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Reviewed April 12, 2010

We stayed at the hotel between April 3rd till the 10th. It was great. There is a few tips in here, but nothing new to a person who travels to places like this regularly.

The Bus Ride:
The young female Air Canada rep on the bus to our resort was very informative and entertaining. Apparently she was a student at the university there and was just starting to learn English and German. We had no problem understanding her.
The bus ride was prompt, not too bumpy, but we sat at the very front for that reason. The ride was approximately 45 minutes after 1 stop at another hotel. The roads were in good condition & we noticed that the streets were clean from garbage, better than back home in Canada. Also, we took all major roads, there were no dirt roads we drove on.

The Resort:
We arrived at the resort, which was big & beautiful from the front, very clean. There was marble all around
We arrived with 21 other people. 4 people were behind the desk working diligently to get all of us taken care of. They had another 2 people behind the counter, around the corner taking care of people that were already checked in that needed assistance with other things. We were checked in within 5 minutes.
There are smokers in the lobby, but there is also a cigar bar. I did not find the smoke overwhelming at all. We probably spent around $40 cuc on tips, and only gave it out when we felt necessary. Not once did we feel we needed to give more out to get better service. By the way, remember that if you want to leave a tip for people, don’t leave American money. They cannot exchange this easily and lose a considerable amount of money.

Our Room:
Our room wasn't ready (as we were expecting, as check-in time is 4p and we arrived at 12:30p) but she gave us our room number and told us to come back between 3-4p. We checked at 2:30p, but it wasn’t ready yet, so we waited another hour, and at 3:30p our room was ready. We were in one of the back buildings (10), and loved the fact that it was secluded from all of the activity. All of our towels were in the room, and on our way, we grabbed beach towels for the next day. The mini bar has 2 different beers (4 cans in total), 2 large bottles of water, 1 sprite, 1 orange pop and 1 regular cola. They re-stock it every other day. They also provided 1 body lotion (not sunscreen), 2 shower gel soaps, and 2 shampoos. Remember, if you want to leave things like this for the maid, they cannot accept the ones from their hotels. By the way, we had no problems with the water in the room. We did not have it turned off, and there was always hot water to shower/ bath in.
The king sized bed we had was alright. We slept very well for the first 3 nights with no problem. After that, we were probably over-tired. We used the extra blanket and extra pillows every night, it seemed to be very comfortable.
There was a coffee/ tea maker in the room, but no coffee or tea. When we called to ask for some, apparently (another growing pain we assume) there was no coffee for the room. We asked for tea, and we were brought 4 regular teas, and 4 mint teas. No sugar, sweetner or milk though, but if we really wanted to, we could have grabbed some from the lobby bars.

The Towels:
We weren’t able to change our towels in for a couple of days, but no big deal. We didn’t mind. We did see others with the white room towels, but I assume that they couldn’t get towels because everyone else had one. My husband also thinks this could be a growing pain. Everything they have has the Iberostar logo on it, and our assumption was that the beach towels were being ordered with the logo on them.

The Food:
When we grabbed a bite to eat at the main buffet & were impressed by the amount of choice of foods. 2 pasta stations, fruit and dessert bar, 2 different meat stations, & a pizza station. There was a chef overlooking all the foods that were not in stations (regular buffet food). The staff in the buffet were very quick and happy. I am pregnant and picky, and found it easy to find choices. The main dishes (pasta, hamburgers and hotdogs, French fries and pizza) were always available, but they also had a variety of foods every time you went, including the vegetables and the desserts.
If you are looking to have better service, sit close to the areas where the servers are. They can’t ignore you and always have their eyes on your drinks and dishes. We sat close to them on purpose and never had a problem. We even got up once together to get a second dish at breakfast, and one of the staff thought we had left and replaced everything! Fantastic service.
As I am pregnant, I was very cautious around the food. I ate mostly starches (fries, pasta, cereal) and ate yogurt every day. My husband was not cautious and enjoyed himself. Neither one of us got sick.
We slept in a couple of times and even though the buffet closes at 10a for breakfast, the snack bar always had breakfast (mostly continental) until around 11:30-12p. Great servers here too.
If you are a peanut butter fan, bring your own. I was and couldn’t find any for breakfasts.

