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“Relax to the Max!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Memories Paraiso Azul Beach Resort

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Memories Paraiso Azul Beach Resort
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Caibarien Villa Clara, Cuba   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #7 of 11 Hotels in Cayo Santa Maria
Winnipeg, Canada
1 review
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Relax to the Max!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 1, 2012

Visited Memories Azul from January 20-28. Sunwing as an airline is infuriating, but that is not the fault of the resort.

I went to this resort with my boyfriend and another couple after reading the reviews on this site extensively. I try and prepare myself for the worst and hope for the best at every all inclusive I go to, and that attitude has always worked out to a great vacation for me. So here is my take on things...

Beautiful grounds, well manicured and really nice.

Our room was on the second floor "gardenview" so it was basically a view of the trees behind the resort, we didn't pay for any upgrades so that was fine! The room was big and comfortable with a TV, little boombox, hairdryer and mini fridge that was kept stocked. The maidservice was good for the most part, one day we didn't get clean towels, but ours were hanging up so it wasn't a huge deal. The only other thing was that we had a comforter for the first couple days, then it was gone after that. I don't mind at all because I know those blankets aren't washed as often, so we were good with the soft blanket on our bed instead.

The pools were nice and always refreshingly cool, of course they're not heated so expect them to be a bit of a shock, but when it is +30 it makes for a pretty nice swim to the swim up bar. There are lots of activities going on if you want to dance or play games, I didn't care for them so we avoided it.

The biggest complaint I have regarding the pool was not the facility or the staff it was the patrons. People would reserve chairs at the pool for when they were done with the beach but they would sit unattended from 8-4 and then other people who wanted to sit by the pool didn't have anywhere to go! It is pretty selfish to take two sets of chairs when the resort doesn't have enough chairs to accomodate for that.

I can only speak for myself but I really enjoyed the food. The fresh options at the buffet were awesome! I had fresh made sushi, pizza, crepes, choros (spelling?)... delicious! Obviously you have to expect to wait to have something fresh made for you! In Canada when you order something fresh it isn't ready instantly so it is unfair to expect any different in Cuba. We went to the Asian and Italian a la carte. The Asian restaurant was good but the portions were small, so be prepared to hit the grill or reserve early enough to get to the buffet after your meal. The Italian was amazing, everything was top notch. Be prepared to do some waiting to get into your a la cartes as well though.

Delicious and free flowing (except for a bit of the wait at the theatre). Different bartenders make drinks differently so don't expect to get two drinks the same which I'm good with because it was all delicious. I definitely would recommend bringing a bubba or another travel mug, makes life way easier!

This is the highlight of the resort! The most clear beautiful blue water and powdery sand I've ever seen! Gorgeous!

All in all, I would say this resort is a solid 4 star, not necessarily a 5 but if you can roll with things easily it is a great bargain and a beautiful place to go. Just try not and get worked up over the lines and you'll love it!

Room Tip: bring some playing cards or stuff to do... there isn't much going on at night.
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
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English first
Oakville, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 1, 2012

I visited the Memories Azul in Cayo Santa Maria from the 20th of January to the 27th of January 2012 and found this to be the worst vacation in Cuba ever. This is coming from a person who has been all over Cuba including Cayo Coco, Holguin, Varadero, Santa Clara and Havana, and to resorts ranging from 2 stars to 5 stars.

The Memories Azul says that it is a 5 star resort it isnt. It is much more like a 1.5, border-lined on 2 stars.

The reason why I and 3 other family members selected to to go this resort was because it was a 5 start resort, and I've visited the connecting resort which used to be called "Barcelo" back in April of 2011 at which time it was a 4.5 start, and definitely was a 4.5 star.

Memories Azul was not opened to the visitors at the Barcelo resort but this time it was.

So let me tell you why this resort was a 1.5 star and why I highly don't recommend it.

