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“Better than we expected”

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Paradisus Princesa del Mar Resort & Spa
Ranked #10 of 64 Hotels in Varadero
Certificate of Excellence
Toronto, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Better than we expected”
Reviewed April 23, 2013

We just got back from the resort today. We had a good time. We stayed in block 6, which had only been open for about 22 days we were told. The room was very nice and the a/c worked very well. We woke up freezing the first night we were there. We did hear that other buildings were having problems with it.
Food was better than we expected. A la cart restaurants Bamboo and the French one were good. Hilltop was good, but the night we went they didn't have lobster, which they served every other night we were there. So we were a little disappointed. The sushi at the Japanese restaurant the night we went smelled rotten, so we did not eat it. But the rest of the meal was fine. The racquet club had good food, although it did take some time to get it. They had very good chicken bites the first couple of days we were there then the menu changed to burgers and sandwiches.
If you want a beach chair with an umbrella or a day bed, you must set your alarm for 630am and go reserve your chair then. Take an alarm clock with you, as there are none in the rooms.
Take bug spray. The bugs left big welts on myself and a few other guests I noticed throughout the week.
Take the bus into town as its a nice break from the resort. Look for the restaurant Baracudda. It's on the beach. Very good food for not a lot of money.
We did the jeep safari and it was a lot of fun. Take peso's with you as you are expected to tip at most of the stops.
Overall it was an excellent trip with very little complaints.
One tip for travelers upgrade to VIP service at the airport. Well worth the money especially to by pass the lines. They provide you with free snacks, beverages, and washroom services.

Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank Nkhoo22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
José Carlos S, Director General at Paradisus Princesa del Mar Resort & Spa, responded to this review, May 13, 2013
Dear guest,

We appreciate that you have taken the time to write about your recent experience.
It is also very satisfying to hear that you had such a great time at our resort.
We look forward to host you again in your next trip to Cuba.

Yours Sincerely,
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Level Contributor
11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed April 22, 2013

Just got back the weather was awesome.

Biggest complaint was the AC. Everyones seemed to have a problem with it.

Food was very good. Drinks? I like them cold and most blenders didn't work and the slushy machine were just liquid.

Vincent and Nacho at the beach bar were awesome. I started drinking beer because it was cold and not sweet.

Beach awesome.

Best five bucks i ever spent was bribing the pool guys for an umbrella. Got so they had our chairs and an umbrella waiting for us every day, and we had 5 bucks for them. But if everyone did it,hmm probably wouldn't have worked for us. People reserve beds, umbrellas and palapas at like sunrise or earlier. We like mango daiquiris so bought mango juice and had them make them for us at the pool bar. 2.50 for the juice, warning it does disappear without finishing all of it yourselves, but hey its just 2.50

Restaurants are all pretty good, (for Cuba) Really good selection at the buffet, but they need fans in there. Breakfast at the sports bar is a nice option, cool breezes and capuccinos which they didn't have at the buffet.

Best things, the pool and the beach. Some of the workers were very happy at their jobs but it did seem their were some that weren't excited to be there. But again that could just be Cuba.

Fifth trip here and the hotel was probably the best. Could be our upgraded romance suite that made it that way. :) Sorry to say but it was nice that there were no kids.

Room Tip: new superior ocean view rooms overlook construction, though the construction seems to be coming to a...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank travelhound244
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
José Carlos S, Director General at Paradisus Princesa del Mar Resort & Spa, responded to this review, May 13, 2013
Dear guest,
We appreciate that you have taken the time to write about your recent experience. Sorry about the AC, it was a technical problem already solved.

It is also very satisfying to hear that you had such a great time at our resort.
We look forward to host you again in your next trip to Cuba.
Yours Sincerely,
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charlottetown, Canada
Level Contributor
28 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed April 21, 2013

My husband and I stayed here April 6-12th. I was in an air cast and crutches due to a winter ankle fracture. The staff and management were spontaneously very helpful and thoughtful. They offered us an upgrade that provided a comfortable balcony and view which allowed me to stay put when I was unable to enjoy walking to see the ocean. The rooms were of good quality with all the comforts necessary for an enjoyable and relaxing vacation. The food was good to great. On a scale of 1-10 the buffet was a 7.5 and the a la carte restaurants were 8 or 9/10. Special Kudos to the Hilltop Restaurant and the Japanese for service and special attention. Really, all staff from wait staff to room service, maids and gardeners were pleasant, courteous, polite and helpful.

