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“Okay, but not great”

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Memories Paraiso Beach Resort
Ranked #12 of 15 Hotels in Cayo Santa Maria
Toronto
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Okay, but not great”
Reviewed 22 April 2012

We stayed at Memories Paraiso from April 13-20.

The resort itself was huge, being able to use amenaties on both the Paraiso and Azul sides with one main buffet and one main theater. There ae three pools (Paraiso, middle kiddie pool, and Azul).

ROOM-Stayed in building 37-close to the pool. Room was nice, clean, no issues. Water was hot with good shower pressure. Saw no bugs.

FOOD- A la cartes were good. We tried Steakhouse (the braised beef was amazing)(Diamond Club only), Italian, Caribbean, Mexican, and Mediterranean. All were really good.

Buffet was very repetative, best to go to the fresh stations. The lines were not that long and moved fast. Lots of fresh bread.

There is a main buffet which is very large for both the Paraiso and Azul sides in the middle of the resort.

There is also a grill for lunch that serves buffet with fresh fish and chicken/beef stations. In the evening these turn into a la carte restaurants and then after the a la cartes are done they serve 24 hour burgers and fries. There is one on the Azul side as well which serves the same food. Lots of flies in these grills as they are open air.

There is also a sports bar on the Azul side for Diamond Club members which serves hamburgers, fries and sandwiches from 11-12:30 and then from 4-all evening. We had a burger there once and it was really bad we went to the buffet after.

The 24 hour burgers on the Paraiso side grill are much better.

There is a beach grill near the Paraiso side of the beach which was serving chicken on a bun and hotdogs. Line was often long with only one cook. But very good.

BEACH-Amazing. Get up early for chairs with shade. By 7 a.m. seats are extreamly limited. Otherwise, there are lots of chairs.

We thought we would put our towels on some chairs in the evening...bad idea...they were not there when we went in the morning. We asked around but no one saw them. They were not the resort towels so they would have stood out. I think it was the guys working on the beach in the morning moving chairs who took them.

There was a section of the beach reserved for diamond club which has better chairs and "buttler service" though not every day. But it was close to the bar so not a big deal.

They have music on the beach, and they play games, teach dancing in the water, etc.

POOLS-We spent one day at the pool on the Paraiso side which had lots of entertainment/music. One day we went to the kiddie pool for the day which was more quiet.

DIAMOND CLUB- the only things good about paying the extra was the extra a la carte (steakhouse) and the good beach chairs, although it was all the way on the Azul side of the resort. There were robes in the room but we did not wear them, every guest got a bottle of rum, sports bar was not worth it.

ENTERTAINMENT- there was a show every night in the theater. We saw the Michael Jackson twice though. Some shows were better than others.

There is a disco in the town beside the resort which opens at 11 p.m. closes at 2 a.m. You could walk there from our building in 5 minutes. 2 pasos to get in, 2 paso beers, 3 paso mixed drinks. They don't serve wine. There is also a bowling alley 3.30 pasos per person per game. Shopping there during the day, etc.

Overall, nice trip, a couple windy days which made big waves in the ocean (fun though). Lots of walking.

TIP- don't change your money in the lobby. Much better rate at the bank.

I emailed the hotel before my arrival to book my a la cartes as we were celebrating a birthday and anniversary and I wanted to make sure I got a restaurant on thoes days. When we checked in they gave us a piece of paper with the restaurants booked. I had to change something though and the lines to book the a la cartes are very long. There was a guy in the theatre sitting at a computer by himself and I just walk right up and had him change it. So before you line up see if he is there.

Stayed April 2012, travelled with friends
Helpful?
6 Thank Ashlee A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Lower Sackville, Canada
Level 6 Contributor
71 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 April 2012

Just arrived home from the Memories Azul Resort and all I can say is DO NOT READ THE NEGATIVE REVIEWS. They are absolutely incorrect. Go there with an open mind and you will not be disappointed.

The weather was perfect every day. Three green flags, two yellow flags and two red flags at the beach, though there were people in the water every day. Do not wear any thing that sparkles in the water at the beach. A lady was bitten on the foot by a baracuda the first day she arrived while she was snorkeling and had to have stitches at the international clinic. Pleny of fish at the beach near the reef section at the Azul side.

