Labranda Varadero Resort

4.0 star rating

Quality accommodation with a variety of facilities and services.

    Average ratings from our guests:

    Cleanliness

    Rated3.5 out of 5

    Value

    Rated3.5 out of 5

    Service

    Rated3.0 out of 5

    Hotel Amenities

    Rated3.0 out of 5

    Food / Restaurants

    Rated2.5 out of 5

    Beach

    Rated4.0 out of 5

    Pool

    Rated3.5 out of 5

    J

    Hated it! Was probably nice 20 years ago (has changed names 5-6 times) but it is now depressing. Thanks for wasting our money, Westjet!

    Reviewed by James on Mar 20, 2019

    Our guests rated this hotel 2 out of

    Would not recommend

    Travel date: March 2019

    Trip Type: Family

    In a word - avoid! The place is 90% filled with Russian and German guests so if you are English-speaking you will definitely feel like an outsider. There is no warmth or friendliness from the majority of the bartenders and other staff. Needless to say the service (lack thereof) is the worst part of Labranda. They make no effort to accomodate, or apologize, when they run out of mint for mojitos (almost every other day), or when the coffee machine breaks down (no, sir, we can't open up the other coffee machine because that part of the Cohiba bar is closed right now). Restaurants and bars close with no warning or explanation. Exact same menus evey single day. Only 2 a la carte restaurants to choose from plus a very mediocre and depressing buffet. Overall the drinks were ok (avoid in the buffet though!), but served in tiny little plastic cups so you would have to return a million times to the bar. The food was absolutely mediocre at all the places. The bread was pretty good thankfully, so we ate a ton of that. Their posted 'activities' - both for at the pool and the beach was a joke. Things like 'spanish lessons' and various contests just simply didn't happen. I guess they did have 'bingo' - but you can get the idea that the clientelle was mostly 50+. Not a fun place for families I would say. Or anyone who enjoys good food, live music, great service, and fun vibes. There is simply NONE OF THOSE THINGS at this resort. I will say the beach is nice and the water very clear. But is it worth the $$? And I will give credit to the general manager who arranged a special dinner for us on our last night because I called them out for the false advertising about the restaurant serving Ropa Vieja (it didn't!) and lack of live music, lack of signage, wifi not working in our room, and so many other deficiencies (I spoke to him for almost an hour offering many constructive criticisms). His efforts were appreciated, and already factored into my rating. Good luck!

    This traveller's ratings:

    Cleanliness

    Rated3 out of 5

    Value

    Rated2 out of 5

    Service

    Rated1 out of 5

    Hotel Amenities

    Rated2 out of 5

    Food / Restaurants

    Rated1 out of 5

    Beach

    Rated4 out of 5

    Pool

    Rated3 out of 5

    K

    Amazing resort i really enjoyed my stay and i love the staffs they are very friendly and sweet

    Reviewed by Karena on Mar 01, 2018

    Our guests rated this hotel 4 out of

    Would recommend

    Travel date: July 2017

    Trip Type: Family

    Love this resort. This is my second time coming back. They have great staff like maray that work at the snack bar, yosmiel and yeniel they work at the pool bar excellent service. Staff always smilinv and very friendly i would DEFINITELY return and bring my friends

    This traveller's ratings:

    Cleanliness

    Rated4 out of 5

    Value

    Rated5 out of 5

    Service

    Rated5 out of 5

    Hotel Amenities

    Rated4 out of 5

    Food / Restaurants

    Rated4 out of 5

    Beach

    Rated4 out of 5

    Pool

    Rated4 out of 5

    What to expect (based on 523 reviews):

    Cleanliness

    Cleanliness-3.5

    Location

    Location-4.5

    Rooms

    Rooms-4

    Service

    Service-3.5

    Value

    Value-3.5

    5 most recent TripAdvisor reviews:

