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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 ...
Also, the layout of the hotel is such that you can enjoy the pool on one side, the beach on the other side and the bars with round loungers near the marina. We took advantage of those and lounged around reading or listening to podcasts. Of course it didn't hurt that the drinks were nearby. And our favourite bartender Janesa was there and she was terrific!
... my photo, stamped by tourist card and buzzed me through a unusually small door. No questions, no concerns. I suppose one million Canadian tourists a year has simply put her on autopilot.
Staying at a local casa, our host Mary graciously waited up for us until midnight, nearly three hours later than our expected arrival. She took our breakfast order and led us to our room, a very clean and brightly decorated spot just off the main outdoor sitting ...
Today we have jeep safari tour. We are going somewhere to Cuba countryside and off roads, then stop and eat lobster for the lunch, after take a ride with speed boats in a river. Then visit Bellamar caves, after that go through Matanzas city to Saturn's cave, and take a swim inside.
The jeep driver came to pick us from hotel. We been only two of us, and joined other jeeps somewhere on the way. Actually, it wasn't many ...
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. ...
How has this resort rated in the past?
- Continental Breakfast
- Swimming pool
Historical Traveler Reviews Memories Varadero
nous avons séjourné au sirenis du 23 au 30 septembre voici mes commentaires ,du coté positif. -le site est très propre partout ,les chambres,les allées,les restaurants a la carte,le lobby, la piscine etc. -le personel est souriant et très aimable ,pas eu aucun problème avec personne. --la nourriture des restau a la carte ,très bon ,le meilleur fut le japonais ,ensuite le steak house,on as eu droit a 6 restaurant a la carte dans la semaine vu le peu d'achalandage.(4 restaurant a la carte sur le site,plus un goumet a 30cuc mais personne la essayer). -----l'eau de la mer très belle a couper le souffle ,très chaude et beaucoups de poisson a nos pied . -----catamaran et pédalo,cayak sur le site on as fait tout les jours car on était juste 150 dans l'hotel. ---pour le négatif je doit dire que l'hotel est en rodage et l'ouverture officiel est la mi-novembre .mais voici les petit bémol a corriger pour que l'hotel monte en étoile si on veut. -le plus grand irritant est définitivement le buffet qui est a aire ouverte il y as beaucoup de mouche et maringouin le soir c'est très désagréable,il y pas de ventilateur qui pourrait aider .le choix était très limité mais ca avec le peu de monde c'est comprenable. -on doit donner un dépot de 15 cuc par serviette de plage,et 2 cuc par jour pour le coffre au check in ce qui le rend assez long. -pour le coffre un type viens dans la chambre pour l'activer,faque on as attendu 1h 30 avant que gars vienne .....a améliorer comme système . -il as un cart qui fait la navette du lobby au chambre qui est une bonne marche 8 minutes environ pour les chambres près de la plage,le problème c'est qu'il en avait juste 1 pour tout l'hotel de disponible ,faque bonne chance.(ils nous on dit qu'il en rentrait 7 autre pour le 1 octobre) ----------l'hotel as un très grand potentiel et avec le temps sera très convoité pour le prix qu'on as payé 600$ ca value la peine .je le conseille a un prix raisonnable tant que certaine chose enumer plus haut ne sont pas corrigé .
all i have to say is that this hotel is breautiful.the service was the best the food was not bad but not enough.the mini club my kids loved it.the staff were all very nice. the resturant at the pool.we spent most of the day there.VERY nice.great service.I only have one bad thing to say and that is that the park for the kids is not very good.i think that they could add to the park it would be complete.
This is a brand new , clean and friendly hotel.......everything you could want is here!
Good food , great staff, etc,
Very Nice Hotel
First of all I was on Honeymoon and it was just perfect. I arrived at 9pm after my wedding and the recepcionist were great. I will not write so much but believe me that this hotel is gorgeous and have a lot of space. Two big pools, 5 restauants a la carte, for me the best one is the Italian. We did go every night because they have nobody on reservation.I did not ate meat in all week,we had plenty of seafood. Buffet 24 hours just perfect if you wanna eat somenthingbin the midle of the night. The room are new, we were the first ones so don't miss your oportunity. One advise, tip sometimes and you'll get good service. I spend 5 dollars per day. It's not a lot but it helps the cubans and they'll give you better service. The hotel is empty, we were 100 people. I wish you a pleasant trip so book now because is cheap !!!
Sirenis is a very beautiful hotel!!!
