Old Reviews – Paradisus Varadero

February 18 – 25, 2005. The best 7 days ever! We arrived home only 2 days ago and we are already planning our return trip back next year…what a fantastic resort!

Check In – No problems checking in and all went quickly. We were served drinks while we waited in line (which wasn’t very long) which was a nice touch upon arrival. It was about 9pm when we arrived so we had time to go to our room and head to the buffet as we were quite hungry.

Our Room – We were travelling with my 18 year old daughter and had booked a room with triple occupancy. We ended up with 2 double beds and a single. After quickly rearranging the furniture, we still had tons of room. The bathroom was quite nice…2 separate rooms – one with the tub/shower, toilet and bidet, the other with the sink area and tons of mirrors. We had one day when the power went out (I was in the shower of course…very dark!) but this only lasted for about one hour. The next day, there was no water for a couple of hours (thankfully not in the shower this time!), but even these 2 events couldn’t dampen our mood.

The Buffet – Amazing! I kept hearing stories that Cuban food was bland. Not at the Paradisus. There were 2 grills – one with meats and fish the other with pastas, where you selected your own ingredients. There was a fresh fruit/vegetable station, another which featured turkey, roast or some other specialty, along with lobster, crab (every night!) and numerous other dishes…I’d say about 20 every night. The dessert bar was also huge with bananas flambĂ©, ice cream, and many other sweets and pastries. Breakfast and Lunch were also unbelievable with made to order eggs and omelets in the morning, and the fantastic grills for lunch. The homemade yogurt was to die for.

The Beach – Second to none! The resort personnel did a great job of grooming the beach early each morning. The sand was like white fine sugar and we collected many seashells. We never had a hard time getting beach chairs or pads, and Joel was always moving them to exactly where you wanted…as soon as you got on the beach. The first 2 days we were there were quite windy, so they were yellow flag days, but after that all was calm and green flags were posted. The water was very warm and no sea weed could be found…or seen. Paddleboats, kayaks and catamarans were there for our use.

The Beach Bar – Leo did a fantastic job of making sure everyone had a full glass all of the time. The last few days of our vacation, they even had servers walking the beach and taking drink and food orders.

The Beach Restaurant – It was nice to only have to walk 20 steps from our Palapas during the day to have a great meal. There was plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and also a grill where you could get Italian sausage, chicken, pork, crab, salmon, hake and red snapper. The food was excellent here also.

Romantico Restaurant – Unbelievable! The atmosphere was very romantic (just as the name suggests). There was a string trio playing wonderful music amidst the candle light. The food (we had lobster and veal) was out of this world. Definitely worth the return trip in itself.

Stella di Mare Restaurant – We unfortunately didn’t get a chance to dine here, although we heard it ranked right up there with the Romantico. After 11pm, it was the all night snack bar which my daughter said was great. She especially liked the pizza (very thin crust) and the home made milkshakes. It was open until 6am.

Alhumbra Restaurant – This was the Spanish restaurant. The food here was also good, but not quite as good as Romantico. This restaurant also served as the pool snack bar during the day and the Sakai Sandwiches were excellent…we ate many of them!

The Grounds – Immaculate! And the gardeners were some of the friendliest people I met. Always offering me flowers from the hibiscus trees as I walked by and wanting to practice their English.

The Animation Team – We met several members of the team on our first day at the beach and they came to visit us there every day. They made my daughter feel right at home and danced with her in the disco every night. They had yoga on the beach every morning, dance lessons by the pool and on the beach, played games with the kids, and answered any questions we had about the resort and their lives in Cuba. I don’t usually go to the evening shows at resorts, but here it was very professional and well done. Each night was a different show and the costumes were quite impressive.

The Staff – Very friendly and they always remembered our names. The bar staff always remembered our favorite drinks too. We got to know many of them and left gifts for them to show our appreciation. We also tipped throughout our stay as the service they provided was top notch.

The Weather – Although I never actually saw a thermometer, I would guess every day was in the high 20 to low 30’s. It got progressively warmer as our week went on. The first few days were quite windy, but after that all was calm. It always winds calmed down in the evening which made the cooler evenings pleasant. I’d say the temps were around 21-22 too in the evening, but they also got warmer as the week went on. It was sunny everyday except for our last day, which was a bit overcast in the morning and a few showers in the afternoon…not enough to keep anyone off the beach though.

All in all this was a 10 out of 10 vacation. A few tears were shed when we had to leave! We had a fantastic time and as I have mentioned, are already planning on going back at the same time next year. Congratulations Paradisus – you made our vacation spectacular!!!!

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