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“Great Trip!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Islazul Oasis Hotel

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Islazul Oasis Hotel
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3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Via Blanca, km 130, Varadero, Cuba   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #57 of 59 Hotels in Varadero
Pierceland
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
“Great Trip!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 4, 2013

My sister and I stayed at the Oasis from March 16-24 this year. We chose the hotel and Cuba because it was the cheapest all-inclusive that we could go on in the month of March and I wanted to get a tan before graduation! We were a little afraid of what we might find because of all of the negative reviews that we had read on here but we weren't looking for anything fancy- all we needed was sun and beach (and a door that locked) and we got everything we asked for and more.

I really liked this resort. It was small in comparison to other places I have stayed and I found that everyone we met when we were here was happy with the hotel too. Our hot water worked just fine and our room was clean and void of any mushrooms growing on the walls like other reviewers have posted. Nothing was stolen and we never worried about any of our stuff getting taken whether in our room or on the beach. Anytime we forgot our bags, flippers, or flip flops on the beach they were always there when we got back. The television in our room worked but was a little fuzzy which wasn't a problem for us because we were rarely in our room and weren't on vacation to watch tv anyway! The beds are older so the mattresses aren't up to memory-foam standards by any means but I found that I slept extremely well and without interruption. The pillows on the beds are very thin which I didn't have a problem with at all, I thought they were very comfortable but my sister found them to be a little too skinny for her liking. However, we both slept well and there was no noise or anything that woke us up in the night. The light in the bathroom, on the balcony, and in the room entrance worked but the main room light was burnt out so the room was a tad darker than we would have normally had it when we were getting ready for bed but it really wasn't an issue.

We always felt safe here, whether we were on the beach, in our rooms, or shopping in Varadero. I'm 18 and my sister is 24 and we never had any issues or felt uncomfortable
in any situations which we were very grateful for. The people working at the resort are the GREATEST. I have never met so many genuinely nice people. The ladies working at the front desk were polite and spoke English very well, they always seemed happy and acted professionally when dealing with the guests. We had heard that some of the hotel workers work 24 hour shifts, and expected some rightfully cranky workers but didn't find any. We met workers who worked the 24 hour shift- they work 24 on, 24 off, 24 on, 24 off, with no holidays, just 24 hours a day every second day. Others work 12 hour shifts every second day. There are two lifeguards and each work 12 hour days every second day. Lifeguards make 12-15 CUC per month (pretty much equivalent to $12 CAD) and other jobs in the hotel pay similar.

We went into Varadero twice during our stay and it costed 10 CUC to get in both times and 7 CUC to get back. Some people walked into town but it is quite far (takes about an hour to walk) and you can't get there by walking along the beach because the canal blocks your way so you have to walk down the sidewalk until you cross the canal over the bridge.

I am a picky eater but I actually really enjoyed the food here. I hate seafood but I always ate a ton of the fresh fish that they made for lunch and supper. The ice cream tasted a lot different than it does in Canada and I ate SO much of it- delicious. We brought plastic drinking cups with plastic screw on lids that probably costed us two bucks each. We always had them full of water and brought them with us to stay hydrated when we went into town. The locals were crazy about our flowery plastic cups and everyone wanted to trade us something for them- they were in hot demand! We didn't have many alcoholic drinks during the week but when we did we found that they were NOT cheap with the alcohol. After our first drink we asked that they give us quite a bit less in our drinks. They were delicious! The bar is open 10-10 but if you want a drink after they close you can still buy them.. (70 cents for a "tropicola" is hardly going to break you). There is also a bar near the beach that I believe closes at five. After five you just go to the main bar by the pool.

We never swam in the pool but it always looked clean and it was always clean around the pool and the rest of the resort. The ocean was AMAZING. The waves were too big to go in the water one day but there were two days of perfectly flat, perfectly clear, perfect ocean and the other days were just extremely small waves that didn't interrupt swimming at all. The hotel doesn't offer any snorkeling gear so if you want to go out, bring your own! Snorkeling in front of the hotel isn't special but there are still lots of fish to see and if you bring out some bread in a water bottle to feed them they will swarm around you and give you quite the experience! The beach isn't swept everyday so if you want to look for cool shells, the occasional washed up fish, wandering crab or even a pineapple or coconut, this is the perfect place! We found several sand dollars that were in perfect condition to the east. To the west we found jellyfish, blow fish, and urchins.

