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1 night in Varadero?

1 night in Varadero?

Old Aug 19, 15, 8:17 pm
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Question 1 night in Varadero?

Greetings all!

So I've decided that the time to visit Cuba pretty much has to be within the next year before the US allows for normal travel and then the place gets overrun the place with mcds and starbucks so I booked a flight for 5 days over the family day weekend this coming Feb.

My plan is to mainly stay in Havana via airbnb and then stay one night in varadero before coming back.

Since I'm not really one for all inclusive I was hoping for some hotel/resort recommendations as my plan is to spend an afternoon/evening there (at a resort) and then leave the next day to come back on my flight.

I don't have a budget in mind for the night but let's say $80-ish as a rough idea. I have no idea how much these things are.

I'll be travelling alone and am a fluent Spanish speaker so don't really care or need to have English fluency .
Also don't care much for drinks as I'm a wine drinker (and resorts aren't really known for wine) but not necessily looking for a "dry" resort.

Thanks in advance!

Ps- also if anyone can recommend a tour company for Havana it's also really appreciated. I'm looking at going to Vinales out of Havana.
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Old Aug 23, 15, 2:23 am
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We stay usually at the Xanadu a former Du Pont estate. The Du Pont family has been one of the richest families in the USA and they built this mansion in 1920.
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Old Aug 24, 15, 11:46 am
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Originally Posted by iceblueshoes View Post
Greetings all!

So I've decided that the time to visit Cuba pretty much has to be within the next year before the US allows for normal travel and then the place gets overrun the place with mcds and starbucks so I booked a flight for 5 days over the family day weekend this coming Feb.

My plan is to mainly stay in Havana via airbnb and then stay one night in varadero before coming back.

Since I'm not really one for all inclusive I was hoping for some hotel/resort recommendations as my plan is to spend an afternoon/evening there (at a resort) and then leave the next day to come back on my flight.

I don't have a budget in mind for the night but let's say $80-ish as a rough idea. I have no idea how much these things are.

I'll be travelling alone and am a fluent Spanish speaker so don't really care or need to have English fluency .
Also don't care much for drinks as I'm a wine drinker (and resorts aren't really known for wine) but not necessily looking for a "dry" resort.

Thanks in advance!

Ps- also if anyone can recommend a tour company for Havana it's also really appreciated. I'm looking at going to Vinales out of Havana.

You can take the Viazul to go to Vinales and then arrange for something there or else pay Havantur for a package.

One night in Varadero, I'd book with a Melia hotel. Have fun, I am going to HAV in december.
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Old Aug 28, 15, 4:50 am
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Thumbs up

Originally Posted by carpetbagger View Post
We stay usually at the Xanadu a former Du Pont estate. The Du Pont family has been one of the richest families in the USA and they built this mansion in 1920.
We actually have a subway stop here named after them. The paint company that is! haha!
Originally Posted by djjaguar64 View Post
You can take the Viazul to go to Vinales and then arrange for something there or else pay Havantur for a package.

One night in Varadero, I'd book with a Melia hotel. Have fun, I am going to HAV in december.
Thanks! I'll look into it.

Vinales would just be a day trip but i'll look into it.
Same w/ the hotel recommendations.
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Old Aug 30, 15, 3:35 pm
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Just looked into Melia...
HOLY crap it's not CHEAP any stretch!

I mean is the place really that good? I mean for that price I'm expecting something along the lines of a Ritz-Carlton...
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Old Aug 30, 15, 4:30 pm
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I think most people who visit Varadero go there with a package that includes airfare (likely from Canada) and 4 to 7 to 10 nights' lodging. It works out pretty reasonably that way because the Canadian tour operator can buy blocks of rooms in bulk and resell them. Almost nobody does what you’re planning on doing. You’ll be quoted the one-night rack rate at one of the resorts and it won’t be a good deal.

A much more basic place is Hotel Los Delfines. It's right in town but has a beach. It's showing its age. If you're not too fussy, it might do the trick.

www.islazul.cu/es/hotel/hotel-los-delfines

The webpage shows prices from €68.70. That'll be per person and the most basic low-season rate, all inclusive.

Islazul is one of the state hotel chains. Any Melia lodging in Cuba is also state owned, but the government has turned management of those lodgings over to the Spanish chain.

