Iberostar Laguna Azul in Varadero, Cuba

Review from Follower Kaylie - Ottawa Ontario For context, I traveled with my friend who has been to Cuba 4 times prior, however, this was my first trip to this island. My overall assessment is that the hotel has good potential, it is nicely laid out and has everything it needs to be a 4-star resort but the execution is really lacking. It feels like it was really nice 30 years ago but no money has been invested in it since it opened and basic upkeep is lacking. From small things like broken floor tiles throughout hallways to losing water to the entire resort for 1/2 the day. It is Cuba after all so some of this is "expected" but what was a surprise was the general attitude of the staff. I've always been told that the people of Cuba are the friendliest, but not at this resort. Not sure what the deal was (Management issue?) but the staff were generally not friendly or helpful at all and seemed more interested in talking amongst themselves rather than helping the guests. My friend was shocked at the attitude of the staff as she has always had a great experience in Cuba. Also for those that care, we found that there was almost no nighttime activities or shows at the resort except for one evening. Strange and disappointing. On a positive note, the food at the resort was reasonable with the pizza being particularly delicious and of course the beaches and the weather. We did a day trip to Havana which was excellent and the people there were great. Stopped off at a restaurant called Maximo’s to grab a beer and was served by Anna who spoke perfect English. She recommended the Kiwi Mojitos and they were literally the best mojitos we've ever had. Also ordered the pizza which was phenomenal. We followed up the warm brownie dessert and it too was delicious. Pricing was very reasonable as well. Overall a great experience. Thanks, Anna!! Also, we did a day excursion on a party catamaran with snorkeling and dolphins which was a blast and highly recommended. I'll definitely return to Cuba but not to this hotel which is a shame because it could be a 4 star with an injection of money for upkeep and staff/management training.

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