Best all inclusive resorts in Varadero Cuba

Best All Inclusive Resorts In Varadero From A Frequent Visitor (2024)

If there is one place to consider chill lounging for a few days in Cuba, it is in one of the best all inclusive resorts in Varadero, a peninsula on a tiny string of white sand and palms on the northern Cuban shore.

Over the course of five years, I have visited Varadero often and tested various resorts on the peninsula, as well as tours, activities, and watersports in this narrow Caribbean paradise.

On the 20-something-kilometer-long peninsula less than three hours from Havana, Varadero is where you really can embrace the delicate blue ambiance of the Atlantic Ocean amidst palms and white sands.

Stroll from your bed to the warm, soft beach in less than 30 seconds. Nothing really beats that!

Affiliate disclosure: I only recommend tours, services and purchases I know and love on this website.

Varadero Resort Review Factors

Aerial photo of the Varadero Peninsula on a bright summer day, the water is deep blue, and the sky is bright blue!
Varadero Peninsula from the air

๐Ÿ“ Evaluating the Varadero Cuba resorts, I have looked at these factors:

  • Amenities
  • Beach access
  • Room standard
  • Restaurants and bars
  • Activities
  • Pools
  • Gym and spa

Overall Best Resort: Melia Paradisus

My favorite resort in Varadero is the Melia Paradisus Resort & Spa. It is located on the tip of the peninsula and offers beautiful surroundings, top-notch amenities and service, stunning pools, and a beautiful beach.

Read more below.

Best Tour Tip: Cayo Blanco Catamaran Tour

Best Resorts In Varadero Cuba

1. Melia Paradisus Resort & Spa

The white airy foyer at the Melia Paradisus in Varadero
Melia Paradisus huge airy foyer

One of the absolute best resorts in Varadero is the Melia Paradisus Resort & Spa!

The Melia Paradisus is situated almost entirely at the end of the Varadero Peninsula, with a gated entrance that is somewhat secluded from the other resorts.

The taxi will let you off at an entrance that is all white, airy, and delicate. You can immediately see straight through to the palm trees and the beach on the other side.

All the way through the restaurant and the bar area into the pool area, there are high white and light ceilings everywhere and no walls, open and airy, which is also the ambiance of the rest of the hotel.

Checking in is a breeze; the online booking is all good, and you will get briefed on the hotel amenities and services.

๐Ÿ“ EpicNomadLife Tip: Get yourself a water bottle with a filter before your Cuba holiday, and you can drink water from anywhere when you are out exploring outside the resort!

The Paradisus Amenities

Fresh gym in a varadero resort with lots of equipment, while the sun sifts through thewindows from the beautiful gardens outside.

There is free Wi-Fi, a large fitness center, a wellness center, a spa, and a beauty salon to help you relax, although treatments are an extra cost.

The pool area covers quite a bit of ground, with different zones and depths, all built to resemble a natural oasis. It definitely works, and this layout also makes sure it doesn`t feel crowded, even when there are a lot of guests.

All buffet meals are served in a large restaurant, which is divided into zones, so it does not seem huge at all.

Two chefs in the restaurants in a Varadero resort making your dinner while you watch!
Freshly made tasty meals

The Melia Paradisus also has a snack bar that is open 24/7 and a few a la carte restaurants. Here, you need to book a table one day in advance, but the a la carte restaurants are also included in the all-included deal.

Everything is interconnected, and it all is just… breezy air.

The service is super, from check-in to kitchen staff, chefs, waiters, and the guy with the welcome train, no less.

Rooms At Melia Paradisus

Melia Paradisus  is one of the best all-inclusive package resorts in Varadero Cuba, and the junior suites are exquisite
Airy elegant two-level suite

The accommodation for this stay is a junior suite, which is like a two-level studio. It has a king-size bed, a delicate bathroom, and a terrace with a view of the gardens.

