Varadero, Cuba is an extremely popular destination for tourists year-round and it’s no wonder with an average of 330 days of sunshine per year and gorgeous tropical views.
This Caribbean island makes for an excellent winter escape as well as a great family getaway throughout the summer months. For this reason, there is an abundance of hotels and resorts in the area covering a variety of price points and amenities. But most tourists want to know which are the best. So, in alphabetical order but without a particular budget, here are our Favourite 5.
Be Live Experience Varadero
The Be Live Experience Varadero offers guests an all-inclusive beachfront vacation. Most travel sites depict this as a 4-star resort but we are more inclined to put it on a level of 3 to 3.5. Having said that, the Be Live has a lot to offer at an affordable price point.
Conveniently, the resort is situated only 18 miles (30 km) from the airport so guests need not worry about a long and uncomfortable shuttle ride. This stellar location also features a gorgeous beach of turquoise waters and fine white sand.
The town of Varadero is within walking distance for guests interested in seeing some sites, and perhaps dining off the resort. And for golfers, Varadero Golf Club is close by.
• 365 guest rooms spread across 3 storey buildings
• Single and two-storey villas (some villas have private pools)
• Swimming pool and children’s pool
• Buffet restaurant
• À la carte restaurants: Asian, Cuban, and French
• Snack bars
• 5 bars and lounges, including a pool bar
• Tennis, table tennis, snooker
Blau Varadero has eliminated the typical Caribbean two and three-storey buildings in favour of a hotel-style layout with 395 brightly decorated guest rooms and suites. Each room has a terrace, modern furniture, a flatscreen TV, a minibar, and a safe. The second difference is this resort is for adults only.
The 4-star rating is appropriate here, with clean and colourful decor, plants and flowers, and a stunning view of the Caribbean. However, unlike Be Live, the main building is set back a bit further from the beach and requires a short walk to get there.
The all-inclusive package includes 1 buffet and 3 a la carte restaurants, unlimited drinks in five bars, and nightly entertainment. Also available on the premises but not included in the package is access to windsurfing, kayaks, and sailing.
• Swimming pools
• Gym, sauna, and Jacuzzi
• 24 hours snacks
• Lobby bar
• Pool bar and piano bar
• Tennis courts and watersports
Labranda Varadero (New Be Live Tropical)
This all-inclusive resort scores high with tourists. Many travellers know it by its original name of Labranda Varadero. However, more recently it became the new Be Live Tropical.
The complex contains the main building where guests will find 319 rooms (including 31 Junior Suites) all distributed across 5 floors. There is also the Beach Club which houses 124 Rooms across 5 Bungalows. All rooms include terraces with beautiful views of the sea or tropical gardens. Guests have access to two private beaches.
A total of 4 restaurants are available to guests (1 buffet and 3 a la cartes) along with 5 bars and lounges. With helpful, friendly staff on the premises, the atmosphere is great for couples, families and even solo travellers.
• Daily entertainment
• Unlimited domestic alcohol beverages and non-alcoholic beverages
• Non-motorized watersports (kayaking, sailing, snorkelling)
• Gym and Sauna
• Activity programs for adults and children
• Tour desk in the lobby
• WiFi is available in public areas (charges apply)
Ocean Vista Azul
Ocean Vista Azul is one of few 5-star properties on the island but earns it with a stunning property that faces the ocean just beyond a gorgeous infinity pool. Located on a tropical landscape, this all-inclusive resort features 470 luxury rooms and suites with a section suitable for families and an exclusive section denoted for adults only. Guest rooms are modern and brightly decorated to reflect the Caribbean, with fantastic views of the property and beach.
Six restaurants and 8 bars and lounges are located on-site along with dozens of amenities, some of which are listed below. An activities program for youngsters is available at the Daisy Club and a Teen Club can be accessed by tweens and teens.
As for attractions and local sightseeing opportunities, Ocean Vista Azul is only 1.5 miles (2 km) from Varadero City Centre, 2.5 miles (3.9 km) from the House of Rum, and a 10-minute drive from the Varahicacos Ecological Reserve, which features hiking trails, exotic birds, a 500-year-old cactus, and caves containing ancient wall paintings. Delfinarium is also close by.
•2 swimming pools (1 infinity pool)
•6 restaurants and 8 bars
This 4-star resort is located just steps from the beach and just metres from the Varadero golf club. Set on a property of beautiful tropical gardens with a spectacular poolscape, this unique building is star-shaped with extensions stemming from the central section of the hotel. Each arm/extension houses several guest rooms, all of which offer different views of the Caribbean or the grounds due in part to the staggered terraces.
Melia Varadero is perfect for families, couples, and singles, with accommodation options that include 329 regular guest rooms, 70 classic sea view rooms, and 21 premium sea view rooms. ‘The Level’ offers guests upgraded rooms with updated décor and amenities. There are 35 regular rooms available on The Level, and another 28 with sea views. There are also 6 suites available on The Level and 1 Grand Suite.
Guests can dine at 1 buffet or 5 a la carte restaurants on the property and have access to 3 bars and a 24-hour Snack Bar. À la carte options include dinner options of international, Tex Mex, Japanese and BBQ. Guests can also enjoy delicious paellas and Creole dishes by the pool.
• Fitness centre
• Santiago Lounge/Disco
• Nightly Entertainment and Interactive Theme Shows
• Watersports ($)
• Tennis Courts, Beach Volleyball
• Special green fees for golf course
• Children’s playroom and Babysitting service ($)
• WiFi is available in the rooms