Iberostar Playa Alameda

Our flight was uneventful although uncomfortable. Airline travel has become a very unpleasant experience. I remember when … well, that was a long time ago. We stopped in Toronto for two hours and then carried on south arriving safely in Cuba. We passed through Customs easily and our bus was waiting for us. We where taken straight to the hotel Iberostar Playa Alameda and checked into our rooms by around 4:30pm on the 5th.

It had been a long trip and we were dirty and tired. By the time we all washed up and had a little nap there was no daylight left. We met in the dining room for dinner and retired early.

In the morning Susan and I were up early and out exploring the hotel and its grounds. This is a lovely hotel. Sure, you can be critical of the level of maintenance and the little things not done: lights in the pool not on at night, poor paint job here and there, holes in the sidewalk, all of the usual things you find in Mexico and Central America. But the people were wonderful and could not do enough for you. The food was plentiful although not done the way we would do it at home or in Europe. But it was good.

I think the best thing was the weather: about 30 degrees, sunny, gentle breeze, it was perfect. As it turned out, this wonderful weather was to hold for the whole trip. The only rain we saw was a little on our last day. but more about that later. This day in Varadero we just revelled in the warmth and forgot about the snow and cold we had left behind.

The Playa Almeda is a nice hotel. We stayed in its sister hotel, Iberostar Laguna Azul, just down the beach, and they are both great. I would not hesitate to use the Iberostar chain on our future travels.

This travelogue has too many pictures to be put on a single page. So I have broken it into several pages which you can navigate with this Menu.

On our first morning we began to explore the hotel.

The grounds are colorful and beautifully landscaped.

The swimming pool is very large and rimmed with mature palm trees.

Halfway down the pool a little restaurant juts out into the water.

The main walk goes from one end of the hotel grounds to the other. That is the lobby at the far end. Behind me is another restaurant.

Susan, Rose and Elsa on the sidewalk. The swimming pool is out of sight just off to the left of the picture.



Pina Coladas.

On the way to the beach we found this delightful little gazebo. Behind Susan you can see the tops of the palapas on the beach. (A palapa, a Spanish word of Malayan origin, meaning “pulpous leaf”, is an open-sided dwelling with a thatched roof made of dried palm leaves. Or you can simply call it a big beach umbrella made with straw.) Undoubtedly this location is used for weddings. And it is hard to image a prettier setting in which to say one’s vows.

On the Beach

If you are a beach person, if you like the sound of the water, the feel of sand under your feet, the warmth of the water, this is the place for you! This hotel has a wonderful beach that sems to run miles in each direction. The slope is gentle so it is great for just wading. It’s perfect perfect! Well, except for the people. It’s pretty crowded.

Every day there is activity on the beach. This is a salsa lesson / exercise session going on by the water. Great place to learn to dance.

It is possible to walk in either direction along the sand. It is a wonderful beach for children (supervised of course) with clean sand and sea shells.

Of course, just sitting on the sand is also a great activity.  The beach here is right in front of the hotel and there is no charge for the chairs or palapas.

And here we are. Only one day at the Playa Alameda and we have it all figured out. No nasty sand castles for us!  Way too much work!

And that is the Iberostar Playa Alameda. I could show you lots more pictures but there have to be some limits or people will start to drift away. If you want to know more you could go to their website if you like, or even book a room.

We had a great day there and it was not enough. The good part was that we were coming back. But, that is a topic for later in our journey.