Memories Paraiso Azul Beach Resort
- What's Included
- All Inclusive Features
The Memories has a distinct Cuban flair and an amazing white sand beach. The resort offers lots of activities both pool side and in the ocean, making it great for those who like to keep active. It is rated 4 star but the facilities and amenities here vary quite a bit. The beach and activities are outstanding but the rooms and food we would say are just average. The lobby bar servers great cappuccinos for that morning boost! The price at this resort is often very attractive and for that reason it has become a popular spot for travelers. If the price is right, the Memories Paraiso Azul is a great option, but go with an open mind and understanding that maybe not everything here will live up to 4 star standards.
If you are looking for a nicer resort and budget is not as much of an issue, check out the Royalton Cayo Santa Maria, located just down the beach.
Just returned from Paraiso last week (went Mar 13-20). We flew sunwing - not recommended. They did not seat the 5 of us together - we all had to have separate seats and by champagne flight, simply means one half glass of sparkling wine. At the hotel, we were a family of 5 and asked and paid for balcony, adjoining rooms and one room with king and one with two beds. We received none of what we asked for. Went to desk and they said they couldn't help us so to check back every day at 930am. We went the following day and they moved us to another building with a balcony but no other requests were taken. We then moved the next day again to a room with a balcony and proper bed layout. Not that I'm picky, but the room they moved us to smelt of sewer so we had to move. On to the third room - still no adjoining room. We simply didn't have enough energy to move a 3rd time so we settled for this. The hotel itself is a bit run down. Our shower nozzle broke while taking a shower one day. We called down to the reception immediately and no one came to fix it for about 9 hours so the hot water was running constantly from the bathtub. We called several times during this timeframe, spoke to a manager and visited reception 3 different times to inform them of this problem. The TV did not work in one of our rooms. I also made the mistake of leaving my expensive ring on the table - it was gone when we returned to the room - however, my fault. Out of the 7 days we were there; there were only 2 days where we could buy wifi cards ($1.50/1 hr). They simply ran out of cards so and made no attempt to get more, despite them saying they have wifi at a fee, this was not the case. If your teen is into sports, bring your own balls (soccer, basketball). the only provide a volleyball which is tough to play basketball or soccer with. The mini fridge was not stocked daily as they said it would. The only way you could get it stocked is if you happen to be in your room during the time in which the beer/soft drink cart came around. If you enjoy coffee in your room, I suggest you bring coffeemate or equivalent. They do not provide this. On the positives, if you tip, you get great service. The beach was amazing, and the food wasn't bad. I've been to Cuba 6 times and this was the best food so far. I would not recommend going to Paraiso. They just don't seem to care about your needs - just the tips.
After reading reviews for this resort I was terrified to take my four year old on our first Cuban vacation. After seeing the homes in cities and farms on the way, I was prepared for the worst. What I got was the best. I came prepared with a pharmacy, bug spray, toilet paper and antibacterial wipes. the only thing I used was Tylenol for a "morning" headache and wipes after petting farm animals. We paid extra for diamond club and an upgraded ocean view junior suite close to the beach. The view was amazing, but our daughter preferred the pool, not the ocean waves. The ocean was rough and we were told Nov - Jan is the time to come. We will know next time. Although the waves were so big, the water was warm and calmer farther from shore. We still enjoyed a trip in a little catamaran. I recommend diamond club to anyone for the al la cartes alone. They were all very good - Mexicano was my favourite. I asked for an extra bowl of rice for my daughter, and there were no questions asked. Mediterranean was fantastic, great fish (and I am not really a fish eater) and great soup. Lobster dinner at emperio was fantastic. Diamond club also gets