We just got back from Cuba, where we had the most relaxing, carefree and fully content week of vacation.
It is true we have lowered our expectations when coming here, as our last visit in terms of the resort we stayed at was rather average.
But I have to say that this time, our worries and preconceived expectation were for nothing as the grounds, food and staff at the Princesa Del Mar were fantastic.
The resort is found at the far east of the peninsula, and is very beautiful. It covers a large area with gardens that are meticulously groomed every day. Another very nice touch on the grounds is that there are different gazebos and jacuzzi set ups (unfortunately several jacuzzis were not working during our visit, but hopefully next time they will) where mellow music is played during the entire day. This added a very romantic touch.
Our main attraction in coming to Varadero was the beach, and it certainly did not disappoint. We had an exceptional week of fine weather and most of the tourist were also enjoying the beach. With the volume of people on the beach, we were pleasantly surprised that we never had any problems finding chairs on the beach at any point during the day. But this might of been because everyone was splishy-splashing in the crystal clear water! (and rightfully so) :)
One of the concern we had in coming to Cuba was, well, the general quality of the food. Revelation: The food is actually not bad at all! Mind you, this is not France or other food centric country. But there are plenty of options for fish and meat that is grilled to order; there is also a variety of vegetables and fruit that is offered for every meal. On top of that there is plenty of different yummy baked goods and a plethora of desserts. Overall, we were very pleased with quality and variety of food offered at the buffet.
All of A la carte restaurants had lovely atmosphere. We experienced dinner at the Hill Top (very elegant set up); Sakura (a place where one should go in the begging of the stay as you get to sit with 3 other couples and if you luck out, you may make some good acquaintances right at the begging of your stay), Firenze (the pasta was really well done!), and Marseille.
Aside from the Buffet and A la carte restaurants, there were also 2 other places were one can grab a bite to eat: The Racquet Club (24hrs) and the Beach Grill. The Racquet Club was where we landed most of the time when we were hungry outside of serving hours of other places. They serve ice cream which is very handy during hot days. The Beach Grill restaurant set up is a cozy place to have a lunch after lazying around on the beach: very pleasant as there was a live band and good freshly grilled meats/fish.
As expected when coming to an all-inclusive resort, there was no shortage of bars to wet your whistle. One of our favorites was the bar in the lobby. It's a cozy place to relax at any time during the day. It was also a great spot to observe and share the general excitement of new guests coming into the resort for the first day/night. Another lovely touch on the resort is the availability of sparkling wine throughout the grounds night and day: non-stop celebration!
The resort staff found out that we were celebrating our wedding anniversary (without a shameless plug) and upgraded us to a Royal Service room. The room was fantastic: very spacious and had everything that was needed for us to come and rest after day spent in water/sun. As it has been eluded to in some others review, yes it is true, there is construction happening at the resort. And in our case, right in front of our balcony. So the view was not what we expected: crane and construction site, but given that we didn't really spend that much time in the room, we were not bothered by this aspect too much. It was actually nice to know that business is going well for the resort as it totally deserves to bloom and prosper.
Lastly, we would like to praise and thank the staff at the Princesa Del Mar to make our visit extremely enjoyable. From the warmth and energy of Mayte that believed, encouraged and taught my husband how to dance and speak basic Spanish (we miss you very much), to Toniel the gardener that always greeted us with a smile/flower and a world of knowledge vis-a-vis the local vegetation, to our bubbly chambermaid Medolis, and Denis, the overnight security guard who ensured no one suspicious walked from the beach to the grounds of the resort, and all other employees - service stuff at the restaurants, bars and buffet, as well as energetic dance crew that was always there to assist us with salsa steps: thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
In conclusion, based on our experience there is a very high chance that we will be back!
Steph & Jenya
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
8 May 2012
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On behalf of the hotel Paradisus Princesa del Mar and staff we thank you for your kind respond and comment in Tripadvisor.
We are very pleased to hear that you had a romantic and wonderful wedding anniversary here with us and that our hotel service, restaurants, animation team and of course hotel staff were good, efficient, friendly and helpful as well as the quality and variety of food offered at the buffet and restaurants was of good experience as this is very important to us.
We do hope you return and visit us again in a near future.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC