While we enjoyed our stay at the Iberostar, I found some of the praise in some of the ratings a bit over the top. So here's what I feel is a fair and balanced review of the Iberostar Daiquiri.
First of all, this is not a 5-star resort, and 4 is being pretty generous. I disagree with everyone who says you have to consider that it's Cuba. When deciding on vacation destinations and looking through a travel brochure, you need to be able to trust that a 4-star is just that, regardless of where you're going. You shouldn't need a conversion table: a 4-star in Cuba is equal to a 3-star in Barbados, etc. That's just silly. A star should be a star regardless of where you go.
The big disappointment with this resort is the rooms, especially the bathrooms. A number of people have already commented that the rooms are dated, but the bathrooms are a bit beyond that. They just don't look clean anymore. Neither the sink nor tub had drain plugs. While the shower was hot enough the pressure was poor and it sprayed everywhere. Our privacy deadbolt didn't work, but once we mentioned it to the front desk, it was fixed within a matter of an hour or two.
The rooms come with a mini-fridge stocked with water, some beer and soft drinks. It gets refilled as required, all included. Our fridge didn't seem to work and we thought it was broken. Then my husband checked the plug. The entire wall outlet was loose. He gave it a "little push" back into the wall and lo and behold the fridge worked again. Another example of the rooms needing work.
Housekeeping was okay, but not exceptional. On our 2nd day there, someone dropped a glass at the end of our hallway. It took a day for the spill to be mopped up, but the broken glass fragments were simply pushed to the side -- where they remained for another 4 days!!! On the plus side, our maid always left us with lots of clean towels.
The pools were very clean: the water was clear and the pools themselves were free of garbage. We took a walk up the beach to a neighbouring hotel, and their pools had a lot of cups, straws and other garbage in them. Not so with the Iberostar. The staff is out at 6:30 am getting everything ready. The pool areas themselves have tables that look like granite pillars built into the ground with umbrellas in them. So there is lots of shade available if you want it as well as a place to put your beverage, books, sunscreen, etc. A great idea. And there are lots of garbage receptacles close by to make it convenient for people to dispose of their refuse. Deck chairs were plentiful and in good condition.
As for the beach, it was surprisingly narrow. I think some of the hurricanes that hit in 2008 washed away a lot of the sand. There was also quite a bit of seaweed, but staff were out there daily raking it up. The beach wasn't rocky at all, the ocean colour (turquoise) was beautiful and you could walk out into the ocean quite a distance and the water would only be waist-deep. Lovely!
The fitness facility was very well-equipped. I've been to several resorts, and this one has the best quality equipment -- treadmills, bikes, weight machines, etc.
I didn't visit any of the a la cartes, so I can't comment on those. The buffet restaurant and snack bars were okay ... very typical of what you find at most all-inclusives. Vegetables weren't plentiful and I heard that the hurricanes damaged some crops, so that might explain things. But my picky 4-year old ate well and no one experienced any sort of stomach upset.
The entertainment staff -- The Star Friends -- were friendly. I've been to resorts where the staff practically harrass you into participating in different activities, but not here. They were friendly and inviting, but not pushy whatsoever, which was a welcome change.
The kids club is called Lucy's Club and there really is a Lucy. She has to be the hardest working woman at this resort! She was great with all the kids. A word of warning, though. Lucy's Club is not a babysitting service. One of Lucy's coworkers left a group of kids unattended one day, telling them to wait for her she'd be back in 5 minutes. She was gone for at least half an hour. One couple found their 2 girls -- ages 5 and 6 -- wandering around on the beach and crying.
In terms of overall service, I found it very inconsistent. Our first time in the buffet restaurant was for breakfast as soon as they opened. Our table was missing place settings, and no one came around to offer us coffee, etc. Other times, no sooner would I take a sip of water than someone was around refilling the glass. The bartenders who worked the pool bar in the morning were friendly and efficient; the ones in the afternoon looked chaotic and took forever to acknowledge people. When the service was great, it was fantastic. They just need to work on the consistency.
Finally, when booking your trip, try to plan your departure time for mid-day if you can. We had an evening flight and the bus was to pick us up at 6 pm. Unfortunately, checkout is at noon! Courtesy rooms may or may not be available depending on how busy the resort is. We were able to delay our checkout until 3 pm (at a cost), but still, we were limited as to what to do for 3 hours with a child that wouldn't require a complete change of clothes, shower, etc., without a place to do that. We learned our lesson.
All in all, a good resort.
- Also Known As:
- Iberostar Daiquiri Hotel
- Iberostar Daiquiri Hotel Cayo Guillermo
- Iberostar Cayo Guillermo
- Iberostar Daiquiri Cuba
- Iberostar Hotel Cayo Guillermo
- Iberostar Daiquiri Cayo Guillermo
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Directly on the long, fine, sandy beach of Cayo Guillermo (Cuba). An oasis of relaxation. Elegant luxury. Pure water sports. Unspoilt Caribbean nature. Pleasant, modern construction style. ... more less