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lyndsey h

Amazing place, amazing people

5.0 of 5 bubblesReviewed Mar 9, 2024
I went on a girls trip for March break here . It was a beautiful vacation. The beach was beautiful and the people were even better . Lots to do between pools, beaches and the amazing entertainment staff you will never be bored . Already planning my next vacation back.
Date of stay: March 2024
Trip type: Travelled with friends
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
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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.
Bibiana Carbonell Castelo, Other at Iberostar Origin Laguna Azul, responded to this review
Responded Mar 11, 2024
Dear Lyndsey,
Thank you for trusting us your holidays. We will be honored to welcome you back in the not too distant future.
Kind Regards,
Quality Manager
Iberostar Laguna Azul
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
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Reviewed March 2, 2024

I am someone who doesn't fuss much about travel and tends to take things easy. This wasn't my first rodeo there; in fact, it was my second time returning to Laguna Azul. Sure, there were some hiccups last year, but nothing I couldn't handle. However, this time around, the experience took a nosedive into the realm of the unimaginably awful.
Let's start with the food – or should I say, the stomach-churning nightmare it turned out to be. Even someone like me, with a stomach seemingly made of iron, wasn't spared from the horrors of food poisoning. And it wasn't just the taste; actual cockroaches were making themselves at home in some of the dishes, particularly the sweets. It's not every day you find yourself fighting for your meal against insects, let alone having to inspect your food for unwanted guests.
As if that wasn't enough, there was the issue of a malfunctioning wastewater pipe that was leaking wastewater right in the middle of the resort. Picture this: every time we ventured to our room or made our way to the pools or the beach, we had to navigate through a minefield of used toilet paper and, yes, actual human waste. Needless to say, the thought of taking a dip in the main pool, which was perilously close to this sewage leakage, was quickly dismissed.
Then there was the matter of drinks – or rather, the lack thereof. Rum shortages in Cuba? really? Not having any at all on some days was beyond comprehension. And forget about a classic mojito even when rum was available because there was no mint around! Worse, no coke!! so not even a rum and coke. Even when rum was available, the staff seemed clueless about what to do with it, simply adding a bit of rum and some awful-tasting artificially flavoured liquid with water and calling it a cocktail. But that was not the only problem, even those drinks were often so diluted to the point where they might as well have been serving flavoured water. They were told not to pour more than one-third of a shot of alcohol in each drink. Even Red wines were diluted. All the stored red wines were already open and when drinking them it was as if you were drinking red water! Many people were buying a bottle of rum and a bottle of code or wine from the resort stores to drink something semi-decent.
Speaking of the staff, their demeanour this year left much to be desired. Gone was the warmth and attentiveness I had come to expect; instead, there was a palpable sense of indifference. It wasn't just me noticing this shift – many of the other guests I spoke to shared similar sentiments. I am a very good tipper and even extra tips didn't help. I literally heard from another guy that he stopped tipping because it appeared it doesn't make any changes. It's hard to say what exactly was behind this change, but it certainly put a damper on the overall atmosphere of the resort. Even room service was off. For instance, they wouldn't change the towels if they seemed dry (we were seeing the same dirty towel with a certain mark on it being hung again and again!). They wouldn't even replace the filtered water bottles if they were half empty!
And speaking of atmosphere, it was sorely lacking in the entertainment department. No music on the beach, no nighttime festivities on the beach – just a pervasive sense of coldness that seemed to seep into every corner of the resort.

In conclusion, would I recommend this resort to anyone? No, absolutely not. Save yourself the trouble and seek out greener pastures elsewhere.

Room tip: Just avoid and save yourself from a vey negative experience and food poisoning
Date of stay: February 2024
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
6  Thank Mehdi S
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.
Bibiana Carbonell Castelo, Other at Iberostar Origin Laguna Azul, responded to this reviewResponded March 4, 2024

Dear guest,
We are extremely sad to confirm that we did nor succeed to conquer you with the experience you were expecting.
The hotel Management and the responsible departments are working on your remarks in order to address them. We offer you ours mist sincere apologize for any possible inconvenience.
We hope you will give us the opportunity to win you over with our dedication to service in the near future.
Kind Regards,
Quality Manager
Iberostar Laguna Azul