Entertainment at night was great. We loved how it wasn't the "same old same old" dancing every time. Each night the resort brought in a different show so we got to experience a lot of different, out of the box shows. There was dancing, musical acts, and even a glow in the dark show that was incredible!

If you are going anywhere in Cuba (not just this hotel) I would highly recommend bringing gifts for the locals. Like I said before, Cubans work longer, harder days than many of us in Canada but are still extremely poor. We gave away most of what we brought and everyone was SO grateful. Towards the end of our stay some of the workers started asking us for things, but I understand that because most times if they don't ask- they don't receive. Only one worker bothered us enough that we didn't want to give him anything, and most workers didn't ask us for anything at all. We brought Hot Wheels, marbles, frisbees, sandals, sidewalk chalks, notebooks, pencil cases, ponytails, hair clips, skipping ropes, and other toys to give to kids that we saw in the city and to workers that we talked to at the hotel that had kids or our cab drivers with kids. These people can't afford any 'wants' so they are thankful for ANYTHING. We left our sunscreen, makeup, bug spray (don't forget bug spray if you are going to be at the beach after dark because you will get quite a few bug bites. Not a problem if you put on some repellent though!), some clothes, Spanish bibles, sunglasses, Advil (great idea because medicine is hard to get in Cuba), Gravol, nail polish.... Before we left for our trip my sister hit Wal-Mart pretty hard and got really cheap tooth brushes, toothpaste, deodorants, q-tip travel packs, mini Axe colognes, and feminine hygiene products. People were very grateful for all of these things.

This resort is a lot older than most and the workers here know it but they work tremendously hard to ensure that their guests have a good time. Any of the minor problems that I listed were certainly not a big deal and are definitely not going to ruin your vacation- a positive attitude will get you a long way! If your nose isn't stuck too high in the air you will have a great time.

We had so many adventures here. We paid $641 each (including taxes) to depart from Edmonton and I can honestly say that it has been my favorite trip to date. I would not hesitate one second if given the opportunity to go back!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Location
    2.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    2.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    2.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    2.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (36)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Vancouver, Canada
1 review
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 12, 2013

We stayed here from Feb 23 - March 2. This was our first time travelling to Cuba. My boyfriend and I booked with Oasis because of the price point as we were on a bit of a budget. We were a bit skeptical when we booked due to all the mixed reviews. But overall, we enjoyed our stay. If you are used to hostels, then you should have no problem with this place. I actually think with a little bit of upgrades this can become a hostel heaven!

I should point out we are both Latin American and speak fluent Spanish, so we sort of understand some of the idiosyncrasies of the place that would otherwise drive other (mainly whiney) tourists crazy. And we also had language to help us communicate.

Our main critiques are: location, bar, music.

And also the annoying, rude, whiney guests who would complain right in front of the staff with no shame - so RUDE! I think that was the most horrible part of my stay, was all the complainers, especially those that didn't do any research about the reviews. It was so annoying to have to hear so many Canadians complaining and comparing hotel Oasis to other 4 and 5 stars in Cuba and to other countries. We have many friends who have traveled to Cuba and the main thing they told us is not to compare Cuba with other countries and not to Canadian standards because OBVIOUSLY it's a different country with a completely different system and set of values - DUH!!! If you can leave that mentality on the plane then you will greatly cut down on your whiney crappy attitude and actually enjoy yourselves! Just saying.

FIRST IMPRESSION:
We arrived on a red-eye flight at 4am. Lobby was dark and a couple of men lingering around. Front desk guy had just woken from a nap. First impression was a bit sketchy but later we learned that some of the staff work 24 hour shifts! Several guests checked in before us and they were quite rude to the poor desk guy. We were nice to him and made him laugh and he hooked us up with a sweet beach-side room on second floor that was actually large enough for 4 people (room 167). Remember that when you arrive on a red-eye you are cranky and tired and they are probably working a 24 hour shift. So be nice, don't be a douche.

