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Reviewed 3 April 2018

We visited a month ago as a couple for our first trip to Cuba, and on the whole I must say we thoroughly enjoyed it. The resort was impressive, the atmosphere was amazing and we really enjoyed it. I feel like I'm going to echo what the majority of people are saying but I hope the hotel take everyone's comments on board because most things seem like they'd be really easy to fix.

Rooms: No complaints whatsoever, I did hear a rumour about a lack of hot water but we never experienced it. So I can't really comment. We had a really comfortable stay and everything from the bathroom to the balcony was great.

Poolside: Again, no complaints. No mad rush for sun loungers, a nice pool and side area with plenty going on. Staff at the pool bar were absolutely fantastic. Although I found on the first day I needed to make a point of introducing myself and speaking up to actually get served over the more acquainted guests. Other than this, we didn't go without anything. The staff walking around the pool serving drinks were brilliant, and never too busy to check if anyone needed umbrellas etc.

Entertainment: We wish we'd seen more of this, as we really enjoyed what we did see! The reason we didn't is because we simply didn't know what was going on half the time. There was a tiny noticeboard in reception that was really easy to miss - and wrong twice that we saw it. We went to the lobby one night to find them setting up seating and lights for an amazing synchronised swimming act - which we didn't know about as there was no notice! The theatre shows were great too.

Buffet: This is where everyone says most and I will follow suit. The buffet restaurant was average. My biggest compliment was that the staff were working up a sweat as they didn't stop rushing around - my complaint is that it doesn't need to be like this!! It just needs organising. We arrived every night wondering whether we could sit on any tables or not - as no staff seemed to know who was coming or going and found it impossible to keep up with their guests. Easy solution? Come up with a system of greeting guests and sitting them down. You'll then know who has arrived/needs attention etc and who has left and who can sit down. Instead of running around trying to guess. The buffet area was a bit disorganised too. The layout wasn't the best for the volume of people and half of the time I was putting food onto my plate crossing my fingers because it wasn't labelled. We didn't get sick like some guests say they did - but I did leave a piece of pork one day because I noticed it wasn't cooked. Cuba is quite a secluded country and in fairness, they do a good job of trying to recreate worldwide food, they just don't have it quite right yet. Breakfast was great, but I was disappointed to only get hash browns on one day for the whole stay!

A la carte Restaurants: They are too small for the size of the resort!! I tried to book them on our first day and was told there was no availability for the next 4 days, and after that only 9pm slots were left. So we literally didn't get the chance to try them all. Italian was decent, but goes back to my last comment on the worldwide food. HOWEVER, the teppanyaki restaurant is probably one of the best nights I've had in a restaurant on holiday. Thoroughly recommended and everyone else there agreed. Definitely try it!

Lobby bar: Mixed reviews on this one... We had amazing service from some staff and shocking service from others. I appreciate tipping is a great incentive but if you don't get to know new guests and look after them they won't get the opportunity to be grateful and tip you in return.

On the whole, the place does need some improvements but I must be honest, we thoroughly enjoyed it and would recommend it. As I mentioned, the little issues would be really easy to fix, and I'm sure with some fine tuning this hotel will be one of the best in Varadero.

Room Tip: Ask for a high room or at least a pool view
  • Stayed: February 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
4  Thank lewm91
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gabriel M, General Manager at Iberostar Bella Vista Varadero, responded to this reviewResponded 4 April 2018

Dear guest,

On behalf of all the staff and management at the Iberostar Bella Vista I would like to thank you for sharing your experience and comments with us. Please be noticed that for Iberostar Hotels and resorts guest feedback really matters as it is the main key for continue improving all our services. I would like to inform you that all your comments about the service at the main buffet have been already shared with the Executive Chef and the Maitre of the hotel in order to take action. We are truly happy to know that you enjoyed your vactions and that we fulfilled your expectations while staying with us. Finally we hope to be able to host you back in the near future. Until then,

Best regards,

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 April 2018 via mobile

Upon arrival we were checked in fast (no arrival drink but the main bar is close by.) A bell boy took our cases in the lift with us to the 7th floor. I had specified a high floor to ensure we got a little exercise each day taking the stairs (we were not disappointed!)

