Iberostar Playa Alameda
- What's Included
- All Inclusive Features
The Iberostar Playa Alameda is one of the better resorts to stay in Varadero. There is quite a few buffet items to choose from. There are plenty of a la carte restaurants to choose from. However, be advised that you're only able to reserve to three of them per stay. Pleasant beach, with plenty of loungers available to relax on. There are scooters to rent on site, making it great for those who want to go beyond the resort strip. This resort is well suited for couples and children alike. A great stay in Varadero.
Location: Beachfront, 10 min to downtown Varadero, 35 min from the airport.
My wife and I have been all over Cuba several times so we know what to expect. This hotel is very nice but only if you are in a renovated section. It will be a decent Cuban 4 star hotel (hence the rating) when renovations are complete but current ongoing renovations do not allow it to meet its 4 star potential. We were in an older section on arrival (Building 18). The bathroom was disgusting, not enough running water for a shower, bathroom fixtures all loose and practically falling off. Upon request we were moved to a renovated room (Building 15) the next morning which was much better. The new room lacked a few common amenities but our housekeeper (Elaine) obtained them for us almost immediately. She was fantastic throughout our stay. Staff at this resort are very friendly and helpful for the most part. As usual, there are minor infrastructure issues in Cuba. For example, we could not get the hairdryer / plug combination in the bathroom repaired. I inquired every day and on the fifth day was told the technician could not fix it and they had no replacements. Here is a breakdown of our experience:ROOMS: Renovated section is very nice. Unfortunately I cannot tell you (other than Bldg 15) which buildings have been renovated. Rooms are a good size with modern style bathrooms and large glass showers. LCD TV's, safe, 2 person couch, and a small desk. The air conditioning worked great.BEACH: We are beach people but this was certainly not the best Varadero has to offer. The beach is relatively narrow compared to others and has a 3 foot sharp sand bank running along the entire area. There are lots of palapas on the upper half and we had no problems getting one everyday but I don't think the resort was full either. The palapas are very close together so there is limited options for both sun and shade in that area. Many people just pulled chairs down to the lower half next to the water. The water was sand bottom until you got up to your knees / thighs (depending on tide) then turned rocky. Not reef rocky but smooth rocks. The hotel has a "No Reserving Chairs at the Beach" policy but, like most places, it is not enforced. I really wish resorts would enforce this as many guests like to 'reserve' chairs at both the beach and pools at the same time which s not fair to others just looking for a spot to sit and enjoy the sun.BARS: There are 3. The lobby bar was being renovated as we left, and it needed it. It was a popular spot so service could be slow at times. The washrooms in this area were horrible. The men's washroom was closed all week and the woman's washroom became an 'unposted' unisex washroom with only two working stalls, one of which did not lock and the other had no flush mechanism. The pool bar was nice with renovated washrooms. You could also order limited food here. The beach bar(s) were in 2 sections both of which were fairly close to each other. One was a bar only, the other was the a bar / food area. The food area was just finishing renovations as we left but there was a barbeque setup all week which offered a pig roast on Wednesday. Drinks at the beach and pool bars are what I call the "instant slushy" type, unlike the lobby bar where the drinks were very good.BUFFET: Newly renovated. One of the better ones in the Cuban 4 star category. Standard staples for breakfast and lunch with different main courses for supper everyday. Lots of variety. Staff here are excellent. I have heard many people complain about food at Cuban resorts but If you go hungry here, it is your own fault. It is certainly not at the level you will find in Jamaica or Mexico but if you are a frequent Cuban tourist you probably know why.A LA CARTES: A disappointment and not 4 star standard even in Cuba, to be blunt. Fortunately the buffet makes up for it. Romantico, Mediterranean, and Cuban. I ordered beef at the Romantico (the better of the 3). For some reason beef in Cuba always seems to be not cut properly, somewhat overcooked, and tough. This was no exception. My wife did enjoy her shrimp meal. At the Mediterranean I ordered breaded scallops but I am not sure what I got. The waitress 'confirmed' the meal when I questioned it but it was not the small white scallops most of us