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“Best overall in varadero”
Review of Iberostar Varadero

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Iberostar Varadero
Ranked #3 of 64 Hotels in Varadero
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 9, 2014

Stayed here for a week before Xmas and were blowin away. We are very high maintanence and have high expectations. The service is top notch in all departments. Stayed in the larger suite and we're not disappointed. Very clean and comfortable. The food is typical Cuban ai buffet but the alacartes were amazing. The beach is world class , white sand and crystal clear waters even on the not so nice days and was Luke warm. The evening shows are so well done that I'm surprised most of the entertainment team is not in Vegas. I have no complaints what so ever. The kids club and activities are also amazing .

Just wanted to mention that we travelled with airt transat and our flight was cancelled right before we were scheduled to board due to canadian weather. In roughly 20 min all passengers were sent to busses and were takin to an all inclusive for the night. (We were taken to the Blau marina which is supposed to be top of the line and in actual fact it was herendous. Mold, dust, cob webs and rust all over the room, crap service and infested with bugs.) We were very impressed that airtansat didn't leave of stranded for 24hrs in the airport and also they gave each passenger a $300 credit so big thanks to them for their amazing service and problem solving.

Anyhow back to the iberostar. I would highly recommend this resort to families, groups and couples. Steak house was way better then the Japanese but that is just my opinion. My husband loved all the food but the kids and I were to picky to try all the seafood and unique cuisine so we ate the starchy stuff and deserts. Even the pickiest of eaters will not starve here.

All in all beautiful resort, great rooms, amazing beach, superb service and top of the line!!!!

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
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10  Thank Lauren P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JefedeAlojamiento, Manager at Iberostar Varadero, responded to this reviewResponded January 10, 2014

Dear guest
Thank you so much for sharing your experience.
It seems you had an excellent stay and enjoyed what we had to offer.
We strive to adhere to our guests every need above and beyond their expectations and I hope this is what you encountered with us.
We will make sure to pass on your comments about our property and we are thrilled that you had such a remarkable time with all of us.
It is a true pleasure and very rewarding for all of us here to read feedback like yours which really reflects how great was your stay
Thank you very much again for your kind words and and we hope to welcome you back soon Best regards
FHerran RDM

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 8, 2014

SUMMARY This is our third 7 day stay in four years at Iberostar Varedero. (This time me, all 3 daughters & 2 granddaughters) Highly recommend. Visually stunning, well-designed Polynesian style resort with many activities; clean, nicely decorated rooms; great beach, pools, scenery; daily shows at wading pool; nightly entertaining Vegas style shows; and friendly, helpful staff (except front desk). The food is poor to excellent. My 9yo granddaughter (after dolphin show, Jeep tour, Havana tour, & during Iberostar Resort vacation) summed up our experience by suddenly exclaiming "I Love Cuba".

CON Snack restaurant poor food–poor seafood, fatty sliced processed meat & liquid ice cream.
Disappointing Front desk staff- Due to late booking, two of my daughters stayed at another resort for first 4 days then stayed at Iberostar. On Tuesday, Nov 05/13, 9:00AM, they visited Iberostar for a $100.00 each day pass. I gave the female staff my visa & she came back stating the visa line was down. I stated we would come back later when visa line working and since they had my daughter's passports this would guarantee us coming back. She said no, I had to pay cash now. I felt since it wasn't our fault visa line was down; Iberostar should have been flexible and allowed us to pay later. I paid. Then later, I went around the corner to travel agency and discovered Visa line had been working all day. I went back to front desk, and complained to a male staff about the female staff. He indicated he would look into it and get back to me. He also indicated it was cheaper to pay by cash than Visa. He never got back to me, and not true about Visa. For each Canadian dollar, Visa gave me 0.92 CUC, airport 0.93 CUC, and Iberostar only 0.88. Later had to do money exchange at Iberostar & also asked for $10 CUC in $1 CUC coins (for tipping). She counted out ten coins and I used them for next two days before discovering they were 50 cent CUC, not 1 peso CUC. The 50 cent and 1 peso coins are almost identical -same colour, almost same size, and amount hard to read. I had been ripped off for $5 CUC.

