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“Beware of thieves” 1 of 5 bubbles
Review of Barcelo Solymar Arenas Blancas Resort

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Barcelo Solymar Arenas Blancas Resort
Ranked #29 of 63 Hotels in Varadero
Moscow, Russia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Beware of thieves”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 February 2012

We stayed here for 10 days. Everything was fine until after the check-out.
We checked out at 12 and were to leave the hotel at 2 p.m. At 1:45 I found out that my cell phone was missing. I left it in the room which by that time had already been cleaned and CLEANED OUT by the maid YUMI. When I rushed up to talk to her she pretended not to understand Enlish. Then my friend went there to check the room once again. This time YUMI spoke fairly good English.
At the reception and service desk they tried to assure me that the staff is reliable and never dare to steal from tourists. Well, I can hardly believe it. It cannot be true in the country where even at the airport check-in desk you get a good seat next to your partner ONLY if you pay.

Stayed January 2012, travelled with friends
Helpful?
5 Thank Tatiana Z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BarceloSmAb, Manager at Barcelo Solymar Arenas Blancas Resort, responded to this review, 27 February 2012
Dear Guest

We have read your comments with great concern. I have forwarded a copy to our Security staff in order to investigate this matter.

We will keep you informed of the progress of our findings.

Sincerely

The Management
Barceló Solymar Arenas Blancas
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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6,550 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (803)
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English first
Niagara Region
Level Contributor
10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 February 2012

This was my second trip back to the Solymar I was there 5 years ago. We returned this time with a group of friends and 3 of us returns from 5 years ago.
The reviews I read were very mixed and since it was so long ago we were there I was a little nervous as to what to expect. First off you are going to Cuba for the beach and sunshine NOT the food. If you want a culinary vacation you had better book a trip to Italy. I found the food ok I did not starve for the week. The al la carte's were a nice change and we went off the resort to eat also.
The beach is still as beautiful as ever. Never had a problem finding a lounger or our own area. The A/C was in working order...honestly my only complaint is the sliding shower doors. It was ridiculous as they need repair to slide smoothly and not come off the track. The solymar should really consider removing them and putting up a simple shower curtain or repair them.
They still have the 24hr bar...however it is no longer the lobby bar it is now at the beach grill along with the 24hr snack bar. We used both the wifi in the lobby and the computers to check emails and keep in touch with home. It was $10cuc for an hour on the computers and $8 cuc for an hour of wifi which I found worked fine in the lobby. It was nice to be able to sit on the comfy couch and check in at home.
I found the Solymar pretty much the same as I was last there. I still think it's one of the best resorts you can easily walk into Varadero and the beach I think is the nicest stretch nice and wide.
We did bring our own maple syrup, packets of hot sauce, ketchup and parmesan cheese. Make sure you really take a close examination of your meat before you eat it. A few times we noticed the chicken didn't look fully cooked.
Would I return again for sure I find this resort always seems to have a great social energy about it. We have always met people and had a great time.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank travelingurl01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Edmonton, Canada
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 February 2012

This was our 1st trip to Cuba, and I would go back in a heart beat!. Cubans are one of if not the nicest and most educated people in the Caribbean.

The hotel is a 4 star for Cuba but a 3 or 3.5 star compared to the rest of the Caribbean. The staff was the best hotel staff we have ever had the pleasure of interacting with. They are very helpful, and genuine.

The grounds of the hotel are pristine, people are always working away to improve things. The pools were warm, the beach was incredible. The food….well I am really picky but I did find something to eat every meal.

Remember you are in a third world country, you may not get Heinz Ketchup, or 4 ply toilet paper or the brand names you are use to. Go with an open mind , and relax on the beach.

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
9 Thank p4at
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 February 2012

I stayed at this resort with a group of friends from Feb 9-16. I was quite excited as this was my first trip to Cuba and I have stayed at Barcelo resorts before and have never been disappointed. Unfortunately, I have now had my first and hopefully last negative Barcelo experience.

We were the only group to get off the transfer bus at this hotel. Not only was there no "welcome" for us - they had none of our paperwork ready and at one point told one of the couples in our group that they didn't have a reservation for them. Nobody wants to hear that as soon as you arrive on your vacation. We knew in advance that we would have to wait until 4 pm for our rooms to be ready so we spent the afternoon at the beach.

I was quite disappointed when we were finally given access to our rooms. They (and the rest of the hotel) seem to be very run down and in dire need of renovations. At supper the first night we were all comparing stories and some in our group had no towels at all in their rooms (bath or beach), one couple had dirty wet towels left on the floor from the previous guests, some air conditioners didn't work at all while others wouldn't shut off, the refrigerators are archaic and most were leaking on the floor. The air conditioner in our room wouldn't shut off so we had to sleep the first night with the two wool blankets we found in the closet, which were covered in large burn holes. Another couple in our group refused to sleep in their bed as their sheets had dark brown/red stains all over them. They, too, brought out the wool blankets in an attempt to sleep between them on top of the bed linens only to find a large clump of black hair which they removed with toilet paper.

