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Royalton Hicacos Varadero Resort & Spa in Varadero, Cuba
The ultra, all-inclusive adults-only Royalton Hicacos Varadero Resort & Spa is located on the white sandy beaches of Varadero, situated on the eponymous Hicacos Peninsula. Its rich history, and vibrant tourist ambiance makes Varadero the perfect background for a tropical adventure where you can explore natural attractions.
A wide range of sports such as tennis and squash, catamaran sailing, windsurfing, and diving (for certified divers) are included. The main pool is adorned with bridges, waterfalls and a swim-up bar. Furthermore, there are two smaller pools, four Jacuzzis, a spa and a beauty salon. As for gastronomy, the hotel has unlimited dining at its five restaurants (one buffet restaurant and four ŕ la carte – reservations required and based on availability). Local and international drinks are served at any one of our six bars including the jazz bar and in the XS Night Club.
Location of Royalton Hicacos Varadero Resort & Spa
Nearest Airport: VRA
Amenities for Royalton Hicacos Varadero Resort & Spa
- General Information
- Adults Only
- On-Site Amenities
- Spa Services
- All Inclusive
- Spa & Wellness
Reviews for Royalton Hicacos Varadero Resort & Spa
Just returned from this hotel the resort is fine proper 5 star But the food is rubbish far too repetitive defo not worth the nearly 6k we paid and will defo not be returning one dodgy meal in the Caribbean restaurant laid me low for a week not good
This was our first winter vacation in Cuba, and our second stay (in over 15 years) at an all inclusive. This trip was organized at relatively short notice and I had a look at the past reviews and was interested to read new reviews as they were posted. In that regard, I was struck by the fact that most of the negative reviews were by â€śnewâ€ť reviewers, and almost without exception, â€śexperiencedâ€ť reviewers left very good to excellent reviews, so I was fairly confident we wonâ€™t be disappointed. I also noticed a greater then average (in my opinion) number of reviews from people who were coming back to the Royalton, in some cases many times. Bottom line, my expectations were pretty much met. This is a very nice property with excellent staff. I certainly feel we received good value for our money, and we would consider returning. As to specifics: Infrastructure - look long enough and you'll find issues at any resort, and the Royalton is no exception. However, this is a big piece of real estate, right on the sea, in a warm climate, that got brushed by a major hurricane last fall. There's going to be rust, and wear and tear, some frayed carpet etc. etc. etc. Having said that, every day we were there, there were crews doing something â€“ painting, gardening, rebuilding walkways etc. There was also a very nice room on the 2nd floor with a comfortable, well shaded balcony â€“ furnishings were older (not that we went for the furniture), the bed was very comfortable, TV (with some interesting channel selections) and the bathroom was clean. Having said that, per other reviews, some mould, and the bath fixtures were pretty tired. Guest Behaviour - Usual things from time to time, but no real issues, never saw anyone drunk, or behaving inappropriately. Quiet at night. Picking up on some comments - this is adult only, and, for the most part, seems to be a +40 crowd. if you need to party hard, lots of other options in Varadero. Exercise Room/Spa â€“ Despite good intentions, I never made it to the exercise room. Housekeeping â€“ 5 stars and one of the real pluses to the Royalton. Our day maid Dayanina was excellent as were the night maids. Room was well serviced at very convenient times â€“ we werenâ€™t pushed in the morning, and the room was always done when we got back from the beach. Nice notes every day, amusing towel animals, and a gift from the night maids when we left. Really struck by how hard they worked and they are a credit to the Royalton. Reception - No wait on arrival or departure, very pleasant and helpful. Issues with room keys during the week were eventually solved, never a wait to exchange money, get a wifi card etc. Pleasant and professional at all times. Staff â€“ As previously mentioned wrt housekeeping, and as noted by so many reviewers, the Royalton staff, are the real story. Pleasant, hard working, helpful, and