Royal Hicacos Reviews

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Royal Hicacos  

Carretera Las Morlas, Km. 15, Varadero, Cuba

"good customer satisfaction"
Posted by: shontelle on Jul 15, 2014
see all reviews

Royal Hicacos Reviews
Royal Hicacos Pictures and Information
Royal Hicacos Varadero Cuba

#7
of 50 Hotels in Varadero

User rating 4.1

Based on 44 reviews

Royal Hicacos Information


Set on one of the finest locations on Varadero Beach in the province of Matanzas, Cuba, Royal Hicacos Resort & Spa brings its Ultra All-Inclusive concept to Cuba. It'll be love at first sight the moment you enter your guest room in Sandals Royal Hicacos where an island décor, sophisticated amenities and comfortable beds create a seductively inviting ambiance.

For Adult Couples only (guests aged 18 and over)

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Royal Hicacos Reviews

Royal Hicacos Review: 4.1 of 5 44 reviews
Excellent
  17
Very good
  16
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  6
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  2
Terrible
  3
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1 - 10 of 44

"The Beach was the best, clear clear water."

Royal Hicacos
User Rating:  Royal Hicacos Review: 4.5 of 5

Posted by:  Delores from Glace Bay, Nova Scotia  on Mar 1, 2008  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Mar, 2008
76 people found this review helpful

Arrival: March 14-21 2008
Air Canada provided us with a wonderful flight, concierge services provided an air conditioned van drive to and from airport, Check in not so good, room not ready for a number of hours, We were given a cold drink and went to lunch, the waitress was new and(very little english) but so sweet. We were tired and so thankful when we got our room. The staff was nice, towels and our luggage brought to our room. We then relaxed, didn't really see too much the first day but things got much better. The concierge's booked reservations and exchanged money for us. All and all things went well. It took only 24 hours to climatize. Lots of air conditioning available.

Rooms:
Clean,King size bed,large bathtub, nice sitting area, safe in room, fridge cold and stocked with beer("crystal beer" almost as good as canadian) pop and water and a stocked bar in room. The concierge were very obliging to stock this bar with a few of our favorites drinks. Our maid (Mae) made our stay so comfortable and fun with her special little surprizes for us. We left small gifts and tips on the pillow for her. She was very appreciative of everything. Fan over bed and air conditioning worked well,(activated withyour room key) When you leave the room (leave your spare key in) so the room will stay cool on your return. The patio door lead to the balgony (don't be surprized if you see a few couples wearing very little on theirs) Just adds to the many memories you will make while vacationing. My Tylenol was disappearing daily from it's bottle (someone must have had a bad headache) That's the only real little problem we experienced so we done good. Check out was uneventful, !

We called the main deck and a bellhop was there immediately to carry our luggage and transport us to the main lobby. Then the airport and VIP room. The service excellent.

Restaurants and Bars:
We both had difficulty with the meals, Take note there was lots and lots of food. We certainly didn't go hungry. The beach grill looked after lunch, The buffet breakfast and a few dinners. The others were all ok. We never got sick, we had a problem with the preparation and the smell of the oils used. Lets just say the poultry, pork & fish was satisfactory, the beef and lobster not quite canadian. The staff were great. We did survive and had a great time.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
The Beach was the best, clear clear water, fine white powdered sand, warm, You must get up early to get an umbrella for shade but it's worth it. They are waiters available on the beach(not all day) to get your drinks, Just great. Pools beautiful and cooler, swim up bar fun. Bartenders friendly and attentive. Ground amazing, the grounds keepers work so hard. Don't forget them if you are a tipper. The same goes for the concierge people and door attendents, they all appreciate a tip.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
We did not like shopping outside the resort. Most Cubans were dishonest taking advantage of our ignorance with their money and deceived us whenever, wherever possible expecially at the airport and shops. Beware of the tours, cigars, shells and liquor sales offered on the beach ( your travel rep should tell you not to get scammed) Learn to barter with the vendors selling purses,clothing and jewelry. They will ask for double than what it's worth, Have fun and learn to say "no not interested" The activites are good, staff friendly and very talented, the water arobics fasinating, the private parties a nice touch. Your on vacation you may meet some of the nicest people, some you'll remember for life. We did.