Last edited by SJOGuy; Aug 30, 15 at 4:54 pm
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Old Sep 1, 15, 5:53 pm
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Originally Posted by iceblueshoes View Post
Just looked into Melia...
HOLY crap it's not CHEAP any stretch!

I mean is the place really that good? I mean for that price I'm expecting something along the lines of a Ritz-Carlton...
There are 5 or 6 Melia's, so take your pick. Book on the Canadian website like selloffvacations or sunwing and not on Melia's website.

Last edited by djjaguar64; Sep 3, 15 at 6:06 pm
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Old Sep 1, 15, 8:24 pm
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Originally Posted by djjaguar64 View Post
There are 5 or 6 Melia's, so take your pick. Book on the Canadian website like selloffvations or sunwing and not on Melia's website.
Thanks for that info.
I'll look into it there
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Old Sep 2, 15, 10:09 am
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From what I observed for my trip in April, the better hotels charge very high retail rates, and seem to prefer selling blocks at wholesale rates to the tour operators which makes it difficult if not just expensive to book into certain locales as an independent traveller. As far as cheaper retail rates go, I think the exceptions is Islazul which seems to cater to locals.
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Old Sep 2, 15, 10:34 am
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As I mentioned above, Los Delfines, an Islazul property, is okay. It's just not going to give you a luxury resort experience. It's what you'll get for $80 in Varadero.
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Old Sep 2, 15, 7:22 pm
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Part of the reason I would like a foreigners hotel in Varadero is because I can then just get on the shuttle back for my westjet flight. At least I think they have a shuttle!
Then again now that I think of it, it shouldn't be an issue getting a taxi and then just heading back to the airport anyways...
I can't see it being more than $20 CDN.

My trip isn't until Feb, so I don't have to book asap, but at the same time, it's over a long weekend here so a lot of Canadians will be getting away.

The problem also is that as a solo traveller, I often end up getting "hit" with a solo supplement so I'm trying to avoid that here.

It seems that the food/AI meals add an extra $50-80+, but maybe it's just me in thinking that it doesn't seem like going out for a few meals in town should be anywhere near that much. I'm fine w/ not drinking.

For Havana, I'm not too concerned since it'll be an airbnb stay.
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Old Sep 2, 15, 8:50 pm
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Downtown Varadero, where Los Delfines is, is quite close to the airport, about 3 km. The big resort hotels are farther away, out on the peninsula.
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Old Sep 3, 15, 6:09 pm
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Originally Posted by SJOGuy View Post
Downtown Varadero, where Los Delfines is, is quite close to the airport, about 3 km. The big resort hotels are farther away, out on the peninsula.
I would not recommend this place at all. I have been going to Cuba for over 10 years, believe me unless you are a carefree person, you don't want to stay in Varadero in anything below a 5 star!!
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Old Sep 3, 15, 6:49 pm
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I would not recommend this place at all. I have been going to Cuba for over 10 years, believe me unless you are a carefree person, you don't want to stay in Varadero in anything below a 5 star!!
The OP stated he has a budget of $80/night. How does one stay at a 5-star resort for that price during the February high season?

The state-managed hotels are definitely a step down from the foreign-managed ones. That doesn't mean that a traveler can't stay in one and even enjoy it.
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Old Sep 4, 15, 7:45 pm
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Originally Posted by SJOGuy View Post
The OP stated he has a budget of $80/night. How does one stay at a 5-star resort for that price during the February high season?

The state-managed hotels are definitely a step down from the foreign-managed ones. That doesn't mean that a traveler can't stay in one and even enjoy it.
$80 isn't a hard cap, I mean I can go above, but I'm not going to double it for the sake of it.

Personally I'd be more than content with something along the lines of a Holiday Inn or Novotel/Ibis and am certainly not expecting the Fairmont or Ritz-Carlton.

I would like a beach because I'm only going to get 1 day of doing nothing, as I know my time in Havana is going to be "go go go" trying to see/do as much as possible.

Am I right in assuming that Melia is generally on the top end of Cuban hotels and that Islazul or on the lower end? Or would it be more mid range.

Really all I care is that the place is clean and safe.

Just wondering, is being in DT Varadero a big deal compared to the peninsula? I mean would it be right to assume that the beaches are nicer/cleaner on the peninsula or is it pretty much all the same?

Thanks again! I appreciate it!
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