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“Great Holiday for pampering, shopping or excursions”

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Memories Paraiso Beach Resort
Ranked #12 of 16 Hotels in Cayo Santa Maria
Reviewed January 27, 2013

Resort TO LARGE!!!

Took a long 3 1/2 hours to book the 3 Al-a-Cartes that came with our booking!!!! (Not exactly my way of having 5 days, running to this and that... I prefer a more relaxed and laid back time, maybe one al-a-carte, that way if you want to eat earlier or later or, not at all, you can do so, but what are you going to do when traveling with others~)

Two excursions...
1. Jeep Safari Tour, Still unsure of where we were???? But, it took 3 hours to get there, in a vehicle similar to a Suzuki Swift, only the two front doors, no back windows, therefore making it for a nauseous ride. Once there and got some fresh air, was better. The roast piglet for lunch was over the top but, being ill just before, I didn't really get to appreciate it. : (
I drove the way back and felt better, total duration of trip approx 8 hours.

2. Catamaran Tour, started at 10 am went to the Dolphinarium first, touched my first Dolphin... saw many tricks and splashed by the Dolphin, went for lunch provided, choice of Lobster or Chicken, beautiful meal, way to much though....
Afterward saw a couple of Dolphins performing their acts and 3 girls handpicked out of the audience to go swim with the Dolphins. It was a good show. Then off to the catamarans'... which took us out to sea a ways where we got to go on foot to an island and I collected some shells then, off to the snorkeling area (wild dolphins swimming with the catamaran was cool), where we stayed for an hour, all in all a good trip. Total duration approx. 6 hours.
Both Excursions cost approx. $180 CAD

No Cubans on the Cayo's as it is a tourist resort only : (

The workers were distant at first but were more friendly near the end of the week.

The food ample, and for the most part very good. (There was once at an al-a-carte that my pork which I ordered, was so tough, I did not eat the second small cutlet and made sure that I told the waiter to inform the cook of the left over and to TRY to cut it himself) To my shock, only an apology followed.

I would not recommend the resort for those who like to be enveloped in the Cuban culture and people but, for those who simply want to go for pampering, shopping and excursions it would be a great place.

Room Tip: #41 Block of rooms are close to the beach and the shopping village (La Estrella) on the more western...
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  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Linda S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Marco-Mazzucchelli, General Manager at Memories Paraiso Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded January 28, 2013

Many thanks for choose Memories Paraiso and for share your opinion on Trip Advisor.

I would like to ask you if you didn´t know, before to book, how many rooms Paraiso
has and that is located in a Cayo, 60 km. from the mainland, due that, reading you
review, looks like that you have booked blindly.

In Cayo S. Maria nobody lives, and is a measure to preserve the beauty of the place,
but it is not true that is a place only for foreign tourist. Many Cubans come to the Cayo,
especially in summer time.
Regarding the Cuban culture, from here you can easily go on excursion to Trinidad,
which is one of the most culturally interesting places on the island.
Besides, in Santa Clara there are very important place to visit, for example the Ernesto
"Che" Guevara mausoleum.
So probably, instead that go on Jeep Safari, would have been better to choose other tours.

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3,745 - 3,751 of 6,582 reviews

Reviewed January 27, 2013

All I can say is that it just depends what kind of traveler you are, what your standards are, and also how lucky you get when it comes to services because it was a hit and miss. Some of the staff awesome, quick and efficient, some not so much...if you find a good server, stick to him and tip, it will make things so much nicer:)
The resort itself was beautiful but huge and perhaps therefore pretty disorganized...long line-ups for everything...we stayed for 2 weeks so we finally managed to book our a-la-carts on the 6th day...it was a big complaint of pretty much everyone so I don't understand why they don't have more than one person doing the bookings...
The resort was completely full when we were there, with 3000 people altogether on both sides, so you even had to wait for the buffet if you didn't come right at 6:25 before they opened...the food tasted good but the presentation wasn't, with spoons missing, food missing from the trays because they couldn't refill fast enough, often waiting for bread for breakfast, etc....but I didn't mind any of that much until we all got food poisoning, all of us on different nights though (and we didn't drink so it definitely wasn't a bad hangover:).
We didn't get connecting rooms as we requested, although we had a cconnecting room but connected to someone else...heavy smokers!! Finally after 7 days we got to move in there but it stank for the rest of the stay...
The biggest reason I booked this trip was the baby club...after a week I was comfortable enough to leave my baby in there for couple of hours while he slept and then they put him in a walker...the ladies there were nice and caring but it was pretty dirty everywhere (and it wouldn't matter normally but my baby was crawling everywhere and trying to eat all the dirt and pieces of mats that were chipping off) and very few toys to keep your child occupied... A simple change to the baby club with a few new toys, mats, and cleaning would make a huge difference. It was nice, however, to have the option to leave the baby there for a but so that I could at least see the beach...the beach was too windy every day for a baby I think...
Overall, the resort is likely to make many happy as well as unhappy customers, like it did in our case...because it was so beautiful I didn't mind all the deficiencies but my husband would never go back... I think if you find a good deal (we didn't, booked in advance and paid a lot but still less than you would going to a different country), and don't have very young kids, therefore won't mind the line-ups or possible food poisoning so much, go for it, you might have lots of fun with the good entertainment team and drinks on the beach...there's even a disco in the little touristy town that's attached to the resort!

