Hotel Riu Turquesa - Varadero

Old Mar 31st, 2001, 05:21 AM
  #1  
Sue & Steve
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Hotel Riu Turquesa - Varadero

We are staying at the above hotel at the end of May. Has anyone any information about the hotel and things to do/visit in the area. We want to mix relaxing on the beach with some sightseeing and snorkling.
What are the best tips about visiting Havana from Varadero?
 
Old Apr 14th, 2001, 06:10 AM
  #2  
Sue & Steve
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Does this hotel exist?
 
Old Apr 15th, 2001, 04:10 AM
  #3  
marc
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yes it does exist! i didn't get any responses to my inquiry before i left either. i was next door at beaches (sandals) so i can't tell you much about riu other than the beach is beautiful. we did the snorkelling thing and enjoyed it. please let me know if i can help further.
 
Old Apr 16th, 2001, 04:07 AM
  #4  
Lar
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Hi kids, the hotel is actually small villas spread out over a large property. Its on a beautiful beach, but then all of Varadero beach is great. I have never seen much snorkeling, just a sandy bottom. The area is far out of the town of Varadero, so you will need to take a taxi or shuttle bus, but its worth the trouble. You will be safe in town, so walk the back streets, visit the park and see how they live.
 
Old Apr 24th, 2001, 01:16 AM
  #5  
Jochen
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Hi! We're going to Riu Turquesa at the end of august, and basically: we'd like some more info from other people too. So, anyone been there? Hey Sue & Steve: when you return; please tell us more (in this post)! Thanks,

J.
 
Old Jun 4th, 2001, 10:49 AM
  #6  
amy
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Hi Marc, can you tell us a little bit more about what you did in Varadero, Cuba. When you said you did the snorkelling thing, do you mean just snorkelling from the beach or did you join a snorkelling trip? We (my husband and our 10 yr old son) will be there in June and I'd like to get more info about what to do and where to go. Did you have to tip the staff (especially in an all-inclusive)? I have been told that you can also bring soap and candies (for their kids) as a tip. Is it true?

Sue and Steve, are you back from Varadero? Can you give us some info about Riu Turquesa (that's where we are staying) and about things to do?

Thanks.
 
Old Jun 21st, 2001, 09:07 PM
  #7  
marc
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Amy
sorry to take so long replying. we went snorkelling with one of the guides recommended by the hotel. it was good but laasted longer than we expected. you can also hire someone at the beach to take you.apparently its cheaper and faster.if u have your 10 yr old son, you may want to prepare him for a lot of toplessness...but in all honesty, you will get used to it there. at least while we were there it was common.
as for tips, the staff seemed to get off more on gifts than cash. they love those thermal cups (eg tim hortons)and any other items you may have. cash seems to make them nervous.any more questions just ask
 
Old Aug 12th, 2001, 06:21 AM
  #8  
Steve
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Unfortunately we had to cancel our Cuba trip this year because Steve had to be admitted to hospital. He has recovered and we are now looking forward to visiting the Riu Turquesa next May. Thanks for the responses to our original message.
 
Old Sep 18th, 2001, 01:33 AM
  #9  
Jochen
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OK, been there. So here's the story, in case anyone else needs this thread:

Overall: Excellent hotel, and an incredibly friendly staff!
-Rooms: big, rather simple interior but very clean. Could do with some more closet space. Looks very new too. You get a free bottle of rum at arrival.
-Pool: big, but could do with a little more seats around the pool. Most people get up early to reserve some chairs by putting their towels on.
-Restaurant: in one word: superb. If you cannot find any food you like in here, then you're one of those assholes that shouldn't travel in the first place. Also incredible staff. We also liked the little band playing songs on request. If you want to give them a hard time, ask them to play "Il Carretero". My mother in law got champagne on her birthday (they saw that from her passport). We got a bottle too, for our wedding anniversary. No charge, just ask Edgar. Also, they even serve lobster as if it's nothing special. One down side: men have to wear long trousers at dinnertime. I hated that as it was too f$@žing warm in the evening.
-Beach: Clean, calm water, small bar under the trees to cool off. You can use scuba gear, bike-boats, and you can go sailing all for free. In the morning, there's also a snorkel tour arranged by the hotel. They take you to a reef about 4 kms further. Trip lasts about 3 hours and costs 15 USD.

Some other remarks:
-Best cocktails (in real - rather big - glasses) are in the bar at the lobby. Try all cocktails to find out which one you like best. After all, it's all inclusive...
-Altough the hotel is very safe, I would not advise to leave anything outside to dry at night. Remember Cubans are VERY poor, and they may be tempted. We lost one hotel towel (but were not charged for it), but other people lost some clothing. Then again, yet other people left clothing outside and nothing happened. But I'd make sure anyway.
-If you notify the reception that you need an early breakfast (for a trip or something), then this info may be disregarded by the restaurant. You'll see that there's no food, but no problem just go into the kitchen and ask. Also annoying: the airco is not yet on (before 7AM) in the restaurant.
-There's a girl running around in the hotel whom you can speak to in case you have any problem (something broken in the room, tennis balls are no good, you name it). She'll take care of it right away. She will certainly speak to you in the restaurant in the evening.
-Should you go to the commercial center on Playa Las Americas (well "Center"; it's only about 20 shops), then WATCH OUT in the little supermarket: they try to charge too much! My parents in law were charged 24 USD while they only bought for 20 USD. Luckily they saw it on time. Then again, we bought products for about 8USD, but were charged 11 USD. We only found out on our way back to the hotel. Two days later my parents in law returned, and bought for about 40 USD. They tried to cheat again and tried to charge them about 60 USD.
-The hotel is 6kms away from Varadero town and 4 kms from the commercial center on Playa Las Americas.
-There's busses between the hotels and Varadero center (they also stop at the commercial center). Whatever ride you make, it costs 1USD per person. There's one at least every 15 mins.
-You can also get a cab. They cost one USD per kilometer.
-We did some great trips: 1) La Habana tour + Tropicana show at night. 2) To El Nicho waterfalls on a Russian Truck + Trinidad (this trip uses an old Antonov 2 plane!) 3) A jeep Safari 4) Guama Indian Village + Crocodile farm + Boat ride on river (Rio Negro). If you need info on these trips, just mail. In short: all but the last trip are 100% worth the money.

Ciao,

J.
 
Old Oct 13th, 2001, 08:09 AM
  #10  
Steve
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Thanks Jochen for the information. It sounds great, we are really looking forward to our trip.
 

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