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“Relaxing Vacation!” 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
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Relaxing Vacation!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 2, 2013

My wife and I had a very relaxing vacation. Both the beach and pool were not very busy which was great as those are the places we spent most of our time.

Pros:
- Cabanas around the pool;
- pizza at the main pool bar and fish & chips at the beach bar;
- omelettes at breakfast buffett;
- room was always extremely clean;
- excellent service by all of the staff;
- beautiful room with balcony.

We would have given the resort an Excellent rating however we were a little dissapointed in the food at the a la carte restaurants (with the exception of the Cuban restaurant) and found it a little odd that the a la carte restaurants do not have their own washrooms, you're required to walk back into the lobby bar - not such a big deal though.

Also the dispensers in the public washrooms to dry your hands do not provide paper towel or napkins but toilet paper which are a little awkward to dry your hands with.

Overall the Paradisus Rio de Oro Resort is an excellent value and we would definitely go back for an all-inclusive vacation.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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.
paradisusri0de0r0, Director General at Paradisus Rio de Oro Resort & Spa, responded to this review, December 6, 2013
Dear Pete C,
We appreciate your comments about your stay in our resort and have looked into them with our Departments.
We truly hope to have you back, for which we are already waiting for you!
With best regards,
Lorenzo Rubio
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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English first
Nottingham, United Kingdom
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 2, 2013

My partner and I stayed at the Paradisus Rio de Oro Resort & Spa in May. We originally booked for a standard room, which was actually pretty good (4* quality).

The hotel provides a buffet restaurant which wasn't bad but not amazing either. When staying for a week you are entitled to 4 a-la-carte restaurant visits. These must be booked straight away, but even then we didn't manage to get the nights we wanted for most of them. The quality of these restaurants is much better than the buffet so you should definitely take advantage of them.

As an all-inclusive the drinks are reasonable, however the wines aren't great so if you want a decent bottle with your meal you should expect to pay for it. The included 'champagne' (cava) isn't bad though.

The hotel was providing tours of the 'Royal Service' section, which is only available to Royal Service guests; the rooms here are even nicer (5*) and come with spa baths etc. As a Royal Service guest you are also eligible to eat all meals at the Royal Service restaurant.

At the time (it was low season) they had a promotion on the private villas (they have 2, both empty), so having arranged a tour of one of those we decided to upgrade for a few days a the reduced cost of $400 per night (on top of what we'd already paid). As a one-off this was definitely worth it; each villa is comprised of two buildings - the main building comprised a bedroom, bathroom (shower over bath) and sauna with an outside jacuzzi. The second building had sofas, dining table, small kitchen and shower/toilet. There was also a 2-storey tower offering views over the ocean, a private pool, a jetty and beach hut with sun loungers.

Butler service was also included; we had a couple of lunchtime meals delivered as well as some sparkling wine and a top-up of the mini-bar. A golf buggy could also be called to transport you to dinner or anywhere else in the hotel grounds that you want to visit.

A word of warning - watch out of the crabs. We did have an incident one morning in the Royal Service restaurant where we were sat outside under a straw-thatched canopy; we spotted a few baby crabs climbing in the straw and didn't think much of it. A little later there was a big crash just next to us. My partner jumped up in horror as a massive crab had landed just next to her! It ran off, claws in the air in defence, leaking slightly and spent the rest of our meal peering out from behind a tablecloth under a nearby table looking rather aggressive!

Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
paradisusri0de0r0, Director General at Paradisus Rio de Oro Resort & Spa, responded to this review, December 6, 2013
Dear Matt H,
It was a big pleasure to have you in one of our Garden Villas and to know you enjoyed them so much.
Your comments are always welcome and useful to us.
As the hotel is located in a Tropical area you will find some little creatures that form part of the charm of the place, they are not harmful. We truly hope to have you back soon, and would love to receive your news about your next stay plans.
Sincerely yours, on behalf of all the Paradisus Rio de Oro staff,
Lorenzo Rubio
General Manager
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Fredericton
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 31, 2013

