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Sol Palmeras
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Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

My family of four including 10 and 12 year old kids just came back from Sol Palmeras Varadero. We were in Cuba first time.

I read many reviews including some negative ones before I booked my last minute all-inclusive package deal but still worried a bit.

But it turned out a wonderful resort right on the turquoise beach.

Now I think that negative reviews do not reflect general aspects of the resort facilities, food, staff and the beach but may reflect idiosyncratic experiences based on unrealitically high expectations or some bad luck which can happen in anywhere.

First check in. We arrived at the hotel at 11am way earlier than the 4pm check in time. But they gave us check-in bracelets and allowed us to have lunch in the buffet. We left our luggage in the safe storage room and enjoyed the beautiful beach and the sea even before our official check in. I believe the hotel is generous and do not check the check-in status and let everyone in the facility enjoy the facility.

Second, check out. Check out time is 12pm but the bungalow guests are eligible for extra two hours until 2pm. Again we checked out after lunch and left our luggage in the storage and enjoyed the facility, restaurants and the beach until 6:15pm when a tour agency bus picked us up for the airport. We ate hamburgers and fries for dinner at the beach snack bar at 5pm. Our return flight was 10:15pm. As a result, we officially stayed only for 3 nights but 4 full days!

Third, hotel. We stayed in a bungalow for 3 nights and 4 full days. It was not spotless shiny as it was not brand new but was certainly clean and well maintained. Yes, some tiny ants in the bungslow but not many and they were never an issue. The floor were tiled. The real issue was sands that we brought to the bungalow. There were shower towers right before the beach entrances and thus it was up to us to wash the sands or not. Given that it was close to the beach in the tropical climate, I do not have any complaint at all. We phoned to hotel customer services from our bungalow whenever we had any questions or requests and they responded quickly. Two Carrier air conditioners worked very well. The staff there were well trained, kind and responsive.

Fourth, food. A little bit of explanation needs here.
Some people complanied of the same menu in the buffet everyday but there are a variety foods available and honestly speaking I do not understand the complaints. Some reviews mentioned cold foods but that's misleading. To accomodate hundreds of hungry guests within a short period of time, they prepared foods in the kitchen and some foods were on the pick-up shelves for some time if they were not popular at the moment and thus they were naturally cooled off but most hot foods kept warmed over burners and they were not never 'cold' to me.

If you can wait for 5-10 minutes in front of two grill sections as in any restaurants, you can have hot foods directly from the grill. Some reviews mentioned a long line up but it is applicable only to two grill sections. Everyone wants hot grilled seafood or meats. The max number of people were less than 5 as I moved to a different section if there were more than 5 people and came back again and the line was shorter in 5 minutes. There were many different foods and thus you do not need to wait in front of only one grill food section.

We went to the buffet in different times during three meal times but a long line up was never an issue.

This is my verdict on foods.
If you have very sophisticated tastes and food tastes define your quality of life, you may not be satisfied. I think that Cubans use condiments less than we do in Canada and the tastes are not strong but I think that is close to natural flavors. I think that may be Cuban way of cooking. You may think something is short of but it can be understood as a way of experiencing Cuban life while still dominantly Western tastes. My wife complained a little as she has sophisticated tastes but it was never an issue to me. My kids also were fine with foods. I especially enjoyed local fruits like Guava, Papaya, Pineapple.

Therefore, aweful or disgusting may not be fair words for the food there. But certainly true to some goumets who paid a full price. I got the last minute deal!

I talked to a 50-something couple who stayed at a brand new five star resorts - Iberostar - next to Sol Palmeras as beaches are all connected but they had the similar experience in the food tastes. They stayed in some of other five star hotels in Varadero but food tastes were all similar but they came back agian and again to Varadero because of the lovely beach.

Stay longer in the beach and less in the restaurants!

Snack huts and bars here and there all fine. There is a snack bar, a jacuzzi and shade huts in the bungalow area. If the sun is too strong between 2-4 and you want to have a siesta after lunch, that's a good place to relax for a couple of hours.

Finally, beach. It is wonderful! I have never seen such turquoise beach. I visited Sydney's Bondai and Capetown's beaches but turquoise sea colors in Varadero were mysteriously beautiful. Just watching the beautiful sea and beach from the beach shade hut was the best part of my resort experience. Waves were not strong before noon and thus it was a good time to sea swim before lunch. Waves were strong late afternoon and thus it was best time to enjoy wave playes after 4pm as the sun was not burning hot. No sea weeds and the water was very clean and the beach was maintained clean, not crowded as the beach is long enough. Some people opted to sun bathe directly under the sun and it was not that difficult to find a shade hut on the beach. Indeed, less swimmers in the sea than sun-bathers on the white sands. Several more shade huts were being built and thus less difficultly going forward.

