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Reviews (6,118)
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Reviewed 6 April 2018

This is the third experience we’ve had with the Melia chain in Cuba and never again. At the time we booked, Paradisus Varadero was rated 5 Star, currently on Trip Advisor it is 4 Star. We struggle to give it a 3.

My husband and I have been to Cuba numerous times and knowing what we do of the limitations to certain amenities, etc. our expectations are not out of line. Two of the three times have had the food issues noted below (Sol Melia in Cayo Guillermo and Paradisus Varadero).

From March 17 to 24th we hosted our family on a vacation at Paradisus Varadero. Unfortunately I have to say it was not the best holiday we have experienced in Cuba.

If it were just the two of us, we would have chalked it up to a bad experience and moved on but compounding this was the fact that our children and grandchildren came for their first-ever holiday of this kind. Because we had always found the people to be the most wonderful part of this island, we thought it would be a great introduction to this kind of holiday.

The resort itself is beautiful and mostly well kept. The rooms were clean and generally in good repair even though we could only get tepid water in the shower in the early evening. However, we think the resort is seriously understaffed and what staff is there is undertrained.

The food was atrocious even for Cuba. Having been to Cuba before, we knew not to expect gourmet but in other resorts we have been to, the food has been tasty and hot despite minimal variety. The chefs/cooks had done a good job with what was at hand. Not so at Paradisus Varadero.

It was as if they had never been in a kitchen before. The food in the buffet servers was barely warm. My daughter watched a server pour water into the warming tray and there was no steam coming out, ergo cold water to warm the food?! If you went to a fresh prepared station, the meat was cooked to rubber despite asking the cook to pull it off. Chicken, beef and fish were all cooked on the same grill, often at the same time and not scraped clean between orders. Charcoal bits laying around...again, training?!

We went to two a la carte restaurants; one supposedly Cuban theme and the other Mexican. Being a “Cuban” restaurant, I anticipated a good meal, after all, it’s their native/traditional food. I think they imported the chefs from some obscure country elsewhere in the world who had no knowledge of Cuban fare. Mexican? In what world? Not even close. These are not difficult or elaborate cuisines but they botched both.

Finding the a la cartes was a challenge in itself…..there are no signs to let you know which one is which! People have to guess, go in to each and ask “Are you the International/Mexican/Greek?”!

The only place we could get a reasonable and hot meal (although limited menu) was at the 24-hour snack bar near the pool. Coffee at the buffet was literally sludge if you got a cup from the bottom of the carafe. Coffee at the snack bar was made fresh and great!

Service:

We keep going back to Cuba mostly because of the people and secondly the beaches. The staff in prior resorts have been 95% friendly, happy and helpful. Unfortunately that was not the case a lot of the time at Paradisus Varadero.

Fanny at the snack bar and Aidy in the buffet were wonderful and seemed to know what service meant. In the buffet we had to hunt someone down to get water or wine. Almost every night in the buffet we had to ask for someone to come clean the chairs of food residue and bird excrement.

The chambermaid, although pleasant and doing a decent job (when she showed up!) missed two days.

We arrived Saturday evening. Sunday evening we exchanged used beach towels for clean ones. The next time they had clean towels for exchange was Thursday!

We booked our vacation through Westjet which ended up being not the best choice for a number of reasons. The choice of resorts was narrowed down to the Iberostar and Paradisus Varadero which happen to be next door to each other. On the recommendation of the agent, that the Paradisus was the better one, we booked there.

The accommodation for our daughter and family was not as we were led to believe. The agent had booked us 3 rooms; one for my husband and I, one for our single son and one for my daughter and her family of 4. The Westjet agent either didn’t know or didn’t bother to mention, Paradisus cannot accommodate more than 3 in a room. One of my grandchildren had to sleep on a jerry-rigged bed made up on a supposed bench. The bench was thin cushions on narrow slats (you couldn’t sit on it, the braces are too far apart…you fall through). If my grandson had been any bigger or heavier, it would have been impossible. As it was, I don’t think he slept all that well but never complained, bless him!