Room Tip: I would choose the Paraiso side since you don't have to walk up the hill like you do at the Azul...
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  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank Andrea H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Marco-Mazzucchelli, General Manager at Memories Paraiso Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded January 28, 2013

Many thanks for prefer Memories Paraiso and for describe your vacation on Trip Advisor.

Restaurant reservations have been a constant complaint during the month of January, so
wit the purpose of improvement we have made several changes; we have now to persons
doing the bookings, but mostly we started to book before the arrival of the guests, so they
will get the reservations during the check in.

When a Hotel has an occupancy so high and all clients, although we explain the buffet
remains opened three hours, intend to enter all at 18:30 hrs., lines are physiological.
If some of the guests shall enter a little more later, would allow us to replenish the food
better, also to care for certain details that, due the avalanche of guests coming between
18:30 and 19:30 hrs., we are forced to ignore.
Unfortunately, despite that we explain it everyday, we have failed to make us understand ...

As soon I read your opinion about our Kids Club I have personally gone to check the
hygienic conditions of the place and I assure you that I found it in very good state
(in fact, is the first time that we received this remark). Anyway, I´ll go personally every day
to check it.

We are very sorry that, despite our best efforts, we could not achieve your satisfaction.

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Reviewed January 27, 2013

We just got back from a 2 week stay here. The grounds are beautiful and the rooms are fine.We arrived 5hrs late due to shortage of airline staff.The greeting we got from front desk staff was less then welcoming,we almost felt like they were not happy to see us.We settled in and went for breakfast the line ups are very long this resort needs more staff for the amount of clients they have! I feel sorry for the dining room servers as they run their feet off for 3hrs to serve the guests,and it is no wonder because these people have no training at all to be profession servers.There were never any teaspoons, you had to ask everytime to get a spoon to stir coffee or to eat dessert then 9 times out of 10 you received a large soup spoon,dishes were dirty and the line up for omelets was 15 minutes long.Now I understand this is a third world country but this is ridiculous! This hotel and I blame management should train all their staff in customer service because there is none.The bar servers tried not to make eye contact just in case you may want something ,our rooms were made up as late as 5pm and as early as 2pm,fridge was filled with water everyday but not beer or soft drinks.The a la cartes we were to get which was 4 per week [we ended up at 5 for 2 weeks] had run out of white fish,chicken and what was left was beef or tuna!!! The vip dinner of steak and lobster was changed to bbq then there was no bread and not enough food for the masses.The bar ran out of beer,tequilla and their so called premium drinks for diamond club members was help yourself everyone not only the suckers that paid $300 per couple extra.If you like salt take your own because they ran out of that also,diet drinks are non existent food is constantly the same only moved around and if you like a high carb high fat diet you are in for a treat!!! If you like to settle in for the night at 10pm you will love it here there is NOTHING to do after this hour but sit and drink drinks you didn't order with no music and poor service.This is a good place for people with kids of any age there seems to be alot for families but not for middle age people who are used to better, If you don't have a big budget for a family vacation then this is ok just to get away but if you are used to good service and good food save another year and go somewhere else not Cuba.We agroup of 8 will never recommend this resort but then again we didn't listen to the reviews either we thought people where exaggerating they weren't,and if you decide to go DO NOT waste your time on the diamond club,you get the same thing for regular rate.Once again make up your own mind it is not a rundown place just services suck.Tipping good or tipping not good you receive the same service as they all share the tips so don't think that because you tip a good server well they will benefit because the dud that runs as fast as he/she can gets the same,we brought bottles of mens cologne and women's perfume and gave to the best servers we had which they couldn't thank us enough for, but this is not common.This place may be a great place in a few years but not for us .

