Memories Varadero Beach Resort, Cuba

In the middle of January when winter was fighting to hold on with everything it had, we decided to escape and head south.

Way south.

We traveled to Varadero, Cuba from January 12 – 20 and stayed at the all-inclusive Memories Varadero Beach Resort. Online, Memories is listed as family -friendly with a lot of things to do for everyone in the family. In researching if this destination was a good fit for us, we checked the reviews out on Trip Advisor.

After reading a lot of the negative reviews, we almost canceled our trip, but now that we have been there and experienced the resort for ourselves, that would have been a mistake. We are all glad we made up our own minds to go.

We traveled from Edmonton, Alberta with my husband and our two daughters, ages 4.5 years and 20 months old at the time. Joining us at the same resort, a couple of days later, was my sister and brother-in-law from Winnipeg, Manitoba.

For reference, my husband, two girls and I stayed on the third floor in an ocean-view room in building 33 and my sister and brother-in-law stayed on the third floor in building 34, also an ocean-view.

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Our morning view. It was so easy to get out of bed when this was waiting for us.

For more information on this resort you can read my post on Tips for Traveling to Cuba with Kids.

Getting Around Memories Varadero Beach Resort

This resort is very big and it covers a large area. Walking from the rooms nearest to the ocean back up to the lobby took us about 15 minutes at a solid pace with our girls in a stroller. It is a nice walk and we really enjoyed it, but if you have mobility issues you will want to look in to where you want to spend the majority of your time while at the resort as well as the floor you are on (the buildings are three stories tall, no elevators).

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This is a map of the grounds to give you an idea of where everything is.

The lobby, main restaurant and quiet pool are located close together so if you think you may have issues getting around, you may want to request a room closer to the lobby.

Or, if you want to spend your time on the beach and near the kids and activity pool (louder pool), then you may want an ocean-view room or a room in the back half of the resort.

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Wandering around the grounds near the theatre.

There are vehicles that drive around the resort and can pick you up and drop you off, but they aren’t on a set schedule and are sometimes busy with picking up guests who are checking out to get them and their luggage to the front to catch the bus.

If you are traveling with kids who get tired (younger kids), bring a stroller. We brought our double stroller and it was one of the best decisions we made. Our girls loved staying out longer, but were sometimes too tired to walk. With the stroller, they sat and enjoyed the surroundings.

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View from the third floor of our building looking over the Activity Pool and kids pool area. Since we were there with our kids and used that pool daily, we loved our location.

Diamond Club

The Diamond Club is offered for an extra charge when you are purchasing your hotel stay at Memories. At our time of booking, it came to about $100 extra per adult. As part of the Diamond Club membership, you get access to some items like premium drinks at the front bar. This was a nice change when we ordered a drink at the front and there is a noticeable difference between some brands of alcohol.

There is also a section of beach that is for Diamond Club members and drink service right on the beach if you are a member.

As part of the Diamond Club, we had access to a concierge and were assigned someone to help us with check in. Having young kids, this was a nice feature. Our concierge was Leodanys. Leodanys first came by when we were eating lunch by the activity pool and asked if he could chat when we were done.

He spent some time with us going over the resort and telling us some things we may not have otherwise known about. I’ll say it again, the resort is huge, and there is a lot going on, too much to share at an orientation, so having access to Leodanys was great.

Leodanys told us about all of the various restaurants, but he also told us at what times we can go back to the restaurants for special events. One of the restaurants also serves as a late-night lounge, the other, as a breakfast buffet in the mornings, and so on.

Since he could see we were there with our young girls, he asked if he could make a note to let the people who fill our fridge know that we would like additional water each day and that day when we returned to our room, there was more water for our girls.

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Leodanys with our oldest.

Leodanys was just all around great. When he noticed us, he walked over and said ‘hello’ wherever we were and he kissed our oldest daughter’s hand. I have never seen a four year old grin so big.

Staff

The staff was very accommodating and we never felt ignored. Yeransy was the maid in our room and she was amazing. Every day, she left new towel art for our daughters to find, and even dressed some in their own clothes.

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Towel art left each day for our girls to find. They loved it.

The front desk staff answered our questions and the Sunwing staff worked hard to make sure my sister’s lost luggage was found and even had it sent straight to her room to surprise her.

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Yeransy with our girls at the end of our trip.

With so many guests at the resort, it is easy to get lost, but staff remembered us. For example, our daughters liked getting a slush drink to enjoy on the stroll back to our room, but I had asked if each drink could be in plastic cups (no breaking), less than half full (no spilling, moderated sugar) and with straws (no spilling). I only asked once and the lady who served us remembered and made them that way the rest of our stay.

Rooms

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Building #33. Also known as our Cuban home for 8 days.

Our room had one king-sized bed and we had a cot brought in to the room for our oldest to sleep on.  We ended up sliding the cot in-between our bed and the wall so it made an even larger bed. Also in the room was a fridge stocked daily with water and cola, a desk, a safe, a television, and a large balcony.

The balcony was very safe and I had no worries with our girls dancing and playing on the balcony.

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We enjoyed sitting on the balcony for snack time. Well, any time really.

