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“Great time! Location was amazing!” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Islazul Mar del Sur Aparthotel

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Islazul Mar del Sur Aparthotel
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2.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Ave. 3ra y Calle 30, Varadero, Cuba   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #42 of 59 Hotels in Varadero
North York
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Great time! Location was amazing!”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 7, 2013

I would not have traded this hotel for a five star at the end of Varadero, based on its location. Sure, it's not a glamourous place, but it was clean with fresh towels daily, hot running water and the floor was always clean. Air conditioning works and TV channels are good for news (CTV and CNN). The food...well...it was Cuban food and there were restaurants just a few hundred feet away. The food was always fresh, just not a lot of choices. Remember you are going to a third world country and they really are poor. You certainly get what you pay for. Bring a pillow for sure. Also, there is a toothpaste shortage, so bring some for the locals. Don't go to Havana without a tour. The Catamaran trip is worth every penny, the snorkelling was mediocre, but it was a swim in the middle of the ocean...not to mention the dolphin enclosure in the middle of nowhere. Very cool. Be sure you understand how the towel and lock box deposits work, you should get all your money back before you leave, keeping in mind what time the towel area closes each day. Rooms off of the main building seem far away at first, but they are much quieter than the buildings around the pool. Security guards are everywhere, very safe area. There is a beach area especially for Mar Del Sur guests where you can get snappy cocktails and a cheese sandwich. Always have single CUCs with you for tipping. I will return.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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311 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    2.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (35)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Halifax
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 6, 2013

Very pleased with out experience while staying here, we had low expectations seeing as this was a 2 star, air conditioners work perfect, i suggest you to bring a pillow or a extra blanket throw, food was as expected, cuban food. Staff at the buffet were amazing, always checking on refilling your drinks when they got low and taking empty plates, there are animals on the resort which were all friendly and harmless, they have wonderful security at each entrance, and have nice little seating areas all over the place, the bar served chips, hot dogs, and hamburgers, they ran out or OJ half way threw, but we blamed that on the russians, they drank alot. For the night life they had 1 amazing act that travels all around cuba and played at the allegro 5 nights a week, the rest of the nights were just singing and dancing which was fine, down the street they had a disco that you could get in to for free with your resort bracelet, locals would start showing up around 1230 so any time before that it was empty, an amazing night club was the havana club on calle 62 street, 5 bucks to get in, amazing music, amazing locals. Also another night attraction is the 24 hour burger joint that always had bumpin music and cheap and yummy burgers. its the hangout for all the party people when clubs start shutting down around 3-4pm, over all a very safe place to walk in day and night.

Room Tip: we stayed in a apartment but we had friends that stayed in the hotel part and both were surprisingly...
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa, Canada
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2013

For the money, I think you get more than what you pay for. Okay it's true, the rooms aren't perfect - there was some peeling paint and I think a bit of mold in a couple of places, but the floors were washed every day, the beds made with "swan" or "heart" shaped towels and the beds were quite comfortable and the pillows were really good.

The food selection wasn't large, but always fresh and quite tasty (except I didn't like the spegetti). There were omlettes in the morning and a chef grilling or just serving fresh fish, pork, chicken and even turkey one night. And, because of the price again, we were able to go out for meals if we felt like it. We found a great little place half way up 31 called "Don Alex". He's been making and delivering pizzas for 5 years and just opened up his patio as a restaurant 5 months ago. He still delivers pizzas, some were delivered to our pool bar one night!

The beach is a couple of blocks away, but the walk is short and quite interesting. The discos are a 30 block walk (most much smaller than our blocks) or a 5 c.c. taxi ride away, and the taxi drivers don't charge as much since this isn't a 5 * (apparently most people in 5 * get charged a lot and have to taxi everywhere since they are so far away from the action). If you're interested, after the bars close, the place everyone ends up is the "Hamburgosa" - it's right up the street at the corner of 1st Avenue and Calle 31.

If you need a really nice hotel room to hang out in, don't book here. If you want the sort of place that if you're alone at the bar, someone will always talk to you, or you can join in a game of pool, then this would suit you.

I stayed from January 10th to January 24th 2013. Another minor issue - no beer at the beach bar, so bring a big mug so you can fill up at the hotel before you go!! (If you're okay with making a few small adjustments like this, you'll have fun!)

Room Tip: If the lobby bar will keep you up all night, make sure you don't stay in block 12 (it didn't...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sault Ste. Marie, Canada
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2013

Just wanted to take the time to write a quick review after being a little freaked out over the reviews left. Friends of ours have stayed here for the last 4 years, so we were joining an awesome group of people. Lets start with the staff. They were all pleasant, helpful, cheerful, and constantly making an effort to ensure a good stay. The facilities were nice. average, not over the top and beautiful, but its a 2 and a half star resort...you get what you pay for. I saw a few ants, none in my room...nothing in my bed, no crazy horrible stories, but when there are no doors and open lobby, there are bound to be a couple ants on the floor. I do have a few photos, i'm hoping they upload properly so i can share what we had for a room. As for the food, well, its cuban food. there were restaurants off resort that had worse food than our all inclusive meals. The food was ok, we did bring our own spices and condiments to make it more enjoyable. There was no funny smells, no filth, and in 7 days wondering around the city, i saw 1 cockroach on the street. My suggestions if you're planning a trip here is to bring your own pillow, and bring some spices and condiments. We had a great time staying in the heart of the city. It was nicer to be downtown than it was way out at the east end of the city where there was nothing but resort properties. Hope this relieves some fears...

