Paradisus Princesa del Mar Resort & Spa
Travel Blogs from Varadero
We woke up around 6 am and watched the sunrise from the huge balconies of the guesthouse. Casa Evora is like a penthouse on the upper floor of the building. From there we have great views of the city and the Malecon. The Malecon is the seafront promenade that runs for 7 kilometers alongside the city's historic quarters and is part of every Habanero …
We stayed 4 nights in Varadero. We usually woke up between 6 and 7am and went for a jog on the beach, a swim in the warm ocean or to the gym. (Yes, you might think we were crazy, but we ran a half marathon later in our holiday, so we wanted to acclimatize and get used to the humidity). Around 8 am we went for breakfast (huge buffet with sparkling …
... of the rhumba, as it was invented in Cuba-nothing like what I learned in dancing school.
After lunch, we boarded the bus for Cienfuegos a city and province at the southern end of the island. We had time for a walk down to the malecon before dinner at Villa Largato, a palador or privately owned restaurant (most restaurants in Cuba are operated by the government). Roast pork, only my second non-fish or seafood dinner in over a week, tasted very, very ...
... who speak Spanish. Here, we've spent out time laying on the beach, playing volleyball and eating. Funny and somewhat irritating that this is "class." After living in Merida, it is a bit uncomfortable and not as fun to be a typical tourist. I don't know if I'll ever really want to be a typical tourist again after these experiences. But for now, we'll rest and enjoy our last day in Cuba. Tomorrow is a long day of travel back home, and just in time for Dia de los muertos!
... was a place to go dance to proper Cuban music with real Cubans, but we had no luck until we got to Varadero. The bar we found was so tiny but people literally danced wherever they could, such a fantastic atmosphere, good music, good dancers and brilliant memories!
- Swimming with dolphins. Something I have always wanted to do , and I am so glad I got to do it in Cuba. The dolphins ...
How has this resort rated in the past?
Historical Traveler Reviews Paradisus Princesa del Mar Resort & Spa Varadero
Hi, my fiance and I were at this hotel from Jan. 2-9 and we both felt that while the resort is gorgeous and romantic and clean, the food and the service was quite lacking. The staff was so poorly trained that usually it took 2 people to do one task. I don't know what it was, but the staff didn't like or couldn't work alone. The staff was often confused too, especially at the front desk. Because the buffet is mediocre, everyone races to reserve a spot for 1 of the 4 a la carte restaurants. One day, my fiance had to stand in line for 2 hours to reserve a table! There were no more than 30 people in front of him but the staff (2 of them) just took a very long time to book each reservation. Another problem was that you could only book 1 day in advance, so every day, you had to go through the same ardulous procedure. It was only on our second last day there that they changed the rules to allow you to book for several days at once!
First, the Good. The facilities were wonderful - fantastic room (even the Jr Garden Deluxe), very clean and spacious; great grounds that are manicured and very clean; good beach; restaurants are above average (especially Japanese and French - stay away from the Oriental!); etc. Now, the Bad. The managers don't seem to know what they are doing! Service is slow and unresponsive; employees will only serve one customer at a time (ie three employees will work on one customer when there are twenty people in line); booking a dinner reservation took up to 2 hours standing in line; ordering a drink can take upwards of 15 minutes......Some day this resort will be wonderful, just not yet. We heard excuses (more customers than they have ever had) but the bottom line is that the service was not acceptable. I'd like to see this rating improve, and think it will, however, its going to take some time.
We just came back from a week at the Sandals Princesa del Mar in Varadero and we had a great time! Because the resort is beautiful and our room spacious and luxurious, I give it an above average rating. Also, the pool area and the scattered hot tubs really make this resort stand out. However, there are some things to note when booking a room at this hotel. For one thing, the beach does not have the perfect white sand that other resorts that are closer to town (farther west) has. The sand has little bits of shells. This is not a big deal, really. You have to decide what is more important. Most resorts that have the perfect sand don't come with as luxurious a setting as the Sandals Princesa del Mar. Another thing to keep in mind is the food. You don't visit Cuba for gourmet food. The food at the buffet is only good when they have grilled lobster, but when it doesn't, it's just okay. So many of the food is pan fried with too much oil. The food at the resort's Japanese and French restaurants is really good, but they are hard to get a reservation at when the resort is full or near full. Don't even bother going to the Bamboo (oriental cuisine)restaurant unless you will be ordering the Sammon.
