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“fourth visit to this hotel” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Iberostar Varadero

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Iberostar Varadero
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5.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Carretera Las Morlas km 17,5 | Sector Punta Hicacos, Varadero 42200, Cuba   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 59 Hotels in Varadero
glasgow
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“fourth visit to this hotel”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 18, 2013

as this is our fourth time in four years to this hotel and we enjoy it so much we plan to go back again I think this speaks for itself We have in the past been to another two hotels in Varadero, one was fine and we enjoyed it until other hotels were built beside it and the other which we watched being built was terrible and put me off going to any hotel run by that company. we find staff excellent, hotel and ground immaculate. even at new year no shortage of sunloungers under cover or otherwise. rooms well kept and food good. I am prone to an upset stomach and in 4 years never had one here. My only compiaint another year till we go back

Room Tip: garden view best
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
QualityManagerCuba, Quality Manager Cuba at Iberostar Varadero, responded to this review, January 30, 2013
Dear cassieGlasgow, Thank you for choosing us for the 4th year in a road for your vacations, we appreciate your fidelity to our Hotel, staff and services, and we are proud to know that year after year you find our facilities and staff improved. We will be looking forward for your 5th visit to Iberostar Varadero. Best regards from all of us. Quality Manager Cuba
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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Windsor, Canada
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 18, 2013

My husband and I just got back from one week at this resort. This was our first time to Cuba. We booked it because it ranked #1 in Varadero on TripAdvisor and since Cuba is known for having lower standards we wanted to pay extra to make sure it was a great vacation.

First off I want to say that this is an absolutely beautiful resort. The main pool was gorgeous, beautiful lobby and the grounds were nicely landscaped.

You always hear about the "bad food in Cuba" and I can't speak for other resorts in Cuba but the Iberostar Varadero had great resort food. No different from anywhere else in the Caribbean. The part I didn't enjoy about the food was that the majority of it was sea food which my husband and I can't eat and the fact that they didn't label their food. Sometimes they would put up some labels but the majority of time we had no idea what must of it was.

The staff always had activities going on so it was hard to be bored and the shows at night were great. You could tell alot of hard work went into them. All the staff was very friendly except for the reception. They were never smiling and always felt like they didn't want to be there. When we checked in we were the only ones at the desk and no one would help us. Finally when someone did wave us over another lady who worked there(looked possibly like management) just cut us off with her back to us to have a conversion with the receptionist. No acknowledgement or a "sorry just one moment". When we were being checked the girl was yawing and just didn't seem to care about us.

Our room was well kept and our maid would make sculptures out of towels for us and even left thank you notes when we left her gifts.

Wait staff in the restaurants were great. Super helpful but management should zone them to sections because we constantly had different servers trying to offer us coffee. Not a big deal.

20 CUC buys you a catamaran ride out into the ocean then snorkeling. You sign up for this with the buy who deals with the paddle boats and stuff right on the beach of the resort. They make sure you see a ton of fish. I highly recommend this. It was the highlight of our trip.

I loved my stay at the Iberostar Varadero. The reason why I gave 4 instead of 5 was although it was great was because of the overall value. The rooms felt like a 3 star resort. With how much we spent on vacation we were just expecting something more luxurious, Don't get me wrong, like I said I did love my stay and would recommend it if it wasn't so expensive for what you actually get.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
QualityManagerCuba, Quality Manager Cuba at Iberostar Varadero, responded to this review, January 30, 2013
Dear Christine L, Thank you very much for your review. We are thrilled that you enjoyed your stay with us especially after hesitant expectations. I will make sure to pass on your comments to our staff as they work hard every day to make sure that the guests experience goes above and beyond. We apologize for you on behalf of the Front Desk Staff and your bad experience upon arrival, we will look into this with the staff of that area and our Management. Our best regards from Varadero. Quality Manager Cuba.
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Oslo, Norway
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 18, 2013

