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“Amazing holiday!”
Review of Iberostar Varadero

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Iberostar Varadero
Ranked #2 of 64 Hotels in Varadero
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 24, 2012

Well I don't even know where to start with my review of this hotel as we had such a good time so I think it's going to be a long one!

We stayed here from 4th-18th October and had requested rooms close together and preferably not on the ground floor. We were given rooms on the 1st floor with adjoining doors, of Block 18 which is a good location & not far from all the facilities. The rooms are clean & spacious, one room had a king sized bed and the other had 2 doubles. Our maid Nelys was lovely and always left us lovely towel art and little notes to accompany them on occasion.

The grounds are well kept, pool was lovely, absolutely huge and always warm. On the occasions we spent at the pool we never really had any trouble getting sun loungers, but mostly we spent our days at the beach. The beach was beautiful, and you are pretty much guaranteed to get a sunbed as they have them piled up. I'm probably one of the minority that actually liked the skinny beach, but it was given some new sand while we were there which wasn't a problem as there was always part of the beach open and it was actually quite interesting watching it develop into the wide beach it is now.

Food was all reasonably good, always had a wide range at the buffet, we only really went here for dinner though, normally went to the snack bar for breakfast & lunch. Restaurants are all nice, the Japanese was probably my favourite as it was a great atmosphere. Both the other restaurants offered really nice food as well.

All the bar staff at the resort were really friendly. In the theatre in the evenings we mostly had Fernando as our waiter and he was amazing. As soon as we were getting to the bottom of our drinks he'd be on his way over with more.

Moving onto entertainment it really was 'super excellente', all the star friends were fun & friendly - in particular we liked 'Chocolate Nestle'! There were always activities going on but you weren't pestered into doing them if you didn't want to. The only activity we did was bingo, from the comfort of our sunloungers! The evening entertainment was the best i've ever seen at a hotel, the professional dancers & singers really are outstanding. So much so that when we went to see Tropicana in Havana we weren't that impressed because the standard at Iberostar is so high. I was happy to see Danza Kuduro as the hotel song as I loved that song already, although we saved our joining in the dance until our last night after a few too many cuba libres. We also hit up Gaz 53 most nights which was good fun!

We did 2 trips whilst here through Cubanacan as we didn't actually see our rep for the first week! We did the jeep safari which was fun - this involved driving your own jeep offroad, speedboating, watching an aborigine show, snorkelling, lunch, horse/bull riding, holding an alligator and a swim in Saturno Cave. We also did Havana Overnight with Tropicana. Personally I wish we'd just done the day trip as the second day we didn't really know what to do with ourselves and as this was our last full day I feel like we wasted it slightly.

Anyway, all in all we had an amazing time and actually looking at coming back again in May! :-)

P.s Just to point out this hotel has european plug sockets, our last 2 caribbean (Cuba/Domrep) trips were american adapters so I just assumed the same and we had to borrow an adapter off one of the technicians!

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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13  Thank Carla E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
QualityManagerCuba, Quality Manager Cuba at Iberostar Varadero, responded to this reviewResponded October 28, 2012

Dear Carla E, It is a pleasure for all of us at Iberostar Varadero to know that you and your family had a good time with us. We are glad that we were able to assigned your rooms as requested, we always try our best, even though our high occupancy all year sometimes makes this a bit difficult. We will forward your review to Nelys, Fernando, Chocolate and all our staff. We are looking forward to see you next May, hopefully you will be able to dance Danza Kuduro from the first night on... Best regards, Pilar Perciavalle

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2,228 - 2,234 of 6,944 reviews

Reviewed October 22, 2012

Went into this hotel with high expectations and for the most part was not disappointed! I travelled with 14 people including myself (6 kids and 8 adults).
Kids Activities: Great! The staff there went out of their way to include the kid's in various activities by the main pool and kids' club. There was crocket, miscellaneous pool games, painting, and various other things. There were also other indoor games for them.
Beach: The beach has been widened substantially but there are a lot of sea shells in the sand. However the kids did not complain and were still able to enjoy the beach and built sand castles! The kids preferred to hang at the kids club near the main pool so this was not an issue for us. However if you are a beach person with an expectation of fine powered sand this is not your place.
Pool: Excellent if you like a lot of action for kids and adults. There were quite a few shows in the water and at poolside. They have nice cabanas which is ideal for larger groups of people such as our group to keep your stuff and hang out. Good area in the main pool so smaller kids can play in the same pool as the older kids.
People: Staff was extremely friendly and helpful. If you are into volleyball Alberto and Manny were excellent in organizing and keeping people engaged and entertained. One of the staff members actually held my daughter while my wife and I were finishing up our dinner! Most importantly the staff was not aggressive in pursuing tips and were extremely friendly and seemed genuine. Some staff did not organize the games and activities well, they did not actively seek people or sometimes did not even bother to come around (1 day out of seven so not a big deal).
Food: Wide selection in the buffet and good quality meals. Great steak and fish! They had a good hot sauce to add some spice to the food. International restaurant and Mediterranean restaurant were excellent. The international restaurant had a really good surf and turf (lobster and steak) meal. Mediterranean had an excellent red snapper. Japanese restaurant had a good show but the food was okay (no Wasabi! and fairly bland shrimp). I must say that by the end of the week the buffet was quite repetitive (not unique to this hotel but to all other all inclusive hotels I have been to in the Caribbean). It would have been nice to have one more a la carte dinner (3 were included). There was no issue in booking these even though we were a large group we got good reservation times.
The last night there (Saturday) was Cuban food at the international restaurant, I wouldn’t waste your time there. The beach restaurant only has burgers and subpar hotdogs so I would stay away from this. Lunch at the main buffet only starts at 1 pm which is slightly annoying as the other restaurant near the pool has a limited selection.
Room Selection: As it is a small resort most villas are in good locations (near beach, pool, and main buffet) . You can hear the nightly shows from Villa 18 however we were able to get to sleep easily. However be aware of the proximity to the theatre if you are a light sleeper. Rooms on the upper floor that we got were clean and well kept. However be aware that one of the ground floor rooms we got 1911 had some tiny harmless bugs. We requested a room change from a double to a king and got prompt service.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with family
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5  Thank KennyMo1979
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
QualityManagerCuba, Quality Manager Cuba at Iberostar Varadero, responded to this reviewResponded October 28, 2012