The Drinks:
Depending on the bar, you could get drinks with fresh fruit, or you could get pre-made mix. I enjoyed the handmade virgin strawberry daiquiris that the pool bartender made when the pre-mixer was down. Try the Bloody Mary’s as well. I only had virgins, but these were very good. Again, it depends on which bar you go to, but they always made them taste good. I’m not a pina colada fan, but I heard lots of people ordering these and mojitos.
My husband enjoyed the Crystal beer they have, as well as amaretto and Canadian Club. The Canadian Club was not available at all bars, but didn’t bother him as he had lots of other kinds to choose from. He also tried the wine and liked it.
Some of the places you went to for breakfast had papaya juice that is typically mistaken for orange juice. If you want to ensure you are getting orange juice, order it and you won’t be disappointed. It was always fresh, and had some pulp to prove it.
Cappuccinos were great after dinner. If you add 1 or 2 sugars, they were perfect. The lobby is typically busy between 6p-8p, so go before or after to get a seat. There were always seats available on the outside balcony of the lobby; bring bug spray though.

A La Cartes:
We went and booked a la cartes after lunch to find that they had been closed between 12:30-1:30. We got there at 1:45 and there was a line-up out the door. We suggest booking as soon as you get to the resort. Don’t waste time if you want specific restaurants. It took us 30-45 minutes to book our dinners, but we managed to get all the ones we wanted before we left. Talk to the person booking nicely & you'll get what you want. We booked for a regular table at the Japanese restaurant & arrived ½ hr early and ended up at the Tapenyaki. The dinner was good and the entertainment was as well. We ate at the Tapenyaki, the Cuban and the Romantic. The Romantic was our favorite. Try the Lobster Salad Appetizer and the Asparagus Soup. Loved them both!

Room Service:
First, we were slightly disappointed to find out there is no breakfast service (doesn’t start till 11a).
Also, we ordered a large room service order at around 6p and didn’t get it until 8:30p. When the order finally came, they advised us that the kitchen “was broken”. We accepted the food and it was good, just wished they had advised us of the broken kitchen. We could have easily gone to the buffet instead. We didn’t order the room service again.
The maids didn’t come to our room early at all. We believe they were most likely there between 12-3p. If we wanted to sleep in, we had a great opportunity.

Getting your Seat at the Pool:
Lots of huts were available at the beach, but we aren’t much of beach people. If you like it by the pool, I suggest going to put your towel down around 7a to get a good spot. We woke up early 3 times for this reason. When we arrived, there was about 20 huts in total around the main pool (not a lot when you think about it), but by the time we left, it was almost doubled, as they were working on them.
They also have huts in the middle of the pool on islands that you have to swim to. Because they were not as easily accessible, we used these in the afternoon. You get a great view and you don’t get bugged by the activity staff.

The Pool:
The pool was warming up when we were there. At the beginning of the week, it was cold. By the end of the week, it was very warm. It hadn’t rained all week and the wind was beginning to die down.
The pool itself was amazingly clean, we saw them cleaning the pool around 8-9a every day. There are 3-4 servers around the main pool that serve and clean up cups. I never had a hard time walking around in my bare feet, as it was clean on the tile as well.

The Beach:
We took 1 walk on the beach. My husband didn’t like the fact that he constantly had to watch out for jellyfish. They were small, but they were there. We could have taken a walk on the sand, but it’s hotter, and there is many shells broken inside of it. Doesn’t feel too good on soft feet.

The Entertainment:
The entertainment at the pool was typical, however some days they do have silly games that you can watch and laugh at. They play bingo every day, and there is lots of activities for kids. They even had special shows for kids during the day time.
We ended up going to 1 show (as we weren’t show people) and the Magic show was pretty good. It got hot in the theater towards the end, so if you burn up easy, make sure you are close to a exit.