The bathroom had a tub and a shower. The only thing we noticed was that a lot of the fixtures in the bathroom were a little loose, so it was just a matter of being aware and not grabbing everything in sight. The resort showed its age here.

For my sister and brother-in-law, we noticed some small ants on the floor in their bathroom (there were none in ours). They weren’t bothered by them, but it is worth mentioning.

Banks and Exchanging Money

There are two currency exchanges located at the resort. One of the guides told us that many of the resort-based currency exchanges in the area had been shut down (and this hotel is only one of three left that offer this service) so hopefully there will still be a currency exchange on site in the future. Regardless, this is a great feature to have so close by.

The first currency exchange is located in the front lobby and, outside of breaks, it is open 24 hours. This location almost always had a line up with the exception of extremely late at night.

The second location is beside the theatre and is about half way between the front lobby and the beach. The lineup was never more than one-person long. This location is not open 24 hours.

When doing any transactions at the currency exchange, you will need to have your passport with you for identification. You may want to ask for some smaller bills when you exchange your money as well. Singles are good for tipping or giving to kids to go to the store for a treat.

It is illegal to enter or leave Cuba with Cuban currency. Travel with your own currency and exchange it when you arrive. Do not travel with US currency, there are fees associated with exchanging US and it will not work out in your favour. We went down with Canadian funds and the exchange rate was very close to par.

Food

The main buffet in the lounge of Memories Resort is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. There are a lot of food options everywhere and there are even chefs cooking on site, so you can order your own pasta, seafood, etc. Our girls enjoyed the salads, fruit, chicken, pasta, fries, and ice cream. We found some of the food to be a little on the bland side, but it wasn’t a vacation destroyer for us.

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Breakfast in the main buffet area.

There are snack bars at both of the pools and, at times, they were a little low on food, but we usually made due. One funny story we had was when my husband tried to order a plate of fries at the snack bar and he was told that they were out of fries, so he ordered a hotdog. When the hotdog came out, it had a big side of fries with it.

In the evening, there are a total of six restaurants that open up around the resort (in addition to the buffet) to serve a wide range of cuisines including Japanese, French, and Italian to name a few. The restaurants book up fast and we were only able to get in to the Mediterranean restaurant one of the nights. It was close to the beach and fairly open to the elements, and there was a couple of instances of moths flying around the food which turned me off of many of the opened trays. They had a grill going though, and the chicken and seafood were both very good.

We attended the gala dinner one night and it was a fun experience for all of us. Lobster was served to everyone and, while it was slightly over cooked (probably due to being a mass meal), it was still very good.

As anywhere, you need to travel with an open mind about food and find what you like. For example, there is a beef shortage in Cuba, so the hotdogs contain mostly pork and have a different taste and texture. The buns are denser than in Canada. The bread was dense too, but it wasn’t as bad for sandwiches. Find what you like. For me, I loved eating breakfast at the small buffet near the ocean (it’s hidden in the Mediterranean restaurant in the mornings), I had a coffee, juice, hard-boiled eggs, fruit, and some cheese on buttered bread.

Drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic)

There are many locations to get different kinds of drinks. The bar in the lobby at the front is open 24 hours and, for those who opt in for the Diamond Club, this is the location that serves the premium drinks as well as the regular.

I recommend asking for a Miami Vice at the front bar. It is strawberry daiquiri mixed with Pina Colada and it is delicious. Across from this bar is a coffee bar where you can order espressos, coffee, tea and some slush-type drinks for the kids. I loved the coffee here.

Alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks can also be found around Memories at different locations as well as at both snack bars (located at the activity and quiet pools). There are also a couple of locations near and on the beach. We were able to order non-alcoholic slush drinks for our girls as well.

Resort Activities and Entertainment

Memories excels in entertainment. If the beaches and pool aren’t enough for you, there are a number of free day and evening activities for kids, families and adults. The activities are listed on the entrance in to the theatre and include the location of each. For example, there is dancing and playing inside a big giant ball at the activity pool, music on the beach, dancing in the square and every night, there is something going on in the theatre including various dance routines and wonderful musical shows.

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The evening entertainment along with the daily activities are displayed on the entrance to the theatre.

Retail and Convenience Stores

The convenience store located on the premises was nice to have. The store included snacks, drinks (non-alcoholic and alcohol), diapers in various sizes, a small selection of clothes and shoes, cigars and a few other items. The store did not sell any medication or health items such as Tylenol, Tums, etc so bring your own.

If you are thinking about packing snacks, know that they do sell Pringles and Gatorade at the convenience store. The convenience store in the main building closes around 7 or 8 in the evening shortly after supper time, so if you need anything, make sure you pick it up early.

If you want to buy some art, or local items, but don’t want to leave the resort, an area at the theatre opens at 8 :00p.m. each night were you can purchase some items. Note that they usually don’t barter at this location and the prices are slightly higher than in Varadero, but you can find some nice things there.

Doctor

There is a doctor’s office located on the resort premises for any emergencies. They are open during regular hours and you can find those out at reception if needed.