a lobster lunch everyday - it was OK, but took a long time from start to finish in the best hours of the day. We also took advantage of the private beach with waiter service. It was a little further to walk, but worth it. Had no problem at all getting service. The diamond club lounge isn't really a place to hang out in though. As a red wine drinker - I learned to pay an extra 5 pesos for the Chilean wine, "Gato Noir". After one bottle I was hooked and couldn't go back to the house red. Buffet- same mess hall atmosphere that you find in Canada, only better because they offer a grill, hot to order. In no time we figured it out- go to the meat station first, and pick what you want. The pork chops were amazing- thick back bacon essentially, and chicken was good. They use a lot of oil to cook fast. Next time I will gift spices to the cooks. Pools- good. Water was chilly in the morning- but I don't expect a pool in Cuba to be heated. Not to much entertainment, but when there was, not a lot of guests seemed interested. Everyone was so kind to my 4 yr daughter. Staff remembered her by name, always tried to engage her and buffet servers always offered us with a bottle of water to keep her hydrated. Food Expectations were exceeded. People complain about the food- it is healthy food- no additives and not filled with the junk we are used to. Everything was fresh and we ate like royalty. There is no junk though - just ice cream (and cotton candy at the shows at night). Not a lot to snack on - but I think that is how Cubans live, and we are fussy Canadians. I took snacks from here and left what we didn't consume there. Bugs- a few flies, but not as many as Summer in Sask! Collectively we got two little bites from who knows what. We slept with the door open though - so can only blame ourselves. One morning I seen tiny little bugs after my leftover piña colada. We attended the orientation meeting - so glad we did, as first timers we really learned the ropes. If you want anything refilled in your fridge- empty it. Want fresh beach towels? Go exchange them early. Some Phones don't work. Good. Pecking order of who to go to if there is a problem. Shows- two shows were amazing! Cartoon show - terrible. Can't win them all. Kids shows - interactive and just for kids. Bathrooms - ever been to the women's bathroom on a Friday night at a nightclub? Then you have seen worse. Some weren't so nice, but manageable. On a few occasions no TP, but was always able to find some. For the most part they were up kept. More often then not I had to clean pee off seats left by hovering Canadians.Excursions- great. Jeep safari was great (those bathrooms were much more "rustic") and we learned a lot. Catamaran was ok too, but I wouldn't do it again. We got to snorkel twice - but as someone who had never done it before to stop in deep rough water to try to teach myself was not the way to go. I was hoping for a shallow cove or sandbar. Dolphin interaction was what I was expecting - although still makes me sad. Lobster lunch was cold but still delicious. Was the place a little run down by Canadian standards? Just as run down as a rural motel/travelodge. After seeing the homes Cubans live in, comparatively the resort is really huge and really amazing. A few broken tiles are a non issue. We had an issue once with an al la carte -Caribbean being closed and we were offered a solution immediately. There were a few unfriendly bartenders (I've had worse in Regina) but the beer was still cold. The only rude people we experienced were other guests. Saving pool seats- this is a stupid practice that has got to go. It can't really be moderated by the resort though. People would reserve pool Loungers and tables with a towel at dawn and not come sit until afternoon. By the end of our trip to avoid conflict we had to do it to - or else you wouldn't get a good chair. If you can't beat them join them. House keepers were good. We left no tip and the room was clean. Left a tip and the room was clean. Left a care package and the room was clean with a more elaborate towel design. Bank- hard to get the bank during open hours to get singles to tip. Airport VIP - we paid and loved it and would pay again. Still no wi fi here for us though. Don't let bad reviews scare you out of this place. It's great. We didn't get sick, had hot water to shower, and cold water to drink. We all had ice in our drinks and ate whatever was offered. Get the diamond club. Eat at the al la carts.
