the upgrade ”
    Originally booked into main resort - not good. Managed to transfer into Blau privilege and had a fantastic holiday. The staff cannot do enough for you - food in restaurant was very good if a little repetitive but not a real problem and they would do anything you asked for. They were building a new beach while I was there and this will make it even better. The rooms are huge with lovely terraces. Because it is adult only - it is gloriously quiet and civilised. I just cannot recommend this part of the resort enough and will definitely be making a return visit. I also want to specifically mention Kenia and Nancy (the guest relations managers) who were just so helpful and went above and beyond to ensure that we had an excellent holiday.

    Excellent Joan M

    “The best place ever!! ”
    We have stayed at the Cayo Libertad two years in a row. The staff are amazing - remember you from the year before. Food amazing. Only ate at the Libertad side due to how great the food was there. Walks on the beach were wonderful. Rooms lovely - could use a style update but then again so could my own house. Room always clean. Only complaint is that the beds could be a little less hard - but they wont keep me from coming back. Cigar Bar a real treat. Wonderful service at the pool bar. Pool amazing - suntanned there more than the beach just because the bar was close at hand - but it you want more privacy the beach is great. The manager, Raul, and the front desk staff were so very accommodating. The balconies are huge and we spent many relaxing hours there having a drink or watching the sun come up or set. The grounds are kept immaculate. Ivan, will weave you an amazing hat and an assortment of birds, etc. The evening entertainment was good and just a short walk from the Libertad side to the main lobby. Good live music around the pool, in the main lobby, and at the Cigar Bar. If tired you could catch a golf cart to take you from the main lobby to your room or around the resort. Just remember you are in another country and your language is not the 1st language - If all you want is the same as you have at home - then stay there because no matter where you go you will be disappointed. The Cuban people are kind and fun - so enjoy your time in Cuba. I cannot strongly enough express how much we love this place and what wonderful memories we made here. We will be back!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you to the management and staff at the Cayo Libertad. See you January 2015.

    Excellent orion3000

    “A quiet paradise on the tip of the peninsula ”
    This resort is stunning. The rooms are situated in little villas that make for a really unique resort experience. Pool is great and not busy. Beach is nearby and not busy. Staff was super friendly. Food was fine and there were lots of options to choose from. This resort is adult only. Guests at the Privilege Cayo can visit and use all of the facilities in the nearby Blau Marina resort. This means you can enjoy the quiet peacefulness of this resort OR pop over to the main, bustling resort if the mood strikes you. My friends and I appreciated that there weren't any crowds or line ups at the Privilege Cayo, but it's not exactly a resort for young party animals. Most of the clientele were middle aged.

    Excellent bellefemme77

    “Best Vacation EVER...... ”
    This was a return trip for us to the Blau Marina Varadero formerly the Barceló Marina Palace and upon arrival (which was late as we had a 1.5 hour delay in Toronto and another hour upon arrival in Varadero at the airport on the tarmac). We were 5 adults, 2 couples and 1 singe. The two couples were automatically upgraded to Cayo Libertad and the single was to be the next day. We returned to the front desk and had no problem getting her a room on Cayo Libertad with us. What beautiful rooms and balcony we had. Beautiful, peaceful and quiet. Very relaxing, excellent service from the minute we arrived to when we left. The food amazing. We did go to the buffet in the main lobby the one night and never realized the noise level compared to adults only section. What a difference. Private pool, restaurant and beach. The shuttle service from Libertad to the main lobby was always available and never had to wait long if at all. The drivers were always happy and courteous. Could not have asked for anything more. The most enjoyable by far. Will definitely return.

