Travel Blogs from Varadero
Before I get to Havana, I want to show you how different publicity is in Cuba. There are no outdoor billboards advertising Coca Cola or Havana Club rum along the highways. In their place are signs advertising the glories of the revolution. It is as if the only signs you see on U.S. highways are praise for Barack Obama.
You will smile at some of the examples of the advertising arts that I have discovered along the way with my ...
... than 45 seconds without an offer. As in Havana, conversations with friendly locals are unfortunately usually loaded. And I know this sounds like a bit of whinge but it can be weathering. Don’t get me wrong, the experiences we’ve had with our casa owners has been absolutely amazing. To be invited into their homes, fed like old friends and engaged in conversation has been the take-away experience of the whole trip.
But generally outside of that, ...
... jeep driver said, that people are making parts by it selves. It is very difficult to get the right part, but usually it is impossible. Sometimes parts are made from wood.
Saturn's cave is filled with fresh water, and the water is extremely transparent and cool. Depth of water is about 20 meters, but you can spot the bottom stones. If you dive, you can discover fishes and blind shrimps. We chilled out inside the cave, the ...
I realized that sun is going down at seven o' clock and rising at seven in the morning. And everyday is the same. But strangely the morning starts very quickly, like half past 6 in the morning is so dark, and at seven sun is already shining.
We woke up at 5 am in the morning, due to time changing. And it was dark outside, so we had to wait, for the sun goes up. The breakfast starts at 7.30, so we been one of the first eaters. ...
... And on the way planned our next seven days in here. We wanted to do as much as we can during this time. So we turned our heads to travel agency in a hotel and selected some tours. So after tomorrow we have day trip sugar cane plantation, crocodile farm and visiting Ancient village of Taino, local inhabitants. On the next day we are going to experience jeep safari, as well speed boats, visiting caves, and swimming in one of them. On the ...
How has this resort rated in the past?
- Swimming pool
- Wheelchair accessibility
Historical Traveler Reviews BelleVue Sunbeach Varadero
Great Budget Hotel!!!!
We stayed here from March 29th,2004 to April 5th 2004. Was pleasently surprised room was good size even though we did not have a balcony. We did however have a seperate sitting/tv area and sleeping quarters. Large bathroom with 110volt. Our maid was excellent we left small gifts for her and she left us a thankyou note every day. The one morning we decided to sleep in she came and checked on us asking if we were OK she was worried we may have been sick as we left early every morning to go on excersions or to the beach which was very close. Food was as good as could be expected seeing that its buffet food you had to choose wisely of course but there was fresh baked bread everyday and awesome deserts. They also made igreat ice cream. The entertainment was loud and started about 10pm every night which sucked if you had to be up early the next morning. Lots of europeen travellers and lots of smokers. I'D WARN ANYONE ABOUT GOING ON ANY SCUBA EXCERSIONS IT WAS A TOTAL CATTLE BOAT (there's only one scuba shop and the day we went there was about 60 other divers) it's a shame because the water is SO BEAUTIFUL!! If you wannt a good meal in Varadero I'd highly recomend the Torro Steak House a little pricey but well worth it. Its several blocks from the hotel so I'd suggest renting a scooter we did and had a blast it was $15.00 US and we took it from 5pm to 9am.
Fun in the sun
This was my first trip to Cuba and I had a great time. The hotel is great for someone who is looking for some warm weather and a beach. The hotel was no frills and basic. The food was very bland but edible, you had your choice of a pizzeria or buffet restaurant. The staff were all great and really friendly and made sure you had a good time. The nightly shows were good for some jokes but that's about it. The hotel is conveniently located right downtown so you can easily walk around and do some shopping or hop on the bus for $5 and go further out. The facilities and our room were very clean at all times. The drinks were served in really small cups so I would recommend bringing your own cup.
You don't need a converter as the room was 110V.
Sunbeach in Jan with Funky Soup..
