Iberostar Laguna Azul Reviews

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Iberostar Laguna Azul  

Varadero, Matanzas, Cuba

"Wonderful"
Posted by: Stephen on May 22, 2012
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 4.3

Based on 36 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: 4.3 of 5 36 reviews
Excellent
  20
Very good
  10
Average
  4
Poor
  3
Terrible
  0
By Occasion...
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By Traveler Type...
Family and Kids (9)
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1 - 10 of 36

"Nice hotel"

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

Posted by:  Mr. Elisa  on Dec 9, 2009  >  1 contribution(s) Haiti
Visited on: Jan, 1997
736 people found this review helpful

I stayed there in October, you can tell is a new hotel, the room and the bathroom were nice and clean. They have several big pools. Their fitness room is small but they have the basic for a good work out. The food was ok, but I only tried the buffet. Their piña colada was very tasty. Since the hotel is new their was no coconut water in place. I wou ld definatly recommend this hotel, I want to come back again. They also have a nice show at night. The beach was clean and beautiful. I loved it.

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"Nice experience"

Iberostar Laguna Azul
User Rating:  Iberostar Laguna Azul Review: 5.0 of 5

Posted by:  Srta. Rita Alfaro  on Dec 1, 2009  >  1 contribution(s) PERU
Visited on: Jan, 1997
639 people found this review helpful

I went to a conference on communications in Havana and then spend two days in Varadero, and the truth is that this hotel from the service from arrival to the nightclub, theater, room, pool, restaurant everything was tops. The only thing better than the food were the drinks. I never thought it was going to be this good. I'll be back as soon as possible to enjoy this beautiful place.

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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
126 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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"molto bello"

Iberostar Laguna Azul
User Rating:  Iberostar Laguna Azul Review: 5.0 of 5

Posted by:  Katarina Mesaric Rot  on Sep 20, 2009  >  1 contribution(s) CROATIA (local name: Hrvatska)
Visited on: Sep, 2009
199 people found this review helpful

Sulla Web sembra molto bello. Es muy lindo.

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"You have to comehere!!!!"

Iberostar Laguna Azul
User Rating:  Iberostar Laguna Azul Review: 5.0 of 5

Posted by:  Mr. Arodys Martinez  on Oct 19, 2009  >  1 contribution(s) United States of America
Visited on: Oct, 2009
1079 people found this review helpful

This a new place and I think it is the most extraordinary hotel in Varadero, don't miss more time, you have to come here!!!

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"There were plenty of activities to get involved with"

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

Posted by:  Carmela & Bob  on Jan 7, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) 
Visited on: Nov, 2009 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
125 people found this review helpful

This was our first trip to Cuba, but we have vacationed primarily at other all inclusive resorts in the Dominican Republic (Punta Cana, Puerta Plata and La Romana) and the Mayan Riviera. Our comments about this resort are in comparing it to all the others we've vacationed at over the last 10 years. We are a married couple, both 49, looking for hot weather, beautiful beaches and nice accomodations.
We were there from Nov 14-21st and the resort was not at full capacity but there were more and more people coming in as the week progressed. Apparently, the resort opened mid Sept, so we experienced some minor growing pains but nothing major.

Rooms::
All in all, we had a very nice vacation and would definitely recommend this resort. The resort itself in our view is a 5 star, however the food we would rate as 3 or 3.5 star when comparing to the Dominican. The rooms a spacious, clean and beautifully appointed and the bathrooms are large with granite and ceramic tile everywhere. There is a TV, but not many channels to choose from and the reception is not very good compared to what we're used to at home. This was not an issue for us as we were not there to stay in and watch TV.