The room is in a little “village” of white bungalows a few minute’s walk from the hotel reception area, where you will be transported by one of the greeting guys with the cute little carts.

Paradisiacal Pools & Pristine Beaches

Amazing resort pools in Varadero Cuba, just steps from the beach. Enjoy the blue pool waters, the poolside bar, surrounded by palm trees and pampering amenities.

The beach is literally ten meters away from the bungalow door to the right. The Melia Paradisus Varadero is a little paradise at the tip of the Varadero Peninsula.

Also, it is not within walking distance of anything because of that. If you want to go exploring outside the resort grounds, it means you need a taxi.

Which is no problem; the receptionist will get you one in no time. Be aware, though, that the post-pandemic prices in Cuba are higher than before, and remember that the taxistas will ask you for payment in โ‚ฌuro.

The beautiful warm sandy beach outside the Paradisus Hotel in Varadero Cuba, with scattered palm trees, and the blue ocean below in front of the infinite horizon meeting the light blue sky.

I did some wonderful exploring and had one day of scuba diving with Atlantis Varadero, which I definitely recommend if you are into submarine life!

All in all, when it was time to check out of the Melia Paradisus world in Varadero, I was not at all ready to leave yet.

๐Ÿ“ EpicNomadLife Tip: All the information you need to research & plan your Cuba journey.

๐Ÿ“ Can Americans Travel To Cuba? How To Travel From US
๐Ÿ“ 42 Legendary Things To Do Havana Cuba! Ultimate Guide
๐Ÿ“ 9 Best Tours In Varadero Cuba
๐Ÿ“ 19+ Unique Things To Do In Trinidad Cuba
๐Ÿ“ 15 Amazing Things To Do In Vinales Cuba
๐Ÿ“ FAQs Cuba Travel

2. Melia International Varadero

the inviting blue waters of one of the pools at the Melia International in Varadero, including the pool bar where people hang and relax, on a warm sunny summer day with blue skies.
Melia hotel pool

I spent a weekend at Melia International Varadero Resort as an all-inclusive guest.

Entering the lobby of Melia Internacional after a two-and-a-half-hour rather hot taxi ride from Havana feels like a breath of fresh air.

The first impression was super nice; the lobby was huge but quiet, and the interior was cool and delicate.

A beautiful airy foyer, stress-free check-in, and large windows displaying the short walk to the pools and the main attraction: the light blue sea!

Rows of beach loungers on the beach outside the Melia Internatinal, with golden warm sands and the beautiful ocean below.
Beach loungers outside the Melia International

According to their own web page, Melia International has the โ€œfinest stretch of beach in Varadero,โ€ which probably is a tough contest.

The beach outside of Melia International is definitely gorgeously white with super-fine sand for barefoot beach-walking in the waves.

Although we are in the Caribbean, the water in March is pretty chill, and the wind is as well. The hotel grounds are rather large, and there are several outdoor pool areas.

Some are small and secluded with a calm atmosphere, while others are large and noisy with music and activities going on. Whatever your mood, you will probably find a leisure spot that suits you here.

The Melia international pool and hotel area at night, with lights everywhere
Melia at night

The room at the Melia is also bright, light, and airy. It has a spacious balcony overlooking the pool area, the beach, and the eternal sea horizon.

The bathroom is super gorgeous, with a huge bathtub and windows towards the room so that you can see straight into the sea as well.

Hotel Shopping And Amenities

There IS a shopping area, but it sells mostly expensive tourist stuff or summer stuff (in case you forgot a bikini or something).

Little cafes and restaurants are scattered around the hotel grounds, and there are spacious indoor and outdoor lounges for chillaxing.

Here, you also find Melia International’s The Level service, with a little extra included. On the high end, you find the Level grand suite with a sea view. Of course, you do not lack anything.

Melia Internacional also offers its guests the services of the Yhi Spa Melia Varadero on the top floor, with an infinity pool and stunning views of the beach.

