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IBEROSTAR Laguna Azul
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Reviewed 13 April 2012

We stayed at the Iberostar Luguna Azul the first week in April to attend a wedding. This hotel was pricier that other hotels in the surrounding area. My travel agent told me it was a favourite and had a lot of repeat clientele.

After staying there for a week the only reason I can think that would make people return to this hotel would be the staff. The staff is very friendly. I found the food to be luke warm and sometimes cold. The sliding closet doors in the room did not operate properly and had to be removed for the week. The patio door was very difficult to open. The shower leaked. Bar fridge was only stocked every other day (it does state this in the brochure we just didn’t notice it) and my final complaint the lobby is located on the third floor. When you want to exchange money or get something at the shop you need to take an elevator. Because the food was cold we all had some intestinal problems. We traveled to Cuba in November and didn’t have any issues at that time.

I am comparing this hotel to Rui Varadero where we staying in November. That hotel far exceeded the Iberostar.

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled with family
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Thank ShellDoe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Director A, Manager at IBEROSTAR Laguna Azul, responded to this reviewResponded 15 April 2012

Dear "ShellDoe"

First of all I would like to thank you for choosing an Iberostar resort for your holyday.

We apologize for all of the inconveniences you mentioned and we are very sorry that the service received was not up to the standards you expected and deserved.

We sincerely thank you for your comments. Please be assured that we will take them all into consideration, in order to improve our services and make Iberostar Laguna Azul a better choice for our clients.

Best Regards

Management.
Iberostar Laguna Azul

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 April 2012

We had our wedding here in January 2012. Could not possibly have picked a better resort! Huge, beautiful resort with a big pool and two smaller (still big) quiet pools. One on each side of the resort. Also had a large chunk of land on the beach which was well groomed and had plenty of palapas to sit under! There is also a hut on the beach to get drinks, i think some food (i didn't check) and they set up a big screen at night and host parties, which are loud but not too loud for those sleeping :)
There is a good number of a 'la carte restaurants (5 i think) we had 4 dinners (3 included for the week and one that was included in the wedding) First was at Del Chef, it was great! my husband's favorite. They served a wonderful soup with a good sized chunk of french bread, then a salad with some lobster in it, then a beef with potatoes and a nice sauce, and a small dessert (by this time we both only had a bite of dessert because we were so full!)
second was the cuban which is the buffet out near the beach during the day, and the cuban a la carte at night. it was alright. they give you a good amount of choices for your main, can't remember what we had but i recall it being fairly bland. not bad, but not great..there was also a small buffet off to the side that you could go and get some starters at. we skipped dessert. the wine was nice. They gave you the option of house or buying a bottle and we chose to buy a bottle which was 24 pesos.
Third was our wedding dinner at the romantico. It was great, everyone liked the beef though it was chewier then at the del chef, and the dessert was...okay...it was a chocolate mouse that was a bit minty, with a thin cake bottom, covered in chocolate. Was alright, but the cake they include for the wedding was fantastic! I would have gotten a large cake to be served to everyone rather then the dessert and small cake. They served a slice of the small cake to my husband and i, and there would have been enough for everyone but no one else got any :( turns out they just would have had to serve themselves which is no big deal but the cake was on a table behind us so we didn't even see it, i thought they took it in the back...oh well. It was good. So if you have your wedding here just make sure you know what's going on with cake :)
Last we went to the italian. SO good! salty, but good. i had the steak carpaccio. steak stuffed with prosutto. rich. salty. GOOOOOOOD! we skipped dessert here too. The table next to us had it..looked good and they seemed to enjoy, we were just full. The disco is a lot of fun! plays a lot of spanish stuff and some american top 40. Its a good time though :)
Rooms are pretty nice, very clean! Can't understand why anyone on here is complaining about cleanliness because i didn't see a problem anywhere. We had about...10 or 15 rooms? and no issues in any. Plus we made friends with a few couples in other areas of the hotel and they had no issues either.
The main buffet is HUGE. They have everything. NO ONE went hungry and we had some PICKY eaters with us... definetly something for everyone.
There is a little place just around the corner from the buffet by the beach (same building, just off to the side) that served hotdogs and hamburgers during the day and added pizzas at night. its open 24 hours.
The lobby bar is great, fantastic service :) small, but you can sit in the lobby(which is huge) and get served from the lobby bar out there. The pina coladas are phenomenal!! i had never liked them until I went to the ILA!
All the staff were super friendly. Always smiling and ready to help!
Not sure what else to say, it was a fantastic place and i fully reccomend it to everyone!

