Hotel Barcelo Solymar Arenas Blancas
Travel Blogs from Varadero
This was the first trip I had ever been on as an adult. I saved the money, got my very own first passport, bought all the things you think you need to take on a trip (most, completely unnecessary as the trips kept coming) and bought a whole new wardrobe (another thing completely unnecessary) and I was off. It was my first time on a plane since I …
... to see their printing press and were shown an old Xerox copier; apparently, it wasn't clear, the pages are hand-lettered the old-fashioned way and then reproduced by machine.
Across the street, housed in an elegant French-style building, an old pharmacy dating from 1882, La Pharmacia Francesa Triollett, is now the Pharmacy Museum. It was fascinating to see the old receipt books, compounding equipment, pill molds, label drawers, a distiller, powders, ...
... return"). These men constitute the "Cuban Five" whom were taken prisoner by the US for attempted terrorism against US Cuban citizens in 1998. Cuba argues that they are innocent, but the US does not. Tack another reason up on the grudge board between the US and Cuba that I learned today.
After lunch in Santa Clara, we drove to Varadero - a popular tourist beach and sister city to Cancun. In our resort, there are LOTS of Canadians. I think we're the only white ...
Coming to Matanzas was a bit of a travelling risk. Not for any crime related reason but it just isn't on the tourist route. That said, our casa is full. Everyone we’ve met along the way kept saying "Matanzas, but why?". Well why was because it didn’t sound all that bad in the LP and we didn’t have enough time to make it to Trinidad by bus and we certainly didn’t want to get into the resort territory of Veradero (Cuba’s answer to Cancun).
Today we decided to head out to Matanzas, a coastal city two hours east of Habana, to see a baseball game and check out the beaches (Matanzas is 30 min west of Varadero, a famous beach resort in Cuba). There were tourist buses going to Matanzas but we decided it was faster and cheaper to ask a taxi driver on the street to take us there. Luckily we found a really nice guy who took us to the baseball stadium and the beach ...
How has this resort rated in the past?
Historical Traveler Reviews Hotel Barcelo Solymar Arenas Blancas Varadero
We just returned from a two-week stay at Barcelo, Solymar in Cuba and for the most part we were disappointed. Having been to an all-inclusive resort in the Dominican Republic, perhaps we were expecting at least as much in Cuba but it wasn't close.The best part was undoubtedly the beach and the ocean. Great water, lots of beach, plenty of chairs . . near-perfect. Other than that . . . The food, at best, was inconsistent. Very greasy, pretty tasteless and it differed from one day to the next. Even the a la carte restaurants were inconsistent. One day it'd be fine . ..two days later, terrible. The staff didn't seem that friendly, especially at the bars. It didn't take us long to figure out that if you were flashing a bit of money, the smiles came out and the service sped up. Very tip-orientated and for an all-inclusive resort, I didn't like that. It's not really all-inclusive if you start to feel obligated to tip $1 U.S. for a 6 oz. glass of beer. The hotel rooms were fairly clean but the staff was slow in making them up and if you ever needed anything (ie toilet paper), you'd better be prepared to wait. The nightly entertainment was good . . lots of audience participation which was fun. DO NOT get a room overtop of the disco . . .very loud, though you get an ocean view. Our room was on the third floor, above the all-night lobby bar and that, too, was loud. The two pools are quite large and fairly cold, but on a nice day most head to the beach anyway. There is usually some food to be found all day/night but again, it's hit and miss. We met others staying at a hotel near Barcelo Solymar and they said their food was excellent. All in all, it was nice to be away from -30 weather but I wouldn't return to that particular hotel. Bring immodium!! And bring Nutragrain or Granola bars . . .you may get hungry! Also, hotel staff is quite appreciative of little trinkets . . .earrings, perfume samples . . . pencils and crayons for their kids. Hope this is helpful. we read similar reviews before we left but unfortunately, had already booked!