View from my hotel room to one of the hotel pools that are lit at night, and the beach below where the distant horizon is still slightly lit from the setting sun.
Just after sunset

With your bracelet, you will have direct access to a variety of different restaurants and cuisines; you will find buffets, ร  la carte places, snack bars, and sandwich places.

There are a la carte restaurants that are not included in the all-inclusive, where you need to book in advance and take the little extra bill.

One weird thing I was not too excited about was that all the really good restaurants closed at 9 p.m. To me, this seems a little early to end a holiday dinner evening.

Some of the snack bars are open 24/7, so regardless, you donโ€™t have to go to sleep hungry. Or there is always room service.

In conclusion, the Melia International Varadero is on my list of the best resorts in Varadero, Cuba, I can confidently recommend it.

3. Iberostar Selection Bella Vista Varadero

Iberostar Selection Bella Vista in Varadero

Iberostar Selection Bella Vista is number three on my list of the best resorts on the Varadero peninsula.

It has an elegant foyer, a relaxed atmosphere, and a friendly environment that feels welcoming from the start. Even though we arrived early for our stay, that was no problem; we could check in immediately.

Welcome drinks were served while checking in; it was a great start to the weekend.

Reception offered an upgrade to a sea view room for an extra fee, and as I am a sucker for views in general and sea views in particular, that was hard to resist.

The beach outside the Iberostar Selection

The rooms are delicate, great service, and you are just a few minutes away from the pools, reception, lobby bar, and the beach.

The atmosphere at the Bella Vista has a down-to-earth, relaxed, and friendly vibe. 

At Iberostar Bella Vista, the ambiance is more happy and festive than elegant and zen, and there is a lot going on on the hotel grounds in the daytime.

The natural social gathering point in the pool area is the swim-up pool bar, which had a high party vibe during the day, with lots of people and live music.

The white sandy beach is only minutes away from the pool and the party if you prefer a moment of that zen as well.

In the evening, though, the Bella Vista quiets down as the guests change for dinner and gather for an aperitif in the lobby bar area. 

Fine Dining At Iberostar Bella Vista

There is one dining hall at the Bella Vista, where the staff is working hard to serve you what you want.

As the chefs are cooking on demand, there is a bit of waiting in line to be done if you want freshly made meat or fish with your meal.

The bartender at work at the Bella Vista whileyou wait to be seated for dinner
A drink before dinner

There is also hotel entertainment on the patio after dinnertime, which, on this particular occasion, was a rock band playing old classics from the 80s and 90s.

If you would like to continue your evening after 10 p.m., you will probably have to find a club in Varadero town, as the hotel quiets down except for the 24/7 snack bar.

If you are a serious dancing queen, you will want to visit Varadero on the weekends, as this is when life after midnight is in Varadero town.


4. Iberostar Playa Alameda Varadero

Beautiful green gardens at the Iberostar Playa Alameda in Varadero, strewn with palm trees, bushes and flowers among the small white bungalows.
Playa Alameda Garden

All the way out on the tip of Varadero is another of the best resorts in Varadero, Cuba: the Iberostar Playa Alameda all-inclusive resort.

This is an adult-only resort with large grounds, several pools, and a private, easy-access beach area that is as heavenly white as they come.

We stayed here for a couple of days in the summer, which is the middle of Cuba’s wet season. This means quite regular afternoon showers and the occasional thunderstorm, although usually short-lived.

The Playa Alameda is not among the most spectacular or modern all-inclusive hotels in Varadero.

However, the foyer and reception area are elegant and almost grandiose, with tall columns and high ceilings.

๐Ÿ“ EpicNomadLife Tip: Are you a Certified Open Water Scuba Diver?

Join this top-rated scuba diving tour to Playa Coral outside Varadero!

๐Ÿ“Check Availability Here

This 5-star hotel was built in 2002, and its buildings and rooms show some visible wear and tear. It also suffered from the general problem in Cuba with certain foodstuffs and goods.