    Great Times At LaBranda

    Reviewed by manufootyguru(Toronto, Canada) on Aug 18, 2019

    		
			TripAdvisor users rated this property 
			4
			 out of 5

    I will preface this by describing myself a bit. I travel every year usually. Have been to Costa Rica, Jamaica, China, France, and England to name a few travel previous destinations. I travel to see some place other than where I live. I enjoy experiencing other cultures and mingling with the people. Ive been to Cuba 3 times now 3 different resorts. The Resort LaBranda is very well maintained resort. We found the design of the building pleasing, well laid out, and very clean. Being of Caribbean descent myself, I am quite aware of the prevalence of bugs (e.g. giant roaches, flies, spiders and ants). To be frank, if you really have a problem with bugs, you probably shouldn't go to the Carbbean...just saying. Both resorts I previously went to, it was not uncommon for you see the occasional insect. Usually the giant roach. The only insect that I encountered at LaBranda was the common fly. This is a tropical country yo, it is unavoidable, especially around food. The well travelled will get what I'm saying. The resort is very clean. I did stumble across a little crab by a ground floor entrance and a couple lizards on my balcony, but that was about it for wild life within your accommodation. Upon arrival I was greeted by a well groomed security guard Osvaldo. He was polite friendly and professional. He made it very clear to me through our conversation, that if my sm wife or I had any safety concerns, I could come directly to him. He informed me, Security works 12 hours shifts and are always available. I also met Julian another young security guard who again, assured me he was available should we have any safety concerns. Check-In was very quick, and straightforward. A young women by the name of Maydelis, handled check-in and check-out. She was poised polite and pleasant. This was at whatever time if day I encountered her and regardless of how deep the line was with visitors, seeking to have their queries addressed. Any questions I asked get, were quickly responded to and information provided, accurate. Our Room Just straight down thre hall from the Check-in. Upon offering the door, were pleasantly surprised with the nice up to date look of the room and bathroom. It was fresh and clean. Water wad provided daily, but we'r also made the effort to request it, before heading out daily. Chamber maids were very polite and always provided us with towels, cleaned the floor and made the bed daily. Note thre cleaning schedule itself, I never figured out. Some days it was in the morning. Some times changed in the morning but towels came early aft. Another time or two the room was in the afternoon. Note: The hotel is open air with drain pipes from each floor hallway leading to the decorative central ground floor garden and catch basin. That being said, heavy rain does still hit the floor tiles. So after a rain, take care how you walk, as the tiles do get slippery. That is especially true, in poor footwear, like flip flops. The Food: There is your usual standard all-inclusive Buffet restaurant downstairs from the main lobby. Big bright and clean. These are never anything to write home about in my experience. I don't hold high expectations of eating Michelin star meals at an all-inclusive, unless Im splashing out the cash, if you get me. Cuba never gets great reviews over food, but if you are not overally fussy, do not have a ton of food restrictions, you generally can find a couple things that work for you. Breakfast was by my view best meal options in the Buffet. Cereal, fruit, sausage, ham, bacon, weiners, breads, cheeses, fresh juices, yogurt smoothies. Lunch here was kinda like dinner, in terms of the offerings. As I primarily eat protein with salad, or vegetables, big complaint here was the lack of variety, in terms of vegetables. I didn't have lettuce all week. There were never any tomatoes. There were always lots of cucumber and cabbage salads. Couple potato dishes. Mashed was watery and baked slices undercooked, so kinda tough. Green beans overcooked until wrinkled and limp. There tended to be a couple different rice dishes. Like paella, rice n peas/peas n rice, plain white rice. There were not bad. The pasta bar seemed large, and was generally busy. It was rather bland by my taste. Not spicy, no garlic that I could detect. Little seasoning, if any IMHO. You'll find a couple fish dishes, but again sauce is a little bland. Beef stews and a variety of chicken dishes. Chicken was always good to go. All this ocean and no shrimp, scallops, crab, snapper or grouper here though(?). Shame. There was lamb.. my favourite meat.. but it could barely be cut with a knife, let alone my teeth. Can you say disappointing boys and girls(?). There appeared to be lots of different breads, little cake type desserts, ice cream, mango, guava, papaya and a bit of pineapple normally. There is an Italian a la carte restaurant - Fusion attached to the buffet. Nicely decorated modern restaurant. The Italian food on offer, is not of the standard we are used to in North American, which is generally beneath the standard of Italy. But we are in Cuba after all. The meal opened with red wine and a small charcuterie type appie of olives, cheese and deli salami. It was nice. I had cheese pizza, with Cristal beer and enjoyed it. The 'lasagna' was really kinda canneloni with an indistinguishable filling with tomato based sauce. Not terrible but not lasagna. There is a seafood a la carte restaurant by the second beach area. We opened with Cristal and a white wine and tuna cerviche (I think), not bad. I had salmon and it wad enjoyable. Theyre were some type of fish fritters...meh There is outdoor lunch buffet restaurant by second beach area and beach volleyball court. Much smaller than the main buffet but closer to the beach and open air. The bbq perk is the ticket here along with the chicken. Again lots of pasta and rice options. Fruits as previously stated and couple salad type dishes - chopped ham in pasta with cream sauce, cabbage. We liked eating here better then the main buffet. This was only open for lunch though. NOTE - Any day you want a reservation at an a la carte, you gotta book that morning in the Cohiba bar at 9am. Get there early. Bookings are limited and go fast. Do not let people jump you in the queue. This common at this resort. Some visitors do not feel that there is such thing, as a lining up. The Beach Big, beautiful, clean with lots of umbrellas and lounge chairs. Little to no water craft. Last but NOT least. The animation team are a great bunch: Alexeis.. you've never met a young man with the upbeat, positive, friendly energy. Just taking to him for a minutes brightened your day. Frank who runs the beach club, towel exchange is like a second father to this team. He is a friendly, helpful gentleman. Zuiyami (Main pool bar), Melisa and Bryan (Cohiba bar main building) are lovely people. They always serving with a smile. They also are very professional, making the effort to make sure visitors are served in order. NOT all servers here provide that level of service. They also mix best drinks! Barbero....my new friend, is one of the most considerate, friendly, helpful staff at this hotel. He provided us with a fantastic real Cuban experience. We will never forget our time!! In the end, LaBranda as a resort, is a very solid 3.5 stars for me. The food needs improvement. Primarily from a variety stand point. Chefs need to be taught how to make some of these meals more appetizing. The staff I specifically mentioned, are 5 stars!!! They raise the star rating to 3.5!! Get to know these staff and your time at this resort will be that much better!! Mucho gracias Barbero, Abdiel, Frank, Maydelis, Alexeis, Zuiyami, Osvaldo, Julian, Melisa, and Bryan!!!

