Varadero is Cuba’s No. 1 tourist destination — and for good reason. With a 21-kilometre stretch of powdery white sand stretching out into the azure waters of the Atlantic along the Hicacos Peninsula, this is considered by many to be one of the world’s top beaches.
While its palm-fringed beaches are a top draw — along with diving, sailing, snorkeling and swimming — Varadero also offers an impressive range of activities and excursions from cultural and ecological to adrenaline-pumping adventure. There’s also a range of accommodation styles to suit all budgets and tastes, whether travelling with kids or planning a dream wedding.
Memories Varadero Beach Resort is ideal for family vacations, as well as romantic getaways, weddings, anniversaries and honeymoons, with deluxe accommodations in 1,035 guestrooms and suites. Rooms are furnished with rich wood décor, deluxe amenities, and a fusion of traditional colonial style and tropical Caribbean flair.
Parents don’t have to worry about picky eaters, since the resort offers everything from an international buffet to six specialty restaurants — including Japanese, Mediterranean, Creole, Italian and Mexican — along with eight bars.
All-inclusive amenities and services include 24-hour food and beverage service, three tennis courts, four swimming pools (two of which are adult-only), a kids’ club and baby club, and daily and nightly entertainment. The resort also offers non-motorized water sports — windsurfing, pedal boats and snorkeling — as well as introductory scuba diving lessons. Babysitting services, motorized water sports and spa treatments are available at an additional cost.
The kids’ club keeps little ones entertained with special guests Toopy and Binoo — allowing parents some much-needed R&R. Supervised activities range from craft classes, dance lessons and trivia games to scavenger hunts, cooking classes and seaside adventures. Families can reconnect with a game of mini-football, basketball in the multi-sport court, a friendly round of beach volleyball, billiards or ping-pong.
For those seeking a more exclusive vacation experience, Memories Varadero offers a Diamond Club package with premium services and amenities — ideal for those on a romantic getaway or honeymoon. Benefits include early check-in and late check-out, concierge service in the lobby, luxury in-room amenities, mini-bar restocked daily, Diamond Club lounge access and an exclusive beach area with dedicated waiter service.
With scenic locations and a team of experienced on-site coordinators, the resort also accommodates groups of all sizes, from business meetings to weddings, anniversaries and family reunions. Coordinators take care of all the logistical details, so events go off without a hitch. For those who book their wedding at Memories Varadero (and other select Memories properties), the newlyweds receive a free anniversary stay.
Nearby, Cayo Piedra Underwater Park is a popular diving and snorkeling area with an artificial reef of sunken military equipment. Reserva Ecologica Varahicacos on the peninsula’s eastern tip offers nature trails and ancient rock paintings in limestone caves, while Saturno Cave provides a chance to cool off in the azure waters of a cenote, a subterranean swimming hole.
Vacationers can play a round of golf, swim with dolphins at the Delfinario, dance the night away in a discotheque or take a day trip to the historic city of Havana — that is, if they can manage to tear themselves away from their lounge chair on one of the best beaches in the world. For more information, visit holasunholidays.ca or memoriesresorts.com.
As originally published by the Toronto Star.