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
  • Romantic
  • Spa
  • Wedding
  • Honeymoon
  • Night Club
  • Room Service
  • Safety Deposit Box
  • Evening Entertainment
  • Fitness Centre/Gym
  • Games Room
  • Internet Access

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. IUnlimited local-brand drinks. 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
  • Honeymoon Offer: Honeymooners receive sparkling wine upon arrival, one romantic dinner and 10% discount on SPA services. For travel between 1 Jan '21–2 Jan '22.

  • Booking Bonus: Book by 30 Apr '21 to receive up to 10% off the accommodation cost between 1 May ’21–2 Jan '22.

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

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 and exclusive benefits

Exclusive Virgin Holidays benefits:

  • 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. 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 with 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 (4666)
  • Very good (1791)
  • Average (579)
  • Poor (140)
  • Terrible (74)
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Wonderful holiday despite some issues

Jan 14, 2021 bev1958 Ashbourne, United Kingdom

The hotel is in a great location, beach is fabulous and plenty of sunbeds available, Pool area is great but can be noisy as it's where the fun happens and the younger visitors hang out, however, you can get away from it if that's not your thing. The hotel rooms are dated but saying that spacious and clean with large balconies and a super comfy… Read more
The hotel is in a great location, beach is fabulous and plenty of sunbeds available, Pool area is great but can be noisy as it's where the fun happens and the younger visitors hang out, however, you can get away from it if that's not your thing. The hotel rooms are dated but saying that spacious and clean with large balconies and a super comfy bed. The food choices exceeded our expectations and we were pleasantly surprised. Thanks to Rámon who served breakfast and always did his best to find us a table for four outside on the verandah. We tried all the restaurants and the only disappointment we had was in the Caribe. It's by far the nicest setting and biggest restaurant but the menu wasn't that great. High demand for the Tex-Mex and The Pearl which are much smaller but food was great. Also enjoyed the food and ambience of the Italian restaurant. Gala dinner on Christmas Eve was spectacular and the staff did their utmost to be pleasant and provide a high level of service under the Covid restrictions. Evening entertainment was low key but fantastic. No Rock around the Clock rubbish but quality musicians, singers and dancers who pulled all the stops out on Christmas Eve. Our bar of choice in the evening was the Jazz Bar, Leonis always on the ball and knew our order after the first night. Top man. So far, so good but here are a few of the niggles which we reported and had a varied response. The outside lights didn't work from date of arrival, took almost a week to fix but management did address the issue and took time to explain the difficulties of getting the replacement parts. The fridge broke on the Friday, a maintenance guy came right away, classed it as irreparable and said they would replace it the following day, this never happened despite reporting it again. The air-conditioning in the room was stuck on 18 degrees, unable to control it. Maintenance guy came again and couldn't fix, the solution was to trip the switch in the fuse box, happy days. However, we realised in the evening that this switch took all the lights down too. We couldn't be bothered complaining again so just worked around it. Tex-Mex restaurant proved difficult to get in, they didn't seem to be operating the same system as The Pearl so we went to reception to find out what we had to do to get a booking. They want to know when things go wrong and actively seek to rectify. We were very impressed with Leticia who went out of her way to help and handled all our issues personally, she is an asset to the hotel and hopefully they will take her constructive views on board and make a good hotel a great one. Thanks once to everyone. Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Lovely beach, friendly staff - terrible food.

