Roc Barlovento

Roc Barlovento
3.413.413.413.413.41
3.41 based on 708 reviews
#17 of 63 hotels The Monarc.ca popularity scale (#1/15) classifies all the hotels of a single destination according to the number of grades received on 5 and the total number of reviews. in Varadero
Rated 3.5 stars
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Little Gem, but needing TLC

, Warman , SK
2020-03-17
My 3 visit to this hotel, so I knew what to expect. The location is GREAT! You can walk to the 'souvenier' market, past restaurants and bars, even to the Beatles bar (if you dont mind a long walk). The beach is wonderful, the ocean is turquiose and there are tins of palapas and loungers. There is a beach bar but the beer was for sale in cans. This was a first. But you can sttoll back to the pool bar and refill your beer and it was good and cold. Pools were wonderful, and lots of loungers and chairs. Not as much shade as before, az they dont seem to have unbrellas anymore although the stands are still there. The staff is what makes this place wonderful. They are so helpful & caring. The buffet is ok, the ala cartes are good, you will not starve. Drinks are drinks, but their coffee bar is wonderful. Rooms are clean, and there always seemed to be enough toilet paper in public washrooms. Entertainment is resort type stuff, just go & enjoy. Rooms absolutely need REAL renovations. They cannot keep advertising "renovated" rooms but never having any. Things are falling apart around the resort but no one seems to fix them. Doors dont close, locks are broken, urinals had cardboard over them the whole time in public washrooms, toilet seats missing, burnt out lights where they need to have lights, crumbling walkways and balconies. These are things that can be fixed. Fix them. Paint stuff. Upgrade rooms. This place was probably a beauty in its day. Make it that way again. [Details]
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The strong points
*Staff is wonderful-Iris,Efrain,Pedro& Mario *pool-clean, large & lots of chairs *location-beautiful beach, lots of palapas *cold beer, cold drinks, great coffee *grounds are clean, place is always tidy *food is plentiful, almost too many choices
The weak points
*ROOMS NEED REAL RENOVATIONS- *buffet needs less quantity, more quality * mens public washrooms need to be fixed. Urinals, toilet seats, hand soaps *fix broken stuff-curtain rods hanging, burnt out lights, broken door locks, walkways.
Certified
Hotel reply, General Manager, on 2020-03-26
Dear Rodney Miller, thank you for your opinion, we are glad that you enjoyed your stay and we hope to see you again. Greetings on behalf of the entire Roc Barlovento family

3 week stay at Roc Barlovento

, Kelowna, BC
2020-02-22
good hotel is all about the staff very friendly and helpful
great beach
easy access to the town for shopping nite life and
good nearby restaurants
will go back again [Details]
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The strong points
staff beaches and location
The weak points
rooms are a little small with lack of storage
Certified
Hotel reply, General Manager, on 2020-02-25
Dear skip Wall, thanks for your opinion, we are glad that you enjoyed your stay with us and we have fulfilled your expectations. Thank you on behalf of all the Staff roc Barlovento. See you at the next time

Roc Barlovento: Older Hotel Enjoys High Repeat Rat

, Toronto, ON
2019-12-30
Roc Barlovento: Older Hotel Enjoys High Repeat Rate

Located at the start of Punta Hicacos peninsula, the Roc enjoys a high repeat rate for an older hotel up against the newer, more luxurious hotels further down the strip.

Yet, with its smaller scale, adults only clientele, good evening show entertainment, nice layout and stretch of beach, the Roc is a decent alternative often at a decent price.

If judging a hotel is done by sizing up its bathrooms, Roc earns 4 stars! Conscientious staff kept them clean and stocked with all the essentials. OMG, even the hand dryers work! Likewise, the pools, grounds and common areas were kept clean.

Nicer, smaller scale means you're not going to wear out your shoes walking around, and yet you'II still have enough space to escape the resident yahoos (the Quebec separatist who scared a la carte restaurant diners shouting us other Canadians who according to him "don't pay enough taxes!"). Sole exception is the lone lobby bar, oh well, you can run but you can't hide, lol, although "the boys from Saskatoon" politely asked him to keep it down and to himself!

Anyhow, here for the first time, Dalia and Zady were great! We got our room request, dinner reservations and complimentary bottle of rum (not at check-in but later, on request, which was fine, if not better).

Taking up the ROC PLUS $140 per couple upgrade meant "renovated rooms," the rum, daily water, 2 a la carte meals and special pool and beach areas reserved for us "green wristband" guests (similar to G.M. Sanctuary, Cayo Santa Maria although there, it's actually enforced).

Judging by the overwhelming "gold wristbanders" (repeaters) it was clear they like the Roc but few pay for the upgrade. Good for them too that they still enjoy access to the restricted pool area and designated ROC PLUS beach area even though this benefit seems rather dubious.

As a result, I had problems settling in and felt more like a "gold wristband spectator." Part of this was my fault, sure, but with only 13 lounge chairs at the Roc Plus pool - I never got one all week, and forget about "their pool," every square inch was marked like a dog. And although there's numerous 'upright chairs' at the Roc Plus pool, it's just not the same. Those would be better on the beach where sitting up, watching the water and stuff is great.

