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Home > Destinations > Cuba > Trip Reports > Trip Report

Cuba - Trip Reports

Tryp Peninsula, Varadero

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 explain.

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 see!

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 community.webshots.com/album/27266355lAiMFgPFow This person went at Peninsula and all the hotels pictures are representatives.

Thanks to Guy for this trip report ...
April 2002

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