where to stay in varadero

Where To Stay in Varadero | A Local’s Guide [2024]

Planning a trip to Varadero, Cuba to enjoy one of the world’s best beaches? Great choice! As one of the most popular beach destinations in Cuba, with accommodation options for travelers on every budget, you’re in for an unforgettable beach vacation in Varadero.

As locals, we’ve visited Varadero too many times to count – seriously! This is our ultimate guide to where to stay in Varadero, including the best Varadero neighborhoods to choose from and the best all inclusive resorts and casa particular guesthouses in Varadero to consider for your stay.

places to stay in varadero

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Where To Stay in Varadero

Varadero is totally unique among Cuba’s best beach destinations in a few key ways. Not only is it the closest nice beach to Havana (Playas del Este has nothing on Varadero, truly!), but there are many more accommodation options than just oversized resorts.

In contrast, many of Cuba’s other beach destinations – like Cayo Largo del Sur, Cayo Guillermo, and Cayo Santa Maria – are almost exclusively accessible to guests at resorts.

This makes Varadero one of the most accessible, affordable beach destinations in Cuba, and a great option for those who are looking for something a little different from a resort stay (though the resorts in Varadero are hands down some of the best in Cuba).

Looking for a few quick recommendations for where to stay in Varadero? These are our top picks.

Varadero Neighborhoods

No matter where you choose to stay in Varadero, you’ll be close to some of the best beaches in Cuba – and the world! There are three main areas of Varadero that visitors generally choose from as they consider where to stay in Varadero:

Varadero Resort Area

The northern portion of the Hicacos Peninsula is lined with Varadero’s larger resorts, including the most popular all inclusive resorts in Varadero and other properties. You’ll find a few beachfront houses sprinkled in, but this area is mostly exclusively for resorts. Here are the accommodations we recommend:

Varadero Town

The southern portion of the Hicacos Peninsula is what is known as the main town of Varadero. You’ll find a few popular Varadero resorts here, but most of the area is filled with beach houses, villas, and public beach entry points where those staying at nearby casa particular guest houses can reach the beach. Here are the accommodations we recommend:

Santa Marta

Just outside of Varadero, the town of Santa Marta is further from the beach, but offers incredibly affordable rooms for rent and hostels perfect for budget travelers. A quick taxi or bus to the beach will have you on your way. Here is the casa particular we recommend in Santa Marta:

best resorts in cuba
Courtesy of Royalton Hicacos Resort & Spa

Best Resorts in Varadero

Royalton Hicacos Resort & Spa

Varadero Resort Area | $$$

The Royalton resorts in Cuba (located in Havana, Cayo Santa Maria, and Varadero) are all among the best on the island, with Royalton Hicacos Resort & Spa being one of our very favorites. For travelers looking for an adults-only all-inclusive resort in Varadero, this is by far our top choice.

Royalton Hicacos Resort & Spa has what feels like endless amenities, with a golf course, eight restaurants, a spa, and beautiful, expansive grounds where guests enjoy multiple pools, beach bars, and places to enjoy the laid-back beach vibes of Varadero. It’s one of the more recently renovated resort properties and feels fresh and welcoming.

Reviews and Bookings: Royalton Hicacos Resort & Spa

Iberostar Selection Varadero

Varadero Resort Area | $$$

Iberostar Selection Varadero is one of the best family-friendly resorts in Cuba, but this all-inclusive resort is popular with all kinds of travelers for its great amenities, varied cuisine options, and excellent location. It’s one of the best resorts in Cuba.

Four outdoor pools, a gorgeous spa and wellness center, five restaurants, a golf course, and plenty of water sports options are all available at Iberostar Selection Varadero. Families love the excellent kids club, teen spaces, and additional babysitting services, which will keep everyone in the family enjoying a stay here.

Reviews and Bookings: Iberostar Selection Varadero

mystique casa perla by royalton
Courtesy of Mystique Casa Perla by Royalton

Mystique Casa Perla by Royalton

Varadero Town | $$ – $$$

Most of the resorts in Varadero are quite large, but not Mystique Casa Perla by Royalton. This boutique property feels more like a private villa than a resort but has amenities that most Varadero beach houses could never dream of.