Had a fantastic stay here during christmas and new year, and not much to complain about here!
Lovely staff, nice pool, BEAUTIFUL beach, good drinks, clean and comfy rooms, good selection of activities.
A bit dissapointed over the japanese restaturant, food overall ok othewise, considering this is an all inclusive hotel.
Would stay here again!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
QualityManagerCuba, Quality Manager Cuba at Iberostar Varadero, responded to this review, January 24, 2013
Dear Trolljegeren, Thank you! On behalf of all our staff for sharing your experience on TripAdvisor. We are glad to know that you had a fantastic vacations with us, specailly during the holiday season. We hope you can stay with us again. Best regards from Varadero. Quality Manager Cuba.
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Ottawa, Canada
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2013

The resort is beautiful, well laid out, well maintained, and will provide an incredibly pleasant vacation. I drank bottled water the first three days but changed the fourth day to the water served in the eating areas (fountain drinks and on the table). By day five I was deadly ill with diarrehea and had to stay in the room doing bathroom runs for the next two days. Immodium was not able to remedy the situation. With signifiant difficulty, I managed to get back home and had to get a prescription drug to start to bring things under control. Kind of put a damper on the experience.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
QualityManagerCuba, Quality Manager Cuba at Iberostar Varadero, responded to this review, January 24, 2013
Thank you for your review and time invested in writing about you stay with us. We appreciate your nice words and we are sorry to hear that you have a bad experience with our water, we will look into this matter with our Hygene Departement, however I must clarify that our hotel serves potable water in our Restaurants, we have our own water treatment systems and water filters and softeners in each service area. We hope that you are fully recover. Our best regards from all our staff. Quality Manager Cuba
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UK
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2013

Climbing out of a long taxi ride from Trinidad via Santa Clara, the sound of fun and games from the pool area had us thinking that maybe we should have booked next door at Sandals or the Paradisus. But hey, we're allowed to have some fun too, and fun we certainly had...

At the end of a mini-tour of Western Cuba that included the Iberostar's hotels in Havana and Trinidad, the Veradero compares favourably: the rooms are larger, the bathrooms bigger and being in Block 14, the most distant from the pool area etc - much quieter.

As many others have commented everything about this hotel is surely the best Cuba has to offer, including the food. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and in-between food is plentiful, freshly prepared and of great variety (even the buffets have chef's preparing dishes in situ). Being all inclusive any worry of watered down drinks or non-availability soon forgotten with the first Pina Colada and Planters Punch by the pool. The room mini-bar is refilled every day and drinks are politely offered by staff by the pool or on the beach.

The staff at the hotel deserve an extra special mention. The maids dazzled daily with towel sculptures, the waiters/waitresses were lovely, the musicians played enthusiatically and the Star Friends entertainment team are just "SUPER EXELENTE!" be it the activities around the pool and beach or the nightly entertainment shows.

Throw yourself in to the experience and you too will have a great time. You may even find yourself on stage singing "we are the champions" for winning the darts, archery, shooting, putting, volleyball........

The sight of the staff taking down the Christmas decorations and our taxi to the airport was the only bad moment of our stay. Yes the Wi-Fi is terrible and you have to pay for it, but what are you doing checking your email in the first place when there is so much else to be doing!?

Absolutely Fantastic

Room Tip: Ask for a first or second floor room. Blocks 13, 14, 15, 16 are furthest away from the action so if...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
QualityManagerCuba, Quality Manager Cuba at Iberostar Varadero, responded to this review, January 20, 2013
On behalf of all our staff and Management team at Iberostar Varadero we want to say thank you for choosing us for your vacations. It is a pleasure to read that you had a fantastic time with us and you were able to enjoy every moment. We will take your words into consideration. We hope we can welcome you back soon. Best regards from Cuba. Quality Manager Cuba.
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Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2013

We stayed in Iberostar Varadero from December 24th until December 31st 2012, and overall we had a fantastic experience. We would recommend this hotel to most people and have some comments, both negative and positive to help you make up your mind if you would like to stay here too!