I've been back from Cuba for 2 weeks and can't wait to go back again. Our 1 week stay at the Barcelo Solymar was incredible!! I may be a first time traveller with nothing to compare my experience to but this resort exceeded my expectations. Several of the reviews I read before leaving gave this resort a low rating, but I don't agree with any of them.
Can not believe what others are saying
I am surprised to read the reviews on this hotel, it seems to me that there must be 2 different hotels with the same name.
The food in my opinion is excellent. There are 4 a la carte restaurants and in the buffet there was at least 5 different meat dishes each meal with at least 2 different fish dishes.
The food was well presented and was always of a good quality.
Food I find is always to personal preference, but I have been to Cuba 8 times over the past couple of years and for me, the Solymar provides better food than most of the other hotels.
We have just come back from Cuba having spent 14 days on holiday, 3 days in Havana and 10 days at he Barcelo. We spent the first 3 days in Havana which was interesting , and very well worth it, got to see a lot more than the day trips that are offered at a very high price from varedero. We stayed at The Sevilla Hotel, supposingly a 5 star hotel!!!!!!! The lobby of the Hotel looks at least 4 star, however the public toilets more a no star, dirty and never any toilet paper or soap, but then this is Cuba, and not to mention the toilet door that lived on the floor!! Only one of the two lifts worked and at times you had to bang the panel to close the door and on occasions the door would not open , you could travel to the 8 floor and walk up to the resturant on the ninth, which is not open at night time to see the great sunset as advised in guide books!!!!!!! Drinks are also very expensive at the bar. The rooms are 2 star plus and the bell boys will ask for a tip if you are not quick enough with your hand in your pocket when they finally deliver your bags.! We were lucky enough to have the counter weights of a crane outside our room and the work men started at 8.00, coffee and chat with he boys at 7.45 , no need for a walk up call or alarm clock here. Breakfast was ok , but leave plenty of time if you want an ometttet or eggs! The violinest was a nice touch, but as it was commented to us "doesnt it make you feel like you are on the Titanic and it is going down" as it is quite a grand old room. Havana is very safe, food is very limited, alot of chicken and pork, which will probably be fryed and overcooked on the out side and raw on the middle, be aware of this, to avoid getting ill. Also be aware when in bars listening to the bands that they expect a tip if you do not buy one of there cd's when they come around with the basket, it can be an expensive day if you go to many different bars, also we heard that one traveller bought a cd only to find that there was nothing on it!!! Havan
My family and I went to the Barcelo Solymar the first week in December. My family included 18 people ranging in age from 3-65 years.
We've just returned from a week at the Barcelo Solymar (Resort ?) in Cuba. The beach was great, that's about it. Many of the staff had an attitude and you had trouble getting a drink resembling what you ordered. Forget about a cup of black tea and this 5 star resort was often out of orange or pineapple juice. I went to Cuba to enjoy the beaches and weather, not to live like a Cuban. The food at the Barcelo Solymar was disgusting. I suspect that much of what was not eaten today was refried and served up in some of the following days mystery salads or some other bowl of slop. Try and imagine a salad made from rice and pasta with some old refried cubes of ham, some olives and pickled onions and, get this, sliced radish, all overcooked and unappetizing. God, I felt as though I had been eating airline food for a week. At least, airline food was fresh. Salad bar, nothing fresh and the poorest cuts of meat (if that's what it was). Now you can say, this guy really has it in for the Barcelo Solymar. Go ahead, visit the place and find out for yourself. But take your own food and drinks.
We stayed in Mexico in 2001 and Cuba in Dec 2 - 9 2002. Cuba clearly was better.
Let me start off by saying I had the most fantastic time in Cuba and cannot wait to return! This trip was spur of the moment (visited Oct 14-21/02) so I was able to grab a great deal. It was my first solo female adventure (27 y.o.) outside of Canada and I felt safe the entire time. The friends I made (Canadians & Cubans alike) made the trip incredibly memorable.