Hotel Roc Arenas Doradas
Travel Blogs from Varadero
... 25, 1690, which decreed that the bay and port of Matanzas be settled by 30 families from the Canary Islands.Matanzas was one of the regions that saw intensive development ...
... with hotels and restaurants catering to Canadians and Europeans with mostly all new development. We sort of wrote it off as a tourist trap, and decided to stay in Matanzas for the duration.
However, we did stay three nights in Matanzas, and got to know this natural bay city pretty well by visiting some of the famous places in and around the bay.
All inclusive hotel by the beach. Lots of Canadian are staying here and two Swedes of course. I'm not really into these kind of resorts but the rooms was huge and nice and after spending 3 nights here, everyone knew who stayed in the room nr 666.
I went scuba diving while lobster went for a scooter tour around the peninsula. This is ...
... beautiful views of the marina. It has at least two a la carte restaurants which we enjoyed. Both have great decor and also very tasty food. My experience in general at a la carte restaurants is that you get excited expecting it to be a notch above regular buffet dining but I personally am always disappointed. Not this time. Both restaurants were very good. The decor in the Latin resto was excellent; it was ...
... at horrendously irresponsible speeds and got there in some 3 and half hours, normally a good 6 hours in a Viazul bus. An otherwise uneventful trip, except maybe for the transit through a Cuban sugar town called ‘Australia’. The van corralled down the main parade lined on each side with one of the following government owned business: souvenir shop, hotel or all-inclusive resort, restaurant, cafe or bar, small supplies market or beach supplies shop. ...
How has this resort rated in the past?
- Swimming pool
- Wheelchair accessibility
- Free parking
Historical Traveler Reviews Hotel Roc Arenas Doradas Varadero
Better then expected after reading reviews
( I'm from Europe so my English is very basic!) Before we went to
Arenas Doradas I read the reviews on this site and I was little
terrified after that but once we got there everything was okay.The
lounge was beautiful and the room was allright. Maybe the colours were
not our taste.. The rest of the accomadation was better then average
and the beach was situated lovely. Maybe the food was not that
exclusive but when you see the countryside of Cuba you can appriciate
it a lot more! Only real minuspoint for us was that in the evening
there wasn't a lot of activity, like a bar or pub. Everyone gathered in
the lounge and the local Cristal Beer tastes like ****. But that again
is a matter of taste. Maybe the staff is not that commercial like in
Europe or in The States but they only get paid a couple of dimes...I
can understand that. The Hotel is in the hand of the government and you
can recognise that. In The States the staff is smiling a plastic smile,
maybe that's more anoying!The Hotel was okay to us. Maybe not 4 or 5
stars...but it was worth the stay!
I don't know where those people were staying that gave such negative reviews because our stay at this hotel was perfect. The beach is stunning, the rooms clean and huge. The staff generally very friendly and what's wrong with the food? There was always a pretty good selection. Much of it is plain but there were many healthy choices. Remember when travelling don't expect the food to be as it is at home. We loved the two story building blocks. Made it seem like we were in a little village. The pool and swim up bar also neat. Would recommend this resort to anyone.
Perfect, beautiful and lovely vacations.
Spent one week down there (return on Feb.17/03) and we had perfect and beautiful vacation. Clean hotel, nice beach, friendly people and not bad food. My kids loved that place. I was reading posted reviews before leaving for this destination and was scare that we are going to a bad resort. My advise: ignore the bad reviews and just go there - you will not regret. I did not meet anyone that was complaining about the services. Also remember that $$ talks - $2 tip is nothing but service improves drastically (people are poor and as in any communist country they are expecting some pocket money).
Beautiful beach, clear blue water
I recently got back from Varadero. Me and two girlfriends stayed at Arenas Doradas for a week.
We had an amazing time! The beach was even more beautilful then I expected. Clear blue water and golden sand. What more could you want? There were many activities going on, altough we mostly wanted to relax on the beach or by the pool.
There were different shows every night, some better then others, and after you can go to clubs and practice on your salsa with people who really know how to dance!
However, if you are planing to go there, keep in mind this is a 3 and half star hotel. Therefore, you won't get the greatest food. It's not that we got sick but there isn't a lot of variety.
Still, if you want to go to Varadero, Arenas Doradas is a good hotel. The people are nice and the beach is really worth seeing!
Me and my girlfreind went there during spring break of 2002. I have to say that they do have a nice beach but the service was horrible, basically, even if you have an all inclusive package, prepare to be a good tipper if you really want good service. The people working at the front desk, really don't care about their guest's, we had some water problems, where sometimes there was no water, we were sent to a different room, where basically there was constructions right in front of our balcony. I was really dissapointed with the food, they recycled some of the dishes a couple of times. I think it is a 2 star hotel. If you really want to go just for the beach, make sure you don't pay more than 1000$ for an all inclusive.
