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“It's Ok, But Don't Expect Much”

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Islazul Villa La Mar
Ranked #39 of 64 Hotels in Varadero
Manitoba
Level Contributor
118 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
“It's Ok, But Don't Expect Much”
Reviewed 23 March 2014

So some of the other reviews are a little scary, but honestly this place isn't that bad. It's a little run-down, but it's clean and the staff are friendly and eager to please. On our arrival, the room we were given had an overwhelming smell of mildew. We simply couldn't breathe, so we asked to change rooms and they happily did so. The second room was clean, although a little small. And, as I expected after doing some research, a few things were "off". For example, our chest of drawers had only two drawers (the third one was inexplicably missing). Plus, one of our patio doors was a piece of plywood! We took it in stride and were thankful it was a step above camping. : ) We always had enough toilet paper, light bulbs, clean towels, etc. The food was very basic, and unusual by North American standards. Each meal was basically the same (yes, even breakfast)...corn or veggies, boiled potato, steamed rice, black beans, choice of breads, choice of cakes for dessert, plus a selection of mystery meats (never did figure out what the "croqueta" was). Some meals there were chicken drumsticks which were tasty, there was a also a day that offered a beef stew that was yummy. The bar offered basic drinks (I had a lot of Cristal...it was always cold). The beach bar doesn't offer beer but I think it's because they don't have electricity in that little hut. After a few days my daughter and I started searching out restaurants. El Toro was excellent and just a few blocks away...filet mignon for $10!...the Italian restaurant Dante in Josone Park was also great. We might stay again...the price is right and you're very central to everything else you might want to do.

Room Tip: Ask for a quiet room away from the bars and public areas.
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Deborah P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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272 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
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  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (49)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Helsinki, Finland
Level Contributor
23 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 March 2014

This trip was a last minut decission. The stright filigt from Helsinki to Varadaro and vice verca was excellent with Finnair and Santours,The location of hotel was one of the best things in Varadero.I spend three nights in the hotelroom where I could not close the balcony door and safety kees where lost.Of course that was a bit complicated for the security point of vew. The service was ok and they try tryed to organize an other room but no results.I love Havana Vieja and after three days I travelled to Havana.In a high season its better to book in advance
so before I left I booked the same hotel second time for last four days of my vacation. This time I had room with closing doors and wiht safety kee.I made to times a snorkling trip throug Cuba tours. Arnold who had an office in the hotel seemed to know many things.He is a good organizer and very helpbful.Next time I know to whom to contact first.
In Havana I lived In Casa de Juan Carlos second time. I spend there 2012 allmost one month.I had I feeling;nice to be in a family.Varadero is turistick area and Havana Vieja is vice versa.I can communicate in spanish and that is not bad all.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled solo
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Review collected in partnership with Galahotels.com

Helpful?
2 Thank Satu N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 March 2014

First of all, it was my first trip to Cuba.

Beach was AMAZING no doubt.
I went on the third week of August and the weather was PERFECT, HOT & clear sunny sky to be precise.

The hotel:
Food was good, Idk why people are complaining, I'm not picky, I'm not fat either.
Pool was not so crowded, played reggaetton& sometimes English music, big & clean pool.
The room I had with my boyfriend had two beds, a balcony, closet, safe, TV w/ basic cable, airconditioner, wtc. Everything we needed was there.

Yes there was hot water, but w/ the hot weather, we mostly showered in the cold water to cool off.

The cleaning was BAD.
Unless you give the cleaning lady tip that's the only time shed actually do a good job & no speak English so goodluck explaining. It was really hard to tell her to mop the floor cos it was filled w sand.

The tv had basic channels w/ English and Spanish channels. They had HBO plus :) so thats what we watched at night before bed.

BAR wasn't so great.
The only drink they served was brown or white rum w coke sprite or orange, beer and some minth drink. No fancy girl drinks, such as, mojito, pinacolada, which was disappointing cos I'm not a big drinker.

Night entertainment, they tried. It wasn't so bad, :)

Beach was 2 blocks down.
The souvenir shops were in 50th ave. which was 20 blocks away, about 20-30 mins walk. Since it was very hot, we had to take those egg rides.

