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IBEROSTAR Laguna Azul
Ranked #28 of 64 Hotels in Varadero
Reviewed October 13, 2012

Just returned today from Cuba. We stayed at the Iberostar Laguna Azul. This is an beautiful resort. It is very clean. The workers are very friendly and the rooms were so comfortable and clean. The food was good - always managed to find something to eat. I can't wait to go again! Thank you to Yoania, Diosdado, Raul and all the other hardworking waiters (buffet restaurant), as well as the three girls: Dorilla, Yenny, and cant remember the other girl that kept the liquids coming at the pool bar. Thank you to all of the hard working cleaners, the gardeners, the front desk staff, and just about everyone - including the Animation staff! This is a wonderful place to stay. Please tip - these people deserve it!

Room Tip: If you want quiet, do not go to building 15 unless you are facing the ocean. I had a room that face...
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank Bernadette D
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 14, 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.
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2,770 - 2,776 of 7,115 reviews

Reviewed October 13, 2012

Myself and my fiancee stayed at this hotel for two weeks on 14th September 2012, our tour operator was Thomas Cook.

Firstly, although unrelated to the hotel, we had problems with Thomas Cook and their total inability to answer simple questions, we asked on 3 occasions to book the premium cabin, we where told that on the way out they can't sell them due to tax reasons and are allocated at the airport, this is fortunate if you work for Thomas Cook as we heard from a cabin crew member that shop staff where in the seats, nice perk if you can get it. We where also informed that we could book return seats in the premium cabin but only whilst in Cuba, again tax reasons where cited. When we got there alas no they couldn't be bought as they had all been sold in the UK. Never mind we also had an extra leg room seat which we purchased, made the more refreshing as the passenger next to us told us he didn't pay extra for his. Nice to see Thomas Cook are really upping their game following their recent financial troubles. Our last holiday was also with Thomas Cook and the customer service was of the same quality. We have complained before and got nowhere so perhaps it'll be another tour operator from this time on-wards.

The Hotel

Generally speaking a really good hotel, it is important to consider that Cuba is not a developed nation and I had no complaints about the room, it was a good size with plenty of drawer and wardrobe space, toiletries in the bathroom which had a shower and bath. It had a proper double bed and not just two singles pushed together and a decent balcony. The mini fridge was stocked with water, fizzy drinks and beer and should be stocked every two days, although it was probably every 3-4 days. It was clean and the housekeeping service was good each day.

We did encounter some problems which would be useful for future guests to be aware of.
if you are changing money the staff will round it down and pocket the change, without sounding pedantic and I know in the grand scheme of things £2 isn't a lot, but if you add it up over hundreds of guests some staff are more than supplementing their income by theft.

The towels ran out and there where no towels to be had for 5 days, not too good in a hotel especially an Iberostar and a 4/5 star hotel, luckily I had brought my own towels as well but new guests arriving were left with using their bath towels.

Tipping is expected, but if like us you rather tip after you receive good service you may struggle, but it appears that you may have to tip before you get any service at all. I have no problem with tipping but not where bad service is concerned. That said, the service at the Monserrati Pool Bar was excellent, the waiter and pool man worked hard every day to ensure that guests were comfortable and hydrated.

Food

The a la carte restaurants were all decent quality, we tried the Japanese, Italian and International restaurants and all were good.

But don't get your hopes up, the buffet restaurant was very poor. To be honest I didn't see many issues with the hygiene or quality of the food but the variation is the worst I've seen and is very repetitive. I'm not a fussy eater but I really struggled after a couple of days. The food is probably the biggest let down of the hotel, even the breakfast was poor.

I would visit the little Ice Cream hut if you like ice cream though and the coffee is from proper coffee machines and was very good.

The Beach

The beach was great, nice white sand, plenty of beds and the sea was lovely and warm, there is also a little beach bar as well.

Havana Overnight Trip

We booked the overnight trip to Havana on 21st September, Fri into Sat and all in all we weren't disappointed with the tour and I would definitely recommend visiting Havana, however, just beware that you are sharing a bus and tour with several other holiday makers, which wouldn't usually be an issue, except for our bus was full of middle aged couples having a mid-life crisis and weren't happy until they had drank Havana dry of rum, vomited in the bus toilet, abused other passengers, embarrassed the tour guide, offended the bus driver and generally made you uncomfortable.......COMPLETE EMBARRASSMENT TO BRITISH TOURISTS.......and couldn't wait to disembark from the coach from hell.