Everyone goes to Cuba because people are friendly, it is low cost, and everything you expect is what you get. Everyone also knows that Cuba is not Mexico, its not Canada, so the food, entertainment and accommodation is not going to be 100%, but we are understanding and know what we will get for our money.

I love Cuba, and will go back as soon as possible, but this resort will never see me again, and hopefully not you (the reader).

1. The Beach
2. The Restaurants
3. A la carte Restaurants
4. Staff
5. Bars
6. Entertainment
7. Everything Else

The Beach

Cuba has the nicest beaches. When this beach belonged to the resort called Barcelo, it was clean and amazing. This time...the beach was full of rocks, plastic cups and cans. The beach chairs were all broken and the there was too much garbage on the beach...it seemed like it was never cleaned.

The Restaurants

The restaurants were freezing. I, and 2 other members of my family got sick 2 days after coming. Not from the food, but from the cold. I literally had to wear a sweater to breakfast, lunch and dinner.

The food was terrible, even for Cuba. The food was cold, un-cooked and was re-used from lunch to dinner. Line-ups were terrible as well (15 - 20 minutes to get in, and 15-20 minutes to get your food)

After making lunch, breakfast or dinner (chicken, fish..pizza...) the cooks put their hands out and wait for money... Tips are optional, and this make a lot of people feel very uncomfortable.

If you wanted a drink (water, alcohol, coffee...etc) you werent going to get it at lunch or dinner that was for sure. The waitress (multiple ones) would come and ask what we would like to drink, and never be seen again.

A la Carte Restaurants

When making a reservation for the a la carte restaurants you usually expect it to be good food. It wasnt. Lets just say, we waited in line to get in to the restaurants for at least 15 minutes (past reservation times), and about 45 minutes to get out food.

And lets just say, after each a la carte dinner, all of us would go back to the buffet to get food, because we were hungry. And again...hands were put out waiting for tips.

The Staff

Cubans are very nice and friendly people. I dont think these were Cuban people at this resort. For one, none...and i mean NONE spoke english. If you call reception to ask where a restaurant is..they hang up. If you ask for anything they hang up.

The rooms were cleaned, and the maid was very nice. That was about it.

However the room mini-fridge was never filled - they would come at night time at around 8:30pm and say "what you want drink"...and they would force themselves into the door to put your "water, or pop" into the fridge...no matter if you were naked in the room.

After taking our luggage from the reception to the room, they were waiting on the truck for us to give a tip before they unload the luggage. Same think on our way back home.

In the reception nobody spoke english. I see somebody here mentioned that they needed a bandaid and was directed to a near by hospital 7km away. Same thing happened to us. A cut on the beach (from a plastic cup in the sand), we needed a bandaid, and the reception didnt not speak a word of english.

The Bars

I am from Canada, but very disgusted when i see other people from Canada, acting the way they did at bars. Example being...a man putting his finger into every alcoholic bottle on the bar, sniffing and licking his fingers and saying " i want that one" and the bar-tender not saying a word.

If you wanted a drink at the bar...you better hold money in your hand so the bar-tender will see you and serve you, otherwise good luck.

The problem is there are nearly 5,000 - 6000 people at this BIG BIG BIG resort and 128 staff, of which half are maids. So getting anything - you wont.


Cuba is known for having good entertainment, dancers, singers..etc - NOT THIS TIME

Same show every night...exactly the same...same music every night, and every day...

"we are the championship, no time for losers" - constantly plays at night.

If you have small kids and you want to go here...the show is good for them. Thats all.

Also, you wont find a place to sit during the show as 6000 people try to find a place to sit in a 2000 seat auditorium


Upon our arrival, there was 2 big buses with a lot of people that arrived. We were all forced into a very small room where a person who said..

"you sit and fill, after you drink"...that was our welcome and our reception..Where we waited a hour and 45 minutes to get a envelope which had our room number.

One person was registering over 200 people which took forever.


