Paradisus Varadero Resort & Spa
15 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
" Like everything, location, restaurants, service, spa, staff. It's good entertainment team who keeps guests happy. I got salsa lessons from Yanier . was nice to dance on the beach. Thanks to all the team of Paradisus. "
- Travel date: Wed 21st of December 2016
This is not a 5 star Hotel
"I had booked our holiday 14 months before we traveled last september 08, we was told by the travel agent we would have an ocean view, when we arrived we did not have an ocean view, our view was over the tennis courts, the room was in need of re-decoration, the bath had white paint in the bottom and the shower curtain had blood staines on it, we had no hot water for the full two weeks of the holiday. The fried breakfast each morning was cold and the hot buffet food in the evening was also cold. while we was there we met with a mother and daughter who worked for the travel agents we booked through and they said this was more like a 3 star hotel and they complained about the same problems we had, but got nowhere.
Save you money as the hotel and the travel agents are not concerned with your complaints."
- Travel date: Thu 15th of January 2009
The rooms were pleasant + spacious but n...
"The rooms were pleasant + spacious but not what I would call 5 star. In room mini bar was restocked daily and you could also have room service fulli inclusive as well. The grounds of the hotel were magnificent. The thomson rep was rubbish, didn't turn up when he was meant to. couldn't tell us the time of our transfer home etc. We were the only thomson customers at the hotel that week so I think he ws trying to make commission etc from other hotel's and therir guests. Every night there is a show some of which are good, some very poor with a lot of dodgy miming. If you have any shampoo etc left over at the end of your holiday it is nice if you leave it for the maids or give it to a member of staff that you like. These things are very expensive for the locals to buy and they truely will appreciate it. WOuld recommend two days out, one trip is deep sea fishing. We caught two tunas and was great fun. The other trip is on the speed boats james bond style drving them through the mangroves. Very very fun + very reasonably priced. Don't bother with the swimming with the dolphins as they are in captivaty in a sectioned off bit of the marina and is overpriced and quite cruel. Every body was dissapointed with the trip + it was expensive. "
- Travel date: Sun 9th of March 2008
Brilliant! The restaurants were fantas...
The restaurants were fantastic; you can even get up and cook for yourself in the Japanese restaurant.
The pool bar was brilliant and open till 7.30 at night, drinking cocktails and floating in a pool doesnât get much better. The sea is 5 minutes walk and the resort has its own part of the beach with waiter service!
The accommodation was very good; the air con worked a treat especially as Cuba is such a humid place. The maids were very polite and the rooms were cleaned to an exceptional standard.
We complained once about a booking being messed up, but to our surprise we were sent a bottle of champagne to have in our room then whisked off to the private hill top restaurant and given a room upgrade
The night time entertainment was also very good, from magic shows to acrobatics to recreations of pieces from musicals. One night we even had run of the music that was played in the onsite night club."
- Travel date: Tue 6th of November 2007
The hotel is beautiful, though the beds...
"The hotel is beautiful, though the beds are very hard. There are 3 restaurants and a main buffet. The food in the restaurants was gorgeous; the buffet was ok though not spectacular. But there is always something to eat as there is a grill and pasta bar.
The staff are generally very friendly though there are those that always have there hands out for a tip. The cleaners were the best, we left a tip on our last day as every day there were fresh flowers in various designs.
When we visited so did Whilma (the hurricane). It didn't actually hit our area but it was close. The hotel was excellent, they shut up at midnight (when normally the bars stay open all night) but they provided small pack lunches even though we only had 6 hrs before the restaurants opened and the mini fridge in the room had been fully stocked.
After a very long and windy night the hotel grounds looked a bomb had hit, the staff were very good and got it all cleaned up in a manner of days.
Thomson were also good during this period. We had booked a trip the day before and this was cancelled just in case - luckily for us. Others with different operators had to either go on their trips or waste their money, and ended up on a speed boat cruise on the sea in very very choppy waters.
I would definitely go here again.
