The hotel is spotless - there are staff working around the grounds at all times of the day. The maids do a great job, the animacion teams work long and hard and the "star friends" do a great job of hosting the daily activities from water polo to dancing lessons - if you have a mind to there is something here to keep you occupied from dawn until dusk.
You can eat and drink more or less 24 hours here. There are various places to eat throughout the day. There are various snack bars, a beach grill (great burgers) and buffet restaurants. There are also 3 a la carte places -
Cuban - good portion sizes but the place is so hot as it's all open air and there is no through-breeze.
Mediterranean- smaller portions but wine perfectly chilled and service good
Japanese - great fun, plenty of food but drinks service very slow - we had to ask 3 times for another glass of wine.
The pools are lovely - the main one is where all the main activities take place during the day such as water aerobics and daft games etc. The pool bar is also located here. There's also another pool that's quieter and only used for water polo twice per day. Finally there is an adult only pool by the gym that's small and extremely quiet.
There's a gym and spa - both well equipped and air conditioned. Tennis courts, archery etc. too.
The beach, although not very wide is really soft and the sea so warm.
There's an air conditioned night club too.
Our room itself was well appointed with the all important air conditioning unit. There is also a safe, iron and ironing board and mini bar (only beer and soft drinks). The bathroom is a decent size with a separate shower cubicle. It was our wedding anniversary and they left a bottle of fizz in the room to welcome which was a nice touch.
I can't recommend this place highly enough - we stayed here as a part of a 7 night tour, 7 night beach stay booked with First Choice and it was just the chill out place we needed after a week on the road.
Travel operator: First Choice
We stayed in the normal catagory room which is spacious, clean and comfortable. Ample room for storage, mini fridge (filled every day) provided, iron and ironing board, bath with seperate shower cubicle.
All kept spotlessly clean. Three pools, direct access to beach, pool bar, lobby bar, cigar bar, 2 beach bars , a pool swim up bar and a disco providing all inclusive drinks (international top shelf brands) with waiter service throughout. Three a-la-carte restaurants (1 Cuban, 1 Medediterrean and 1 Japanese), one buffet restaurant plus one beach snack bar all providing a large choice of food of good quality.
Other than the staff at the swimp up pool bar which we found to be rude, all other staff were very friendly and acommodating. Service is second to none. Never had to wait too long for a drink. A special mention to the Star Friends team of entertainers that work tiresly through the day and evening to provide entertainment if you wished to participate in it.
Plenty to do during the day. Volleybal, archery, shooting, numerous games provided by the entertainment team. Evening entertainment was varied (we've never seen the same show twice during our 14 days) and of very high standard.
Whilst there were enough sun loungers provided, prime shaded positions needed to be reserved early in the morning. The dreaded "towelling" problem is unfortunately very prevalent at the Iberostar Varadero. Watch the prices at the hotel shops. Very expensive and you're better off going off the resort to make purchases.
Overall, one of our better holidays and we will definately be returning back.
Travel operator: First Choice
Havana is a must, we went on the 2 day visit. The Tropicana night club is also worth going to, don't think there is anything like this anywhere else. The catermeran and jeep safari's are also good value.
We met some of the nicest people from all over the world at this resort and we can't wait to go back and see our Cuban friends.
Travel operator: First Choice
We were first time visitors to Cuba and we were not disapointed.
On arrival (after 3 days in Havana)we was greeted by friendly staff, given a cold, much needed, drink and a chocolate. we was offered a lift to our room but decided to walk while our bags were taken to our room.
We was in block 16 and faced the lake with a side view of the sea which is found just behind the block. The blocks are only 2 storys high and painted in different colours. The room was huge, spotlessly clean and fantastic air con (very much needed). The bathroom is big with a bath with a shower, and a seperate shower cubicle. The toilet and bidet are in a seperate area of the bathroom. Plenty of towels provided and changed daily. You also have a card that lets you get a pool towel which you just change whenever you want to. Very large balcony with a table and 2 chairs and little place to hang your wet costumes. In the info given by the hotel you are asked not to hang towels over the balcony and I must say it is lovely not to see towels hanging everywhere.
