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“OK if the price is right and if you plan to travel around” 2 of 5 bubbles
Review of Islazul Mar del Sur Aparthotel

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Islazul Mar del Sur Aparthotel
Ranked #50 of 63 Hotels in Varadero
Toronto
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“OK if the price is right and if you plan to travel around”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 January 2009

This should be a one star hotel -- not two. It's ok if all you want is a relatively clean place to sleep, it's not really a "resort." We got a good price for 7 days -- it would have cost us more to fly to Cuba on our own, so we figured it was worth it, since we were more interested in backpacking around and doing some scuba. We only spent a couple of nights there -- the rest of the time we spent in Havana (staying at casa particular -- essentially people's homes, which was awesome), and we went on scuba diving day trips as well. So we hardly stayed at the hotel. The food was pretty bad, but edible, and we didn't get sick. The first room they put us in was awful. There was dust on all the furniture and there was no hot water in the room. We requested a different room, and we got a much nicer place, cleaner and more updated. Unfortunately, the windows faced the highway, so it was noisy. The AC worked OK and the room was cleaned well -- we made sure we left tips for the cleaning lady. The headboard looked like it was 50 years old, and on our last day we put our backpack on the side table, which was attached to the headboard, and the whole thing came tumbling down. The manager was pretty nasty about it and he wanted us to pay for it, but we resisted, and in the end he let us go. The staff never seem to interact with the guests, so don't expect any service!

The beach was a 10 to 15 minute walk away, and that particular stretch of beach was not nice (litter, garbage, etc). But if you walked along the beach for half an hour or so, you got to a much nicer stretch.

So in conclusion, the hotel is ok if you get a good price and if you're not interested in a resort per se, but rather want to travel around and sign up for scuba diving day trips (the scuba was fantastic!! and Havana is a superb city). If you are interested in a resort type of deal, this is a really bad deal, so don't even think about it.

PS We found photos of the hotel on line, and they were quite deceiving! The hotel is much older than it looks in photos, and the especially the dining room area is completely unrecognizable in the photos.

  • Liked — Price
  • Disliked — Food
  • Stayed December 2007, travelled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank deg99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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441 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    2.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (59)
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  • Danish first
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English first
Toronto
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 January 2009

After arriving at 2:00 AM and choosing the best of two room choices for my husband myself and our two 12 year old sons, we stayed with a two bdrm apartment, fell asleep and woke up to a glorious sunny day.
At first we thought we could upgrade to a better hotel, but our tour representative said we would have to pay $2000 - 4000 more to move to a 4 star way at the end of the beach. That was when we decided to let it go and just enjoy!

We had a great time! The beach is amazing all 23 km. We took the double decker tour bus ride which goes up and down 1st Avenue all the way to the end of the peninsula. For $5CUC each from 8:00AM to 8:00PM lets you get on and off as many times for the day and at any stop. Well worth it. We took it to the very end and walked along the beach past all the high end hotels and many new ones being built. It seemed too secluded for us. Then we walked out to the road through the Sirenis La Silanis to catch the bus. Our kids were impressed with the pool slide and vast grounds but they said it felt like a commune with multiple "Ned Flanders' types everywhere. We walked again along the beach and through other 3 - 4 star hotels but we were so happy to get back home to the MAR DEL SUR!

The food kept improving, the Xmas and New Year feasts were very impressive. All who worked there were fantastik! The boys played Ping Pong, Volleyball checkers, chess...The pool bar had french fries and sandwiches, the beach bar had the same and sometimes a BBQ.

We loved the Mar del Sur because it was safe, quiet, friendly, walking distance to restaurants with live music, the craft markets, Cubans, banks and lots of people and experiences. That is why we went, not to just talk to other tourists, compare bathing suits and talk about stocks!

A lot of improvements were being done as the Hotel was entering the high season.

Overall, everything was great. It just takes 24 hrs to slough off the North American routine and standards that we all arrive with, then the tanning, music, swimming, eating, drinking, sightseeing and Cuban experiences take over.
Coming back to OUR "standards" is much harder to adapt to.

We miss it so much already!

  • Liked — Proximity to all
  • Stayed December 2008, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Verika
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 December 2008

My roomate and myself stayed here dec 19 - 26 this year.
Here is what i can say about the resort itself.

The hotel is not big but has what you need for the price.
one pool
one bar only open till 10:00, so for you drinkers not so good.
<one cash bar>
We came there cause it is in the centre of town and we went out every night so didnt matter to us on that fact.

They had one place to eat. Not bad. but again went into town a lot. mmmm went to pizza nova it was GOOOD.

x-mas eve they had a mega feast. very good.

The maid for our room went out of her way to help us when we needed it.
The entertainment stafff very friendly. only comment on that is we booked a day trip with them.
It was for a catamarin. <i cant spell lol>
asked about the weather was told it would be ok and nice.
we froze our mmmm's off.

all in all they where good if you are looking for cheap and a nice clean resort. Night time clubs where awesome. it was the first time for my roomate so i have been there alot so i knew where to go and showed her a fabo time..
i have dear friends in cuba and my heart will be there for always.

Would i come back to this resort. depending on the price to be honest. due to me going to cuba alot.