Kid’s Activities

As far as family-friendly goes, we were extremely happy with Memories resort. Our daughters only brought one sand toy and a doll each, with them and they didn’t complain once that there was nothing to do.

To start, there is the beach. Countless hours were spent digging in the sand, collecting shells and playing in the ocean. One thing that worked well for us was bringing Ziploc baggies on our trip. Our girls grabbed a bag every time we headed out and they collected treasures to look at. Time flew by while we were on the beach having fun together.

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Kids activity area.

Around the resort, kids are very much included in daily activities. There is a kids area where you can drop off your little ones to spend some time with the staff while you have some quiet time. I can’t write more about this because we did not take advantage of this. It was our first time at this resort and there was just too much to do, but we did drop in to take a look around and our girls visited with the kids there and coloured for a few minutes. Everyone was having a great time. I will say that I did notice a lack of toys to play with and if we go again, I will most likely pack some old toys that we don’t need to donate to this room.

I spoke to a staff member in the kid’s area and she told me that all of the kids at the resort were invited to practice a small dance routine one afternoon and that they would be included in a show that was being put on in the theatre on the Thursday evening.

In front of the kid’s room is a playground and a small baby pool that had water in it three of the days we were there. There is also a kids pool (not deep) right beside the activity pool and our daughter loved going by in the afternoon to meet up with her ‘new friends’.

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Kids activity pool by the Club House. You can check out equipment and exchange beach towels there.

The staff members are all so friendly towards children and our girls felt very welcome everywhere they went and when our kids are having a great time, we are having a great time.

Pools

There are two adult pools on the resort premises; a quiet pool for relaxing and an activity (loud) pool for more upbeat fun. We spent time in both pools and they are both great.

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Activity pool early in the morning.

The quiet pool is calm. There is no music, shouting, or playing loudly, and it is a wonderful place to relax, read a book and enjoy time on your own. The fun feature in this pool is the swim-up bar.

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Quiet pool with the swim up bar in the distance.

The activity pool has music and activities and there are a lot of people to watch. This is a fun place to meet other guests, play some games, or go to have fun at a faster pace. The fun feature in this pool is the water slide and the bar in the cave, under a waterfall. At the time we were at the resort, the pools closed at 6 :00p.m.

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Activity pool with water slide.

Beach/Ocean

If you can get an ocean front room, I highly recommend it. Our main attraction was the beach and when we were at Memories, it is probably where we spent most of our time so being close to the beach was a real benefit for us. The beach was clean, and it had a great atmosphere. The walk in to the ocean was gradual and the water was amazing.

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Our building is hidden among the palm trees. View from the ocean.

There was no shortage of shells to keep us and our girls busy and, while we were there, high waves one night took a portion of the sand away a little walk down the beach and had unearthed a number of beautiful shells that washed back to shore with each wave. We had a lot of laughs in the water as we collected the shells the next morning.

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Walking on to the beach.

Things I would have done differently

1) Money Exchange – To save time, I would have exchanged more of our money to CUC at once. This would save an extra trip to the currency exchange bank when we wanted to be out enjoying the beach.

2) Restaurant Booking – I would have booked all of our restaurants as soon as I saw the booking lady was free the first time I walked in to the area. Regular guests can wait for over an hour to book, so if you know where you want to go, book it right away. If you are a Diamond Club member, you can book in the Diamond Club members room. Generally the lines are shorter, but we had someone in front of us that had a lot to do, so it was still a wait. VIP can book restaurants ahead of time, before they even get to the hotel. If I could have, would have done this to ensure we got the restaurants we wanted and to save time, again, standing in lines.

3) Packing Food – Knowing that they carried more food items, including the Gatorade and Pringles, I would not have packed those. We did however pack a big selection of bran breakfast bars that I would definitely pack again.

It has been four months since our visit and we still talk fondly about our time together in Cuba. Getting up in the morning and knowing that our only goal as a family that day was to build sand castles and collect shells was fantastic.

We have a ton of photos of our vacation, but I’m only sharing the ones pertaining to this review here. If you want to see more, book your trip and take your own photos ;).

This review is on Memories Varadero Beach Resort in Varadero Cuba, I cannot speak for any other resorts in Cuba, or other Memories resorts as I have not been there… yet.

Disclosure: I received a media rate to help facilitate this review. All of the opinions in this review are my own and are not influenced by any outside factors.

Sheri Landry
Sheri publishes, and writes at This Bird’s Day where she shares all of the thoughts in her head without the voices. Sticking mainly with content for Canadians, Sheri shares family stories, product information and anything that fits into her (and her family’s) daily activities.
Found in Travel
58 comments… add one
  • Tammy Sep 14, 2016, 1:24 pm

    THANK YOU for this detailed review!! We will be visiting Memories in November 2016, and I have been looking for a first hand experience from a fellow Canadian. Your insight, tips, suggestions, and photos have all been wonderfully helpful. I do have a question about water. Can you get bottled water from a restaurant/bar? If not, can you purchase it at the hotel’s store? Thanks again so much!