I would also make sure you take your own toilet paper to Havana as many of the toilets don't have any or charge you for the privilege of one or two sheets.

Cigars are great..... buy some. Rum is also very cheap, between £2.50 - £3.50 a bottle depending on the type.

Overall, it was a good holiday, perhaps the hotel was slightly overpriced for what was delivered but I would return to Cuba again in the future.

Room Tip: Ask for a high floor for a slightly better view.
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank Kodi2010
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 14, 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. 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 October 12, 2012

My wife and I stayed at this hotel from Sept 19th to Oct 3rd 2012.The lobby area, pools and grounds make this look worthy of its four star plus rating.We stayed in room 18208 overlooking one of the quieter pools.The room looked as though it had been recently decorated but the bathroom had seen better days,fittings rusted,could not stop toilet flushing,and the shower was brocken.Things do go wrong now and again so I reported the faults and they were duly sorted after a couple of times of asking. During our stay Management had decided to close one of the pools and one of the snack bars and only to leave one towel station open which was the one at the main pool.We tried to book the Romantica restaurant for a special occasion but were informed that it was fully booked, I later discovered that it was not fully booked it was closed because some of the restaurants were only open every other night. Management and tour operators take note (We book our hotels after reading your descriptions of the hotel and the facilities that will be available to us during our stay.Those facilities should be as stated in your advertising) I have stayed in quite a few hotels in different countries but never in one with food so bad.I am not a fussy eater and can usually find something to my taste but I really did struggle here.I dont eat meat balls mash potatoes and veg for breakfast.The food was never hot and the same each day it was boring.The soup was ok and the omelettes at breakfast cooked at one of the stations were good and you can't go wrong with toast.Also a few items on the salid bar but I don't consider that four star dinning.The restaurants were better but only just.I heard it said more than once (the food is bad but we are in Cuba)well i'm not swallowing that (pardon the pun) I have stayed in Cuba before and you can get good food but seemingly not at this hotel.As I said ealier I am not a fussy eater but at this hotel I was not fussy eating.To sum up, with a few changes by management this could be a great hotel SHAME ABOUT THE FOOD.

Room Tip: Block 18 even numbers look onto quiet pool
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Leslie_OCheshire
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 14, 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. 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 October 12, 2012

I don't understand all the bad reviews this hotel is getting. I really enjoyed my stay here, the pools were great (especially the quiet one) The 4 a la carte restuarants were really good, never ran out of food to eat at the buffet, the service from the staff and the entertainment were all great aswell! I would return to this hotel in a second. Only one thing I would say is that Cuba in general, is not as luxurious as the likes of Mexico and Dominican republic, so If you have been these places, you may need to lower your standard just a little bit.

Room Tip: Ask for a room away from the disco/entertainment stage if you fancy an early night.
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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1  Thank Ryanyoung89
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 14, 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 11, 2012 via mobile

Very disappointing.
Food was disgusting in every imaginable way. Food safety, what is that.

Like mildew? enjoy your room!

Be careful not to wet your towels- housekeeping just re-folds your dirty towels.

The maid stole two shirts from my wife. Sneaky she took them out of our dirty clothes bag. Confronted her and she suddenly lost her ability to speak English. I can't believe I paid to go to this dump.

The 5 star rating is a joke, disappointing because the building, pools and grounds are beautiful.

  • Stayed: June 2012
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2  Thank SuperFriends23
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 14, 2012

Dear Friends,

In name of the Iberostar Laguna Azul and all the staff we want to apologize for the inconveniences you mention, it is not usual at all this kind of acts in our hotel staff that is very trustfull. it is a shame that we are exposed to this isolated incidents, for sure it should have been better to have reported inmediately to the front deks manager or maybe you could have posted you dates and room number so we can take proper measures.

Again accept our most sincere apologies.

