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“Paradisus just keeps on getting better every year!!!”

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Paradisus Rio de Oro Resort & Spa
Ranked #1 of 10 Hotels in Holguin
Certificate of Excellence
Toronto
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
“Paradisus just keeps on getting better every year!!!”
Reviewed March 12, 2006

We returned yesterday (Sunday March 12th) from Paradisus Rio de Oro. Ate at the a la cartes every night so not sure about the buffet at night but was VERY good. There were cancellations at the El Patio (international restaurant) so we got to go there three times for lobster - which we loved. Didn't get to the Cuban restaurant but the Japanese and Mediterranean were superb as well. Beach was amazing and clean, pool and swim up bars were great with drinks always flowing. William and Manuel at the lobby bar were awesome as always and definitely try a bahama mama, mojito and caipirinha from them if you're there. A capuccino from the lobby bar or the poolside restaurant are a must on a daily basis.
You may want to bring your own water bottle to breakfast as I found that this was not something that was normally requested. Ask for oj every morning as it is delicious. Walked the beach every day, put in a drink order at each end to thoroughly enjoy the walk, lol. Room was great, we were in 3418 which is a standard room on the second floor right beside the pool facing the pool/ocean - but didn't have a view because of the trees. Would request 3415 next time to have more view of the ocean. If going to a superior room, would request the ocean side closest to the pool and farthest from the lobby but that's just me. We only went to the lobby twice a day, for breakfast and dinner/drinks and was a five minute walk if you were at a steady clip. We did not want to be near the lobby but since the caleticas will have drink service in the future (May - November 2006 while the beach restaurant is being refurbished) this might not be a bad location actually.
Although some reviewers have said the pool was so cold it took your breath away, this is a bit exaggerated, most people got in somewhat slowly (as we did) but we stayed in for hours and then in the ocean for awhile with no issues, it's heavenly as every day except for one last week was 30 and sunny with very few clouds. It was pretty windy most days so usually a yellow flag (one day red flag and a couple of green flags days). Tried snorkelling around the reef near the Paradisus for the first time and loved it. We didn't do any excursions as this was a purely relaxing vacation but will likely do them when we return for a friend's wedding in November, can't wait, 8 months to go, lol.
Grounds are absolutely beautiful, gardeners constantly working on them. The new spa which will likely open early May will be amazing, the gym equipment is already in one of the rooms (although not set up). It will have a gorgeous view of the ocean and many treatment rooms for whatever you desire. Hasn't really affected the walk to the caleticas as the spa is quite close to the garden villas and once you walk past the spa it's a dirt path again. Truly a beautiful place, if you're friendly to the Cubans, you will find out what wonderful people they are. Please and thank you and positive attitudes were not in evidence with many guests we saw so when you find negative reviews you may want to consider this. We also found that when George at the pool bar would carry drinks to people around the pool who had requested them, many guests would not even acknowledge this great level of service. We experienced very few issues at this resort and absolutely none that I will comment on here as I will likely have more issues when i visit the food court downstairs for my late lunch today.
Happy vacationing everyone, i'm jealous if you're heading to PRDO soon.
Please treasure your moments at PRDO and be kind to the staff, sometimes things will take longer when in Cuba but there really is no rush.
Most cubans work six days a week in the heat, i doubt that many of us would rush if we worked for as little pay and for as many hours as they do.

SR

  • Stayed March 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
47 Thank Principessa1
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 27, 2014
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canada
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
Reviewed March 11, 2006

March 9, 2006

We just returned from the Paradisus. We were a group of six and all agreed it was the perfect holiday. My husband and I are not big fans of the all-inclusive but this resort changed our minds. The food is excellent. There are four a la carte restaurants, two waterside restaurants, and a wonderful buffet. The staff is wonderful and caters to your every wish including delivering a bottle of champagne to the Jacuzzi.

Here are some suggestions

1.Book the a la carte restaurants before you leave. Email Norma at public relations. She is excellent and make sure you get an e-mail confirmation for times etc. All the restaurants are good. Our favorites were the El Patio and The Japanese one.

2.All the rooms are great but our group all preferred the upper balcony corner rooms. There is a lovely breeze and more privacy. They are slightly larger as well.