    • Sheri Landry Sheri Landry Sep 15, 2016, 1:31 pm

      Hi Tammy, Thank you for the comment. There was a fridge in our room and it was stocked daily with a bottle of water. Water was also available for sale in the small convenience store on site so you can stock up. It has been a few years now since we’ve been so I can’t remember if it can be ordered in the restaurant, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t be. I’m sure if it isn’t, they won’t mind you bringing your own in as they are part of the same resort. Have a fabulous time in November.

  • Ania Apr 30, 2015, 5:31 am

    What a wonderful review. ..
    Thank you, so extremely helpful ..
    I’m going to Memories Varadero in 23 days !!!
    On the very first romantic getaway with my boyfriend. .how can we make sure that we’ll get ocean view rooms. . We are both single parents on the budget so we didn’t want to request with the booking agent because there is an extra charge. .
    Any suggestions. ?

    • Sheri Landry Sheri Landry Apr 30, 2015, 10:13 pm

      Hi Ania, I believe I read that some people were offered ocean view rooms at the resort, however, they were at an additional cost there as well. If you like the ocean and don’t want to pay the extra rate, you can always request to be in buildings 32 – 37. You may not get an actual ocean view, but those are the closest to the ocean (just more of a walk to get to some dinners.

  • Tim Cote Feb 21, 2015, 11:30 am

    Our travel agent cannot provide this info for us. Please see what you can do and provide me with an email address of the hotel. Waiting for your answer…

    • Sheri Landry Sheri Landry Feb 21, 2015, 8:43 pm

      Unfortunately, I don’t have a contact. This review was done two years ago. Sunwing flies with them, maybe try giving them a call. Best of luck.

  • Tim Cote Feb 20, 2015, 1:54 pm

    We arrive at Memories Varedero on March 7th to 14th. We booked 2 rooms and I want to confirm that they are adjoining. Do you have an email address of the Resort so I can send one.

    Thanks

    • Sheri Landry Sheri Landry Feb 20, 2015, 1:59 pm

      Hi Tim – I don’t have a direct contact, but you can most likely ask for that through your booking company (eg. Sunwing, Transat, WestJet, etc). They should be able to look into it or give you a line to the hotel. Thanks for your comment and have a great time.

  • Tammy Jan 5, 2015, 5:42 pm

    Hello there….I just want to say I’m sooooooo glad you didn’t listen to the reviews. I’ve been here twice ( Oct ’12 & Nov ’13 ) with my friends and we are going again Jan 24/15. It amazes me that anyone can have a bad time here. The resort is beautiful and the staff are amazing!! We met some of the staff the first year and now refer to them as our “Cuban Family”…and we can’t wait to see them again! Anyone who complains about the food obviously doesn’t do their homework. Cuba in general, is not known for the food. I’m a very picky eater and I will tell you that I never lose weight when I’m there. LOL I always find something to eat. I’m glad you enjoyed your trip with your little princesses. This resort definitely accommodates every age group and vacation type – be it a party vaca or family time.

    • Sheri Landry Sheri Landry Jan 5, 2015, 8:20 pm

      Hi Tammy, We’re glad too. It is such a fun place. So jealous that you are heading back again. Enjoy every minute of it and thanks for taking a minute to comment.

  • Rebecca Dec 27, 2014, 4:02 pm

    SOOOO thankful for all your info and that you take the time to respond! You are amazing!

    I have a question about the food at the resort. Is it included in the price of your stay? I couldn’t find this info anywhere but see it is an all inclusive resort.

    If it is not included in the package, how are the meals priced? Well? High?

    Thank you again!

    Rebecca

    • Sheri Landry Sheri Landry Dec 29, 2014, 12:31 pm

      Hi Rebecca, Thanks for your comment and question. The food and drinks in the restaurants and snack bars is all included. The restaurants and snack bars are all open at different times throughout the day so you can ask for a schedule. We brought fiber bars and cereal with us for snacks (see my section about sealing the food up). They also have a great convenience store where you can buy Pringles and some other items for snacking for night times when things close down. Have a great vacay.

  • Angela Armogan Jul 13, 2014, 8:29 pm

    Wow, your post was very informative. Thanks for all of the great advise. Any advice on tipping. Thank you

    • Sheri Landry Sheri Landry Jul 16, 2014, 11:41 pm

      Thanks Angela, We had small bills on us for tipping. You don’t need to tip every time. We tipped for service and our maid. You will have the same maid for your stay (unless days off). Ours was so nice and really made our girls feel welcomed. For drinks, tip when you are happy with things, but it isn’t necessary for every single drink. There are also times when it is tough to tip like if you are swimming in the pool and head over to the swim up bar.

  • David Jun 9, 2014, 12:52 pm

    Great Review, found your page through google. Thank you for sharing your experiences.

    • Sheri Landry Sheri Landry Jun 9, 2014, 3:36 pm

      Thank you David. I hope it was helpful. Let me know if you have any questions.

  • Sandra Mar 6, 2014, 7:44 pm

    Hi Sheri, We are travelling to this resort soon and you have already answered so many of our questions; thank you for such a great post. I was wondering if we can get a copy of the resort map like you posted at the resort, or if I should get one printed off before we leave. Thank you very much.

