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Nancy
Gatineau, Canada

WATERED DRINKS!

2.0 of 5 bubblesReviewed Apr 30, 2024
Food: Of course, everyone says that you don't go to Cuba for the food, but you would expect some basics, right? I have visited this country a couple of times, but they are at an all time low for supplies. In a tropical country, I don't understand why you can't get basic spices for your food. What there is, is very bland and you can't spice it up unless you bring your own. Don't forget ketchup, mustard, etc...for some reason, they can't make it or buy it. Ever had a hamburger (if you're lucky enough to get one!) and have nothing to put on it except shredded cabbage?

Also, just bring US $ for tipping. Their Cuban pesos has devaluated enormously and the Cubans are collecting US$.

The Resort is lovely. One of the main pools was closed for renovations, but we had plenty of space to play in the rest of pool.

Warning! The drinks are literally watered down. We found that we were not getting good Mai Tai and Pina Coladas, so asked to have a straight shot of rum. Believe it when I say that it was water... not watered down rum, but straight water. This was at the pool bar, we had the attendant taste it and she confirmed that it was not rum. She then went inside to get another bottle of rum and this one was better. This was reported to the manager on duty and hopefully will not happen to future travellers.
Date of stay: April 2024
Trip type: Travelled with family
2.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
3.0 of 5 bubblesService
5.0 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 May 2, 2024
Dear guest,
On behalf of the whole team, we would like to thank you for choosing us and for encouraging us to improve the quality of our services. It will be an honor to welcome you again in the near future and to conquer you with a much better experience.
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 29, 2024

I’ve been to Cuba several times and know not to expect much, but this time it was below any acceptable level.
Snack bar has practically no food.
The buffet food is poor quality.
Only à la carte restaurants had more or less dissent food.
There is only low quality vines (1 red and 1 white) and Cuban beer and rum in bars and no sparkling drinks to make cocktails except local extremely sweet cola. Practically no non-alcoholic drinks.
Maintenance is very poor, lacking basic supplies in rooms and common areas.
The staff unresponsive, the problems not being fixed.
Definitely not a 4 star hotel.
Only the beach is good

Room tip: Not worth the money
Date of stay: April 2024
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank krybalko
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 30, 2024

Dear guest,
We are deeply saddened to hear that we did not succeed on conquering you with an experience up to your expectations. We will do our best to surprise you with positive changes on your next visit.
Kind Regards,
Quality manager
Iberostar Origin Laguna Azul

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed April 20, 2024

Just returned from a 2 week vacation on the 16th of April. This is my daughter Ava and I's 3rd 2 week trip since April 2023. We love this resort! We have made so many new friends since our stays here. The Entertainment team is above and beyond amazing! I am proud to call all of them our friends. Special thanks to Yandy for leading the Happy Birthday song to me in the theatre. You all fill my heart. Oliver, Mocha and the lady bartender (I apologize as I don't know your name) the best pool bartenders. Always polite and serve you with huge smiles. The lobby bartenders are as well so incredible. Patient and kind, even when the bar is super busy..and it gets busy! The snack bar is so much fun after the Disco closes. Big wide open space, people grab a bite to eat and often stay until the sun comes up. Luis, you are brilliant!!
I have nothing bad to say about the food. I always found something to eat. I know there are challenges with supply, but that is with all hotels in Cuba not just here. I have been to Cuba 10 times now. Doesn't bother me. I come for the beach and the people.
Our room 15317 was perfect! Everything was in great working order. Comfortable beds and loads of hot water. Our daily maid was Diyanna (sp?) Happy, friendly and took amazing care of us.
The theatre show Circus night is the best! The other shows have not changed but this one was new to us. Maybe time to change it up a bit? Even the dancers looked bored :-(
If I had anything negative to say, it would be that at the buffet the tables are not cleared and reset. Many times we could not find a clean table with cutlery and had to ask for it. Lots of people wandering around looking for the same. The lady by the door coming in to the buffet at breakfast and lunch is a doll. So kind. The food quality ebbs and flows. I get that. But like I said, I always had something to eat and the bread selection is yummy!
I always cry when I leave here. It is so special that our friends, Yandy, Charlie, Pedro, Lazaro, (missed Yalbert this vacation) come to the lobby to see us off. You really have no idea how special you have become to me. Hopefully we will see you all 'one more time'
So thank you to all the staff at the Laguna Azul for again making us feel like family. xx

Room tip: Bing bug spray, you will need it especially at night when it cools down and the breeze drops. Bring your own mug.
Date of stay: April 2024
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Denise 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 April 23, 2024

Dear Denise,
Thank you for giving us your vote of confidence. We are honored to be part of your Cuban family. It will be always a pleasure to have you back.
Kind Regards,
Quality Manager
Iberostar Origin Laguna Azul

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed April 19, 2024

Hotel has lots of food, it's very clean. The staff is amazing. The entertainment group is very energetic and interactive with all the guests. The buffet staff is very quick and friendly
We have been a few times and will definitely return again.

Date of stay: April 2024
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Thank Mark R
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 23, 2024

Dear Mark,
Thank you for trusting us this special time in Varadero. We will be delighted to have you back.
Kind Regards,
Quality Manager
Iberostar Origin Laguna Azul

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed April 17, 2024

We are finally leaving today and we couldn’t be happier. Even my children have been begging to leave before our week is over. We did not have a good experience and truly regret giving Cuba another chance. Never again will we be back.
1. First day at the buffet, my niece found a piece of metal from a scrubby in her pasta.
2. Second day, my son bit on a piece of glass from his pizza.
3. Our room smells like mold. Our sheets, pillows and towels are covered in stains.
4. Cockroaches in the bathroom. It’s very scary to wake up in the middle of the night and in the morning seeing cockroaches in my toiletries and the sink.
5. Shower head was broken and would not stay up. We had to hold it while showering.
6. Bathroom was covered in mold including the curtains. It’s disgusting and I felt very uncomfortable taking a shower.
7. The receptionist who checked us in did not have a care in the world and basically lied to my face. I asked her if I would be in the same building as our other family members, as we requested in advance, and she reassured me “yes yes yes”. Only to find out that we are in building 12 and they are in 16. That’s the opposite side of the resort. She also “forgot” to give us our wifi passwords.
The list can go on and on but I’m just done with this place.

Date of stay: April 2024
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Ambassador487043
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 18, 2024

Dear guest,
First of all we would like to thank you for choosing us and for taking the time to give us this valuable feedback, we are working on an improvement programme based on your remarks to ensure that our quality standards are met and to avoid a repetition of situations like the one that overshadowed this holiday in our hospitality.
We will do our best to be worthy of another opportunity to welcome you back.
Kind Regards,
Quality Manager
Iberostar Origin Laguna Azul

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed April 14, 2024 via 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.

Room tip: Get an adult Relax Zone add on when booking, bring mosquito repellent and basic condiments. May bring 1-2 rolls of toilet paper .
Date of stay: April 2024
Trip type: Travelled solo
Thank miroslavj517
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 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

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