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“PRDO lowdown” 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
Welwyn Garden City, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
76 reviews 76 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 46 cities Reviews in 46 cities
572 helpful votes 572 helpful votes
“PRDO lowdown”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2005

Just returned from 2 weeks at the PRDO and it was everything people have said. I will try and write a very honest report - so here goes:

FLIGHT: Excel Airways. Upgraded to extra leg room seats, worth it as the plane is very tight. Food worst on any flight I've ever taken - I would suggest taking packed lunch on outward flight and bringing some rolls or something with you from the PRDO buffet for the homeward flight.

THOMSON'S REP: Found Barry to not be of much help really. Looking back, there was so much more about the PRDO he could have told us that would have been helpful. I heard other holiday makers at other hotels moaning about him too - saying he was useless. He wasn't that bad, just very quick and seemingly uninterested at the welcome meeting. He just rushed through the small basic info as quickly as possible, handed out tour sheets and that was it.

PRDO: What can I say! A really lovely place to stay. I have wracked my brains and tried to think of any slight moans (just to be more objective and honest) so here goes:

MOANS: Was kept waiting 3 hours to check into our room. Was told that we had booked an 'extra special room' (we hadn't) and that our room was extra good and they were just waiting for it to be cleaned. It turned out that our room had been 'kept on' by the previous occupants who had a later flight. Not a real problem, but after a long flight all you want to do is get to your room, shower, unpack and relax. The room was a Junior Suite - exactly as we had booked - and perfect. It was just horrible having to wait in the heat feeling filthy and tired and very annoying to be lied to, that's all.Ladies - make sure you take your own hairdryer with you. The one in the bathroom is just a flexible plastic pipe with a 3 inch rectangle hole - fine if you want the 'dragged through a hedge backwards' look, but if you require any proper styling it just isn't very good. Also, it gets really hot and you cannot hold it after about 2-3 minutes. I wrapped a cold flannel round it to stop my hand burning. I did bring my own travel hairdryer, but this refused to work, overheated immediately, started rattling and smelling of burning plastic. Having long hair, I just put it up in a pony tail for the holiday - better all round and cooler.The beach does have some rocks which are wonderful to explore, but a bit hard on my poor old soft feet - so my 'walking in the sea' shoes were very welcome. Otherwise, just walk a little way to the left and the rocks finish and it's mainly soft sand. The sea can be a little rough in the afternoons and I have contact lenses in and am not a very confident swimmer - so mornings are better if you want a calmer sea.Holguin airport isn't brilliant - don't eat in the restaurant upstairs, we had a burger and it was disgusting, basically a lump of gristle in a bun. After what you will have been used to at the PRDO - just don't do it! There isn't really much to buy there either, so don't leave present buying till the last minute. The duty free is small and has a selection of mainly rums and a few other bits - even the cigars were not the greatest selection and you could probably get better at your hotel or in town.Well that's the moans out of the way! That's really all I can think of and I had to think long and hard to come up with them! They are hardly terrible are they!

GOOD STUFF: The PRDO is really 5 star and no nasty wrist bands have to worn - a first for an all inclusive for me. Rooms are kept clean and the maids are unobtrusive and very helpful. The grounds are kept immaculate and are great to walk round. Staff are friendly and cannot do enough for you.All the restaurants are good: Buffet is varied with loads of choice, everything you could possibly want. Pool and beach restaurants are great with friendly service and good food. The 4 a la carte restaurants are all really good. I e-mailed ahead before arriving and made reservations as I had read that they book up very early.El Patio (International) was my favourite - food fabulous, lobster so succulent. Lovely atmosphere. Felt very pampered.Japanese - very popular and great fun, good food.Mediterranean - again food good and lovely surroundings.El Bohio (Cuban) - food good. Only drawback is that this is the only one of the 4 that is outside and not air-conditioned, so the mosquito's are known to have a bit of a feast too! Put extra mozzie spray on for this one, but do try it as it's very good.You really are spoilt for choice at this hotel and the food is something special, whatever you choose and the service is good.Although the hotel seems to be a long way from anywhere and you could feel a little isolated, there are quite a few tours that can be booked with your tour operator. You can also get a horse and buggy into Guardalavaca town - not much there - a few stalls and the main beach area (very busy at weekends). We did the catamaran tour which takes you out and you have 2 stops for snorkelling, one by the Brisas Hotel and one further out past the wedding gazebo at the PRDO, my husband (the snorkeller) said it was well worth doing as you get to go on the boat and go much further out. A nice lunch is also included and we really enjoyed the day.There is such a lot to do at the hotel that we really didn't feel the need to leave the resort. Regardless if you are happy with lazing about by the sea or pool (like us) or if you prefer something a little more active, there are activities available. Our rep did not tell us what was available and we only found out towards the end of our trip, but there is a really good entertainments team at the hotel who provide some quite exciting trips to the next door nature park. For example, you can hire (no charge) bicycles and they will take you for a morning's bike ride through the park, or there is a quite exhaustive hike through the park and up the hill, horse riding is available. Some friends of ours that we met took advantage of these tours and had a wonderful time.Just check out the activities room, you cannot miss it, it's where you get your clean beach towels from and there are loads of other activities you can try. There is a board up every day with morning and afternoon activities posted. The activities and interests include a small but well stocked library with books available in different languages, chess (small and life-size), draughts, board games, archery, shooting, bowling, quoits, step aerobics, water aerobics, gym, volley ball, water volley ball, salsa lessons, scuba lessons, cocktail making lessons, sauna, etc etc. It's really up to you how active you want to be or not!There are a couple of small market stalls that are put up by the activities centre each week and you can buy some really lovely necklaces, bracelets, carvings etc, not too expensive.I enjoyed the evening entertainment. After an exhausting day at the beach and pool, followed by a sumptuous meal, it was nice to have a drink and relax and watch the dancers and singers. The dancers have so much energy and are really good, it made me feel tired just watching them. There is a disco if you have the energy too. Made lots of friends at the hotel, mainly British (there were lots of other nationalities) - I even met Killiefan from this very forum, it was great to put a face to the name! I know he had a great time and really didn't want to leave - neither did we! Took over 250 photos! Including crabs - blue, red, black and the white ghost crabs; beautiful birds; lizards; huge great bull frogs - so lovely and they sing at night; pretty moths; a not so pretty, but huge tarantula spider which was sitting on the steps outside our room - my husband took this for a long walk on the end of a piece of banana tree! He also took some lovely photos of the marine life, which was pretty amazing, including the friendly barracuda which lives just by the wedding gazebo. Being a huge lover of wildlife, I enjoyed searching out these critters, but if you are not keen - just go about your business and you'll probably miss most of them!If I'm honest, the only negative thing about the whole holiday is coming home - believe me! I now feel quite hard done by, having to go back to work and having to do all the cooking, washing up, cleaning etc for myself. I think I need another holiday! :-)
Gina Gallagher

