All-inclusive vacations aren't for everyone (including me) but sometimes you have to comprimise when wanting to vacation with a group of friends.
The Iberostar Laguna Azul in Varadero, Cuba is a new resort, opened in late 2009 and has a lot to offer. It's a great place for all types of travellers: from families with young children, to the 20 something party animals to the people in their golden years! (You are all young at heart!)
If you are looking to relax by the beach or pool, have drinks available to you 24 hours a day and like to eat every 2 hours, then this all-inclusive resort is for you! You can eat and drink until you can't anymore and there is always someone trying to get you to participate in a team sport or hilarious acitivties with prizes!
All in all, the resort was beautiful. I was able to relax and enjoy spending time with my friends and work on my tan. But if you are looking to experience Cuba in a more "authentic" way, I wouldn't recommend spending your whole vacation in a resort.
Here are my 10 tips to surviving the Iberostar Laguna Azul:
1. The resort was very busy (May 2-9, 2010) -- be sure to get in line and prepare to wait! It's a brand new place, just be patient and have a Mojito!
2. Drinks - stay away from a zombie or mafia if you don't hold your liquor well. Otherwise, enjoy :)
3. Book your à-la-carte restaurants asap! We had: the Cuban restaurant, wasn't a fan. The Italian was good, try not to fill up on the bread if you're eating late. Finally we had the gourmet/romantico, and it was amazing! We heard the Japanese and steak house were great as well! If I were to choose again, I would have gone with The steak house, Italian & International/gourmet/romantico. But if you like seafood sub either the steak house or Italian for Japanese!!
4. The shows are typical, but entertaining. If you are looking for high caliber shows, go to New York or Las Vegas!
5. The main pool is great but if you want a more relaxed experience hang out at either pool on the right or left of the resort. You're welcome :)
6. If you wake up early enjoy the buffet for breakfast but otherwise go to the restaurant near the beach (24 snack bar) and have that breakfast, it was great! (If you like bacon, you'll thank me!)
7. Bring bug spray, we went during mosquito season, they ate me and a lot of other people alive!
8. Eat lunch near the quiet pools! Way better than the buffet, fresher and more selection. But you can order pizza and pasta as well!
9. The double decker bus into Varadero was fun, but if you are expecting an experience of culture, this isn't for you. If you want to go to shops and buy souvenirs you're good to go!
10. Always go for the Tukola, trust me!
Written and contributed by Lizzy_Mac