We travelled Oct 20 to the 28th via Air Canada Rouge. It was our third trip to Paradisus Rio de Oro over the past 15 years, the first time to the Royal Service section. While we travel to new places regularly we always find ourselves anxious to return to this resort. We are grateful to Raul for his ever present assistance - we ordered breast fast to our room each morning and he would take our order for our bar for that day. My wife and I are avid fitness buffs and enjoyed running each morning along the trails and then hitting the gym - Remburto is a great guy who looks after the gym. We had the gym pretty much to ourselves each day as the resort was not crowded. The gym has cardio on one side with weight equipment on the other side - there are a few machines and free weights - enough to get a decent workout. We ate twice at the Japanese restaurant, once at the buffet and the rest at the Royal Service. Our room was very nice. The grounds are beautiful and well maintained. We are in our Fifties and loved the quiet atmosphere at RS. if you like a more lively atmosphere you can find it at the main pool. We spent some time at the Royal Service beach which is beautiful and top notch bar service. We also spent afternoons at the RS pool since it was extremely hot while we were there. This is a wonderful resort with wonderful staff. We are planning a return visit very soon.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
paradisusri0de0r0, Director General at Paradisus Rio de Oro Resort & Spa, responded to this review, November 4, 2013
Dear Chris M,
We appreciate very much your review in Tripadvisor about your 3rd stay in Paradisus Rio de Oro, this time in the Royal Service! We are honored to have become a need as your holidays venue!! And thank you for being part of our family!
We look forward to welcoming you soon again!
Sincerely yours,
Lorenzo Rubio
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hantsport, Canada
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 31, 2013 via mobile

My husband and I are booked to spend Christmas at the PRDO. We had booked on line and didn't realize they had the newer Royal Suites. I looked around on line for resort contact and ended up finding PRDO on Facebook. After being excepted into the group I made an inquiry on upgrading. A fellow by the name of Dunieski introduces himself as Customer Relations and gives me all the information I need. He then goes a step further to ask if I have any requests that he can help with, he will. I thank him and thought, " Well! It would be nice to secure reservations at the Japanese if its open Christmas Eve, I'll inquire at a later date." Well sitting here today, I get a message from Dunieski telling me he's going away for a few weeks for work and that he wouldn't be around in case I needed something that he would be back the end of November. Now Thats Customer Service Excellence!!! It starts at booking with the Paradisus Rio de Oro not just when you get there. I'm sure getting the feeling that this is going to be a Very, Very, Merry Christmas Vacation. Thank-you Dunieski, I applaud you for the Excellent Customer Service thus far, it's all about going above and beyond to be number one.

Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
paradisusri0de0r0, Director General at Paradisus Rio de Oro Resort & Spa, responded to this review, November 18, 2013
Dear Hightidenailspa,
Thank you very much for sharing with travelers in TripAdvisor your pre-arrival travel experience! We are sure it has made you start falling in love with this amazing resort and people! Likewise, we would really like you to send us news once you are back home from Christmas!
Receive greetings from all our staff, especially from Dunieski. We will be looking forward to welcoming you at Paradisus Rio de Oro Resort & Spa!
Lorenzo Rubio
General Manager
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Ontario
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 31, 2013

Have been to Cuba numerous times, this was our third time to Holguin and first to Paradisus Rio De Oro. Had a corner room in block 19 which was sufficient. Would have liked a bit of ocean view but there isn't many in the regular hotel. Food was excellent. We tried all the ala carts except the Cuban and were very impressed with the food. Japanese was our best, very entertaining. My only complaint is the beach. I love the white sand, and clear water where you can walk for miles. This beach is very rocky and you have to go further down to get in. I also found the air conditioning not very cold. Other then that we enjoyed ourselves and plan on returning next year. I believe low season is better, not as crowded. We have a Cuban friend named Joel whom we have known for many years. He speaks excellent English and well adversed in Cuban history. He has a 24 hr. taxi service and I thoroughly recommend him if you are looking to do some sight seeing or just want to go into town. His number is 535-2986683. From Canada or USA you must dial 011 then the other numbers. Give him a try, you will not be disappointed

