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
  • 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 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 (4457)
  • Very good (1729)
  • Average (550)
  • Poor (126)
  • Terrible (65)
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Not a great experience.

Jan 22, 2020 davidtD8299YM

Firstly the one positive - the beach is lovely. Before travelling to Cuba we were told to lower our expectations.We have been fortunate to stay at 5 star or Luxury resorts throughout the Caribbean BVI and Indian Ocean. As such I feel qualified to compare standards - this is not 5 star or Luxury - So even with lowering our expectations we would… Read more
Firstly the one positive - the beach is lovely. Before travelling to Cuba we were told to lower our expectations.We have been fortunate to stay at 5 star or Luxury resorts throughout the Caribbean BVI and Indian Ocean. As such I feel qualified to compare standards - this is not 5 star or Luxury - So even with lowering our expectations we would be hard pressed to go beyond a 3 star recommendation. However the resort purports 'Experience All In-Luxury'. The Butler service is just a gimmick - its just someone escorting you to your room pointing out a few things en-route - We asked to see the gym and spa but never saw them - I think he wanted his tip and to get back to reception asap for the next guest. The room - functional and spacious enough - tired in some areas (Bathroom mainly) - No resort information anywhere to be found or calendar of events - No welcome note from the Management - We were given a flimsy leaflet and that was it. The lack of guest information is staggering. The first night we went to the Seafood Buffet - well we didn't get ill - i count that as a result. Readers of this review from the UK will be aware that any food establishment must display on their door a food hygiene rating - Seriously Watford Gap would score higher. It wasn't until breakfast the following morning that we stumbled across the 2 tier system (our agent had not advised us) as we had inadvertently sat in the wrong area and committed the crime of the century. We were told this area was for Diamond Club members only. The Penny dropped it was an Us and Them resort. Having been informed by our 'Butler' that you didn't need to reserve dinner we headed off to the El Caribe - it was shut! We tried another restaurant - Had we made a reservation as they were full we were told - The place was half empty - tables spare everywhere. So it was back to the Watford Gap for us. Feeling a tad annoyed we decided to locate a manager at reception. He apparently was at a cocktail party (thanks for the invite). We were asked for our room number - this identified us as non Diamond Club - We registered our frustration and asked to be contacted by management - We heard absolutely nothing. Now i have never worked in a customer service industry but i am guessing customers are quite important? Its probably not a good idea to provide lip service - Anything we can do to help just let us know and then ignore them. However we were told that the El Caribe was open the following night. We went to El Caribe the following night it was shut! You couldn't make it up. However we did have success in getting into the Italian restaurant although we did have to wait for 45 mins as we didn't have a reservation but in fairness the restaurant was probably a 1/3 full at the time. We wished we hadn't gone. The following day by complete accident we stumbled across a BBQ at lunch - no information about this event anywhere was it for Diamond Club only? We didn't care anymore and found a table. During the BBQ they introduced about 10 different members of staff individually on stage to applause from the guests? This is very odd i said to my wife - the last one was the Hotel Director - my wife was horrified that i suggested i would rugby tackle him and have a word. I decided otherwise. As a side note our coffee machine never worked - but then we only asked reception 4 times. My highlight was going to be the questionnaire on leaving i could not wait . Our departure day came (Hurrah) - house keeping knocked on the door totally surprised it was our last day they had no idea. No questionnaire no thank you for your stay note absolutely zip. We did notice our 'Butler' loitering around our block on our departure day - guess he was after a tip - Don't eat yellow snow would be my tip. So we left with more questions than answers - Why did the Omelette making guy have a tip jar at his work station? Does the El Caribe ever open? Did our coffee machine ever work? But the biggest question is Why were we not better informed or contacted when requested? I could go on and on and on. Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating I'd comeback for another experience

Jan 21, 2020 Yahoo765

Like in every vacation,i comeback to this amazing resort. The food at the restaurants were fantastic like always. Our favorite usted The International restaurant, the service there is the best.Our Butler was on charge of everything we need. The beach is always beutiful and clean. We had so much fun at night with the show. Everything in this hotel… Read more
Like in every vacation,i comeback to this amazing resort. The food at the restaurants were fantastic like always. Our favorite usted The International restaurant, the service there is the best.Our Butler was on charge of everything we need. The beach is always beutiful and clean. We had so much fun at night with the show. Everything in this hotel is good because the staff is always attentive to you. See you Next time.!! Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating The good, the bad and the ugly

