Islazul Mar del Sur
- What's Included
- All Inclusive Features
When I booked the trip for my reading week, I was skeptic due to the fact that it is a two star hotel, however for the price we got through sell off vacations we couldnt say no, we didnt really need the hotel for much aside sleeping. I'll start with the good: The rooms were not that bad, my shower had warm water and the toilet worked, I was bummed we had two beds and not one queen, but we pushed them together and made do. The AC worked great, and the blankets were alright. Bring your own pillow because their pillows are not great. The maids were fantastic, we had a note conversation going on with ours: deysey,. she was fantastic. There are lots of feral cats, however they are extremely friendly and I love animals so I was enjoying them. The entertainment is relatively good, ends around 10. The pool bar was 24 hours while we were there but I think they have switched it back to the lobby bar now. I did not expect much from the food, and realistically, its cuba. you shouldnt. but 7 of the 10 days we were there, we ate the buffet food, if we didnt like it, we would go to a local restaurant that cost us approx. 10 CUC for the both of us. The guests were awesome,. the beach bar was fantastic, they have snacks too, but it is only open until around 5. Not sure if that changes as the days get longer, it was dark around 630 when we were at the resortand now the bad: The only bad experience I had was there is a security guard at the resort who attempted to sexually assault me. I was upset one night and was walking back to my room and he had offered to walk me to my room. I agreed thinking he was security so what harm could it be. When I got to the stairs he hugged me and told me I would be okay and kissed me on the cheeks (this is pretty customary so i didnt think much of it) then as i tried to pull away, he tried to hug me and kiss me on the mouth, at this point i said thank you for walking to my building and tried to go up the stairs, as i turned he slapped my behind, and as i was walking up the stairs he followed me up them, at this point i ran to my room as quickly as i could, locked the door. I reported it to the head of security and to HolaSun, the agency that we were booked through. I sincerely hope they have found this man and removed him from the property. While this is one persons actions, it does make me think about booking in varadero ever again.
Very good hotel for that price.)We were there 1-11 March 2017.Unfortunately,room is poor,furniture very old.To be honest we need room only for sleeping.)The weather was bad and windy,lots of storms.(Very cold evenings.(Food and drinks the same with 3 star hotels.Food fresh,lots of various.Fruits only bananas,papayas,guava and pineapples.(Very good and tasty)Very good yogurt,Ice-cream,meat.Beach bar is amazing.)Very safety.Police always patrolled around.Find Luis in the pool bar,he is very good and helpful.)Very good location,5 min to the beach and not far to downtown.Not far to Havana,very interesting to go there but expensive.)In my Opinion Varadero is not Cuba it is special resort for foreigners.)
This place is just horrid. We stayed for 1 night as we needed a quick place to stay after an emergency and couldn't make it home. This was the dirtiest, run down room I have ever stayed in my entire life. The bed was dirty... I ate at the restaurant twice, once late at night, and once for breakfast. The food was luke warm at best and full of flies. Don't waste your money.
If you don't mind animals on the resort and old rooms with musty smells - then go ahead and take the better deal here. I found the food fine, and I'm vegetarian. Still lots of options. The service was not good - i was always scrambling to get my fork, knife, napkin, asking for water, wine, etc. But its 2 star so if you expect more than this then don't go. I appreciate the simplicity. THe beach is 5 minute walk away, i didn't really like having to cross the busy street each time. The people are nice. If you want a room close to everything ask for building 18, 19 or 20 and ask for a balcony. My room felt like a jail without a balcony.Only issue is its very noisy here but I had earplugs with me so that helped. I've also seen a room in building 33 or 34 - much nicer and quieter as it is just outside the centre of the resort. Entertainment was not great - but there is a great Beatles Bar and Salsa place near Calle 60-62. Definitely need to get out if you need some entertainment.