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
paradisusri0de0r0, Director General at Paradisus Rio de Oro Resort & Spa, responded to this review, November 18, 2013
Dear OntarioNana,
Thank you very much for your TripAdvisor review.
About the beach, I would like to explain that part of year, where we are now, the sea takes away some sand to the other extreme and in the other half of the year it brings it back and all you have is sand. Anyways, we have plans to start building a walkway so when stones are out they are not a nuisance to go in the water.
We truly hope to have you back, all our staff and I will be waiting for you!
Sincerely yours,
Lorenzo Rubio
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
england
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 31, 2013

Stayed in the royal service was worth every penny absolutely beautiful can't fault a thing
Great staff
Wonderful restaurants booked in advance by our butler
Rooms spacious and outdoor shower a great addition
Pool gorgeous
My favorite is the RS restaurant music played by string quartet while served delicious food
Karts available to take you where ever you want on the complex
RS beach incredible with beach service of cocktails / food etc
We will Definitely return as I doubt anywhere else will match this experience for us
Keep up the good work

Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
paradisusri0de0r0, Director General at Paradisus Rio de Oro Resort & Spa, responded to this review, November 18, 2013
Dear whittakerclan,
Thank you for posting your amazing Royal Service Experience. We truly hope to welcome you many more times in Paradisus Rio de Oro Resort & Spa!
Sincerely yours,
Lorenzo Rubio
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pickering, Ontario
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 30, 2013

