We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Beautiful hotel, amazing staff... But poorly administrated!”

We can't find prices for this hotel
Our online travel partners don't provide prices for this hotel, but we can search other options in Varadero
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
IBEROSTAR Laguna Azul
Ranked #27 of 64 Hotels in Varadero
Reviewed October 1, 2012

My new husband and I stayed at the Iberostar Laguna Azul for one week on our honeymoon. As my husband is originally from Cuba, and we've been there dozens of times before, we are quite accustomed to the idiosyncracies of the Cuban system; however, it was our first time staying in a 5-star hotel, and overall we were very pleased!

The food at the buffet, of course, was bland. But there was always plenty for everyone, and any dishes that were empty were quickly replaced by the hard-working dining room staff. We were never hungry. Our servers were wonderful, and we returned to the same seating sections every day so that we could visit with them. In particular, there is a manager there (unfortunately, I didn't catch his name, but he's a tall, bald gentleman) -- he works unbelievably hard, and I personally saw him cleaning tables, picking up things off the floor, and coordinating services in the dining room. I was very impressed with his drive and initiative.

The main pool is beautiful, and the waterfall is a great touch. Very refreshing! Fantastic pool bar, with excellent drinks (including a decent piña colada!). If you're looking for some peace and quiet, try one of the other 2 pools (one located on each side of the resort) -- they tend to have less people, and the music isn't as loud. The hot tub was great!

Our room (12416) was fantastic: clean, spacious, and everything worked. We especially enjoyed the shower and large tub, and we liked having the ceiling fan over the bed, so that at night we could sleep with a breeze, instead of the air conditioning. We appreciated the bathrobes provided in the closet -- we both enjoyed throwing those on in the mornings and evenings, or after a shower; it was a nice touch, that made us feel more at home.

Our only negative experience was trying to get a reservation in one of the à la carte restaurants. Early Saturday morning, we tried to make a reservation at the "Romantic Restaurant" (which was included in the Honeymoon Package we booked from Canada), only to be told that there wasn't a table available until Thursday evening. (We were leaving on Tuesday.) I balked. Speaking to the reservation staff in Spanish, I asked how it was possible that they were booked for the next SIX nights!? I reminded her that in that case, even guests arriving that day might not get to make a reservation during their entire week's stay. She nodded, and told me that she was sorry but that's how it was. I asked her if there was anything she could do. She said she'd put our room number on a waiting list and give us a call if anything opened up before we left. Angry, I left the reservations office and stormed off to the reception, where I launched a formal complaint with the manager. I explained that we were on our honeymoon, and couldn't even get the one reservation that had been promised us in our all-inclusive package. (Technically, you should be able to try more of the à la carte restaurants during your stay...) After some quick work in the office, the reception staff member brought us a printed ticket for a reservation that night at 9:15pm. A little late for dinner, but better than nothing. When we got to the Romantic Restaurant that night (starving, at 9:15pm!), the place was more than half empty. On the bright side, both the service and the food were excellent.

Lovely, helpful staff, a wonderful lobby bar, and a beautiful building... But someone needs to go in there and manage the place with a view to improving overall customer satisfaction! Overall, a great spot -- I would definitely recommend this hotel to close friends and family.

Room Tip: Rooms facing the side pools are quieter; rooms facing the main pool will be noisier.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank jess_can
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Director A, Manager at IBEROSTAR Laguna Azul, responded to this reviewResponded October 7, 2012

Dear Friends,

On a behalf of the staff and management here at Iberostar Laguna Azul we would like to thank you for your nice review. We all are hardworking people always seeking the best for all our clients. Should you choose our hotel, or some other Iberostar Hotels, for your next vacation, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Wish you all the best

Kind Regards

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review
Reviews (7,152)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language
  • More languages

