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Reviewed March 16, 2013

We were a group of 29 people, and for dinner we were divided 9/10/10. At the italian restaurant we got really good service. Rather small portions, but the service made up for it. We were told by the other group that the Romantic restaurant was amazing, and yes, the food was good (especially the crepes flambé!), but the male waiters there were horrible. The mexican place was okay (not a big fan of mexican food in general), but the best part about this place was the fusion restaurant. It had just opened and the food was amazing. There were 14 different things divided into 6 servings or so and it was all nicely put on the plates and everything. The rooms were as expected considering the fact that it's Cuba, very little money etc. Over all an amazing beach and location, and pretty good food.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with friends
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2  Thank Emily Victoria A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
residentmanagerPVA, Manager at Paradisus Varadero Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded April 10, 2013

Dear Emily,
Thank you for taking the time to write a review of your stay in our resort. We are glad to know you and your friends had a good time and that you approved of our most recent Restaurant. We are really sorry you had a bad experience at the Romantic Restaurant with some of the staff, we will rectify this immediately to ensure the staff attitude and the service in general is attuned with the excellent ambience of the place.
We look forward to offering you an outstanding and much better service next time you and your friends visit us. We sincerely hope you do.
Kind regards

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Reviewed March 16, 2013

Well we really enjoyed our 10 days at the Paradisius. I'm not going to go into the basics as there are already very detailed reviews here and as my experience was largely if not almost entirely positive I won't repeat what has already been said - so this is a personal slant. Similarly there are tons of photos here which speak for themselves I shall try and just include some of the grounds which may be of practical use there are plenty of others of the rooms.

We stayed in the Servicio Real. We thought that this represented very good value - including butler services, separate restaurant - which really is much better than the other options available (we tried most of them) - and private transfers to Havana airport - the rate published on the hotel website was much more than we actually paid and we booked months in advance. The staff in the entire hotel is fantastic - impeccably trained, with great manners and personality. I was really impressed by their linguistic abilities - English, French, German, Spanish of course...We had good butlers, but Luis Enrique was especially helpful, even helping me find my lost camera with all my Cuba photos stored on it. The restaurant staff and reception staff in SR were excellent - we had no problems anywhere.

For myself I would only stay in the SR because to be blunt the regular hotel is just too big for me - and frankly wasn't what I was after. But if you do stay in the SR you really need to use both sides of the hotel, because the SR side is a bit small and you do need the other facilities in the main area too. Taken together the two sides were great.

One or two gripes. It was almost impossible to find a sun bed by the SR pool. They were all continuously "reserved" by the ubiquitous towel layers and if you had not done this before 8.00am you had no chance. This did not bother me because I like the beach - and was happy to use the main beach, no more than 5 minutes away. The SR beach is not great and it is impossible to swim from but you can walk along it to the main beach and it was still a beautiful view. Oh yes my major problem - lack of wi-fi. I understand there is no wi-fi in all of Varadero and I'm not sure how much the hotel can do about this. The 4 internet terminals in the SR are freely available but the connectivity is very poor and ridiculously slow. Some people for whatever reason in the second decade of the 21st Century do NEED to use the internet on holiday - we can't all just abandon work even for a week or 10 days, we also need to check-in online etc. I accept that this may be outside of the hotel's control but for us it was problematic. Our hotel in Havana did have wi-fi.

Really excellent main beach, lovely staff, great single storey front line bungalow - what more could you want? There are lots of activities - there are quite a few children around in both sides, so be aware if this will be a problem for you. The animation team throw their hearts and souls into their tasks... I have to mention Dennis in particular and thank him for his sense of fun and the time he took to make sure we enjoyed our time in the resort and Varadero.

I would certainly return to this hotel and recommend it. I just have to feel robust enough to deal with Havana airport again before I can go back to Cuba!

Room Tip: I think you get what you pay for. Didn't see inside one of the main rooms but the entire resort is immaculate from the outside.
  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Reluctant_Traveller2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
residentmanagerPVA, Manager at Paradisus Varadero Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded April 9, 2013

Dear guest,
Thank you so much for your nice review about your stay! We are happy to learn you enjoyed your 10 days with us and that you have plans to return in the future. We appreciate your positive remarks on our staff; they really make our daily work worthwhile. We are aware that most people need to use Internet even on vacation, that is why we are doing everything in our power to install Wi-Fi this year, to facilitate communication via Internet. Perhaps, next time you visit us this will not be a problem for you.
Kind regards