Restaurants and Bars::
One of the reasons we have not travelled to Cuba was because of the many comments about the food at the resorts. The main buffet at the Laguna Azul has many stations with plenty of food, but the problem is there is no real variety from day to day. Its pretty much the same food each night with some minor differences. This applies for breakfast and lunch. We were allowed 3 a la cartes, but managed to get a 4th a la carte. The Japanese rest was not open at the time we were there. Our first night was at Romantico. Beautiful restaurant - I had my best meal here. I had the beef tenderloin which was very tasty and prepared to perfection - med rare, just like I ordered it. Our next night was at the Italian restaurant. The mushroom risotto was excellent, but thats about it. The 3rd night was at the Grill Room where we ordered the beef tenderloin and as you can imagine I was really looking forward to it. This time we got a thin slice of meat that was med well to well done.! The bonus or extra evening we went to the Cuban restaurant and we both had the grilled lobster. My wife's was ok, but mine was not good at all.They were quite small, but my lobster had a mushiness to it which made it unedible. All in all the food experience does not compare to those we've had in the DR.
We did not starve and complain, but made do with the other food that was offered. If you are expecting a gourmet experience here you won't get it, but you won't starve either. We were hoping for a better experience in order be lured back to Cuba in the future, but I think we will continue to go to Punta Cana as our preferred destination when it comes to food.

Beach/Pools/Grounds::
We did not spend much time at the pool, but there are plenty of loungers and no need to get up early to reserve. There were several pools in the complex and a nice large hot tub on a small "mountain" by the main pool. The beaches are beautiful and you can walk for miles in either direction. The water was spectatular - sandy bottom and the water was warm and crystal clear. It's the best ocean water we've ever swam in. We would say that the vegetation is much better in Punta Cana with all the palm trees right up to the waters edge. In Varadero, there was none of this - it was primarily sandy with lots of palapas to use as shade. It just didn't seem as lush and tropical as the beaches in Punta Cana.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel::
There were plenty of activities to get involved with at the pool and beach during the day with the animation group. Everything from yoga, water exercise, salsa lessons, etc. The evening entertainment at the Teatro (theatre) was excellent. Very professional and the best we've seen compared to the other resorts. The house band was outstanding and we enjoyed it each evening. It goes from 9:30 pm to about 11 pm. We would then leave and go next door to the Club/disco which was hopping every night and we had a blast!

Other Comments::
We have been to Punta Cana many times and have stayed at Excellence (our favourite), Grand Palladium, Occidental Grand Flamenco, Grand Bahia Principe, RIU's, etc and we feel these resorts would rank higher in our estimation that the Laguna Azul. If the food was better, we would rank it at least equal to the ones I've mentioned.

Let me say that the Cuban people are warm and friendly and always smiling and looking to please for the most part. They really apppreciate our attempts to speak Spanish and learn a few words. We felt very safe and comfortable from the airport right to the resort and back.

Here are a few things we noticed or things to keep in mind if travelling to Cuba:

- there is NO mobile email service in Cuba, so if you have a Blackberry, you will not be able to send or receive emails. You can only make calls,receive call and make & receive text messages.
- the exchage rate is the same everywhere at all the resorts and banks - it is set by the gov't
- the wine is not that good, so don't hesitate to bring your own wine. We did and the waiters had no issues with us bringing it to the restaurants and having it served to us.
- do not bring US cash - you will get hosed on the exchange. Bring Canadian cash and exchange it for CUC at the eairport or resort, but only exchange enough for your needs, because you will lose on the exchange back to Canadian when you are ready to leave. This of course applies to Canadian travellors.
- do not use your Visa or other credit card as you will get charged a punitive service charge, so bring cash or travellers cheques
- most of the vacationers were Canadian, French and French Canadian, English and many Russians
- many of the women complained about mosquito bites in the evening when wearing dresses or skirts. I wore slacks in the evening (you had to at the a la cartes) so I didn't really experience this much.
- we didn't find much activity in the main lobby in the evenings - nothing much offered in the way of live music
- we had a massage one day and it was terrific - they are as good as the massage therapists in Canada and about the same in price (about $60 for 1 hr)
- the exercie room is new with a number of treadmills and bikes, but the area is rather small. There is one universal weight machine and some free weights so it can get busy in there quickly.
- there is a nice cigar shop in the main lobby but is only open from 5 pm until about midnight. I didn't find the selection to be that good and the prices were not what I had expected. Cuban cigars a generally strong, so I didn't buy any to take back home, although I had some Romeo & Juliet's and Partagas. I prefer the mild to med cigars from the Dominican.