PRO Cuba - On & off the resort, the Cuban people are very nice. We felt safe at all times.
-Resort – We all loved this lovely resort. Grandkids liked everything about resort including new children's water park, being on stage during some of the Vegas shows, and dancing at end of the shows. Nightly shows have excellent musical/dancing, magic, & circus shows. Michael Jackson imitator is great.
-Staff - (except front desk) are friendly; professional and very helpful. Rosio, the activities director, made every effort to make our stay as enjoyable as possible, discussed the many excellent resort activities, had pleasant conversations with my daughters and granddaughters, and helped my grandkids participate in some of the nightly stage shows. We all liked Rosio. My granddaughters just loved Rosio.
- Room – 3rd floor junior suite room was clean, insect free, and well decorated with great view. Resort is 240Volt, but bathroom has a 112volt outlet for charging camera batteries but doesn’t power hair dryers.
- Beach -Great sandy beach with sandy ocean floor.
- Food - The large buffet restaurant, two theme restaurants were good. The International restaurant was excellent with its tasty steaks, and friendly female chef.

Tips
- Get money exchanged at airport. (Need passport. Send someone to save bus seat.)
- Bring sweater for the bus rides. Sometimes they have the A/C on too high.
- Book DOLPHIN &/or JEEP Tour early and at "Thomas Cooks Tour" (desk around corner from front desk) instead of Sunway. These are much better with more activities than at Sunway. Jeeps are stick shift only & bring snorkel for underground cave lake swim. Pay extra so you have your own jeep & later own boat.
- Book individual trip to HAVANA. Last time, bus trip was time consuming, frustrating & poor tour. For this vacation, we directly contacted Guido (Gwee-doe)-cash only. Cook Tour also offers individual tours of Havana. English speaking Guido picked us up at resort in clean, nice van. He gave excellent friendly tour plus visit to giant flea market. His cigar factory tour & visit to excellent Cuban restaurant cost extra.
- SCUBA DIVING - Directly contacted Barracuda Diving in Varadero to arrange individual trip to Bay of Pigs. (Last time we used bus but it’s a bit time consuming since stop at many resorts first) He picked us up in van at resort and drove straight to Bay of Pigs. He gave instructions to all and kept a close eye on all of us. During the dive, saw exotic coral & fish and a sunken ship just like on TV. Fish swarmed us when we started feeding them bananas. Yes, bananas. Bring something to read - it's about a 2 to 3 hour ride to Bay of Pigs.

Room Tip: Third floor, courtyard side, allows you to see more of the courtyard gardens. If on ocean side, thir...
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  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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10  Thank Dann C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JefedeAlojamiento, Manager at Iberostar Varadero, responded to this reviewResponded January 10, 2014

Dear guest
Thank you so much for sharing your experience.
It seems you had an excellent stay and enjoyed what we had to offer.
We strive to adhere to our guests every need above and beyond their expectations and I hope this is what you encountered with us.
We will make sure to pass on your comments about our property and we are thrilled that you had such a remarkable time with all of us.
It is a true pleasure and very rewarding for all of us here to read feedback like yours which really reflects how great was your stay although we apologise for the inconvenineces you had been going through at our front desk, i kindly suggest you that next time you have an issue with any of our departments, please come forward to a manager and we together will look for the best possible solution and the most efficient manner to resolve it.
We normally have very good comments of our front desk staff, espcially from our repeator guests such as yourself although situations might arise at anytime anywhere. it does happen that our lines might drop or go dead and it could had happened just for sometime.
We are sorry for your daughters being at another hotel for some days but front desk staff is not involved in this since reservations update our bookings daily and if we are tight in occupation then there are no rooms available otherwise we would had accommodate them right away. Regardless of all that we thank you very much again for your kind words and and we hope to welcome you back soon
Best regards
FHerran RDM

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 8, 2014

We recently spent a week at the Iberostar Varadero resort. We were very pleased with both the condition/upkeep of the resort and the service provided by the staff. The beach and water were beautiful and an hour and a half walk on the beach each day helped burn off the extra food intake!
For Cuba this is a top notch resort but in comparison, a lot of the better Mexican all inclusives my win out. The staff were wonderful and in a country where they make approximately $30 per month they made you feel very welcome.
Cuba is not known for its cuisine but we felt that the buffet restaurant did a very good job providing a good and varied selection. If there was one criticism we would have to say it was the al la carte restaurants. They tried very hard but in our opinion the food offerings really missed the mark.
All in all if you want to visit Cuba, you should definitely consider the Iberostar. The location, facility and staff will ensure you a great holiday.

