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“Iberostar Laguna Azul”

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IBEROSTAR Laguna Azul
Ranked #28 of 64 Hotels in Varadero
Reviewed 4 May 2012

A great vacation for our family. many thanks to Daniel for the Spanish lessons, Oneysis, the lady of the ice cream, our maid Yohania and all the other folks who made our trip. The resort entertainment was fantastic. Before going to Cuba I was warned about the food being bland. Actually if you are addicted to fried and processed food you will be disappointed but we found once you get over the no added sugar and other "stuff" you will eat just fine. The Italian A la Carte was the best of them, however the Cuban with the "langosta" was a close second. The hotel is well laid out, clean and modern , however the people who run this hotel give it the 5 star from me. Many thanks to the staff.

Room Tip: Rooms around the main pool may be a bit noisier
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  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled with family
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3  Thank David B
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 2 June 2012

Dear "David B"

First of all we would like to thank you for choosing Iberostar Laguna Azul for your so valuable vacations.

Thank you very much for your good comments and reviews about the hotel, staff and services, opinions like yours are very important to keep working every day to exceed the expectations of our customers and achieve ever greater improvement of our staff.

Hoping that you do decide to visit us in the future please accept our best regards

Carefully

Management
Iberostar Laguna Azul

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2,950 - 2,956 of 7,049 reviews

Reviewed 3 May 2012

Food was TERRIBLE. I have been at other hotels in Cuba and the food was only passable; but, here it was disgusting. Not only that, half of our wedding party of 45 had food poisoning.

Cuba hasn't figured tourism out yet: we went on a tour to Havana (sold to us at the hotel). Bus was nice. Stopped half way (i.e. 1 hr into a 2 hr trip) at a government roadside place where we were invited to use the toilets and buy a pina colada. Pina Colada was good. Toilets: no toilet seat; no toilet paper. A lady stood at the doorway selling sheets of toilet paper and collecting tips on the way out for the FINE job of preparing these disgusting toilets for our enjoyment!

Got to Havana: same thing at the government restaurant we stopped at for lunch - this time, the toilets wouldn't even flush - yet, there was a proud lady collecting tips!

I have stayed at other 5stars in the Caribbean. This one doesn't even deserve a 1star by comparison.

We'll not only NOT go back to Cuba; but, we will not go to any other Iberostar - they should have exerted more influence.

Beach was nice

weather was nice

Room Tip: our room overlooked both the teatro and the lounge: LOUD drunks to wee hours!
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  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Bill C
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 5 May 2012

Dear "Bill C"

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.

According the food poisoning of the whole group we do not have any report of our medical site at the hotel and be sure that if it was some food poisoning problem at the hotel with a medium of 1400 guests at home during yor stay the medicals reports on site would have been larger.

About the different problems you find during your trips and excursions are not related with the hotel and services provided

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

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 May 2012

This is an amazing resort in Cuba almost near the end of the Varadero peninsula. This was our first time in Cuba and my boyfriend and I went with another couple. We arrived around 11:00am got an early check-in (regular check-in time is 3:00pm) which was great but unfortunately, they did not get our request for king size bed and gave us two twin instead. Not a big problem, I went to the reception and had that fixed and got our room the next day around 4:00pm.

The resort is very clean, brightly lit and very spacious. The staff was very friendly and speak very good English. There's a bar in the lobby that opens from 9:00am until 11:00pm and served a very mean latte! In the evening, there are entertainers in the lobby bar (pianist, band or saxophonist) so it's quite relaxing.

Food, don't go to Cuba expecting to eat a five-star meal. The food in Cuba is known to be mediocre at best but it was decent here. After you figure out what you like to eat in the buffet, then you'll start to enjoy yourself. I personally LOVE the pizza during lunch and dinner. We got three à la carte restaurant and we choose Tex Mex, Cuban, and steak and fish. The only one we enjoyed was Cuban. The others ones were way below buffet standard. Aside from the food, the drinks are good and if you like your alcohol, then this is for you. They add SO MUCH alcohol in all the drinks. I am not so much of a drinker so I always ask for little to no alcohol. They also have a 24h snack bar which is great for people who wake up early and miss the breakfast buffet (7am - 10am) or people who just want a light snack and doesn't want to walk to the buffet (even though it's not far)

Beach is awesome! Walking into the water, the ground is really rocky/prickly then dips down to soft sand. I usually dread walking through the rocky part cause it actually hurts my feet and there are also large rocks in the water near the shoreline which my friend and I both stumped our toes on it so please be careful! It's never difficult to find an umbrella and beach chairs even if it's late afternoon. The good thing about this resort is that there are (I think) three main pools and one pool on either side of the hotel for people who enjoy the quiet more.