We travelled to Memories Paraiso (which should not be confused with Grand Memories beside it or the adult only Sanctuary), in mid-March 2017, just after there were reports of water issues to all resorts (since rectified). Location: it is a 2 hour drive from the Santa Clara airport, especially if your bus gets stuck behind a slow moving vehicle. Consider it an excursion (if done in daylight) and grab a beer or water (2 for $5 Canadian or US) for the ride (there are vendors outside the airport on the walk to the bus or while enroute). Wished we had eaten on the plane or had a light snack too as we were hungry. Keep this travel time in mind when booking your flight times. Bus aims to return to the airport 3 hours before departure times, so you're actually leaving the resort 5 hours before. Note: our bus on the way did not have a functional bathroom, so we made a pit stop on the causeway (in the open) for one of the riders.Resort: has over 600 rooms, so at full capacity could host 1500+ guests, not counting potential visitors from Grand Memories next door. Large lobby (with bar, small shop, rep desks and conference rooms). Lobby is bustling after dinner with guests (drinks & cigars) and musicians, dancers and or magicians. Internet cards are available for 1.50 pesos/hour. Nightly entertainment varies (at the theatre, pool, lobby or La Estrella). Don't miss the Michael Jackson dancers - they were fantastic! Resort offers "Diamond Club" at booking or check-in (heard some people got it complimentary), which essentially gives you some preferential treatment (priority check-in/VIP at airport, reserved seating at buffet, members only and/or more a la carte dinners, "top self" alcohol, lobster on the beach and reserved beach area). We didn't have it and it didn't impact our stay.Room: generous in size with 2 beds (doubles, not great for 2 adults per), seating area, digital safe (no charge), fridge, coffee maker, TV, DVD/radio (no clock), phone, iron/board, hairdryer, separate sink area from tub/shower and toilet. AC good. No converters required (220V works with Canada/110V). Beds were comfortable, but as other guests mentioned, covered with a plastic pad which tended to make you sweat while you slept. Housekeeping did an excellent job though sometimes room was not done before 5pm. Fridge is supposed to be replenished daily with water, 2 soft drinks and 2 beer (be sure not to have your do not disturb sign on) and happens late in the day after housekeeping is done (so sometimes you're getting a knock while getting ready for dinner). All building are in close proximity of the pool and have 3 floors. Some buildings have ground level rooms (Terrace), others require you to walk up a flight of stairs (balconies). Buildings 38/39 are closest to the mini mall "La Estrella" (that consists of vendors, souvenir shops, restaurants, ice cream shop, bank, and 10 pin bowling alley and has a disco on some nights) and are the furthest from the lobby/buffet/theatre, however there are porters who will drive you in golf carts, as needed. We had requested that our two rooms be adjoining and one with king bed (not granted, even when we asked again at check-in). Both rooms had issues with the toilets which were not fixed despite multiple requests with guest services, so on our third day we sought the assistance of our travel rep and were immediately moved to other rooms (no upgrade offered).Pool (10am-6pm): 2 large pools. One is a gradual walk-in and about 3 feet deep (great for younger kids) and the other, with stairs and multiple ladders, is deeper. The second had an island with pergola and a swim up bar. Although there are plenty of loungers, everyone tends to reserve "their spot", whether they end up using them or not. Loungers are resin plastic (many are broken) and if you can get the pool staff's attention, they will bring you a mattress (especially if you tip). Good amount of shade from mature palm tress and man made palm umbrellas. Water is cold in AM, refreshing in hot afternoon sun.Beach towels are in your room when you arrive - we did not hear of any issues with exchanging them (during pool hours).There is a, kids club area with ping pong, billiards, outdoor basketball, shuffleboard etc. Even though there was an activities chart, we never saw (adult) oriented sports in the pool (i.e. aerobics, water polo), but saw a few dancing lessons and a fashion show (to sell beach wears). the crowd loved the bubble blast party on Wednesday afternoon! We've been to other resorts where stuff happens (games) both at the pool and beach and entertainment staff are (more) eager to get guests involved. Hot tub: closedBeach (9-5pm): simply amazing - white sand and crystal blue waters...and, we did not get to see it at it's best