Most Romantic Hotels in Varadero, Cuba

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Havana is famously enchanting, but there are other Cuban destinations worth a trip. Case in point: The coastal town of Varadero on the Hicacos Peninsula, where visitors can find an artisan market, a wide variety of restaurants, and several nightlife spots including the Beatles Bar, popular with locals. Here are the area's most romantic hotels, from a true luxury property (rare in Cuba) to a breezy all-inclusive resort for adults only.

  1. True luxury properties aren't difficult to find in other Caribbean destinations, but in Cuba, they're in short supply. The beachfront, adult-only Paradisus Princesa del Mar is split between its standard section and its upper-tier Royal Service wing. Despite this distinction, all 798 rooms are elegant and subdued, and include balconies or terraces with views of the ocean or pool. Royal Service rooms come with extras like jetted tubs, butler service, and pillow menus. The heart of the Paradisus Princesa del Mar is the main freeform pool, surrounded by canopied sunbeds, loungers, and hammocks. Footbridges and lush vegetation add to the pool's appeal, as do its 24-hour snack bar, swim-up bar, lattices with ivy, and soft piped-in music. There are seven restaurants, including the Japanese Sakura and the French Marseilles, as well as a cigar bar. Room service is covered by the all-inclusive rates and is available 24 hours.

  2. Some argue that this luxury all-inclusive is the best adult-only option in Varadero. Factors like highly personalized service, ample activities (ranging from yoga to a weekly foam party), and all-inclusive rates that cover everything from butler service to top-shelf liquor, from access to the spa facilities to lobster at the seafood a la carte restaurant, contribute to this praise, but the rooms -- while appealing -- are not at the level of luxury found at other advertised five-star resorts in the Caribbean, and lack ocean views. 

  3. The 420-room Ocean Varadero El Patriarca is arguably the most modern all-inclusive in the area. Its rooms are truly stylish and upscale (there are no rooms with ocean views), its a la carte restaurants don't require reservations (a rarity), its coffee bar serves first-rate brews (not often found at competing properties), and there's great evening music at the swanky piano bar. 

  4. The 340-room, adult-only Melia Las Americas is a slightly more formal take on the typical Varadero beach resort. In addition to its four pools (including hot tubs) and postcard-worthy beach, it offers a location by a tournament-level golf course, a theater, a beauty salon, and an attractive gym with floor-to-ceiling windows. Rooms aren't fashion-forward, but they are exceptionally pleasant for a Cuban resort, and most have balconies and ocean views. Five restaurants and six bars provide a wide range of food and drink. 

  5. The 574-room Paradisus Varadero delivers plenty of wow factor, with a stunning lobby, large ocean-view pool, and beautiful white-sand beach. The sprawling layout means privacy and a big stretch of beach, but also plenty of walking or waiting for golf carts. Food is above average for Varadero, if not as good as at other luxury all-inclusives elsewhere in the Caribbean. The spa is seriously pretty: Its outdoor courtyard houses two pools of varying cool temperatures (part of a hydrotherapy circuit), two hot tubs, and amazing ocean views. Inside, there are two treatment rooms for couples, both with jetted tubs and ocean views, and a Balinese sensation shower.

  6. 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 local touches that give guests a sense of being in Cuba. The grounds are blanketed with local flora, and the staff serves up spit-roasted pig or fresh coconut water in the shell. But it’s the usual resort draws of white-sand beaches and a lively pool, both with bar service, that are the main attractions for guests. Its 270 rooms are cheery, if a bit dated, but they give a perfectly adequate place to crash out at the end of a day of sun and sand.

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