The rooms were excellent, really big and spacious, clean and lovely – really powerful shower and a deep bath – we were in block 14 on the top floor which is about as far away from the main lobby etc as you can get, but hardly a long walk, and the quiet would be appreciated if you are the type to get an early night. We had a balcony overlooking the hotel grounds and the pond/lake area which was nice, good view of the sunset. Our maid left us some ‘towel art’ (I have no idea what to call it!) like swans and love hearts, and as we were staying for our honeymoon, they left rose petals in the shape of a heart one day which was a really lovely touch. We did leave 1CUC tip for the maid per day, and she left us a lovely thankyou note at the end of our stay. The hotel did a lot for our honeymoon, left a lovely welcoming note with a bottle of champagne, invited us for a ‘romantic meal’ (we declined as it was in the International restaurant…as I’ll later explain) and offered us breakfast in bed as well as the lovely touches from the maid. We didn’t expect any of this, so it was nice little touches that made us smile. The mini-bar in the room was all free, including a massive bottle of water which was useful, and fizzy drinks (Cuban sprite is delicious!) as well as beer which we didn’t really drink. There was a candle which was nice to use on the balcony the one evening we spent there sipping our champagne, but we didn’t spend much time in our room preferring to be on the beach or at the bar!

Neither of us have had an all-inclusive, or even resort based holiday before, so we had little idea what to expect and it was a mixed review from us. The food was good, the first night we were invited to the Christmas Eve Gala Dinner and although we arrived around 10pm due to a VERY long queue at immigration, the buffet was still in full flow, with lobster, sushi, salads, seafood, pasta, pizza, vegetables, meats, everything you could imagine, plus lots of fresh bread and desserts – I can’t remember everything – but suffice to say we wanted for nothing. The staff were very attentive, wine, champagne and beer as well as soft drinks were available. Subsequent meals were a little less good, less choice and less opulent food (no more lobster!) but still good quality food, just a little repetitive after a week of breakfast, lunch and dinner. The website states that the buffet does regular ‘theme nights’ with different cuisines, but we didn’t experience any of those, perhaps with it being the festive period. The snack restaurant where they served a later breakfast was not ideal to eat in, birds surrounded not just the outside but came inside, we saw birds pecking at the bread and the sweet goods on a few occasions, and staff made no attempt to get rid of them, so from then on we only ate hot food that the birds couldn’t have touched.
We did get to book into the restaurants – a ‘international’, ‘Mediterranean’ and ‘Japanese’ teppen-yaki style restaurant. After reading reviews on here and having a peek through the doors, we didn’t book into the ‘Mediterranean’ – the food looked exactly the same as the buffet, and the reviews were poor. We booked the international expecting more after an impressive menu – I had soup to start, red snapper main and I can’t remember dessert. Suffice to say it was one of the worst meals I have ever eaten, inedible in fact, we left about three-quarters of both of our meals, and I hate leaving food as I feel too rude on the waiters but I really couldn’t eat it! We later ate in the buffet restaurant but were very glad we didn’t pay for that food. However, in stark contrast, the Japanese restaurant was absolutely lovely, the staff were great and the chef was lots of fun, warning my husband when he was going to set the food on fire so he could film it etc, really nice people, and the food was absolutely delicious. You didn’t get a choice of starter, just sushi and veg tempura served to your table to share, and then the main was a choice of wok (kitchen cooked) or the teppen-yaki dishes cooked on hot plate in front of you. We opted for teppenyaki, and would highly recommend the shrimp – absolutely delicious and I am so so fussy with prawns! There was no veggie option for this though, which is a shame. My only real complaint about this was you couldn’t go again, and the experience seemed to be over very quickly, but if you go you should definitely book into this place and make the most of it!
We definitely noticed the level of service you got from staff, in the buffet particularly, entirely depended on your tips given, so you do basically have to pay some things or suffer bad service. We generally left 1CUC per meal (not sure if that is considered not much or not enough) but at a self-service restaurant we were often left sat waiting for drinks for a long time, so in ordinary life I would not have tipped at all. We entirely gave up trying to get coffee with breakfast as you could not get served. I appreciate they are very busy, but the resort could even make it easier for you to get your own coffee as with the juice. However, this tipping culture didn’t necessarily stretch to the bars, it really depending, some bar staff were grateful for a tip, some barely seemed to register if you gave them a tip or not and it affected service from some and not others. Our favourite place was the lobby bar, where we spent a lot of time avoiding the shows but enjoying the atmosphere. The cigar bar was good, if very very quiet.