The UPGRADE - Renovated rooms or not, we still encountered unhinged, heavy closet doors you couldn't easily use, a TV remote control that didn't work (drove us batty!), a faucet that sprayed water all over if you weren't careful, and an air con unit with a broken swingdoor that also wasn't good enough (yes, Mr. Klaus we brought some stuff up with staff but the problems weren't resolved). Is it worth an extra $140 per couple per week? Likely not but I never saw the unrenovated rooms.

MORE LIKES - The friendly pool bar and nightshow bartenders. The buffet restaurant staff and omelet Cook, as efficient as anyone I've seen in over 10 years going to Cuba! Lots of ingredients too. The chambermaid service. The BBQ chicken and the El Ranchon lunch alternative. The snack food and 24 hour bar.

Carlos Morales, the middle aged "chair guy" who works the beach. Hard work getting them out and setting them up for people throughout the day, then stacking 'em up at days's end yet he does it all with grace, and believe me, he's the first to get me a pair of lounge chairs in Cuba. The convenience store and my Cuban menthol (Fresh) cigarettes!

Oh, among the friends we made, a shout out to Cindy and Andre from the Laurentians in Quebec, it was dynamite socializing with you! Hope we meet again one day. To my buddies from Milton, you guys rock and to "crazy Patsy" and Rob from Winnipeg, you guys split my belly with laughs those late nights, watch out though for "inverted nipples" going forward Patsy.

DISLIKES/ AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT

Scarce chicken and no pasta station at the buffet restaurant. Beef that needs to be tenderised or pounded heartily.

No pizza snacks, service at the Ranchon (slow, very forgetful), and the worst cappuchinos I had in Cuba.

Lobby bar staff were seen using the same coffee grinds twice and not bothering to whip up the milk. "The machine" got blamed but my morning coffee was much better after I complained how bad it was etc.

Having to ask for ashtrays and left waiting to ask ... holiday's are too short for that, just leave them on the smoking section tables or bar counter.

Vehicles stopping at the entrance and leaving their engines running.

Disappointing lobby bar entertainment, solo artists - nothing beats the traditional Cuban music bands!

Summary - For an older resort far from midtowne Varadero, the 3 1/2 star Roc is a decent, if not good alternative to other more expensive, modern hotels. There's just no guaranteeing everything will be great but then that likely goes with many other hotels in Varadero I suppose. All in all though, it might be worth trying. I confess that if the price is good, I may even return.

Bon voyage, Steve Anthony of Toronto! [Details]
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The strong points
The price at the time we went. Just $695 p.p. per week and smaller scale.
The weak points
Older hotel with problems that can get very busy. Out of the way. The smell from the refinery close by.
Hotel reply, General Manager, on 2020-02-20
Dear Steveanthony, thank you very much for such an accurate and extensive review, really comment on our positive points and the details to work to continue improving every day, thanks again we will continue to give the best of each day and hope to see you again at home. greetings on behalf of all the Staff

Hôtel ok pour un 3.5*

, Rockland, ON
2019-12-04
Nous avons transférer d'hôtel après trois jours, la senteur était très désagréable. [Details]
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The strong points
Bel accueil et bon service Propre Nourriture ok Belle plage et bien situé pour visiter Varadero
The weak points
Senteur désagréable provenant d'une usine de pétrole et d'une usine d'eau usée
Certified
Hotel reply, General Manager, on 2020-02-20
Merci beaucoup pour votre commentaire, nous espérons que vous nous rendrez visite à nouveau

Roc Barlovento

, Constance Bay, ON
2019-11-09
We have been going to The Roc twice a year for the past 5 years . The Roc is our home away from home . Every year it just keeps getting better . The food is nutritious, fresh , well prepared , rooms are clean , water is plentiful . Outside the pools are clean and well looked after , as is the beach area. There are outside bars, recreation areas and lots to do.
The Staff- just cant say enough ! Best of the Best.. Legna , Liven , Mario , Hilda , Idribar ( cant remember how to spell his name !) The fellas the the pool bar ! [Details]
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The strong points
The staff, Cleanliness of the hotel , pool and beach
The weak points
There are still some tourists that do not put their cigarette butts in the ashtrays supplied... I am a non smoker and not sure what else any of us can do to get some of these tourists to respect our Cuban friends !
Certified
Hotel reply, General Manager, on 2019-11-18
Dear, thank you very much for your comment, we are glad you enjoyed your time with us, your congratulations to part of our staff will be given. We hope to see you again. Greetings on behalf of the whole Roc Barlovento family

Hotel Roc Barlovento

, North York, ON
2019-04-09
If you are picking a hotel to stay at Think Roc Barlovento why because the staff are friendly you are close to everything in Varadero you will have a very good experience being at the Roc
We have been going to this resort for the last 3 years and will i try somewhere else and the answer is NO i LOVE going to Barlovento because the experience is good. Shows are good everything you need is at this hotel [Details]
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The strong points
Staff are Friendly, Cleanliness , great people over all I fully recommend this place
The weak points
The shows need to be updated but other then that all good
Hotel reply, General Manager, on 2019-05-23
Dear barbara hanna wilson, thanks to take the time and write about your experience with us and you recommendation. as you said our staff always is more than happy to received you all and made your vacations the best ever. we will take note on your suggestions. Best regards from all barlovento Family

ROC Barlovent0

, Ottawa, ON
2019-04-05
I was very happy overall with the hotel and I have stayed there for the last 7 years at least. I bring numerous gifts for the maids and tip as well. However, I'm 99.9% sure I forgot my Apple Ipad in the room. I remember taking it out of the safe and checking that it was empty. I remember carefully packing fragile items in the suitcase. I do not remember packing the Ipad. The color of the cover was close to the wood in the room. I must have missed packing it. I contacted the hotel the next morning by email but they advised nothing was found. I was very disappointed. [Details]
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Certified
Hotel reply, General Manager, on 2019-05-23
Dear Suzanne Noel, we are so glad you are comming to our resort for many years, and also regards your ipad we search it and also contact your maid and we can´t found it, we are sorry for it; but our staff is very profesional and take care seriously their work and are honest. If we find it be sure we will send it to canada right away. Thanks for choose us for 7 years and we hope see you soon at your second home

Great vacation!

