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“Christmas - New Year”

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Paradisus Rio de Oro Resort & Spa
Ranked #1 of 10 Hotels in Holguin
Certificate of Excellence
Surrey, UK
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Christmas - New Year”
Reviewed January 12, 2006

I will not repeat all the good things about this resort - just record that we had an excellent holiday in a good friendly hotel with idyllic beach. A few points to make your holiday better: take your own snorkel, it was very difficult to borrow one from the activity centre even at 8 am, as they never seem to be returned. We managed one in 14 days.
Take trips: the pony and trap to Guadalavaca was a nice gentle introduction, but ask to see the village as well as the market. Full day trip to Santiago was amazing with our excellent courier Mercedes, but we were told it was something of a disappointment to those who had previously visited Havana. Day long jeep, riding, speedboat trip was the most thrilling. I am glad we chose to be "chauffeured" as to drive ourselves along the cart tracks would have been too exhausting. Again, our courier George was brilliant - friendly and informative. The large catamaran trip had excellent snorkeling but was marred for us by blaring pop music on the coach and even worse on the catamaran. Only for the last half hour sailing was this turned off. The teenagers on board enjoyed it but we had expected more of a eco-tour, just the sound of the wind and the waves and we hoped another informative courier. Unfortunately we were told almost nothing about the coast or the marine life. I dont know if all the caramarans are run as a floating disco but if you dont want this then I suggest you check.
I would definitely recommend this wonderful resort.
Alison
Surrey, UK

  • Stayed January 2006
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
37 Thank AlisonNSurrey_UK
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 26, 2014
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5,074 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (1,174)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed January 11, 2006

Paradisus Rio de Oro is a great resort.
We were on a family vacation (6 adults) and all of us loved it!

Beach and sea:
Very beautiful and great for snorkeling! No need to pay for the Catamaran trip, just take a pedal boat or swim to the snorkeling area! It is however a rocky beach...if you want sand, swim in front of the other resort (just a little further out).

Pool:
Very nice but a little cold this time of year.

Food:
EXCELLENT. No one was sick! The food was all very good! But book your restaurants before leaving (send an e-mail request to the resort).

Rooms:
O.K. But the rooms at the Paradisus Varadero are much nicer. This resort is older and you can tell by the look of the rooms. But you don't go on vacation to stay in your room!

Resort in general:
It is just beautiful, very big, always something to see or do!

I recomand this resort!

  • Stayed January 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
37 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 26, 2014
Old review, thank you
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Level Contributor
21 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 218 helpful votes
Reviewed January 4, 2006

We were married at the Paradisus Rio De Oro on December 6, 2005 and can say, without hesitation, that this is the best resort in Cuba. To contextualize, we are frequent travellers and have stayed at a bevy of resorts throughout the Caribbean. Needless to say, due the limitations in Cuba (embargo with the United States and lack of American travel $), it is not fair to compare the resorts with others in the Caribbean, however, with that being said, this resort could go toe to toe with resorts in many more prosperous Caribbean destinations. Furthermore, the Cuban people, as a whole, are the most genuinely caring and delightful people I have found in the Caribbean, and, alone, can make your trip memorable.

ROOMS:

We stayed in the Junior Suite and found the room to be the only aspect of the resort that was lacking. The toilet/bath area is extremely antiquated. We will leave it at that. The iron does not work well (flat plate with no steam), so, if you need to iron, do so before travelling or bring your own iron. Other than this, the balance of the room is acceptable and spacious. You can easily sleep 4 in the room with plenty of space to spare. The mini-bar is re-stocked regularly and you can leave a request (with tip) if you wish to have more of any beverage. Given that we were married at the resort, we were also given sparkling wine bottles on a constant basis. Nice touch. The chambermaids are phenomenal at promptly cleaning the room and should also be rewarded, accordingly. Our room was never lacking any of the necessities.

FOOD:

We were simply amazed at the quality and selection of food at the resort. It is certainly a great recommendation to pre-reserve your a-la-carte restaurants by e-mailing the resort, as they are not to be missed. Other reviews have dealt in detail with the excellence of the Japanese restaurant, and I would have to say that my review falls in line with the balance of the reviews. In addition, they have a special dinner on the beach for couples celebrating their weddings, anniversaries, and honeymoons, which is not to be missed. It is extremely romantic, with the waves crashing into the beach and the band playing romantic music. With regards to lunch, you should note that the restaurant by the pool has more selection that the restaurant on the beach, but the restaurant on the beach has better deserts. Go for food by the pool and desert by the beach.

