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“Overall A Wonderful Holiday!!”

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Memories Paraiso Beach Resort
Ranked #12 of 15 Hotels in Cayo Santa Maria
Port Hope, Ontario
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Overall A Wonderful Holiday!!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 April 2012

Stayed at Memories Paraiso (March23rd to March 31st). It was our first visit to Cuba so we really don't have anything to compare it to. We did receive exactly what we requested, a King size bed, balcony, pool view and bonus an ocean view. The rooms are clean and spacious. The chambermaids cleaned our rooms everyday and left us little notes and surprise towel arts on our bed. Thank you to Hector and the others. Our fridge was replenished with water everyday.
We did leave snacks and a peso everyday and the maids showed us so much gratitude. It was so worth it!!
The food: I was so worried when I read certain reviews, but we always found something to eat. The fried rice, pizza, grilled chicken. were quite good! Yes, there is a lack of fresh fruit and vegetables but this is Cuba not Canada. I Consider myself to be very fortunate to have the option of having the variety of fresh fruits and veggies back home.
The staff are exceptional!! A large them are so friendly and go out of there way to make your stay a memorable one.
Entertainment: They could improve on their evening shows. We went every night, and the shows that we enjoyed the most was the "The Micheal Jackson impersonator", The dancers and the two bands that played outside the "Theater". The rest of the shows lacked our interest. I would suggest to have a comedian act, and maybe a magician that Adults would enjoy or musicals like "Grease" ect... The singers were good but we found that they would sing about three songs in a row to fill the time slot. I truly believe that you could boost your ratings with these suggestions.
The pool side entertainers were awesome!! I took part in the water aerobics everyday thanks to George! So much fun! He also entertained my husband with a couple of games of pool.
The beach is gorgeous!! The only downside for me is that I could feel the sand flies biting me on the very first day on the beach. My husband was not bothered at all. No fault of anyone except for my body chemistry I guess??
The Catamaran excursion was awesome!!! It included all alcohol beverages on the boat, snorkeling, going to a private island, the Dolphinarium ( I fell in love with a dolphin named "Pepe". and lunch(your choice of chicken or lobster) All this for $99.00 c. each. It was so worth it.
We absolutely love the Cuban people!! I'm thinking of taking a Spanish class in order to be able to better converse with all of them. I figure that they are making an effort learning our language why not join them.

SHAME ON THOSE WHO COMPLAIN!

We will definitely go back to Cuba!

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank Denise B
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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English first
Mindemoya, Ont.
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 April 2012

Recently went to Memories Paraiso (Mar 28-Apr 8). We flew out of Toronto and had a great flight there and back with Sunwing. As others have stated, it's a long drive to the resort but very interesting and humbling to see how the locals live. We booked Diamond Club Oceanview Room with a King Bed and that is what we got. Our maid service was fine but others we spoke with weren't as fortunate. I wouldn't give the resort a 5* rating at this point but a solid 4* with potential to reach 5*. We saw alot of improvements taking place in the 12 days we were there. Except for a few cranky bartenders in the lobby bars the rest of the staff were awesome, always smiling and happy to serve even though they work such long hours and have to deal with unreasonable people at times. We brought lots of hats, toiletries, kids stuff and tipped fairly regularly and everything was very appreciated. Sometimes staff approached us to see if we could change their U.S. dollars to Canadian or pesos. For the life of me we couldn't understand why Canadians would be tipping Cubans with American dollars. If you have a room near The Grill, go there for breakfast as they will make you great omelettes etc and it is far faster service than The Buffet. The towel game was in full effect and unfortunately we heard of some fights at the pool over loungers. Bug spray is a must since the mosquitos almost carry you away at night. Our poor friend ended up with welts all over her legs. Make sure to bring lots of sunscreen as well because there is nowhere to buy it. We did the Catamaran trip (99 pesos) which was a wonderful day of playing with dolphins, snorkeling at a coral reef, a visit to a private beach, lobster lunch and all you want to drink on the catamaran. We did the Diamond Club upgrade mainly for the late check out but our friends who didn't have DC got late check out as well. The DC premium drinks weren't always available and the DC section on the beach was overcrowded so no guarantee of a lounger. The DC turndown service consisted of a chocolate on your pillow and the DC Steakhouse was an open air restaurant so we didn't bother because of the mosquitos. I will be complaining to Sunwing because I feel that we got ripped off with Diamond Club. All in all, we had a great relaxing time and met some terrific new friends.

