10 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Beautiful Resort, Top Rate Staff
"My daughter, mother and I stayed at the Iberostar Laguna Azul from Oct 17 - 24, 2009. We were very pleased with the hotel. When we first arrived there were only about 120-150 people there, so it was overstaffed, which is nice for the guests. The resort is beautiful, clean, well designed. Just a few minor things which are related to the newness of the resort, such as closet doors that kept falling off, broken shower head, moldy desserts and butter, mold on furniture in room - all things that will be worked out in time.
I have travelled to Cuba many times, both on my own and as part of an all-inclusive, and this resort ranks pretty close to the top, the only one slightly better is the more established Iberostar Varadero. I think in time the Laguna Azul may equal the Varadero, but not yet.
The staff at the Azul were amazing, and for me, one of the best parts was the mini-club. Children's activities are often promised at all-inclusives, but rarely delivered - but not here. The children's facilities are great and the staff charming and very good with the children. My daughter usually doesn't like to join in things, but she had a great time at the mini-club and I enjoyed the few hours without child.
The food was adequate to good. While I didn't enjoy the Italian restaurant, the steakhouse was nice and the buffets always had something I liked.
Again, the real strength of this resort, apart from the amazing facilities, is the staff. I would go here again in a heartbeat."
- Travel date: Fri 30th of October 2009
"We spent a week at Iberostar Laguna Azul and we just got back. The resort is absolutely fabulous!
It is the best hotel that we ever stayed in.
It is true that it still under construction, as some parts are not finished yet and not all the buildings are open, but we could hardly see or, especially hear the construction- thatâs how discrete they are.
The resort is a true five star hotel. The accommodation and grounds are beautiful. Everything is new and clean. The layout of the complex is perfect. Although it is in fact a big resort, you donât feel it at all! One hand it is glamorous, but on the pther hand it is somehouw cozy. It is a horseshoe shaped with a few more buildings on the outside.
The pools are perfect. There are six pools, and all of them are currently open. There are four big pools and two smaller ones. They have a waterfall in one of the pools and also two hot tubs.
The beach is amazing! It is wide and long with the Varadero perfect white sand. The water was really warm (just to our taste).
They have a kids club which was open, although there were maybe 5 kids all together in the hotel. There were maybe 50 people in the resort when we got there, so we basically had the hotel and service to ourselves. That was great! now, near the end, if filled a little, even a full bus from Toronto came on Saturday (with Holasun). We went with Sunwing, as we booked through Sunwing, and they refused to send us there (they wanted to transfer us to Iberostar Varadero). However, we insisted on going to Laguna Azul, and that was the best decision we made.
The dinner buffet was not open during the week. I was upset at first, but the a la carte restaurants were pretty good (especially Romantico- you have to try that one, it was really gourmet), so we did not really missed the buffet much. As I said the Romantico was really good, as well as the Cuban (they serve lobster in that one).
Buffet was good; much better that any other hotel in Cuba. However, our favorite was the lunch buffet by the beach. That was really good.
The service was a m a z i n g!! Please if you are planning on going to Cuba, take a bag of dippers with you. They do not have dippers currently in Cuba at all. They lost connection with a factory in Argentina, and right now, they cannot buy them anywhere. Also, they would appreciate if you have any unwanted kids clothes, as they are very expensive there.
I would definitely recommend this resort to anybody (even now while it is still not finished; especially now, because you can get a better deal, and it wonât be crowded).
We will definatelly go back!"
- Travel date: Tue 27th of October 2009
Best Vacation Spot In Cuba
"My husband and I just returned today (October 24) from the Iberostar Laguna Azul. It was quite frankly one of the best vacations we have ever had. We have travelled, to quite a few places and were nervous about Cuba, after researching many hotels prior to our trip. The resort is absolutely gorgeous and will be even more so once all the freshly planted vegetation is full grown. The food was EXCEPTIONAL, even the buffet (which is now fully open every night), we actually prefered it most nights. We did try the steak house and the italian, both were good but the pasta in the buffet at the create your own pasta station was much better, as was the pizza, but there was a great variety of food. The best thing about this hotel was the people and the service. We very rarely went more than a second with a dirty plate in front of us or a half full glass. The staff went above and beyond and were by far the most friendly of anywhere we have ever been. The shows were quite good, alternating between professional dancers and the regular entertainment staff who were also as good as the professional dancers. The disco was a lot of fun, with the DJ - Junior was amazing, along with the bar staff. The people at this hotel really made the experience. The rooms were immaculate, as was the rest of the hotel.