    Canadians don’t book here

    Reviewed by ksin111(Edmonton, Canada) on Aug 14, 2019

    		
			TripAdvisor users rated this property 
			1
			 out of 5

    I was on the fence booking this place because of the most recent reviews but took a chance, please don’t take this chance. Looks can be deceiving. From the outside this hotel looks quite nice but once you enter it is a house of horrors. Checkin was fairly quick and we got to our room. The halls smell like urine and the ceiling leak water. We changed and went to get a snack after our long trip but realized our safe wasn’t working, we called the front and they said no problem they would get it looked at. It took over an hour and many calls to the front desk and customer service to get maintenance down. He couldn’t fix it. Waited another 45 min for a new room. Got into our new room and went for dinner....let me tell you the smell of that buffet is something out of a horror movie. It smells horrendous.....like over used cooking oil. The food is something else, I am by no stretch a picky eater and I cannot even describe how gross everything was. We get back to the room and realize the phone and air conditioner don’t work and call the front. I also realize there is blood all over the sheets. I march down to the front and they called maid services and that was it. I talked to the front and the manager and not one person cared at all that we were having issues they keep saying they only speak Spanish. She told us it was not her problem and to call our vacation agency back in Canada. The maid came and was appalled at how dirty our room was and said she would note it in her report. We went out to grab a drink and watch the show because we had had enough and it was terrible. I slept on my towel that night and in the morning made sure to get out of that hotel. I even paid more to get in a lower star place rather than stay in this horror movie. Do yourself a favour and don’t book here and if you are booked here change it. I am not picky in any sense but when even bare necessities aren’t there for you they have no right to be in hospitality. It is by no means a 4 star.

    NOT A 4 STAR ANYMORE. HOTEL HAS GONE DOWNHILL. DO NOT STAY HERE. CANADIANS BEWARE.

