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“Great relaxing trip to Paradisus Rio de Oro”

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Paradisus Rio de Oro Resort & Spa
Ranked #1 of 11 Hotels in Holguin
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 6, 2013

I visited Paradisus Rio de Oro during the last week of September. I booked the royal section, and overall enjoyed a relaxing trip. This hotel is not made for party, but to relax and unwind. There are no young children, and it’s mostly couples. I’ll try to cover the points that I would have found useful to know before booking the trip.

Positive points

Nice grounds with lots of green. Lots of lizards and crabs running around. Colibris and other birds flying.

Beautiful beaches. Royal one has nice sea raisins trees. "Normal" one has palms. Both have enough places with shade now in September, though I suspect in high season you'll have to get up early to get a shady spot.

Good food. Especially great for seafood lovers. Both the buffet and restaurants were great, though I did prefer eating at restaurants.

Even if the hotel is spread out, it is possible to “order” a golf cart to take you elsewhere, from anywhere with a phone, including the Royal beach. I’ve seen these ordered by older guests, and they come promptly.

Negative points

Difficult to get away from constant Cuban and old pop music. The only quiet beach with bathrooms close by is the spa one, reserved for spa customers.

There is no coffee or hot drinks on the beach in the Royal section. And there is nowhere close by to get some, unless to get back to the Royal lobby bar or to the restaurant on the other beach.

Not all rooms are cleaned to the same standards. I have declined an upper floor room, close to the lobby, in the Royal service, where room was dirty, with dead flies near the TV, and a dirty, moldy looking mattress. The room I finally spent the week at (ground floor 8812) was very clean, well maintained by the maid, who did an excellent job every day. Don’t be afraid to complain, if you come across any issues, service takes care of the issues immediately.

Tips

It is possible exchange the money outside of the operations of the small bank outlet, directly with the hotel for a 3% fee.

Hotel introduced Wi-Fi in both the Royal and the main lobbies. It’s free for Royal service customers, 4.50 CUC an hour for everyone else. (DSL type of speeds, no dial up, faster, but not very fast.)

There is a very quiet secluded beach (though with no bar/drinks/food close by, 5-7 min walk), in between the Royal beach and the Spa beach. It is not exclusive to Royal customers, so if you are looking for max quiet, this is the best beach to go.

Royal service upgrade is worth if you would like more private section with drink/lunch service on the beach, more attentive private service, and nicer more modern rooms. There is entertainment, usually piano/singers at the Royal lobby every night. Drinks service is a lot quicker, too. I found the upgrade was worth the money spent.
After speaking with some other travelers, it is cheaper to book Royal upgrade on the spot for travelers from UK/Europe. However, no real price difference for Canadians, at least when I was there (It was actually slightly cheaper to book the upgrade directly from Canada).

Closest way to get to the coral to snorkel, is from the SPA beach. Look for the yellow buoyants. You’ll need to be a strong swimmer to go back and forth. Catamaran excursions stop there to snorkel (if you’ll take one). Closer to the beach there is nothing much to see, only small fish and a few small corals. All the interesting “stuff” is further from the beach.

Room Tip: Room 8812 in the Royal section is on the ground floor, few minutes from the Royal lobby, and close t...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
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7  Thank 7171_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
paradisusri0de0r0, Director General at Paradisus Rio de Oro Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded October 10, 2013

Dear 7171_11,
Thank you for sharing your Royal Service experience with other travelers in TripAdvisor. We appreciate your comments and are looking into them. Being in Cuba, guests ask us to play Cuban music; that is why you will find it in some areas of the hotel. About the bathrooms in the beach, please, notice that you also have bathrooms in the Royal Service beach bar, as well as in the main beach’s. We have reviewed about beach shade areas for the coming high season and there will be enough for all. So we really hope to have you back soon! We will all be waiting for you and would like to receive your news as you make plans for it!
Sincerely yours,
Lorenzo Rubio
General Manager