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed February 29, 2024

NEVER, EVER, GOING BACK! AVOID.
Booked an upgraded room ZONA RELAX, arrived late evening, doors do not lock properly in room, adjoining room door had no lock. Paid for ocean view, NO ocean view, 1 towel, nothing in mini-bar, noisy fridge.
NEXT DAY COMPLAINED, GIVEN ROOM WITH SMALL TWIN BED.
NONE OF THE Elevators work, 1 pool has no water, no water in hot tub/Jacuzzi.
Reception desk has sign WELCOME GIFT FOR ZONA RELAX, THIS IS FALSE!! THERE IS NO WELCOME GIFT, THERE IS NO WELCOME COCKTAIL.
SOME MORNINGS, NO COFFEE.
JUICES ARE TOTALLY Watered down.
Noisy excavation trucks on hotel beach.
Towels not changed.
DAY TRIP TO HAVANA WAS OVERPRICED AND VERY DISAPPOINTING. TOUR GUIDE NOT INTERESTED IN SPEAKING WITH GUESTS. SHE (REGLA) TREATED GUESTS LIKE HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS.
OFTEN NO SODA, NO COFFEE.. MISSING INGREDIENTS FOR DRINKS.
WILL NOT GO BACK AND DO NOT RECOMMEND!!

CUSTOMER SERVICE? DID NOT CARE.

Room tip: I DO NOT RECOMMEND!
Date of stay: February 2024
  • Trip type: Travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
4  Thank A-Montreal-Traveler
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.
Bibiana Carbonell Castelo, Other at Iberostar Origin Laguna Azul, responded to this reviewResponded March 1, 2024

Dear guest,
On behalf of the entire Team we thank you for taking the time to share this review. We have immediately communicated it to the responsible departments and we apologize for any possible inconvenience.
We hope you had a good trip back home and that you will give us the opportunity to conquer you with a much better experience in the near future.
Kind Regards,
Quality Manager
Iberostar Laguna Azul