Try the dolphine excursion. It is for 7 hours with an encounter with the dolphines, a lobster or chicken dinner with salad buffet, the walrus show, catamarian to snorkeling, and a private beach for 45 minutes plus a light snack at the end. the price is 99.00 cuc and 49. 00 cuc for children. They pick you up at the hotel lobby and drop you off. If going with a group make sure you book it for the same day and check your receipt to make sure they didn't write down the wrong one from translation. they leave at 8 and 10 am. The late excursion arrives back at 5:30pm. You can buy a picture for 10.50 cuc. Well worth it. 10 X 20 approx.

In regards to the meals at the buffets and the a la cartes. I loved the choices at the buffet. I am extremely fussy not liking anything that is not familiar. I also have an allergy to seafood. I found plenty of food to eat and never went hungry. Try the hamburgers on the pariasso side at the beach. Worth the wait. They also have french fries at the gill on the same side. The a la carte favorite of mine was the italian (slow service 2.5 hours) and the caribien. At the steak house make sure you order the slow braised beef. It is delecious. At the buffets I perfered the grills with the food made right in front of me. I did not like the flies in the open buffets at the grills. Waffels at the Pariasso buffet and Crepes at the Azul buffet. Try both sides. Different foods in both. Yes, they do have french fires for the kids.

Before you go, Look at all the pictures on this site and get familiar with the area. Yes, it is a fifteen minute walk from building 61 to the Pueblo Estrella. Hot walk especially in the heat. Ask for a ride there and then walk back. I saved many hours trying to find things by checking out all the sites I could. The best resourse was here.

The cat with the missing nose had her kittens on the Pariasso side in the laundry room. I did not find her as it was too hot on our last day there. Plenty of dogs and cats around but they are not bothersome.

We stayed in building 58 at room 5877 which to us was the best view of the pool and the ocean. We had a wonderful maid who loved our gifts and left beautiful towel arrangements for us. Our room was always clean, fresh towels, washed floors. We had oceanview jr suite diamond club. We think the diamond club was worth the extra money as it gave us an extra a la carte, top of the line alcohol, the nice beach chairs, Our room had a King size bed.

For those checking out this site many knew us at the resort as the Nova Scotia Party Animals. We wore t-shirts and carried monkeys around with our group of 14. We had a great time with our pub crawl.

When we embarked on this trip our group consisted of 7 couples. Two of the couples mom passed away the day we arrived and they had to arrange to get home. Sunwing staff were very efficient and had them on a plane to Toronto at 4 the next morning. They made it home the next day.

We found the staff very friendly at this resort and they were always very accomodating to their guests. They even joined in on our volley ball game on the beach.

If you need a wake up call go to the telephone room and they will book it. The lobby reception does not do this. Remember you are on Cuba time. No one carries a watch and there is no clock to be seen. If you are looking for the weather forcast you can find it on the desk where you check out.

If you are a diamond club guest, book all your a la cartes in the Diamond club lounge as soon as you get there. We used the bank at the resort and booked our excursions at the sunwing desk in the lobby. We also booked the VIP lounge at the airport here. Book early. It is well worth it. Sandwiches (ham and cheese or tuna), drinks (pop, shots, beer), munchies (cheesies and chips), very comfy chairs and you get to board the plan first. Now that is special. Plus very clean batherooms for the VIP's only.

Enough for now. Go with an open mind, and an open heart. The staff work extremely hard for their 12 cuc's a week and are very poor in money, but rich in spirit.

The Dooleys

Room Tip: 5877. View of both the pool and the ocean. King size bed . Diamond Club Jr Suite.
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
5 Thank Brendad00
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Calgary
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 April 2012