There are daily activities in the main pool (yoga, water dancing, etc) and also on the beach which makes it very interactive for everyone. They have nightly shows that starts at 10:00pm every night and usually a pre-show which includes guys vs. girls theme that gets pretty wacky sometimes!

We loved our room! (The one with the king size bed of course!) It was spacious, brightly lit, beautiful view of the main pools, closet space and a huge tub! The cleaning lady was so thorough with cleaning we were definitely happy. The mini bar in our room is supposed to be filled every two days but we left a note for the cleaning lady that we needed more water and she left us two bottles!

The excursions were a ton of fun. If you go, DO NOT miss out on the catamaran trip! We fell in love with the dolphins immediately! It was very interactive and took a lot of pictures. We also stopped by Cayo Blanco, a beautiful beach with white sand and clear clear clear blue water! Then we sailed back to the marina. It was worth the $101 CUC. Very happy with that. We also went to the Havana city trip. Visited old Havana and modern Havana. I LOVE that city. The buildings are absolutely adorable and amazing. I wish we had time to roam around the city. If you plan to buy cigars, buy them from the cigar factory store. They are MUCH MUCH MUCH cheaper than buying from the cigar shop at the resort or in duty free. We got 10 cigars (Cohiba, Romeo & Juliette, Monte Cristo, Partage) for $53 CUC. The people are also very friendly. Nothing to worry about.

I hope I covered everything. Overall, very happy with this place. Will definitely recommend it and go back.

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled with friends
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3  Thank Irene T
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 2 June 2012

Dear "Irene T"

First of all we would like to thank you for choosing Iberostar Laguna Azul for your so valuable vacations.

Thank you very much for your good comments and reviews about the hotel, staff and services, opinions like yours are very important to keep working every day to exceed the expectations of our customers and achieve ever greater improvement of our staff.

Hoping that you do decide to visit us in the future please accept our best regards

Carefully

Management
Iberostar Laguna Azul

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 May 2012

This was my first time to Cuba and was warned about the food, however I was pleasantly surprised as at this resort the food was fine and a good selection. Of course I've had better in other places, resorts I've travelled too but for the most part the food was fine or at least with the wide selction you could find something that you liked.
We went with a group of approx 40 people for a wedding and everything went off without a hitch and was absolutely beautiful in the open chapel overlooking the ocean!!!!
The rooms were very large and clean, I had a single room on my own with a balcony overlooking the main pool area. Cuba is the only place you can travel to where it doesnt cost you double to be in a room on your own, very good price for singles travelling alone!
It was vey safe and fun!
Would go back!

  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled on business
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1  Thank kkmandy
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 2 June 2012

Dear "kkmandy"

First of all we would like to thank you for choosing Iberostar Laguna Azul for your so valuable vacations.

Thank you very much for your good comments and reviews about the hotel, staff and services, opinions like yours are very important to keep working every day to exceed the expectations of our customers and achieve ever greater improvement of our staff.

Hoping that you do decide to visit us in the future please accept our best regards

Carefully

Management
Iberostar Laguna Azul

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 May 2012

We stayed at this resort in the beginning of March for 1 week. We vacation several times a year throughout the caribbean and Mexico so I feel that I have a good sense of comparison.
The main problem with this hotel is the food. It is not a pleasant experience to visit the main buffet, food is mis-handled consistently, and the quality is extremely poor. There were a few notable choices: pizza bar and omlette bar. You could count on these for something good to eat. The a la carte restuarants that we went to (Italian and Steak and Seafood) were ok. The way to reserve the restuarants was not. It was a zoo, extremely disorganized and we waited in line for 1 hour to make the 2 resos we got.
The rooms were good. We didn't have any "musty smell" and the maids were great. They refilled the bar fridge and kept the room very clean.
The beach and pools are great. Both are kept very clean however there is a major issue with towels. We were there for 1 week and didn't get a towel until the 4th day. Apparently the laudry is offsite which is why they run out. Maybe an investment into buying some more towels is necessary. If I had been there with my children, the lack of towels would have been a big problem.
Note: Beach side grill routinely serves raw hamburgers and hotdogs. Ask to have it on the grill for longer. (several people in our party extremely ill, requiring medical attention)
The grounds of the resort are beautiful and the beach one of the nicest on the stretch (which you could walk for miles).
The Cuban people are wonderful, very interesting and fun, don't miss the day trip to Havana. It is a must. The catamaran tour is also very good.
All being said, Cuba definitley a place to visit, there is much history and the beaches are wonderful. However, if this is a once in a lifetime vacation or if you can't overlook the major problems of food and drink (not a paradise for a foodie!!!) then you should make a different destination choice. There are many places to visit near this price point where you will get better quality food and drink.

