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“Great Memories!” 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
Carbonear, Canada
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Great Memories!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 28, 2014

Got back home last night from my best vacation ever. Cuba is a beautiful country with beautiful people. The staff at Memories Azul went out of their way to make sure we enjoyed our vacation. Our room was kept very clean and every day there was bed art on our bed. Thank you to Aleide and Yoel for all your hard work. The beach was the best. Thanks to Yimi, Geisel and Renier, we had everything we needed. They always had a smile for us. And a special thank you to Estoban who was so helpful and made everything perfect.

Stayed March 2014, traveled with friends
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • 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
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (1,322)
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English first
Vancouver
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 28, 2014

Returning last night over 3 hours late because our direct flight back to Vancouver made a stop in Winnipeg to unload baggage/cargo, refuel and change crew.? That side-trip added 3 hours to the flight and made getting home for me very expensive $110.00 because I now had to take a taxi as transit was over...I could have drove and parked but thought I would/could be more socially responsible. Over 9 hours to get home instead of just over 6. Worst airline experience ever. Cranky attendants, vomiting passengers and crying babies do not a pleasant flight make besides not getting the direct flight we planned. On the vomiting issue we spoke to a few people who had issues with the suspected food;even one poor lady from Halifax that needed to be hospitalized for dehydration as a result of a suspected food-borne illness after 8 days of...well you know...unpleasantness.Our room was one of 1400 (3000+ guests) others and had a few things that though reported never were addressed during our stay: The ceiling fan didn't work, the power converter was dysfunctional, no lock on the sliding door, two cheese-cloth thin towels per day despite a first day tip equivalent to 2 weeks of a typical Cuban salary, one beer a day per room in the mini fridge again with a sizable bribe on the first day. No facecloths at all so bring your own...

On arrival after a 90 minute coach-ride we were greeted with warm,syrup-like, ice-less mojitos before having to stand in a massive line to check in with the theme-song from Memories blasting over loudspeakers infinitely. A cold bottle of water and a snack would been my choice...

The resort is huge and laid out nicely with beautiful powder soft sand and bright blue warm water, attendants are everywhere and will hook you up with a beach lounger or even a cushion if you care to give them a little tip ( a peso worth a little over a CDN dollar). If you want a palapa for shade you will be out of luck after 8:30 because guests place a book or a towel on the loungers poolside or on the beach and effectively "reserve" them and often never use them. Be careful with the sun; sunburns are everywhere. and they don't look comfortable. The food is plentiful though repetitious and somewhat bland. I saw evidence of recycled food so beware of that issue as well.
Rather embarrassing to see so many people take mountains of food and only eat a little bit. We typically tipped everyone a CUC peso for bar drinks or lunch and breakfast a little more if the service was great at dinner. Don't bother with the a la carts and don't be surprised to see guests in tank tops,trucker hats and flip flops sitting beside you in them and the food quality was no better than the buffets. We brought a suitcase full of clothing and baseball equipment and sundrie gifts for the staff and I think they appreciate them. This was my 4th trip to Cuba in the last 8 years and I can see that they are all becoming better off which is good. Many of them have mobile phones and appear to be sincere in their efforts. The poolside bathrooms need to be razed and rebuilt as they are falling apart and the smell is over-powering;don't even think of going in there barefooted.

Poolside is gorgeous a and lovely music is played until about 11 when the entertainers take over and blare the same songs through the loudest PA system ever between Bingo games and fashion shows. It would be nice to have one of the pool areas tranquil for guest seeking peace. If you don't like smokers Cuba is not the place for you, the practice is insidious and inescapable.
We met many fantastic people and hope to return again. I was always surprised to see fellow Canadian guests who barged into lineups or spoke down to staff in loud tones so be considerate of others when there or anywhere.
The ocean has amazing shades of turquoise and light blue and is warmer than the pools. Lineups for everything are long so be patient, they try...

I could go on but other tasks need to be done now that I'm home.

Be careful, be considerate and be nice and you will have a great time there.

Room Tip: Pay the extra and get an ocean view
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ponoka, Canada
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 28, 2014

Stayed at Memories Paraiso Azul March 18th to the 25th, and it was amazing! This was our first trip to Cuba and we were very impressed and had a great time! The beach is so beautiful and the water is so clear; best beach I have ever been to! The sand is like walking on flour! The 90 minute bus ride wasn't that bad. They sell cold beer on the bus for $2 and they had a bathroom. We had an excellent tour guide on the way who was very informative. When we checked in I confirmed my king bed and the gal at the desk assured me that's what we were getting, but upon entering our room, we had two single beds and a cot...Wasn't very impressed so I called down to the desk and was told to come down the next morning about switching rooms. This never happened. I then just requested that they take the cot out to give us a bit more space in the room and they never came to do that either, we ended up just pushing our beds together. Not a huge deal I guess as we weren't in the room that often. We only ate at the buffet, and always managed to fill up our plates and bellies. The grill stations are definitely worth waiting in line for! We ate Mahi Mahi every night along with a fried rice dish. Delicious! The market beside the resort had lots of different souvenirs and art to choose from and very reasonably priced. Vendors change every couple of days so if you see something you like, you should probably buy it as it may not come back. The evening entertainment at the theatre was the best I've seen at any other resort I've been to. They have some amazing talent (singers and dancers) My favorite was Grease. We had an amazing time and are already planning on coming back next year and bringing our daughters! Can't wait!