Room Tip: Unit 51 was where we stayed,it was located in the best spot in the Azul area.
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  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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    • Service
2  Thank Terrie T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Marco-Mazzucchelli, General Manager at Memories Paraiso Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded January 29, 2013

Many thanks for prefer Memories Azul and for share your opinion on Trip Advisor.

The arrival at a Hotel should be one of the happiest moments for a guest.
If we failed to give you the warm welcome you deserve I am very sorry and I ask
sincerely apologizes.

About the enormous difficulties of service, the issue is that we (poor people of
the third world) aren´t able to explain you ( smart tourists of the first world) that
when a Hotel is at its peak of occupancy is virtually impossible pretend to
enter in the buffet all at once.
Is not an issue of lack of Staff or spoons...
Is so hard to understand that if you come all at the same time the buffet collapses?
Or that we cannot give all the thematic reservations at 18:30 hrs.?

Every evening we have live show in the theater and after that, for those want to
live the night, there is a disco at the "Pueblo las Estrellas", located 500 meter from
Memories Paraiso, on the west side.
Otherwise, another choice is to rent a vehicle and go to Remedios or Santa Clara.

Our Resort is pricipally dedicated to families, that´s why there isn´t entertainment
in the wee hours of the night.

If you came to a Hotel located in a key, 55 km from mainland, looking for exciting
nightlife, instead than booking in La Havana, I guess hasn´t been the best decision
of your life.

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Reviewed January 26, 2013

We arrived around one in the morning the front lobby was busy but because we had gone as diamond club we were in our rooms in 15 minutes. Fantastick people everyone was friendly and so helpful. The rooms were spotless as was the whole resort. There was always something to do if you wanted to keep busy The beach was stunning I watched them everyday raking it first thing in the morning. We loved it The food was very good and I believe there was a great variety of items to choose from. Only thing I missed was milk which is hard to get. My sons wedding was beautiful We will be going back again. Great experience good food, good people , great resort, amazing weather,stunning beach. What more could you ask for. Ola!!

  • Stayed: December 2012
    • Value
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Thank Blistersiste
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 26, 2013

I was extremely apprehensive about visitng Cuba again after my last experience in Varadero ( unrelated resorts). I was reading on all those reviews about Memeories Azul, both positive and negative. A vacation is what you make it to be, is very true. The vacation flight by Sunwing delivered both way except return flight was delayed for 2 hours without any notice. No biggie. But the crew made up the shortfall.
I had requested a third floor room but received the first floor. It did make a lot of difference and actually was happy with the choice of my suite. I was put up in Room #5701. Right by the pool, facing the ocean, not fully ocean view, close to the 24 hour grill and restaurants. The main buffet was a few minutes away. Most people didn't realise that there was a pathway that takes you to the main lobby faster. What amazes me is there were golf carts everywhere that would be pleased to take you to your destination. The resort is huge, a mini town in itself, 2 resorts into one.
I was with 2 other friends and we shared a room. They did have a cot in the room. ready for us when we arrived. (Room keys, tags and brocures were handed out to us at the airport). Our housemaid was fabulous, her name was Dayana. She left us notes of apology if or when we were shorted on towels etc, but promptly brought them when she recieved the supplies. We received our water, pop and beer everyday and if we requested extra, there was no issues at all. The garden gentleman was always friendly and keeping the area very clean and beautiful. I developed a friendship with my server at the buffet restaurant, his name is Dael (not sure if i spelt it right.) His area in the restaurant is when you enter by the Grazie Italiano side. The best part of his service is his team mates. They were very happy to have us there. Even when Dael was off, they scrambled to have us in their area.
I was also surprised that I didn't get sick. I have a weak stomach and am careful of what I ate. Food was warm to cold. If you really enjoyed food, they have everything for everyone. From freshly made to buffet. I realised that there was no way the food was going to stay hot. A/C, the sea breeze, the hot water wells for the buffet not turned up high enough etc, food got cold fast. i didn't mind. As they say, "hot food, cold heart. Cold food, warm heart" lol.
Drinks were plenty, the lobby service was good. There were times when it was slow. That was due to having alot of people either coming in, waiting for the excursion or just hanging out by the lobby. TOO many guests at the wrong time, too few crew.
I have travelled to many resorts and holiday everywhere, I will definetely come back to this resort. My regret (also on a positive note, is I really wanted to thank Marco, the general manager, personally, I was constantly told he was around. Never saw him. Please Marco, wear a pager, will help. )
Pointers for people. This is Cuba, and is slowly evolving.
In your baggage, please come with the following.,
Ketchup
Mayo
Peanut butter (for your kids)
Snacks- pringle etc, they sell but costly
Sunscrean, Deet ( didn't need it, but there were few bugs around).
Wet wipes, just incase you arrive late and if you are shorted with toilet paper.
Dollar store items for gifts especially. pens, pencils,soap, toothpaste, toothbrush, shavers, kids clothes (used in good condition.) Use your imagination. The crew will really appreciate the kindness and funny, service is very good, but you will be wowed beyond the usual.
And what you don't need to bring back, please leave behind.
Last things, please tip whenever you can, But convert the dollars to CUC peso at the bank in the airport or the lobby between 9-6. They will give you in One's CUC peso.
Enjoy
The evening entertainment, the ones that I attended, (2) were great.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank fudgethunder
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 26, 2013