Most tourists were either Canadian (the fun ones of course!) and Russians (the snobby, angry-looking ones that kept to themselves). There were old and young couples, singles of all ages, college-types, families. A couple of Frenchies who were also kind of boring.

OUR ROOM:
Beautiful, clean, and large! No bugs, it had a working toilet (you have to pull the flusher up, not push down like in Canada), clean towels, sheets. TV didn't really work but we didn't spend much time in our room anyway so no biggie. Huge sliding windows overlooking the beach and the pool area (we left them open during the day to circulate air w/ the sea breezes). Beds were a tad springy for my taste and it's true the pillows are about 1 inch thick, but I just rolled up a towel and I was fine. I also brought my own light sheet and pillow case from home, but I'm an anal traveller that way about bedding. I left the set for the cleaning lady to keep at the end of my trip too. =)

We left our cleaning girl small snacks like M and Ms and Corn Nuts and small toiletries (i.e.: toothpaste, toothbrushes, tampons, etc) and a small tip. Every day her bedding origami got more intricate it was really cute! They really appreciate receiving these things as they are sometimes hard to come by.

LOCATION:
Yes it's true. This hotel is on the outskirts of Varadero (actually the first one you come across). It's about 4-5km to downtown Varadero. If you like to be where the action is, you might be very disappointed with how far it is from everything.
Taxi rides vary from $5-8 CUCS depending on how old the car is as some taxis are new, some are the oldie gas guzzlers. Watch out for cab rides at night when you go out on the town because they will try to charge you $20 CUCS!! Don't accept that! Negotiate like crazy (we were able to get down to $8 CUCS) or refuse their service. I had to give them a piece of my mind it made me so mad how bad they tried to rip us off and I speak the language! LOL
Another solution is to share cabs with other guests to split the costs, which is what a lot of guests did when we were there. My boyfriend and I rented scooters ($25 CUCS) and zoomed around downtown for a day.
If you like to not be surrounded by so many drunk obnoxious tourists and not have to wait forever to get a drink, you will not mind the location of this place. I actually liked not being in downtown because I prefer not to be around so many tourists LOL

FACILITIES:
It's an older hotel, so it does need some touch-ups here and there but it's not as disgusting and run down as some make it out to be. Pool was always clean when we were there. There is a workout room but when we were there it had no equipment. No towel service or snorkel rentals at the beach huts either, we were told there was an issue w/ the contractor. There is a games room with ping pong table and other stuff for the kids. Washrooms by the lobby do have toilet paper, just not in the stalls! You have to grab it from the dispenser above the mirror counter first! I never ran out of toilet paper when I was there.

They can change Canadian currency to CUCS in limited quantities. But for large amounts you will need to go into town. Ask for the bank that is furthest west, it will be more quiet than the one on the main strip.

Note: there are sand fleas in some areas (mainly the patio outside of the dining hall and the seating area where the stage is) so bring bug spray for sure! Some guests just cut up aloe leaves and slathered it all over their legs. LOL

FOOD:
Also not as bad as some have commented. Fruit and veggies were always fresh but they did reuse them later for lunch or dinner in the hot meals. No biggie, at least they aren't wasting food like we do here in Canada. Shame on some of you! I felt there was some variety, there was fresh fish, pork, beef, chicken. Breakfasts were decent, you can get omeletes too. There are sneeze guards but there are some flies around. It would help if they got fly nets to cover some of the food with. But remember people, they do not have Food Safe like we do in Canada!! I did NOT get sick from the food. Cutlery sometimes was hard to come by, but you can just ask and they will bring out more.

If you like coffee, don't use the machine in the dining hall. Get it from the bar at the lobby - delicious!!

We ate at the "Italian" restaurant that you need reservations for and we actually really enjoyed the dinner service there.