Stayed in S.B in Jan 22-29 , so here are my two cents.. The Room : we were lucky to have a north facing room in the newly renovated north tower , we have a clear view of the blue ocean and can see the nightly show from our windows. The room is bright , clean and spacious , no complaint there. The Beach : The sand are fine but it is ALAWYS wavey because of the north wind , if the wind is not too bad , you can walk out 75m and it is still chest hight , but if the wind picks up , you won't be able to go out at all. The Food : As in other reviews here , food in Cuba is mediocre at best ..Sunbeach is no exception , very basic food, pork, fish and chicken and fresh fruits will be daily staple , I unfortunatly , had some FUNKY tasting vegi soup in my last day of stay, and was subjected to 48 hrs of diarrhea , fortunatly it was our last day and the fligh back home was only 4 hours : ( I kind of blame this to myself , because my wife got the soup but when she tasted it , she said it tasted funky and is not eating it .. but I was thinking some Cuban people never see a buffet in their life and don't want to wast their food or further reinforce our wastful image .. I choke it down , we ate the same thing that meal with the exception of the soup .. and I am the one got ill so I am pretty sure that was IT !Had it not been this incident , I would have rated S.B at 4 out of 5 , but I did get sick from their food so a 2 is more accurate.Finally , don't be put off by my review , there are always safer food to eat at the buffet .. just use common sense , if it tasts, look or smell funky..it probably IS...that goes with all Cuba A.I resorts regardless of how nice a place you go to.The upside , Cuba is safe , its people are super friendly ... young and old , poor or poorer .. they will always make you feel welcome in their country.Go see for yourself ..and if you have time .. be sure to visit Havana while you are in Cuba.
Great fun and a good way to enjoy Christmas
We had a great time. We left toronto on the 14th and got back on the 29th. They held their Christmas gala on Christmas eve. We were in for a shock. I could taste the turkey, dressing and just perhaps cranberry sauce. However our feast turned out to be lobster, shrimp, salmon and some other delectable delights. All in all the food was more than satisfactory. The rooms were clean and comfortable. Walking the beach was a delight. a person could walk all day and not do it all. Certainly wouldn't have to think twice about going back. I must congratulate all the staff for their courtesy and helpfulness. The bartenders outdo themselves with their humour and abilities to prevent problems with those who have had too much to drink. Go on the double decker bus and see the whole penninsula. there's definitely a lot of money being poured into the east end. However my preference is the west end. It is safe to wander all the streets night or day. Cubans are a sociable people and that's one of the many reasons I always enjoy going to Cuba.
Go- Stay- Enjoy!!!!
You get what you pay for....
Went to Varadero the week of January 3 - 10, 2004. My experience in Cuba will be one to remember for a very long time. The beaches were breath taking and the locals were very polite despite there were a few on the beach trying to sell you getaway packages or souveniers. If you said "No, Gracias" they were very polite and left you alone.HOTELThe hotel was your average 3 star hotel. Nothing great about the hotel. Don't expect this hotel to be a high class resort. It gave you a place to sleep, a place to eat, a place to get your awesome tan. Despite we had to request another room (slight odor) our stay was great. They gave us a beachfront view (with no balcony) and the house keeping always left lovely figures made from the towels/bed coverings once they cleaned the room. Sunbeach is one of the better 3 star hotels as we met some guest on a 2 week stay that transferred to the Sunbeach hotel since the hotel they had wasn't great compared to sunbeach. FOODThe only negative about this trip is the food. It was very bland. I never put so much salt on my food in my entire life. Good thing Hotel Sunbeach had a buffet and a pizzeria. The breakfast buffet was great. You were able to make your own omletes, lunch and dinner you would have to make around the buffet and decide if you wanted to dine there. I mostly ate at the Pizzeria. I recommend...."spaghetti with no meat just the tomato sauce and cheese. (get extra everything if you like your pastas saucy and cheesy...and to go with your spaghetti...cheese pizza. that made my day. But if you are one to try differnt