Overall:
If you’ve been to a 5 star resort before that you don’t need a reservation for the a la cartes, there are robes in every room, there is lobster and steak and every restaurant, ect; you won’t like this resort as much. If you’ve been to a 3-4 star resort, it’s good. We’ve been to a few in Cuba, Dominican and Mexico and we would rate this resort a 4 star resort. My husband believes that this resort is going to be amazing in 6 months to a year. If you really want your monies worth, wait.

  • Stayed: April 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
9  Thank The_Wife_101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 12, 2010

We were so excited to be heading to Cuba for our Spring vacation. We knew to expect that the food would be less than great, but were looking forward to the great service and beautiful beach.

Well...Here's the lowdown:

Flights / Transfers:
Our Air Transat flight to Varadero (and back) was good - we even enjoyed a not-bad meal on board!
The transfer from the airport to Iberostar Laguna Azul was fine - we were provided with some general information and of course were reminded to tip our guide and driver.
Check in was fine, too. We arrived at 10am, but our rooms would not be ready until 3pm. We took the opportunity to book our a la carte dinners. Their reservation system is completely wonky and good luck trying to coordinate two groups (guests in different rooms but “together”) onto one reservation. All in all, we got what we wanted booked, although it took about 45 minutes!
We changed in the lobby restrooms and headed to the pool, the lunch buffet and were off to experience Cuba.

Grounds / Resort:
It is a nice resort. But if this is brand new, it won’t look nice for much longer. It’s already showing some signs of wear.

Rooms:
Again, nice, but the beds are tiny (we had two doubles, which are only slightly larger than twins, and ours were so soft, while others complained there’s were too hard). The first day our room was obviously not cleaned and we had asked the maid to come back. Apparently, it was empty the week before and that is why dust had collected. Why, I asked, did we have to wait to get into the room then? I thought it wasn’t ready upon check in? They just shrugged at the front desk. A sign of customer service to come…
We never could get more towels if we needed them. The mini bar was never refilled even if we begged for more water. The room was never really cleaned perfectly. AND we still tipped out maid every day….
The bathroom is large but again, already showing signs of wear (rust stains under the sink, cracked tiles, etc.). It’s nice that you can access all the rooms from inside the resort though, and nothing is too far from the central area. Also, it’s nice that the beach is right there.

Beach:
Not what I was expecting for a Varadero beach, especially when everyone RAVES about how beautiful the beaches are. This one was just okay. We only spent one day at the beach, as we noticed that the chairs were all taken before 7am!

Pool:
Nice. Not enough talapas though, and if you didn’t get down there to claim your chairs by 7am, you were out in the sun. The towel game is a complete shame, but everyone does it. The chair pads were put away each night, and you had to tip the pool boy for bringing you a pad each morning. Tipping was expected everywhere. A peso more or less each time you were given a drink, brought a chair pad, were served a coffee for breakfast…
Beach / Pool towels were obviously in VERY short supply. There were never enough to be able to exchange your wet towel for a fresh new one. And God forbid you should exchange your wet towel for a towel card – you might not get a new towel until the next day MUCH later in the afternoon. This was a huge issue and we finally complained to the management, as we had to leave on an excursion without towels. Marisel was apologetic, but could do nothing. That night we had a $4 bottle of rum in our room with a note of apology. I’d rather have a clean beach towel, but I guess the apology was okay.

Food:
The buffet was just okay. I have very high expectations when it comes to food, and even with accepting that Cuba’s standards are quite low, this certainly came nowhere close to satisfying me. I felt the food was messy, unappetizing, and poorly organized. The breads and pastries were good though, and I survived the week on those with some pizza and pasta made- to-order. Service in the buffet restaurants was just okay. I was surprised at this. They looked bored and lazy and worked very s l o w l y. (There was ONE exception to this – Joselin in the doored off room – she was wonderful.) The line ups at the omelette and pasta stations were very long. Probably because everyone wanted something freshly made, and no one could figure out what they were serving at the hot tables!!! None of us got sick though, just FYI.
The A la cartes were good though. The Cuban, just okay, the Japanese good, and the Romantico very good. Service in these restaurants was very good.