First let me say that prior to our trip we read many of the reviews about Paraiso and although there was alot of poor and very poor reviews, we went into this vacation with an open mind and tried to not let any of what we had read influence our experience there. With that said, we would say our stay at this resort was enjoyable and entertaining and worth the money we paid for it. It had pros and cons to it, and the cons not all being issues of the hotel but issues with Sunwing. Our stay was from Jan 17-24 2013.

Upon arrival to Cuba we were given an envelope that contained our welcome letter and room information and keys (it listed our room as #31 and bungalow #3164, this we realized after looking at the map was backwards, bungalow 31 and room 3164). The bus ride is long but we were prepared for that and the tour guide was friendly and informative so we sat back and enjoyed the beer and took in the sights along the way. Upon arrival to the hotel we went directly to our room which was in the first bungalow outside of the lobby. Was a perfect location to us, not too far from the lobby or pool, yet far enough from pool to keep the noise in that area to a minimun. Our room was on the 3rd floor with an ocean view and a king size bed, and was very clean and in our opinion was perfect, oh except for the patio door squeaked VERY loudly so we talked to maintenance and they lubed it up right away and from that point there were no issues at all with the room, not even any critters. Deanna our chambermaid was very sweet and kind and we left her mutiple gifts everyday and she left us a clean room and decorative towel displays everyday. We left our bath towels out on the floor and she changed them each day. I read complaints before that people did not get fresh towels but we never had an issue. One day my boyfriend spilled juice by accident on the sheets and bed cover, went right thru to the mattress cover and I told Deanna and she without hesitation told us to just leave them on the floor with the towels and she gave us fresh bedding. The only issue I had with the cleaning was that I had left a very generous gift for Deanna with a note, not realizing she was off that day (she only gets 1 day off a week) and the girl who replaced her ended up with the gift, which in itself is not an issue but what I had a problem with was that this girl did not even say thank you. We even came back to the room while she was cleaning, so she stepped outside of the room and waited for us to finsh getting what we needed and not a word was said. We passed her 3 or 4 times and nothing was said. Don't get me wrong, I did not expect her to jump up and down or anything but a thank you would have been nice. Now like I said there wasn't really any problems with our room but the mini bar was not stocked, nor was the fridge even turned on to be cooled and ready for use. We went to the customer service desk and enquired about it and they said someone would be up shortly to stock it...that never happened. We went down again the next day around 1 or so and talked to them again and they said it would be done. Later that day we returned to the room and it was stocked. We also received 2 phone calls later checking to see if it had been done. From that point it was stocked everyday and the gentleman doing it was very polite and friendly. We tipped him well cause from what we could see, he was working his butt off having to carry all the water and drinks throughout the 3 floors of the bungalow. There were no issues with the toilet not working and we had good water pressure and hot water everyday.

We also on the day of arrival had to go down to the lobby desk to enquire about our luggage cause it had not arrived to our room after a few hours. Once we asked about it, our luggage arrived within about 30 mins with the guy standing, waiting and EXPECTING a tip which I did give but was not impressed with.

