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“A real Paradise” 5 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
York, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“A real Paradise”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2014

We arrived to a lovely welcome of champagne and cool flannels.
The staff were very friendly, humble and helpful.
The hotel was amazing, full of character and very comfortable.
The food was good with 4 different restaurant options.
Activities were superb, impossible to do everything- spent very little money so much to do.
Loved the selection of cocktails.
Peaceful, restful rooms.
Paradise loved it.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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.
paradisusri0de0r0, General Manager at Paradisus Rio de Oro Resort & Spa, responded to this review, January 25, 2014
Dear HeatherandJohn58,
Greetings form Paradisus Rio de Oro!
We are very glad you consider us as a paradise because we truly work for clients’ satisfaction. We would be very pleased to have you back soon!
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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3,493 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
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (751)
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English first
Burlington, Canada
1 review
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2014

Well this was our first trip to this hotel, The staff was good but what other choice do they have,it is their job to be comforting to the customers,They seemed to have quite a few power outages during our stay so bring a flashlight,the food was ok, pretty well the same thing everyday at the buffet, although the thin crust pizza at the poolside restaurant was very good and the service there was excellent. The Japanese restaurant is also very good, the cooks are quite comical and put on quite a good show while cooking your meal.There were a few things that we not so good and the pool was one of them,it was not very clean and the whirlpool tubs either didn't work or were not the cleanest looking and i wouldn't use any of them. I am quite sure the RS area was not neglected as this area was.but the biggest thing that i saw was the pool side bar reusing the small plastic cups, I personally watched them collect cups from around the pool bring them back to the bar, rinse them in the sink and give them back to poolside customers, I really couldn't believe a 5 star resort was doing that, thank god we brought our traveler mugs for our drinks.Also the beach is very rocky bring beach shoes if you plan on walking in the water. This was my 1st time visiting Cuba and Im not sure if I will return, I read a lot of reviews and I definatley expected a lot better from this resort.For the price we paid to visit there it was not worth it. But that is my opinion and it is what it is, an by the look of the other reviews maybe i missed something that the other guest saw.But i still had a good time lazing around in the sun around the pool and on the beach and the beer and rum flowed none stop.

Room Tip: Bring a TRAVEL MUG to the pool bar....
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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.
PRO_Managment, General Manager at Paradisus Rio de Oro Resort & Spa, responded to this review, February 14, 2014
Dear 22jerseygirl,
Thank you for sharing your experience and your comments, which are always helpful. I am truly so sorry to read your opinion about the Management of the Hotel.
Our dress code is actually the result of the demands of most our guests and according to the standard of the hotel.
About your money loss, in the few cases when we have had a guest stating having lost money, the authorities come to the hotel and do the corresponding investigations, which have proved that no other persons have gone in the guests rooms, I have to remark that our staff is very trustful and most of it have worked at our hotel for many years with success.
Despite all, we would like to have you back in Paradisus Rio de Oro, where all of us will be waiting for you.
Best regards,
Lorenzo Rubio
General Manager
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Uccle, Belgium
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2014

We stayed for 6 nights in a Junior Suite and we really had a very good stay. The room is very nice, comfortable and spacious, although the bathroom could be modernized. The food in the buffet restaurant was very good, sometimes a bit more variation could do good. The quality of the specialized restaurants was below the 5 stars of the hotel. The menu they served actually is just using the food that is in the buffet restaurant, we also had in one restaurant (where we had the late service) the experience that our food was each time reheated in a microwave. Most people of the staff are very kind. The quality of the drinks served in the bar is high. The quality of the drinks at the pool could be improved (a pity that often it wasn’t possible to have a mojito there).

But for a 5 star hotel they should improve several items: some of the outdoor lights in our building were broken, the outdoor light on our terrace was missing so in the evening you didn’t see a thing. On practically morning we had difficulties to have clean towels, the pool bar was out of stock and new ones only arrived at +/- 10h30, totally not done I believe! Letting guests lay down on dirty towels isn’t 5 start quality. The way to the tennis courts is used a bit like a dump: old sun umbrellas, dirt, etc.

