Playa Esmeralda, Carretera Guardalavaca, Holguin
"Excellent resort! Total relaxation and satisfaction!"
Posted by: Asya on Mar 15, 2014
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The elegant and luxurious Paradisus Río de Oro All Inclusive Resort is located right alongside Playa Esmeralda beach, in the privileged and exotic natural setting of Natural Park of Bahía Naranjo, 5 km from Guardalavaca in the province of Holguin in the north-east of Cuba. Paradisus Río de Oro is an adult only (18 and over) resort. Among its large array of water sports you’ll find scuba diving, which is included in price.
For adults only (guests aged 18 and over)
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"Excellent resort! Total relaxation and satisfaction!"
Asya on Mar 15, 2014 >
4 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Mar, 2014 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
31 people found this review helpful
Our stay at Paradisus Rio de Oro was excellent. We really enjoyed the resort and all its amenities. Facilities are excellent, food is superb, and the atmosphere is very relaxing - perfect for a romantic gataway. Highly recommended! Please read my detailed review with pictures at my blog: http://travelmaniacx-mytravels.blogspot.ca/2014/03/paradisus-rio-de-oro-resort-spa-holguin.html
"Wonderful week at a great resort."
Posted by: Colin
on Mar 14, 2014 >
2 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Feb, 2014 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
25 people found this review helpful
For our eleventh trip to Cuba we decided to try the Paradisus Rio de Oro in Holguin. Over the years it has had excellent reviews but was always out of our price range. This year we decided to pay the extra and see if it really is worth the difference (when we booked it was about $400 extra per person compared to PCV). We left Ottawa (-27C) via Sunwing on 26 February and arrived in Holguin (30C) on time and were at the resort about 1.5 hrs later.
We had a glass of champagne while checking in and were in our room (standard junior suite) with our luggage within 20 mins. A bottle of dark rum and a fruit platter awaited us in the room. We had requested a ground floor room near the pool and that was what we were given. The room (in block 34) was one of the renovated ones so had a nice walk-in shower instead of a tub. The room was large, clean, had a 32” flat screen TV and everything worked. The king sized bed was very comfortable and had king sized pillows. The room came equipped with an iron and board, umbrella, safe, two housecoats, soaps, shampoo etc. Room service was included and available 24/7.
The grounds and landscaping were well maintained and beautiful. The beach was very nice, soft sand, wide, crystal clear turquoise water and lots of shade, although when busy it was quite crowded under the palapas. It was rocky at the PRDO end but we didn't need our beach shoes. The snorkeling was very good on days when it wasn't too windy. The beach restaurant had good food and live entertainment.
We spent much of our time around the pool and there was always loungers available although the prime locations were reserved early in the morning. The pool is slated for repairs and repainting this year and while not as bad as some reviews stated, it really does need sprucing up. Service at the pool bar was excellent. This resort actually has 12 oz plastic glasses for beer rather than the standard 6 oz ones. The staff at the pool restaurant are the best – fun, helpful and efficient. Food was very good also.
The Japanese a la carte was fun – be sure and get a show table. The buffet had a large selection of very good food. No line ups at the make-it-while-you-wait pasta, omelet, meat/fish and flaming dessert stations. The food at PRDO is certainly the best that I've had in Cuba.
Cuban groups played daily at the beach restaurant, once at the dinner buffet and occasionally early evening in the lobby.
All of the staff that we encountered were very friendly, efficient, helpful and spoke English. I'm sure that the quality of the staff is a major reason for so many repeat guests.
While we liked the child free, relaxed atmosphere I'm sure some people would find it too quiet.
Was it worth the extra expense? For us it was and we hope to be able to return again.
"good food, beautiful surroundings"
Vern on Feb 18, 2014 >
1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Feb, 2014 | Leisure | Solo
39 people found this review helpful
I spent two weeks there at the beginning of December. The hotel seems relatively new and is good shape. Room was more than adequate with many comforts included. Fridge was filled with 4 soft drinks and 2 beer everyday, flat screen TV. Bathrobes, umbrella, ironing board, coffee maker, beach towels in room, saftey deposit box (included in price, room service if you so wished.