Dear KennyMo1979, Thank you for taking the time to write about your stay with us. On behalf of all our staff we want to thank you for sharing your experience in TripAdvisor. It is a pleasure to know that you and the rest of the group, specially the kids enjoyed our activities. Alberto and Manny will receive a copy of your review. We will take your suggestions regarding our food into consideration, and try to improve day by day. We hope that you are able to visit us again in a close future. Best regards from all of us at Iberostar Varadero, Pilar Perciavalle

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Reviewed October 18, 2012

We have just returned from a 14 night stay from the 3rd to 17th of Oct, I have read all previouse reviews about this hotel and went with great expectations, And We were not disapointed, yes this may not be 5 star by our English standards, but it was with out doubt the Best hotel in Varadero, and offered 5 star service, In grenral the Food was great plenty of choice, The hotel was spottlessly clean, and the staff were all great.

Whilst we were there the Beach was made much bigger so the hotel now has a fantastic beach as well as a great pool area

In terms of the Sunbeds we never had problem getting them arround the pool or down the beach, however we did notice that people put towels on beds and then did not use them all day. sadlly I have to say in many cases the people who did this were the English!!!

Trips were great would recoomend the Havanna one day, or over night, and the Jeep Safari.

Peter / Sadie

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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19  Thank peter m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
QualityManagerCuba, Quality Manager Cuba at Iberostar Varadero, responded to this reviewResponded October 28, 2012

Dear Peter m, It is a pleasure for us at Iberostar Varadero that you were not dissapointed with your stay with us and our services. In regards to your comments about the sunbeds, we have installed signs in each umbrella with a warning about this aspect, hopefully this will help us to avoid this behavior. We hope you can visit us again soon, we will be glad to welcome you back. Best regards from all the staff, Pilar Perciavalle

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Reviewed October 17, 2012

loved our stay, impressed with our accomodations, only thing would be that the food could be hotter at the buffet. Never found anything wrong with how the food tasted though. Very clean surroundings, animation team was superb!!!!

Room Tip: stay in block 20 close to everything
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with family
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5  Thank valuevillage
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
QualityManagerCuba, Quality Manager Cuba at Iberostar Varadero, responded to this reviewResponded October 28, 2012

Dear valuevillage, Thank you for sharing your experience at Iberostar Varadero on TripAdvisor, we are glad to know that you have enjoyed your stay with us. I have forwarded your comments to our Executive Chef, we appreciate your honesty and we encourage our guests to let us know all suggestions. We hope we have the opportunity to welcome you back some day, Best regards from all of us, specially from our animation staff. Pilar Perciavalle

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Reviewed October 17, 2012

I visited the Iberostar from June 2-June 9 2012 for a friend’s wedding, the hotel is nice with little buildings all around all within walking distance to the lobby and pool area not very many "ocean view rooms" however. The staff were extremely friendly and courteous even driving us back to our room in the resorts “golf like” carts as we had one too many drinks lol. There was an absolutely AMAZING beach part with drinks, live band and dancing that was a huge highlight! The ocean is a serene blue and absolutely incredible. Food was alright and above average than what I expected. Would definitely return for the right price anywhere from $700-$850 for a week is what I think this resort is worth.

Steffany - Hamilton, ON

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank Steffany C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
QualityManagerCuba, Quality Manager Cuba at Iberostar Varadero, responded to this reviewResponded October 28, 2012

Dear Steffany C, On behalf of all our staff we appreciate your review and nice words about your vacation with us. We are glad to know that you have enjoyed our services and that your group was not dissapointed by their choice of destination and hotel to celebrate their wedding. We hope you can visit us again soon. Best regards, Pilar Perciavalle

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Reviewed October 17, 2012

We stayed at the Iberostar Varadero from 14th to 28th September 2012, it was another fabulous holiday from the minute we checked in and were welcomed back home to Cuba by Barbara on Reception.