, Bath, ON
2019-03-22
We stayed here in April 2018. From the moment we arrived until we left we had no complaints. All the staff were super, even the entertainers were really genuine and friendly. We would like to especially mention Itayna who works at the reception desk. She was so kind and helpful. It was nice to have a go-to person that we could rely on for any questions we had. The beach was perfect! We are not the kind to sit on the beach, but it was hard not to, the water was clear and the sand soft. Everything was centrally located and we often found ourselves in the lobby area where people mingled and chatted into the evening. It's also a bonus to be so close to town where we could safely walk around any time. The food was typical fare for Cuba and we never went hungry. The rooms were clean and comfortable. We enjoyed many a rum coconut cocktail as all drinks were included. The service we had at every turn was always prompt and courteous. We are headed to the same resort this April. See you there! [Details]
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The strong points
Super friendly staff made us feel right at home! Clean rooms, excellent beach at this adult only resort. Entertainment was high quality. Great relaxing place with room to roam.
Hotel reply, General Manager, on 2019-05-23
Dear Glenn Powell, we are so glad in reading your words, for us the better award is our guest full satisfaction. thanks for choose us for your holidays and hope you continue comming to this your second home

Barlavento

, Saskatoon, SK
2019-03-02
We had a very enjoyable visit with all facilities being very neat and clean , cleaning lady was awesome.
The door staff were not really very helpful or overly friendly( your dealing with tourists) but we still managed to adapt as having been in the area before.
The beach was very convenient and staff there were very friendly and helpful.
Overall a great experience [Details]
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Certified
Hotel reply, General Manager, on 2019-05-23
Dear Wayne Gies, we will take note of your comment and take the necessary actions. Thank you for writing about your experience and we will continue raising our standards so that the next time you visit us you can see our improvements

Front desk & Reception

, Vernon, BC
2019-01-05
Food and Restaurants, room service and cleaning excellent service by staff. Security visible and beaches clean. Pool and Grounds well maintained.
Disappointing with the reception offered by the female receptionist, who gave the impression, "we have your money, live with it or move, it is all a joke. [Details]
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The strong points
Excellent get away for adults.
The weak points
Female receptionist, very rude, speaking Spanish and laughing after being requested for assistance
Certified
Hotel reply, General Manager, on 2019-05-23
Dear Jon, We will take note of your comment and we will investigate on this topic, why did not you contact our customer service on this subject so that it could be solved at that moment? Thank you for your comment and we will take the necessary actions so that the next time you visit us you can see that our hotel is always in search of providing our guests with the best care and the best vacations.

Lovely Resort with an amazing beach!!

, Toronto, ON
2018-12-13
Enjoyable stay at the Roc! Rooms were comfortable and easily accessible with all connecting to main building! Nice not to walk forever. Beach is very close and absolutely beautiful. Several shade areas available and lots of beach chairs. Buffet and other restaurants were very clean and food was good and always plentiful. Good place for a relaxing trip! If you are a cat lover, I'd recommend bringing cat treats to help feed the kitties!! [Details]
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The strong points
Beautiful beach, Short walk to everything on resort, comfortable rooms, good food and many pleasant staff, especially Guillermo, Juana, Iris, Alina and Customer Service, Henry! He helped when needed, thanks!
The weak points
Buffet was plentiful but a bit smaller than other resorts. A completely different assortment of food mid week would have been welcomed.
Certified
Hotel reply, General Manager, on 2019-05-23
Dear Traveller, thanks for write about your experience at our resort. as we are an small hotel our areas are of course smaller than others, but always give our guests the best service and attentions to made your best vacations with us. we hope see you soon at our house. thanks

Great vacation

, Saint John, NB
2018-04-16
This was our first time at Roc Barlovento and we weren`t disappointed the staff were great and friendly, the pools were great and the beach was beautiful . We were really impressed with the comfort of the beds and the cleanliness off the rooms , clean towels every day and always something good to eat . We would stay here again and strongly recommend this place If you looking for a good price and not a huge resort this is the one for you so thanks Roc for the great stay. [Details]
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The strong points
the staff was great the grounds clean pools great and the beach beautiful. It was also nice to be able to walk down town without no trying to sell you something
The weak points
The only weak point was of our own doing , we didn`t stay long enough
Certified
Hotel reply, General Manager, on 2019-05-23
Dear Phillip & Pam Taylor, we are very happy you had such experience at our resort, for us is very important our guest satisfaction and their time with us. we valued so much your words and will keeping the hard work to give our guests the best holidays ever

Great location and great value

, Riverview, NB
2018-02-18
The Roc Barlovento is a GREAT value packed and beautiful location. The adult only criteria, and facilities, and best of all the BEACH are great. No real complaints; this is not Florida or Maritime food...it is different and if you are going to Cuba for the food...you are probably going to the wrong place. If you want a beautiful beach and water, close proximity to Varadaro...walking close, night life and yep internet slow but does work for $1 CUC /hr...it's your place. Also..had occasion to use the onsite medical doctor and great and prompt service and very reasonable. Staff good as well...a few bumps cut I would rate 4.5/5. [Details]
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Certified
Hotel reply, General Manager, on 2019-05-23
Dear Douglas Hamer, thank you so much for your opinion, is very important for us know our guests opinions to keep improving our services and continuing give all our guests the best experience ever!

