PAX visited Cuba at the end of October, at the invitation of Transat and the Cuban Ministry of Tourism (MINTUR), to explore the newest hotel in Varadero, the Iberostar Bella Vista. Opened last May, this is the 15th Iberostar resort on the island.
The Iberostar Bella Vista is 11 floors tall, making it the highest hotel on the peninsula, and features a colorful facade (there are more than 45 colors), that can be seen near and far. Moreover, its name, Bella Vista, for "beautiful view", is not trivial: on the top floor, guests enjoy a superb view of Varadero beach and hotels nearby.
The "Premium Gold" resort consists of nine interconnected, U-shaped buildings. The lobby, located in the main building, overlooks a large terrace that overlooks the five different pools and the sea. The comfortable chairs laid out on the terrace invite guests to rest, drink in hand.
A room for everyone
With 827 rooms, the Iberostar Bella Vista hotel appeals to everyone, from families to couples to groups of friends.
Families can book one of 44 family rooms, which consist of two interconnecting standard rooms. Maximum occupancy is two parents with three children. They will enjoy two small pools with structures just for them, representing a dragon and a whale, located right next to the mini-club.
Couples and adults wishing to rest peacefully can opt for the Elite section, which is adults-only and includes 65 rooms. Of the 65 rooms, 18 Elite rooms provide direct access to the swimming poool. This ultimate luxury, widespread in Mexico for example, marks a first foray onto Cuban soil via the Iberostar Bella Vista.
The hotel also has 524 spacious standard rooms, with views that overlook the lagoon or the sea, and 18 junior suites.
Minimalist and modern
And the beach? A screen of greenery separates the beach from the rest of the complex, giving it an almost intimate atmosphere. More than 170 palapas are built here to provide shade for tourists.
For dining, guests can choose from a Japanese, Italian and Cuban restaurant, as well as a buffet and a snack bar.
Guests of the Elite section enjoy a panoramic restaurant that is open morning, noon and night, and located on the top floor of the main building. Guests from other sections can book at a surcharge. Coffee lovers will be delighted to visit the Star Café for specialty coffees.
All these common areas are tastefully decorated, with a minimalist and modern approach that should appeal to a younger clientele.
A tennis court, a basketball court, a gym with air conditioning more than efficient, water sports and entertainment throughout the day complete the picture.
Following damage sustained during Hurricane Irma, the lobby and the panoramic restaurant were completely renovated, so that during our visit, there was no trace of the hurricane.
For more information: https://www.transat.com