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Reviewed October 6, 2013

We went to PRDO from mid September to early October for a fortnight. Airport transfer is 80 mins on A/C'd coach so no complaints - you get to see a lot of this amazing country. The weather throughout the stay was usually sunny and hot in the daytime and some thunderstorms at night. Little to no rain, possibly 4 occasions in total, and 1 big thunderstorm. No complaints about weather.
The setting of the hotel is AMAZING - beachside wherever you look, 15 mins from Guardalavaca where the market is.
The standard junior suites at the hotel are huge - plenty of space for a 2 week stay. Always clean and tidy and fully functional. ADVICE - this is a tropical climate so a couple of little ants are expected - take insect repellent and hit them with it that'll be the end of it.
Staff are fully attentive and friendly, falling over themselves to do things for you. The drinks measures favour alcohol! The variety of drinks is great as is the quality.
The pool area is vast, plenty of beds in shade and sun. The beach is the same. No complaints. Swim up bar provides respite from the heat at times!
A la carte restaurants are fab, particularly Japanese. Get a show table if possible. Adds to the experience. You can book one time at each of them (4 total) per week. Mediterranean, Japanese, Cuban, European. Buffet restaurant had lots of variety but can be a little repetitive so space out the a la carte bookings to mix it up.
Go to the market for gifts. Inexpensive and you can haggle. ADVICE - ***PLEASE*** ask the rep to call Roberto the ginger taxi driver - he is a stand up guy, fantastic command of English, took us to and from the market, and gave us a tour of the city and brief history. About an hours worth of journey for 15CUC (£10ish) - we gave him double and would do the same again. Dunieski the rep has his number - please use him for trips outside the hotel, you won't regret it.
We upgraded to Royal Service for 4 nights at the end of our stay. It cost 105CUC per night (120 if you stay less than 3 nights) about £70 per night. We stayed in one of 6 Cabanas near to the 2 private RS beaches. It is totally private and is incredible. There is a butler service who will do everything from transport to running your bath for you! The restaurant Los Helenchos at RS is miles better than the buffet restaurant in normal service, but it's a la carte so what do you expect. Staff friendly and helpful again. Due to thunderstorm of the century the power went out a couple of times - we called staff and a technician came to assist almost immediately. It was a huge lightning storm so I sort of expected it! Inconvenient yes but nowhere near enough to ruin a holiday as excellent as this.
Pool area is smaller, more sophisticated and more intimate - less people in RS means more serene atmosphere, which was a nice way to end holiday.
Lots of wildlife everywhere - crabs, butterflies, lizards, fish, hummingbirds and we saw 2 very large spiders - afraid of people but look like tarantulas, so be aware you may see them, however rare they are! Mosquitos are present, and still bite - they are more common in RS so just prepare for that, again it's a tropical clime so expect it. Partner got 10 bites in total, and wasn't religious about using repellent, so not a huge issue.
ADVICE - take electrical adapters and plenty of sun cream - you can't buy these things anywhere we saw. VERY small selection of sun cream in hotel shop.
We didn't go on excursions however there was a wide range to choose from, from Havana trip overnight to swimming with dolphins etc. plenty to keep occupied. Scuba diving is included in all inclusive hotel price, you just need to book up.
I feel I have said enough about this hotel to show you that it is sensational. Without a doubt the best hotel I have ever been to, and I am very well travelled, and have never been so sad to leave a place nor so desperate to get back there. We will be back, and recommend you go. Perfect place for a relaxing couples stay. Thank you to everyone who made it what it was - the holiday of a lifetime.

Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
5  Thank Jayde S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
paradisusri0de0r0, Director General at Paradisus Rio de Oro Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded October 11, 2013

Dear Jayde S,
It has been a pleasure reading your review about such an enjoyable stay you had with us!
Thank you for recommending us to other travelers, I am sure you have helped them decide! And do not worry, time passes very fast and soon you will be back in Paradisus Rio de Oro, where we will be waiting for you!
With sincere regards,
Lorenzo Rubio
General Manager

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Reviewed October 5, 2013

first of all we would not fly with thomas cook on long haul ever again they are uncomfortable dirty
and inflight entertainment is pathetic.
hotel very clean, staff great, sorry to say the food was worst we have had in cuba as.for the people who have said the food was delicious you must be very easily pleased. if you are a beer drinker then forget it, they obviously had a problem with it as it went flat soon after they had pulled it.the beach very rocky again worst we have been to in cuba to get in to the sea you need coral shoes, there are some places you can get in where it is sandy but you have to walk a way down the beach
having said all this we did have a great holiday, and we had wall to wall sunshine every day the entertainment on the whole was very good.if you fancy a trip out on a horse and buggy ride book adelquis through the rep he is english speaking and a mine of imfomation

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Thank george1946479
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
paradisusri0de0r0, Director General at Paradisus Rio de Oro Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded October 11, 2013

Dear george,
Thank you very much for your opinion, always welcome!
The greatest majority of our guests comment our food is among the best! But we understand that each person has its likes, and we would have really liked to know what you prefer while you were at the hotel so we could have the opportunity to provide you with it, as your satisfaction as guests is the most important thing to us!
About the beach rocks, I would like to explain that it is seasonal: this season of the year the sea takes away some sand to the other extreme and stones are visible, and in the other half of the year it brings it back and all you have is sand! I am glad to let you know that we will soon start building a walkway so when stones are out they are not a nuisance to go in the water.
Looking forward to having you back in Paradisus Rio de Oro Resort & Spa!
Lorenzo Rubio
General Manager

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Reviewed October 5, 2013

We arrived at the Paradisus Rio De Oro, Cuba on the 19th Sep 2013 for our honeymoon, we were greeted at the hotel reception by really helpful, friendly staff and we also were given some champagne to welcome us.
We were then escorted to our room, which was very lovely and comfy! The bed had flowers and swans on it and the maid does this most days.
The staff were fantastic and made our stay even more enjoyable. We loved the food, especially the al a carte restaurants, our favourites were El Patio and Mediterranean.
The bar staff in the lobby and pool area are brilliant and the cocktails are amazing! Lots of rum to be consumed :-) The evening entertainment was very good and the music bar is great if you want cool down in the evening.
Overall the Paradisus Rio De Oro has got to be one of the most fantastic hotels we have ever stayed at and will definitely be going back hopefully in 2015.
We would highly recommend this hotel and Cuba to everyone. Once you've been you'll definitely want to go back.

  • Stayed: September 2013
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6  Thank rockchickchar1980
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
paradisusri0de0r0, Director General at Paradisus Rio de Oro Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded November 19, 2013

Dear rockchickchar1980,
Thank you very much for sharing your wonderful honeymoon experience with other travelers in TripAdvisor.
We hope we have the honor of having you with us next year for your 1st wedding anniversary celebration as well! Please, send us news as you start making plans.
Receive warmest regards from all our staff and I, who will be looking forward to welcoming you again!
Sincerely yours,
Lorenzo Rubio
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 5, 2013

got back from this hotel on the 26th September and wish we were back there already , place is just great from the restaurant to the fabulous staff who really are the best in the world , nothing is to much trouble for them . don't bother up grading to the royal suites as the standard rooms are great blocks 40 - 36 are in prime position on main walk way . they have started to do up the rooms / bathrooms but to be honest seen worse.
The crabs and lizards wandering around make good entertainment but watch out for the "flying frogs"
Thomas cook rep Orly( sorry about spelling ) was fab and made our holiday that more special in arranging for us to be picked up in an open top car and taking to his friends restaurant which was set up in his back garden with your own waitress and chef , brilliant night.
a big thank you to the lovely chef who always cooked my wife's chicken to perfection as she likes all meat cremated and the brilliant pancake lady her flambés where to die for.
Holiday was made even more special by the great people we meet Steve ( from Essex) there with his wife , sister and family . Justine& John Stuart& Claire, Bryn & Rebecca , Dave & Nicky and the two amigos Cath & Pat . not forgetting Liz and the top man Steve , to name but a few.
ignore any negative comments and get yourselves there , oh and don't forget to book show table at the Japanese's