Just got back 2 weeks ago from a marvelous stay at the Sirenis La Salina. We stayed from August 13th to the 27th 2007. We went 3 adults and 4 kids (ranging from 11 to 15)
ROOMS: The rooms are very nice and spacious and the bed is very comfortable.The patio door has a screen and some of the electric outlets are 110V (we had 2 in room 31206/31207 connecting rooms on the second floor) One down side to the bathroom is that the bathtub is narrow so for the people that intend on sharing a bath....I don't think so! Also the bath is high and they have a little stool that you have to step on in order to get inside the tub. It could be difficult for people that are not solid on their feet. The rooms that are used right now are all beside the beach.The safe is not free so you have to give 2 CUC / day and they require a deposit of 15 CUC for each beach towel that you want. Talk about towels, it is the first hotel (been to 6 previously in CUBA) that has the softest towels ever!!!!!! (room, beach and gym towels)
RESTAURANTS: All the restaurants are good. The favorites for us where the Italian (very good calzones and minestrone soup)and the Japanese (the shrimps are delicious, they are the clean kind and not the ones with eye balls staring at you) Some people complained about the mediterranean one but they took beef which is not the hottest in Cuba. We ate very well at the mediterreanean. At the steak house we took a sirloin steak which was very good and not chewy and a couple beside us got chewy ones....do not be afraid to say so after the first bite they will offer something else right away. The Japanese is a show so it takes a while before you can eat the squid and the shrimps that they prepare for you. Try for dessert the tempura ice cream...the kids loved it. The down side to the restaurant is that if you want a coffee or a tea after your meal you have to get it from the piano bar (which is right beside the japanese/italian/steak house restaurant)
BUFFET: The buffet is not air-conditioned so for the morning breakfast and lunch there where not lots of mosquitoes but at night time it was the worst and that is why we reserved almost every night a restaurant. We where told that they have less mosquitoes around November but this year was exceptional maybe because of the new hotel that is in construction beside the Sirenis(all the digging???)The juices for the morning breakfast are all fresh squeezed (mango, papaya,oranges or grapefruit). The choices where good for the morning(eggs/pancakes/breads/milks/hot cereal/sausages etc...and soon waffle machines we where told), lunch (pastas/fishes/soups/different kinds of meat/vegetables) and supper (we had one night which was Mexican night.....the fajitas where delicious) We always had a good variety of food. The beach buffet is a little tricky because if you eat early (before 1pm) you always had a variety (red snapper/sardines on the BBQ) if you where after that then it was better to walk just a little bit further to the snack bar which had amazing cuban sandwiches/hamburgers/hot dogs and also a variety of food (the snack bar is open from 10:00 to 6 pm). The buffet is open after the night show from 10:30pm to 6 in the morning.
ACTIVITIES: From 10 am to noon the animation is happening at the beach with music. Starting at 4pm they are very present at the activity pool (if you see pictures of the hotel it's the pool that has the waterfalls) until 6:00 pm. There is always music playing at the activity pool starting at 9:00am. Participation is the key in order for the activities to take place....
BEACH: The beach is amazing and very private. The beach chairs have a cushion on them (no back pain!!!!) and you feel like staying at the beach for the longest time. They also have a mini bar which make it easy to obtain a refreshment. They have palapas and beautiful white umbrellas that they can install for you close to the water (the umbrellas are only used on days that there are not too much wind). The sand is fine and so soft inside the sea. You can see very clearly at the bottom of the sea. There are no visible hotels on the beach but when you walk on the left side it's the Paradisus and on the right it's the TRYP Peninsula. They are building beside the Sirenis a new hotel that will be called SOL PINTO we where told. The construction at the Sirenis (they are redoing the quiet pool and also trying to finish all the new rooms for november '07) and around the new hotel is not a nuisance at all.
GYM/SPA/TENNIS COURT: The gym is not air-conditioned. It is divided in 3 sections. The first one has all the musculation equipement and on the other side you have the cardio equipement. All brand new stuff. Adelkis and Angelo are great and very helpfull with showing you how the mahines work and anything you need at the gym (water and towels)You also have showers with a sauna (felt so good) and outside you have the jacuzzi (that was not working when we where there, but we where complaining about it every day) Hopefully it will be working by the time high season starts. The tennis court is amazingly beautiful. The court is elevated very high so that you can see the resort from it. Very nice. They also have a basketball court right beside the activity pool.
ENTERTAINMENT: Good. They try hard but the show is at 10:00 pm and most people show up at 10:30 (if you take the 8:30 seating at the Japanese you will get out of there at 10:30 about) so the attendance was low when we where there. If you are there for 14 days you will see the same shows on the second week. On tuesdays they have the hotels party at 5:30pm at the activity pool (they serve a nice punch and canapes) They also have that same night the aquatic show (at the activity pool). Do not miss it. It is very nice.
BARS: The swim up bar is so cute because it is under the waterfalls (activity pool). Right on top of the swim up bar it's the snack bar/bar. You have a mini one at the beach and one 24H at the entrance. There is also one at the beach/grill and there is a piano bar (air conditioned)
BABY-CLUB: the baby club's entrance is through the activity pool which was very close to our room (31206/31207) It was open a couple of days because some travellers had small kids and they all seemed well taken care of. They have a very small pool just for the club.
