I did not stay here, but I have toured the hotel and I was invited to the buffet on one special occasion. From my experiences in Cuba, I can firmly say this hotel has the finest food in Cuba. If food is your reason for being, this is the hotel you should go to- better that some cruise ships I have been on!
The hotel is absolutely gorgeous with local art on display. The doormen wear white gloves, and your wish is their command.
The grounds are kept in perfect condition. This hotel is a little more formal than others and therefore attracts a crowd that likes to dress for dinner.
They have a massage table that hangs over a cliff on the ocean, with a partial glass floor for your to peer down.
Ultra All Inclusvie
This is one of the best All Inclusive Holidays I have been on, The service is of excellant quality and a tip goes a long way.
Your accomadation is a suite which is quite large and was always clean and tidy.
The hotel does offer a up grade on your rooms to a deluxe suite, there is alwso two Very private villas which have there own swimming pools and butler service.
The amenities where good and I would reccomend this hotel to other people.
The only down side to this hotel had nothing to do with the hotel, it was the guests who got up at the crack of dawn to put there beach towels on the the pool sun loungers, then they would not arrive at there beds until lunch time. Also the people who would put there beach towels in the shady huts and would also put towels on the sun longers so they would take up four spaces instead of two. Lots of people where annoyded by this as you could not get a sun lounger. The oustanding qualities of this hotel to me where that you can go to three very quite and peacefull beaches, where most days my husband and i where the only two people on the beach.
Great place - not so great weather
The glowing reviews for the Paradisus Rio de Oro that others have written are generally deserved. The food is mostly excellent, the beaches, facilities and grounds are beautiful, and beautifully maintained, and the staff is helpful and friendly. So why only four stars? Well, these reviews are about our holiday, not simply a general report, and our week at Paradisus was dampened quite literally by poor weather, including many bouts of rain, clouds and high winds that closed activities such as sailing and kayaking for days on end. Too bad, really, because in other respects the resort is wonderful, and we would still recommend Paradisus Rio de Oro, assuming a potential visitor had done his or her homework around when the weather is driest, or wanted to go somewhere for more than just a beach.The resort is low-rise and low density, with all major functions at grade and the larger 16-unit residential buildings only 2 storeys in height. This means that Paradisus Rio de Oro is quite spread out and in our case our room was 300m from the beach. However, the landscaping is so lush and well maintained that the walk was never a chore. Paradisus Rio de Oro offers one-storey bungalow units but as far as we could tell, these offer no real advantages over the large rooms in the two-storey buildings so why pay more?The attractive pool is at the top of the steep hill above the beach and, unusually, is located well away from the main lobby, so it feels much more private and part of the adjacent ocean. The main beach, shared with an adjacent Sol Melia resort, is about a half-mile long and broad. As with other resorts, it pays to get to the beach or pool early (say, 6:30!) to reserve a choice spot. Unlike other resorts, the types of spots you can choose are remarkable, from thatch umbrellas on the sand and poolside pavilions to hammocks in tree-top aeries and chaises on cliff-top overlooks.We had great dinners in all but, ironically, the Cuban restaurant and no apologies need to be made for the quality and variety of food in the buffet restaurant at dinner. Lunches are best in the poolside and beach restaurants. The main bar in the lobby is expansive and open yet really comfortable, and perfect for an (excellent) early morning cappuccino or evening drink, where it's easy to strike up a conversation with Canadians, Brits, Germans and many other Europeans (no Yanks, of course!). The shows in the adjacent performance area, daily at 9:30, are very professional but lack a bit of sparkle.There are also lots of extra-cost activities, from half day trips to Holguin, an aquarium to swim with dolphins and catamaran cruises, to longer jeep tours in the countryside and tours to Santiago de Cuba. Most everyone seemed to enjoy their excursions but check to see if the hotel offers the trip directly as it tends to be cheaper than through the tour companies. Driving is an adventure and at night, insanely dangerous (donkey carts travel at 5 mph with no lights, and 1955 Buicks are barely better) and while you can rent a car it's probably best to leave the driving to someone else.Expect to tip, a US dollar here and there. Use your judgment as it doesn't have to be for every service or for every meal, but $1 represents a hugely-appreciated bonus to always-friendly people who are often paid just a few dollars a day. The awareness of the extraordinary disparity between life at Paradisus Rio de Oro and Cuba itself was always in the back of our minds, as Cubans acquire almost first world levels of education and yet are forced to endure third world standards of living, with few ways out. They are curious about our lives when you really engage them but understandably reticent about making comments about their own land (and before you question too much, remember they are fiercely proud of Cuba even when guarded about Fidel's legacy).This is the second and equally impressive Paradisus we have stayed at. While Sol Melia can't control the weather, they do a fine job at everything else and we had a great time in spite of the poor sun. Put it down to an early rainy season and bad luck. We know that if you went when the chances of sunny weather were higher, you'd have a fabulous five-star stay.
