Blau Marina Varadero Resort Reviews

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Blau Marina Varadero Resort  

Autopista Sur final Punta Hicacos, Varadero, Cuba
(Varadero Maps)

"Not as advertised"
Posted by: Susan on May 24, 2015
see all reviews

Blau Marina Varadero Resort Reviews
Blau Marina Varadero Resort Pictures and Information
Blau Marina Varadero Resort Varadero Cuba

of 51 Hotels in Varadero

User rating 3.5

Based on 31 reviews

Blau Marina Varadero Resort Information

Prime beach location, next to Marina Gaviota, genuine feeling of exclusiveness.

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Blau Marina Varadero Resort Reviews

Blau Marina Varadero Resort Review: 3.5 of 5 31 reviews
Very good
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Business (3)
Leisure (17)
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1 - 10 of 31

"**Warning** This place is infested with bed bugs"

Blau Marina Varadero Resort
User Rating:  Blau Marina Varadero Resort Review: 1.00 of 5

Posted by:  Bryce  on Feb 9, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Feb, 2010 | Leisure | Family and Kids
637 people found this review helpful

My parents thought it would be a great stress reliever to visit the island of Cuba. They booked their trip through a local travel agent at the Barcelo Marina Palace in hopes that it would offer the 4.5 star quality rest and relaxation one might expect on a trip of this sort. Instead, my mother was badly infested with bed bugs. My father also contracted bed bugs from this place, but my mothers case was far worse. She went to the front desk to tell them what was going on and was told to relax and go back to bed, that it was only mosquito bites. She tried, but the bites were causing her pain so she went back to the front desk asking for a different room. They insisted it was mosquitos and even mocked her for thinking it wasn't.

Eventually through persistence they were able to secure another room. The bed bug infestation continued. She started developing sores that looked like welts and went back to the front desk where they told her they had an in house doctor. The doctor told her it was a reaction from MOSQUITOS, and when asked directly if it was bed bugs he said "no".

The condition got worse, so she visited a different doctor. She got a different prescription (Benydryl) and was told to sleep it off. The condition worsened to the point where she couldnt walk around with out people pointing out the sores and locals were telling her it was clearly bed bugs. The hotel did nothing.

Apon returning home they both tried sleeping but couldn't, and made appointments with their family doctor the following day who immediately diagnosed the problem guessed it...bed bugs. My fathers condition may clear up in a few days with proper medication instead of the idiotic presciption the "house doctor" provided, but my mother is requiring far more serious treatment.

All of their clothes, luggage and bedding (from home) had to be destroyed because bed bugs are known to travel on personal belongings.

They've contacted the travel agent they used who is asking if they want to use insurance to cover their lost clothing.

You should consider yourself well warned, this just happened at the beggining of February 2010 and you can see on this site and many others that this place has had multiple reports of cockroaches and bed bugs since as early as 2008 and it's still taking place 2 years later but this hotel is somehow able to continue doing business and calling itself 4-4.5 stars.

Stay at your own risk.

INFESTED WITH BED BUGS!!! MORE THAN 1 ROOM and more than 1 bed in the room.

Other Comments:
I can't believe North American travel agencies could have the nerve to sell packages to this bug infested hole.

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"Stay away! If you value your health and precious leisure time/money stay away!"

Blau Marina Varadero Resort
User Rating:  Blau Marina Varadero Resort Review: 1.00 of 5

Posted by:  Michael  on Nov 11, 2011  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Oct, 2011 | Leisure | With Group
1238 people found this review helpful

Ok you get off the plane on to the bus off to the very last stop on the run and finally arrive full of optmism then set foot into the lobby of this dump, look at the wifes expression of disappointment and you know you've been had...and it just gets progressively worse. Heard about the Mosquitos? Well don't build on a swamp. That DDT laced fog they blast in the evening is just lovely.

Bedbugs? Yes. Rooms that have been wiped down with a moldy cloth? Yes. Bleach is available in Cuba, just not is toilet paper in the broken washrooms at the bar.

Water view? Oh no sir that costs extra even though you have it in writing. Travel agency rep? Oh sick today, here tomorrow "maybe". Found the agent the next day and yes a transfer to another resort can be arranged for $$$$. Uh-huh.

Hungry? Walk on into the cafeteria buffet area and when the first thing to greet you is a heady blast of raw sewage smell you just know it's time to switch to "survivor" tactics. I'd heard a few warnings at the bar already.

Time to leave. Cab ride later and all is well in varadero, little jazz themed restaurant, some decent food a great beach and we have a vacation-rescue plan in place. Sorted.