Barlovento comes though again

, Kelowna, BC
2017-12-26
This is the 4th time at this resort and for good reason, the resort has the best staff a resort could offer. Right from the front desk staff to the cooks, maids,servers, bartenders and all other onsite staff. Always friendly and helpful. The food has improved a lot since the first time there. Also close to downtown. The resort was under renos to replace sidewalks and do some painting but the inconvenience was minor, never too far to walk around the work. Next year will be our 5th time there and we have decided 3 weeks instead of 2. [Details]
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The strong points
The Beach, Staff, Location,Grounds
The weak points
Could use more beach lounges and broken ones repaired or replaced.
Certified
Hotel reply, General Manager, on 2019-05-23
Dear Gb, we are so happy we can answer your comment, you know for us will be always a pleasure have you with us. Thanks

Wonderful hotel

, Brantford, ON
2017-11-06
This is a great adults only resort it is small and feels like a home away from home. The food is excellent, staff is amazing and the facility is clean and well keep. This is a cat friendly resort, there is only a handful of cats that live on the resort and they are all spade or neutered and vet checked. Visitors find the cats calming and they are not bothersome at all. There is a new manager (Klaus) that is always out and about to offer a smile handshake or a hug, It makes the hotel feel warm and hospitable. [Details]
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The strong points
Friendly Manager and staff rooms are clean, the food is the best I have ever eaten in Cuba. The grounds and pools are clean and well kept and the beach is beautiful. It location is perfect to walk the town of Varadero.
The weak points
This was a great single occupant resort but it appears there prices are on the rise for a single occupant in a room. I find this a little disheartening sense I have booked so many time a single and like to travel alone.
Certified
Hotel reply, General Manager, on 2019-05-23
Dear Cherie Pirece, thanks for write about us, we hope have you again at your second home, we have had a lot of improvements at the hotel since 2017. we hope see you soon.

Great trip again!!!

, Montréal, QC
2017-11-05
13th time to Roc Barlovento and once again many great improvements. Brand new pool and new water ballet show. Staff once again the best service. Renovated rooms and the most beautiful beach. [Details]
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The strong points
Great entertainment, always something to eat and drink 24 hours a day. Downtown Varadero with great restaurants and shopping.
The weak points
None
Certified
Hotel reply, General Manager, on 2019-05-23
Dear Bruce Favron thanks for write about us and your experience, we had more changes since 2017, we hope see you soon at barlovento.

A Step Back In Time

, Cranbrook, BC
2017-10-28
This was my first visit to Cuba and I was given an idea of what it would be like by my travelling companion (girlfriend) who had been to Varadero once before.The hotel itself is a little dated and could use some more renovations, judging by the Roc Plus room we were given. As it was, the room appeared to be clean and in fair to good repair. We were provided with two doubles beds where one queen/king would have be more to our liking. We ended up sleeping in separate beds so as not to knock the other one on to the floor. We were put on the 3rd floor which we liked as it was quieter in the evenings and gave us some additional exercise on the stairs but would not recommend for anyone with mobility issues (no elevator). The shower in our room was substandard with very little pressure and frequent loss of hot water, again we did manage to make do with what we had. The pool, dining, and common areas were great with plenty of room and lounges available. The beach was also spectacular and very well kept. As we are non-smoking health minded people we found it almost impossible to escape the second hand smoke, even in the small 8 - 10 seat NON-SMOKING section of the Lobby Bar. The staff seemed to not enforce this at all as almost all patrons were smokers. Unfortunately this is the main spot for the pay-as-you-go WiFi and would have to put up with it. Thankfully all the dining areas were completely non-smoking and we found ourselves lingering there for a drink or two to avoid the smoke. The buffet food was decent although a little repetitive which is understandable as access to a lot of foods in Cuba may be limited. If you were patient you could have a fresh omelette / pasta made to order. We had two a la carte meal selections for the week, a Mexican and a Fusion with the second to be more enjoyable. Finally, the shining star of this resort were the staff. They were all excellent, catering to all your needs whenever possible. Our personal favourites were Iris - Betty in the dining area and Miguel - Joel in the lobby bar. I would recommend this resort as good value for the money especially adult smokers. [Details]
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The strong points
Staff, Beach, Pool, Location
The weak points
Second hand smoke, Room shower, Need general updating
Certified
Hotel reply, General Manager, on 2019-05-23
Dear Garry, thanks for write about our resort, we have had some changes about the thing you pointed and we made renovations on the rooms and working hard for the non-smoking area at more places in the hotel. We hope see you soon at our resort.