  • Stayed July 2005
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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, 4 weeks ago
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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
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Cardiff S.Wales
1 review
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 10, 2005

Have stayed at this hotel twice. It's ab. fab. Food is wonderful, so much choice, buffet, a la carte mediterranean, cuban and japaneseat night. During the day there are 7 to choose from, including beach snack bar. All drinks are in the all inclusive, even cocktails and international brands. Rooms are very spacious, and spotlessly clean. Beach is the best I've been to, white soft sand, crystal clear water, very safe for swimming. The only bad thing is there is nothing to do outside the hotel at night and even though the entertainment is very good, it finishes around 11.30. There is a small pub/disco with karaoke etc. however and this stays open until you want to leave, two weeks of this can be boring though. If you are looking for a peaceful, relaxing holiday, then this is the place to go.
Upgrade to premium cabin on the flight, worth every penny.

Was this review helpful? Yes 32
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, 4 weeks ago
Old review, thank you
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A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 7, 2005

Myself, my wife and our 23 months old daughter just came back from the pardisus after spending one week (July 30 to Aug 6) and I have to say that the resort exceed my expectations by miles.

First I have to say that it is a 5 stars by the Cuban scale and we have to accept that. It is not the Ritz Carlton and we did not pay for the Ritz Carlton too.
I will start with the flight with Sky service which was very nice and the flight attendants were amazing too. We arrived to the airport and as I was expecting it, small and not air conditioned but who cares we are not staying there. We went through customs in about 20 min and on our way to the resort we were in an air conditioned bus with a very very nice and smiley tour guide (Angle was his name). At the resort we were greeted with very nice and cold cocktails while we were doing our check in. Some of the rooms were not available but ours were and we got a very nice room in building 39 which was in the middle way between the restaurants and the pool. The room was very clean and I mean it very clean and the AC was very cool and again I mean it very cool. We requested a Crib for my daughter by email and it was there in about half an hour after our arrival. The mini bar was stocked with water, pop and beer. We have enough towels for three of us and I’m not sure why some people complained about the hot water pressure in the hotel as it was even better that what I have in my house in Canada.

Now to the pool and the beach, you cannot find a better place to spend your vacation than the pool there or on the beach. The beach is long, white sand and again I do not know why people complained about not being able to find chairs on the beach or on the pool as we were able to get the chairs we want where we want at any time of the day.

Let’s talk about the food, I was little bit hesitant to go to Cuba with my daughter in here age but let me tell you that she loved their Pizza more than the one from Pizza Pizza. You will never go hungry in that place and believe me when I say it that sometimes you will stop eating to prepare yourself to the next meal. About the a la cart restaurant I would not bother about the Cuban one but for sure the Japanese as we had a wonderful time there with Juan and his tricks in cooking.

I could go for hours talking about the Pardisus but all what I can say that you will get more than you money worth and you will enjoy it if you take into consideration that you’re in Cuba and not in the Ritz Carlton in downtown Toronto.