Room Tip: If you are booking a suite ask for building 17 verses building 20 as it is closer to everything. All...
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  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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5  Thank Greg G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JefedeAlojamiento, Manager at Iberostar Varadero, responded to this reviewResponded January 10, 2014

Dear guest
Thank you so much for sharing your experience.
It seems you had an excellent stay and enjoyed what we had to offer.
We strive to adhere to our guests every need above and beyond their expectations and I hope this is what you encountered with us.
We will make sure to pass on your comments about our property and we are thrilled that you had such a remarkable time with all of us.
It is a true pleasure and very rewarding for all of us here to read feedback like yours which really reflects how great was your stay although we apologise if you did not find the a la carte outlets of your taste and choice, we are glad you enjoyed our buffet though.
Thank you very much again for your kind words and and we hope to welcome you back soon Best regards
FHerran RDM

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 6, 2014

we spent our Christmas holidays there.
Very nice hotel with beautiful garden and excellent food, with huge selection on the buffet in the main restaurant. There is no need to use one of their 3 "special restaurants"

Room Tip: second floor in building 16 (room 1641 to 1652) and building 17 (all rooms) allow sea view
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  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank Dietmar W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JefedeAlojamiento, Manager at Iberostar Varadero, responded to this reviewResponded January 10, 2014

Dear guest
Thank you so much for sharing your experience.
It seems you had an excellent stay and enjoyed what we had to offer.
We strive to adhere to our guests every need above and beyond their expectations and I hope this is what you encountered with us.
We will make sure to pass on your comments about our property and we are thrilled that you had such a remarkable time with all of us.
it is a true pleasure and very rewarding for all of us here to read feedback like yours which really reflects how great was your stay for which we are very much appreciated.
Thank you very much again for your kind words and and we hope to welcome you back soon Best regards
FHerran RDM

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 4, 2014

2nd visit to cuba for us & first time for our friends. Hotel grounds were loverly & the staff were so accommodating however what let the hotel down was the al la carte restaurants!!
The main buffet provided an array of an international cuisine & it was beautifully presented.
The al la carte cuisine was a HUGE let down, the boys had lamb one evening & what we thought would be a beautiful lamb shank on a bed of mash actually resembed the filling of a meat pie.. Cold slop!!!
A steak dish had to be returned 3 x times as was totally undercooked!! Not one would expect this from an al la carte restaurant!!
Star friends were superb & their 4.30pm entertainment with guests participation was brilliant & provided us all with such fun & laughter.
Would I return to the iberostar probably not due to the quality of the food but the staff & grounds/accommodation were excellent

Stayed: October 2013, traveled with friends
6  Thank mychelle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JefedeAlojamiento, Manager at Iberostar Varadero, responded to this reviewResponded January 5, 2014

Dear guest
Thank you so much for sharing your experience.
It seems you had an excellent stay and enjoyed what we had to offer.
We strive to adhere to our guests every need above and beyond their expectations and I hope this is what you encountered with us.
We will make sure to pass on your comments about our property and we are thrilled that you had such a remarkable time with all of us.
We would like to apologise for the inconveniences at the a la carta restaurant as apparently we were not able to deliver properly to your party, we normally have good comments about our f&b outlets although this time it seems we failed for which we apologise although i would suggest you that you address your issues next time directly to our captain on site so we can sort it our more efficiently.
Thank you very much again for your kind words and and we hope to welcome you back soon Best regards
FHerran RDM

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 4, 2014

Rated 5 star and told this was the equivalent of 4 star really in Cuba but easily only 3 stars at best.

The food was bland and uninspiring. There was plenty of choice but it all tasted the same. The three specialist restaurants on site were of even poorer quality. The Japanese served Chinese food, the Mediterranean served frozen fish and the Grill was probably the worst meal we have been served in many years. In the restaurants the house wine was so poor that you had to buy from the wine list and pay for it - Not All Inclusive after all.

In terms of 'All Inclusive' you also had to pay for the wifi per the hour and everyone expected a tip with every element of service regardless of the quality or speed of that service.

The insect bites mentioned in another report are not bed bugs or mosquitos either. It is a type of biting insect which frequented the inside bar area. Looking round the hotel everyone had the bites. Long clothing and mosquito repellent were the only answer.

Although the beach was beautiful the shrub area between the beach and the hotel was festooned with litter, indicating a lack of care and attention.

If playing bingo around the pool is your idea of heaven then feel free to book with Iberostar. Anyone who rates this hotel as 5 stars has never been to one. If you are expecting a lovely environment with high quality food, drink and service then think again.

