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“5* all the way”

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Paradisus Rio de Oro Resort & Spa
Ranked #1 of 10 Hotels in Holguin
Certificate of Excellence
Herts, England
Level Contributor
12 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
“5* all the way”
Reviewed April 21, 2005

Have just returned from 2 weeks at the Paradidus Rio De Oro. I read many reviews on this site before leaving, so I had a good idea what to expect. The hotel deserved every one of its five stars and I cannot recommend it highly enough.

ROOM
We had a standard Junior Suite, which was more than adequate for our needs including 2 x queen beds, chaise longue, sky TV, balcony, dressing area and bathroom with powerful shower. All Junior Suites appeared to be very similar, with 16 to each block, positioned in the middle of the resort.

FOOD
There is the buffet restaurant, 4 a la cartes, beach bar and poolside bar. They all did wonderful food but our favourite was the Japanese, closely followed by the buffet (the fillet mignon and pancakes are a must-have!)

POOL
The pool is split into two sections, separated by a waterfall. The water is plesant and not full of chlorine like many pools! The deepest part is about 1.6m, and the shallowest about 60cm, but there is no problem swimming and it was rarely busy.

POOLSIDE
There are plenty of sunbeds, umbrellas, gazeebos and hammocks. There are two jaccuzis, which are quite cold, but we sat in them and were served champagne like a king and queen!

BEACH
The beach was quite crowded, but its easy to understand why. There are not many umbrellas and we were up at 7:00 to get one. The water was warm and crystal clear. The reef (and fish) are beautiful; we brought some snorkel gear in the UK before we went and we used it most days.

PEOPLE
The Cuban people at the report absolutely make the holiday. They do not appear to act differently whether tips are given or not, but if you step outside the resort for a few minutes you will see how far a couple of pesos go. They are so friendly and happy and we spoke to so many people; the chambermaid, the gardner, the waiters and waitresses. Their English is good, but if you know any Spanish and want to improve then this is definitely the place to do it.

CLIENTELE
When we arrived the majority of visitors were Canadian, but when we left they were mostly English. There were a few from Switzerland, Germany, Austria etc who were all very nice. There were a few children, but mostly under the age of 5. As it is a wedding hotel there were several large groups; these all appeared to be from the UK.

WEATHER
We had some sunny days, some with partial cloud and some tropical storms. We were told that there was more rain in the two weeks we were there than they had in the last year and a half! It was always warm, and at night I comfortably wore trousers and vest top, or skirt with cardigan to dinner. Even when it was raining during the day we were comfortable in shorts and a Tshirt.

CUBA
If you haven't been before then go with an open mind. Its very different to the UK (not meant in a bad way!), but try to visit the real Cuba and travel outside the resort if you can. Hire a moped for a few pesos, do a travel company excursion or take a bike; you don't need to go far.

Helpful?
58 Thank bouncy
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 review, November 25, 2014
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English first
Ontario, Canada
Level Contributor
153 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 129 helpful votes
Reviewed April 18, 2005

My husband and I were at this resort from April 2 to the 9th. The food was great, buffet and a la carte restaurants. the pool was great with the swim up bar. The beach was fantastic but get your chair early by 7am .Snorkling was great out front of the Wedding gazebo. Went on one excurision to Santiago De Cuba, worth the bus ride if you like history and to learn a bit about their revolution. I would definityl go back this resort again.

Stayed April 2005
Helpful?
14 Thank Summer5
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 review, November 25, 2014
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LaHave, Nova Scotia
Level Contributor
27 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 103 helpful votes
Reviewed April 16, 2005

My husband and I (a couple in our late forties) stayed at the Paradisus Rio de Oro from April 3-10. We were looking for a totally relaxing vacation. We had no intention of taking any tours; we took lots of books and wanted a resort with plenty of space, natural beauty, good food and friendly people. Well... we FOUND it! What a lovely, lovely place! In the past we have travelled to the Virgin Islands, Mexico, St. Martin, Barbados, Puerto Rico, Bahamas, and Florida. And two years ago, we stayed at Sandals Royal Hicacos in Varadero - no comparison! The Paradisus wins our vote, hands down!

RECEPTION: Just fine. Our Canjet/Sunquest flight (scheduled to depart at 6 p.m.) was 3 hours late leaving Halifax due to weather in Hfx. and Toronto. This made for a rather long night, but the airport in Holguin was practically deserted when we arrived, so we passed through immigration and collected our luggage very quickly. The bus ride to the resort was about 1 hour, cool and quite comfortable. The folks at the resort reception desk were friendly and helpful, and we were shown to our room in short order. Luggage arrived shortly thereafter, and we tumbled into bed around 4:00 a.m.!

