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Home > Destinations > Cuba > Trip Reports > Trip Report

Cuba - Trip Reports

Arenas Blancas, Varadero

My husband and I have just returned from Cuba and I am so full of my Cuban experience that I am just bursting to share it. Cuba enthralled us, it is a place of enchantment, incredible beauty, haunting contrasts, and captivating people If I sound like a tourist brochure forgive me!

We are in our late 40's and early 50's and have traveled extensively in North America, the Caribbean and Europe and we visited Cuba for the first time last year and LOVED it. The Cuban people are incredibly welcoming to tourists. Their warmth, intelligence, unassuming nature and wonderful charm shine through, the only “attitude” you will receive there is genuine warmth! Then there are the beaches….unbelievable! and clean ­ we often thought that there were little invisible elves on clean-up duty! And if you go on the beach at night, the stars seem to be so close that you feel like you can reach up and touch them!

We loved Cuba so much that we decided to return again this year. Last year we stayed at Arenas Blancas, in Varadero. and really enjoyed the facilities, cleanliness, amenities, staff, pool, beach and close proximity (walking distance) to Varadero.. So we decided to return again this year and we were welcomed like family members, many of the staff actually remembered us from last year!

This hotel has a beautiful relaxed, vacation atmosphere, and the staff go out of their way to meet the needs of the guests. My husband and I were so surprised when we were invited to a dinner for “returning guests”. It was a fabulous meal, complete with a trio playing classical music. The hotel management hold this every week and it was such a beautiful touch. We were also invited to another reception, again for returning guests, where trees were planted in Arenas Blancas “Garden of Friendship”. A tree was planted for each couple/family and a name plaque with their name and date of visit on it. So now my husband and I have our own coconut tree in Cuba! What a delightful gesture. We have stayed at other hotels as “returning guests” and never received such hospitality!

The animation (entertainment) group at Arenas Blancas ensure that everyone is included in the activities, if you want to be included that is! Beach activities, pool volleyball, dance lessons etc. Then there were the musicians, a marvelous trio entertained us in the restaurant and beach bar, and the nightly entertainment had some of the best singers we’ve ever heard.

We had heard that the food in Cuba wasn’t very good, what we found was that food generally in Cuba is different to what we are used to here in North America, and if you are looking for exotic food choices, you probably won’t find them in Cuba, or in many other countries either. At Arenas Blancas we found there were lots of food choices; there was a buffet restaurant; pizza and snack bars, beach restaurant and a couple of a la carte restaurants…we never went hungry! If we didn’t like one thing, there was always something else to choose from..(the vino and cerveza were pretty good too!!).

So If you want a wonderful, relaxed, and enriching vacation experience, go to Cuba and if you go to Varadero, stay at Arenas Blancas. We are definitely going back next year, for at least two weeks!

Thanks to Anne for this trip report ...
February 2002

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