Now, if we had been advised at the start that the regular side of the resort couldn’t accommodate 4 in a room but that the Family Concierge section could, we would have been able to make a more informed choice. Probably a different resort.

The beach wasn’t the silky white sand we have previously experienced in Varadero but maybe that is only at the resorts closer to Varadero town.

There were limited loungers at the pool and shade was at a premium as the trees are sparse and young without much canopy. Also, there seemed to be an inordinate number of broken loungers on the beach which, at times, made it difficult to find any to use.

Would we return to or recommend a Melia resort…..no. And definitely not Paradisus Varadero.

Room Tip: If you need to put more than 3 in a room this is not the place to go.
  • Stayed: March 2018, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank StrudsCalgary_AB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GeneralManagerPVA, General Manager at Paradisus Varadero Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 9 June 2018

Dear StrudsCalgary_AB:
Greetings from Paradisus Varadero Resort & Spa!
On behalf of all of our entire team we will like to thank you for choosing us as your holidays destination and sharing your experience even we didn`t met your expectations.
We regret that you have experienced those inconveniences that you are detailing today about our service in our resort, we are very ashamed because this is not the type of service we are used to give to our guest and we promise you we will be sharing all your recommendations and thoughts with all the heads of departments involved.
We are sorry to hear that our buffets did not live up your expectations. The food variation in our buffets is an essential part of our quality standards .Our executive Chef will take note of your feedback to make appropriate changes in the future.
We are so disappointed to know how much we have failed in meeting your expectations. It's so disheartening all of this, since is our commitment is accomplish our guest's desires and making their stay comfortable and pleasant.
We will like to host you in the future, under better circumstances.
Best Regards!
Marco Mazzuchelli
General Manager PVA.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 April 2018

Considering the general level in cuba, resort is well equiped. Any short-coming was compensated by the caring staff at Royal Service. Butler service performed by Mr Yamir and Mr Sergei was efficient and very friendly. Animation team (Mr Ernesto + Mr Jorge) is motivated and very friendly as well ! both teams are real assets of the Paradisus Hotel Royal Service - same goes for all key people at reception, pool and restaurant. In this respect service compensated lots of unexpexted accidents like (shortage of hot water - ants in the room )

Stayed: March 2018, travelled with family
Thank SuzyAb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GeneralManagerPVA, General Manager at Paradisus Varadero Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 7 April 2018

Dear SuzyAb:
Thank you so much for chose our Resort as your Holidays destination and for share your experience with our Tripadvisor community!. We are very happy because you could enjoy your time with us and you loved our Resort!.
We are truly apologizing with you for the little accidents with the hot water and the ants on your room, we are certainly rreally shame of this lind of situation that is not common in our Resort!. We are on the other hand quite happy for knowing this from you, so you can bet that your opinion today is our best and greatest tool! so thus for thank you so much!!.
Our animation team will be pleased to know you elated their service, and their efficiency!. Thank you so much for recommendate our Royal Service and for all the good thougths and memories to all of their team, at the reception, pool and restaurants!.
We are hoping for your soon return,
With appreciation,
General Manager PVA

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 April 2018

My wife and I never had a honeymoon and never traveled as we had kids early in our marriage, so this was our first time going anywhere. We decided to go all out and got the Royale service, which I highly recommend. We were very well taken care of and will definitely be returning again. The staff we friendly, helpful, very courteous, and the food was quite good. I know a lot of people had issues with the food as it was not what they were used to, but let's be realistic. You are going over to another country, things are going to be different. At times communication was challenging, but the staff did a wonderful job trying to accommodate as many spoke multiple languages. Again, you are going to another country so this should be expected. It was obvious they were still repairing from Irma, but the resort was quite beautiful, the beaches were wonderful. Our Westjet representative Israel took great care of us, our butler Alex was fantastic and went the extra mile to ensure our stay was perfect. Truly I recommend this resort not only for its beauty but also for its customer service. We will definitely be returning soon.