Room Tip: we originally had a suite on the second floor, but something happened to the door and we couldn't get in on the second day! They were quick to help us get in through the adjoining room (which was empty luckly) and moved us to another suite. The second one was on the first floor. Still very nice (better in that it was a bit quieter and way better for getting to the 24 hour bar or pool) but don't leave anything on the patio too long. My (new) bathing suit and beach skirt went missing. However i did leave them on the patio for a couple days, so IF someone took it i am sure it was another guest. There were some people there i wouldn't put it past. i am 1000% sure it wasn't a staff member. it could also have been blown away (though i don't think so because i had shorts out there that are way lighter then both other items) but there was a storm the night they went missing. Just be smart :) I shouldn't have left them outside so long to dry :(
  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled with family
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2  Thank sarahjane84
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 April 2012

My wife and I are huge Cuba fans but after 6 or 7 visits we gave it a rest and went to a few other hot spots for holidays. Our February vacation rolled around so we figured it was time to head back to the land of sun, surf, and the friendliest people anywhere.

As far as resorts go this 5-star could be dropped anywhere in the world and would be first class. It’s one of the newer resorts in Varadero and Iberostar has done a great job on the facility.

After experiencing some of the nicest beaches in the world I would have to say that the beach was the biggest let down. They have lots of shade, plenty of loungers, but the sand is course and the colour looks like grey cement, quite the opposite of the beach in Downtown Varadero which is magnificent soft white sand with beautiful turquoise water. There are a few areas of coral in the water which can be pretty hard on the feet and if you like to snorkel there is really not much to see here. Enough with the negatives.

I can’t say how much we enjoy the people in Cuba, they are friendly and will make your visit one to remember. Drop a peso here and there and you will be treated like a King or a Queen. Tipping is not required but what’s a dollar here and there when the staff lives on about $50 per month. We’re Canadians and are known to be generous people by the Cubans.

The pools are amazing and there is a waterfall that I’m sure you’ve seen in hundreds of photos of the Laguna Azul. The swim-up bar is always hopping and if you bring your own travel mug with you, your beverage will stay cold and the pool water will stay out. The food at the resort is decent but I wouldn’t say great. Some days are better than others but you will not go hungry unless you are the pickiest eater in the world. I would recommend the daily BBQ by the ocean if you like fresh sausage, pork chops and grilled veggies.

At night you can take in entertaining shows, drop by the disco or sit out on the huge patio that overlooks the pools and the ocean, it is so relaxing. We went on one excursion that took us snorkeling and to the beautiful island of Cayo Blanco were you are treated to a lobster/chicken/rice/potato lunch with some more of those adult beverages that you tend to drink too many of while you’re away.

Go to Cuba, forget all of those things you’ve heard about bad food, enjoy the culture, the friendly Cuban people, the beaches, the sun and r-e-l-a-x. Seven days later it’s back to reality.

Room Tip: Bring a travel mug to keep your adult beverage cold and sand free. It's also eco-friendly!
  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Wayne D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 April 2012

just recently returned from a vacation in Varadero Cuba where we stayed at the Iberostar Laguna Azul, it was under 1 hour from the airport and check-in was fast and friendly. The room was clean although we were only able to get the 2 twin beds instead of the king size, our room was on the ground floor with a small patio very nice for sitting and people watching. Very close to one of the pools which also had a buffet and bar. Pool service was very friendly. The beach was a short walk from the pool and found it to be not as great as the hype, be careful some areas had rocks and posts in the water from left over piers.The food we did experience some days hit and miss but overall selection was plentliful and we were able to find something we like.The resort itself is very nice, clean, nice gounds, lots of places to get drinks or food. Did experience 2 days not able to get a towel for the pool, so I suggest that you bring your own beach towel.The hotel lobby had a money exchange and this was very convieniant and the rate was most acceptable, as well the store inside the hotel, prices were great sometimes cheaper that in town. Overall I would recommend this resort.

