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.
- 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