GREAT PLACE

, Meadow Lake, HA
2017-09-20
The Roc Barlovento hotel we will definitely will be going back to , the staff were great and appreciated us being there, the food was good and of course the beach was amazing. It was Adults only hotel so it was quiet which made it very relaxing. [Details]
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The strong points
the staff were great, location was good if you wanted to go into town to shop or eat at a restaurant .The beach was awesome. Had wifi in the lobby so it was easy to keep in touch with the people at home.
The weak points
Older hotel ,could use some new mattresses and pillows in the rooms . Maybe encourage people to bring there own re- usable cups or sell them there because the little plastic cups were all over the grounds and beach,
Certified
Hotel reply, General Manager, on 2019-05-23
Dear Terry Stephenson, Dear Garry, thanks for write about us, we are so glad you liked the resort, and we will take note on your sugestions, we also must to tell we had changed mostly of the mattresses and get new pillows and sheets for the rooms

Not returning

, Toronto, ON
2017-07-31
Mediocre experience I would rate this hotel as more of a 2.5/3 stars, not 3.5, based on our experience!

I would rate this hotel a 2.5/3 stars, not 3.5 based on our experience! Here's why:

BEACH:
The beach was infested with sand ants so you couldn't lounge on the beach. You had to run from the ocean to the poolside to avoid getting bitten! It was very frustrating and not enjoyable at all if you enjoying sitting on the beach to read/lounge. No opportunity to dry off except if you didn't mind standing along the shoreline where the waves come in to air dry a little. You definitely needed some footwear while walking (...no, hustling) along the white sand. We brought lots of Deet so we were good. There is a plane that passes overhead to help keep the mosquitos at bay.

The water was a gorgeous turquoise color, that was cooler in the mornings but got very warm in the afternoon. It only rained one day, but June is their tropical storm season. The rain typically lasts only for about 15min intervals.

FOOD:
As for the food, it was mediocre - same items for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Wanted to reserve the Sushi bar but it's only available Monday evenings - would have liked to have known that beforehand. Then reserved the Mexican restaurant for Sunday dinner for 7pm, as it was the only availability. When we arrived it was closed the whole day with no sign of setting up. We went to the Concierge to inquire, who seemed surprised. She called the restaurant and was told it had been switched to another option "upstairs". We opted out and just went to the buffet instead. No surprise as to what was on the menu - leftovers from breakfast and lunch! Too bad as I think it would have been a nice experience.

The cappuccino machine in the restaurant was broken for 2 days so you had to get your coffee from the bar to bring with you to the buffet. The area for the ROC Plus seating never felt the AC so it was a miss sitting there! The 24-hr bartenders were very friendly and the housekeeping staff was very nice too. The Concierge was always ready to help!

The Beach Bar was never open during the daytime when we wanted something to eat so that was annoying. We had to hustle to the buffet, assuming it was during their operating hours.

AMENITIES:
On Sunday afternoon I purchased a small painting from Sili, the artist, and it was beautiful - freshly painted as it was still drying! (LOL!). I left it in my room to air dry some more and I loved it! Small ones are 10 CUC's and the large are 25 CUC's. The market down the street was great and we went twice! There was an annoying beggar who didn't want to take NO for an answer so we finally left. Too bad for that, though. There are cats around the site and they love meat, so don't bother with bread. I guess a carb-free diet helps keep them lean and trim! They are so cute!!

ROOM:
There are no screens on the sliding doors so you can't open the door for fresh air if you don't want mosquitos or ants getting in. That was a disappointment as we prefer to have the window open and AC off at night to enjoy the tropical breeze. [Details]
  • Room
  • Quality - Price
  • Front desk & Reception
  • Beaches
  • Location
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  • Staff / Crew
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The strong points
ocean only, not the sand
The weak points
sand flies on beach; boring
Hotel reply, General Manager, on 2019-05-24
Dear Oji, thank you for taking part of your time and giving your valuations, we feel we have not fulfilled your expectations when our staff does everything possible to please our guests, mosquitoes and insects have planned fumigation but we can not avoid them it is normal in tropical countries , we hope to see you again so you have a different opinion. Greetings from Cuba

Exactly as expected

, Vancouver, BC
2017-06-02
We had not travelled to Cuba before but had been to the Dominican Republic so consequently knew what to expect. The hotel is exceptionally clean (the pool is especially so - not one grain of sand in it, I swear). The rooms are fine but not especially well maintained; this is typical in countries where basic supplies can be difficult to get. But the beds were clean and comfortable and the a/c worked. What more does one need?

Everything you hear about the food in Cuba is true; do not expect delicious meals and be prepared to improvise. We usually had omelettes at breakfast and then would often make a sandwich (plenty of cheese and bacon available at breakfast) rather than come in for formal lunch. The snack bar near the beach is good to grab a quick lunch, especially on Cuba days (Thursdays). For the most part the service is good, but remember that Cuba is a tipping economy and be sure to carry lots of 1-CUC coins. I strongly recommend changing money at a bank or using an ATM rather than changing money at the hotel. There is an ATM that takes cards from Canadian banks just a few blocks up from the hotel.

The staff is friendly (esp. if you tip) although customer service is not a concept that exists everywhere in Cuba. Don't expect N. American style attentiveness from everyone, though within the hotel there is definitely a service mentality.

Activities at the pool were mostly an annoyance, but the Hobie sailing at the beach was fantastic, and the snorkeling trip well worth the $20CUCs.