BEACH:
It is not as smooth and clean as pics you see for other resorts BUT it is still a lovely beach! Right in front of the dining hall, the beach has a worn down coral bed that is fun to explore. To the left you can beach comb. To the right about 50 meters is the sandier beach w/ the palm tanning huts and lounge chairs. If you like tranquility you will enjoy it because we are so far away from downtown Varadero that there are no annoying drunks or loud music, or crowds. There is an old wharf that is very picturesque. When we were there the conditions were too choppy to swim or snorkel. Some guests complained it was the ugliest beach but they must be crazy. There is a bit of garbage in the sand so you have to watch your step. I did see machines in the morning rake it but I don't think the machines actually pick up the garbage so not sure what's up with that.

BAR:
Opens at 10am, closes at 10pm. This was a bit disappointing but our solution was to double-fist for the last hour and we also bought a cheap bottle of rum at the store with some mix and made our own happy hour with other guests after bar closed. I found bartenders were generous w/ the alcohol and very nice, especially if you throw in a tip right from the get go.

ENTERTAINMENT:
During the day they play music of all kinds. In the evening around 9pm they have variety shows, a bit amateurish but still a good time after a few Cuba libre's! LOL After 10:30ish, they turn music off. This was probably the most disappointing thing for me and my boyfriend because we love to dance. We were told they shut down early because of all the old people who complain. Our solution: we just played music from our iPods and mini-speakers and made our own party with other fun guests.
TIP: if you like quiet, you should ask for the rooms that are on the furthest east and west of the complex away from the pool/stage area.

Our last night there, a music teacher from Havana and their resident musician were warming up by the pool. They gave us an impromptu percussion lesson with the set we had bought in Havana. It was magical. Probably one of the best moments I had at the hotel!

If you want to go out on the town for the night, ask the bartenders for recommendations. There is a Beatles rock bar, there is Calle 62 for those who like to dance salsa, there is Club International and a few others for the younger party crowd, there is La Casa de la Musica for Cuban music lovers. Bartenders will suggest places to you =)

TOUR PACKAGES:
Everyone we spoke to who did the tours were extremely happy and amazed with their experiences! We did the 4x4 Jeep Safari to Matanzas and it was lovely! You get to snorkel, do a bit of off-roading, drive through the country-side, have lunch at a country-side eatery, buy some sugar cane juice with rum, and then go for a river boat ride and get serenaded by the local talent. Be aware that the times noted in the Sunwings binder are not accurate as they reflect the pick-up times for the guests in hotels on the opposite end of the peninsula! Also bring change with you to tip the workers who help create the experience for your tours. They really appreciate it. And also a small snack in case you get hungry before lunch. =)

The Sunwing rep we had, who has a PhD in English, was excellent! Very knowledgable and hospitable.

STAFF:
Although this place is not luxurious by any means, I think the staff there were so wonderful and I feel this is where the hotel shines once you get over your shock of the place. At first they seem a little distant but I think it's because they know that their hotel is one of the oldest, smallest, and lower stars of all the resorts. Some of them have worked at the fancier hotels so they know how Oasis compares, they are not dumb so PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD keep your whining to yourselves or in your room, not in earshot where the workers can hear you!! It's disrespectful and it just makes Canadians look bad, and we are the ones they like most of all the tourists!

They told me that the majority of guests complain about EVERYTHING and I think this has affected their morale a bit, at least that's the feeling I got. But if you can get over yourselves and just enjoy your time and make the best of the situation and the place, the staff will see this too and it just makes for an overall better experience when you can interact with them. Probably the only staff I felt were not very friendly were a couple of the front desk staff, mainly the women. Most of the staff speaks minimal English. But they try VERY hard to try to understand you and help you. I would advise you bring a Spanish-English dictionary if you do not speak any Spanish. They will probably enjoy teaching you a few phrases too.

SAFETY:
I felt very safe and secure there. The door staff always greeted us and asked us how we were doing and if we needed help getting anywhere. Maintenance workers and groundskeepers would also ask us if we were OK. There is always security guys walking around, even late at night. They would check in on us late partiers who hung out by the stage late at night.

