Well, hello there.
Second time visitors to this hotel July 2012, July 2013. 2012 we loved it and in 2013 not as much. Let me explain why. Let me tell what was improved and what went down.
First and most important is the CONSTRUCTION EVERYWHERE. This is the good thing, they have some maintenance, but why on the beginning of the season, and why everywhere.
Main pool area constructions. Tiles, paint, waterfall. Pneumatic slouch hammer work from 9 to 5.
Ocean/pool side buffet under construction and open. They paint sealing with the pneumatic gun, paint everywhere, food, clothes, you. Washroom there is under construction too.
If you take a look at the mail lobby from the pool area, building on the left is under construction too, they do some maintenance inside, but smell of paint is everywhere.
Main buffet. It was really good last year, but now is horrible. We been at Cuba many, many times and know, Cuba not famous on food, but 2013 trip was something. Air conditioner not work properly or they just don't want to turn it on (I don't know) seems to me it used to work some time, but because of the heat, they open all the doors everyday and flies filled up the whole place. In two weeks can't find a clean plate. Many of them still have a food on it. Variety of food is so little compare to last year. And there was a couple of days with beans and rice only, because the rest was not eatable or not fresh at all and when I say "not fresh" I mean rotten. Another disappointed moment is the service in main buffet. I do understand when they are really busy, but when it's almost empty you still can't get the water, it's OK I can survive, but it will be an issue for an old people. Buffet was a big disappointment.
Cleanliness of the rooms was OK, as usual, some time perfect, some time not, but it is usual for Cuba (even with everyday tips). Variety of the good drinks went down, we not picky, but somebody may want to know. I can tell many other small things, but it is not important for good holiday.
Now lets go with the improvements.
Number one is finally a WiFi. Frickin expensive, 8 cuc in hr, but pretty fast for Cuba, get you about 0.5 Mbps but fast enough to serf the net, Facebook, mail and even some youtube video without waiting. Regarding on the look of the equipment they did install 3G WiMAX, (why no 4G? They have a fiber optic from Venesuela now).
Number too is the security. They make tougher on the local guys, and don't let them sell anything on the beech anymore. But it's so weird when you share your umbrellas with the two cops one border guard and two security guards.
Number three. They finally rebuild Varadero beech after hurricane couple of years ago. Sand is a bit rough but not for long.
Special thanks for waitresses and barmens at the main lobby and the beech, they been awesome as usual. No metter how many people, there is almost never a line and they always wear the smile.
And for the end.
Don't get me wrong it was awesome hotel last year and if management will be right, it will be perfect again. It is really good hotel, but they have to do many things before they get on top again. Looks like Iberostar know about all the issues, they change 2 general managers and two local in one year. So hopefully they will fix those issues soon and we will be back in few years, but not yet.
- 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
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Cancelon, Booking.com, HotelsClick, TripOnline SA and Evoline ltd so you can book your IBEROSTAR Laguna Azul reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Iberostar Laguna Azul Hotel Varadero