Throughout our stay we only ever ate at the buffet which was nothing fancy but me being a picky eater, I always found something I liked. Yes sometimes the food was cold but it was not as bad as alot of the previous reviews have stated. I think it depends on when you go and how busy it is. If the buffet is busy the food goes quickly and is replenished reasonably fast but if it is a slow time then the food trays sit there letting the food cool and because there are full, fresh is not brought out. We felt satisfied with what was offered there. The service at the buffet was hit and miss. We had one server, a lady with short blonde hair, we never did get her name but we always sat in her section if she was there and she was a doll!!! Works very hard and always had a smile on her face. Some other servers not so good, hence us sitting at the other lady's area whenever possible. At breakfast there was pretty much always a line up for fresh omelets and eggs but for the most part they always had 3 chefs making them. The one lady I always went to, would always greet you with a smile and "Ola, how are you today my friend?" And my eggs were perfect everytime!!! There was one time we went to the buffet for dinner and we had to wait in line to get in because it was busy and they needed tables to become free. This wasn't really a problem except I noticed a couple that was there before us and between them and us were a few groups of 4 or more people waiting and those groups were allowed in before the couple because 2 person tables were not available yet, only 4 or more size tables. I understand somewhat the reasoning for taking those groups in, but it was not fair that because there were only 2 of them that they had to wait longer when they were there first. I did mention to the gentleman manning the door that it was ridiculous to make them wait when they were there first and he responded, rudely I might add, that it was not ridiculous. Believe me, if we were back in Canada and he spoke to me with the tone he did there, he'd learn a hard lesson on being respectful. Like I said, I understand to a degree why they were taking the larger groups first but that couple had waited and were bypassed long enough. We did notice some labels telling you what was being served but not all the food was labelled which would have helped to minimize waste after choosing something to eat and realizing it may not be what you thought you were gettting. Also I think drink lists would help at the bars so you would know what kind of drinks are available to the regular guests and what is available to the "diamond club".

A La Carte...now this is where I had an issue. One person to book your reservation for the whole hotel. Open from 9:30 - 12 and 2 - 4:30 I think the times were. We went mutiple times to book our reservations and everytime it was lined up like crazy!!! Sorry but I did not pay for a vacation to be spent waiting in line to book a reservation. When we did finally wait and get up to the desk we were interupted, by the buffet manager I believe he was, so he could book someone else's reservation. That was completely and utterly rude!!!!! And due to having to come back multiple times because of the lineups, it was already our 5th day there so the only restaurant we wanted to book was full and we couldn't get in so we never got our A La Carte dinners.

We did attend the theatre a bit, there were different shows each night and some nights there was a band playing rock music. We didn't actually go and see them but could hear them from our balcony and they were very good. Played alot of classic rock. One night though we stopped into the theatre and stood by the wall and on top of a fire extingisher we found about a dozen Sunwing information cards that guests had filled out with personal information. Very careless on Sunwings part. We took them up to the front desk and turned them in cause at that point there were no Sunwing reps around.

Now the beach...as pretty much every review has stated, it was ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!! It was always clean, the sand was like powder, the water was amazing and the waves were a blast to play in. And let me just say that "Jorda" not sure of the correct spelling of his name, something like Yoarda, was my favorite Cuban to meet. He would get us our lounge chairs at the beach and he was so friendly and talkative, explaining things about Cuba to us and we would tell him about Canada. Our last day there we gave him picture postcards of Canada and Ontario and he was just amazed by the colours of the trees in Autumn and our different seasons and sunsets at our lakes. He thought our country was beautiful! (which it is!!) When we said our goodbyes he told us "he was losing 2 friends". Hopefully one day we will meet again!!!! And then there was the bartenders at the beach bar. Jimmy (aka Deabelo, inside joke) and Ariel...what can I say but those two were hilarious!!!! That was our favorite bar to go to!!!! They make a mean rum punch and bahama mama lol!!!! Be sure to have a drink there!!!!!

We only stayed at the pool 1 day because it was too difficult to get a chair. We unfortunately broke down and gave into the system of leaving our towels on chairs to reserve them early in the morning just so we could get one. I don't like that practice and we said to ourselves that we wouldn't do it but it was the only way to get a chair, we tried a couple different days to go after the beach but could never find a chair. But let me say that we did go back right after breakfast and used the chairs all day, we didn't just reserve them and then not use them.

As we walked around the resort, both Paraiso and Azul side we found many cats and kittens. There was a mother cat and 5 kittens outside our bungalow and there was another cat that made himself comfortable in the Paraiso lobby on the couches and sometimes sitting on the guests laps. We sometimes would sneak food out of the buffet to feed them and came across one lady who brought tins of cat food with her to feed them. As we walked around though, we did notice that better maps and signs of the resort may help guests find their way around better. The grounds people always seemed to be busy maintaining the bushes and flowers and sweeping up but we did notice alot of light fixtures that were not working and some exposed wires which the hotel should work on.

