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sunny9876
Riverview, Canada

A classic worth a visit

4.0 of 5 bubblesReviewed Apr 11, 2024
This beautiful Art Deco inspired hotel was obviously amazing at one time but unfortunately has deteriorated. With that said, there is effort with some maintenance being done. I heard 100 rooms had been renovated and wasn't sure if mine was one...it had been painted (badly) new hair dryer, maybe new lights and two new chairs on the private patio. A lot of lights were out in the halls and outside, but I did see the outside ones being worked on. The spa on the top level is not functional,hot tub, wet sauna,dry sauna, yoga space,water feature must have been amazing at one time. The gym up there is open with a view of the hotel and ocean, massages are available. Most elevators are not working, I was fine with this as the lobby connects to the third floor, buffet ground and I was on the second. Cigar shop, smoking lounge and a well stocked shop if you forgot anything. Four pools, three open with one being repaired wasn't a problem because the hotel wasn't at capacity, one whole section of 80 rooms plus 10 or more shut down maybe for renovations? Two hot tubs ( in addition to the spa) so no hot tubs were working. Plenty of washrooms that were clean throughout the property. Ice cream shack,snack shack not open,( ice cream available at the buffet when open) one large restaurant/bar not open. There is a VIP area, this should be open to all considering a lot of things are closed. The theatre is an impressive building and has a bar, my favourite act was a rock cover band. The a la carte restaurants were lovely with basic menus. My favourites were the Japanese and Cuban. The Italian menu was a disappointment because even with the limited food they can get I thought they could have done better ( my opinion) The buffet in the main building had a variety of foods typical for Cuba. There was fresh bread,fresh eggs, and fruit every day. The bar off the lobby offered great coffee and cappuccino. This area had a variety of musical entertainment nightly,
The beach was nice with staff helping to get chairs,clean up and a couple of scheduled activities. There is a bar on the beach and snacks nearby. Nice large beach towels can be borrowed with a deposit.
For the most part the staff was good, I found reception a bit of a challenge, maybe grown immune to requests, probably deal with most complaints but that is the job.
Would I visit this resort again? Maybe..I appreciate the character it has, great layout and I did enjoy my vacation. It was disappointing that most water features were not working so I can only imagine how spectacular it used to be. I just wish it had been maintained better because it is a classic.
If Laguna Azul management reads this please consider a daily weather forecast somewhere ( TV screen in lobby), printed activity schedules to hand out
Date of stay: April 2024
Room Tip: Bring a water tumbler
Trip type: Travelled with family
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
4.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
4.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
4.0 of 5 bubblesService
4.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
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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 Apr 12, 2024
Dear Sunny,
On behalf of the entire team, thank you for taking the time to share this detailed review of your experience. We will do everything in our power to turn your comments into improvements. Becoming worthy of your preference is our primary reason for continuing to grow.
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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Reviews (12,193)
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Reviewed April 11, 2024

Do not come.
Rooms are beyond poor condition.
I kid you not a least 150 mosquitos in the room. Look at pictures for the condition.
Had to sleep with sheets over head and still woke with bites

Mattress stained. Ceiling and wall cover is squashed bugs.

4 pools, 2 are adult only, 1 is drained
So only 1 pool kids can use

Food is very poor.
Wife cued 24 mins for a fried egg in the morning. Very limited selection

The al a carte resturants are only part open.

Hotel is in disrepair.
The lifts nearly work and can only be called from certain floors.
Showers round pool don't work

On a plus the WiFi is decent when can get on. The weather is also decent.

Have to pay a $15 deposit at reception on towels. The towel station runs out of towels very quickly so need to be early to get 1.

Room tip: Bring a mosquito net to sleep in rooms are full of them
Date of stay: April 2024
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Mark G
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 April 12, 2024

Dear Mark,
Thank you for choosing us and for encouraging us to improve with your valuable comments. We will do everything in our power to improve in order to conquer you with if you change your mind about visiting us again. We will not disappoint you.
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 April 8, 2024

Just got back from another fun trip to Cuba. Myself and three other lifelong friends stayed at Laguna Azul. The worst part of my trip was having to leave, knowing that I wouldn't be back for about a year. I was there with friends in February 2020 and had planned to return in 2021 but then things shut down. Please read my review from then.