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Reviewed March 16, 2013

We stayed in the Royal Service section for a week at the beginning of March. Unfortunately the weather was not good for the first three days, and there was not alot to do.
The royal service restaurant was good, particularly the service, but has a limited menu that does not change. For the first four days there were no fries, so we were served hash browns as an alternative to rice. We also ate in the Italian, Mexican and Romantic restaurants. The Romantic was excellent. We walked around the main buffet restaurant, which looked very good, but we did not eat there as we prefer a la carte service.
The bar in royal service was well stocked, with good bar men. The bar was quiet, although we met some good people to have a drink with most nights.The main resort bar was a lot busier, but still had a good range of drinks and good service. We enjoyed the pool bar at royal service, and Lidaimi and Jorge provided excellent service
The resort is vast. The beach at royal service is not a beach, only rocks, but a short walk takes you to the beach at the main resort. This beach is magnifient, and the water crystal clear.
We were not sure what the point of a Butler was, and we are still not. We never got one dinner reservation at the time requested, and that is all we asked of our butler all week. We were allocated two butlers who worked alternative days. The other butler we only saw once in four days. Maybe we should have tipped up front rather than only giving tips for receiving good service.
We had a suite with sea view. The suite was clean, but for 5* should have been better equiped. A few of the benefits / room services were not offered to us, and we did not feel that we should have to ask our butler. We paid for the services, they should have been offered to us.
After researching on Tripadvisor we knew we were not going to a typical 5* hotel. It is Cuba and taking that into account the food was good. The service from most staff was excellent. The reception area is well constructed and maintained, therefore there is no excuses for the rooms not to be. We have read reviews about management walking around and talking to guests. We never experienced this and would have welcomed the opportunity to meet the management team. Most 5* resorts have a meet the management weekly drinks reception. Maybe there is a reson this hotel does not.
Overall we have given an average rating, but the hotel is not far short of very good. For the money we paid we could have stayed in other 5* hotels in the caribbean and had a better room and better food. On the other hand we would not have experienced Cuba, which was well worth the experience, if only once.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Adrian C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
residentmanagerPVA, Manager at Paradisus Varadero Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded April 9, 2013

Dear Adrian,
We really appreciate your taking the time to write your personal comments on your stay. Knowing positive and negative pointers of our hotel help us to evaluate and improve the service we offer on a daily basis. We want to apologize for not being able to fulfil your expectations. I have shared your comments with the rest of our team so we start addressing the issues you were not satisfied with immediately.
Our General Manager is always willing to meet and talk to anyone who requests so, nevertheless, we will take your remarks on this issue as a suggestion. He would really like to have a chance to meet you, should you have plans to return to Paradisus Varadero in a not very distant future.
With warmest regards

