We spent 2 weeks at the Iberostar Varadero hotel over New Year and we loved (almost) every minute. The food was great fresh baked pizzas, fresh cooked meat and fish on the grill along with the normal buffet selection you’d expect at an all inclusive. The staff were (generally) amazing and couldn’t do enough to help you.Our room was massive! The only thing it could have done with was a better outside light as I like to read after the kids have gone to bed but it was just too dark
The Iberostar Selection Varadero hotel
The Iberostar Varadero hotel is located around 30 minutes’ drive from Varadero airport, due to government measures masks are still required on all public transport and this included the transfers.
It is in a fantastic location on the Varadero beachfront, inside the hotel you will find a number of shops including a cigar bar, gift shop and coffee shop.
Internet access is available across the resort but we found it was best within the main reception area, The 24-hour reception was also handy.
We were fairly close to the main pool and complex, in the tropical double rooms however they did put us on the first floor with no lift knowing we had a small baby with us which was a bit disappointing.
Our rooms were interconnecting which was great as it felt like we have separate rooms but they were still accessible for us. Rooms had air conditioning and a beautiful garden view, if the trees were just a tough smaller we would have had a sea view!
Our bed was HUGE, I’d guess it was bigger than a standard king-size bed, plenty room for both me and Gaz and Holly AND Oscar on some occasions.
Although there wasn’t daily room service due to the risk of coronavirus the hotel staff were always available to help with anything we needed.
Children Splash Pool
The children’s splash pool at Iberostar Selection Varadero – This is great and runs from 11-5 daily. Just be aware the big bucket does tip up and pour water down, don’t let it catch you out!
The food was standard all inclusive buffet restaurants food although I would say it was on the higher end for quality. In the main buffet restaurant here are several cooking stations where you can have food made to order right in front of you which the girls loved. One of the chefs knew what Holly would eat every night and as soon as he saw her he would start prepping it.
The staff were so friendly and couldn’t do enough to help you, they even arranged a birthday table for Oscar when they heard our return flight was delayed and he would be spending his 1st Birthday in Cuba.
There are several a la carte restaurants but we didn’t try any of them as the menus didn’t really appeal to the little ones.
Beach & Water-sports
The free water-sports (canoeing, peddle boats and the catamarans) on the beautiful beach were a great addition, they weren’t however advertised very well and we didn’t know about it until a week into our holiday.
The hotel is located next to a wonderful beach it is stunning and raked daily, loungers are free unlike many places we have stayed before and they take drink orders from your lounger and bring them to you! You can also grab burgers and hotdogs from the snack bar.
We only managed to watch one of the live performances evening show as they didn’t start till 9.30pm and our little ones were long passed out by then, they enjoyed the nightly mini disco at 8pm.
The one we did watch was really well put together and the cast were brilliant, much better than some entertainment we have experienced
The free coffee shop was super cute too and always had fresh sandwiches and cakes available between meal times, you can sit in or take it away with you.
The lobby bar also had nightly live music which you could enjoy from the lounge area around reception due to the open plan design.
Main Pool Area
In the main pool area there is a large outdoor swimming pool with a pool bar which was only serving drinks when we visited but it does look like there is normally food available.
There is a small space where fitness classes take place and aqua fitness was mentioned but we didn’t see this happening anywhere.
Adults Only Area & Activities
If you are travelling without children (or can escape for a few hours!) The adult only outdoor pool area is heated and has a selection of water jets / jacuzzis / showers to use as well as much comfier loungers and beds.
We really enjoyed just lounging around in this area not having to worry about the children for a couple of hours. The fitness centre is also located over this side of the resort.
We also managed to squeeze in a couples full body massage which was wonderful!
The only downside is there isn’t a pool bar here!
Some things to be aware of
Some pointers for visitors: take cash, lots of it, ATMs are non existent and we couldn’t get money out at all over our 2 weeks, nowhere accepts cards and they will only exchange cash for local currency, most places will accept £ or $ anyway.
The mossies are RELENTLESS I never get bitten but I ended up having to use the on site medical service to get medication, so def take what you can with you in preparation. When you get your blue towels, guard them with your life so you aren’t accused of stealing them like we were.
The wireless internet is free but they top it up in 2 hour blocks so if you need more just let them know as we had them add 10hrs at a timeWe had 2 small issues firstly being accused of stealing a blue beach towel as we waited for our coach to go home(!)
And secondly finding our children unsupervised in the children’s club house (after paying for 1:1 care for our 1&3 yr olds) which is located right next to a pool with no fencing between the 2 as the only staff member (there should have been 3 at a minimum for the number of children) was dealing with a toilet accident.
We would definitely visit again 😊
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