Our room was lovely, spacious and modern. We had a walk in shower (no bath), a nice balcony overlooking the carpark! (We hadn't paid extra for a sea view, although if you strained your neck to the left you could definitely see it!) Actually as it is a peninsula we had a sea view on our side, just not a view of the beach. The shower might have been faulty as it was very hot, almost unbearable, but if you used it at peak times it cooled enough to be usable! Did we report it? No....So we can't really complain. Our safe developed a fault which we did report and maintainence arrived within 5 minutes and sorted for us.

The main bar is very busy and sometimes hard to get served, but friendly hard working staff. We found it far nicer to stay sat in the restaurant for prolonged periods while the waiting staff served us wine (not the best, but pleasant enough).

We didn't watch the entertainment or do anything with the animation team but it all looked great fun.....

We are two 30/40 something English ladies who went to Cuba for a friend's wedding but had the best time in this hotel and made great friends with lovely Canadians of similar ages.

There is a great disco a 15 minute walk away (absolutely no need for a cab). Just walk out the hotel and go left and keep walking. It's in a cave I think. Anyway great music, a real mix, plenty of tourists and some locals. It was 10cuc to get in and drinks were a couple of cuc each.

The food in the main restaurant was ok. I never queued for the grilled fish/meat so I may have missed the best of it. The cheese was the blandest I have ever tried in Cuba. There is far better cheese in other hotels! The salad (a lot from a jar) was fairly pleasant and plentiful as was the fish. We tried 3 a la cartes, the Cuban, Italian and Japanese. The Japanese is a fun experience, and the food plentiful, the staff lovely. The service in the Italian was terrible, and the food not much better. We only had a main in the Cuban, the lobster, tiny portion but very tasty. We queued almost an hour on the first Sunday to get the restaurants booked in. This was terrible. Maybe go back at a quiter time?

The wifi signal is the best I've ever experienced in Cuba. It is 1cuc for an hour, usually you can log in and out with your hour, but very conveniently this hotel has a "fault" and you can't log out, therefore each time you want to use the wifi it will cost you 1cuc. It worked in Lobby Bar, Main restaurant and also our room. My friend was able to log onto my wifi account by linking to my phone by bluetooth when I was online, therefore halving our wifi costs (our kids were back home so we had to make regular phone calls and Whatsapp worked perfectly).

The gym is great. Air conditioned with ice cold water to drink, there's a nice shower and they will give you a towel to dry if required.

The guys who run the watersports on the beach are great. It's all free, tips appreciated. There is a snorkelling trip they do for 20cuc it was recommended to us but unfortunately a cold front came in for the last 4 days of our trip and we missed out as the sea was too choppy. Pedaloes/kayaks etc can be borrowed for 30 minutes at a time, you can't book a time, but they run a list, very hard to work out when your time will be!

Sun beds are plentiful but do run out. Stupid selfish people get up at ridiculous o'clock to reserve them. Not my game. We took our chances, but sometimes only managed to get the broken ones in direct sun!

We took an official Gaviota tour to Havana. We left at 8.15am and returned at 630pm. It cost 67cuc including lunch. I felt this was reasonable. It was the Colonial trip. We had a lovely time and in the hour we spent having free time we discovered a delightful cafe and had a beer (3 cuc) and some delicious bruscetta (5 cuc) served by lovely friendly staff.

The hotel is only just over a year old so the rooms and most the surroundings are still looking lovely. It is lovely and modern (if you like that kind of thing). My only real complaint is that the design is bad. The main bar/reception is open at the sides as are the corridors with the bedrooms. When the wind blows you know about it. When the cold front came in the place was freezing. People were cowering at the edges of rooms trying to stay away from the wind. I wore jeans and a jumper even though it was still supposed to be 23c. I visited another local hotel on one of these "cold" days, and there was no problem there at all. It's a shame as everything else about the place is great.

Oh and one last thing, I totally recommend the room service, I tried it 3 times, it was fantastic.

Stayed: March 2018, travelled with friends
6  Thank localondongirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gabriel M, General Manager at Iberostar Bella Vista Varadero, responded to this reviewResponded 3 April 2018

Dear guest,

On behalf of all the staff and management at the Iberostar Bella Vista I would like to thank you for sharing your experience and comments with us. Please be noticed that for Iberostar guest feedback really matters as it is the main key for continue improving our services. I would like to inform you that your comments both about food and beverage have already been shared with the Executive Chef and the F&B Manager in order to take action that will allow us to upgrade our services. Moreover we are truly happy to know that you enjoyed your vacation and that we went beyond your expectations. We hope to be able to host you back in the near future. Until then,

Best regards,

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 April 2018

For a new hotel (May 2017), we were more than disappointed. This was our first and last visit to an Ibertostar. Here is a list of reasons we decided to move to another location to salvage our vacation.