Other Comments:
We brought little gifts, croc-like footwear and work gloves with us to give as tips along with a few dollars. We found these people work hard and very thankful for anything given to them so if it's in you, be kind and be thankful for just being there experiencing this truly beautiful place. Do bring your own thermal cups with lids to keep your drinks cold and sand free plus they hold more than those plastic cups not so good for our enviroment. Brng your own facecloths (not one to be found at the resort). Bring bug spray (a few mosquitos at the beach grill) Prepare to see a few geckos on the way to the beach (very cute, variety of colors and not harmful). You'll love "the adult only" atmosphere, some may want to take a small flashlight to use at night for the lighting is very dim in the walkways (we didn't mind but some may).You may want to check out the VIP room at the airport at departure(obtained from your travel rep) for 20 dollars this may be benificial to some, depending on the time of your flight.( the personal will pay your departure tax($20.00Cuban) for you, The VIP area is a non smoking, air conditioned, with bar, washrooms and comfortable seating area. We personally thought it was great and well woth it. If interested check it out. "Do go" meet your travel rep, you will be given when and where, when you arrive at the resort. They will give you all the dos and don't of the resort and will give you updated info on departure time. Bring some snacks with you (if your a snacker) you'll be glad you did. One more thing "Your Vacation" boils down to what "you" make of it, so enjoy and have have a great time!

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"Very romantic"

Royal Hicacos
User Rating:  Royal Hicacos Review: 4.5 of 5

Posted by:  Tracy from Montreal  on Nov 1, 2008  >  3 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Nov, 2008
72 people found this review helpful

Arrival: Nov 29-Dec 7
The arrival to Sandals was smoothes with a private buss to pick us up at the airport, as we arrived they had champagne waiting for us at the hotel,and got our rooms ready quickly.A bell boy brought our luggage to our rooms

Rooms:
Rooms were very clean and big, A little living room area the seprates the beds. Bathrooms are huge with a bath tube for 2!

Restaurants and Bars:
Buffet was great although towards the end we found it was usualy the same stuff being served(always fresh though)4 al cart restaurants Seafood which I can't comment on because we don't like seafood however a couple we were with said it was amazing,Italian was very good, I had the steak both times,The Grill which is the beach bar/lunch during the day wasn't all that great but eatable.Cuban restaurant was great as well. Be aware they will try to get you to buy a bottle of wine,just ask for the house wine.The lobby bar was very good however I felt they were under staff so the service sometimes was slow, but heck what else do you have to do!Beach bar amazing people, always rememeber what you drink! and the panio bar,is very low key nice relaxing place to sit for a nice drink.Finaly my fav the disco, which is always dead inside dj doesn't have the greatest equipment to play music, but the bar tender are amazing and try to liven up the place when people are there.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
Beach is just Haven,We stayed at the Melia Las Antillas in Marh and I can vouche to say sandals has the best beach(however they are all real nice)Pools are very nice with a swim-up, very clear/clean water

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
We spend most of our time at the beach and sadly there weren't very much activites going on.. one day they had a bassball game and another day a vollyball game but that was it.They could of had more things going on for the younger crowd,but the beach is all worth doing nothing all day!We are beach bums so we didn't leave the resort except for one day one when the weather was horrible we went to the little mall in town we took the double decker buss (5 peso there and back)beware that coming back from the mall the buss was packed and skipped our stopp 3 times before we decided to take a taxi back for 10 pesos.We didn't go to any clubs this time around but if it's your firt time,there is the Pirate Cave close by enter for 10 pesos and 1 peso a drink.

Other Comments:
I would recommend couples for this resort, very romantic (you can even ask the bar for a bottle of wine to bring up to your room for a nice bath) Hope this helps, Have fun!!any question please e-mail me
tracyl_@hotmail.com

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"The rooms were kept very clean and in good shape"

Royal Hicacos
User Rating:  Royal Hicacos Review: 4.5 of 5

Posted by:  Sean from Edmonton, Alberta  on Dec 1, 2008  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Dec, 2008
85 people found this review helpful

Arrival: Dec 15 to 22 2008
We were greeted at the airport by our host who promptly gave us our bus number and tagged our baggage with our hotel room number. Once we arrived at the hotel we skipped right past the lobby and all met in the disco served champagne and a wet face cloth. At this point we were all given our room keys and taken as a group to our rooms, this was supprisingly efficient.

Rooms:
The rooms were kept very clean and in good shape. The rooms are spacious and have a huge bathroom with a double wide soaker tub.

Restaurants and Bars:
Where do I start! We were told that the buffet was wonderful, better then the a la cartes, but to still try the a la cartes. Well we did just that and the 6 of us all agreed the the buffet was better. I have never eaten at a buffet this good. The food was always fresh and plentiful. They have everything from fresh seafood cooked to order, steak cooked to order, pizza made to order, pasta station, crepes, I could keep going but you get the point!

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
This was probably the best beach I've been to in Varadero. It is that flour white sand beach that everybody dreams of. The grounds were also very well looked after, with lots of green space.

