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“may 2013 stay”

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

I just came back from memories flamenco.I was at paraiso with my daughter and sister back in may 2013
the good it has a beautiful beach one that I can equally compare to barcelo in the myan riviera( mexico) lovely sand ! ( no rocks)
rooms are clean even though becoming slightly our dated not bad
we were under the impression their was a 25 hour restaurant but only the bar was open .at that time it might of been because the hotel was not full they chose to have it closed.
at flamenco because it is a smaller resort the 24 hr bar serves as a restaurant too ,great idea!
what i did not like in may ( maybe they changed it was that the lobby/reception was not helpful !!! at all) my daughter just turned a year and after a couple of days she became very sick unable to breed and congested! i did not know where to charge my phone so I went to ask the reception/lobby with my sister ,on use of phone to contact insurance asap to help her.they seemed like I was bugging them ! they said they dont have collect calls on their phones(which is what manulife instructions say to do in health emergencies) i asked if I can pay them to use their phone they said "No",I would have to wait till morning till the fax and telephone office open to guests are available. no guests was at their front desks they were not busy but yet they acted like i was intruding
on their work time.
the other staff was generally good except for one a young small short woman who seemed to have her own agenda telling me she is going to bring gifts from home for me after only one minute of meeting me ( i found that highly strange you have not had a real conversation with me )anyways Thanks but i don't need anything I gave her a 10 cc tip.the next day she figured my daughter as she said had no "pappy" hmm yes she does I have a older son at home and been married and together with my husband since 96 lol but i was glad she went after the group of quebec women ( that i talked to ) and they even advised me they were trying to tell her they save for their trip and they are not rich .
anyways once i did the call to manulife i went to the hospital .
i was given only 3 day amoxixillin which everyone said was not a proper treatment here for my daughter ( she never was better there) could not sleep and puked the rest of the trip! on the bus to the airport and the plane as well.
I have no clue if paraiso as a medical facility like flamenco because when i aaked the lobby staff they just wanted me away.they had a tv they were watching and i guess i was interrupting.At memories flamenco my daughter as well as some other little babies became sick they were very much concerned !!! and helpful and even called me late to know if their was anything they can help her with.
memories paraiso can learn from Memories flamenco
paraiso is has the beautiful grounds (massive compared to flamenco) but needs to learn a bit from the pages of flamenco
now at paraiso I tipped over 300 cc ,my sister who can understand much more spanish then me overheard some staff (restaurant)say be nicer to the woman with the baby she tips well.
what I liked about flamenco is the staff is not sickly ( overnice to you) but nice .they do their job treat you well if they get a tip their thankful but even if they don't they don't treat you any less!

Stayed: December 2013
2  Thank tunzi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed December 26, 2013

If you're going to Santa Maria and planning to stay at Memories Azul, think no more. This is a new hotel with lots of amenities and places to relax. There are two places in the shade that my family and I absolutely adore, where you can have a relaxing afternoon sipping espresso and listening to Cuban music. There are two large pools that seem quite clean. We don' t use them because we simply go for the ocean which is breathtaking. We have seen lots of beaches. This one is incomparable: turquoise blue and lapis on a beach so white it sparkles in the sun. And everyday, it's a different shade. We had a suite with a breath taking ocean view. There are two rooms (a bedroom and a living room). We asked the hotel staff to add a twin bed which they did right away. Everybody is pleasant and for a small tip they will help you. The food is good, there is live music every evening, both in the lobby and in front of the restaurant and it is varied enough to satisfy as many tastes as possible. If you ever need anything, you'll just need to go look for the best hotel manager I have ever met: Mr. Oscar. He is a perfect gentleman, always smiling and conversing with his guests, always trying to make your stay as pleasant as possible.
We went on a trip to Santa Clara, one of the most important Cuban cities. Some people choose to see the poverty, some complain about the food, the lack of shopping opportunities, the size of the cups or glasses. I choose to talk about a rich and unique culture that hasn't died yet precisely because they are cut from all things American. In a way, they are stuck in time as the buildings and houses are mostly very old, some dating from the colonial era. The music and dancing are also very authentic. The Cuban salsa is called el son. The food is the most natural you can eat. All those people complaining about the blandness of the Cuban food must have had their taste buds altered due to eating chips and artificial tomato juice and ketchup and all the taste enhanced chemical products they ingest. Thinking about these things now, six months later, I again fail to understand the travelers who expect to find in all the corners of the world their miserable peanut butter for breakfast, American music and cheap sex. Well, those who do this everywhere should stay home where they can have what they are used to. They are an embarrassment to their fellow travelers and compatriots. If they treat everyone as inferior, they won't get anything but contempt and their stupidity will cost them a lot. Go with an open mind to discover a great part of this world and you'll have a great time. Keep in mind that you won't live there and that the Cubans go to great lengths to make your stay enjoyable.
The dolphin facility near Santa Maria is a nice adventure. Families with children or people who love nature will definitely enjoy watching this intelligent mammal perform spectacular feats for a few fishes. They are well taken care of and the trip is worth the money.

