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“Great resort” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Paradisus Rio de Oro Resort & Spa

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Paradisus Rio de Oro Resort & Spa
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5.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Playa Esmeralda, Crta Guardalavaca, Holguin 007, Cuba   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 10 Hotels in Holguin
london
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Great resort”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 10, 2012

Went there for 2 weeks all inclusive. Resort is great overall, lovely surroundings, friendly service all the time, food was good in the buffet and I thought a la carte restaurants were good as well. Pool was nice but we preferred the beach. Unfortunately hurricane sandy ripped through the resort in the 2nd week we were there which caused a lot of damage to the roofs on the main building and palms trees In the resort but credit to the staff they got the resort up and running in about 2 days despite lots of them having damaged homes etc. except the pool which hadn't been refilled by the time we left.

downsides - the rooms were not what we consider 5stars/ Thomson rating. There a little shabby and the AC and fridge are very noisy. Bathrooms are in serious need of refurbishment.

- not the hotels fault but its £300 for a 1 night trip plus flights to Havana which i think is expensive so we didn't go and if we went to cuba again we would probably stay in varadaro which is much closer to Havana.

Room Tip: If you book a double room specifically ask for a double bed (if you want one) otherwise you may get...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
paradisusri0de0r0, General Manager at Paradisus Rio de Oro Resort & Spa, responded to this review, November 12, 2012
Dear Guest,

Thank you very much for sharing your experience with us on tripadvisor.

I am glad to read that you did enjoy your overall stay at our resort.

Regarding the bathrooms I am glad to inform you that we are in the process of renovating them. Nevertheless we make sure that they are spotless clean and with all the amenities necessary.

I hope that we will have the pleasure in hosting you again at our resort.

Kind regards,

Eduardo Perera Castro
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,488 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (750)
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English first
Ottawa
1 review
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 9, 2012

My husband and I went to the Rio de Oro with a group of couples for our annual one week getaway in April. We're a pretty relaxed crew, and take the little things in stride ... but

No hot water in our room for two days - we finally moved (we're relaxed but do like a hot shower ever few days - lol). Coffee maker in both rooms did not work. Food, with the exception of the poolside 'pub food' was sub-par. By the sixth day I was quite hungry. Beach was okay except for the swampy smell from the nearby lagoon. Staff overall were friendly but fairly reserved - not very warm.

No music by the poolside, even when we asked. We watched them repeatedly roll out the boom box to announce 'activities' then roll away the music 5 minutes later. When I asked the entertainment desk, they said fun music was only allowed during water aerobics. When I said we would be willing to do water aerobics in order to have music, they said it wasn't scheduled for right now, and would upset the other poolside guests as the hotel had a 'standard' to live up to. When I polled the other poolside guests, everyone wanted music. Nay nay.

I decided to get with the program and took a resort dance lession. The instructor yelled at me - STOP! THAT'S NOT HOW YOU DO IT! My friends heard this from 100 yards away in the pool and wondered who she was yelling at. Fun times.

Scuba, which was advertised to be onsite, was a 20 minute (plus multi-resort stops, so more like 35 minutes) bus ride away, a 1 km hump with your gear through another resort's grounds, and then a climb down a rusting out ladder into the ocean and a 40 yard swim to the boat.

This was our first, and our last, trip to Cuba - resort soured us on the whole country and we're unwilling to invest more time and money there. Unfortunate, because many of our friends have been other places in Cuba and say they had a wonderful time.

Room Tip: before you unpack make sure you have hot water
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
paradisusri0de0r0, General Manager at Paradisus Rio de Oro Resort & Spa, responded to this review, November 10, 2012
Dear Guest,

Thank you very much for your comments.

I am really sorry to read that we did not manage to provide you whit the expected service.

Regarding the music at the pool, this is an area that we like to keep quiet for our guest. I believe most of our guest are looking for a relaxing holidays and that´s what we try to provide to our guest.

Again please do accept my apologies for not being able to offer you the a nice holidays.

