> Destinations > Cuba > Trip Reports > Trip Report
We (with daughter 10) went to this hotel
Marsh 8 to 15, 2002. We really enjoyed.
I read opposites comments about the hotel before we go. Some
are really positive, others bad. I think that it
depends about what you expect. It was my first trip
to cuba, before that I went in 3 Club Med and in
Bavaro Punta Cana, but for Bavaro, it was 15 years
ago. That's what I can compare with. Overall, I
would say that Peninsula is much better than Bavaro,
but not as much as Club Med. But it costs a lot less
than Club Med!
Before we go, I was asking myself why comments were so
opposites. Now I understand and I will try to
First, the foods. There are 1 buffet restaurant and 3
à la carte restaurants (cuban, italian and « surf and
turf »). Note that the « surf and turf» is the beach
restaurant and is not always open on evening,
depending on the hotel occupation. The buffet
restaurant, the one you usually goes most of the time,
is correct, but it depends on your tastes and
expectations. The chief is probably Cuban and doesn't
know how to cook meat. There is few spice and no
fresh herb. It is definitely not french «cuisine ».
But if you like fish, there is already 5 or 6 fishs,
different cook, that are really good. There is about
10 to 15 hot meals every night and you should find
someting acceptable. Salad bar is OK, not gorgeous,
but you won't get sick to eat it. I was disappointed
with fruits : not a big choice and pineapples not
ripe. Note that it is probably because it was not
pinapple season. And this is a trend in Cuba : they
don't have easily acces to any product anytime. You
have to cope with that. Comments of people on
anything won't be the same according to the time in
the year they were there. Wine is OK for an
all-inclusive(AI). Service is usually very correct,
especially if you try to speak spannish. Just learn
the basic words and they will be happy. Note also
that in a buffet, if you are there at the opening, you
will have more choice and food will be always hot (not
the case 15 minutes before closing time!). The buffet
is quite the same everyday. There is no them
(italian, french, etc) like it was in club med. After
a week in club med, you would begin again another
week. In Peninsula, you won't. But I went in France
many times, I like french cuisine, I use to go very
often in very good French restaurants and I was happy
with the foods in Peninsula. Just don't expect the
top you could imagine!
The à la carte restaurants were very good, more than I
expected. The only negative point is the tomato sauce
in Italian restaurant : it is american-like tomato
sauce, I mean sweet sauce. And the booking : you
have to line-up at 9am to book for the day after. It
may takes 45 minutes to line-up! But instead of other
AI club, you can line-up every day and eat there
everyday if you want. You can book for lunch for
today or for dinner for tomorrow.
Rooms are Ok but few of them are Beach-front (20%).
Many of them have no view at all. They are clean,
air-conditionning works very well. Safe box with code
you choose. The hotel has opened in July 2001, so
everything works well. About 600 rooms : it means
you may have to walk a lot, depending of where your
room is located. But it is not a problem if you are
not old or desabled, you are in vacation.
Beach is wonderfull, like everywhere in Varadero.
Sand, blue, long, paradise. But only sand. Don't
expect to snorkel, there is nothing else than sand to
Another important concern is the localisation of the
hotel : it is isolated. On one side, the next hotel
(Paradisus) is about 40 minutes walk. On the other,
the LTI Varadero is just beside, but after that,
nothing! If you want peace, it is for you. If you
like to be in the action, you will be disappointed.
You have to take a taxi to go anywhere outside the
hotel. Like I said, it depends about what you expect!
Nightlife doesn't seem to be very interesting, but I
go to bed at 10h30pm! I can't tell much about it and
was not disappointed. Shows are very amateur and not
like in Club Med.
Nautical sports are the only complaint that I made to
the management. Even if windsurf and catamaran are
included, you have to book in the morning for all the
day. If you want to have a cuban go with you in a
catamaran, you have to book before 10am. The problem
is that if you go after, they will tell you it is full
for the day. But many times in the day, I saw 2 or 3
catamarans on the beach and 5 or 6 cubans seated on a
chair telling you it is full for the day!!! (Other
staff in the hotel were very frendly).
For pictures of the hotel, look at
This person went at Peninsula and all the hotels
pictures are representatives.
Thanks to Guy for this trip report ...