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“Not bad but not the best” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Paradisus Princesa del Mar Resort & Spa

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Paradisus Princesa del Mar Resort & Spa
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5.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Auropista Sur, Ctra. Las Morlas, KM 19 1/2, Varadero, Cuba   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #7 of 59 Hotels in Varadero
Southern England
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
“Not bad but not the best”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2013

With a friend we visited this establishment in May 2013. Things did not get off to well it took 3 days to get a working coffee machine in the room having spoken with guest service twice about the matter I then spoke to our tour rep who had the problem sorted within 1/2 hour. the room itself was nice and airy with plenty of storage space it was noticed that the patio furniture was suffering the ravages of the salty climate and begining to look tired and need of replacement. There was also an issue with the lack of bath mats and towels which again after a "word" with guest services was sorted. The gounds of this hotel are very well laid out and kept in an immaculate condition pity about the main pool I noticed green mould growing around the waters edge and a "Tide Mark" of dirt around the swim up bar area also several tiles around the pool edge were cracked and needed replacing.The main restaurant area we found to be a very nice place to be, the waiting staff were very helpful even down to kowing what drinks we wanted after the first day. The food in the main buffet area was of a high quality and plentiful the salads were very nice and varied. Now for the Ala Carte restaurants. The Japonese was without doubt our favourite the food is cooked in front of you and if will you are "encouraged" to assist the chef its great fun. the Italian Restaurant was again very pleasant,on our first visit the staff were very helpful and efficient the food was cooked to a high standard and delivered to the table in timely fashion.On our second visit however the staff were lacklustre could'nt be bothered and the food took ages to arrive some other guests left without even having their dinner. We tried the Chinese restaurant just once never again the food was terrible the service very poor and in all an unpleasant experience.Now the Lobby Bar! some of the staff are in urgent need of a customer care training course being very abrupt curt and in one particular case downright rude please don't think ill of them all in the lobby bar its just one or two. If you are a smoker there is the Smokers Bar which is very quiet and pleasant the aircon is particularly fierce. being non smokers we spent most evenings after dinner in the piano bar nice & quiet with great staff and quite strong cocktails to boot. Please don't get me wrong we did enjoy ourselves at this location being an adults only venue is a great bonus and the VAST majority of the staff and facilities were up to standard it waqs just a few isolated things that let it down. Like the visits from the visiting tourism conference delegates they took precedence of paying guests like being kept waiting 25 minutes for a drink at the bar whilst the visiting delegates were served first. In sum did we enjoy ourselves at Princesa del Mar ? yes with reservations. Would we return? probably not. Would I recommend this hotel to others? I would say make you own minds up.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
José Carlos S, Director General at Paradisus Princesa del Mar Resort & Spa, responded to this review, August 8, 2013
Dear Client:

First of all we would like to thank you for choosing our hotel for spending your vacations. We appreciate your comments and we promise you we will solve the problems you mentioned. This is the best way we have for having an accurate feedback. If you decide to come back, please let us know, it will be an honor receiving you again in our hotel and providing you with a better service. We will not let you down.

Best Regards from Paradisus Princesa del Mar Resort & Spa*****
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3,269 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (644)
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Colchester, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2013

