- Paradisus Varadero, Varadero (tel. 45/66-8700): This is the Sol Meliá's fanciest resort hotel in Varadero, with expansive grounds, a huge free-form pool, and all the activities and amenities you could hope for. There's a variety of dining options and they create the feel of an intimate, romantic getaway better than any of the other large resort hotels in Varadero.
- Tryp Península Varadero, Varadero (tel. 45/66-8800): This is my top choice for a family resort in Varadero and an excellent all-around resort in its own right. The setting, facilities, and service are all tops, and the rooms are quite spacious and well equipped. The children's pools and play area are the best in Cuba.
- Meliá Sol Cayo Santa María, Cayo Santa María (tel. 42/35-0200): This resort is yet another of the Sol Meliá's excellent all-inclusive properties. This one is located on a very beautiful and very isolated patch of beach in la Cayería del Norte. The facilities are certainly top-notch, and the setting is just spectacular.
- Brisas Trinidad del Mar, Península Ancón, Trinidad (tel. 41/99-6500): This resort hotel on Playa Ancón has excellent sea and mountain views and is only minutes from the most beautiful colonial city in Cuba. The well-conceived design echoes the handsome architecture of Trinidad.
- Meliá Cayo Coco, Cayo Coco (tel. 33/30-1180): Of the several fine hotels on Cayo Coco, Sol Meliá's top property on the cays is the most sophisticated and stylish, with cool bungalows overlooking a natural lagoon, elegant decor throughout, good restaurants, a beautiful pool area, and a great stretch of beach on a natural cove.
- Sol Cayo Guillermo, Cayo Guillermo (tel. 33/30-1760): Relaxed and unpretentious, this lively resort hotel is less staid and prepackaged than many of the big hotels on the cays. The cheery bungalow-style rooms are perfect for a younger crowd.
- Paradisus Río de Oro, Playa Esmeralda (tel. 24/43-0090): This sprawling Sol Meliá property hugs a rocky cliff has some of the most luxuriously designed grounds you'll find anywhere. Rooms are large, refined, and private. Sunbathers will have a hard time deciding between the terrific main beach, the nearly private small cove beaches, and the extraordinary pool area.
- Hotel Cayo Levisa, Cayo Levisa (tel. 48/75-6502): Land one of the oceanfront bungalows here and you may never want to leave this idyllic little island resort. For those on a budget, these standard beachfront bungalows are a passport to paradise.
- Villa Las Brujas, Cayo Santa Maria (tel. 42/35-0199): Perched on a rocky outcrop over the turquoise Caribbean, the reasonably priced, stylish, and comfortable villas here are connected by a raised, rugged wooden walkway through scrub and mangrove and face a long stretch of beautiful white-sand beach. Staff members are very friendly here, too.
- Villa Maguana, Playa Maguana (tel. 21/64-1204): This is not a resort, but an attractive rustic beach hotel fronting a private, pretty cove next to a 2km (1 1/4-mile) white-sand beach. This kind of rustic (but equipped) cabin accommodation is a rarity in Cuba.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.