2,800 - 2,806 of 7,152 reviews

Reviewed October 1, 2012

Had a fantastic 2 weeks 16th - 31st August at the Laguna Azul with daughters wedding thrown in half way through. We had stayed at a cheaper hotel in Vardero in 2009 so knew the resort. My daughter visited in the spring this year with her Cuban fiance and checked 4 hotels we had shortlisted for their wedding. The Laguna Azul was the only hotel that seemed happy to do the wedding between a Cuban and a Brit. They were also a good price too compared to others.
They were very helpful in contacting the registrar etc.
4 of us from UK booked an all inclusive with Thomas Cook to stay the whole 14 days as we had traveled around Cuba previously. Other people from UK booked the Hotel only for various periods and we also booked Cuban family and friends for various days of stay. It was easy to get a return transfer direct to the hotel from Havana.There was about 18 people in total. The rooms we had were great and everyone was within a short distance of the main pools and restaurants.
People complain about the food a lot in Cuba but I have to say that the Buffet was good with plenty of variety and you could get fresh omelets for breakfast and freshly cooked meat or Pizzas at other mealtimes. There were 2 snack bars if you wanted a change and the A la carte restaurants were all good. You needed to book Japanese a week in advance but the Cuban and Italian could be booked 2 or 3 days in advance. This is a big hotel but never seemed over busy and their was never any queue at the buffet even in the high season. The only time it got a bit crowded was when Hurricane Issac passed and the beach and snack bars were closed
We lost water supply one day due to a problem away from the hotel but they kept us well stocked with water bottles it just got rather hot as Air con didn't work! It soon got fixed though.
If there was a problem within the rooms a quick call to reception and within 2-3 hours if was fixed. A small tip always seems to help get things done! The majority of the staff are friendly and helpful especially Kensi at the quieter pool behind block 17/18. Drinks were plentiful and all free as all inclusive there were plenty of non alcoholic cocktails also.
The beach is beautiful at Varadero but do be careful as the waves can knock you over on windy days.
The wedding on the roof terrace went very well and all our requests/specifications were met. The reception in the Romantica restaurant was also lovely with very nice food and a three tier wedding cake that was set alight for good luck and a blessed marriage - a Cuban tradition.
They could have catered for 50-60 if necessary.
After the reception we chilled in the Bar then went to the on Site Disco for some Cuban dancing. We could have partied into the night had we wanted to.
Having read some other very negative reviews I feel sad for those people who moaned especially those who couldn't get a clean beach towel every day. Do you honestly change your towels every day at home?. We changed a couple of times during our stay and there was never a problem.
This may not be a 5 star Hotel if compared to other parts of the world perhaps only 4 start but it is a great place to stay and I can thoroughly recommend it whether you are visiting the beach for a couple of days on your tour of Cuba or want 2 weeks on the beach you will find it hard to beat.
I brought all or money in sterling cash to pay for the wedding etc and there was never any problem changing at reception - the exchange rate was usually $1.51 so was probably just as good as if you went to a bank and got charged on your credit card.
The only negative is that it is a long way from the center of Vardero as you are right at the end if the peninsula - $40 return in a taxi or $5 each on the tourist bus but it takes ages and stops at every hotel on the way.
In short this resort is great as are all the Iberostar resorts in Cuba. If you want a great holiday, and or a great wedding then go to the Laguna Azul.

Room Tip: Block 16 17 or 18 are all good
See more room tips
  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5  Thank stevehelenj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Director A, Manager at IBEROSTAR Laguna Azul, responded to this reviewResponded October 7, 2012

Dear Friends,

On a behalf of the staff and management here at Iberostar Laguna Azul we would like to thank you for your nice review. We all are hardworking people always seeking the best for all our clients. Should you choose our hotel, or some other Iberostar Hotels, for your next vacation, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Wish you all the best

Kind Regards

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 1, 2012

Just spent 2 very nice weeks in Laguna Azul. Our only very small complaint was that the pool bar we were using was closed down due to under occupancy & didnt do snacks anyway. Otherwise a very pleasant stay with very nice staff all round. Always a good selection of food.We would recommend this hotel & be happy to return.