Lobby Bar:
This was a nice touch. If we could find a group of chairs, we would often sit here and have a few drinks and chat after dinner. The drinks seemed watered down, and each time I ordered a strawberry daiquiri, it tasted different. The cappuccinos in the lobby bar and also in the beach bar were very good, I must say.

Smoking:
Smokers were everywhere – I didn’t realize SO many people still smoke! In the lobby, by the pool, on the beach – it was actually quite gross and problematic for my son who is asthmatic. We heard some others complain that their room stunk like smoke. However, housekeeping could not change their bedding etc, as there were no spares. ???

Money Exchange:
Calculate what you should be given before you hand over your money – twice I was nearly ripped off a few pesos (about a few dollars). When I corrected the clerk, she looked annoyed that I had the audacity to correct her. ??? They already make a few pesos on the exchange (you can get a better exchange at a bank in Varadero), so why do they need to try to rip you off, too?

Cigars:
We wanted to buy them at the Cigar Factory in Havana – but didn’t get there – so we bought them at the airport upon departure. They were A LOT cheaper here than at the resort or in Varadero.

Varadero:
About a half hour from the resort. This was a nice way to spend a few hours. We hopped on the bus and went to the flea market. The prices were okay. You could haggle a bit, but not much. We bought some souvenirs and headed back to the resort.

Excursion:
We wanted to go to Havana, but heard it was a 2 hour bus ride each way, and my sons (young) would be highly bored. If I ever go to Cuba again (doubtful), we’ll definitely go to Havana. However, this time, we did the Catamaran Tour with Dolphin Experience. About $100 pp, catamaran ride for an hour, snorkel for an hour (amazing snorkeling!), then another ½ hour on the catamaran to Cayo Blanco, lunch there (gross), then free time on the beach (that beach was gorgeous), then ½ hour on the catamaran to the enclosed dolphin area. Didn’t get to swim with the dolphins but got to touch them and take pictures. Back on the catamaran for hour before we got back to Varadero. Left the resort about 930am, were back about 5pm. Worth it? Maybe…not sure. It was okay (see now why I’ve named my review “just OKAY”?).

Check Out:
Check out was quick and painless. We made sure we had our $25 each departure tax and that was that.

Would I return to Cuba? Probably not. I expected the food to be bad, but the poor service really disappointed me. Maybe it’s because this is a new resort and the staff haven’t been trained, maybe I’m too picky, but for me, NOT Cuba.

Happy Travels!

  • Stayed: March 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank dscoochie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 12, 2010

Lets start with .. I read the reviews daily before our departure and I was skeptical which version of vacation we were in for . I was pleasantly surprised and had a great time . It could have been I had been to Cuba previously and had my expectations realistic . The resort is new so there will be some small issues, the staff will have all these minor things sorted out soon enough . I travelled with my wife and our youngest son along with my extended family ( bro and sis in law) This Resort is clean.. any dirt or garbage you my see is caused by who?? us the tourists, some of us can't be bothered to use garbage cans.
The Resort is large but well laid out nothing was far off . But if you plan on hitting Buffets
3 times a day you better be walking or you will be not fitting into your clothes by weeks end. The pools were beautiful and kept clean always . The food was plentiful and you always found something good to eat ( complainers shhhhhh! ) The restaurants were good ( Steak house go for tenderloin ) and Japanese( have no fear use the chopsticks have fun )
Animation crew is good and will only get better, but nightly shows still need some work
Very bright and upbeat and good dancing throw some laughs in there .. and I think we will have it nailed .
Day trips , We did the Jeep Safari and although it was fun it was rushed and the snorkeling part is not for everyone if the waves are big you better be a strong swimmer
I was fine but my ten year old had his struggles and my wife and sister-in-law were exhausted by the time it was over * Xgames snokeling * Saturno cave swimming Great
but don't swallow the water.....
Havana Colonial Tour .. Our guide was Carlos he was top notch. We found Havana interesting and be prepared lots of restoration going on . Bring small coins for handing out if you only have pesos it will be an expensive day. Lunch was very good ,Tour over
all worth the money .
Go.. Have Fun ..Enjoy yourselves ..overlook the little issues and Unwind
This is a Great resort if you want to have a good time , you will.
If you want to complain thats just who you are anyway . Lifes short enjoy it today
Iberostar Laguna Azul two thumbs up !!