If you want to do some adventuring do your homework ahead of time and book from Canada; on-site tours were double the price of what we booked from home. And if you want true flexibility, rent a scooter. $35 CUC/day $25 per day subsequently. A great deal.

Overall we liked the hotel very much. It is not the Four Seasons, but the public areas are very pleasant, the rooms are fine, the food is ok, and the service is very good overall, with some exceptions. The biggest bonus is you are right in town and can walk all over the place. I'd recommend the hotel and would go there again. [Details]
  • Room
  • Quality - Price
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The strong points
The cleanliness of the grounds. The beauty of the beaches. Water activities: sailing, kayaking, snorkeling.
The weak points
Poolside activities. The food (even though you expect it not to be great, it's really not great). Some employees not particularly customer oriented but the others made up for those.
Certified
Hotel reply, General Manager, on 2019-06-04
Dear Jdee, we appreciate your opinion and we will take your comments into account to continue improving. Greetings from Cuba

Pleased with the Roc Barlovento !

, Thorburn, NS
2017-04-22
The hotel was rustic with well preserved architecture. Some painting being done while we stayed. Everything was centrally located so you didn't have to walk for miles from point a to point b. [Details]
  • Room
  • Quality - Price
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The strong points
Everything was centrally located. Pricing on items at the resort were not outrageous, everything you needed was there. Shopping markets within walking distance. The staff were all friendly and very helpful.
The weak points
I would have liked to have one large bed instead of two double beds. The only other complaint I have is the toilet ran.
Certified
Hotel reply, General Manager, on 2019-06-04
Dear Michelle Callahan, thank you for your comment we are glad you enjoyed your time with us and we hope you decide to return. Greetings from Cuba

See you Barlovento, until next year.

, Winnipeg, MB
2017-03-10
We thoroughly enjoyed Barlovento for its laid back and homey atmosphere not pretentious which made it very easy to get along with the other patrons of the hotel. The rooms were basic, very clean and comfortable enough had plenty of hot water, no worse than staying in a cottage at the lake. The food was far better than I had expected.
I found the staff to be extremely friendly and engaging. Beach, grounds and location was ideal. I truly believe that for Cuba this hotel deserves 4 stars. We plan on going back for 2 weeks next year. [Details]
  • Room
  • Quality - Price
  • Front desk & Reception
  • Beaches
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The strong points
Beach, location, clean room with fresh towels daily. 24 hour lobby bar and adults only.
The weak points
Slow and limited Wifi if your there for that kind of thing.
Certified
Hotel reply, General Manager, on 2019-06-04
Dear Wendy9953, we are so glad you enjoyed your stay with us. our staff is very profesional and take care of all details to made our guests vacations the best ever. Big hug from all Roc Barlovento Family

Cuba in December

, Winnipeg, MB
2016-04-17
This was my second visit to the resort.
It is adult-only, not in the party-party sense, but the luxury of relaxing sense. My rooms, all the grounds and public areas were very clean and pleasant.
On checking in, ensure the fuses are all activated, so that all the lights turn on, and that the fridge is on.
The maid is responsible for your daily bottle of water, please tip her well.
I came for much-needed peace and quiet, plus a dash of fun, and that is what I found.
The service is very attentive.
I took the sight-seeing bus around Varadero and found fun souvenirs at the market.
I went on an evening trip to Havana for the show at the Tropicana, a fabulous show under the stars. The drivers and tour guides are very informative.
The beach was fantastic, like a postcard.
The staff do lovely things to delight you, like weave grasses into souvenirs and fold towels and blankets into flowers and swans.
There are biting insects, bring antihistamine and afterbite or calamine gel. If you forget, there is a nurse on duty who can help you.
The sun is strong, bring sunscreen and aloe vera.
I had a massage from the hotel masseuse, it was fantastic. [Details]
  • Room
  • Quality - Price
  • Front desk & Reception
  • Beaches
  • Location
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  • Staff / Crew
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The strong points
The guests were nice people from all over the world. The staff remembered me and were very considerate and attentive. Fair exchange rate at the lobby desk. (Don't go anywhere else for that except perhaps the airport) Get your coffee from the barista.
The weak points
The Internet was very irregular.
Hotel reply, General Manager, on 2019-06-04
Dear Villette, thanks for taking the time to write about your experience at our hotel, for us always will be a pleasure have you at our resort. and we hope see you again at your second home in cuba.

