Barcelo Solymar Reviews

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Barcelo Solymar  

Carretera Las Américas km. 3, Varadero, Matanzas, Cuba.
(Varadero Maps)

"Take Immodium and your own food and a flashlight. Its a one star hotel at best"
Posted by: valerie  on Feb 21, 2016
see all reviews

Barcelo Solymar Reviews

of 51 Hotels in Varadero

User rating 3.5

Based on 28 reviews

Barcelo Solymar Information

Only 2 hours from Havana and 25 minutes from Varadero Airport ¨Juan Gualberto Gómez¨, Varadero offers an exotic beach, the perfect place to combine leisure and sport activities. The hotel is conveniently located at a short distance from downtown Varadero and directly on the beach side area.

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Barcelo Solymar Reviews

Barcelo Solymar Review: 3.5 of 5 28 reviews
Very good
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21 - 28 of 28

"Cuba dream"

Barcelo Solymar
User Rating:  Barcelo Solymar Review: 4.00 of 5

Posted by:  Daniel  on Mar 2, 2006  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Mar, 2006
2814 people found this review helpful

Our first trip to Cuba. We had the Sunday evening flight from Montréal to Varadero. No problems on the airport, Vacances Air Canada had it well arranged for us. By bus in 20 minutes to the hotel.

We arrived at the Barcelo Solymar around 10 PM, February 19. It's an excellent resort with a good atmosphere. Hotel staff is very nice and helpfull: 5 on 5. We tipped our maid every day with a little present, which is highly appreciated. Don't always tip, yet don't be cheap either; in Cuba everyone has a place to stay and enough food (by ticket system from the government), yet luxe products like cola or a small backpacks are expensive compared to their salaries, so a nice tip here are there is reasonable, unless they give you a crappy service, which happened only once in our case. Fridge was always filled up with water and beer. We stayed in a bungalow close to the pool. A clean, spacious 2-floor building. Lodging: 5 on 5. The key is a simple is card with a magnet strip, you can use as well for your locker inside the bedroom. First we expected it to be rather noisy from outside (music stops around midnight), yet with airco on and doors closed, it's silent inside. There are two, low level pools (max depth 1m20): 4 on 5.

There are 4 bars; one at each pool, one at the beach and the lobby bar, that is open 24 hours per day. Service is fast. Buffet food is average, 3 on 5; sea food restaurant is good! Reserve as early as possible for one of the 3 à la carte restaurants (sea food, Cuban, Italian). There are a lot of activities to do; at the beach sailing, diving, water bike, banana boat. Also outise activities (catamaran trip, jeep trip, several trips to Havana). 5 on 5 for activities. Beach is beautifully white wth sans texture so fine, it feels like silk. The sea is clean, clear and it's beautifully blue/emerald coloured: 5 on 5. Finally, the Barcelo organizes a lot to entertain people; afternoon- and evening shows. One week later we had a perfect trip back to cold Montréal. We enjoyed an excellent vacation at the Barcelo Solymar! We will return for sure to Cuba, yet somewhere else, as we have seen Varadero now. Overall rate: 4.5 on 5.

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"Last time in Cuba for us."

Barcelo Solymar
User Rating:  Barcelo Solymar Review: 2.00 of 5

Posted by:  Andrée  on Feb 18, 2006  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Feb, 2006
2869 people found this review helpful

I have been going South every year for 15 years. I will not go back to Cuba for these reasons. It was much colder than we expected. First time that I had to wear a coat during the day and at night. It rained or it was too cold to go to the beach 3 out of 7 days (early Feb. 2006). I was not expecting gastronomic meals but at least to have hot meals. All the meals were cold or lukewarm except for 2 dinners. Imagine eating cold pasta with lukewarm Alfredo sauce on top. The lobster at the Seafood à la carte restaurant was overcooked and no meat in the lags (burnt to a crisp). Also no claws?? Every meal was bland because of the lack of spices, not even black pepper.

Their standards (5*) is no comparison to 3* in Mexico or elsewhere. Our beds were so soft that every morning it was hard to get out of bed. It takes a while for the people working at the bars or the reception desk to even acknowledge you and to serve you. All personnel in the buffet restaurant were so helpful and friendly. I had also expected to hear music all the time. No music at the Hotel lobby and the first pool and some music at the 2nd pool in the afternoon. You had to go to the beach to hear music!!!

The waves were quite strong. There was a drowning two hotels down during that week.

PS the bread was fesh and delicious and the Cubans are lovely people. Is that reason enough to go back.

I will not get into the hassle at the airport where hundreds of travellers waited for hours in a vile and smoke filled (lots of cigar smoking everywhere)waiting terminal.

