The Valentin El Patriarca Varadero is a five-star all-inclusive beachfront resort located on Cuba's gorgeous Varadero beach, surrounded by expansive green spaces with tropical foliage, including the legendary 500 year-old "El Patriarca" cactus.
We are on our last day at Valentin el patriarca resort and
It’s been an amazing stay. Really beautiful resort and the beach is clear and beautiful. Staff is absolutely terrific, friendly and always smiling. The privilege section is really worth it. The food and the drinks are really good, with a private pool and bars and a private ocean view restaurant. The staff at the privilege, Anely, Amelia, Pedro and Zuri really take care of us. Really worth coming.
Nice vacation!!! Thank you very much to everyone
Varadero Birthday Getaway
Sep 10, 2021
We booked a last minute trip with Air Canada Vacations. We were a little anxious at how everything was going to go, as this was our first international trip in 2 years due to the pandemic.
We could not have wished for an easier process! On arrival at Varadero airport, everyone lined up and was given a small vial with your name on it which you took to a doctor/nurse, dressed in full medical scrubs. Our test was done with a swab at the back of the throat, it took less than a minute and we went through to customs and onto bag collection. All very quick and easy. We were met by a ACV rep outside Arrivals and loaded onto the transfer bus.
Our recommendation would be to pay extra for the private transfer as we sat and waited over an hour in the parking lot for other passengers and then it took at least 45 mins to drop everyone off at various hotels. - The transfer bus was full -
Our negative test result came back at 2pm the following day and we were informed by our ACV rep at the welcome meeting, we were then allowed to leave the resort including participating in day trips, but only within Varadero, which is the current Cuban restriction at the time this was written.
The hotel is currently sitting at quite a low occupancy, there are limited activities and the pools are very quiet during the day. Everyone spends their time at the beach. If 'vibrant vacation' is was you're seeking, Cuba is probably not the destination as it is very quiet.
Our number one highlight of the trip was Varadero beach, it has the whitest sand and turquoise water we have ever been to! We loved spending our mornings swimming and using the included, paddle boats, kayaks and catamarans.
We chose to book the free upgrade to the privilege room, this gave us access to our own swimming pool away from the main pool (which was steps away for our 1st floor room), but also access to our own restaurant which served a Lobster dinner. This (Privilege) restaurant offered a 'la carte breakfast and dinner and snacks/ tapas all day with bar service up until 11pm. You also have your own concierge service, ZURI!
Zuri is amazing - very attentive and happy to help with anything resort related. He organised a surprise birthday cake and everything! We were well looked after by the privilege team. A huge thank you to Anely, you and your team went above and beyond and made our trip so special, it was great to get to know you!! Fernando, Pedro, Amelia and Sonya, we thank you all so much.
Due to covid they have just one other restaurant open per night for other guests outside of the privilege area, we did dine here and found the a 'la carte set menu had variety and again the service was wonderful we had Luis each night we dined and we loved seeing him each evening - he was so attentive and welcoming.
For breakfast we generally ate at the privilege restaurant and for lunch the buffet is the only option. There was decent variety each day, the only thing lacking is fresh salad options and if you like a little 'spice' in your food, bring condiments with you!
At the buffet we were looked after so well by Jorge. Jorge is wonderful, very very friendly, kind and genuine. We asked for avocado one day and he brought with him the next day 2 avocados the size of your foot and a Mango from his home! it was incredible - Thank you Jorge - We loved seeing you each morning!!
Thank you also to our amazing housekeeper - Vesna. She was always so cheerful and happy, she did such a wonderful job daily!
In summary, we had a great time. We are a same-sex couple and felt welcome and did not at any time feel uncomfortable, in fact the kindness and gratitude which we made an effort to show, we received back in abundance. We will definitely visit again, and felt like we left with new friends.
We felt safe, the staff were always wearing masks and due to low occupancy each guest had a huge amount of space.
We did change some CAD to local CUP on the transfer bus and at the resort, we wanted to tip for every meal and all services as we knew how much resorts and the travel industry are suffering- CUP was only good for tipping staff, everything else (day trips, snacks in Varadero town, souvenirs etc) was all via credit card.
Leading up to our return back to Canada we did our PCR tests at the doctors office on-site at the resort. USD $30pp via credit card, and our results were collected 24hrs later. They gave us two certificates which we can present at the airport to board our flight home.
We highly recommend the Patriarca, thankyou!