Royalton Hicacos Resort & Spa

Varadero, Cuba

The hotel

Only opening its doors to adult guests, this exclusive oceanfront retreat has maximised on its tropical island setting. And that’s not just down to its boast-worthy spot on Varadero’s finest white sands, which come scattered with palapa parasols and backed by lush gardens. Its lagoon pools have been designed to meander around the resort, only interrupted by thatch-roofed structures, little caves for private swims or sunbathing, water features, and bridges – all adding to the natural tropical vibe. Royalton Hicacos Resort & Spa doesn’t just feature the expected (think à la carte dining, non-motorised water sports and entertainment), it also throws in treats like snacks from pizza to pastries, a gelato station, a cool jazz bar and night club and sports like tennis and squash.

Amenities

  • Bar
  • Spa
  • Windsurfing
  • Sailing
  • Tennis
  • Restaurant
  • Kayaking
  • Snorkelling
  • Wedding
  • Games Room
  • Evening Entertainment
  • Fitness Centre/Gym

Where is it

On a wide stretch of beautiful Varadero Beach, perfect for sunsets. Transfer time from Havana Airport: 3 hours.

Hotel information

404 rooms including 401 Junior Suites, 1 Presidential Suite and 2 Royal Suites. Suites all have 1 king-size bed, balcony/patio, air-conditioning, ceiling fan, satellite TV, mini-fridge, safe, amenity kit, iron and board, full-size bath, beach towels, bathrobes and hairdryer. Junior Suites have a balcony or patio and 1 king-size bed sleeping maximum 2 adults.

All Inclusive of: breakfast, lunch and dinner, unlimited local-brand drinks, a huge range of sports facilities and entertainment. Guests are entitled to one visit per week to each of the à la carte restaurants.

Junior Suites Diamond Club are as per Junior Suites, sleeping maximum 2 adults.

Royal Suites feature a more luxurious bedroom sleeping maximum 2 adults.

Presidential Suites have two separate bedrooms sleeping maximum 4 adults.

Diamond Club Benefits are available in the Junior Suite Diamond Club, Royal Suites or Presidential Suites and include:

  • Exclusive Diamond Club Lounge access (selected premium drinks menu available)
  • Preferred room locations
  • Butler service
  • Daily à la carte breakfast service and special lunch in one à la carte restaurant
  • Exclusive bar and beach area with waiter service
  • Personalised check-in and check-out
  • Early check-in and late check-out (subject to availability)
  • Evening hors d'oeuvres and afternoon snacks, including decadent desserts, in the lounge
  • Upgraded room service menu
  • Pillow menu
  • Luxury amenities in-room
  • Mini-bar (replenished daily)
  • Robes and slippers in-room
  • Diving Plustour (subject to availability)
  • Snorkeling in Cayo Piedra (subject to availability)
  • 15% discount on International Scuba Diving courses
  • Honeymooners: receive express check-in, welcome cocktail, small bottle of sparkling wine in the room on arrival, housekeeping (between 11.00am–3.00pm), honeymoon coordinator, a romantic dinner (booking required), 10% discount on SPA services.

    A marriage certificate with a minimum validity of 6 months must be presented.

  • Free Weddings: conditions apply. More information can be found here

  • Early booking bonus: book by 31 Oct '19 to receive 10% off the accommodation cost for travel between 1 Jan–30 Apr '20. 

     

  • Early booking bonus: book by 30 Apr '20 to receive 15% off the accommodation cost for travel between 1 May–31 Dec '20. 

    Any applicable offers have been calculated into the prices shown. Offers may not be combinable. 

     

  • 2020 honeymoon offer: honeymooners receive express check-in, welcome cocktail, small bottle of sparkling wine in the room on arrival, housekeeping (between 11:00am-3:00pm), a romantic dinner (booking required) and 10% discount on spa services.

    A marriage certificate with a minimum validity of 6 months must be presented.

Why is this a Virgin Holidays Favourite?

