Canadian Travel Press
Issue Date: Mar 11, 2019
View the full digital edition

Checking in at the Sun & Sea


(Photo above: Watersports and famed Varadero beach are available for Solymar guests)

The Barcelo Hotel Group’s Solymar property in Varadero lives up to its translated name.

The resort’s name in English would be Sun and Sea, a fitting description of a resort in sun-soaked Varadero and which lies on the type of ocean-fronting beach Varadero is famed for.

“The beach is the nicest beach in Varadero, and we are in the town,” Solymar general manager Juan Marques flatly states. “This resort has the perfect location. It’s the best.”

Varadero has long been attracting huge numbers of tourists drawn by its white-sand beach and blue water.

The Barcelo Hotels & Resorts’ Solymar is part of Varadero Resort by Bar-celo, which is comprised of the Barcelo Solymar and Occidental Arenas Blancas – which border each other – and Allegro Palma Real found across the street. Barcelo, Occidental and Allegro are among the brands found under the Barcelo Hotel Group banner.

Marques notes guests at the Solymar – offered by several large tour operators – can wade far from shore, thanks to the shallow water.

The resort also has huge swimming pools.

The Barcelo Solymar offers a choice of swimming pools, including a children’s pool; a games room that has day and night activities; and tennis, basketball, volleyball, pool, table tennis, darts, shuffleboard, aerobics, a gym, dance classes, water polo, water basketball and water aerobics.

Guests are also offered a scuba diving initiation course in a swimming pool, non-motorized water sports, including catamaran, kayaking, snorkelling and pedal boats; sauna; a mini-club for children; children’s playground; and babysitting.

Guest rooms have television, a minibar and a safety deposit box.

There is a choice of buffet and à la carte restaurants.

Entertainment staff host day and night time activities.

Varadero’s golf course is 4 kms away.

Weddings packages are available, as are renewal of vows packages.

Marques says the lengthy expanse of beach and large grounds bordering Solymar and Arenas Blancas mean that those who wish some solitude can find a quiet spot to do so. “You can find the ambience you prefer,” Marques says. “You can be by yourself with the sun and the sea. That’s the nice thing we have here.”

Marques says Barcelo’s built a following in this country, and its Varadero resorts get a lot of repeat guests.

He adds that Varadero is a very safe destination, a strong selling point for the community in a time of heightened concerns about tourist safety.

Marques adds he’s confident that Cuba will remain hugely popular with Canadians, saying Cuba vacations have become something of a “tradition” for many Canadians. “Cuba is something special.”