You couldnt exchange your money at any time...other then from 10am - 3pm....which is weird - and each time you would be given a different amount for the same Canadian amount..


It was very hard booking any trips or tours...big big big line-ups to do anything... and the Sunwing workers there waiting to get your booking, would get up and leave in the middle of it.


everyone wants tips...they wait for you to give it to them and stand beside you looking depressed until you do.


no medical staff working anywhere. nobody understands anything you say.


if you asked to get a water bottle in your room. They would say, you get yesterday...no until tomorrow. So you would basically have one water bottle for two days (for 2 people)...unless you go and buy 1 in the store.

You can try to re-fill it at the bar...but usually they say...no water here.


Also, if you want to sleep...you wont be able to unless you drink a lot of alcohol and pass out. The cleaning ladies there start working really early like 3am washing towels...etc

Also they are making a big resort about 2 minutes away. And the construction is 24/7 process of banging. You cant sleep. Thats for sure.


My final recommendation...

Really just try to stay away from this resort. Cuba is great but this is very horrible.
I read the reviews here all the time and never posted a review before, but i highly recommend that you don't go to here.

You will literally spend your trip walking from place to place. Example: 20 minute walk from Bungalow 61 to lobby (restaurants).

The people who left positive (good) reviews, i see where you are coming from and why you would think its a good resort...but you need to visit other places in cuba, and go on a second trip before you say this is awesome...

If this was my first trip i would say wow the ocean was so blue, and the beach was awesome...the sun was nice and the food was great (available anytime)...the booze was free...wow... but for those who have been around Cuba, Mexico, Dominican...and still say that this resort in Cuba was crap...it should mean something.

Good luck.

PS: watch out for the lizards behind the toilet.

Room Tip: There is no option for you to select any rooms. You automatically get checked in and the staff there...
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 1, 2012

I travelled to Memories with my fiancé from Jan. 21 – 28. We are in our late 20’s and have traveled to other all inclusive in Dominican and Mexico. This was my first time to Cuba and with all of the negative reviews I was a little concerned however I must say that I was pleasantly surprised.

Beach – 5/5. This was the nicest beach I have ever seen and my number one reason for trying Cuba. The sand was perfectly white and the water was crystal clear. We saw a few jelly fish right on shore but were not aware of anyone getting stung. There is a spot to snorkel and my fiancé saw a barracuda! Most of the days there was a red or yellow flag due to the high winds however that doesn’t stop you from swimming or enjoying the beach at all. Make sure you reserve chairs early if you want a spot under a palapa.

Rooms – 3/5. We had a room in Bungalow 61. The rooms were average and basic. They had the necessities but that’s about it. We had booked a king size bed but were given 2 double beds. There was an ant problem in my room that was a little annoying. We spilled a bit of juice on our sink one night and the next morning it was covered in ants. The shower had great pressure and we always had hot water. The provide a blow dryer (which came in handy because I fried mine on the first day – DO NOT use their outlets without an adapter! I found that out the hard way…). The TV is decent with a good variety of channels and movie channels. The maids cleaned the room every day by 2:00pm. The bar man would come every day at about 5:30/6:00 to restock the bar which I found bad timing because that was when I was either having a siesta or showering. Also, the maids in the hallway are VERY loud at early hours of the morning (4/5am). The walls are paper thin and we often got woken up by then screaming to eachother.

Pools – 4/5. The pools were very big and kept clean and at a good temperature. You must get out early to reserve a chair but that’s pretty much the case at all resorts (at least the ones I’ve been too). The play music during the day and have some entertainment and at a certain point in the afternoon they stop the music for some quiet time. The bars at the pool with good with little lines.