Room Tip: noisy rooms will be near the disco and the theatre
  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Shelley B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 April 2012

Here's the bad - I'll just get to the point. The service is not what is expected from any hotel 2 or 5 star. I would say 20% of the staff are friendly - they hardly even smile. When you ask any of the staff a question, they start speaking to each other in Spanish before they answer and I could understand some of it and they are basically complaining about you. The bartenders on the beach don't even talk - they just point at you - that's it! We were there 4 nights and didn't even have beach towels the first day. We lined up for an hour the second day and held on to the towels for the rest of the trip. It's ridiculous. They don't even give you enough towels in the room. The rooms are okay - nothing spectacular - first day it was cleaned then nothing great after that. We found bugs crawling on the floor around the garbage - we didn't even eat in the room. The power went off in our room every day - and they didn't rush to help - they just told us what to do to fix it. Yeah - that's the service they provide. We had 2 rooms - 1 smelled so badly of mildew - it was disgusting. They came in and sprayed air freshener. That obviously didn't help. They must think we are stupid to settle for that. We called back they gave us another room and apologized. The food was okay - could not get into the Japanese restaurant. We ate at Tex Mex (please stay away from this restaurant - it would take a whole other review to explain how awful this place was) and we ate at the Italian restaurant and it was very good. The buffet was fine - just be careful of anything that is not refrigerated like tuna salad or cold cuts or dairy. As careful as we were, my 9 year old has been sick to her stomach for 3 days. The food in the restaurant by the beach is covered in flies if you get there late. The crepes at breakfast were great but you have to wait a very very long time in line to get one. 1 woman actually had the nerve to order 6 and she got them - unbelievable. We were warned to not drink the water in Cuba. This appears to be a very sensitive subject at the resort. When I asked the woman at the desk if it was okay to drink the water or if we should just stick to bottled - she practically lost it and started freaking out in Spanish and asked her colleague to talk to me who said the water is fine at the service points but not from the tap. Also, if you refuse water in the restaurants, you get strange looks. What is the big deal? the guy on the bus from Sunwing is the one who told us to avoid the water and he's Cuban! Here is the positive: the weather was great, the water was beautiful, the beach was lovely, the star friends staff are fun, the staff give you space and don't hover over you. We didn't starve, the bathrooms in the room are great and they never run out of hot water, the drinks are good, the ice cream is good, work out equipment is good, the resort itself looks beautiful from the outside but the individual rooms should be maintained better. It was our first time in Cuba and it was fine for us - won't stay here again only because there are so many other resort options that are closer to true 5 star resorts and worth paying the extra money for. It really didn't feel like they cared whether we were there or not - all we kept hearing is how full the resort was and how busy they were. Also, we brought clothing for children and when I asked the maid if she would like them or who i could give the (practically new) clothes to - she said she is not interested. I was really surprised.

Room Tip: Inspect the room immediately and let them know about any problems right away. Look for bugs crawling (ants or something like them) on the floor and check to make sure the refrigerator is cool enough.
  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank CarpeDiem67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Director A, Manager at IBEROSTAR Laguna Azul, responded to this reviewResponded 15 April 2012

Dear "CarpeDiem67"

First of all I would like to thank you for choosing an Iberostar resort for your holyday.

We apologize for all of the inconveniences you mentioned and we are very sorry that the service received was not up to the standards you expected and deserved.

We sincerely thank you for your comments. Please be assured that we will take them all into consideration, in order to improve our services and make Iberostar Laguna Azul a better choice for our clients.

Best Regards

Management.
Iberostar Laguna Azul

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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