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All reviewspizzamain poollobby bara la carte restaurantsfishmain buffetjapanese restaurantquiet poolchickenbeautiful resorttex mexother resortsfriesevery other dayrecommend this resortbring your ownface cloths
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Reviewed April 25, 2010

Myself an my good friend went from april 15 til april 22. We stayed in a junior suite in block 19.

Room: amazing, we has 1 full bathroom with shower, tub, toliet, walk in closet, and 1 1/2 bathroom with sink and toliet. There was two umbrellas in the room for raining days. There was a couch, table and four chairs, another chair and tv. Also included was a fridge and coffee maker in this room. In the bedroom was a kingsize bed, tv fridge and entrance to the huge bathroom.
The room was beautiful and the patio was the largest compared to single rooms. We also got to over look the beach, simply amazing view.

There was even room service that was opened from 11am til 11pm.

Buffet: You will always find something to eat. Breakfast you can wait about five minutes in line for freshly made omelets, fried eggs, and pancakes. There is always fresh bread, orange juice, tea, coffee, fruits, cheeses, and other variety of foods out for breakfast. Supper time, fresh made pizza, pasta, chicken, pork, fish, potatoes, french friends, vegetables, ice cream, deserts. Plenty of food to go around.
The servers at the buffet are quick to offer tea/coffee, water, wines, and also to remove your dishes after you have used them.

We spent all of our time at the main pool outside the lobby. In the mornings around 10am the Star Friends will come around and get you to join in on the morning stretches, water erobics and other games the play. This staff works amazing and has very long days because most of them will work the theatres in the night times as well.

The staff at this pool, well we never went without a drink. Ariam, Janet and Babara were so friendly. We never had to get up and get our own drinks and never used our Bubba because we never needed them.

There is a non smoking bar up and its in the lobby, they make the best drinks of the whole resort.

Beach towels, when you check in you are given one card per guest where you take this card to the club house (again off the main pool) and get your beach towel. You can exchange the towels as much as you like. Just remember to either get your card back when checking out or bring the towel to the check out counter when your leaving.

Tipping for us, we did ofcourse just because if we were in Canada and ate at a restaurant we would be leaving a tip for the waiter here. Why would it be any different anywhere else. They were very happy to even receive one dollar.

I also gave items such as toothpaste, brush, under shirts, hat to the gardners. They are working out in the heat with boots and overalls on. They deserve to get something as well.

The disco was very nice. Some of the dancers come after the theatre and put on some shows in there.

  • Stayed: April 2010, traveled with friends
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8  Thank kala2525
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 25, 2010

Very nice hotel. Food-= bland, but pizza, pasta and ice cream are good, generally fresh and lots of selection.

Beach: gorgeous!! Lots of seaweed, but due to weather, cause overall was beautiful!!! Free catamaran, water sports, etc....

Beach chairs: soooo uncomfortable!! Should put mats!

Staff: front desk and management= lack people skills and are definately in need of training for public relations!!!!

Negative: table cloths are filthy and never washed! They covered up the tables with paper place mats to hid stains- DISGUSTING!!!!!

Food buffet: wow, people are pretty HUNGRY in Cuba (meaning the tourists).. Felt like I was in a football field battling for the last piece of bread??? Agressively hungry and its the people staying at the hotel that make it dirty, dropping food everywhere, etc.... no respect!

A la carte restaurants: good, passable, but good for Cuba standards, definately not like home! They lack spices and the meat has a very weird taste, I stayed away. ASK FOR WELL DONE!!!!!

DO NOT STAY IN BLOCK TEN!!!!! We asked for beach front we got BUSHES AND CONSTRUCTION FRONT!!! Thanks SUNWING! Every morning at 5 am ish I was woken up by construction and a pipe kept bursting and pouring water from 3rd floor down to 1st floor in our hotel block.

Hotel room: SENIORS watch for high baths! I had a problem getting in and out.. pretty high!!

Towels are generally available, but late, however, lots of people do not hand them in the day before therefore, in the mornings expect a line up and lack of towels.