The buffet had such a large choice of things to eat. It was hard to control myself at every meal, because I wanted a bit of everything. The beach grill was a real treat: English style fish and chips, an amazing selection of dishes, with deserts like ice cream, etc. mealtimes ewere a pleasure.
Pool restaurant very good as well.
The beach. I'm not much of a beach person but entry in the water seemed a bit difficult as you had to walk past a bit of a rocky area to get to the sandy part of the water. Snorkelling to the right of the beach near the Royal Service area was very good. Lots of corals formations.
The resort has a small botannical garden and plant nursery near the gym and spa. Its a nice quiet place to sit and read. Keep your eyes open as there was a Cuban Pygmy Owl hanging around the area. I saw him or her several times.
The gym was the best I've seen in any Cuban resort. Two rooms, one for cardio and one for weights and machines. All the equipment looked like new and in great shape. A very good selection of free weights. if you have any questions, there is a trainer on sit who can help you.
The resort is bordered on all sides by the sea and a very large mangrove area. The bridge opver the water between PRDO and Lunas Y Mares is a very good bird watching spot. Go earl;y morming and you will see an incredible array of herons, ducks, coots, egrets, grebes, etc.
All the buildings are spread out and are only two storys high.
There are several different classifications of rooms, I had the Junior Suite, the cheapest. Then there is the Deluxe Junior Suite, Gardenview, etc. There is also the Royal Service section that is located past the spa and gym separate from the rest of the hotel.
The lobby bar is open 24 hrs. They make great cappuchinos. I would go at five in the morning while it was still dark and enjoy a couple, there was always some pastries out at that time.
The area surrounding the hotel is quite green, with fields for grazing animals and forests. A good place for walks and bird watchng.
So over all experience was extremely satisfying. Would like to go back again one day when the budget can afford it.
"looking forward to a fabulous week"
Posted by: mary
on Jan 3, 2014 >
1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Jan, 2014 | Leisure | With friend
64 people found this review helpful
We are going to the Paradisus Rio de Oro at the end of the month. This is my first all-inclusive experience and looking so forward to it. Wondering if they have wifi or computers with internet in the main lobby?
What part of the hotel should we take a room?
Any information anyone can provide will be helpful.
"4* for regular, but Royal Service is 5*"
barbara on Jun 2, 2012 >
1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: May, 2012 | Leisure | With friend
252 people found this review helpful
Flew Air Canada and arrived at Frank Pais airport - pesos from the previous trip came in handy for the all-important Cristal beer for the bus ride. They were repairing a road in Holguin which necessitated a detour. AC on the bus was great, but a shame to arrive in the dark when the countryside is so beautiful. Arrival at hotel was quick and painless and bellboy carried our bags upstairs after taking us in a golfcart.
Room was fine - the beds are too hard if you are used to a pillow-top mattress, and we needed the extra pillows from the closet. AC was okay, but not "meat locker" cold, the way we like it. Fridge filled daily with pop, beer, water. Maid did a fantastic job of cleaning our rooms daily, and room service was very quick. Shower was fine, toilets flushed, and eventually we figured out which light switches turned out which light! Flat screen TV and to our surprise, they get Global Toronto so I could still watch The Young and the Restless! You are given purple bath towels on the bathroom shelf, which you can take to the beach and then exchange daily.
Restaurants and Bars:
Really great food - we enjoyed El Bohio, the Cuban restaurant with shrimp fritters and lobster, great service from Alien and Liudmyla, and a fabulous old-school Cuban trio straight out of Buena Vista Social Club. The Japanese restaurant chef, Roybert, is like a Cuban Guy Fieri, great chef and great personality to match. Sushi, seafood, and lots of champagne - and a great decor. The best restaurant was Los Helechos, the Royal Service restaurant, which is comparable to a very fine restaurant in a major city. Service was high end, the food was exquisite in preparation and flavour, and the staff were lovely. Repeaters dinner at Santa Maria was a special treat, and Roberto is one of the most friendly and devoted waiters I've ever met. We met Eduardo the GM and he has a place of which he can be very proud. The buffet was great for all three meals, and I even tried quail eggs for breakfast one day. Be sure to try the bananas crepes flambeed in rum for dessert. The Ranchon had great grilled fish, crispy thin pizza and the Paradisus salad, with fresh shrimp.