Loved this resort!
PARADISUS RIO DE OROBackground Information: I spent one week (Feb. 18-25, 2004) at Paradisus Rio de Oro and had a wonderful vacation. We traveled on a direct flight from the Maritime Provinces to Holguin via Air Canada Vacations. The resort was lovely and I would highly recommend it. I am a 55 year old female who traveled with a 60 year old female friend. We wanted a pretty resort with nice accommodations, nice beach, friendly staff and good food. Water sports, evening entertainment , and excursions outside the resort were low on our priorities. This resort met and exceeded our expectations. For comparison sake, I had two previous vacations, both two weeks long, in Cuba ? Delta Las Brisas (now Brisas Guardalavaca) in 1999 and Sol Rio de Mares in 2000. I did a fair amount of research on the internet, reading several travel forums and resort review sites. In particular, I found Debbie?s Cuba site, Caribbean-On-Line, and Trip Advisor to have a wealth of information. Thank you to everyone who patiently answered any questions I posted on these sites.There are many reviews on the above websites describing Rio de Oro in detail (rooms, food, etc.), especially if you search the archives. Rather than repeat this information, I have decided to list what I really liked about my vacation and this resort, and then try to think of some of the things I didn?t like or could be improved upon. I hope this might be helpful to someone considering this resort for the same reasons that I did.WHAT I REALLY LIKED: Direct flight from Moncton, N.B. (unfortunately it was cancelled the following week for the rest of the season due to empty seats on the plane) Empty seats on the plane (an empty seat beside me and also behind me ? lots more room for me) Air Canada flight (meals were good, more legroom, free headsets, etc.); I think I will always try to fly A/C instead of some of the charters for these reasons; on the way home, the cabin crew played little contests and winners (6, I think) got to move up to Business Class seats; alas, I didn?t win!! Great flight times (arriving in Holguin just after noon time, and leaving at 1 pm) ? the airport was virtually empty with no long line ups, unlike the other two times when I flew to Cuba Friendly customs agent when leaving Cuba; smiled and waved to me, saying ?Bye Bye Carole? (he wore one of those Canada ? Cuba flag pins on his uniform) The vegetation around the resort is absolutely gorgeous. The accommodations are surrounded by fairly dense foliage, making the patios quite private. I am a gardener (or at least a gardener ?wanna be?) so I spent hours looking at the flowers, shrubs, trees, etc. The gardeners are all very friendly, often handing out flowers to the female guests. The food was great. My favorite place to eat was probably the main buffet but I really liked the pool and beach restaurants too (and the a la cartes)?.guess I don?t have a favorite!!. I love seafood so this was a great place for me ? so many good things to choose from?. My favorites were the shrimp, grilled red snapper, filet mignons, paellas, flan and ice cream. Also, the red Cuban wine is very good (Soroa, I think). I preferred this wine over the Spanish and French wines. We even liked the Creole/Cuban restaurant, but heard complaints from others. I was able to book all four a la cartes for my preferred times on the day that I arrived without any problem. However, I heard from others that this doesn?t always happen. Leave your name at the reservation desk in case of cancellation if this happens to you. I met one lady who managed to get reservations by doing that. We turned in our reservation for the Mediterranean restaurant on our last evening there as we really want to eat in the buffet restaurant one last time. Beautiful lobby ? very spacious and comfortable. This was the focal point of the resort, especially before and after the evening meal. However, there were lots of places to sit. Despite being at full capacity, the resort never seemed crowded. In fact, I found the resort to be very quiet. There are many little walkways to go on, so often we didn?t meet many people on our travels from one point to another. I never had to wait to get a drink from the lobby bar, and the wait staff would bring the drink to the table for us. Although there were small lineups for the grill and omelet stations in the buffet, waits were minimal (we ate dinner early, though). We were always able to get a table when we wanted to (at the buffet, pool restaurant and beach restaurant). Occasionally I saw a small line up at the beach restaurant, but we didn?t have to wait. Great service from all of the staff. My wine glass was often topped up just before it was finished. I received an extra pillow for the bed about 10 minutes after I called to request it. Staff didn?t seem to be looking for tips. Service was the same with or without tips. However, we tipped often and the staff always smiled and said gracias. The main beach was lovely, as were the three small private coves. The massage (1 hour long) was great. Cost was $30, charged to my room. The massage hut was so relaxing, with glass floor so you could watch the waves and snorkeling. Relaxation music played during the massage. I had read in the forum posts that the cost was $25, but I paid $30 upon checkout. Great deal, however. I tried to book the massage on my second day at the resort, only to find there were no vacancies. However, I left my room number in case of cancellation and received a call a few days later. You book the massage right at the massage hut. Check the appointment times, listed on the door of the hut, and try to book between clients. I loved the little extra touches such as hammocks strung