So there are surely improvements to be made as the hotel needs to keep up with their 5 stars. But in general we were very satisfied with our staying and would definitely recommend it. Oh and the spa is a bit overpriced! Even more expensive then in Belgium.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
paradisusri0de0r0, General Manager at Paradisus Rio de Oro Resort & Spa, responded to this review, February 1, 2014
Dear Jolijnvan
We really appreciate you recommend Paradisus Rio de Oro in TripAdvisor. It is true that there are some things that need to be reconditioned, for instance the swimming pool, which will be renovated in the near future and bathrooms that are already in the modernization process. Sometimes we have some troubles with suppliers that are beyond of our possibilities, but it only occurs in rare occasions. Thank you once more for all the suggestions you made, we would love to welcome you back soon.
All the best,
Lorenzo Rubio
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bournemouth, Dorset
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2014

We have just returned from the Paradisus (7th Jan 2014) and had an amazing time.

The hotel is lovely as are the staff and the food. Ok some of the rooms could do with a bit of polishing up (particularly the bathrooms) but nothing horrendous. On arrival we were met with a glass of champagne and a cold flannel and then taken to our room by golf buggy.

We actually moved room as it had twin beds - as it was Christmas the hotel didn't have any double rooms available that night but moved us the next day which was fine.

The beach is lovely as is the pool area. we actually spent most of our time on the beach - but beware it does tend to lose the sun by about 4pm. Just a good excuse to walk to the pool bar and grab a drink before getting showered and changed for dinner.

We took shoes to wear in the water (thank to whomever reviewed that) and they were great. The snorkelling is amazing at the main beach and you don't have to go out very far to see loads of fish - take a bread roll from breakfast and you'll be surrounded. There are some rocks not very far out and the best fish are around there - you can still stand up (hence the shoes being great).

All of the restaurants were good - the buffet is amazing but particularly on Xmas Eve and NYE, they really went to town with their desserts!

We liked all of the restaurants eating in the Japanese twice, Mediterranean twice and the Cuban twice. You have took them in advance but that's easily done via the separate desk in the lobby - you can book 3/4 days in advance. Be warned though if the hotel isn't full they don't open each restaurant every night. The one we didn't really rate so much was El Patio - but that could have just been a bad experience. The food was nice but the service wasn't as good as in some of the other restaurants.

On NYE we managed to upgrade to the Royal Service. We had wandered up there to see what it was all about - it really is like a separate hotel within a hotel. It has its own bar, and restaurant as well as 3 tier infinity pool and private beach - which you can only use if in RS.

How anyone can say its not worth the upgrade is beyond us. The room is bigger with a big outdoor shower (Brilliant). Thanks to Roger our amazing bellboy who showed us a room on Boxing Day (so that we knew what we would be getting if we did manage to get an upgrade) we actually got a private villa with a fountain out the back. When we turned up on NYE morning to see if they had any rooms free Norma (RS Manager) told us they had availability but were waiting for the travel agents to allocate the rooms back to them. We were very polite and said not to worry if they couldn't upgrade us. Roger came and found us mid afternoon to say that they had a room free if we wanted it! We spent 6 happy days in RS - but you can still use all the facilities of the main hotel as well.

We ate in RS restaurant on NYE - a 5 course dinner that was lovely but too much for us! The special gala menus (Xmas & NY) were the same in all the a 'la carte restaurants.

WE loved the beach bar - they come to your bed with drinks and bring round canapés - the guys are really chatty and very polite.

We also organised one of the small boats from the main beach to come and take us from the RS beach out to the reef for some snorkelling (thanks to the lifeguard for this recommendation). I am not a very strong swimmer but life jackets were provided. We were out for an hour and gave the guy around 30 CUC's for his time as well as tipping the life guard.

We did 2 organised tours - 1 was the Catamaran trip and then the safari on Fidel Island - good fun although the snorkelling wasn't very goo - it was very cloudy. The safari was brilliant and you get to see Zebras, Antelopes, Buffalo and Giraffes!

We also did the jeep safari - not as well organised to start with but it was ok. You get to drive a jeep (we were with 2 Canadians). Be warned you do go through some small villages and the local kids come out for gifts. We didn't have anything but other people (there were 7 jeeps in total) had taken bags of lolly pops from home - make sure you have 1 dollar coins or notes or take some sweets with you from home if you want to do this trip. You really get to see how they live!