Bar service on the large beach was great, with Jorge (with the gorgeous eyes!) and Danneris (hope that is correct) serving great lemon slushies with Limoncello. Lobby bar could be hit or miss in terms of service but on the other hand, there was always a busy crowd.
Never went into the pool, although it looked fine to me. The grounds are extremely well manicured, and I was fascinated to watch the gardener trim the hedges into geometric perfection with just simple swipes of a machete. They are always painting and tending to the grounds.
The beach: I love this beach. The colour is mesmerizing. There seems to have been some erosion and it is rocky closer to the hotel, but if you walk toward Sol Luna, there is clear water and no rocks. Lots of fish in the water to look at, and the beach is kept very clean. Can't say enough about the beautiful beach.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Our only activities were eating, floating, napping and drinking. We went into Guardalavaca to the Mercado to shop twice, once in a regular cab and once in a sweet '57 Chevrolet.
We did do the Spa, the couples massage which worked out to less than what I'd pay in Canada, and it also included a foot bath and massage by Rolando, as well as guava juice and sandwiches brought to us, both on the private spa beach, and at the saltwater pool. The relaxation massage by Jorge Antonio was amazing - I felt reborn afterward. Spa was very clean and professional, and the huts are airconditioned so you do not get too hot or too cold.
I've been to MX five stars and I could see that the Royal Service area was exactly comparable, but I would say the regular PRDO is more likely a four or four-and-a-half, if you are comparing by international standards. Since I usually go to three stars in Cuba, it is definitely one of the best available, and the fanciest hotel I have been to in Cuba.
I would also like to add that the serving staff were really amazing, they knew our names and preferences and made us feel like we were honoured guests. Mabel at the concierge desk was very helpful with specific requests and she is a treasure.
I went with a girlfriend to have a week of chillaxation, and we got it. This is not a party hotel, it was mostly honeymooners and couples and extended families of wedding guests.
We did the VIP for 25 CUC at the airport, which is a quieter way to wait for your flight. Smoking lounge is directly across from it, if you are a smoker. Amazing ham and cheese panini (they kept makin' 'em and we kept eatin' 'em!) and unlimited drinks.
"Fantastic Relaxing Holiday"
Alan on May 29, 2012 >
1 contribution(s) United Kingdom
Visited on: May, 2012 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
234 people found this review helpful
We arrived at 4:30 pm local and was greeted with smiling faces and extremely polite staff with a glass of bubbly! Transported to our room in a golf buggy and bags carried in for us. At no time did the staff hold out their hands for a tip but every tip was woth it. 1 peso in 2012 is worth about 65 pence. The room was very large and clean with a large balcony. Separate washing area fromthe bathroom/shower and toilet. Plenty of storage space, tv, mini bar and tea & coffee facilities plus air con. The whole hotel was very clean and the staff freindly. The facilities were excellent and the food in the buffet was outstanding as were the restaurants. The highlight was going to the Japanese restaurant at a show table. The whole area was kept clean and the facilities were spot on. The entertainment was outstanding with a wide variety of acts to suit all tastes. One litle minor gripe is that the entertainment started a bit late (9:45) but hey, there was always the bar to hug until the entertainment started. In Arnies words.... We'll be back! 10 out of 10!
The arrival was a pleasure and we were met and looked after extremely well. The arrival procedure was very polished and organised. Just what tired travellers want!
The rooms were really large and spacious with p[lenty of space so that you never tripped over one another. The room was always kept clean and stocked with toiletries as far as Cuban resources allowed! The maid produced some amazing designs on the bed each day using the hotell towels, flowers and my wife's wraps!
Restaurants and Bars:
The restaurants were outstanding although the staff in a couple were a little surly at first. The bars were well stocked and the staff were always smiling and freindly and willing to try anything new. (my wife asked for an iced coffee!) The barman asked me how to do it and hey presto.... one iced coffee!
The ground were just what you would expect for a five star hotel and truly carribean. The beach was white coral soand and once you had picked your way through the small rocks that line the shorelin the sea was turquoise and crystal clear. The pools were kept clean although it looked like they were about ready for a re-paint. However, this is Cuba!