- Travel date: Sat 31st of March 2007
Best Vacation Ever
"My husband and I went to the Paradisus Varadero on Feb. 1, 2004 for one week and had the most relaxing and enjoyable vacation to date. After much research we chose the Paradisus mainly because of the excellent reviews we read and for the convenience of flying from Windsor. As it is rated a 5*+ resort we had high expectations and I have to say that we were not disapointed. From the moment we arrived in Varadero we were welcomed with warm smiles and excellent service. The Conquest representative was on hand to direct us to the bus and gave an antimated tour as we drove to the many resorts droping off guests. We arrived at the resort after 9 p.m. and were the only ones at the reception desk. They welcomed us warmly and effeciently we were assigned the type of room we requested in the building of our choice and as a bonus had the corner unit with a wrap around balcony. Our first evening was spent watching the entertainment, which was quite good and then a trip to the Italian Restaurant for Pizza and Wine, which were excellent. We retired to our room for the evening. It looked just like the blue room shown on the Conquest web sight. By the way we found the bed to be quite comfortable. In the morning with the light of day we got our first sight of Paridise! The grounds and resort are absolutely beautiful and so are the people. Everyone we met had a warm smile and greeting. I just read a couple of recent reviews and can't believe that we stayed at the same resort. One of the most enjoyable parts of our vacation was the way the staff welcomed us and worked at making sure our needs were met. There were smiles and laughter everywhere, it was our experience that they truly enjoyed their jobs and spreading that joy was their goal. From the housekeeper to the gardeners to the service staff at the pool and restaurants once they met us they greeted us like friends each time we came across their paths. By the way we didn't leave tips until the last two days, we noticed some staff members work only every other day, then we gave out very generous tips to anyone who had served us over the week. Except for the maid, each morning we left her a gift bag filled with an array of items and a dollor american. She in turn left us a small gift and flowers on our final evening along with a nice note of thanks. She also did the daily room decorations. Now what was our most impressive experience of the resort. Everything! We had seven days of the most beautiful weather. The beach was fantastic lots of shade and lounges, only warning is make sure you bring bug spray. I think there are sand fleas but after that first day I used the bug spray and was never bothered again, my husband was not bothered at all and never used the spray?? The pool area is very relaxing there are lots of lounge chairs and they have small cabanas pepper around the pool set up with two lounges that have curtains around them for privacy or protection against the sun. There always seemed to be one available, we went to the pool around 9:00 or 9:30. The pool staff were right there to provided us with cushions and set them up for us with a greeting and a smile. At the pool drinks were provided by the bar staff who came around approx. once an hour for drink orders beginning at 11:00 am. If you drink more, than the bar is only a short walk away. The bars were great in all the locations and on the really busy days, mid week, they even set up extra bars outdoors for add convienence and accessability. You name it they had it. One evening it turned cool and we were in the lobby bar as they served coffee (expresso) and hot tea I though perhaps they might have hot chocolate, which I requested from a very puzzled looking waiter. We learned that when they looked puzzled you didn't always get what you requested which can be quite ammsing. But they try. Well in this case he was gone for an unusual lenght of time but when he retured he was beeming, he did indeed have hot chocolate. It seems they don't have it at the bar so he ran around to all the restaurants until he was able to find one of the cooks who could make it for him. Now that is service. Later that evenin we brough him a gift and a generous tip. Now the big question how was the food. It's Cuban food. If you want Canadian or European food stay home. We never had difficulty finding something we enjoyed to eat. The buffet always offer a wide assortment and it is obvious along with the local dishes that they are trying to cater to other cultures as well. Breakfast had everything from cereal and yogurt to pastries, pancakes, eggs any style and yes bacon bits, but that is how they prepare their bacon. If that isn't to your liking try something else there were multiple choices. Lunch at the buffet again offered a wide assortment of items but because we tend to over eat at buffets we chose the al a carte restaurants, which offered a good selection and well prepared. We ate at all three. You must try the pizza at the Italian restaurant and say hello to the staff especially Fernado they were very friendly and even offered to fit us in one