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“Good hotel, great location and beach”

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IBEROSTAR Laguna Azul
Ranked #30 of 64 Hotels in Varadero
Vancouver, Canada
Level 5 Contributor
73 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Good hotel, great location and beach”
Reviewed 13 April 2012

I stayed at this Resort which was both my first time in Cuba and at an Iberostar Hotel. I found that the resort was in good condition, reception was friendly and helpful. We had an orientation station at the begging of our trip with an Air Canada Rep and it was very helpful and informative.

We stayed for a week. I found that the staff were friendly and helpful. There were pools 3 pools spread out through the resort. You could sign out pool equipment if wished, use the bike boats for free and the beach was very soft. The food was diverse, good and lots of it. There were theme restaurants, but they had to be signed up, so do it right away.

I was able to run along the beach which was very nice and there was a fitness centre available. The fitness centre was decent, it looked out to the ocean. I took out some weights onto an outdoor patio that faced to the ocean which was very nice.

The hotel states that it is a 5 star. I am not versed well enough in hotels to comment, but people have to realized that a 5 star in New York and a 5 star in Cuba are going to be much different due to amount of money, type of guests, and overall resources.

The rooms were nice, some items in the room could have been upgraded.

The only real problem at the hotel was getting clean beach/pool towels, there was only a 2 hour period from 10-12 to get them and there were never any there when i get back. I believe the towels out sent to an outside agency to launder. But really, if your biggest problem is getting a beach towel at all-inclusive resort then your vacation is pretty good.

I do wish that i was able to more organized pool/beach activities.

Overall good hotel, recommend it and just a few things could be upgraded or changed, but location, and staff were good.

Room Tip: Choose an oceanside room on an upper floor!
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  • Stayed January 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank Santino D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Paradise, Newfoundland, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 April 2012

We just returned from Laguna Azul from our honeymoon. When we arrived they greeted us well and we were told we had a beautiful room. When we gave the bellboy our room number he asked if we were honeymooners, they must have specific rooms dedicated for such things. Sure enough out room was amazing! It really had the best view! We were on the 5th floor in building 15 not far from the spa area. We did pay extra for the sea view, but they really gave us the best location!
The landscape there was also beautiful, the gardeners clearly worked hard to keep it flowering. We never had a problem getting chairs by the pool or the beach whatever time of day but we sometimes had to wiggle stuff around a little to get in the shade. The beach was beautiful as would be expected but we did had a couple days of poor weather and large waves, but the other days were fine.
The food was not as bad as I had expected. The breakfast buffet and supper buffet were fine, but the lunch buffet wasn't great, and if you didn't make it early the food was cold. But they were constantly taking away older trays of food and replacing them with fresh ones so it wasn't left out the entire time like other reviews said. The a la carte restaurants were excellent. I would highly recommend the japanese restaurant not for the food but for the show! The one negative about the food was that it was a little bland, there was not a lot of spice. If you like plain food with just salt and pepper and mild spice you'll like the food fine.
Now the bad. It took us 4 days to get beach towels. This at a 5 star resort is ridiculous! They never had enough and there were days when there were none. Once we got them we couldn't switch them for clean ones because again they never had them!
The only other negative was that the cups were surprisingly small, I now see why many people bring they're own cups.
It was a great vacation and if I return to Vardero (personally I prefer Mexico) I would return to Laguna Azul.

Room Tip: Get a hight floor, first floor rooms are on the ground with no balcony.
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank Ashley B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
uk
Level 4 Contributor
34 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 April 2012

The official name of the resort is Ibeostar Laguna Azul. It is a **** resort hotel, offering full board, including bar and **** beach, amenities and lots to do. Food is ***, but don't expect nouvell cuisine - as Cuba is not like Paris or Key West for that matter! Local beer, mohitos and pina coladas are good, however I like to drink malt whisky or cognac in the evening which they dont have - so I was glad of the bottle I picked up in duty free on the way down. There are a few decent restaurants downtown Varadero, recommend you take a ride in a 50's chevvy for ~$18 each way.
Must commend the staff - they are all ***** , very personable and put in 120% effort
Although beach resorts are not my thing (my other half more so) it was overall a good experience which I would recommend.

Room Tip: Better stay on an upper floor with a balcony, quieter on the left side away from the disco!
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank rollingstone8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
windsor
Level 3 Contributor
9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
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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Helpful?
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 review, 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
calgary
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 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'...
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  • Stayed January 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank sarahjane84
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wasaga Beach, Canada
Level 5 Contributor
16 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 139 helpful votes
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!
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Wayne D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mississauga, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
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
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Shelley B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about IBEROSTAR Laguna Azul

Property: 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
#22 Luxury Hotel in Varadero
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
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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