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“Fabulous Time at the Iberostar Varadero”
Review of Iberostar Varadero

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Iberostar Varadero
Ranked #3 of 64 Hotels in Varadero
Certificate of Excellence
Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Fabulous Time at the Iberostar Varadero”
Reviewed November 24, 2012

Stayed here for 11 nights from Nov 6th - 17th 2012 and had a fantastic time.

The resort is a perfect sise with accommodation spread among multiple buildings. We had a garden-view room on the top floor of block 14, which made it nice and quiet even during the shows which took place every evening. Although not pure luxury, the accommodation was spotlessly clean, had a tea / coffee maker, a mini-bar (stocked daily), a balcony, a safety box (no extra charge) and a very comfortable bed. Judith (the maid) always maid an extra effort to create some lovely art, both with the towels and the curtains, a really nice touch. Room service was available from 11am to 11pm, however we did not avail of this so am unable to comment on the quality.

The hotel has 1 main buffet restaurant (Ambrosio), open for breakfast, lunch and dinner (and also for post-nightclub feasts). The food here was really good, with an incredible choice to choose from. Breakfast was particularly enjoyable, with made-to-order omelets served up by a really fun & excentric guy. El Bohio (by the pool) provides an alternative for lunch, serving salads, burgers, pastas and a selection of other dishes. Every Thursday a local band play here, adding to the holiday atmosphere. There are 3 al la carte restaurants - an International, a Mediterranean and a Japanese. Whilst the food isn't exactly gourmet, they're all worth a visit, with the Japanese being the best (primarily because of the Teppanyaki show). A special invitation-only Cuban-themed dinner takes place every Saturday in the International restaurant, which is well worth going to if you get the opportunity (the animation team generally invite people randomly from around the resort).

The beach is beautiful, powdery white sand and lovely crystal-clear water - just what you would expect in the caribbean. There are ample loungers and 2 beach bars - one serving drinks and the other snacks such as burgers and hot dogs. It's possible to strole along the beach for miles passed all the other hotels on the sea front, and when you do - you soon realise that the Iberostar Varadero has one of the nicest (if not the nicest) stretch of beach on the peninsula.

There are an endless list of activities on offer at the hotel - archery, football, dancing, snooker, table tennis, darts, acqua-aerobics, not to mention some fun pool games and the kids club. The animation team do their best to encourage people to get involved, without being at all pushy. There is also a small, well-equipped gym for those who feel particularly energetic, and a spa if you're in need of some pampering. Nightly entertainment takes place in the theatre, providing a fun Cuban take on shows from Las Vegas, Disney, Hollywood and more. The nightclub is open from 11 - 2am.

Wi-fi internet access is available in the Lobby and by the pool, priced at 8 CUC an hour. There are also terminals available for use if you don't have your own device. The hotel has 3 shops, selling everything from chocolate to t-shirts, and from coffee to suncream (and not forgetting the infamous Cuban essentials - rum and cigars).

There are 7 bars, so a cold drink is never far away. Local and international brands are available, including Smirnoff, Jameson, Baileys and Malibu. An extensive cocktail list is also on offer. The staff are always eager to please, and in my experience tipping didn't really improve the level of service (which could possibly do with some improvement - particularly in some of the al la carte restaurants where our main courses sometimes arrived before we had finished our starter). This didn't really bother us too much though - we were there to relax, not to be critical.

Some of the resorts in Mexico are that bit more luxurious, however as Cuba (and in particular Varadero) goes, you won't do any better than the Iberostar Varadero. I'd have no hesitation in recommending this hotel to anyone. If you're happy with the price, go for it, you won't be disappointed.

Room Tip: The upper floor garden view rooms in blocks 14 15 or 16 - the quieter areas
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
10 Thank TheAmberGambler
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 review, November 30, 2012
Dear TheAmberGambler, On behalf of all our staff we appreciate your comments regarding your vacation with us. We are pleased to know that you have enjoyed your stay and most of our services were up to your expectation. I will forward your review to all our departments, words of congratulations always motivates the staff to keep improving. We hope we have the opportunity to welcome you back some day. Our best wishes from Varadero. Quality Manager Cuba
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Epsom, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
23 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed November 24, 2012