very good with seniors and mobility challenged guests. I was really impressed. Pools/Beaches â€“ While I remain convinced that Pebbles Beach in Barbados is my number 1, the beach at Varadero is amazing â€“ miles long, wide, clear water, very impressive, and it was kept clean, at least at the Royalton. To repeat what others have said â€“ all the beaches in Cuba are public, but certainly didnâ€™t see any vendors as you do in Jamaica or Barbados. There werenâ€™t any local people either â€“ for two reasons I think â€“ while the beach is public, there isnâ€™t really any local population at that end of the Varadero peninsula, and no real way for them to access the beaches through the resorts. In addition, while we found the beach very nice, sunny and warm, our tour guide told us Cubans find it too cold in February (the security guard on the beach was wearing a sweater most days) and they only really start heading for the beach in June, July and August. We didnâ€™t use the pool much. Itâ€™s big, shallow and usually very busy. Guests seem to either stay on the beach, or stay near the pool. Per numerous reviews, Royalton suffers from the usual Caribbean issue of people grabbing loungers, then disappearing for hours. Food â€“ The real issue with the Royalton is food â€“ it isnâ€™t bad, but it isnâ€™t great. Staff are fabulous, attentive, breakfast in the buffet is good, but the a la carteâ€™s were just ok. Meals were warm not hot, and the stracciatella soup in the Italian restaurant would make your Italian grandmother weep â€“ salty bouillon, without a hint of egg white. However, unless gourmet dining is the object of your vacation, itâ€™s acceptable, but food does make what could be a solid 5 star, a 4 star. Odds and Ends in no particular order: Money â€“ take more cash then you think youâ€™ll need. While itâ€™s easy to change Canadian/UK/Euros (donâ€™t bring American dollars) to CUCâ€™s, there are two options at the Royalton â€“ an exchange office and the front desk, but itâ€™s a challenge getting more cash if youâ€™re running short. There is an ATM at the Plaza de Americas which seems to be broken more often then not. You can get a credit card advance at the exchange office at Plaza de Americaâ€™s, but it takes time, and make sure you bring your passport â€“ they donâ€™t accept any other ID! We were also able to use an ATM in Havana. Water Bottle/Thermos â€“ bring one, makes life easier on the beach. Diamond Club â€“ well worth the extra cost. Wifi/Mobile Access â€“ if you live and die by social media/internet access, Cuba may not be your best destination. Our service provider doesnâ€™t have anything in Cuba, so it would have been roaming on Cuba Cel and it isnâ€™t cheap. Royalton sells 1 hour and 5 hours wifi access cards for 1 CUC and 5 CUCâ€™s. Ability to access wifi is hit and miss around the resort, great near the hotspots, but can get slow at times e.g. 7PM around the lobby bar. Suggest you leave your cel in airplane mode the whole time youâ€™re in Cuba, unless you absolutely need to be reachable. Tours â€“ we did a day trip to Havana on a private tour â€“ vintage car, tour guide and it was well worth it. This was arranged by our Diamond Club Butler. Infrastructure in Cuba â€“ sidewalks etc can be in rough shape, so pay attention to avoid a fall. Tipping â€“ from our tour provider â€śTipping is customary in Cuba including all hotel staff that assist you (waiters, cleaning staff, baggage carriers, transfer drivers etc.â€ť I believe you should tip at the Royalton â€“ no US dollars, no foreign coins and tip maids every day, rather then the big tip at the end. VIP Lounge at Varadero Airport â€“ Another good investment, for the VIP line at departure control, if nothing else. Note the VIP line for passport control isnâ€™t well marked â€“ itâ€™s the furthest line to the left. Pleasant staff, free drinks, staff will make up a Cuban sandwich for you and nice bathrooms. You can use the wifi card from the resort at the airport. Airport Security â€“ when you arrive, you have to put your hand luggage through an xray screening after you get through passport control so be aware. Spanish Language â€“ Like most â€śworldâ€ť languages, there can be a lot of variation from country to country. Itâ€™s my understanding there can be some tricky bits for natives of Spain, Chile and Argentina â€“ common terms that donâ€™t have the same meaning in Cuba.