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"Barcelo Sol y Mar"

Barcelo Solymar
User Rating:  Barcelo Solymar Review: 5.00 of 5

Posted by:  Simon Roworth  on Feb 4, 2006  >  1 contribution(s) United Kingdom
Visited on: Feb, 2006
2459 people found this review helpful

I've just arrived home after a fantastic week at the Sol y Mar. The staff were friendly and helpful although there was one waiter who would ask you what you would like then forget all about you but he was there like a shot when the tips were being handed out!!!. I found the hotel facilities to be excellent and the standard of the cleanliness and facilities in my room to be the same. Staff were constantly cleaning public areas. I didn't get chance to sample the hotel entertainment as I was too busy taking part in the numerous day trips to be had but I was told by other members of my holiday group that it was fantastic. I look forward to going back to Cuba in the not too distant future.

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"My first time to Cuba"

Barcelo Solymar
User Rating:  Barcelo Solymar Review: 4.00 of 5

Posted by:  Alishya Jacobs  on Jan 4, 2006  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Jan, 2006
2414 people found this review helpful

4 of my girlfriends and I went to Barcelo, this was my first time in Cuba. When we arrived we were given a glass of champane and taken to our rooms. The staff were very friendly. Although we went the first week of september there we quite a few ppl there. The food was good, we were surprised. We ate at the Italian restuarant one night and had filet minon with spagetti and meat sauce which was amazing. The buffets had a good variety of foods you would never go hungry. The 24 hr bar was good and they we fast....we spent most of our money tipping everyone keep telling us not to tip too much but hey we are all We also did the catameran trip which was fun I would suggest doing it. Hmm what else, oh my goodness the BEACH the beach and ocean we absolutly beautiful...I had never swam in the ocean before this trip and I could get out of the water. The sand is white and just beautiful. The only disappointing thing about the trip was that we could go parasailing or on the banana boat because it was too winding but hey that's nobody's fault. We met a lot of ppl from england , montreal, toronto, and Paris and made a few friends as well. I am going away again in Feb, and I am seriously thinking about going back to Barcelo. Hope this helps.

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"Solymar necesita mejorar"

Barcelo Solymar
User Rating:  Barcelo Solymar Review: 2.00 of 5

Posted by:  Eva  on Dec 12, 2005  >  1 contribution(s) Spain
Visited on: Dec, 2005
2687 people found this review helpful

Si esperáis un cinco estrellas típico Barceló, aquí no lo váis a encontrar. Carencias de todo tipo: las hamacas de la playa no son de lona, por tanto, ya podéis ir preparando colchonetas. La comida repetitiva. No hay cenas en el buffet temáticas (sólo 1 noche cubana). Los animadores pasan desapercibidos. Habéis de estar encima si queréis que os sirvan o os limpien la mesa (imperdonable en un 5*).

No esperéis tener arreglada la habitación siempre antes de las doce. No hacen los cócteles al momento: por ejemplo, hay dispensadores de piña colada. Los horarios de los bares son insufribles. Así, por ejemplo, vigilad con alguna página de internet en el que aparece este hotel con un restaurante italiano abierto las 24 horas y no es en absoluto cierto. Id con mucho cuidado a la hora de escoger este hotel, porque os podéis encontrar conque os meten en el primer piso, encima de recepción, o encima de la discoteca, y sin vistas: muchos touroperadores no avisan de que las mejores habitaciones llevan suplemento.

Respecto a las excursiones, supongo que ya sabréis que no vale la pena gastarse pasta (95 € al cambio) para hacer en un mismo día más de 6 horas de carretera para ver Trinidad, Cienfuegos y Santa Clara (aconsejable hacer Trinidad en un mínimo de un par de días). No aconsejamos este destino a los españoles que estamos acostumbrados a viajar y que somos más exigentes.

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"Just go! Dont wait!"

Barcelo Solymar
User Rating:  Barcelo Solymar Review: 4.00 of 5

Posted by:  ANDREW  on Nov 22, 2005  >  2 contribution(s) United Kingdom
Visited on: Nov, 2005
2630 people found this review helpful

Well if you want the view, here is the place!

BUT! beware of the waiters, that ignore you for 25 mins. They want a tip for breathing, and having to look at you ....

The rooms were spot on, and my sheets were cleaned every other day. The maid was spot on with the mini-bar, and was very polite!

Yes you guessed it!! yes she was breathing as well!! In the buffet diner, the attention was BRILLIANT! If I left my table for the bar, and my drink (beer) was low in the glass, they come back to a fresh full glass! excellent! Dont be offended, if they touch you. This is their way to show they care about your stay.

THE DOLPHINS AH! WOOOOOOOW! Is the best word that comes to mind, without swearing.Don't go to cuba, thats if you are nervous around dolphins! I'm not and spent an unreal aternoon with them. Listen!! YOU MUST GO! Its a ten minute ride, in a dodgy little mini-coach.