Fantastic beachfront location on the powder-soft sands of Varadero

Relaxing and romantic resort with a good choice of bars and restaurants

Upgrade to the Diamond Club for butler service, unlimited dining options and exclusive benefits

Exclusive Virgin Holidays benefits (applicable to 2019 departures only):

  • Fruit platter in-room upon arrival
  • Bottle of rum on arrival
  • Please note: to be eligible for favourites benefits, a minimum of 10 nights stay is required.

5 dining options: Gourmet Marche (buffet, open for breakfast, lunch and dinner), El Caribe (traditional Caribbean, open for à la carte dinner), The Pearl (International and seafood, open for à la carte dinner), Grill Beach Club Restaurant (grill and seafood, open for à la carte dinner) and Café Bistrot (grill selection, pizzas and 24-hour snacks). Lobby bar, Dips pool bar, Scoops ice cream and Jazz bar.

Daily and nightly entertainment, weekly manager's cocktail party, nightclub until 2:00am, fashion shows, dance and Spanish lessons. Resident band and piano players. Outdoor theatre and nightclub.

3 swimming pools, 4 whirlpools. The Royal Spa*. Fitness centre (air-conditioned) with weight training and exercise equipment, steam room and sauna. 3 floodlit tennis courts, table tennis, squash, pool table, lawn chess and games room. Paddle boats, sailboats, kayaks, windsurfing and snorkelling.

WiFi access* in designated areas of the resort. Beauty salon*.

Good general access for guests who are able to walk short distances and can manage up to six steps. For more information and contact details please check out our Special Assistance page

3 nights.

* Denotes local charge.

Dress code: smart casual for dinner – trousers and collared shirts for gentlemen.

Please note: this hotel is an adults-only property for guests over the age of 18.

 

Rating summary

  • Location Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Sleep Quality Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Rooms Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Service Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Value Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Cleanliness Image of the Tripadvisor rating

Traveller rating

  • Excellent (4064)
  • Very good (1633)
  • Average (501)
  • Poor (117)
  • Terrible (52)
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Very friendly staff

Jul 22, 2019 BChurch84 Folkestone, United Kingdom

Before i start i believe that you should understand a country before you visit, cuba is relatively poor and in no way modern. That being said if you are expecting 5 star like Mexico, Barbados, Jamaica or elsewhere in the world you will be disappointed so you may need adjust your expectations a little. THE GOOD. The staff and cubans in general are… Read more
Before i start i believe that you should understand a country before you visit, cuba is relatively poor and in no way modern. That being said if you are expecting 5 star like Mexico, Barbados, Jamaica or elsewhere in the world you will be disappointed so you may need adjust your expectations a little. THE GOOD. The staff and cubans in general are so friendly, nearly all the staff remember you, your drinks and are smiling. The rooms are very comfortable and the bed was lovely and large and yhe maids are excellent. The resort itself has a great layout and is very relaxing, the pool staff and entertainment staff are very friendly and happy. The À la carte restaurants are good especially the international and seafood. Varadero is large and as a small town at one end plus there are plenty of options to see more of cuba. The Diamond club, this could be in the ok category as well as the good, we paid half price when we booked it so for that price it was totally worth it and the butlers will do most things for you, i would have been disappointed if i paid full price tho. THE OK. The pool, it is large and beautiful however it could be cleaned a lot better, not that the water was dirty but its surrounded by palm trees and palm thatched buildings so gets a lot of debris in it which is not cleared regularly enough. The buffet restaurant is clean and has choice but not nearly 5 star however i do say that about all buffet restaurants as i do not believe they can be 5 star but that is just my opinion. THE BAD. As i stated at the beginning this is not a modern country, you have to pay for wifi which is 1 cuc per hour althought it doesnt need to be used all at once. There is room for better maintenance all round. This all being said we had a lovely time, thank you to most of the girls and guys in the lobby bar who were great, we definitely visit this hotel again. Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Great Resort with Amazing Staff

Jul 22, 2019 Eoin B

I was a bit nervous before going to this resort in case i got cabin fever but there's so much to do in this resort I didn't want to leave after 5 nights. We ate at a different restaurant every night and still didn't eat in every restaurant. The real highlight of this resort though is the staff, they are very helpful and friendly.
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Perfect Holiday - Our Top 3 Destination

