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“Not really 5* by international standards”

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Paradisus Princesa del Mar Resort & Spa
Ranked #10 of 63 Hotels in Varadero
Certificate of Excellence
Birmingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
29 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Not really 5* by international standards”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 July 2014

This was a perfectly reasonable hotel and I didn't have any major issues however there was certain things which made this stay less than perfect

-the variable standard of staff-some were great and very helpful (Rueban deserves a shout-out) whereas others were plain rude and just could not be bothered (the woman in the computer room deserves a special mention)
-The buffet-although the sheer quantity of food was impressive, the quality and variety were pretty average. I stayed three days but I could imagine being really bored by what was on offer had I stayed another night
-The restaurants-I visited the one on the hill (I forget the name) and the food was very, very standard. For dessert, I ordered a chocolate torte which turned out to be a heap of melted chocolate.
-Activities-these don't appear to be widely advertised and sometimes even staff didn't know where an activity is going on. The tennis lesson I had was very good but except for that things ran late (I was told that things run at Cubana not Londres time!) or were poorly organised.

The proximity to the beach, the pool and the room itself were all lovely.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Sam H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Director Genera... P, Director General at Paradisus Princesa del Mar Resort & Spa, responded to this review, 11 July 2014
Dear “Sam H” from Birmingham (U.K), thank you so much for reporting your constructive comments on Trip advisor about your stay in our hotel.
I am naturally disappointed by the fact that you did not totally enjoyed your stay with us and I am sorry we couldn’t reach 100% your expectations.
We will definitely look after your comments in order to understand and wee what can be fixed as per your experience in our hotel.
Most of our guests are sending us very good comments about both variety and quality of our food at the buffet and in our restaurants. However I naturally respect your opinion and I am really sad to see that you do not share the majority of our guest’s feedback concerning the food in our hotel.
Thank you again for your sincerity and I truly hope you may give us a second chance in the next future.
Best regards.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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English first
Quebec City, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 July 2014

We stayed for a week at Paradisus Princesa del Mar Royal Service ("RS") and it was overall great. Seriously, the price difference of RS vs normal hotel is 100% worth it. You will not regret your choice.

We went as a couple only, 27 and 25 years old. It was our fifth time in a 5 star resort in the carabean.

First of all, you get a private transport from and to the airport, so you don't have to stop at lots of hotels as the Paradisus is one of the latest on the road.

Once you get there, they come pick you up with a little kart to go to the private RS lobby, which is new, modern, beautiful and, simply, great.

Then, you have lots of other extras such as free wifi, RS only restaurants which are delicious, private section on the beach, private RS pool, etc. It's just amazing everything you get.

Rooms: small buildings, not tons of rooms, quiet, no annoying music, no stupid people around = a nice sleep at night and even during the day. Everything's close to your room, so no worries if you have to go back multiple times during your day because, let's say, you have the flue. Rooms are nice and clean. You need something in your room: call your butler and it will be there in the next minutes. Beds are soft and comfy. Because we were in low season, we got a free upgrade to a swim up room, which was amazing! We had our private outdoor bed with the pool just a few steps away from our room!

Food: the food was overall great! Our favourite restaurant was the Hilltop, which was, you're gonna laugh, on top of a hill. The view was great: ocean, pool, palm trees, etc. Everything plate was well served and had a nice taste. The wine was good too.

Beach: enough chair for everybody even when RS is full. You don't have to "reserve" it at 6AM. The beach was great, it's Varadero you know!

Pool: big enough for all RS guests. Very clean, quiet and peaceful. Plus there was this snack bar just outside the pool where we could have lunch a la carte with a nice variety of meal.

Service: great overall. We were especially pleased with the service our butlers gave us: Kenya and Arisnay. They were both nice, polite, well mannered and just amazing. They knew us by our names. They knew our preferences. Each day, they would make sure we didn't need anything else. Seriousy, thank you girls! Other than our butlers, we had a great time with our chef at the Sakura restaurant, he gave a really good show.

So 5/5 on everything for us. And go for RS, it's worth every penny.

Thanks!

