Like so many others, I no high expectations of this hotel, but for the basic price of $205 plus taxes, I could not go wrong. Booked on Tuesday for the Sunday flight, as this is what I would do again. The hotel has a nice beach, with Palapas, beach bar, but not beer as it is only available at the pool bar and the plastic glasses are very small, so bring your own coffee mug to use for coffee and drinks. No ice was available for drinks during my stay. The first room was not acceptable, so next day the staff were very accommodating and I stayed in 104 which I feel is the best room, with a large balcony, large room with 2 English speaking tv channels, hot showers, twin beds and partial ocean view. The maid, Maria Louisa was very helpful, making towel animals every day. It pays to tip, not like the Russians, as I got great service, especially from the chef at the egg station in the morning, as he would prepare the eggs any where you like. He always recognized me (as I gave him a good tip at the start of my stay, as well as the other servers and of course the maid got a tip every day) as he would shake my hand and say hello to me. The pool was cleaned every day and the nightly entertainment at 9:39 was great. Other guests complained about cockroaches but I never saw one, but brought down a small plastic spray bottle and sprayed around the patio door and on the floor beside the walls, but this is a tropic destination and one can see these bugs, but is not due to neglect on the part of the hotel. To walk into the outskirts of Varadero takes 55 minutes, with another 30 to get to the bank. From Calle 10 to Calle 60 are various shops, flea markets, cafes, ice cream places, bars, restaurants where one will enjoy the walk and shop with definitely no pressure and very good prices. There is a once a day 5 cuc daily shuttle tfrom the hotel at 10 am to Varadero where it connects to the hop on hop off bus and the shuttle returns at 2 or possibily 4 pm and it is worth the price to stay on the hop on, off, bus for the entire trip to the marina, at the far end to see the peninsula and then get off around calle 60 and walk towards your return stop, or even enjoy the beautiful sandy beach in Varadero, right in town, where locals swim. A nice beach is at calle 44, at the shopping mall and right across the road is a local take out restaurant where for 2 cuc you can get a delicious meal, (the large billboard with prices are in Cuban CUP, not CUC, but just ask how much in Cuc) with large servings on a china plate with a fork and sit beside the curb, no chairs, and enjoy a great Cuban meal for a low price. The airport money exchange ran into problems so did not get any cuc so I went to the banco on ave 1 and calle 32 (the hop on stops there) and got $138 cuc for $160 Canadian. Ask for lots of 1 cucs to give as tips. There was a special price of 59 cucs instead of 70 on Saturday to Havana and I would definitely recommend it as it can be booked with the Sun wing rep at the hotel, from 3 to 4 pm every day...great English speaking guides and will stay with you all day, stopping off at interesting places.....You can pay for the excursions by credit card. Do not even think of buying souvenirs at the flea market where they stop, as the sellers are so aggressive, but instead buy the very same items in Varadero and keep the money in town, as the vendors here and not aggressive at all and the prices are similar or even lower. Would I stay here again? No, as I would move up to a 3 star or 4 possibility Kawama or others in Varadero but not at the 5 stars further away from town towards the marina. You really get what you pay for and I had a great time there, but the rooms definitely need upgrading and the pool area did not have containers where you could leave your empty glasses or garbage. The beach was not cleaned on a regular basis, but still nice to be close to the water, although the wind could come up in the afternoon and large waves would develop. I checked out a few rooms in Vardero which were for rent and they rent out for 35 cuc although the Pullman Hotel right in town rents rooms for 34 cuc with breakfast, and looks very attractive, and meals in town are very reasonable, with beach access across the road. This is another option a person could consider, as rooms are readily available.
The hotel must have cleaned up their act as the last several reviews have been positive.
If further info is needed, please advice....Jim
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- Also Known As:
- Islazul Oasis Varadero
- Hotel Islazul Oasis