Great place, great times
On Christmas day my hustband, two children and I traveled to Arenas Doradas in Varadero. We were expecting to have anorther horrible christmaws after reading the reviews on this site, but when we got there that all changed. And we had the best christmas ever. The staff were very friendly and would go out of their way to help you. My husband had a few problems in his room at the start of the holiday but they were immediatly fixed. The rooms themself were fair but could have done with a lick of paint. Alot of the food at night was not to our liking but we stiull managed to find something we liked either in the resturant or in the pizza place. The beach bar during the day served food that would suit even the most fussy eaters, so we managed to eat 3 good meals aday. The food itself was of a haigher standard than what we expected from a poor, third world country. The entertainment staff put on a different show each night, these were all very good and spoken in 4 different languages.
On new years eve you could have been staying in a 5 star plus hotel because it was a truely great night. At dinner the food was excellant with the food ranging freom pasta to lobster, you ate in candle light with an classical band playing to you! Then you just parted the cuban way till the early hours of the morning!
As a family we had a most memerable and happy time in Cuba and would recommend it to any one.
Arenas Doradas and Cuba
I've been at Arenas Doradas for 1 week from 08/09/02 to 15/09/02, here is my comment about the hotel and Varadero/Cuba:
The hotel itself is quite good and clean but I have to share the same comments of previous reviewers about food and peoples working there. The food is quite bad except some of the dishes but I am afraid that it is a common matter in Cuba (or at least in Varadero's hotels). The staff was friendly in some cases but rude in others.
I was complaining about a not well working air conditioner in my room and a broken lamp in the bathroom from the first day, well... it was repaired (maybe) half an hour before my leaving back to Italy and only after I was using an higher tone of voice with my tour operator representant and people at reception, all this seemed to me a really bad joke...
The animation stuff was also a quite false bunch of people, Mr. Jay (or something like that) was bringing me and some other people to the Havana Club which seemed to be an empty disco all the time, He let us go inside (after paying the 10 $ fee of course) and he said he was staying for a while outside to let some "Cubans" inside (???), after a 15 minutes we decided to go to another disco and of course the guy was already gone, most probably after getting his "commission" from the disco people. Beware of him if you will go there!
Varadero, and I think also other locations in Cuba, are getting to be really a tourist's dollars squeezing machine. I have to say that the "Uncle" (you know who I am speaking of...) has really set up a good system in Cuba to f*** our money out of our wallets, between other things I had to pay 2 US$ for an half a liter bottle of water!! and this was outside Varadero!!
A taxi is costing 1US$ each Km even if they do not use the meter (80% of the times)!! this means that going to the center of Varadero and back from Arenas Doradas is costing you some 12 to 15 US$, that's that standard monthly salary of an employee in the tourism sector in Cuba, and if you try to bargain you can maybe save a 1 US$... and I say maybe.
Organized tours were nice but very expensive and all lunches I had were enough maybe for a bird, not for a human being stomach (if you are not on a diet).
Well, maybe some people enjoyed their staying there (at least the beach is nice and clean) but that's not for me, I felt as the "chicken with the golden eggs" for them and this is the first time in my trips that it happens. Next time I will go for sure back to Thailand again where at least you can choose what and where to buy and, more of all, you pay the right price !!
One last advice for all the guys looking for a "girls, girls, girls" vacation: don't go to Varadero, that's not actually the right place for you !!
Last, sorry for my English but you know, I'm Italian :)-
The food is Yuccccck!
Me and my 2 friends went here from August 31 till September 7. When I first walked in to the lobby of the hotel my jaw dropped, the hotel is absolutley beautiful. The lobby bathroom is made of black marble, the whole complex where the hotel rooms are is amazing. There was alot to see on one resort and the beach is the most gosgust thing i have ever seen. BUT the food, now I would have enjoyed my vacation had I not been dry heaving over the toilet or been on it with the worst case of diahrea ever. The food is absolutely discusting and I am one who enjoys any food of all cultures, I basically would eat anything, but this is a different case, none of the meats are cooked throughly. the meats are all bloody and raw in the middle all the time. everything in the buffet is gross. the pool bar las loritos, the food is also discusting and my hamburger was so bloody my bun was red. The fruits are all mushy or un ripe. the drinks are always warm which does nothing when its 32 degrees outside. the people that work there are all sarcastic and rude. I had 100 dollars stold out of my safe by the maid, and my gifts I bought stolden out of my hotel room. The only 2 people I liked that worked there were the 2 man that play guitar for dinner in the buffet room, there always kind and friendly and will come to your table play for you meal after meal even if you dont tip them. The entertainers that work there offered to bring us to a club, when we got there, they said it was 10 dollars each to get in, after paying 30 for me and 2 friends, I found out it was only 5 to get in and we paid for the 3 entertainers to get in,they used us. most cubans just hussle hussle hussle, all they want is your cash, by the entrance of every bathroom in cuba there is a lady toilet paper and you have to buy it and you only get three squares which dosnt do much after eating there food. This hotel is gorgust, but the food, the staff and the entertainers all suck. IF you just want a nice hotel and beach than go here to this hotel, but if you ... becasuse theres no rest when someones always trying to hussle you for 3 dollars.
