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Memories Paraiso Beach Resort
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Reviewed 6 June 2014

We travelled to Memories Paraiso Azul for one week from May 25-June 1 2014. Two ladies on a girls getaway.

We travelled from Toronto with Sunwing. No issues at all with Sunwing, good flight, good service at the airport and hotel. Loved that they do the check in while getting on the bus, way easier than lining up at the hotel.

We travelled in low season and only the Azul side was open (Paraiso closed until November I think). We actually liked this. Never a problem getting a palapa at the beach or shade at the pool, even if we didn't get up early.

The Beach: This was my sixth stay in Cuba, first time in Cayo Santa Maria. OMG. By far the best beach I've ever been to. The sand is like flour and never gets too hot. The water was amazing, so blue and clear. No jellyfish or anything scary. We spent a lot of time at the beach which I usually don't. Some days there were decent sized waves which were so fun to play in, we brought pool floats and floated all morning. The lifeguards were friendly and we learned a lot about Cuba from them. (George, we miss you so much!). The animation team games in the morning were fun, and I'm still pretty proud of my bocci ball tournament win, lol.

The Pools: Pools were nice, clean, big. A lot of fun times happened at the pools, met a lot of people and made some wonderful new friends.

Bars: The drinks were great all over the place. My favourite is the Pina Colada but the Miami Vice was also delicious. Shout out to our favourite bartender at the beach, Jimmy, who brought us our drinks right to our chairs most of the time.

Rooms: Basic but clean. Our tv didn't work, and we told the front desk but it was never fixed. No big deal, we weren't in the room very much. Closet door was broken, toilet didn't always flush well. Nothing major. Maids did a great job and left lovely towel art and notes for us.

Food: Food was the only reason I didn't give a five star review. It was hit and miss. Some good things were the fried rice station and grill station. The food under the lamps was not appetizing at all. Tried the Italian a la carte which was decent. I recommend bringing some condiments from home to spice up the food. I lost 5 pounds this vacation, but hey, who doesn't want to drop a few lbs? Haha.

Staff: The staff at this hotel made our vacation SO great that we are planning on returning in October. Everyone was friendly and nice with a few stand outs. Joel the cart driver made us laugh so much, he was so nice. On the entertainment team, Yoandry, Alex, Gabby, Jerry, Carlos, so many others..... thanks for keeping us entertained! These guys were so much fun.
One of our favourite things was the foot and hand massages/reflexology by the pool from Elvis and Jerry. OMG to die for. Thanks gentlemen!

This vacation was incredible, and I've never done the same hotel twice, but we will see you all in a few months!!

Room Tip: Bungalow 54 was centrally located and odd number rooms have a gorgeous ocean view.
  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with friends
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8  Thank Kimberly P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
General M, General Manager at Memories Paraiso Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 15 June 2014

Dear Kimberly,

Thank you very much for your review, I am happy to hear that you had such a good time with Yoandry, Alex, Gabby, Jerry, Carlos, so many others....of our Entertainment team and that you have enjoyed so much the powder white sand and crystal clear water and the Memories Paraiso Azul Beach Resort.

We thank you for choosing the Memories Paraiso Azul Cayo Santa Maria.
We are looking forward to welcoming and servicing you again.

Our Mission – Your Comfort

The Management of Memories Paraiso Azul Beach Resort

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 June 2014

We were here in May, 2014 during low season. Half of the resort was open; although quite, there was lots to do, and the animation team made our stay exciting. They really did a wonderful job of making us and all of the guests feel important and included.
The beach was the most beautiful beach i have ever been to (I have been to Greece, Dominican, Mexico, and of course Georgian Bay)
The first person i met was the bartender at the main beach beside the animation hut. He was very friendly and had a wonderful smile and work ethic.
Our room was clean, and the maids did a wonderful job of leaving towel art in our room everyday.
Food: was very good. I felt like i was on a detox week; i never felt so "un"-bloated and fresh before. The food was tasty, without MSG, GMOs, or preservatives-so if you like chemicals in your food, you should not go to Cuba. I stayed away from the conventional pastas and pizza and ate the Cuban food. The restaurants were all very good, i highly recommend the pumpkin soup at The Mediterranean and the pork dishes throughout the resort. The staff at all the restaurants, buffets, and grills were FRIENDLY and you could tell they loved their jobs.
The shows were amazing!!! My favourite was Michael Jackson night. I would have liked to see Cuban music at the theatre entrance every night after the show though. They had it one night and i loved it!
I would recommend this hotel to anyone looking for a relaxing vacation with wonderful and friendly staff. I hope to save my money and come again!

