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Reviewed March 18, 2013

I can highly recommend Paradisus, but there are a few pointers that may make your stay more enjoyable. The pool area, beach and rooms are all superb however;
1. The four a la carte restaurants book up fast so get reservations in first thing if you don't fancy eating all your meals in the buffet.
2. Compared to European standards the food and (inclusive) wine is average. The simple dishes are best, for example barbecued chicken and fish on the beach are lovely.
3. Small plastic cups by the pool as in most AI's, no WiFi and evening entertainment is "family orientated".
To sum up, if you think European 4 star but with stunning pool/beach you'll be pleasantly surprised.
Mats
PS. We strongly recommend doing a few days in Havana and the country side as well so that you don't feel you've missed the "real" Cuba.

Date of stay: March 2013
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
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6  Thank MatsRennstam
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 6, 2013

Dear Mats,
Thank you for posting your review on Tripadvisor regarding your recent stay in our resort. Allow me to say that your concerns and your pointers are much appreciated. I have addressed these issues with our team to ensure consistency of service and product.
You are right about the a la carte restaurants, they book up fast especially during this season when the occupancy is very high; however there are 5 of them now, so guests have more chances.
Concerning Wi-fi, the hotel is making all the arrangements and connections to ensure we finally have wi-fi this year.
We hope you will give us another opportunity to serve you in the future.
Kind regards.

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Reviewed March 16, 2013

Our first time to Cuba, although we have traveled the Caribbean and Mediterranean extensively. We decided to go to Cuba finally now that the government is allowing its people more freedoms (to travel, own and sell their homes, and have businesses). We usually stay in 5 star (we like Riu, Iberostar, Beaches/Sandals) and expected the Paradisus Varadero to be slightly less than the kind of 5 star resorts you'd find in Mexico, DR or Jamaica. In reality it felt like about a 3 star.
First, the good: I found that besides a couple of lackadaisical bar staff, the people working there were friendly, happy and eager to give good service. We tipped regularly but even when we didn't have small bills, they were just as helpful next time they saw us. Our maid, Tania, was a gem, and our daughter and her friends even joined a few of the maids one day for an impromptu towel folding and dancing session. Irving at the towel station was a star -- a genuinely helpful and sweet guy. The dancers at the evening shows were amazing and the activities crew worked tirelessly. We took a tour to Havana in a vintage car, and our guide and driver were exceptional. I think the Cuban people are lovely. We never had coffee packets in the room (there is a coffeemaker) but the drinks were replenished daily. The cafe con leche from the bars are amazing (but the buffet coffee is horrid)! The beach is nice though, and the gardens and paths are well kept. We loved the giant lobby/bar, with plenty of seating and great entertainment by various singers and musicians.

Now, for the not so good. It's obvious that this resort infrastructure has not been kept up and is seriously in need of a renovation. The room smelled musty and a bit sewage-y in the bathroom. My teens' room had a malfunctioning shower. The pool is rather grotty with broken tiles. Yes, we knew about the food ahead of time, and it was indeed bland. The buffet is mediocre, the a la carte restaurants were slightly better (Romantica being quite good). The first 2 nights all restaurants were booked, but we did try 4 of them. The beds are not very comfortable.

So, if we went back to Cuba we would only stay in a new resort, I think... one that was more of a true 5 star. Paradisus charges way too much for a resort that is not of this calibre.

Date of stay: March 2013
  • Trip type: Traveled with family
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8  Thank beachy-keen111
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 6, 2013

Dear guest,
Thank you for taking the time to write a review from your recent visit. Let us express our apologies because as you explained you did not fully enjoy your stay in our hotel. We are going to study carefully all your comments and we will speak with the staff of the relevant departments in order to improve those negative aspects you pointed out.
We are already making some renovations in the rooms, mainly in the bathrooms and furniture. On the other hand, we are glad to know you are satisfied with the service offered by our staff and that you hold Cubans in such high esteem.
We sincerely hope that you give us a second chance to welcome you back in our resort and live up to your expectations.

Kindest regards

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Reviewed March 16, 2013

We enjoyed our stay at the Paradisus but feel that some of the rave reviews weren't really justified.

We arrived late and tired and when we arrived in our room, found that the air conditioning didn't work and there was no bathroom door. When we complained we were offered another room which did have a bathroom door and working air-con, but no bedside light. Our maid was sweet but managed to forget something every day, be it clean towels, bathmat, coffee etc. More calls to reception...

One of our main gripes was the lack of information about most things. Our rep was awful, although that wasn't the hotel's fault. We found info by talking to other guests mainly. Food, apart from breakfast, was very average, although service generally was good. The a la carte restaurants had limited space and we were told that we could only book once for each one per week, although other guests seemed to be able to go practically at will.

A big problem we found was the lack of comfortable seating inside the hotel. The first couple of days of our stay were terrible with high winds and rain and cool temperatures but the hotel obviously hadn't been planned with this in mind and the draughts everywhere were awful owing to the lack of solid walls. The other thing that we thought was bad for a 5 star establishment was the lack of wi-fi and the Internet service provided was expensive and painfully slow.

The beach was wonderful and there was no shortage of loungers, although with the stormy weather it wasn't possible to bathe on several days due to an invasion of poisonous jellyfish and high waves, as this is the Atlantic and not the Caribbean.

All in all, a pleasant holiday but if we were to return to Cuba, it wouldn't be to the Paradisus unless it had a big makeover and introduced wi-fi.

Room tip: First floor rooms have a better view.
Date of stay: March 2013
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Kfrancis
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 6, 2013

Dear guest,
We sincerely appreciate your taking time to provide your comments and feedback. They are certainly very valuable. We would like to apologize for the inconveniencies you found here, especially for the bad weather, which was not in our hands to amend but it obviously affected in a negative way all our guests during those days. About our rooms, we are in the process of renovating them; we are making improvements little by little. Concerning Wi-fi, the hotel is making all the arrangements and connections to ensure we finally have wi-fi this year.
There is plenty of seating in the lobby (couches and chairs), but as we sense your dissatisfaction with this issue we will pass your remark to the rest of our team for their consideration.
We really hope to have the chance of showing you our improvements in the future and of offering you a much better and pleasant second stay.

Kind regards

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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.

Date of stay: March 2013
  • Trip type: 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.
Date of stay: March 2013
  • Trip type: 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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