Food – 4/5. I was surprised with how good I thought the food was. The a la cartes were quite delicious (we tried the Italian, Asian, Lobster, and Steak House). The buffets at night were very busy but they had a tonne of variety and if you got there at the right time, the food was hot and fresh. The lines were long for the freshly made food like pasta, pizza and sushi but I think it was worth the wait. Breakfast in the mornings were really good. I always stood in line to have a fresh omelette made for me and waited on average about 10-15 minutes. You get to watch them cook in front of you so I didn’t mind the wait as it was a little entertaining. My fiancé was a huge fan of the grill. They serve breakfast there and at first, not many people knew about it and it wasn’t busy at all. They have one guy making fresh omelettes however they don’t have a toaster. For dinner the grill offers a menu that you order from and includes fries, burgers, and other types of sandwiches.

The Grounds 2.5/5 – very dried out and not lush at all. Was a little disappointed as I am used to lots of lush vegetation like you see in the Dominican. There was also a huge crane located beside the resort with construction which took away from the remote feeling but it wasn’t the end of the world. The resort is quite large so if you aren’t into walking much, this may not be the resort for you.

Service 3.5/5 – the service was okay here despite the volume of people that are at this resort. The service at the a la cartes was good for the most part (except for the steak house where we waited about an hour for our dinner). At the buffet and the grill were are slow to clear tables and set up new ones once people left except one day when it was obvious one of the bosses were there. Makes you wonder why they can’t work hard when their bosses aren’t there but I guess we all can be guilty of that sometimes, right? The line up at the bank was absolutely ridiculous from open to close. We ended up exchanging money at the front desk for a bit of a higher rate but saved 2 hours of our day.

Other things:

The ride to the resort was long but was expected so it wasn’t too bad. You drive through little towns and the pretty causeway so you are entertained a bit.

The pueblo was a ghost town the new times we went. They have a bowling alley which is really fun and I recommend going to that at night. My fiancé used the free gym there and he said it was okay although the person working there was quite lazy and didn’t supple towels or water. Be very

Be very careful with how much your luggage weighs on your way home. We saw one girl who was over by 3 kilos told she would have to pay $180 if she didn’t get rid of some stuff. They made her leave her spot in line to empty her suitcase.

Overall, we were happy with this resort and had a great time. Although I probably wouldn’t return to this resort, I would recommend it to anyone who wants a cheap getaway (we each paid $800 taxes included and I felt that was a good price for what we got).

  • Stayed January 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 1, 2012

Travelled from Jan 23-31. Couple in our 20's First off we chose this location for the price. We were planning on a relaxing vacation to laze around and do pretty much nothing. We did laze around, but it wasn't exactly relaxing. Keep in mind that this was our first trip to Cuba so we can only really compare this hotel to mexican and dominican hotels.

Flight was fine. Both flights were on time, besides having to land in Varadero on the flight there because of fog around the santa maria airport, but this couldn't be helped, we sat around the Varadero airport for close to 2 hours where we drank beer and exchanged money. Staff was nice. I do recommend spending the extra money and reserving the seats with extra leg room. Sunwing planes feel extra compact. Ride to the hotel took us about 1 1/2 hours. Our tour guide Janet was very sweet and fun. Again we drank more cervazas on the bus.

Stayed in room 3331. Second floor with ocean view. Our room was nice, nothing fancy. Beds were hard but pillows were nice. Very central room. Very close to beach, buffet and pool. A little too close to the nightly entertainment. We listened to it every night without having to actually see the show. I wouldn't have wanted to stay in that room if i had kids. But it quiets down around 1030. Our maid was great, room was always cleaned early with fresh towels, fridge stocked. Hot water was never a problem. We brought gifts that we left for the maid like lotions pens and toilletries, and she was always very sweet and thankful. The grounds were nice and well kept. The hotel was clean. Overall it was a nice hotel. It just felt overcrowded.