Conclusion:
We would definitely recommend this resort as it is new and clean with beautiful surroundings, however we were disappointed with the food when compared to food experiences at other all inclusive 4.5 and 5 star resorts in the DR and Mayan Riviera. This is a family friendly resort with many vacationers bringing their small children. Our children are grown, so we prefer to stay at adult resorts like Excellence Punta Cana.

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"This resort is truly 5 star all the way"

Iberostar Laguna Azul
User Rating:  Iberostar Laguna Azul Review: 5.0 of 5

Posted by:  Gary from Hamilton Ontario  on Jan 7, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Nov, 2009 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
128 people found this review helpful

After much concern about the Azul being open after so many delays we finally stayed there Nov.20 to 27 /09 .

Rooms:
The rooms are amazing comfortable and spacious the standard room is like a suite.Most rooms have an ocean view.

Restaurants and Bars:
Again the restaurants and bars here are awesome pick the Romantic, Cuban and Italian. They are 5 star quakity anywhere.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
Amaazing beach lots of beach & pool activities. The pools have the warmest water we have had yet in Varadero.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
This hotel has an amazing animation team and the night shows are awesome best anywhere. The shows start at 8 kidsclub entertainers(with your kids) then at 9 the house band (fantastic) with the main show starting at 9:45. Then the disco which BTW is remarkable.

Other Comments:
This resort is truly 5 star all the way from rooms to incredible service to the best food in Cuba.

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"The best vacation I have ever had"

Iberostar Laguna Azul
User Rating:  Iberostar Laguna Azul Review: 5.0 of 5

Posted by:  Sra. ANGELA ROSETTA FIGUEROA LAGOMARSINO  on Nov 18, 2009  >  1 contribution(s) CHILE
Visited on: Nov, 2009
732 people found this review helpful

In general, I loved the way the Cubans are. My stay at Laguna Azul was exquisite...in every sense, I ate a lot, drank a lot, danced a lot, took in a lot of sun. It was really a great time.

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"This resort is absolutely beautiful!"

Iberostar Laguna Azul
User Rating:  Iberostar Laguna Azul Review: 5.0 of 5

Posted by:  Susan  on Feb 2, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Jan, 2010 | Leisure | Family and Kids
126 people found this review helpful

The beach was amazing! The food was good! The resort is like a palace. It is situated so that the rooms are not far from the beach and/or pools. The main pool was busy, but the there were two secluded ones, which were usually empty.

Your Arrival:
No problems ... took a cab from the airport.

Rooms:
Rooms were spacious and clean. Hair dryers, shampoo, and body gel were supplied. Take a clock, as there were none in the rooms. There were no coffee makers either. I do like to drink my coffee first thing in the a.m.

Restaurants and Bars:
Food was good and there was plenty! We tried the Italian restaurant one night, but were content with the buffet.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
Awesome!!

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
We rented some scooters and explored Varadero on the one cool day we had. Other than that, we were quite content to stay on the beach. We went on one of the Hobie Cats and the banana boat. My husband and grandson went sky-diving from a helicopter and got a video to prove it!

Other Comments:
We have visited Panama, the Mayan Riviera and Acapulco in Mexico, Punta Cana and Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic, Santa Marta, Colombia, and Antigua. This is our third vacation in Cuba. The people were friendly and the resort itself is nothing short of a 5 star!!

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"Typical Iberostar quality"

Iberostar Laguna Azul
User Rating:  Iberostar Laguna Azul Review: 5.0 of 5

Posted by:  Andre  on Feb 14, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Feb, 2010 | Leisure | With friend
144 people found this review helpful

We stayed at the Iberostar Laguna Azul, Varadero, CUba from 6-13 Feb 2010 with two other couples. This is not our first time in Cuba and all of us have been in the south at various locations (DR, Cuba, Mexico etc..). Our tour operator was Tour Mont-Royal (TMR).