dishes...then the buffet will be okay...i just recommend you bring some seasoning salt and a few ketchup packets as there is no flavor to the food. BEVERAGES/ALCOHOL.if you are an avid drinker i suggest you not drink any Rum before your trip as the main Liquor besides your "Cerveza's (beer)" is RUM. Rum Punch, Rum Punch Espescial, Lime, Strawberry or Pineapple (you guessed it ) RUM. if you are not a coffee drinker you will be come one. There coffee is EXCELLENT.MARKETS AND BARGAINING.if you are going to the market place...BARGAIN. Sometimes the item they sell you for $5.00 they will sell to someone else for $3.00. Use your skills and see what deals you can get. You can not deal in shops only at the Market place. Also we bought 10 mini cigars from the Sunbeach Souvenier shop for $9.00 and when we got to the airport on our way home those 10 mini cigars were $3.00. So there are some things that they will rip you off with.BEACHESClear blue water with fine sand. So lovely. Anywhere on the Varadero strip is a great place to lie on the beach and enjoy the water and sun. EXCURSIONSWe went on the "Reef Goddess" advenuture. It was $39.00 USD. This included your transportation to/from hotel to the marina, the boat ride to the Coral reef, an hour of snorkeling, an hour at the beach and lunch. We had lobster that was grilled on the BBQ to perfection. this was an additional $10.00 USD. They also offered day or over night trips to Havana, or a day out at sea to swim with the the Dolphins. Excursions started at $25.00 USD - $150.00 USD.OVERALLYou get what you pay for...THIS WAS WORTH THE MONEY. This was such a relaxing vacation that I would recommend to anyone that just needs to get away and enjoy themselves. If they offer 10 day trips i would suggest that as it takes about a day or 2 to adjust and going home on the 7th day is just to early and staying 14 days is just too long.
For the money great!!!
I went to SunbeaCH WITH 2 LADYS FROM WORK FOR THE MONEY IT WAS A GREAT GETAWAY. The rooms where very clean and the staff was great. The beach was just beauiful . We had a short walk across the rd to the beach but it was 2 minutes away. The food not so great but we went on off season so the hotel was very quiet. however if you travel single its perfect you have access all around Varadaro from your door steps. We travelled Taxi, buses, and by horse and buggy . It was a great vacation and cant wait until are next get away and will definatly be returning.
Excellent for the price we paid
First of all I would like to say that this hotel is not a 4 star or 5 star hotel. It is a 3 star if even that. We had a great time at this hotel, there was four of us. The food was just there, not great, not bad - they had lots of foods to pick from, so even if you hated some foods there was others that made up for it. Every day practically you get the same food. Sometimes the food is reused. For example I would see certain foods on the table at supper time, then in the morning I would see the left over food being served for breakfast. Yes this sounds sick, but remember I am not comparing this $1000 all inclusive trip to a $1600.00-$2500.00 trip. You get what you pay for, I loved it and for the money we paid we saved enough to spend lots of money on local merchandise, trust me the merchandise is cheap down there, and it's advised to bring to luggage bags, one full of your items, and there empty so that you can fill it with all the items you buy in Cuba.
The entertainment at the resort was so bad that I could not see it more than once, keep in mind that what we did is went to local night clubs to see with great entertainment, the prices at these establishments were about $10.00 US for the entrance fee, all drinks are free. The Mambo Club and The Cave were our favourites. Local Transportation is very cheap, but I recommend the Double Decker bus for $2.00 US one time fee per day, the bus operator gives you a pass for the entire day, The bus travels from north to south, the entire 21 kms of Varadero. Ok another important thing to remember is that washrooms are not free, and if they are free you will be disgusted by the condition of it. Do yourself a favour, go to the washroom before you go exploring the area, or if you are exploring, go do a store, restaurant, etc that you are willing to buy something to use their washrooms. The weather in Varadero is never extremely hot in the busy time of Dec-Jan. This is there winter folks, don't be shocked of seeing 17 degree weather or even colder. We got lucky with the weather and had it at about 23 degrees-26 degrees. The staff at the resort can be helpful sometimes.