Keep in mind this is Cuba. We had very low expectations. Food was very bland but eatable. We didn't book any e la carte's and regretted it. By the 3rd day of the same food we were pretty hungry. There was always a line at the buffet but nothing too long. We mostly had a problem with the rude guests that cut the line. We always felt like we had to fight for our food. Try to be at breakfast before 730, lunch after 1 and supper before 730pm otherwise you'll wait longer. Try the small restaurants in the small little town Pueblo La Estrella. They were very very cheap and a nice change.

Beautiful! very clean. We brought snorkel gear and snorkelled by the reefs. Fill a napkin of corn when your at the buffet and you'll get to be surrounded by schools of fish. We didn't have a problem with or seen any jellyfish. The water was clear blue and the sand like powder.

Very clean. If you'r not up at 6am to reserve yourself a chair you won't enjoy the pool. Luckily I wake early. A lot of people came down at 6am reserved 8 chairs and then you never seen them the entire day! When the chairs ran out the staff brought out large cushions so guests could lay on the ground. These cushions actually looked more comfortable than the beach chairs.

We attended one show in the evening and ended up leaving early. Not our cup of tea. But others seemed to enjoy it. Check out the bowling in the small little pueblo town attached. And shopping is good there as well. If you see something you like, buy it. don't expect to one back a different day because the vendors change. Prices are cheap.

When ordering drinks order yourself 2. By the time the waiters come around again you'v been waiting 15min. But Its not at the waiters fault, they try very hard, they are just very understaffed. Drinks are nothing to be excited about, but the beer is good. Try the cappuccino with kahlua or beilys at the piano bar. We didn't have trouble at the pool bars, we made friends with the waitress so we never waited for a drink. We did tip a lot though. And don't forget a mug. The plastic cups they use are about 2 sip cups.

TIPS: Bring your own travel mug, Wake early to reserve beach/pool chairs. Bring small gifts to leave the employees (like clothes you or your kids no longer wear) they really really appreciate this. Try the e la carte's, food gets very repetitive. Try the restaurants in the small pueblo town. Try to book a ocean view room, You'll get a higher floor which will have less noise.

Overall Cuba was a good experience. The most beautiful beach I'v seen yet. I never once felt unsafe. I think I would return to Cuba but i'd try a different hotel.

Room Tip: Choose a higher floor. Less noise and better views
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
calgary, alberta
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 1, 2012

We have just returned from our one week vacation, the weather was great, our room was fine. Loads and loads of lounge chairs were delivered to the resort while we were there, so seating round the pools and at the beach became a non issue.

Food Service - Be prepared to wait, even at the buffet. For a resort this size there should be one more buffet. I wish that they wouldn't use cloth table cloths if these are not removed when soiled. I started folding the hem up over the dirty table cloth so that there was some clean area to put my plate and utensils.

Grill and Buffet very disorganized...station to deal with dirty dishes didn't have a sink or proper bins for food waste, there was alot of breaking dishes due to poor set up, as well as slip and falls by staff due to the dirty floor.
Long line ups for most fresh foods. Noticed there are no exhaust fans over the grills and often no proper utensils for flipping food. As mentioned in other posts, staff were using same utensils for uncooked and cooked meats. Crepe station had only tablespoons to flip crepes. At the pasta station, skillets were rinsed in a hidden bucket of water after each customer was served. Prepped veg and meat at the grills were not being kept cold until used, and there was no place for chefs to lay the lids that covered the raw food containers. Glassware always looked smudged, I don't think the dishwasher was working very well. The whole restaurant service at this resort needs a entire reno, with a proper floor plan, proper equipment, and proper cleaning stations for the dining areas. I have never seen line ups for meals like I witnessed here.

Staff was always pleasant and did the best they could with what they had. However, there were a few times that employees showed the strain probably to due to the pressure of trying to do their jobs in a very disorganized enviornment.

Enviornment - We noticed quite a bit of garbage along the road way. Like others have mentioned alot of plastic cups are used at a resort this size. Could Sunwing Blue Diamond Hotel Group not give each guest a reusable cup? What happens to all the broken lounge chairs that we saw the beach boys throwing into the sand dunes at the beach? There would be a great opportunity to start a plastic recycling facility on the island. I was surprised at this since we were in a Unesco Biosphere Area. I am sure that tourism is having a negative effect on the wildlife here.