Closet and drawers didn’t open properly. Furniture was filthy with dirt that we suspected from initial installers as there were black smudges and hand prints (not typical of vacationers); Shower that you had to step into a deep tub made it difficult to safely navigate in and out; half a glass shower door with the nozzle that sprays either too high or too low; patio doors substandard (when windy, loud whistle is heard- kept us up all night).
The number of staff for the size of resort is way too low. It was difficult to get service, even water for table during meals where I helped myself as no one could be seen and for our room. When we asked at the front desk, their standard answer was: “We just checked in 1000 people. We are aware of it and will take care of your request.”
The final straw was the resort food: layout of the buffet is totally not prepared for the number of guests. The food is all located in 2 U- shaped sections for guests to funnel in and out of. There are many of the same dishes, mostly bread, rice, beans and papaya. The selection of food is substandard; guests had to reach over plates of food (not very sanitary). There were several occasions where the sleeves of guests dragged in the food of the front dishes when they reached over to get at the food in the back. They place the “feature” meat beside the cook who cooks the meat resulting in one long line up. I did try a ‘cooked’ chicken leg which was so tough, I could not bite into it nor cut it with a knife to determine if it was actually cooked. The meat (all of it) was all so tough it was impossible to cut with a knife.
Not enough chairs by the pools, had to find other locations to find a place to sit.
When we checked out a week early, the reception staff were not interested in hearing why. We went to Melia Las Amerias and salvaged what was left of our vacation.

  • Stayed: March 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
5  Thank Celine B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
QualityMCuba, Manager at Iberostar Bella Vista Varadero, responded to this reviewResponded 3 April 2018

Dear Celine,

Thank you for sending us your feedback, it is extremely important to us and also for choosing our hotel Iberostar Bella Vista for your recent holiday. We regret to read that we did not fulfill your expectations on this occasion.
First of all, please allow us to explain that in our hotel, we hope for complete customer satisfaction on all levels and we sincerely regret that our staff numbers in a certain area seemed inadequate because in our establishment we follow a protocol of action and update on a regular basis the quantity of our employees depending on the season and the occupation of the hotel. We have passed on your comments to the correct department, thank you for bringing it to our attention, and we regret the inconvenience caused.
Also, we regret that you were not satisfied by our cuisine. Allow us to explain, however, that in all Iberostar hotels the menu rotation is approximately every 9 days, this means that all guests staying in our hotel for a longer period may notice a repetition of a meal. Certain foods like salads, sauces, potatoes, pasta, vegetables, pizza etc. of course are offered daily, other dishes change every day whilst striving for the highest quality and variety possible. We would like to sincerely apologize to you if our culinary offer has not met your expectations.
We would be delighted to have your company again soon and hope that you and your family/partner had a pleasant journey home.

Best regards,

Quality Manager
Iberostar Cuba

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Reviewed 1 April 2018

I visited this resort with my mother March 18th-25th (we are in our 20's and 60's). It was our first trip to Cuba and we could not have had a better time!! I have to say that I am shocked to see some of these reviews saying that the staff were unhelpful or unfriendly because our experience with the staff was exceptional. Our housekeeper Lisbett constantly went above and beyond for us, always leaving us fun towel animals and kind notes, anything we asked for was always done. The staff in the restaurants were great, the servers always took time to get to know us and make small talk. The only time I experienced any rudeness was the guests being rude/impatient/unfriendly to the staff. I think people forget they are going to a different country and that things aren't going to be exactly the way they are at home. It is a bigger resort and if you go to the lunch buffet right at 1 o'clock when everyone else is going, yes there's going to be a little bit of a wait. I saw this staff trying to interact with guests to help make the wait go by a little faster at the busier times - also you're on vacation where do you need to get to in such a rush? We would just try to do the lunch buffet after the big rush around 2 or so and we had no problems what so ever. We were warned that the food in Cuba isn't the greatest, but we had no problems eating here!! The food was good, lots of fresh fish available for lunch and dinner. They also grilled chicken, pork, and beef right in front of you so it wasn't sitting out - they had roast beef, roasted turkey, etc something different as well each night. I wouldn't say it has the biggest variety, towards the end of the trip it did get a little repetitive but it was good and that's what mattered. We went into Varadero a few nights just to do something different.The beach at this resort is absolutely stunning!! There has been a few comments saying that it is very steep slope down to the beach which is inaccurate. A few entrances have one or two steps down, and one has a sloped path down but it is not as difficult as some people are making it out to be. As I said this beach is absolutely stunning, I have been fortunate enough to travel all around the Caribbean and this is without a doubt one of the top 3 I have ever been too. There was one day where the water was choppy and brought up a lot of seaweed on to the beach, they did a fabulous job of staying on top of it and cleaning everything up. Make sure you get the lemonade if you're at the beach or the pool its fantastic! The room was great, the only downside I would say is that the shower has a window into the bedroom so privacy wise it's not the greatest (fine if your a couple, not so ideal for families/friends/etc). Overall we had an incredible time and are already planning our next trip back to this resort. A special thanks to Frank the bartender in the theater he was amazing! I would definitely recommend this resort to anyone looking to go to Cuba.