Other Comments:
I've been to 3 resorts in Varadero and this was by far the best.

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"The staff there were so friendly"

Royal Hicacos
User Rating:  Royal Hicacos Review: 4.0 of 5

Posted by:  Marla from Saskatchewan  on Jan 1, 2009  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Jan, 2009
91 people found this review helpful

Arrival: January 14th to January 28th
Sunwing, and to the resort were great.

Rooms
I love how the rooms have a sitting area, makes for more room to relax.

Restaurants and Bars
The main lobby bar was our favorite. The staff there were so friendly, and they made you feel at home. The food was great at the main buffet, we were there two weeks and found it to be great. My husband loved all the choices of fish.

Beach/Pools/Grounds
Pools were shallow, but with an amazing beach it did not matter. What I loved about the beach was there was no rocks, so walking into the water was great. We spent most of our time on the beach, and in the water. I love how there is tons of room for everyone.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
We did not do any tours, but we did go to Varadero a few times, we really enjoyed it there. The people are so friendly, and nice. The part of the country we seen was so nice and clean too.

Other Comments
We were warned by a lot of people that they were getting shorted when exchanging money at the lobby. I exchanged money and I counted it right in front of them, and yes, I was shorted 10 pesos. This is so sad, because it really does tarnish the reputation of the resort. So when exchanging money, count it to make sure you get the right amount back, and make sure they have the correct amount on the paper that you sign.

I would go back to Varadero, but would like to try some other resorts. its.me@sasktel.net

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"Very roomy with King size beds"

Royal Hicacos
User Rating:  Royal Hicacos Review: 5.0 of 5

Posted by:  Rob  on Jan 1, 2009  >  1 contribution(s) 
Visited on: Jan, 2009
88 people found this review helpful

Arrival: Jan 28th to Feb 4th
Air transat from Toronto was an excellent flight. We paid $35 extra to sit in Row 14 (extra leg room) Was well worth it. We got on our bus as soon as we arrived and were at The Sandals within 30 minutes. Check in was nice and fast. We were checked in to our room and at the bar within minutes.

Rooms:
The rooms were excellent. Very roomy with King size beds. The cleaning staff did a great job....seemed a little nicer when you left 5 pesos each day...The bath tub in huge......bring bubble bath and candals...

Restaurants and Bars:
The food was very good. We have always stayed at 4 star resorts...and everyone in our group noticed the great improvement in the food compared to other resorts. The al a carts were absoutely perfect.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
The beach was very nice and clean. The staff working around the beach was always there and very helpful. The pools were nice and clean. Look for Rangle around the pool bar, and ask him how to drink the fountain of youth.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
The only tour we went on was to Havana. It was very good and informative. But I wouldn't recomend it. There was alot of wasted time and not enough free time when you get to Havana. I would suggest if you have 4 or 6 people to find an english speaking cab driver and try it like that. I heard after we went that you can find someone to take you for a full tour of Havana for $40 each as we paid $67 for the bus tour.....The city is well worth the visit.

Other Comments:
Although the first half of our week vacation...the weather was perfect, the last few days were cold rainy and windy.....The staff always made the best of it...worked hard and made us all feel great. We travelled in a group of 8......everyone one of us said in a heartbeat we would go back to the Sandals resort in Veradero.

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"This resort is far from the Sandals standards"

Royal Hicacos
User Rating:  Royal Hicacos Review: 2.5 of 5

Posted by:  Robin from Ottawa  on Jan 1, 2009  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Jan, 2009
83 people found this review helpful

Arrival: January 4 - 11, 2009
My arrival was excellent, no big tour bus just a small van with 3 other people. The check in was very quick and smooth. It took about 30 minutes for the bags to get to the room, but other than that it was great

Rooms:
The rooms are a little older. It clearly isn't a new resort but they were clean and the bathroom had a great bathub.

Restaurants and Bars:
HORRIBLE !!!! I am a very seasoned traveller. I have been all over the Carribean. This was my third trip to Varedaro so I was fully aware that the standard of food in Cuba is lesser than most other countries. Even taking that into consideration the food was terrible all over the resort with the exception of one a la carte restaurant. This resort is far from the Sandals standards and those who have stayed at another Sandals resort will be disappointed. Do yourself a favour and stay at the Barcelo Marina Palace down the street, I was there last year and it blows this resort out of the water for less money. A side note, the resort is advertised as a 5 star but the staff there are very free to tell you that it is actually only a 4 star.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
Very nice. The pool is clean and nice. The beaches are great. The workers on the resort are great.