ROOM: We stayed in a Superior Jr. Suite - 3131 - and loved it! The suite was clean and beautifully decorated, and we especially enjoyed the outdoor shower. (Never even used the indoor one!) It's kind of hard to describe the joy of showering outdoors in a private, walled garden with the sun shining down on you and greenery surrounding you... it was very special. And the glass door between the bathroom and outdoor shower allowed lots of natural light into the bathroom. The toiletry pack provided was lovely... lots of goodies including exquisitely scented bath gel and body lotion in decent size bottles. We left a couple of pesos in the fridge every day with a note, and received whatever we asked for - large cans of beer, extra bottles of water, orange or pineapple juice, bottle of sparkling wine - just ask, and you shall receive! We appreciated having a CD player to play some relaxing music, and we loved our patio which looked out on a wooded area, complete with hammock - very private and relaxing. And here's a tip - the cushions from the inside wicker chairs fit quite nicely on the outside chairs... very comfy... we spent many enjoyable hours on the patio, relaxing and reading and sipping... Our maid, Graciela, took good care of our room, and we tipped her everyday with a few pesos.

FOOD: Very, very good! We had emailed the resort ahead of time to reserve the a-la-carte restaurants. This worked well, and our requests were honored. La Ceiba buffet was excellent, and I am NOT a buffet person. I usually prefer to be seated in a restaurant, make my selection from the menu, and be served at my table... but this buffet was so good! I especially enjoyed the pasta station, the fresh salads and the variety of roasted meats, and my husband loved the abundance of smoked salmon and variety of cheeses. (There was a delicious and decadent creamy cheese with pistachio nuts in it that we both loved!) We sampled a wide variety of foods during our stay, and enjoyed most everything we tried. Didn't see any bugs in the dining area, but the birds do fly through (it IS an open-air restaurant) and must be shooed away at times. They especially seemed to like the little homemade donuts at breakfast time! I know I did!! We ate breakfast in the buffet every day (lots of yummy fresh fruit and fresh squeezed orange juice) along with everything else you can imagine - including quail eggs - and I got hooked on the potato omelette... yum! The Japanese restaurant was terrific - really enjoyed the tempura shrimp and veggie appetizer, and the teppanaki (sp?) beef and vegetables for the main course. And we had some great conversations with the lovely people we met, sitting around the eight-person grill tables. The Cuban and Mediterranean restaurants were also very good - try the beef soup in the Cuban one, and the Greek salad in the Mediterranean. We actually cancelled our reservation for the International restaurant, El Patio, after looking at the limited menu... we opted for the fabulous buffet instead! We never ate lunch at the buffet; we ate at the beach and pool grills and everything we tried was great. My husband liked the Paradisus burger, the thin-crust pizzas were quite good (you could get them put in a box to take back to your lounge chair at beach or pool) and the grilled fresh fish was excellent. The wines served were mostly Spanish; I found the red quite good, the white was so-so. You could pay extra and order from a wine list; we didn't bother.

BEACH/POOL: Both lovely. Esmerelda Beach is a beautiful stretch of white sand, long enough to take a good walk, and shared by only one other resort - Melia Luna Y Mares. The water is a fabulous blue-green colour, quite clear, and there is excellent snorkelling over the coral reef on the right side of the beach. I did take a breakfast roll in the water with me to feed the fishies, and it was very entertaining! We took our own snorkel and masks, used hotel fins. The water temp was perfect at both beach and pool - cool enough to be refreshing, but not cold. The "hot tubs" however, were not hot, just barely warm. We found them too cool to stay in for any length of time. The pool is quite large, and multi-levelled. There were always enough lounge chairs around the property; we never got up early to "save" a chair, we don't believe in it. There were (and always will be) some people doing that, and it is SO annoying. We could always find a place in either sun or shade; sometimes we had to search a bit, but we always found a cozy place.

EXCURSIONS: Didn't take any tours, however, we did take a horse and buggy ride into Guardalavaca. Didn't buy anything at the market, but enjoyed the scenery. We did take a hike along the self-guided Eco-trail (6 pesos each) which is just past the Luna Y Mares hotel. This was enjoyable, and you end up on a bluff on top of the cliffs, with a magnificent view looking back over Playa Esmerelda with the Paradisus being way down the other end. It was kind of neat seeing the resort from another perspective. We also walked down to the Dolphin Aquarium and beach (accessed from the same spot as the Eco-trail). We didn't pay the $89 each to swim with the dolphins, but enjoyed watching them for awhile from chairs on the beach.