  • Stayed: April 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
10  Thank caramarNiagara
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 12, 2010

we returned from an awesome and just great week at the Iberostar Laguna Azul. Wrote same coments last week they never got published , lets try again ! we styed from March 31 to April 8 in the morning .Ignore the bad reveiws as the time spent worrying about them is not worth itand don't go as nervous as I did .
Arrival/Reception - Arrived around 2 : 30 p.m. and was checked in within 10 minutes by receptions who spoke good enough English to answer all of our questions. We had asked for a king size bed and an oceanview through our travel agent ( Sunwings from Ottawa ) in advance and were no to pleased that we didn't got the ocean view ( got room 15204 ) but the bed was a king size, the room was ok and we go to Cuba to enjoy the beach, the sand so it was ok !. In the dresser we got as a gift a large bottle of Rum and a little note saying : happy honey moon :))) was our aniversary but its ok , lol .
Room - The room was very clean and ok , the fridge bar was filled every 2nd day with 4 beer, 4 pop and 2 large bottles of water. More than enough as there is safe water to drink around the resort. We got cleaned daily with fresh towels and shampoo as well as the standard towel art. .
A la Cartes - Booked all three the day we arrived in the afternoon without a problem. Japanese- Great with a good show ! Raciel was so much fun.
Romantique- Very tasty/ the service was very, very slow that night
Cuban - Poor grilled lobster.
Gourmet / Chef one : NO reservation here. got invited , weeeeeeeeeee, lucky us I know ! :).
Buffet- Lots of choices, some of which I would not choose due to not kowing what the heck they were, so I din't try ... but if you can't find something good to eat on here and lots of it daily then I don't know how you survive at home. Pizza, fresh bread,( that is really reallyyyyyyyyyy good ) chicken breast, beef strips, pasta ( get it freshly made/worth the 5 min in line,) soups, salads, cheeses( yum yum ) yum yum, deserts were all good.
Beach Bar ( or close to the beach ... ) - Not great , the 2 ladies down there ver very funny and you can have : burgers , hot dogs and cold fries )
Bars- Fresh Rum and everything else available : brandy, scotch , cavas , vermouth , etc etc at Beach Bar, and at the Lobby ( we liked it best ) and snack bar. I loved the Miami Vice , yamm yammm :) HA HA
Tips- We tipped around a dollar every round and got great service from everyone. Contrary to other reviews I read there was no begging or expectations of tips we never saw that .
Beach - Absolutely beautiful, but we prefer the one in the Barcelo Solymar ! but Laguna Axul is newer nicer so it was ok . Abundance of chairs, towels, shade .
Pools - excellent in the afternoon ! in the morning we stayed in the beach
Entertainment - O.K. ! loved one of the dancers ! very good job !
Money exchange - On site, next to the reception the rate was . 83 .
feel free to ask me any questions I will answer promptly.
I was afraid of going to Cuba , but will now go back. Heard a lot of bad, but all I saw was good. Same people like to complain and complain , but we have to say this Resort was very nice .
Enjoy your vacation , enjoy Cuba and have a great time like we did .

