trip date 11th of April to 24th
Food: we travelled with 7 other couples. that is 16 people in total... 5 were NURSES. 12 people got sick with diareaha and some vomiting, chills, severe stomach cramping and weakness...3 of these 12 were sick for 3 to 4 days....there is a major problem with food quality control at this resort...READ THE REVIEWS AND PAY HEED... WE DID NOT..TRIP ADVISOR REVIEWS ARE SPOT ON!!!! HEED THE WARNINGS... it is hard to enjoy your vacation from inside your bathroom..(or wishing you were inside it.) The buffet is pretty, but creepy...nothing is covered except the ice cream dispensor...the food is cold, or luke warm, appears re-heated from previous meals, taste is way off, NOT BECAUSE IT IS CUBA (really, give me a break) but because of lack of care in preparation, the age of the food, or too much re-heating...Pizza is good because it is fresh...YOU CAN SEE IT COME OUT OF THE OVEN...dont trust anything unless you think it through (when was it cooked? does it appear fresh? etc)....flies have freedom to land EVERYWHERE... and BELIEVE ME they DO...just watch them and learn...
the two side buffets in the smaller pool areas are more of the same..same issues same problems.
.. the a la cartes are good, food is tasty and is hot...but they are difficult to book...chances are if you are only staying a week you may only get a couple unless you book ahead...the BEST PART OF THE A LA CARTES IS THAT YOU AVOID THE BUFFET!!
water: bottled water is ONLY available in your room..at the bars it comes from a bar dispenser...not good...
rooms: they are very good (which you will appreciate if you get sick.)..any complaits appear to be handled well.... maids are awesome...tip them well!!!
service: overall not as good as at the resorts we have stayed at in the DR...(maybe they are paid better here then at the DR resorts and are not as tip dependent) many of the staff have an edge to them and dont appear genuinely pleasant. So you are never sure what response you will get when you make an inquiry... Having said that, our maid Lauren in building 18 was an absolute angel, and so was the very personable and friendly ice cream lady, Oneysis...At the snack bars Kensy, Yaima, Adiarys and Dairo were totally awesome....
The main bar is tended by very good bar tenders who are simply overworked as the main bar is understaffed at all times...so the wait for drinks is ridiculous...the waiters have no time to get friendly as they are much too busy trying to keep the service going...
lobby: this is a huge resort for kids and adults... the lobby at dinner time is simply unbearable...everyone is all dressed up with no where to go except to wait for the buffet or the a la cartes to open...this is the only place where a bar is open prior to dinner....if it is chilly or raining this is the only place to gather and it is not pleasant at all.. the noise level is unbearable... very litltle planning went into this design...it would be fine if the resort was half the size it actually is...this is actually a very big deal because if you are with a group, you must meet here everynite before your meals, as this is the only bar open at this time of day....so the evening starts with a strong potential for an unnecessary unpleasantness...which, incidentally, you paid for....duh..
shows: better than the DR resorts we attended, but believe -you- me that is not saying much..if you go to these resorts for these shows you are simply deranged...
climate: nothing to do with the azul, just a general comment on cuba.. I was surprised how much cooler than the DR it was, so bring a light sweater for the evenings...and on this pennisula there is a strong likelihood of high winds for most of your entire stay.
beach: I am a beach bum...i much prefer the puna cana beach in the DR to the varadero beach for many many reasons...but i am rating the azuls beach on a scale comparable to the overall varadero beach... i did walk the entire varadero beach twice ... like i said, i am a beach nut .....and the azul's beach portion i would rate as a 6 out of 10. It is spacious, the sand is clean, (there are lots of chairs, but NO cushions, towels are a problem as they run out so bring your own...this represents a big unnecessary problem, sitting on hard plastic chairs is not pleasant and demonstrates a lack of caring for customers, and lack of towel availability is just bad) sand quality is equivilent to that found in porta plata DR but not nearly as nice as puna cana...the beaches at resorts closer to varadero may appear nicer but i are in fact much more crowded...so the beach is not too bad... management needs to fix the cushion issue on the beach and the towel issue..
Summary: I have tried to be fair but the fact is we bought our package early and have been thinking and planning out this vacation for months...the food issue we ignored because we thought it was a bunch of whiners on trip advisor giving grief for no good reason... we should have listened... this resort has a food problem... stay away until it is fixed..
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located in Varadero beach. Approximately 160 km from Havana and 20 min from downtown Varadero. It has 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 Ranchon 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
- Also Known As:
- Iberostar Laguna Azul Hotel Varadero