The money you pay for the trip, is money well spent. The hotel was, so i was told built in 2000. But did look a little tatty in places. It did look older, but hey it looked good. If you were a builder by trade, you would worry. I came across loose tiles, at the right hand end of the building 4th floor waiting to commit suicide. Yeah ok, it was hurricane season oct/nov 05. But didnt expect to see them still there 12 days later!

But overall, yes, the resort is quiet good for entertainment. Spot on with the salsa show in the Main Hall (theatre).The ammount of effort they put into their dance, is a pure credit to the resort and possibly the country.

Would i go again? yes definatley...

Maybe another hotel, but would pop in to say hello to the waiters without fail.

And, AND!! Dont forget the 25 cuc,s airport tax you have to pay before you get your boarding card this is each! as this can be a costley exercise just to leave the country.

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"Second enjoyable trip to the Solymar"

Barcelo Solymar
User Rating:  Barcelo Solymar Review: 5.00 of 5

Posted by:  Tom Hanklings  on Jun 8, 2005  >  3 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Jun, 2005
3148 people found this review helpful

Spent 2 weeks at the Solymar from April 29-May 13th. There were 11 of us travelling together, 4 couples & 3 singles. We went Air Canada Vacations which is good as there is leg room, better than Air Transat sitting. Check in went smooth. My girlfriend and her husband (her 2nd trip) and myself & a gal I roomed with got oceanview rooms which were available immmediately. When we got our room, it was a room with King Size Bed which was beautiful, but they were accomodating me & they didn't realize I had a roommate, so we went back to reception & received a room with 2 beds. I can't say enough about the treatment I received at the Solymar. They went above & beyond with any requests I may have had. Nothing was an effort for them. As far as the Air Conditioning going out when you took your key out, we got a special card to keep in the slot at all times so never lost air conditioning. I went to Punta Cana last year, but to me there was no comparison. Beach at Solymar is just awesome. Had no problem with the food. We did the Italian al a carte one night & I had the Filet Mignon, which was delicious. But the rest of the 2 weeks, stayed at the Buffet, as you can always find something to eat & never go hungry. Lunch time was spent at the pool bar by the resort. Their fries were so nice & crispy. And the hamburgers & german sausages were excellent. I did the catamaran trip this time and that was the highlight of my trip. We had a great time. Two years ago when I was at the Solymar, I met the bartender (Julio at the pool bar) & his wife, Yanita, who happened to be visiting him. We struck up a friendship that night and have continued corresponding over the 2 years. I spent 3 afternoons off the resort visiting with Julio & Yanita & met their families. I treated them to supper on Saturday, Julio's day off. I had also met another friend of the family who is in Public Relations at the Playa de Varadero 1920. We went on a tour of that resort & it was a beautiful resort, although I find it is really spread out. My nights were spent at the pool bar, where I received Top Notch service from all the bartenders. When I'd get up to get a drink, they would tell me to sit down & they would serve me. After 11 each night, I always had german sausage & fries which always hit the spot. I was very sad leaving and will be returning for another 2 weeks next years to spend time with my second family. On the downside, which we knew 2 weeks before we left, Air Canada Vacations cancelled their flight out of Varadero, due to lack of tourists. It was a bad time of year to go, end of April. I would go first 2 weeks of April next year. WE had a 2 hour bus trip into Havana to catch an Air Canada flight at 3:25 p.m. We had to stay in Toronto overnight, catch a flight to Halifax next day, then onto Sydney. So it was a long tiring 2 days. I am now counting down the months until I go next year & will definitely be returning to the Solymar.

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"Great Holiday!"

Barcelo Solymar
User Rating:  Barcelo Solymar Review: 4.00 of 5

Posted by:  Matthew Sayers  on May 22, 2005  >  1 contribution(s) United Kingdom
Visited on: May, 2005
3095 people found this review helpful

We stayed at the Solymar for three weeks and we had our wedding there. We did queue for a while at check-in, but when you arrive with a coach load of people what do you expect?! We had a beautiful room in the main hotel with views of the pools and beach. The only problems with the rooms were the mosquitos and the noise from the maids, we were on the fourth floor and I was woken each morning by the maid chatting in their meeting place which was just outside our room! Saying that the maids are fantastic, they are very sweet and are very generous with towels, toiletries and bottles of water. The beach is breathtaking in every aspect, perfect tropical paradise. The pools were fine, one is quite shallow the other a little deeper. The hotel grounds are immaculately kept and huge! you won't feel cramped even with the hotel at full occupancy. The catarmaran trip tp Cayo Blanco was good, definately worth it. The trip cost 75 pesos (£40-45 ish each). The overnight trip to Havana is highly recommended, but expensive 169 pesos each (£90ish) The guide spoke perfect english and told us alot about cuban history and life. DO NOT MISS THE TROPICANA! My husband really doesn't do cabarets but even he was gob-smacked, the show is spectacular and not world famous without good reason. Say hello to Raul and Josvani at the lobby bar, they are incredible!

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