Overall, Sol Palmeras was really good!.

Stayed: April 2018, travelled with family
5  Thank Sungchul S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tomeu A, Director General at Sol Palmeras, responded to this reviewResponded 2 weeks ago

Dear Sungchul S,
Thank you very much for choosing us on your first trip to Cuba, in the company of your family, and we are pleased to know that your experience was positive.
We appreciate your comments published on Trip Advisor, they help us in our work.
Thanks for your understanding.
Comments that detail part of our all inclusive services.
Especially we thank you for your comments on the food, it is difficult to please more than a thousand customers that we have daily, some of them are already predisposed about the food.
Looking forward to your second visit, receive best regards.
Sincerely
Tomeu Alcina
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

The staff couldn't have been any better. We had a ground floor room which was close to everything. The place was very clean, food was good and the beach was great. The only downfall was entertainment. We were there for 12 days and it mostly consisted of very loud salsa music. It would have been better with less volume. It was almost every night. One night they had a beach party that was lots of fun. Another they did a magic show but other than that., it was loud salsa songs. Don't get me wrong, I like salsa music, just not so loud and not every night.

  • Stayed: March 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank _kczl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tomeu A, Director General at Sol Palmeras, responded to this reviewResponded 2 weeks ago

Dear _kczl,
Thank you very much for your choice and we are pleased to know that you had a wonderful vacation.
We appreciate your comments published on Trip Advisor, they motivate us in our daily work, they make us better.
We will talk with the responsible of animation about the volume of the music.
Waiting for a new visit, receive best regards.
Sincerely
Tomeu Alcina
General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

I’ve been to Cuba many times. This is certainly not the nicest resort in Varadero but it is by far my favourite one. I’ve been at the Sol Palmerad twice and I already have my third trip planned.

Let me start with the lobby. Very lively. Open bar 24/7. Lots of animation. Very welcoming and comfortable.

The rooms are undergoing renovation. I believe the 1st floor are now completed. I haven’t seen them but from what I heard they are nice. The non-renovated rooms are very outdated but comfortable and clean. Mini fridge is not stocked.

Food is really good. The buffet is pretty much the same every day However it does have a lot of options so you don’t have to eat the same thing every day. The à la carte restaurants are very good. Especially the Chinese restaurant.

Beach is amazig!! No sea weed. Clear water.

Bungalow: Outdated but comfortable. Nice and spacious. Mini fridge stocked with water, beer and cola. The very weird thing (at least in our bungalow, is that the toilet is in the shower...). It’s annoying if you take a shower just before bed and you get up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom as the floors are still wet. There’s two unit of air conditioning which keeps the bungalow nice and cool.

Animation: best in Varadero. There’s always something going on. It’s a very lively resort. Shows are not always great but they do their best.

Pool: only one pool and no swim up. The bar is in the middle of the pool but can’t access from within.

Staff: very nice. Not a big turnover for staff. If you go more than once they’ll remember you!


others

1- ice cream bar
2- juice bar
3- lovely terrace off the main lobby

Stayed: March 2018, travelled with friends
1  Thank closier
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tomeu A, Director General at Sol Palmeras, responded to this reviewResponded 2 weeks ago

Dear closier,
Thank you very much for choosing us for the second time, and pleased to know that your stay was pleasant.
We appreciate your comments published on Trip Advisor, they help us in our daily work.
The bungalow with the bathroom outside is a very special one and we have 22 in the whole complex.
Your comments detail part of our All Inclusive service.
Waiting for the third trip, recieve best regards.
Sincerely
Tomeu Alcina
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

The location is great if you want to do any tours. The layout of the resort is good but the rooms need a lot of updating, they are old. They are clean, but old. The beds are actually terrible. I have read reviews that some of the rooms have already been renovated but we were not so lucky. The beach was great, the activities are good, the food is actually quite decent. We ate at the buffet, Italian, Seafood and Asian. The food and staff were very good. Bartenders are less attentive than in other resorts we've been to. The registration desk team are ok but always seem more interested in converting pesos than actually helping guests. Room cleaning team is great. Overall a nice place to stay but get an updated room.