    Excellent Lisa S

    “Beautiful, peaceful and relaxing - perfect for couples ”
    Having stayed at the Blau Marina last year, we decided that this year we would try the Cayo Libertad instead, as we were in need of a rest and wanted a quiet vacation. We were not disappointed. Our room was spacious and clean. We enjoyed being able to spend time reading or relaxing on the private terrace. Between the air conditioning and the ceiling fan, we were always comfortable. The pool was quiet and clean, however we are beach people, so did not spend a lot of time there. The beach is equal to none. There are plenty of chairs and palapas and most of the time there were not more than a half a dozen people on the beach at any time - so peaceful! No fighting for chairs and no need to be out at the crack of dawn to reserve space. The water is warm and clear and the sand is white. Yes, there is seaweed but it's the ocean - there is supposed to be seaweed. The service in the restaurant is friendly and fairly efficient. There is always a buffet with a good selection of breads, cured meats, cheese and salads. This restaurant is a la carte for all meals but often I found the buffet more than enough, especially for lunch. The food is quite good, especially for Cuba. We had no real complaints. The cigar bar was an absolute pleasure. We spent almost every evening out on the deck with a drink watching the sunset. The musicians are excellent - we especially enjoyed the piano and violin duo. Despite what I have read in other reviews, we had absolutely no issues getting a cart to take us back and forth from the main resort. I think the longest that we waited was maybe 5 minutes. If we wanted a cart and we did not see one, all that we needed to do was ask and one would be sent right away. No bother. However, the grounds are beautifully kept, so it was a pleasure to walk, especially in the cool evenings. The staff was all very friendly and most accommodating. We were always warmly greeted and served and felt most welcome. My husband and I agree that we enjoyed our stay so much that not only will we return but next time we will stay longer. I would recommend this resort for couples or small groups, people who need peace and quiet or prefer smaller resorts and more personalized service. I would not recommend this resort if you are looking for a party atmosphere or a lot of nightlife.

    Excellent Marc-Alex67

    “Fantastic stay - 1st time in Cuba - I will come back ”
    This first trip will stay in my memory for several reasons. Of course, the beach and the sun are worth mentionning. I had in my 11 days stay 90% an exceptionnal weather. I want however to put the accent on Cuban people, and especially the one I had the chance to meet at the hotel (reception, restaurant, room service....). I had the real feeling they were doing their very best every time to make my stay as pleasant as possible. I never had the impression it was done to get tipps or to be forced. I have read some comments online about poor service, poor English (or other language), buffets that are "OK" but not worth a 5 stars hotel; and so on.... These comments are, according to my, from a bunch of idiots who haven't the start of an idea what Cuba is. Just an example : pool language skills from the staff. First of all, highly exagerated, and secondly if you are complaining someone cannot speak your language, why are you travelling to another country YOU don't speak the language!!! I cannot say I know how Cubans live, as you would need to stay there at least 6 months, and not in an international hotel in Varadero, to really understand them. But for what I have understood - and mostly through speaking with the staff - I can garantee that the level offered by the hotel (in this case, Cayo Libertad) is the "creme de la creme". I will not longer speak about Cuba, politics, economics, and so on - but it is really outrageous to read some comments about the staff!! So back to the staff : they are the nicest people on earth! Of course, if you behave yourselves as the basic ****** who wants everything immediately and so on, pass your way from Cuba! Go somewhere where McDonald's is the king and where your mobile phone rule your life. I want to thanks Leo, Jany and Aeralys for their kindness, their smile, the time they have spent with me. Of course, I am not forgetting the rest of staff, from reception to the maid! A special thanks to Raul as well, manager of Cayo Libertad. I a few words: calm, calm and calm at Cayo Libertad. Exactly want I wanted to enjoy a very pleasant stay, far away from kids, drunk people and so on. The food is good, buffet more than enough. The rooms are clean and nice. Oh yes, another thing : people complaining about the distance in the hotel. Yes, the hotel is gigantic. But please, can't you walk ?! No wonder some look like aground wales if they are lazy like hell!!! No, enjoy the beautiful gardens at Blau (Marina and Cayo), the sun, the beach..... So in other words : yes, I will definitively recommend Cayo Libertad!! :) Marc-Alexandre (stayed in 2702)

    Excellent Elk01477

    “Beautiful hotel ”
    We stayed here for eight nights and had an absolutely brilliant time. Beautiful grounds, pool and beach. Room, bathroom and balcony were incredibly spacious, clean and well kept. Very helpful and friendly staff who couldn't do enough to help. Especially enjoyed the cigar bar which was open late and served great cocktails. The menu in the restaurant doesn't change and they often don't have some of the dishes listed. However, having traveled to Havana and Trinidad as part of our trip this was by far the best food we ate in Cuba. You can also book to eat in any of the restaurants in the main hotel which is about a 10-15min walk away, though you can get a lift on one of the golf carts. Overall loved our stay here and would definitely recommend.