Plane - I noticed that the plane was dirty on our return home. There was garbage in my seat and pop had been spilled all over the tray and back of the seat in front of me and had not been wiped up. Thank goodness for wet wipes!

Overall liked the weather, the beach and our room. But was disgusted by the food service at this resort. Blue Diamond Hotel Group (Sunwing)needs to spend some money and fix this place up. They need to ensure that the staff are trained and have the tools to do their jobs efficiently. Instead of seeing managers walking through the restaurant barking orders at the employees, maybe they should roll up their sleeves and get to work. If things don't change there is real potential for alot of sick people at this resort.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
11 reviews 11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
65 helpful votes 65 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 31, 2012 via mobile

All travellers please read this review! I travel to all inclusive resorts at least 3 times per year. I have been to many resorts in many different countries and this experience was good at times and then very very bad! (this review will be like most others.....except the very last part...read it if you want to stay safe!!!!!!)

Here goes:

My girlfriend and I are from Winnipeg and we headed to Cuba (Jan 13 - 21, 2012). We stayed at the Memories Azul, and for most of the week we had a very nice time. The beach is very beautiful (a little windy), the food was not bad for Cuban standards, and the service was average (definitely not poor). Most of the employees were friendly, but there were quite a few that just seemed not to care.
We brought down a full suitcase of items to give to the local people and half were very thankful, the rest didn't even react. We are not cheap people at all and we did find that we got better service if you tipped....so we tipped every time we got a drink or ate dinner! They definitely ignore you if you don't tip, so get a bunch of $1 bills and carry them everywhere!
The best food at the hotel was the pizza...all the reviews state this. We lived off the pizza for the whole week (awesome). I have read a bunch of reviews stating that the al la cartes were terrible....I would say they are hit and miss. If your food comes out hot, mmmmmm, if it comes out cold, not so tasty! We booked our al la cartes right when the restaurants opened (630), and the food was hot everytime.
We went on the catamaran tour and had a blast, great value for $95. We would definitely recommend it! kissing the dolphin was so neat. What a great experience.
The hotel needs to do something about the line ups....they were everywhere! the money exchange was ridiculous everyday from open to close. One day the man working behind the glass had a nervous breakdown (poor guy). Huge line ups for booking al la cartes as well. There system is just so ancient. They need to use some sort of online booking system for this. The other lines that just bothered the hell out of me were the lines at the buffet and the bars. Now this isn't the hotels fault (entirely). I have never seen people line up one by one at the bar, this was so stupid. The bar tenders could only help one person at a time versus 3 or 4 if they were spread out across the bar. I would always walk right up to the bar and get a drink within 2 mins give them a tip and walk away, while the rest stood there for 20-30 mins. Remeber tip and you will not wait (like the cheap people will).
The line ups at the buffet were also stupid long due to the tourists again. People would get in line just to get fries or beef or whatever. Meanwhile the line is really for the personally perpared food the cooks make in front of you. All they had to do was say excuse me, grab some fries and go eat, instead they waited and waited, and the lines got longer and longer.
One thing this resort needs to do is be trained on when to cut people off. They keep pouring drinks for people that can't even stand up. Very dangerous! One evening a young guy from Quebec passed out in the middle of his drink (standing up), he fell straight back and cracked his head on a chair. He was unconscious and the bartender just laughed and continued working (he didn't even call for help).
The resort is definitely not a 5 star and every review states this (not even by Cuba's standards). We returned to our room one night to find it flooded. The air conditioning unit backed up spilling water everywhere.....wow what a mess! The service (again) was average and only got better the more you tipped.
I always believe that your holiday is what you make it. Overall we had a great time, we met some fantastic people and made a ton of new friends. BUT we will never return due to an absolutely ridiculous incident that happened at the local disco (in the Pueblo, a little town square built for the tourists by the hotels in the area).

