We are a married couple in our late 30’s and this was our second vacation in Varadero in the last couple of years, but our first stay at the Laguna Azul. We stayed here December 24th to the 31st 2010. We stayed previously at the Paradisus Princesa Del Mar.
We totally enjoyed our visit and would happily recommend this hotel to anyone. Cuba is a friendly safe place to visit and we always felt comfortable. It’s a different country with a totally different culture from home, so enjoy it.
I have to admit I was a bit hesitant to stay at a resort that was not Adults Only at Christmas, but this complex is so large and with a couple of quiet pools and a large beach you could always find a relaxing place to spend the day in the sun.
Cuba can be cool this time of year, and it was for a couple of days during our stay, but you just make the best of it. We took advantage of a cooler day to take a tour of Havana which was really good. We did the day trip which was about 12 hours round trip and really interesting.
We arrived at around 1:30 in the afternoon and were checked in quickly while enjoying a welcome drink and then taken to our room. The entire site is accessible and there are 2 banks of elevators at each side of the hotel to make getting your luggage to the upper floors very convenient. The junior suite we were given was on the 4th floor of building 17 with a beautiful view of the ocean and pool below. The room was nicely appointed with a built in sofa, chair and ottoman, desk and chair and a large luggage stand with drawers below. A large cabinet houses the TV, coffee maker and the minibar. The bar was originally stocked with 4 cans of beer, 3 bottles of soda and 2 small bottles of water. The bar was only to be stocked every second day, but was actually replenished nearly daily for some reason. I did not complain. We only got a large bottle of water twice, but you can always take an empty one to a bar and have it refilled if you need to. The closet houses the safe which was not that large but roomy enough to secure your cash and other small items, might have been a bit tight for a laptop though. There were some built in shelves and 15 hangers supplied. A couple of bath robes were in there as well.
The room was well lit and bright. It smelled good too by the way. Very clean and was kept clean all week by our housekeeper who was great. We tipped her daily and left some small gifts. We made sure to put the “make up room sign” on the door when we headed out in the morning and our room was always cleaned early. The patio was furnished with 2 plastic chairs and a small side table. There was even an exterior electrical outlet but remember to bring a converter. The patio doors had a screen door as well which was nice at night, to be able to leave the glass doors open. If you’ve read other reviews that have complained that the hotel can be noisy, well they are right. All the hard surface finishes don’t help, so if you’re a light sleeper I’d suggest packing some ear plugs. We were without hot water only once during the week and that was right around dinner time, so I imagine that was a peak period and might happen often at that time of day, depending on how busy the hotel is at the time. The bathroom is bright and has a large marble vanity and a single sink. The tub was only a soaker, a large corner unit with a handheld shower head, but it was also quite deep and may pose problems for some getting in and out. There were a small variety of shampoos and soaps provided.
The resort itself is huge and there are plenty of bars and snack bars open various hours, so you can always find a place to eat or get a drink. There are snack bars at each pool with small buffets or you can order sandwiches or pizza from a menu. We ate most meals at the main buffet and found the food to be good and plentiful. Remember they are trying to please a very large diverse crowd of people, and it has to be difficult to make everyone happy, but we certainly had no complaints. At breakfast there are all the usual things you would be accustomed to. Eggs, bacon, pancakes, cereal or you can get made to order omelettes and eggs. At lunch and dinner they had a variety of meat, vegetables, pasta and salads. There are always hamburgers and fries too. If you don’t see something you like you can always get something prepared at the various cooking stations as well. There was always a huge selection of desserts too. I do think they should dim the lighting a bit in the evening though, to make it seem less like a cafeteria. We had the grilled lobster in the Cuban a la Carte and it was very good. We don’t like the formality of having to make dinner reservations while on vacation so we only tried the one restaurant, although you are entitled to 3 for the week.
The lobby is a great place to sit in the evening and there are varieties of live entertainment provided each night, even a magician. It can get busy and if you are bothered by smokers, you can sit in the Lobby Bar instead. It’s air conditioned and smoke free. The bartenders in here will get you whatever you want, and the service is great. One evening we were out walking around the resort and there is a small bar near the main pool where we had the absolute best Pina Colada.
Money can be exchanged right around the corner of the check-in desk in the Lobby. Hours were pretty good and the supply of cash was good too. We found the service everywhere we went on the property to be very good. The staff were always friendly and accommodating. We never felt obligated to tip anyone, but we do and find it’s always appreciated. The staff at the bars and restaurants share the tips.
If you’re ready for a relaxing week at a clean resort with good service, refreshing drinks and satisfying food, you’ll be happy with this hotel.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located on a beautiful stretch of Varadero's Beach. Approximately 160 km from Havana and 20 min. from downtown Varadero. 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 Ranchón 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
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Iberostar Laguna Azul Hotel Varadero