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Paradisus Princesa del Mar Resort & Spa
Ranked #10 of 64 Hotels in Varadero
Reviewed March 7, 2010

We really enjoyed this resort as it met our expectations. The employees are extremely polite and friendly and a majority are fluent in English. Food was good with numerous options from the Buffet and “A la Carte” restaurants. It was not clear to us at the beginning how much to tip. This is an all-inclusive resort and therefore we did not feel required to leave tip at every occasion nor did the employees make us feel we had to. Based on our experience and discussions with other guests, we left about 3 pesos every time we were at the “A la Carte” restaurants. We also left tip at the end of the week to the employee that served us regularly at the Buffet, the Bar and the airport bus driver.
We would definitely recommend this resort for couples who are looking for a relaxing time.

  • Stayed: March 2010, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank NicoleTO
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed March 4, 2010

This was our sixth trip to Cuba and the third to a Paradisus hotel. We thought the Paradisus in Holguin was a bit better but that might have been due to the fact it is also warmer in Holquin and this winter in particular was chilly in Varadero.
Because I can't eat wheat, going out to eat is always a bit of an ordeal, so having to eat out three meals a day for a week was a daunting thought. I managed just fine at the Princesa, though. There was always lots I could eat, more than at a restaurant in Canada where most everything seems to be breaded. Here, I could have lived on the shrimp, available for every lunch and supper, cooked several ways or fresh for you to pick at the grill. Lobster halves showed up for two meals, in abundance. There was always a big assortment of pork, fish, chicken or beef to ask to be grilled. The salad bar was huge, although plain lettuce is not a basic, so shredded cabbage or some other greenery substituted. Potatoes, too, are not a staple, but there was rice at all times, and french fries occasionally, as well as sweet potato fried chips. The dessert bar often had flan, or pudding which I could eat. There are some small finger sized coconut bars which I discovered were delicious covered with the hot chocolate sauce available at every meal. And of course, there was always icecream and fresh fruit. This is winter in Cuba so the fruit is not the best,, but the papaya and bananas were excellent. There was an omelette station for breakfast and lots of yogurt, juice, and cereal which I didn't check too closely, so I'm not sure if it's gluten-free. I did hate going by the pasta station and the fresh crossaints covered with chocolate, and all the rest of the delicious looking wheat products. But on the whole, I managed better at the buffet restaurant than I would have in Canada.
We tried the Bamboo and the Japanese restaurants. The Bamboo was fine, though unremarkable. The Japanese was disaster for me. Everything was covered with teryaki sauce, and although a little soy sauce might not give me a problem, that much teryaki sauce would. I wanted to just enjoy the show, the wine, and the atmosphere. The chef insisted on cooking me a dish for just me, but after being yelled at by another guest from Nanimo who wouldn't let me me explain and who decided I was a "stupid American" for trying to eat at a Japanese place, I left in tears and didn't get to try anything.
I don't think this much fresh, unadulterated food is available at many other hotels in Cuba, so I would highly recomment this hotel for people with food allergies. Many other hotels we have been too had too many unidentifyable assortments in sauce.
Something else I would like to mention is the staff at this hotel. Other people reported that staff at some hotels pestered the guests daily for tips or the clothing they were wearing. We never had anyone at this hotel ask for a single thing, even though I tried to engage many of them to practise my rudimentary Spanish. That is a sign of a well run hotel.

  • Stayed: March 2010, traveled as a couple
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12  Thank GlutenfreeOntario
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 3, 2010

I don't like all inclusives, but you have no other choice in Varadero. The hotel is very nice,
with beautiful gardens, but you can't see the beach. The sand is not the best in Varadero
and the noise from the construction is annoying. The food is what you would expect in an all inclusive, but should be better for a high end resort with the prices they charge.
The specialty restaurants are better ,but difficult to get in. Medical staff is responsive and
efficient ,they treated my wife with excellent results. Its a pity what all inclusives have done to Varadero (and all other Resorts)!

  • Stayed: February 2010, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank EJGMIA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 2, 2010