Nicolas & Rebecca

  • Stayed June 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Nicolas D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Director Genera... P, Director General at Paradisus Princesa del Mar Resort & Spa, responded to this review, 11 July 2014
Dear “Nicolas D” de Quebec (Canada), thank you so much for reporting your comments on the Trip advisor’s web site about your stay in our hotel and to share it with our readers.
Thank you for recommending so highly our establishment and I am glad to see that you had a memorable holidays amongst us.
We are so happy to receive such a nice comment which will give us the strengths to continue working hard in making our guests comfortable.
It is true that our Royal Service has always a lot of success amongst our customers and our butler service makes definitely the difference with other hotels in Varadero.
We truly hope to see you soon back in our hotel. Warmest regards from the sunny island of Cuba.
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Moncton, Canada
Level Contributor
13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 July 2014

this resort was verry nice and clean,,,,good food,,,,happy people,,NICE BEACH,,,large room,,,confortable bed,,,ect..we met verry nice people,,,relaxing vacation ,,i would recommend this resort to all my family and friends

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank YAMON154958
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Director Genera... P, Resident Manager at Paradisus Princesa del Mar Resort & Spa, responded to this review, 9 July 2014
Dear YAMON154958,

It is nice to hear that you had a nice time here with us at Paradisus Princesa and that you enjoyed our overall facilities.

For all of us here at Paradisus Princesa del Mar it would be a real pleasure to welcome you back here with us any time soon.

Kind regards

Manuel Martinez
Resident Manager
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Miami, Florida
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 July 2014

My fiancee and I decided to spent a weekend this spring there, from the arrival the service was perfect, royal service is amazing, the quality of the Japanese restaurant is remarkable. we got an incredible high standard room with view to the beach, great for sunset. our butler gave a perfect service, in a short time he get to know all our preferences, always smiling and kind. a buffet that satisfy the most diverse clients. if you are a person that love to read in your spot , have a good habano with the best Cuban rum or any of the good whiskys or cognac, there is no better place. waking up with a cuban coffee, 100% natural juice and fresh fruits makes your day start perfect after a romantic night. for sure if you love to enjoy the Cuban weather, beach and cigars is a unique place, compare to any top resort in the Caribbean and beyond. thanks to the staff, you are the best component of this paradise, specially general Director Dario that was taking care of us the whole time, thanks for your attention and kindness. we will repeat it for our honeymoon

Room Tip: for couples choose the room by the beach, are quite and romantic, for family with kids the ones by t...
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank MichyKary
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Director Genera... P, Resident Manager at Paradisus Princesa del Mar Resort & Spa, responded to this review, 8 July 2014
Dear MichyKary,

We would like to thank you for your kind words here on tripadvisor, we are really glad to hear that you had an excellent time and enjoyed the facilities of our hotels.

The special mention of our Royal Service and the exclusive amenities offered is very satisfying for us as we are really proud of being able to offer this kind of excellent service here in our hotel.

In the name of the whole hotel here at Paradisus Princesa del Mar I would like to thank you again for taking the time to write your comments and it would be a big pleasure to have you back here with us soon.

Kind regards

Manuel Martinez
Resident Manager
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Birmingham
Level Contributor
201 reviews
51 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 111 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 July 2014

