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Iberostar Varadero
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Reviews (7,184)
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4,590
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All reviewsstar friendsjapanese restaurantspa poollobby barfishwater poloa la carte restaurantssurf and turfjunior suiteevening entertainmententertainment staffmain buffetmain poolkids clubother resortswedding coordinatorfantastic holiday
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Reviewed March 6, 2014

Wonderful, beautiful place and surroundings, I love the people, the food, the piano bar, the music, fantastic shows every night, the beach is endless, I like to walk the whole length, that's how I get my exercise and tan. This is a "No problem" resort. The only disadvantage....having to leave. This is a must visit resort in Varadero Cuba.

Room Tip: Folks, it's the number #1 rated in Varadero...........
  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Semprecurcio
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JefedeAlojamiento, Manager at Iberostar Varadero, responded to this reviewResponded March 7, 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 review,we do hope to welcome you back soon
Best regards
FHerran ORM

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 5, 2014

We just returned from Iberostar Varadero - one week with 5 kids/in-laws (20-somethings) and our 2 year old grandson and then 3 additional days with just the 2 of us (60-somethings)
This was a great location for a multi-generation family trip. Lots of other reviewers have described it so I'll just comment on a few recurring themes.

Is it a 5-star resort?
I don't have a lot of 5-star reference points but it is _clearly_!!! superior to the 4-stars I have stayed at in Cuba. Specifically, excellent maintenance of public and private spaces, adequacy of resources (no need to play beach-towel musical chairs to reserve a spot at pool or oceanside - there are enough for everyone); caliber of staff and programming.

Is the staff really that good?
Yes - we had many very positive encounters. The care and attention given to our grandson was wonderful. Rocio from the programming staff was exceptional - always encouraging us to join activities with a welcome but no pressure - as well as Rainer and Alan in the cigar bar to name a few. Given the level of service I was more than happy to tip but I never felt any expectation much less pressure to do so (this is in contrast to services elsewhere such as the "tour guide" on the airport shuttle bus who devoted about a quarter of his time to the importance of tips).

How was the food?
I'd make the typical "good for Cuba" response. There was lots of variety beautifully presented. I had a couple of outstanding meals - grilled whole fish one day at lunch that had probably been caught that morning mmmmmm! There were gaps at times - sometimes food on the buffet line had suffered from being on the warming tray too long (but I acknowledge that with unpredictable demand this is hard to manage). Access to a broad array of fresh vegetables appears to be an issue but serving frozen mixed vegetables alongside a beautiful piece of steak (at the a la carte resto) is not a good solution. Finding more inventive ways to present the vegetables that are available would be preferable in my opinion.There was a lovely variety of fresh fruit of course and nice breads. While the service was warm and friendly in the a la carte restaurants, the _coordination_ of service could have been improved eg one evening there was a 5 minute gap between the first and last of our party receiving their entrees.

Would we go back?
Probably not for just the two of us - the constant round of activities made it feel a bit too busy or less restful for the grandparent generation. We also found that it was hard to find quiet places once the evening programming had begun. We were in room 1149 and could hear the din even on our balcony which faced to the outside of the resort (we may have been better in buildings 14 or 15). If we were to do another family vacation we would certainly consider it.

5 best things:
1. the beach - powder soft sand, well maintained and never crowded
2. the staff - friendly, accommodating, warm and generous
3. the pool areas - lots of options especially for small children
4. the range of activities for all ages
5. rooms were large, comfortable, well-appointed and well-maintained

5 easy fixes to make it even better:
1. some good scotch in the cigar bar - even if there is an upcharge for it
2. in the internet centre, either provide a spanish keyboard or a picture of one - it was very frustrating spending many minutes of my purchased time searching for keys like @ and /
3. better acoustic environment in the main buffet - the scraping of chairs is noisy and grating - applying sliders to the bottom would make them both easier to move and make the room quieter. Some acoustic tiles or draperies would help too (It of course may be that the environment is deliberate - discouraging lingering so that more people can be moved through.)
4. is there any option besides the plastic wrist bands? They are quite uncomfortable
5. The evening entertainment staff were exceptionally skilled but I was frustrated that so much of the programming content was Americanized. I would have enjoyed more traditional Cuban music

One final note was that a day tour of Havana with Blexie was a highlight of the trip but I will review that separately.