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Reviewed March 16, 2013

We chose this hotel after reading many TA reviews. The company website is not an accurate representation of the resort. I had two issues with the resort which were not even mentioned in any TA reviews, and I will cover them later in my review. There were also a couple of pleasant surprises that we learned about while we were there.
Firstly, Cuba is a great country to visit. The people are wonderful, and if you get out to see Havana and do a few activities you wil enjoy it. We took the Royal Service and felt the extra premium was worth it. RS includes unlimited diving and golf fees. Although I did not golf and dive every day, I found the service on these excursions to be excelent. The diving was at good sites with good instructors and good equipment. You simply show up at the main lobby at 9AM and board the dive bus. The staff wil explain the process advise that if you opt for the second dive, the cost will be $40 pesos. Well worth it, and now you know the deal before you go. The golf course was nice. I booked a 1:30 tee time thru my butler and teed off on the back nine with one other golfer. There was a pleasant breeze and temp was comfortable. We finished in well under 4 hours. My understanding is that it can be slower at other times and weekends. Keep in mind this is the only 18 hole course in the country.
The other pleasant surprise with Royal Service was the ease of arriving and departing from the airport. Upon arrival, we were ushered to a prepaid cab and taken directly to the hotel. We arrived at midnight so appreciated not boarding a packed bus and stopping enroute to disembark guests to other hotels. During our departure, we were taken thru a fast track customs line. Then we skipped the huge line to pay the departure tax, and were taken to a private lounge to await the flight. This aspect of the trip was a huge justification for the cost of RS.
Something very important is your selection of rooms. We booked and paid for RS master suite OCEANVIEW. I have emphasized this last word because this is where the company website is misleading. Our oceanview was a second floor room with 70% of the view blocked by bungalows in front of us. Not a terrible setting, but not worth paying $300 extra per person for. Most of the rooms are this setting on the RS side, so do not book the upgrade to oceanview. You will probably get the type of room we got without the cost. We did ask to be relocated to a bungalow, but the hotel was at full occupancy. After a couple of days we told them not to bother, and figured we would take one for the team and pass on this advice to TA readers.
The other aspect of this resort with respect to the RS is the sheer size of the place. We don't mind walking, and you can take shuttles to dinner. However, it is a long walk to go to the other end of the resort to see if a hobie cat is available. For that reason, we didn't use a lot of the amenities.
We took a day trip to Havana and booked a trip thru www.cubanconnectiontour.com. Our guide was Raul and it was a great experience. His tours are very popular so you need to book thru the website before you go. The town of Varadero is nice to visit and you can do that on your own. Havana is a world class city to see and you should take a day to go there.
I didn't like the fact that guests would claim poolside loungers early in the day, but fell in with the process. This appeared to be more prevalent on the RS side because the pool is smaller. Having said that, if we claimed a chair early in the AM, we would go there directly after breakfast. Some guests claim them and then don't show up till noon. This is quite selfish. There are numerous threads about this for all kinds of other resorts on TA so Thats all I will say on this point.
I have read a few reviews that say that the $1 or $2 peso tip all the time is not justified. You need to consider that the resort workers generally work from 7 AM to 7 PM. They bus to and from work. Varadero is on a peninsula so they have long bus rides each day. In my humble opinion, they really appreciate the tips. They are really nice people, and they don't act like tipping is obligatory. You can see their appreciation on their face when they thank you. We gave our maid $3 per day at the end of our trip and she waited to personally thank us. I am not trying to lecture here, but give out the tips if you can afford it.
I will comment on the food but realize that many opinions may differ on the subject. We didn't visit the huge buffet so i have no coment on that. The butler service on the RS side is very effective at booking and even changing reservations for the a la carte restaurants. We really liked the food at the RS exclusive restaurant. Just be aware that they have a couple of theme nights on which you get a set menu. Find out from your butler when they are and then decide if that is to your liking. We liked the Italian restaurant and the Romantic restaurant. The Japanese restaurant was decent, and a pleasant diversion if you havent experienced it before, but we preferred the other places.
Overall, I would say the resort on the RS side is a little expensive. We booked far ahead and I don't know if you can get a sale price or last minute deal. The hotel was fully booked so I think you need to book and pay for what you want. It is worth the cost, but don't pay extra for oceanview. My final thought is that this place would be great if you were going to Cuba for two weeks. Spend a week here relaxing poolside. Spend another week travelling the country seeing Havana for a few nights and visit other parts of the country.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank beazerman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
residentmanagerPVA, Manager at Paradisus Varadero Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded April 10, 2013

Dear Guest,
Thanks a lot for posting your detailed review about your stay in Paradisus Varadero. We are pleased to know it was overall a good holiday and that you appreciated the unlimited diving and golf fees and the other advantages that come when you book Royal Service. We would like to apologize, though, for the disconformities you tell us. I have passed all of your comments to the Royal Section Management for their consideration. We hope you will give us another opportunity to serve you in the future.
Kind Regards

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Reviewed March 15, 2013

A good place. Very nice and the top for the kids : a room with Xbox and a lot of games. He enjoyed really. The restaurant at midday fantastic. outside near the bar with a group who played every day. It s BBQ excellent ! When we arrived we booked a restaurant for every night : romantic...italian (disappointed : you have to wait to long time and there was nobody !!!) We missed the japan, but friends of mine have done it 2 times Excellent. As you have to reserve 7 days before; suddenly there was no more place for us when we wanted to change. And the main restaurant is fantastic : ham SERRANO at every meal. Unbelievable. I loved it. Very well located. On the beach you have sand and you can decided where to stay. The hotel the nearest only 2 meters and then the see. Here perfect. Aqua gym on the see super. The bar is opened 24 hours per day ! The only excursion we have done is dophin and cruse; Nice : you take the bus until the pier and then on the catamaran you dance, you drink and when you come back at 5.30 you sleep on the net. So many restaurant you can eat when you want even for the breakfast. The room was nice a king size bed for the parents and an extra bed for the kid; A terrace with view on the swimming pool and a little on the see

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank Veronique1702
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
residentmanagerPVA, Manager at Paradisus Varadero Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded March 17, 2013

Dear Veronique,
We are happy to know that your experience at our hotel with your family was so good and we take the chance to thank you for your opinions about our staff, services and facilities!
We are looking forward to welcoming you again in the next future and let me tell you that you will enjoy the Japanese restaurant for sure!
Best regards!

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