ENTERTAINMENT:

The best nightly shows that we have ever seen at an all-inclusive resort, hands down. If I could get work permits for all of the dancers and open a show in Toronto it would be gold (do not try to do so, otherwise I will seek a royalty for the idea...lol).

WEDDING:

We are married on the picturesque gazebo, on the cliff, overlooking the ocean. Nothing could be more magical. If you want any more details or have any questions, feel free to write to me directly and I will happy to answer them, otherwise, this review would go on forever. I cannot imagine a more magical or perfect place to get married in the Caribbean, and, trust me, I have looked far and wide.

GENERAL TIPS:

1. The resort runs a free taxi to the Caleticas (private beaches) on an hourly (sometimes every two hours) basis, due to construction of the spa blocking the walking path. Ask for times at the front desk and do not miss out on visiting the Caleticas. Very private and beautiful, with snorkeling about a hundred meters off the shore.

2. Cigars and liquor are cheaper to buy at the airport, but shop around, as prices vary greatly from one vendor to another in the airport.

3. There is a lot of walking involved, regardless of your location. If you ever get tired, flag down the golf carts that circle the resort. You will see them every few minutes and they will be more than happy to take you around, with a big smile and a nice conversation along the way.

4. Exchange funds as you need them at the bank on the resort. Do not overbuy, as there is an approximate 10% premium between the buying rate and selling rate.

5. Remember to have 25 convertible pesos to pay the exit fee at the airport. If you do not have it, there is an exchange counter near the check-in area, but I would not take the risk of it being closed.

Do not hesitate to book your stay at the Paradisus Rio De Oro.

  • Stayed December 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
71 Thank StevenHellman
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 26, 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 December 31, 2005

We just got back this morning from the Paradisus Rio de Oro, where my husband and I went to get married. We travelled there with 26 guests, and spent two weeks (10 days at the p.r.d.o, and 5 days backpacking out to Santiago de Cuba, etc).

Room:
We were in a Junior suite, which was nice -though the bathroom was a bit smelly. We were supposed to get an upgrade (because we were getting married there) but it never worked out. Make sure you specify what kind of bed you want, as many of our guests (who travelled as a couple) were given two single beds rather than one queen/king sized.

Food:
Loved the Japonese restaurant, enjoyed the Cuban restaurant, the Mediterraean (sp??) restaurant is beautiful, though the food was just OK and the International restaurant was good for a change, but not excellent. The buffet was excellent (especially on Christmas & New Years!) and the pool & beach restaurants were good also.

Beach:
Always easy to find a free palapa, and we were a large group - so it was nice to see that we managed to get spots together that were both in the sun & in the shade. The water was a bit cool, and the beach a bit rocky, but if you walk down a bit towards the other hotel, it's a lot less rocky. My husband tells me that the snorkling was great (just under the wedding gazebo), though I spent most of my time swimming and sunbathing!! The beach is truly lovely.

Pool:
Nice pool... there were always plenty of spots available to sit and lounge. We got in the groove on beaching it until 4ish-5ish and then finishing off with "Pool Bar Time" before enjoying a late afternoon sauna! The pizza at the pool restaurant is pretty delicious.

Wedding:
We chose to get married on the beach (Playa Esmerelda) and were a bit worried whether it would be private enough. We were amazed and delighted at how the ceremony was indeed quite private (even though on a public beach) and were happy to note that people who were not part of our group were very respectful of what we were doing. I would note that anyone planning a destination wedding, here or elsewhere, ensure that they are very flexible and not too details-oriented. Everything worked out wonderfully in the end, but definitely not "as planned". We were able to tailor the wedding ceremony a bit (my Mom did a small ceremony after the Justice of the Peace was done) which was wonderful. We also brought our own photographer, but paid for the video (worth it!). The only thing I would note is that the lady who does the hair, make-up, manicures, etc works alone. We were a wedding party of 4 + my mother, and spent pretty much the entire day getting everything done (for a wedding at 4PM)... and we didn't all have time to get our hair & make-up done (so we made ourselves at home and worked along-side her!)... I don't think they get many "large" wedding groups.

The flowers were beautiful, it was fun to get picked up in the horse & carriage, and the wedding band trio was delightful.

All in all, it was a lovely day - the hotel (Odalys!) went to great lengths to make it a perfect day for us, and we will certainly remember it forever. P.r.d.o. did a great job. If you are contemplating a destination wedding, I highly recommend this hotel.