  • Stayed: March 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank KanataKanata
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 11, 2010

Travel agent = First Choice
Party size = 2 adults 1 teen
Duration 2 weeks March 25th – April 8th 2010
Accommodation = Suit number 19326
Cost £4500 Stirling
Check in / Reception excellent although we arrived at 5pm and only 2 parties checked in at the same time. Staff friendly, knowledgeable and made the whole process quick and easy.
Porter/Bellboy whisked us to our suite immediately and showed us the layout of our room.
Suite consisted of:
Lobby area with coat stand and umbrella stand.
Bathroom (WC and marble topped unit with wash bowl)
Living area with minibar, TV, sofa, armchair, 2 small tables, coffee table, cd/radio,2 table lamps and 1 floor lamp table and 4 chairs ( and in our case a single camp bed) large freestanding sideboard and finally a unit with marble top on which a coffeemaker stood.
Double patio doors to tilled balcony with a sea view.
Bedroom which contained a large (6ft wide) king bed, 2 bedside cabinets, TV in a large wooden unit also containing a second minibar, dressing table with lamp and mirror.
Main bathroom consisting large bath with shower, shower cubicle, large marble top with a washbowl, hairdryer and mirror.
Separate WC.
Dressing room (good sized room) consisting of large rack with coat hangers. Full length mirror, unit containing 3 shelves over 3 draws. Iron and board, security safe.
Absolutely beautiful and no complaints.
The rooms were kept clean each day (around noon) with fresh towels each day except one (due to a laundry problem). The toiletries were replaced if necessary daily and the minibar restocked every other day. Special praise to our maid for the flowers and towel art (towels made into boats or swans).
Tipping – a sore point for most of the Canadian moaners!
I found we received exactly the same level of service with or without tipping.
Instead of moaning and ordering the staff around a simple smile, a please and thank you works well. The staff are not Canadian slaves (I single out Canadian because we witnessed Canadians behaving appallingly towards the staff) so don’t expect them to like being ordered around. Cubans are proud, polite and friendly so treat them with respect.
A tip is always appreciated but never expected!
Main buffet restaurant area opens between 0700-1000 breakfasts,
1300-1500 lunches and 1930-2200 dinners.
This as you can imagine gets busy as almost 2000 people eat between these times.
Of course the tablecloths may be a little grubby by the time you get to use the table but are fresh and clean when each setting opens. Places at the table are laid with a paper placemat, cutlery, and glasses. You my have to wait few minutes before the staff clear up and set a table for you but as I point out it does get busy and everyone here is on holiday so what’s the rush?
The buffet is varied, fresh but does get repetitive after the first week.
If you fancy fresh made items (pizza, pasta, pancakes, omelettes etc) be prepared to queue up like everyone else – smile and take time to chat to someone who you don’t yet know.
You will not go hungry on this resort and you will not suffer the dreaded “holiday tummy” unlike some of the other resorts.
Drinks are offered by the numerous waiters/waitress. Juice and coffee in the mornings and water, wines, beers, pops during the other times.
If you think you’re being ignored because you have the “not tipped enough complex” then get off your backside and get your own! Beer and pops taps available to all.
All three pool complexes have “snack buffets” available from 0730-1700
And started (during our second week) a “fresh made service” for pizzas etc orderable at the bar.
The main pool complex also has a 24hr burger/hotdog outlet and an ice cream stall.
As I stated earlier “You will not go hungry here” if nothing takes your fancy you can always order room service.
Book able restaurants: Cuban, Italian, Japanese, Gourmet, and Steakhouse.
Book early into your holiday or you will miss out. Limited to 3 visits per week stay.
For this be prepared to queue and hope they haven’t already been booked up.
Great food and service in any of the above restaurants.
Pools: 1 large pool area with pool bar, waterfalls and most of the daytime entertainment.
Fun and games in and out of the water, disco, and popular with most of the guests.
Pool shack where you can pick up your beach/pool towels ( we only had two days where we couldn’t exchange – due to external laundry problems , but what the hell, your on holiday so does it really have to ruin your day)? Book swap area, table tennis and an area for the entertainment team to rest.