know. The best way to describe it was some sort of large, very thin, overcooked red meat coated in fine bread crumbs and pan fried. Not tasty at all. My wife ordered a pasta dish which was good (starting to see the trend here ... LOL). The Cuban was a disappointment for both of us. I ordered barbecued chicken (leg) but it was very bland. Can't remember what my wife ordered but she didn't finish it. I generally have no problem with food in Cuba and find some very good but the a la cartes, depending on what you order, is one area this resort can improve.POOLS: 2 small pools connected by a narrow, shallow channel. One pool is about 2 feet deep (for younger kids). The other 3-4 feet deep. No swim-up bar but the bar / eatery is very close between both pools.INTERNET: Another disappointment but not the fault of the hotel. Only available in the lobby and lobby bar areas. 2CUC for 1 hour but you will be lucky to get an hour. My phone has a wifi online timer. I bought 3 cards and got 25, 42, and 50 minutes from them. The internet is run by a separate company that many hotels use.ENTERTAINMENT: As a result of Fidel Castro's untimely death, all of Cuba had a 9 day mourning period with no loud music or theater performances (no alcohol outside of the resorts). This was OK for us as we were looking for a quiet, relaxing week anyway. Based on what I saw on the posters, the entertainment seemed to be the usual Cuban fare. The 'Star Friends' were still active at the beach and pool areas entertaining guests with various games and competitions. Very friendly group.CONCLUSION: Even with renovations the resort is a very clean and well run property. Average age in November seemed to be 45+. Get a renovated room if you can, be careful with a la carte selections (we preferred the buffet over all of them). Staff make this a return property. The Cuban government pegs the (useless in any other country) CUC to the US dollar which can be financially painful (we did not take any excursions this time because of currency exchange). We would recommend this resort to anyone.
We were there last week and enjoyed it greatly. The only problem we had was our room was for three people and our room only had two and a cot. We spoke to reception and an entire bed was brought to our room and set up. The people who work there are great, they made the stay amazing. After checking in Omar took us to our room in his electric truck and brought all our bags up. Anytime we had a problem or needed to know Omar was there. He helped us with lots of translations and had it not been for him we would not have known what was happening when Fidel Castro's death was announced. The entertainers were great. Yoyi, Charly, Yudi, Yari, Yosvani, and Peke were always smiling and keeping us busy with some cool event. They lead us in dance classes, yoga, bingo, archery, and other games.The hotel was clean and the maid did a great job keeping our room in good condition. The resort is small enough that you can meet lots of people and walk from one area to the next, no need for a shuttle (I mention this because when we were in the Dominican Republic our resort was huge and a shuttle had to take us from one area to the next).As for the beach, it was terrific. There were always plenty chairs available and people to help you get set up if you needed to move any chairs around. There was also a couple guys who drove around on the beach in a small truck with the back full of coconuts. They would cut the coconut open for you and put ice and rum in it if you would like. This was at no cost but I would suggest a small tip since it is a lot of work to cut one open. At the end of the days there was always great shows. One show outside in front of reception just after dinner, followed by another show at the Amphitheater at 9:45. The shows were fabulous. After the show was done, we would head over to the disco to dance where the DJ played lots of good music based on who was on the dance floor. I have the say the DJ is most likely the least recognized of everyone and deserves a round of applause, yay DJ.All and all, I give this resort 5 stars. I know I will be going back there if I go back to Cuba.
Overall the resort deserves the 4.5 star rating. For Cuba the quality of the food was very good, staff was excellent. We upgraded to the romantic package which helped us get an excellent ocean view room and a few additional perks as well. Romantic breakfast, fruit tray upon arrival, late check out the last day, well worth it.
We enjoyed our vacation in this resort. Beach was amazing, our chambermaid was amazing, she made different towel art every day, and exchanged notes with my wife by telling about herself. By the end of the trip we knew her family and meet her husband who works in the kitchen. Overall great staff. The only complain I have is about food, the food is not that great.