I think this is probably normal for resorts, but they put on a show every night for the guests; these varied from circus night to Miss Iberostar, movie night, ‘Broadway’ shows, and suchlike. The quality of these varied – the movie night was actually great with the last 45 minutes being really good especially the Michael Jackson bit, and certainly all the performers put in 100% effort every single night I was really impressed with their dedication and how many different performances they learned! However, it was quite irritating that you couldn’t get away from the shows anywhere in the resort – they were held in a central theatre that was open and so inescapable! This was a shame as earlier in the evening they had a piano player in the lobby bar, which was really nice and then stopped for the shows to start which was an odd change in atmosphere. However, this didn’t really bother you if you sat in lobby bar you could nearly ignore it!
The pool was impressive, really big with a separate swimming area from the pool bar/activities area, and two other smaller pools apart from the main one; the only problem was that all of them were FREEZING! It’s not the easiest to get a sunbed after 9am, so worth getting up early if you’re bothered, or you risk being in the bright sun with no shade all day (or in busier times not even getting a bed)

The best part of the whole place in my opinion is the beach – absolutely stunning, the sea was beautiful and the resort provided free pedalos, kayaks and catamarans with snorkelling available for a bit more. There were pelicans on the beach which were incredible to watch, if terrifying! The beach was absolutely perfect, with beach bar serving nice (if small) drinks although we stayed clear of the burger/hot dog place.

Last bits – wouldn’t bother with internet it’s very slow, front desk staff nice and helpful when they understand you (LEARN SPANISH we wish we had learnt more especially if you’re going to Havana), the older man who works behind the lobby bars at night is LOVELY and will help you with rum selections :)

Would highly recommend anyone staying there who wants a relaxing week in a great Cuban resort!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
QualityManagerCuba, Quality Manager Cuba at Iberostar Varadero, responded to this review, January 20, 2013
Thank you for your comments and suggestion regarding your stay at Iberostar Varadero. We are pleased to know that overall you have enjoyed your stay with us. I have forwarded your review to our Executive Chef and Maitre, they will look into your suggestions regarding our International Restaurant. We are sorry to hear that your experience in this restaurant was not as expected. Thank you for sharing your words with other readers. We hope that you are able to visit Iberostar Hotels & Resorts once again. Best regards from Cuba. Quality Manager.
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Chilliwack
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2013

We just got back today from spending an amazing (yet too short) week at Iberostar Varadero and I feel confident that we stayed at one of the best, if not the best, hotels in Varadero.

Getting off the airplane we walked out to find our Air Canada transfer bus and were hit with our first set of locals trying to sell us overpriced Bucanero beer (my boyfriend said it isn't that great, he preferred the Cristal beer there) and grabbing our luggage without our permission and lugging it to our bus expecting a tip so be prepared. They expect tips for everything. This wasn't surprising to me, having found the same experience at other Carribean destinations. Make sure you trade your $ for some smaller denomination pesos so you can accomodate for this. If you can, get a receipt for your conversion and keep an eye out for vendors giving you back their cuban money instead of cuban convertible pesos. We traded our money in at the hotel and got a little less than par for our canadian currency. I think we might have got better rates at the airport, but it was such a hot crowded smelly mess getting through security we didn't want to stay a second longer than we had to. Make sure you save 25 pesos per person and keep it with your visa and passport because you'll need it to get out of the country.

