A Review of the Paradisus Varadero Resort and Spa


Cuba - Paradisus Varadero

Our latest vacation took us to the Caribbean island of Cuba.  We had wanted to go to Cuba for a long time as its culture and people intrigued us.  We also wanted to see all of the classic cars driving around the roads and feel like we had stepped back in time. 

While we were in Cuba, we stayed at the Paradisus Varadero Resort & Spa.  Overall, we were very impressed with the resort and here are the details of our experience.

The Grounds

The resort itself is huge!  It is quite a long way to walk, but we like things being spread out and don’t mind walking so we were happy.  The main reception area contains the majority of the important features; reception, shops, currency exchange, buffet restaurants, main bar and performance stage.  Also, the a la carte restaurants, beach area and pool were all a short walk from the main reception area.  The whole main building area is quite open, so you feel like you are outside everywhere you go, which is very nice in a place where the weather is so good (not so much in our hometown of Vancouver, Canada).  

Cuba - Paradisus Varadero Grounds

The Beach

In one word…spectacular!  There is a huge stretch of beach that is easily accessible from the reception area.  The sand is pure white and as soft as can be.  As with all the best beaches, it does not heat up with the sun shining on it all day.  The ocean is a beautiful shade of blue and luckily, the water is very shallow for a long stretch.  This is not great for people who love to snorkel, but it is great for those of us who like to just wade into the water.  Another bonus is the water is warm and doesn’t leave a thick salty residue on you after you dry off.  We highly recommend you spend a good chunk of time at the beach.  It also includes a beach bar that serves up some good BBQ foods for lunch.  There were plenty of loungers available on the beach and we did not have a problem at all finding a good spot. 

Cuba - Paradisus Varadero Beach

The Pool

The pool area is the long winding freeform type that we love.  There are lots of poolside spots for loungers and yet you are not sitting directly beside other people.  When we were there, the pool area was NEVER busy; there were still plenty of great spots available.  The one downside we found about the pool was that it is not heated; therefore, if there has been a stretch of bad weather (like just before we arrived), the pool can get cold.  We took some chilly steps in the pool before it warmed up after a few days of solid sun.  The pool is well located right between the reception area and most of the rooms.

Cuba - Paradisus Varadero Main Pool

The Restaurants

We made an effort to try all of the restaurants that we could.  The Italian restaurant was closed for the week we were there, so we got to try the Mexican, Romantic, and Cuban fusion a la carte restaurants as well as the buffet.  We can say the food is good (not great) and the settings are wonderful.  We found the food was kind of hit and miss, some things were yummy and others were not.  We enjoyed eating in the themed restaurants each night and the staff was all super friendly and helpful.  The food was good, but not up to the quality of other all-inclusive resorts we have been to in the past (Sandals Whitehouse in Jamaica and Azul Sensatori in Mexico).

Cuba - Paradisus Varadero Romantic Restaurant

Romantic Restaurant

Cuba - Paradisus Varadero Mexican Restaurant

Mexican Restaurant

The Staff

The staff and the people of Cuba are sooooo nice and friendly.  We felt they were the nicest people in all the all inclusive resorts we have visited!  The staff was all very accommodating as well; they would attempt to get what you needed no matter how difficult a request it seemed.  They would all welcome you wherever you went and had a smile and an “hola” when you walked by.  They went out of their way to give you unique experiences, including the maintenance crew walking around with coconuts to serve to guests.

Royal Service

Luckily, due to the time of year we were traveling, we were able to upgrade to the Paradisus Varadero Resort and Spa’s Royal Service.  This included access to a separate part of the resort with it’s own pool area, restaurant, reception and butler service.  We felt these added extras were well worth the extra cost (if you can fit it in your budget).  The royal service pool was as nice as the main pool and, because it was a bit smaller than the main pool, the pool bartenders were always around to get whatever you wanted. 

Cuba - Paradisus Varadero Royal Service Pool

Royal Service Pool

The Food and Drink

The Royal Service restaurant, Bella Mar, is one of the best on the resort and we visited there many times. Again, the food overall is not the best we have had, but there are a few gems to have.  We highly recommend the omelets for breakfast and the chicken dinner!  They also have a BBQ lunch at the Royal Service pool bar; try the hamburgers from there.  Also included with Royal Service, is 24-hour room service through your butler.  Although the room menu is not extensive, we learned that they would bring you pretty much anything you can order from the Bella Mar restaurant or BBQ.  This came in handy for us, as we spent many mornings eating our omelets on our oceanview patio.  The drinks are delicious, as many of them are made with fresh squeezed pineapple, orange or watermelon juice and top-notch rum (we didn’t try many other liquors because we were in Cuba, so…).  Don’t expect to find any brand name drinks in Cuba, like Coke or Pepsi, but it is all tasty. 

Cuba - Paradisus Varadero drinks

The Room

The design of the Royal Service room is spectacular!  We had an amazing view of the ocean through a wall length sliding glass door, there is a wonderful sitting area right in front of the glass door for relaxing and an awesome patio to lounge on just outside the doors.  They have a king size bed and a walk in closet, that can fit LOTS of stuff.  The bathrooms are massive with his and hers sinks, a two person Jacuzzi tub (and we don’t mean one of those squishy tubs that say they “fit two” but…), and an outdoor shower with rain showerhead…that’s right OUTDOOR SHOWER…interesting!  The room was in good shape, although we were surprised to hear that this area of the resort was only 4 years old, as there were little things in the room that were in disrepair.  However, none of these things affected the quality of our vacation.  We also had great housekeeping service and our maid would often leave us little notes and even left us a cute souvenir toy from Cuba. 

Cuba - Paradisus Varadero Royal Service Outdoor Shower

The Beach

Perhaps the biggest negative of the Royal Service section at the Paradisus Varadero is the beach.  Now, the beach in front of the rest of the resort is stunning but the beach here is quite rocky. The colour of the ocean is still breathtaking but it is quite windy on the Royal Service side and we didn’t really see anyone swimming on this part of the beach.  However, if you are beach people, it is only a 5-10 minute walk over to the main beach of the resort and as we said before, this beach was picture perfect! 

The Service

As with every other part of the resort (and country) everyone that worked in the Royal Service was extremely nice and very friendly.  We had no trouble getting anything we needed, including early check in and late check out due to awful flight times.   We are particularly fond of Lidaimi and Jorge at the pool bar (so nice…).  The butler service is a great idea.  It was so nice to be able to call on a butler whenever we needed anything…restaurant reservations, room service, supplies, etc. – they were there for us!  Our two butlers, Noersy and Arian, were super helpful and we enjoyed having them around to talk to and to help us.  It is worth the money to go with Royal Service just for the butler alone! 

There you have it…the good and bad on the Paradisus Varadero Resort and Spa in our opinion.  We would not hesitate to head back to this resort in the future and would recommend it for others, as long as they are prepared for it to be a little less than a five-star in other countries.

Cuba - Paradisus Varadero Butler Service

Spa service in your room thanks to the butler!

 What is your favourite all-inclusive resort?  Let us know in the comments below.



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One Response to A Review of the Paradisus Varadero Resort and Spa

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