We went on vacation on April 2 until April 17, from Calgary it's little bit hard to find direct flight and this is was one what it's was available, it was good choice.
First big concern, beach don't have enough shade spots, you can easy get sunburn,buffet don't have very good organisation or don't enough employees, some day waiters came to you ask for orders and you can see her forget for this and just serving some guest who is already have a drink, this is happened couple times, we finished our meal without any drink . Food at buffet generally not bad, some days you have very nice choices of food some don't, not so nice choices of soup, if you have soup you don't have spoon, if you have spoon you don't have any soup.
Room also need some recondition like, missing screen door,toilet lid it's broken.
My husband spoke with manager Eduardo and he was really concern about guest comments, this is was big plus to hotel management, I can see in future this will be fixed.
So far we liked our vacation ocean was stunning, most beautiful what we seen.
We enjoyed 2 weeks of our vacation.
If we found good deal we will be back.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank travelfamily95
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ontario canada
Level 4 Contributor
10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 April 2012

returned saturday morning from a week at paraiso. been to lots of places and this is by for the best beach i have been to....miles of white sand and crystal clear water. hotel room clean and beds and pillows good. no bugs in room. be sure to rinse your cups at the end of the day and you will be fine. fridge restocked daily with beer water and pop.put note in fridge with peso. room cleaned every day and only 2nd last day didnt get towels, justed used smaller ones.no big deal. food was not awful, buffet had lots. just be careful, i found the meat platters warm so i just avoided. cheese assortment excellent. only steakhouse had soooooo many flies in there it totally grossed me out and put me off the alcartes altogether. i heard from another traveller it was only that restaurant...not sure i just had the buffet after that and the beach grill for burgers and chicken at lunch. coffee excellent.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank undy-canada
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Enfield, NS, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 April 2012

My sister-in-law has been after my wife and I to go south for the last 14 years. I was reluctant to go because I don't like hot weather. But we agreed to go this year, and for 2 weeks. There were 4 couples in total, all of us from Nova Scotia.

After reading a lot of reviews, I didn't expect much as far as the food was concerned....but I was pleasantly surprised. it took a couple of days to test the various foods at the buffets, but after that it was smooth sailing. We attended about 6 A La Cartes, and they were quite good, especially the Italian one which we attended twice. i did hear some people complain about the food. They must be picky as there seemed to be something good for everyone in our group, and we all had differrent likes and dislikes.

The waiters/waitresses and cooks were very accommodating, friiendly and attentive.

We spent most of our days in the shaded area next to a large beautiful pool, with a nice walk up, or swim up, bar located between it and an adajcent pool that was just as large and beautiful. We spent several days on what has to be one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. It had beautiful white sand that was as fine textured as any I have seen. Surprisingly, the fine sand didn't blow around much in spite of strong winds on most days.

There were 3 or 4 different instrumental groups that alternated in the evenings in the main lounge area. Their music was generally quite good and relaxing. Between 9:30 and 10:30 pm there was entertainment in a large beautiful theater. Most of the entertainment was dancing. There was some singing. The best show was Michaek Jackson. Although he didn't sing, he had some great moves, especially the moon walk.

I am rating this resort as 4 star based on other reviews I have read and because of the opinions of others in our group who had been to Cuba, Dominican Republic, and Mexico. I would not hesitate to recommend this resort to anyone, especially if they love beaches and pools.

In my mind, there are some things that could be easily improved to give this resort an even better rating. For example;
- Improve walkway safety by leveling the lawn area adjacent the walkways (there was one area on each side of the walkway near bungalo 56 where there was a drop off of over 300 mm which was very dangerous, especially at night because the two walkway lights in this area were not working)
- Fix the walkway lights that aren't working and provide waring paint and/or lights at walkway steps and other dangerous areas
- Rearrange the games at the sports facility and/or modify the facility to reduce the wind which drastically affects the ping pong ball. (A net at each end would be a bonus)
- Fix the clock on the Theater and the Market area, and provde additional clocks throughout the resort. Most people leave their watches in their room safe and don't have any idea of what time it is.
- Remove the dangerous walkways with gaps up to 40 mm wide between concrete blocks (eg, part of walkway behind bungalow 54 towards the tennis courts)
- Teach all of the drivers of the ultra quiet electric vehicles that use the walkway to be more careful of warning pedestrians when they come up behind them. This is very danferous.
- Provide better fly control. One morning at breakfast there were so many flies on the food that I only had a small amount of food (banana and small omlet made in front of me by a cook) for fear of gettng germs from flies.Most of the time flies were not a problem, but it doesn't take much to turn people off.
I hope the management of Memories Azul will read this review and take my comments into consideration as I am looking strongly at retuning there next year.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Gerald B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Thunder Bay, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 April 2012

Was at Paraiso week of April 8 2012.

