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Home > Destinations > Cuba > Trip Reports > Trip Report

Cuba - Trip Reports

Paradisus Rio de Oro - Playa Esmerelda, Guardalavaca

My husband and I just returned from a seven day stay at the Paradisus Rio de Oro in Cuba and all I can say to sum it up in one word is WOW!

This resort is beyond it's 5 stars. The surroundings and atmosphere of the resort is awesome. The greenery, flowers, trees, statues, water ponds, everything is just gorgeous and leaves you feeling like your living in a rain forest. The accommodations are beyond spectacular. The standard junior suite was spacious and the beds big and comfy. The bathroom are big, well lit with lots of amenities, towels and toiletries. Tons of closet space and an in-room safe for added comfort. The mini fridge was restocked daily with water, cola and beer (2 of each). An in room iron and ironing board came in handy as well.

The pool is huge and exotic. The surrounding flowers and shrubs make you feel like your "in the wild". The covered cabanas are a nice way to get out of the sun and the aqua bar is another way to "cool down". We were very impressed with the pool and never had any major problems getting a chair. My hint - swing by the pool on your way to breakfast and drop your towels on a couple of prime seats.

The beach was incredible! The white powdery sand and crystal clear water was incredible. There was tons of space and chairs available on the beach and swimming and snorkling was great. Some reviews complain of erosion leading to the beach. There is a small spot where you literally have to jump to get to the beach, but if you walk 15 feet further into the beach grill you can use the steps to get onto the beach. The coral at the entry to the ocean was also in some of these reviews. I didn't find this to be a big problem considering the beach is quite long. All you had to do was walk 30 seconds either way to walk into the water in the sand. And hey, you should not complain about the coral! I was snorkling practically on my hands and knees looking at beautiful fish and coral... you can't do that in too many places.

The drinks were good and adventurous. I tried most but unfortunately they ran out of mint so the mojitos were a bust. No big deal considering there is a menu of 40-50 other drinks to choose from.

The food. Oh my the food. Lets just say that I'm having a tough time readjusting to eating normally again!:-) I thought the food was absolutely out of this world! The buffet was well stocked with tons of variety. Breakfast had lots of fresh fruits and juices, bacon, sausages and omelettes for those who wish to indulge, lunch had pasta, salads, breads of all kinds, deli meats and cheeses, and so much more. The desserts were wonderful and you must try the ice creams. Dinner buffets offered much of the same as lunch but with the addition of tons of seafood, beef, chicken and pork dishes. The a la carte restaurants were wonderful as well. The piece de resistance was El Patio. The food, service and ambience make you feel like a millionaire. For those wondering, there are two new a la carte restaurants that look like they will open very soon. They were working on the decorating inside of both last week. One is Meditteranean and the other is Japanese. We were so sorry we missed them.

Thanks to Renee for this trip report ...
February 2003

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