    • Sheri Landry Sheri Landry Jun 20, 2014, 12:34 pm

      Hi Sandra, I received this map from the resort when we got there, so there is no need to print it out. One less thing to worry about packing. Have a fabulous time.

  • britney Mar 6, 2014, 11:11 am

    Hi Sheri, me and my friend are planning on going here next month, you answered most of the concerns we were having, however we are curious what the drinking age is on this resort

    • Sheri Landry Sheri Landry Mar 9, 2014, 11:13 am

      Hi Britney, I’m not sure about drinking ages in Cuba and the resort. You may want to contact Sunwing or the resort directly to find out. Have a fantastic trip.

  • Clay Feb 28, 2014, 10:54 am

    Hi Sheri: Thanks so much for all your great information for this resort! We are travelling here soon and were hoping to contact the hotel with our room request. I have emailed twice using ejecutivo.ventas@memories.co.cu but I have not heard back from them. Do you have another email address you used for contacting Memories? We have upgraded to Diamond Club too and I thought I remember you saying you contacted Leodanys before your arrival? Any help with this contact info is greatly appreciated! thanks so much!

    • Sheri Landry Sheri Landry Mar 1, 2014, 8:39 pm

      Hi Clay, I checked the website and I only see phone numbers for Memories. If you booked through Sunwing, you might be able to contact them and ask if they can make a note on your reservation, but I don’t think the notes would be guaranteed. Leodanys contacted us at the resort the day of our arrival. He found us eating lunch and introduced himself to us and went over Diamond Club then. Have a wonderful trip.

  • Laura Feb 15, 2014, 9:42 am

    Hi. WOW! What a great write up and you do an excellent job of answering questions about the resort. We are 2 adults and we just booked our vacation…we go in less than 3 weeks! The choices we were offered for booking was sunrise or sunset…balcony or terrace. We chose sunrise terrace. From your map, we cant tell which side that is…can you help out here. Is it only diamond club that has the beach front buildings? are we advised to email the resort ahead of time to put forth our request for room location or do we do that through sunwing?
    We keep hearing that the al la carte restaurants book fast…so we will be booking them as soon as we can. Do you know about where the lobster is served? Is it only in the al la carte restaurants or do they serve lobster on the fish grill on the beach and in the buffets? I am so anxious to have the lobster there.
    Any suggestions for a couple travelling to Cuba for the first time?

    Thank you so much!

    • Sheri Landry Sheri Landry Feb 17, 2014, 9:42 pm

      Hi Laura, Thanks for your comments. I hope this makes sense as I’m not good at explaining direction. The bottom of the map (the beach) is North. So if you were standing at Building #33, and looking at the beach, you would be looking north. I hope that helps for sunrise and sunset.

      For room location, I’m not sure who to contact as we just showed and didn’t know where we were going to be. I would suggest contacting either Sunwing, or the hotel directly (Sunwing first) to see if they can help put in a request. I don’t know if Diamond Club is the beachfront or not. I do believe that it is separate. I remember when we booked our trip, there was one fee for oceanview and another fee for Diamond Club.

      The lobster was served at the ‘Gala Dinner’. I did not see any lobster outside of there at the resort, but if you are heading in to Varadero for the day, I highly recommend eating at Club Kiki. They have an AMAZING lobster and mushroom pizza that you will still dream about even a year after (I know). Also, my brother-in-law swears by the Butter Chicken at that restaurant.

      I have a few tips for what to pack in this post (just pack like there is no pharmacy there and pack what you need). Other than that, if you are heading outside of the resort it is always a good idea to just check in with the front desk or Sunwing staff about any tips and warnings. This is true for anywhere you travel though. We found the people to be friendly. Have a fabulous time.

      • Laura Feb 22, 2014, 12:43 pm

        Thank you so much!I appreciate your response and will follow through on your suggestions. I am sure we will check out Kiki – sounds delicish!!!

  • Sharon Feb 11, 2014, 5:42 pm

    Hi. Thank-you so much are all the information on this resort – it has been very informative. We are a family of 5 (traveling with three teenagers) in March 2014. I have been concerned with all the negative reviews but am trying to go with an open mind, especially after reading your blog. I tried to upgrade to Diamond Club at the time of my booking, however Sunwing said it was not available as we are booked in a family suite (which is basically just adjoining rooms). I am hoping they will allow an upgrade at check in, or would you recommend trying to contact the resort ahead of time?

    I know that you traveled with younger children, however I’m wondering what your impression was on services for families with teens? Do you know how the resort handles underage drinking? Would they be safe on their own during the evening if they stay on the resort or beach area? We plan to have check in times and meeting places but it is obviously a huge resort!

    I’m also wondering about building location to get the best night’s sleep. One person in our party suffers from insomnia and we would like a quiet room. I know from other reviews to avoid the buildings right by the theater, but others also suggested that the building by the 24 hour snack bar is also quite noisy at night. Any suggestions or advice would be much appreciated.