Kind regards,

Eduardo Perera Castro
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stittsville
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 7, 2012

The resort is nice. We stayed at the end of September. My wife was disgusted by the birds nibbling on the bread table at the buffet. It was my second trip. Our room on the ground floor was sub-standard. It reeked of mold and an air cleaner helped only moderately. We discovered the source of the mold when leaking water was discovered in our closet. The beach and pool were enjoyable as there were no people reserving chairs by putting their towels on them, that we were aware of. Most of the staff were great, with a few notable exceptions. The staff at the Melia Varadero are better.

Room Tip: Don't take one on the ground floor
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
paradisusri0de0r0, General Manager at Paradisus Rio de Oro Resort & Spa, responded to this review, November 13, 2012
Dear Guest,

Thank you very much for sharing your experience with us on tripadvisor.com.

I am sorry to read that your experience at the resort was not so good as your first one.

I would like also to extend my most sincere apology for the inconvenience that you did found in your room. There is simply no excuse for that.

I hope you will give us the opportunity to host you again and to show you that your comments were taken with the seriousness that it required. If that´s the case please do not hesitate to contact us before your arrival to make sure we take personal care of your reservation and make sure you will enjoy a wonderful stay with us.

Kind regards from Paradisus Río de Oro,

Eduardo Perera Castro
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 6, 2012

Me and my Boyfriend had our holiday from the 29th Sept to the 14th of October.

We did really enjoy our holiday and thought that the region was absolutely beautiful. We were lucky enough to miss the Hurricane and only had two thunder storms, both in the second week.

THE STAFF:
Were excellent, so so friendly and helpful. Our Rep Angel was so helpful and friendly, he seemed to remember everyones name which was a great touch. He also found out it was my birthday while I was on holiday and arranged for a bottle of champagne (fizzy wine) and a few flowers be sent to the room. All the staff wished me a happy birthday and I was very touched.

The only staff I wasn't so keen on were a few of the bar staff. They didn't seem very happy at people asking for the premium brands ad we witnessed them hiding them under the bar so that people had to make do with something else. My boyfriend also wanted a whiskey with his expensive cigar but was told that this would be chargable. After paying what we did for our holiday we were kind of put out that he couldn't have one whiskey!

THE ROOM: 3916
While our room was clean and spacious I was dissapointed that it was two beds pushed together and not a double. After a few days I got over this. The air conditioning was good in our room, wasn't too noisey. We did however have a few cockroaches in even after the room was sprayed a few times, they were dying so it wasn't too bad. We also had a Tarantula visit us but that was on the balcony and I found it rather exciting and strangely cute.

I was however very dissapointed with the bathroom, this was more 3 star, shower wasn't powerful and the drain in the middle of the floor smelled whenever water was running.

I have to agree with a previous review - the pillows did smell funny. They didn't stop me sleeping though.

THE FOOD:
I have to be honest, I am a fussy eater and i found the food ok. There was something for everyone and I quite enjoyed the pasta station. There were lots of birdsflying in the restaurant and I must admit that I didn't see any bird poo but did wander if they done it on the food as people left the netting up and some birds ate off the food plates.
The Japanese restaurant was our favourite and we went twice in one week. We also went to the Royal Service restaurant twice, once on my birthday and once on the last night. The food was excellent quality but we were dissapointed that the menu never changed the 2nd week. We tried the Cuban restaurant and did not like it at all. the food, service and atmosphere was lacking.

The Pool and Beach Snack bar were by far the best places for lunch. Far better quality than the buffet.

THE BEACH:
I thought the beach was lovely, there was plenty to see in the water, my other half saw a huge Baracuda as well as lots of colourful fish. The water was clean as was the sand.

THE POOL:
The pool was fine, there was alot of chipped paint as i've read in other reviews but it was clean and for me that is the main thing.