This will be a lengthy review so for the 'TL;DR' version, you can skip to the bottom.My wife and I stayed here for ten days from Nov 10-20, 2016, for our honeymoon. We wanted to see Cuba for the first time, and we were told to have lower expectations for the quality of our stay, compared to all-inclusives in Mexico, due to the unique situation in Cuba. We read most of the recent reviews, and decided on this place as they had the 'least bad' reviews. I'll section my review for easier reading.Service: 9/10The staff here are great; almost all of the staff are incredibly friendly and do their best to work with what they have. A few people in particular made our stay as good as it could be. Wendy and the staff in the Guest Services office were very friendly and tried their best to help do what they could to correct our complaints. The servers in the main dining room were fun, outgoing, and helped us with our poor Spanish. Our favourite server spoke no English, and we didn't get her name, but we returned to sit in her section as many times as we could. She was about 25, 5 feet tall, and waited on the back section of the buffet room with the higher chairs. She always had a smile and some type of gift for us each night, especially when I was sick (more on that later). The gardening staff are also very friendly, and there's one worker who cut a fresh coconut for each of us on our last day, which was much appreciated.Beach: 9/10All beaches in Varadero were stunning, and the beach here was a bit smaller than the rest, due to the geography here. We snorkeled around the beach and saw a very interesting fish called a 'Flying Gurnard'. Had the option to have the staff take us out on a Catamaran for $20 CUC pp, but we decided it wasn't in our budget as we'd gone snorkeling elsewhere. Amenities: 7/10This resort is small, but has a nice theatre/stage and a few bars, a busy seating area and entertainment each night. The shows were very enjoyable, especially the Broadway show on our last night. We mainly stuck to the beach, but the pool was nice and quite clean. There is a daily BBQ by the beach, which is usually Cuban food and usually has a live band with entertainment staff to dance and invite guests to dance. The nightly early show by the main central seating area/fountain does become repetitive but the band is great and the dancers genuinely have a great time and are mesmerizing to watch. There's a nightclub which we avoided, as we aren't really into the club scene, and there weren't as many similar-aged guests who spoke English (many people from Russia and Europe).Food: 6/10We came in with low expectations due to some of the other reviews, and at first we were pleasantly surprised. However as our time went on we saw some of the reasons for the bad reviews. You get 3 'restaurant' meals during your stay, and we got 4 as it was our honeymoon. We did go to all of them and were generally quite pleased. The food wasn't 5 star as spices other than salt are difficult to come by. The side-vegetables were nearly always frozen carrots, peas, and corn, with a small amount of mashed potatoes. Other than being too salty, the meat was usually quite good. Soups were all delicious and deserts were quite good for the most part.The buffet was where I think they could improve greatly, although it was obvious the chefs were limited by supply issues. For example the first night had a delicious fresh broccoli dish, but that never returned, and green vegetables were not really seen at all. The chefs were friendly and they had a great pizza station, omelette station, and pasta station, where you could customize anything you wanted from a wide variety of ingredients. The omelette chef was outgoing and entertaining, but his station was so busy that it was difficult to maintain any level of cleanliness in the food preparation.I think cleanliness in food prep isn't really held in the same regard in Cuba as it is in other places. Each morning one of the stations had a container of lightly cooked bacon, and half-cooked scrambled eggs (most often half liquid, half solid). There was one day which both were cooked enough to eat, but got a fairly severe case of food poisoning from either undercooked bacon, or undercooked eggs at the omlette station (I asked for over-hard but they were completely runny). I'm fairly sure it was from the bacon though.I ended up with bad intestinal issues (requiring a trip to Varadero to find Pepto-Bismol), and a high fever where I was freezing cold but my wife said I was boiling hot. I haven't had food poisoning in nearly a decade, so it was definitely from undercooked food. I ended up losing a day of the vacation to this.The buffet also doesn't have a washroom at all, and everyone at the resort handles each of the serving utensils which are quite greasy. A working restroom and hand-sanitizer would go a long way to help with this.Other than undercooked food and poor attention to cleanliness in food prep, there was a great selection of food and deserts and mostly high quality of food, other than the issues noted above.Hotel room and resort services: 1/10This was our honeymoon. We had paid extra for a 'romantic room' and noted when we booked the trip that this was our honeymoon and the room description said they would try to provide us with an ocean view, depending on availability. A honeymoon 'gift' was supposed to be in our room when we arrived. We had been required to bring our marriage certificate to prove that it was our honeymoon. Most other resorts had a 6 month time limit from the date of the wedding, and we chose this resort because it didn't have that limit. We were married about 16 months ago and tried to go away earlier, but an ongoing family illness prevented our trip until now.We arrived and presented our marriage certificate upon check-in; the staff said 'oh you don't need that'. Our room didn't have any view, and there wasn't any honeymoon gift, although it did have a king sized bed. We weren't sure if this was on purpose or not, but we didn't let them know right away. In our room there were signs that said to leave our towels in the tub if we wanted them changed, and to try to only change them when needed to help be more efficient. We also didn't leave the A/C on in the room during the day as we like to save energy where we can. Unfortunately this meant the towels