    Reviewed by JJFrankel(Calgary, Canada) on Jul 23, 2019

    		
			TripAdvisor users rated this property 
			2
			 out of 5

    This is a budget hotel and at the best a 2 star. If you want to spend your hard earned money eating boiled, processed pork hotdogs on a flat-top grill and powdered mashed potatoes then this is the resort for you. I am so disappointed. Many people have noted this poor quality food is normal for Cuba. I can only assume they most likely have not visited other 4 and 5 star hotels in Varadero recently. In 2019 this type of service, poor hygiene and negative atmosphere is unwarranted, especially from such a prestigious brand like “Labranda”. There are a ton of other Cuban hotels (Melia, Royalton, Ocean Vista Azul etc) with friendlier staff, better drink selections, better coffee and most importantly better food. This hotel is catered towards Cuban visitors from Havana who leave garbage everywhere, are constantly served before the patient and kind Canadians. This is fine, I love Cuban people and culture but I don’t know how they think we also would be tolerant of cockroaches in the main indoor dining area. I tried to live off salad but the salad bar consisted of frozen peas and pickled carrots. The guava and watermelon were tasteless and often had gone bad and oxidized in the heat; they had some canned peaches a few nights at the salad/fruit bar which were the only edible thing available. This hotel has really gone downhill. It is deteriorating fast. Much of our beloved staff have already left due to new managers from housekeeping to food services to security who make this place unbearable. The Domincan gentleman who used to oversee food and drinks has been replaced by a large, unfriendly Cuban man who I saw taking tips away from staff. New management treat the hotel like their own playground and really don’t uphold any professionalism or customer service care. The managers treat their staff with such disregard and this is projected onto patrons. There were guests dealing with theft, unhygienic food, cockroaches, extreme mould in the rooms, dirty urine and blood stained mattresses under the deceptive white sheets, and a beach that is now never cleaned and dangerous to walk on barefoot. I had read reviews stating the beach was now dirty, but did not believe it until I was there. Do not let photos deceive you. The beach is littered with broken glass, plastic, cigarette butts, needles, women’s sanitary pads and condoms. It is never combed or cleaned like other hotels in varadero. The drinks that were once available at the Cohiba bar such as Legendario, Mulata rum and good quality gin and vodka are now being charged per shot to patrons. Instead what is all inclusive now is low grade vodka, gin and rum which will leave you ill. The coffee which used to be amazing is now watered down esp by the pool bar. The onsite store has a new male boss who oversees the workers and makes up his own prices as he deems fit. You can tell how uncomfortable to store clerks are and the scam that is going on via him. The price for water, drinks and cigarettes have increased significantly. They now charge about 6 CUC for the same Cuban cohiba smokes you would pay 3.50 CUC in town. The selection of snacks, cookies and chocolates etc. have dissipated too. I never post reviews but I sincerely don’t want anyone else to be miserable and waste their money going here. Avoid Labranda Varadero. Save money and pay a little more to go anywhere else. For all the people who are regulars here: Mario, Victor, Humberto, Reynaldo, Elvis, Leosmary and many others have all gone to other, better hotels.

    Individual ratings:

    Location

    Location-3

    Service

    Service-1

    BEST VACATION

    Reviewed by Explore593120() on Jul 19, 2019

    		
			TripAdvisor users rated this property 
			5
			 out of 5

    My stay at Labranda Varadero Resort was beyond amazing. I traveled here with my boyfriend from July 11th to July 18th. We are both young adults and loved every minute of this vacation. Upon checking in we were greeted by the lovely ladies at the front desk, check-in took no more than 10 minutes we received ocean view room for no extra cost. The bellboy walked us to our room and also carried our luggage’s and made sure everything was good with our room. The room was spotless, the ac worked perfect and the shower also worked perfectly. The maids came every single day around 3 pm to restock the towels, clean the sheets and leave a new water bottle. The resort was very well kept the maids were always cleaning the lobby and keeping the resort beautiful. The beach was very beautiful there were many entrances onto the beach in case you didn’t want to walk too far. The beach grounds were clean despite many reviews saying otherwise. There were two pools on this resort one larger pool located across from the bar and another pool which had a swim-up bar inside the pool. The service here is amazing, the staff, particularly in the buffet, always make sure you have a drink. The service at the bar is good as well sometimes the service can be a little bit slow depending on the number of people waiting. Cuba is not known for its food and a lot of people in the reviews claimed the food was terrible I can assure you it is not terrible, there was always a large variety of food to chose from my go-to for breakfast was eggs and croissants which you can toast, for lunch you can have rice and beans or pasta and butter or with sauce and dinner there is a choice of fish, rice, fries, mash potatoes, and potato wedges. The food can be bland but there is tabasco sauce, salt, and pepper provided. There are al a carte restaurants but we did not choose to eat there. I saw a lot of comments in the reviews that there is a huge shortage of cups and cutlery in the buffet and that is completely false there was ALWAYS cutlery present. Now onto the entertainment, the entertainment team goes out of there way to please their clients they made our stay amazing. I want to highlight the people that went out of there way to entertain us... Elizabeth, Alyn, Barbaro, abdiel, Alex and izmarie. They were always trying to engage us in water sports, dancing and sports such as golf and volleyball. These team of people were such a good addition to our amazing vacation. They all spoke English very well and tried very hard to understand us which is very nice. There is a show every night at 9:30 pm to about 10:30 pm with a variety of themes such as a magic show, Latin show, international show, and an underwater show. After the shows, there is a disco club which is very fun with music and drinks. As some of the reviews say that the resort is half-closed that is false everything is open and working. I’ve been to Cuba 3 times and this is by far my favorite resort and I would 100% return. This is a wonderful resort everything was completely perfect for us and would highly recommend coming here!!! THANK YOU LABRANDA

    Individual ratings:

    Cleanliness

    Cleanliness-5

    Location

    Location-5

    Service

    Service-5

    Lovely Resort

    Reviewed by tashhaaa() on Jul 13, 2019

    		
			TripAdvisor users rated this property 
			5
			 out of 5

    I had an amazing stay during the last week of June and would definitely return. I happen to arrive in the evening and upon checking in, was informed that the buffet would be closing in 10 minutes but was quickly offered to have my suitcases securely stored and had a bracelet placed on my wrist so I could grab something to eat. The rooms are neat, sizeable, and modern with televisions that have HDMI ports; the bathrooms have a separate toilet room, enough counter space for toiletries and then some, and a walk-in shower with decent temperature and pressure – your towels will be changed daily if you place them on the bathroom floor. I was on the third floor and in close proximity to the buffet and Cohiba Bar (morning espresso on the terrace? yes, please). I had an incredible ocean view/garden view from the balcony and although they provide you with blackout blinds, the sunrises and sunsets are spectacular. The layout of the main building makes it easy to get around and the stairs aren’t too steep, however there is a set of elevators that are pretty quick for those who need or prefer them. Food is what you would expect in Cuba but you’ll definitely want to book your á la carte dinners and that must be done before noon the day of; the food and service are really good and the meal as whole is generous. I never had to think twice at breakfast but you’ll have to like pork during the lunch hours. I however lucked out — they hosted a special lunch three times during my stay at Ranchón Cubano, the beach restaurant and always had freshly grilled fish. Dinner is pretty much the same but at any time you could request chicken if it wasn’t already out. They also have a pasta bar, a variety of pastries and ice cream, as well as lots of fresh fruit and veggies. The beach is incredible – the water is super clear, calm, and warm; the sand is soft and white. You’ll want to take advantage of the watersport activities already included and if you’re into snorkelling, they’ll schedule a time and take you out for 20 minutes, preferably in the morning ($20 CUC). You can actually get Wi-Fi at the beach on the Ranchón Cubano side, although a bit slow. Try and get out there early morning or in the evening at least once for an astounding view; there are multiple access points to the beach along the resort that will lead you through the garden first. It does get a bit busy at times during peak hours but this is expected. The entertainment team will be as engaged as you need them to be, so you can relax or participate at your leisure. The staff are all helpful, super sweet, and professional; especially the Manger, Jorge Mora, who you’ll spot everywhere on the resort ensuring all of the services and activities available to you are running smoothly for a an exciting and memorable vacation in Varadero.

    Individual ratings:

    Cleanliness

    Cleanliness-5

    Rooms

    Rooms-5

    Service

    Service-5

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