"Royal Service PRDO - A slice of satisfaction"
Posted by: Canuks
on Apr 22, 2011 >
1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Apr, 2011 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
369 people found this review helpful
Paradisus Rio de Oro ~ Royal Service....Holguin Cuba
From the moment we arrived we knew this was a special resort. We had quite liked the main resort of PRDO but decided to try their Royal Service area on this trip. It was worth every penny. There was nothing we encountered that we could complain about. To summarize our experience in a word....’wonderful’.
The meals....remarkable! The food was presented with good portion size, remarkably well plated and superb taste.
The rooms....Phenomenally clean, bright, well maintained and comfortable. From the large closet space to the bright washrooms and the roomy living space all was nice. There are large, clean balconies with comfortable furniture for each room. Air conditioning was great. The ceiling fans and sliding door screens were great assets. Small recommendation to management ...... that there needs to be a few more hanging spots in the washroom and outdoor shower area for wet suits and towels.
The Lobby ....comfortable open, nice breeze, good choice of colours remarkably clean and in excellent repair with a user friendly lay-out. When we were guests there was music every other night. These nights it was so relaxing (and special) to sit in the lobby or by the pool, listen to the music and watch the stars. Another small comment to management; the chairs are too low and too deep for most women in the lobby. While comfortable....I felt a bit low to sit for long periods of time and chat or eat.
The pool and beach.......delightful! Loungers were clean and maintained well. The pool was enjoyable to use and to view with the back drop of the ocean behind....quite romantic. The beach was again clean, with good numbers of loungers. The only issue here was not with management.... but the people from the main resort of PRDO would often leave their large beach, come to the beach that was for Royal Service and take the shaded Palapas (sp?) designed for the guests of Royal Service.
The Staff ...without exception – remarkable! They are well trained in their jobs. They are professional yet very personable. A real pleasure to know ....and if all mentioned above was not so impeccable I would still consider returning because of the staff at the Royal Service PRDO.
This is one resort I would not have a problem recommending to travellers that want a quiet, romantic, luxurious holiday.
greated in wondeful manner.... no lines.... personal service from the airport .... right up to our rooms
remarkable - just wonderful
screen on sliding glass door
remarkable outdoor shower
Restaurants and Bars:
Royal Service restaurant is just that ROYAL - excellent service , remarkable food , fantastic plating skills
grounds,....really good for 1 year old.... with time will look more lush
absolulty remarkable staff.... could not do enough for you
"Run Down - Run Away"
Michael on Feb 22, 2011 >
1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Feb, 2011 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
399 people found this review helpful
First room we were given smelled so bad that even though we were exhausted a the 1am arrival time we asked for another room. It too smelled of mould but not quite so bad. Heard similar complaints from other guests over the course of the week. Bathroom fixture were coming away from the wall in the shower - floor drain was gunked up with grease or something. Sidewalks are cracked and present tripping hazard in some cases. Air conditioners clicked away like a drummer the entire time. Wait staff ignored us while flying to the assistance of someone with tips for them. Management was unresponsive to our concerns. This facility was said to be a 5 star but I have seen better 2 star hotels/motels here in Canada. This was fourth trip to Cuba. First time at this resort. Other trip were good - Sandals (2) Santa Clara (1). Go anywhere but here folks. Unless you got lots of tip money you will be disappointed.
"what a lovely place to stay"
paul barton on Oct 29, 2010 >
1 contribution(s) United Kingdom
Visited on: Oct, 2010
618 people found this review helpful
my wife and i have just come back and we had a wonderful time, after week in our first room we upgraded to the royal service for a treat, don`t get me wrong the normal rooms are fine but try the royal service if you can its fantastic, our first week was really hot and sunny, then the rains came, and when they have rain its serious rain, it was the tail end of a tropical storm and it gave us spectacular displays of lightening, usually the mornings would be fine then the rains would come mid afternoon or early evening but that did`nt take away our enjoyment one little bit, the food was superb, we stayed in the buffet resturant as my wife has a fish allergy so we could see what she was having, its difficult to single out one person as all the staff are wonderful so i won`t everyone does the uttmost to ensure that your holiday goes well and with no problems, the only downsides i would say is the remoteness of the resort and the cost of the tours, which to me were very expensive, and lastly the lack of drinking water in the rooms, one bottle a day is not enough and repeated requests for more were ignored, but to end on a bright note watch out for the wildlife, land crabs, spiders, huge dragonflys, moths, birds in all colours and so on, take a wind up torch as the electric goes off sometimes and mosquito spray aswell , but have a great time there we did regards to all
"Another great stay at a Paradisus Resort - One of the best resorts so far!"