    Thank-you,
    Sharon

    • Sheri Landry Sheri Landry Feb 13, 2014, 12:12 am

      Hi Sharon, Thanks for your comment. I would probably try to contact the hotel ahead of time about the Diamond Club. This way you know before you get there and aren’t disappointed at the beginning of your trip if the answer is ‘no’.

      For the services with teens, they will probably love the activity pool with the water slide. They had some games lined up on the side of the pool, the snack area and they also had a couple of fun activities. They had some fun dance, water aerobics and had a giant ball that guests could get in and try to walk across the pool in.

      For underage drinking, everyone who is legal age for drinking has a certain wrist bracelet on. I don’t believe they can be served alcoholic drinks without it, but if you are concerned, you can ask at the front desk on check-in. There are a lot of great options for minors and the coffee area in the front lobby always has two slush machines going (there are also great non-alcoholic options in the snack areas). Many of the activities at the resort died down at good times, I don’t recommend the beach when it is dark, but only because I would worry about the water and currents (I worry). The resort was fine in the evening and there are always fun events going on. The walkways are lit adequately (we didn’t have a problem, but if anyone is sight-impaired, they may find it dark).

      The bar in the main lobby is 24 hours and can get a little loud, but I found the theatre sounds ceased at a good time (around 10:00pm everything seemed quiet to us). You can probably ask at the front desk if they have any recommendations, but we slept solid when we were there. Probably because of all of the fresh air. It also depends on if it is more important for you to go to bed early or to sleep in in the morning as different areas start up and settle down at different times.

      I hope this helps. Have a fabulous time.

  • Kathy Jan 29, 2014, 5:20 am

    Hello Shari…what a great post you have done and it has answered many of our questions. My daughter is getting married at this resort at the end of July (oh and I know its going to be super hot than but work schedules win this battle) and there will be approx. 8 (under age 5 children travelling along). One of the parents is questioning the milk they have at the resort for her youngest child. Do you have any idea if this resort uses homogenized milk? – I was hoping since you travelled with little ones you may know. Secondly…would you recommend the upgrade to the parents with small children as well…I think some of the “older” folks will do this? Is the diamond club for all rooms (if we take it) or is it in a specific section? Any insight you can provide for these travelling parents will be greatly appreciated. Kathy

    • Sheri Landry Sheri Landry Jan 29, 2014, 11:26 pm

      Thanks for your comment Kathy. I don’t know for sure if it was homogenized milk. Our daughter was 21 months old at the time and she sometimes had the milk at the resort, but mostly, she drank the bottled water. We did bring some powdered milk along in our luggage so that is always an option if they are really worried. It was nice to have on hand.

      For the diamond club, some features parents might want to consider are: early check-in/late check-out, 20% off laundry, a la carte lunch in an air conditioned restaurant, private area at the beach with waiter service (great for iced mocktails or slurpees for the kids), concierge service (our guy made a note and gave us an extra bottle of water in the room).

      I really depends on what you are looking for, but you can check with the hotel to see what other benefits might match your needs. I am not sure if diamond club is dependent on which room you get though, so you may want to check ahead of time.

      Have a fabulous time and congratulations on your daughter’s wedding.

  • Sharon Jan 19, 2014, 6:37 am

    Thanks Sheri for the great review of Memories, we a group of 4 are travelling there next weekend for a 7 day stay. I feel so much better that I came upon your review. Will let you know how we felt when we get back to Ontario

    • Sheri Landry Sheri Landry Jan 19, 2014, 9:56 pm

      Thanks Sharon – I look forward to hearing your thoughts almost exactly one year later than our trip. Have a wonderful time.

  • Jennifer Park Jan 17, 2014, 9:32 pm

    I am just curious if you had a standard room or a suite? I have heard that the suites at some resorts do not have separate bedrooms. We are travelling with our daughter and she has a hard time sleeping with other people in the room.

    Also, when you arrived at 2:30 in the morning, what happens when you arrive at the hotel at that time. did you get your room right away or did you have to wait until the following afternoon to check-in.

    We are looking to book our trip for the end of march and think this may be the resort we would like to go on.

    Did you do any of the excursions that are available? Jeep Safari, Dolphin Swim or Catamaran Day trip?

    Thank you in advance for your wonderful blog. I also read some negative reviews but my gut kept going back to this resort. I think you have convinced us to book this one.

    Jennifer

    • Sheri Landry Sheri Landry Jan 19, 2014, 10:14 pm

      Hi Jennifer,

      We had a standard room. You should be able to contact the hotel directly to ask what you should be booking to get a separate room. We found the staff to be very helpful.

      When we arrived we got our room right away. I don’t know if it was because we were Diamond Club or if it was because our package included the night before or any other reason. You can probably ask at the hotel to make sure you get right in. It was extremely beneficial as our youngest had motion sickness and we were so excited and barely slept on the plane.

      We did not end up doing any of the excursions since our girls were so young. We ended up spending our time around the resort, on the beach and in the pools. With our youngest still needing a nap, we stayed close by.

      We really had a great time at the resort. I hope you have a fabulous time wherever you book as well.