Stayed: March 2018
1  Thank Craig B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tomeu A, Director General at Sol Palmeras, responded to this reviewResponded 2 weeks ago

Dear Craig B,
Thank you very much for choosing us for your vacations in Varadero, and we are pleased to know that your stay with us was to your liking.
We appreciate your comments published on Trip Advisor, they help us in our daily work.
As you comment, we need room renovation, we have finished the 4th and the first floor, and soon we will start with the second one.
We will work on improving or solving some aspects that you indicate in your writing.
Waiting for a new election for Sol Palmeras, receive cordial greetings.
Sincerely
Tomeu Alcina
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

I regret having to give Sol Palmeras 5 stars, they deserve 10 stars. This is a beautiful resort. I travelled with my husband and my mother March 22-29. We arrived later in the evening and our check in process was smooth, friendly and quick. We had a porter waiting to taking us in the shuttle to our bungalow. Sadly I did not catch his name but he was very helpful. He made sure all the lights worked and then gave us a quick study of the resort before he left us to settle in.
The bungalow was great. It was very spacious, clean and the A/C worked great. The bathroom was was very spacious and we had a great walk in closet to store all our stuff. Our maid Yaritza was very kind, always willing to accommodate our needs. We had few as Sol Palmeras was well prepared.
We were just a short walk from the resort. The map makes it look much further than it really is and it was beautiful weather for taking a stroll. It does not take long to walk anywhere on the resort and the grounds and walkways are beautifully maintained.
We loved the fact that we were in our own tiny little village, it was nice and quiet and lovely for sitting outside.
The food: To be honest we only experienced the buffet, two a la cartes and the snack shack in the bungalow area. The buffet was beautiful and we loved the food so we felt no need to go anywhere else. We made fast friendships with the staff also so we enjoyed seeing them. The food was plentiful, hot, great selection. We never went hungry. The pizza was great!! I was disappointed to see people complaining about the temperature of the food. The buffet is huge so by the time you make it around you are bound to have something that is no longer piping hot on your plate. Except for one lady who kept complaining about the cold pasta salad being "cold". We tried to explain it to her but she kept insisting it was cold so we gave up.
The snack shack is located in the the bungalow section. They make the BEST hot dogs and fries and Jorge, a very sweet man, makes the BEST EVER cappuccinos. we went every afternoon. It is tucked away so not many people seem to go there, trust me, GO THERE!!!!
We booked Oshin, Chinese, and O Sole Mio, Italian for our a la cartes. Our waiter Yosdel at O Sole Mio, was very sweet and charming and very helpful. The food and wine was delightful
Now Oshin, the chinese a la carte, gets an extra little piece of my heart. Yadiel our waiter was again sweet, and charming. The food was absolutely delicious. They did not bring us the dessert menu after our dinner...because they had made me a birthday cake and sang to me. Yadiel made me a little paper flower. I will treasure it always. To have that many guests and still be able to single one out and make me feel special on my birthday was amazing!!!
Special shout outs to the following people: Francisco, Onyxis, Jacqueline, Asaer, Asiel, Olguita and sweet Nivia. They were absolutely the BEST staff, they treated us like gold. They all work so very hard and yet took the time to make a connection with us, making us smile, making us feel like family. We miss your hugs and kisses.
Ernesto and Julio at the bar are the just the greatest bartenders, there was a running joke all week about how my mother had "Sex on the Beach". The drinks were good but the service was top notch..
If I have anything bad to say about Sol Palmeras, it would would be that I find the managers that walk around the resort to be a bit stuffy. The seem to be always waiting to jump on staff for things they are doing wrong. One manager spoke rather harshly to one of the waiters in front of all the guests because a table had not been cleared off. I found this to be rather unprofessional. That was not the time and place. At my work when it gets busy, our managers step in and help out. Not once did I see a manager smile, speak, or interact with the guests.
When it was sadly time to check out, Armando at luggage was very sweet.
I could go on for days about how great Sol Palmeras is but I think the best way to sum it all up is to say that out of thousands of guests Sol Palmeras seems to be able to manage to make you feel like you are the only one that matters. any time that we return to Cuba we will not stay anywhere else but here. It was absolutely fantastic.
To my fellow vacationers, I have one very important piece of advice: treat Sol Palmeras like it was your house, the grounds as if it was your yard and the staff as if they were your closet friends, and it seems to me that people tend to forget to pack two very important things when they are on vacation. RESPECT AND MANNERS. Just because you are on vacation, doesn't mean your attitude is as well. These people deserve the best, give it to them. They are working to make your stay the BEST!

Room Tip: Bungalows are very spacious
  • Stayed: March 2018, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
4  Thank bruja672018
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tomeu A, Director General at Sol Palmeras, responded to this reviewResponded 2 weeks ago


Dear bruja672018,
Thank you very much for choosing us in the company of your family, and we are pleased to know that your stay with us was your complete pleasure.
We appreciate your comments published on Trip Advisor, they help us in our daily work.
Comments that detail part of the services we offer in All Incluisve.
I will talk with the different area directors, so that they have a better and more ethical behavior with the employees.
Thank you for your opinion about our staff, and especially for those you name in your writing.
Waiting for a new visit, receive best regards.
Sincerely
Tomeu Alcina
General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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