evening if we didn't already have reservations. For Dinner you have many choices but do book your reservations early you will find that the first two or three evenings that you are there, they will probably be booked but don't dispair take what you can and enjoy. The ala cart restaurants are small and they will usually only have two seatings the empty tables are really waiting for someone. The Romantica is their best restaurant and the food and service are excellent. Do bring a dressy outfit as this is an upscale restaurant, with all the trimmings. Other reviews have mentioned the sea food and yes there is seafood but it is different from what I am accustomed to. The shrimp are whole complete with heads and need to be shelled they do not have the seafood sauce that I am used to. The lobster, yes they server lobster but not every day, claws are large and much richer in flavor. The crab is small and as I am used to the King Crab in Canada I was not sure how to eat it. They also have mussels,calamari and fresh fish all the time. One of the additional surprises was the coffee/tea huts pepper around the resort. They would set them up each morning along with pastries and any time during the day you could stop by for a fresh coffee and pastry, without having to go into one of the restaurants. Now the best for last dessert they served some of the best flambayed fruits with ice cream, the poached pears in brandy were my personal favorite as well as a wide range of pastries and fresh fruit. Food was available 24 hours. One more thing to add to your enjoyment, the music, at every restaurant at every meal there was music, from classical to modern. In the lounge bar each evening they featured a piano player and violinist who were excellent. Request that they play the "Ave Maria" magnificant. We went on the Colonial Havana tour and had a wonderful day we were fortunate enough to sit next to the tour guide and as we were the last guests to be dropped off we had a long conversation with her about Cuba and their culture. Their way of life is different and they certainly have many restrictions that we do not experience but they are happy and their basic needs are being met. We learned that their medical is completely paid for, she was pregnant and would be going on maternity leave, which would start one month before her due date, she would receive 100% of her salary for four months and for the remaining seven months 80%. Schooling is compulsory from kidnergarden through high school and is completely paid for by the government. University they must take an enterance exame and for those who are successful their university education is completely paid. The only restriction is that they must work in a government placment, for which they receive a wage, for two years following graduation and then they are free to take a job anywhere they choose. As you can tell we had a very good trip with lots of good memories. Do make sure to sit down with the Conquest Rep. Armando, he gave us lots of good advice. One more thing Conquest sponsors an orphanage in Cuba and if you are so inclined bring books, craft materials, multiple vitamens for children, soap, tooth paste, ect. it would be much appreciated. If you are considering the Paradisus Varadero, I highly recommend it. But remember you are a guest and just as you would treat your host/hostess with respect here, show them that same treatmet and you will discover the same relaxing, joyful enviroment that we did."
- Travel date: Fri 13th of February 2004
"For the money this resort was not up to par. The service was terrible - tips made no difference - there wasn't a smile to be found - if you asked for something you were told where you could find it yourself (not "may I get that for you?") It was very surprising - we always stay at nice resorts but pay half the price. We expected extra and got less than we have ever had before. The grounds were gorgeous - but paying $2500/person to see nice trees is a little much! The rooms were pretty - carelessly painted and spacious - but the bathroom was apalling! Like a motel bathtub that you would never sit in. Again very surprising for the $$! The food was alright - but the service was terrible! Nightlife - non-existent. The show lasted one hour and had no audience participation and after about the first ten minutes you had observed everthing there was to see (very unimaginative) We actually left the resort after 4 days and switched to Sandals which was great. We got a smile anyway!"
- Travel date: Fri 6th of February 2004
A bit disappointed...
"I was at the Paradisus in Varadero the last week of January 2004. And despite the fact that the resort is certainly above average, we were somewhat disappointed. We have been to Varadero before and stayed at the Tryp Peninsula and we have been in the Dominicans where we stayed at the Riu Mambo and Iberostar Costa Dorada (Puerto Plata). We decided to indulge this year, as this resort is quite expensive in comparison to the other resorts in Varadero and it is rated 5+ so we had some pretty high expectations.
Grounds and beach: This deserves the full 5+ stars. REALLY beautiful.
