Saturday 9 April 2022

Royalton Hicacos Resort and Spa, Varadero, Cuba

I spent the last week (April 2 to 9) at Royalton Hicacos Resort and Spa in Varadero, Cuba.  I haven't been on vacation since the spring of 2019 and I was looking forward to it.  It caught my eye because it was all-inclusive, adults only and 5-star.

Rather than have a key or a pass card, your wrist band also opened your door.

I arrived at night.  When I checked in, I was given a large white envelope with my name and room number on it.  Inside the envelope was a small piece of paper with the WIFI code.  That was it!  No map or anything.  Plus it would have been nice to get some pointers on where to eat that time of night, etc. ... I had to figure it out myself.

Here was my room ... it was big!

I had a long bath every afternoon ... I love baths!
My balcony

The plugs in the room weren't "Canadian" but I was able to borrow an adaptor from reception.  My bed was comfy!  I usually don't have my room cleaned every day ... it's just me and I can make my own bed and reuse the towels.  But there was no "do not disturb" signs so the maid came in every day ... I appreciate it but it wasn't necessary.

The mini fridge was stocked with two big bottles of water and a big bottle of orange pop.  There was also a bottle of rum ... yum!

Here's the view from my door ...

Here's the lobby ...

There were lots of these bridges connecting the main buildings to the buildings with the rooms.

There were fun sculptures around the property.

The beach was amazing ... I love the beach and spent some mornings there!

There were lots of restaurants, including a buffet and different theme ones including Italian, TexMex, seafood, etc.  I ate at the buffet a few times and it wasn't very good.  Because of COVID, you now point at what you want and servers put it on your plate.  I had supper one night at the Italian restaurant and it was NASTY!  I was surprised that a 5 star would have such poor food.  I spent a lot of time in the Bistro and the Beach Club Grill ... they had the best food. 

The Bistro - I had a couple lunches and breakfasts there
The Beach Club Grill - I had lunch there almost every day
The ice creams was good in the ice cream shop

There were three pools (one big one, which was fun, where the action was and had the swim-up bar and two smaller ones on the perimeter of the property, which I never went to).

There were three cats hanging out in the restaurants ... and no one seemed to mind.  Their left ears were clipped which indicated they were neutered.

I had some fun towel art left on my bed the last days.

I only saw one sunset, even though I crossed this bridge every evening at the same time ... it had rained just before this.

I was lucky in that the weather was fantastic ... hot and sunny.  It only rained once.

Internet was free ... but weak and spotty.  I was able at times to access it on my iPad and iPhone in my room but it would kick out without warning maybe a minute later or 10 minutes later.  There was a long user ID and password that had to be inputted every time to access it.  It was stronger in the lobby and areas closer to the lobby but it would still kick out.  Plus every time you shut your phone off, the WIFI would be stopped.  You are allotted a certain amount of hours ... once those hours run out, you have to go back to reception and ask for more ... and so on.

The "animation" entertainment was a disappointment.  It seemed like every time they played different songs but the dancers did the same dance moves.  There was a piano player in the Jazz Bar who was really good and there was a singer in the lobby bar who sang along to recorded music but it seemed like she only had two sets ... one in English and one in Spanish which she did on alternate nights.

While I did like the property and the beach, I don't know if I'd go back.  Everyone knows that you don't go to Cuba for the food ... but I expected more from a 5 star resort.  It was really bad.  I always found something to eat ... but I ate pizza and burgers almost every day.  Plus the quality of the entertainment wasn't great.


Teresa said...

It's nice to get back to a little bit or normal. Everyone suggests Cuba for a holiday but I have never heard any rave reviews not matter the star rating. Glad to hear the weather was on point. Welcome home.

Anonymous said...

Totally agree...
Not a standard 5 star but maybe it is for cuba.
Agree with all that is said.
Food is mediocre
Entertainment a joke.
They keep running out otlf items...
Ie. No Pina coladas at night.
The 24 hr nitro runs out of food...
Take my advice don't book here. And try another resort!