Over all I would go back in a heart beat. It is a very beautiful resort with friendly people. I know that there are not a lot of posting about this hotel but if you have been to Cuba a couple of time you will not regret this hotel at all even new travellers will love it. The staff listen to everything you have to say and they want to make this hotel a success. Even Anna from Tours Mont-Royal is very charming and listens and makes sure that your complaint is passed on. Our stay was so wonderful that none of us wanted to come back home even after 14 days!
Sirenis La Salina does not live up to its rating!
We have just returned from the Sirenis La Salina with my family members. What an experience we had! We didn't expect so much walking from the main lobby to our building. There weren't enough bellboys to help, so, we had to carry our own luggage to and from our rooms in the heat! They had "golf carts" to move you around but were never available because they kept breaking down. The food was the same everyday with limited variety. The portions at the "a la carte" restaurants were so small that we had to go finish eating at the Snack Bar. Not all facilities were available to us ( only one pool, and no jacuzzis).
The Hotel setting, the buildings, ground maintenance and cleanliness are a plus. The employees and the entertainment were wonderful.
Brand new resort, a few rough spots but a great experience.
Myself and three friends had the opportunity to stay at Sirenis La Salina during the week of August 19-26th, 2007.
As the resort is near the end of the Varadero peninsula, chances are pretty high that you will be the last off of your bus from the airport... and consequently the first to be picked up when you are departing Varadero.
With arrival near midnight, check-in was a little slower than expected, even though there was only a few people ahead of us. But being a new resort, staff are still becoming familiarized with procedures and systems. While waiting, a waitress from the nearby bar brought everybody tropical drinks.
During our stay there was only about 120 guests in the whole resort, even though they currently have capacity of 400-500 rooms. At times it felt like we had rented the resort to ourselves. Because of this, all the a-la-carte restaurants were not always open every night. One night may see the Italian and Japanese restaurants open and closed the next night when the Mediterranean and Steak House were open.
Due to the fact the resort was so empty and the staff still learning the ropes, we were able to dine in the a-la-cartes as much as we pleased though reservations were still required.
The grounds are pretty much finished, though some details such as stained glass windows in the main building were still in the process of being installed. The vegetation is still young and most of the palm trees are quite small though those near the beach seem to be a little larger and more mature.
While others have commented the sand is very rough and full of shells, this is only the case for the first few metres when walking from the resort onto the beach. Once past the berm, the sand is very fine, grey and soft. At night however, one has to be careful due to the sand fleas. One woman during our stay had been on the beach at night and suffered some bites on her legs.
On the topic of mosquitoes, there was a high number of them at the resort. As most of the buildings are open-air, there were a large number of mosquitoes that were flying around. This became annoying at dinner as they seemed to enjoy hiding under the tables.
Every night we saw staff out with smoking equipment to help reduce the number of mosquitoes, so I applaud them in being pro-active in the issue. Fortunately for me, I only received one bite while at the resort while two other friends who in the eyes of the mosquitoes were more tasty, received about 30 bites each.
There were plenty of lounge chairs/umbrellas available at all times both on the beach and poolside. Unfortunately at the time of our visit the "main" pool/pool closest to the main resort building had been drained and was under repair due to issues that surfaced after opening.
Due to this, guests were put in the rooms at the back of the resort... closest to the beach and the second large pool. Because of this it was about a 5 minute walk from the room back to the main building. Occasionally one could hop a ride on one of the resort golf carts, but these were few and far between.
The pool closest to the beach features a swim-up bar under the waterfalls, a bar and snack-bar up top. Surrounding the pool is a basketball court, small playground for children and a Kids Club. There was only maybe one or two small children at the resort during our stay and basing the size of the Kids Club on the potential of the resort (1000 rooms), I would argue that this property is being positioned as more of an adult resort aimed at people without children.
There was little animation during the day, which for the most part is welcome as I like to go to a resort to relax and not be interrupted by impromptu theatrics every hour, on the hour. For those wishing to see the "tourist" version of Cuban culture, there is a theatre/bar that hosts a dance/entertainment show in the evenings.
This was my first trip to Cuba and was worried about all the comments stating that regardless of what resort you go to that the food is usually bland. To my delight, the food at La Salina was excellent and had little repetition... and I am a picky eater so this is more than an endorsement. The overnight selection at La Seiba (the main buffet restaurant) was a little sparse, but due to the number of guests and the time of the night, this can be easily overlooked.
Internet service is available at the rate of 3.00 CUC per 30 minutes. For the most part, the Internet was working but either due to technical issues (Internet connections in/out Cuba are sporadic at best) or untrained staff there were outages that sometimes lasted half a day.