Allan on Apr 24, 2010 >
3 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Apr, 2010 | Leisure | With friend
458 people found this review helpful
A friend and I vacationed at the Paradisus Rio De Oro for 1 week, April 7- 14, 2010. Although this was our 6th trip to Cuba it was our first to a resort in the Holguin area. It took just over an hour to get to the resort as we were the first stop and the only two on the bus staying at this resort. The resort certainly met all our needs for the week and in some ways far surpassed our expectations. Overall we really enjoyed our week at the Paradisus and could have easily stayed for another week. We really were hard pressed to think of anything negative about the place except for maybe the birds in the buffet. Overall rating 9.5/10
Check-in for us really seemed to set the tone of the resort. As soon as we stepped off the bus the bellboy was there welcoming us to the resort, taking our luggage and escorting us over to a couple of easy chairs where he brought us Champagne, while he went to the counter with our voucher and checked us in. I had e-mailed with a room request for a corner top floor room in building 34 and that is exactly what we got! Next thing we knew we were being shuttled to our room. Oh did I forget to mention that this all took place at about 11 am! Believe it or not but we got into our room well before noon – this is the first resort that we have been to where our room was available for us this early in the day! As I said this really set a high standard for us!
Room- Our building was very close to the pool and beach area but further from the lobby and restaurants, although only a few minutes walk. The room was dated but the beds were comfy and we loved the bigger wrap around deck. There was an upper level with your beds then down a couple steps was the sitting area. Having a corner room also meant we had a side window by the beds for a nice breeze as well as a small window in the bathroom! There were extra blankets and pillows in the closet as well as your included programmable safe and an iron and board. Beach Towels were in the room upon arrival. The maid did a great job keeping the room cleaned (which was always done by noon) and well stocked with towels and toiletries and the mini-bar was always stocked. There was always lots of hot water and good pressure. 9/10
Restaurants and Bars:
Buffet– The buffet was the only place open for breakfast so this is where we ate each morning. We also had a few lunches here and 2 dinners. The buffet was never busy. The service was for the most part very good. Glasses were never empty and dirty dishes were taken away immediately. Tables were nicely set with tablecloths and clothe napkins at every meal. The food selection for lunch was tops – there was a grill section where you had a choice of 5 different kinds of fish, plus squid, shrimp, steak, burgers, chicken and pork prepared fresh right in front of you. At dinner they had a table where they made a Caesar salad to your specs, the grill station, a pasta station as well as several other carving stations. Both of our dinners were on Wed evening and they had Lobster tails available at the grill as well. The only problem we had with the buffet was as others have mentioned – the birds. It was a little disconcerting to see them flying around and landing on the tables, trays etc in the buffet while you are eating. 8.5/10
Santa Maria–This was the upstairs open air beach a la carte restaurant that was open for lunch. Below the restaurant was the beach bar with a nice patio area overlooking the beach and ocean. We ate here quite a bit as the view was outstanding. Service here was usually very good and there was quite a good size menu. We had the Paradisus salad (several times), the calamari, pan fried fish, deep fried fish and the Shrimp/Fish skewers. All but the salad came with fries. Everything we had here was good to very good. There was only one day that we had to wait for about 10 mins for a table but other than that it was never busy. They had live music each day for lunch and a special pig roast on Weds. 9/10
Layout –The resort was not large and it was easy to find your way around. Nothing was more than a 5 minute walk. At the front of the resort was your lobby with the bar, threatre, internet/phone room, bank, shops, buffet and a la carte restaurants. At the other end was the large two leveled pool and beach areas with several snack/lunch restaurants/bars and a swim up bar! In between were the rows of rooms. Although the grass was not as green and lush as other places the grounds were well kept and had some nice vegetation. There were nice walking paths with lovely views overlooking the beach and ocean. Although there were some steps around the pool area and leading to the beach they were not a problem. The beach was nice white sand but more of a cove than a long stretch of beach.