Let down

, Kelowna, BC
2016-04-17
The lethargy and indifference of the staff is quite noticeable. Probably a result of the (communist) political system. One day there were no coffee cups, next day no spoons, no towels replaced, etc. Coffee comes from (if you can believe it) two pushbutton operated machines that make one cup at a time. One was often out of service. You can imagine the lineups. Maybe we should tell them about urns. Water is not served automatically, you have to ask for it. And you're lucky to get it by the time you finish your meal.
Stray cats and dogs are running around freely on the property. There are only a small number of chairs on the beach; you have to get up at 4am to get one.
We were lucky, but some people had no toilet seats in their rooms.
Tried the Fusion and the Sushi restaurants, both not worth the bother. Everybody liked the salmon in the Fusion, though. The main buffet is not bad; best to stick with that.
The resort makes no effort to control (spray) insects; there's lots of mosquitos. Don't open your balcony door at night! We did and we have the bites to prove it.
Smoking is allowed everywhere except in the rooms and dining rooms. Apart from ourselves and a few German tourists all the other guests were from "La Belle Provence". And they took full advantage of that freedom smoking constantly. [Details]
  • Room
  • Quality - Price
  • Front desk & Reception
  • Beaches
  • Location
  • Bathroom
  • Staff / Crew
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  • Food & Restaurants
The strong points
The water is warm and clear. It was a pleasure swimming in such clean waters. Much different from the Pacific (Mexican) side.
The weak points
It's not as all inclusive as advertised. For example: If you want a drink such as a brown cow, you're required to buy a whole bottle of Kahlua at 170 cuc. The beach is never cleaned, lots of debris on it. Difficult to get a chair.
Certified
Hotel reply, General Manager, on 2019-06-04
Dear Felix Possak, let me tell you we had not such problems as you said; we had a lot of improvements sice you came ar the hotel, we put a lot of shadows at the beach and pool, also a lot of chairs to seat at the beach and pool; the cats at the hotel are vaccinated and are taken in care for a vet who cames every month. we also made some no-smoking areas at the lobby and beach; you can came and see by yourself all the improvements we done and change your mind about our resort.

My roc experience

, St Thomas, ON
2016-04-01
did not start well. bathroom troubles. got it rectified the next day. [Details]
  • Room
  • Quality - Price
  • Front desk & Reception
  • Beaches
  • Location
  • Bathroom
  • Staff / Crew
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The strong points
the beach is awesome. its very close to the airport adult only food was great.
The weak points
front desk not to helpful.
Certified
Hotel reply, General Manager, on 2019-06-04
Dear Warren Anger, thanks to take your time and write about your experience at our resort, we will take note on your weak points comments to continuing improving our standars, we suggest you to come and see by yourself all the new changes.

Not what expected but it was ok.

, Newtonville, ON
2016-03-07
The hotel needs some updating. The older rooms are in major need of repair. We had 3 days of raw sewage fumes. Maid came and put garbage pale over the bathroom floor vent and smell went away. Food was lacking even for Cuban standards. A few rude staff. Been to Cuba many times probably
won't visit this property again. They should have a no towel policy on beach chairs as there is not enough chairs for resort. Ran out of towels 2 days
in row. Can't expect much from a 3*in Cuba but The weather was amazing :) we did ask to move rooms. They showed us one then informed us it wouldn't fit our triple occupancy. So we stayed where we were. [Details]
  • Room
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The strong points
The location is great for access to downtown and restaraunts. Some of the staff were awesome!!
The weak points
Price should be reduced for rooms still needing upgrading. Wasn't worth the money. It is adults only yet kids were there in the lobby and beach.
Certified
Hotel reply, General Manager, on 2019-06-04
Dear Lori, we are so sorry you had such opinion about our hotel, but since you came we made a lot or updates in all the resort, you can check it on our social media profiles and if you want come to see it with your own eyes, you may change your comments on us. Thanks fro write and we hope see you again.

Very good time at Barlovento

, Saskatoon, SK
2016-02-16
My partner and I had a very good time at Barlovento. The beach is superb - the only drawback was the weather, which kept us off the beach a couple of days. We liked the Spanish-style facility a lot and the setting is excellent. The food not so much, but there was plenty of it and we certainly didn't go hungry. [Details]
  • Room
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The strong points
Charming facility, beautiful setting, an interesting town
The weak points
Bland, mediocre food. front desk not all that friendly or helpful
Certified
Hotel reply, General Manager, on 2019-06-06
Dear Dave Margoshes, thanks for write about your experience with us, let us tell you we had made a lot of improvements since you´d visited us; we encouruge you to came again and you can see it by yourself

Underwhelming

2016-01-18
We visited Roc Barlovento between January 9-16 2016. Having been to Cuba several times before, and knowing this is not a 5 star resort, our expectations were set accordingly. We've even been to a 3.5 star resort (versus Roc rated at 4) in Varadero, as well as 5 star in Varadero, so we knew what to expect. Unfortunately Roc Barlovento left a lot to be desired.

Lobby/check-in:
Small lobby area with some seating, a bar, and a coffee bar. Check in was smooth and they even had a room ready for us when we checked in around 11:30am. We requested a new room (see more details in Room description) and they accommodated us. Nothing impressive about this lobby so to say, but the front desk was mostly helpful. Bathrooms in the lobby were mostly clean.

Room:
As mentioned, we received a room right away even though we were checking in early, so that was a pleasant surprise. However, once getting to the room, we weren't as excited anymore. The room was old and run down, smelled musty, and overall was not welcoming or inviting to want to stay there for a week. I placed my knee on the bed for a feel, and cold feel springs digging in. The bathroom was not anything we wanted to use, and the bathtub was all chipped and looked perma-stained. We trekked back to the front desk and begged for a new room., having known from previous reviews that there are renovated rooms. They promised that they could move us the next day, but after some persistence on our part, they agreed to give us a new room the same day, it just wouldn't be til about 3 or 4pm...no problem!! When we did get into the new room, it was much better. It was fresh and clean. Bathroom didn't look totally renovated, but a huge improvement & acceptable. Toilet was broken, which they fixed the next day. Sliding balcony door didn't lock, and was never fixed (we were second floor), and shower head barely had any pressure (but worked!). Overall the room has very basic amenities...weird long flat pillow, fridge (not stocked with anything), once a day house keeping as usual, only one towel per person. Oh yes, one strange thing was that the bathroom door had a huge cut out with clear glass in it, like a window in the door..very odd! As we were sisters staying there, we draped one of the extra covers over it for privacy haha. Anyways, overall we were satisfied with the room and do recommend requesting one of the renovated rooms if you can.

