Cuba sits a mere 150 km (90 miles) from the tip of Key West, Florida, but it might as well be a million miles away. Political differences and sanctions have made it a no-no for most Americans, with a few exceptions for charities, churches and journalists. More recently, the laws in the US have been amended to allow more people, provided that they go through an approved tourism group. For the rest of the world, Cuba has long been an amazing, unspoiled tropical gem with the opportunity to meet real people and experience real culture. All-inclusive resorts are a great way to see the place without a lot of unexpected expenses. Here are some great options for all-inclusive resorts in Cuba:
10. Melia Varadero[SEE MAP]
This pyramidal building is shaped like a six-petaled flower and is an architectural wonder. There are hanging gardens and spectacular grounds. In addition to classic amenities that many resorts boast, Melia Varadero also has hydromassage, wedding gazebo, arts and crafts gallery, golf club, and family packages with activities designed to please all members.
9. Brisas Guardalavaca Hotel[SEE MAP]
Guardalavaca beach in Holguin province is reported to be the location where Christopher Columbus once stated “This is the most beautiful land human eyes have ever seen.” This family friendly hotel includes three buffet meals a day, as well as access to a-la-carte dining at five high-end restaurants. Eleven on-site bars offer a variety of experience from afternoon teas to live music to dance music. There is a wide variety of watersports activities, kids activities, outdoor sports like tennis and beach volleyball, pools, jacuzzis, and more.
8. Hotel Playa Costa Verde[SEE MAP]
This private resort is located on Playa Pesquero in Holguin county. The complex has 31 buildings, 2 pools, 4 restaurants, 7 bars, a jacuzzi, spa and health club. There is even a resort doctor if someone ends up sick on vacation. The All-Inclusive package includes three meals a day, babysitting/access to the kids club, non-motorized watersports, drinks, and nightly entertainment. There are bonuses for wedding and honeymoon guests, including room upgrades, turndown service, and use of a horse and carriage for the ceremony.
7. Sol Rio de Luna y Mares[SEE MAP]
This two-hotel resort complex is located along the Northern Coast on Playa Esmeralda. This resort has access to large tropical forest areas as well as secluded beaches. There are 7 restaurants including French, Cuban, Italian, and a changing variety of international food. In addition to traditional amenities like pools, spa, health club, and watersport activities, this resort offers things like Spanish lessons, dancing lessons and ecological excursions.
6. Iberostar Ensenachos[SEE MAP]
Key Ensenachos boasts some of the best beaches in Cuba, and this resort allows access to two of these white-sanded amazing locations- Ensenachos and Megano. The all-inclusive resort boasts a kids club from ages 4-12, access to pools including a children’s pool, sauna, turkish baths, onsite playground, fitness room, onsite child care, mini-mart, restaurants, bars, watersports, a theater and more. Rooms include both hotel style and private villas. Hammocks hang from trees along the grounds, offering many places to swing and relax. Specialty restaurants include Italian, Japanese, Mediterranean, a Steak House and more.
5. Melia Cayo Guillermo[SEE MAP]
Cayo Guillermo is one of the locations that inspired the writing of the iconic Ernest Hemingway. This all-inclusive resort in Cuba sits at the north end of the island, next to the largest sand dune in the Caribbean. Though secluded, the resort has most everything a guest would need, from on-site theater to access to scuba diving to mini club for kids activities and daycare opportunities for parents. There is also an on-site pool, health club and spa.
4. Paradisus Varadero Resort[SEE MAP]
This is another of the 26 Melia hotels located in 8 locations within Cuba. This is located along the lovely Varadero beach, and is a family-friendly location. The resort boasts a mini-club with a number of daily activities for those under twelve. This and the baby club (for ages 1-4) are open until 10 pm and designed as a chance for Mom and Dad to have some adult time while the kids get their own special vacation fun. The resort boasts a spa and health center, as well as pools, beaches, golf access, restaurants, bars, water fun and more.
3. Melia Cayo Coco[SEE MAP]
This is an adults-only resort, allowing stays for anyone over 18. It is located on the island of Cayo Coco, in the Jardines del Rey Archipelago. This island is connected to mainland Cuba by a stone causeway, so it is accessible by car. Rooms are either hotel-style or in stilted bungalows over an estuary (saltwater lagoon). A large, zero-entry pool, access to Los Colorades Beach with chairs, volleyball, lifeguard, and other amenities, fitness center, in-house theater, game room, use of watersport equipment and access to deep-sea fishing and diving opportunities are all available here. Ten restaurants and/or bars are on-site, and boast the excellence that Melia resorts are known for.
2. Paradisus Rio de Oro Resort[SEE MAP]
Paradisus Rio de Oro calls itself an Ultra-inclusive resort, meaning that if they offer a service, it should be included for no additional fee. Included at this resort are 8 restaurants and 5 bars. The restaurants range from casual beach/pool lunch spot to haute Mediterranean cuisine to a themed restaurant that chooses a different cuisine of the world each night. Fresh seafood, sumptuous steak and local specialties are all available to guests. The Bahia de Naranjo national park is adjacent to the resort, and they have taken advantage of this by placing their “royal treatment” bungalows near the edge of this unspoiled beauty and out of the view of other guests. Also included is access to a beauty parlor, spa, pools, and free/included diving lessons and unlimited dives. The perfect location for scuba aficionados.
1. Iberostar Varadero[SEE MAP]
Located on Cuba’s expansive Varadero beach, this Iberostar hotel boasts 5-star opulence and all-inclusive amenities. A stay here includes three meals per day, a mini-bar that is refreshed daily, drinks from the bar, and access to different outdoor activities that the hotel offers. Rooms are spread out throughout eleven buildings of traditional Cuban design. Additional amenities include wellness center, spa, sauna, beauty parlor, and 4 onsite pools. For those who want to spend their time on the lovely sands of Varadaro beach, beach umbrellas and chairs are available for guests to borrow at no additional charge.