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed February 28, 2024

My husband, our adult son and I were at the Iberostar Laguna Azul, Veradero, Cuba, from Jan 23 to 30th, 2024. Overall, we all had a great time! There were positives and negatives re our family vacation there, as described below:
**Lots of Positives, see below:
There were several pools to choose from. My husband, especially, enjoyed the more private pool right near our building (as opposed to the main pool), as he could swim in it to his heart's content and it was a very relaxing and quiet environment for him & me, few people lounging there if compared to the main pool where most families with little kids spent time.
The other plus was that at this pool, there was a snack bar (which also served as A la Carte Cuban Rest) where we could enjoy full meals and excellent coffee or drinks during the day (until 3 or 4 PM), at times when the main buffet bldg was not open, although its hours of operation often coincided with the main buffet hall much of the time, so we always had an additional choice (of location) re meals. This more "private" snack bar was an additional one to the main snack bar open 24/7, which was closer to the beach. The food (& drinks/coffee) served at either location was/were excellent. We sort of found out within the 1st couple of days that we were among a more select group of tourists because we belonged to the Sunrise "Relax" elite services group (??), which explained why we were located in a more isolated select building with close access to a "private" pool & snack bar. So the "higher up" staff appeared to be especially attentive to our needs, as opposed to the more "common" tourist(?)... (Not sure)
The gorgeous beach & view was within yards of our building & we often took walks on the beach. My husband & I swam in the ocean a few times, while our son went in only once. We did get a lot of sand flea bites though, but we knew beforehand about them, and within 10 days they were nearly totally gone. Mine did itch quite a bit this time, so will have to bring calamine lotion next trip. (That's our personal tip to the tourists going to Cuba for the 1st time. We heard from others that if you take vitamin B complex supplements for a few weeks prior to your trip to Cuba, it will help avoid any sand flea bites (you can't see them, they are almost microscopic in size...)
*More positives: We met lots of people from around the world, most of whom were great/fun people to talk to. It was really good for our son who is quite the social butterfly and enjoys making friends over a drink, or coffee, and smoking with them. He really liked the fact that he could smoke in the main lounge area which was close to the main bar, where excellent coffee and both alcoholic or non alcoholic drinks were served. **Note that no Pina Coladas or Mojitos were served during our week at that Iberostar, due to some shortages, I guess, of the required mixes?... However, rum & coke, for ex, was available towards the end of our stay. To compensate, the Cuban bartenders had their own personalized cocktail drinks to offer, with mango or guava juice, for example (excellent cocktails, BTW).
All the A la Carte restaurants were excellent, the Japanese one being the most popular. The Cuban rest was the least enjoyed as the food resembled the main buffet food a bit too much (so not novel)... There was some lovely entertainment most nights in the main lounge area, and once, they had a super band that played outdoors on the main terrace, connected to the lounge and main bar areas. (*Note that during our entire stay, we were not aware of, or had not been informed of, any major entertainment (for example, a concert or Cubans dancing/singing, aquatic gymnastics etc) happening in the resort's large pavilionstage area, as we are accustomed to enjoy in Cuba (in the past). Also, we did go dancing in the resort night club/disco, but there were very few patrons there. There was great music, though, & we enjoyed our dancing on the nearly empty dance floor. The disco, indoors, appeared nearly empty every time we went to check it out, as most of the patrons, who appeared to be young local people, gathered outside the disco to talk & drink. We were told by the front desk staff that tourists wanting to enjoy a more exciting disco (ie less dead) usually get a cab to go dancing at a more popular & active night club in town. They (staff) seemed to encourage disco dancing outside of the resort...
Re the rooms, they were large with quaint antique furniture including desk and sofa & small table, plus balcony (we could see the ocean a bit from a distance) overlooking beautiful palm trees. The floors, as well as the suite's bathroom tiles/toilet/tub appeared immaculately clean. The maid was also very warm & pleasant with us. There were negatives, though, shared below...
Re staff at all levels: 100%, in terms of warmth, friendliness & professionalism. Any issue or inconvenience we experienced, or complained about, was dealt with 100% professionalism.
**There were some negatives, however, see below:
During our stay, there were some food shortages: eg eggs. The egg dishes (eg scrambled eggs at breakfast) were presented only a couple of times at the main buffet, and the egg dishes offered, were likely made with egg substitute...? We had never experienced such extreme egg shortages in any of our previous trips to Cuba...
However, there was lots of wonderful coffee everywhere, no shortages there! Apparently, at the Memories Resort, we found out from tourists staying there that they had experienced major coffee shortages during the week we stayed at the Iberostar.
Overall, the food was 'ok', but at times, the quality was maybe 1/2 a notch less than where we were last (Sol Palmeras) in April 2023. I put on nearly 5 pounds, though, so we were well fed during our entire trip, as one could always find really savory dishes, or more palatable dishes, let's say, to chomp on at the main buffet, or at the snack bars. One just had to be more selective (ie 'choosy') re any dish, especially ones made with rice, or cut up wieners,for example...
...No shortage of food in general...! There was fresh salad cut up and tomatoes presented, most or a lot of the time, lots of eggplant dishes as well. There was some seafood offered as well: clams, mussels, calamari, no shrimp or lobster, though!
...Always lots of fresh fruit (papaya, guava mainly) available, although the watermelon was often not ripe, likely due to the fact it wasn't the best season for watermelon(?). Last April, all watermelon offered at the buffet(s) was perfectly ripe. The Main Buffet also had a short, but appetizing, menu of flavoured ice creams, available at most meals.
There was a fairly good selection of cheeses, including goat cheese (no Brie or Roquefort). There was a fairly good selection of Deli meats as well, with excellent salami sliced up, for ex. No issues re salt and pepper: salt/pepper shakers were on every table. Lots of sugar substitute pouches (Cuban version of Splenda(?)) available upon request for sucar (sugar). Re syrups, jams, vinaigrettes, those were not as easy to get a hold of and they were presented more as "chutneys". Butter had to be searched and snatched right away, as the buffet was often out of butter. Even the A la Carte Restaurants were low on butter and offered only oil as a substitute.
Re Pastries: some were scrumptious, but one had to taste several pastries to find them, and overall, they were not quite as fancy or as delicious as what we had tasted at the Sol Palmeras last April. The best we found were the individually wrapped (so-called almond) wafer bites filled with a paste of some sort, as well as the chocolate cocoa crisps...
Re the rooms, a few issues: a nail was sticking out of the bathroom door which needed fixing anyway as it did not close completely (in our bedroom), the room phone did not work, all the walls could have done with a thorough cleaning and a coat of fresh paint. The bathroom plumbing worked fine, thankfully, & no water shortage! However, the tub was a tad slow to drain, but those were all minor issues. For example, we did not need to use the room phone and we didn't care if the bathroom door in our bedroom did not shut perfectly. A staff person/worker did come to remove the potentially dangerous nail sticking out. No issues with the safe either. However, major issue with the key cards not working for either our suite or that of our son's! It took several hours out of our 1st vacation day to finally get functional key cards, which included a technician who came to check the batteries of both entrance doors. The personnel at the front desk were very patient and gracious with us during the entire process, though.
Other than that, we were quite content with our accomodations overall. Any other issue we may have encountered at the hotel during our stay was dealt with in a courteous & professional manner.
Again, we really enjoyed our stay at the Iberostar Laguna Azul.

