If there is one place to consider lounging for a few days, it is one of the best all-inclusive resorts in Varadero, a peninsula on a tiny string of white sand and palms on the northern Cuban shore!
Any other destination like Trinidad, Viñales, Cienfuegos, or Havana has so much culture, sights, nightlife, and important discoveries to keep you busy, so here you really don’t need more than a comfy bed and a serious breakfast!
But on the 20-something kilometers string of sand peninsula, Varadero is where you really can embrace the chill blue and white ambiance of the Caribbean paradise.
Go from bed to the beach in less than 30 seconds. Nothing really beats that!
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Quick Facts About Varadero Cuba!
Varadero town is more like a village really, situated on the long peninsula that is commonly referred to as Varadero but really its name is Hicacos, in Matanzas Province.
The Best All-Inclusive Resorts In Varadero
But let’s get on with today’s topic, which is living a pampered life for a short and sweet while! These are my reviews from 2022.
And if you have not thought about it already, Cuba in general, and Varadero in particular, is a fantastic option for your honeymoon!
This is an area packed with stunning hotels and all-inclusive resorts, and in reality, is an area entirely for holidays and leisure.
Also read: 19 Best Things To Do In Varadero Cuba!
The Iberostar Selection Bella Vista in Varadero has an elegant foyer, a relaxed atmosphere, and a friendly environment welcoming you from the start!
Even if we arrived early, that was no problem, we could check in immediately! Welcome drinks were served while checking in, a great start to the weekend!
The reception offered an upgrade to a sea view room upon check-in for an extra fee, and as I am a sucker for views in general and sea views in particular that was hard to resist!
Totally worth it, I think, but you can judge for yourself below.
Also read: Divine Scuba Diving In Varadero Cuba
The atmosphere at the Iberostar Selection Bella Vista has a down-to-earth, relaxed, and friendly vibe.
The ambiance is more happy and festive than elegant and zen at Melia Bella Vista, and there is a lot going on on the hotel grounds in the daytime.
In the pool area, the natural social gathering point is the pool bar, which had a high party vibe during the day, with lots of people, and music.
The white sandy beach is only minutes away from the pool and the party if you prefer a moment of that zen as well.
In the evening though, the Iberostar Selection Bella Vista quiets down, as the guests change for dinner, and gather for an aperitif in the lobby bar area.
Fine Dining At Iberostar Bella Vista
There is one dining hall at the Bella Vista, where the staff is working hard to serve you what you want.
As the chefs are cooking on demand, there is a bit of waiting in line to be done if you want freshly made meat or fish with your meal!
There is also hotel entertainment on the patio after dinnertime, which on this particular occasion was a rock band playing old classics from the 80s and 90s!
If you would like to continue your evening after 10 pm, you probably will have to find a club in Varadero town as the hotel quiets down apart from the 24/7 snack bar.
The serious dancing queens probably want to visit Varadero on the weekends, as this is when there is life after midnight in Varadero town!
All the way out on the tip of Varadero is the Iberostar Playa Alameda all-inclusive resort, an adult-only resort with large grounds, several pools, and a private beach as heavenly white as they come.
We stayed here for a couple of days in June 2022, which is in the middle of the wet season in Cuba, meaning quite regular afternoon showers and the occasional thunderstorm, although usually short-lived.
The Iberostar Playa Alameda is not among the most spectacular or modern hotels in Varadero, although the foyer and reception area is really elegant and almost grandiose with tall columns and high ceilings.
Being built in 2002, there is some visible wear and tear to the buildings and rooms of this 5-star hotel in June 2022. It also suffered a bit from the general problem in Cuba with certain foodstuffs and goods.
As the hotel is an adult-only zone, the ambiance is tranquil and calm, and there is an activity program, where you can enjoy cocktail-making classes and chill-out evenings.
The rooms were elegant and delicate, the gardens and pool ground the same, and the staff was super friendly and provided excellent service throughout!
Also read: 19 Best Things To Do In Varadero Cuba 2022!
Lush Amenities & Shops
Just inside the reception is the outdoor seating lobby bar, and a couple of shops where you can get snacks, memorabilia, and necessities.
The pool bar stays open late and serves simple sandwiches and, after midnight, Cuba Libre cocktails.
Then towards the end of the hotel grounds, just separated from the beach with a string of green bushes is the buffet area where the meals are served.