  • Stayed July 2005
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 41
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, 4 weeks ago
Old review, thank you
Report response as inappropriate
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London
1 review
51 helpful votes 51 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 2, 2005

My husband and I stayed at the Paradisus from June 19th-26th. We had a fantastic trip at this beautiful resort. The staff is so friendly that I can not say enough good things about them.
A few points worth mentioning:
1) Book your a la carte restaurants in advance- the resort accepts email reservations (look up the Sol Melia website and you should have no trouble getting the email address)
2) Bring bug repellant - I think it was the time of year, but the resort was swamped with black flies and mosquitos (rained a lot the week before). I spoke to people that were there in March and they had no bugs. Limes work as well if you have forgotten your spray.
3) If you snorkel, take a banana down to the water with you...the fish will eat out of your hand.
4) Keep in mind that the food is good....but you are in a different country and they cook things a little different. We found the food (all of it) to be very oily...they cook EVERYTHING in oil. The buffet restaurant could use a grill, as a steak tasted much better grilled than fried. Also, the buffet restaurant was very open and surrounded with stagnant water. This brought a lot of flies into the restaurant and was frustrating while you were eating.
5) We loved 3 of the a la carte restaurants. We did not care for the Cuban restaurant as it was outside and very buggy. The airconditioned dining was a bonus for us as all our other meals were outside (again...could be the time of year).
6) The grounds are spectacular. Very clean and lush. The gardners work very hard to keep it looking beautiful.
7) We decided not to book any day trips through the tour operator as they were very expensive (the cdn $ does not go too far) and many people were disappointed. Instead, we took a horse and buggy into town and thought this was great!
8) take advantage of the room service. We ordered coffee every morning before breakfast. This was a great feature of this resort.
9) Don't go here if you want to party. We were on our honeymoon and wanted some relaxation, but we did see people that were itching to party! We did not find people at this resort overly friendly. Not sure why...some people keep to themselves I guess! The night entertainment was ok...but, we made the most of our days and usually went to our room early. There were not many children here, and it did not lok like there was much to do for them...although, I heard that they had a free babysitting service everyday in the mornings.
10) Don't worry about the construction...you will never even notice it.
11) Check out the Caleticas...worth it! But, don't go on a Sunday...there are lots of Cuban locals that go there with their families and pets.
12) make sure you take a care package of food with you to the airport...plane food sucks and you may find that you are hungry and the airport does not have much!
I took tons of pictures of the resort. If you want to see more than I am able to post please email me and I would love to share...overall...we had a fantastic trip and will go back!

  • Stayed June 2005
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 51
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, 4 weeks ago
Old review, thank you
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Ireland
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2005

just back from 10 days in the Rio dOro ,two adults two children (11+14), could not recommmend it more highly for a family holiday. Coral reef 50m from shore was the icing on the cake.

We drove from Havana to the hotel and back over 3 days which added immensly to our stay and gave us brilliant memories ...with hurricane denis thrown in...recommend travelling through cuba to get real feel for island and its people....holiday of a lifetime

  • Stayed July 2005
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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, 4 weeks ago
Old review, thank you
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
scotland
1 review
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 24, 2005

My husband and 16 yr old son stayed at the Paradisus for a week from July 1st 2005. We researched pretty extensively prior to booking, and were not in any way disappointed with any aspects of the resort.
We contacted the hotel by e. mail prior to departure ( recommend) to specify what type of room etc. and also to book A'La Carte restaurants. We asked for adjoining rooms as our son has learning disability, and were give two wonderful rooms (4016/4018) ours was a corner room and although there was not much drawer space everything else was great.
All the facilities,restaurants, etc were excellent, as were the staff who were particularly wonderful with our son Alex, taking him on nocturnal crab hunts with the other kids and generally looking out for him.
I fail to understand why anyone would complain that this is not a 5 star resort. Yes it is possibly not as deluxe as some US hotels, but neither is it as cold or impersonal........it is truly unique, in a marvellous location on a fabulous beach, and we cannot wait to visit again.

Was this review helpful? Yes 24
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, 4 weeks ago
Old review, thank you
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 24, 2005

Unfortunately due to the hurricane our stay in the Paradisus was cut short by a couple of days, but the time we did spend there was wonderful. The hotel is top class in every way. The beautiful lush surroundings contained a huge variety of plant life, birds, butterflies and even lizards! We stayed in a superior junior suite which had an outside shower - perfect for a romantic break! The staff were very friendly and helpful. Despite some minor language problems the service was impeccable. The beach is absolutely beautiful - the whitest sand and the sea a perfect turqouise. This hotel is everything you need for relaxation and luxury. Our only regret was that we did not get to dine at the a la carte restaurants as they were all booked up the week we were there. Having said that the buffet restaurant had a huge variety of food at all three meals, all very fresh and well cooked, so there was something for everyone. I had the most amazing cheesecake I have ever tasted at this hotel, so I won't forget this trip in a hurry!

  • Stayed July 2005
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 22
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, 4 weeks ago
Old review, thank you
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 On the Beach Hotel in Holguin
#1 Luxury 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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