Another observation we can share is that we have stayed in the Paradisus Rio de Oro Holguin, and we rate that resort slightly higher than this one. The reason being the Spa was more modern and up to date with impeccable facilities that are truly 5 Star+. There is an option for semi private bungalows which we enjoyed too. However this beach is bigger/ longer for avid beach walkers. Also the transfer time is quicker to Varadero Beach which was critical for me this year.

We stayed in the building with 4000 numbers. We were in room 4312. Fantastic views and quiet. Even though I was unable to get around easily the golf cart frequently would pick me up or drive me back home at the end of a night.
Thank you for a great get away.

Room Tip: 4000 block is one building away from the construction currently underway. We were not bothered by it...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank CPcanada25
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
José Carlos S, Director General at Paradisus Princesa del Mar Resort & Spa, responded to this review, May 13, 2013
Dear guest,

Thank you for your comments on Trip Advisor. We appreciate your comments about our resort we work hard in order to improve our services. We trust to have you back in the future & be part of our returning guests in our Paradisus Princesa del Mar.

With best regards
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Smiths Falls, Canada
1 review
Reviewed April 21, 2013

Most of people were great and helpful the A/C was our biggest complaint.The property was beautiful.The entertainment was great.The food and drinks were good.The delays getting into our room was too slow, it was about four o'clock before we got into our room. The TV did not work in our room.When you would go to the service desk to complain you never got any satisfaction with them. There was alway's tomorrow.

Room Tip: The A/C the first two days did not work at all and the last few days very low air.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Dale C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
José Carlos S, Director General at Paradisus Princesa del Mar Resort & Spa, responded to this review, May 13, 2013
Dear guest

Thank you for taking the time to review our hotel. We are very much concerned by your comments about the AC, technical problem already solved and clear disappointment with our service at service desk.

We will take your remarks into consideration in order to keep on improving our services and provide all our guests a real first class experience.
It will be a pleasure to make your next stay with us the most comfortable and relaxing, should you plan to return.

Kind Regards
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed April 20, 2013