Room Tip: We liked the oceanview from building #41 and it is close to the grill, pool and beach boardwalk but...
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank sun52fun54
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Guelph, Ontario, Canada
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 April 2012

My husband and I had a wonderful relaxing time at memories azul. The beach was amazing the colors and the crystal clear water and beautiful white sand. Very Nice.
We did go for the diamond club and our room was 54 with a great ocean view and overall view of the whole complex the 3rd floor although its what we asked for it was a lot of stairs after awhile and after climbing the hill but it did help burn off those calories!!!!

The only diamond club butler service on the beach was sat & sunday!!
Not sure i would go diamond club again for the value you receive!!

The specialty restaurants are good but don't expect the chicken to taste like swiss chalet. It is tough. so we stuck with mainly the fish choices.

Room Tip: 54 was a nice almost in the middle of everything
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Lynn B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brampton
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 April 2012

My family and I were here last year around Sept/Oct and we had an amazing time. We have been to Cuba 13 times now ..Varedero, Holguin, Cayo Largo, Cayo Coco, and Santa Clara. We found each resort had its positives and negatives but overall what had been consistent was the beautiful beaches, the gorgeous weather, and the helpful and friendly staff!!
We found that the food overall was good and we found there was always enough variety for everyone such as breads, pasta, chicken, fish, veggies, rice, and lots of yummy desserts! Remember everyone has their preferences but I think the buffet offers enough that no one will go hungry. Bear in mind this is Cuba, food can get repetitive because they don't get supplies in as often as most Carribean countries. The food was good enough we did not go to the a la cartes so we can't comment on them.
This resort was pretty big and the grounds was maintained very well. we stayed in Building 35. We found the rooms to be clean and there was hot water. Our maid was very attentive and friendly and made sure she was in to clean and changed our sheets and towels. Our room always looked so nice when we got back from for the day. It was adorable to see our towels shaped like swans, and I think one she shaped like an alligator using some of our kids toys as feet and eyes. She certainly was creative. We found that a small gift item such as candies, toiletries and sometimes a few dollars were appreciated. That is one thing we found about the Cubans..they are so appreciative of whatever you give them. And you know for those that have bad experiences with a rude staff well sometimes it is how you approach them too. We have found very very few Cubans to be rude.
And you know just like anywhere else a nice smile, a thank you or a dollar or so goes a long way!
The only negative thing we experienced when we were there was the beach was full of jellyfish and to make it worse our daughter got stung by one and this was on the first day! She spent several days after that in discomfort! She had a lot of attention when that happened we had a tourist come to her rescue (he was a paramedic), a staff working on the beach also came over and a whole bunch of other people offered their help! It was funny because she said that she was known as "oh look the little girl who got stung by the jellyfish!" Then she said they came over to talk to her and asked her questions about her experience with the jellyfish.
However we haven't heard this as a problem from reading the reviews. But it was still a gorgeous beach and our daughter was back there all week. ( Word to the wise, bring your own first aid kit, benadryl, tylenol etc... Benadryl did wonders for the sting.)
We spent some time at the pool during the week. There is a pool that on one side is good for small children and the other end for those who can swim. So it was really nice to have our little one enjoy herself around the pool without having to hover over her.
This resort is not a true a 5 star resort but it is a 4 1/2 star by Cuban standards
We are going back in May 16 th and we are all so excited to return. We pretty much have everything packed and just counting down the days!!!

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Brian G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 April 2012

Just back from a week with my boyfriend in Memories Paraiso and wanted to write about how happy we were with the resort! (I honestly cannot believe all the bad reviews I have read!! We chose this resort based on recommendations from 2 different couples who visited this resort previously at seperate times & they all loved the place!)

It’s about 90 mins from the airport on a bus but with the tour guide telling us about the different areas along the way and the beautiful scenery, the time just flew by (the beer you can buy on the bus helped too)! :) FYI: Cayo Santa Maria is quite isolated in regards to night spots so if you’re looking for a party holiday then I’d suggest booking a resort elsewhere! Also, we didn’t go Diamond Club so I can't comment on it - we certainly didn’t feel that we lacked anything at any stage of our trip though!

