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“Great holiday for first time in Cuba” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Iberostar Varadero

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Iberostar Varadero
Ranked #3 of 63 Hotels in Varadero
Certificate of Excellence
Macclesfield, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Great holiday for first time in Cuba”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 2, 2014

This was our first trip to Cuba and our expectations weren't high as we did not know what to really expect. However we spent the first two weeks of July at the Iberostar and had a really great time. The weather was fantastic, the hotel was great and the people really fab and it was refreshing to be on holiday without the heavy American commercialism of other Caribbean Islands.
The hotel isn't 5 star by other country standards but having looked at some of the other hotels in Varadero this is definitely one of the best.
We were greeted warmly at check-in and the service was quick and efficient. We changed money at the same time again quick and efficient (they will give you smaller coins happily if you ask) By the time we walked to our room our luggage was being dropped off which was perfect. We stayed in block 14 which is lovely and quiet and we would ask to stay there again if we went back, I had emailed the hotel before hand asking for an upper room with garden view and we did get a second floor room but with a rear view, it wasn't bad but not as nice as those front facing and a really bright security light which looked over our balcony. Not a problem with the blackout curtains though. We had a bottle of sparkling wine waiting for us which was a nice touch.
The rooms are really generously sized with iron and ironing board, safe, bathrobes and good full length mirror. Mini bar with soft drinks, water and beer was stocked everyday. The bathroom had separate shower and bath and again really generous size.
The gardens are beautifully maintained, the gardeners work hard and are always cheery, they make flower animals for the guests which is nice, the gardener near our room was really friendly and liked to chat to practice his English. The staff generally are really nice, friendly and efficient. Rooms cleaned every day with some interesting towel art which was nice. On our first day we had a couple of little repairs, the hair dyer didn't work, TV remote needed batteries and a lamp bulb needed replacing. We left a nice note for the maid and when we returned all had been put right which was good. There's an ice machine in each block which is a nice touch too.
The beach isn't the deepest but really clean and the sea fabulous. We liked the fact that sun beds were not row upon row it made a quieter more tranquil experience. The sun bed guys were great and would find you a bed and put out your towels. They didn't expect a tip but were grateful when you did. We were on the beach by 7.30 though catching the cooler rays so we often beat them to the beach.
We had read different reports on tipping with some holiday makers stating it was expected, we didn't find this and we just tipped when we got good service. The beach bar staff work hard and were really pleasant especially those at the smaller of the two beach bars, we got our own drinks most of the time but added a few cucs to their tip jar on the bar which they appreciated. The lobby bar staff were really great especially Ellie, after a couple of days she knew what we were drinking and her service was fast, drinks were great there is plenty of choice and we tipped her at the end of each night and she really appreciated it.
We didn't spend much time at the pool, the beds are close together and it's where all the activities take place. The activity team were really good though they ask you to participate but if you say no they don't pressurise, they are happy for you to sit back and watch and they all speak several languages which is impressive.
We are not ones for evening entertainment but the shows are very good, the staff put in such effort, the Michael Jackson and the rock night were 2 we particularly enjoyed.
Food was ok, not 5 star but we didn't expect it to be. There is something for everyone in the buffet restaurant with a theme most nights. Desserts were good too, best choice we have had in all inclusive hotels. The restaurant is quite big but we sat in the same area each time to the sides of the restaurant in the circle areas and it felt more intimate. The staff cover the same area too so you get to know the waiting staff if you sit in the same area.
The speciality restaurants were ok, we liked the Mediterranean the best, mainly seafood which we liked, they serve a good surf and turf. We tried the Japanese and it was ok, better experience I think if you were in a group. The international was ok pretty much what is served in the main buffet but it's a change in environment so we went a couple of times. We liked the fact that you can book these in advance so it helps plan your evenings. The staff were really nice at all three, good service, very attentive, you can buy wine from a menu or have your all inclusive drinks, there's no pressure to purchase though although we did through choice.
We went to Havana on the day trip through Thomas Cook (Jesus the rep is really great and on hand every day, he likes you to chat about your stay) we were glad we went but when we go back again we would use a private guide. Herding 40+ people through Havana wasn't without problem as you are always waiting for someone and it's hard to please everyone as people like different things, but It gave us a great flavour of the city and next time we know exactly what we would want to do and see. Must say the guide was great, she was really informative and gave lots of background information on Cuba and the people. We also did the Buena Vista social club trip with premium extras. It was worth the extra for the open Cadillac ride to mansion Xanadu and dinner. The views from the mansion are amazing at sunset, food was cold though but hey it was an experience.
We intended to use the open topped tourist bus which runs up and down the peninsula all day, but there was always yellow cabs around and they offer low prices to compete with the bus and you don't have to walk the 10 minutes to the main road in the heat.
Definitely recommend a jaunt in a coco taxi in Varadero itself they run up and down the Main Street and you can just call one as they pass, great experience 7 cucs from flea market to the centre.
We had a great night out in Varadero, the taxi driver recommended a restaurant and we were a little unsure when he dropped us off but wow the food was fantastic, we had the biggest lobster tail we had ever seen for just 25cucs each-amazing.
So many positives about our trip but will just mention a couple of things about the hotel which could easily be addressed and make it perfect. Reserving sun beds, there are signs everywhere by the beach and pool stating reserving beds not allowed. However everyone reserved beds and for us who are really early risers,we never reserve beds but have early breakfast and settle ourselves for the day, we were really disappointed that the signs weren't enforced especially on one occasion we got to the beach at 7.45 and a lot of beds were already reserved, to add insult to injury it was 10.30 when they were eventually occupied and they left at lunch time, this happened every day!!!
The international restaurant during the day has an issue with birds as people don't close the door, they also come through the roof, not a huge issue but am sure something could be done to help prevent this as the birds are pecking at the buffet.
So all in all we had a great time, we don't usually go to the same place twice but if we did go back to Varadero we would definitely stay at the Iberostar.

Room Tip: Ask for upper floor front facing the garden as view is nicer than rear rooms. Blocks13and14 quiet sp...
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
7 Thank DG65_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JefedeAlojamiento, Manager at Iberostar Varadero, responded to this review, August 3, 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 look into the issues you have mentioned as we aim at fulfilling our guest expectations.
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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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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English first
Southampton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 1, 2014

Just returned from Iberostar Varadero in Cuba, having spent 10 nights there after 4 nights in Havana.
The facilities are excellent, rooms are large and kept very clean. The beach is beautiful with crystal clear water and white sand and the hotel has a great beach bar and snack bar immediately accessible from the pool area.
The staff are really friendly and happy people and they make you very welcome.
The shows are really professional each evening, however in July you really do need a fan to keep you cool as the humidity is high especially at night time.
We would highly recommend this hotel.

Room Tip: Our room was in building 13 on the Ground Floor absolutely fabulous.
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank peadometer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JefedeAlojamiento, Manager at Iberostar Varadero, responded to this review, August 3, 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.
Thornaby on Tees, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
44 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 1, 2014

Stayed here for 14 nights as part of a large wedding group at the end of June.

Got welcomed on arrival with a refreshing drink that hit the spot after a long flight. Our room wasn't ready when we first checked in which was not ideal but the half hour wait didn't seem to last too long whilst sitting in the bar with a couple of cocktails.

Room was very clean and very spacious, the bed was absolutely massive and was very comfortable. The maid (Niakura I think that's how you spell her name) done a great job over the 2 week stay, was very friendly to talk to and we always had some towel art to come into after a day out.

Pool was a good size and there was always sun loungers available any time of the day in either sun or shade. Charlie and Armando do a fantastic job at the pool bar and there's a great range of drinks to choose from.

Hotel is right on the beach and there are plenty of sun beds available. Pedalos and kayaks are all included at no extra cost which was good. There's a beach bar and a bbq grill where you could get burgers and hot dogs. The sea is absolutely amazing, I've been to quite a few places over the world but have never seen a sea look as good as it did in Cuba.
The beach party on a Tuesday night was a particular highlight of the holiday and I'd highly recommend that.

I'd been told before I went to cuba not to expect much food wise as it was basic , but I was glad to find that the food in this hotel was great, I'm quite a fussy eater but there was always lots of different food I wanted to have every time at the buffet restaurant. Always plenty of tables available and had plenty of staff waiting on the tables who were all friendly (in particular one lady Mayiella - I think she was called - who always seemed to go out of her way to talk to the guests and was great with all the kids who were in)

there's 3 a la carte restaurants and we went to them all , my favorite was the Japanese and Abel put on a great show with really nice food.

There's a lobby bar for a more relaxing drink ,a theater for entertainment - the shows they put on was pretty decent and even a nightclub open until the small hours. The world cup was on when we were there and they had all the matches on in the nightclub and made a bit of theme of it which was a nice unexpected touch as I wasn't expecting to be able to watch any of it whilst away. Cigar bar was a good experience even though I don't smoke myself and with that and a nightclub on site we even managed to have a 2nd stag night for the groom in there whilst we were there.

We done an overnight trip to havana which was good and worth every penny and the catamaran and dolphin trip which was another good day out. Had a night out in varadero as well for a change of scenery and can highly recommend the Beatles Bar.

The star friends do a fantastic job in keeping you entertained - adults and kids . There's always something going on but you don't feel pressured into doing anything you don't want to do. All of them were great but in particular Oz who is possibly the most friendliest person I have ever met. We all had a soft spot for Oz and you just couldn't say no to him whenever he asked you to join in any activities.

definitely want to come back to cuba and would not hesitate to stay here again.

Room Tip: if you want to be away from the noise on a night stay in blocks 15 or 16 at the back
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank DavidP232
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JefedeAlojamiento, Manager at Iberostar Varadero, responded to this review, August 3, 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.
Warrington, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 31, 2014

Wonderful week spent with the family at the Iberostar Varadero. Staff wonderful, rooms excellent, ok not 5 Star food (the buffet experience not to everyone's liking) but if you can get into the themed restaurants it is worth the wait. Shows were professionial, the staff really worked hard to entertain all the family (look out for Oscar ladies!!). Couldn't fault the whole package!!

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank fozzie1999
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JefedeAlojamiento, Manager at Iberostar Varadero, responded to this review, August 1, 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.
St. John's, Canada
Level Contributor
12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 31, 2014

We stayed at Iberostar Varadero in July 2014 and it was fabulous. This was our third stay at this resort and as is probably obvious, we really like this location. There have been some changes since we stayed here in 2009, and they've given the place a bit more charm. For instance, the children's club has a whole new location, with some extra fun waterpark equipment that our children would have enjoyed had they been younger. As well, the pool buffet used to be open, but they've closed this in and now there are fewer birds getting to the food! I was glad to see that they have a sign outside the pool buffet asking guests to not enter if they are wearing wet bathing suits. In the past, the floor was made slippery by wet swimmers and there were a few close calls with slip and falls. And, people were heeding the signs, too, which was great.

Our rooms (we had to book two standard rooms) were clean and comfortable, and were kept that way by a diligent staff.

The beach is the best, though. You just can't beat such a beautiful beach, hot weather, cold drinks, happy family... it's just heaven. The folks at Iberostar Varadero do so much to make your stay lovely. From the staff at the reception desk, staff at the buffets to the staff at the pool and beach, it's just wonderful. It was a relaxing week for my husband, our two children and me that I really can't wait to go back again.

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank St_Johns_Family
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JefedeAlojamiento, Manager at Iberostar Varadero, responded to this review, August 1, 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.
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 30, 2014 via mobile

Very hard for vegetarian to eat here because of the limited food choices this place offered.Gorgeous beach and hot weather. Rooms are very spacious and clean. Very important tip to bring a 110 volt adapter with you.

Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
4 Thank Nadia F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JefedeAlojamiento, Manager at Iberostar Varadero, responded to this review, July 31, 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 of your remarks although we have great selection on salads and pastas as well as we are always willing to assist with any diet keeping in mind our limitations concerning available items
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.
Sunderland, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 29, 2014

We stayed here end of June for 14 nights and was our first time in cuba but wont be last. We travelled in a large group as we were here for a friends wedding. the hotel is very clean the rooms are a good size with a free mini bar. we stay in block 15 right next to the kids club and waterpark which our kids loved.

the beach was picture perfect and the sea was warm and inviting in the cuban sun. there is always a bar near bye or a waiter taking orders no matter where you are in the hotel. the food was very good and there was a lot of variety so something for everyone.

the pool is a good size and where the best barmen are charlie and armando at the pool bar were brilliant with all of our group especially with the children we did tip them but because they deserved to be tipped. the hotel staff really made our stay so special from waiters, barmen cleaners and even the gardeners went out of there way to say HOLA! (give the gardens a drink every now and then and they will make you some great things. The biggest asset to this hotel is the entertainment team the shows were great during day and at night. A big thank you to OZ from the entertainment team he was an truly amazing person and now a friend for life and cant wait to see him again. he was briliant with us the whole group loved him.

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank mackem247
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JefedeAlojamiento, Manager at Iberostar Varadero, responded to this review, July 31, 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, OZ will be very happy and proud to read this.
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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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 On the Beach Hotel in Varadero
#2 Top resorts 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 
Also Known As:
Iberostar Varadero Hotel Varadero
Iberostar Cuba
Iberostar Varadero Cuba
Varadero Iberostar

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