Room Tip: Try for rooms nearer the lobby as the corridors are very long
See more room tips
  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank glenys f
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Director A, Manager at IBEROSTAR Laguna Azul, responded to this reviewResponded October 7, 2012

Dear Friends,

On a behalf of the staff and management here at Iberostar Laguna Azul we would like to thank you for your nice review. We all are hardworking people always seeking the best for all our clients. Should you choose our hotel, or some other Iberostar Hotels, for your next vacation, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Wish you all the best

Kind Regards

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 29, 2012

We went on the 13th September for two weeks.we had read the reviews before and was slightley concerned at the reports,well they are all true the bad ones that is.We had 3 rooms that were changed i have to say theat was not a problem and was sorted out very well and i had a nice room over looking the pool.Now to the bad things about this hotel,we had our towels stolen on the 2nd day and reported it to the staff they had security supposed to look at the CCTV but claimed they could not see us put the towles down What a load of rubbish my son works for a sucurity company and knows what it is all about.2/FOOD Cold all the time same things every night no changes even the beach bar was terrible.the pool staff were very good and also the girls who served you round the pool,they worked realy hard.Next they claim this is a 5 star hotel and it is classed as a 4 star in the travel books but when you ahve a straw to stir your coffee and tea with i dont think this amounts to that class of hotel.Towels yes this was an issue but good news they had a load of nice new ones delivered the day before we left.They never swept around the pool it was realy dirty and the cushions were filthy,also no cushions for the beach you had to lie on the plastic chairs if you wanted the beach not good for a 4 star.My bed had no clean sheets for 2 weeks and my fridge was never restocked i had the same bottle of water for a week,and had to ask for a replacement.I have given you a true review about this hotel and i wish i had never gone there i will be realy looking into my next vacation before booking it,so if you like cold food no spoons dirty beds dirty rooms no cold drinks in the room no comfy sun loungers on the beach by all means go there but best of luck.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
7  Thank ronald1939
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Director A, Manager at IBEROSTAR Laguna Azul, responded to this reviewResponded September 30, 2012

Dear "ronald1939"

On a behalf of the staff and management here at Iberostar Laguna Azul we would like to thank you for your review. However, we feel sorry that our hotel was not up to your expectation. We assure you that improvement, in all our services are an ongoing process and our priority is guest satisfaction. We do hope, to have another opportunity in the near future, to make your holiday unforgettable. If you decide to give us another chance, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Wish you all the best

Kind Regards

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 28, 2012

just returned from varadaro was really full of high hopes about this holiday but was let down. love Mexico but was told CUBA exceeded it, no way.
The hotel itself is nicely laid out and thanks to the staff clean and tidy. They have a huge problem with their laundry service, it took 4 days for us to be able to change our beach towels, and after 5 days the sheets on our beds had not been changed on going to reception they spoke in Spanish to the chambermaids but one word is unmistakable ENGLAISE surely we are all guests not nationalities. They have a beautiful quite pool which we really enjoyed with wonderful service thanks to Hanoi and his collegues but they then decide to shut the pool, with no prior warning, no drinks, locked toilets no cushions for the beds. Which brings me to the next point the cushions they are material and absolutely filthy, we couldent take them on the beach it wasnt allowed, but wasnt a problem as the beach wasnt as nice as other caribbean beaches.
The next problem was the flies in the restaurant they were everywhere not very appetising, and the food was never very hot.
All things considered these small problems should have been able to be rectified by a chain of hotels as large as Iberostar. Management take a leaf out of your staffs books if your hotel was run as hard as your staff work for you you would be onto a winner, 5 star definately not at most a three.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank EddieBuckingham
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Director A, Manager at IBEROSTAR Laguna Azul, responded to this reviewResponded September 30, 2012

Dear Friends,

On a behalf of the staff and management here at Iberostar Laguna Azul we would like to thank you for your review. Priority in our hotel is the improvement of all our services and continuous work to obtain our guest satisfaction. We have taken all your comments and suggestion into consideration and we will do the best we can to improve all the mentioned points. However, if you decide, to visit us again in the near future, please do note hesitate to contact us.

Wish you all the best

Kind Regards

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 25, 2012

Just got back from Laguna Azul yesterday with this being my second best trip to Cuba. This was our first trip in the last 8years without kids so we were up for some fun. We traveled with sunwing and were pleased with the services from start to finish. The resort is beautiful and very clean inside and out. We were in building 10 which is the farthest from the action but really close to a quiet pool, a little far from beach access but walking is good too.Our only issue was with beach towels however we learned after a few days just line up earlier before they open and you should get a towel, but we didn't let this ruin our time. The food was great for Cuba I think I may have gained weight and not lost like some would think you would when you visit Cuba. We did the day trip to Havana and loved it, tour guide was amazing, and we did the Jeep safari where we had the most fun, seeing the villagers, going to a farm and swimming in an amazing cave. You must know how to drive standard as they sometimes forget to tell you that, however was no issue for us. The hop on hop off bus is at the end of the driveway for the hotel and we liked that we could go to town and even enjoy the beach there too. We loved this resort and would definitely go again, lots to see and do and relax too.