I completely understand as a frequent vacation traveler that there is a certain amount of understanding required when visiting other countries with respect to "standards" of everything including food. What I don't understand is how there could be SO much of a difference between the Arenas Blancas and Solymar hotels when they are partner hotels. There was a noticeable difference between the food at both resorts. Even at that, I feel quite comfortable stating that the two best meals we had on the entire trip was when we left the resort on both the Jeep Safari and Colonial Havana tours.

Two nights on this trip we were kept up all night by loud partying. Our group consisted of 20's and early 30's people and we were all bothered by the hallway partying that never seemed to end. One night we were woken (as were all 13 in our group) to some drunk Russians punching and kicking at our doors so loud we were surprised they didn't fly right off the hinges. After the third attack on our door I screamed obscenities at them through the door at which point they moved down a floor. The general discussion at breakfast the next day (among not only our group but overhearing others' conversations) was that both the entire 2nd and 3rd floors were woken up by these idiots and there was no response from hotel staff.

The last night we were there the elevator was out of commission as one of the cleaning staff was throwing buckets of water on the walls to clean up where someone had thrown up. We took the stairs only to find that someone had thrown up all over the wall and down the hallway. We had to slink along the hallway on one side to avoid stepping in it. The next morning.......it was still there. Disgusting.

Having gotten all of this off my chest - I must say that the Cuban people in general and the staff at our resort were GREAT. We developed personal relationships with two of the bartenders and one of the lifeguards on the beach. This was one of the BEST beaches I've ever visited and I've never spent as much time in the ocean as I did on this trip. The weather was absolutely fabulous. The disappointment lies simply with the facility itself (which I would never visit again) and the food (which was significantly better next door, can't blame it on "Cuba')

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with friends
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
25 Thank staylor_cz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BarceloSmAb, Manager at Barcelo Solymar Arenas Blancas Resort, responded to this review, 20 February 2012
Dear Guest

We sincerely apologize for the comments stated in your review.

We have distributed a copies of your review to all the members of our management staff in order to take corrective action.

Sincerely

The Management
Barceló Solymar Arenas Blancas
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Varadero hotels

Lac du Bonnet
Level Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 February 2012

My first visit to Cuba Feb 9-16. Do not understand some of the reviews on this hotel. We had a oceanview room on the 4th floor. Room was beautiful,clean bed was comfortable,pillows long body pillows,others reviews complained about the pillows, don,t get it.
The buffet was fine not a 4 star food,but lots of variety,great breakfast every morning,omlettes made to order fruit good variety.
The alcarte restauants were amazing. The Cuban 4 course meal,was as good if not better than most restauants I hve been to in Winnipeg and paid top dollar. Great service,good wine .
The Italian alacart was simply amazing. Went on our last nite,from antipasta,amazing soup tomato cream garlic out of this world,at least 5 choices of entrees,had pork tenderloin with pasta huge portions great taste,wonderful dessert. The ambiance like our best at home. Would hve paid top dollar here at home. Went to see Chef to thank him for a great meal.
Now all you people who complain about these alacartes,do you hate food and complain about every little thing. We eat out alot and hve travelled a fair bit,these were some of the best meals I hve ever had.
The beach was out of this world,lots of seating never a shortage.
The service at the buffet was great,where in Cda would they come running to clear your table and hve coffee and juice in less than 2 min,now where. The girls were great smiling and friendly,yes the guys to.
Of couse you tip they only make 35 CUC a month. Serving personnel all rely on tips,come on people how would you live on that.
I do hve 1 bee in my bonnet,What,s with the Russians,catering to a few,who are rude,loud,and obnixious,mostly at the lobby bar. Made the kids look like angels. Russians made it clear they hated Cdns. Hve never experienced such people.
All in all would most definitely go back to Cuba and this hotel. Well done Barcelo Solymar,do not listen to the negative reviews,must be from Mars.
Thank you for a memorable vacations.

Terri and Pete from Lac du Bonnet Manitoba retired

Room Tip: The 4 th floor had a beautiful view,less loud,do not get room facing lobby bar,abit loud.
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
13 Thank Terri V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Barcelo Solymar Arenas Blancas Resort

Property: Barcelo Solymar Arenas Blancas Resort
Address: Carretera Las Americas, Km. 3, Varadero 42200, Cuba (Formerly Barcelo Solymar)
Region: Caribbean > Cuba > Matanzas Province > Varadero
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Ski-In / Ski-Out Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#22 Top resorts Hotel in Varadero
#24 On the Beach Hotel in Varadero
#25 Luxury Hotel in Varadero
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): €€
Hotel Class:4 star — Barcelo Solymar Arenas Blancas Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 883
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The hotel Barceló Solymar stands right on the sea front of the top spot of Varadero beach, Cuba's best-known tourist destination. With a privileged setting just a few metres from the city centre, this exclusive resort, surrounded by beautiful gardens, offers a wide variety of services characterised by the excellent Barceló All-Inclusive program. Highly recommended for families, couples and those who enjoy diving and water activities in general. Guests at the Barceló Solymar and Barceló Arenas Blancas hotels can enjoy the facilities at either hotel. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Barcelo Hotel Solymar
Barcelo Hotel Varadero
Barcelo Solymar Cuba
Barcelo Solymar Hotel Cuba
Barcelo Solymar Beach Resort
Barcelo Solymar Varadero Cuba
Barcelo Sol y Mar

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