The only negative things I have to say is about Cuba in general not the hotel, first the mosquitos are crazy here, we did bring bug spray after reading reviews about Cuba, but it didn't really seem to help, maybe something a little stronger with deet would have done the trick (we just brought a family spray). Also, the prices in duty free coming home for liquor is cheaper once you get beyond immigration, so you are better off buying from there than when you first enter the airport.
As for the hotel I would definitely recommend this resort to my friends and family."
- Travel date: Sun 25th of October 2009
Very Nice...but I would wait just a bit longer
"I just got back on Saturday. The place is very nice! But It will take a few more months to get to the 5 STAR rate it claims.
The staff are GREAT!...the best yet in Cuba for me.
The Romantica restaurant is the best I've had in Cuba. AMAZING! It compares to any North American cuisene with quality and service. They are always cleaning the hotel too. Everywhere you look someone is cleaning. The lobby is pure elegance and very inviting. The rooms are charming, fresh and clean.
The pool, hot tubs, disco, The bars ...all great....
oh and the shows...the best ever! and that's saying a lot, because I've never ever seen a really good show at an AI resort. But this troupe is wonderful to watch every night. The band is great and they can really dance.
The construction outside my room on the first floor but I could live with it because they were not that noisey actually. It made for a cheap view that's all. (I eventually moved rooms). The buffet closed all week for dinner. They should have said this in the brochure. NOTE: The buffet is only open on weekends for dinner. That will suck if you are like me and don't want to be locked into a time reservation for the ala carte. I m a home made pizza and cold beer kindda guy, so fine dinning EVERY NIGHT because the buffet was closed got a little pretentious for me. Although, there is a 24 hour grill house for limited food and booze during the week to use.
The mosiquitos in my room on the first floor by the second night.
That said, gust services was very quick and helpful to get me to a better room due to those pesty buggers. Bring DEET.
I would wait untill the place is running on all engines but if you want to save some
money right now...go for it. It seems like with only 85 people at Azul, it was a dress rehersal all week for the big winter crowds that will be comming soon. For me that was a nice. Because I got to talk with the bartender every night. That won't happen when they are at capacity. 900 rooms times two people = detached traveler at bar.
For me I find Varadero has really changed in the past few years. It's shallow culturally, and all about money now. It's the communist version of Cancun. I don't think I'll ever go back to Varadero again. Too much money swindle and not enough human spirit. But I had blue skies all week. All in all...it will be THEE hotel to be at in the future if your looking for elegant comfort in Varadero...but like I said in the subject line...Very Nice...but I would wait just a wee bit longer. I hope this helps."
- Travel date: Fri 16th of October 2009
Loved eveything about this place.. or should I say Palace!
"So many things to say and don't know where to begin. To make it short, I think this resort will be THE Varadero resort. The service, the staff, the food, the location, the beach, rooms and everything else was just perfect. I litterally have nothing negative to say about this resort. I would say it was very humid but that has nothing to do with it. If you ever see Yosandra, the buffet waitress, please say hi to her from Mario and Manuel. She was special. And the rest of the staff is also very friendly. There were not very many people there (we were there from 2-9 Oct) but it was still really nice to be able to enjoy everything. The beach staff is also very nice. Damaso is a true gentleman.
The weather was great. Sunny everyday and I really do hope we get that lucky every year because we plan on going back every year in October. If you need more info, please send me a line and I will gladly help you. Would I recommend this place. Abso-friggin-lutely!!