    Excellent Bo S

    “Best hotel in Varadero! ”
    We had a great time at this hotel! Everything was perfect! Staff, service, location, food, room and even the water in the pool was outstanding! Will come back. If you are looking for peace and quiet, just to releax, this is the place to stay in Varadero.

    Excellent zack73_12

    “peaceful and beautiful ”
    We have stayed here 5 times now. Since the new management it has gotten better. Building s are repaired, service in the restaurant is faster and all the staff are pleasent now. It's beautiful quiet and no children. Everyone here works hard to make your vacation perfect! My only complaint would be the mattresses, they're very hard. Ask for an extra pillow.

    Excellent wayne s

    “Tranquility and Excellence at every turn”
    This was a fantastic place in every aspect. The food- So good for Cuba, lots of options and very flavorful. The Blau Privilege has it's own restaurant where you can eat a la carte every meal of every day on a veranda overlooking the ocean. You do have access to the restaurants at the Blau Marina but we ate mostly on the island as it was so good the service and view were incredible. The Beach - private access to the beach and you are at the complete end of the Varadero peninsuala so it is not too populated. Great for walks, and swimming. The beach is fantastic anywhere in Varadero, but the ability to relax at this end of the beach was amazing. The Pool - The pool is great, you have a view of the ocean from the pool and it is located right near the restaruant. They would bring out fruit kabobs in the afternoon which were very refreshing. The pool has its own bar with a swim up portion. The Cigar Bar - this is a gem of the resort. Beautiful place to watch the sunset, there is a piano player in the evenings, a pool table and some premium drinks. We spent time here every evening. The rooms - Very spacious and the balconies are extremely private. You do not view other buildings or paths or people, just trees or the water. The furniture on the balconies were extremely comfortable. The Blau Marina - you have the peace and quiet of being on a secluded island, but still have access to the huge Blau Marina resort. We played tennis, visited the pool there, went to the disco, tried the Spanish and Italian A la Cartes, but in the end it is worth the extra money in every way to stay at the Blau Privilege, assuming you are not traveling with kids. We would highly recommend this resort and would go back again. Hopefully very soon. The staff are incredible as well. Not a single complaint from the whole experience.

    Excellent IMACTraveller

    “Very Best Vacation ”
    We stayed from January 25 until February 1 which was just enough time. We were expecting a stay at the Blau Marina which is a larger complex of the same resort but were provided an upgrade for no additional cost. What a privilege and were we thankful. The restaurant is laid back, non rushed and at times, a little disappointing by the differences in the supplies on hand from night to night, led to different levels of food - chicken fingers one night, were stir fry breast of chicken on another night. Big deal! Did you travel to Cuba for meals or R&R? The staff are friendly from check-in to departure, you can exchange dollars at reception and you have room service available should you decide to have an excursion. The gardeners and housekeepers were terrific, made sure your stay was welcoming and pleasant. The gardener kept the lady guest busy with weaved palm hats, and flower baskets which include intimate humming bird and grasshopper creations out of flora. The staff truly try to ensure you have a grand vacation, although there are some things that may not be up to the North American equivalent. Pool Bar and bar in restaurant are fine. Drinks are made strong, so no watered beverages here. On check in, we had a bottle of Havana Club rum and a Champagne with a note of welcome. The cigar/piano bar is fine for a fun night or laid back afternoon. We are selective eaters, and only a couple of meals were not to our liking and we went to the main resort for a topup or ordered room service. Patio was huge, good view. I recommend staying on the Block 31 side as it is more quiet and has great sunrise and sunsets. The patio is private and has fine wooden seats and padding as well as stools for you to stretch your legs. The shop in the main resort is a little pricey and you need your passport to use credit card, but you can buy snacks, souvenirs, or true Cuban cigars or Rum. There is a gym and massage spa available, but during busy need to book early. Similar advice for eating at the other Restaurants which require early! There is a nice barbeque some days as well as a snack bar with fresh fruit, hamburgers, fresh fish, or kabobs to fill your snacking during most days just a block or so from the reception desk. I am picky, I travel as an occupation, and I can tell you that by staying on this adult only resort...we were well rested, well fed, and truly had a great vacation. We just can't wait to book again and other locations will have a hard time to impress me as well as the Blau Privelege Cayo Libertad has done. We did the Bus Tour of Havana - well worth the $ - Pina Coloda stop was a highlight! The Catamaran Tour for the day and swim with the dolphins was very nice and the meals terrific

