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“Relaxing!”

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Memories Paraiso Beach Resort
Ranked #12 of 15 Hotels in Cayo Santa Maria
Windsor, Canada
Level Contributor
32 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
“Relaxing!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 February 2013

True, there is not a ton to do but if relaxing is what you are looking for; this is a great resort to do just that! My husband and I were looking for exactly that.
The resort is mostly clean...now I have to say the poor resort just wasn't always able to keep up with the disgusting people who littered like crazy all over the place. There were plenty of garbage cans to dispose of the refuse but many people just left their garbage as they pleased.
The food was repetitive. As a vegetarian, I was left to eat mostly potatoes and pizza as there wasn’t a lot of vegetable dishes to choose from. The food though was ok; my biggest complaint was that it wasn’t hot. It did get better as the week went on. They have new chefs who were already making improvements to the taste and quality of the food, but as the one chef said that they do the best with what they have…and it isn’t much! We need to keep things in perspective. My husband and I ate at Grille 66. The food was so delicious and hot!
We never had any issues with the bar. The lobby bar was the best bar by far! Just take a look at how organized and efficient they are taking orders from the servers while pouring drinks for the patrons coming up to the bar. We never had to wait more than a minute for service. Danny was truly an amazing bartender- he works long hours and always was smiling and made the best rum punches!
The beach was simply amazing. You can walk for miles and the sand is never hot. If you go to the right towards the rocks, there are reeds and a rocky bottom that have lots of fish to check out while snorkeling. We saw an octopus and many lionfish.
The one thing this resort does do well is their service. The maids, Odalys and Vivian were so sweet. They left us candies and notes and turned down our bed a few times during the week even though we weren’t diamond club members. The staff at the buffet were very attentive, never letting our glasses get empty. Very friendly staff, right from the groundskeepers to the manager!
Our room was located right next to the marketplace which was surprisingly quiet yet also very convenient. There were many great items for everyone and the prices were so cheap (I thought so anyways so I never felt it necessary to barter)
I would recommend this resort because the pluses do make up for some of the negatives!

  • Stayed February 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Mariannabanana
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 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 of 5 bubbles
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Saskatoon, Canada
Level Contributor
19 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 February 2013

Let me start by saying that I realize Cuba is an extremely poor country. (The bus ride to and from the resort is enough for anyone to realize that.) However, let me remind you that the companies that own these resorts are not. It is obvious that this resort was a five star at one time, but with lack of maintenance, it is no longer. I read all of the reviews (a lot negative) before going, and tried to have an open mind, as I know that there is just no pleasing some people. Here is my take on Memories Azul:

The Pros:
-friendly and helpful staff
-great coffee
-amazing beach
-made to order food at the beach grill
-made to order omlettes at the buffet
-decent entertainment
-comfortable beds
-bar fridge restocked daily
-excellent night maid service
-3 A La Carte reservations made for you with Diamond Club purchase
-great Diamond Club area and service on the beach
-Ocean View Room with Diamond Club purchase
-great catamaran excursion
-the Market is within walking distance, and the vendors ask reasonable prices for their wares

The Cons:
-cockroaches in the rooms
-sand fleas in the rooms
-black mould in the bathroom
-mould on the caulking around the vanity
-no face cloths
-screen doors and closet doors that fall off
-food is "recycled" in the buffet. ie: food is dumped from one dish into another, and served repeatedly.
-poor food selction at the buffet. Same choices meal after meal.
-food was cold
-most vegetables are pickled, and most fruit is canned at the buffet
-dishes/cutlery were not always clean when given to you
-numerous burned out lights along the walkway
-internet and phones were down for two days
-front desk staff unhelpful
-Womens washroom had no toilet seats and paper towel in place of toilet paper in the Theatre!!!
-had to wait until evening for fresh towels
-bedsheets do not get changed during your stay, and are stained

My Tips:
-bring Raid Household and fumigate your room daily
-do not leave your beach towels in your room
-bring your own facecloths
-only eat the foods that are cooked in front of you
-bring Imodium
-spend the extra money, and stay at the Royalton or the Melia Buenavista

Room Tip: North-facing rooms in Building 55 have a great ocean view.
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  • Stayed January 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Jamie B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Cayo Santa Maria hotels