When we got to the hotel, the check-in process was the best & most orderly we’ve ever experienced! No long unorganized queues at the front desk dragging our luggage beside us! Instead we were greeted by a glass of champagne in the front lobby and led into a room while our bags were being unloaded from the bus. In the room, we were given an envelope with our names on it and our room keys inside as well as a complimentary bottle of rum! When we came back out, the guys with our bags asked us for our room number and said that they would drive our bags over! (It’s a huge resort so this was a great service!). We had booked an ocean front room and we were placed in ‘bungalow’ 41 on the 3rd floor. The view was breathtaking & the room really spacious & clean (we asked for a king bed but got 2 singles but hey, you can’t have everything!) with a free safe, a mini fridge that was restocked every day, amazing air conditioning & no bugs whatsoever! Our room was thoroughly cleaned every day without fail. Our building was on the edge of the resort so we had about a 5 min walk to get to the main lobby and the buffet halls but it was lovely and quiet (no families as I imagine they would prefer to be closer to all the action) and right beside the beach so it was perfect for us! (If you’re looking for a quiet room I’d recommend asking for somewhere away from the pool & the theatre where the night time shows are held). The shower was lovely but FYI it takes about 10 mins for the water to heat up early in the morn (all other times were fine!).

All the staff that we met working there were very nice & friendly without being overbearing or intrusive! We left toiletries for the maid every day and we also gave the gardener for our area some clothes & drinks (all the gardeners seem to have to work for hours with no drinks). We tipped about 1 CUC for every round of drinks & for every buffet meal and about 3 CUC for every a la carte meal. The food was great – we could always find something to eat at the buffets (we’re not fussy eaters but there was plenty of choice - just make sure you go to them early enough to avoid long queues!) but we also made use of the 4 a la carte restaurants you are allowed to book (book them in the front lobby at the start of your stay– don’t bother queuing up for them after the introduction meeting in the theatre!). We LOVED the Italian and the Caribbean restaurants (the Tex Mex & the Asian were only OK)! The burger bar on the beach was really tasty too & so handy for during the day when you don’t want to leave the beach to eat! The actual resort is really well looked after with lots of lovely gardens and water features! Plenty of different bars to try too! (Bring a large travel mug with you and the bar tenders will be happy to fill them up with whatever you want! Otherwise they will just give you your drinks in tiny plastic cups).

The beach is unbelievably beautiful & kept spotlessly clean! The water is out of this world!! :) The towel game is alive and well though so if you want a spot on the beach with an umbrella you will need to get up EARLY! If you can go without shade though there are plenty of sun loungers available all day! (on the subject of towels you get a large beach towel each in your room when you arrive and you can change them once a day in the sports centre beside the pool). Make sure to bring mosquito repellant & after bite for the evenings!! (actually make sure to bring as many essentials with you as possible as there really isn’t anywhere to get those kind of things!)

It was my b*day while we were there so we booked the Italian for that night and we were given a free bottle of champagne & a b*day cake with our meal (let your rep know about your b*day at the start and they will sort it out for you!)!

We went on 2 trips – the day trip to Santa Clara & the catamaran tour & I’d highly recommend both of them (the Santa Clara tour is really historical & interesting so only go for that if you would like to learn about the country & experience some proper Cuban culture)!

There is a little market attached to the West side of the resort where the spa (we didn’t use it but we talked to other guests who did & loved it!), the post office, the bank & some souvenir shops are located.

Overall, we absolutely loved this resort and really don’t have a single complaint about it!

Room Tip: Ask for a 3rd floor room - if you want a quiet room ask for a room away from the pool & theatre...
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Cailin_Thar_Lear11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Markham
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 April 2012