Giant chess set, hoopla, skittles, deck hoops (or whatever it’s called) also in this area.
Towards the far end the kids club and kids play area.
If like me you require something a little quieter, then this resort has two smaller quieter pool areas with toilet blocks (lovely and clean) and bar/ eating facilities.
Whichever you prefer you will not have to do without a sunlounger though shade is a premium item around the pools so you may want to play the towel game early in the mornings to “reserve “yours. Personally I prefer an extra hour in bed!
Beach: Plenty of palpas (shades) and sunloungers on the beach.
You will notice that this resort has the widest stretch of beach on the strip so much the local parachute jump club uses it to land on during the day.
Sail boats, sea canoes, etc all free but best to book them 24 hrs in advance.
20 peso gets you an able sailor who takes you out on the boat over the reef to allow you to scuba.
As it’s an Atlantic resort don’t expect a Caribbean beach, lots of coral make up the sand content but it’s still nice. The sea was rather cool but hey it is winter! Also keep an eye out for the dive-bombing pelicans (bigger than they look can give you a fright when they drop next to you).
Beach bar serving whatever you decide on – remember what I said about smiling to the staff as you will queue for a few minutes here. If you don’t mind a 100yrd walk then go to the snack bar for your drinks and miss out the queue.
What is it with the thermo mugs? They seem to cause most of the queuing because the staff has to unscrew/ remove the lids and rinse the sand off them, and in my opinion makes the user seem greedy. This site does have a reasonable sized glass or for outside use plastic glassware so no need to bring out the “buddy barrel”.
What to do in the evening:
Theatre – daily shows between 2100 – 2300 some good, some bad, done mostly by the in house entertainment team except the weekly magic show which is great.
Fun pub/Disco: 2300-0200
Main lobby/ terrace and bar area: Chilled out acts (grand piano then local music groups) 2000 – late. This tends to be busy all night especially with the big groups of Canadians all generally having a great night if a little loud at times.
Cigar bar: a lovely quiet bar to sip a drink and smoke a good Cohiba (and good extraction so it isn’t too smoky).
Beach disco 2300- 0200 (thankfully only started on my last night as it was opposite our building).
Grounds/ Gardens: Very pleasant but will be magnificent when matured. Plenty of litter bins and ashtrays also plate/beaker boxes for those “al fresco” eaters (every 50 paces), it’s a pity some guests can’t be bothered to use them and chose to leave litter/beakers/plates on the floor. The same applies to stairways and corridors, why some people feel the need to leave glasses/ plates etc on the stairs/ floor is beyond me.
PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS A TROPICAL ENVIRONMENT MOSQUITOS ARE IN ABUNDANCE SO FOR EVENING/NIGHTIME USE BRING JUNGLE STRENGTH BUG REPPELLANT AND COVER ANY VISABLE SKIN WITH IT.
OR YOU WILL BE BIT AND IT WILL ITCH!
Whilst here make sure you go on the tourist open top bus. 5 cuc per person for an all day ticket. Jump on and off when you fancy. Ask your travel rep for a local map and off you go. Great fun to be had and totally safe (has very little crime due to Cuban penal system being so harsh).Go shopping (vendors will not harass like other countries) try a local bar just off the main road or just go site seeing!
The most popular excursions are Catamaran trips. Scuba trips, Speedboat and deepwater fishing trips or Havana (in my opinion a must). I cannot recommend the dolphin shows as I won’t go to them.
I have read some reviews about this hotel and have come to the conclusion some people just have a compulsion to complain about the smallest of faults, in my opinion it’s their loss and their holiday they are ruining.
This resort is only 5 months old and the grounds, staff and management are still “bedding in” so what if there are a few minor teething problems, chill out and smile, your on holiday , don’t let a little detail snowball into something that’s going to ruin your or someone else’s vacation.
This is a Cuban 5 star resort – if you’re expecting a 5 star North American/European resort then you are going to be disappointed. If you want a good 4 star set in the best location with good food and drinks served by the friendliest of staff then this is the place to be.
Had a great two weeks here and would totally recommend this hotel.

  • Stayed: March 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
6  Thank Rain-City-Dwellers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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