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Reviewed October 12, 2010

I went with a friend that's never been any where we both had a great time. I was alittle worryed, we where droping people off at their resort 's and they look cheap. But from the photo's l've seen here doing my research and the travel agency I kept my head up. When we got there it was amazing. I had nothing to worry. Room was'nt ready but that was ok we had a drink/ walk the grounds and had lunch after we did that our room was ready. Ocean view and pool view from the front door top floor it was the best. We had 2 problems with the place we had a veiw ant's, called the front desk and they sprayed raid in the corner of the patio door. and we had no hot water called it was back on. I think they have generator's. They food was so good. Some of the fruit was yuk. people where so friendly.

  • Stayed: October 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank kimmie22_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 12, 2010

we travelled to cuba from the uk for 2 weeks, upon arrival we were checked in promptly with a welcoming drink and taken to our room which was located on the ground floor block 15. The room overlooked the main pool and was very close to the buffet and al carte restaurants. Our room was nice and cleaned and made up each day to a high standart. The bathroom was large and we had fresh clean towels daily. Our mini bar was only stocked up when requested and the only soft drink they had was the local cola. We had plenty of bottled water as we had a baby with us. Our room was fully airconditioned.

Food- The main buffet restaurant was rather dissapointing.
breakfast time there were freshly cooked omlettes eggs etc which were nice, apart from that we found the selection of food off putting, over cooked and dried out. you would find hot dogs vegetables meat balls and lots of other "slop" all of which had no labels, there for i did not know what alot of it was. the fruit was limited and often did not appear fresh and would be covered in flies which is a constant problem in the buffet. the cereals for our children were also very poor. Juices tasted watered down and had an unpleasant taste we there for stuck to water. breads were always cooked fresh and were nice.
Lunch and dinner again very poor- buffed area was full of burnt overcooked food which would be left to stand way to long and would often be cold. there was always plenty of fresh meat- turkey chicken fish and beaf- although we struggled to to find anything edable to eat with it. we would generally have meat and bread. even the chips were always burnt and cold. salad selection was poor. cakes were very nice. By the end of our holiday it became upsetting going into the buffet. We were aware that the food in cuba was basic and bland, but is it really that difficult to cook fresh potatoe and vegetables, and have a good variety of fresh salads and fruit? we travelled to mexico last year where the standard of food was very high and have there for been very disappointed at this hotel.
The al cate restaurants were ok, if paying for the food in a restaurant i would not return again. The meat and steaks were nice it was everything else that went with it was disgusting.
One day in the buffet i was eating diced chicken and after taking a bite i realized the chicken was raw, after showing the chef and explaining how dangerous it was to serve raw chicken, he came to us when leaving the buffet with 2 peices of cooked chicken. dont think he realized the dangers of serving raw chicken.
i ordered 2 pizza s one day at the snack bar and watched in horror the female cook peel dried skin from the palm of her hand with a sharp kitchen knife, she then continued to clean her finger nails and cut them down with the knife which was used to cut meat etc. she did not care that a counter of customers were watching her.
The food at the snack bar is generally cold and disgusting.chips burgers etc are cooked left to stand and then re heated agin when people order them.
i cannot understand how some people think the food is good- they must be happy to eat anything. some days we went hungry and ate very little it was that bad.

The pools were very nice and we recieved good service from all the bar staff. cuban people are very nice and friendly.
entertainment was good and staff work hard, although the theatre becomes very hot and full of mosquitos.
lobby bar is amazing and you recieve excellent service and very good quality alcholic drinks. coffees are aslo very nice there.

We would not return to the hotel because of the food, it was so disappointing and spoiled our holiday. we loved cuba and havana just the standart of food was to poor. Alot of english people at the hotel disliked the food and complained to management - lets hope they sought it as the hotel itself is very nice.

  • Stayed: September 2010, traveled with family
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Thank bigdaveDurham
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 12, 2010

We visited Cuba in December 2009 - over the Christmas period. We originally booked the Iberostar Varadero which is lauded as the No.1 Hotel in the resort. The Varadero was nice but not a patch on its sister hotel the Iberostar Laguna Azul!!!

We had wanted to book the Laguna Azul back in England, but some reviews said that the hotel would be beautiful - when it was finished and running properly!! So we chickened out and booked the Iberostar Varadero instead.