  • Stayed: March 2018, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
6  Thank Stephanie N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gabriel M, General Manager at Iberostar Bella Vista Varadero, responded to this reviewResponded 4 April 2018

Dear Stephanie,

On behalf of all the staff and management at the Iberostar Bella Vista I would like to thank you for sharing your experience and comments with us. Be noticed that for Iberostar Hotels and resorts guest feedback really matters as it is the main key for continue improving our services. We are truly happy to know that you enjoyed our hotel facilities and that the gastronomic offer was off your liking. Moreover it is a pleasure to know that we went beyond your expectations while first viviting cuba! We hope to be able to host you back in the near future. Until then,

Best regards,

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 April 2018

I recently traveled to this hotel with my mother to celebrate my birthday and I must say that we were eager to leave this place and here are some of the reasons why.

**Staff: The service was terrible throughout most of our stay. They ignored us most of the time. They seriously need to review the basics of Customer Service 101. I'll also add this, staff members should treat everyone EQUALLY and I'll leave it at that.

**Food: The food was not that great since it made both of us sick for nearly 3 days. Pretty much the same thing every night with little rotation.

**Room: The room was decent however, the first night we got there, the bed sheets were dirty and it seemed as if they had forgotten to change them prior to our arrival. The next morning, we had put in a request to have them changed and it was done later that day.

**Bathroom: Whoever designed this bathroom needs to go back to design school. The bathtub is an absolute hazard and its very difficult getting in and out. (Side Note: We're both tall). The glass that separates the room from the bathroom gives you no privacy whatsoever.

**Entertainment: On a positive note, the night shows were pretty good.

Will definitely not be returning to this hotel.

  • Stayed: March 2018, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
3  Thank Cc0d3s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
QualityMCuba, Manager at Iberostar Bella Vista Varadero, responded to this reviewResponded 3 April 2018

Dear Natasha,

We would like first and foremost to thank you for choosing Iberostar Bella Vista for your recent holiday and also for taking the time to share your opinion with us.
It is rewarding to read that you could at least enjoy our night shows. The animation team will be glad to hear they made a good job with you.
We are sorry to read that you felt our hotel caters mainly for guests of other nationalities. Our warm welcome is one of the aspects that characterize our establishment. We do our absolute utmost to fulfill and surpass all the expectations of all our guests that range from families with young members to senior citizens of many different cultures and nationalities. Furthermore, all our staff members are chosen according to a specific profile and are provided with the appropriate professional training. This is why we can confirm that they aim to provide a personalized service, regardless of the origin of our guests.
We are also sorry to read that you and your partner suffered from a digestive disorder whilst in our hospitality; however, we have no reports of this type of illness during your stay. Furthermore, the external medical service that serves us does not have reports of multiple cases of this type during the season. Please allow us to explain that we follow all health and safety guidelines and inspections surrounding our cuisine and facilities. We are very sorry that you suffered from this condition and that it made your holiday with us less than perfect.
We regret that you were not completely satisfied with the room that we accommodated you in during your stay with us and that the bathroom was not to your liking. At our hotel we try to ensure that our guests have a wonderful stay in comfortable, spacious and spotless rooms as we know that it is paramount to a pleasant holiday, we are very sorry that we did not fulfill your expectations on this visit.
So again, we thank you for sharing this constructive review with us and we hope to welcome you back again soon.

Best regards,

Quality Manager
Iberostar Cuba

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