Lots of lush vegetation, very nice and super large pool (lots of curves). It was very clean and relaxing. The beach was one of the nicest beach I've seen down south so far. It was wide, lots of soft white sand and amazing blue/green ocean. When it's not windy, it's just amazing but it was okay when it was windy too. You can also go for very long walks along the beach.
Restaurants: Here we were disappointed. We know to not expect too much when it comes to food in Cuba but this was disappointing. The first night, we could barely find anything we would even want to eat... I have to admit that we are a bit picky when it comes to food but still... It was the same thing day after day. We pretty much ended up eating tortellini with white sauce all week. The only night I was happy was on Saturday night when they had lobster tails at the buffet. THAT was good!!! All that said, we were hoping for better food and much more variety, considering this is a 5+ resort. Maybe this is expecting too much but I honestly thought there would be lobster every night... We've had much better food and variety in resorts that were 4 and 4+ stars.
Breakfast was by far the most disappointing. Breakfast is usually my favorite meal whenever I go down south but this time, I barely wanted to eat the food. For example, the eggs were sloppy and kind of gross looking...they had bacon bits instead of bacon strips (and they were not very good). So anyway, you get the picture. But you can have food/snacks and drinks all day all night, so that was a plus.
Service and staff: This was where we were the most disappointed. We're used to have excellent service and staff that are super friendly, smiling and saying 'hola!' everytime we cross path...at the Paradisus, not so. About 20% of the staff was excellent but about 80% need work.
Most of them looked like they would rather be anywhere but there (long faces, no smiles). It took ages to get a drink at dinner time (sometimes we were done eating by the time they got around to bring us drinks). Out of the 7 mornings, only once was I offered coffee!! And it is not because we do not tip...we are actually pretty good at tipping because we know how harsh life can be for Cubans. Same thing at the sit down snack restaurants. It took forever for them to even acknowledge you were there... I would even say that I didn't feel really welcomed there............which is something I've never felt before in any resort down south.
Rooms: Average. Again, I guess I expected more because of the high rating of the resort. The rooms could just not compare to the Tryp Peninsula rooms (which were AWESOME). Sure, they were large but nothing out of the ordinary. Washrooms are on the small side with an unimpressive bath. On the good side, they had a real king size bed (not the kind where they just push two beds together). We were on the second floor and we had a couple bugs (nothing very scary) but again, in all the other resorts I've been at, there were never ANY bugs...... Maid service was good though. We left tips plus goodies like makeup, soaps and toys for kids. Room was always clean and tidy when we came back at the end of the day.
In conclusion: It sounds like we're complaining but the resort was still great and surely above average. And we still had a great time. I guess the problem is with the cost and rating. If we had paid less and were told it was a 4 or 4+ stars resort, we would have been satisfied, but considering the cost and rating, we expected much more.... I will NOT go back there again and if I can offer advice, pay less and go to a 4 or 4+ resort where you'll get the same (or better) for a LOT less pennies!"
- Travel date: Mon 2nd of February 2004
Sweet Memories of Paradisus
"I went to see Paradisus on a whim last year while I stayed at another hotel in Cuba. My firend worked there and he gave me the grand tour. I was amazed and determined to go there on my next trip. I went last March, 2003 and I wasn't disappointed. My room was huge and very clean.
My siblings and I stayed up until 3 am the first night with the bar staff. They were so friendly. I found that if you respected the staff, they would go above and beyond duty for you. Lunch on the beach was beautiful because the fish was freshly caught and since we all became close friends with the employees there,they would often save some of the best lobster for us. All our meals were wonderful. The presentation was great and the service prompt. We all gained 10 pounds that week which is not usually the case when you go to Cuba.In the evening, the entertainers would take us out to the clubs and make sure that we were protected.I was very happy with the night entertainment because they encouraged the tourists to participate. We were up on that stage many times that week. All in all, we had a great time and are planning a return trip this year."
- Travel date: Fri 23rd of January 2004
"This place is truly Paradise Hotel! My family and I had a great time.