Great Hotel/Resort, great beach, great Food and fabulous Staff who continuously greeted you whenever passing (even the groundsmen). Quality entertainment EVERY day and night. No shortage of sunbeds due to the fact that when the pool areas are at its compacity, pool attendents will get more deckchairs from the beach. This only occurred the once during our stay when the accommodation was at its compacity and the beach area was too windy so everyone returned to the complex for the pools where there is protection from the severe winds. The beach, I have to say, is beautiful and has recently been widened. It is SPOTLESSLY clean as is the complex/pools. We had a standard room and found it beyond our expectations - good size, good facilities, comfy large single beds and very well maintained. We had a view over the grounds which was beautiful and again well maintained however, with this in mind, be prepared against the mozies, take plug-ins for the room as well as body sprays for going out day and night. We requested a quiet spot which we may have just been lucky as it was was and we were near the beach. There is no sea views with 'Standard' rooms maybe with Suites plus. Its the first time I personally have ever gone fully inclusive and found that it was good value for the money. The food was great, so much to choose from. We booked all 3 additional exclusive variety of Restaurants with no additional cost and all were very good, espcially the Japanese Restaurant as it was beyond our expectations. All drinks that was part of the package were of original brands not of 'local' brands, Rum was on tap and kept flowing! just need to watch the measures as they just tend to lliterally pour it in. The only time you needed to pay, was if you ordered good brands of wines. Thank you Iberostar for an unforgettable holday!

Room Tip: Blocks 16, 17 and 18 are quieter. Each block are only 2 storeys high so there is no guarantee that...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank joanieCT
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 review, November 30, 2012
Dear joanieCT, Thank you for your review and for choosing Iberostar Varadero for your vacations. It is a pleasure for us to know that we were able to make you enjoy an unforgetable vacation in Cuba. We will keep working day by day to give our guests the best service, and to improve those aspect that need improvement. Thank you on behalf of all our staff for your recommendation to other readers. Hopefully you can visit us again in a close future. Best regards, Quality Manager Cuba
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Scotland
Level Contributor
12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed November 23, 2012 via mobile

We stayed here for 10 days when in Cuba and had previously stayed in Havana iberostar parque central. Although the hotel boasts a wide selection of dishes and foods, unfortunately it was always served warm (never hot) This could of been due to the hotlights not being strong enough or the chefs not cooking the dishes for long enough. Either way the food was not maintained at a safe temperature.( If you doubt me please feel free to check with a thermometer management). We were not the only couple to think this... Everyone we talked to who stayed there agreed with us, we suffered with food poisoning for 7 days as did another couple. Normally I have an iron stomach and have travelled all over the globe... Without a doubt the food here gave me it!
It's not all doom and gloom the Japanese restaurant was excellent... As long as you order the food that the chef in front of you cooks... Otherwise it will come only warm from the kitchen.
The animation team were top class and train all day for their performances. Hats off to you!
The drinks were all good and the bar service quick and effective.
Pool side there is a lack of deck chairs but you can always go to the beach for some sand and sun.
Overall I would not recommend this hotel based on the food temperature, but then again I've heard their all similar in varadero.

  • Stayed November 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank Razzaa
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 review, November 30, 2012
Dear Razzaa, Thank you for sharing your comments on TripAdvisor with other readers. We will forward your review to our Entertainment manager he will be proud to congratulate his team. In regards to the food, we are sorry to hear that you did not find this aspect of our services up to your expectation, we have checked our records and we do not have any report of illness because of food poisoning, we do have a Medical Centre open to our guests on site, and this condition you are mentioning is only confirm when a high percentage of guests present the same symptoms which is not the case, usually this condition is mistaken with indigestion or traveler diarrhea. We hope that both of you are enjoying good health this days. Our hotel buffet is equipped with the necessary conditions to maintain the correct temperature in the food, and our Hygiene department takes samples of each dish we served daily in our restaurants in order to control the safety and health readings require by local Sanitary Authorities, you may find some dishes not hot enough as you have mentioned but I can assure you that this temperature is safe for our guests. However, I will forward your review and suggestion to our Executive Chef in order to supervise this aspect closely. We hope you are able to enjoy your next vacations to the fullest. Best regards, Quality Manager Cuba
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Ponoka, Canada
Level Contributor
13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed November 22, 2012

Phenomenal. What more can I say? The staff was superb, the food was excellent, the beach was beyond imagination. This was our first time on an all-inclusive holiday and we couldn't have been more impressed. All of the amenities were there, including power converters, lots of bottled water, restocked bar-fridge everyday, and 24-7 food. Based on other reviews we took seasoning salt, ketchup and mustard with us. We didn't use any of it. The food was just fine as it was, and yes, they do have ketchup and mustard. My only complaint (and it is a minor one) is that their chocolate wasn't sweet. (Pretty petty complaint).