We at one point enquired at the front desk about upgrading to the "diamond club" and the girl at the desk advised us that you didn't get that much more for the money that they were asking. We thought that was very nice and honest of her to tell us. I'm sure that is not what she was supposed to tell us, but honesty like that is what will bring people back in our opinion. Improving the extras for the "diamond club" is something that the hotel should consider.

Now for our departure...(please note that this next paragraph is not a reflection on the hotel and was out of their control) our flight wasn't until 10:30 at night, and the bus to the airport was scheduled to depart at 5:30, checkout from the hotel was 2pm but we paid an extra 10 pesos/hour to have the room till 5pm and that was worth it. Gave us another day at the beach with having access to a shower right before leaving. Checkout was a breeze, took about 45 seconds and then we waited for the bus. When it arrived it was swarmed by guests departng and the majority was from a large group booking I think of 85 people from some company called Global (investments or something) And they were the most rude, ignorant people ever, pushing and shoving to get on their bus which the Sunwing reps never bothered to tell anyone that the Global people were getting on their own 2 buses. All of us other guest had to wait for a third bus not knowing what was going on as the Sunwing reps left their desks for the day and didn't bother to inform us of what was going on. Finally a third bus showed and the rest of us loaded up thanking god we weren't on the other buses at that point with all of the rude Global group! One guy I talked to said he was going home and checking his portfolio to make sure there were no Global investments in it after that! Then we got to the airport to find out the flight was delayed by an hour so we sat around the airport waiting and trying to avoid the Global group. Finally the boarding, which took forever cause as it turns out our flight was "randomly" choosen by Trans Canada or whoever to have every passenger weighed with their carry on and then again without their carry so you can imagine how much more time that took. Oh and did I mention that this weighing was not done in private, you just stepped on a scale infront of everyone while they yelled out your weight for someone to record. Think there is a privacy issue there!!!!! So then we finally got on the plane and didn't one of the "Global guest" start acting like an jerk to the flight attendants. He was upset due to the delay and then the weighing issue but that was not the flight attendants fault but he had to ramble on causing issues and not doing up his seat belt when he was told to etc etc. Finally the attendant after warning the guy several times ended up writing up a report about him and the authorities were called and when we landed in Toronto we all had to wait on the plane until this jerk was escorted off by the local authorities. Thankfully our exit through customs was uneventful (I think they were aware of our flight's delays and issues with "Mr Global" and just let everybody through without questions) and we made it back home only 2 hours later then expected.

All in all I would say our stay at the resort was good, but when both Paraiso and Azul are booked to full capacity, that many people does make things more difficult when it comes to service. The resort itself is nice and most of the staff greeted you as you walked by and we had more pleasurable experiences then we did bad. Beach like I said is amazing and is well worth the visit. Will we go to this resort again? Most likely no, but not because of poor service or food, but because it was just too crowded for our liking. We hope this review is helpful to others who are thinking of going to Paraiso and as well hope this gives the hotel management some ideas of where improvements could be made and maybe give a pat on the back to those staff who we mentioned that helped maked our trip enjoyable. Thanks Memories!

Room Tip: Bungalow 31 is a great location if you want to be close to the pool but not hear all the noise from...
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  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
26  Thank littleb50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Marco-Mazzucchelli, General Manager at Memories Paraiso Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded January 27, 2013

Many thanks for prefer Memories Paraiso and for share your experience on Trip Advisor.

I hope your thorough and detailed review can be as helpful to readers as it has been for us
and it is a pleasure for me to reply you, with the openness that characterizes my answers.

The vast majority of our staff is helpful and friendly; that does not mean that there aren´t exceptions, but sometimes the language barrier is what prevents them from being as spontaneous as they would like, especially who is covering other places, when the holder
are on day off.

Regarding Diamond Club, we decided to don´t sell it more for the moment, because we
are stufying a more attractive formula.

Although in the last few days we have improved a lot, we aren´t quick enough to book
the thematic dinners. We are very focused on solving this issue and we have now a
person make the reservations prior the customers arrival.

