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IBEROSTAR HOTELS & RESORTS UNOFFICIAL MESSAGE BOARD | IBEROSTAR REVIEWS & PHOTOS  |  IBEROSTAR PLAYA ALAMEDA - VARADERO, CUBA  |  (Leave or Read)A Review of Iberostar Playa Alameda  |  Topic: January 2-16 , 2016 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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blacker
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« on: October 21, 2016, 09:05:46 PM »

This was our ninth trip to the Caribbean, but our first to Cuba and we were very concerned in booking a hotel in very unfamiliar territory. Our fears of the unknown were augmented by horror stories of poor food, less than ideal accommodations, poor service, etc. To somewhat alieve these fears, we decided on the Iberostar brand as we were very familiar and happy with them in Mexico and the Dominican Republic.

Upon arrival in Cuba, we took the provided transportation from the airport to our resort and were getting more and more apprehensive of our vacation as the bus stopped at some of the other travellers' destinations, which to us seemed less than ideal. During our stay, we did take the Havana Special tour which gave us an opportunity to compare our resort with other travellers staying at other resorts. Our experiences at the Iberostar were NOT the same as most other resorts, thankfully, as most other reviews were less than ideal.

Just to be clear, we had been advised beforehand NOT to compare the Cuban resorts to other Caribbean resorts and to remember always that Cuba has suffered the past 50 years with a trade embargo that severely limits their access to common building and maintenance materials, along with various food items that are plentiful in other countries.

Our arrival at the Playa Alameda was almost like coming home.... just seeing the Iberostar logo was soothing, and check-in, despite the very late hour, was quick and efficient. The porter transported us and our luggage through the resort grounds, which were impeccably groomed, to our rooms in building 16 close to the beach and the pool area.

The rooms were very clean and well appointed. The beds were smaller than I would have preferred (I am 6' 5" tall ) but we were told that king-sized beds were only available in the Romantic Rooms. Along the same lines, the bathroom shower stall was also too small for my sized frame making it very awkward to bathe. On the plus side, we had plenty of hot water, and no major issues with the plumbing.

Betty, the chambermaid assigned to our building, did an awesome job cleaning the room and doing towel art sculptures not just with towels, but used the bedspreads to create giant swans. Our minibar was stocked every other day, and we did have some trouble getting them to understand that we preferred having cold water over beer or soft drinks. that was likely the largest complaint we had - not bad considering what we were prepared for.

Preparing ourselves for the food was precipitated by the reviews posted by other travellers to Cuba, and we brought with us some table spices from home to help season the food. This precaution was happily not required and we found the food in the buffet very tasty and very appealing. Special kudos to the dessert chefs and bakers who impressed us throughout out 2 week stay.

The ala-carte restaurants were again above par for what we were expecting, but the Romantica was our fav by far. Amazing Steak ! Other ala-crates were the Seafood and Italian.

As stated before the resort grounds were extremely well maintained as was the pool area. I have never seen such well-maintained pools in the Caribbean - no doubt the result of Carl the "Pool Guy" s very hard work. The cleanliness and water quality was better than that of many public pools in Canada !

The beach area was also well maintained and litter-free. The use of water-moccasins would be advisable as entry to the ocean required you to walk over areas where the shells all wash up, and it is easy to cut your foot on the broken shells, or trip on some hidden rocks/coral.

The weather for this trip was somewhat depressing - we experienced very heavy rainfall for 11 of the 14 days we were there, likely the result of Tropical Storm Alex. The resort did provide guests with umbrellas and the staff preformed admirably in mopping up the flooded common areas of the resort.

Finally, we would like to express our thanks to Deglis, the Room Division Manager, who did everything in his power to ensure that we were properly cared for by his very competent staff. Also thanks to Yaciel, server in the lobby bar, for making us smile despite the less than ideal weather! Dozens of other people - from the groundskeepers, to the front-line staff, to the Star Friends - absolutely made the difference in making our stay as comfortable as possible. Their smiles and friendliness will remain fondly etched in our memories.
Sunjet Holidays  
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IBEROSTAR HOTELS & RESORTS UNOFFICIAL MESSAGE BOARD | IBEROSTAR REVIEWS & PHOTOS  |  IBEROSTAR PLAYA ALAMEDA - VARADERO, CUBA  |  (Leave or Read)A Review of Iberostar Playa Alameda  |  Topic: January 2-16 , 2016 « previous next »
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