OVERALL OBSERVATIONS: Fantastic resort, beautifully landscaped and lush with an abundance of trees, shrubs and flowers. The hotel was full while we were there, yet we never felt crowded or rushed. This resort was well planned with the comfort of its guests in mind. The beach, pool areas, lobby, entertainment area and restaurants are spacious and comfortable. Even the accommodations are well spread out around the grounds, with lots of greenery in between. The service was excellent throughout, with the exception of one night after dinner in the lobby bar, where both my husband and I were ignored for about 10 minutes. We actually became amused as we watched others come, get served and go while we sat at the bar and waited. Trying to make eye contact did no good! We didn't try waving any $$ around, just left finally, sans libation. We figured we probably didn't need any more to drink that night anyway! :) That was the ONLY service glitch during the entire week. The guys and gal in the pool bar were awesome - great service and always with a big smile. If you sit in the pool on a stool enjoying refreshments, don't forget to drop by the "land side" of the bar later with a tip for these lovely people! Guests sitting on the "water side" generally don't have any $$ on them, but the service remains terrific anyway. There were several weddings taking place during the week, apparently they average about 3 per day! There were also a number of children there, which surprised me, since it wasn't a school break time. The youngsters were well behaved, so we didn't mind a bit. My husband and I highly recommend Paradisus Rio de Oro, and will likely return one day soon.

  • Stayed April 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
73 Thank LaHaveRiverGirl
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 review, November 25, 2014
Old review, thank you
Report response as inappropriate
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A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed April 10, 2005

Just got back from one of the best holidays we've had for years, everything was excellent apart from the flight back (18 hour delay).

Couple of points to note when staying at this hotel. Firstly, the kids club is non existent which didn't bother my two boys (7 and 9 yrs) as quite a few children around to have fun with all the time. Secondly, start low with the tips say a couple of pesos (about a quid a time), always tip the barman at night in order to get serve, leave a tip in your fridge for extra drinks. Thirdly, we didn't do too many trips but the Jungle Tour is great fun as you get to play around in a speed boat for a couple of hours.

Finally we would go back but not for a few years as we wish to try a few other places with the same hotel group.

  • Stayed April 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
19 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
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 review, November 25, 2014
Old review, thank you
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed April 7, 2005

just returned from paradise. this resort is out of this world. we holidayed from the 21st march - 4th april. we booked over a year ago as we wanted to get married there. we were not dissappointed the views, the grounds the restaurants were stunning. we were booked into all the a la carte restaurants before we arrived but changed some as we went on some excursions we had no problems doing this. the buffet restaurant was fantastic plenty of choice and the prawns/ shrimps were to die for. i am a fussy eater but had no problems eating. the staff are so friendly and any requests are met with 'no problem'. the bedrooms are large and spacious and lots of storage space. everyone who we met (and there were lots) couldn't fault the hotel either. if you are going to the paradisus you must do the japanese restaurant as it's very entertaining.if you require anymore info you can email me at babesjeanette@aol.com. we will definately return in the near future.

Helpful?
41 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
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 review, November 25, 2014
Old review, thank you
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed April 4, 2005

Just returned April 2nd after 2 weeks and our second trip to this wonderful location. We stepped off the bus and were greeted by the bell hops who remembered us from last year. The great staff continued to welcome us back as we encountered them over the next day or two, a great feeling when you have 3 kids ages 6, 3 and 6 months! If you need to have your kids stimulated at all times then going to Paradisus Rio de Oro is really not for you. If you want a place where your kids can order their own food or drinks, go the washroom without having you there; and want excellent staff to babysit them in your room while you head out for a couple of hours--this IS the place. The children enjoyed themselves thoroughly! The rooms aren't true 5 star, but hey tourism is still new to Cuba...they are clean and looked after. If you think a musty smell in your ground floor room in the Caribbean is odd, then you haven't travelled much. At this resort you'll be on a hammock or a beach chair 90% of the time anyway! We will return without hesitation next year I'm sure!

  • Stayed March 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
18 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
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 review, November 25, 2014
Old review, thank you
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed March 27, 2005

We just returned from Spring Break in Rio de Oro - March 19 to 26, 2005. Fabulous place, friendly people, beautiful grounds and beaches. As most have noted on this site, the food was good and plentiful, but not exceptional as one might expect from a 5-star. However, you don't go to Cuba for the food. A couple comments:
1. book the restaurants ahead of time online as we did; many were complaining they couldn't get in. All were pretty good, but not great.
2. While there are lots of beach/pool chairs, there are NOT lots of shaded beach spots. If you want a shaded beach chair -- plan to get up early. There's a rush on around 7am. This is my one major complaint of all these Carib resorts, and we've been to many - they never have enough shaded spots. Although if you walk waaaaaay down the beach to the next resort you can find one easier. But it's a long hike.
3. We had a superior suite, with the outdoor shower. Worth the upgrade! The rooms were so clean you could eat off the floor. Not that I recommend it.
4. This is not a beach-side resort, rather a cliff-side resort -- the beach is at the end of the property where you must walk to. So don't expect a room where you can walk out onto the sand. Doesn't exist.
Other than those comments, R de O is a great place, one of the better ones we've been to. Enjoy.

  • Stayed March 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
31 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
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 review, November 25, 2014
Old review, thank you
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

Property: 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 10 Hotels in Holguin
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
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 Resort And Spa
Paradisus Rio De Oro Hotel Holguin
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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