About the label and bar menues, you have reason; we should have more. Said that, and
please don´t take it as an excuse, has been very difficult lately.
During the last 3 weeks we have put in bars hundreds of menues, but guests took them
as "souvenir", faster than printing in La Habana produce them.
With the food labels, it's the same, although it is hard to believe and I do not understand the reason why they took them.

Despite our efforts, we have had to give up trying to explain at the guests to don´tmark the sunchairs, so since last week we are buying more.

I take this opportunity to ask at all the "animal lovers" to PLEASE don´t feed the cats.
Let this task to the Gardeners.
Is unbelievable to see how many customers throw food on every corner, often taking plates and cups from the Buffet and leaving them around the Hotel, including outside the Buildings,
and often are the same who get a complain for insects or bugs...

It's a shame that, despite you spent a pleasant stay, probably will not return; If you like Hotels with fewer customers, I suggest tovisit us in another moment of the season, or try our Royal Service, Royalton Cayo Santa Maria.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 26, 2013

The Memories Paraiso Resort - January 16th - 23rd
General Information:
I do a lot of investigating before I go on vacation. Before I left for the Paraiso I found out that the Memories Resorts (both Paraiso and Azul) are under new management. Changes are being made in regards to food temperature, Diamond Club etc. The new manager is obviously doing a great job as all of the complaints I had read about in previous reviews were not applicable to my vacation.
This is a large resort and is adjoined to the Memories Azul resort. There are over 600 rooms per resort. This is a great place to get lots of exercise and enjoy beautiful gardens. There are carts that will transport you from one place to another if you don’t want to walk. The three of us, two women in our 40’s and one very young 75 year old woman, walked everywhere and rarely flagged down a cart.

Arrival:
Anyone who does their research will know that it takes approximately an hour and a half to reach the resort. We are transported on new air conditioned busses and beer is offered at an affordable price. Considering I live six hours from the airport in Toronto, this drive to the resort is nothing. I’ve driven further for a cup of coffee, let alone a week in paradise.
Bungalow Room 3513
Our ground floor room faced the pool and had a railed in balcony. The hedge in front of the balcony gave some privacy. It was clean and comfortable. We didn’t have any issues with anything in regards to our room. The safe worked perfectly, the doors locked, the water was hot, the air conditioner worked! Our bar fridge was filled daily by the bar service man. Please note, the maids do not fill bar fridges. If you want specific things like more water less soft drinks, leave a note (in Spanish if you want to be considerate) with your request in the bar fridge. The maid service was very good. Special thanks to Ava for her hard work, beautiful towel art and lovely notes left for us!
I would ask for this room again as the bungalow is central. It was close to the pool, lobby, buffet and 24 hour grill and not far from the beach.
Buffet
We ate at both the Paraiso and Azul Buffets. The first day the food was a little on the cool side, but then something was changed and the food was HOT. Not just warm, but Hot! There was a lot of selection and we always found something we liked to eat. Considering what everyone says about the food in Cuba, I was pleasantly surprised.
One particular evening there was a line up to both buffets. So, we went into the Lobby Bar and had a few drinks and relaxed and talked. Sure enough, by the time we were finished, there was no line up and there was lots of food available. I was impressed!
Disturbing: people have to stop feeding the stray cats off the plates from the buffet. I have pets at home and I do NOT feed them off of the dishes we eat off of. It’s just poor manners.

Converting Money
There are two places to do this, in the lobby and at the bank in the tourist village “Pueblo Estrella”. Sometimes there are long lines at the lobby. Just go for a stroll to the tourist village to the bank. It is located on the left beside the children’s playground. Don’t forget to bring your passport as you cannot exchange money without it. Ask for lots of 1 peso bills for tipping…I had 100 of them. My wallet was bulging. I felt like a millionaire…can you imagine having 100 loonies in your pocket? It was nice to have bills for a change!
The Grill (24 hour)
This place became “OUR” place! I really loved the staff at the grill. Big SHOUT OUT to David, Carlos, Chino, Roberto and Belkis and Osmany! As I have hypoglycemia and my friend had diabetes, we had to eat frequently. So, we would snack on the ham and cheese and chicken sandwiches and fries offered at the grill. Sometimes they would run out of chicken. No big deal! They also had hamburgers which were very good. Ketchup was available – you just have to ask. I brought some small packets of condiments with me and used them…but after a while, I stopped using them altogether. I think my body enjoyed the break from processed condiments for a few days! We ate the lunch and breakfast buffets at the Grill our entire week. There was always something good to eat. Belkis served us frequently. She always had a smile on her face and refilled our orange juice glasses and water glasses frequently. The Cappuccino’s were fantastic! The bartenders, Carlos, David, Roberto and Chino are fantastic. Ask for a Veradero Sunrise for your first celebratory drink, the three different colours are very festive…but don’t forget to stir it before you drink it. If David is working request one of his magnificent Margarita’s…phenomenal.