The pool was great, even though the weather was alright, but there was always something to do in the rain. We had a mambo lesson one rainy day and I'll never forget it. The food was amazing. The service was phenominal! The rooms were great and the 24 hour room service came in handy after our day trip to Havanna. Do not forget to go on the catamaran. It is a beautiful experience. The night shows are great! The hotel itself was amazing. One thing that I know everybody is scared about usually is the food. The only thing you should know is BOOK THE A LA CARTE RESTAURANTS EARLY! The Romantico is the best! Save that for a special night. Cuba is a great place and the Cubans are amazing people, so enjoy! There is no place better than PARADISUS VARADERO!!!"
- Travel date: Fri 16th of January 2004
"we have just returned from a vacation @ Paradisus and found it to be a beautiful hotel. the ocean, resort, and surrounding area was beautiful.
we loved the shows at night. since we were traveling with an exceptional large groups of people that took up about 1/4 of the guest population, it was tough, for everybody to do something. but this was a 5star hotel that could take care of an abundance of tourists. the only thing i didn't like was the fact that you could only make reservations at one specialty restaurant, yet most of the restaurants were empty, yet you still had to eat in the buffet. the people were extremly nice and i would enjoy returning another time"
- Travel date: Sun 11th of January 2004
nice but boring
"6 of us went to Paradisus in Varadero, Cuba from Dec 15-22/2003. The weather sucked, it was sunny for one day only and cloudy and windy for the rest, so the outdoor trips we booked on the first day had to be endured in the freezing cold (and I'm from Vancouver so I'm used to the cold). Anyways, the weather was not the hotels fault. But varadero itself is boring. I know people are going to freak out when they read this because cuba is so praised, but I've been to Mexico and Hawaii and found Cuba extremely overrated. I guess because this is the low season there was nobody in sight at the hotel! We are all in our early 20s and wanted to have a good time, but everyone in this freaking hotel is in bed by 11:00pm! Friday and saturday nights we came back from the clubs at 2:00am and we were the only ones there at the all night bar in the lobby! The clubs by the way were dead most of the time except for the Pirates cave which had most of the younger people. The tours we booked were the Jeep Safari, Jolly something tour, Tropicana and Dolphin swim. Jeep Safari overrated, long and drawn out. (there is no safari, you just drive around at the slowest pace possible in a suzuki amongst a dirt trail). We didn't go to the dolphin thing because it was so ****windy and cold that morning, so we lost on the money and stayed in bed (supposed to be good though). Tropicana is cool, nothing like the shows in vegas though. Instead of doing the tour to Havana we hired a Cab driver to take us down there for the day, that is one place you have to visit. It is like a time warp, however there are beggars and hustlers EVERYWHERE and they will badger the hell out of you for money. Honestly, Cuba is not THAT NICE of a place, Mexico and Hawaii are way more breathtaking. Cuba's beaches are just way nicer though, too bad we couldn't spend any time on them because it was too stormy. I know you have to keep an open mind and make your own fun, but for $2000 you kinda get sick of making your own fun. Cuba, and especially THE PARADISUS HOTEL is NOT for younger people! If you are in your early 20s, STAY AWAY! The food sucks everywhere, paradisus just has the sucky food laid out nicer and prettier. so don't pay the extra money and stay at a cheaper hotel with more young people who wanna party all night. better yet, go to Mexico if you're with your friends and want to have a good time for the break--cuba is cool but not my first choice. oh yeah, but based on our totally unscientific opinion the cubans are not as friendly or nice as the mexicans. By the end of the trip I got sick of being obligated to tip every **** person for every **** thing, from every trip to the washroom to gifts for the people we were tipping and giving away stuff. We spent hundreds of dollars on tips alone. All in all, cool trip because we were with friends, but for all the glam of the hotel the median age group of 50 yrs old and the lack of parties and nightlife was not worth the money. The scenery wasn't even that great. Havana was the best part, except for all the hustling. If you're young, go to Mexico instead. Or at least stay at a different hotel. Hope this helps."
- Travel date: Sun 4th of January 2004