Room Tip: We had a one bedroom apartment facing the pool, new fridge, new ac, nice view
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lindsay, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 16, 2012

Trip booked though SUNWING

OMG Don't go to this DUMP, if you already have plans then I suggest you cancel. If your already there then there will be no help available, and you will just have to weather out the storm.

A photo says a lot, I have uploaded lots. The first room we were giving reeked of mold, open the door and had an instant asthma attack...the smell was horrible, curtains falling down, window broken, bed covers dirty ...the list goes on.

Second room...had to argue for this....At the front desk for about an hour, it's getting close to midnight now and they are saying there is nothing available, yet 2/3 of the keys are still there. It really isn't that nothing is available, how are they going to top what we have just been offered. WONDERFUL NEWS: They are upgrading us to a 2 bedroom apt.......As I slowly open the door wondering what is on the other side, and to my surprise the smell of mold as now been replaced with urine. I am going to be OK I tell myself, I brought Lysol wipes and I can clean myself. I switch the light on and see some critters running across the floor, Ok so the place is old and it got some bugs.....My partner was quick to let me know that they are not just any bugs, they are special one' that they call COCKROACHES....well let me tell you I sobbed and cried like a baby, I felt sick. Being so exhausted from the long day I though I was going to have a mental break down, I am sure I would have been in a better place if I had. We decided to leave all the lights on as this should keep the COCKROACH hidden out of sight. Besides it would give us the opportunity to get a great view of the mold on the walls, the mirror broken, dirty sheets, water coming from the light fixture. This is not fiction, I couldn't make this up if I tried.

Rather than pull the two beds together, we used one, to keep our luggage on. Couldn't sleep, tossed and turned all night...thought I could feel something biting me, but I convinced myself that it's just my imagination..just like the song.

Morning finally arrives: What a dump, See uploaded photos of my room, It ain't the ritz!! I can handle the place being old, but this place is just plain neglected, filthy, infested with cockroaches, ants, covered in mold, stinks of urine....it is just plain GROSS.

This place is a hotel for locals....The food is not fit for human consumption...it smelled and looked like dog food. I've been to Cuba before and their food I can eat.....It you don't mind eating a little bird poo, ants, crunchy cockroaches then maybe you will be OK with the food.

Before you consider going to this hotel, ask yourself this question"""Would you sleep in the slums of downtown Toronto and risk bringing home Bedbugs or Roaches with you?"" If you answer no, then find another place to go to.

Sunwing advertised this place as a place of standards and states that it's been visited by a Sunwing rep. I have ask Sunwing are they talking about Canadian standards or Cuban standards, and when was the last time a Sunwing rep inspected the place. To no surprise they will not answer those questions. You on your own when you go there.

Before I forget, don't expect to crystal clear water in the pool, that is clouded with God knows what.....I am sure I received an infection from the one time i risked getting in it....I am now being treated with antibiotics infection, steroid cream and allergy meds for the bedbug bites I suffered in the om.....they keep appearing even after I returned home, apparently this is normal. I unpacked my luggage in the garage after returning home....all clothing items were washed and suitcases placed in the backyard for 2 days.


The second morning when I got up the bed was covered in ants, not just a couple, more like a couple hundred....ants were everywhere there. I though it was safe to have a coffee one day and found ants floating in the top of it.......making me sick thinking about it....I went back to the coffee machine and found the sugar container full of ants.

You can have all the beer you want, or cheap rum....nothing special....they didn't even start up the ice machine while I was there. Coffee in the lobby and pool bar looks and taste like black tar, no clue what that was. A la carte is closed during low season, yet SUNWING still has it listed in the hotel description, it also states it is non-smoking, but people smoke everywhere, and Cubans love to smoke.

If you have any questions that I may have failed to answer please feel free to contact me thornhill73@hotmail.com

Last note..Don't try to be cheap cause it will cause you more in the end.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 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 22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 12, 2012

We brought our family of 5.. Which included 2 adults & 3 children - ages 1,2 & 13. I would not recommend this hotel to any family to bring there children. We tipped house keeping 5CUC a day to keep it clean & free of ants.. if you are single & are accustomed to old apartments with moldy water taps & showers then it is a great deal to stay at the hotel. It is not a family hotel or good for a family.

  • Stayed October 2012
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
Toronto
1 review
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2012

I've been happy with this hotel in the past, but not this time. The majority, and I mean 98% of guests are locals, who hoard the food and then leave it on tables untouched to be thrown out. Very disheartening. The beach area is filthy... wrappers, empty cans and plastic cups, feces, and used feminine products line the sand and the sea. The times of getting a really good deal in Varadero's lower grade hotels in the downtown area such as Mar del Sur, Villa La Mar, etc. are over in my opinion. Unfortunately...

Room Tip: Face away from the pool if you are a light sleeper.
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Islazul Mar del Sur Aparthotel

Address: Ave. 3ra y Calle 30, Varadero, Cuba
Location: Caribbean > Cuba > Matanzas Province > Varadero
Amenities:
Kitchenette
Hotel Style:
Ranked #42 of 59 Hotels in Varadero
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2 star — Islazul Mar del Sur Aparthotel 2*
Number of rooms: 366
Also Known As:
Islazul Mar Del Sur Aparthotel Hotel Varadero
Hotel Mar Del Sur
Mar Del Sur Varadero

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