Arriving at our hotel about 40 minutes later (after dropping other passengers off at their hotels) we were met with a beautiful open reception area with a fountain in the center and a lounge to the right where we spent many a night on this trip drinking. The grounds are beautiful with lush vegetation and a gorgeous pool sprawling across the grounds. There's also a water park for kids there that looked awesome. For drinks we highly recommend the Catalana (a delicious creamy liqueur that we looked everywhere to try to buy in Cuba and sadly could not find). We got in late so the only food we could get was from the buffet, which is open late. The food selection at the buffet changed daily and we tried a lot of different foods everyday some were hits and some misses, but if you go in expecting the same food you get at home you will be sadly disappointed. Some of our favourite foods were little deep fried doughy onion pakora kind of things and these little red things that looked like red tater tots, but were kind of spicy and we think they had beans or chick peas in them. The dessert spread is pretty impressive and the fresh made little donuts for breakfast sprinkled with cinnamon sugar are unreal. There is always a lot of bread, fruit, dessert squares, buns, sandwich meat, and then the usual breakfast lunch and dinner foods including a lot of seafood and rice. Expect to come home a few lbs heavier and they are heavy on the salt. We tried all 3 a la carte restaurants and we thought the Mediterranean was the best. I highly recommend the Surf and Turf. The lobster was delicious and the steak was melt in your mouth delicious. My boyfriend had the veal canneloni, which was good as well, but not my cup of tea. The Japanese restaurant is more of a mixed asian fusion restaurant. I ordered the beef chop suey and it was just some beef with mixed frozen vegetable type mix and it was gross, but the other people who ordered the food they cook in front of you were very happy and that looked delicious so I would suggest that. It was a nice show they put on cooking the food in front of you. My only complaint is they seat you next to strangers and we were near complainers so it was quite annoying. The international was pretty good as well despite the reviews. I got the beer battered snapper and the lobster cream soup and I was completely happy with my meal. There is always somewhere to eat and as many drinks as you want and ice cream and snacks as well as room service which we didn't end up trying.

Entering our room we were hit with an icy blast of air conditioning and extreme cleanliness. Our room attendant Marilyn kept our room spotless. Our only complaint regarding service in our room was that our coffees and soaps etc were not always stocked or restocked at all, but we had asked for extra towels and she made beautiful towel animals and arrangements. All of the service staff was very accomodating and friendly. There aren't elevators there so if you have any kind of problems walking up stairs or carrying your luggage you might want to ask for a bottom floor room.

The blow dryer there isn't that great for long hair and I found my electrical conversion kit didn't work well enough for my straightener or my travel blow dryer to work. We bought an internet card for $8/hour and because pop ups were blocked on our netbook it wouldn't let us log off so even though we only used it a few minutes it used up the whole hour and my bf had to buy another one to be able to check us in online for our flight. They have a room there with computers for $10/hour if you want to send emails home.

We had room 1843 with a slight ocean view over the top of the trees. It had a king bed and a nice little balcony and a separate shower and bathtub. We travelled with my boyfriends mom and her husband and they had upgraded to a junior suite which was a bit bigger, but had two double beds instead of a king as well as a couch and coffee table. The toilet was off to the side as well as a bidet.

They don't flush toilet paper there. If you go out anywhere I suggest bringing a pack of kleenex or a roll of TP from your room because they try to make you pay for toilet paper to use the banos there. Most of them weren't exceptionally clean either so I'm not sure what the tips go towards.

The beach was amazing, gorgeous white sand as far as the eye can see. We walked for hours on the beach and saw a bunch of pelicans diving for fish. We didn't get to spend as much time at the resort as we would have liked taking advantage of the free kayaking, archery, salsa lessons etc as we did 3 excursions and spent two days downtown Varadero cruising the little shops and on our last day we found a restaurant in the park downtown across the bridge called "La Campana" with authentic Cuban cuisine which everyone in our party highly recommends. There is a double decker bus that travels to Varadero and back to the resort for $5 all day which we tried the first day, but if you've got a few people in your party I suggest agreeing on a price with a taxi first and going into town and back, it's cheaper and faster than having to stop at every resort. Don't take those 3 wheeled taxis, they're not safe.