Room tip: When you go to Cuba, best to have low expectations and you will be pleasantly surprised. Remember that the country, overall, is currently poor...
Date of stay: January 2024
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Thank Syl K
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.
Bibiana Carbonell Castelo, Other at Iberostar Origin Laguna Azul, responded to this reviewResponded March 1, 2024

Dear guest,
Thank you for trusting in our professionalism and dedication. Our Staff will be delighted to have you back.
Kind Regards,
Quality Manager
Iberostar Laguna Azul

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed February 28, 2024

I spent three weeks at this resort - and it was a great time!
It was my 4th trip to Cuba, so food and other things were not a surprise. Always found something tasty and never felt hungry.
Room was very comfortable, clean and with all necessary towels.
But the best treasure of this hotel are people working there!
As we know the first impression depends on the reception! And it was unforgettable.
All the staff at the reception - friendly and helpful.
I was checked in by Yoana Mursuli and Pedro Javier - very young, professional and and helpful people with a lot of patience and good sense of humour(which always helps)!
I got all the answers to my questions and was pleased with their politeness!
I am sure that the Management of Iberostar Laguna Azul must be proud of their great workers Yoana and Pedro!
There were many waitresses at the buffet, almost every day there were new ones.
More often I communicated with the young lady Mauda (sorry if I misspelled the name), she has great manners, very professional and very young at the same time!
Cook Nelson also left a great impression - hard working, professional and very polite.
I will try to add a few photos of these young people who deserve good words and, I believe, bonuses.

Date of stay: February 2024
  • Trip type: Travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Thank VasilyToropov
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.
Bibiana Carbonell Castelo, Other at Iberostar Origin Laguna Azul, responded to this reviewResponded March 14, 2024

Dear Vasily,
We are honored to receive this fantastic feedback. We cannot wait to have you back.
Kind Regards,
Quality Manager
Iberostar Laguna Azul

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed February 27, 2024

We just came back from there for the 5th time. It was a very beautiful hotel in the past even last year but this year it was a horrible disappointment. Our Elite room was any thing but. Our room was to have 4 doors but 1 was missing and 2 were broken. Our shower head fell off the wall and the toilet didn't flush good. The stairwell light was either burnt out or broke. All the lights by the sidewalks were also broken. We asked for a 2nd floor room due to my wife's bad knee but were put on the 3rd floor. We had a ocean view room but could not see the ocean unless we stood up and leaned over the railing.(a rip off) The grass wasn't cut by our "Elite room" and looked like a hay field. Our pool was ice cold. The main pool, half was closed up and empty. So the other pool and deck was so crowded it looked like a ant hill, all on top of each other with not enough chairs to go around. The beach was half closed with a payloader and excavator working on it. The first 3 days they had no coffee or pop or drink mixes in the restaurants or bars. Also other days they ran out of eggs for breakfast. If they didn't run out you had to wait in line like your local Cubans. A long line with only one person frying them up probably hoping you wouldn't wait and leave. the scrambled eggs and ommelets were made from powdered eggs and didn't taste good. Also there wasn't much meat. They even ran out of hotdogs for lunch. Also 3 days before we left they had the sewers blow out. There was a regular river of raw sewage going across the main sidewalk and flowing in front of a lot of rooms. They didn't even stop or fix it. Also all the elevators are broken so get ready to climb lots of stairs to the 3rd to 5th floors. The only good part of this resort are the workers who work hard with what little is given them to work with. The bar tenders or waitresses are very friendly and try to please you with their hard work and service. A special thank you to Dayslet and the other waitress by the lobby bar They were great.. The best restaurant is by the quiet pool for lunch. I feel sorry for the workers what they have to put up with. This place is getting to be a dump and I probably won't come back again. I doubt I will go to another Iberostar if they can't look better after this resort with their management.

Date of stay: February 2024
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
2  Thank Dick K
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.
Bibiana Carbonell Castelo, Other at Iberostar Origin Laguna Azul, responded to this reviewResponded March 1, 2024

Dear Dick,
We are deeply sorry that we have not been able to impress you with the experience you were expecting on this occasion.
As part of the Iberostar family, your feedback is the most valuable reference for our daily work. We will make all the improvements to ensure that similar situations do not recur.
We hope that you will give us another opportunity to surprise you with positive changes. Keeping your preferences is very important for the whole Team.
Kind Regards,
Quality Manager
Iberostar Laguna Azul

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