This is an open space, indoor-outdoor kind of thing, where the staff does their best to give you a great experience.
Also read: Best Breakfast Places In Havana 2022!
The Playa Alameda also hosts an entertaining show some evenings, including both dance ensembles and magic tricks, before you can enjoy the in-house disco right behind the reception.
After midnight all is quiet at the Playa Alameda, so if you want to continue into the small hours you need to take a taxi to Varadero town and visit one of the clubs that keep going for a few more hours!
Melia Paradisus Resort & Spa
One of the absolute best all-inclusive resorts in Varadero is the Melia Paradisus resort & spa.
The Melia Paradisus is situated almost completely at the end of the Varadero Peninsula, with a gated entrance somewhat secluded from the other resorts out there.
The taxi will let you off at an entrance area that is all white, airy, and delicate, and you can immediately see straight through to the palms and the beach on the other side!
All the way through the restaurant and the bar area into the pool area there are high white and light ceilings everywhere and no walls, open and airy, which is also the ambiance of the rest of the hotel.
Also read: Sensational 7 Days In Cuba Itinerary!
Checking in is a breeze, the online booking is all good, and you will get briefed on the hotel amenities and services.
The Paradisus Amenities
There is free wifi, a large gym, and a spa to help you relax although for an extra cost. All meals are served in the large restaurant that is divided into zones so it does not seem huge at all.
The Melia Paradisus also has a snack bar that is open 24/7 and a few a la carte restaurants. Here you need to book a table one day in advance, but the a la carte restaurants are also included in the all-included deal.
The pool area covers quite a bit of ground, with different zones and different depths, all built to resemble a natural oasis it seems.
It definitely works, and this layout also makes sure it doesn`t feel crowded even when there are a lot of guests.
Everything is interconnected, and it all is just… breezy air!
The service is super all the way from check-in to kitchen staff, chefs, waiters, and the guy with the welcome train, no less!
The accommodation for this stay is a junior suite, which is like a two-leveled studio, with a king-size bed, a delicate bathroom, and a terrace with a view of the gardens.
I absolutely adore the interior design, but it may be just because it has a definite Scandinavian touch triggering my homey heart? Except for the fancy purple light under the bed, of course, a bit of Las Vegas right there to balance it out!
The room is in a little “village” of white bungalows a few minutes walk from the hotel reception area, where you will be transported by one of the greeting guys with the cute little carts.
Paradisiacal Beaches At Paradisus
Outside the bungalow door to the right is the beach, literally ten meters away! The Melia Paradisus Varadero is very much a little paradise at the tip of the Varadero Peninsula.
Also, because of that, it is not within walking distance of anything. If you want to go exploring outside the resort grounds, it means you need a taxi.
Also read: Create Awesome Holidays To Cuba 2022!
Which is no problem, the reception will get you one in no time. Be aware though, that the post-pandemic prices are higher and the taxistas will ask you for payment in €uro.
All in all, when it was time to check out of the Melia Paradisus world in Varadero, I was not at all ready to leave yet!
I suspect I am not the only person having felt that way leaving this house of zen, but you just gotta check out if this place could be something for your pampering holiday!
Melia International Varadero
I spent a weekend at Melia International Varadero resort in March 2020 as an all-inclusive guest. This was just before the pandemic hit Cuba when no one yet knew the magnitude of what was coming.
Entering through the doors to the lobby of Melia Internacional after a two-and-a-half-hour rather hot taxi drive from Havana feels like a breath of fresh air.
The first impression is super nice, the lobby is huge but quiet, and the interior cooling and delicate.
A beautiful airy foyer, stress-free check-in, and large windows displaying the short walk to the pools and the main attraction; the light blue sea!
Also read: 10 Perfect Day Trips From Havana Cuba 2022!
According to their own web page, Melia International has the “finest stretch of beach in Varadero”, which probably is a tough contest!
The beach outside of the Melia International definitely is gorgeously white with super-fine sand for barefoot beach-walking in the waves.
Although we are in the Caribbean, the water in March is pretty chill, and the wind is as well.
The hotel grounds are rather large, and there are several pool areas. Some are small and secluded with a calm atmosphere, while others are large and noisy with music and activities going on.
Whatever your mood, you will probably find a leisure spot that suits you here.
Also read: 33+ Legendary Things To Do In Havana 2022!
