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“Good vacation Apr 27 to May 5.”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of Iberostar Varadero

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Iberostar Varadero
Ranked #4 of 63 Hotels in Varadero
Certificate of Excellence
Victoria, Canada
Level Contributor
15 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“Good vacation Apr 27 to May 5.”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 6, 2014

We have just returned from our 9 day stay at the Iberostar Varadero. First of all, I’d like to say that the staff and the hotel do their very best to accommodate their guests. That being said, I read all of the reviews before booking and I think that many of the reviews have to be planted as they are simply untrue. I will do the pros and cons.

Pros: The staff is absolutely wonderful. Mabel greeted us every time we entered the buffet and had our “special” table for us. One our last day the table was sprinkled with flower petals and the napkins folded like 2 swans. All of our servers seemed to remember the things we liked and anticipated our needs. Susanna was a fantastic server! At the lobby bar, one bartender (I’m sorry I forgot his name, he has a shaved head) always knew what we wanted when we walked in. Even the gardeners knew we were from Canada and would say “Good morning, Canada!” with warm smiles. Our housemaid was Leydeyes (I don’t know if I spelled it correctly) was fantastic! She went out of her way to get us anything we asked for.
The beach is fabulous. I can’t understand anyone that complains. It is shallow and clear for meters. Kids would be completely safe in the water. It is well maintained and groomed daily. There is always some activity going on.

Sunwing does an excellent job of being on site and sorting out any issues you may have. We booked an extra night because the flights to Vancouver are at ungodly hours coming and going. With the extra day, we could stay in our room until midnight to shower, pack, enjoy the beach and nap after dinner before our flight.

Do the Havana day trip. Old Havana is not to be missed. It is a beautiful colonial city. The 2 hour lunch (unnecessary time wasted) and the rude members of our tour group who would not return when they were supposed to cost us a lot of time at the market. The only other thing is the bus stopped to pick up local friends of the driver and guide on the way back to our resorts and drop them off in their various towns and that added time to our day as well and we got back 2 hours late even though we were one of the first hotels they dropped off. You are last in the morning to be picked up for these tours so be prepared to not be able to sit with your companions.

Cons: The food is hit and miss. It gets better as time goes by which means you just adjust to it. The service in the Mediterranean was deplorable. We were the first through the door and our meal was served much later after several families and large groups received theirs and were leaving. The children of a couple families were allowed to eat off the spoons at the buffet and return them to the dishes. One child filled his plate with all the prawns and left nothing for us to try and they did not refill the dish. Not the resorts fault at all but it makes dining an unpleasant experience. The lobster was okay, but if you are a foodie – just be warned the steak is grisly and undercooked. It is probably all they can get and they do their best I am sure. The service and the food at La Parilla was so much better! I had the snapper and my companion had prawn skewers. The buffet is a safe bet anytime, but it can be hit and miss. We had excellent grilled fish and prawns. Again, the children that are allowed to use their hands to eat off the dishes, lick and eat off serving spoons, scoop out ice cream with their hands and eat the sprinkles and syrups with their fingers, drop things on the floor, pick them up with their hands and return them to the serving dishes, ruin it for the adults. Again, not the resorts fault. This will really make me consider an adult only resort next time. Children were also pouring out their drinks from the swim up bar into the pool and eating food in the pool. Again, not the resorts fault.

The drinks are hit and miss. Some bartenders are good, other are not. They do not have a lot of the international liquor that they say they have. No chivas regal, no single malt at all. We settled for Jameson’s. If you enjoy good wine – don’t bother drinking the wine or you will be very disappointed. The beer was okay. Generally, the drinks were as good as the bartenders. There is a great lady at the beach bar who makes awesome Pina coladas with real fruit blended in. I don’t remember her name (see, great Pina Coladas!), but I would generally have to ask for a little less alcohol. The cocktail waitress that came around at the pool was rather rude so I avoided ordering drinks and went directly to the bar or the beach bar.