Kitchener, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 February 2013

We travelled with 3 children ages 9, 7 and 3. We have travelled to Cuba before but this was our first time to Cayo Santa Maria. The island was beautiful, untouched except for resorts and the surrounding nature was just so peaceful to look at. We did not mind the travel time from the airport and it seemed to go by quickly. The resort was very nice however we noticed that some of the fountain areas decorating the surroundings were not working especially on the paraiso side(no water in them). The Azul side seemed to be better maintained.
The rooms were decent, we slept comfortably from the onset of our vacation. The rooms are not extravagant but we didn't plan to spend a whole lot of time sitting in our room. The AC worked great, always plenty of towels and the mini bar fridge always stocked. If you required anything they were always great to get you what you needed. When we arrived to our room, they had already prepared our room with two additional twin beds for our children and adjusted the double beds(put them together) to allow more space for our family, we wre grateful for that.
When requesting assistance be sure to speak clearly and be patient and respectful...that will take you a long way and not just at this resort but in life in general.
The beach is beautiful, its just too bad we couldn't spend more time there due to high winds the week we were there(Jan 26-Feb2). I was more comfortable at the pool with three young children but that was just my preference as a parent.
The pool was great but we did prefer to lounge on the Azul side. There was plenty of poolside entertainment and the kids had so much fun in the games area. Our two older children took part in kids club for a few hours all week. They took part in the kids disco every night and had a blast. The kids club was good but, our intention for this vacation was to spend time enjoying our children so they spent more time hanging out with us. The ladies in the kids club were great with the kids and came around during the day to get the kids involved. Our daughter went along with another friend she met for some face painting fun and once done they were delivered back to us at the pool.
The entertainment in general was fantastic. We did not miss one show and they were all very good. The kids did get bored with all the singing and dancing shows but we all loved the pre shows that involved crowd participation...very funny and entertaining. The only bad thing I would say has more to do with other parents than the hotel...There is nothing more annoying then young children running up on stage in the middle of the show. Parents need to put their drinks down for a minute and look after their children.
The food was average at best. The selections were always the same but we always found something to eat. I would have to say that I was most dissapointed with this part of our trip. Like I said before, this was not our first time in Cuba and I did not have high expectations in the food department. What concerned me most is that they would run out of things and not replenish. We got fresh bananas once during the week and a couple times at the grill they had no bread when we arrived and never replenished. We did not do a la cartes as the buffet was just easier with kids. Many times the food was cold as the heating lamps were not functioning at some stations and if you didn't get into the buffet when it opened you might not get any spagetti as they only put out one bowl at the fresh pasta station. At first we did not understand the lineup at the buffet half hour before it opened for dinner but by the end of the week it became clear. A couple times I had to clear a table so we could have our breakfast. We would get there just before 9am and there would not be one clean table to sit at. It just did not seem to be well organized and they definately could improve in this area. The fresh hamburgers from the roadside BBQ's were very good but not always available and many long lineups.
If we were to return to this resort, I would definately pack some peanut butter and ketchup, as well as some franks red hot or some kind of additional seasoning.

  • Stayed January 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank mama030509
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cambridge, Canada
Level Contributor
18 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 February 2013

Returned from a week with friends at this hotel. Rooms are large + clean, fridge was nice and stocked for us daily. Pools lovely and cleaned daily. Beach was great and lovely to swim and walk along. Food- now everyone gets all upset about the food. Stay home. But with a little thinking the buffet can be wonderful(i never loose any weight), they grill beef/chicken and then have them put some rice on it...grilled veggies were an option a couple of nights to accompany the rice+meat-yummy. Try the soups, they always have a big pot available with lots of veggies-very good - have a slice of toast-get a grilled tomato and slice of cheese(lunch). Pasta is always good - have them add extra seasoning. Salad bar was nice lots of items to choose from...you may have to be inventive and think outside the box. Breakfast of course is always the best. Yogurt is great, fruit-some fresh and some canned. Saw lots of people who traveled with there own syrup for pancakes-great idea-i always travel with peanut butter and hot sauce. Yes, if you go for dinner at 630 when the buffet opens it is busy busy. Our group mostly went later 730-8pm after the older and younger had eaten. They do bring more food out. Cappuccino was yummmy.....but don't get if from the machine on the buffet...from the bar is superior!
Toilet in this area(buffet) need some love and attention. This toilet is dark(more lights please), couple of seats missing and the corners dirty. Our phones where out for most of the week, so communication with the group was hard sometimes. AC and ceiling fans+screens on balconies - these I like. TV with several channels in english-movie channel nice to have.
Yes the pathways are dark-take a flash light. And yes the carts travel around at night delivering people to the other side for the al a carts....this resort is large.
As for food when needing to travel very early in the am or late at night-hint-you have a fridge-make some sandwiches and bring them with you. You are still responsible for yourself. Al A carte restaurants where good, I enjoyed the Asian the best...tempura veggies are great, sushi was good too, egg drop soup sooooo good.
For the $$ paid this hotel is great and would return.

K+R

Room Tip: bring your own salt + pepper....i love lots of pepper and had to search it out every day....bringing...
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  • Stayed February 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank kerih42
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Goderich, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 February 2013