Your Arrival:
Arrival/Departure: Leaving Montreal no problem. We use the Econopark at Airport and it was cheaper than Park'nFly ($64 for 8 days using CAA card). Shuttle bus very efficient. At Varadero, custom efficient and Bus ride took approximately 45 mins to resort. At resort paper was ready and room ready.

Flight: Flew with Cubana Airlines from Montreal. Depart ontime both ways. Aircraft seats arrangement not as compact as other airlines (i.e. Sunwing, Skyservice etc...), therefore more leg room. As far as lunch, try to get some collation and drink with you before boarding. They offer juice and drink but at a cost...!

Rooms:
Rooms: Our room didn't have king bed (even though it was requested/confirmed by e-mail before our arrival). We tried to change room but nothing available until the next day, so we stayed in this room. The beds are not your typical double bed (they are smaller). Our room was on third floor (elevator avail) next to the main lobby (16308) and sometimes it can be noisy. Our friends were located on 4th floor (1640X) and it was quiet. Two mornings there was no hot water. Room cleanliness was efficient. Our door lock failed and the hotel staff repaired it within 30 mins. In the room you have hairdryer, coffee machine, safe, umbrella, and bathrobe. You have 220 Volt electrical, but one 110 volt outlet in the bathroom for the razor. Everything else worked as expected.

Theatre: Lots of rooms, but located outside and when it rains, well it can be wet if you are located on the "edge". The shows are not a grand deployment but some of them can be funny (especially if you participated...!).

Disco: Small and the music is repetitive, but we were not "big disco dancer" so didn't affect us very much.

Restaurants and Bars:
Buffet: Better than other Cuban resorts. Choice was good. Buffet is buffet...!

Restaurant: We booked three restaurants (Steakhouse, Romantica/Gourmet, Italian). Overall all restaurants were good to very good. Our preferred one was the Romantica. Try to book your restaurant upon arrival; otherwise they get filled pretty fast.

Bar: Lots of drink choices but not as encompassing as other 5 star resorts (i.e. No Grand Marnier...).

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
Beach: Lot of chairs and shelter. Not as good as other beach in Varadero. Sand is not fine but coarse sand. The catamarans were not out for many days due to high wind condition.

Pool: Lot of chair and cushion and no need to reserve them early in the day.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Excursions: We took the Jeep Safari thru our Tour Operator (TMR). A waste of money. Our Tour Representative was not very accurate (our truthful) when he described the tour to us. We have had many tours in the past, but that was our worst experience. As an example, we left the hotel at 08:00 and didn't eat until 14:30 hrs, and we were ill-prepared for this! The riverboat is falling apart and everything is at cost...! The tour is not designed to have you explore the country but rather a way to ensure that you visite "local friend" to force you to spend. Most of the Jeep route is designed with city driving. We were thinking of booking the Havana Tour, but after our bad experience we didn't book. We talked to our TMR Rep as he didn't seem to care...!

Other Comments:
Staff: Very friendly and warm staff. Obviously, the tips help in providing a smile...! As usual we brought small gifts and they were very much appreciated, we sometimes felt that the gifts were more appreciated than "pesos".

Internet: Card available at main lobby, 5 pesos = 30 mins. 5 terminals available. Can be slow at times especially in the night. Try to access your mail in the morning, much faster.

Souvenirs: Pretty much same thing at the Hotel than in Varadero (most items same price). We bought our Rum and coffee at the Hotel and found out that it was more expensive at the Airport (even though it was Duty Free, go figure..!). Buy it at the Hotel...!

Bus Ride to Varadero: Cost 5 pesos. There is 3 buses doing the peninsula. It took 45 mins from our hotel to Varadero downtown. At time, the wait can be long. If you sit on the upper deck watch for tree branches...!

Misc: There are mosquitoes at this time of the years. Some of us get bitten quite a bit.

Overall a very good resort, most of the inconvenience above is easily forget with "Mojitos"....!


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