Jan 13, 2021 customer406 Huddersfield, United Kingdom

We were lucky to go abroad before the lockdown, the weather was lovely, the beach is golden. The hotel facilities were good, decor in places could do with some updating. The rooms are spacious - huge bed, lounge area, decent sized balcony, and large bathroom with a huge bath. The staff are friendly not too much in your face, but helpful. The… Read more
We were lucky to go abroad before the lockdown, the weather was lovely, the beach is golden. The hotel facilities were good, decor in places could do with some updating. The rooms are spacious - huge bed, lounge area, decent sized balcony, and large bathroom with a huge bath. The staff are friendly not too much in your face, but helpful. The overall feel of the hotel is good - the pool areas, bar area and the restaurants look good. We are not into entertainment so can not comment on that element. We had been warned that the food is not great in Cuba. I think there are food shortages in Cuba according to local reports. However the food was terrible cold, tasteless. The Italian in particular was inedible I had carbonara one night and the lasagna another both were dreadful. I love food and all types but lived on toasted cheese and ham sandwiches and omelettes. I did not have one good meal - the best was at the Caribbean restaurant. There was no point in complaining as every one i met said the same thing - one couple had both lost weight on holiday! Whilst it was lovely to get away - I will not be coming back to Cuba - I need decent food. Also the hotel does not accept the local money and all trips can be paid by card - so don't get too much local money as you can only spend it at the local town or in Havana. There also seemed to be a shortage of loo paper - so bring some of your own! Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating ENTERTAINMENT!

Jan 12, 2021 Dorotka0

I love this hotel. Amazing staff, amazing place. I would like to thank you very much for amazing entertainment! Yarima and Ani are amazing girls! I have enjoyed so much with them! The best team ever! Yarima is the best girl in this hotel and Ani too!!! I would like to come back soon, for sure! Yarima and Ani well done! Amazing entertainment! The… Read more
I love this hotel. Amazing staff, amazing place. I would like to thank you very much for amazing entertainment! Yarima and Ani are amazing girls! I have enjoyed so much with them! The best team ever! Yarima is the best girl in this hotel and Ani too!!! I would like to come back soon, for sure! Yarima and Ani well done! Amazing entertainment! The best team Yarima and Ani! Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Great New Year Week at the Royalton!