On-site scooter and car-rental was available. Because the resort is new, they had not received their rental cars yet. We were however able to book a car and the gentlemen in the rental office were able to have a vehicle delivered to the resort for us.
The resort does contain a well-equiped gymnasium and a separate room for cardio equipmemt. While I try to maintain my workouts while away, it was a little difficult at the resort due to the fact the weight and cardio equipment were in enclosed rooms. There was a slight breeze that would come into the rooms, but for the most part the lack of air conditioning made regular workouts almost unbearable due to heat exhaustion.
The rooms were immaculate and fresh. Television had about 20+ channels in various languages (English, French, German, Chinese, Spanish) but only 3 or 4 of them were in English (CNN/ESPN).
The in-room safe is available at 2.00 CUC per day. As we had two rooms, we just pooled our resources and used one safe between two rooms.
Climate control in the room was excellent, able to bring the room down to a chill very quickly. The only caveat is that overnight one should use the "DRY" cooling setting or you will find the tile floor very damp with condensation in the morning. Another minus was the fact if you open the sliding door to the balcony, the air conditioning would shut off. While I applaud this energy savings measure, the fact that you had to walk back over to the climate controls and restart everything after closing the sliding door made for a hassle.
Staff was always very attentive and willing to go the extra mile for your needs. My only complaint was on the day of checkout, we had to be out of the rooms at 12:00 PM sharp even though the resort was basically empty.
We were offered the option of staying in the room at a rate of 10.00 CUC per hour, but declined that offer. I would have hoped the management would have been more lenient given the vacancy rate at the property and the desire to generate positive word-of-mouth, but this was not the case.
If you want rooms very close to the beach, ask for rooms in buildings 32, 33 or 34.
This is a property I would definitely return to again. The resort is adding another 500 rooms and from the construction I guess that they will be adding more facilities (pools/restaurants).
I was told my staff that when completed this will be one of (or perhaps THE) biggest resort in Cuba.
We are back fom the Sirenis La Salin.Bring the questions
Nouvel hotel ouvert le 15 juillet 2007.4 etoiles.Les installations sont 5 etoiles avec service 5 etoiles mais nourriture 4 etoiles.Les chambres sont grandes et tres propres.Les piscines sont tres belles et tres propres.L hotel est situe entre le Paradisus Varadero et le Trypp.La plage est deserte et la mer est tres belle.Il y a un service de plage.Les chaises et les coussins sont installees par des preposes.Il s agit d un tres grand tres complexe.IL Y AURA 998 CHAMBRES DONT LA MOITIE SONT PRETES.lA CONSTRUCTION NE DERANGE PAS LE SEJOUR.Nous suggerons l excursion en catamaran pour voir les dauphins.Tres belle excursion d une journee complete sur des catamarans neufs et avec un service incroyable et un repas de langouste.Il y a 5 restauranys.Le Japonais est le meilleur et le Gourmand est disponible avec des frais mais ce ne vaut pas la peine.Il y a un tres grand buffet et aussi un buffet pres de la plage qui sert aussi le soir comme restaurant mediteraneen.La salle de spectacles est grande et neuve.Il y a un tres grand bar a la reception et un piano bar le soir entre le restaurant italien et le steak house avec de la musique douce.Les cafes sont tres bons a cet hotel Sirenis.Nous avions sejourne au Grand Sirenis ,hotel 5 etoiles sur la rivirea Maya.Celui du Mexique est un meilleur hotel car c est un 5 etoiles.Mais celui de Varadero est une excellente d occasion pour un 4 etoiles car il est tres luxueux pour un 4 etoiles.Le negatif,c est que la nourriture n est pas celle d un 5 etoiles et ils sont en rodage.Cependant,ils ont un tres grand Mini Club avec sa propre piscine et aussi un Baby Club.Amenez du chasse moustique pour le soir a 20 hres pour 15 minutes.Les toilettes sont tres propres car il y a une ou 2 employees par toilette qui nettoie continuellement.Il en coute 15 peso pour aller en taxi a Varadero et 10 peso pour prendre la caleche de la 15 iemee avenue soit du premier marche aux puces a la 55 ieme ou se trouve la Parc et un autre marche aux puces ou Marche d artisan.L excursion en jeep safari et l excursion a La Havane furent tres appreciees.
It was great vacation
Brand new Hotel in Varadero.
Great new clean rooms
beach needs work, ( cleaning, more umbrellas and a real beach bar)
best alacarts Japanese, Italian, then in order steak house and mediterranean
buffet was good but little choice
not too much choice at the pool snack bar
animation was fun and friendly
some shows are awesome like the aquatic ballet... all dancers are professional, dancing shows are nice.
staff is friendly and ready to help.
Pool and pool bar was the best.
Hotel had only 200 guests, so services were limited, we had a great time anyway. it was like we had private resort.
our group thought that this hotel will be a 5 star once fully operational.