didn't dry during the day due to the humidity, so the towels started to smell musty. They were also threadbare and stained, so we put them all in the tub before a big excursion one day. We also needed one of the top sheets changed. We came back from our lovely excursion needing a warm shower before dinner. The maid had taken all of the towels out of the room and hadn't replaced them (the day before we'd asked for one of the floor towels to be changed, and it was removed but not replaced). In addition, the top sheet hadn't been replaced; it was removed, but the blankets were just placed on the bed. We had to call the front desk to ask them to bring us some clean towels just so we could have a shower, and a clean sheet for the bed. The towels came in about an hour, and the top sheet was in our room after dinner. The next day we informed Wendy at guest services about our missing towels and the missing honeymoon treatment, and she was very apologetic. The honeymoon gift was normally a bottle of champagne, and we said it was ok as my wife doesn't like champagne, so Wendy arranged for a bottle of rum which we received the next day and a few days later we received another gift of a rose. We also received brand new towels the next day, which was much appreciated. After that we just left the A/C on in the room when we were away to dry out the towels, so we didn't have any more musty smell issues.We realized that since the hotel uses a 3rd party to perform laundry services, they were held hostage by this service. The daily maid service doesn't have the ability to bring fresh towels or sheets; apart from the time we had to request the new top sheet, our sheets weren't changed at all during our 9 night/10 day stay. Our beach towel (big and blue) wasn't changed either; guests are supposed to bring the towel to a central location and get a clean towel in exchange for the dirty one. We tried to change ours on our 3rd day, but they didn't receive the shipment of clean towels that day, and that was the same for the rest of the trip (each day I tried to change them and was told the same thing). The maid also isn't really able to do much in your room each day. They re-make the bed and take any dirty towels away, but they don't wipe down the bathroom vanity or replace anything. We were supposed to get new water bottles every two days, but had to ask for new ones twice after the 3rd day of not receiving one. Maid never replaced any bathroom items so we had to phone the front desk to get another bar of soap (were only provided with one for bathroom and shower).We had also asked Wendy if there were any non-smoking rooms (no). We probably could have gotten our room changed to one with a better view, but as ours was close to the beach and there weren't any non-smoking rooms, we just accepted our fate. Our room itself was large, but the shower was only one-person at a time, and had seen better days (the inside of the shower door's paint had worn away and the metal was being eaten by the salt in the air, although wasn't rusty). The bed was a king-size, but the mattress and pillows were quite uncomfortable, and we were allergic to the pillows, likely due to the smoking from previous guests. Even with a t-shirt wrapped around the pillows, our eyes and noses were very itchy and stuffed each morning. We ended up getting antihistamine pills from Varadero which helped. I was honestly very ready to leave by the end of the trip due to the beds/pillows in our room. We didn't think it would be any different in the other smoking rooms so we didn't ask for a change. We probably should have, as they likely expect people to request a change.The men's bathroom in the main area of the resort was broken for the entire duration of our stay (it was locked). We were told to just use the women's bathroom, which I did in the late evenings. However during the day I didn't feel comfortable as there were often children (girls) using the room and so I had to walk all the way back to my room to use the bathroom (which was frequently due to the food poisoning). Finally, we had a late night flight on our last day (leaving 3:30am) so the policy is to check out at noon the day before, and then be free to use the beach and facilities the rest of the day. Our tour contact told us we could either arrange with the hotel to continue to use our room until we left at midnight (for a ~$50 CUC charge), or use the 'suite' provided to shower and change. We decided to go with the suite, and asked the front desk staff where to go when we checked out. They said 'you'll have to use the spa to shower, but it closes at 7pm'. Luckily we were ready earlier (around 5:30) and went to the 'spa' (which closed at 6pm). The 'suite' was actually the shower by the gym, which looked like it was used by the staff, had no privacy, and was fairly run down. We ended up using our beach towels to dry off, which as noted above went ten days without being cleaned. Final note on bathrooms:Bathrooms by the beach were nice but our room was right by there, so we used that instead. There was a set of bathrooms off one of the restaurants, but it was dismal (no soap, no paper towel, no seat on the toilet). As noted, no bathroom on the main dining area/buffet. Main men's bathroom near lobby/theatre/bars was broken during our entire stay and no one appeared to be working on it. Ladies' bathroom mostly had no soap.Summary:I won't go back to this resort. The staff were great and did the best they could, but it seems management don't care or are unable to put any money into this place. It's the little things that make your stay, and the little gifts from staff helped, they don't outweigh the huge number of shortcomings that we expect from a 4.5 star all-inclusive. I'd rate this hotel a 3 star compared to places in Mexico, and my rating of 2/5 reflects the shortcomings noted above. We paid more for this stay than we have paid at 5 stars in Mexico, so management need to know that they are competing with Mexico and should be trying to provide staff with all the tools they need to provide a luxury service.TL;DR:Staff were awesome, beach was beautiful, Cuba is interesting, beautiful, and fun. Food was decent but has much room for improvement (start with cleanliness if supplies are tough to come by). Hotel room quality is dismal, bathrooms in the resort are terrible.