Varadero=great but you'll get far better value in Mexico.
Havana=stunning, going back and doing it properly.

But whew that marina it should be shut down, it's just so wrong in so many ways.

STAY AWAY disappointment and food poisoning live there!

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Lolol...abysmal and they know it. Nobody here gives a flying fig.

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"week of aug.21-28"

Blau Marina Varadero Resort
User Rating:  Blau Marina Varadero Resort Review: 2.00 of 5

Posted by:  Danie  on Sep 15, 2005  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Sep, 2005
3140 people found this review helpful


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"Stay at the Hotel"

Blau Marina Varadero Resort
User Rating:  Blau Marina Varadero Resort Review: 2.00 of 5

Posted by:  Ellen  on Feb 25, 2006  >  3 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Feb, 2006
3147 people found this review helpful

I have just returned from a week at this hotel. This hotel is based on an open concept thus on the cool days you did need a jacket or sweater. The rooms were very spacious, but were a fair distance from the main attractions. Very few bars, and no bars on the beach or entertainment. The food was just average and again the fruit was at a minimal. They are still doing construction which was quiet. Gift shop only one and a few tables at the other end of the hotel, which were only opened a few hours each day and closed on the weekends. There was only one bank teller which caused a lot of people to be upset having to wait up to a half hour. As usual the staff were very friendly and accomodating.

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"Stay Away"

Blau Marina Varadero Resort
User Rating:  Blau Marina Varadero Resort Review: 2.00 of 5

Posted by:  Fatima  on Feb 4, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Jan, 2010 | Leisure | With Group
624 people found this review helpful

Your Arrival:
Arrived on Jan 22nd, 2010 with a large group and second group arrived on Jan 23rd (total members 140). Had the orientation in a large room, cards with the room number were handled out to group but no keys. Keys were to be handled out to group around 3:00 – 3:30; instead the last couple received their key's at 6:00 pm with a few of us doing their work and running around checking the buildings to confirm rooms were cleaned for check in. No communication with the cleaning staff and the front desk staff. Our members were very frustrated just sitting around waiting to receive their key, so they could go to their rooms and rest.

Members complained, when they checked into their rooms, that the sheets were not changed as they felt the beach sand in the bed.
- Rooms not cleaned, dirty, two members cleaned their own toilets
- A member of the group killed two cockroaches in their rooms
- A couple on the group had an accident in the bathroom as the member fell and hit his head which during the fall some hardware was broken. They had to move rooms and it took them a whole day without a room and only received their key to the new room at the end of the following day with a lot of intervention to get this couple their key.
- Sometimes they didn't drop water off to your room, called the last day as I needed a bottle of water, I'm still waiting for the water.
- Took 2 ½ days, to get them to come and reset the safe code, with numerous phone calls and visits to the front desk, and this particular visitor was one of the VIP members in our group which were designated as VIP at the resort.
- Took 3 days, to receive additional pillows, again VIP.

Restaurants and Bars:
- Eating at the buffet, we had halos of mosquitoes around you head, you were constantly spraying.
- The only a la carte restaurant that we used, was the seafood restaurant and unfortunately we got our dinner an hour later after the appetizers
- The juices at breakfast were very water down, very disappointed as I love the fresh squeezed juices in Cuba.
- No customer service or acknowledgement, you were at the bar for about 20 minutes, while bartender, would be filling orders, but never acknowledging you and saying they would be with you in a minute, but if someone else came to the bar, they would serve them and just ignore you, God how frustrating that was that I blew up the last night at them.

-The pools were clean and nice
- The grounds and landscaping was impeccable, the gardeners were very diligent at keeping it all very neat and manicured.

Other Comments:
I have been to Cuba around 10 times and have been in 8 different resorts, and this one hands down the worse that I have experienced. We normally get absolutely great service as we take a large group of members and are treated extremely well with all the staff being exceptional great, unfortunately I have to say, staying at this resort was the worse experience I (we) encountered. The majority of members of our group, all indicated that they will never go back to this resort, me included. They were obviously not equipped to handle a large group and didn't have the resources. The funny think is that this resort is considered a five star, that's only because at the other end of the resort they accommodate to the wealthy and they just leave the regulars to fend for themselves. In speaking to other tourist that were staying at the resort had encountered the same issues as we did, even if you were standing at the front desk to taIk to someone it took forever, for anyone to acknowledge you. I have to say, I've stayed at two Barceló's in Varadero and I've not been that impressed with them, this one by all means is the worse. I've never posted any reviews, but I'm taking the time to review this one so others know exactly what they are getting into, especially due to the mosquitoes which is a huge health issue for those who have allergies.