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank Steve D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
paradisusri0de0r0, Director General at Paradisus Rio de Oro Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded November 19, 2013

Dear Steve D,
We are very glad to know you enjoyed your stay in Paradisus Rio de Oro so much, and we appreciate for you taking the time to share it with other travelers in TripAdvisor.
We really hope to have you back next year, your rep Urly and all our staff will be waiting for you!
Sincerely yours,
Lorenzo Rubio
General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 4, 2013

Hotel very clean, staff great needs updating and closing down for awhile to refurbish pools and bathrooms, hotel needs to employ more staff not enough for peak seasons, also fans not working in bar areas, but in all great value for the money.
Down side THOMAS COOK flight and staff need to be looked at and not penny pinching staff not helpfull on fights in and out seems as if they wanted to make as much money as they could from the passengers hope all the people complain about the service they recieved so they can try to improve there service.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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1  Thank RonBaker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
paradisusri0de0r0, Director General at Paradisus Rio de Oro Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded October 9, 2013

Dear RonBaker,
We appreciate your comments about the hotel. I am glad to inform you that next year there is will be total renovation of our pool, one level at a time, and the room’s bathrooms have already started to get total renovation, being a number of them ready at the end of this year.
We will truly like to have you back for amazing holidays!
Sincerely yours,
Lorenzo Rubio
General Manager

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Reviewed October 3, 2013

Fantastic holiday in Cuba. Everything was so lovely and relaxing. We were totally chilled.
The pool area was clean and relaxing by the day beds were a real treat.
The spa area was lovely with plenty to do.
I would definitely come back again in the near future as it was one of the best countries and hotel I have ever been to.

  • Stayed: July 2013
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4  Thank Patricia J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
paradisusri0de0r0, Director General at Paradisus Rio de Oro Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded October 10, 2013

Dear patricia j,
Thank you very much for sharing your experience with other travelers in TripAdvisor about such an amazing stay in Paradisus Rio de Oro Resort & Spa, where all the staff and I hope to have you back soon!
Warmest regards,
Lorenzo Rubio
General Manager

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 Rio de Oro Resort & Spa

Address: Playa Esmeralda, Crta Guardalavaca, Holguin 007, Cuba
Location: Caribbean > Cuba > Holguin Province > Holguin
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 11 Hotels in Holguin
Price Range: $230 - $300 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Paradisus Rio de Oro Resort & Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 354
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in the Bahia de Naranjo Natural Park, in Playa Esmeralda, on the northern coast of Holguin province. Five-Star Ultra All Inclusive Eco-Resort with 354 rooms. Conceived only for adults aged 18 years or more. Maximum comfort and perfection in its private Royal Service area for a fabulous experience in a world apart. Recommended for weddings, honeymoons, incentive trips and wellness/spa. Guest Rooms 354 rooms: 254 Junior Suites, 24 Luxury Junior Suites, 16 Luxury Junior Suites Ocean View, 2 Suites Deluxe, 36 Master Junior Suites Royal Service, 14 Master Junior Suites Ocean View Royal Service, 6 Master Junior Suites Luxury Royal Service, 2 Garden Villas Royal Service. Dining: 8 Restaurants (A la Carte, Buffet), 5 Bars. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Paradisus Rio De Oro Hotel Holguin
Paradisus Rio De Oro Resort And Spa
Paradisus Hotel Guardalavaca
Rio De Oro Paradisus
Paradisus Rio De Oro Cuba
Hotel Paradisus Rio De Oro
Paradisus Rio De Oro Resort & Spa Cuba/Holguin

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