Vacations packages include round-trip flights, accommodations, round-trip transfers (unless outlined below) to and from the hotel, and tourist cards (if required, unless outlined below).
If selecting an all-inclusive resort option, the package will also include the all-inclusive features as outlined by each resort.
Items not included:
- Travel insurance (mandatory if traveling to Cuba)
- Tourist cards ($10USD)if traveling to Dominican Republic with Sunwing Airlines
- Departure taxes ($20USD) if traveling to Dominican Republic with Sunwing or Signarture Vacations
- Hotel transfers for packages with WestJet to USA (with exception to Honolulu)
- Hotel transfers for packages to Europe
- Items of a personal nature
- 3 buffet meals daily
- Unlimited House Wine, Domestic beer, International brand drinks 24 hours
- Lounge chair and towels (pool/beach)
- Pedal boats
- Use of bicycles
- Pool table, ping-pong, darts
- Exercise room
- Spanish lessons
- Dance lessons
- Daily activities
- Evening entertainment
- Welcome cocktail
- 391 rooms in 3-storey buildings
- 2 buffet restaurants
- 3 a la carte restaurants: Italian, International and Seafood, dress code & reservations required
- 6 bars including Lobby bar, Snack bar, Disco bar, Theatre bar, Beach grill bar
- 2 outdoor pools
- Golf nearby
- Meeting facilities
- 2 tennis courts on-site (2 lit)
- Shopping on-site
- Fitness facilities
- Beauty salon (fee)
- Internet access (fee)
All accommodations include:
- Cable/Satellite TV
- In-room safe
- Full bathroom
- Hairdryer 220V (adaptors required)
Standard Hotel Rooms
- 2 twin beds
- Sitting area
- Max occupancy 3 persons
VIP Standard Oceanview Rooms
- 2 twin beds
- Living area
- Ocean view
- Max occupancy 4 up to 3 adults
Kids Deal - Kids pricing available, please inquire for details.
For the Kids - Kids 4 to 10 enjoy supervised activities daily at the Kids' club, Playground, Kids' pool, Babysitting service also available. (fee)
Honeymooners - Private check in, Room upgrade based on availability, Welcome cocktail with sparkling wine, Bottle of rum, Flowers in room upon arrival, In room breakfast the morning after arrival, Housekeeping in afternoon, Exclusive romantic dinner for 2 in a la carte restaurant, Late checkout with out charges based on availability. Applicable up to 30 days after nuptials. Request when you book. Requires proof of marriage.
VIP Package - Includes an upgrade to Oceanview Room, (if available at check-in) fruit basket, bottle of rum, bathrobe or towel as souvenir gift. (minimum 12-night stay) Please inquire for prices.
Wedding Packages Available, please inquire for details.
Early Booking Bonus - This hotel may offer early booking bonuses at certain times of the year. If early booking bonuses apply to your vacation, prices shown online have already been adjusted accordingly. Please inquire for complete details.
Resort Location Map
Iberostar Playa AlamedaVaradero,Cuba
- Hotel Contacts
- Extra Info
Las Morlas, Km 19 Punta Hicacos, Varadero Cuba
Some restaurants may be open for certain meals only and limited visits may apply. Reservations required and dress code in effect for a la carte restaurants. Time restrictions may apply for water sports.
Child pricing may only be available with select tour operators and valid for select dates and durations. Child pricing rules are subject to change without notice. Please contact one of our vacation specialists if you require assistance with child pricing.
Photo identification and/or credit card or cash deposit may be required at check-in for incidental charges.
Extra-person charges may apply and vary depending on hotel policy. Rollaway beds and cribs (infant beds) may be available and should be requested at the time of booking; fees may apply.
Special requests are subject to availability upon check-in. Special requests cannot be guaranteed and may incur additional charges upon check-in to fulfil.
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