The room at the Melia is bright, light, and airy as well. There is a spacious balcony overlooking the pool area, and onto the beach and the eternal sea horizon.
The bathroom is super gorgeous with a huge bathtub, and windows towards the room so that you could see straight through to the sea as well.
And you can play with the colored lights to fit your mood for the day (or night).
Hotel Shopping And Amenities
There IS a shopping area (mostly expensive tourist stuff or summer stuff in case you have forgotten a bikini or something), little cafes and restaurants scattered around the hotel grounds, and spacious indoor and outdoor lounges for chillaxing.
For your all-Inclusive stay, the least you need to worry about is food (which can actually be a bit of an issue in other places in Cuba in 2022).
You will have access to a variety of different restaurants and cuisines with your bracelet, you will find buffets, à la carte places, or just snack bars or sandwich places.
Be aware though, that some are outside the all-inclusive deal. There are a la carte restaurants that are not included in the all-inclusive, where you need to book in advance and take the little extra bill.
One weird thing I was not too excited about was that all the really good restaurants closed at 9 pm.
To me, this seems a little early to end a holiday dinner evening. Some of the snack bars are open 24/7, so regardless, you don’t have to go to sleep hungry. Or there is always room service.
Also read: The Ultimate Guide To Havana Nightlife 2022!
Here you also find Melia International The Level service, with a little extra included.
On the high-end side here you find the Level grand suite with a sea view. Here, of course, you do not lack anything.
Melia Internacional also offers its guests the services of the Yhi Spa Melia Varadero on the top floor, with an infinity pool and stunning views of the beach.
If you have a tighter budget for your holiday (or just want to prioritize), there are infinite options for other accommodations in Varadero than the lush all-inclusive resort bubbles!
There is a myriad of Casa particulares for rent that you can book securely online before you arrive.
What Is A Casa Particular?
A casa particular is a privately owned home rented out by a Cuban family, where you can live like a Cuban, closer to the real Cuba! CLICK to research!
You can also choose to stay in a Casa Particular in Varadero Town, there are a lot of options for that within the city limits.
The best casa particulares and holiday homes are a perfect budget choice, and most are only minutes from the beach in flip-flops!
3 Top Rated 10/10 Varadero Holiday Homes
Situated in Varadero Town, Villa Mercy is also situated a 2 minutes walk from the award-winning Varadero beach!
The guest house has a terrace, and a garden, and also provides dry cleaning/laundry services for their guest.
For an extra fee, you can also have a continental breakfast in-house (if you don’t want to explore too early), as well as assistance with tours and tickets.
From Villa Mercy, you can walk to the Varadero Artisan Market in 8 minutes, and drive to Josone Park in 6 minutes. Several restaurants and bars are within immediate walking distance!
Another 10/10 casa particular a little bit closer to the Artisan Market, but still only 2 minutes from Varadero beach is Casa Lola in Varadero.
With top reviews and a perfect oceanfront location, they also offer a garden, daily housekeeping, and continental breakfast in-house if you want for an extra fee.
And if you need to be picked up from the airport, let them know!
The third 10/10 rated casa particular in Varadero Town is Casa Nena, situated 4 minutes walk from Ambrosio Park and a one-minute drive from Marlin Marina (an international marina that can be visited on a cruising permit if you have a yacht).
In Casa Nena, you are a few minutes from the beach, you can enjoy the garden and the terrace, tea, and coffee in the lobby.
They also have luggage storage if you need it, and help to do bookings or get tickets to activities.
Also, from Marlin Marina, you can go on a catamaran day trip to the popular Cayo Blanco, online booking is super easy!
Don’t be fooled by the mere look of the Hicacos Peninsula where you find Varadero, it looks super narrow and filled with resorts – which it is!
But there are a number of fun things to do in Varadero outside the best all-inclusive resort doors as well, both in town, in the surrounding nature, and on (and in) the sea.
A short sum-up of the fun activities you will find in Varadero is scuba diving, snorkeling, hiking, caving, shopping, clubbing, dining, and visiting the Delfinario.
You can also go for catamaran day trips, and deep-sea fishing from here, just to mention a few!
Traveling To Varadero
There are several options for traveling to Varadero, depending on where you travel from.
You can book an international flight directly to Varadero International Airport, and start your Cuba vacation from there.
If you already are in another destination in Cuba, the Viazul bus option is cheap and safe, and you can book your tickets online.
