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Reviewed July 9, 2015 via mobile

We stayed at this resort for a family wedding. We were extremely disappointed with this hotel, in no way close to a 5*.
- no a/c throughout the resort
- restaurants would run out of cutlery, plates and glasses etc.
- food wasn't good and meat had to be cut up and inspected to make sure it was cooked
- there were tons of flies throughout the resort
- washrooms throughout the resort didn't have hand soap, paper towels, toilet paper and some even had toilet seats missing
- towels in the rooms smelled, had stains and holes in them
- the staff in the restaurants was not good and you had to wait a very long time to get drinks or service
- musty smell in rooms
- bugs in the washroom
This was a very disappointing experience and I do not plan to visit this resort again.

Date of stay: July 2015
Trip type: Travelled with family
3  Thank Bakkerbean
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Director D, Director General at Iberostar Origin Laguna Azul, responded to this reviewResponded July 13, 2015

"Dear clients,

On a behalf of the staff and management here at IBEROSTAR Laguna Azul we would like to thank you for your review. However, we feel sorry that our hotel was not up to your expectation. We assure you that improvement, in all our services are an ongoing process and our priority is guest satisfaction. We do hope, to have another opportunity in the near future, to make your holiday unforgettable. If you decide to give us another chance, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Kind Regards,
Online Reputation Manager"

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed July 9, 2015

The location and the beach are great. I visited the same place last summer and during that stay, I had a great experience. This time, however, it was different, as if the hotel went at least two stars down in the meantime. In the room we got, nothing functioned properly: the safe did nit function; the bathroom door would let you in but you couldn't get out; the balcony door could not lock; the tv remote did not work; the closet doors, all three of them were hardly movable left and right; the furniture was so old and full of stains that we couldn't use for the fear of getting infected with something; all cabinet drawers worked with difficulty; the toilet did not flush properly... After our complain, they managed to repair the safe, and they put squashed paper into the bathroom door lock so we wouldn't found ourselves locked in again. That was it. We remained in that room for two weeks.

The room service, the human aspect was okay, but the towels were old and although washed had a heavy tobaco stench. The quantity of shampoos was on the verge of not enough.

Yet, I believe the biggest shock to us was catching workers stealing. The woman (named Silvia) who worked as the hotel cashier selling internet cards and changing money into cuban convertible pesos pretended that for internet cards cost 20 cuc (one costs 4,5 cuc), and refused to return the change. Upon asking her she flatly said that they cost 5 cuc each, and finally upon insisting, she apologized for her 'mistake' and returned 2 cuc back.

It is even worse in the hotel store. As we'we been there last year, I remember the coffee prices. This time the coffee prices were doubled! (Last year: 3.25 cuc for 250 g, 6.5 cuc for 500 g, 12 - 13 cuc for 1 kg) This year: 6.5 cuc for 250 g and 13 cuc for 500 g! I did not buy but instead went to a neigbouring store in Grand Memories. Inside their store, the prices were as I remembered them from last year. And I shopped there. It was easy to realize what was actually going on in the Laguna Azul store. They ran out or took away the 1 kg pkgs. They removed the price for 250 g packages. They put smaller coffee packages under bigger prices. Pepole who did not know, paid. They hardly ever give you the receipt and upon asking you receive just a block with numbers, without stating the products. In the same store I randomly asked for the price of one shirt. I got the answer: 75 cuc. Really? In Cuba? $100 for a shirt? Somebody inthere is stealing big time.
I could go on...

Date of stay: June 2015
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with Iberostar
4  Thank donna234567
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Director D, Director General at Iberostar Origin Laguna Azul, responded to this reviewResponded July 13, 2015

"Dear clients,

On a behalf of the staff and management here at IBEROSTAR Laguna Azul we would like to thank you for your review. However, we feel sorry that our hotel was not up to your expectation. We assure you that improvement, in all our services are an ongoing process and our priority is guest satisfaction. We do hope, to have another opportunity in the near future, to make your holiday unforgettable. If you decide to give us another chance, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Kind Regards,
Online Reputation Manager"

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed July 9, 2015

Let me start with saying that I knew going to Cuba not to expect a lot. I never read reviews or put much into it as often I don't care about the things other people do. That being said, this hotel was TERRIBLE! I am okay with the food being plain. I brought my own condiments and seasoning. However, a lot of the food was very undercooked. We cooked our own hot dogs every day, just so we knew they were cooked!