My fiancee and I stayed at the resort from Dec. 23/04 to December 30/04.
Just returned from Sandals Pricesa Del Mar. Stayed from Dec 17th to Dec 24th 2004. It was our first vacation together and the resort was incredibly beautiful!!!
My husband and I stayed at Sandals Princesa from Dec. 18th-25th. All in all it was fabulous! Truly a 5 star. In the past, we stayed at the Radisson Cable Beach in Nassau, RIU Jaliscu in Puerto Vallarta, Jack Tar Puerto Plata, among others. The resort had VERY low occupancy which was fabulous for us. They did not cut any services! This is an undiscovered gem!
We were at the hotel on the week of November 28th. If you like luxury all the time, this is the place. It is a beautiful, spotlessly clean hotel. There were only 100 people staying here this week with rooms available for 800. That did provide us a few problems as there was no buffet dinner and lunch, except for one day when 100 travel agents flew in. The a la carte dinners were nice, especialy the Japanese, but my husband and several others could be seen at the 24 hour restaurant getting a burger at midnight. Sometimes you just don't feel like dressing up in long pants for dinner and since there was no buffet we had to dress everynight. A grill of some sort would be nice too where you could just grab a burger, but again you could only get this at a sit down restaurant. The beach was long, crystal clear and although as some reviewers mentioned had shells, they were little and never a problem. We are beach people and this was one of the nicest we have seen. My husband went on the catamaran with the guide who works there, and learned a lot about the waters. The sand in the water was soft and ripply. The other problem due to a lack of visitors was there was only entertainment two nights, one of which we missed because nobody advertised it. There is no activity board and the communication is poor. One night we were looking for something to do and asked at the piano bar if there was a show tonight, only to be told no, then we found out that there was a magic show in the disco at 10:00 and there were only 10 people there. The other problem was that when we booked it said it included 3 games of golf, it didn't. The golf course is around $40.00 to play, $30.00 for a cart and a $15.00 cab ride. I would not hesitate to go here again, luxurious rooms and details were fantastic. It will definately be going for a lot more than we paid in the future. Fantastic resort, just empty. With a few more people it will be hard to beat.
Still ways to go for a 5 star resort
new resort taken over by Sandals from Lido group.
facilities great..jr.delux package is real nice.
food is really good...selection of at least 6 restaurants.People are very accomodating at resort. Pools are pleasant.....many bars etc.
we were there from nov.27-dec.4/04
But had power failure once..water pressure is low at times...no hot water at times. Tries to live up to 5 star rating,but falls short.
Beach is nice and sandy,but coarse.....
Water sports are many and all inclusive. Try sell offs first..because prices here will definitely rise soon. Billy D.
My husband and I visited the Sandals Princesa Del Mar resort for one week on November 7, 2004 and ditto to the review dated April 2004 - it's very accurate. We would highly recommend this resort if you're looking for a relaxing vacation spot.
This will be the crown jewel hotel in Cuba, I kid you not. Only opened March 19, 2004, we arrive April 1. I lok=oked at my wife several times during the week and announced what I was sure were firsts; first one to sleep in bed, first one to take shower in bath; first one to sit on the bar stool.....When we checked in there were only about thirty rooms booked and they were still landscaping. when this place matures the grounds will be spectacular and the facilities unmatched. Staff super friendly, food exquisite, wine with dinner is no cheapie and plenty of it! No surcharges for cognacs, liquers, champage. Hot tubs everywhere; fashion shows by the pool once a week. Mind blowing health and fitness facilities. Clean, clean, clean. I know its new but the evident standards will ensure it's kept that way. Cuban people are so friendly and you need not worry about hassle when you venture off resort. safe to drive; scooters or cars. Both can be rented right outside resort entrance. Did catamaran cruise; excellent value and it's combined with dolphin show which was kinda neat. rented a car and drove to Havan (about 1.5 hours) and no problem getting there. Roads are in good condition and parking was a breeze. A little dirty but beautiful architecture and culture. Varadero golf course is a nice course; not overly long or difficult but challenging nonetheless (add a club or maybe two depending on the winds at 17!) It's target golf at it's best on 14, 15, 16. Beautiful resort, beautiful people, beautiful country. Best Carribean experience I've had.