Other Comments:
AVOID THIS RESORT.

This resort is far from the Sandals standards and those who have stayed at another Sandals resort will be disappointed. Do yourself a favour and stay at the Barcelo Marina Palace down the street, I was there last year and it blows this resort out of the water for less money. A side note, the resort is advertised as a 5 star but the staff there are very free to tell you that it is actually only a 4 star.

If they could bring the quality of food up to the standards of their competitors it would be a wonderful resort, but as it is, stay away.

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"The al a carte restaurants were top notch"

Royal Hicacos
User Rating:  Royal Hicacos Review: 5.0 of 5

Posted by:  Tamara from Alberta  on Jan 1, 2009  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Jan, 2009
94 people found this review helpful

This was our third trip to Sandals Royal Hicacos (January 1 – 15, 2009), and once again we were not disappointed. Already planning the trip for next January.

We travelled via Sunwing this time because of their flight times. Good charter company. Enjoyed the flight.

As usual, arrival was swift and efficient. The rooms were clean and well attended too. Looks like all the rooms are equipped with converters now, so you are OK to bring 110V electronics if required. The grounds were clean. The beach was tremendous – best on the whole strip. The restaurants were excellent. The variety of food offered at the buffet was great (pizza, pasta, fresh seafood, chicken, steaks and deserts) all cooked fresh in front of you. With all the hurricanes in 2008, the fruit crops were hit hard, so the fruit selection was a little less than usual at breakfast, but there is nothing we can do about the weather is there?. Once new crop is ready, I’m sure it will be back up to usual standards. As a quick hint, Tuesday’s is Cuba night and they serve lobster in the buffet. Be sure not to miss it.

The al a carte restaurants were top notch too. We did not eat at the Seafood Restaurant. We went with other couples, and this restaurant will not move tables together for groups – it’s intended for “date night” with your significant other – but I did hear positive reviews from other guests.

The bars and drink selection were excellent. Many of the staff are still the same staff from last year, and many of them remembered us. Service was good and top notch liquor is available. Remember to take an insulated travel mug. Less trips to the bar during the day, and your drink stays cool for a much longer time.

If you have been to any other Sandals resort in the past, be sure to go to Sandals website and sign up for their signature program. Returning guests are invited to special extras including a “Signature” supper at El Caribe. An excellent opportunity to hear what’s new at the resort, to mingle with other Sandals returnees and have a special (excellent) meal.

We did find out that there are many changes coming for Sandals Royal Hicacos for 2009. They are doing some major renovations over the summer months. They will be moving all of the stores, including the pharmacy, into the main common area, giving the area a New Orleans theme. The internet café will be enhanced as well. They are also building a new Sushi/Thai restaurant. All of the rooms will be getting new curtains and bedding and the lobby bar is getting all new furniture as well. They figure most of the renovations will be done by fall 2009, except for the restaurant which may take a bit longer.

One last bit of advice when travelling in Cuba. You get what you pay for. If you travel cheap and stay at a cheap resort, then you probably will not be happy. We always hear people say that they hated the food. Remember, you are travelling to another country. Their food choices are different than ours. Embrace it and enjoy Cuba!

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"Good food very gracious hosts"

Royal Hicacos
User Rating:  Royal Hicacos Review: 3.5 of 5

Posted by:  Wayne from West of Red Deer Alberta  on Jan 1, 2009  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Jan, 2009
95 people found this review helpful

Arrival: January 18-Febuary 2
Arrived January 19, very nice flight with Air Transat. We were picked up by a Sandals bus, and registration went very well(no champagne).

Rooms:
Very nice,large suites,bar fridge stocked with water only. Maids very nice, and did a great job. No converter in our room, requested, but never recieved one. Fan did not work in the bathroom.

Restaurants and Bars:
Very nice, good food very gracious hosts(little under staffed).Snacks were few and far between. Piano bar was my favoite great pianist,and bar staff.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
Pools were clean shallow and cold. Beach is beutiful. Grounds not too lush, but clean. Hot tubs were also cold.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Went on one private tour and paid way to many CUC's. Went on anouther bus tour, snd much better.

Other Comments:
This is a nice resort, but It's only a 4*. We paid $6278 inc taxes Canadian per couple.If you can get it for #5000 per couple(or less)inc tax for two weeks, you would get your money's worth. Cuba is way too expensive because CUC is $1.39 Canadian.

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"Sandals has the highest percentage of returning guests"

Royal Hicacos
User Rating:  Royal Hicacos Review: 4.5 of 5

Posted by:  Windsortraveller from Windsor, Ontario  on Feb 1, 2009  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Feb, 2009
94 people found this review helpful

Arrival: Feb/Mar/Apr 2009
Sandals has exclusive taxis or vans or busses, no stops, direct to the hotel, about a 25 minute journey.