As for excursions we did the Catamaran first and it was our favourite. They take you out on the Catamaran and let you snorkel or suntan on the boat (my bf went in and saw some amazing fish and coral) and then we went to the dolphins and went in water up to my waist and got to hug the dolphin (ours was named Pancholo) and it was an amazing experience, but my bf refused to do it as he said it was animal abuse so they don't expect you to do any of the activities if you don't want to. After the dolphins they gave us snacks and we fed seagulls from our hands off the back of the catamaran and got some really cool videos. Then they took us to the most beautiful white sandy beach I've ever seen with sand like corn starch and gave us a lobster dinner that was pretty good and some yummy cake and you don't have to pay for the bathrooms. On the way back we just suntanned and people danced and then they asked for a $20 tip which we found rude. Overall it was amazing I highly recommend it.

Our second excursion was Havana. It was interesting to see what there was to offer, but we'd never do it again. The whole thing was a constant money grab. Downtown Havana we were constantly being hustled everywhere and our tour guide took us to places like the lighthouse where he promised us great prices on cigars and booze, but really our hotel had the same if not better prices. We could have done without the flea market that had the same stuff as the markets in Varadero, but with a lot pushier people. We didn't get to see the cigar factory as it was closed from November to April which nobody told us when we signed up for the tour. The historical information was worth it for the trip alone, but we just found our "rest stops" were actually tourist traps and if we ever come back we're definitely going to just take a taxi and do the tour ourselves. The restaurant they took us to "Dos Gardenias" only gave us the option of pork dinner (my bf doesnt eat pork) and when we tried to give some to a cat hanging out in the restaurant it wouldn't eat it. They begged for tips in there too.

Our last excursion was the Jeep Safari which was awesome. You start off getting your own jeep per 4 people which are standard transmission. First stop was to a snorkelling tour which my boyfriend did and I videotaped as the water was super choppy. He said the sights were amazing. The second stop was to a river boat where they fleeced us for tips for some natives doing a topless dance and coming around begging for money. Then the river boat went up the river a ways and turned around and they tried to sell us $10 lobster. Then they took us to a farm for free fruit and to a restaurant on the farm with free horse back riding, coffee, paddle boats and kayaks and there were some adorable baby goats and a donkey that tried to eat my shorts and a lot of beautiful scenery (just don't use the bathroom there in the restaurant). The lunch was pretty good (especially the soup). At the end they take you through the countryside and all the poor women and children hang out on the side of the road begginig for stuff. A lot of people brought toys and soap and stuff in their jeeps to give to the people. The final part of the day we went to Saturna Caves and swam in a really cool cave. It was a full day, but a great way to end our vacation.

For booze and cigars make sure to keep an eye on your limits of what you can bring back. Anything expensive you can buy like that with your visa including excursions so you really don't need to bring much money other than for little souvenirs. I find the people don't barter much so I turned down a few items because i could've bought them in Canada for the same price or cheaper. I brought $200 Canadian converted it for $188 and ended up having about $110 left at the end of the week. There's not a lot to buy, but make sure to keep those ones for tipping.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
QualityManagerCuba, Quality Manager Cuba at Iberostar Varadero, responded to this review, January 20, 2013
On behalf of all our staff and Management we want to thenk you for taking the tme to write about your experience in Cuba and specially with us at Iberostar Varadero. We are pleased to know that overall your stay with us was amazing and that our staff was able to provide you with the service you expected, specially Marilyn, your housekeeper. We will look into your comments and suggestions with all our departments. We hope we have the opportunity to welcome you back some day. Best regards, Quality Manager Cuba.
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Additional Information about Iberostar Varadero

Address: Carretera Las Morlas km 17,5 | Sector Punta Hicacos, Varadero 42200, Cuba
Location: Caribbean > Cuba > Matanzas Province > Varadero
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Family Hotel in Varadero
#1 Romantic Hotel in Varadero
#2 Luxury Hotel in Varadero
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Varadero
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Varadero
#4 Business Hotel in Varadero
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:5 star — Iberostar Varadero 5*
Number of rooms: 386
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Directly on the beach of Varadero. Iberostar's first 5 star hotel in Cuba. Luxury and comfort in an elegant atmosphere. Top gastronomy and excellent service. Equipped for every kind of meeting, gala dinner, party, etc.. Ideal for groups & incentives. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Iberostar Varadero Hotel Varadero
Iberostar Cuba
Iberostar Varadero Cuba
Varadero Iberostar

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