Before you read further, we're a 40-something couple that were looking for 'forced relaxation'. To lie on a beach, listen to the waves, read and snorkel was our goal.
This place fit the bill nicely.
It’s an adults-only resort and the majority of the clientele were our age.
We'd never been to Cuba before and had heard of issues with food and room plumbing at other resorts. Here's a little break down of our experience.
Room: We had a 'junior suite'..their basic room and it was lovely, big and clean. We never saw the 'better' rooms but I don't see how ours could be improved upon.
The hot water never ran out and the toilets always flushed (I've read reviews of other resorts where this was a problem). The room came with a safe and the fridge was stocked daily with water, beer and pop. The rooms also come with a large umbrella - something we were glad for as, unfortunately, it rained a lot during our stay.
Beach: We're used to the endless beaches of the Mayans. This beach is an easily walked cove that's shared with one other resort. The snorkeling is phenomenal and only a short swim away from shore. Bring water shoes or flippers. Beach loungers are stacked and locked at night so you need a staff member to drag your loungers in the morning to the spot you pick. Odd set up, but that’s how it is. We always tipped the guy. Oh, speaking of money, you can only exchange your Canadian dollar when in Cuba, it’s not internationally traded.
Food: There are so many bad reviews about Cuban resort food. We like our food and are not fast food eaters. There was always something on the menu to satisfy. We love trying new things (hello fried plantain!). Some things weren't for us, but there was no reason to be bored with the buffet if you mixed it up a bit. The a la cartes were fun, but not particularly better food. Japanese was our favourite. We also enjoyed the pizza at the poolside restaurant (crust made fresh daily) and the beach restaurant has a great view and service.
Resort: The place had a tired look to it… like it wasn't being maintained properly. The water features were dried up or just had stagnant water in them... the huge fountain between the beach and the pool was never on. I talked to someone who has been there 5 times in the past and said the reason for this was because of a 3 month drought the area was under. The drought ended on our second day.
There are definitely spots here and there where paint was chipped and cement was crumbling… the pool needs to be painted. You could tell this place used to look much better than it does… but its 16 years old, if I’m not mistaken, and we still enjoyed it. I'm being highly critical, but mean well.
Staff: Everyone’s so friendly and helpful from gardeners to servers. They treat you so well. But I have to say there is an exception to that: The Lobby Bar. Maybe they were over-worked as it rained a lot but the set up at the bar could be improved upon. You could wait 15 mins before being served, even if it didn't appear busy. You’d be better off going into the buffet to get a drink then coming back out to the lounge area. Once, as we stood there waiting for service, we came up with easy ways to make it work better. It’s just not that well organized behind the bar and the bartenders can be a little crusty as a result.
Because it rained so much, it would be nice if the animation staff had a rain contingency plan to keep us busy. If there was such a thing, I never heard about it. We’d been to a resort that had this, and it made the rainy day a lot of fun.
All in all a great trip, apart from the rain, but if forced relaxation is your goal we highly recommend staying here.
- 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
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- 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