SOME ADVICE:
If you want to go to Havana, we were quoted various prices from $80 - $120 CUCS, depending who is taking you I guess. I would recommend doing an overnighter to Havana. My boyfriend and I rented a car and made our own way there so we could take our time and not be rushed. But there is so much to see, one day in Havana is not enough. Stay in casa particulares so you can get a taste of life with a Cuban family. Check out cubajunky.com for directory of casas particulars. When in Havana, beware of some bicitaxistas who will try to get you to go eat at some new restaurant called 'El Guarajito". Supposedly it's the nicest and best in Havana, but it's way over priced and food is average. They will trick you into paying for a bottle of wine that you think is free, but it really isn't. You can find other places to eat for way cheaper.

Get out of Varadero for a day or two!! It is HIGHLY touristy and not a true reflection of the way of life and culture of Cuba. Otherwise you will make all your judgements about Cuba based on your hotel experience, which is not a true reflection of life in Cuba or of Cubans. And also you might get some interesting perspectives from the people about life in a socialist country. Don't assume they are all unhappy or happy with their way of life here. Cuba is definitely a place with many complex layers.

Cubans are highly educated people, many holding Masters or PhD's. So don't assume they are all poor, illiterate people that you can belittle. For those who work in tourism, tips are really what help them get ahead relatively speaking - so they truly appreciate the tips BUT they will tell you themselves, tip ONLY if it comes from your heart. Cuba's greatest natural resource is its' people! They are so full of life and so kind; treat them with dignity.

If you rent a car, you will notice there will be lots of hitchhikers. We picked up several on our way to Havana and Viñales but only during the day. It is pretty safe to do so but be wary of those who are dressed in "official" looking outfits and who wave booklets to flag you down; they are usually males but there are some females too. They will try to tell you they are some sort of "tour guide" and will give you info about the country as you are driving and about your final destination and then ask you for a "fee" at the end of the ride. One female hitchhiker we gave a ride to told us not to pick these people up because they just do it to make $ on the side and they are not supposed to do that because they are not really tourist officials.

If you book through Sunwing, note that your bus pick-up time for departure is not the time noted in the Sunwing binder. The time noted in the binder is the time the first set out guests are picked up on the opposite end of the peninsula. If your bus is more than an hour late, call the Sunwings rep to make sure they are on their way. Don't harass the Oasis staff about it because they have nothing to do with the bus pick-up times!! They told me that they hear complaints all the time and they wish Sunwings would update the binder info.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 29
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
1 review
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 1, 2013

The hotel is cheap, but definitely not worth the savings, the buffet are ugly, the rooms with mushrooms on the walls and the place is absolutely in the middle of nowhere at all.

Too late for me because I didn't read the reviews here, but for my next trip I will definitely going to read reviews in here.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Qualicum Beach, Canada
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 1, 2013

This is an older resort and could use some updating. The staff were all very nice other than in the lobby. We stupidly left our swimsuits and towels on the patio overnight and they were gone in the morning. The lobby staff didn't seem to care and it took us two days before we found out they were mysteriously in the security storage area. We had a room close to the beach which was convenient. The room was all right for the money but could use lamp shades on the table lamps. The food was not the greatest but there was enough of a variety so that you didn't go hungry, it was just a bit repetative. It's a quiet area just outside of Veradero which is fine if you just want a nice relaxing stay but a little too far to walk to town for most people. A taxi from town was only 8 CUCs and the bus 5 cucs return. Do take a small bottle of insect repellant as there are no-see-ums out around the patio in the evening. Entertainment was good most evenings.
Take enough small change for tips as they don't seem to keep much at the front desk.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal, Canada
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 12, 2013

First of all, I will start with a very famous excuse that I ear non-stop:
"You getting what you paid for"
I basically don't understand that sentence, for one person even paying $5,000 a night is cheap... is it mean that he should get Spoiled food for example? or to sleep in a dirty room?

OK, I stayed in other places in Cuba for a cheaper prices and they had cleaner rooms, better food, friendlier staff/service, better maintenance of Pool, Beach, etc..

This Hotel was built at 1956, and it look like no one ever maintained anything there, seriously.

The rooms have a bad smell, the floor was greasy, and the toilet was just disgusting, no window, no seat on the toilet, broken TV, noisy mattress.

Food: For breakfast you basically getting the same (but the same) food every day until it's gone (communism way) you'll get (I saw it for 10 mornings so it will be easy to remember) 3-4 kinds of fruits, 4-5 kinds of vegetables, eggs, bread, hot dogs, juices, water.
The smell in the dining room is unacceptable in western hotels.