Glass particle in my hamburger
I chose to stay at Arenas Doradas partly because of the February 26, 2002 review on this website. I was at Arenas Doradas the week of August 10 and my experience was quite different. We were advised to buy bottled water, but only the 1 litre bottle was sold for $2 U.S. at the souvenir shop. The food was pretty bad. The dining room had a stale smell of fried fish and rancid oil and by the end of our week the smell made us nauseous. The smell permeated our clothes and when we left the dining room our clothes reeked of this smell. The tablecloths were dirty and never changed that week. We stuck with the boiled eggs and croissants for breakfast but could never get a good glass of juice. It was either a strange orange drink from a machine or the most tart tasting orange juice from another orange squeezing machine, which squeezed green oranges. Yuk.! If you went too late for breakfast the croissants left were brown, small and burnt. It was difficult to get used to the coffee and juice machines. They would spew out some poorly mixed concoctions or not the right amount either too much or too little for the cup or glass. The milk machine for cereal spewed sour milk. There were a strange assortment of sausages for breakfast. I could only eat plain potatoe or something recognizable for dinner. The chicken and fish were not to my liking. One morning when I went into the dining room I was pointed out and laughed at by three staff who called me pequena several times as they pointed me out to a co-worker who was walking by. It was most humiliating to be laughed at and pointed at by staff.
We had good Lasagna at La Dolce Vita restaurant one night but this restaurant was not consistent. The first night we went, the waiter said all the machines were broken and we could only get spaghetti. The restaurant is promoted as opened 24 hours but there were times when the restaurant was closed. The next night the Lasagna was cold and stiff, reheated several times.
The food at the pool restaurant, Los Loritos was also horrible. The first day I had an exceedingly salty hamburger. Later on in the week my son bit into a hamburger and discovered a piece of glass close to two inches in length. We returned it to the cook and he immediately became indignant and opened his freezer to show me the stack of beef patties and swore that he did not put glass into the meat. The waiters never got the orders right, they always brought the wrong thing here and at La Dolce Vita. The staff looked tired and fedup.
Our room was basic and we got HBO, MTV and CNN on the satellite t.v. The rest of the channels 2-20 were fuzzy or in Spanish.
The entertainment was lackluster. The Animacion staff looked tired and bored. Their dance lessons at the pool were very monotonous. The nightly entertainment was also very poor. They had the same singer on for two nights. The other nights they forced participants from the audience to join in dancing or contests on stage. It was pretty painful to watch them drag up unwilling participants to humiliate themselves on stage. That is very 50s. The world is too sophisticated for that type of entertainment. The best night was the dance troupe on our last night.
Their disco is called Memories. It is a large empty dark room that no one goes to. The Animacion staff said that they cannot close the doors to this room as there is no air condition and that this disco is very boring so they usually go to La Bamba at Hotel Tuxpan. I understand that La Bamba is very crowded and that El Mambo is recommended for tourists who want to dance salsa.
On our departure it was difficult to sit and wait for the bus in the hotel lobby as the tables were dirty and covered in flies.
Not only would I not recommend this hotel, but also I would not recommend a trip to Cuba at all. We were pressured to tip and when we did not tip, the staff treated us with indifference and disregard. We felt as though we were in an all-inclusive institution and we just had to take what we got and if we did not like it well too bad. There were many planeloads of other tourists who would come and enjoy this experience and our tiny voices of dissension would hardly be heard.
The Best Place on Earth!!!
I just spent my reading week in Varadero, Cuba @ Arenas Doradas with 13 of my closest girlfriends. The tourists that
were there ranged from 5 years to 60 years. All AGES... All having a good time!!!
All I can say is that this place was AMAZING!!! The hotel itself is gorgeous, undescribable...The hotel staff are friendly, especially
all the entertainment staff. The Shows put on for us were Great...the dancers immaculate. Believe it or not, even the Food
was good. None of us got sick in any way shape or form. We went out every night, the entertainment staff arranged for buses
and niteclubs that we were to hit. Again all of the discos were EXCELLENT!! HAVANA CAFE, LA RUMBA, El MAMBO...the best three places
to be at if you're in Varadero. Do not go to Havan Club, as it is only for tourists and there is absolutely no culture there, if you know
what I mean. The Resort is well maintained, our rooms were huge, like appartments. The Pool, bars, tennis courts and the Beach were
all great places to hang out. WE met some very nice people from all over the world. Everyone had a great time, FANTASTIC in fact!!!
Trust me on this one!!! The hotel is rated as a 4 star but I would easily give it a five STAR....it was that good.
If anyone plans to go to Vardero please go to this resort. I can guarantee you that you won't be disappointed.
As a matter of fact I'll be going back in April ....for Two weeks!!! Can't wait
have fun people!!!