WATCH FOR CONVERSION AND LATE CHECK OUT FEES!!!! We were told one thing and they ended up charging us extra, even after admitting that they explained it wrong! We fought with them and they responded: what do you want us to do?? Put a review on Trip advisor, we don't care!!!

Definately a good potential to be a five star, but lacks in customer service *management especially. Staff is generally kind, especially the cooks and bar tenders at the beach and the maids! However, front desk= try to smile once in a while, or you are in the wrong business!!!! Leonardo the cook is amazing, get him a beer and he will become your best friend!

Tips are expected but not from all... its only normal you cannot tip everyone everytime and the staff too have to remember that, but do bring gifts, soap, old clothes, etc.. they appreciate that, especially the workers!

Everything is well kept and cleaned, however, not the details: bathroom was not properly cleaned with dirt in back of door and toothpaste residue from previous guest, thank God I brought my Lysol wipes!

Kids and family friendly! Singles= not sooo fun! Couples- relaxing

  • Stayed: April 2010, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank NatalieLuccaElias
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 23, 2010

We travelled to Cuba with our 7 month old son, and this is our 3rd time in Cuba.

Sunwing - Had Elite Plus and had no issues at all. Something people should be aware of though, if you gate check your stroller at departure the Varadero airport does not provide the stroller when you get off the plane and it comes through the regular luggage carasol.

Resort:
Check in was quick and they granted my request of a 3rd floor room and a king size bed. They put a cot instead of a crib in the room so the first night the baby slept with us. The next day I made a few requests for a crib to numerous people and gave a good tip to the maid and it was there when we came back. Rooms were a very nice and clean, decor was more modern than the typical bright caribbean look. The bathroom had a large tub that was deep and turned out to be dangerous getting out of. My husband fell passing me the baby and landed on his elbow. Didn't break anything but it was swollen and we had to go to the doctor (who was very good btw). We had new towels everyday (heard other guest complain they didn't get them), they don't change your bed sheets everyday, only every 3 days. No biggie for us but again, heard some complaints about this. We had hot water everyday as well.

Food: Japanese a la carte was awesome. Italian wasn't very good and service was slow, and Gourmet was only so so. The buffet was pretty good. They had awesome pizza and of course pasta. Line up's were a bit slow as sometimes they only had one frying pan going at a time (in the morning for omelets). Some veggies they had this time that I had not seen in Cuba before like Broccoli and Cauliflower. Best bread I have ever had in Cuba, fresh and soft. They had an ice cream stand by the pool which was a very nice touch and a the burgers/hotdogs and fries were all good. All and all we didn't stave but the buffet was repetitive. We heard others complain about the food, but again, I think people forget they are in Cuba!

Kid/Baby Club - I was really impressed with their set up. They had a really nice section for babies. A little change room and tiny little showers for kids and bathrooms that were their height and in their colors.

Bugs - Lots of mosquitoes. Our son got a few bites the first night then I was very watchful and kept bug spray on him. Many people seem to get bitten by sand fleas at the beach.

Weather - Varadero is windy but sunny. We only went to the beach 2 times the whole week. Pool was much better for us this time.

Beach - not near as nice as Cayo Coco or Santa Clara, it was rough sand. I had read that it was a man made beach so this must be the reason. Oh and towels at the resort for the beach and pool are an issue as they often ran out. We brought our own so we didn't get into that whole drama. There is plenty of shade on the beach though and they have alot of activities on the beach during the day.

Staff - were very friendly and tried hard to please everyone as usually and Cuba. No complaints.

I would recommend this resort, lots of young families and couples. It is still going through some growing pains and I think they could work on a few things like cleanliness of the bathrooms around the resort and washing of the buffet table clothes etc. We agreed though the food/weather/beach was better in Santa Clara so we think next time we will either head back that way or try Holguin next time.

  • Stayed: April 2010, traveled with family
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6  Thank Montydoo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 22, 2010

Just returned from a wonderful week at the Iberostar. It was a girlfriend get away! So much fun – thanks to the “Real Housewives of Cuba” – I have the best friends in the world!!!