Room Tip: We chose a room on the second floor to ensure we didn't have to deal with any "creatures&qu...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
4 Thank Debbi R
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 review, November 24, 2012
Dear Debbi R, On behalf of all our staff we want to thenk you for sharing your comments regarding your stay with us. We are glad to know that you have enjoyed your first experience in Cuba. We will pass your suggestion to our Pastry Chef. Our best wishes from Varadero, we hope we can welcome you back some day. Best Regards, Quality Manager Cuba
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Dewsbury
Level Contributor
147 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 101 helpful votes
Reviewed November 22, 2012

I agree with the general comments about this hotel - it is very well maintained by an army of staff,all very friendly. The food is quite good and the drinks include many name brands such as Jonny Walker, Gordons gin etc. I particularly reccommend the dry martinis.The evening shows are to a high standard. However, a word of caution - the Cubans cant seem to function without music and played as loud as possible, even on the beach when you might just want to listen to the sound of the waves. There was also building work going on outside our room,starting at 7.30 in the morning. If you enjoy cuban music ok otherwise this hotel - and possibly Varedero as a whole-is not the place for a peace and quiet holiday.It is, however, ideal for couples or groups in the 20 - 40 age range who enjoy dancing, drinking and smoking.

Room Tip: Sea view rooms are a bit noisier - there are rooms overlooking the very quiet garden area
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank George 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 review, November 24, 2012
Dear George E, Thank you for your review and for choosing Iberostar Varadero for your vacations. We appreciate your time invested in writing and sharing your suggestions with us and other readers. We are glad to know that all in all you have enjoyed your vacations, we hope that you can find more peace and quiet in your next holiday destination. Best regards. Quality Manager Cuba
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Hamilton, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed November 19, 2012

this was our firt trip to Cuba, but not our first inn an Iberostar, We stayed in one in February in the mayan, loved it , and knew this resort was not going to dissappoint, so many great things to say about this resort, where to start? ..... the resort itself is very clean and well mantained, the staff are great, most of them take great pride in what they do and it shows,the best service was in the lobby bar, both in the morning and night, Food was beyond what we expected, we had heard that food is cuba is bland, well it was anything but in this resort, we never went hungry and enjoyed every meal, wished sometimes it was a bit warmer but i sure thats tough to do in a buffet, we went to the japanese and enjoyed it, and medteranian was very good for a lobster and steak, the entertainment staff were great , just dont know where they get all the energy, entertaining day and night,enjoyed the shows we got to see, We did the trip to havana, city tour and tropicana, was a long day but alot of fun, a tip is if you go on this tour your picked up at around noon and you dont have supper until 8 pm, so would be good to make up a sandwhich or snack stuff to tie you over, we met alot of people in the resort and on the tours and found that most people love cuba and the people there, we now know why, we will be back, hoping to return same time next year.

Room Tip: we stayed in block 15 and it was great,
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank TandGShaver
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 review, November 24, 2012
Dear TandGShaver, On behalf of all our staff we appreciate your comments and nice words regarding the services you have enjoyed during your first visit to Cuba and to Iberostar Varadero. It is a pleasure to know that once again Iberostar Hotels did not dissapoint you. We will make sure our staff reads your review, this will encourage them to keep giving their best for next guests, specially to our Kitchen staff that have so many different reviews regarding their job, they will feel proud to know that they are doing well. We will be looking forward to welcome you back next year. Best regards from all of us. Quality Manager Cuba
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Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed November 18, 2012

Ok Bit of background, I booked through Redtag.ca Trip done by Sunwing. I booked Sandals, Varadero and after reading many many reviews I was worried as this was my gift to my husband for his 40th birthday. The reviews were bad. I contacted Sunwing and explained, I was told there would be a charge for the change I said no problem. So I want the best room at the best hotel. I was told the Junior suite was really nice, king size bed (great me and hubby are a little large), at the best hotel Cuba has to offer Iberostar. I didn't ask nor care how much the difference was I said if thats the best I want it. No problem payed charges etc.

So arrived checked in 2x double beds and a single bed in the corner. Ok not what i expected! 3 days later I was thinking hang on no ocean view? So i headed to reception and asked what my room classification was? She said its a standard room. Much to my dismay i explained i've payed and booked the junior suite. Was told " nothing they can do, deal with the rep when i get back". Awesome!

The actual review.........................