Jan 21, 2020 rachelh5010 Solihull, United Kingdom

My expectations of the Royalton may have been misguided. I had watched the video online and we’d been highly recommended by our travel agent the resort marketed as a “hotel and spa resort”. The reality was something akin to an 18-30s holiday; something I’ve definitely grown out of over the years. I’d anticipated tranquility and relaxation. We got… Read more
My expectations of the Royalton may have been misguided. I had watched the video online and we’d been highly recommended by our travel agent the resort marketed as a “hotel and spa resort”. The reality was something akin to an 18-30s holiday; something I’ve definitely grown out of over the years. I’d anticipated tranquility and relaxation. We got noise. I want to do a balanced review based on my trip. The good: Cleanliness- The hotel is very clean. The maids are friendly and efficient. The butler service was mostly good with Matilda and Dani checking in with us. Variety- There is choice with dining and where to sit and have a drink. The bath- The bath in the junior suite is great, hot water and plenty of bubbles. The room itself was nice, spacious. The beach - beyond the hotels control but the beach is truly glorious, white sands and a warm sea. The Royalton is in a good location for that! The Italian restaurant - genuinely the best thing about the Royalton. Great service, great music, great food. A delight! The Jazz bar - one of the nicer places to chill in the resort. The ice cream shop - free ice cream. Nothing else to add. Some of the service staff were amazing, friendly and helpful. We especially liked the young male and female in the back left corner and an older lady just as you turned right in the door to the buffet area. The bad: The food - I’m neutral about this as Cuba is not renowned for having culinary delights however, I feel like they could not have cockroaches roaming about and they could not over cook the chicken to within an inch of charcoal. The service - I am happy to tip good service but I don’t expect to only receive good service if I tip. Cuba is a country in poverty and I completely understand that the tips are essentially topping up wages so people can live but I did not appreciate feeling like I was over a barrel to tip at every opportunity. Response- I requested an adapter 3 times (we brought an adapter that said it was for Cuba, but the sockets they use are European) and received no response. The last time I asked I was informed the TV had an adapter. I felt like this could have been resolved a lot sooner and without me having to chase. The gym - sufficient but well aged. Dilapidated. Entertainment - see below for the staff party but overall hit and miss. We were spoilt on our first night by an amazing external band. It was pretty down hill from there. Our last night saw a fashion show. If I wanted to browse Lycra bodycon dresses I’d log onto boohoo.com or alternatively if I wanted to visit a fashion show I’d frequent Milan. Bizarre to say the least! The ugly: Restaurants - The restaurants on site cannot be reserved so unless you are out at 6pm to bag a table it’s buffet... again! On occasion some of the restaurants closed making demand even higher. NOISE! - example - sat on a Saturday afternoon to sunbathe and relax when -BOOM!- dance music from when I was 18 started blaring out from “DJ Madness”. I’m truly unsure who this is aimed at bar the 10 people at the resort who are reliving their youth and frequently intoxicated as the demographics suggest otherwise. The most frustrating noise in the hotel came from the woman with the microphone. She needs educating that a microphone amplifies a voice thus negating the need to shout. Also, she should go to a resort with children who will feed off her energy! The staff party- During our stay the staff held their annual “Olympic” games. Much to our misfortune these were moved from October. We had 3 days of poor staff levels and continual noise - one occasion not even being able to enter the buffet as it was “too busy” despite empty tables and staff cooing over some random famous Cuban. We were subjected to a talent show, which whilst hilarious when your fellow colleagues are making fools out of themselves, isn’t exactly my bag with a bunch of strangers and no idea what was going on. My particular highlight was watching staff downing pints - at Benidorm we could have seen this, for a quarter of the price. The crescendo of the party was a concert which was way too loud and subjected everyone round the pool at 2pm to continual sound checks. I actually had to leave the resort at this point and get away before I erupted with rage. If you are after a lively resort with plenty to do and lots of noise then the Royalton is for you. Personally I feel like a 2 hour flight to Spain from the U.K. in a 3 star would have cost me a few thousand pounds less! I pondered how many stars the resort should get. At one point my boyfriend suggested 4. He is a better person than me. We’ve settled on 2 when it could have easily been 1. I would assume there are more peaceful and tranquil and authentically Cuban places to stay in the 7km strip of Varadero which is lined with resorts. I may have been unfortunate with timings when half my week was the staff party but I would implore you to explore your choices ahead of booking here. I would not recommend Royalton and I would not stay in another Royalton resort again! Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Our Best Stay in Cuba

