Since we just travelled during the most expensive week of the year our requirements for Cuba were 1) 4 stars or more and 2) less then $1000 per person for one week all-inclusive. With not many options to choose from we settled on Hotel Roc Arenas Doradas, or as I referred to it “Arenas Doritos”. The resort was very basic but it was well-maintained and staff were friendly. The rooms were big and there was a small view of the ocean from our balcony.
I have a love-hate relationship with Cuba. They have the most beautiful beaches I’ve ever seen… and the worst food I’ve ever tasted. I may be a bit of a food snob, but in my opinion the food in Cuba is beyond atrocious. This resort was no better or worse than anywhere else I’ve eaten in Cuba. Others will disagree with me and say the food is fine, but for me it just lacks flavour. To get the most out of your basic meals I’d suggest bringing your own condiments. We brought salsa, peanut butter and jam to add to our meals. Bringing your own snacks is a good idea too! The Italian restaurant was one of the better choices for dinner at Hotel Roc Arenas Doradas, while the breakfast buffet was the most disappointing.
The only alcohol they served at Hotel Roc Arenas Doradas was brands we’d never heard of… but bottles of Havana Club were only $5 in the gift shop, so we bought that to drink instead. The lobby bar had decent mojitos, while the pool bar had good pina coladas! When you need a break from cocktails the on-site cafe had great cappuccinos and lattes!
Did I mention how nice the beach is at this resort? Soft white sand and crystal clear water! Even when we were out on a boat you could see the ripples in the sand through the water. The beach had plenty of lounge chairs and all day long vendors walked the beach. I never found the vendors to be pushy, and I really enjoyed having the option to buy fresh coconuts without getting up from my beach lounger.
The only other selling point of Varadero – the sunsets! They happen fast so you need to be at the beach waiting…. but they are some of the most picturesque sunsets I’ve seen.
Even though this resort didn’t impress me, we still had an amazing vacation. There’s no description that gives the beaches the justice they deserve, and Cuba has an amazingly laid back vibe. I probably would not return to this resort, and would instead check out one of the Melia Resorts, but I think the resort was acceptable for the low price we paid.