- Some of the staff was really nice, very few, but those one's made up for the remainder of the staff. i.e. Frank the manager was awesome, Carlos, the bell boy, was great and made a point on remembering peoples name, Dalay and Dasay, (hard names and not sure if I'm spelling them correctly) I called them D.D. were great and so was their team at the buffet and some of the chef's were also very pleasant

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"Rat in the room!"

Blau Marina Varadero Resort
User Rating:  Blau Marina Varadero Resort Review: 2.00 of 5

Posted by:  Mark  on Mar 14, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Mar, 2010 | Leisure | Family and Kids
657 people found this review helpful

By no means do we want to discourage anyone from going to Cuba. We had a fabulous time in Havana! Amazing city, rich with culture. A must to visit if in Cuba but the Barcelo Marina Palace is a disgrace!
We have traveled to many tropical all-inclusive resorts and never have we experienced what we encountered at this Barcelo resort. Rude and belligerent staff. Yes they do run out of wine. A la carte restaurants - no comment. Mosquitoes are welcome at this resort and other bugs as well.
Our first night there I got up at 2AM to use the washroom and encountered an eight inch rat in our room. Their reaction to the rat was unbelievable. They did not apologize in any way but rather made us feel terrible for the inconvenience we had caused them. After more than two hours of negotiating, we were moved from a king bed/ocean view room to a double bed room facing an extremely noisy road.
It should have been a week of R&R with family but who can relax when you don't feel welcome.
Thank goodness for the "fantastic six" that traveled with us. We would not have survived without them!
Visit Cuba, especially Havana, but don't make the mistake we did by staying at the Barcelo Marina Palace.

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"A Pig with Lipstick"

Blau Marina Varadero Resort
User Rating:  Blau Marina Varadero Resort Review: 2.00 of 5

Posted by:  Steven  on Apr 5, 2015  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Mar, 2015 | Business | With Spouse/Partner
920 people found this review helpful

The lack of clean linens and towels ruined it for us. Bring sheets, towels, pillow cases and febreeze if you stay here. Be warned: Food handling practices are third world, the pools have slime problems and the beach is a wader's beach, not a swimmer's beach.

On the upside, the bar and entertainment were good.

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"Not as advertised"

Blau Marina Varadero Resort
User Rating:  Blau Marina Varadero Resort Review: 2.00 of 5

Posted by:  Susan  on May 24, 2015  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Apr, 2015 | Business | With Spouse/Partner
977 people found this review helpful

We arrived on a Thursday Air Canada Vacations Checked in at 1;30 ish am found our room by ourselves,lucky for us we had a small flashlight. Where do I Begin ,no hot water or water pressure for 41/2 days ,dirty room , dirty sheets lack of towels and my personal favorite BEDBUGS ,they may have come from the old metal cot that took 2 days to be removed Our Air Canada rep spoke to hotel staff and our room was fumigated ,but the bugs persisted, our bed sheets were never changed,the housekeeper said there was a problem in the laundry, Our in room coffee pot did not work. the washroom (female) adjacent to the main buffet restaurant , had four stalls ,two of the toilets lacked toilet seats and the floors were always very wet. I ate fish 80% of the time as meats were not refrigerated and would sit in the open on trays, salad dressings were not refrigerated either. There were massive amounts of cigarette butts and plastic glasses littering a Beautiful beach. Most resorts rake the beached at night to remove debris, and a lot of the beach chairs were broken. On our last day we packed up our belonging sealed the plastic bags in our suitcases. for our trip home. This was our third trip to Cuba and will most likely be our Last

Room Number:

Have someone help guests to there room if it is a late arrival Have more staff on to meet with arriving flights

Clean them, and not with dirty rag mops in dirty water,Clean sheets, clean floors, appliances that will function. Patio doors with working locks or at least a bar to make sure there is no unauthorized access. Make sure the hot water is working and with water pressure is there for your guests. Guests shouldn't have to complain to their Vacation Reps to be taken seriously by Resort staff. I wasn't expecting chocolates on my pillow, I was expecting basic ammenities I was not expecting bed bugs in our room,I was not expecting hotel staff to attribute the bites on my face and head and arms as sand fleas,I am not an Ostritch,