We have spent two holidays at the princesa del mar - last year and in 2008 and enjoyed them both, especially last year when we stayed in Royal Service.
Before we went last year, there were problems reported of an awful stench coming from the lagoon - by the time we arrived the problem had been resolved by pumping large quantities of sea water into the lagoon and we had a wonderful relaxing holiday. Probably for the same reason (stench) decisions have been taken to fill the lagoon in - I can well appreciate the problems that people would experience if staying around the area and in Royal Service from noise of lorries and other machinery. We have arranged to return this year, but the reservation will be cancelled unless we receive assurances that we will not be inconvenienced as other people obviously have been. Maybe the work will be completed by the time we are due to go in May - but then what? There must be some plan. We have emailed the hotel, but received no reply. I did notice, however that a representative from the hotel has made a response on these pages. I did not fully understand what the person was saying, but although the lagoon is not sited within the complex, it is close enough to seriously impact on peoples holidays depending on which block they are staying in - It will certainly impact on Royal Service residents because it lies between that block and the beach.
As for other things, we found the staff pleasant, helpful and very friendly. We had no problems with the food at any of the restaurants - some of it was excellent - other food OK - but never bad.
Entertainment was good - we liked the piano bar - some of the younger people went out into Varadero at nights to the clubs and enjoyed themselves.
As we have had in excess of twenty holidays in Cuba visiting the length and breadth of the island, we did not do any excursions, but those that did were very positive about the trips.
The private beach for Royal Service is beautiful and very peaceful. The pool is equally pleasant and the hilltop restaurant is a lovely dining experience.
We do hope we will be returning to the hotel, but we need an honest response to our concerns.

  • Stayed: May 2009, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank neyegel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 2, 2010

Hotel very nice, pool very nice, staff very nice, food good by Cuban standards but not 5 star.
Better than other resorts in area by comments from others we met on trips. The beach was good, very attentive staff on the beach. All in all this was a very nice hotel, we had a very nice time the only thing was that the weather could have been better and problem with mosquitos at night

  • Stayed: February 2010, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Luciejoyce
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 2, 2010

The resort was realy a 5 stars, and has nothing to say negative about this place ..Now i would like to talk about the BEACHES which was most dissapointing to me.and very surprise that nobody ever mentioned it on Trip Adviser. I was in Varadero 14 years ago
and returned only for the beaches which were WHITE fine sands no weeds nor shells,
and was astound to find regular brown sands wht seeweeds and shells like any other
beaches you can find in eastern florida. I was explain that all WHITE sands have been wash out by erosion and hurrican, and they had to import sands from inland Cuba.
I am just surprise i never heard about this, and Varadero will never be the same.to me

  • Stayed: February 2010, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank PAUL44Montreal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 28, 2010

We went to Princesa for our honeymoon. We arrived later in the evening and upon our arrival at the hotel, we were immediately disappointed. Our room was spacious but was left dusty and the floors not clean. We requested the maid to clean our room. We came back from lunch and our room was not yet cleaned. We called the front desk and they said that it will get done soon. Eventually we had to talk to customer service to get our room cleaned. After complaining, our room was very neat. We mentioned that we were on our honeymoon, however, we did not get any special service. Only after requesting to the customer service did we get a bottle of champagne. We soon learned that you need to take your concerns to customer service and it gets done.

Our regular maid did not work on one day of the week. Another maid cleaned our room and we were not satisfied. Two of our towels had stains so we requested new towels. The maid who cleaned our room came with new towels and requested that we not complain to customer service as it jeopardizes her job.

The food was not bad. We went there expecting the worst as we heard from our friends. However, the food at this hotel is good for Cuban standard. We only went to one a la carte, Sakura restaurant. This was a really good Japanese meal. We also went to the Hill Top restaurant. We were invited here because we were on our honeymoon. The food here was also really good. We had lobster at the buffet on Tuesday, but that was not comparable to the lobster we had at the Hill Top restaurant.

Night life and entertainment was so blah. We expected livelier atmosphere. If you just want to sit, eat, and get a tan, we would recommend this hotel. If you want some entertainment, then it’s not for you. We found it hard to keep ourselves busy. We just ended up eating, sleeping and at the beach when the weather was good. The weather really disappointed us as well. Didn't expect Cuba could be as cold as Canada.

We also ended up spending a lot more than expected for extra activity. They say all inclusive, but it really isn't. If you already know how to snorkel, scuba dive and know how to operate a catamaran, then it might be worth, and it isn't if you don't. There are people who would give you the equipment but they charge you more if you want them to take you on the catamaran to snorkel. Also, there are so many people on the beach trying to sell you anything and everything, from cigars to cd's.

Another thing we found expensive was tipping. They say this is normal in Cuba. We ended up tipping people even when they did not give us any service.

  • Stayed: February 2010, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Olla2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about 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 Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Business Hotel in Varadero
#3 Romantic Hotel in Varadero
#4 Spa Hotel in Varadero
#6 Top resorts Hotel in Varadero
#8 On the Beach Hotel in Varadero
#9 Luxury Hotel in Varadero
Price Range: $170 - $200 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Paradisus Princesa del Mar Resort & Spa 5*
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 for adults only over 18. The property houses 630 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 paradise, recommended for weddings, honeymoons, incentive trips and spa/wellness. ... more   less 
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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