This was our first vacation in about 7 years. Wanting to make up for lost time, we booked "Diamond Club" thinking we would be getting royal treatment. WHERE WE WRONG!!!!!!!!!!!
Our "PERSONAL GREETING" was from friends that we where hooking up with. They had been there a week and were booked for another. They were ready to climb the bus and head for the airport.
Our next "ENCOUNTER" was when we registered at the desk, like everyone else, instead of having personal check-in and out that was supposed to be a perk for "Diamond Club" guests. The desk clerk took all our documents, including our e-tickets, and insurance papers, never to be seen again. Quickly wisking us off with the bellhop to our bungalow. "SURPRISE" there was only a map of the resort in our envelope. Instead of taking us back to the lobby to get keys, he stood there with his hand out for a tip, rolling his eyes.
There was to be 2 beach towels in our room, there was only one, the stipulation was that if there were not 2 beach towels in your room on checkout, you were to pay 20 pesos each. We had a beautiful "Diamond Club Suite", except for the MOLD in our room. There was even mold all around one of the sinks in the buffet. We had a jacuzzi in our room with no plug, we had a walkin closet with no hangars. We had a coffee maker with no coffee, they had none. When we did get coffee, the coffee maker didn't work. We purchased a converter to bring the 220v receptacles down to 120v, wouldn't even light up the button on my curling iron. We had 2 tvs in our suite, no batteries in the remote. They have no wash clothes so we were using the hand towels to wash with. After 3 days of using the same ones, I threw them on the floor so that they would take them to get washed and get new ones. WRONG. We were lucky to get towels to dry ourselves. We were to get our beds turned down at night as another service to "Diamond Club" Not once did that happen. I guess another perk for "Diamond Club" was to have a phone beside your toilet. Only problem with this was, it was our ONLY phone. We spent over 2 hours in line to talk to our private Rep for "Diamond Club Members" instead of our Sunwing Rep. Only to be told that "as Canadians" we expect more. We have been to 3 other resorts, one of them being in Cuba. If this was a 5* resort, than the other 3 must have been 10*. Not once did we have a hot meal. Not even in the al a carte restaurants. They kept running out of food. The lighting at night was almost non existent. If the lights were on, they were not close enough to do any good. In some places, the stamped concrete walkways had 1in. imprints in the cement.
People were getting sick. We were hearing the other guests complaining, it made our story seem minor. I was standing in line to speak to the "Sunwing Rep" on our last day to see if our itinerary paper would get us on the airplane. I was speaking to another lady who was telling me about their experience, there was an Asian woman behind us, smirking. She put a hand on each of us, and said "I'm sorry lady, but you should do stand up comedy. You would make LOTS of money. THIS IS ONLY THE TIP OF THE ICEBURG. There were SO MANY ANGRY people at this resort, I have NEVER seen the likes of this, not even 23 years ago when we went to the Dominican.

  • Stayed January 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Pat J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 February 2013

I do not recommend this resort.
Despite Sunwing selling this as a 5 star in my opinion it is a 3 star resort

Pros
Very nice beach with perfect white sand and a good distance of shallow water to swim in
Kid friendly resort with baby pool, kids pool, and kids camps
Friendly staff (for the most part)

Cons
Terrible food (often cold, unappetizing, poor quality, little variety). The a la carte restaurants do not improve things.
Terrible rooms (smelly sheets, dirty towels, ugly wicker furniture, mold on the ceiling)

Internet had been down for 3 weeks
The steak house for diamond members had been closed for 3 months
The buffet hours were bad. Breakfast ended at 10 and lunch didn't start until 1 so if you slept in you were out of luck. Yes there is a 24 hour snack bar but you were relegated to hot dogs and burgers.
For every station of the buffet there was only one serving utensil for 3-5 food items. Cross contamination was rampant which is unappetizing for vegetarians like my wife and down right dangerous if you have allergies.
Food variety was poor with the same items being recycled for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
The resort ran out of a lot of things you would think are staples. No butter for bread for the last 3 days we were there. No breakfast potatoes all week. No salmon all week.

We had a diamond suite (the best they had to offer) and we were disgusted. The sheets smelled as if they hadn't been dried properly and mildew had set in. The towels were stained with rust (I hope) and bleach spots. Fixtures were cheap and often loose, paint cover ups slapped on everywhere.

  • Stayed February 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Magnus B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Quinte West
Level Contributor
32 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 February 2013

I don't go to Cuba for the food. So I wasn't disappointed on this trip. However I did gain three pounds so I guess I didn't starve.
The weather this trip was superb. Six of the seven days the sun shone and the wind blew. Great for a Cayo Santa Maria vacation. The seventh was cool and overcast perfect for a bus ride to the Dolphinium and a visit to the Pueblos. Shopping in Cuba is nicer than elsewhere in the Caribbean. It is still crap but it is Cuban crap and kind of unique. The Cuban people were friendly and accomodating. We made a couple of friends at the hotel and exchanged addresses. We'll see what comes from this.
Our only complaint came when leaving the country. The representative checking us unto the plane discovered that our luggage was overweight. But for $5 he would ignore it. One last tip. (BTW when we returned home we reweighed our luggage, heaviest bag was 3 kilos under limit) But that wasn't the big thing. My Cuban exit card got misplaced by this same representative. (it was in my passport when I checked in and he dropped my passport.) Replacement would cost me another 20 CUC's. We had three hours to kill so we waited him out. Fifteen minutes later it reappeared miraculously. Watch out for this new scam.
I have read about the shortage of lounge chairs at this and other resorts. Don't blame the resorts. I personally witnessed six individuals reserve eight lounges at both the beach and the pool. That was ten empty reserved lounges.

  • Stayed January 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank tomjc43
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: 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
Reservation Options:
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