Having decided on a holiday to Cuba (Varadero), we decided to choose our hotel based on the following criteria:
1. A 5* hotel
2. A hotel by the beach
3. An adult only hotel
4. A hotel needs be part of an international chain.
We also took into account that we were staying in Cuba and not in The UK, therefore, our expectations of a Cuban 5* star hotel was realistic. After searching the web for a suitable hotel that fit the criteria and had good reviews, we decided to settle for the Paradisus Princesa del Mar on the Thomas Cook website.
I must mention that one thing we did understand about the reviews on the web is that they vary from one extreme into another; ‘excellent hotel ‘ to ‘ This was the worst that we have ever stayed’ and so on. What we found was that some reviews were either too harsh but others were far too complementary. Perhaps neither of those camps were wrong in their personal view as some reviews can be biased one way or another depending on the mood and personality.
My Review
Having spent 14 nights in this hotel I can summarise my review as follows:
This is a nice hotel but no way can be classified as 5*. It seriously lacks good management and proper hotel facilities. When we pay for a 5* holiday we are expecting value for money- This hotel failed to deliver. For the avoidance of doubt, I have posted a series of photos as I always believe that a picture is worth a thousand words. If you really want a 5* hotel then this hotel is way short of this. I will go through what was good about this hotel first and go through the points where this has failed to impress us.
The good points
• Room- very nice, top class and a true 5 *
• Staff – overall very friendly and helpful (to the best of their abilities)
• Night Entertainments – One the best and lots of variety
• Swimming pool – Good but missing many things (will come to this later on)
• Nice beach ( the sand and water) but again falls short of 5* standard
• Gardens – very well maintained
• Restaurants – good variety and generally OK.
The Bad points
• Reception and Foyer- My goodness, it looks very old and tired and no way to 5* standard. It lacks of proper cooling facilities i.e ceiling fan- very hot. The snacks were kept in glass container full with flies. Public toilets in the main foyer were dated but kept clean
• Check In- After travelling more than 10 hours, we have arrived at the hotel at approximately 4 pm with one other couple. We were told to wait in the reception area which lacked air condition for more than half an hour. Nobody offered us a welcome drink or refreshments. There were 3 members of staff deliberating the check in process. Finally, one member of staff came to us telling in very broken English which room has been allocated to us. She told us that the main restaurant was closed for tonight and all other restaurant were fully booked. She told us that we need to go to the booking office to sort out our booking, she left us after that. What a welcome? And what a first impression that we have had about this hotel.
• Customer service room – Once again, this room dated back from 1980’s – very small.
• Swimming pool – Good size swimming pool but it gets crowded around the bar area. It lacks plastic tables and parasols. There are a few badly maintained Bali beds scattered around the swimming pool. As a 5* hotel, you would expect to find a waiter around the pool to take your order – not in this hotel though. The variety of drinks and cocktails in the bar were very basic. The drinks were served in very cheap looking small plastic cups, the type of that you can find in 3* all inclusive Spanish resort. If you want to have tea or coffee by the pool than you need to go to the main bar in reception area- very inconvenient.
• Room services – way below the normal standard. You have to ask every day for toiletries and stock for mini bar. Services were inconsistent and seriously lacked good supervision
• The main restaurant- the building and décor were excellent but again lacked good service and food quality. Lack of food labelling, cutlery and quality were the characteristics of the main restaurant.
• The room was excellent but again lacked services – you needed to ask for almost everything. Shampoo and shower gels came in a big bottle similar to a 3* budget hotel in the UK.
• Beach facilities – the beach itself was great and that it was. However, it lacked good service and facilities. You can’t get tea or coffee, the bar was very basic and in a bad state. No tables were there besides the sun beds (you needed to leave your belongings like mobile phone, books, etc on the sand). The parasols were full of holes and lacked maintenance.

We spent our last 2 days of our holiday in the royal services section. The facilities there were nothing outstanding but did fit the 5*’s standard.
I really hope that this review will give you an idea about this hotel before you go ahead and book your next holiday. In my view, this an ok hotel but no way near the 5* standard, it lacks good management and planning. I can’t blame the staff of this hotel, but fault is certainly lies within the Mila International group for failing to bring this hotel to a good standard.
We have paid a lot of money for our holiday and expected a 5* hotel, but we obviously didn't get one. I don’t speak just for our self but we discussed this issue with so many couples during the holiday who were also unsatisfied with this hotel.
We do appreciate that some hotels in this part of the world are not the same as in the UK, However, this should be reflected in the price that we have paid.
We have had a wonderful holiday in Cuba but this wasn't because of this hotel but for the places we have visited, the people that we have met, and of course for the lovely weather.
Would we recommend this hotel to anyone? – I don’t think so.

Room Tip: I wouldn't pay extra for the sea view - trust it doesn't worth it.
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
12 Thank Villa57
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Director Genera... P, Resident Manager at Paradisus Princesa del Mar Resort & Spa, responded to this review, 8 July 2014
Dear Villa57,

First of all I would like to thank you for having chosen our hotel for your stay here in cuba and we are really sad to know that we did no fulfill all your expectations.

We have taken note of all the points you mentioned in your review and I would like to assure you that we will do our best and keep on working on these points to keep improving each day and offer our guests an even better experience here at Paradisus Princesa del Mar.

We would like to thank you for the mention of our staff as they are working really hard each day to guarantee an unforgettable experience to our guests.

I am really glad to know that despite the points you mentioned in your review you enjoyed your time in the beautiful country of cuba.

I would like to apologize again personally and in the name of my whole team for the inconveniences you encountered and it would be a pleasure for all of us here at Paradisus Princesa del Mar to welcome you back here with us in the future to convince you of our excellent service here at Paradisus Princesa del Mar.