Room Tip: Suites are the thing even if you have to pay more.
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  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with family
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11  Thank Flamencofamily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
OliverSuarez, General Manager at Memories Paraiso Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded December 29, 2013

Warm smiles and friendly service is our policy every day for every guest. Our staff truly cares about all your travel needs making your visit comfortable and memorable.

We thank you for choosing the Memories Paraiso Azul Cayo Santa Maria.
We are looking forward to welcoming and servicing you again.

Our Mission – Your Comfort
Oliver Suárez Cronauer

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

Stayed here last year in Jan. got engaged right on that beautiful beach. this Jan 21st we have 53 guest coming to our wedding right on the very same beautiful beach. Sounds like they still got the great friendly staff we enjoyed last year. if your looking for a great getaway look here. the food was good service was out of this world. Can't wait to see how they handle a wedding, and out 53 guest.
See ya soon Memories ;)

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank rodds
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
OliverSuarez, General Manager at Memories Paraiso Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded December 29, 2013

Warm smiles and friendly service is our policy every day for every guest. Our staff truly cares about all your travel needs making your visit comfortable and memorable.

We thank you for choosing the Memories Paraiso Azul Cayo Santa Maria.
We are looking forward to welcoming and servicing you again.

Our Mission – Your Comfort
Oliver Suárez Cronauer

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 26, 2013

My wife and I stayed here from Nov. 13th 2013 to Nov 21st 2013. I love to walk beautiful beaches and it would be hard to find a beach anywhere that beats this one. The surrounding are beautiful and the catamaran trip where you see dolphins and interact with them was memorable and so relaxing and enjoyable.
The resort it self is in an ideal location but is huge we were in the 61 unit and although the pool and the ocean was at our backdoor and the ocean view from our balcony was spectacular. It was quite a distance to the buffet or restaurants at dinner and breakfast time. They usually have carts running back forth offering guests a ride and we often took advantage of this. Walking distances is difficult for my wife and at times it was hard to contend when they were not available.
It seemed that when we were there only half the resort was open and that management had trouble contending with the huge volume in the other half. As a result there were line ups to get into the buffet and service was slow at times. One time due to capacity problems one of the managers moved a table right next to us and directed people to sit down. We had not even finished are meal but we were so insulted by the abrupt way this was done that we left before finishing. Needless to say I was annoyed even though the waiters and waitresses apologized on behalf of the manager. In the lobby bar in the early evening we waited more than once for 20 minutes before being offered a drink. I often ended up going to the bar and getting my own.
I do not blame the staff of the resort for this because they were always so nice and friendly and accommodating, when they served you, but it appeared to me that management did not hire enough staff to contend with the volumes they booked.
Even though we booked an ocean view we did not take advantage of the Diamond Club. I guess it is because I feel all guests should be treated and served the same? Why is there a Diamond Club? When I book at 4 star resort I do not expect other people to treated better than me because they joined a different class by enrolling in the Diamond Club. I give good tips for good service and do not expect a class system that undermines my efforts. Personally I think the whole concept is wrong and should be done away with. A guest is guest and better service should not be determined by the colour of your arm band.
I would definitely recommend this location to anyone.The resort it self is beautiful throughout however when we were there the closet door fell off, the fan had to be fixed, air conditioning never worked properly and beach towels were not on the bed as promised and the bathroom light fell out of its socket. As I said I do not think these are all staff issues I think it is because there was not enough staff. Or maybe it was because I do not belong to the Diamond Club. I hope not.

Love the Beach!!!!

Room Tip: Our location was perfect, the room needed some maintenance.
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  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled with family
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3  Thank Rarelyheard
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 26, 2013

We took advantage of reduced fares in June 2013 but not the best time of year - very hot and humid although the hotel was only 2/3 booked so fewer people at the pool and buffet. The room is a bit dated but the air conditioning worked great. The bathroom lights were on an energy system so took a bit to come to full lighting. Cleaning staff were very nice and did a good job. If you can't do a lot of walking, there are several golf-type carts which will pick you up and take you where you want to go; just call the front desk and they come or flag one down on the paths.

Down sides: the "a la carte" restaurants were a joke... we're positive the food all came out of the same kitchen as the buffet. Nothing special. The theatre is huge and completely covered which is nice but it's always open and the sound is deafening even from our room. Every morning and night carts go by and spray bomb the entire property to keep down the bugs and mosquitoes. No warning but usually at dawn and dusk so try not to be out on the paths at those times. Be prepared, they also spray inside the plane just before you land! Nobody tells you that...