here and there, little gazebos to relax in, champagne set out by the hot tubs, orange juice or tea or wine set out in the little gazebo in the lobby, depending upon the time of day. Large room (standard junior suite) ? fridge stocked and restocked daily (it was reasonably cold), 900 watt hair dryer in room, iron and ironing board in room, toiletries provided, good air conditioner There were bathroom scales in our room (I ignored them but someone might appreciate them); also there was a retractable clotheslines over the bathtub, which was a useful feature). Bed was very comfortable, as was pillow ; only one pillow per person was provided, but another one was quickly provided on request (pillows are long and narrow). There were very few bugs/ insects in the evening. I did use insect repellant on my legs and arms when out in the evening, but don?t think I needed it. My friend didn?t use any repellant and neither of us had any bug bites. We often left our windows open in our room and no bugs came in. The resort grows it?s own mint, so there was always fresh mint for the mojitos. There were some novels and magazines that you could borrow from the Activity Centre, in case you didn?t want to bring your own books to read. It was great having access to the internet (2 computers in the lobby). I had pretty good luck getting one when I wanted to. I think I used the internet four times and only had to wait once for about 5 minutes. Price wasn?t bad ( $2.00 for 12 minutes, I think). You paid right after you used the computer and got a running total on the monitor screen as you used it. There was a fairly extensive room service menu (included in all inclusive) and available 24 hours/day. I was impressed with the menu, but didn?t use it as we enjoyed eating in the restaurants so much. I never saw anyone that was loud, rowdy or drunk ? maybe just due to an older age group? Other vacationers were always friendly (ie. lady from Germany helped me out with booking the massage; we shared a table at the Japanese restaurant with a couple from Britain and another from Germany and had fun trying to communicate despite language barriers). Next day laundry service was available (wash and iron or drycleaning service); a 2 hour express service was also available at double the regular rate. I was able to use my hair curler with a 220 converter, but it didn?t work at full capacity.THINGS THAT WERE NOT SO GREAT: Room was not really as luxurious as I expected - it looked a little worn and furniture was pretty basic. As with other Cuban resorts, there was quite a musty smell in the room. Opening the windows and turning off the air conditioner helped to get rid of the smell. There were no screens on the windows or patio door. We liked leaving the windows open when we could, and luckily there weren?t any insects, but I expect this would not always be the case. There was one huge cockroach on our bathroom floor one afternoon. I am guessing it came in under our door, as there was quite an opening between the door and the floor, and we were on ground level. It was a very not day and our air conditioner wasn?t on. I was on ?bug alert? after that, but that was our only sighting. I just disposed of it, but I probably should have reported it to the staff. Guess cockroaches don?t discriminate between 4* and 5* resorts! There was sometimes a smell (sewer smell) from the drain in the bathroom floor and sometimes from the toilet.. I covered up the drain with one of the little bidet towels, which helped. Again, we were on ground floor. We did not get a second floor room as requested when we booked (and I had also emailed the resort). I am guessing there would be less chance of bugs in the room, and maybe less chance of having the bad smell from the bathroom drain if you were on the second floor. The resort was filled to capacity, so I didn?t try to switch rooms on the day we arrived. Our Air Canada rep offered to see if we could switch to an upper floor on day two, but we were O.K. with the room at that point and didn?t want to take the time to switch. There was no C.D. Player in the room as advertised, but since I didn?t have any C.D.s with me, this was a non-issue. However, I think I read that you could borrow C.D.?s at the Activity Centre, although I don?t remember seeing them there when I borrowed a magazine. The pool loungers always seemed full when I was passing by, but I was never there early. I am not a pool person, for again, this was a non-issue for me. Similarly, the beach loungers in front of Rio de Oro were always full by the time we got to the beach (ie. 10 am or so). However, there was never a problem getting a lounger further down the beach (in front of Rio de Luna) and finding a spot out of the sun if desired. There was always someone to assist us with setting up the lounger. I only drank champagne once but didn?t like it at all (sorry, don?t know the name of it now). Unlike the other resorts I had stayed at in the past, there was very little Cuban music to be heard throughout the day (ie. around the pool, etc.). I never thought I would say this, but I kind of missed it (at least for a day or two). This was my friend?s first trip to Cuba, so she never got to experience the non-stop salsa music, etc. ?. ie. the kind that stays in your head for the first week you are home after the trip. Internet service was slow. The first time I couldn?t even get on, so I gave up before my first 12 minutes were up, so there was no charge. After that, I got on O.K. and since I only have dial-up service at home, it wasn?t too much slower than what I was used it. On checking out, the front desk wouldn?t accept any torn bills. I had to pay for the massage, and my $20 bill had a small tear in