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Melia Las Americas 3.5

Varadero, Cuba

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Adult-only beachfront resort with a focus on golf
  • Picturesque white-sand beach with loungers and umbrellas
  • Four pools including hot tubs and a waterfall feature
  • Pleasant rooms with AC, flat-screen TVs, and minibars
  • Most rooms have balconies and ocean views
  • Connected to the Varadero Golf Club, with discounted entry for guests 
  • Attractive, sunny gym with cardio and weight-lifting equipment
  • Five restaurants with international cuisine
  • Six bars, including poolside and a 24-hour cafe/bar
  • Games like giant chess set, darts, and volleyball 
  • On-site gift shops and beauty salon
  • Wi-Fi in the lobby (for a fee)

Cons

  • Not all rooms have balconies
  • No children under 18 (pro for some)
  • Smoking allowed in some rooms (pro for some)

Bottom Line

The 340-room, adult-only Melia Las Americas is a slightly more mature take on the typical upper-middle-range beach resort in Varadero. In addition to its freeform pools and postcard-worthy beach, it offers a location by a tournament-level golf course and an attractive gym with floor-to-ceiling windows. Rooms aren't fashion-forward, but they are exceptionally pleasant for a Cuban resort, and most have balconies and ocean views. Five restaurants and six bars provide a wide range of food and drink, and a full theater and a beauty salon give other diversions. Another winning adult-only option to consider could be the Royalton Hicacos Varadero Resort & Spa.

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Scene

A slightly more formal, adult take on the typical beachside resort

A more traditional take on the Melia resort chain, the Las Americas branch has an old-fashioned dignity. The lobby is a bit dark and somber centered on a stone table with curling wrought-iron legs topped with a floral display in a deep fuchsia. Looming above, a two-tiered wrought-iron chandelier with a rose-vine design gives an elegant colonial touch. Gray tufted couches and ornate daybeds provide ample seating. But the colonial touches don’t always work in harmony with the blocky contemporary architecture. Black-and-white photos of golfers and landscape photos of golf courses speak to the resort’s location, right by the area’s premiere golf course.  While the front of the lobby is a bit dark, the back of the lobby brightens up considerably, opening onto a quartette of skylights on either side of a staircase descending into the beachfront with full views of the turquoise water beyond.

The grounds are far more breezy and bright, such as the main pool, a free-form body of water covered with thumbnail tiles in a range of blue colors giving a shimmering effect. The open-air Caribbean restaurant with its attractive thatched roof, twirling ceiling fans, and open show kitchen overlooks the pool area. And the bungalow pools, divided by a small waterfall and bordered by wooden loungers with jaunty blue and white striped cushions continue the attractive beachy look.

Guests tend to be golf aficionados and couples including honeymooners that are drawn to the tranquil child-free atmosphere.  A few groups also come here.

Location

On the beachfront, right by the Varadero Golf Club

Melia Las Americas is located right on Varadero’s beautiful beachfront, often considered Cuba’s loveliest. It also backs right up to the Varadero Golf Club, a tournament-level course that’s a major draw for many travelers. (Guests get discounted entries.) The area is surrounded by neighboring resorts, including other Melia properties. One famed property in walking distance is the Xanadu Mansion, a small boutique that was once the private home of the DuPont family and now acts as a hotel with a restaurant. It's a 15 minute walk away. The shopping arcade Plaza Las Americas is a four-minute walk away and offers a bank, souvenir shops, a market, and restaurants including a pizzeria. The town of Varadero, with its restaurants, artisanal market, and nightlife, is an eight-minute drive away. Havana is a little less than two hours away, and José Martí International Airport is 10 minutes farther.

Rooms

Colorful and beachy rooms, some with rocking chairs and most with balconies

A sunny atmosphere permeates the guest rooms of Las Americas. Vanilla-colored walls and light wicker furniture give a softer take on the usual Caribbean colors. White damask sheets topped with orange pillows and bed runners keep things bright and airy. Painted tromp de l’oeil details like frames around the mirrors add a decorative flourish. One surprise is the contemporary graffiti-style art, a departure from the usual landscape portraits. Another surprise is the rocking chairs in standard rooms, giving an extra air of relaxation. All rooms have flat-screen TVs, beach towels, minibars with free drinks, air-conditioning, writing desks, irons/ironing boards, safes, electric kettles with coffee and tea supplies, and umbrellas. Suites also include stereo systems. Most rooms (except for Grand Suites and some standard rooms) have balconies furnished with white plastic patio furniture. And most rooms have ocean views, some also overlooking the golf course.

Bathrooms are simple but well maintained in brown-gray tiles. Roomy vanities give ample counter space and come stocked with individual toiletries, hairdryers, and magnifying mirrors. Bathrooms also have bidets and shower/tub combos, but the fabric shower curtains are a down point.

Rooms at the Las Americas are divided into two general categories: the rooms in the main building and the surrounding bungalows. Beyond that rooms subdivide more with Junior Suites that have living rooms, Grand Suites with a duplex layout, and Golf Suites that are by the golf course. Grand Suites and Presidential Suites also offer more room and are often booked by honeymooners. Bungalows are one- or two-bedroom or suites. Note that smoking rooms are available.

Features

Stunning beach, pools with a built-in hot tub, and an attractive gym

The star feature of the resort is its beach, a spacious stretch of white sand furnished with white plastic loungers covered in cobalt-blue cloth facing the calm cerulean waters. Palapa-topped umbrellas provide shade. For those that prefer sundecks to sand, the resort has four pools. The main pool is a freeform body of water with a built-in hot tub sitting at the center. Floating foam loungers let guests loaf in the water. Wood cushioned loungers and canopied sunbeds also provide more spots for poolside lounging. The gym is equally attractive, in a bright room surrounded by floor-to-ceiling windows, some of which look over the pool. Cardio and weight-lifting machines, free weights, and fruit-infused water are all on hand. There are no TVs, but a sound system keeps the bumping beats going. Showers and two saunas give post-workout relief. Another major draw for active guests is the Varadero Golf Club, which is directly behind the resort. Guests receive discounted entry.

A wide variety of food is also on hand, including five restaurants that cover an international spectrum of Italian, Japanese, and Caribbean cuisine, among others. Six bars serve up drinks and small bites. One bar provides service 24-hours, while others service the pools and beach. A sizable theater stages evening entertainment and performances. A business center provides two PC computers for guests’ use and sells hourly Wi-Fi cards for those that want to connect in the lobby. (Cards were 2 Cuc each on our visit.) 

The Melia Las Americas hosts weddings on both their beach and in a gazebo. Other features include playful pastimes like a giant chess set, darts, or volleyball or pampering like the a beauty salon and massage treatments (beachside or in treatment rooms). Conveniences like money exchange, laundry service (for a fee), a car rental desk, a tourism desk, and multiple shops for provisions or souvenirs such as tie-dye dresses, boldly colored swimsuits, and the usual Cuban cigars and rum are also on the available.

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Address

Playa de Las Américas, Varadero, Caribbean

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