I hear the a la cartes were good, if you could get in them. Every day we tried to get in (even booking a couple days in advance) it was always full and they had no room.

Cleanliness was the worst. I am pretty sure my bed sheets were not even clean when I got there. Everything smelled very mouldy and musty. It took us 5 days of asking repeatedly to get clean beach towels. Towels in our room - we left in the bathtub so we could get fresh ones. They just hung them up to dry.
One day we watched one of the ladies wipe down a couter with a cloth that was so dirty it was black. She immidiately put down some fresh pizza's for people to eat! So gross!

Bars were okay. If you could get something to drink. It depended on who was working, for what they had available. Some nights all they would serve is beer. Other nights you could get any of their selections. Not that there was a lot to chose from. They didn't have blenders, so don't expect a lot on the fruity drink side.

The beach was nice. The water was fantastic. They always had music playing which was fantastic. That was definitely the highlight of this resort.

Utimately if you are going to Veradero, I would advise you to look into other options. This hotel is not worth the money they charge to stay with them!

Date of stay: July 2015
  • Trip type: Travelled with friends
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank Corrine D
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Director D, Director General at Iberostar Origin Laguna Azul, responded to this reviewResponded July 13, 2015

"Dear clients,

On a behalf of the staff and management here at IBEROSTAR Laguna Azul we would like to thank you for your review. However, we feel sorry that our hotel was not up to your expectation. We assure you that improvement, in all our services are an ongoing process and our priority is guest satisfaction. We do hope, to have another opportunity in the near future, to make your holiday unforgettable. If you decide to give us another chance, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Kind Regards,
Online Reputation Manager"

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed July 7, 2015

Last week my family (myself, wife and 2 teenagers) stayed at this resort. It was our first time in Cuba, so we were not sure what to expect. Friends had told us that the food was not great, and sure enough, that wasn't the highlight of our trip, but it's not as bad as you might hear. Vegetables are generally fresh and plentiful. Everything is organic by default. Specifically about this hotel, they have a japanese "a-la-carte" restaurant that is excellent - they cook the food right in front of you in a bit of a show. The Cuban restaurant also serves a great grilled lobster. Other than food: rooms were generally clean, the pool is very large so you can hang by the wet bar, dance with the entertainment team or simply find a quiet spot to relax. Waiters keep coming around bringing drinks to people at the pool as well. The beach was very nice too - the sea is calm and clear. They offer a free 20-min hobbycat ride, which you can extend to a 1.5 hour snorkeling tour for a fee (we did it and it was great). There's a bar right on the sand too. The hotel has a large patio overlooking the pool which is a great spot to have a drink at the end of the day (the drinks served at this spot are really good). There are shows every night at the theatre, I particularly liked the rock show, where a live band accurately played AC/DC, Kiss, Led Zeppelin, Scorpions, Pink Floyd - this was a trip down memory lane for me. But the most remarkable quality to me was how Cubans seem to care about the well being of tourists. Sure, they might be doing this for the tips, but it's a bit different there - it seems a lot more genuine and from the heart. Bottom line: if you expect true 5-star service, maybe Cuba is not a good destination for you, no matter where you stay. But if you're interested in connecting at a human level and enjoying nature, this hotel is a safe bet.

Room tip: Stay near the "quiet pool" if you can. It's not too far from the main facilities and generally quiet all day.
Date of stay: July 2015
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
6  Thank CLMello
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Director D, Director General at Iberostar Origin Laguna Azul, responded to this reviewResponded July 13, 2015

"Dear clients,

On a behalf of the staff and management here at IBEROSTAR Laguna Azul we would like to thank you for your nice review. We all are hardworking people always seeking the best for all our clients. Should you choose our hotel, or some other IBEROSTAR Hotels, for your next vacation, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Kind Regards,
Online Reputation Manager"

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed July 7, 2015 via mobile

So many issues with our recent visit it is hard to remember them all. From the cockroach we killed in the bathroom on our entrance to the room that was never cleaned up (cockroaches ok, but sitting there all week?) to the stained and torn room towels, if it wasn't for the beach (no thanks to Iberostar-that's natural), the excursions (again, not Iberostar) and our ability to laugh at many of the situations, the vacation would have been awful.