There is no room service. There was a post saying “it is not to be missed”. It doesn’t exist. There was no welcome bottle of liquor and cigar in our room that we read about and so requested. The food is not fantastic by any stretch of the imagination. This is not luxurious by any standard but it is clean, quiet (Block 17, second floor) and the staff make up for any short comings.

Cigars: If you are coming to buy cigars – avoid the staff or people on the street trying sell you some for a good deal. These can be fake - even with fake government stamps on them. At the reputable vendors in Havana, Varadero, the airport and the hotel – the prices are pretty consistent. We actually found better prices at the hotel for a couple items. We bought our large quantities in Havana and Varadero. Havana is freshest. I f you have any questions on specifics – email me. We bought mainly Cohiba Siglo II, Siglo IV, Siglo VI and Punch Serie d'Oro No.2 Edicion Limitada 2013, but we tried many, many singles and priced a lot of them.
The rum was good in Varadero and the prices are the same – no matter where you buy it (maybe fluctuate by a CUC or 2). We bought some at the hotel as the price was the same.

Gifts: We brought gifts for the service workers and they were greatly appreciated. We always gave CUC’s and gifts. We are so fortunate and they have to pay dearly for everything. We left all toiletries, OTC drugs, bug spray, etc. We brought baseball caps, toothbrushes, razors, crayons, watercolours, matchbox cars, extra clothes and shoes to leave as gifts. We would tip waiters and bartenders in CUCs and packages of gum. Never substitute a tip with a gift, give both things.

Ask for receipts for everything. Many vendors want your cash and no receipt. I’m sure this is shady. Even the t-shirt shop at the hotel refused to give us a receipt with cash – they would give us a receipt if we used a credit card. They all will say the cash register is broken. Not. Have receipts for everything for customs. They weighed our bag and are strict about the weight limit of 20 kilos.

Spend the extra 30 CUC’s for a VIP pass at the airport. You get this from your tour director. SO worth it! They personally take you through all the lines at the airport – no waiting – and you spend your time in the VIP lounge with and open bar (better alcohol than the hotel), air conditioning, TV and food.

I’m sure I have forgotten something but if you have any question please feel free to email me scouttyann@yahoo.ca

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
10 Thank Mary K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JefedeAlojamiento, Manager at Iberostar Varadero, responded to this review, May 8, 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 our drink selection as well as food was not of your taste although we believe we have a great variety and the best possible choice of quality items for our guests, we take note of all your recommendations.
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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St. John's, Canada
Level Contributor
62 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 6, 2014

We returned last week from the Iberostar Varadero. The resort was really very good. The landscaping/gardening was beautiful and well thought out and the hotel and surroundings were impeccably clean and tidy. The public bathrooms on the resort were the cleanest bathrooms I have ever seen anywhere- immaculate.

I found the food at this resort perfectly fine overall. There was always something different every day to eat- one day there was a fajita station, another day had Chinese food, etc. The flatbread pizzas were generally good and the breads and the ice cream were the best items there. I can’t believe I went half a week without realizing the ice cream was so amazing. We went to all three a la carte restaurants, but really, I should have listened to the reviews that said the buffet was better, because it really was. But of course, I had to find that out for myself… Of the three restaurants, the Japanese was the best- the chef cooks the food in front of you which is entertaining. La Parilla (the International one) is not really worth mentioning. The Mediterranean one had good appetizers but that was about all. I ordered the surf and turf there, but the lobster was nothing like the lobster at home and was rather tasteless. As well, the burgers at the beach bar and the snack bar (La Parilla) were not the best and the snacks were rather boring, but overall, there is definitely enough tasty food on that resort to satisfy most everyone.

The coffee at the coffee bar was AMAZING. If you like a good cup of coffee, I would highly recommend you go to this place. It’s just off the lobby. I drank so many cappuccinos and lattes. Also, the Irish coffee with Irish cream instead of Irish whiskey was great.