ILikewhatILike - Ottawa, Canada
This was my 4th time to Cuba and the setting reminded me of the first in Cayo Cayos. Our Butlers, Matilde and Dani, were nothing less than fantastic. Not in your face but always available and accessible if / when required. Carlos on the bar was wonderful as were 99.9% of his colleagues on food, bar, entertainment, etc and were so often on the ball and in anticipation of requirements. Could have done without the two female entertainment staff repeatedly screaming "OH MY GAAWWDD" or "OOH BAAABY" every 30 seconds but with good company of other holiday makers you can tune that out and if you retreat to your room to sleep it appears to have been designed to almost completely remove any loud music etc. It's clean, beautiful and very friendly. Some of the buffet meat is either under or over done (you may need to prod it a bit to see)and I don't know what they do to French fries to make them inedible but avoid them if you value your teeth and some of the 'hot' food isn't really that hot but cool not cold but on balance given the scope they cover, it ain't half bad!! :-). Staff are the key brilliant all of them.
D5752XZhelene - Liverpool, United Kingdom
First impression on arrival is beautiful hotel friendly welcome with glass of champagne.A short wait for butler to escort us to room pointing out everything along the way.My husband made a request for room overlooking small pool on top floor which we were allocated-thank you Royalton!There is evidence of a lot of damage from hurricane when you walk to beach from our room in fact they were rebuilding beach restaurant while we were there so it was a disappointment it wasn't open for meals. However food is cooked on beach every day and a great beach bar-fabulous staff and service in bar!The beach was our favourite hang-out during the day and we felt main pool very crowded with loungers.However drink service at pool was excellent. We enjoyed a la carte meals at 3 of the restaurants but not The Carribean restaurant. Lobster AMAZING at seafood restaurant.Buffet restaurant had a massive choice and we especially enjoyed salad bars and food cooked directly for you. Only disappointment was overcooked food was always Luke-warm.We were never going to go hungry though!Bistro was hit and miss-slow service and again food lukewarm.Jazz Bar quiet and seemed lacking in atmosphere.Havana Bar great-we don't smoke but they serve great coffee and brandy.From what we could see we didn't feel Diamond club worth extra ÂŁ50 per night.This is our 5th visit to Cuba and first to Varadero.Varadero is no doubt the best beach.Would I return?Oh yes.No toilet facilities presently on beach have to go back to room or pool area.
Denise S - Herts UK
Our third visit to Hicacos, first time since it became a Royalton! Still a beautiful and relaxing place to take a holiday. Some comments: -The Butler service is like a Sandals Concierge Service. Eager and able to troubleshoot any issues that you might have. -The servers, bartenders and waiters are terrific! Just let them know how you like things...they don't forget! -Beds are a bit hard but you get used to it! -Food gets repetitive in the Buffet after a few days but we enjoyed very good meals in each a la carte restaurant. -Watch for and participate in Cuban Day...the music, food and camaraderie at lunch is wonderful. Staff are very proud to show off their food, costumes and customs...and well they should be, it is terrific! -Need to add live music back in all restaurants! Makes a big difference! The people who did perform are incredibly talented. -Not happy about the noise that the entertainment team kick up at the Beach all day! That used to be exclusively at the pool but it has migrated to the Beach area. -Need to get that Beach Bar finished and in operation! -A real need to rebuild the palapas on the beach! The umbrellas just don't cut it when the wind is up! -The Diamond Club area on the beach needs work! The beds are useless and unkempt! No sun screen at all! -Watch which Building/room that you get! Some have a Balcony that is in full sun and that gets hot! Or they are directly on walkways and there is no privacy! To Sunwing - you need to apply some Canadian Labour Standards to your staff! Only one day off per week is not really on anymore! You can safely ignore some reviewers griping about food, rooms etc. Just relax and let the Cuban people look after you. Tip them well and smile a lot!
jameswolfe1 - Canada