Why is it that everyone says "yeah the food isn't good, It's Cuba, what did you expect?". Well it's an Iberostar and they put their name on it .. so I did expect better than what I got. I did not go expecting the Iberostar Grand in Punta Cana, but I did expect edible. I do understand that reviews are always based on perception - we all like and expect different qualities of food. So, yes I could find some edible selections at the buffets. But could I possibly say it was good, no. If part of a vacation includes having great food then this is not the place for you. But if you're just happy finding enough to get full, then you might like it well enough. But for me and for my husband, eating well is part of the vacation experience, hence I'd never come back here.
As for the review below about the poor food safety, that is absolutely true. As a restaurant manager for many years, I'm well aware of these issues. On more than one occasion, one of the buffets was non functional leaving the food to sit. Hot food must be hot and cold food must be cold. To see this food sitting and people eating it, just make my skin crawl.. It's no wonder we met so many people who were feeling "off". When I checked the inserts and felt they were cool, I lifted them to find the steam table beneath not working either. Very disturbing at best. Suffice to say I was paranoid about eating all week and avoided any non functioning food station.
I too stood in line for freshly cooked chicken or burgers at the grill station. I was also offered cooked chicken with tongs taken from the raw chicken insert. I think that meal I ate bread and butter. The food in general was more akin to what one would find in a cafeteria.
The a la carte restaurants had more redeeming qualities when it came to the food. We ate at the Chef's choice, Italian and Romantico. They were much much better.
Other than the food, the rest of the resort was simply ok. The rooms were nice and our maid was absolutely fantastic. She was likely the loveliest employee we met. Every day we had amazing towel animals .. and beautiful fresh flowers, sheets and towels. I think the one day we didn't get towels was because the resort simply didn't have any. We too had trouble getting pool towels. We were unable to get any the first day or second day .. so on the third day, while walking down to the beach .. we went into another Iberostar, handed in our cards, LOL and got towels. Sadly they were the only towels we had the entire stay. But they worked. As someone said laundry must be an issue - all of the restaurant table cloths were always dirty and some days so much so they just removed them.
The grounds were pretty and somewhat maintained. The beach was nice and clean and sandy. We just found that the staff were simply not very friendly. I walked around with cash in my pocket so that I could tip but never saw so many grumpy faces before. Ha ha got to the point that if you just smiled at me I'd give out $5 .. sadly I went home with a pocket full of $5s. Since $1 and $2 Canadian currency isn't accepted, we had lots of 5s.
Having travelled to many other Caribbean countries, I can honestly say this resort was my almost least favourite. going on vacation you want to see happy staff, good service and good food. This place lacked in most categories. ... Kudos to our maid Yukeledis and our waitress at the Italian restaurant, Miseledis (spelling?). They were absolutely fantastic!
For the same amount of money, I'll stick with Punta Cana at the Bahia Ambar, Iberostar Grand or the Catalonia Royal .. all fabulous and the same price point.
If you choose this resort, Building 11 is close to the beach, super quiet and great maid service .. we were on the 2nd floor.
- Also Known As:
- Iberostar Laguna Azul Hotel Varadero
- Iberostar Laguna Azul Hotel
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located on a beautiful stretch of Varadero's Beach. Approximately 160 km from Havana and 20 min. from downtown Varadero. 814 rooms allocated in different buildings, 24 are suites and 8 are for handicapped. Reception 24 hrs. open, currency exchange, internet 24 hrs. Buffet restaurant with show cooking and 4 a la carte restaurants and Ranchón near the beach. Lobby bar, Cigar bar, aqua-bar, and 2 snacks bars at the pool. Conference rooms, SPA, gym, and beauty salon, 2 tennis and paddle court. Ice cream saloon, animation theatre and disco. 5 outdoor swimming pools. Miniclub (4-12 years). ... more less