Room >Everything in room was as good as new. The thermostat on the air conditioner actually worked!! Usually in Cuba it just acts as on on off switch. But no bottle of water in room when I got there (water delivery was 5:30 PM or so), and room was not 5 star level clean. 110 volt fitting on hair drier was a dummy and did not work but all my stuff worked on 220.

Beach > Beautiful; but the same waves that create the beautiful beach quite often make it impossible to actually go INTO the ocean to swim.

Food > Good. Did get a touch of diarrhea but most likely due to peanuts from a street vendor on a tour; heard one person complain of diarrhea.

Location> Sort of isolated. Cayo Santa Maria is purely a tourist island. This is both good or bad depending on your point of view.

Would Go Again> Yes but probably won't as there are other places to see.

Comment to management > Build more shade, Build more Shade. Build more Shade, especially at the beach as there is no natural shade there. Now this is not really the fault of the management but OUR fault. At any one time both at the beach and at the pools the chairs under shade were from 0% to 25% occupied so if chairs under shade were only used when necessary there would probably be enough for all, but it is too late now for the resort to enforce their no reserve policy for loungers. Rumour was that to be sure of shade you had to be up at 5 AM, plus some reserved at BOTH the beach and at the pool.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Mmurdo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manitoba, Canada
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 April 2012

Family of 4, traveled from Mar. 30 to Apr. 7th. Sunwing flights were great, left 1/2 hr. early both ways! (From Winnipeg) Transfer to hotel is about 1.5 hrs. on an air conditioned coach bus. Upon arrival received an envelope (it was 2 a.m.) with our room keys, resort "bracelets", and map of the grounds. Everything went very smoothly, took our own bags to the room with us.
Room: Had booked a pool view, and received ocean view...no complaints here! Water was always hot, but pressure not the greatest. Beds are 3/4, this is slightly narrower than a double. They are comfortable enough but quite cozy for two adults sharing. We also had a cot in our room upon arrival (hadn't asked for it, but saw some in the hallways, so I guess they had some to spare) which we were thankful for.
Food: Found the food to be very good...our 1st time in Cuba. Yes, buffet has similar stuff everyday, but also booked 3 a la cartes, and so that broke it up a bit. Gourmet, Meditarrean, and Italian all very good. Book them asap, Italian books up quickly. Found service on the Paraiso side better than the Azul....line ups not as long. I believe the resort was not totally full and so the reviews you read from March etc. about waiting so long in line for food....we didn't experience any of that.
Bug situation: Brought bug spray and never used it. Saw people with big bites around their ankles etc. and asked where they had been. Apparently the outdoor restaurants at night were bad for bugs. We only ate at the indoor a la cartes, and the buffet. Also the Paraiso side has more mature vegetation, the buildings are closer together as well. So I believe if your walking/standing around there at night chances of being bitten are greater. Azul side... buildings are further apart and not as much mature shrubs trees etc. Shortest way to the shopping area Pueblo is through the Paraiso side, but if you go at night just keep walking and don't linger/stand, and you should be fine. No bugs during the day.
Service: Found the people always very helpful, except for the buffet in Azul side, could take a while for coffee/drinks etc. (Not sure why, but like I said Paraiso side was better for service...same food basically).
Had an issue (light was flickering in our bathroom...bulb was almost burnt out) and so phoned maintenance to come fix it, and they came very promptly and replaced the bulb.
Like everyone says the beach is most beautiful! Best I've been to anywhere in the Caribbean and we've been to Mexico, Bahamas, and Jamaica mon!
Solid 4 star I would say......would I go again? For sure! Must add though: if you are looking for city, night life, party atmosphere, this is probably not the place for you. They have shows every night, which we found very entertaining, but other than that not much at night...which suited us fine. One of the cheapest holidays with our 9 and 12 yr. old, and one of the best!

Room Tip: Buildings 53 and 54 most central to everything. All buildings have 3 floors, no elevators. If you...
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank depo56
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

Property: Memories Paraiso Beach Resort
Address: 52610, Cuba
Region: 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 15 Hotels in Cayo Santa Maria
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:5 star — Memories Paraiso Beach Resort 5*
Number of rooms: 666
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