    Excellent strettTurkey

    The reason we booked here was because we were a very tired couple that needed a quiet break, well we certainly got that, and more... we celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary here and had an excellent time, our room was on the 2nd floor 302 next to the pool and bar and 2 mins from the restaurant which was great.. Every morning we would watch the sunrise, plus sunset from our room incredible. Only complaint would be the beds, really hard beds!! Apart from that, the restaurant and staff were brilliant, made a lot of friends with the waitresses in the restaurant, they really looked after us, and nothing was too much trouble for them. special thanks go out to Dana, Leo All our meals apart from 1 over at the Marina were excellent, we never had to wait long for either breakfast or evening meal, but we are never in a rush for anything. We stayed here 10 days and walked each day from the Hotel to the Marina mainly to use the internet, which is really slowwwwwwwwwwww and very expensive. Saw a couple of shows at the Marina, the Michael Jackson show is good, but wasn't very impressed with the other shows, also booked one night in the italian restaurant, just awful couldn't eat the Lasagne came cold and the taste was weird , the waiters in this restaurant really need to look after their customers, a bit on the rude side!! Althou we had a few drinks at the pool side we mainly used the beach, the main beach for this hotel is down near blocks 27 28 just then walk over a small bridge and you have the most beautiful quiet beach, to relax and enjoy. Just wish they could provide a beach bar thou. We never ate lunch, but after swimming and coming back from the beach around 4pm we would just pop-in the Ala Carte restaurant and ask for a club sandwich , which was No trouble for the waitresses or wa?ter's to bring to us at the pool bar!! we just sat down at the pool bar, where we then enjoyed a couple of margarita's and chatted with the friendly Pool Bar tender's. Ivan who is a gardner at the hotel made me a lovely hat one day, oh ? just wish ? could of brought it home, but it just wouldn't fit in my suitcase:( Never had the opportunity to meet Raul the manager, which was a shame. Thankyou Blau Privilege Cayo Libertad Hotel for a very enjoyable relaxing stay.

    Excellent g0cuba

    “?Cayo Libertad can't be beat? ”
    We had an unbelieveable week at Blau Privilage Cayo Libertad. Arrived on Sunday Jan 19th to find they were over booked at the Blau Marina and we were upgraded to the privalaged section -no charge-. It seems that they were quite overbook because everybody we met the first couple of days on this beautiful section of the Blau resort were all upgraded. That said it was an amazing week. We had a King suite on the bottom floor of a fourplex. It was clean and spacious and with a view out back of a small island between the resort and the Marina. We didn't pay for an oceanview room so this was a pleasant suprise The Cayo has it's own a-la-carte restaurant that is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The food was great and the wait staff very friendly. I went in most days before they opened and they made me coffee for my walk on the beach. The menu gets old by the end of the week but they had lobster everyday and I could always order 2 for dinner no problem. Ate at the buffet a couple of times at the main hotel a few times but sanitary problems kind of steered us away. (Raw turkey being served as well as tongs with raw chicken on them being used to serve up my steak). Pool and bar at this end of the resort was very relaxing and if you were not near the edge of the pool they served drinks in real glasses (no need for my bubba cup) This was good as the plastic cups were quite small. The only drawback at this end is there were no cabanas or sun- shades or even chairs on the beach. -Note to management- Some of us still like to sit on the beach in this quite area. We did the jeep safari (excellent), and a private tour to Havana in a 1955 Oldsmobile 88. Thanks Guille(driver) and Monica(guide)for a great day! We really enjoyed this 5 star resort and the next time we are back to Varadero we will be booking in at the Cayo Libertad