We saw the Laguna Azul from the beach on one our walks up and down the oceanfront and decided to ask if we could transfer there for the remainder of our holiday (11 days). The Reps at the Varadero did not want us to go, saying the hotel was 'not good' and that there were many 'problems', although when quizzed they couldn't acutally name any !? After we had checked out the Laguna Azul and had been shown around the complex by one of the BellBoys (rooms and all the facilities) we requested that we transfer to the Laguna if at all possible and it was the best thing we did!!!

The Laguna Azul was brand new in 2009 and as you would expect was absolutely fantastic! The staff were all really lovely and helpful - our shower broke and within 5 minutes of walking down to Reception to ask that Maintenance men to come and fix it - the Maintenance men actually beat me back to the room - wonderful service!

The rooms are beautiful and well equipped - the bathrooms are great - clean and bright.

The buffet restaurant was superb - so much choice it's unbelievable - if you've been put off in the past by below standard buffet catering, don't worry about that here - absolutely great. The restaurants also were very very good - our favourite was the French restaurant - waiting-on staff were very attentive and happy.

Pool areas were great - clean, plenty of beds - the main pool features a jacuzzi up above the main pool, but you'll be lucky if you can get in it - it was always full to capacity! Around the main pool you'll find the book swap, towel hut, ice-cream parlour, beachside restaurant, swim-up bar etc. There are a further 2 pools - these are more for chill out and relaxation - both come with there own restaurant/bar so there is always a waiter or waitress circulating, making sure you've got drinks etc.

A wonderful Spa area occupies the 5th floor ( I think??) of the hotel and when you sit in the jacuzzi up there you look out across the hotel complex and over the beach and sea. Not many people up there - so give it a whirl late on in the afternoon.

All in all - the Laguna Azul was perfect and I would recommend to anyone - couples and families alike.

One more thing to mention, go see the night time entertainment in the Theatre - the audience participation nights are the best - what a hoot!!!

Go see for yourselves - the Iberostar Laguna Azul is EASILY THE BEST HOTEL IN VARADERO!!!

ps. Money change facilities are at the main reception - it's never a problem - all staff absolutely wonderful.

  • Stayed: December 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank Dronfield
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 10, 2010

We just came last friday 8th-oct, the resort is beautiful, the beach, the pool and the food are amazing. I don't know why other reviewers complained about food, the buffet is full of food everytime always fresh, the a la carte Restaurants were amazing specially the Romantico. if you dont find something nice there you can go to the snack and order hamburger and hotdog is open 24hours, the drinks were good specially at the Events Saloon, the animation excellent always funny we traveled with our teenager he enjoined a lot too.
You dont need to tipped every time to get a great and friendly service.

The negative: I hurt myself my calf the last 2 days and the Hospital Doctor is amazing too, Well, some bathrooms were dirty specially the one at the pool, The TV of my room was broken and it tooks 2 days to replace it.

In general is a Five Star Hotel with the best beach and pool in varadero I strongly recommend this hotel for a nice and relax vacations!

Oh I forgot the Bar from the Lobby is very good the ladies from staff overthere did i great job never my cup was empty..!!!

  • Stayed: October 2010, traveled with family
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1  Thank Madonnamontreal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 10, 2010

Just had a fantastic holiday at this hotel and don't believe some of the negative reviews written. The staff here work ridiculously hard and are always smiling and friendly. They don't expect tips but definitely deserve them.

As for the food - the themed restaurants are really good. There is a limited choice in them but what we ate was lovely. We ate in the buffet for 3 nights and there the choice was fine - only complaint was that occasionally some of the food could be a bit cold.

Entertainment team - again a very friendly and energetic bunch. They don't harrass you to get involved which is good as we just wanted to relax. Evening shows are quite good by hotel show standards. Would recommend romantico show.

Rooms are fine. They are a decent size and maid service was excellent - room was immaculate every day. My only worry with this hotel would be that the rooms may develop damp, there is no extraction system from the bathroom and if you didn't leave the balcony door open it became very humid. Rooms are fine at the moment but the hotel is only 10 months old.

We went to Havana for the day and if had chance again, I think we would have stayed overnight to make the most of the place as there is so much to see. Cuba is an amazing place and would definitely recommend it.

  • Stayed: October 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank libby1981
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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