SUN BEDS:
We did find it difficuilt to get one of the double sun beds but one day i managed to get one that a member of staff was keeping for others. They had obviously tipped him to do so as he asked us if we wanted the bed kept for the next day - obviously wanting a tip. We didn't think this was very fair as everyone should have an equal chance rather than the same people on them the whole fortnight - which did happen.

TRIPS:
We went on the Paradise Island trip and really enjoyed it. It was so picture perfect and the staff were knowledgeable and helpful.

So all in all, the place was really good. We kind of wished we'd booked the Royal Service as we were hoping for a bit more luxuary. Unfortunately I caught a virus on holiday and was ill the 2nd week and when I got home. This was a bit of an ordeal which i think has put me off a bit. The Dr on site was helpful ad didn't cost alot of money, the consultation was free, we only had to pay for medication.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Inverness, United Kingdom
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012

We stayed at the Paradisus Royal Service fro the 1/10-15/10/12 and had a fantastic holiday, everthing from the room, food, service,location and the weather was first class.(we just missed Sandy!) The staff are the best, especially Edgar,Wilmer and Pedro nothing was too much bother
for them, they realy made our holiday. I would recommend this hotel for anyone looking for a relaxing holiday.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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.
Gatineau, Canada
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012

I don't understand how this resort can be rated #1 in all of Cuba.

The beaches are ok, the resort is nice, the rooms are in serious need of renovating (bathrooms).
The food was good in a la carte restaurants, the buffet was below average.

The upside, the staff was excellent ( special mention for Alien ), the entertainment was the best we have seen so far.

The downside, our room had ants in the bathroom that the cleaning staff couldn't get rid of even after constanly leaving pesticide everywhere. The bed pillows smelled so terrible that it prevented me from sleeping comfortably, the air conditioning was not able to cool the room.
The buffet was certainly not the most clean because of the birds constantly feeding out of the food trays and leaving their waist everywhere.

We would go back just for the friendlyness of the staff and the entertainment, but not at what it costs to go there.

The best resort we have been to in Cuba so far is Occidental Royal Hideaway In Santa Clara.
It is now called the Iberostar Royal Hideaway, we haven't tried it since it has changed.

I would place the Paradisus Rio De Oro in 6th place of the resorts we have been to in the Caribbean and 3rd in Cuba.

Room Tip: We were in bungalow 13, close to the lobby and restaurants but far from the beach.
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
East Grinstead, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 4, 2012

My husband and I stayed at the Paradisus Rio de Oro in October (We left just before Hurricane Sandy arrived). This was our 3rd visit to RRDO and by far the most disappointing.

We are seasoned travellers to Cuba, we have been going there since 1994 and this was our 11th visit. We fully understand that the political situation means that sometimes not everything is available and things can get a little tired due to supply issues. So we have always been happy to overlook a few minor niggles like cracked sinks as long as the room is clean and we are made to feel special.

The hotel is in a fantastic location and the staff are keen to welcome you and make your stay at the hotel a great experience. We do tip because we understand the difference that 'hard' currency can make to peoples lives but we have never felt that this was expected and none of this has changed. The thing that has changed is the arrival and promotion of 'Royal Service'. This service was available last time we were at the hotel, but seems to be being developed and promoted to the detriment of 'standard' guests. Even if you are staying in a standard room, PRDO is not cheap and there are plenty of other hotels in Cuba and elsewhere that are much less pricey. However, on this occasion we very much felt that as non Royal Service guests we were now second class citizens. We like a bit of luxury, but we dont want to be fawned over and we dont need 24 hour service - we have never used the room service option, preferring to eat in the restaurants and drink in the bars and we dont spend a lot of time in our room, preferring to enjoy the beautiful surroundings. So the upgrade to Royal Service has never been that attractive a package to us.