If you want more info message me and i would be happy to help.

ta

  • Liked — The location
  • Stayed December 2008
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank rowen1970
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, ON
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 August 2008

It was ok hotel for the price we've paid. Our room was in the building accros from main lobby, small, simple but clean. A/C worked fine, safe in the room so you could leave your valuable things in there. Shower was working and hot water was always there. Some of the staff were very nice and friendly people. It is not a resort so we got a chance to interact with the local Cubans, great experience! Beach was close and nice. Food was repetitive and if you are vegetarian like me, not much variaty, but you can always go out and eat something else for few pesos. I found it enough for the money we paid, all we needed was a week away to relax. I we were there with 10 year old and 7 month old. You get what you pay for, and I found it clean and efficient.

  • Liked — clean rooms
  • Disliked — boring food
  • Stayed April 2008, travelled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Misia30
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 July 2008

Be very careful with this place. It is not really a resort. The money you will spend to eat somewhere else will cost you double the money you spent on this trip. I have been to Cuba 12 times and this is probably the worst place you can imagine. The staff is unbelievably rude, they won't talk to you at all. They all lie a great deal. I can eat anything and not get sick, and I mean anything. I was at this hotel for 2 weeks and was ill for the most part. The buffet is the worst food I have had in my life. They smash up the food to look like something different for the next day. Flies all over the food probably doesn't help either. Breakfast is the same smashed up ground beef with a few hard boiled eggs. By the second week I was reduced to eating a piece of bread with butter at every meal. Don't drink the water or the so called juice. I watched as the chef filled up an old bucket with water from the outdoor shower to fill up the water tanks where you pour your drinks. I was very ill from drinking the juice as well. So I thought I was getting a deal because all I wanted to do was drink right? WRONG...there is one free bar on the resort which usually was out of beer. They do not make any mix drinks except rum & coke.
After 10pm you have to buy your own drinks at $2 a beer, You are better off buying a few bottles of Havana Club for your stay because all the brands at the bar are very low quality. The beach is a block and a half away, with the so called beach bar. I asked for a ham sandwich at the beach bar and received a slab of something in a shrivelled up bun...all the ham was out in the sun with flies on it....not refridgerated. I am by no means picky, but I have stayed at several 2 star resorts that are 10 times better.
And when you think of leaving for another resort it is almost impossible, they charge you a minimum $400 to go to a slightly better place.

The lobby is usually packed with people requesting to leave this place the minute they arrive...I should have done the same.

  • Liked — Beach
  • Disliked — Food / Staff
  • Stayed June 2008, travelled solo
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank singletravler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 May 2008

We loved the place.... very low key, quiet, and muy tropicale. Hey, for a one star hotel, it was safe, clean, bright and cool. Way more than one star hotels I've stayed in in Asia, Africa or South America.

You get what you pay for when you travel from home, and at this price in Cuba, it buys a lot. Look at how Cubans live for comparison, not London or New York.

If you're soft or uber picky, go someplace else. You'll be happier, trust me.

  • Stayed August 2007, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Jack123456
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
St. Catharines
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 April 2008

I have been going to cuba for the last 13 years and I found this hotel for a good price on a travel website as I have a familty to pay for with two small boys. Right from day 1 to day 15 our hotel was wonderful. We stayed in the hotel section #12 above the lobby and these rooms are indeed nicer than the other ones in the complex. We were given a one bedroom apartment with a microware, fridge, new air conditioner and new blankets. Our room was cleaned everyday, beds stripped and new towels. Its amazing what giving $2.00 cuban pesos to the maid everyday does. Nothing ever missing. No bugs. Hot shower. The food is good, (chicken, pork, turkey, potatoes, bread, salad). Very repetative. Two chefs that we can see. One could cook wonderful, the other YUK! (liver and pumpkin for supper). One block from the beach,no big deal. Chlorine in the pool every night and cleaned and vaccumed every morning. Many workers always cleaning around the hotel. Drinks and sandwiches available on the beach. Great location. My only complaint is that althought the entertainment at the hotel every night isgreat (magic show Saturday, contest night Friday etc...) it started at 9:30 or 10:00 at night and the music was very loud until 11:00 to 11:30 each night. Not very child friendly. Earlier would be better. Cubans are allowed at the hotel now and especially Friday night they really take over expecially at the restaurant. (they eat everything in sight so get there before they do). Overall a wonderful experience. I would recomment this hotel and would stay there again. Oh yes I forgot to mention, my husband is Cuban so you are getting a real honest option from someone who knows the area well.

  • Liked — Clean rooms
  • Disliked — Alittle noisy at night
  • Stayed April 2008, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank alwayscuba
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Islazul Mar del Sur Aparthotel

Property: Islazul Mar del Sur Aparthotel
Address: Ave. 3ra y Calle 30, Varadero 42200, Cuba
Region: Caribbean > Cuba > Matanzas Province > Varadero
Amenities:
Kitchenette Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #50 of 63 Hotels in Varadero
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Islazul Mar del Sur Aparthotel 2.5*
Number of rooms: 366
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Islazul Mar Del Sur Aparthotel Hotel Varadero
Hotel Mar Del Sur
Mar Del Sur Varadero

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