Pools:
There are two pool areas. There's a pool right near the lobby, with a smaller one right beside it that's less than knee deep. There's also another pool closer to the beach. None of the pools seemed too inviting. There was also a ridiculously small amount of loungers around the pools, with lots of room for extras. In fact, I counted there only to be 13 loungers near the pool by the lobby! Meanwhile, they beach had stacks of extra loungers. Needless to say, unless you reserved one early, you weren't getting any room by the pools. People seemed to enjoy lounging near them, but I feel like the entire week we only saw a handful of people using the actual pools.

Beach:
We love the Varadero beaches, and have come back for this reason! One thing that was surprising was the amount of broken seashells etc that were on the shore. Could be the time of year as it did appear to continue further down the beach too (we walked along shore for a couple hours). Not sure if other resorts have just done a better job cleaning it up, but it certainly didn't ruin anything for us. The water is beautiful! We had some unfortunate weather, and it got pretty windy some days and provided for waves, but once it was clear and calm, it's wonderful. We did reserve loungers every morning, but found there was usually extras anyways. The lifeguard would usually help you get some off the stack and drag them to your desired location for you. There were lots of broken loungers, and they all looked well used (dirty), but your towel goes over it anyways, so no problem! As a side note on reserving chairs, one day when we did this our towel was stolen. Had to pay the hotel 10 CUC for this :( Luckily though we were allowed to change to clean towels every day, even though it said only 3 times per week. There is a small bar at the beach, but out of the entire week, it was only opened once. This could have been as the weather wasn't the best..but even on one of the days with great weather when the beach was full..no bar!

Service:
I call this resort "self-service". Most times during any meal at the buffet, we ended up going to get our own drinks as the waiter took forever to get to us. Service at the bars/coffee bar was good.

Food:
Upon check in they gave us the days/times we were already pre-booked in for the a la carte dinners. We didn't make them, so can't comment there. We frequented the buffet (there's only one) for breakfast/dinner, and usually the grill type place closer to the beach for lunch. Food wasn't horrible, but nothing to write home about. Again, we know the food quality in Cuba to be expected. Alot of repetitive items throughout the week, and from meal to meal it seemed. There was always someting to eat. Only complaint is that nothing ever seemed hot. Even seeing them bring out a new tray of food, and it's only warm. Unless you're super picky..you'll survive :)

Entertainment:
Overall seems like there's not much going on for entertainment. We had a basically 2 days of full rain, and had it not been for a book to read, we' have been bored silly throughout the day! Cannot comment on any night shows as we didn't go.

Locaton:
Great location that's close to the airport and to town. We walked into the town where the flea markets are etc several times. It does take about an hour, but it's safe and you get to see the town on your way a bit. We also walked along the beach into town, which was lovely. We'd usually catch a taxi home after a tiring day, and we paid 5 CUC. Considering the double decker bus which takes you into town is 5 CUC per person, it's worth it even if you take a taxi there and back. The "fancier" taxis such as the older style convertible may be a bit more expensive (we paid 7 CUC), but if you want the experience it's worth it!

Overall, I probably wouldn't return to this resort. I'd prefer somewhere larger with more amenities/entertainment, and pools that were more inviting. I probably could have paid $200 less and gone to the same 3.5 star I'd been to before and been just as happy if not happier! [Details]
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Certified
Hotel reply, General Manager, on 2019-06-06
Dear Am24, we took note on all your comments and must to tell we had a lot of improvements sice you came to our resort, we had a new fornitures for the rooms, new amenities, chairs at the pool and beach. we invited you to come to you see by yourself all our improvements.

ROC Barlovento

, Calgary, AB
2015-03-04
The hotel is showing its lack of upkeep / maintenance.
The rooms were clean, but the bed and bedding ( including pillows ) were gnarly.
The beach was not the cleanest ....which was disappointing (in previous visits the beach has always been amazing) [Details]
  • Room
  • Quality - Price
  • Front desk & Reception
  • Beaches
  • Location
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  • Staff / Crew
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The strong points
Location was convenient , based on having accesss to other shops and restaurants ....and not far from the airport
The weak points
Needs updating / maintenance. Needs new bedding (mattress, pillows, sheets, towels)
Certified
Hotel reply, General Manager, on 2019-06-07
Dear guest, we had make a lot of renovations and improvements at the hotel since you visited us, we invited you to come again and see by yourself what we have now and change your mind about us. thanks for write.

Never again

, Gatineau, QC
2015-02-28
Staff not service-oriented, except for one or two. Food variety is the worst I've seen in Cuba - this was our 4th trip to Cuba. You have to get up early to get a chair around the pool - never mind the beach where the "chair mafia" controls all the chairs - a game we don't like to play. [Details]
  • Room
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  • Front desk & Reception
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  • Cleanliness
  • Business Services
  • Food & Restaurants
The strong points
Departure.
The weak points
Front desk reception staff seem inconvenienced.
Certified
Hotel reply, General Manager, on 2019-06-07
Dear, thank you for giving your assessment, we will take your comments into account to continue improving in these aspects. Greetings from Cuba
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