Room Tip: Our daughter and son-in-law with the 2-year-old were on main floor (first in bldg 14 and then in adjoining 1805 and 1806) Both rooms smelled musty while rooms on the higher floors where we and the other kids were did not. The adjoining rooms was a great help for the toddler sleeping and the parent caring for him.
  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled with family
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4  Thank baldgirl_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JefedeAlojamiento, Manager at Iberostar Varadero, responded to this reviewResponded March 7, 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, we will take into consideration oall of your suggestions as they are suitable.
Thank you very much again for your kind review,we do hope to welcome you back soon
Best regards
FHerran ORM

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 5, 2014

We just returned from an 11 day stay at the Iberostar. It was our first trip to Cuba. We thought the resort was lovely and the people very friendly and accommodating. We felt no pressure to tip at the resort. The food was more than adequate particularly in the buffet restaurant, but two of the "specialty" restaurants were nothing special. We felt the buffet restaurant had better food and ambiance than the Parilla and the Dorado. The Japanese Tapenyaki restaurant was the best of the specialty restaurants but we felt a little rushed. We went there twice since we considered it to have the best food of the 3 specialty restaurants. Since we mainly drink soft drinks, not much alcohol, our biggest disappointment was the choice of non-alcoholic beverages. As others have pointed out, they don't provide coca cola or pepsi in the restaurants or bars; rather they have a local cola which has an aftertaste of which we were not fond.
The beach was great. Yes, there are two levels of sandy beach, but no problem, it was all good. The water was a good temperature for swimming, a little rough on some days, but definitely one of the better beaches I've been to. Tons of shells if you're in to shell collecting:) We liked the beach so much that we spent most of our days there, even though the pool was lovely as well.
We took 2 day tours through Sunwing, both were enjoyable. One was to El Caribe (the Caribbean Sea and Bay of Pigs). We thoroughly enjoyed the trip but one tip if you take this trip - take water shoes for the stop on a rocky beach for snorkelling. You'll need them more than fins. Many colourful fish very close to the rocky shore, so well worth it. The other trip was the Colonial tour to Havanna. Again, a good trip. The old town architecture, town squares and roads, and of course all the old cars were a treat to see. But everywhere you walk or stop you will be pestered for money or gifts. Even before we went in to a cigar store (a stop on the tour) we were inundated by people trying to sell cheaper cigars, etc. So, just a heads up.
All in all, we had a great time, so I'm glad I researched TripAdvisor before choosing the Iberostar.

Room Tip: All rooms are located in Blocks. No rooms have a beach view because of the amount of landscaping and vegetation. The better situated Blocks have only junior suites, no standard rooms. There are no elevators, so consider a ground floor if that's an issue. We were in a standard room on the gound floor of block 19, facing the little lake, and it was fine and quiet.
  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled with friends
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1  Thank gremlin56
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JefedeAlojamiento, Manager at Iberostar Varadero, responded to this reviewResponded March 7, 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, relating the lack of coke nor pepsi it has to be highlighted here that there are several reestrictions which apply to this land therefore we are unable to offer certain products general clientele is familiar with.
Thank you very much again for your kind review,we do hope to welcome you back soon
Best regards
FHerran ORM

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 5, 2014

We spend a night there, easy check in and check out, spacious room, nice swimming pool, nice private beach. Food was in general ok. Japanese food was more like a "show" rather than focusing on the "quality" but in genearl, should be in quite good terms using Cuba standard. Evening show was entertaining as well.

Price is a bit expensive but I think still a good place to relax.

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank Suet_Yu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JefedeAlojamiento, Manager at Iberostar Varadero, responded to this reviewResponded March 7, 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 review,we do 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 March 5, 2014

Our first all-inclusive holiday - what a bonus when done correctly! Lovely hotel, spacious cool, airy room, plenty of readily available decent food and drink, nice pool, beautiful sandy beach and inviting blue sea. Friendly, attentive enthusiastic staff but never too pushy. What more could anyone want from an all-in beach resort hotel? And no sign of the often-mentioned mosquitos or sand fleas.
Difficult to think of a negative point, except that the hotel's admirable 'no saving sunbeds' policy didn't seem to be working. Otherwise, almost perfect!

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
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Review collected in partnership with Virgin Holidays
1  Thank Brooksy87
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JefedeAlojamiento, Manager at Iberostar Varadero, responded to this reviewResponded March 7, 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, we apologise if you struggled to find a sunbed as we are right through high season, we will look in to this matter.
Thank you very much again for your kind review,we do hope to welcome you back soon
Best regards
FHerran ORM

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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