Ok, being brutally honest, for what we paid for this holiday, Over $3800+ for 2 of us 8 days. I don’t feel we got great value for money and if we had our time again, we would have chosen differently
There is a lot of good in this hotel. The gardens, hotel lobby and bar are really well done. The marble flooring, water features and general architecture of the main buildings, restaurants and pool areas are just amazing – definitely five star.
I do find it weird that people describe this resort as 5* and also use the word “Luxury” a lot to describe it, I would of thought 5* would mean everything is Awesome. The rooms themselves are quite disappointing for a five star resort, although very clean, there was 100's of little black bugs running around our whole room. On tables, around the bath even on the tv.
Beach was very nice, lots of chairs. Rooms are clean but the beds are so uncomfortable, me and my husband could not sleep in the same bed! So much for a romantic holiday.

The staff everywhere did their best all the time. Always short handed but did their best. Was always tipped for good service.

The shop on site was very limited and very expensive - $33.50 for a sun lotion I had only take factor 50 and wanted a small 20.

To our surprise the evening entertainment was excellent. We don’t normally enjoy or involve ourselves in ‘hotel entertainment’ but I have to say the professionalism and variety of entertainment on offer was extremely good (‘Animation perfect excellente’ – you would understand once you have been).Staff was very polite and always happy. Beach was very nice, lots of chairs.

The food was bland and cold and either tasteless or tasted like fish. It was really awful! The food sanitation was very poor. I saw on many occasions the ‘chefs’ pick up a piece of raw meat with tongs to put it on the grill and then when it was cooked, use the very same tongs that had touched the raw chicken to pick it up and put it on a persons plate! Food - nearly always cold, and very tedious choice after 3 days. Repetitive and even same food out from night before. One thing that happened that really turned me off had to do with cleanliness in the main restaurant. We arrived for breakfast one morning at about 8:30. There were no clean tables left. We looked
around for awhile, then were told to be seated at one of the dirty ones. We expected the table to be cleaned while we waited. The waitress arrived with clean paper placemats and set them down on top of the dirty tablecloth without cleaning anything off, pieces of food, crumbs and all. There was one place setting left on the table from the previous guests and they didn't even change the utensils there. It was gross. After that, we made sure to arrive for breakfast
before 8 to get a clean table. The buffet consisted of the usual selection; the salad table never had any lettuce – shredded cabbage was the substitute, we saw tomatoes once the rest of the time it was cucumber, shredded carrot, beetroot and something else but don’t ask me what. Fresh vegetables were at a premium, broccoli was sometimes brought in.
I have attached a few pics. They are of food not in chillers, left on side with no ice buckets no nothing to keep them cool, no wonder people get sick.
In on buffet we tried to cut some cheese and again it was left on the side in a very very hot room the knife just bent the cheese the WHOLE block was so warm and sweaty it bent!
The BREAD is amazingly good, i lived on it for most of the week, including 2/3 meals i had a chip sandwich as the buffet food was either cold or not treated/cooked properly.

The place is a perfect 10 if you don't eat there food

Room Tip: Tip.... Take money for tips not just gifts. If you say how strong or weak you want your cockta...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Lisa g
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 review, November 24, 2012
Dear Lisa g, Thank you for your review, comments and suggestion regarding your stay with us. We will look into your different aspect concerning the hotel and the services we offer in order to improve day by day, and congratulate the staff on those services that you have enjoyed. In regards to your first experience with your booking, we apologize to you if the response from our Front Desk was not what you expected, even if they were not able to change you to a Junior Suite as you pay for a standard room to your agency, if you requested a king size bed, we should have offer you a room change to another standard room, all room request are subject to availability, and bieng the hotel fully occupied all year around we are not able to programm room changes on the same day, but if guest agree we can always look for availability on the following days. I will forward your comments regarding our food to our Executive Chef we appreciate you comments as we always take them into consideration, I have to disagree with you in regards of your comments about sanitary measures as the hotel has an Higyne Department that controls each restaurant and service daily, making sure that temparatures and cooking of the food is within the standard that Sanitary Authorities request, and we can proudly say that we do not have any faults in the results of each health inspections they perform in our hotel. Saying this, I repeat that we will look into your comments as they are important to us. On behalf of all our staff we wish you have a better experience on your next vacation. Our best regards from Cuba. Quality Manager Cuba.
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Additional Information about Iberostar Varadero

Property: 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 Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Family Hotel in Varadero
#1 Romantic Hotel in Varadero
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Varadero
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Varadero
#2 Luxury Hotel in Varadero
#4 Business Hotel in Varadero
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Iberostar Varadero 5*
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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