Most of the staff in the restaurants, rooms and elsewhere are very nice but like anywhere, you'll get the odd one who has an attitude. Overall, the food wasn't bad but as I've been told many times, Cuba is a beach destination not a "foodie" destination so I wasn't expecting great food.

Room Tip: Use the layout maps provided on the Hotel's site to choose a building close to what you prefer...
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  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank 2013happytrails
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 26, 2013

Every time we return to Memories Paraiso Azul in Cayo Santa Maria, there are more things that improve and for sure that is what makes us go back. I believe having a great vacation means you making it become that way, but this hotel, its personnel and the beach makes it be truly amazing. So you just get into the true spirit of relaxing and the rest will come.
Flying with Sunwing proved to be more than pleasant once more and the one and a half hour trip from the Santa Clara airport to the hotel (and back for the return way) was an inspiring experience.
We’re not going to talk too much about the beach which is one of the most beautiful in the whole Caribbean, as the sand is flour white and the water crystal clear; nor about the famous Spanish Coffees, great Mohitos, or a good combination of rum and cigars. This time the stress will be on the people and service.
A lot of improvement at the hotel and here I mean the quality of the service. We were upgraded to Diamond Club, courtesy of the hotel management, as it was our fourth visit to this resort; also had our room changed to a nicer, top floor location, the second day.
The management team is clearly customer focused and it is easily to feel the European manner of dealing with tourists and being attentive to every person’s possible demands. We truly appreciate the attention señor Nemesio has given us by being so involved in our stay.
The resort is clean and well landscaped by the gardeners, the electric cars will take you everywhere you want, and the beach crew is happy to serve you. The capacity of accommodating more people at the beach has increased and the Diamond Club section makes the difference. The butler service at the beach was great.
At the Diamond Club section in the buffet you can easily find tables even if the rest of the room is crowded, and the servers are friendly and happy, making you truly enjoy all your meals and drinks. The only very small thing to complain about the buffet was the variety of cheese we got used to on previous visits. Otherwise the food was good and the fruit and deserts were heavenly.
The lobby bar is the hang-out place for everybody from late afternoon to night, and we always enjoyed there the best Spanish coffees, cappuccinos and smooth Havana Club Rum (7 years) with the occasional finest Cuban cigar. The servants at the lobby bar are the best; a special thank for Janny & Lorna and their friendly service. The evening music shows every day at 7 were very good and the performers truly professionals. The two girls who also perform at the theatre are really amazing.
If any problem may occur, the customer service representatives are happy to help. All suggestions or demands we had were solved on the spot. A big thank you for Dunia, Yoanna, Jorgito and the rest of the customer service team at the front desk.
Again thank you very much to Sr. Alexis and Sr. Rolando, who really are there for you at all times and happily manage to solve all possible issues, acknowledge your suggestions or simply answer your questions. A special thank for Yohanne (I hope the name is correctly spelled), one true young spirit, and the one who made us happy with the everyday mini bar refill and kind friendship. Also, Jorge, the gardener working around bungalow #32, deserves our best wishes.

Overall, the two weeks spent from end of November to mid December offered us the best time in the sun, the kindness of the Cuban people, great service and a good relaxing period for the body and the spirit.
We’ll go back again in June.
Thank you all for everything!

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with family
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9  Thank Andrei P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
OliverSuarez, General Manager at Memories Paraiso Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded February 7, 2014

We thank you for choosing the Memories Paraiso Azul Cayo Santa Maria.
We are looking forward to welcoming and servicing you again.

Our Mission – Your Comfort
Oliver Suárez Cronauer

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 24, 2013

I will start off by saying that no matter what I wrote here, YOU make your vacation into what you want it to be!

It was my first time in Cuba but I was fairly confident about my choice in resorts because I googled the heck out of this one; read many reviews both good and bad, looked at the contributors' photos and made an informed decision from that. Pictures of the beach sealed the deal, it's absolutely gorgeous! All I was really looking for was a beautiful beach, lots of sun and the sound of the sea. Mission accomplished!

We were a group of seven ladies that travelled from 02-09 Dec 2013... well technically it was 02-10 Dec as we were more than 12hrs late departing but that had nothing to do with the resort.

Rooms: We had specifically asked for at least a second floor unit yet we ended up with ground floor rooms; rectified the situation when we got to the hotel, had to wait in line a little but totally worth it. So happy we made a fuss because the third floor room I got was a corner unit that provided an amazing breeze and terrific view of the causeway. The rooms are spacious and clean, they stock up the bar at around 6pm with pop, beer and water. The cleaning staff made sure we never ran out of anything and would use the towels, blankets and a few hibiscus flowers here and there to make animal art, everyday was something different. Didn't spend much time in the room but it served its purpose. I did have an ant problem one day, they were everywhere on the bathroom counter; once I got rid of them they never came back.