it (ie.1/4 ?), so they requested another bill (no problem for me, but just strange). I loved all the little walkways and paths throughout the resort, but sometimes they were a bit rough and uneven and perhaps a bit dangerous for women with high heels (this is more of a ?dress up? resort for evening activities); this would not be a great resort for anyone with mobility impairments due to distance between lobby, beach, rooms, etc. However, there were comfortable golf carts that would pick you up and drop you off anywhere. Facecloths aren?t provided so bring your own. The restaurants are not smoke free environments. There was a table of smokers next to us in the International restaurant, and both couples sitting with us at the Japanese restaurant smoked during the meal. Although it didn?t spoil my meals, it was a bit uncomfortable, now that I am used to smoke-free environments at home (work, restaurants, etc.).I think that about covers everything. It is a great place, one that I would like to return to. Carole
i'm 13 and that was the best holiday ever
rio de oro is the best place in the world i am 13 and i enjoyed it extremely as did my sister and parents. The grounds were extrodinary and also beutiful. The swimming pool was gorgeus and also massive. the beach was as equally excellent. The food was amazing and it was so nice. and the selection was incredible. the japanese resteraunt was the best out of all 5 resteraunts. The entertainment was also incredible. But the main thing that made me enjoy it was the frendliness of the staff they always make you feel welcome and will greet you with a smiel and a bright and cheerful hello or "olar"! and if they are looking i'd like to say hello to micheal dammy and eddie ( the entertainers)!!!!!! (its emily by the way) ok well all i can say is definatley go there on holiday and if you have kids take them they will enjoy the same as me!!! loads! this was my second time visoting there and we have booked for next year!
Cuba is the most beautiful country!
We had the most amazing holiday at Paradisius Rio De Oro.
The hotel grounds were beautiful and the cuban pepole were so friendly and accommodating.
There is a huge beach with various watersports on offer, however the
sea does get quite choppy in the afternoon! There are also 3 private
coves which are secluded and peaceful on the opposite side of the
resort. Here the waters are a little calmer and it really is paradise.
The rooms were very comfortable and clean. It was also great to have an
outside shower in addition to the usual bath and shower. Our rooms were
in the situated in the best position of the resort. (In the woodland,
just down from the pool and on the seafront). It was great to have
separate bungalow style accomodation and a hammock just outside to have
an afternoon snooze! The food was delicious and in great quantity. You
could choose from anything, whether it be steak (cooked in front of you
just as you like it), salad, pasta, seafood... and that was just the
buffet! The other restaurants were again at a high standard with the
japanese being my favourite. The chefs cook your meal in front of you
in traditional style and really get into the spirit of things. The
trips on offer are excellent. Swimming with the dolphins was a
highlight as was the catamaran trip! Another trip well worth going on
is the speedboat jungle tour. You actually get to drive a proper
speedboat, which was quite scary in parts, but so funny and something
you could never do in the UK without lessons or a licence!!! Overall I
don't have a bad word to say about my holiday in Cuba- Paradisius Rio
De Oro is a great hotel and beats many 5star hotels in Barbados,
Jamacia..etc I'd definately recommend it to anyone. Oh, and the glass
bottomed massage is a must!!
If you can afford it, stay here.
There is not much I can add to all the wonderful reviews of this hotel already given here but when my wife and I were deciding where to go for our honeymoon the tour company said if you want something a bit more special than your normal resort go here. He wasn't wrong. The place is incredible with loads of little extras you wouldn't get at other places (e.g. a seafront jacuzzi with permantly stocked Champagne bucket!).
Although the resort is open to everyone I don't think it is the right place to go for young families (as I don't believe children can appreciate the place) or groups of young singles looking for a lively, crazy holiday. Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of activities and with shows, karoake and a nightclub it's a not a dull place but it is all done in such a way that everything has an air of quality - a luxuriously, relaxing paradise. Everywhere we went people (visitors and cubans) told us 'oh, that's the best resort'. From what we saw of the other resorts I think they are right! However if you are concerned about cost stay at Rio de Luna or Rio de Mares (part of the same chain). They share the private beach with Rio de Oro and have a similarly stunning setting unlike the resorts in Guardalavaca itself.
roman villas by the sea...paradise
The design of the main buildings is based on the typical roman villa; impluviums and all. I suppose this is why it is called Paradisus, it sounds more roman. The rooms are equipped with a roman bed for daytime relaxation, and the experience is the way we imagine the life-style lived by the rich and famous romans -- decadent-- the food is nicely displayed at many lications on the site, hammocks and relaxation spots here and there, but definitely where you need it to be, everything is where and when you need it. They grow their own mint, bananas, etc. on the site, which adds top the feeling of plenty that we associate with paradise.