Room Tip: I recommend upgrading to the Royale service
  • Stayed: March 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank RonanMoen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GeneralManagerPVA, General Manager at Paradisus Varadero Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 6 April 2018

Dear RonanMoen:
Greetings from Paradisus Varadero Resort & Spa!
Thank you so much for considerate us for your first trip ever in your life, this definetly make us very proud at the time we are hearing we could meet your expections! Yours and of the restigthof your group!. On behalf of our staff receive a warm and big thank you for recommendate our Resort as well as our Royal Service. We are deligthed becouse you found out our staff friendly, helpful and very courteus, and our food as good, the good service and higth quality standards are our main top priorities!. We are overjoyed you could enjoy our beatiful beach and the fact you are recommendate our customer service full our hearts with a huge love!. Thank you one more time for taking part of your valuable time and give us your nice review, we are certainly waiting for your soon return!,
Best Regars!
General Manager PVA

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 April 2018 via mobile

A few years ago I reviewed the Paradisus La Esmeralda in Playa del Carmen. I was not impressed... but a few years have gone by and I thought it would be worth trying the brand again on our trip to Varadero, Cuba.

The problem was not at the resort in Playa del Carmen....it appears to be with the chain.
They are way over selling a concierge service that they just don’t seem committed to deliver on.

I’m not going to comment about the food....it’s Cuba....so you get what you get. No big deal as we came for the beach, the weather, and good service. The weather and beach met expectations.....but the service was bad enough to ruin our experience.

Having paid a premium for the family concierge we expected that we would receive good service.... and once again there was just no follow through. The concierge we were provided was useless. Everything we asked for was wrong. When we arrived we provided a list of the restaurants and times and days we wanted reservations, despite this, every single one we were provided was wrong. Staying in the family concierge there is a list of inclusions that are supposed to be included for the kids. They missed most of these. Then to top it off we requested an airport taxi to be arranged for the last day.... and they forgot, leaving us to scramble at the last minute and squeeze into a taxi too small to fit everything.

I think my single largest disappointment was that we had to use wet dirty towels for the last six days as they had no clean towels available.

Needless to say, we will never go back to a Paradisus or any Melia resorts.

Stayed: April 2018, travelled with family
2  Thank EPCooper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GeneralManagerPVA, General Manager at Paradisus Varadero Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 6 April 2018

Dear EPCooper:
Greetings from Paradisus Varadero Resort & Spa!
On behalf of all of our entire team we will like to thank you for choosing us as your holidays destination and sharing your experience even we didn`t met your expectations.
We are regreting you could not enjoy your holidays in our Resort becasue you found our service too bad enougth at thepoint this ruined your all stay. We need to say you we are embarrassed with this type of behavior and we aren ot used to offer this kind of service in our Resort.
Is very nice to hear you could enjoy our Beach and also the weather but we are ashamed about your concierge not giving you the good service you deserved this bad service and this bad image you are taking today from us, is not common and you can taked for ground that we will sharing your words with all the heads of department so they can get feedback from your opinion wihich is today our most valuable tool!.
Please receive our most sincere apologize for not gave you the perfect holidays above and beyond that we are used to gave to our guests and we would like to host you in the future and hopefully under better circusntaces,
sinceresly,
General Manager PVA

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Reviewed 5 April 2018

week flew by
Beaches are excellent< resort staff friendly and helpful. This ais a beautiful big resort But older. Lots of food medium amount of variety. Burgers at 24 where excellent. Alacart visits were fabulous
Id go again

Stayed: March 2018
Thank HarrysgirlDrydenOn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GeneralManagerPVA, General Manager at Paradisus Varadero Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 6 April 2018

Dear HarrysgirlDrydenOn:
Greetings from Paradisus Varadero Resort & Spa
Thank you so much for chose our Resort as your holidays destination and share your experience with all the travelers around the world. We are very happy because you could enjoy your trip and you love our beaches and our friendly and helpful staff. For us represent such a great joy you found out our food good with amout of variety and our A la Carte Restaurant being fabulous!.
We are more than happy we can give you a nice holidays and a good memorie!.
Hope you can comeback very soon,
With aprecciation,
General Manager PVA

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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