Best Value Hotels in Varadero, Cuba

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About a two-hour drive from Havana, Varadero is home to bars, restaurants, and clubs (the Beatles Bar, Calle 62, and Salsa Suarez are all popular) -- and a miles-long stretch of gorgeous white-sand beach. Our expert investigators visited about 60 resorts in the area, and these four are the best bang-for-your-buck options they found. 

  1. The all-inclusive Sol Palmeras is hardly high on style, but it's big on activities, especially free ones, like diving lessons, bike and water-sport-equipment rentals, and use of the tennis courts and the shooting range. The 408 rooms and 200 bungalows are excellent for families, with multiple bedrooms, mini-kitchens, dining spaces, and interconnecting rooms available. Six restaurants serve a range of cuisines, and a buffet restaurant is available for all meals. And seven bars cover all manner of drinks and snacks, including a 24-hour lobby bar and beachside and poolside bars.

  2. The adult-only, mid-range Breezes Varedero isn’t flashy or fancy, but it offers a pleasant all-inclusive vacation with a surprising amount of Cuban flair. The grounds are blanketed with local flora, and the staff serves up spit-roasted pig or fresh coconut water in the shell. Unsurprisingly, the beach is the resort’s star attraction; both bar and towel service are available and guests can rent nonmotorized water-sports equipment, like catamarans, for free. The resort also has a lively pool and three hot tubs. Breezes' 270 air-conditioned rooms are dated, but cheery; amenities include minibars stocked with free drinks, coffeemakers with coffee supplies, safes, and flat-screen TVs with satellite channels.

  3. With 1,035 rooms, the mid-range Memories is one of the biggest resorts in Varadero. It's also one of the family-friendliest, with baby and kids' clubs and lots of activities to keep kids entertained. The beach is beautiful, and the activity pool features a waterslide and grotto swim-up bar (there's also a separate quiet pool). But the resort is also dated and worn, beach towels are difficult to exchange, and the sprawling size can mean a long walk to the sand. Still, it's one of the best options for families in this price range in Varadero, and a free scuba lesson and use of nonmotorized water sports are included in the rates.

  4. Part of the Cubanacan chain, the all-inclusive Hotel Tuxpan is a lively family-oriented resort. The 233 standard rooms with mini-fridges and tube TVs aren’t remarkable, but guests are happy to spend their days hanging out at the enormous freeform pool (with loungers, kiddy pool, and hot tub) or on the exceedingly attractive white-sand beach. And activities abound, including water sports, a kids’ club with games, tennis, and diving classes. Maintenance issues, like leaks, exist, and wear and tear is apparent, but these shortcomings are common for Cuban resorts and most guests intent on an affordable tropical getaway can overlook these cons. 

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