Jul 21, 2019 Roslyn138 Wrexham, United Kingdom

We had originally booked another hotel in Varedero , and due to poor reviews decided to change to Royalton Hicacos - and we were so glad that we did. You need to accept that this is Cuba, and that they have restrictions , and make the most of what is available , and so 5 star may be a good 4 . The travel from the airport is about 40 min - and on… Read more
We had originally booked another hotel in Varedero , and due to poor reviews decided to change to Royalton Hicacos - and we were so glad that we did. You need to accept that this is Cuba, and that they have restrictions , and make the most of what is available , and so 5 star may be a good 4 . The travel from the airport is about 40 min - and on arrival you receive the hot towel and some cava , and meet your "butler" ( they check in on you every couple of days ) . Unfortunately for us we had been promised a third floor Sunset area, and had been allocated 1st floor 2703 - however the room change was made the following day to room 2615 . The buildings are plantation style spread across , not too big an area . Bedrooms are spacious , with the facilities listed and the maid service we received was good - with the usual towel animals on the bed each evening . There are a number of restaurants on site, and we tried all with the exception of the Beach ( wife doesn't eat fish) - There was only one meal that was a disappointment as the duck and steak was under-cook ( we should have made it clear that we prefer well done ) Our favorite was Italian , with the Mexican a close second. You need to book for the restaurants, and the office is near the Cigar bar - be aware that you can only make 5 bookings at a time , and that some restaurants may be closed some evenings ( in July its their low season ) . The grounds are kept perfect by an army of gardeners , majority of the lazy river around the complex was dry, some did complain of the slight smell - we were not near one so not an issue. There is a buffet that can be used for breakfast, lunch and dinner , myself I enjoyed the variety especially the omlettes made to order for breakfast , the wife ( not usually a fussy eater) it didn't appeal to her - and so some morning we had breakfast at the snack bar ( great ) and lunch at the Beach Bar ( very busy - and portions can be small ) We took sterling and Euros with us and changed at the bank on site - or at reception if they have enough . We didn't go to Varadero to use an ATM or the bank . They will only accept notes that have not been marked - so just check . There is also an ice cream and cake store as well as on some days Cuban sandwiches made by the wonderful Tania. The beach is amazing , and you can walk for miles along the fine sandy shore , the sea was warm ,and you can walk out quite a distance. We had no issue at all with regards to getting loungers by the pool , or on the beach - and for 15CUP you can hire cabanas on the beach front - which we did for three days , great to lie back , snooze and watch the world go by. The beach bar do come round to take your drinks orders . As mentioned the beach is one of the best that we have been on , and not an issue on the Royalton area, but if you are going for a walk , good to collect the plastic cups that have been discarded. Our favorite pool area was near to the jacuzzi , which is at the top of the path from the beach - ideal as the restrooms are near, and there is a flavoured drinks hut nearby - plus the pool and the waterfalls. It was quiet there , as we are getting on a bit , so ideal for us , although we did participate on a pool party which is on a Thursday and Saturday at 4 p.m. We didn't watch any of the shows that are put on nightly, liked to visit the Jazz room as well as the main hotel bar Martini Mix ( entertainment at both). The gym on site I thought was adequate , and you can access with your room key anytime - it could do with more water in the room , and I did take a gym towel with me . Wifi is available on site - you can buy cards 1CUP from reception or bank and they last an hour - on your last day any unused cards can be used at the airport The hotel is ideal for visiting Varadero as the hop on/ off bus stops outside - on 5CUP per person runs from 9 - 9 p.m. we used the bus to visit the town , and did the whole run to the Marina and back . What we also liked about this hotel is that the manager Lorezo Rubio is about all the time talking to the guests and staff, getting feedback on the facilities. I cannot fault any of the staff on this complex, all friendly , helpful and pleased to work there , a special thanks to Sandy and Fernando in the Martini Mix bar who never made us wait long for a refill, and Anelys for her kindness. Hopefully me review wasn't too long , but as the title states Royalton would be in our top 3 destinations . Top Hints Take plenty of mozzi spray We always take a short lead extension lead ( allows you to charge all your phones/ ipads at once) Took a gym drink holder with us - bar will always fill with ice and water, better than those small plastic cups that they give ) Leave hairdryer at home , one in bathroom was OK Tip as you feel fit , remember that Cuban's monthly salary is less than $30 . Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Wonderful Stay at The Royalton