  • Laureen Beadle Jan 16, 2014, 4:50 pm

    I really enjoyed your write-up, tips, advice about Memories Varadero. We are booked for Feb 4-11, unfortunately much like your advice I keep reading that it is advisable to upgrade to Diamond Club. Do you know if we have to do this when booking, make change to booking, or did you notice anyone doing upon check-in/arrival. Some resorts will suggest upgrades when you check-in. Any knowledge is appreciated…i just don’t want to mess up our present booking.

    • Sheri Landry Sheri Landry Jan 17, 2014, 11:12 am

      Hi Laureen, We were upgraded before we got there. We got to the hotel at 3 in the morning so there were only a couple of us checking in. I didn’t notice anyone upgrading then, but you can probably contact Sunwing and ask if they do upgrades at the resort.

  • Diane Vincent Jan 6, 2014, 7:22 am

    I
    You did a very nice explication for the Memories hotel and tank you very much for this. I will be in this resort 2 weeks february 14 up to 28 with my husband i take diamond club Sunset terrace…My question how I do to use my Diamond club in maximum….You are very nice to take your time to do this explication.

    Sorry for my bad English i speak french and i do my possible to write and speak in English…

    Tank you very much
    Diane Vincent
    Jean-Marc Charron

    • Sheri Landry Sheri Landry Jan 8, 2014, 9:28 pm

      Thanks for your comment. I don’t quite understand what you are asking. If you have already purchased the Diamond Club, there will be a short session where they talk about the Diamond Cub and what you get, you will be notified of the date and time when you arrive and they will answer all of your questions. You will also have someone assigned to you and they will stop by and make sure you are doing well throughout your stay.

    • Diane Jan 23, 2014, 9:34 am

      Tank you very much to have taken time for me.
      I know I don’t speak English very good and sorry for that but I take lesson for this.

      I’m very happy to go at this hotel in february but the last review on tripadvisor are not very nice for buffet. but us we go for the sea.

      Tank you very much
      Diane and Jean-Marc
      If you have suggestions for us it was appreciated. We have diamond club Sunset view garden but I write to the hotel to be on second or third floor bloc 33 or 34,,, if it’s possible but I think it should be nice on terrace….wath do you thing?

      • Sheri Landry Sheri Landry Jan 28, 2014, 10:42 pm

        We would have loved any of the rooms. For us though, we had an infant (and a 4 yr old) at the time and I felt better when they stepped out on to an enclosed balcony to get air while we packed up for the day. No chance of them running off or getting lost. For the buffet, you will be able to find something that you will like. They had a pasta station set up. My favorite was the seafood and fish they cooked up. At breakfast, there was a spot in the main buffet area where they made smoothies to order that our daughters loved. And our girls loved the fries there.

        Have a great time.

        • Diane Jan 30, 2014, 6:14 am

          Tank you very much

          Have a nice day!

          Diane

  • Ken Jan 2, 2014, 3:07 pm

    Hi Sheri,

    So happy to have stumbled across this post of yours. My family and I are going to be travelling to this resort at the end of January, and I’ve been looking for information on the Memories, Varadaro. I was wondering if you think it’s necessary to try to exchange some money at the airport for tips before you get to the resort? Our travel agent says you can do it there, but it’s been our experience that the airport is usually pretty hectic and I suspect trying to exchange currency there would only compound that.

    Anyways thanks so much. You’ve answered a lot of things that have been on my mind about this trip. :)

    • Sheri Landry Sheri Landry Jan 2, 2014, 11:48 pm

      Hi Ken, Thanks for your questions. For exchanging in the airport, We arrived at 2:30 in the morning so we didn’t have that option. You can always have one person head over and check the exchange to see if its busy while you wait for your luggage. Do not exchange a large amount at the airport if you do as we were told the rates were better at the resort than at the airport. Have a wonderful time and get a Miami Vice at the bar in the main lobby (it is 1/2 daiquiri and 1/2 pina colada — and all awesome).

  • Jacquelynn Dec 25, 2013, 10:12 pm

    Hi Sheri, what a great blog, my family and I are planning a trip for Mar 2014 and have narrowed down to memories. Did you and your family book through an agent or did you do it through sunwing. I am thinking about booking 3 different families right thru the website my only concern is gettig everything that we need from the hotel, like 2 ajoining rooms and ones that are ground floor. As for the on site golf cart taxis I know you said they dont have a set schedule, but they are around right. I would like to be near the beach but were travelling with older people and children so walking may be an issues for them. Also we would like to go to Havana but dont want to book the bus in advance as were not sure with travel what day we want to go, is there a cheaper way to get there but still legit, I have read if you do it the black market way and get caught you can get into a load of trouble from the law enforcement there. Also I was wondering about transfers from the airport, we are travelling from Vancouver and get into Varadero at 3:30 am will there be a bus there or do we have to make our own tranfers? Any other information you can pass on I would greatly appreciate it, I have been doing some reading and there are some bad reviews out there, like no bottled water (that isnt refilled) available. Thanks again………Jacquelynn

    • Sheri Landry Sheri Landry Dec 29, 2013, 10:30 pm

      Hi Jacquelynn, we booked our trip through Sunwing. I would suggest that if you have specific requests in mind, you can always call ahead to see if they can be accommodated if booked through the website. We saw the taxis around a little bit. We never walked from one end to the other without seeing at least one. If there are mobility issues in your group, then I recommend staying either in the middle area, or near where your group will be spending most of their time. For travel to Havana, I believe you can book through the hotel. We did not take advantage of this, but there is a Sunwing area where you can book your excursions. For arrival into Cuba and transfers, we arrived at 2:30 in the morning. When we picked up our luggage, there were buses waiting outside. They asked us our names and got us on a bus. We got a bottle of water in our room every day, if you are ever missed, you can call the front desk and they will make sure more gets there. I hope this helps, let me know if you have any more questions.