Rooms:
All rooms in all categories (except the Royal and Presidental Suites) are exactly the same size and layout.

Restaurants and Bars:
One wonderful buffet with a huge selection and three separate cooking stations for pasta, seafood, and meat. Four different al a cartes, all good, and three bars; the piano bar, the lobby bar, and the swim up pool bar.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
Two small pools, one huge main pool, and the best beach in Varadero where you can walk for 3 or 4 kilometers to get you exercise.

Other Comments:
Sandals has the highest percentage of returning guests of any resort in Cuba and there is a good reason why; they treat you well and love the fact that you are there to visit Cuba.

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"The new lobby bar is busy all day and evening"

Royal Hicacos
User Rating:  Royal Hicacos Review: 5.0 of 5

Posted by:  Stew from Windsor, Ontario  on Feb 1, 2009  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Feb, 2009
96 people found this review helpful

Well, I guess you could say we're in a rut, because we keep going back to the same place again and again. But on the other hand, we continue to enjoy Sandals Royal Hicacos more and more each time we stay.

This was our 15th trip to Cuba since 2001, and our 12th stay at Sandals Royal Hicacos. We were there from February 5th to 19th, 2009 on our latest trip. We have been to other Sandals as well as other islands, and Sandals in Cuba is in fact very comparable to other Sandals.

The Sandals Royal Hicacos resort is set about 3/4 of the way up the peninsula from the Town of Varadero and has buildings that are one, two, or three stories high. We had been there in different levels and this time opted for a ground floor suite. The waterways that make this property unique were all clean and clear, as usual. The newer gym is operating and all the equipment is working.

One of the highlights at Sandals is the buffet. The entire operation was functioning smoothly. There are three cooking stations, all equipped with cooking appliances as well as warming/cooling trays for food already cooked or ready to eat. One of these is for pasta and pizzas, one is for seafood, and the other is for meats. There are also two salad/cold meat counters, a bread counter, and a huge circular counter in the center, which is for deserts and ice cream as well as the station for making fresh desert crepes at lunch and dinner and waffles and pancakes in the morning. There is also a bar in one corner, which the staff uses for getting the customers drinks and cappuccino and espresso. Little hideaways for the wait staff supplies are placed around the huge room for their convenience.

The food at Sandals Royal Hicacos is outstanding; there is no other way to put it. While there we enjoyed chateaubriand, lobster, oysters, surf and turf, leg of lamb, lamb chops, roast pork, sausages, roast turkey, duck, dover sole, whitefish, red snapper, shrimp and hot ham, as well as some I’ve forgotten. In the cold dishes there was proscuitto, smoked salmon, roast beef, cold meats of all kinds, as well as an ample selection of salad fixings along with wonderful cheeses (four or five different cheeses!) and hot and cold vegetables.

Breakfast had fresh made eggs or omelets or waffles or pancakes and a huge selection of sweet buns, yogurt, 5 different juices, a selection of cereals, some hot dishes, bacon, and of course champagne and orange juice for those celebrating something (anything?). The food at Sandals is certainly 'gourmet' class for Cuba, and I have had meals all over the world that did not approach the standards set here.

As other reviewers have noted, the suites are a good size and the baths are huge. The maids look after your room on a timely basis. No suites have an ocean view because of the trees between the resort and the ocean, so there are not really any 'better' suites than others. There are suites on the third floor where you can actually ‘see’ the ocean, but Sandals does not try and sell them as ocean view since the ocean is so far in the distance. All the rooms in the resort are the same layout, with the exception of the Royal and Presidential suites.

The al a carte restaurants continue to impress - I had sweet and sour shrimp in El Caribe one evening, dover sole in the seafood restaurant, duck breast in an orange sauce in the Italian restaurant, and surf and turf in the grill out by the ocean.

They serve Chilean wines as house wines and at the al a cartes you can also order other wines at extra cost. There is also a wine room in El Caribe that seats about 12 that you can reserve for a special occasion. The piano bar is a nice place to relax after your evening meal, and the patio outside the piano bar is also a great place to catch the evening show and entertainment at 9.45 p.m. James plays here starting at 11 p.m. and is worth catching, as is Yanet that plays in the early evening.

The new lobby bar is busy all day and evening; it is a big improvement over the old bar that was removed. The waiters and waitresses, along with the bar staff, will go out of their way to make any kind of drink you wish, and they have a huge selection of premium brands for you to enjoy

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