Varadero, Cuba is comparable to Mexico's Cancún or Spain's Costa del Sol; it's a location that's completely tourist friendly, and you'll always be within walking distance of a Varadero hotel. You'll be disappointed, however, if you expect some kind of a fancy, Disney-type resort. Because the Varadero hotels are spread out across the area, many of the nightclubs and shops are also spread out. There are a few areas with more highly concentrated activity, but never does it reach the crowded buzz of a smaller resort in the Bahamas, for instance. The main attraction of Varadero are the miles and miles of white, beautiful beaches, so the other tourist attractions aren't quite as important. Most Varadero hotels are centralized in beach-friendly locations. Cuba's Varadero region is also an excellent location for scuba diving, boat trips, fishing and all manner of water sports.

One thing that you must keep in mind when selecting from the many Varadero hotels is that the hotel ratings you see on travel websites are generally CUBAN hotel ratings. Remember, Cuba is a still a communist country and Varadero is Cuba's attempt to monetize this beautiful Caribbean location and beach. Varadero beach and the tropical location are very nice, but some of the hotels miss the mark in various ways when it comes to the finer details of a tropical resort. That doesn't mean that you shouldn't go (providing you are not American) or that you won't enjoy yourself. You should and you most likely will. Just remember that a 5 star Varadero hotel means 5 "Cuban" stars. And don't sweat the little stuff (or sometimes dirty stuff).

With this in mind, here are some of the better Varadero hotels. Nearly all of these hotels are all-inclusive meaning the meals and activities are included. If you pick one of these Varadero hotels for your stay you will have a lovely holiday you can be sure. All of these properties are clean, well managed, and have decent service, and the food, while not world-class, is generally quite good. You can also count on getting some truly authentic Cuban food at each of these Varadera hotels. If a spot on the ceiling of your hotel room will drive you crazy, go to Hawaii, not Varadero. The rest of you, enjoy the sun, snorkeling, and fine cigars.

Breezes Varadero

This resort is adults-only and a member of the chain of Suberclubs resorts. It is located on a pristine beach just west of the Varadero Golf Club. Every room is quite nice with newer furnishings and amenities and all are either a suite or a junior suite. The most popular room type are the junior suites which are located on the easternmost part of the hotel and in a separate building. Rooms on the top floor of this three-story Varadero resort offer beautiful ocean views with beach stretching in both directions. Rooms on the lower floors are just as nice as the upper floors, but lack the view and might be considered too near to the dance club. If you are a light sleeper and are not at the dance club yourself, you should consider a room on one of the upper floors. Breezes Varadero has a very excited 'party vibe' everywhere. The grounds are huge, and they are replete with clearly marked flowers and tropical trees. Included in all of the hotel packages are a variety of watersports, including one scuba dive per day. Don't pass up this excellent opportunity, even if you have never been diving before. The scuba gear is top notch and the instructors are professionals. While Breezes Varadero is one of the more pricey Varadera hotels, it is worth the expense.

Hotel Palma Real Varadero

Located mid-peninsula, the Hotel Palma Real Varadero has around 400 rooms and is rated four stars. Food, nightlife and shopping are all within walking distance. Because the hotel is comprised of a collection of smaller buildings, it comes across as quaint and small - which is a nice change from the feel of some of the other larger Varadero resorts. Like most Varadero hotels, the Palma Real is all-inclusive, which mean that the food is included in the price of your stay. And while the at some of the other all-inclusive resorts and hotels is only mediocre, the food at this hotel is quite excellent overall with a nice mix of local Cuban fare and traditional Canadian/European dishes. Be aware that the Palma Real Varadero is not located directly on the beach, but it does have its own private beach, a really nice beach, about five minutes walk away. The beach has lounge chairs and umbrellas, towels, and an excellent bar. There are restaurants at the hotel specializing in Italian, Chinese, Cuban and International cuisine, as well as five beautiful pools, shops, bars and all kinds of entertainment. This hotel offers some of the largest rooms in Varadero, all of which offer a balcony or a terrace. For a mid-range price among Varadero hotels, the Hotel Palma Real Varadero is an excellent choice.

Barlovento Varadero

Cenrally located in town, the Barlovento Varadero sits right on the famous Varadero Beach. There's a drawbridge a few meters away from the hotel that connects Matanzas province with the rest of the peninsula. The hotel property has 296 rooms and blends in with the natural surroundings beautifully because of the Spanish architecture. The hotel offers a safe for your valuables, the ability to exchange currency, many shops, a bar, and a 24-hour reception desk. There is a buffet available for breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the 'La Hacienda' restaurant, or if you are not feeling like buffet food, there is traditional Mexican fare at 'El Cactus', and if you're in the mood for Cuban cooking, you can try out 'El Rincon Cubano.' These three restaurants have some of the best food that you'll find in all of Varadero. With so many different vacation packages offered by virtually all of the Varadero hotels it can be difficult to chose one that fits your budget and feel comfortable about your choice. The Barlovento Varadero is a great value among the Varadero hotels no matter what your budget is..