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Miroslav J

I have had a very satisfactory stay at the resort and will return there.

4.0 of 5 bubblesReviewed Apr 14, 2024via mobile
Overall my stay was satisfactory. I was in Cuba , Varadero 20 years ago in a different resort. Some things have changed a bit since but some not and limitations in Cuba persist . I stayed for one week in the Relax Zone which has its benefits.Beach is top notch . Daily meals at main Buffet were OK for me and many other guests. Food selections were also OK in my view during my stay April 2 - April 9,2024. One large pool was under renovations. Main bar was occasionally busy but not always. I was happy with my room although safe in the room stop working on a third day and could not be repaired. Restaurants which had to be booked had basic menus and in my view nothing to be fight for. Bring your own salt and pepper , mustard and ketchup is you require these condiments. I had my salt and pepper shakers. Definitely bring good mosquito repellent and plenty off as you will require it and apply repeatedly after 6-7 pm when sitting in the lobby , terraces, restaurants , at shows or discotheque or when outside any time after 6 pm. You may need it in the rooms as well. Possibly on the beach as sand on the beach may have some pesky critters which can bite and cause reactions similar to mosquito bites.Bring your own sun screen and lots of it to apply frequently as sun is very strong during day. You may bring your own beach towel if you do not want hassle with rental towel with deposit required. Bring some string to string on your balcony to dry towels and swim trunks.
Bars had drinks which I like : variety of rums , vodka and tequila. Cuban cola only. I had small fridge in the room to keep the available purified water cool.You can take a bus to Varadero on your own . It cost 5 US $ and is valid whole day . It is hop on and hop off type of double decker bus which goes to Varadero and stops at major hotels outside Varadero and in main sites in Varadero. It’s route takes about 1:30 minutes to get around and bring you to your hotel at the street if you jut want just to take the tour around without exiting the bus. I did not exchange money for Cuban pesos.In Varadero in the markets you can use US or Can $ or Euros. When buying local stuff when Cuban pesos are quoted you decide how much you would like pay for the t-shirt for example and give the merchant your price in Canadian or American currency. Don’t be to stingy the Cuba is a poor country so are its people.
Date of stay: April 2024
Room Tip: Get an adult Relax Zone add on when booking, bring mosquito repellent and basic condiments. May...
Trip type: Travelled solo
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Bibiana Carbonell Castelo, Other at Iberostar Origin Laguna Azul, responded to this review
Responded Apr 18, 2024
Dear guest,
Thank you for trusting us your holidays and for telling other travelers about your experience. We ill do our best to surprise you with an even better stay in the near future.
Kind Regards,
Quality Manager
Iberostar Origin Laguna Azul
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 12, 2024

I am not sure how resorts keep their 5 star ratings and how long for but this resort needs to be down graded until it gets it repairs and receptionists in order.
The room I was allocated the first night smelt like sewage and I could not stay in it , if it wasnt for my family I would of had to sleep in the loby as they said they didn't have anything else until the following night.
There were many restaurants not open and when I arrived late before 11pm I couldn't get anything to eat but a cheese or pork sandwich.
The buffet was good fresh fruit , eggs and homemade bread everyday , salad wine and more.
The bar in lobby was very slow , but you got served faster if you were throwing tips at them, there was only one until a few days later they opened a small cart to serve more people as it was getting busier.
The beach was beautiful and well kept clean by the staff.
The pools were relatively clean and wonderful to swim in, they are renovating a large part of the main pool which when finished will truly be wonderful.
The staff at the restaurant and buffet were very kind and very helpful.
The front desk staff need to be retrained or replaced , not very knowledgeable or helpful , very rude and incompetent.
The WiFi is not worth even trying to log on we didnt mind but it would be nice to have incase of an emergency.
my recommendations would be paper posters for itinerary , more restaurants available for snacks throughout the day/night.
I will not return to this resort.

Room tip: Do not go to this resort until you see better reviews.
Date of stay: April 2024
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Connector61353055126
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 17, 2024

Dear guest,
Firstly, we would like to thank you for choosing us and for taking the time to provide this valuable feedback.
We would like to apologise for the shortcomings you have identified with our reception team. Our management will be looking closely at this area to ensure that everything is working as it should. We will also be strengthening our selection and training programmes. We would like to carry out a more in-depth analysis to prevent similar situations from happening again.
We hope you had a safe trip home.
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 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

Room tip: Bring a water tumbler
Date of stay: April 2024
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank sunny9876
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 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

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

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