Restaurants and Bars:
The serving staff was excellent. the food was mot what one would expect from a 4 star resort Cleanliness, refrigeration keeping mayonnaise based sauces cold is a basic in food preparation, I ate fish I did not think that it was safe to eat meat or egg products . Sweet Potatoes are also known as Yams, not white potatoes in white sugar sauce. Orange juice is not a powdered fruit drink. Coffee /Tea should be served at all meals, not just at breakfast.
Sewage lagoons should not be placed, where guests have to traverse them, to arrive or leave at the main Buffett area, the odor in the air at 25degrees celcius is overwhelming and nauseating

Clean the beaches ,they are not giant ashtrays, Pick up plastic cups or at least provide garbage cans/ashtrays.
Remove broken beach chairs, prove to you guests that you really care about their well being and want them to have a positive opinion of your hotel. Have one designated Adult pool where there is not excessive alcohol and swearing. I don't like playing lifeguard to strangers children'

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Blau Marina Varadero Resort
User Rating:  Blau Marina Varadero Resort Review: 3.00 of 5

Posted by:  Alexis  on Mar 26, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Mar, 2010 | Leisure | With friend
629 people found this review helpful

We spent a week at the Marina Palace and enjoyed the property and staff. But...we came home with many bites from mosquitos. I would recommend the property but not to anyone prone to bites because you will get them. Too bad... I would return except for tha problem. Heed the reviews if you are considering this resort please!

Your Arrival:

Building 22 ground floor was great!

Restaurants and Bars:
Food was just ok but it's Cuba!

Loved the pool by buildng 22...and the staff was wonderful there...treated us great!

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Very nice...busy all the that about can go to town and fill your day shopping aand Cuba

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"It was all right"

Blau Marina Varadero Resort
User Rating:  Blau Marina Varadero Resort Review: 3.00 of 5

Posted by:  MJ  on Apr 10, 2010  >  3 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Apr, 2010 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
725 people found this review helpful

My husband and I stayed at Barcelo Marina Palace in the Cayo Libertad section in April 2010. This was my 4th trip to Cuba and certainly won't be my last. However, we thought the resort was just okay but we would be unlikely to return.

Your Arrival:
The transfer from the airport was in a standard Havanatur bus - no issues. Barcelo Marina Palace is the very last resort on the peninsula so naturally we were the last ones to get off. Even so, the transfer only took about 55 minutes. We were dropped off at the main entrance and a porter on a golf cart came and delivered us to the Cayo Libertad lobby where we had a private check in. Our room #3204 was not ready at 1:30 p.m. when we arrived so we had to wait a couple of hours by the pool (since the towels are exchanged in the room by the maid, we had no beach towels...however, I liked not having to deal with the towel exchange routine every day so in my mind, the slight inconvenience was not a large issue). Eventually the very friendly porter came back and showed us to our room at around 4:30 pm.

Our room was excellent, and I doubt there are any bad rooms in the Cayo Libertad section. However, I noted while walking through the main part of the resort that I wouldn’t want a room on the bottom floor of some of those buildings because the footpaths go right through the building past your door and I’m a light sleeper. The balcony in our room was huge, with padded wooden loungers and a drying rack for towels and swimsuits. The room itself has an entry area with a little table, and there was a bottle of rum and some Cuban chocolates waiting for us on arrival. There is a bar fridge (including a tiny freezer) that is stocked with water, soft drinks, individual rum bottles and beer. The TV is basic, with satellite service carrying about 20 channels, a few of which are English. There is a DVD / CD player. The bed was not great – rather lumpy, and instead of a king-size bed, it was 2 twins pushed together and made up separately, not exactly the most romantic configuration. The pillows were almost completely flat – you would have to use 3 of them to get one regular pillow. The bathroom was spacious, with double sinks and a large tub with shower. The toilet is in a separate room, and there is also a walk-in closet including a safe and bathroom scales. There are no drawers in the room but there are a few shelves and a suitcase rack. There is a 115V outlet in the bathroom and 220V outlets elsewhere with the type of opening that allows either the European or North American style of plug to go in (nice feature that I haven’t seen in other resorts). We also had a look at the Grand Palace Villa, which was close to our room and was absolutely gorgeous, with private pool etc. It was unoccupied for most of the time we were there. I saw a sign saying it's $300 per night to upgrade but I’m not sure if that’s per person or if that’s on top of the extra you pay for a Cayo Libertad room.