Things of Note about the Paradisus:
-Although the lobby bar area was busy some nights it was never loud or overly crowded.
- The resort had some very nice touches like champagne bottles and glasses set up at the outdoor Jacuzzi areas around the pool, and a snack/refreshment self-serve area off the lobby bar to name a couple that really set it above some of the others we have stayed at.
-As someone who loves shrimp this was the resort for me as I had shrimp at least once a day and most times twice. Of the two nights we ate at the buffet I was hard pressed to limit myself of the various shrimp dishes available.
-No problem finding a shade spot and no having to go out early to reserve (could have just been the time of year).
-There were no language issues what so ever throughout the resort.
-Evenings were filled with great music in the lobby, bars, and a la cartes! Every a la carte had their own music entertainment and they were not the wandering ones that go from table to table – but had a stationary spot from which to play. Much more enjoyable for us!
-The bartenders at both the pool and lobby bar would go around taking drink orders and picking up empty glasses. This way both areas were kept very clean.
-The resort overall was well maintained and very clean.
-Checkout was no problem. Since we had a late flight we checked out at noon and used the courtesy room to shower and change. We simply went to the front desk when we needed the room and were given a key. The room was clean and had fresh towels and toiletries. The mini bar was even stocked! We have used several courtesy rooms over the years and this was the easiest to access as well as the cleanest.
-There was never a problem exchanging towels at the activity centre – they always had plenty.
-Although there was a good selection of international drinks they did run out of certain kinds during our stay. (Not an issue for us)
- The pool area was never overly busy but the swim-up bar would pick up mid afternoon. Sometimes I had the pool all too myself – especially the lower level.
- Although we never used it, there was an a la carte snack restaurant open during the day right off the upper pool area. It never seemed to be too busy.
-The staff were very friendly with a lot of them asking if we were having a good vacation at their resort and encouraging us to come back again. They really made you feel welcome!
-Room Service is available but we never used it nor did we notice any being delivered.
-The Royal Service lobby/bar/restaurant area was more upscale but seemed far removed from the rest of the resort.
A La Cartes:
A La Cartes 9.5/10– The Paradisus has a good selection of a la carte restaurants. I had e-mailed Pablo before leaving to request our booking times and dates and they were done for us – I simply had to drop by his desk to pick them up. We were there for 8 dinners and had 5 meals at the a la cartes as well as a special dinner for returning guests at the Santa Maria. All the a la cartes had different kinds of house wines and they would bring the bottle to your table and have you try it first then would leave the bottle at the table: this was a very nice touch! The one restaurant we were not sure about was El Bohio the Cuban open air a la carte situated on pillars over a pond. However it turned out to be a great dining out experience with great service and good food. The one we liked the least was El Patio – it just was not the same service we got at the others, a little stuffier and rushed for us. Of the others the Royal Section a la carte, Los Helechos, was outstanding –from the atmosphere of this glass walled ocean view restaurant, to the service, to the live piano player, to the nice leisurely dining experience it was Top Notch all the way! The other one that stood out for us was the Mediterraneo restaurant. Again it was a nice leisurely dining experience with good food and great service. I ordered a coffee with my desert and the server even waited to bring the coffee once the flambé had been prepared and sat in front of me. The Japanese restaurant, Tsuru, was an enjoyable evening with your typical 8 person show table cooking. Service and food again were very good. The special Repeat Guests dinner was also another nice dining experience especially with the location of the beach restaurant. From the moment you arrived you were made to feel special. Although there was not a lot of difference in food quality or service between the buffet or a la cartes we preferred the dining experience of the a la cartes. The atmosphere and settings at each made for a nice evening out.
This was one of the best resorts we have been to: Adults only – great a la carte choices – a good size - and outstanding service all helped to make for a nice relaxed week at the Paradisus! We would return here no problem. In fact my friend referred to this as the best AI we have been to so far! We have been to 2 Paradisus resorts now and both have been great. The Paradisus Chain is tops for us. Once home my friend even wanted to know about and see info on what other Paradisus resorts were available for us to visit in future trips!