On to the review:

Firstly, a shout out to Sunwing – great job. Enjoyed the flight and the service!! Very impressed!!

I have nothing but good things to say about the Iberostar Azul Laguna. I have travelled a lot throughout the Caribbean and for Cuban standards – this place is great!!

If you chose to go to the Iberostar, I have a few tips:

Do drink the Malibu Rum with Pineapple Juice
Bring your own beach towel
Bring your own toilet paper
Bring an insulated mug
Tip often - the Cuban people work very hard for very little money
Bring deodorant and other toiletry items for the Cuban people - it is very appreciated – and not expected – they are quite shy about it.
Don't eat at the Cuban restaurant - we walked out!! The A La Carte booking lady needs to cheer up!! The Romantico and Japanese were YUMMY!
At the buffet - stick to the fresh pasta bar and pizza (they appreciate tips too)
Order the café con letché (sp?) on the veranda YUM! If you are a coffee drinker – this is like a latte. The Cuban brewed coffee is not so good!
The “Star Friends” activity people are great. Very friendly but not pushy. Yosuan is awesome!!
Visit the beach in Varadaro Town – it is one of the nicest I have seen!!
Take a Hobbie Cat ride – it is included and SO MUCH FUN!!

I have two complaints:

The beach chairs are very uncomfortable (although plentiful so no need to reserve) and the tubs in the rooms are VERY high and hard to get into - especially after a day at the pool bar :)

For being a new property it will not stand the test of time so go now before it gets run down!!!!!!!!!!

I would be happy to answer anyone's questions - feel free to email.

  • Stayed: April 2010, traveled with friends
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10  Thank travelfamily1201
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 22, 2010

I had booked this resort back in Feb'10 and I was nervous as I was booking not only for myself but also 2 friends and they let me do the ultimate pick so I wanted to make sure it was the best one. Each week I went on Trip advisor to see the reviews. I picked up some tips from both the good and the bad ones. All I can say is you have to experience it yourself because everyone is different and has different expectations. This was my 5th time to Cuba. I had also traveled to Dominican once and I can honestly say this is the Best resort ever. It was not only beautiful but also the staff were excellent. The food was the best I have had in Cuba and if you have never been to Cuba, the food is sometimes a bit bland but not on this resort. If you couldn't find something you like at this resort then maybe Cuba isn't the place for you to go... We found the buffet and all the restaurants that we ate at were delicious. The Stake house and the Japanese were Excellent.
The rooms were large and we had 3 in a room and still lots of room. With 3 women getting ready in the evening we never ran out of hot water... Our rooms were cleaned each day and if need anything extra we left a note for our maid and she would leave it. The rooms and hotel was very clean.
The staff were always around asking if you would like to participate in days events. There was lots to do. We took a trip in to Havana one day...Its a must. What a beautiful site.
The shows at night were great although we didn't see many the ones we did were excellent.
I did hear some people talking about certain experiences they had like no pool towels or long line ups at the buffet or waiting to get a drink but you have to understand, Cubans are relaxed and that is how they are at work. They do not move very fast and I can understand why, by the end of our vacation we were walking around slower then them... It is such a relaxing place to go and everyone needs to slow down... That is how it is in this Country. As for the towels. We went one day and got our towels and kept them all week. We hung them up at night and they were dry in the morning. I would do the same at home at my own pool... aren't we all trying to save this environment? And if you have to wait in a line up for food or drinks really, whats the big deal... Where else do you have to go?
I went with an open mind as I knew this was a new resort and would likely have growing pains but I did not see any. I guess if you are looking for things to complain about then I am sure you could find something but I did not find one thing... It was Awesome and the whole time I was there all I kept thinking about was that I could not wait to go back with my husband and 2 teenagers as I know they would have so much fun there... I will definitely go back... I can't wait. :)

  • Stayed: April 2010, traveled with friends
    • Value
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6  Thank Caissie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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