Room Tip: Choose Ocean View on the Azul side, it is spectacular!
  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with family
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3  Thank Ge0_66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
General M, General Manager at Memories Paraiso Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 15 June 2014

Geo_66.

Thank you for your review on Trip Advisor, we are happy to hear that you enjoyed so much or food, the extremely friendly staff .

We thank you for choosing the Memories Paraiso Azul Cayo Santa Maria.
We are looking forward to welcoming and servicing you again.

Our Mission – Your Comfort

The Management of Memories Paraiso Azul Beach Resort

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 June 2014

My stay was from Feb 5th - 12th 2014 with my sister. This resort would greatly benefit from investments in costumer service training overall.

Pros:
-The most beautiful beach I've ever see
-Clear Blue water
-Soft White sand beach
-Awesome waves
-Great weather
-The facility is old but the grounds are well kept (greenery/Gardens/trees/grass) which is why the majority of my tips went to the gardening staff
- On site money exchange
- The room was very spacious with great air conditioner
- Our housekeep was great, she made the beds daily & left little designs with the towels along with fresh flowers
-Fridge is refilled daily with whichever beverages are available
-Time didn't seem to matter as I didn't see a single clock anywhere in the facility (not even in the room)

Cons: Our Main disappointments were relating to the customer service, please note that all the issues listed below could have been solved by a functional customer service team.

- One functional front desk person to process check in (Another worker attempted to help move the line by asking us to leave OUR PASSPORTS with him overnight so he can process them later!!! As they only had 1 scanner for a hotel with 300 rooms!) HECK NO!

- If you can take your own luggage to your room yourself - we waited 2 hours before finally tracking the bell boy down and carrying our suitcases to our 3rd floor room ourselves.

- If possible exchange your money before you go. They have an on site money exchange but on one occasion I lined up for about 30 mins when I got to the booth the worker told me they disn't take coins (but they was no sign indicating that they didn't). And another time my sister lined up to 20 min and when she got t the booth, the worker got up and whet for lunch and didn't return for 2 hours. (they should just post their lunch hours so people don't waste their time waiting)

-24hr snack bar with bland/dry sandwiches containing chicken only, hot dogs, ham & cheese sandwiches and some cockroaches walking along the counter as the guy makes your food. :0

- Don't expect good food (on day 7 I found a dead/cooked fly in my rice!)

- Take your own salt and pepper, maybe even a spoon

- The Buffets: populated with flies (during daylight hours). Tables lack: cleanliness, forks, knives, salt, pepper, sugar, clean/empty glasses and/or cups and napkins. Spoons are by request only.

-Less than average waiter/waitressing skills

- Didn't find the fridge until day 3 of our stay as the cupboard it was none functional (handle was broken) but despite multiple reports to "customer service" nothing was done about it. We finally had to pull the cupboard out & push the fridge forward which propped the cupboard door open.

-The room was moist all the time, it didn't have good air circulation (I would leave my bikinis laying flat to dry & 2 days later they would still be damp

-The towels had visible stains (I'm was glad I took my own towel + facecloth)

- Sink was clogged for 2 and a half days before it was fixed therefore we had do everything in the bathtub. (they kept telling us someone would come in 30 mins but they never did) No offer to move us to another room was ever made.

-Day 2 we had no running water the entire night + Day 3 No running water from 9pm -12:30am on the entire resort

While we enjoyed our vacation from the terrible winter we had here in Canada in 2014 we could have done better without all the inconveniences listed above. Our main disappointments were relating to the customer service therefore this resort would greatly benefit from investments in costumer service training overall. With all that said, I wouldn't stay in this hotel in the near future unless (keeping in mind the spectacular beauty that was the beach and greenery) major service improvements are made OR if it was free!

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with family
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3  Thank Juliet M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 June 2014

First thing is first the Flight was alright. Sunwing is a economy flight so you feel squished for the trip. I am about 6"1 the seats are made for people my height. You get a hot sandwich and drink on the trip. We arrive at the Santa Clara Airport at about 7 PM. The bus ride to the resort was another hour and a half. Make sure to convert your money at the Cuban Airport or at a bank if you get the chance.

