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“Peaceful getaway”

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Paradisus Rio de Oro Resort & Spa
Ranked #1 of 11 Hotels in Holguin
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 23, 2014

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.

Room Tip: we asked for a quiet room but most rooms seem to be away from the noise, except for maybe the two vi...
  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank Cathy M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PRO_Managment, General Manager at Paradisus Rio de Oro Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded February 14, 2014

Dear Cathy M,
We appreciate very much your useful comments, which we have discussed with our Departments, as they always help on our daily work for your satisfaction.
All our staff and I look forward to having the possibility of welcoming you again, and we would love to receive your news.
With best regards,
Lorenzo Rubio
General Manager

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1,963 - 1,969 of 5,262 reviews

Reviewed January 23, 2014

Royal Service means Royal //service, Back for the fifth time in July 2014...... thanks to all of the RS team you are amazing, going to miss you Norma but love and best wisheses to everyone, see you all soon xxx

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank wykeham
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
paradisusri0de0r0, General Manager at Paradisus Rio de Oro Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded February 5, 2014

Dear wykeham

Greetings from Paradisus Rio de Oro!
We are so happy you keep coming to us, that is the reason we work for. We are looking forward to having you back soon.
All the best,
Lorenzo Rubió
General Manager

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Reviewed January 22, 2014

I stayed at the Paradisus for about a week in mid-January. I felt the service was 5 star but the hotel was not up to 5 star standards. A lot of little things needed attention (paint on walls, chairs in the lobby re-cushioned, broken tiles replaced, railings at restaurants re-painted, etc). I think the hotel could do much better with its selection of excursions. I would suggest making use of the landscape in that part of Cuba with guided tours that focus on the surrounding countryside (birds, mammals, flowers etc) as a start. There are many species of coral fish very near the beach. I would suggest visitors would benefit from a beachside poster identifying the species in the water.

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank Dale C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
paradisusri0de0r0, General Manager at Paradisus Rio de Oro Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded February 1, 2014

Dear Dale C,
Thank you so much for your review in TripAdvisor. We are already making some renovations and will take into consideration all the suggestion you give us. We would very happy to welcome you back soon.

Kind regards,
Lorenzo Rubio
General Manager

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Reviewed January 21, 2014

My husband and I just returned from a week at the Paradisus Rio de Oro Holguin Royal Service. We had a great time, relaxed and enjoyed the peace and quiet of the Royal Service side. The staff are amazing and work hard to make the stay enjoyable. The spa is definitely a must.
Re: the negative reviews.... we have been to Varadero and Cayo Coco in the past at "5 star hotels" and this was the best. It is our 5th visit to Cuba and we will return to this hotel. People have to remember that this is Cuba and the hoteliers do the best that they can within fairly major constraints at times. So visit and relax!!!!

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank Deniece C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
paradisusri0de0r0, General Manager at Paradisus Rio de Oro Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded January 23, 2014

Dear Bonnacher,
We are very glad to know you enjoyed your stay so much in Paradisus Rio de Oro, thank you very much for taking time to share your experience with other travelers in TripAdvisor. We truly hope to see you here soon again!
Sincerely yours,
Lorenzo Rubio
General Manager

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Reviewed January 19, 2014

Husband and I stayed here for our honeymoon. Staff and service was great, very welcoming. Food was good especially the la carte restaurants. My main complaint though would be the rooms, in desperate need of refurbishment especially the bathrooms. A nice holiday location but would expect better rooms for the money paid

Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
2  Thank K1_swindon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
paradisusri0de0r0, General Manager at Paradisus Rio de Oro Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded February 16, 2014

Dear Katherine O,
Thank you so much for sharing your review in TripAdvisor. I am glad to let you know that we have already started renovating our Junior Suites bathrooms, and there are some ready already. We truly hope to have you back soon, and will love to receive your notice.
With sincere regards,
Lorenzo Rubio
General Manager

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Reviewed January 18, 2014

Stayed from January 10-17, 2014. First five nights in a Junior Suite Royal Service Ocean View. Everything was spectacular. Standing on the balcony from our room you have a panoramic view of the ocean and can see no other buildings so it feels like you are completely alone. Balanese shower and bed are so worth it.

The final 3 days / 2 nights we upgraded to one of the 2 Garden Villas. This was even more spectacular. Our own pool, sauna, Jacuzzi tub, outdoor hot tub, hammocks, lookout tower, ocean front deck etc etc etc.

Our ONLY issue during the entire week were the idiot guests who couldn't curb their curiosity enough to respect the MASSIVE GATES at the Garden Villas and felt the need to wander through and check things out. Nothing like floating around in your own pool in the buff and having a random guest wander by. This was dealt with quickly and effectively ( within less than 30 minutes) by Norma who had a Security Guard posted at the gate 24 hours a day. If you want to see the Garden Villas badly enough then open your wallet and book them.

Butlers Raul and Njorge were amazing and Norma at the Royal Service Reservations area is the best. The food, staff, scenery, and every detail of our vacation was spectacular. We have traveled extensively over the last dozen years or so and have not discovered a nicer place.

A number of previous comments indicate that Royal Service is not worth the extra $$ and this is untrue. Most of the regular rooms are excellent but they do not compare to the Royal side. To the reviewer who called Royal Service pretentious. Yes my wife can also run her own bath ( and cook her own food and do her own dishes ) but Raul created a masterpiece for us with the bath and bubbles and champagne and you are on vacation no?

I have met many travelers over the years and could never understand why people would return to the same resort year after year after year. I now know that once you find a jewel like the Paradisus there is no reason to look elsewhere when visiting Cuba. We will be back in a few months!!

Thank you Paradisus staff for making this an amazing experience!

Room Tip: Royal Service is the only way to go.
  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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11  Thank Mark S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
paradisusri0de0r0, Manager at Paradisus Rio de Oro Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded January 25, 2014

Dear Mark S,
Greetings from Paradisus Rio de Oro! We are very glad that your stay in our resort was so nice, and thank you for sharing your experience in TripAdvisor. We would love to have you back soon in our Royal Service and make sure to keep you pleased as a part of our family you already are.
Warmest regards,
Lorenzo Rubio
General Manager

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Reviewed January 18, 2014

Just returned Home today after a 2 week honeymoon at the Paradisus Rio de Oro >What a brilliant hotel and lovely staff and fantastic food that I do not know how people can moan and find anything to complain about !!!!! The staff ... very patient at times with lots of ignorant rude customers that cant even say Please and Thank You! Our room very clean. The room maid could not have been more helpful. Large comfortable bed with clean linen and towels . 24 hour room service,,, wonderful ! Mini bar stocked everyday.
We were given a private dining night at the seafood restaurant as part of our "honeymoon" package it was lovely. The special touches of champagne and red roses made it even more special .
All the public areas were clean and tidy The toilets spotless! Always plenty to do if you want to be energetic various games yoga . tai chi . archery .
FOOD......what can I say....everything you could possibly think of something for everyone always fresh and tasty and lots of it!
We never wanted for anything in the whole 2 weeks we were there and we hope to be back next year.

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank moominmamma2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
paradisusri0de0r0, General Manager at Paradisus Rio de Oro Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded January 25, 2014

Dear moominmamma2014,
We are pleased we made of you honeymoon an unforgettable experience and would be delighted if you come back next year to celebrate your first Wedding Anniversary. We thank you for your recommendations and hope you will be back!
With kind regards from Paradisus Rio de Oro!
Lorenzo Rubio
General Manager

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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
Phone Number:
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: $225 - $545 (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 
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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

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