On the 6th of April 2013, we arrived before Midnight:
-The first problem in the Hotel SHOCKED everyone of us: JUST ONE EMPLOYEE at the Reception Desk! Of course, the LINE started to build up! Then came another bus with Passengers: A LONG LINE IN FRONT OF THE RECEPTION DESK! We had to WAIT A LONG TIME until we reached the Reception Desk! Come on, the Reception Manager should have known, should have the list of the arrival times of the New Guests! Why leave ONE EMPLOYEE ONLY???
-First morning, starting 8 am, Employees (Room Maids and Male Employees) start TO SHOUT EACH OTHER, IN THE CORRIDORS and in the GARDEN, TALKING WITH EXTREMELY LOUD VOICE: aren't they TRAINED NOT TO DISTURB HOTEL GUESTS who come here to rest and perhaps sleep and relax until noon! LACK OF EMPLOYEE TRAINING !
-My room lock light didn't work: the employee who brought my suitcase noticed that, he even thought that we had the wrong card.. In the morning, I came across one of the "Supervisor type" Lady (with a writing pad in her hand), showed her the lock, she says "o, this is very important!" and goes. I thought they would take care right away.. NADA ! I stayed one week and nobody came to take care of the lock..
-I wanted to have lunch at "Grill Playa Port Royal": you have to wait hours after you order! I even had to forget my desert, which I already ordered and leave: couldn't wait...
-One day they had problem with their Laundry: no regular White Towels, until late evening! I called twice: Customer Service and Reception.. No action!
-Another day THEY HAD NO BEACH TOWEL AVAILABLE: again, they said "Laundry problem"...
-They advertise this hotel (Princesa del Mar) luxurious, 5 star, but, look at the photo I have taken in the room: their tv and portable music set: ridiculous...
-The "Menu" of their "a la carte" restaurant (which contained only a few choices) NEVER CHANGED during 7 days I stayed at the hotel.
-My Room (4207) Balcony Door Lock never locked ! Nobody took care of it !
-I tried to order "a bottle of WATER"... SO SIMPLE... by phone: had to call 3 times... it came 2 hours later!!!
-They have never ENOUGH UMBRELLAS ON THE BEACH !
-They set up a BBQ one day, on the beach: directly on the sand... all the sand on the meat...
-I have taken the photo of a new (supposed to come from laundry) white (supposed to be white) towel: big yellow stains on...
-The ENTERTAINMENT: ZERO ! The famous "water ballet" they advertise so much: a bunch of teenagers, jumping into the pool with music stolen FROM CIRQUE DU SOLEIL (Allegria)...
-Another of their Night Entertainments: "Rock'n Roll Night"...??? 75 % of Tourists in Cuba come from Canada and the 20 % of the rest come from West Europe: WE ARE UP TO OUR EARS with Rock'n Roll! We come to Cuba to listen and watch Cuban Music, Cuban Shows, not Rock'n Roll!
-I paid 45 Pesos the morning I had to leave for keeping my room until my bus time: I asked for A RECEIPT: they said "not necessary"... While I was waiting my bus in the Lobby, they called me and told me I DID NOT PAY ! And, they insisted... I told them to call the lady to whom I paid: she came and the guy says "it's ok"... WHAT KIND OF SERIOUSNESS IS THIS??? THEY NEVER WANTED TO GIVE ME A RECEIPT! DOESN'T THIS SEEM FISHY???
-Mr. Hotel Manager, I HAVE BEEN EXTREMELY FRUSTRATED BY ALL THE ABOVE during my one week stay at your hotel! This is my 6th time in Varadero! I COULD NOT GET WORTH THE MONEY I PAID FOR YOUR HOTEL. I AM TERRIBLY DISAPPOINTED !
kenbarbaros@gmail.com

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank MagicianCanada
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
José Carlos S, Director General at Paradisus Princesa del Mar Resort & Spa, responded to this review, May 13, 2013
Dear Guest,

We are very sorry that your recent visit did not meet your expectations. We have found your review both surprising and dissapointing.
Our entire staff is devoted to ensureing our guests an exceptional experience. But we are equally commited to resolving any issues that guests bring to our attention, in an effort to continually improve our performance on every level.
We have taken immediate steps to address your concerns in detail.

We would love the opportunity to demostrate the full embrance of a meningful Paradisus Princesa del Mar experience, and with this in mind, we hope you will visit us again.

With warm regards,
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Petersfield, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
448 reviews
131 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 218 helpful votes
Reviewed April 20, 2013

We stayed 7 nights in the pukka Executive suite that has better and quieter rooms, its own pool and private beach and private dining room. However, you still have access to all 8 restaurants, the Asian being the best and the Cuban, predictably, the worst. Food in Cuba is not good, but some of the food here was OK.

Get your cultural and spiritual stuff done in Havana then come up here to chill.

The main pool area was a complete scrum and justified the premium for the Executive suite on it own. Over 50% of guests are Canadian an so much more charming than Americans who still have embargoes in place and another reason to visit Cuba rather than Jamaica.

Saturday night had some truly dire dancers but there were free Spanish lessons and a well equipped gym.

As much food and alcohol (cheap Chilean wines and western spirits) as your body can take all iincluded in the all inclusive package.

Multi channel TV with the English language Chinese channels the best.

One Internet terminal with dial up so slow than you should take a book with you whilst the little at the bottom moves at glacial pace.

Room Tip: Pay the extra for th executive suite, well worth it.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Sm0ky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
José Carlos S, Director General at Paradisus Princesa del Mar Resort & Spa, responded to this review, May 13, 2013
Dear guest,

We appreciate that you have taken the time to write about your recent experience.
It is also very satisfying to hear that you had such a great time at our resort.
We look forward to host you again in your next trip to Cuba.

