Centred on an expansive free-form pool (with swim-up bar, natch), this 386-room resort is located near the eastern end of Varadero’s famous 11.5-kilometre-long beach.

Separate pools cater to watersport fanatics and adults seeking quiet time, while a kids’ water park delivers brightly coloured slides and a giant tipping bucket that dumps torrents of water onto happily screeching children.

Paths to the beach meander through lush vegetation, opening onto a take-your-breath-away vista: gently lapping waves, water the colour of peacock feathers and silvery sand as far as the eye can see. Rows of thatched beach umbrellas provide shade. 

Adults spend their days sailing, kayaking, playing tennis and volleyball, participating in games—or doing nothing at all. A mini-club for children four to 12 years of age offers activities for kids and precious free time for parents.

With a design inspired by the country’s rich history (think arches, colonnades, ornamental plasterwork and pastel colouring), the all-inclusive IBEROSTAR Varadero brings touches of Cuba into the resort experience, whether it’s mojitos and live Cuban music in the lobby lounge, hip-swaying dance lessons poolside, traditional cuisine in the large buffet restaurant (three à la carte restaurants offer more international fare) or evening shows celebrating Caribbean life.

Of course, there’s no more quintessential a Cuban experience than smoking a cigar—or, at least, sitting beside someone puffing away. Follow your nose to La Vitola Cigar Bar where deep couches, tasty rum drinks and cigars ensure an aromatic immersion.