Last note:
We did a lot of excursions, and highly recommend getting a chance to do any off-resort activities. A highlight for us & our guests was doing a jeep tour out into the Province. We all jumped into 5 jeeps (which we could drive, if we wanted) and jetted across Holguin through little towns and on crazy roads. It was a great way to see a bit of the "real" Cuba. ($70 per person)

  • Stayed December 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
49 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 26, 2014
Old review, thank you
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
newcastle. england
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed December 26, 2005

we have just returned from p.r.d.o. we travelled with first choice holidays from Manchester. every thing about this holiday and especially the hotel was first class. We used most of the free sports on offer and were amazed at how professional the activity staff were. they show so much enthusiasm in everything they do including their evening performances on stage.
the staff in all departments including the garden staff are really helpful and keen to talk to improve their english. the food was to die for in all the restuarants and buffet. our room was kept spotless. the room was spacious and comfortable. Have already tried to book again for christmas and new year. but first choice are fully booked. Our daughter and partner have booked for september on our recommendation. liz and clive Hannam

  • Stayed December 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
33 Thank thegeordies
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 26, 2014
Old review, thank you
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
toronto
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed December 21, 2005

We are from Toronto Ontario, and needed a relaxing vacation (we left our 9month old with grandparents!!) We had a great time at this resort!! It felt very tropical with the low buildings. The people were incredibly friendly, met some fantastic couples from toronto!!

The people who work there were eager to help especially public relations and the people who work at the restaurants!!

Everyone was very appreciative of the gifts we brought for them. We left gifts everyday on our bed for the girls who cleaned our room. And we also gave gifts out to the gardners, girls at the public relations and the girls at the restaurants. (Don't forget you can do what we did and take items when you go to the market to give out to people and children there) All the tips we left we found out get combined and evenly distributed to everyone, so special gifts are very very appreciated on top of the tips, they really do work very hard, and for very very little money!!

The rooms are clean, but we did have little baby ants in the bathroom and by the sliding door. They do spray the rooms once a week. We had a junior suite, large and wonderful, especially with room service!! A couple we met had the bigger suite with the outside shower attatched to the bathroom, very cool!!

Definately bring lots of bug spray and after bite!! Allot of folks got allot of bites, including us,and we used bug spray!!

Food was good, not great, but good. Japenesse restaurant the best, we went there two times. Second night becuase they remembered us, they took us to a private room with low cushions and table, candles, totally private to have our desert, very romantic!!!

Beach was great, rocky some places, but wonderful!! pool was good.
You can email requests for dinner, and once you are there you can see if there are any openings if you want to go to a particular restuarant a second time. Men have to wear long pants at all dinner places.

And very important I would strongly recommend you pre book your seats on the airplane if you want to sit together with your partner.

Shows at night, 5 out of the 7 nights,were amazing!!! Try to get front seats!! Band on the friday night was okay, well we actually didn't even stay, but some seemed to enjoy it. And on another night it was more of a repeat of the first night, but overall show was fantastic!!

Little market you can take a cab too, very cute, only need an hour or less there, but I enjoyed it. Really nice casual leather bags there.

Its a place not for kids or party animals. But we did really enjoy the small dance club they had there, we went dancing a few times.

We really loved it here, we felt like we were on our second honneymoon. And from what we heard from allot of other guests, its one of the nicest resorts in cuba. Lots of weddings there too!! We do remind everyone not to eat anything you do not recognize, we didn't and my husband still had stomache problems when we got back,but we think maybe from the ocean or the water in the shower, so do bring lots of meds with you!! This is not a shopping vacation but a relaxing vacation.
We strongly recommend this resort!!
evy

  • Stayed December 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
40 Thank evy2
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 26, 2014
Old review, thank you
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, Ontario
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed December 10, 2005

First time ever visiting another "latino" country other than my own. I have been living in Canada for quite some time without real beaches, real tropical sun and real palm trees. To be Honest I was not expecting much. But oh my gosh!! this place, as my title expresses ... Exceeded all possible expectations.

The food is amazing, I highly recommend the Japanese and the Criollo or Cuban restaurant. The Cuban restaurant is worth of trying out. I loved both restaurants so much that during my stay I went twice to each one.

The people: "Two thumbs up"!!! It helped I speak Spanish and was able to get to know them better. These people are friendly, nice, funny and cool to be around.

Going to the Paradisus has been my boyfriend's annual gift to himself. As I mentioned this year was my first time and I loved it so that I am going back on January 2006 and again on November 2006.

  • Stayed November 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
22 Thank ColombianinCuba
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 26, 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
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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