Back in Holguin, again. The last time was at the Hotel Playa Pesquero, which I reviewed for TripAdvisor. This time the wife was adamant that we were staying at the 5* Paradisus Rio De Oro just down the road from the Pesquero. Traveled with Air Canada Rouge and landed in Holguin at approx. 10pm and took the bus to the hotel, arriving there at about 11pm. Buffet was opened just for us which was nice. But I digress! Onward....
The hotel is very similar to the Pesquero in style and layout with the lobby, disco, shops, ala cartes, buffet, stage and main bar all in the the main building. Very efficient check-in and we were whisked off to building 13 which was just outside the lobby and so, very convenient. The room was on the second floor corner and was very spacious, clean and quiet. There was a slight step-down from the bed area to the livingroom which took some getting used to at night, especially for a senior, but no harm done. King-and-a-half bed with canopy and very efficient a/c made the stay very comfortable. Usual fridge stocked with beer, sodas and water. Pool towels in the room along with dressing gowns, toiletries and a safe. There was,, however, no hot water in the shower on our final day which was disappointing for this level of hotel and the phone was tricky to get working. There is efficient 24-hour room service which we used twice.
Staying with the lobby; it was large but not concert-hall expansive. As the hotel was only half-full, this might have been a problem with a full house. There were water features throughout the lobby providing the only real air circulation and it was hot!! I estimate the temp to be in the 30's with the humidex in the 40's for our week there and the small fans did not move the air sufficiently. Even the bar staff commented on the heat and they were Cuban! The 24-hour bar carries a good stock of domestic and imported premium liquor and serves mainly Buccaneer beer. It also doubles as the coffee bar with some cakes and cookies put out throughout the day along with wines and champagne, which was very popular and quite good. The bar could have used more staff in the evening as it usually came down to one bar tender with servers and people were waiting for drinks. From 18:30 onward there was music in the bar area until 21:30 when the stage show started. Usual stuff although we found this hotel's selection of entertainment to be very repetitive and, as a result, boring. They did have an evening of ballet, yes, ballet, and before you sneer, it was very good, with a professional troupe. They also have water ballet once a week and a beach party. Both of which are good.
Also in the lobby was the open buffet for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The food selection was excellent, hot and well prepared and it is where many of the guests ate all they meals. As mentioned it was open but had no fans so it got really muggy at times. Best sit near the sides. The staff were very friendly but slow at times compared to other comparable hotels and forgot orders at times. This was also true of the 2 snack restaurants near the pool. The buffet featured freshly made Caesar salad loaded with garlic, the ever-present champagne, pasta to die for and a selection of deserts to put a diabetic into a coma. Quite a selection of fresh meat and seafood for grilling as well. The house wine, Spanish, was good but expensive wine was also available, at an additional cost as were certain high-end liquors at the bar such as Johnny Walker Blue Label and Havana Club 15-year-old. Each evening a drinks/cigar trolley would be wheeled throughout the lobby as it was at the Pesquero.
Besides the buffet, the lobby area contained the Cuban, French, Mediterranean, Japanese ala carte restaurants, all of which can be reserved through the web on the hotel web site. We used the service 2 weeks before we arrived without a hitch. We did not do the Japanese or the Mediterranean but we were told that they were both excellent and the decor was stunning in all of them. Small portions though but you can double-order as my wife did with the lobster tails.
The hotel also contains the Royal Service area for additional money and we walked though the area one day. It has its own beach, bar, restaurant and butler service but looked to be mostly empty when we were there. People who had seen the rooms mentioned that the regular hotel junior suites were bigger and just as nice. I guess it depends upon what you want in your holiday. They also boast Garden Villas which did look impressive in the videos as you cannot get near them if you do not book one. They have all of the amenities and are quite stunning and definitely removed from the rest of the complex. Note to people traveling there, ask about upgrading to Royal Service is you have not booked it as they were offering upgrades for just 100 pesos per couple as the hotel was only half full at 400 people. On that note, it was good the hotel was only half full as it meant more room in the restaurants, bar area and pool area. If it had been full, my review might have been a lot different!
The pool area was well layed out and spacious consisting of only one pool on 2 different levels divided by water falls. The pools averaged 1.8 meters deep. Because the hotel was not full, there was no problem getting lounge chairs and there were a number of sun beds around the pool and up the hill side at the rear of the pool area. There were also lounge chairs at the cliff edge near the pool as the property is built on a cliff about 3 storeys above the ocean. Very picturesque and the lounge chairs overlook the ocean and the beach area. There are whirlpools, overlooks, a wedding chapel and a cliff side walkway as well. Very rocky with a lot of choral which makes the beach very small and tricky to walk on in spots. Saw a lot of people limping around. The beach area was never busy and could be walked from end to end in about a half hour, sober.There is a very nice restaurant there as well that is ala carte and features paella on Wednesday and a pig roast on Friday for lunch. You should go!
The property also borders a lagoon across which is built a boardwalk to access the Melia properties next door to the Paradisus. Pleasant walk in the evening and the hotel does have bird watching excursions during the day. There is a stable on the far side for horse back riding in the area to get some local colour.
Speaking of local colour, we took a buggy ride into Guardalavaca with another couple and it cost us 23 pesos round trip. The town is about a half hour away. The buggy will wait an hour for the trip back and they will also take you into a local farming community for about 15 pesos and I would recommend that for first-time visitors to the area. The taxi to town is 5 pesos each way but not as much fun. The hotel also has a shuttle bus but it only runs at certain times. The town has an outdoor market busting with tourist stuff.
All in all, the hotel was good value for money although we still prefer the Hotel Playa Pesquero but that is an all ages hotel while the Paradisus is adult only and that could be a factor for some people. We do consider the Pesquero to be more 5* than the Paradisus, but, as with all things, that is a matter of personal taste. I also have to remind the reader that the hotel had only 400 guests out of a potential 800 so we did not see it at full operation which may have changed my review significantly. But try both and you decide! You only live once so do it well!
I didn't post photos because there are already so many out there!

Room Tip: The hotel is 16 years old and undergoing renovations so be watchful when you are taken to your room...
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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, Director General at Paradisus Rio de Oro Resort & Spa, responded to this review, November 18, 2013
Dear Markhuard,

We appreciate your review in Trip Advisor about your recent stay at Paradisus Rio de Oro.
About the beach, actually it has to do with seasons, as part of year the sea takes away some sand to the other extreme and in the other half of the year it brings it back and all you have is sand. Anyways, we have plans to start building a walkway so when stones are out they are not a nuisance to go in the water.
We truly hope to have you back, all our staff and I will be waiting for you!
Sincerely yours,
Lorenzo Rubio
General Manager
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 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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