We always used to make the 10 minute walk from the main hotel to the far beach as it was quieter than the main beach, this is the beach that is nearest to the Royal Service area. The reps on our various trips have always been proud to make the point that in Cuba all beaches are public property. That remains the case, but in PRDO if you are not a Royal Service guest you are now told that you can't use the far beach, that it is exclusive to Royal Service guests. This is a management decision, but the staff are made to enforce it. They can't actually stop you using the beach of course, as it is public property, so what they do is stop you using the sun loungers. These are the same sun loungers as are available throughout the main hotel, but even though you are a hotel guest you are not permitted to use them on the 'Royal Service Beach'. So yes, if you want to put your towel on the sand with the ants then you can, but personally I don't pay to stay at a 5* all inclusive resort to lie on the sand and get bitten.
I do understand that if I havent paid the premium for Royal Service then I am not entitled to the beach concierge service and I dont want or expect it, but to be effectively prevented from using a beach that I have used and enjoyed and which has been a key part of my holiday for the previous 2 occasions seems petty, divisive and decidedly non Cuban. We did complain and were given 'special permission' to use the Spa beach, but that didnt really make it OK for us as we have so many good memories of the far beach that was now out of bounds to us.

As another reviewer has commented, we feel that the Royal Service product is being made to look more attractive by lessening the standard product, and as the standard product is itself not cheap (particularly by Cuban standards) this is completely unacceptable. The beach access was our main gripe, but standards do seem to have dropped in the main hotel, portions are smaller, there seemed to be more cracked sinks, missing loo seats, general tiredness. Sparkling wine isnt a freely available as it used to be. Live classical and Cuban music has been replaced by 'canned' Richard Clayderman in the Meditteranean and El Patio restaurants. Horse riding is no longer included. We also had bad service in a couple of the speciality restaurants, waiting 20 minutes to be seated in the Japanese (after arriving at our booked time) and 30 mins for our wine in El Patio - our starters arrived, but we had to chase 3 times for the wine. Paradisus was always branded as ultra all inclusive, my view is that is no longer the case, unless you want to pay the further ~£1000 for the Royal Service upgrade - for that money, I'll go elsewhere thanks.

I deliberately haven't made this a 1 or 2 star review as the PRDO product is still good, I completely agree with the compliments for Angel the Thomson rep and also very many Hotel staff (to name some but not all - Midelsi (buffet) Elizabeth(ranchon), Luis (Gardener)) who recognised us from previous visits and made every effort to make us feel welcome. The food is the best we have had in Cuba and the location is beautiful.

So will we go back? Undecided at the moment, we will go back to Cuba definately but as for the PRDO, not sure, who knows what we won't be able to use next year? We might save our money on the hotel price and use what we save to buy any additional services, better food etc that we want in resort.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Paradisus Rio de Oro Resort & Spa

Address: Playa Esmeralda, Crta Guardalavaca, Holguin 007, Cuba
Location: Caribbean > Cuba > Holguin Province > Holguin
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Luxury Hotel in Holguin
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Holguin
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Paradisus Rio de Oro Resort & Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 354
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in the Bahia de Naranjo Natural Park, in Playa Esmeralda, on the northern coast of Holguin province. Five-Star Ultra All Inclusive Eco-Resort with 354 rooms. Conceived only for adults aged 18 years or more. Maximum comfort and perfection in its private Royal Service area for a fabulous experience in a world apart. Recommended for weddings, honeymoons, incentive trips and wellness/spa.Guest Rooms 354 rooms: 254 Junior Suite, 24 Junior Suite Deluxe, 16 Junior Suite Deluxe Ocean View, 2 Suite Deluxe, 36 Master Junior Suite Royal Service, 14 Master Junior Suite Ocean View Royal Service, 6 Master Junior Suite Luxury Royal Service, 2 Garden Villa Royal Service. Dining: 8 Restaurants (A la Carte, Buffet), 5 Bars. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Paradisus Rio De Oro Resort And Spa
Paradisus Rio De Oro Hotel Holguin
Paradisus Hotel Guardalavaca
Rio De Oro Paradisus
Paradisus Rio De Oro Cuba
Hotel Paradisus Rio De Oro
Paradisus Rio De Oro Resort & Spa Cuba/Holguin

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