Jan 12, 2021 PUR861 Windsor, Canada

My Wife and I are experienced travellers to sunny Caribbean destinations. Over the past twenty years we have travelled to Mexico, Jamaica, Dominican Republic, and Cuba. In fact, we have been to Cuba five times with this trip being our fourth visit to Varadero. We love the Varadero peninsula. It is, in our opinion, one of the best spots on the… Read more
My Wife and I are experienced travellers to sunny Caribbean destinations. Over the past twenty years we have travelled to Mexico, Jamaica, Dominican Republic, and Cuba. In fact, we have been to Cuba five times with this trip being our fourth visit to Varadero. We love the Varadero peninsula. It is, in our opinion, one of the best spots on the planet to enjoy the North Atlantic Ocean. The quality of the ocean and sand, along with the climate, is truly second to none! Cuba is a fantastic county to visit in that the landscape is beautiful and the culture is diverse. The people are quite friendly; we have always felt safe and welcomed while visiting the country. We flew Air Canada out of Toronto and overall, the flight and transfers went exceptionally smooth. Due to Covid requirements, Air Canada attendants had a strong presence in the Toronto airport. We found that this increased the efficiency of the check in process. Hand sanitizing and temperature checks where routine and the boarding process went well. The only complaint I had was that during the flight, Air Canada was not serving any alcohol. Again, this is due to Covid regulations and I do respect the need for safety for all passengers on board. On this subject, masks are mandatory during the entire time one is on board the plane. I recommend that prior to boarding, make sure that the mask you have selected to ware is comfortable because the only time you can remove it is to have a quick sip of water or a bite to eat. Upon touch down in Varadero, we were the only flight that had landed that morning, so the arrival process was quite organized. Again, temperature checks and hand sanitizing post flight were the norm. All passengers coming into Cuba are required to submit to a PCR (nose swab) covid test. I have read other reviews that this test is somewhat evasive, however, my wife and I felt that the procedure was simple and quick with no discomfort. I was shocked to see how organized the Cuban medical services were. They tested the entire flight within minutes after arriving. Once we had cleared immigration, the baggage claim was not so organized. It is my assumption that all luggage is scanned upon arrival and this adds to the wait time, however, we did manage to get the bags from the carousel and then cleared customs hassle free. A bus transfer was part of our travel package, however, we decided to take a cab. For me it is worth the $40 US and is both quick and convenient. The ride also gives you the chance to listen to the local music and site see while on your way to the hotel. Our check in at the hotel was fun. We felt welcomed by the staff with a drink and while they explained all the amenities, they took care of our luggage. We had to wait approximately two hours for our room to be ready. This was not a bother for us because we could explore the hotel grounds and have a drink at the bar. The funny thing about the check in: we were enjoying ourselves so much that our luggage made it to our room before we did! We booked a junior suite, and the room met all our expectations. We really liked the balcony in that it was quite spacious and pleasant to sit on at night. Our room attendant Rosey was spectacular! The room was cleaned daily, and the bar was consistently refreshed with 2 pop, 2 water, and 2 beers daily. Overall, the hotel was exceptionally clean and the grounds are groomed wonderfully. The grounds are so nice that when one is walking between the pool and beach, you feel as though you are on a golf course! The resort is large, yet it felt intimate because it was not operating at full capacity. Due to safety recommendations, while walking around the resort we wore our masks. Staff members were always masked; because of such practices we felt safe staying there during the pandemic. Both the pool and beach are fantastic! In fact, it was hard for us to decide on whether it would be a pool or beach day. The pool area was spacious, clean, and organized. There was always a comfortable sunbed available along with shade when one needed it. Pool attendants were consistently available and helpful when required. Similarly, the beach area was incredible. I can offer a strong recommendation regarding the quality of Varadero beach in that my wife and I own a beach property in southern Canada. The quality of the sand is the best I have ever seen – it is like baby powder! The attendants and lifeguards do an outstanding job at keeping the beach clean and organized. We decided to rent a beach cabana and enjoyed it so much that we ended up renting it twice. Both areas were well serviced with bars and restaurants. I enjoyed the beach bar since I found the attendants there to be extra friendly and courteous. As I wrote earlier, we have been to Cuba a few times and one of the reasons for such is the weather. At this time of year the weather is great! Although it is considered winter (by Cuban standards) one cannot beat it! The week we were there we had daytime highs ranging from 25-32 degrees with nighttime lows of 15-20 degrees. Every day was partly to mainly sunny. Please note that while we were out at night, we always wore a light jersey or jacket. The resort does spray for mosquitoes, however, if you are going to sit out at night, I recommend a light spray of bug repellent. Be prepared for moderate trade winds this time of year. During our visit, the beach lifeguards flew a yellow (caution) flag the first couple of days we were there. The hotel has a variety of restaurants to choose from. We visited the Italian, Mexican, and International. My personal favorites were the Italian and Mexican. The dinner buffet was good. We enjoyed it because of the exceptional service that was given to us by the waiters. I recommend that you sit near the pasta bar in that the attendants take great care of you in that area! Be patient while in buffet line, because there is no handling of the utensils, the attendants will serve you. When it comes to Cuban food, one must understand the Cuban diet. It is not like North American or western European food. The best meals that we had centered around pork and chicken with rice, beans, salads, and vegetables. The pasta bar was fantastic and enjoyed with most of our dinners. The cheeses in Cuba are great along with the breads. My favorite lunchtime meal was the ham and cheese sandwich that was served in the pool restaurant. Deserts were also particularly good – especially in the Italian restaurant. For breakfast we mainly ate in the Italian restaurant because the service was great and the poached eggs on toast were simple yet prepared perfectly! One afternoon we decided to do some site seeing in the town of Varadero. Taking a cab there cost around $20 US and it is worth the visit. Cuba, as a country, is practicing the same covid restrictions that we have in North America. Masking is required while walking around the town. When off the resort one must be mindful regarding currency. The day we were in town the bank machines (credit card machines) were down so one could only use cash. We travel with US currency as it is accepted in Cuba. In fact, I recommend that you bring plenty of small denominations in USD. They are gladly accepted as gratuities while on the resort. If you wish to purchase the Cuban convertible peso, the front desk offers an exchange rate that is competitive. However, we dislike purchasing that currency as it is expensive to buy and it is useless once you leave the country. My wife packed an extra suitcase full of gifts for the staff. If you can do this, I would highly recommend it, since the staff seemed to really appreciate it. Get creative, the staff don’t have access to a lot of things we take for granted. She brought chocolate (big hit), gum, candy, colouring books, baseball and gloves, extra masks, toiletries, etc. Our travel home day went quite well. The butler was excellent in getting our luggage over to the front desk. Again, we took a cab back to the airport. The check in was highly organized as there were only three flights scheduled to depart Varadero that day. Air Canada advised us to download the CSBA app onto our phones. This app basically educates you on the fourteen-day mandatory quarantine requirements that one must follow upon re-entry into Canada. While on this topic, we were not required to do the PCA test 72 hours prior to departure. The time frame for the implementation of this new requirement was missed by our travel date. For future travelers that will be required to submit a PCR test, I recommend that you check first with the hotel. We heard (by word of mouth) that one will be able to do the test in Varadero at a cost of $65. To conclude, our vacation was fantastic. During a global pandemic, we were so fortunate to have the opportunity to vacation in Cuba and stay at the Royalton. For us, the hotel is an ‘easy’ four star and would stay there again if the opportunity should arise. Thanks again to all the staff at the Royalton, we do appreciate the great services that you provided us! Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Wonderful Break Away During a Global Pandemic