So how did they survive COVID ? Better than expected. Like Bob Dylan once said. “ if you ain’t got nothing, you got nothing to lose “...

I’m pretty sure that COVID was a kick square in the maracas .
Are the resorts in need of renovation ? Sure, but it’s a catch 22. You need cash and capital investment. I’m pretty sure that there wasn’t a bail-out and debt forgiveness like everyone else got. Throw in the US embargo and it’s still going to take some time. I feel that their recovery rate is accelerated by their attitude and way of life. They know how to adapt and deal without until they have again. “ not right now, maybe tomorrow, maybe later “

Renovations are still progressing but on “ Cuba Time “ , which I defined in my 2020 review as close to “ some time” and not that far off “some other time” . Hence, “ not today, maybe tomorrow , maybe later “ .

So , how was iberostar Laguna Azul ? Great !

The beach was fantastic, as always. The main pool with the swim-up bar was open and rockin’ , as always . The second pool in the main area is still under renovation but being worked on at a pace so as not to create too much disruption. It’s hard to renovate and still function to full service. They will get there just not right away. “ not today , maybe tomorrow, maybe later “ . Both Relax Zone pools were open and clean. A nice retreat from the bustling main area when required . I highly recommend the upgrade, it wasn’t much extra.

The food was “Cuban food “ If you expected different , then you didn’t read my review from 2020. I’m not a picky eater, I always fine something good. If you need things a little spicier, then bring your own. We brought packets of ketchup, peanut butter and hot sauce.
The a la cartes we went to were great. The Japanese was really great. Hit that one twice. Getting reservations was tricky as everything seemed to be booked. Use your travel rep. About 5 minutes of many Spanish words and we were in. BTW – this is one thing that they keep on time, so don’t be late.
As mentioned, the Zona Relax upgrade was worth it. A private restaurant for breakfast and lunch. Not the immediacy of the buffet because they cook to order. ( why are you in a hurry ? ) .
One day they had no eggs, one day they had no potatoes. “ not today, maybe tomorrow, maybe later “

If you need Wifi to survive, then perhaps you should be looking at Silicon Valley as your vacation destination. Most resorts ( this one included ) have Wifi in the lobby... sometimes. If it is not working, “ maybe tomorrow , maybe later “

As mentioned in my last review, I recommend a trip into Varadero. We went on a Friday night (not important, every night rocks) to celebrate a friend's birthday . An old taxi into town , relaxing drinks in the El Rancho with a Cuban band in the background and a birthday serenade with my buddy playing the maracas . ( great video ! ) Then, a horse drawn buggy to the other end of town for pizza. (don’t expect Dominos . If you did, then you didn’t read my last review) . The guy and his young son riding shotgun waited for us and took us back to The Beatles Bar. What a fun time ! We had been there before ( see last review ) so we knew what to expect. Did not disappoint. DeJa'Vu, I think the same band was playing that I saw last time. Surprised (slightly) that they had no beer. Service was hit and miss, mostly miss. If you need alcohol , plan ahead and pack a traveler or three and bug spray. ( you are outdoors ) No cerveza ? “ not today, maybe tomorrow, maybe later “

Money ? It’s complicated. USD works everywhere. CDN works most places and sometimes at par. Pezos ? They really don’t like them but, it’s their currency so they have to take them. The exchange rate varies dramatically depending on where you get them. Banks, resorts and stores will not give you a good rate. The locals will give you better but be careful, it’s just a piece of paper, very easy to copy.

So, If the inner Karen in you needs everything to work perfect, this is not the place for you. Spend more money and go somewhere else.

Bottom line – Happiness is a choice. If you choose to find fault or stress over things not going exactly to plan or on your schedule, then you will succeed at having a bad vacation.
You need to get yourself on “ Cuba Time “ . Slow down and relax a bit . Things will get done. If not today, “ maybe tomorrow, maybe later “

I hope this helps. I’ll be back again next year, maybe sooner.