As part of the trip you get to drive a speed boat for 30 mins which was great fun. Then back in the jeeps. This was the bit that we didn't really enjoy so much - you get to go on horseback (I didn't and went in a horse and cart with another lady) but in our opinion its something of nothing.

You have a typical Cuban lunch with 1 drink included and then go to where Christopher Columbus landed - there is an Indian dance which they encourage you to get up and take part in (no thanks)

Then a bit more off roading before going back to the hotel.


We also took a taxi from the hotel to Guadalavaca market (every day other than Sundays) - there is nothing else there other than the beach so an hour is fine. We wandered the market and bought some jewellery and then went and had a drink on the beach. The taxi cost about 3 CUC's. We asked the taxi driver to take us into the "town" which he did on th way home - fascinating to see how and where they buy their food.

We both run our own businesses and were concerned about the Wi-Fi. You buy a Wi-Fi card for around 1.50 CUC and that gives you an hour - you can only use the Wi-Fi in the lobby area. Some days they ran out of cards and sometimes it didn't work but for what we needed it was fine! if you need to work a lot on a computer then it wont work for you!

You do get to see a lot of wildlife, geckos etc. but def. more in the RS area - we saw a massive crab on the path at night as well as a scorpion!!!

The only small negative on the trip and its just us is that the cups at the beach and pool bar are very tiny - a lot of people had taken larger chiller cups from home! But that's just us being lazy and having to get up and get drinks every 5 mins - its not a big deal in the scheme of things. Also you cant get Bacardi (although you can get local Rum).

We had a couple of power cuts and it did rain a lot but mainly at night.
I cant really recommend Cuba or the hotel enough - if there weren't so many other places in the world to see then we would go back!

Room Tip: Royal Service rooms are worth the upgrade in our opinion. The corner rooms in the main hotel blocks...
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  • Stayed December 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
PRO_Managment, General Manager at Paradisus Rio de Oro Resort & Spa, responded to this review, February 13, 2014
Dear Helen S,

Thank you so much for your comments. It is great to know that you spend a beautiful time with us. Our staff is really proud because of your satisfaction, we work in order to make your holiday unforgettable.
Please it will be a pleasure for us to have you back, do not hesitate in contact us in advance and we will take care of all your booking datails.

With warm regards from sunny Cuba,

Lorenzo Rubió
General Manager
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Kitchener, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2014

I was there the first week in December of 2013. This was the first time I travelled alone. I was a little nervous at first. I have a thing that I do whenever I travel to exotic places - an urge to go toward the ocean and so I did as I always do. It's already dark out when I arrived at the resort. I used the flash light from my cell phone to navigate my way to the beach. There were couple of security guards - one at the entrance to beach and one at the boat house. So right away, I felt a little more at ease as I was assured that it's safe for me to walk the beach. I don't recommend go to the beach at night without any light source. The resort was built on a cliff with uneven surface so be careful.

I love the layout of the resort, it's absolutely stunning where the resort is situated. Take a walk around and take in the view. It will take your breath away.

I room is very spacious and clean. The only complain I have is the bed is bit hard. Oh and the bathroom could use some tender loving care. But everything works so no problem there.

I'd like to thank all of the staff at the resort from taking such good care of me. Worth mentioned are Donnie (from the entertainment centre), you rock! Thanks for the unforgettable 2 - half day trips to the ecological park and the seaside town. I've learned and gained so much appreciation for Cuban people. For those who are planning to go to this resort, I just want to bring to your attention that the resort has a few fascinating excursions that they run every day of the week and it's worth checking it out.

Many thanks to all of staff at the beach bar & restaurant and especially, Roberto. Thank you for all you do and for making my last day one of the most memorable moments of my life. Leaving a beautiful place in paradise was difficult enough, saying goodbye to the friends I've made was even harder. My friends and I are still keeping in touch and we could not wait to see each other again whether in Canada or planning another trip in paradise somewhere. Life is too short so live it up and enjoy the ride. I most certainly had an opportunity to experience what one of my friend would put it, "a magical madness!" Hope you enjoy yours...