As the resort is adult-only, it is great for solo travelers or couples looking for a serene getaway.

The ambiance is tranquil and calm, and there is an activity program where you can enjoy cocktail-making classes and chill-out evenings.

Rooms At Playa Alameda

Light airy hotel rooms at Playa Alameda,  with two queen beds, and the wide door to the terrace at the end.
Rooms at the Alameda

The rooms were elegant and delicate, the gardens and pool ground the same, and the staff was super friendly and provided excellent service throughout.

Playa Alameda Amenities & Shops

The outdoor seating area right outside the lobby of the Playa Alameda, with white tavles and maroon chairs, under the palm trees.
Outdoors lobby bar

Just inside the reception are the outdoor seating lobby bar and a couple of shops where you can get snacks, memorabilia, and necessities.

The buffet area is located towards the end of the hotel grounds, just separated from the beach by a string of green bushes.

The pool bar stays open late and serves simple sandwiches and, after midnight, Cuba Libre cocktails.

This is an open space, indoor-outdoor kind of thing, where the staff does their best to give you a great experience.

The light golden sandy beach at Playa Alameda, with sun loungers and parasols a few yards from the soft surf of the blue ocean.
The beach at Playa Alameda

The Playa Alameda also hosts an entertaining show some evenings, including both dance ensembles and magic tricks, before you can enjoy the in-house disco right behind the reception.

After midnight, Playa Alameda is quiet, so if you want to continue into the small hours, you need to take a taxi to Varadero town and visit one of the clubs that will keep going for a few more hours.


5 Top-Rated Tours In Varadero Cuba

Not surprisingly, there are many amazing water sports, activities, and tours to do in Varadero, stretching out into the Atlantic.

Varadero On A Budget

The stone facade of the Beatles Bar in Varadero, where the "guys" are standing outside to welcome you
Beatles Bar in Varadero

If you have a tighter budget for your holiday (or just want to prioritize), there are infinite options for other accommodations in Varadero than the lush all-inclusive resort bubbles!

There is a myriad of Casa particulares for rent that you can book securely online before you arrive.

You can also choose to stay in a Casa Particular in Varadero Town; there are a lot of options for that within the city limits.

The best casa particulares and holiday homes are a perfect budget choice, and most are only minutes from the beach in flip-flops!

Three Top-Rated Varadero Holiday Homes

For some reason, colorful license plates are a popular thing to sell in Cuba.
Detail from the Varadero Market

1. Villa Mercy In Varadero Town

Situated in Varadero Town, Villa Mercy is also situated a 2 minutes walk from the award-winning Varadero beach. The guest house has a terrace and a garden and also provides dry cleaning/laundry services for its guests.

For an extra fee, you can also have a continental breakfast in-house (if you don’t want to explore too early) and assist with tours and tickets.

From Villa Mercy, you can walk to the Varadero Artisan Market in 8 minutes and drive to Josone Park in 6 minutes. Several restaurants and bars are within immediate walking distance.

2. Casa Lola In Varadero Town

Another 10/10 casa particular, a little bit closer to the Artisan Market but still only 2 minutes from Varadero Beach, is Casa Lola in Varadero.

With top reviews and a perfect oceanfront location, they also offer a garden, daily housekeeping, and continental breakfast in-house if you want, for an extra fee.

If you need to be picked up from the airport, let them know, and they will have someone get you for a fee.

3. Casa Nena In Varadero Town

The third 10/10 rated casa particular in Varadero Town, is Casa Nena, situated 4 minutes walk from Ambrosio Park and a one-minute drive from Marlin Marina (an international marina that can be visited on a cruising permit if you have a yacht).

Casa Nena is a few minutes from the beach. You can enjoy the garden and terrace, as well as tea and coffee in the lobby.

They also have luggage storage if you need it and help you make bookings or get tickets to activities.

Also, from Marlin Marina, you can go on a catamaran day trip to the popular Cayo Blanco; online booking is super easy.