  • Sandy Dec 19, 2013, 8:38 pm

    Hi!

    Thank you for the useful information!

    I have a couple of questions:

    1. Was the ocean water temperature warm?? Plan on going Jan.4-12, 2014 with a 23 month old and 3 1/2 year old. Water calm as glass or bug waves??

    2. Can you see the beach from the resort? Eg from the activity pool? I like to see the ocean and beach when enjoying the resort and do not like to walk a long ways to enjoy the beach, or obscured b bush and/ or trees.

    Thanks!,

    • Sheri Landry Sheri Landry Dec 19, 2013, 10:57 pm

      Hi Sandy, Thanks for your comment. Here are my answers:
      1) The ocean temperature was lukewarm to warm, our daughters (4yrs and 1.5 yrs) both went in and loved it. The waves were dependent on the wind. on the calm days, it was really nice and rolling. We had a couple of days of windy weather and the waves picked up a lot. We ended up going into town and spending time at the pools those days.
      2) There was a small line of trees that separated the beach from the resort. From our building, it was about a minute walk and we were on the beach. From the building and room we were in, we could see the beach, but it could not be seen from the activity pool. If you want to enjoy the beach from your building, then I recommend asking for buildings #32, #33, #34 (we were in #33).

      You can read my other post for more info and some extra shots of the beach and pools

      http://www.thisbirdsday.com/tips-for-traveling-to-cuba-with-kids/

      I hope this helps.

      • Sandy Rowley Jan 2, 2014, 9:31 pm

        Hi Sheri,

        Another question, in reviews I read Diamond Club buildings were 37-39, but in other reviews it sounded like Buildings 33-35 were the best for being close to the beach with a view, yet close to the activities and kids pools. Which building would you recommend for this?

        Also, is there a specific building that the extra horderves and exclusive Diamond Club bar is at? We like to enjoy these amenities nightly, and it is so handy to have it in the same building that we are staying in.

        Thank you in advance for your response!

        Sandy : )

        • Sheri Landry Sheri Landry Jan 2, 2014, 11:55 pm

          Hi Sandy – Thanks for your comments. Buildings 33 – 35 and 37 – 39 are all equal distance to the activity pool as it is in the centre of them all. Buildings 33-35 had ocean views. We were in building 33 and we had the ocean on one side and the activity pool on the other. It meant there was a walk to get up to the front lobby, but we didn’t mind.

          I believe an area for the Diamond Club was open across from the theatre (it was closed when we were there though). It isn’t in a specific building, but building #39 would be closest for this (I have a map in an image above, you should get a good idea).

          I hope this helps Sandy. Have a fabulous time.

  • farhana Dec 8, 2013, 3:10 pm

    This is a lot of great information, thank you Sherri. We are going in 4 days and this is exactly the information I was looking for!!!

    • Sheri Landry Sheri Landry Dec 8, 2013, 9:33 pm

      Thanks Farhana. I’m glad I could help. Let me know how you enjoyed it when you return. Have a great time.

  • Jody Martinson Dec 2, 2013, 2:30 am

    Thanks for all the info, i’m taking my 3 kids and 2.5 yr old granddaughter there for a week on dec 13 and you answered all my questions, looking forward to leaving the snow in Alberta behind :)

    • Sheri Landry Sheri Landry Dec 3, 2013, 1:10 am

      Thanks for the comment Jody. Have a wonderful time. With all of the snow we’ve been getting, I’ve been dreaming of getting on a plane and flying away from it all. Enjoy!

  • Diane Nov 27, 2013, 11:30 am

    Hi Sheri, great review of this resort. Did you happen to notice any weddings taking place while you were there?

    • Sheri Landry Sheri Landry Nov 27, 2013, 12:36 pm

      Hi Diane, I didn’t notice any, but there were three days where we were not on the beach so I could have missed something.

  • maillot de foot pas cher Jun 20, 2013, 1:47 pm

    Thank you a lot for sharing this with all people.

    • Sheri Landry Sheri Landry Dec 3, 2013, 1:28 pm

      You are very welcome. I hope it helps in making your decisions.

  • Carol May 22, 2013, 9:41 pm

    Wonderful, thorough, blog, you have covered everything a person needs to know about this resort. Would definitely consider this hot spot for my next winter vacation, and have bookmarked your blog.

    • Sheri Landry Sheri Landry Dec 3, 2013, 1:27 pm

      Thanks Carol. It is definitely worth checking out. It is 11 months later and the kids were still talking about it today.

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