Every evening the entertainment crew invites everyone to come out with them to the Disco. My girlfriend and I are always up for fun, so we go with 3 other couples. Wed Jan 18, 2012 we arrive at the disco. We start dancing and are having a good time. I wasn't feeling that good so I wasn't really drinking. I told my girlfriend that I had to go to the bathroom and that I wanted to leave after that. So I wander in to the bathroom, finish and realize that I'm locked in. One of the locals broke the door and locked myself and one other guy in the bathroom. After about 15 minutes we started to get worried. Someone was trying to open the door from the outside, but it just wouldn't budge. 2 minutes later we heard a big commotion outside the door and we are told to get away from the door. 6 police officers bust the door down and attacked me and this other young tourist. We were handcuffed and taken out back. I was kicked punched and furiously thrown around. They demanded money or they said we would go to jail. I refused (and the other guy didn't have any money on him). They took us for a little drive through the country side and finally returned to the Parisio side of our hotel. They brought us in and told the hotel clerk that we needed to give them money, and that they would be back in the morning to collect. By this time, I had had enough, I was beyond pissed off. We had done nothing other than be in the wrong place at the wrong time. In the meantime my girlfriend had no idea where I was! She was told by the disco bouncer/front desk person (some big black guy....do not trust him), that I had left with another girl....meanwhile he was outback laughing at us as we were being taken away.
The next day the security from the disco came back and they were still demanding money, They couldn't speak English so I had no idea what was going on. I told them to take a hike and ran over to the Sunwing desk and frantically told my story to one of the ladies there (i think her name was Yadlanys...couldn't read her writing). She was mortified, she immediately took control of the situation and told the police and security to leave me alone. They did an investigation and found out that (sure enough), we were victims of stupid ignorant police and bar management. Oh yeah did I mention the bar manager slapped me across the face. I'm 36 years old and have never been slapped (what the hell)!!  I eventually received an apology, but they can stick it where the sun don't shine! To the sunwing rep, YOU saved my life that day, I will be grateful, always!
Trip advisor may not allow this review to be on their site, and If I don't see it I'll go to the local paper. People need to know that this area is filled with corrupt police and the locals will prey on tourists any chance they get. This area is not like the rest of cuba, They just don't understand good business!!!

I currently am suffering pains in my side from the punches and the cuts on my wrists from the handcuffs are finally going away!!

PS I would like to thank all the other tourists that were there for my girlfriend and I. They helped us get through the rest of our trip. Thanks everyone!

My original post was taken down by trip advisor, so here is the edited version, please email me if you have any questions!

  • Stayed January 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 31, 2012

Simply loved it!! Sunwing flight was on time both ways. I would deffinately use VIP lounge at Santa Clara airport, after a long drive from Cayo Santa Maria. Memories Paraiso and Azul - we had great time here. Staff was help full, and willing serve with open heart. When resort is running with high occupancy you will face some line-up. Many a la carte choices such as steak-house, Asian, Meditarian and Italian. I tried them all and we loved every single one. Beach is amazing, rooms were clean, mini bar was stocked daily. Money exchange bank counter is right at hotel lobby or you can walk over to the bank which located in near by small market place. Market is in walking distance from the hotel. Beach, water, and they 3 pool + kids pool. Kids club was amazing..my kid enjoyed every single moment. Don't listen what other people are talking about. Go have a blast and enjoy vacation with Memories. I will definatly go back here..

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with family
    • 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 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Memories Paraiso Azul Beach Resort

Address: Caibarien Villa Clara, Cuba
Location: Caribbean > Cuba > Villa Clara Province > Cayo Santa Maria
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 11 Hotels in Cayo Santa Maria
Number of rooms: 666

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