There is a lot of flies anywhere in the air and on the food, anytime.

The swimming pool is dirty too with tons of bugs inside the water, it doesn't seems like anyone of the staff care about it.

In front of the hotel there is taxi drivers who wait like a Predators for the tourist that want's to get a normal food in the city, the drivers know that the guests are in the middle of nowhere and so they have no choice but to pay 4 times than local people.

I must mention the mattress and the pillow, My sleep was awful! the pillows are basically like 5CM thick, and you can actually feel the springs in your body!

Other guests in the hotel mention to me similar things that I mention here, again, there is other better places for a similar price.

I do have to say that some of the staff where pretty nice, but the majority of them makes you feel uncomfortable with the service.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stavely, Ab
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 9, 2013

We paid more than $4,000 for 6 people for one week all in. When we arrived on February 1 - 2013 they gave us rooms 24 nd 25. What a nightmare these rooms! Showers broken, toilet not flushing, mushrooms on the walls and ceilings, doors that don't lock, water in the main aisle, curtains that don't close or were half broken....
So the next day we went to the reception and we asked to get other rooms, especially with the kids. They gave us two rooms on the North side of the hotel, rooms 2 and 3, but they were not much better than our first ones! Same problems but don't try to discuss these issues with the hotel staff or management because you will get the answer "no habla ingles!".

The food was horrible and sometimes disgusting! Every day the same crap (spaghetti, rice, chicken and something that's supposed to be beef). The deserts from the day before you will get them as breakfast the next day.

One other thing that bothered me is that the hotel management invited (every night) their friends/family in the hotel where they all had drinking parties. You had to be careful the next day not to fall over the empty bottles or rum that were left behind. Also their garbage (cigarettes, cigars) are a nice and interesting toy for your kids....NOT!

The hotel looks like a huge dump and the beach is not much better. Next time we will avoid this place. There are absolutely NO activities for kids.

This hotel deserves -2 stars!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 7, 2013

Hi,
There are lots of wrong and misconception about this hotel
I spen Jan 30 to Feb 7th of 2013 there. I had a great time there.
First right of the block a vacation is what you decide to make of it.
The staff offered me a room without a balcony and I paid for a balcony. I paid just $500 for this one week trip.
Tip 1: I told the reception that I wanted a waterfront view and she said I could have one the next day but could view the room as the room had not been cleaned. I seen and and loved it . I was travelig by my self so took the room immideatly. Do not heasitate to ask. All of the front staff are very professional and helpful.
My room was clean . Good supply of hot and cold water. So previous reviews that hot water does not work is full of bull crap as I made a few friends there and all had clean rooms and good supply of hot water.
I got clean sheets and owels every day and the room was cleaned every day.
The pool was clean but the area was surrounded by people who drank a lot.
There was a good mix of tourist Qubec/ sask/ edm/ russians not many torontonians. We were just 2 peopl from toronto, but it was fun to mix out with people from other countries.
I converted my money right at the airport .
There are 2 currency in cuba one is the local cuban currency and the other is the CUC the cuban convertable peso.
Tourist have to use the CUC
$1 can = .0956 CUC