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 11, 2012

I have recently just got back from here, the food was horrible same things everyday, flies evetrywhere crawling all over food :( we enjoyed it at the quiet pool until they closed it down.. then it was a long walk to the other bar for drinks, was really hot the air con wasnt working in our room and a few friends we met out there said the same,, on the last few days my partner started with bad stomach cramps sickness and diarrhea, we got home and went to see our own doctors who did tests to find out he had got 'SALMONELLA'. my partner wasnt the only one who had been ill through the holiday.
We got our bed sheets and towels changed once in the two weeks of us been there.
I really wouldnt reccomend this place, its not a 5*

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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1  Thank louise k
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 14, 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. 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 October 10, 2012

Travelled with my wife early sept 90%humidity about 110 deg heat,(low season)Stayed in room14405 which had a fantastic viewover the "quiet pool",well it was when we were there!The hotel itself is very nice the room was ample and spacious just not as clean as i would expect considering this is rated a 5*hotel and our bed was damp and sheets were only changed once in 2 weeks..Word of advice if you are a tea loving person take your own teabags the kettle is the coffee perculator and you can get milk from the bar. We never had our minibar restocked during our 2 week stay even after several complaints to reception we constantly had to ask for water and toilet rolls like they were golddust.Little tip bring your own mug,like the thermos mug, lots of people in the hotel brought theirs as the cups you get drinks at the poobarsl are small.After a couple of days the food becomes the same however its never cooked the same the main restaurant if you are not adventourous is limited as usual cater well for the russians and germans who also got better service.There are 4 "a la carte " restaurants the best one in our opinion was the Romantica then the italian.Also the dress code for men in these restaurants states long trousers ,unless you are foreign and can walk in wearing shorts and t shirt while the rest of us are melting adhering to the dress code.Tipping is naturally expected 1to 3 paeso for general tipping if you have great service 5 to 10.If you venture out and about you will get some hassle in local areas dont be afraid to barter at flea markets also toilets are rare and well guarded usually by old women who want payment for you to use this facility even though its a public toilet 25 to 50 cents(there is no law that says you have to pay!) and take your own tissue with you as they dont have any!!The open top bus tour is worth a go it costs 5 paeso each for the day(walk down to the entrance of the hotel you will see the bus shelter) it takes you all round the island and you can get on and off as many times as you like.There is a great beach by Al capones house but their is no shade the water is fantastic though!!They do try to keep you entertained by the main pool and have lots of activities like tennis,archery little games you can win stuff in, water aerobics..etc..the night entertainment is worth a watch ,not the worst i've seen but they make a good effort.If you are planning the trip to havana..lets just say its an experience,put another way everyone on our bus hated it!! The local reps clearly have their own agenda and conveniently stop where lots of beggars and disabled people turn up.Watch out for the sketch artists and the "local women"who will kiss you then want lots of money for it,as do the sketch artists(it looks nothing like you)i nearly had a fight with one who just would not leave us alone and tried to con a deaf lad in our group.If you still go to havana i would recommend finding a local guide(they wear a card around their neck and speak very good english)down by the harbour where the buses park up and offer him and a horse and trap taxi to show you the sights for the day about 15 to 20 peasos and will be sure you have a better time than we did..do NOT go to the hotel florida the food is awful we were warned by friends we made and a group of us found a local cafe and had some lovely food! The Tropicana show is again ok but not as great as they make out we stayed in the national hotel..very gangsterish lots of memorabilia,basic but nice although the lift has a mind of its own!!The last place you go for a meal is the tallest restaurant in havana so if you dont like heights try and sit on the side just as you walk in it looks over the sea which isnt too bad!! The last thing to say is if you dont want any of your clothes and they are in good order the staff there would take them off your hands, we gave some away and colouring pencils we gave to the waitress for her children.American dollars contrary to popular belief are NOT allowed in the country if found on you ,,big trouble...you have to take english money with you and change it at their airport.Speaking of the airport not much there really..but dont forget to allow yourself 25 paesos each for getting out of the country,otherwise you cannot leave!For some people it would be a dream, for us its a trip never to be repeated,very disappointed with this hoilday.The best thing about this holiday was meeting a great couple from canada who we are now firm friends with!!

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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3  Thank tamnchris
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 14, 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. 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.
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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
#7 Spa Hotel in Varadero
#8 Romantic Hotel in Varadero
#19 Luxury Hotel in Varadero
#24 On the Beach Hotel in Varadero
Price Range: $170 - $423 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — IBEROSTAR Laguna Azul 4*
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 
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Also Known As:
Iberostar Laguna Azul Hotel Varadero

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