Other issues include mold in the bathroom and moody smelling "fresh" bath towels replaced infrequently, no clean beach towels available many days, no plates available at the buffet, no clean glasses at the buffet, a ceiling fan so wobbly it was inoperable, noisy bar fridge, tiny disposable plastic cups (bring your own travel mug), dirty coffee cups "washed" or rather dipped in a jug of water on the buffet patio, dried and reused.

We expected lacklustre food, but hoped for something reasonable, however the massive reliance on canned vegetables or mush frozen was awful. At the romantico restaurant the duck breast was fantastic, but having it placed on a bed of salty and mushy canned veg was shocking. Fresh fruit at the buffet was unripe at best, and fresh vegetables were never seen. Chicken from the buffet grill was even mostly uncooked one evening. Pasta at the Italian restaurant was not cooked, and every sit down meal had something unavailable (pork substituted for steak, no salad, etc).

On our check in, there were no resort maps available, so we were on our own to find our way and sort out restaurant schedules and locations. It wasn't until check out that we saw a paper map.

Service is pretty bad, staff generally lack initiative, and cleaning is minimal. We understand that Cuba is lacking in many things, but the Iberostar is generally lacking in a proper cleaning regiment. This was demonstrated by the cockroach dead in our bedroom all week, dirty glasses in our bathroom on arrival, our bottle of water in our room having a broken seal on arrival, dirty plates in hallways all day. And kitchen staff cleanliness consists only of a single sink with running water for the grill cook, no soap in sight. Scared to imagine behind the scenes. Also, many days we had to swap cutlery from our table as it had not been properly cleaned (and we saw many other guests doing the same). This may account for the two of us getting sick while never drinking the tap water and before our excursions from the resort. Lastly on cleanliness, the pools had scum films and often many cups floating in them, so we avoided the pools entirely.

Getting a coffee at breakfast or a juice was often a long wait, even though the restaurant was quiet. One evening a broken wine bottle sat shattered on the patio in pedestrian traffic for about 1 hour before being partially cleaned up/swept into the garden with guests having to walk through the broken glass. One morning the milk for coffee was so sour it was lumpy going into the the cup, the waitress hesitated for a moment, then kept pouring! We asked for a new cup of coffee, which never appeared as she seemed surprised we didn't want to "eat" that cup. Smiles from are very few and far between, triggered only by a tip, which we ended up giving when some service was at least there. And believe me we understand the importance of tipping in economies like Cuba, and always have cash on hand, but here we were so unimpressed we had a hard time finding good staff to tip. When we did, we kept to their areas.

We have travelled to other resorts and backpacked through Asia, travelled first class to staying in cockroach infested huts and typically have our expectations in line. Our biggest surprise was that the place generally felt dirty and there is no need for that. We accept run down, limited resources, limited menus etc. it is Cuba, but there is no excuses for the lack of cleaning (pools, bathrooms, dishes, etc.) and lack of service. Compared to many similar level family trips to Mexico (including other iberostar resorts), the Iberostar Laguna Azul does not compare.

Date of stay: July 2015
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
7  Thank Ben M
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Director D, Director General at Iberostar Origin Laguna Azul, responded to this reviewResponded July 13, 2015

"Dear clients,

On a behalf of the staff and management here at IBEROSTAR Laguna Azul we would like to thank you for your review. However, we feel sorry that our hotel was not up to your expectation. We assure you that improvement, in all our services are an ongoing process and our priority is guest satisfaction. We do hope, to have another opportunity in the near future, to make your holiday unforgettable. If you decide to give us another chance, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Kind Regards,
Online Reputation Manager"

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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