We spent one week here in early May 2014 . We had a 2nd floor Junior Suite with Balcony ocean view room and is was quite nice. The rooms were clean but could use some upgrading. Bathroom railing was loose. Toilet takes about 2-3 flushes sometimes. If that is a major concern then maybe it is not for you. Memories Resort is about 1500 rooms the biggest in the area. It will be the second biggest in a year or two. It wasn't completely filled which is what we appreciated. Your mini fridge is not filled but it will have 2 beers , 2 sodas, and a bottle of water for you everyday. You can tip maybe 3-5 pesos if you would want extras in the fridge.

The food is a major issue for a lot of people. You will find things that you like and things that you will not like if you are adventurous. Some people brought their own condiments (tobasco sauce, ketchup etc.) The food got better as the week went on. They have all kind of eggs scrambled, omelettes etc. hash browns, breads, So it should be fine. There was even food out at the buffet so we were still able to eat at around 11pm. We booked a few a la carte dinners which we preferred more than the buffet. The Mediterranean and Italian were really good. For kids there were always BBQ stations by all of the pools. You can grab a hamburger or hot dog. The resort takes about 10-15 minutes to walk from one end to the other. There is a market place at the opposite end of the resort which had restaurants, street vendors, bars, Gym, Spa , Cigar Shops, a Bank, and Patio seating to have a drink and enjoy the weather. This is a really good idea because you are not bothered by vendors on the resort they are only allowed to sell at the market with a license they have to purchase for one day. There are new vendors at the market each day.

The Beach is like white powder sand which felt really good under your feet. You have to jockey for your spot on the beach early in the morning. The water is blue and clear and you can walk into the water a fair distance before it would rise past my shoulder. I'm about 6'1. There is always a bar close by the beach to get drinks. In some areas I've notice that they bring the drinks to you. I guess that would depend on your tip.

There are so many tours that you can book while you are there. I chose the Santa Clara tour which I enjoyed very much. It takes the entire day and lunch was included at a very nice restaurant. I enjoyed the food that was served very much and we had the please of listening to trio of singers while we ate. Don't be surprised that they ask for donations after their performance. The popular trip seems to be the snorkeling and catamaran.

Leaving was a little irritating. Everyone pays $25 Pesos (Cuban Currency) to leave Cuba. That works out to about $25-26 cdn. We bought a painting at the Market at the resort and they charged us 3 pesos. Its not a big deal when you think about but be warned some people didn't appreciate it. Also we upgraded to the VIP Lounge when leaving - it is all you can eat and drink while you wait for the plane. The lounge is air conditioned and has a few flat screens to watch TV. The VIP Lounge with cost you another 25 Pesos.



Beach was fantastic. I was not a beach person before this trip. But I am slowly turning into one. My girlfriend who has been to quite a few of the islands was quite impressed. It was one of the best she has ever been to. That is comparing it to Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, Aruba, and Bahamas. Just to be clear I am emphasizing the Beach not the resort as one of the best.

To summarize we enjoyed the trip and would come back again.I would definitely recommend it.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank lilnation
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
General M, General Manager at Memories Paraiso Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 15 June 2014

Dear Lilnation,

First of all thank you for your review and we are happy that you enjoyed so much our beach with crystal clear water and powder white sand and that you had such fantsatic and good time at our Memories Paraiso Azul Beach Resort.

We thank you for choosing the Memories Paraiso Azul Cayo Santa Maria.
We are looking forward to welcoming and servicing you again.

Our Mission – Your Comfort

The Management of Memories Paraiso Azul Beach Resort

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 June 2014

we where here in may 12th 2014 till the 19th we had our wedding there it was beautiful, they did a wonderful job , the beach is beautiful, we had an ocean view room the best .The workers are great and meals were good lots of choices.I have nothing bad to say about this resort only thing is the mosquito s were bad at times they need to spray a little more often. There is a market for shopping and and the resort provides a cute little train to take you there a about a 7 minute walk if you want to walk it .The market is full of different venders every day , and restaurants and a nice spa and hair salon. we loves the resort best so far... Our boys loved the beach and meeting up with other teens for hanging around .

Room Tip: building 52 and room 5265 had a beautiful ocean view.
  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
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3  Thank Sandra S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
General M, General Manager at Memories Paraiso Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 8 June 2014

Dear Sandra,

First of all thank you for your review and we are happy that you enjoyed so much our beach with crystal clear water and powder white sand and that you had such an good time at our Memories Paraiso Azul Beach Resort.

We thank you for choosing the Memories Paraiso Azul Cayo Santa Maria.
We are looking forward to welcoming and servicing you again
.
Our Mission – Your Comfort
The Management of Memories Paraiso Azul Beach Resort

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