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! :-)
- 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