I planned to scuba dive for 4 days but we had rough seas so I had to cancel plans.
I did Havana for 2 days which was the best thing I ever did
I went with sunwing paid $550 for the trip last min
its cheaper if you do a double occupancy
Here is what sunwing offers
Excursion Adult fare Child
Havana one day 67 51
Havana History and rythm 105
Havana Specia 141
Catamaran Cruise 109 53
Dolphin Adventure 97 47
Rambo tour 135 102
Jeep Safari Yumuri 81 61
Matanza 49 37
Guama special 67 52
The 2nd day I did the havan tour for 67
It was a good trip we had a comfortable bus with a great tour guide. The tour included lunch / beer/ coffee
The tour guide was great
we went seen the various squares, seen the goveners mansion which is a beautiful museum
Museum of the Revolution and the Capitol Building.
Walk along El Malecón. A favorite stroll for tourists and locals, a walk along the Malecon runs along the main streets of Havana and provides stunning views of the Bay.
Plaza de la Revolución. Huge square dominated by a statue and monument of Jose Marti and the iconic image of Che Guevara adorning the Ministry of the Interior. Arrive either early or late, as it is often swamped by tourists and gets very hot during the day.
Tropicana Show — A cabaret show that costs 90CUC. It is a must see show while you are in Havana.
They took us to major promande walks which was beautiful
We left at 8 am was back by 6
but the better part of Havana was done by my own
We hired a taxi and we were 4 of us. The Taxi driver was Maikel - Tele 01524758841 if you cannot get in touch with him you can contact his boss Miguel at 0152952790.
We paide 10 CUC per waay so 20 CUC plus I offered a 5 cuc, So the4 of us paid 100 Cuc total which is a fantastic price. Maikel picked us up at 8 in the moning and dropped us up at Capitol in havana and picked us up at 8 pm at the same place. He is a 27 y.o very safe driver. It took us 1 hr 45 min to go from varadero to havana .You can go via public bus which is 10 CUC from Matanza or go to Varedo and travel from there but its a 3 hr journey and its 20 CUC total to travel asthe bus stops every where and its crowded plus you have to pay 10 CUC to travel to the bus station in Matanza which works out to 40 CUC but you have to be at the bus station in Havana at 5 pm to get back to varedero. So Miaekel was a better deal. 2 other couple used Maikel, same rate and the staye in Havana overnight so Mike picked them up the next day for the . They paid 25 CUC and the other couple 10 CUC for private overnigt stay at a bed and breakfast. There are tons of bed and breakfast in havana for less then 25CUC. Hotels are a bit expensive 50-100 CUC for a night.
The loals can pester you so learn 2 very important words NO GRACIAS. They will leave you alone. Peple are lovely. the city is stunning.
The city is divided into 2 parts the old and new havana. Th old havana is what you want to seen. Its a UNESCO heritage site so the buildings are stunning.
1 CUC = 25 Local peso
I knew some basic spanish so I kep my mouth shut and pointed to stuff I wanted and had a great time
I ate some corn pizza ( saussage) 10 local pesso, crockets 5 peso, empanadas 5peso, coconut ice cream in the had shell with chocolate 12 peso plus flan the leche( custard- delecious) 5 peso. So for less than 2 CUC i had some great food.
Opposite Capitol on capitol street there is a bar at #460 no name of the bar. But great music and food with all trourist hanging out there. It was a awesome experience, people from China, brazil, eudor, scotland , germany was some of the folks I met. All the bar walls are white with people writing the experience on the wall. VERY Kewl. Currency from over 100 countries on 1 was. Food is cheap there for under 5 CUC for sea food.
I took the bus tour this day its 5 CUC and a 1hr 45 min trip and it takes you to both new and old cityso you can plan what you want to see
The war museum is beautiful.
Havana has 2 Cassa la musica . House of music for salsa and cuban musics. Great artist perform there its 5-10 CUC for entry depending on who is perfoming. I had a blast. My travel buds went to Tropical for cabaret performance and they said they loved it.
Havana old city has a + shaped promanade that runs for several blocks dividing old havana into Spanish/ French / Modern / Bruge areas walk these 4 streets amazing plaza centres beers/
Visit the Ernest Hemingway hotel right at this intersection and have their famous Mohito for 3 CUC that hotel also has the oldest elevator (1926) in cuba
Lots of cheap drinking holes and lots of live music.
Lots of homes / churches/ museums to see if you love the arts. It was just AWESOME. Click pics with the locals
I had lots of good memories
I did the day trip to Matanza beautiful city . Did the cave tour, must see . Its more that 400000 years old
I will add more to this site later.....

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Additional Information about Islazul Oasis Hotel

Address: Via Blanca, km 130, Varadero, Cuba
Location: Caribbean > Cuba > Matanzas Province > Varadero
Amenities:
Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Spa
Hotel Style:
#4 Spa Hotel in Varadero
#29 On the Beach Hotel in Varadero
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Islazul Oasis Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 147
Also Known As:
Islazul Oasis Varadero
Hotel Islazul Oasis

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