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled with friends
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3  Thank winterescapist
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 5 May 2012

Dear "winterescapist"

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 3 May 2012

I stayed here with my sister from April 11 to 25th, 2012. My goal this year was to get to Havana so we stayed in Varadero to make the travel easier.
We were first attracted to this resort because of its newness and rating. The facilities are first rate! The site is beautiful and will be more so as the landscaping matures. We stayed in block 18 which was nice because it was only minutes to either the beach or the lobby. Our room was fine, I really liked the big bathroom. The tub could be challenging to get into but no mishaps for us.
Most of the staff are very friendly and hard working though it took over a week for the buffet staff to remember us and that was even with tipping consistently. They always seemed too busy restocking their areas with dishes and cutlery then to come out and serve drinks. The noise in the buffet was deafening when it was busy. The food was excellent. I am not a picky eater and I found the variety very good at every meal. Every night there were feature items along the back wall that included fish (one night lobster tails), beef, turkey, chicken or lamb and made to order pasta. The desserts were great, you won't believe the size of the big cake that is there every night. I found the tastiest cakes were just off to the side of the 4 foot slab cake. Make sure you try the ice cream too! The A La Cartes were very good, we ate at all but the steak and seafood one. My personal favorite was the Japanese, then the Romantico. Breakfast at the Ranchon was hit and miss, good coffee (way better than the buffet) but most days there was no bacon left and the fried eggs stone cold and hard. The yogurt on the resort is very different than what we have here at home, extremely tart but there is a big container of honey that I used to sweeten it up a bit. There was lots of fruit too that you could use.
The pool areas were very busy especially in the afternoons. The serving staff were amazing! At the beach the bar was great and there was lots of room for everyone who wanted to be there. The only chair saving seemed to be in the front row of palopas closest to the ocean. The beach area is very large compared to the other resorts from the Barcelo to the Paradisus. We walked both ways to get some exercise and to see how the other resorts looked. I liked the ILA's the best.
We took a private tour into Havana which was one of the highlights of our trip. We also did the Jeep Safari tour which is a great way to see more of Cuba than the beach and resort. The other highlight was a pub crawl with fellow TripAdvisor's. 32 of us met at Kiki's and went from bar to bar following the music and beer signs. What a great time that was!
I would not hesitate to stay here again, especially since the Animation team were so much fun but I think staying closer to Varadero might be nice.
The one downer of the whole resort was the number of children whose parents seemed to be MIA. Lots of crying. I'm not blaming the resort for this issue as its obviously beyond their control.
There were families, couples, large groups of 20 somethings. I think this resort is a good fit for anyone.

Room Tip: We stayed on the second floor and had great water pressure our whole trip.
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  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled with family
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5  Thank fire39
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 2 June 2012

Dear "fire39"

First of all we would like to thank you for choosing Iberostar Laguna Azul for your so valuable vacations.

Thank you very much for your good comments and reviews about the hotel, staff and services, opinions like yours are very important to keep working every day to exceed the expectations of our customers and achieve ever greater improvement of our staff.

Hoping that you do decide to visit us in the future please accept our best regards

Carefully

Management
Iberostar Laguna Azul

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 May 2012

For our second visit to Varadeo in two years we chose the Iberostar Laguna Azul and were not disappointed. Very friendly service, and quick room change when we were not satisfied with the first room assigned to us. Block 20 was quiet, near the beach and beside the smaller swimming pool where they had the best waiter on the property. Kensie the waiter at the small pool was awesome, after the initial introduction he knew our name every day and was very attentive a great asset to the owners. The whole property was very clean, well landscaped and easy to navigate. We would recommend the Japanese restaurant even though very large amounts of soy sauce was used, making the food salty.

Room Tip: Block 20 is good as it is away from the large pool and outdoor evening entertainment, it is furthest...
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  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Sue H
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 2 June 2012

Dear "Sue H"

First of all we would like to thank you for choosing Iberostar Laguna Azul for your so valuable vacations.

Thank you very much for your good comments and reviews about the hotel, staff and services, opinions like yours are very important to keep working every day to exceed the expectations of our customers and achieve ever greater improvement of our staff.

Hoping that you do decide to visit us in the future please accept our best regards

Carefully

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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Additional Information about IBEROSTAR Laguna Azul

Address: Autopista Sur Km 17 | Punta Hicacos, Varadero 42200, Cuba
Region: Caribbean > Cuba > Matanzas Province > Varadero
Amenities:
Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#2 Business Hotel in Varadero
#7 Family Hotel in Varadero
#8 Romantic Hotel in Varadero
#19 Luxury Hotel in Varadero
Price Range: £116 - £310 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — IBEROSTAR Laguna Azul 5*
Number of rooms: 814
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 
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Also Known As:
Iberostar Laguna Azul Hotel Varadero

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