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Avoid Memories Paraiso Beach resort in Santa Clara


Traveled to Cuba from Dec30- Jan6/2012

This is the first time that I have ever commented on any resort negatively in the 13 years that we have traveled with our children.(Forth time in Cuba). This so-called 5 star Memories Paraiso beach resort in Santa Clara should only be rated as a 3 star at best for it’s poor service and room quality. Let me justify that this statement by giving you all examples of our experience. In our case having a phone in either of our adjoining rooms that worked ,would have avoided having to walk to the front desk (6 times) to try to get the locks on our children door to work for two days. They came three times to fix it. Did I forget to mention the safe that worked sometimes. Of course we had to stay in the room instead of enjoying the sun till someone came and fixed it because all of our possessions were in it. What was the most irritating was the lack of hot water in both rooms for the last two days. Try having a cold shower right before you have to travel back to Canada.
Al thought this resort has the potential to earn a 5 star rating it’s long wait times at the bar and restaurants with poorly trained and understaffed areas was far from paradise for this seasoned traveler. For example ; Staff asking one another how to make to common drink or asking each other when fish is cooked on the grill does not give any guests any comfort and/or reassurance of a safe eating establishment. While waiting in line I had to endure listening to other guests complaining to each other over the same issues that we were experiencing.

Travelers beware don’t waste your hard earned money on this resort. P.S. My wife and I are still sick from the stomach virus from this resort, hope the antibiotics start working soon. We can’t afford to lose any more time away from work. :-[ >:( >:( >:

Interesting first post

I agree searun… seems weird. Hope they are feeling better. Always kinks to work out on opening. Perhaps they should have asked to be moved.

My understanding is that Sunwing is looking after this place as well as Azul, could be wrong. Sunwing also offers packages to other hotels in the area had it been me and this was my experience I would have went to the Sunwing rep as well as management and seen what could have been done to get me moved to better room or another hotel.

That also caught my eye right away. Signed up today. 13 years travelling, 4th time to Cuba, and not 1 post or review before.
I wish that everyone has an enjoyable time on their vacation.
having said that there can be challenges going to Cuba. Did they do their research or grab a cheap trip?

Might just be someone who would post the type of reviews I ignore.

There are 3 reviews up on that resort, 2 are unfavourable, and one is good, with some things explained.

All 3 could be attributed to the fact the resort had just opened, and during a peak season when there are to be problems expected IMHO.

The “good” review was for the same time period he was there too!!! :wink: :wink:

On T/A and on Monarc there have been some very negative reviews. The resort has been in operation for well over a year, just a management change. I was at the Pueblo beside it last year and hoped to be able to walk through since I was at a neighbouring Barcelo (same ownership) but was denied. There were bad reviews back then, that’s why I wanted to have a look.

I can understand some initial problems with new management but the resort is rated as a 5 star and to me, that is a lot of BS. Many people paid with those expectations and the resort has failed them miserably. I’ve read 30 min. line-ups for drinks or buffet. That is not something you should put up with when you have spent $1,300 or more per person and never at a 5 star. It also rubs off on Cuba. Many will now think that if that’s the best Cuba can offer, they will go elsewhere.

The real answer IMHO, is that resorts are cutting back on staffing. The more we complain, the more the T/O’s, resort owners and Cuban owners will get the message and begin to employ more staff and train them well. A win-win for everyone.

Any resort that opens without proper staffing levels and proper training is obviously mismanaged. It’s not like a local restaurant that can get full unexpectedly and be short staffed, they know in advance what capacity they are expecting.

BTW, I’ll be down the road at the Melia next week, so I will ask around.

/there was a thread on TripAdvisor that now seems to be locked, don’t know why they would do that, everyone is welcome to their opinion I thought, and if they post something really bad, or outrages, just pull it, don’t close the whole thread. Or could it be, and I’m not saying it is, that Sunwing put a ton of pressure on TA

In my experience of travelling to new AI resorts (Cuba, DR and Mexico) the service has always been excellent as they are trying to set a great reputation. I agree that any resort that opens without proper staffing levels and proper training is obviously mismanaged. Hope this is not the case for this one, although the recent reviews appear to support it. :-X ::slight_smile: :o

I was just looking at the TA thread and it is not locked at this time. Some nasty comments both ways. There’s also a review from a former travel agent on Monarc that is IMHO pretty fair. She says that yes, there are problems and yes, it’s not a 5 star at all and yes, if you paid for Diamond club you got nothing that anyone else didn’t also receive. Overall, she thought it was a 4 star that needed better management. But that is what was supposed to have just happened Jan. 1!!! Worth a read if you intend on going there.