Beach
Well, what can I say…paradise is the only word to describe the beach. The sand was like flour under your feet, the water was beautiful and body surfing the waves was great fun. There are people who work on the beach who will help you find a lounge chair in the sun or shade. They will sweep all of the sand off of the chairs for you. I tipped these people well as their job is physical and hot. There are two beach bars, one located at the Azul side of the beach and one on the Paraiso. We had Diamond Club so we had butler service even though we didn’t bother sitting in the “special section” for D Club people. We always had a spot close to the beach grill (great snacks THANKS REY!), bar and bathroom. The beach empties around 3 in the afternoon and by 5pm it’s empty. If you really don’t like crowds, get your “go cup” filled to the brim at the Grill and walk down to the beach at 5pm…it’s like having your own private beach. The beach bar closes shortly after but we really enjoyed the solitude.
Pool
The Pools are a good size and there are a lot of activities going on around the pool. Games in the pool and around the pool.
We spent one afternoon at the swim up bar. The bartenders were fairly quick and very courteous. The chlorine in the pool is a little strong, but if you think about swimming in human soup…you’re thankful for it. As is with all resorts – the “Towel People” were out in the wee hours of the morning saving their chairs around the pool. As I can go to a pool in Canada – I stayed at the beach so I didn’t care.
Diamond Club
We purchased Diamond Club – for an extra 10 dollars a day we felt it was worth the price. We used the butler service on the beach…that alone was worth it. We also had nice bathrobes in our rooms and turn down service at night. The Diamond Club is apparently being revamped and in the future be only offered on the Paraiso side of the resort. I look forward to going back to see what changes have been made.
A la Carte restaurants
Unfortunately I cannot write about the A la Cartes as we never made reservations. I waited two hours in the Diamond Club lounge to make reservations and gave up. This is my nature. I’d rather eat at the buffet than wait to make reservations. This really isn’t a complaint as the same thing happened when I was in Puerto Plata…one of these days I’ll make it to an A la carte…but personally, I don’t think it’s a big deal. It was my decision not to wait.
Staff
Special thanks to Lian, Belkis, Ariel, Roberto, Carlos, Chino and David for all of their attentive service and their kind words and genuine smiles. These staff members are a true asset to the resort.
Excursions
We did not go on any excursions as one of our party, who shall not be named, could not face getting up at six in the morning. LOL I didn’t care. I just wanted to go to the beach. This being said, we met a friend who went on many excursions. He had nothing but glowing reports about them, especially the day trip to Havana via a short flight. (I’m doing that one next time even if I have to go alone!)
Departure
Easy breezy. After we called for bell boy service and had our luggage safely locked away in the secure and guarded luggage room we lounged comfortably in the Lobby and waited for our bus while sipping on our last drinks of our holiday. We boarded a third bus and had a good trip back to the airport with some pretty funny commentary from our guide, “And on the left you will see a woman playing with her dog, on the right some chickens!”
Customs
Here’s a special note. If you buy a piece of artwork (paintings) make sure and get a receipt. Otherwise you will have to pay a 3 dollar tax on the art you buy. No problem, I paid the tax, had a lovely chat with the customs lady and bought some great books at one of the souvenir places at the airport.
Home
We arrived in Toronto after midnight and checked into the Sheraton Gateway Airport, slept for 4 hours and got on another flight to North Bay…drove for an hour and half home…and immediately caught the flu from my grandkids.
All and all, it was a great vacation. I loved it and I look forward to going back next year!
PS. Please don’t email me and ask “What do you REALLY think about the resort?” If I write it, I mean it! Of course reviews are totally subjective. You might want to read other reviews I’ve written to see what kind of traveler I am.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s8vqPAylpNw&feature=youtube_gdata

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
11  Thank MGutscher
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Memories Paraiso Beach Resort

Address: 52610, Cuba
Location: Caribbean > Cuba > Villa Clara Province > Cayo Santa Maria
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #12 of 16 Hotels in Cayo Santa Maria
Hotel Class:5 star — Memories Paraiso Beach Resort 5*
Number of rooms: 666

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