I must confess I am in love with the ocean.  When I’m not by the water I’m planning the next trip that will get me there.  A seawall walk on the West Coast or a day at beach in the Caribbean, if there’s water I’m in.   So when we needed a destination to escape our cold Canadian winter, Varadero was the perfect place.

Looking for a quiet resort we came across what was at the time the Royal Hicacos (now the Royalton Hicacos).  On the edge of white sand beaches the property caters to adults only… sold!  While you can still expect to find all of the familiar luxuries of an all inclusive there were a few standout services that had us loving Varadero.

The Beach

Although at the time our only comparison was the pebbly shores of  Puerto Vallarta, Varadero’s beaches certainly impress.  The sand is as white as you can possibly imagine with clear turquoise waters.  At sunset, the view is amazing.  Like most resorts, guests can enjoy an array of water activities during the day and in the evening a beachfront restaurant offers romantic dining.

dsc02357

dsc_0648

Food & Dining

As I just alluded to the dining options at the Royalton Hicacos are fantastic.  With a total of five different restaurants, guests can enjoy a variety of cuisines.  Unlike, many all inclusives however the food is actually good and the service even better.  During our stay we had the privilege of getting to know our servers to the point that they welcomed us each evening by name.  On our last day, waiting for a red eye flight home, they even invited us back despite already having checked out.

dsc02365

The Piano Bar

If you are looking for something other then the traditional disco for some late night fun then the jazz club at the Royalton Hicacos is just the place.  Here you will find a talented pianist waiting for your song requests.  We had an absolute blast here.  Nestled in a cozy 1920’s atmosphere, cocktails magically appeared on our table (this may have been Kevin’s doing) and everyone was keen to sing along with the music.  Stay late, enjoy the drinks and request your favourite tune!

dsc02103

Cayo Blanco

This was the highlight of our time in Varadero.  Located just down the road from the resort is a local marina.  This is where tours to the private island, Cayo Blanco, depart.  We used Seafari for our excursion and would highly recommend them.  However the opportunity to spend the day on a catamaran was good enough for me (its a good thing Kevin has strong sea legs).  As we left the dock, warm temperatures and sunny skies awaited us.  The tour includes snorkelling opportunities an amazing fresh lobster lunch and time to explore the pristine beaches of a secluded island.

dsc02325

dsc02292

While neither Kevin or I are major all inclusive travellers, the Royalton Hicacos was a great resort to enjoy Varadero.  Do you have a favourite all inclusive, let us know!