Bottom line for me is this: the trend everywhere is for mega resorts. More facilities, more paying bodies but less staff & less service. I’ve been to BarceloCSM and although very nice, it was just not our comfort zone. Staff were constantly being moved from one area to another every day so you couldn’t get to know them or they you. Tipping is all about building relationships. I love walking for miles but when it takes 12 minutes (that’s 1 km.) to walk from our room to the snack bar to get a drink or snack, that’s just wrong.

Mega resorts mean mega money to the owners but when things go wrong, there are mega headaches. Off to Melia CSM in a few days, I’ll report back.

well it is locked/closed, I asked why and so far have no answer

no answer yet, you think it’s pressure, could a t/a put that kind of pressure here?

The orginal mega complex consists of Barcelo Colonial, Beach, Caribe and Tropical. Barcelo sold the Caribe & Tropical to the Memories and now called Memories Azul & Memories Paraiso. I think the Memories Azul was completed in November 2010 and the Paraiso just completed in late 2011. So the problem for the Paraiso: it is not ready for the Xmas & New Year rush. And it is not a 5* as advertized ( based on a thread on T/A).
I was at Barcelo Colonial & Beach on Christmas day 2010. Everything was OK. Food was excellent. I know a young family with 2 kids through this forum they went to Barcelo Caribe (Memorial Azul now) in January 2011 booked with Sunwing and they said theirs trip was excellent. The wife told me she was suprised chesses are expensive and the resorts had all kind of chesses.

sounds to me like they don’t have enough staff, the beach is nice, the food? well I hear the same about the food no matter where you go in Cuba, but by now, I know what to eat and what not to eat, the line-ups seem to be the biggest problem, and that leads to other problems, like people being impatient and staff being under a lot of pressure. I don’t blame the guests though, they were told they were getting a 5 star.
Sounds to me like Sunwing lied, misled, call it what you want.

I don’t find the review that bad…I think they are either really bitter or just posting to slam the resort, which I guess is their choice? ::slight_smile:

No hot water for a couple days…let me guess it was at peak time, and even of not, it happens at any resort from time to time.

Phones not working…it’s a 3rd world communist country, these things happen.

Safe not working sometimes. Happened to me at a 5 star in Punta Cana, just gave up trying to use it, didn’t even come close to ruining my vacation…

Long waits and slow responses, my experiences at many nice resorts…

I don’t know…I can understand being disappointed, but I don’t think this is anything worse than what many others have experienced…Guess how upset I would be would depend on how much I paid… :o

very realistic and honest review up there today.

I suspect that sometimes there is an ulterior motive behind some reviews, that’s why you should always read them all and dump the very best and very worst

That’s exactly what I do Iggy, and what I’ve told many people many times.

As an example, if there’s 20 reviews, I may ignore the top 5, and the bottom 5, and consider the middle 10 to be “the real views” on the resort.

If all of thebcomplaint listed above plus lacking of beach beds for a 5* resort I think the customers have the reason to be upset. It is about time to reevaluate the * rating for Cuba. I am tired with “this is Cuba…”. The rating must be standard for all over the world. Soon you heard 4 in Honduras, 4* in Chili, 4* in Peru, 4* in Haiti and never end…

Reviews are always subjective and should be taken as such. As others have mentioned, I, also, recommend reading reviews of the resort, especially those that cover the time of year you plan to visit. Let’s face it, experiences at resorts are not going to be the same during low season as during high yet many people still think they are going to get the same experience for, say $500 (during low season) as they would paying 2 or 3 times that amount during high.

This posting made me concern with travelling to this resort but I just arrived home and purposely had to post that I had nothing but a great time.

This resort is undergoing a lot of changes since Dec for a Cuban resort it was great.

Things that matter to me were similar to the first posting however Cuban resort are limited to what the government allows or has access too.

I agree that it is not a five star but a five Cuban star. I really enjoy the location, service and the activities that they had.

I am recommending this resort. Finally, for the amount that the trip cost myself and most travellers to this resort, it was worth it.

good to hear, that seems to be the way the reviews have been going too, a few bad but mostly fair to good