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Kegs73
Callander, Canada

DO NOT GO HERE… Not a 5 Star – More like a Zero Star.

1.0 of 5 bubblesReviewed Mar 14, 2024
DON'T DO IT!
This was just a terrible experience from start to finish. I travelled with an elderly person who had limitations of walking – she had requested a mobility room and they stuck us at the farthest room at this resort which required way more walking then necessary.
This was her 13th visit to this hotel and she was in tears at the conditions and the deterioration of this property. Not to mention that you would think they would have been pleased to have a repeat customer keep returning… they couldn’t have cared less. We Will NEVER return.

There is only 1 elevator that works out of 4 – and sometimes that would stop working for a bit of time here and there – so no option to get up to the rest of the resort like the main lobby and lobby bar which is located on the 3rd floor without doing the stairs – which a person with mobility issues would have so much difficulty doing. She was not the only one at this resort with limitations and aging conditions.

The room conditions were horrible. We were even “upgraded” to a suite after complaining, but it was far worse than our original room. (SEE PICTURES ATTACHED) The bathroom door was falling off – would not even close for privacy – the shower head had more water coming out of a crack in the corner than what came out of the actual shower head itself. We only received fresh towels twice the entire week we were there.

The food was just NOT GOOD…. Only had fresh eggs 2 days out of 7. The rest of the time you could tell it was an liquid egg substitute. The cooked vegetables had that freezer taste to them and very few options for nonmeat eaters aside from cereal, bread, cheese, rice and pasta, or pizza.
Let’s just say we lived off carbs the entire week – couldn’t wait to come home and eat salads or fresh vegetables. The only saving grace for eating any actual food came from the a-la-carte restaurants but they are very hard to get into. Some travelers we talked to couldn’t even get into a single one – and they were there for a week, which is I didn't understand because the a-la-carte restaurants were never full - at least half of the restaurant was vacant at all times.

The 24 hours nighttime snack grill was awful. Only 3 choices total – same things every day – Ham & Cheese, Hotdog, or Burger and that wasn’t guaranteed. You never knew what was available that night until you got there.

The drinks were unpredictable. You never got the same thing twice depending on which bar you went to. Some days they had certain things and the next day they didn’t. You might get lucky and find a pina colada if you could find the bar that had the blender that day – but again – no guarantees. Once upon a time you used to have your mini fridge with beer and soda stocked but this is no more at this resort.

The main pool was closed for repair and none of the hot tubs were in working order. There was a lack of shady spots for those who did not want to be in the direct sun all day long. The pool entertainment was lacking as was music to keep the day vibrant and fun.

Now let discuss the money situation. Cubans do not want their own money any longer, so do not bother to bring Cuban pesos and DO NOT buy any from the large amount of Cuban’s wanting to sell you their pesos either….Because when you try to use them to purchase anything – you are told NO, they do not accept them anymore. They want US, Canadian or Euro’s, so they essentially want to sell you what you cannot use. (seems dishonest and a scam to the travelers)
Even the airport bus shuttle workers tried to sell us some on our way to the resort....

The entire resort, bus system, shopping markets, restaurants, and airport etc... only operates on these currencies so do not waist your money buying pesos…. they are useless.

I will give props to the beach – that is still beautiful – but the bad at this resort far out ways a pleasant beach.

Do yourself a favor and find somewhere else to go – you will be disappointed, and you will not get your moneys worth here. There are many other resorts to choose from.
Date of stay: February 2024
Trip type: Travelled with family
1.0 of 5 bubblesValue
3.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
1.0 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 15, 2024
Dear Susan,
We regret that we did not meet your expectations on this occasion and appreciate your detailed feedback.
We are systematically and with dedication working to ensure that our quality standards are in place. We assure you that we will seek lasting solutions to your observations and apologize for any inconvenience.
We hope you have a safe journey home.
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 10, 2024

We have been here several times, and understand food supplies are an issue. We stayed for 11 days but will not be returning anytime soon. I can overlook the issues with food and beverage, our challenge was the Russian guests. They are rude, ignorant and confrontational. Jumping in front of people in the food line and at the bar. Several times there was almost fights breaking out because of there behavour.
I am on vacation and do not need the hassle. I talked to several staff and they agree it is a problem but do not do anything about it.
Until the resort controls that behavior we will not return.

Room tip: Cugar bar is never busy, great place to get a drink and avoid lineups.
Date of stay: March 2024
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
2  Thank Ed 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.
Bibiana Carbonell Castelo, Other at Iberostar Origin Laguna Azul, responded to this reviewResponded March 14, 2024

Dear Ed,
On behalf of the entire team, we thank you for choosing us once again to enjoy your vacations in Cuba.
We are saddened to read that some aspects beyond our services and very difficult to control overshadowed your stay. However we will do everything in our power to ensure that our hotel is pleasant and safe for all guests that visit us.
We will be honored to have you back 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 March 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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Thank lyndsey h
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 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

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

Report response as inappropriate
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

Report response as inappropriate
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
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