The resort pool was really big and didn’t ever look to be overcrowded. I do think people had issues with getting a lounge chair poolside, but there are certainly enough lounge chairs in the general pool area. The beach was great. It had two beach bars there and in the mornings especially (before it got too busy) the service was prompt. There were definitely enough chairs and shades on the beach. The water is shallow for a long way out, but in the afternoons it became wavy, which is a good thing to me. There is really no place to snorkel, but the water sports workers (at the far left of the beach) will take you a good distance out on a Hobie Cat for 20 CUC if you want to snorkel. I didn’t do it, so I can’t say if it’s worth it or not. To the right of the beach is a point- I went up there and snorkeled around. There weren’t many fish but there were lots of shells to look at.

One of the biggest problems we had on the resort were the tiny bugs in our room. There were so many small bugs crawling around the closet that I was nervous to put my clothes in there. As well, a few days before we were set to return home, we noticed an infiltration of small red ants in the bathroom. They were everywhere- all over the counter, in my make up bag, towels, on the floor, in the sink. At the same time that I was trying to get rid of them, my partner was on the patio videotaping a mass marching of hundreds of ants up the patio wall and into the outside light. It was rather unnerving. Fortunately, we didn’t get bitten. We never got many bites at all and never used the bug spray we brought.

As for the toilet paper situation- do bring some on the way to and from Cuba with you if you are going to use the airport bathrooms. While on the resort, you are good, but take the hotel toilet paper with you on any excursions or trips you might make outside. There are ladies in most every public toilet handing out toilet paper for a price.

We also brought some things to give away to the resort workers. Things like pantyhose, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, make up and clothes are all appreciated donations. We tried to distribute what we brought evenly as we felt the maids probably had a better chance of receiving things than did the gardeners or the other workers. We did wonder if they pooled their tips but didn’t ask.

Overall, the resort was really great and we had few complaints. I would return here again if I was ever to go back to Cuba to stay on a resort.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank coffeelover1001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JefedeAlojamiento, Manager at Iberostar Varadero, responded to this review, May 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 for the bugs you seemed to have found in the room, please do report this to your mais as we can spray your room inmediately, we ask for understanding as we are in a tropical island and finding bugs in areas happens often, in room bugs is very rare as we spray and deep clean daily.
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.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 6, 2014

We stayed here in June 2013 for our anniversary.

Rooms: Lovely rooms, clean and fresh. The daily maid was very friendly and our room was always left spotless.

Location: The beach is one of the best beaches I have ever been on let alone had attached to the hotel. We spent a lot of time here.

Trips: Swim with dolphins – didn’t enjoy this as much as I had hoped to. The water was dirty and the dolphins did not seem happy 

Food: Breakfast buffet was nice and varied… The Japanese restaurant was amazing, the chef cooks all the food infront of you – we ate here twice (you need to book in advance for this). The buffet restaurant (where you eat breakfast) was also nice and varied for the days when you don’t have a restaurant booking. At lunchtime there is a barbecue, the guy serving the actual outdoor barbecue was extremely rude. He asked a couple that we were travelling with if they were English, and when they replied yes he spat on the floor to show his disgust! Other than this guy, the rest of the staff were very friendly and helpful. He did put a bit of a downer on the stay though.. so we avoided him when we could.

Other than the BBQ guy the stay was really nice, the cocktails are lovely, and we also enjoyed the onsite club on a couple of occasions.

For a nice relaxing stay on a beautiful beach I would definitely recommend..

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank HolidayHunter82
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JefedeAlojamiento, Manager at Iberostar Varadero, responded to this review, May 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 for that inconveninece at the bbq grill as we normally have nothing but good comments regarding our staff behaviour and service nevertheless we will look into this matter accordingly to figure out what really went on so measures can be taken, we have loads of british customers and they are always welcome to Cuba as well as the rest of our visitors.
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.
LONDON
Level Contributor
13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 5, 2014

The all inclusive food was good to very good rather than excellent, with plenty of choice for everybody. Cocktails at the bar were good with a decent variety of rums and a small selection of premium international spirits, the choice of wine was limited and will disappoint fine wine drinkers,
beer was ok bur served in small glasses.
The nightly entertainment was very good for a free show but the daytime animation was a little intrusive for my taste.
Overall a very pleasant experience.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank MWLSW18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JefedeAlojamiento, Manager at Iberostar Varadero, responded to this review, May 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 take note regarding your animation comments.
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.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
13 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 3, 2014

Everything was wonderful! The grounds are much nicer than the site photos appear. Check-in was seamless. The floor plan of the whole resort was pleasantly designed so you didn't feel like you had to take a geography course to figure out how to navigate the grounds, The beach was perhaps the best I've visited in the Caribbean. Beautiful, clean, long, no accosting vendors; the day we arrived the water was crystal clear without a ripple and you could see to the clear sandy bottom for what seemed like miles. This particular area of the beach was very shallow so you could venture far before the water became five feet deep. Of our two week stay at this resort there were a few days when the surf rose a bit but never aggressive enough to deter swimming. You can easily walk two hours one way if you're a beach walker. Maybe much farther but we turned before then.
The food was buffet and not first-prize taking, contest winning, fine dining. However, there was an extensive salad selection, a nice cheese selection; a carvery: well, of course there will be complainers but the truth is I may not eat as much salt, oil, desert, etc, but my family kitchen doesn't often serve a much better menu, in fact, in truth, my kitchen doesn't come close. Most people's don't unless they have a private chef.
The drinks, yikes. Be careful with those. Lots of rum The service staff were outstanding. I have never experienced such consistent, across the resort, hospitality staff. Everyday my room was made-up in the morning so when I would come back around noon I was welcomed to a clean fresh room with fresh flowers and towel art. Yolanda was caring for my room and always had a pleasant smile and when she asked how you were it was always with genuine interest.
Evie (taking a guess at the spelling) at the beach bar was courteous, funny, professional; a joy to encounter. I cannot remember all the names of such wonderful staff and nor can I remember one unpleasant experience.
Apparently there are three Iberostar resorts in Varadero. All Iberostars are not equal. We heard from a few sources that Iberostar Varadero (this one) is the better of the three.
The rooms were average with a few extra touches like bath robes and pot-potpourri.

Room Tip: The 13, 14, 15 series are away from the main activity pool so they are quiter. All the rooms are in...
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank 714Leah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JefedeAlojamiento, Manager at Iberostar Varadero, responded to this review, May 4, 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, in fact there are four Iberostar in Varadero which are distinguished by their category therefore this segments in audience and prices.
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.
Hay River, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 3, 2014

This holiday was more than I could have ever hoped for. This Iberostar really has things running smoothly. I'm thinking a resort at about this age (9years) is in it's prime, really. It has staff that have been there for a while which make things run like a well-oiled machine and the resort is still new enough that it's not in need of too many upgrades.

Let me start with the fact that my husband and I got away from it all; leaving our three tweens and demanding jobs back at home with the two feet of snow and -20 temperatures. Resting our laurels at this amazing spot made me feel like I was 20 again! Ahhh :)
Now on to the review...

Common Areas and Layout:
As soon as we arrived it felt special, with the open concept lobby and main fountain but especially with the "Welcome Home!" we received from the front desk staff. Little did I realize that in a few short days it would feel like home indeed! We arrived late at night or should I say early in the morning, so the bellman took us promptly to our rooms in a golf cart as we didn't know the lay of the land on that first night. Not to worry; after the first day we enjoyed the short stroll back to our building #13. I don't know which was more beautiful; the day time where we saw the beautifully manicured shrubs, trees and flowers or at night through the romantic, lantern lined pathways. This resort is very well planned without too much walking, the perfect size where everyone still knows your name. Salute!

Rooms:
The rooms were OK, very good in terms of Cuba; you should not compare them to the five star Ritz Carlton in New York, in other words. Besides, you don’t come to Cuba to stay in your room! I did find them to be a little musty smelling at first but I got used to that and besides, the humidity was always over 80% so there is not much to be done about it. On a positive note, the rooms were quite large and had most amenities you might need. The beds were comfortable, the pillows ample, the hot water plentiful and we even had washcloths, which many hotels in Cuba do not. The best treat was coming back to towel art every afternoon with a new design done daily.

Food:
The main buffet, Ambrosio, and the pool restaurant, El Bohio, are your best bet for consistently good and plentiful food. As in other reviews, I loved the bread and cheese selections for both lunch and dinner. The pastries were also varied and tasty and the ice cream is to die for! The fresh fruit smoothies were also a go-to every morning for breakfast. The fish was always fresh and perfectly cooked and they also know how to cook pork and chicken very well. There is a reason the beef is not the best. The beef in Cuba is mainly reserved for tourists to eat, unless they want to spend their entire month’s wages to purchase some. Therefore, they don’t know how to cook it very well. Knowing this, I will choose never to eat beef in Cuba.

The A La Carte restaurants leave a little to be desired, in my opinion. The Japanese restaurant was fun to watch, but the food was so drenched in soy sauce in was hard to enjoy. The Mediterranean restaurant was fine. Nice service but the food was just OK. We cancelled our reservations for La Parrilla as I heard you are just hungry when you leave, so we just went to the main buffet where we were consistently happy.

Water:
The pools were fantastic! The main pool was very clean, with a perfect temperature and thoughtfully designed. There was lots of room for kids to play, adults to do activities and others to relax quietly. There is a nice gradual entry for those with mobility issues as well being perfect for small children. There are actually five separate swimming pools: the main pool, the quiet pool, the water sports pool, the baby wading pool and the kids’ club pool. What more could you ask for! There were plenty of lounge chairs to choose from both in the sun by the pool, and in the plentiful shade. Although we almost always ordered our drinks from Jimmy, at the pool restaurant, there is also a very fun and convenient pool swim-up bar.

The beach is, of course, why the hotels exist in the first place and Varadero beach is just stunning. White soft sand with unbelievable turquoise water for as far as you can walk! It’s the perfect place to unwind. Swimming is great both when the flag is green for calm waters, or yellow when you get to play in the surf. The lower beach is raked clean when seaweed arrives and the glasses are collected often to keep the beach nice and neat. As others have mentioned, a hurricane has created a terraced beach where stairs are now necessary, but this does not take away from its incredible beauty.

Entertainment:
There have been a number of mixed reviews on this point. Personally, I think there is a mix of mainly highly entertaining shows that can amaze, amuse and others that take you out of your comfort zone in a good way! Be open to some fun and laughs and these shows offer a lot. Say “yes” when they ask you to dance and your vacation gets taken to a whole new level. Participation is the key and your perspective may change as to how hard these entertainers work to put on a good show for you. And yes, there are some cheesy bits, but don’t let that jade the total experience. As another guest commented to us, “I could have skipped the Tropicana in Havana. These guys are a smaller version and just as good!”

Staff:
I cannot stress enough how fantastic these Cuban hosts were, from the moment we arrived to the final minutes we savoured the little piece of heaven they helped create. From their easy-going demeanor, non-stop smiles, and attitude of sharing and caring, the staff here made this experience one I will never forget. All I can suggest is to strike up some conversations, get to know these people and you will have friends when you leave. Yes, it’s their job to be of service, but many of them went far beyond this to making connections with us that will last a lifetime.
A special shout-out to Jimmy (Guelther) at the pool restaurant who I looked forward to seeing every morning for my morning hugs and kisses, conversation and Mimosas; to Alex, Nuri, Jocelyn, Jennifer and Atuncio of the animation crew for getting us involved and making our time feel like a “Summer Camp for Adults!”; to the DJ, Junior for sharing your playlist, which I listen to daily to keep me grooving Cuban-style; finally to Rainer and Alain at the Cigar Bar who became our after dinner companions and they graciously gave us a glimpse into an authentic Cuban estilo de vida. Muchas gracias, mis amigos!

Hasta la próxima vez, we are dreaming of our next visit!

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Jennifer T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JefedeAlojamiento, Manager at Iberostar Varadero, responded to this review, May 4, 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.
Zurich, Switzerland
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 3, 2014

I wanted to take my family to the best Hotel in Varadero and this one appeared to be the one. After spending 20 nights with my family there (6 adults, 2 children and 1 infant) and paying well over 16'000USD I think for that kind of money I could have gotten far more bang for the buck elsewhere. We occupied three rooms and had the very unfortunate luck of sharing the same awful room maid. I have so much to say (and include some of the views of my family) that prefer to break it down into pros and cons:

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Pros:
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>> Animation, Show and activities for kids: "Animación super excelente" is true all the way. This is the single best point that set this Hotel apart from all others. If you enjoy colorful night shows and daytime activities look no further this is it. The shows with live music are amazing and spectacular. I enjoyed the most the Cuban night shows similar to those in Tropicana. The Michael Jackson show is uniquely phenomenal. They have a rich variety of shows, my family and I were very impressed. The Lion King show is very impressive as well it even reminded me of the "original" at Broadway Theater New York. I can tell you that easily each of the shows could cost a 100 bucks ticket and you have them every night. Animation is really excellent in every aspect. The Hotel offers a great choice of daily activities for kids. The only complain I have if any is that the only activity I enjoy: Volleyball was some times de-prioritized or avoided by the animation.

>> Main pool: very clean, cleaned every day. At night gives a tremendous beautiful look to the Hotel with all the blue lights.

>> Bar at the Pool: amazing, good choice and excellent service. We really enjoyed the spontaneity and charisma of Eli who spoiled us with her intrinsic happiness and the Tequila rounds. It is worth mentioning that the service at the pool is very good unlike the one at the beach.

>> Disco: For those who like partying the disco is really awesome, it is much better than many discos worldwide I have visited just be careful with the strong air-conditioning and smoke to avoid catching a cold.

>> Choice of drinks: the choice of alcoholic drinks is very good and well above average in all bars including the lobby and disco. We really enjoyed the good variety of Whisky particularly the Ballantine's. On the other hand, the choice of fresh fruit juices and milk shakes was sadly very poor.

>> Restaurants À la carte: We enjoyed the most the "Mediterranean" with the super nice Lobsters the only disappointment here was the "Crema Catalana" dessert which was nothing like the original. In the second place was the "Japanese" restaurant which was more the show than the food and the restaurant "La Parrilla" you may safely avoid because it has nothing really special worth reserving, for that matter I found their service very poor, they tend to leave you unattended for long.

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Cons:
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>> Rooms: are poorly maintained, we had leaking water from the roof in all of them, the window lock was broken in two of the rooms, shower was broken almost falling from the wall. Other cheaper Hotels e.g. Melia Varadero have rooms continuously renovated and far better than these, I really loved the rooms of Melia Varadero.

>> Room Service: extremely poor, the room maid was smoking while working. We are non-smokers and could smell the stink to cigarettes every time we were back to the rooms. I caught her smoking while working on multiple occasions. She skipped changing the towels several times in all the rooms. She regularly skipped or deliberately did not refill hygiene supplies e.g. she did not provide soap and other supplies to my brother's family room for more than three days. When my brother's wife asked, she replied that "we are out of soap at the moment" completely ridiculous, we suspect she was stealing the supplies. The cleaning quality was poor and she would always leave the rooms completely disorganized unlike in all the other Hotels I have been to in Varadero. I even gave her 10cuc tip hoping to motivate her but didn't change a thing. I finally reported her but nothing changed. This is something that when works people don't notice but when it doesn't it can really spoil your holidays. The name of the room maid is Magnolia avoid her if you can.

>> Beach bar: too far away from the beach, this could work out for a solo or couples trip but for families with several kids it is a showstopper. We had to walk depending were you settle in the beach up to 200 meters to get something to drink. There was __only one__ waiter bringing drinks for a Hotel that has a capacity of 900 tourists!! The waiter would eventually walk the beach taking orders but he would only cherry pick and prioritize people who would look more likely to give big tips. In conclusion, in my 20 nights of stay he didn't ask me a single time what we wanted to drink at the beach. I even asked once and he neglected me, he never brought anything and I had to walk all the way to the bar carrying my one year old daughter. Absolutely pathetic and a shame for a so called 5 star Hotel.

>> Buffet: food quality is average, but in my view it actually falls short for the price I paid, we got nothing really extraordinary. I have had local food in Cuba that is amazing and for a lot less than what we paid here per day e.g. "La Fontana" paladar in Havana. I also find the Melia las Americas to have much better choice and quality. On the other hand I must mention that if you have special requests they really do their best to please you e.g. the Cheff of the buffet was always ensuring that my one year old daughter would get the pure and steamed fish and meat she is used to. We were also very pleased with the personal treatment and dedication of Valeria.

>> Reception: Very inefficient and sloppy. They messed up our reservations and put a checkout date earlier than it actually was. Even after telling them and clarifying that the checkout dates they had were mistaken they insisted that we had to leave earlier. I had to personally go there and waste 15 minutes of my holidays struggling for them to finally search the original reservation and convincing that they entered it incorrectly in their systems. At the end they found the reservation which they forgot in some drawer. They could have solved all this without my involvement and wasting time if they had researched better instead of insisting to contradict. The lobby attendant "Delvys" got even upset and treated me very unpleasantly. Again pathetic.

>> Checkout: the luggage attendant neglected us and didn't want to help us lifting the luggage to the bus. After I almost dragged the attendant to help us he decided to instead fight the bus driver claiming it was his job to lift and carry the luggage. Really!? seriously!? 5 star Hotel? it was funny and pathetic to see, again.

Overall, we had fun and enjoyed the Hotel but for the amount of money I paid, the issues are big and ugly and left me with a regretful feeling of rip off that I could have better spent my money elsewhere.

Room Tip: Prefer the block 18xx which is close to the beach and all services. It is the best location.
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank giovanni_azua
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JefedeAlojamiento, Manager at Iberostar Varadero, responded to this review, May 8, 2014
Dear guest,
We would like to thank you for sharing your experience at our property and we are very glad and proud that you enjoyed our animation team and restaurants as much as many other guests do.
In the other hand i would like to apologise if you found our hotel not to be up to the expected standards and felt that was not worth it.
Through your review you highlighted some issues that made you arrive to those conclusions and i would like to add here that we are working right on them in order for us to reassure all these services.
We apolgise for the house maid behaviour, for a fact i know that we have a tremendous housekeeping team as we have nothing but really good comments on all of them as you can probably read, thus i have forwarded your comments in this regard to the right person in order for them to take measures.
Relating the distance to the beach bars there are certain legislations which apply as to how far constructions are based on the beach, we need to comply with law as well as we reinforce the beach service through the high season.
We believe we have a great buffet with great quality and choice although we keep on improving it every now and then bringing in new products and items suitable for our clientele, we know Melia Americas is one of our direct competitors therefore their food and buffet facilities need to be up to the standrds as well as ours.
We would like to apologise for the recepcition desk service as you mentioned, most of our bookings are prepaid through agencies so we process reservations as required by agencies although we will look into this issue not to happen ever again, relating the bell service there is an agreement for porters and bus drivers that is certain and clear, however we need to avoid this from happening again.
We would like to thank you once more for all your feedback and we apologise for any inconvenience that we could have caused you during this time, wishing you all the best
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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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 Romantic Hotel in Varadero
#1 Family Hotel in Varadero
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Varadero
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Varadero
#3 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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