Room Tip: Don't pick blocks 15 or 19 - they would be very noisy.
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  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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6  Thank GConnolly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JefedeAlojamiento, Manager at Iberostar Varadero, responded to this reviewResponded January 6, 2014

Dear guest ,
Thank you very much for you comments regarding your stay, we apologise for any inconvenience that you might have encountered during your stay here with us at the IB Varadero although it is our highest objective to please and fulfill everyones of our guests expectations and desires within our reach.
As you can probably read most of our comments are very positive for which our savoir-fair and experience goes before us.
It is very unfortunate what you comment, and we apologise for it once more, however i would like to mention here that, our food and its choice are of the highest possible quality using premium food items, if there were cooking methods errors not of your taste, we ask please you please to refer inmediately to our captain on site who will walk the extra mile to have that sorted out inmediately that is applicable to all f&b outlets, our wifi it is considered and extra service for which the customer has to pay for, insect-wise we had an issue regarding this during the evening times although this was inmediately controlled through heavy fumigation, it is a fact that tropical environment favours insect spread, our beach is gorgeous and we apologise if you found it dirty although i walk it personally twice a day and i make sure that it looks as clean as it can be, we might miss some spots although we have our beach staff on site and mornings and evenings we assure the place is clean for next day usage, we know the importance of this and we make sure it stays very clean.
Once again i hope you find this explanatory enough and we hope to welcome you again to our great well reknown resort in order fo us to turn around you previous experience,
Best regards
FHerran RDM

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Reviewed January 3, 2014

First impressions, the staff is mainly excellent, they try so hard to please you, all very polite. The grounds were pristine, and beautiful. The beach was a dream come true. The room was perfect, well appointed, clean. I traveled with my husband and two grown children, the not so good is that 3 out of 4 of us after the first day there were violently ill. I mean really sick. Severe vomiting, and this was both ends if you know what I mean. It really puts a damper on the trip, you lose about 2 plus days of the vacation, and then after that you don't eat much as you are too afraid to. My daughter said that Chef Gordon Ramsay needs to go in there and help them. I feel bad giving the hotel this review, as the presentation of the New Years buffet was just out of this world, but go a little more overboard in cleaning and disinfection and being careful with the handling of the food. Get some bleach/ Javex and go crazy, wash the brown kitchen doors, or paint them white so we can see they are clean, clean behind the omelette bar please, give the donut maker a pat on the back, we lived off those donuts. We travelled to Cuba before and stayed at a 3 star and we were not sick, so please don't say it was the weather blah blah. I suggest you hire one person to just clean the kitchen, just go over everything with bleach, and throw out old food please. I felt so bad when I was holding my daughters head over the toilet all night when she was vomiting violently. About the bedbug thing, we did not have anything in our room, but we saw bites all over a few poor people laying out in the sun, one blonde girl was just covered in bites!!! Again I cannot emphasize what a beautiful resort is was, how hard the staff tried to make us happy, but when you are barfing your guts out, none of this matters. I sent a note to the manager about us being sick, and about day 6 we received a telephone call simply asking how we were.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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8  Thank Jessie C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JefedeAlojamiento, Manager at Iberostar Varadero, responded to this reviewResponded January 6, 2014

Dear guest,
We are glad to read that you have enjoyed the resort and our facilities overall although in the other hand we regret deeply about your stomach upset during your holidays with us.
I would like to point out here, this is no bla bla, that all of our kitchen and food productions areas and continously monitored and bug free due to deep cleaning after all services and inspections in a regular basis, we have a great deal of inspections and we comply with all laws and legislations which regulate these spaces witin this country, otherwise our hotel would be rapidly shut down, concerning the foodpoisoinig you mentioned ,
We can assure you that we take all the necessary precautions to avoid this events from happening although some guests are more likely to be stomatch sick than others, and if this would be the case we would be having tons of reports about this and we get nothing but positive comments regarding this, especially from all of the agencies reps who daily eat at our premises, as our reputation from our f&b outlets is outstanding given our current economic and geographical scenario.
We have a great kitchen team who supervise the areas back/front at all times, carried out by our head chefs, being always present and going around the buffet and restaurants dressed in their uniforms aiming at nothing but providing and delivering the best quality that our guests can get in varadero.
Also to mention that we have a great medical team in house who are able to assist and help you in any concern you might encounter as well as our PR team who are on top of issues if these are reported on time to us.
All of our respect to the awarded and well-reknown chef Ramsey although we are very confident and trust our highly prepared and trained kitchen/satination professionals who experience and knowledge permits them to handle daily tasks within these complex areas very efficiently and accordingly.
Again we apologise for the inconveniences that you have been through although we know you enjoyed the resort and that is why we really hope to see you back again with us just like all of our repeator guests do.
Best regards
FHerran RDM

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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 Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Family Hotel in Varadero
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Varadero
#1 Romantic Hotel in Varadero
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Varadero
#3 Luxury Hotel in Varadero
#4 Business Hotel in Varadero
Price Range: $224 - $585 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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