Here is a long review of my solo stay at Mar Del Sur from February 4-11, 2017.Check In: I arrived around 10:30 a.m. Check in was easy, and I was told that my room would be ready by 4, but maybe earlier. I used the bathroom in the lobby which was disgusting honestly but hey, welcome to Cuba! I went and hung out by the pool and had a few drinks. The pool wasn't very well attended. I took that as a good sign that everyone was at the beach! I decided to make my way to the bank to get some convertibles. It was about 3 blocks away from the hotel. You need your passport to exchange money, and there can sometimes be a long line up if you go mid day. You are better off waiting until closer to closing time. I went back and hung out by the pool a bit more and then I got my room.Room: I was in building 34. The porter brought my suitcase for me on a cart. You actually walk through and out of the resort to get to some of the new buildings. I was wondering where the heck this guy is going but then we arrived. The entrance to my building was very inviting. There was a security guard and nice new furniture in the "lobby". I was on the 3rd floor so I was happy that the gentleman carried my bag for me. There is no elevator, so if you are elderly or have mobility issues you need to ask for ground floor. My room was clean and spacious. They provide towels and soap, but no other toiletries or anything so be sure to bring your own shampoo etc. and hair dryer if you need one. There wasn't a dresser but I had a huge closet with shelves so I was able to place my clothes in there. I met some people that were in the building across the street from me (32 I think) and their room was nicer than mine, but no shelves in the closet. The bed was comfortable but a little squeaky. It was two single beds so this would be strange for a couple. Not sure if there are other options for beds or not. The sheets were clean. The pillows were fine. I did bring one pillow with me, just in case. There were extra blankets. The A/C worked fine. I had a nice balcony, but there was no furniture on it. So I brought a chair and a nightstand out so I could sit. There is a store across the street as well where you can buy beer, pop, chips, cigarettes, rum etc. which is very convenient. I know the resort is all inclusive but its nice to grab an ice cold bottle of beer or can of pop, or a large bottle of water on the way back to your room sometimes.Beach: Its Varadero - the beach is absolutely perfect. White sand, turquoise water, no rocks or reef. There are many palapas for hotel guests to use, and a nice bar with drinks and ham and cheese sandwiches. There is no bathroom here though so just be aware of that. Lounge chairs are abundant. You will never have an issue getting one. Music playing and cold drinks with the hot sun, what more can you ask for? You will have to cross a busy highway to get to the beach but I didn't mind at all.Entertainment/Pool bar: Pretty typical, dance shows etc. I think they had karaoke one night but I didn't make it. They play music until about 11 and people end up making their own dance party for a bit which is fun. Great place to throw back a few drinks before going out for the night or retiring to your room. They were building a new bar in the lobby so not sure if this will be the main 24 hour bar or not. Pool: Looked fine, didn't go in. Lounge chairs were abundant. Snack bar during certain hours and bar open 24 hours. The bathroom is nasty and never has toilet paper, so carry some with you or use the bathroom in your room if it is close.Area: There are many great restaurants in walking distance, like Don Alex and Nona Tina's. With the money you are saving by staying at Mar Del Sur, you don't mind springing for a few nice dinners outside the resort. You can have dinner and a couple drinks for around 10-12 pesos anywhere around. Be aware if you are a solo female traveler the Cuban men are very forward with their advances. I found it best to smile, say thank you and keep walking. I never felt threatened or unsafe. Its just a different culture. Take it as a compliment and get on with your day!People: The staff are amazing. They are so friendly and helpful. I heard some bad stories about maids expecting too much and not cleaning rooms, but this wasn't my experience. Most staff spoke very good English. As far as guests, you will find many French, Spanish, German, Italian and Canadian guests. Everyone is very friendly.Buffet: The food is edible and there is an ok selection. If you are coming to Cuba for the food, especially to a budget resort, there is something wrong with you. Omelettes, toast, fruit for breakfast. Pasta, meat, etc. for dinner. The bread is very good as are the bananas. I have dietary restrictions myself so I did bring some snacks with me from home, and I was never hungry. Lots of hot sauce and other seasoning available so that was nice. Maybe this resort isn't for everyone. If you are high maintenance, need all the comforts of home, or can't handle a smelly bathroom once in a while, go down the road to a newer resort. I loved it here and I will be back for sure!!
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
- Daily buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner
- Snacks (beach bar only)
- Unlimited domestic drinks
- Daily activities program
- Nightly entertainment
- 366 rooms
- Large pool
- 3 bars
- 2 restaurants
- Beauty salon
- Car rental
- Massage (fee)
- 2 single beds
- Cable TV
- Safety deposit box (fee)
- Bathroom with shower
Resort Location Map
Islazul Mar del SurVaradero,Cuba
- Hotel Contacts
- Extra Info
Ave. 3ra y Calle 30, Varadero 42200 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.
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