Yours Sincerely,
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed April 18, 2013

Just returned from two very enjoyable weeks at the Princesa del Mar and we would not hesitate to go back should we return to Cuba one day. Why?
- the resort is beautifully designed and not too big
- the grounds and all buildings are very well maintained
- our room was perfect (large, new furniture, spotless bathroom, great balcony with quality chairs)
- the pool is huge, lovely and inviting (but not for anyone who wants to swim laps)
- the food was always very good at the buffet and all restaurants. Lots of variety and fresh ingredients, but as always in Cuba, few herbs or sauces. If you go south for spicy food, you will be disappointed, and
- the overall ambiance of the resort was just right for relaxing during the day, but enough activities to keep you busy if that is what you want. Perfect combination for us.
The beach was also very nice and extra long, but we are not beach fanatics so I will leave that critique to others.

We especially enjoyed the large central plaza in the heart of the resort, which is well located near all the restaurants and two great bars. After dinner, the majority of guests congregate in this plaza for drinks and the show that starts at 9 pm (p.s. If the two fountains in the plaza were functioning, it would be even more pleasant, and I trust that they will be fixed soon). The house band led by Hector Daniel was excellent, and most of the shows were of high quality, especially the Aqua Ballet and the magic show.

But what really stands out at the Princesa is the staff: whether they work at the reception, in the restaurant, in the gym, cleaning the grounds or entertaining/teaching us, we found that 95% of the staff were very courteous, caring and professional in their jobs. When they greet you with a Buen Dia, you can tell that they really mean it. I participated in the yoga and Aquafitness classes almost every day and I would like to especially thank Maite, Marialys, Jorge, Felix and Magdelina of the activities team. Sometimes, I was alone with Maite or Marialys for yoga classes, and they both showed genuine concern for my well-being and adapted their class to my needs. Even when we were 4 or 6 in yoga, they remained very attuned to the needs of each client. Thank you Maite and Marialys for your professionalism and caring attitude. You kow what service excellence is all about.

A few tips:
1. Don't forget to bring a large thermal cup if don't want to return to the pool/beach bar every 20 minutes for more beer or mojitos (we did not think of it, and you cannot buy one anywhere in Cuba).
2. Go to the 24 hour Racquet Club Grill anytime for breakfast or lunch. It is a small place but we always found a table. Staff is super friendly and menu has nice selections, especially the salads. Service not fast, but who cares, we were on holidays..We found the food at the Racquet Club much better than at the Beach Grill, but the latter has live music at lunch, so it makes us for the lesser food quality.
3. Go to the lobby bar, the cigar bar and the piano bar if you want a good Dry Martini or Margarita. Stick to wine in the restaurants, it is quite good, most often from Chile or France.

Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
5 Thank Michelejodouin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
José Carlos S, Director General at Paradisus Princesa del Mar Resort & Spa, responded to this review, May 13, 2013
Dear guest,

Receive our appreciation for having posted your review in TripAdvisor. We would truly like to have the opportunity to have you in Paradisus Princesa del Mar again! Our staff and I will be very happy to see you!

With best regards,
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Paradisus Princesa del Mar Resort & Spa

Property: Paradisus Princesa del Mar Resort & Spa
Address: Auropista Sur, Ctra. Las Morlas, KM 19 1/2, Varadero 42200, Cuba
Location: Caribbean > Cuba > Matanzas Province > Varadero
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Romantic Hotel in Varadero
#3 Business Hotel in Varadero
#6 Family Hotel in Varadero
#6 Top resorts Hotel in Varadero
#8 On the Beach Hotel in Varadero
#9 Luxury Hotel in Varadero
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Paradisus Princesa del Mar Resort & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 630
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Paradisus Princesa Del Mar Resort & SPA is located in Varadero Beach, the Cuban sun and beach tourist destination for excellence. This stunning Ultra All-Inclusive 5-star hotel is designed only for adults over 18. The property houses 434 rooms equipped with modern comforts and provides a varied gastronomic offer, daily activities, swimming pool and meeting rooms which convey an ambiance of quietness and service. Discover the magical peace of this hotel. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Paradisus Princesa Del Mar Hotel Varadero
Paradisus Princesa Del Mar Resort And Spa
Paradisus Princesa Del Mar Varadero
Paradisus Princesa Varadero
Princesa Del Mar

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