Kind regards

Manuel Martinez
Resident Manager
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Dublin, Ireland
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 July 2014 via mobile

Me and my girlfriend (will and louise from ireland) decided to do our first ever all inclusive holiday to cuba and picked this unbelievable hotel from June 17th until 25th June.we do travel quite a bit and have seen alot of the world. I was worried slightly about some reviews on food etc but oh how wrong these people were. We got to hotel at 10pm after traveling for 13hrs from ireland,when we arrived to be greeted with a smile at reception is always good. We were then told we had been chosen for royal service upgrade. ..I mean what!!! No charge at all.champagne in risk service reception, escorted to our room and bang from then on it was utter luxury. Great food in mirimar buffet for breakfast.amazing pool.spotless private beach and water with the nicest bar guys ever..hi alex your the man. Tasty pool bar pizza n burgers.all the staff are always smiling and been nice to the us and they were genuine and meant it. All the restaurants we ate at were great food and service. Loads of choice at main hotel buffet also. The grounds at hotel are kept immaculately clean and a pleasure to walk around this resort. I never got to thank the manager at hotel in person(I think I seen him in miramar Most mornings having a coffee) but would like to thank him and all his staff for this wonderful holiday.i could go on and on about this place but If your thinking of great times with no fuss or worries in an Unreal setting then this place is for you. We would love to stay again next year and l cheekly must ask to see if there is a chance of royal service upgrade again??? Oh please please. Thanks again and Good luck from ireland we will never forget this trip.

Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
3 Thank will r
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Director Genera... P, Resident Manager at Paradisus Princesa del Mar Resort & Spa, responded to this review, 8 July 2014
Dear Will and Louise,

Thank you very much for taking the time to write such a positive review here on tripadvisor, we are very glad to know that you had an amazing time here at Paradisus Princesa del Mar.
Our new Royal Service section offers a complete luxury experience to our guests with all its exclusive amenities and the exceptional service.

The mention of the food offered at our resort is what makes us most proud as people often think that in Cuba you will not find a good food offer but our team of chefs from all around the world work very hard each day to guarantee a perfect culinary experience to our guests.

It would be a big pleasure for us to welcome you back here with us next year and we all are looking forward to your repeat visit.

Kind regards

Manuel Martinez
Resident Manager
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Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 June 2014

My boyfriend and I stayed at this resort in September 2013 for 10 days. We received our room and it was one of the rooms that wasn't renovated yet. We decided to upgrade the next day to Royal service which was done for us very quickly and couldn't be happier with that option. Had a awesome butler who would go above and beyond our expectations. Pool right as you walk out the back of the room, with a restaurant and a bar right next to us. Knowing that in Cuba food isn't the greatest, so anyone complaining about it you know what you signed up for!! We actually enjoyed the food a lot in this resort, the buffet and the a la carte restaurants were really good. Definitely surprised especially when reading or hearing any thing being said about the food. Nigh time entertainment in this resort was awesome, every night there was something to watch and enjoyed every minute of it. Overall, would come back to this resort in a heart beat. Resort is beautiful, amazing staff you can tell they put so much hard work into maintaining the grounds, great food, and beautiful beach!

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Anne P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Director Genera... P, Resident Manager at Paradisus Princesa del Mar Resort & Spa, responded to this review, 5 July 2014
Dear Anne P,

To know that you loved your first time at cuba is a real satisfaction for us.

We are really glad to know that you enjoyed the facilities of our new Royal Service and that you butler made sure all your wishes were fulfilled.

The mention of our gastronomic offer is what makes us proud as our team of chefs from all around the world tries its best to offer our guests an unforgettable culinary experience here at Paradisus Princesa del Mar.

Our evening entertainment tries to all type of different shows to make sure you pass great evenings with our show program.

Thank you for taking the time to write this review and we hope to see you back soon here at Paradisus Princesa del Mar.

Kind regards

Manuel Martinez
Resident Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Paradisus Princesa del Mar Resort & Spa

Property: Paradisus Princesa del Mar Resort & Spa
Address: Auropista Sur, Ctra. Las Morlas, KM 19 1/2, Varadero 42200, Cuba
Region: Caribbean > Cuba > Matanzas Province > Varadero
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Romantic Hotel in Varadero
#3 Business Hotel in Varadero
#6 Family Hotel in Varadero
#6 Top resorts Hotel in Varadero
#8 On the Beach Hotel in Varadero
#9 Luxury Hotel in Varadero
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:4 star — Paradisus Princesa del Mar Resort & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 630
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Paradisus Princesa Del Mar Resort & SPA is located in Varadero Beach, the Cuban sun and beach tourist destination for excellence. This stunning Ultra All-Inclusive 5-star hotel is designed only for adults over 18. The property houses 434 rooms equipped with modern comforts and provides a varied gastronomic offer, daily activities, swimming pool and meeting rooms which convey an ambiance of quietness and service. Discover the magical peace of this hotel. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Paradisus Princesa Del Mar Resort And Spa
Paradisus Princesa Del Mar Hotel Varadero
Paradisus Princesa Del Mar Varadero
Paradisus Princesa Varadero
Princesa Del Mar

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