Jan 20, 2020 Dave C London, Canada

Given te opportunity, we would have rated this resort 4 1/2 stars, but not having that option we wouldn't reduce our review a full star for the minor inconveniences. We were married in Cuba at a different resort, and have traditionally returned there for our anniversary. This time we decided to try an adults only 5*. We booked Diamond Club as in… Read more
Given te opportunity, we would have rated this resort 4 1/2 stars, but not having that option we wouldn't reduce our review a full star for the minor inconveniences. We were married in Cuba at a different resort, and have traditionally returned there for our anniversary. This time we decided to try an adults only 5*. We booked Diamond Club as in the past, we have enjoyed the perks associated with this upgrade at other resorts (bar fridge stocking, discounts on spa treatments, beach waiter service, etc.). Check in was quick and efficient. Our first interaction with our DC butler (the younger fellow) could have gone better. Not only did he mis-represent the included tour (he informed us it was the catamaran trip to Cayo Blanco. It ended up being a bus trip to the Bay of Pigs), but he just seemed a little out of his element. Nothing that can't be fixed with some training. Renee and his partner (who we met on day two) could not have been more accommodating. The standard ckeck-in questionnaire covered all the bases from cleaning times to turn down service, and these requests were met without fail. Our room was in the 1100 block. The room itself was amazing, although on our next trip we will request a room facing in a different direction. Daily housekeeping was fantastic as was the nightly turn down service. The Diamond Club reception evening was a great change from the usual Diamond Club dinner at other resorts. We were able to interact with the managers from the various departments throughout the resort, and create connections should issues arise. It was also a great social evening that provided an atmosphere for mingling with other guests in a relaxed atmosphere. Well done. We had reservations at all of the onsite a la carte's and all of the restaurants with the exception of the Tex-Mex (we walked out after waiting over 40 minutes for our mains) were phenomenal. Special thanks to the staff of the International restaurant for our anniversary dinner. You did a wonderful job. The table was fantastic, and the dinner was one of the best we have ever had on the island. The Diamond Club staff also arranged a bottle of champagne and a rose petal bubble bath back in our room to help celebrate the day. Thank you all! After dinner, evenings were spent in the cigar lounge with cappuccinos. A perfect finish to the day with top notch service. The adjacent cigar shop actually gets some gems that can't be found at the LCDH stores in town. Managed to find a couple of boxes that have been on my list for a few years! The staff at both the lounge and cigar shop are a true asset to those who travel to Cuba not only for the weather, but also the cigars. Beach service on the Diamond Club side was great, and the lunch time grill is a nice feature. Overall, the staff was friendly and engaged (as is the norm for Cuba). We did notice that there is a much different relationship of staff to visitors (much greater) than other resorts and it is certainly reflected in the level of service. Everyone really went above and beyond. We have definitely found a new home for our trips to Varadero in the future. With just a couple of tweaks, this could definitely be the place that greatly outshines every resort on the island. Now the only question is do we go back in October, or wait until January again! Thank you, Royalton! We had a wonderful time! Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Amazing vacations

Jan 20, 2020 349caridadf

I stayed 4 nights at the hotel with my family. I had never come to the Royalton, a friend told me that the hotel was excellent and she was not wrong, variety of food, I loved the mojito and the daikiri. Great animation, the pool party and the “Cuban Day” were great, there I met a very nice boy, named Iribe he gave us a great welcome and a first… Read more
I stayed 4 nights at the hotel with my family. I had never come to the Royalton, a friend told me that the hotel was excellent and she was not wrong, variety of food, I loved the mojito and the daikiri. Great animation, the pool party and the “Cuban Day” were great, there I met a very nice boy, named Iribe he gave us a great welcome and a first level service. I also want to thank Maria the captain of the buffet who treated us very well. Overall we had a nice holiday ... Thank you Royalton Read less