The bus journey between Havana and Varadero is around two hours and 40 minutes and costs $9 when you book on the Viazul web pages, which you should.
You get your ticket electronically, a guaranteed seat, and you escape all the queueing, administration, and bureaucracy it normally is to buy a ticket at a station in Cuba.
The third option is a taxi, either collectivo (cheaper and takes longer time), or just go all in and get a private taxi. This is quite expensive but super convenient.
In December 2021 I paid 4000 CUP for the taxi Havana – Varadero, which was a really good price. You may expect taxi drivers to ask for up to 9000 CUP, or around €300.
All taxi drivers will ask to be paid in Euro.
There is also the option of renting a car, which is absolutely possible. However, it is definitely not recommendable, and I have never opted for this myself – at least yet.
A Few Facts About Varadero Cuba!
Varadero Beach was actually rated one of the world’s best beaches in TripAdvisor‘s Traveler’s Choice Awards of 2019, ranking all the way up at second place!
As Varadero town has more of a small-town vibe, you should expect that the nightlife on the weekdays is not super vibrant.
If you are a party animal who likes to dance your way into the small hours, you might want to stay in Varadero on the weekends or you might get disappointed.
It is also possible to get some shopping done at Plaza America, a small shopping mall with sports stores, leisure and clothes stores, sanitary items, and
FAQs People Have About Resorts In Varadero Cuba!
Varadero is the absolute number-one destination people choose when opting for a Cuba holiday, in addition to sizzling Havana, of course. That is a no-brainer!
But people also have a lot of questions about Varadero resorts, trying to find out which ones would be best for them for their personal holiday!
This makes sense, a perfect Cuba holiday for one person might not be the perfect stay for another.
Also read: How To Get A Tourist Card For Cuba 2022!
What Are The Best Resorts In Varadero For Adults Only?
If you (although you love children) prefer your Varadero Cuba holiday to be a tranquil experience, without happy splashing kids enjoying the pools around you where you would like to quietly swim, I get it.
So here are 4 high-rated adults-only resorts you will find in Varadero Cuba!
1. Mystique Casa Perla Varadero Adults-Only Varadero Resort
If you’re looking for an extraordinary escape, Mystique Casa Perla is a one-of-a-kind, adult-only (16+) boutique hotel that might be perfect for you.
Here you will live in the Cuban timeless 1940s architecture of the mansion, and combined with the sandy beaches right outside will probably make it a stay to remember!
You might even feel a little Cuban’ish, staying in a historic property steps away from all the best that Varadero can offer you, as it is quite close to Varadero Town!
2. Paradisus Princesa Del Mar Resort & Spa Adults-Only
Paradisus Princesa Del Mar Resort & Spa is a serene oasis recommended for adults only (18 and older). With a total of 630 rooms with lots of modern amenities, there’s plenty of leisurely space to relax.
This TripAdvisor-certified 5-star resort also has a variety of culinary options, daytime activities (if you are not a couch potato), and of course pools, and a spa to pamper you.
Basically everything you need to escape the hustle and bustle for a while!
3. Melia Las Americas Adults-Only
Melia Las Americas is an excellent choice for those seeking a luxury, all-inclusive experience.
With 340 rooms that all have stunning views of the ocean (or Varadero golf course) and 90 comfortable The Level Suites in the garden area, this hotel can offer pretty much everything you need.
And it is adults-only (18+), making it a great splash-free place (apart from the splashing you make yourself) for weddings, honeymoons, or simply a relaxing vacation!
4. Royalton Hicacos Varadero Resort & Spa Adults-Only
At the Royalton Hicacos Varadero Resort & Spa, you might find everything you need to relax and rejuvenate amidst a stunning natural landscape.
The Royalton claims to be one notch above everyone else when it comes to amenities, facilities, and service, but don’t take their word for it!
Like all other resorts in Varadero, it is close to the amazing beach and has lots of all-inclusive features, but check out what other guests had to say by following the link below!
Not Booked Your Flight Yet? Compare Prices Here!
Wrap-Up Best All-Inclusive Resorts In Varadero
This article about the best all-inclusive resorts in Varadero Cuba is a work in progress, and I am adding to the current list every time I make the trip over from my “home-town” Havana.
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Do you have any questions about Cuba? Send me an e-mail, happy to help!