Punta Francés, Varadero, Matanzas, Cuba.
Posted by: margaretta on Jul 15, 2014
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Probably the most luxurious all-inclusive hotel in Varadero, the Paradisus Varadero offers spectacular buffets, an entertaining staff and a wide range of water sports.
One scuba-diving session included in price!
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Janine Heger on Jan 15, 2009 >
1 contribution(s) Cuba
Visited on: Jan, 2009
932 people found this review helpful
Hello, can you make me a price quotation for 14 nights in the paradisus varadero kuba for a deluxe room or vip from 14. february till 28. february. how much cost it? can you give me a reply? thank you! best regards janine heger
"The refurbished rooms look lovely"
"From our house" from Ottawa family of 4 on Dec 1, 2008 >
1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Dec, 2008
320 people found this review helpful
We were perplexed by the highly contradictory reviews of the resort that appear on both this website and other fora, so we hope this information helps anyone else who is considering going. We visited the Paradisus for the first time 7 years ago, and in spite of the several negative recent reviews we read, our family of 4 packed up our hopes and went again for one week at Christmas time. At the time of our first visit, it was rated as a 5+ and we absolutely loved it; back then, the resort was only 2 years old and everything was pristine except for a relatively small patch of the pool bottom lining that had disintegrated (but was repaired shortly after our first visit). Now that the resort is 9 years old, it is decidedly shabby in spots and the rooms desperately need renovating. Room renovations appear to have begun just recently and the refurbished rooms look lovely (!!), although not many are available yet. The updated hairdryers will be a bonus for people like me who have trouble with their hair when visiting the Caribbean – the old hair dryers are akin to a tube of vacuum hose awkwardly sticking out of the wall.
We understood from staff and from the drawings displayed in the foyer that Sol Melia is expanding by adding on a very high-end spa resort facility where villa guests will have their own maids. For those who can afford it, it will undoubtedly be lovely.
To preface our next comments, we should mention that we’ve also stayed at two 4 ½ star resorts in Cuba (Cayo Coco and Holguin) and at a 4 ½ with a VIP/Elite package in the Dominican. During our trip this time, we found the Paradisus to be generally comparable to, yet shabbier than, the other 4 ½ star resorts we’ve visited. We also observed that the entrances and foyers at the other resorts along Varadero (where we stopped on our way to Havana and the airport) appeared more run down and not as well appointed as the Paradisus. We made the same observation as we walked along the beaches. In summary, the Paradisus is a 5 star in some respects and in some respects it isn’t; this may explain why the reviews are so varied, i.e. it depends what matters to you most.
What we love about the Paradisus:
* Size; at just over 400 rooms, there is an intimate feeling, no vast distances to cover and you can easily get to know the staff. (NB – we had a great walk down "memory lane" reconnecting with long-time staff members).
* The resort layout is terrific.
* The entrance, foyer, washrooms, theatre, a la carte restaurants and other public spaces are truly lovely.
* The beach, pool design and grounds are gorgeous.
* Pool is bromine, not chlorine.
* There are about 3500 palm trees that are now very mature and the gardens are beautifully kept.
* The bar and serving staff are very warm, friendly & helpful plus seemed to appreciate our efforts at speaking Spanish.
* Japanese restaurant was great. Romantico and Italian restaurants are solid.
* The entertainment was top notch (eg, the Cuban National Philharmonic Orchestra played one night; a daytime aquatic-synchro-dance show; a nightime aquatic ballet in the pool; poolside stilt and clown show; beach show involving actors and trained animals; always bands in the restaurants and lobby bar; nightly dance/stage shows). Animation at the beach and poolside everyday (how about a rum and cigar tutorial?) and Spanish lessons every day if you cared to avail yourself of them.
The food at the buffet is generally fine. If you happen to want bacon every morning for breakfast, you will be disappointed as it is fatty and in short supply. Lots of other fine and healthy food choices. We would recommend avoiding the Steakhouse— beef is not the Cubans’ forte. For our part, we don’t go to Cuba for the food—we love Cuba for the warmth, friendliness and heart of its people and for its music and culture (not to mention the rum, the mojitos and the cigars).
We should emphasize that our initial disappointment with the condition of the room soon gave way to better times lolling by the pool, body surfing at the beach, reminiscing with old employees and making the acquaintance of newer staff. As far as earlier references to shabbiness, we will list the things we experienced only so that others who go in the next few months (i.e. before the renovations are complete) won’t be surprised or disappointed. Here goes: our tub had 2 large patches where the enamel was missing; paint and tiles were chipped here and there; the lamp shades mysteriously disappeared halfway through our vacation for a few days; a wall sconce was hanging from the wall; and neither of the first story patio doors in our 2 rooms would lock. Our room key also was old/overused and stopped functioning and we had to get it recharged once and then eventually replaced.
The pool had several small and large patches throughout where the tile has come off. When we mentioned the state of repair of the pool to certain staff, they told us that in March 2009 the pool will be closed and the whole thing repaired. It wasn’t clear whether this would be a matter of a couple of weeks or the entire month (also bear in mind the concept of "Cuban time"). While we like to spend one or two days at the beach, mostly we’re pool people, so had we arrived to find the pool closed, we would have been greatly disappointed if not downright upset. We add this information as a caution strictly for pool lovers, and with the emphasis that we didn’t confirm the facts with the hotel management.
And finally, just in case it’s helpful, during this trip -versus our first trip to the Paradisus- we noticed there were fewer Canadians (an observation the staff echoed) and we were struck by the number of young couples with small children/babies. There were few families with children the same age as ours (14 and 12). At our last stay, the baby club/kids club was GREAT and some of the childcare staff are the same. The location has changed—it used to be situated in the beach restaurant but now they’re using a renovated hotel room which is brightly painted and well-equipped. Without a doubt, the level of care is as fantastic as it ever was.
Would we go back? We weren't sure we would return after the first time, but we did. We aren't sure we'll return again, but we might. That’s about all we can say. We hope the above is useful to you in some small measure, y buena suerte.
Javier Manzanares on Oct 26, 2008 >
1 contribution(s) United States of America
Visited on: Oct, 2008
1524 people found this review helpful
this was the most beautiful place I've ever been at. A top-notch experience, top-notch services. just a wonderful experience (Translated from an original in Spanish)
Posted by: Joyce Adeluwoye
on Jan 19, 2007 >
1 contribution(s) United Kingdom
Visited on: Jan, 2007
3237 people found this review helpful
Hello, I didn't have the opportunity of see this web page before, I am really happy to write about one of the most excellent hotels in Cuba.
I was there 4 years ago and really I didn't have any complain of the staff, they are wonderful, and their service is first class. I send you my congratulations and I hope that you keep working this way, thanks.
PD I wish to receive and answer if you receive this message. Thanks "
This review has been submited originally in spanish. Our editorial team have translated it to english, to offer better service to our clients."