We stayed in Block 18, which is great for all the amenities, such as the restaurants, theatre, pool and beach. Our Maid was really lovely and she did a fabulous job of cleaning our room daily and the towel art was incredible, it was a nice surprise every day.

Some of the staff recognised us from last year, which was really nice. In the buffet restaurant, Alina was as helpful and cheerful as ever, and made our last evening really nice by decorating our table with little red flowers, she even bought us a little gift to remind us of her and Cuba till we go back in 2014. Lisy & Deisy in the Lobby bar were great, kept us topped up with drinks all night and they also remembered what you were drinking, they liked the friendly banter from guests and were constantly smiling.

We were surprised by the beach this year, when we stayed in September last year there were 3 rows of sunbeds and now there is only one, so you have to get down really early to get a bed with an umbrella. The sea is reclaiming the land!!!

We visited Havana last year, so this time we decided to the Guama, Steam & Sugar, what a fab day we had and I would recommend it to anyone. We had a ride on an old steam train and were shown how they extracted the juice from the sugarcane, enjoyed fruit on the train and were entertained by the crew to African music. We then had a lovely lunch and time to look at the animals in the grounds of the restaurant. After lunch we were taken on a 4 mile speed boat ride through the mangroves, awesome, then on to a Crocodile Farm, where they are trying to breed to help conserve them for the future, Never been so close to such creatures before, the one at our local zoo never moves, the Cuban ones can move and they can run extremely fast when they need to, Totally awesome day!!!

Back to the hotel, we were not disappointed during our second visit, in fact it was the opposite, to show their appreciation, a platter of fresh fruit, two t-shirts and a bottle of Rum were delivered to our room, compliments of the management. A really nice touch.

The entertainment staff (Star Friends) worked so hard every day, putting on different shows every night and keeping all the guests really happy, full marks to them all. My favourite show was the Lion King.

We will return to Iberostar Varadero in a couple of years, but next year we hope to travel to Mexico and stay in an Iberostar there.

Truly fabulous holiday in a truly fabulous hotel and resort,

Room Tip: Block 18 or 19 are the best ones to stay in.
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank TripDetective097
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
QualityManagerCuba, Quality Manager Cuba at Iberostar Varadero, responded to this reviewResponded October 28, 2012

Dear TripDetective097, Thank you for choosing Iberostar Varader once again for your vacations, it is a pleasure to know that you felt welcomed and recognised by our staff, specially Barbara. Alina, Lisy and Deisy will receive a copy of your review. We did have several cold front that as you well said shows how sea is "reclaiming the land", luckily this month we had a dregde of sand in our area, although Hurricane Sandy took part of that dregde, we still have a much wider beach for our guests. It will be apleasure to welcome you back, while we wait for you please enjoy and have a fab holiday at Mexico. Best regards from all your friends at Iberostar Varadero. Pilar Perciavalle

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Reviewed October 16, 2012 via mobile

This is most definitely not a 5 star - 3 star by european standards at best.

We stayed 6 nights - after a 2 hour wait, we were disappointed to be allocated a room that overlooked the coach park and main road! We asked to move and our second room overlooked a building site so decided that was better! While our bags moved rooms our hats went missing never to be seen again.

Staff were the only positive and the entertainment staff went above and beyond..

Front of house staff,except the one male, were substandard in terms of service.Looking at other reviews,this is an area that needs serious improvement.

Awful, cold, repetitive food at the buffet. The yaki udon noodles was actually spaghetti pasta in soy sauce at the Japanese themed restaurant. As with fellow reviewers, resorted to surviving on pizza and burgers.

All beds by the pool gone by 830am, with some beds unattended for hours on end.

The tipping culture was a bit much and was common knowledge how much staff earn in order to extract a tip. Unprofessional.

  • Stayed: October 2012
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10  Thank RMGKJL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
QualityManagerCuba, Quality Manager Cuba at Iberostar Varadero, responded to this reviewResponded October 28, 2012

Dear RMGKJL, Thank you for sharing your experience at Iberostar Varadero, although we regret to hear that you were disappointed with your stay, we appreciate the possibility to know those aspects that you consider need improvement. We will forward your review to all our departments in order to take them into consideration. We trully wish you have a better experience during your next vacations. Best regards, Pilar Perciavalle

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Additional Information about Iberostar Varadero

Address: Carretera Las Morlas km 17,5 | Sector 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 Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Spa Hotel in Varadero
#1 Romantic Hotel in Varadero
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Varadero
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Varadero
#1 Family Hotel in Varadero
#2 Luxury Hotel in Varadero
#4 Business Hotel in Varadero
Price Range: $239 - $689 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Iberostar Varadero 4*
Number of rooms: 386
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Directly on the beach of Varadero. Iberostar's first 5 star hotel in Cuba. Luxury and comfort in an elegant atmosphere. Top gastronomy and excellent service. Equipped for every kind of meeting, gala dinner, party, etc.. Ideal for groups & incentives. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Iberostar Varadero Hotel Varadero
Iberostar Cuba
Iberostar Varadero Cuba
Varadero Iberostar

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