    Excellent swoolfor

    “Upgraded from Blau Marina and were soooo thankful!!! ”
    We arrived Jan 19th and were originally booked at the Blau Marina. We upgraded and were we ever glad we did. The Blau Marina was constantly over booked the whole week we were there. This resort is perfect for anyone wanting a quiet, relaxing vacation. The Cayo has its own private infinity pool, swim up bar, and a la carte restaurant that doesn't require reservations. As a bonus, you get to use all the amenities of the Blau Marina. There is no loud music or activities at this pool, and it is adults only. The food at the a la carte restaurant was repetitive after a week as the menu did not change, but the food was generally hot when served, and most times served pretty quickly. There was a small buffet along the restaurant wall that had salad bar type foods, including sliced deli meats and fish, cheese, breads, fruits and desserts. The red wine was pretty good, the cappucinos were great and there was always ice cream if you asked for it. A couple of times a week they bbq'd outside for lunch and served lobster, chicken,sausage, etc. It was delicious. The pool was clean with more than enough lawnchairs. The pool bar opened at 10 and the drinks were not watered down, there was always bottled water. The staff worked long hours and worked very hard to meet our every need. Thanks to Amauris, Merlin and Udeier at the pool and pool bar and of course Ivan the gardener who made great coconut frond hats and animals, and provided fresh coconuts. They were genuinely friendly and although the guests often tipped, service was not based on how much you tipped. The reception at Cayo exchanges money and we found the rate comparable to what we got at a major bank in Havana. change your money here, it is way easier, and you don't need to provide your passport. There are in room safes which worked great. There are lots of mosquitos once the sun goes down. You need to bring bug spray as it is nearly impossible to find anywhere. The internet is about 1km away at the Blau Marina reception. Hours 9-9. Dial up, extremely slow, and only 2 desktops for about 900 rooms. You needed to buy a access card for 10 CUCs which gave 60 minutes that you could use at multiple visits. Very slow! Alot of people had trouble accessing hotmail and yahoo accounts. Gmail was better as it has a slow connection option. Took about 7-13 minutes to log onto the computer and into the email. There is no wifi at these resorts. The location is as far down the Varadero peninsula as you can go. Takes about 45 minutes to get to Varadero on the double decker bus ($5 CUC). Keep in mind that Cuba is not Mexico, nor the Dominican Republic. We left behind clothes and running shoes as they are very expensive. we were also told that men's razors and sunglasses were much appreciated. All in all, a fantastic vacation. Note: This resort is not set up to deal with people with mobility issues. Everything is a long walk and although they have electric golf carts, we saw a older lady struggle getting up into the seats. The building here are mostly 4plexes with stairs. The shower was in a deep soaker tub and there were no bars to hang onto to. You needed to step up on a step and then climb into the tub. Also there were no handicapped washrooms.

    Excellent Keith C

    “Great Vacation at Cayo Libertad ”
    We have zero complaints about this resort! We wanted to get away for some peace and quiet and this is exactly the resort for that. The restaurant is great and we have no complaints about the food whatsoever. As others have mentioned, you can have a lobster tail or two every day. The only downside is the menu gets repetitive after 7 days as it never changes, but it still beats the restuarants on the Blau Marina side. The staff is extremely friendly, the grounds are immaculate. We would return in a second!

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