3. For lunch the pizza at the pool restaurant and the hamburgers at the beach restaurant are to die for.

4.Walk the grounds. They are spectacular and take some cold pop out of your bar fridge for the gardeners. They work Very Hard and a cold drink is welcomed. We gave away several ball caps so if you see a gardener with A Bayview school cap on or one from Nipissing University you know it was us.

5 Tipping is not expected but appreciated. A few pesos and some treats from home, like shampoo toothbrushes ball caps etc. are very welcomed as Cuba is still under an embargo and their wages for a month are what we make here in an hour. DO NOT TAKE TOONIES OR LOONIES. The banks down there will not accept them.

6.We took the carriage ride to the market and then the driver took us into a small town to distribute some candy, pencils, and notepads for the children. Their smiles made our day.

7. Our departure was late so we asked for a takeout. We appreciated the sandwiches, pop etc. at the airport. There was enough to feed a small army.

Overall this is a Cuban Gem. It was well worth the money and we all plan to return again.

The Group Of Six from Owen Sound Ontario

  • Stayed March 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
47 Thank wegoafar
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 27, 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 9, 2006

Everything about this hotel was great. We had one of the bungalows which looked out onto immaculate gardens. We also had an outside shower area which was lovely. If you like rooms light and airy ask for a room on the lagoon side as the other side is in a natural wooded area and can be quite dark.

The four al a carte restuarants were all wonderful and the service excellent. The buffet restaurant is quite spectacular with such a large selection of food.

The pool area is very spacious although the water at this time of year was very, very cold and literally took your breath away when you first got in!

We had a most wonderful time and we have booked to go back again next year.

  • Stayed February 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
24 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.
Crewe, UK
Level Contributor
15 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed March 3, 2006

Just to say that we stayed at the PRDO in 2003, as a last minute booking after out trip to China was cancelled at the lost minute due to the SARS outbreak. This really is a fabulous hotel in fastastic surroundings. You will not be diasappointed.

  • Stayed June 2003
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Slipperywhenvette
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 February 26, 2006

We have just returned from the PRDO. Having read the reviews and had a verbal recommendation from a friend, we had very high expectations. We were not disappointed. Not to reiterate other comments, the accommodation was first class, the grounds immaculate, the food excellent, the Champagne flowing. We are already planning a return trip next year>

  • Stayed February 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
24 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.
wales, uk
Level Contributor
16 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
Reviewed February 24, 2006

This is our second visit to this beautiful hotel. 20 family and friends came with us from south wales on this occasion to celebrate our wedding. Everything about the holiday and wedding was perfect.

A few tips if you are getting married here:

Ask for a room upgrade.
Ask to plant your tree.
If you have your reception at el patio you can choose the menu.
Ask for late check out.
Ceremony is in spanish but you can also make your own vows.
Photographer is good, think about what photos you want in advance.
Dvd worth having £20 quality is ok.
Take photos of flowers and hairstyles with you.
Take a copy of the song you want for your first dance.
Room for 6 people on the top table in el patio.

If you are planning to get married here I hope your day will be as wondorful as ours.

Please email if you want any more information.

  • Stayed February 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
27 Thank DonnaWales_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
Old review, thank you
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
Reviewed February 23, 2006

This was our 3rd time in Cuba, so we had some idea of what to expect as far as service and food was concerned, but my expectations were surpassed! I hope my comments will entice you to go, despite a bit of a rough start (of no fault of the resort).

AIR TRAVEL

We flew Air Transat Club Class. It's sooooo worth the extra $150 for Club Class! You won't regret it - champagne, drinks, good food, large seats, no charge headsets - just do it! Start your holiday off on the right foot! Plus you don't have to wait in the giant line-up at the airport (Toronto) - there's a separate check-in for Club Class.

ARRIVAL IN CUBA

If you've never been to Cuba before, this may be a bit of a turn-off. Everyone must go through customs one-at-a-time, where you will be questioned by a customs officer. Most people have no problems, but we were asked to step aside while our reservations at the resort were verified. After 10-15 minutes we were allowed to go through.

When my carry-on bag was searched (not everyone has this done), they were most interested in my very thick novels, and flipped through them quite thoroughly. We think this is perhaps because people sometimes hide things (drugs perhaps?) in large books, but all they found in mine were many words that I looked forward to reading during my holiday!

