Hello everyone. Hope you find this very long review helpful. we just got back from our symbolic wedding at Blau on May 7,
We flew Transat and the flight was on time. They accommodated my dress folded over once in one of the overhead compartments. They donâ€™t have a place to hang it straight.
Our group was the only 20 people checking in and it didnâ€™t seem to take too long. I emailed the hotel before hand to try and get us all on the lower floors because the hotel elevators take a long time and when we got there, all they had were floors 9 and above, which was disappointing. Only we got the ocean view room, everyone else got the rear-view which over 9 floors does have some ocean. Anyone that wanted to go through the trouble of complaining and switching the next day was accommodated with ocean view. Our room was just an ordinary room, but I was happy with the view none-the-less.
Buffet was good, nothing special, regular Cuba stuff, no one went hungry. There is a pizza and pasta station as well as fresh meat and fish station every dinner. For breakfast they always had an omelette and egg station as well as a smoothie lady. Lots of different bread, fresh on most days. Lunch was served by the pool in the Las Adelfas A la carte (grill). Service at breakfast was always slow, but lunch and dinner were great.
A la carte Restaurants
Our wedding dinner was at Palma Real which everyone enjoyed. Very pretty place, nicely decorated with beautiful string quartet. My parents were floored. We ordered lobster for everyone for extra 25 CUC each. It looked awesome and was huge, but couple of people got sick from it (me included). They served it with lemon juice but not butter. I donâ€™t think I would recommend it. Whoever had the standard beef and shrimp seemed to have a better experience. Overall, Palma Real is the only choice for the wedding dinner.
The other a la carte is Las Adelfas. It is sort-of outside by the pool, with a roof and net all around. At dinner time they keep the net lifted in 2 entrances and it is a mosquito farm and the service was soooo slow. We went there as a group the day after the wedding and Orest and I had to leave early before desert because of all the bugs. The steak there was great, but only if you arenâ€™t bothered by mosquitos.
The lobby bar was great, though got a little busy by 9pm (it is actually on the ground floor and the lobby is on the 3rd). Lots of seats there, but again, if you have a large group, try to get the seats before 9pm. Lots of cocktails, all made well; never had a better bloody mary. This bar is open 10am-12am. There is also a piano bar but it is on the 3rd floor where the reception is and there was never anyone there. We have never gone so I canâ€™t comment on the hours or service. Piano music could be heard at times and seemed very nice.
There is also a pool bar that is open from 7am to 7pm. Good service, great cappuccinos in the morning, also waiters circle around the pool every once in the while to take orders as the pool is quite large.
Beach bar is located almost on the beach, you gotta take the boardwalk and right before you get to the beach there is a large covered deck where the pool bar is. This is where we partied almost every night including after the wedding dinner. The music is nice and loud, not a lot of bugs as they turn the lights down after 11pm. You can also get food here, supposedly 24hrs a day, but they do run out by 3 or so. Delicious cheese pizzas and ham and cheese sandwiches; also burgers and hotdogs. This bar is always open. Waiters from the beach bar do not come around for orders on the beach, so I strongly suggest large mugs to get the drinks to the beach.
The beach is large and gorgeous, lots of canopies and tons of chairs â€“ never a problem to find one. Always lots of people selling stuff like hats, wooden mugs and crochet dresses. If you ignore them though they do not bother you, so no one in our group seemed to mind. Loved the beach, beautiful water, very clean sand.
Sabina, the wedding coordinator just came out of the mat leave and is at the top of her game. She met us for a meeting at 9:30 the day after we arrived. I got the pick the location â€“ we picked garden over the beach; much less wind and more shade. Then the colour of the arch and table accents â€“ choices were pink, blue, orange, red and green. No purple, just fyi (that was my colour...), so we went with pink. In terms of bouquet, they could pretty much do anything, small, large, any flowers or colours. I picked a traditional rose one and it was beautiful. They can also do different flavours and colours for the cake. Sabina was so accommodating and made me feel like they can do whatever I want.
The cake was beautiful as well (I went with traditional 2-tier white cake with purple flowers). Sabina said she will meet us in the lobby at 9:30 on the day of the wedding and I gave her CDs with the wedding music then. I had a CD with my wedding march, first dance and father-daughter dance. She also told us to go see the hair dresser (Jioni I think his name is) to figure out the order in which our hair should be done. We had 4 girls and myself and he had to start at 9am because he used curlers for everyone, except me. He did a marvellous up-do and it held all day! I was worried about the availability of products such as hairspray but at Blau they had more than enough. Matrix hairspray and everything. People must be leaving their stuff behind for the salon (I know I did). My girls also arranged some finger food and champagne to be brought into my room when we were getting dressed. Sabina really did make sure everything was smooth.
We went down to the lobby and out by the Palma real to meet Sabina at 3pm, the groomsmen and my dad. Sabina called my room to let us know when to walk down to make sure that everyone was there and ready. Then we walked down to the garden while the photographer was taken the pictures. I am so stupid and forgot his name but he was wonderful. I cannot begin to describe how happy I am with the photos and service! the ceremony was beautiful, we added a couple of readings by the maid of hour as well as mixing of the honey water tradition. We also wrote our own vows which made a difference, as the Cuban family code wording is very dry. Then we had the garden for an hour, to have the first dances, champagne and tiny sandwiches. Then we cut the cake and they served it to everyone. The music for dances was loud and on cue. They also provided a microphone and everything. Everything was so smooth, I couldnâ€™t believe it. The garden was perfect, under beautiful palm trees, with chairs set up. After we went to the beach to take more pictures for at least another hour and then met at the lobby bar to regroup before dinner, which was at 6:30 at Palma real. They had the restaurant to us for the first hour and then other people were seated as well, though not really beside us. It was perfect.
Another note for the photographer. The standard package was 150 CUC for 50 regular and 10 large prints. We asked him for a DVD with all the shots (over 800) and it cost us extra 50 bucks. I could not believe the bargain. This guys does the Sol hotels as well (Melia, Sol Palmeras). We met him the next day at 6pm to look at all the shots on his laptop and pick the ones we want to print. The prints were ready the next day.
Overall, we had a beautiful wedding, with no hiccups. The hotel itself is beautiful, very easy to navigate and find people. Lobby â€“ pool â€“ beach, all in order. I would recommend Blau Varadero to anyone.
Please ask me any questions you have, I am happy to help.
this link had the blau 3-d view to show you around the grounds a little
I will post the pics in a bit