Mystique Casa Perla by Royalton has just ten rooms spread across a beautiful beachfront property reserved for adults only. It isn’t an all-inclusive property, but its location at the quiet edge of the town of Varadero makes it within walking distance of Varadero’s best restaurants, bars, and cafes. It’s the perfect combination that combines the best of the resort experience with the flexibility of an independent beach house stay.

Reviews and Bookings: Mystique Casa Perla by Royalton

Melia International Varadero

Varadero Resort Area | $$$

Melia International Varadero is easily one of the best all inclusive resorts in Varadero, and is a great choice both for families and travelers who would generally opt for an adults-only destination. Highlights range from the pristine white sand beachfront so characteristic of Varadero to an excellent kids club, numerous restaurants and beach bars, and a great schedule of activities and events for adventurous travelers.

Adults-only guests at Melia International Varadero can opt for an upgrade to “The Level” for additional amenities, access to additional areas of the resort, and even more personalized service.

Reviews and Bookings: Melia International Varadero

Courtesy of Casa de Betty and Jorge

Best Casa Particular Guest Houses in Varadero

Casa de Betty and Jorge

Varadero Town | $$

Casa De Betty and Jorge has long been one of our top recommendations for travelers looking for a casa particular guesthouse in Varadero. Combining the best aspects of a casa particular with the added privacy and thoughtful touches of a boutique hotel, it’s always been a winner for us.

There are just two rooms at Casa De Betty and Jorge, which makes for a relaxed stay. Guests always love the shady patio space with an outdoor shower; it’s perfect for coming in off the beach, which is just a block and a half away from the house’s spot on a quiet side street.

Reviews and Bookings: Casa De Betty and Jorge

Casa Marta Margarita

Varadero Town | $$

Apartment-style stays in Varadero tend to be either hard to find or outrageously expensive, so if you’re interested in renting a private apartment for your stay, make sure to consider Casa Marta Margarita. With two apartments for rent, this excellent casa particular is great for groups of friends or families looking for a little more space and the convenience of an excellent location in the heart of town.

The rooms at Casa Marta Margarita are quite basic, but have everything you’d want for a beach getaway, including strong air conditioning, ample kitchen space, and plenty of space to spread out. The staff at this rental are great, and quite helpful when it comes to organizing activities like things to do in Varadero or day trips to Havana and beyond.

Reviews and Bookings: Casa Marta Margarita

Courtesy of Villa Obdulia

Villa Obdulia

Varadero Town | $

Villa Obdulia is one of our top recommendations for an affordable room for rent in a casa particular guesthouse in Varadero. This casa particular offers just two basic rooms with air conditioning and private bathrooms, but it has a lovely garden space for relaxing and an excellent location just a block and a half off of the beach. It’s been one of our go-to spots when we’re looking for a simple, affordable overnight in Varadero.

Reviews and Bookings: Villa Obdulia

Mara Hostal

Santa Marta | $

If you’re open to staying a bit further from the beach during your stay in Varadero, consider staying at Mara Hostal, located in the heart of the small town of Santa Marta, which sits just off the Hicacos peninsula. Still just a 10-minute drive from the Varadero beachfront, it offers two spacious apartment-style rooms that we think are perfect for travelers looking for a longer stay in the Varadero area. 

We couldn’t recommend this place enough. Not only will the two-apartment Mara Hostal save you money, but you’ll get much more than you ever could in Varadero, including plenty of space to spread out, incredibly friendly guest service, and an internet connection (wifi in any hotel or casa particular is still a huge benefit in Cuba – read our guide to the internet in Cuba for more on this).

Reviews and Bookings: Mara Hostal

Carley Rojas Avila

Carley Rojas Avila is a bilingual travel writer, editor, content marketer, and the founder of the digital travel publications Home to Havana and Explorers Away. She is a serial expat and traveler, having visited 40+ countries and counting. Carley has written for publications like Travel + Leisure, MSN, Associated Press, Weather Channel, Wealth of Geeks, and more. Find her front row at a Bad Bunny concert, befriending street cats, and taste-testing every pizza in Havana.