Please have a look at my photos : ( to view as a slideshow )http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/sets/72157622558538776/"
- Travel date: Thu 15th of October 2009
Fabulous hotel & stay!
"Just got back from a one week stay at this hotel. Approx. 100-125 guests this past week as this hotel is not completed yet for full opening. Most dining took place in a la Carte restaurants (Steakhouse, Italian, Gourmet) and buffet dinner finally opened last evening (amazing by the way). Japanese restaurant is still under construction.
The Staff are exceptional, warm, friendly and go out of their way to make your stay the most memorable one. Since hotel was pretty much empty, we got the best service & attention possible.
There are plenty of palapas on beach with tons of chairs - same for the pool (although it lacks shady areas - they need to work on this).
The not so nice things they need to work on : the A/C in building # 16 was not working right. We had to change our rooms after problems with NO A/C or A/C working at full speed (freezin' big time) and still had problems with new room on different floor in same building - with strange knocking noises every time the A/C units turned off & on.
The MOSQUITOES are really bad right now. Bring bug spray with you. Somehow, many ended up in our bedroom as well (could this be due to housekeeper leaving door open while cleaning the rooms!?!)...argh.
Spa is open and had massage - very good as well."
- Travel date: Sun 4th of October 2009
The Magnifico Iberostar Laguna Azul " Paradise in Cuba"
"We wanted something for a special occasion and when we arrived at the place this was the one .1st of all we actually moved to the hotel on the 17th september from the Iberostar Varadero which in it self was wonderful place. Now where do I start 1st the staff at the reception met us both with a bucks fizz and a cool towel ,then off to the room .We had a junior suite that was the size of an apartment with a balcony with enough space to throw a party .The rest of the suite is like this ,tv & mini bar No1 in the lounge with a sofa and easy chair near the entrance was also toilet No 1 ,through the lounge then into next room the bedroom ,this also had a tv and another mini bar .The bathroom with bath and 2 showers one that was part of the bath the other separate.Also toilet No 2 next to a walkin wardrobe with a safe. The 4 eating areas romantico ,Italian,steak & cuban to me were all top class just like the staff in all the hotel from bar person to cleaners. The pictures in the other review are not far off the mark other than the beach ones that did not do it justice . With the place being brand new that meant all the bed linen and towels both beach and room towels were all new and the stafff changed them for more new ones once we had used them . With only a few people being catered for this made everyone special and this was by far the best hotel that I have ever stayed without doubt. I could write about it all night but if i had to sum it up in two words it would be " Top Class " if you have any doubts about this place watch the reviews on here in the next few week when people like my self return home."
- Travel date: Tue 29th of September 2009
Not a Guest, but visited the Wedding Co-ordinator and toured
"My fiance and I along with my maid of honour toured the Laguna Azul on Tuesday September 22 and it was awesome - The wedding co-ordinator Yahimara took use through the entire property (MY GAWD it was spectacular) apparently the 800+ room resort - which is not quite finished had 80 guests during our visit and maybe we saw 10 of them as the property is quite large. We got to see some of the rooms or should I say suites as they were immence and quite appointed, we toured all the buffets and restaurants along with them many, many pools and especially the jacuzzies that are on the top floor at the spa overlooking the main pool(s) and spectacular waterfall as well as a view of the beach/ocean - we are quite sure this will be our wedding location and as their first wedding is in November and Yahimara has promised photos as soon as possible.
I have posted soem photos and a video of the property - you will not be disappointed!!!!!"
- Travel date: Mon 28th of September 2009
"as per management the hotel is open, no guests yet. true 5 star resort,very nice rooms , surroundings, restaurants.By far- the best hotel in Cuba.hotel ph. number : [--], contact manager Ana at: [--]"
- Travel date: Sun 20th of September 2009
great hotel (when its finally complete)
"See my photos of the Laguna Azul (from behind the fence) Taken Mid July.(still not complete) supposed to stay in this hotel but like hundreds of others dissapointed it wasnt complete in time. Beach front brilliant (or will be when cleaned and sifted)"
- Travel date: Fri 28th of August 2009