Grounds: Impeccably maintained and this place seems to be the hibiscus capital of the world, they're everywhere! The gardeners and maintenance crew do an amazing job!

Food: I hate to say it but the food is not the best but the trick is to hone in on a few "go to" items and you'll survive. Breakfast consisted of an omelette and pancakes with a few slices of bacon; first few days we went to the buffet but turns out Route 66 (Sports Bar) is a better choice as they have a more efficient omelette station. They use a plaque instead of the one frying pan at the buffet so they can make three or four at a time, turn around is much better. Route 66 also has a pancake station, these are not crêpes they are pancakes and they will stick to your ribs until lunch! Coffee is not that great but once we figured out we could order a decent cappuccino the universe lined up again! For lunch I would usually gravitated toward hotdogs or grilled cheese from the beach grill or the one around the pool, sometimes a pit stop at Route 66 for some fries. For supper make sure you book your "à la carte" if they are included in your package because the food is much better, the italian restaurant was a unanimous favourite and next time I would book that one all three nights! The buffet is nothing to write home about but again, you stick with a few "go to" items and you won't starve; I loved the pork roast, shrimps, crab, pasta and pizza; for the pizza it's worth the wait to chose your own ingredients and get it right out of the oven. During the day there is the ice creme buggy that goes around the pool and the beach, make sure you flag it down because it's really good! If you're a snacker, bring granola bars, nuts or Pringles as they are probably the only chips that won't get crushed in transit!

Entertainment: There are activities at the pool through out the day but I never did find out where the Spanish Lessons were taking place... Step exercises, aqua gym, volleyball, basketball, they had dance lessons one day and of course music. You will hear the Memories song about a gazillion times but by the end of the week you will know all the moves and will have a sudden urge to get up and dance! The entertainment crew around the pool is awesome and they really try to get people to join in so make sure you get up and dance even if you do it from across the pool. The nightly entertainment included a Michael Jackson show, even if you don't like that kind of music the dancing alone is a must see! I'm not really a show person so I skipped a few night but I did go to see the band that played on two separate occasions and they were pretty darn good. One thing I didn't really appreciate was the fact that the disco is not part of the resort, it's in the little market place next to the resort (Pueblo Estrella), only a ten minute walk or one of the shuttle carts will get you there in a few minutes but you will have to pay 10 CUC to get in. Mind you the fee includes either 5 beers or 3 drinks which is quite reasonable but the place is usually dead. I think if there was a disco on the resort more people would probably go because after the show most people go back to their room or to the Lobby bar; the Lobby bar is fine but there is no dancing! One night we did go play a game of 10-pin bowling at the Bolera in Pueblo Estrella and had a blast, how many people can say they went bowling in Cuba? lol The Bolera also has a few pool tables and a bar but since it's off the resort you will have to pay for your entertainment and drinks.

Pools: I only went to the one in front of Route 66 on the Azul side of the resort, I did pass by the other pool which is next to the theatre but seemed to be a total snooze fest... maybe that was the "quiet pool" so if you like it quiet that's your pool, if you want music and activities then go the other one! One thing is for sure is that they take pool cleaning very seriously here, the pool guy does nothing but clean and test the PH balance all day.

Bars: Never really had to wait for too long, plenty of staff on hand and they never ran out of anything I was drinking. I did hear that they ran out of red wine one day which the Sangria drinkers did not appreciate but I have not complaints! Beach bar, Lobby bar and pool bar were all equally awesome, good friendly service and no watering drinks here! Note: What ever you do, DO NOT FORGET YOUR BUBBA! Those little plastic glasses they use for drinks are almost shooter size! lol Seriously, bring a travel mug otherwise your drink will be empty by the time you get back to your chair!

Beach: One of the most beautiful beach I've ever seen! The sand is like powder, the water is clear and you can walk out quite a way before the water gets really deep. I saw only a few fish near the beach and two jelly fish but the water is sooooo clear that you see them early enough to move away. They have free catamaran rides all day, they usually take you out for about 15 minutes; it's free but we gave our navigator a few CUCs. A few of us went out a few times!

This resort is about a 90-minute bus ride from the airport but it passes quickly, especially if you have a few Cristal beers on the way!

Do not attempt the internet as you will lose your mind, believe me! It's only 6 CUC for 30 minutes but you end up losing 6 CUCs! Lost my iPhone down there and was trying to cancel via my Rogers account.... took me almost 10 minutes to log on, then lost the connection and had to start from the beginning! Grrrr! Oh and BTW no 1-800 or 1-866 numbers or the like can make it out of Cuba, just saying. If you bring your phone make sure you also write down your provider's number but not toll free!

Overall experience at this Memories resort was outstanding and would recommend it to anyone.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank Chantal_71Gatineau
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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