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
St. Catharines, Canada
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 28, 2014

We travelled to Memories for the first time this March break of 2014 and were very disappointed when our building's water stopped running completely the day after our arrival and for the next three days. During that time we could not take a shower or even flush a toilet for four entire days. It became so bad that we called the hotel's customer service for help.

The hotel's customer service staff were very frustrating to deal with because they originally lied to us and said it was the entire resort that was affected but we learned later only certain areas of the resort were affected. So we asked them to change our rooms. We had to change rooms twice because of the water issues and lost those days packing and unpacking instead of being able to relax and enjoy our vacation.

Also, the hotel staff lost my clothing when I put it in for drycleaning service. Apparently they delivered it to the wrong room (their English is very poor) and someone left the hotel with my clothes. I asked for compensation but received nothing but excuses and the run around.

I would never recommend this hotel to anyone I cared for. Our trip was a disaster.

Room Tip: Choose a different hotel
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2014

Great trip right from the start, Nice rooms,very clean,excellent service, the most beautiful beach.Food has always something to be desired in Cuba.Take ketchup and peanut butter.very nice pool. Staff at pool were awesome.Shows were good.

Room Tip: Building 41 was halfway pt. Close to everything,
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  • Stayed March 2014, 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 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Ontario
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2014

We arrive at the Santa Maria Cuba airport only to find out that its take almost 2 hours to get to our resort...travelling at night...at 10pm Sunwing sucks
We finally arrive at 1am.... to find only lobby bar open... nothing to eat... and not as friendly as read before leaving
We awake... to see our view... a ocean view...lol.... over some trees.
We walk to beach to place our towels.. after a almost 2 mile walk...yes your reading correct.
from our room (building #31 of 55 buildings on this resort.
We walk back after not finding a chair at the beach...at 9am
to go to buffet...one of many on resort.
We ate...food not bad...Cuba... this resort was better than most of our 12 trips taken to Cuba
in the last 9 years...
We couldn't and didn't get friendly with pool bartender...we didn't and couldn't get friendly with lobby bar bartender's... this resort is way to BIG!!!!
Even if you made a friend and got to know their names... they didn't remember ours.
Shows were good... espec. Michael Jackson show.. and Lion King.
music was great...
Sun was great.
Beach was beautiful... but you can't walk for miles like in Varadero...Cuba... that's the best.
I would go back only if Sunwing gave me a deal...treat us better then they did on our return...they made us wait 4 hours delay at night didn't get home til 3am next day.
and if they gave me a Diamond bracellet...they negeleted to tell us about...we felt left out not having "the bracelet"
No Bugs...
Fridge was stocked daily ... thanks
Would we go back.....NO!!
Enjoy.

Room Tip: Bring peanut butter Condements... such as McDonald's ketcup... mayo...mustard...your own snacks...
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Hampton, Canada
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2014

Stayed at Memories Paraiso Azul March 10th to the 17th 2014, group of 6 ages 22 to 24. This was our 4th time in Cuba, first to Cayo Santa Maria. Bus ride is 90 minutes but the views are awesome and they sell beer for 2 pasos each, so you get a good buzz on before you check in. Best beach in Cuba by far. Water is clear, blue, turquiose, and warm. Sand is like powder. Beach bar and BBQ very busy but this is to be expected. If you wanted a chair in the shade you had to reserve them around 7 AM, I like the sun so reserving a chair was never an issue for me.

Pool was great as well, very clean but the swim up bar employees were quite slow, seemed quite rude as well. Chairs were harder to come by at the pool. The Azul side has the quiet pool and the Paraiso pool is the party pool. Strange fashion shows happened daily at the pool and lobby bar, first time seeing this.

Food was typical Cuba, french fries, pasta, fish, bread, hot dogs. I am a very picky eater and I never went hungry. Mediterranean a la carte was not great. Cuban and Italian were fantastic. One big issue was the "24/7" snack bar which does not exist, the Paraiso side tells you to go to the Azul side, and then the Azul side tells you to go to Paraiso which is very frustrating when you're drunk and hungry. The snack bar only consisted of hamburgers anyways which was fine with me but some don't eat red meat.

Rooms were always clean, water and beer were always replaced but only if you take them out of the fridge and hide them in your luggage. The maid always folded out clothes for us and organized our shoes. Only down fall was the toilet which did not flush often, but we did not spend any time in the rooms besides sleeping. Resort also ran out of water one day, no showers but thats what the pool is for anyways so not a big deal.

The fake town beside the resort is very cute, turns into a large market during the day which has new vendors and items every second day. At night this is where you will find your Disco which will charge you for drinks which is strange but cheap, 3 pasos per drink. Disco was fun, played some new music and also some Cuban music, lights are crazy! Tip, don't go too early, it will be empty.

Overall we had an awesome time, left with lots of laughs and memories and of course great tans. The resort is very large and we were still getting lost our last day. I would highly recommend this resort to those who are not too high maintenance.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with friends
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
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
Amenities:
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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