Jan 12, 2021 rachelfT3727YG

Reading some reviews we feel some comments are unfair on the hotel due to the circumstances going on around the world & we felt very fortunate to be able to spend 2 weeks in a beautiful hotel and grounds. Rooms are dated however have no complaints, spotlessly cleaned daily & drinks replenished by 'Soly' Food was average on a whole but we had no… Read more
Reading some reviews we feel some comments are unfair on the hotel due to the circumstances going on around the world & we felt very fortunate to be able to spend 2 weeks in a beautiful hotel and grounds. Rooms are dated however have no complaints, spotlessly cleaned daily & drinks replenished by 'Soly' Food was average on a whole but we had no great expectations from Cuba as this is not a wealthy country so unfair to compare with experiences & standards in other countries. Pearl restaurant was lovely, amazing steaks and served by the great hostess 'Tamara'. Lobster fab in the beach restaurant and WONDERFUL FRIENDLY STAFF, 'Pedro, Onsley, Dayli' great service. 'Kiana was great in Nibbles, pool bar staff very friendly Janice & Hari. Loved the jazz bar & 'Lionell' was awesome. Lorenzo was a joy to spend time with in the Cigar Bar, and 'Fernando' in buffet restaurant was a true gentleman. Staff can be overlooked by guests but if treated with manners & respect they equally are respectful back. Too many staff to mention but they do need recognition for working soooo hard during these difficult times. It is worth taking some $1 bills for Tipping staff as they do deserve it for their hard work. Rodolf and Leonardo (Butlers) catered for any requests in a timely manner, Nothing was too much trouble. All covid precautions in place as much as the hotel could be responsible for & we felt extremely safe, safer than in the UK. ALL Guests NEED to keep themselves safe & follow covid guidelines. Hotel staff are equally living through this pandemic & uncertain times but our experience was that they did their utmost professionally to look after the needs of guests. Alex very on the ball with cleaning beds & loungers prior to use, which was reassuring to us that the hotel is doing its Best during difficult times. Some facilities were closed but we understood this, limited entertainment, activities & nightclub closed however this was to keep guests safe and socially distanced SO we made the most of having a relaxing break in the sunshine, stunning pool area and amazing beach. We will whenever we can return to Cuba and to the Royalton Hicacos Keep Safe and Fingers crossed 2021 will be a better year for All. We would definitely return when we can as we really enjoyed our first time in Cuba. Read less