Located just a few kilometers from the town of Varadero, the Iberostar Selection Varadero has the charm of a colonial style mansion and has a fabulous array of top quality services. Facilities include a wellness spa, beauty treatments, the very best in Cuban and International cuisine, plus a wide range of leisure and relaxation options.
Extraordinary vacation, superb Staff, great escape during Covid-19
Oct 09, 2021
As soon as we got to Iberostar Selection, we were guided right away to the resort doctor, to have a rapid Covid-19 test. This was done before we were allowed to enter the premises, somewhere close to the entrance. The person who took the sample was very gentle and we did not feel much. After 10 minutes we received the result and were allowed to check in and guided to our room. The whole process took about 15 minutes. The Staff is very well organized, well trained and very professional.
CURRENCY: We were surprised to find out that the CUC peso no longer exists. It was discontinued back in January. If you exchange money, you will receive hundreds of CUPs, the new Cuban peso. For $20CA, the hotel exchanged 350 cuban pesos. The money have no value, and if you prefer to tip the staff, give them US dollars, euros, Canadian dollars, British Pounds etc.
Due to Covid-19 crises and US embargo, Cuba was hit hard. Some Cubans told us that there is no food at all to buy, and the only way to get groceries is to pay in a foreign currency. So don’t offer them Cuban pesos as tips, they cannot use it. They will have to exchange it at a very high rate into a convertible foreign currency and then buy their necessities. It is complicated and hard to understand, but you will find out more from the locals.
This was my 21st trip to Cuba. I’ve never seen such poverty. If you have the possibility, please bring small gifts, like medication(Aspirin, Tylenol), candies for the kids, toiletries, hygiene products and …food, any food, as much as you can, to give away. The resort has enough food for the tourists - I am talking here about regular Cuban people.
ROOMS: This is a very beautiful resort, with several pools, gardens, bars and restaurants, close to the beach. If you’ve been to Cuba before, you will recognize the beautiful white sand and blue waters. Amazing. Plenty of chairs and cabanas at the beach, as the resort was almost empty when I visited. 73 tourists, when the capacity is 800.
Many thanks to our cleaning lady, Marylin, who did an amazing job rearranging and cleaning our room and bringing fresh flowers and purified water daily.
Attention: make sure you bring your own water bottle, thermos/mug. There is no more minibar. You will receive two purified water bottles daily which they will refill.
FOOD: There is no more buffet service, and I hope this new rule will be kept forever, as I never agreed with people digging into food. There are stations with pasta, chicken, beef, fish, pizza, cold cuts, deserts. The Staff will serve you what you like and hand you the plate full with your favourites.
We wanted to extend our special thanks to our waiters, Yohani and Yoany, both super professional, prompt and very friendly. Thank you again for your care!
The food is good for Cuba, and don’t forget these are extremely hard times for Cubans. We had no issues finding food at any time in their restaurants. There are 3 a la carte: Gourmet, Mediterranean and Japanese. My favourite place was the Mediterranean restaurant.
AMENITIES: Everything here is spotless. The Staff is cleaning day and night, disinfecting the floors and surfaces. There is hand sanitizer everywhere, but I brought my own and even more, to give as gifts.
ENTERTAINMENT: Even if in the resort were about just 70 guests, there were shows every night. Great singers and dancers and colourful costumes. We enjoyed every minute of it.
VISITING HAVANA: not possible at this time. Varadero is a bubble, mostly free of Covid-19. You will not be allowed to leave the area. But you can visit Varadero city, take daily trips for snorkelling etc. All in the area.
ADVICE: Go to Cuba. Don’t be afraid. The safety measures for Covid prevention are tougher there than in many places in Canada. You will be safe. Bring small gifts for local people, anything you can. Every small favour will be greatly appreciated.
RETURNING TO CANADA: Make sure if have the ArriveCan App, and complete it to make your return easier. It took about 35 minutes to get through Customs when I came back. Very fast if you have the app.
Thank you again, Iberostar Selection Varadero, for making our stay perfect! Will see you again for sure! ??????
Sep 30, 2021
The best trip ever, beautiful beach, culture & people. Great resort & services. I will come back! Excellent job done by Cándido at the beach, Ilen, Yohany, Yovahny at the restaurant, Orlando at the beach bar, Juan Carlos & the hair stylist at the spa. They will take very good care of all of you.
All the health measures are in place. No panic, no drama. Test was done at arrival and also at the end in order to travel back to Canadá. Amazing place. Amazing people.