My suitcase and that of my friend didn't make it to Holguin (we think it stayed on the plane en route to Varadero), but they were able to get them to us the next evening. Lesson here: pack a swimsuit, at least one outfit and your toiletteries in your carry-on in case your bag is lost because they won't rush the bag to you when it's found!

THE RESORT

My first impression: WOW! This is a small resort, so you might be one of two or three other couples checking in that day (at least we were). We were greeted with open arms and a punch cocktail! I had e-mailed a couple of special requests to the hotel in advance, and they were graciously accommodated. the were also driven to our rooms in a golf cart so we didn't have to waste any time searching for our rooms!

The grounds are spectacular! There are several groundskeepers working all the time, so you never see a dead flower or dead plant. The colours are gorgeous and lush.

One thing I noticed is that there aren't many (if any) railings on ramps and stairs. If you are travelling with an elderly person, or someone with balance problems, be sure to let them know this - they may want to use a walking stick or cane. Also, the walkways are a bit slippery when wet, so be careful after it rains (hopefully it won't!).

THE ROOMS

Large, bright, well appointed - all the necessities are there. We had a room on the 2nd floor, and did not experience any bad odours (except a faint odour from the toilet at times, but that was rectified by closing the lid). The beds are HARD and the pillows are crummy, but we were so tired at night that we quickly got used to it. The hair dryers are not that great, so if you're fussy about your hair, take your own hairdryer. There are also in-room safes. The minibar is not great - pop, small yukky beer, but you probably won't need it anyway. They also provide you with as much bottled water as you need, so don't be shy to ask the minibar attendant for water if you want more.

THE BEACH & THE POOL

Both beautiful. There is never a shortage of loungers, and there is always a shady spot available somewhere. Watch out for the rock on the beach, but most of the beach is beautiful white sand. The snorkelling is also excellent.

THE FOOD

The food is very good. Our favourite a la cart restaurants were El Patio and Mediterraneo, and the Japanese was also superb. We weren't super fond of Bohio, but the staff are so sweet there we still had a nice meal. The buffet is huge, and you are sure to find something to your liking. I honestely can't say anything bad about the food, but keep in mind that you are in Cuba, so some of your favourites may be made differently than what you are used to. The rose and white wines are excellent, but I wasn't as fond of the red.

Champagne is available anytime you want so indulge! The other thing that is really good there is the coffee, especially at the bar. They make excellent cafe con leche (coffee with hot milk), but be careful - it's all whole milk, which probably contibuted to my weight gain during the trip!

SERVICE

This is really what made the stay so enjoyable. The people are amazing and willing to do whatever it takes to make your stay pleasant. Tipping is really appreciated, but so are gifts.

MISC

* The salon is really the only facility that I can find fault with. If you're going to get a mani/pedi, take your own tools, polish and remover. The tools are not sanitized and she had no remover. I hope the salon will be improved once the spa opens, but as it is now, it certainly isn't up to the standard of the rest of the resort.

* E-mail your restaurant reservations in advance. We did, and were happy we did when we say new arrivals line-up at the public relations desk to make their reservations.

* Do some excursions - we did the Champion Tour, and it was great fun! I got to drive our jeep, which seemed to surprise alot of people when they saw a woman step out of the driver's side! I also did the 1/2 day dolphin swim. Loved it! If you go to Guardalavaca, take the horse and buggy from the hotel to town, and make arrangements with the driver to meet you later to take you home (or take a cab). We tried to take a buggy back from the town, and the local buggy drivers refused to take us (it's not worth their while to make the return trip back empty - the resort is 6kms away).

* Explore the resort - there are lots of interesting things to see: plaques in honour of those that got married there, a nursery where they keep extra vegetation and plants, the brige across the lagoon to to the stables and the neighbouring resort.

* HAVE FUN! This place is not for the party-party crowd. It was mostly adults but there were a few kids. Babysitting services are available, which our friends made good use of - $5 per hour. The shows are super, and be sure not to miss the dance contest - you'll see why!

If you want a good rest in beautiful surroundings with good food, this is the place to go. E-mail me if you have any questions - there is so much more I could say!!!

  • Stayed February 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
64 Thank westielvr
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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