Date of stay: March 2024
  • Trip type: Travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank robertofromcanada
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 April 9, 2024

Dear Roberto.
We deeply appreciate the vote of confidence from special customers like you. It will always be an honor to welcome 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 April 7, 2024

I have been in this resort for one week. Was amazing. The beach is really good. The food is not the best but is ok. The a la carte restaurants are very good too. The in this resort is the entertainment team. Yandy, ak Candy Boy, Happy Happy, Joshua. The bar at the beach( Troadio, Amaury, Yaisel) the pool bar( Mocha, Oliver and Yanet). For sure, I gonna come back. Amazing resort.

Date of stay: April 2024
  • Trip type: Travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Ashley W
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 April 11, 2024

Dear Ashley,
Thank you for trusting us your holidays. Our Team will be honored 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 April 6, 2024 via mobile

We were excited for this trip at first our room was really not a welcoming we had 5 rooms in total
1st room had funny moldy smells and ants were all over the washroom
2nd room was OK but the toilet seat was disgusting looking my nephews refuses to use it
3rd room was also OK but there was no cold water coming out of the faucet or shower plus ants
4th room had ants and the shower was broken it comes out past the shower curtain
5th room had ants all over the room and the toilet was leaking
We were all able to switch rooms the next day, though the pillow was smelly we all just had to put towels over it.
Though we all did notice that there were no door hanger signs on each every room, you have to specifically request for one or they will go into your room without permission and clean (we noticed this must be the tipping tactic). Someone did steal our door hanger (and others will take them) so we had to ask for another one and we decided to write our room number on the door hanger.
The pool towel you have to put a deposit, which is fine but the time of the pool towel section is upsetting either they will open on time but no towels available or open late with towels available to exchange. Most of the time towels are not available to exchange so you have to keep on going back.
Food at the buffet is a hit and miss, snack bar as well because for burgers/hot dogs they always have no bread available but they will give you options just to eat the meat lol. The grill lunch at the snack bar area is very delicious you just have to line up one hour before they start grilling because they do not have enough for everyone.
A La Carte was delicious, we had international, cuban and Japanese, though we also did not notice their a la carte staff are short staffed too.
We also did notice that the resort is short staff. They take long to serve drinks and/or take your order for drinks.

It is what is. We just made our trip to be a positive one and most of the workers we’ve met were all nice.

Date of stay: March 2024
Trip type: Travelled with family
1  Thank Wayne C
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 April 11, 2024

Dear Wayne,
Thank you for telling other travelers about your experience. We will do our best to conquer with positive changes on your next visit.
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 April 6, 2024 via mobile

This was my first trip to Cuba. I really enjoyed the resort. A little disappointed that not all pools and hot tubs were functional due to maintenance. Sunwing did notify me appropriately about this matter beforehand. The beach is so beautiful and clean. I think it could be on the smaller side compared to other beaches at other resorts or in other islands but it was good enough for me. There is a bar nearby where you can get drinks. The beach party at night was so much fun! As you may of heard if you are into an abundance of food and variety- Cuba may not be the place for you. Take into consideration there might be food shortages due to economic crisis but I did not notice any on my visit. There were always eggs, food at buffet, coffee etc. I really enjoyed the ala carte restaurant. The snack bar ( by poolside) I feel could be improved in that I felt concerned with the food safety issues there. I only had a sandwich there one time and never went back. Mind you everyone seemed to like the grill and the barbecued food. The room was suitable for me. Room was very clean & functional but probably needs updating now. Housekeeping was always on point and always around doing their job. You may want to bring your own washcloth and beach towel. Maybe even bring a plastic bag so if you eat snacks in the room ( or other items you want to dispose of ) you can throw it in the bag. I did not notice any plastic bags in the garbage bins so this is why I express this. I enjoyed the entertainment , the front desk staff work very hard. Overall I enjoyed every minute of it!!! I cannot wait to return next year!!! Iberostar thank you:)

Room tip: Bring US cash as employees always seem to appreciate tips. Bring wash cloth, snacks, wipes, hand sanitizer.
Date of stay: April 2024
Trip type: Travelled with family
Thank liss1355
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 April 11, 2024

Dear Liss,
Thank you for choosing us for these holidays in Cuba. We will be delighted to have you back next year.
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
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