First off I wanted to write that I'm proud to be Canadian! I met people from Vancouver, Ottawa, Montreal, Nova Scotia, and GTA (Toronto). Everyone was fantastic! Canadians are awesome!
We are a family of five (5, 7, 10). Here's a few things I found that may help...
1) Bring mosquito repellent, when used they don't bite. Fumigating starts around 06:45.
2) Get to know the service providers that are genuine and return to them; Jimmy at the beach bar; Adel at the beach grill; Evelyn in the buffet and pool; Elaine at the front desk. They were very helpful during our stay.
3) Bring your own snorkel gear. None on resort.
4) Beach chair reserving starts as early as 06:00. Some go the night before.
5) Bring the kids to the far east beach in Azul side to feed the fish with bread/hotdogs (and go fishing). Thanks "Wongchez" for your review on fishing and your tips! There were a few of us fishing off shore through the week and we caught 7 Barracuda and one Jack (and many that got away). Kids had fun catching baby Permit, baby Jacks, and Silver Grunts (also Blue Crabs close to the rocks).
6) You may not get fresh towels everyday. Left notes for maid and received fresh towels (not certain why they don't provide fresh towels daily??) May have to resort to using fresh towels from the pool exchange.
7) 25.00 CUC each for departure tax
8) Safe is included with auto password.
9) Fridge in room with 2 pop, 2 beer, 1 water daily. Left notes for water-boy and received what I asked for next day.
10) Bring ant traps and strategically place in room. I found a big difference once I put them out. They were the really tiny ones (not a nusance to us).
11) Line ups can get long at cooking stations, just pick your times. I never waited more than 2 people ahead of me. All the grill cooks were great!
12) Bus ride to the hotel from airport was 1 hour and 45 minutes (there was a washroom in our bus but no tissue/wipes, BYO).
13) You will get billed 35 pesos if you check out late.
14) Hot water was very good in washroom. The water pressure was very good in the shower.
15) Be careful on the beach if staying past 5 PM. Many people had bites all over their legs from sand fleas.
16) Have the kids try these drinks: Mickey Mouse, Superman, Miami Vice, Shirley Temple and of course Pina Colada & Strawberry Dacquiri with no rum.
17) Bring your Bubbas if you take long walks (keep your drinks cold).
18) Pueblo at dinner is great, but they don't fumigate. A little bit of a wait for food but food is great and prices are fair.
19) Try to book fishing trips ahead of time. Limited boats, one marina.
20) The best part was as many have said... the beautiful beach!!!!

Room Tip: Bring mosquito repellent. When used, they don't bite.
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank KCX
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Saskatchewan
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 April 2012

I travelled to Memories Azul with my mom (I'm 26 and she is 52) from March 15-22 and we had a blast. We booked on Redtag and my main goal of the trip was just to relax....I didnt have many expectations other than sun and relaxation. Our room was nice and clean, although they accidentally gave us a king bed instead of 2 beds. When i called front desk the issue was resolved immediately. The only complaint I would have with the room is we didnt have a bath mat (the tubs are deep and I was worried about my mom falling) and a few times they ran out of towels and we didnt get them until evening. Also, I wouldnt plug a hair straightener into the outlet (even though it is supposed to have a built in converter)---I fried my $200 Chi. Oh well, you live and learn.

There was a lot of choice with food and the food was fairly good. I travelled to Varadero a few years ago and the food was much better here. It got repetative and I was a little bit sick of it by the end of the week, but I mean, its Cuba and nothing to really complain about....how can you complain when you only spend $900 a person to go? I found most of the A La Carte's to be over reated, athough the Gourmet had good lobster. The mediteranian was good too. I would avoid the Asian and the Carribean. The burgers on the Parisio side were amazing!

It was difficult to get a spot in the shade because people reserve the "huts" at like 6 am. Its maddening, but hardly the fault of the resort. Although, they could build more. The sun was very decieving . I have never burned in my life and I got pretty burneed. Bring ALOE and bug spray. Aloe DOES NOT exist anywhere!

The beaches and the water were beautiful. I felt like I was in paradise (well I guess I was). I liked sitting on the little sand bar having a drink. It was wonderful. Although, I dont understand why some people feel the need to litter the gorgeous beaches with cigarette butts....is it that hard to use the ashtrays that are everywhere, or a plastic glass or something? Maddening.

I found many of the men to be overly aggressive, but again, not the fault of the resort. I found it difficult to ward off the French men as I cannot speak French and they would not leave me alone. At one point I was close just resigning to my room by 7 pm.

I heard the diamond club was a waste of money....I didnt see any perks. I drank whatever I wanted with no questions asked. Apparently you get blue beach chairs if you can find one, and can eat at the Steak House (although I find Cuban beef to be tough anyway).

The pools were clean but I am a beach girl and only spent an hour or so at the pool.

Take a sweater, the evenings can be cool and windy.

The entertainment wasnt that great. A little slow, not upbeat and a little boring. Although Michael Jackson was awesome.

I was also slightly disappointed with the lack of nightlife. I dont need a club to have fun, but I would have liked to see something else to do other than listen to very slow piano music. It would have been nice if they would have had Kareoke (sp?) or an interactive piano bar.

Would I go back? Definately, but only if I could get the same type of ridiculously cheap deal! I have found that it doesnt seem to matter how much you spend, there are always little things that annoy you. I will always book cheap deals from now on so the little things dont get to me!

Room Tip: We stayed in #56 and it was basically right in the middle as far as walking time goes.
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
10 Thank browneyedkitty
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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