The food is fantastic. Loads of choice and I'm sure even the fussiest of eaters will have plenty of choice. For breakfast eggs are cooked for you as you want them, and the omelettes are great. There are pancakes, pastries, fresh fruit, cereals, and the usual bacon etc for those who want a 'full english'. A choice of bread and rolls.As much juice as you can drink and smoothies made fresh. The staff will get you coffee and fill your cup often. Tea is also avaliable and perfectly ok.
Food is served all day in different places, from burgers to chicken, pasta, pizza etc.
The evening meal is everybit as good as breakfast. Loads of choice. salads, pizza, pasta. Different meats, veg, and some things are cooked as required, steak etc.A huge choice of deserts from ice cream to pastries, cakes and fruit.
The beach is very narrow in places and we saw sunbeds nearly on top of each other, and when you walk passed them you have to walk in the sea. But just walk along the beach for a bit and it widens and there is loads of space. If you are in blocks at the back there is a path that leads directly onto the beach and you will be amazed at what you see when you walk through. It looks like something from a magazine !!.
We only used the pool once as we both love the beach, but there was plenty of beds and loads of room as the pool is huge, with a swim up bar. A very small moan is that there is not much shade on the beach and a few more sunshades would be great as the ones there get taken very early. The sea is warm, crystal clear and calm. Very shallow for quite a way out so safe for little ones and non swimmers.
We only saw a little entertainment as it was too hot to sit and watch it. It did seem very repetative, and just looked as if only the costumes changed not the format. Saying this the entertainment team work so hard its a shame to critisise them.
There is lots going on during the day, but no pressure to join in anything.
There are 3 themed restaurants, Cuban, Mediterranean and Japanese. you can eat in these once a week during your stay and they need to be booked.
The staff are fantastic, polite, and helpful. I needed to see the doctor (only a minor thing) and I was given a through check up (more than I get back home ).I feel I could go on and on about this hotel and it would be all good.
First Choice reps were helpful, booked the catamaran trip, well worth the money. And there was lots of trips to do.
Not a holiday for shoppers as there are no shops nearby,just a couple in the hotel. Went to the local flea market, usual tourist stuff, but worth a visit. Locals let you look without bothering you.
The staff appreciate any little gifts you give them. we also left some clothes, flip flops, toiletries etc behind when we left.
Please visit, the Cubans are fantastic people, they love a chat and are friendly and well mannered.
What did strike us about this hotel was how quiet it was. even though it was full and there was lots of children the place has a quiet feel about it, the same with the beach. I hope to visit again one day, but the world is a big place.
Travel operator: First choice
Do yourself a favour and book it - you won't regret it.
Travel operator: Voyager
We were able to immediately change our room from ground to first floor on arriving. Rooms large but mostly 2 large separate beds. Newly Weds get the Doubles!!
Room cleaned daily though sometimes late afternoon.
Located close to the beach, bit narrow, but warm sea and clean sand. Clears at lunch time so can get a better position.
All staff approachable and I wished I could speak better Spanish. They work hard 6 days a week apparently. We gave our spare cash to the resturant staff. Beware, little food availablity very early on so when doing a tour hunt out your breakfast...
Travel operator: First Choice Airways
Travel operator: thomas cook
The bathrooms are very large - the toilet is in a separate room. There is a bath and a separate shower cubicle.
It is air-conditioned throughout.
The hotel is right on the beach there is also a large pool,pool bar, beach bar, snack bar, lounge bar, buffet restaurant, cuban restaurant, mediteranian resturant and japanese restaurant . There is also a gym.
All the restaurants are lovely, never had a bad meal, you have to reserve the speciality restaurants but we never had a problem. At lunch time the buffet restaurant is open and the cuban restaurant also serves light snacks. The main buffet was great with all meats, salads, pastas, pizza and lots of fish.
The staff throughtout the hotel were very helpful and friendly.
As this was fairly new when we visisted I can only expect it will get better. Can't wait to go back.
Travel operator: Thomas Cook
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