Room Tip: Bring a beach towel just in case you don't get one right away. If you want to get one arrive ear...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
6  Thank Andrea A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Director A, Manager at IBEROSTAR Laguna Azul, responded to this reviewResponded September 28, 2012

Dear "Andrea A"

First of all we want to thank you for all your good comments and your exceptional review.

We all are hardworking people always seeking the best for all our clients.

We are glad to hear that you had an open mind while enjoying the hotel and their facilities.

we want to let you know that these days we have received an important amount of new beach towels so it will not be necessary to bring your own the next visit.

Waiting to see you again in Iberostar Laguna Azul.

Wish you all the best

Kind Regards

The management.
Iberostar Laguna Azul

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 24, 2012

My husband and I have been going to this resort every January for the past five years and we are booked again for this January!

The resort it's self is stunning and the most beautiful, genuine people work at this resort! Starting from the front desk right to the gardeners! They all go out of their way to please you!

The rooms are big and very clean! The only problem with the rooms is their showers! They spray all over but all the showers in any any other resort we stayed at in Cuba are the same!

My biggest complain is the food! It's always the same thing! I know that they dont have much but they could alot more then what they do! I always worry about getting sick because they use the same utensils for raw chicken as they do cooked! The chicken is always under cooked and even when you ask them to cook it longer they look at you like you are strange!

Management really needs to take a look at the way food is prepared so people don't get ill! Last year quite a few people did have food poisioning! Im very careful as to what I eat because I do not want to be sick in a foreign country!

Some new bedding, chairs and most importantly changing the way food is prepped would make this resort a five star but until they make these changes they are far from it!

As I said we are very careful as to what we eat and we don't go for the food! We go for the sun & the wonderful people but Im really hoping that they have made some changes for the better especially to their cuisine!

Can't wait till January to see Jenny, Lilly, the staff in the lounge, Ariel and the rest of our wonderful Cuban, amigos!

Room Tip: Rooms in the 1500 or 1600 block are the most central! 1600 block has a spectular view! Odd numbers h...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank travellers051
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Director A, Manager at IBEROSTAR Laguna Azul, responded to this reviewResponded September 28, 2012

Dear Friends!

First of all we want to thank you in name of all the staff for your good comments about the staff and the general resort.

Attending your concerns about the food, variety, quality and specially how it is prepared we will increase our supervisión in order to avoid these type of handling, be sure that in our kitchens we follow an strictcly higienic plan to supervise and control the food all the way ending at the guests.

Thank you again for your comments.

Wish you all the best

Kind Regards

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Travelers also viewed these Varadero hotels
4 mi away
Iberostar Bella Vista
Iberostar Bella Vista
#14 of 64 in Varadero
400 reviews
2.1 mi away
Blau Varadero Hotel Cuba
1.3 mi away
Iberostar Varadero
Iberostar Varadero
#3 of 64 in Varadero
6,930 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
2.4 mi away
IBEROSTAR Tainos
IBEROSTAR Tainos
#17 of 64 in Varadero
4,157 reviews
2.3 mi away
Melia Las Antillas
Melia Las Antillas
#11 of 64 in Varadero
4,308 reviews
4.2 mi away
Sol Palmeras
Sol Palmeras
#7 of 64 in Varadero
6,339 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to IBEROSTAR Laguna Azul? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about IBEROSTAR Laguna Azul

Address: Autopista Sur Km 17 | 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 Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#2 Business Hotel in Varadero
#7 Family Hotel in Varadero
#8 Romantic Hotel in Varadero
#9 Spa Hotel in Varadero
#20 Luxury Hotel in Varadero
#24 On the Beach Hotel in Varadero
Price Range: $164 - $429 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — IBEROSTAR Laguna Azul 5*
Number of rooms: 814
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in Varadero beach. Approximately 160 km from Havana and 20 min from downtown Varadero. It has 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 Ranchon 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

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing