Iberostar Laguna Azul Reviews

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Iberostar Laguna Azul  

Varadero, Matanzas, Cuba

"the food isn't great"
Posted by: zaraiah on Jul 15, 2014
see all reviews

Iberostar Laguna Azul Reviews
Iberostar Laguna Azul Pictures and Information
Iberostar Laguna Azul Varadero Cuba

#12
of 50 Hotels in Varadero

User rating 4.2

Based on 37 reviews

Iberostar Laguna Azul Information


Standing in a privileged location on the seafront at Varadero Beach, the recently opened five-star resort Iberostar Laguna Azul offers a wide range of facilities making it the ideal choice for couples, families and groups. Be among the first to enjoy this fabulous hotel!

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Iberostar Laguna Azul Reviews

Iberostar Laguna Azul Review: 4.2 of 5 37 reviews
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1 - 10 of 37

"Horrible food and theft!"

Iberostar Laguna Azul
User Rating:  Iberostar Laguna Azul Review: 2.0 of 5

Posted by:  Alex  on Aug 8, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Aug, 2010 | Leisure | Family and Kids
198 people found this review helpful

Arrival:
Arrival was simple. The check-in was horrible, that is when they told me that there was no wifi in the rooms or in the hotel, although the promised wifi on their website.

Rooms:
Room is good. Air conditioning is good and everything is easily acessable.

Restaurants and Bars:
Horrible and nasty food. Drinks like coca cola are mixed with water.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
The beach is very good. The pools are good too but they are often enough dirty with sand.

Other Comments:
At the last day, we started packing up and went for dinner. In the mean time my laptop and my son's iPhone recharger got stolen from the room.

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"two words"

Iberostar Laguna Azul
User Rating:  Iberostar Laguna Azul Review: 2.0 of 5

Posted by:  angela  on Apr 19, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Apr, 2010 | Leisure | Family and Kids
194 people found this review helpful

stay away......not what we call food, beds hard, slow service,needs repairs for a new hotel, not a great place to sleep but pools and beach great, only alcarte resturant we recommend is the japanese which we consider to be 5 star all the way.

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"Poor experience, not 5 star."

Iberostar Laguna Azul
User Rating:  Iberostar Laguna Azul Review: 2.0 of 5

Posted by:  Reese  on Jan 17, 2011  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Jan, 2011 | Leisure | Family and Kids
184 people found this review helpful

Went with my family to what they say is the newest and best 5 star all-inclusive resort in Varadero. The best thing I can say about the resort is that the rooms are nice...other than that the day we got there they had no hot water anywhere on the resort, the "hot tub" stays far less than lukewarm and the other one on the resort was empty.

They advertise that all the 'a la carte' restaurats are available for reservations but they are always "fully-booked" but 90% of the people don't show up and we were turned away from all 3 a la carte restaurants 3 out of 4 nights....most of them were empty with a table or two full and they still say there is nothing they can do to get you a table. Generally the food was terrible at the buffet, which is to be expected at any all-inclusive resort but when you aren't being let into nice a la carte places that are empty it is a little bit of salt in the wound to have to go down to the buffet and eat junk.

Of the 3 rooms we had 2 TVs stopped working and they sent someone by to say "yes broken" and that they would bring another....that didn't happen and it became a joke among the family that maybe the tv would come today.

The people that work there are very confused as to what is open and when, however, the bartenders seem to be the best people to talk to.

The spa was booked solid, I even witnessed them turn people away who had reservations booked a week in advance.

There were people there who said that they had a much better experience at a 3 star resort just down the beach the last time they were in Veradero.

It was very dirty outside around the pool with plenty of broken glass and plastic, also they allow seagulls to bathe themselves freely in the pool which was quite funny.

At night you can be woken up at 4am not by people partying (we did our fair share) but by staff yelling down the halls at each other with their radio sets on full volume.

Finally, BRING MONEY to change otherwise it is a 20 CUC cab ride to a bank on another resort.

Rooms:
Very nice and clean.

Restaurants and Bars:
Bars were good.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
Dirty

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"Not really five star yet!"

Iberostar Laguna Azul
User Rating:  Iberostar Laguna Azul Review: 3.0 of 5

Posted by:  Diana  on Mar 21, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Mar, 2010 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
210 people found this review helpful

We travelled to this resort Feb 28 to March 7 2010. The reason we chose this resort was because we had stayed at other Iberostars in the Caribbean and had not been disappointed. However, this resort is perhaps too new yet. We had hot water and bath sized towels only 3 days out of our 7 day stay. We used our pool towels for bathing purposes. Toilet paper was also an issue. Though we ourselves did not experience food problems we were careful of what we chose and did become aware of other people who had become seriously ill from uncooked meat served on the buffet. We did notice that the hotel lobby furniture seemed very worn for such a new resort making us think that this particular resort is not quite up to the Iberostar standard of luxury. We found that because the resort was filled to capacity all staff were extremely busy and hurried though those staff working at the buffet did try hard to please. I don't think we would return to this resort until we hear that they have overcome the difficulties of being too new to be so full.

Rooms:
We stayed in building 15 which we found noisy but clean.

Restaurants and Bars:
We dined at the Japanese which we found fun but rushed. We also dined at the Italian which was mediocre and the Gourmet which was very good. All the bars served great drinks.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
The vegetation is not fully developed due to the newness of the resort but well cared for. The pools were cold but clean.

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"Why so much meat? Fries etc etc"

Iberostar Laguna Azul
User Rating:  Iberostar Laguna Azul Review: 3.0 of 5

Posted by:  Jake II  on Jan 8, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Jan, 2009 | Leisure
134 people found this review helpful

Arrival was no problem, plane / bus transfer was easy as pie. Smooooooth - flew on Sunwing from YYZ to Varadero.

Rooms::
Room was great - very very clean. Huge bathroom with big oval-shaped tub + shower, sink was big, everything was brand new and super clean.

Restaurants and Bars::
Steakhouse was poor - I had the rib eye (mistake) and tenderloin. In my experience cook it one level higher than what you want i.e. if you want medium, say medium well.

Cesar salad was three leaves of lettuce + some mayo and a crumbling of cheese. I wanted to ask for a bowl and make it as proper as can be, no dice.

Italian was better, ravioli was HUGE - i.e. the actual pasta piece was huge. The italian - how can you screw up italian? You can't, and they did a good job. Fish was good here.

Romantico/Gourmet-this was the best. Dreilyn, or Dreilis was great, funny and very patient. We had a baby with us so he took his time. Tenderloin and duck here are very good, don't try the lamb unless you're adventurous. Ladies also loved the fish here, can't remember the types but it was good.

Buffet - blah. Typical. Seems like whatever wasn't used the night before, they would add chops of ham or meat (example to the salads) to make it new. Well little options for vegetarians.
Deep-fried scrambled eggs, more oil used than in an exxon valdez.

I really can't explain it. One step in the next direction and the food COULD be much better. Fruit platter was always bad EXCEPT grapefruits. These were great. All other fruit was poor quality. The hotel needs to just add some vegetarian + healthier options than what's available, and it would be a GREAT buffet. Example, instead of eggs, why not just egg whites? Why so much meat? Fries etc etc., all that crap. Why no plantains?

Beach/Pools/Grounds::
1. the good: pools were both excellent, clean, and crisp.
2. bars; bars @ pools were great. - service was great.
3. pads only available by the pool but readily available - for the loungers. Get one in 5 minutes each day, no problem. Tip him a couple bucks and he'll look out for you as well, loved that.

Beach
great beach. good swimming, great entry into ocean.

Basically the grounds were GREAT. Clean / fresh, and everything worked great.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel::
OK so this is why this trip was pretty bad:
On the 2nd day we were there the hangglider/raft thingamajig that was making rounds on our beach crashed. It is rumoured 2 people died. My good friend ran over and what he saw pretty much confirmed this. Why would a resort with 5* rating, or any resort for that matter, allow for this sort of activity on the beach? It really ruined our trip, thinking of that. We could not go the rest of the trip without wondering about the people + their families, both occupant and pilot.

Other Comments::
Tennis courts were good - windy. Construction next door is quiet, so not bothersome. Ping Pong / shuffle board and bocci were all great. Drinks were ok, beer was the best option.

3/5 on the whole trip based on the one incident, and for the generally poor food options.

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"Stayed for 1 week with my family"

Iberostar Laguna Azul
User Rating:  Iberostar Laguna Azul Review: 3.0 of 5

Posted by:  Johanne  on May 17, 2011  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: May, 2011 | Leisure | Family and Kids
358 people found this review helpful

We had a wonderful time in Cuba. The weather was perfect but not the hotel.
It was too busy. Too many people on the beach and around the pool.
Too busy everywhere and impersonel. Hard to find a spot.
The buffet was pretty to look at but not good at all. Coffee lovers; have an expresso because the the cafe con leche is disgusting.
Restaurants à la carte ,ONLY one was good; the Japanese one. The others were aweful. The beach was pretty.
The staff at the front desk was OK. You don't need to know Spanish at all. They all speak English and they prefer to speak this language whoever you are.
This hotel is very clean and new.
The service was excellent when you needed something in your room.
The 10:00 shows were great with the talented musicians. I like the cuban music.
From 9 to 10:00 very boring. A waste of time to watch the tourists on the stage doing silly things. The disco, I don't know I didn't go.

Room Number:
15114

Room Block:
Central

Arrival:
May 8th.

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"Here is how it is"

Iberostar Laguna Azul
User Rating:  Iberostar Laguna Azul Review: 3.0 of 5

Posted by:  Robert Oedegaard  on Jun 13, 2011  >  1 contribution(s) NORWAY
Visited on: Jun, 2011 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
342 people found this review helpful

The facilitis (pools, bars, buildings) might be close to five stars, but the content around it is not quite there. Helpful staff in the front desk, easy check-in. Drinks in the pianobar are good. The BAD part is in the buffet. Me and my girlfriend arrived in the afternoon, and went there for the dinner buffet. The staff there are horrible. They are over-friendly, giving you almost no time to eat - because you are answering on the "is everyhing ok" question every 20 second. Not from the same waiters, but ALL of them. In addition the waiters are obviously instructed to touch all the male guest, putting their arm around your shoulder when asking if you want more wine etc. (The house-wine is good though!). In addition, they came with a questionnare to the table on our first night, asking us to answer how satisfied we were with cleaning, service etc. They were making a big deal that we HAD to cross on "very satisfied" with the restarant service, almost hanging over your shoulder making sure you crossed that. Well, I did not - i just choosed "good" and explained that they are trying to hard and we just want our meal in peace and quite. For me it is no problem if they come and ask if the food etc. is ok - but not every second minute! And they should learn to have one waiter per area of tables. Well the result of me choosing "good" resulted in three of them standing at our table demanding to know why it was not good. After tryting to explain (again) why, and they refused to understand and started being big-mouthed I demonstratively tared the form apart and said I did not wanted to answer it at all then if i cannot choose the answers myself! The result was very poor service from that shift of waiters the rest of our stay! Kids in a kindergarten behave better than these folks.

Well, and the food is not five star either. But - maybe as five-star as it gets on Cuba? It is ok - but not exciting. The pizzas are ok, and the selection is also good. But, most of it taste "nothing".

Rooms are big and the bed is good, but not very good bedsheets (they felt wet, or sticky). Cleaning is NOT five star, but again - it is OK. You are walking in and out in slippers with salt and sand all day and only to change and shower - so the room I had no problem with. But far from five star cleaning and maintenance everywhere.

But, an overall ok hotel. It is fairly cheap (early june) and we had a good time!

Room Block:
19

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"the food isn't great"

Iberostar Laguna Azul
User Rating:  Iberostar Laguna Azul Review: 3.0 of 5

Posted by:  zaraiah  on Jul 15, 2014  >  1 contribution(s) GERMANY
Visited on: Jun, 2014 | Leisure | Solo
27 people found this review helpful

I visited this resort in February but just thought I put up a review for those who haven’t been here and since I plan on staying here next month I thought I shared my experience. It was a nice holiday for me when I visited this resort and the hotel is a very beautiful place. The roads leading up to the hotel was beautiful as well and knowing Varadero I was never bored throughout my stay here. Everywhere was clean, the hotel grounds, the lobby area and the beach too. The rooms were cool from the working AC and it was clean because the maid service made sure of that every day. The maids cleaned out the rooms every day and also restocked the mini bar with drinks and water. There is no special snorkeling tour or activity like that, all you got to do is bring your gear along as you come out to the beach and just snorkel away. The beach is really amazing especially at night, I take walks at night at the beach and it is usually awesome. The buffet breakfast was superb, I loved it but overall, the food wasn’t that great. The a la carte restaurants were great but you need to book them once you arrive if you don’t one be stuck eating out of one. The staff was great; they were warm and nice and helped the guests out when they needed it. I urge them to improve in their kitchen and things will be better.

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"Hard to beat! Great to be back!"

Iberostar Laguna Azul
User Rating:  Iberostar Laguna Azul Review: 4.0 of 5

Posted by:  Claire  on Apr 21, 2012  >  5 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Apr, 2012 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
232 people found this review helpful

Holà chiquitos bananos,
We're back from our 2nd time at the Iberostar Laguna Azul in Varadero (April 3-10).
I'll be brief: GREAT WEEK! Sun all week long, only the rare shower early morning or during the night, some wind; did go out on catamaran 2 days.

As usual, we found the staff to be courteous, friendly, helpful AND thankful for our gifts and tips (with no expectations). Some of the staff even remembered us from 2 years ago (we did keep in touch with a few of them and had sent pictures from our last visit).

quick check-in with a smile around noon, with complementary cocktail.
Maricel, Anna and Alain at the Reception are EXCEPTIONAL employees who go above and beyond... That initial welcoming smile is soooo important!

Room Number:
19301

Room Block:
19 facing pool

Rooms:
Perfect location and closer to the beach than our previous trip.

A slight problem with the toilet one night (DH to the rescue!)
Also a slight problem with shower head but at least we had hot water!
ADA was our room lady. Never saw her but we exchanged little bilingual messages and we marveled at her towel art each day.

Restaurants and Bars:
Thanks to Mother Nature, the lobby terrace was in full swing all week long which was great. Friendly service, good drinks (particularly at the Jazz bar, gracias Carlos). The dudes at the beach bar could learn to SMIIIIIIIIIIILE a bit more.

I've said it once and I'll say it again: Cuba has some fantastic musicians and aren't we lucky to get to see/hear some of them! We caught one trio (LAS CANTARELAS) of ladies on the Lobby terrace one night and the next night at the new Jazz bar down by the pool. Su-perb harmonies (reminiscent of Brazil's Trio Esperança) and guitars. One of the ladies has collaborated with famed Buena Vista Social Club's Ibrahin Ferrer. Excellent performances both nights.


The Romantico was by far the best of the a la cartes (I had duck), and the Tex Mex (far right if you face the beach) was the least liked... but it did have the nicest setting imo (open air like the Ranchon, but with flowy curtains, overlooking the east pool)

FOOD: Yes, there was plenty of food all week but... not much variety. Food mostly overcooked and/or cold. WONDERFUL hard-working staff. Some inexperienced, slow BBQ staff (at Ranchon near beach and at one happy hour by pool). FORGET the beef, people, stick with the chicken, pork and fish. We DID have some wonderful smoked salmon one night at the buffet and good turkey and fish as well.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
Impeccable. They even added a few garbage bins on the beach and most tourists picked up after themselves (thank you), except for the smokers... dang. I know it's sand, but an ASHTRAY it ain't, so guys, PLEASE pick up when you leave.
1. As mentioned by a few people on TA, Gaviota(as in The State) has been experiencing a problem with its (only) laundry service for this hotel's beach towels, hence many people went without fresh blue towels, some for as many as 3 days. Totally inacceptable for this rank of hotel. The poor staff apologized profusely and often, but obviously, their hands are tied. They've complained too, but to no avail... Guess it's up to US PATRONS to complain to Gaviota+hotels reps in our reviews.
*Note: One such day, a young Spanish woman (group of 3) literally stole a towel from a young mother next to us. Of course, the Canadian couple were appalled and complained to the hotel; the Spanish woman just laughed at them, and said "I dare you to prove it" in Spanish. HOW RUDE! (another incident is mentioned in final comments)

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
We went to an all-Cuban wedding during our week It's similar to our 10-min civil weddings followed by a reception and small lunch, bar service, loud music, --the only two differences being that Cubans can ALL dance lol (me loves me some salsa) and they luuuuuuuuuv to sing Karaoke (not all Cubans can sing, lol). I also thought that Cubans loved cigars and ronron but to my surprise 95% drank beer, the others colas and rum or colas, while a couple (including us "whities") had mojitos. Only a small percentage of the people there were smokers (who went outside, thank you).Everyone was very friendly, curious, and layed back. Wonderful memories!

We went out for catamaran runs 2 days (with Frank and Julio, very nice dads, had wonderful --and meaningful-- conversations with both).

Other Comments:
Noticed a couple of things:

For those who like to walk the length of this end of Varadero, you'll be glad to know that there is now a sandy path running around the point past the Paradisus toward the Iberostar Varadero and beyond. We walked as far as the Blau one day and could have continued right into town; beautiful 2h walk!

Many Cubans now own permits to sell their wares on the beach so people selling knit dresses, staws hats, beer mugs, shells are now being seen up and down the beach. The vendors are respectful, and under close surveillance by the occasional cop, keep their distance unless otherwise asked to approach.

One final comment: Do you want to know what realllllllllly bugs me? Incident 2: There was a line-up for ice cream one very hot afternoon, and this (again, Spanish --trust me, I know the accent) morbidly obese man, Barbie in tow, walks right up to the counter in front of everyone in the line-up and shouts out his order. The employee was obviously embarrassed BUT she served him anyway ahead of the others. WHAT'S WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE????? What's worse? The guy with no manners or "savoir-vivre" OR the fact that no one in the line-up SAID ANYTHING?? GEEZ LOUISE!

Ok, done ranting! Hasta luego, dudes and dudettes!
Zendudette

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"No major complaints"

Iberostar Laguna Azul
User Rating:  Iberostar Laguna Azul Review: 4.0 of 5

Posted by:  Maureen  on Mar 29, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Mar, 2010 | Business | With Spouse/Partner
146 people found this review helpful

Stayed March 20-27, 2010.
Hotel is clean and staff are helpful and very friendly. Food at buffet was not labled so we did not eat much of it, although most people did. Only heard of one person being ill at the resort and this person was also badly sunburnt, I think they had sun poisoning and it had nothing to do with the food. Weather was amazing the whole week. Did the Havana day trip and it was good, also went to Veredaro on the bus, not much there but was nice to see old cars etc.

Food
In the mornings you could have omlettes or eggs cooked for you which we did and they were very good, bread was excellent. For lunch we ate hamburgers which are cooked down by the beach area, we asked for well done and these were very good, did also eat some buns/cheese at the buffet. Dinners at the buffet, we tended to stick to food fresh off the grill, pork and beef which were good and rice from the buffet. Ice cream is also good. The a la cartes we had were the steakhouse, Romantica and Japanese. Japanese was by far the best with the steakhouse second and Romantica third. Make sure you book these right away, they fill up fast and some people did not get in to the three you are allowed.

No bugs, although one person did have a severe reaction to mosquitos, for the most part we didn't use bug spray but after seeing her reaction we did put it on for the nightly show in the theatre. That's where they seemed to be...otherwise no bugs but would suggest bug spray.

We didn't have hot water for a day (Saturday the day we arrived into Sunday)..probably with so many people coming and going. Otherwise no problem. Spent quite a bit on tips, everyone gets tipped including the staff cooking the food...you don't have to, but it is done.

Went with Sunwing, flight down was great but had a 5 hour delay on the return flight. Were supposed to leave at 10:40PM and left at 4:00AM due to weather conditions of the incoming flight from NFLD. Won't fly this late again.

Your Arrival:
Bring bug spray and lots of suntan lotion.

Rooms:
Clean

Restaurants and Bars:
Book a la carts right away, they fill up fast

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
Well tended and clean. Beach is not cleaned daily so some trash around but livable

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Havana day trip was good

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