Iberostar Selection Esmeralda

Iberostar Selection Esmeralda
2.91 based on 11 reviews
#3 of 3 hotels The Monarc.ca popularity scale (#1/15) classifies all the hotels of a single destination according to the number of grades received on 5 and the total number of reviews. in Cayo Cruz
Rated 5 stars
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Stay away from Iberostar Selection Esmeralda

, Low, QC
March 4th, 2023
February 16th to March 2nd, 2023.
This resort is listed on websites as a 5* and should be listed at no more than a 2*.
Keep in mind that my husband and I have been to Cuba at least 35 times and we never book in anything lower that 4.5*.
The resort is Iberostar Selection Esmeralda in Cayo Cruz, Cuba.
Our 6 AM flight was perfect.
We were a group of 9, including 3 couples, 1 elderly woman and 2 kids 11 and 4 years old.
Once at the resort our expectations were immediately lowered to zero.
We arrived at the resort at around 11.30/noon to be told our rooms were not going to be ready until 4PM, which we expected.
The staff at the reception desk was very rude and didn't seem interested in doing their job. Going from one customer to the other without finishing what they started.
My son was given a hard time since he had his voucher on his cell and the clerk insisted he give her a printed copy
(does anyone carry a printer in their luggage?) I was finally able to get a hold of a male clerk who knew what he was doing, and he told my son to simply send his voucher by e-mail to the resort, problem resolved.
Our luggage was then locked in a lobby room. Every time one of us needed to access our luggage we had to ask for the room to be unlocked, we got attitude, eye rolling, loud sighs, totally ignored at times, etc...

We then headed to the buffet, well, what a deception...The water they served us out of unsealed glass bottles had a strong taste and sent of bleach, no need to say that we didn't drink it. Kids need water.
The food is dry stiff pork, overcooked stiff chicken, fish and hot dog sausage, no sign of cooked vegetables except powdered mashed potatoes, rice, rice and more rice.
No fresh fruit other than unripen pineapple and mango chunks, we saw apples one day and honeydew once or twice. Vegetables were the same raw veggies every day, shredded carrots, beets, cabbage, cucumbers and green or red tomatoes.
At breakfast we had eggs when they had some available and raw bacon. If you wanted cooked bacon you had to stand in the never-ending line up to have it cooked on a plaque. They handle the eggs and raw meats with the same utensil.
There was only one type of cereal, frosted flakes, and no milk is sight...No yogurt, no juice etc.
Cross contamination is a huge problem in that resort, they use the same utensil to handle all types of raw meat, no need to mention that we stayed away from that.
The dishes were always stained, greasy, cups with lips stains on them...Not appetizing at all.
I personally stopped eating their food during our second week (as I had stomach pains that were unbearable and reverted to what I had brought in my luggage, cup-a-soup, peanut butter, Nutella and butter. My 4 year old Grand-Daughter was not able to have a bowel movement during the 2 weeks we were there, she never usually has a problem with that.
Once we finally were able to access our rooms, at 6 PM, 2 double beds, we only had a fitted sheet and a pillow on both beds, assuming that we would have blankets by the time we went to bed we left it at that.
To our surprise when we were ready for bed there was only one comforter (which we found in the closet) so my partner had to sleep using 2 beach towels to cover himself since there was no way to call the reception desk and we were to exhausted from our long day to start running to the reception desk.
We took care of that the next morning.

On the 2nd day, seeing how disorganized this resort was and the lack of nutritious foods, we asked to be moved to another resort. I spent 2 days running back and forth to the customer service department to organize this as our whole group wanted to leave. Once everything was approved, they advised us that transportation would be provided for us since there are no taxi services available at the resort. We were then told, later in the day that transportation would not be provided.. So, I basically wasted 2 full days of my vacation. We were stuck there for 2 weeks. Quite depressing to think of all the money we spent on this.
This resort should not be operating and should not be advertised, especially not with 5*…
We had to fight to obtain sealed water bottles in our rooms, kids need water as well as any human being who spends hours on end in the sun since there is basically no shady spots at that resort.
They suggested we buy bottled water at the small convenience store on the premises for $2 US on a credit card. That was out of
the question, after days of insisting they finally started putting 2 small bottles of water in our room every day. There is nothing else provided in the in-room fridge.
The rooms are not cleaned daily, they make the beds, that's about the extent of it...Our room floor was not swept once throughout the 2 weeks, bathroom glasses not changed for clean ones, soap dispensers were topped up with water, bedding was never changed (we slept on sheets that were stained from prior customers (quite disgusting), my son and his partner had old fecal matter stains and blood stains on theirs...
As for bath towels, they are not changed either unless you fight for them, we set ours on the floor one morning, as we always do in resorts, when we returned to our room in late afternoon, these dirty damp towels were folded and put back on the shelf. We succeeded in getting our towels changed once in our 2 week stay. Not impressed.
It is mentioned in the hotel description that it's “The perfect environment to relax and disconnect!” It's far from it, there is extremely loud music everywhere you go, nowhere to get away from it except the kid's pool that you list as a water park. The lobby is semi quiet at times when there are no rude tourists blaring their ghetto blaster in there as if everyone wants to listen to their music. It's more of the perfect environment to feel stressed and frustrated. The description needs to be changed.
Also, there are flies everywhere, in the buffet area on the tables, in the food etc... disgusting. At the bars they have the topless milk pitchers sitting on the bar with flies crawling around inside of them and they use this milk in drinks and cappuccinos.
Sitting in the lobby you are constantly shooing flies away.
I could go on and on with this horrible experience, I have never been so disappointed with a vacation.
We heard from a Customer Service staff that the Manager had been fired, so we were dealing with staff that knew nothing, spoke only Spanish and basically laughed when we tried to communicate with them.
We basically need a vacation after this nightmare.... [Details]
  • Room
  • Quality - Price
  • Front desk & Reception
  • Beaches
  • Location
  • Bathroom
  • Staff / Crew
  • Cleanliness
  • Food & Restaurants
  • Sanitary measures (Covid-19)

Mixed Feelings

, Kirkland, QC
After a pretty disorganized and chaotic check-in, we 3 seniors enjoyed our 10 day vacay. Beautiful but very windy beach. Hard working staff friendly and accommodating. Food....improving all the time. [Details]
  • Room
  • Quality - Price
  • Front desk & Reception
  • Beaches
  • Location
  • Bathroom
  • Staff / Crew
  • Cleanliness
  • Food & Restaurants
  • Sanitary measures (Covid-19)
The strong points
New modern resort with 3 pools, nice rooms and large private balconies. Beautiful beach.
The weak points
Many missing food items including veggies, fruit. Cabbage, tomatoes, carrots... everyday. Pork pork pork. Eggs yes and no, bacon too. Bread yes and no. Soup delicious. Only discovered it last 3 days. Yum!

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