Travelled to Princesa del Mar on 27 June 2013, for a week following our 3 night stay in Havana. The hotel and grounds are beautiful, the buildings immaculate, pool clean and the grounds lush. We found that most of the building work took place early or late in the day, so you could move away from it, if it got too much. We were only told after a few days that we could have sat around the Royal Service pool if we wanted too, perhaps the management should make that a little clearer for the guests when they arrive. There was also ground works continuing around the Royal Service area, but watching the palm holes being dug, the tender saplings being put in, knocked down by the storm, and then put in the ground again proved to be a good source of entertainment for us!
The beach was beautiful, plenty of beds and staff always available to bring you drinks - luxury!
Rooms - I had asked for a higher room (to give them mosquitoes a harder climb) and we were not disappointed with 6334. I would have been less pleased with one of the ground floor rooms that appeared to have no privacy from the grounds. The room service was excellent, and when we asked for more water it was delivered, no problem.
We travelled with Kuoni, who did warn us the week before we travelled, about the main buffet being closed. (Perhaps the tour operators ought to look at keeping their customers sweet by offering some small 'compensation' for this type of change to what you have originally booked and paid for.....it would not take much!). This closure was not really a major problem as the staff did appear to do all that they could to ensure that we had plenty of choice. Liuba should be singled out as the most friendly waitress, and worked breakfast every day, the staff can learn much from her approach, lovely lady. I had read reviews about the 'A La Carte' restaurants and was prepared for this, as have stayed in other hotels where they claim to serve 'foreign food', usually prepared in the same main hotel kitchen. On the whole they were good, it is not gourmet, but then hey, it's Cuba. One piece of advice is avoid the stuffed ravioli in a butter sauce in the Italian - yuk! Hill House restaurant, the Miramar and the main Cuban night were really good! Wish they had put the grilled lobster on more nights, though.
Entertainment was pretty good, when it rained we had to sit in the underground bar was is in dire need of an overhaul.....and the toilet drainage sorting out! Not sure who the Entertainments team were as we were only approached by a member of staff once in the whole week. We had a pretty good time thought most nights in the Cigar bar, where the staff (including the Eddie Murphy duo) did their utmost to keep us entertained and topped up with a variety of drinks :)
On the whole we were really happy with our stay here, it was totally relaxing and our first stay in an adult only resort for many years. Although it was quiet, we did not struggle with service, so not sure how it would be when the hotel is much busier. Definitely recommend this hotel.

Room Tip: 6334 was lovely
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
José Carlos S, Director General at Paradisus Princesa del Mar Resort & Spa, responded to this review, August 8, 2013
Dear Client:

First of all we would like to thank you for choosing our hotel once again for spending your vacations. It was a pleasure having you here with us. We will let everybody know your opinions about the staff (especially Liuba and Eddie Murphy duo). If you decide to come back, please let us know, we will be more than happy to receive you again in the hotel and provide you with a better service. We will not let you down.

Kind regards from Paradisus Princesa del Mar Resort & Spa*****
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Macroom, Ireland
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2013

great time .excellent facilities for a wheelchair user althougth initially I was given the wrong room.Very helpful staff assistance getting in and out of the pool.never a problem.lIttle buggies to collect and take you to the various restaurants.Pity about the room service arrived often aftera two and a half hour wait,never what was orderd.Customer sevices girll very patrionising had to speak to one of the many managers to get things sorted out.

Room Tip: make sure it's what you requested
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
José Carlos S, Director General at Paradisus Princesa del Mar Resort & Spa, responded to this review, August 8, 2013
Dear Client:

Thank you for choosing our hotel for spending your vacations. We are satisfied with your comments and we are going to continue working for being better every day. Our desire is to make of each visit an unforgettable experience for our guests. We are glad to offer you a happy stay and it will be a great pleasure to receive you again in the future.

Kind regards from Paradisus Princesa del Mar Resort & Spa*****
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 11, 2013

My husband and I returned to Princesa del Mar after a wonderful visit last year. It is a beautiful resort with a fantastic layout, and a friendly and attentive staff. I would normally recommend it to anyone who wants a relaxing and comfortable stay. The rooms are big and clean, and the lobby bar was our favourite spot. The main square for the evening music and shows is a lovely set up. There are so many positives about this resort, and this is why we returned.

HOWEVER, be warned that the buffet is closed until December as it is under construction. We did not know this until we arrived (the WestJet agent in Varadero didn't seem to react at our disappointment) and we are still trying to figure out how we were not told about this ahead of time. We never would have gone if we knew this was the case. I am a vegetarian, and was hoping to have the vast options of the buffet while away. There is still a breakfast buffet (as well as a few beach huts that offered breakfast and lunch) but the lunch menus were limited (tacos, burgers and pizza, mostly). This left us with the A La Carte restaurants for dinner - normally they are a nice compliment to the buffet, but having many with fixed menus, this was a problem for someone who couldn't eat meat or fish. The staff tried to accommodate, and we were even told by the reservation desk that they would let the chefs know on computer that I was veg. This wasn't the case when we arrived, and the staff then had to scramble. It was very embarrassing for me, and a bad position to be put in, as this was not our fault.

Finally, the NOISE. The construction happening in the buffet area became a real problem near the end of our week. The final two days the noise at the pool area (the buffet is right across from the main pool) was unbearable. We were forced down to the beach because of the jack hammering and banging going on. There was really no other option to escape the noise, (the beach area is lovely, but we prefer the pool) and it really took away from the relaxing vacation that we were looking for.

