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Reviewed July 10, 2015

I stayed at this resort for the second half of a Havana/Varadero split vacation. The resort is run-down—there is no other way to say it, it's a dump. It's dirty, worn out, the staff are lacklustre and it needs an overhaul in management, staff training, customer service and standards of cleanliness. We checked in early (due to an early transfer) and our room was not ready—which is totally acceptable. However, what is not acceptable is to refuse to give us a towel to use the pool or beach for the four hour wait for our room. Only after mentioning it was poor customer service did the front desk lady call the towel hut and very rudely complain about me to the man giving out the towels and roll her eyes and shoot me dirty looks. Great first impression. That said, the towel dude was a sweetie and Iberostar should be ashamed of themselves for NEVER having clean beach/pool towels available to guests. We used the same towels for 4 days as did every other guest who was turned away repeatedly. I'm pretty sure the initial towel we got was dirty as well—it smelled musty and like a dirty towel. Disgusting. The rooms were run-down and bordering dirty. I found a silverfish in my bed on the second night, the sheets were never cleaned and felt sandy and there was a god awful plastic sheet over the mattress which basically made it impossible not to sweat to death even in the AC. On the last day I got the nerve up to move it and, of course, there were signs of bed bugs. Blood stains and trails. I was freaked out the rest of the stay. The shower was old and rusted and had to be used as a hand held since it was broken, the towels were never really clean and the toilet wouldn't flush until the third try—every time. The only plus was that our AC worked and we had a little balcony. We also basically bribed the maid with pesos to keep the mini-bar stocked—which was expected— and she was a good sport about it, leaving us funny swan sculptures. The hallways were dirty—the same dishes and beer cups/cans sat in the stairwells of building 11 for days. I'm actually surprised I didn't see any roaches due to this. Lots of snacks for the lizards though. The pools were nice, but again, lacked cleanliness. We clued in after day one that the bar pool was gross—the tiles were slimey and I burned my bottom on what looked to be chlorine or bleach pellets on one of the seats in the pool. I also don't think it's appropriate to have small children allowed in the pool where the bar is and where adults are swearing, smoking and generally hammered. We moved to a pool behind our building next to the snack bar and that seemed to be the cleanest spot in the resort. The pool was clean, there was a nice man getting people chair cushions, the snack bar folks were friendly and the bathrooms were clean. Overall, the rest of the resort was filthy—no paper towels, often no toilet paper, no soap in any public washrooms—including the lobby washrooms. No ac in public places other than the a la carte restos (which it was questionable it was on) and the lobby store. The buffet food was ok—better than I had expected—but there were flies everywhere, birds landing in the food and cutlery, plates, etc. were often hard to find or not even there. I was careful what I ate since I've been on resorts before, but it was alright. The a la carte restaurants were mediocre. The Japanese was ok, but a lot of frozen veggies which was a disappointment. The Romantico was looking up since the appetizer was great, but my lamb main was vomit worthy. It tasted like they cooked frozen veggies and dumped a can of Chunky Beef Stew in a bowl. It went right through me. Gross is an understatement. My friend ate contaminated chicken at the beach grill—the same tongs used for everything—and had horrible food poisoning the last two days so I spent half of my time on the resort alone. Fun times. I am just overall so unimpressed with the staff, the customer service, the lack of friendliness, cleanliness and that this resort has the nerve to rate itself as a five star. Even more humourous are the signs all over the front desk to rate them on Trip Advisor while offering piss poor service. The positives I took away from this were the beach—which was amazing (no thanks to Iberostar), the staff at the beach bar, the pizza lady (who seemed like the only person halfway conscious of food safety), and the bus driver taking us the hell outta there. I totally get that the Cuban economy is in rough shape—I get that supplies may be limited, etc., but it is no excuse for dirty bathrooms, building, towels, sheets, etc. I understand not being able to update as well, but at least make an effort. I gladly tipped, sometimes when the service wasn't even warranted. Maybe that's the problem. This resort and it's staff have become complacent. I'll never return and will tell anyone who will listen not to waste their money in this dump.

Room tip: Don't go.
Date of stay: July 2015
  • Trip type: Travelled with friends
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
13  Thank annelisedekker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Director D, Director General at Iberostar 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"

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed July 10, 2015

Great room with free mini bar. Lots of places to get away from the crowd if you want to. All inclusive food was excellent, especially the a-la-carte restaurants! Staff were very attentive and pleasant. Good quality drinks (beefeater Gin and Schwepps tonic). Entertainment was brilliant. Highly recommended.

Date of stay: June 2015
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with Iberostar
3  Thank paulcarleg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Director D, Director General at Iberostar 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 9, 2015

First impression was very good. Drinks on arrival, smooth check in and very friendly staff. When we got to the room it was outdated and not very clean. The buffet restaurant was disappointing in terms of quality. Lots of quantity and staff running around helping guests. We went to Mexico a couple of years ago and this resort was a bit a disappointment. The lobby was nice and the lobby bar was actually quite good. The beach was outstanding and beautiful. The pool area was not bad and the evening entertainment was good. Not sure if we would go again here because of the food.

Date of stay: July 2015
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
2  Thank ManjaitD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Director D, Director General at Iberostar 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. Priority in our hotel is the improvement of all our services and continuous work to obtain our guest satisfaction. We have taken all your comments and suggestion into consideration and we will do the best we can to improve all the mentioned points. However, if you decide, to visit us again in the near future, please do note hesitate to contact us.

Wish you all the best

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 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
Director D, Director General at Iberostar 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
Director D, Director General at Iberostar 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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