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
paradisusri0de0r0, General Manager at Paradisus Rio de Oro Resort & Spa, responded to this review, February 1, 2014
Dear Ping G,
We are so glad your staying at Paradisus Rio de Oro was memorable and we truly hope to have you back soon. We are already making some renovations in the bathrooms. Thank you so much for sharing your review in TripAdvisor.

All the best,
Lorenzo Rubio
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 12, 2014

Would I go back to this hotel absolutely.
Food was absolutely fabulous. We visited all the restaurants and there all of them were great.
Service was great, pleasant.
Cleanliness nothing to say very clean
Beach... rocky but still nice -Weather was great.
Pool great
Staff is so friendly
We simply loved our vacation at that hotel.
My trip was from Dec 14 to Dec. 21. Due to the fact that there was bad weather in Toronto we were not able to return on Dec. 21st, 2014 but the staff of the hotel were very friendly about it and made us feel good.
All the guests we have met during these seven days were extremely pleased with the hotel services and would return.

Room Tip: All the rooms are great but we preferred to have a corner room the next time since balcony is much l...
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  • Stayed December 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 3
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, January 25, 2014
Dear JeannineLPT,
Thank so much for your review in TripAdvisor, we are glad you enjoyed your stay in the hotel. Sharing your experience with us and other travelers let us improve day by day. We would love to have you back soon, so let us know when make your mind up to arrange everything according to your preferences.
With kind regards from Paradisus Rio de Oro!
Lorenzo Rubio
General Manager
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Whitley Bay, United Kingdom
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 11, 2014 via mobile

Went out in October. Weather was amazing. Only rained twice (heavy), but lots of lightning shows. Unbelievable.

Our Thomas Cook rep was very good. He had brilliant English and couldn't do enough for us. Staff around the hotel were excellent. Always very polite and like to ensure you are satisfied. The entertainment staff were very good also. Aggie knew our names from the beginning and never forgot them. He would always pop over and say hello and make us feel welcomed.

The good is very good also, with a wide variety on offer across the buffet and restaurants.

Wide range of drinks on offer across the different bars inc the music bar. I think that place needs more advertising. It was brilliant when there was lots of people in. Also as a bonus it is air conned. A god send.


The ONLY down fall we had on the holiday was that we had money ttaken from our room on the first day. The head of security took swift action and done a download of our door access lock, to see if there had been any other keys used- which there wasn't. This was partly our fault as we were on first day madness, dumped our bags in the room and went for a stroll around the complex before sun down. 45 mins we returned to unpack and put our valuable things in the safe. 45 mins is all it takes I suppose. We later found out that the room door had to be pulled forcefully back to engage the lock, otherwise it looks shut, but can be pushed open. Like I said- first day madness. We were excited etc. but also you wouldn't expect it in a 5* in Cuba. Maybe a cheap hotel in magaluf.

Anyways, we didn't let it ruin our holiday. It's only money. The only complaint is that the hotel staff (general manager and head of security) were not very believing. Trying to make us feel bad about it happening in their hotel.
***The thief could have been staff but could have also been another guest. That's why I haven't marked down too much. To give fair judgement.


Exped wise. I would 100% recommend scuba diving and the sunset show with dolphins. Unbelievable!! That day was quiet possibly the highlight of the holiday. Totally surreal.

Overall I wouldn't say that the hotel was 5*. It needs a lot of modernising. We had a dodgey fusebox in our room and a loose wire had to be reinstalled on a number of occasions. -but I suppose that's part of Cuba!

  • Stayed October 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
PRO_Managment, General Manager at Paradisus Rio de Oro Resort & Spa, responded to this review, February 14, 2014
Dear CashMc,
Thank you for your comments.
About your money loss, as you have stated, the corresponding security staff and authorities proved that no other persons have been in your room, so please, notice that it is not that we did or did not believe, as it was proved. And I have to point that our staff is very trustful and most of it has worked at our hotel for many years.
We have taken note of the rest of the comments and we have looked into them with our Departments. To all of us in Cuba hotels, your satisfaction is the most important thing, and with that goal we all proudly work.
Sincerely yours,

Lorenzo Rubio
General Manager
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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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