Again, it is a lovely spot, but I wanted to post here so you may consider booking after things are back to normal. I wouldn't want others to get to the hotel and not realize that it is not up to its normal standards.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
José Carlos S, Director General at Paradisus Princesa del Mar Resort & Spa, responded to this review, July 15, 2013
Dear Guest

Greetings Paradisus Princesa del Mar. Thank you for taking the time to write your review. We value all of your comments and we look them over in our daily briefings so that we can keep on improving our client experience. Once again thank you for your comments.

King regards
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Guelph, Canada
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2013

My best friend and I booked into stay (through Hola Sun) at the Princesa for 1 week (June 29 - July 6). The trip was booked just over a week before our departure and it was not until I received our etickets that it was disclosed that the buffet was closed for renovation. I would never have booked here if I had known this as we both prefer the ease and selection of buffet style eating. I called Hola Sun asking to be changed to a different resort before we left, they wanted $200 to do this and said we could only change to the Paradisus Varedero. Since we wanted an adults only resort, I said 'no thanks', I'll take my chances and try and switch once we arrived at the resort. They also claimed that there would have been a notice during the online booking process notifying me of the buffet closure. There was not.

The flight on Cubano Airlines was no frills but the meal was ok and beer was only $3 a can. Nice! We arrived at the resort in the evening, we were the only arrivals on our bus so the check in was quick and painless. Since the buffet was closed they had made us a dinner reservation at the french restaurant. I thought this was thoughtful. We stashed our bags and headed to dinner. Our experience at the restaurant was awful. My friend informed the server that she was a vegetarian and asked if there were any options for her. Yes, the server said, the chef could make something up for her. Her appetizer consisted of one small puff pastry with veg in it and her entree was 3 slices of tomato, some peppers and some hearts of palm. We thought it was a joke, was this really her main course that took 45 minutes to arrive?? I will say that my beef entree was delicious but as it was ordered rare I find it hard to believe that it took 45 minutes to prepare. The dessert was crepes, they were terrible. The service was ok but lacking in warmth. The entire meal took about 2 hours, most of that time was spent waiting because the portions were so small they were gone in no time flat. We made a mental note not to return to this ala carte.

Our room was spacious, very clean and nicely decorated. The beds were quite comfortable as well. No complaints except the shower head was dismal with only a trickle of water coming out of it.

Breakfast was horrendous with again lots of waiting. My french toast was 4-5 slices of toasted baguette. I am not joking, no butter, no syrup... slices of plain toasted baguette. My friend's vegetarian omelette included ham. We sent it back, asking for no meat. It came back again with ham in it. We gave up and decided to try the Rock Restaurant for breakfast. Much waiting for coffee and food got us a plate of assorted pastries and some slices of fruit. Not very thrilling. It wasn't the food that was horrendous, it was that the restaurant was deserted and yet it took 45 minutes to get these 2 simple plates of food. We moved on (hungry) and spent the day on the glorious beach and lounging around the pool. Besides a midday rain shower it was a relaxing time and we enjoyed ourselves. The resort was deader than a door nail, which made it very quiet. We had lunch and dinner at the italian restaurant. No complaints. Service was friendly, efficient and food was received in an appropriate amount of time. The quality of the food would not knock your socks off but it was more than edible. There was a deep fried cheese appetizer dish that was heavenly... wow!!

During the day we contacted our Hola Sun rep and asked to be transferred to another resort. We knew we couldn't stay at this resort, we'd rather be on the beach than sitting for hours every day waiting for food. Plus the options for a vegetarian with no buffet were minimal. The rep Lucy was an hour late arriving at the resort but once she got there took our request and said she’d call us in our room at 5pm with info. She did but had no news as the Hola Sun email was down. She said she’d wait a bit more at the office and if she didn't hear anything she’d call us at 7am the next day. She did. We were given the option of transferring to the Paradisus Varadero for approximately $100 each or the Melia Las Americas for no charge. We chose the MLA as we’d been there previously and had a good time. We switched the resorts the next morning (after another dismal breakfast) and couldn't have been happier at MLA, we had a great remainder of our vacation there.