Restaurants and Bars:
The food was a disappointment and normally we enjoy the food in Cuba. However, what seemed to be missing were the traditional Cuban foods – i.e. rice and beans, ropa vieja and other stewed meat, pork of all kinds including ham, good bread… The El Penon restaurant on the island tried so hard to be complicated and stylish but usually some ingredient was unavailable and the menu descriptions were quite deceptive. The best things were the simplest - grilled meat and seafood. And the bread products throughout the resort were really not that good and tended to be undercooked and doughy, which shocked me because usually the bread products in Cuba are excellent. There was no toast at El Penon the entire time we were there – apparently the toaster had broken. Most of the fish and meats were overcooked although we did have a lovely lamb dinner one night. However, the coffee at El Penon was probably the best coffee I’ve ever had in my life. One of the waiters there deserves special mention – Michael. He is one of those instantly likeable people who has a special ability in the service industry and he would be able to hold his own in any good restaurant in a big city around the world. We also ate at the main buffet restaurant a few times and it was fine, and that has the advantage that you can see what you’re getting without having to rely on a menu description. The supply issues were also present there, though. Hamburgers with no buns or ketchup, salad with no lettuce, etc. The pasta bar was good, and the cook who ran it was entertaining. More seriously, there were issues with food temperature control and I experienced a bad bout of food poisoning on the last day (more on this later).

We loved the cigar bar! It was a lovely, uncrowded place to have a drink in the evening and relax while listening to a very talented pianist. The restaurant bar at El Penon was also very good, as was the pool bar by the Cayo Libertad pool. We didn’t care for the main lobby bar – very noisy and crowded, and hard to get served. Those were the only ones we tried.

The resort is sprawling, not compact. The Cayo Libertad section is more efficiently laid out. The landscaping is still quite young, and many areas need to be “finished” (i.e., there are areas with construction debris and areas with no grass). The buildings are quite attractive in all areas of the resort.

The beach is not as nice as the main beach in Varadero (few beaches can rival that) but has the advantage of being private, in fact almost deserted. However, sand fleas were a huge problem and even though I only went to the beach for a total of about 2 hours, I ended up with huge itchy welts all over my legs (I’m very allergic to their bites). We saw a few mosquitoes but they were a minor issue next to the sand fleas. They fog the property from time to time with a chemical smudge on the back of a truck – if you see it coming, go the other way. One surprising thing was that in order to get to the beach from El Penon, you have to basically pick your way through a field of sharp twigs and rocks and even some construction debris. It is unbelievable that they wouldn’t build a walkway down there since it is a very common place for people to walk barefoot.

The Cayo Libertad pool was a good size for the number of rooms it served, and it wasn’t a problem to get a lounger. The water was too cold for much swimming when we were there but it was refreshing to take a dip from time to time. We didn’t spend any time at the other resort pools. Beach towels were provided in our room and changed each night by the maid – no need to deal with towel huts or cards.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
I’ve taken the Havana day trip twice before so I didn’t do it again this trip. It’s great, though. This time I decided to do the Matanzas – Camaguey tour, which is only 28 CUC (7:45 a.m. to around 2 p.m.) It included a stop at a pharmacy museum in downtown Matanzas, a visit to one of the markets where locals buy their groceries (a real eye-opener), a drive through the countryside past lots of farms and a stop in Camaguey to get a drink before heading back to the hotel. It was a really good value and gave an opportunity to see interesting things. We also took the beach bus all around Varadero – it was packed in the morning but the crowd thinned out in the afternoon. They were also offering a free transfer to Havana and an overnight stay at another Barcelo hotel one night while we were there - I would have liked to do that but it happened to fall on my husband's birthday and he wasn't keen on it.

Other Comments:
The service had some highs and lows. Usually in Cuba, it’s not very hard to find someone who speaks fluent English. At this resort, not so much. We were surprised that the staff at the Cayo Libertad check-in area spoke very little English or French, since that is where most people will naturally go for assistance and a large proportion of them will probably know little Spanish. We had a problem with our door lock and it was really difficult to communicate about it. The guys who drive the long golf-cart type luggage buggies are really friendly – you can flag them down and get a drive with them if they happen to be passing by while you are walking. One of those guys, whose name I forget now, had much better language skills than the desk staff. Another time, we were offered cigars by a staff member and when we declined, we were hit up for money or gifts (first time this has happened to us in Cuba). The currency exchange always seems to have a very long queue. However, when I got very sick on the same day I had to fly home, I had to get the resort doctor to come to our room and she and the nurse accompanying her were wonderful. They didn’t have any injectable Gravol or antibiotics on hand so they personally went out to the pharmacy to get them for me and brought them back within an hour. I was not in great shape on the return flight but thanks to their efforts I managed to keep it together enough to get back home. Our maid was also quite good and kept everything in order. We tipped her a couple of pesos per day and left behind our unwanted toiletries, etc.

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