Fun Things To Do In Varadero Cuba

From my catamaran snorkeling tour in Varadero, a beautiful white catamaran on the crystal clear water in front of a deep blue sky.
Catamaran snorkeling tour from Varadero

Don’t be fooled by the mere look of the Hicacos Peninsula, where you find Varadero; it looks super narrow and filled with resorts – which it is!

But there are a number of fun things to do in Varadero outside the best all-inclusive resort doors as well, both in town, in the surrounding nature, and on (and in) the sea.

A short sum-up of the fun activities you will find in Varadero is scuba diving, snorkeling, hiking, caving, shopping, clubbing, dining, and visiting the Delfinario.

You can also go for catamaran day trips and deep-sea fishing from here, just to mention a few.

White sands at Varadero Beach, surrounded by palm trees before the clystal clear waters.
Varadero Beach

Traveling To Varadero

There are several options for traveling to Varadero, depending on where you travel from.

You can book an international flight directly to Varadero International Airport and start your Cuba vacation from there.

If you are already in another destination in Cuba, the Viazul budget bus option is safe, and comfortable, and you can book your tickets online.

The bus journey between Havana and Varadero takes around two hours and 40 minutes and costs $9 when you book on the Viazul website, which you should.

You get your ticket electronically, a guaranteed seat, and you escape all the queueing, administration, and bureaucracy it normally is to buy a ticket at a station in Cuba.

The third option is a taxi, either collectivo (cheaper and takes longer time), or just go all in and getting a private taxi. This is quite expensive but super convenient.

In December 2021, I paid 4000 CUP for the taxi Havana – Varadero, which was a really good price. You may expect taxi drivers to ask for up to 9000 CUP, or around โ‚ฌ300. All taxi drivers will be asked to pay in Euros.

There is also the option of renting a car, which is absolutely possible. However, it is definitely not recommendable, and I have never opted for this myself – at least not yet.

I will leave it to this brilliant explanation from the Tour Republic to explain why you really should not rent a car in Cuba.

Quick Facts About Varadero Cuba

Varadero town is more like a village situated on the long peninsula that is commonly referred to as Varadero, but its real name is Hicacos, in Matanzas Province.

There are things to do outside of the best all-inclusive resorts, pools, and beaches, like golfing, scuba diving, an eco-reserve, and visiting the Delfinario to mention just a few!

A Couple Of More Fun Facts

Varadero Beach was actually rated one of the world’s best beaches in TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Awards of 2019, ranking all the way up to second place.

As Varadero town has more of a small-town vibe, you should expect that the nightlife on the weekdays is not super vibrant.

If you are a party animal who likes to dance until the small hours, you might want to stay in Varadero on the weekends, or you might be disappointed.

You can also shop at Plaza America, a small mall with sports stores, leisure and clothes stores, and sanitary items.

Any other destination like Trinidad, Viรฑales, Cienfuegos, or Havana has so much culture, sights, nightlife, and important discoveries to keep you busy.

In these destinations, you really don’t need more than a comfy bed and a serious breakfast before you head out exploring.

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Wrap-Up Best Resorts In Varadero Cuba

I hope this overview has given you a clear impression of what to expect from the best resorts in Varadero, the largest resort area in the Caribbean that happens to be located in Cuba.

When you have decided what kind of accommodation you want, whether luxurious resorts or authentic casa particulares, you will also find links to many tours, activities, and sights in Varadero and its surroundings in this part of Cuba.

Make sure you explore and research all the amazing destinations in Cuba before you finalize your itinerary!

Related blog posts:

Is Female Solo Travel In Cuba Safe? A Local Womanโ€™s Advice

4 Best Ways For Day Trips From Key West To Cuba From An Expert

How To Book Casa Particulares In Cuba (& Are They Legal?)

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An overview of the best allinclusive resorts in Varadero!
Check out this article if  you are looking for the best all-inclusie resorts in Varadero Cuba!

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