The Iberostar Playa Alameda Resort is located beside an ecological park at the quieter end of Varadero's 20 km white sand beach. This all-inclusive property offers guests an excellent range of facilities and services. Spend lazy days relaxing on the beautiful beach or by the large swimming pool. Those looking for more excitement can enjoy the many activities including water sports, volleyball and tennis.
Iberostar Playa Alameda is perfect for family holidays with a children’s pool, games room and mini-club. The varied entertainment programme includes live shows and a disco. Whether you are looking for a fun family holiday, relaxing break or romantic honeymoon, Iberostar Playa Alameda offers a memorable holiday destination.
The Hotel Playa Alameda is located on a beautiful stretch of Varadero beach, at the end of the Hicacos Peninsula.
All Inclusive Plan: Buffet Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Snacks, Entertainment activities, Cuban/International Non-Premium alcoholic & soft drinks, Nightclub/Disco, Entertainment & shows, Water sports, Catamaran, Kayak.
I stayed at the Iberostar Playa Alameda with my partner in May 2009. I must admit that at first, I was a little skeptical about this resort, because of the fact that my previous visits had been to the Tryp Peninsula Resort next door. I am pleased to say however, that I am happy I chose this resort, and I would definitely return to the Playa Alameda in an instant.
Check In: Upon arrival, check in was a breeze! We arrived at night, so our rooms were ready and waiting. The check in went smoothly and the reception manager Marlon took care of us quite nicely. If you have the chance to meet him, you will definitely be pleased, he has to be one of the nicest people I have ever met in my life. He even helped us with our bags and gave us a tour of the resort before escorting us to our room. Unlike the tryp peninsula, we did not have to leave our passports at the front desk overnight.
Room: We had an oceanview room in building #18. The room was very spacious and clean. It had a walk in closet with a safe and a king sized bed as we had previously requested. The bathroom had both a stand up shower and a bathtub (just like the tryp), which we found very handy when we both wanted to get ready at the same time. The couches in the sitting area were a little musty on the first night, but our maid quickly took care of the smell the next day. The bed was very comfy and not hard as I had expected. The view was wonderful and many times I got caught up admiring the view from the balcony! The AC worked very well in our room, a little too well at times, as I found myself shivering under the blankets a few nights. The doors have a little extra padding under them so we did not have any encounters with any bugs or wildlife in our room. I'm not sure if maybe we had an already renovated room because the paint and the room in general was intact and not in need of any further reno's.
Maid/Room Service: This hotel does offer room service, however we chose not to use it. The maid was fantastic. She would leave towel art in our room every day and also many flowers. She even left me a few gifts one morning. We tipped her on the first day and gave her gifts for the rest of our stay. She did a wonderful job cleaning our room and I had no complaints. Please be advised that it is NOT the maids who replace the water, beer and soft drinks in your room, so if you find that your water was not replaced one day, please do not take it out on the maid. There are actually separate people who handle these drinks and they come in at a different time from the maid.
Pool: The adult pool and the children's pool are merged into one. However, the children's area is still far from the adult side, so it was not a bother. The pool is not very deep, but I didn't mind as I am a beach person. The pool area was more of a lounging area, so don't expect to swim laps around it. They have a centre piece where a few people can lounge, and I found that it was a nice place to take photos as well. They have beach activities everyday which are fun to either watch or participate in.
Food: The food at this resort was wonderful. I had no complaints at all and everyone else I spoke to seemed to be in agreement. In the past, I sometimes found that the food in Cuba had a strange aftertaste, no matter what you ate, but at the Iberostar Playa Alameda, everything tasted as it should. They have some themed days at the buffet, and I would have to say that my favourite was the Mexican night. The tacos were wonderful. The Chinese fried rice that was served one night was also extra delicious. Dessert wise, a lot of the fresh fruit they have was not ripe, and hence I tended to opt for the fruit salad and pastries. There was also a BBQ everyday as well, and as much as I liked the food there, I still preferred the buffet for some reason. The a la cartes were nothing special in my opinion as it seemed that they used some of the food from the buffet. Overall, I would have to say that this resort went above and beyond my expection of the food quality, and it had the best food I have ever tasted at a Cuban resort. The icecream parlor was very good. They have 3 flavours of icecream (vanilla, chocolate and strawberry). It seems that some guests were a little disappointed in the lack of choice, and one person even decided to get very rude with the lady who served the icecream one day.
Beach: The beach was okay. The sand was not cleanest, but this was by no means the fault of the resort because the waves were washing in a lot of seaweed in all day. I was surprised at the difference in beaches between the Playa Alameda and Tryp next door. The beach at the Tryp was a lot nicer, and it stayed shallower for a longer distance than the one the Playa Alameda (got deep really fast). They provided us with beach towels that could be exchanged daily, and although the resort was full at the time of our visit, we were able to get new beach towels everyday. I think the best time to exchange towels is between noon and 1pm because it seems like they finish drying a new load a little before this time.
Disco: The disco was full every night that we were there. I would suggest bringing your own CD's and asking the DJ to play them. The music seemed to come from the same CD every single night. The entertainers also organized a mini bus that would go to the clubs in Varadero every night. It cost 3 pesos per person to go with the bus, however, you had to find your own way back. This was no problem as you came home with the people you went with anyways.
Drinks: The drinks are made very strong in Cuba. It seems shot glasses are only used for souvenir purposes (which was not a bad thing for me). They have no problem making any drink you ask for, and if you're feeling spontaneous, ask the bartender to 'create' a drink for you. I would highly suggest getting a sex on the beach. This drink not only looks good for photo purposes, but also tastes really good once you've mixed it.
Service: Unlike the tryp, we found that the service was lacking at this resort. My conclusion is that the servers were not able to pocket the tips given to them, but instead had to put it into a 'community treasure chest,' which was usually a glass. I guess that tips did not go as far at this resort as they do at others. I found the service in the buffet to be really speedy, however the pool snack bar was a different story. The first time we went to the pool snack bar, we did not receive any service at all. After requesting our order about 2 times we figured perhaps things would get better if we tipped. WRONG! We tipped really well after receiving our meals, however the service went back to being horrible the next day. It was not until the middle of the week (when the servers recognized you) that things started to improve. The bartenders are wonderful. They are extremely busy during the evening, so please be patient! The disco bartenders are very laid back and we always found ourselves chatting with them after the disco was over!
Money: You exchanged your money at the reception area, and make sure that you ask for a lot of 1$ pesos because these come in handy when you want to tip
Check out: since the resort was at capacity when during our stay, we were not able to extend our check out, even though we were willing to pay a lot extra for it! This was probably the only negative thing I encountered during my stay. If you are able to get extended check out, I would suggest doing so because the spa was not a nice place to get ready in.
Overall: I would say that this resort lived up to its standards. I would like to visit again in the future and we both had a fabulous time. I think the main thing people forget is that the standards in Cuba are different from the standards in Canada, so a 4.5-5 hotel will look different from ones with the same rating in Canada. If you go to Cuba with an open mind you will not be disappointed.
Posted in 2009-07-01 03:43:56