First things first: Forget the negative reviews. I honestly believe the people who criticized the food, the rooms, etc. are a little nit-picky (no offense!) Everything was FANTASTIC.
Firstly, the rooms are great. Very spacious, clean, full bathroom, TV, etc. The balcony alone made the room! It overlooks the whole resort and is nice to sit on and read in the shade. :) Again, the rooms are spacious and the hotel is not too crowded.
Secondly: food. The buffet had so much variety. There is something there for everyone. Everything from sushi to chicken to pizza to fries to Cuban food....for the really picky eaters or small children there are even sandwich supplies, hot dogs and burgers :)
Next is the service. Cubans are the best people anywhere. The waiters and waitresses are incredibly nice and helpful; they do so much for so little with huge smiles. Make sure to bring money for tips, they deserve them! Ask for Raul at the buffet; he is as warm and welcoming as an old friend.
Entertainment is incredible. Everything is included. The dancers are spectacular, as are the singers and hosts. This is NOT amateur talent; these guys are worthy of America's Got Talent. Shows also varied incredibly. We saw magic, Lion King Musical, Vegas Night, and Cuban Night themed shows all in one week. These people are so talented.
The disco was great! Awesome music and fun, exciting atmosphere. We went every night for a week! :)
As for the pools, there are several. Our favourite one had a waterfall with a shaded area to sit underneath. There was music playing and poolside dance lessons, and also water aerobics and games. They really try to get people active! :) One thing to note: People complain that towels run out fast...but that's because people were being careless and exchanging them far too often, rather than leaving them on the chair to dry as they would normally. So those complaints are not fair! Anyways, there is also a swim-up bar. If you want a quieter atmosphere, there are other pools to choose from.
As for the beach, the water was clear, blue and the perfect temperature that we Canadians never get! Also, the sand was clean, and you will have no trouble finding a chair and a mini tiki shaded area to sit. There are many activities, such as a boat ride, paddle boats, and snorkelling. Also, food and drink is two mintues away and your plates can be brought to the beach and eaten there. The beach is very clean though; there are spots to get rid of dishes.
One night, there was a beach party with music and drink on the beach. It was quite an experience to dance under the stars!
All in all, the experience was so fabulous. Just understand that you are going to a different country, so there will be small differences. It is hot during the day, water pressure might be less than you're used to, but air conditioning keeps everything cool. Definitely recommend this; the price is amazing for the experience you receive :)
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located on a beautiful stretch of Varadero's Beach. Approximately 160 km from Havana and 20 min. from downtown Varadero. 814 rooms allocated in different buildings, 24 are suites and 8 are for handicapped. Reception 24 hrs. open, currency exchange, internet 24 hrs. Buffet restaurant with show cooking and 4 a la carte restaurants and Ranchón near the beach. Lobby bar, Cigar bar, aqua-bar, and 2 snacks bars at the pool. Conference rooms, SPA, gym, and beauty salon, 2 tennis and paddle court. Ice cream saloon, animation theatre and disco. 5 outdoor swimming pools. Miniclub (4-12 years). ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Iberostar Laguna Azul Hotel Varadero