Jul 21, 2019 gingermae Hamilton, Canada

We travelled to the Royalton from July 8-July 16 and upgraded to Diamond. We really enjoyed our holiday at this resort. The beach is spectacular and we had very good service at the beach for drinks and also having a bed made up for us at the beach. Our room was quite spacious and the bed was comfortable. Service in our room ( cleaning, delivery of… Read more
We travelled to the Royalton from July 8-July 16 and upgraded to Diamond. We really enjoyed our holiday at this resort. The beach is spectacular and we had very good service at the beach for drinks and also having a bed made up for us at the beach. Our room was quite spacious and the bed was comfortable. Service in our room ( cleaning, delivery of mini bar items) was very good. Food was quite delicious! I honestly don’t understand reviews that complain about the variety or taste of food. The buffet offered many many choices and yes some choices were repeated but this was a huge buffet with many offerings of course you will see some staples day after day. We really enjoyed the many offerings of fish and ceviche but also enjoyed beef and chicken and vegetable dishes as well. We also enjoyed 3 a la carte dinners which were very good as well. We found service very good in all areas . We do tip our servers just like we do when we go out in Canada but staff didn’t seem to be expecting tips but seemed appreciative receiving them. The resort itself is nicely laid out big enough but not too big. I really enjoyed the lobby bar and sitting with a cappuccino and checking my email. Wifi only available by buying cards 1 hour for 1 cuc and was only available in the lobby area which at first I thought I wouldn’t like but actually it was nice because I spent less time looking at my devices! We definitely recommend this resort and plan on returning next time we travel to Varadero! Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Falls short on the basics

Jul 21, 2019 lanahelweh Dubai, United Arab Emirates

You will get greeted with drinks and an amazing butler (ours was “Angel”) who took us through the beautiful all-inclusive hotel, I was wishing we checked in days earlier to this heaven. After all, this hotel was not Cuban standards - this was world-class out of this world. The multiple pools, magical beach, all-inclusive F&B, free entertainment… Read more
You will get greeted with drinks and an amazing butler (ours was “Angel”) who took us through the beautiful all-inclusive hotel, I was wishing we checked in days earlier to this heaven. After all, this hotel was not Cuban standards - this was world-class out of this world. The multiple pools, magical beach, all-inclusive F&B, free entertainment for all ages and events, what more can one ask for at the fraction of the price (in-comparison to anywhere else in the world or Havana)? As the day went by, heaven turned into ...well, just another over-rated resort. 1- Eat with your eyes closed: Restaurants are not big on hygiene - the buffets and fridges were filled with insects and flies. On 2 separate occasions I pointed this out to the chefs & waiters but nothing was done about it - like I’m some kind of demanding person expecting miracles. I understand flies are out of control during the summer but cockroaches on the food?!?!!! I also saw dead flies stuck in between the fridge’s glass shelves (for what it looked like weeks if not months). 2- Ensure you inform the hotel about your time of arrival so they can prepare your room: due to the outside humidity and the AC in the room being turned off, we checked into our room only to find our mattress damp. It also took staff 45min to have room service change our bed sheets. The lady on the reception that night (Annie) was extremely sweet and helpful. She personally came to assist us when room service wasn’t available! 3- Book your shower after checking out, ahead of time: Upon checking out, if you still want to utilize the facilities and then take a shower, you can but make sure you book your shower time spot with the reception ahead of time! Otherwise you will end up leaving the hotel without one as shower spots get booked up well in advance. 4- Book your restaurants for dinner ahead of time: Otherwise your options will be limited to the buffet and snack bar. Thanks, Read less