But sometimes they just don't care, remember all employees in Cuba are unionized, and folks we all know how unions operate. The building is old, but being renovated, if you get a chance upgrade to ocean (beach view), not ocean view(street view). In otherwords, face the northwest, not the southeast, cause the southeast is very ugly looking and old.
The hotel is in a excellent location close to all restaurants, stores, etc. The 4 or 5 star hotels are northern part of the pennisula, this hotel is in the southern part of the pennisula. If you would like to look at lots of pictures of our trip then go to: http://span.freeservers.com/varaderocuba2002/
Good cheap no frills vacation
We went to Sunbeach in February of 2003 and had a wonderful time. The staff were very friendly and helpful. The food was not very good, but we didn't go hungry, mostly ate at the pizzeria which wasn't too bad.
The beach was beautiful and the location was perfect. This hotel is on the main strip so you can see (somewhat of) what Cuban life is like with lots of cheap shopping. The actual accomodations were a bit scary at first but you really got use to them (it wasn't quite the Canadian standard of a 3 star) and the maid did a great job of cleaning. Also instead of going on the catermaran excursion one of the hotel staff took us out on the hotel catermanrans and took us to a great snorkling place for about $10 (USD) it was really nice becuase it was just us (my husband and I) and the staff member and he brought food so we could get the fish to eat right out of our hands. This is a perfect hotel for the traveller who wants a cheap no frills type of vacation.
Sunbeach Hotel - The unknown was scary but we worried for nothing!
I have to say I searched everywhere for information on the sunbeach hotel and I could not find one thing about it so for the benefit of all you people planning to go to the sunbeach hotel, we had a wonderful time and hope this review will help you.
If you have never been to Cuba you are in for a great treat. The roomswere very adequate and the air conditioners worked great (which you will really come to appreciate)
The staff at the Sunbeach hotel were all so very nice, we did not have any problems other than requesting a new room upon arrival due to a slight odor, as soon as one was available (the next day) we got our new room. The entertainment staff (nightly shows) were fabulous. we took our 8 year old son with us and he had an amazing time.
The food was so much better than we ever expected. We had read some things about the food there but we still didn't know what to expect but we were pleasantly surprized. They have a buffet with set hours so make sure if you want to eat at the buffet you know their hours, if you miss it you can always enjoy the Pizzeria that serves some amazing pasta dishes as well as delectable pizzas. The only meal we didn't mind missing was the breakfast, but then again we like our bacon and sausages here in canada and they was not on the menu even once. They do cook the eggs for you right there in front of you, but also my son did not like their bread (even when we toasted it).
They also offer sandwiches down at the beach if you like to spend your days there. we did not try the food there but we had many drinks there.
Although Sunbeach is an all inclusive resort, don't forget to bring some small bills because the people rely on your tips. You would be sooooo surprized to learn what kind of wages they earn.... we were in disbelief! As canadians, we are very big on tipping (not everytime you get a drink or food, but at least ever second time) and we became quite popular on the resort. The staff just couldn't have been nicer.
We also did a couple of excursions that were incredible. I highly recommend the Rio Del Canimar trip, it is an all day excursion well worth the money. I hope you have a great time in Varadero Cuba, we sure and and would return for a second visit without hesitation.
P.S. if you go on any excursions, be sure to bring your own toilet paper as many time you will have to "purchase" some in the form of a tip to use the washroom.... I personally thought that was a little too much!!
P.P.S. If you plan on tipping your maid at the end of your stay, make sure you catch her throughout the week because we were very displeased that upon checking out, a maid we had never seen practically grabbed the room key out of my husband's hand and went to our room. We had left our maid a Canadian Souvenir, money, candy and all kinds of goodies - and we will never know if she actually received these items or not.
Have a great trip!
It's very cheap and nice hotel
I went to Varadero in Jan 2002. It is middle class, cheap hotel in a centre of Varadero. SunBeach Hotel is old but very clean. They serve very good, fresh food. There is Italian a la carte restaurant and Self service restaurant. I can reccomend this hotel for onyone who want to spend not too much money and have lowely memories. Have a nice holiday