Memories Varadero, Cuba
I have mixed opinions on Memories Varadero as it had just came out of recievership when we went there. About six weeks before we got there it was known as the Sirenis La Salinas. If you have read my previous post about the Grand Sirenis in the Riviera Maya, Mexico. My wife and I were invited to a friends wedding at this hotel so we didn’t really have a say on where we went or we may have been a little more diligent.
When we arrived at Memories Varadero there were no plants in the gardens and the pools were completely filled with sand. All of the poolside showers were broken and inopperable. The Resort looked really run down the rooms weren’t much better but I’ll write about that later. We were quite upset with this and did not know what we were going to do.
We got wind of a huge party with about 700 people from a Cuban Universaty attending and magically plants and a lot of maintenance started to happen. Towards the end of our trip the resort had a much more lively feel. Still a lot of broken and not working things but none the less it was a lot more appealing. They also put railings along the wooden deck that was leading to the beach, I’m thinking that if they didn’t someone was gonna fall and really hurt themselves.
When we got into our room at Memories Varadero we actually had a king bed and we were right next to the beach this was nice but the room smelled like mildew and it looked as if the shower had overflowed onto the floor and soaked the walls. There was mold in our AC fan and some of our friends rooms flipped over their pillows and found mold on the under side of their pillows.
Now lets talk about the showers, these showers were dangerous the tubs are about 4 feet off the ground and there is an unattached step that you had to walk right down the middle of to get in or out of the shower or it will tip over on you. Upon our first shower we noticed why the walls and floor were soaked, the showers point directly at the back walls not angled into the tub, straight back. If you used to much water you would soak the walls and have a giant flood. The plumbing itself was definately very old which is to be expected in Cuba.
A lot of our friends were very sick by the third day and not very comfortable at the wedding including the groom. That day before the maid came in and cleaned I put all of the blankets all folded neatly and put a tip and a couple of souveniors from Canada under the pillows hoping to get new blankets. That didn’t happen and she didn’t even touch the pillows so she didn’t get her tip or the stuff I left for her. The second I saw that I called managemnt and asked them how they felt about their customer service and the fact that most of our group were sick and our rooms were in a horrible state. I forgot to mention some blocks didn’t have AC at all because it was broken.
That day we came in and our room was spotless you could tell that someone got in trouble for not doing their jobs. We found that if we didn’t tip they would barely touch the rooms, after a while we just put the do not disturb sign up and told them not to come back as we didn’t get very good service.
The food in the buffet at Memories Varadero was not the worst, not the best by any meens. The lineups were long but once you got to the more safe fresh cooked foods they tasted pretty good. A lot of the deserts were the same minus different colored fillings and they kind of tasted synthetic.
The night of the wedding we had the best meal on our whole trip. It was Salmon, Lobster, and really nice soup. You could tell that they put a lot of effort into this meal. The cake was fairly standard for a destination wedding cake nothing special is the best way to describe it.
Lets talk Specialty Restaurants now, The Italian was pretty tasty but service was slow. We walked out of the Mexican Restaurant and went to the snack bar as we orered our food at 6pm and did not even see an appatiser til around 7:30pm …. It tasted horrible. We didn’t eat all of that and then left at around 8pm before we could get down the stairs from the restaurant the waiter had yelled very loudly and said our food was finished and it would be right out. We were already embarassed for having to leave the restaurant and had no plans of returning to our seats. They called our room later that nigh and invited us back the next day, we declined the invite.
There was a third restaurant that was closed the whole time we were there to prepare for the Cuban Univesity people to show up so I can’t mention what the food was like but it was a mediterainian place and it looked kind of nice.
There were many bars around Memories Varadero and if you didn’t have your own cup the supplied you with very small plastic cups so you had to order three at once to get the total of one normal drink. The swim up bars were actually pretty cool, there is one that you go under a water fall and into a cave to get your drinks. The luxury on that wore off when we saw small bugs swimming around and noticed that the troughs where the water poored down to make the waterfall come down were filled with empty drink cups, a used tampon, and highly discoloured water. Thats the last time we went under there.
Our best experience was at the two snack bars, they served really good drinks and fairly decent food as well as being open 24 hours. If you want a hamburger its just ground up hotdog so you may as well just order hot dogs instead of hoping for beef. The hot dogs tasted pretty good any way and they better after you gotta wait 40 mins for that and a side of fries after 9pm.
If you like the beach this is one of the most beautiful sandy beaches you have ever seen, apparently all the sand is imported from Canada. When it is windy the water gets a little dangerous for young kids who aren’t good swimmers as there is a bit of an undertow if you go out a bit. But on a calm day there is a lot to do, you can paddle boat, windsurf, you can pay to Kite Sail, you can snorkel or learn to scuba dive, as well there are Catamarans which someone can take you out on.
There are ample chairs and it is very nice to sit out there when it gets dark as well.
One thing I will warn you about is the guys selling cigars and other stuff on the beach Do Not Buy Anything Without a Goverment Receipt, It could be fake or black market. They will try and trade you your clothing, cell phones and other stuff to get you to take it. I wouldn’t want to come home to find fake stuff or have it confiscated at customs.
If you plan on going to the Spa at Memories Varadero it is very small and non operational except for the changerooms, washrooms and showers.
This resort doesn’t have much for young kids to do so be aware that if you aren’t at the beach or in the pool bring something fun for them to do.
Be aware Memories Varadero used to be Sirens La Salinas and they are going through some big changes to make this resort a lot better and things may have changed since I was here in December 2012.
I will write in another spot about our trip to Varadero City as well as the Trip to Habana. As I always state this was my individual opinion and you can chose to agree or disagree with anything I say. I hope this gives you a little more information on Memories Varadero, Cuba. Feel free to follow and repost 😉