In conclusion, I won't complain, I paid 500$ flat w/ tax for this vacatiion, I read reviews before I went, I knew what I was going for, it wasn't so bad as a trip.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Von Axl V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 March 2014

This was our second year at Hotel Villa La Mar, and it felt like coming home when we walked back in to the place! We spent 7 weeks at Villa La Mar, and while our friendships haven't changed since last year...a few things have!! You still experience the intimate feeling and warmth of a small hotel, but you now have the facilities of a large resort at your disposal with the amalgamation of Hotel Villa La Mar & Mar Del Sur. You now have a selection of two A la Carte restaurants where you can make a reservation for diner only; two buffet restaurants available for lovely breakfasts, lunches & diners; two pool & snack-bars; two beach-bars; and two lobby bars open 24 hours! Not to forget, there are now two pools to choose from and two nightly entertainment shows! All this, and wonderful beach just a blocks walk away - for less than $40/day d.o. in high season!!! What more could you want? We can't wait to go back...we just love it there!!!

Room Tip: We were on the back side of "El Delfin" across the street from the main entrance, on the 2...
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Ginny B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Herzliya, Israel
Level Contributor
349 reviews
75 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 141 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 March 2014

My wife and I found ourselves looking for accomodation in Varadero at 3am so we had to settle for any hotel that had an available room.

So we found ourselves staying the rest of the night at Villa La Mar.
The hotel is so so. Our room was spacious with a balcony but was very dated. The mattresses were not that comfortable.
We just made it on time for breakfast (it took us time to figure out where it is served since the property is very large) but they were already removing the food so we had to eat what was left which was not much...
On the other hand there are complimentary drinks at the bar.
There is a pool which we didn't try.
All in all - the hotel gave us what we needed that late night - a place to sleep but if we ever visit Varadero again we will look for another place.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Jacks1956
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Helsinki, Finland
1 review
Reviewed 19 March 2014

My room had mold and smelled like a humid cave. Food wasn't very good either. The pool area is ok and complimentary drinks at bars are fine too. Staff is alright as well. The atmosphere is from the late 70's and it's kind of funny and cozy. My room was awful, otherwise everything is average quality considering the cheap price.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with Galahotels.com

Helpful?
Thank Joonas A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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Victoria
Level Contributor
26 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 March 2014

This was exactly what the Dr ordered! An inexpensive trip to Cuba loaded up with lots of fun non-pretentious people. It gets pretty rowdy there (at least when our group was together) but the sister resort was really slow with lots of older people. Its a nice contrast for people that want to party and people that want it a little slow. The food is decent I always found something to eat but nothing I really enjoyed. If you need a fancy meal hit the plethora of restaurants located near by. If you are any kind of walker everything is walking distance from this place (bars, restaurants etc.). I am quite an extrovert and I did go out of my way to acquaintance myself with the staff. Everyone is human and if they like you... you will get treated very well. Booze is never watered down in places like this because pop/juice worth more than booze! My room was mediocre clean and I definitely felt it was sanitary. Water pressure sucked but it got the job done. Honestly I could complain about small things but they really didn't bother me because I had such a good time getting to know the staff and fellow guests. I take on the hotel as part of the culture I experience when visiting Cuba. Awesome Russians and Belorussian come here in strong numbers. I loved mingling with them and made some very close friends.

Despite its evident flaws... I HIGHLY recommend this for people who are adventurous!

Room Tip: Give the lady at the front a Beso (kiss) on the cheek... I made her blush lol!
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Tyler29
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Islazul Villa La Mar

Property: Islazul Villa La Mar
Address: 3a. Avenida E/ 28 Y 30, Varadero 42200, Cuba
Region: Caribbean > Cuba > Matanzas Province > Varadero
Hotel Style:
Ranked #39 of 64 Hotels in Varadero
Hotel Class:2 star — Islazul Villa La Mar 2*
Number of rooms: 264
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Also Known As:
Islazul Villa La Mar Hotel Varadero
Islazul Hotel La Mar
Islazul Hotel Varadero

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