All in all, the resort is beautiful with a lovely, well thought out pool area and gorgeous grounds. Everything is immaculate and in tiptop shape. I think we would have stayed the week had the buffet been open but I probably wouldn't go back. We were not looking for a party place but walking around a ghost town of a resort was a little too quiet for our liking. The service was also not great. I would prefer to spend the same amount of money on a resort with more of a personality and some vibrancy, in both the staff and the atmosphere.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
José Carlos S, Director General at Paradisus Princesa del Mar Resort & Spa, responded to this review, July 15, 2013
Dear Guest,

First we would like to thank you for your preference in Paradisus Princesa del Mar.
Our guest's observations are very important for us, because thank to your opinion we can learn and improved our service, this way all our guests will received the treat that their deserve. All your notes were shared with the departments involved in order to work on it.

If you decide to come back will be a pleasure to host you and exceed your expectations.
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Miami, Florida, United States
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2013

This hotel was excellent. All the pools, the bars, the restaurant, and the rooms were awsome. Great place to rest. No kids allowed so there's no noise at all in the surroundings of the hotel. Staff was very friendly. If you go you gotta have Victor at the beach bar make you some drinks and at the same time he can make you laugh a lot. Great person he is!!!! Also at dinner if you get the Japanese restaurant "SAKURA" at the Hibachi table with Chef Evelio you will also have a lot of fun. Great interactive experience with Evelio. He makes dinner time very fun!!! Breakfast was great in the buffet salon. The beach grill wasn't really too good but it was ok it wasn't the worst either. Had a great stay over all.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
José Carlos S, Director General at Paradisus Princesa del Mar Resort & Spa, responded to this review, July 15, 2013
Dear Guest,

Please receive the warmest greetings from Paradisus Princesa del Mar. Thank you for having chosen us as your vacation destination. And for taking the time to share your comments; it is most appreciated. We are overjoyed to read that your time at Paradisus was nothing but excellent.

It was a pleasure to have contributed to your amazing vacations. We look forward to be able to welcome you.

Warmest regards
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Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 5, 2013

Stayed for a week at the end of April/beginning of May. We stayed in one of the new buildings and the room was great, clean, colourful and spacious. The beach always had seating available, with covering, and we went at various times of the day without issue. The pools were very relaxing and the floats were a nice added touch. We only tried the Italian al a carte and stuck to the buffet for the rest of the trip. The food was the low point of the trip but I had heard that about Cuba in general so I wasn't completely surprised by this.

The live entertainment each night was Amazing! The aquatic show was a true highlight and all of the bands were great. The cigar bar was our favourite spot to relax at the end of the night and the piano player in the lobby was our main stop for the early evening. All of the staff at the resort were extremely friendly and looked after all of our needs.

Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
José Carlos S, Director General at Paradisus Princesa del Mar Resort & Spa, responded to this review, July 6, 2013
Dear guest

Thank you for your positive comments, we are glad you enjoyed your stay at our hotel. We are happy to hear that you enjoyed the beach and the pool. Also we appreciate that you enjoyed the quality of service our staff provided.

Thank you for recommending us. We hope to welcome you again in the near future at Paradisus Princesa del Mar

Kind regards
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Paradisus Princesa del Mar Resort & Spa

Address: Auropista Sur, Ctra. Las Morlas, KM 19 1/2, Varadero, Cuba
Location: Caribbean > Cuba > Matanzas Province > Varadero
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Romantic Hotel in Varadero
#3 Business Hotel in Varadero
#6 Family Hotel in Varadero
#6 Top resorts Hotel in Varadero
#6 On the Beach Hotel in Varadero
#7 Luxury Hotel in Varadero
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Paradisus Princesa del Mar Resort & Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 630
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Paradisus Princesa Del Mar Resort & SPA is located in Varadero Beach, the Cuban sun and beach tourist destination for excellence. This stunning Ultra All-Inclusive 5-star hotel is designed only for adults over 18. The property houses 434 rooms equipped with modern comforts and provides a varied gastronomic offer, daily activities, swimming pool and meeting rooms which convey an ambiance of quietness and service. Discover the magical peace of this hotel. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Paradisus Princesa Del Mar Resort And Spa
Paradisus Princesa Del Mar Hotel Varadero
Paradisus Princesa Del Mar Varadero
Paradisus Princesa Varadero
Princesa Del Mar

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