since we were there during a cold front and it was rougher than normal (red flagged for a few days). The waves were fun though! Expect this to be the busy spot on nice days. Shaded by man made structures only, so bring something if you have it. Beach bar and snack shack with burgers & hot dogs (and lobster for members). Note: Boardwalks to beach are in desperate need of repair to replace broken/loose boards and handrails and need a fresh coat of paint.Food: You can go to 2 a la carte restaurants/per week (5 restaurants: Mediterranean, Italian, Mexican, American and Cuban), 24 hour grill (with bar) or enjoy the large buffet that had 3 grilling stations, bread bar, 4 hot side dish sections, 2 salad / cheese / cold meat bars, and fruit / dessert bar. Buffet areas could benefit from some decorations/ambiance and theme nights.Buffet breakfast (7-11 am) consisted of the normal fare with made-to-order omelets, smoothies, fruits, bacon, variety of breads, pancakes etc. At lunch (11-3), freshly made pasta plates were popular as well as the pizza. Dinner (6:30-10) offered grilled meats and on one day we even had lobster tails. Tip: go early to get food while it's hot and plentiful. At the pool (11-3 approx.), grab a burger / hot dog from the fast food shack or go to the grill for those, soft-serve cones plus more. In my opinion, the Grill is under-used and should offer more of a selection/variety at lunch (i.e. pizza) and to travellers arriving mid-meal times or leaving early, self-serve coffee machine, and should host some afternoon activities (there is an outdoor patio). Our first morning, we booked our a-la-cartes dates (reservation times vary from 5:30 to 9:30) for the week (max 2). Concierge accepts reservations beginning at 7:30am (there was no line up that early). We enjoyed the Italian (great selection) more than the American (food was too similar to buffet and on the cold side). Presentation and atmosphere were nice at both.Service: Interestingly, I found the staff were either extremely service oriented & friendly (tips or not) or the other extreme (disinterested and not eager to help). Tipping is optional and we did, in addition to bringing other personal type items to gift. We did not necessarily get faster/better service, but staff were thankful. Drink service at the Grill and Lobby were excellent, quick, and friendly. The swim up bar needed a dedicated bartender (or two), as it competes with the other (land) side of the bar for attention. Buffet and restaurant staff were friendly (many had limited English) and attentive to greet you/bring requested drinks. During peak times, there was difficulty finding clean tables.The resort needs to institute a cleaning/check cycle for the pool area (for plastic cups...yes, I know we should clean up after ourselves, but some guests don't) and public area washrooms as they were frequently sub-standard: often/many were often locked because they were NOT functional or missing toilet paper. When we went to the Emporium, the women's washroom was closed and everyone was expected to use the men's; the smell of bleach from both was sickening. Suggestions: if desired, bring your own pool toys, basket ball / tennis racket, refillable mug, face cloths, klennex, chips (none are avail for purchase), ketchup (resort ran out) and/or peanut butter / mayo (not avail). Don't forget any personals as they can be overpriced in the store or unavailableOverall this is a great (3.5 star/economical) resort, but it is showing wear (many return-guests we spoke to agreed) and needs some serious TLC and improved service commitments. We would definitely go to Santa Maria again and would consider this resort, especially if they invest in making some improvements we've seen at Grand Memories.
This was my 15th trip to Cuba. Stayed at the Memories Paraiso hotel. This is located on small island off main island of Cuba (cayos like FL keys are small islands with causeway joining them to Cuban mainland.) Usually I travel rough (have backpacked in Africa) Booked beach hotel this time as travelling with husband and he wants running water clean bano etc.,working AC; basically wants to be at home with someone else doing cooking and warm weather. Won't stay at any Cayo hotel in future as I find it a bit isolating (long trip from airport or on any tours back to mainland) but other than isolation hotel was great. Only major problem we had was with air conditioning and our Sunwing rep. (Luciano helped us out, great guy) we were relocated to new beach view room (no upgrade cost to us) hotel staff who provided transport to new room was great and my husband gave him tip & several of his coveted baseball hats. Only negative experience with hotel staff was guy who transported to our room initially refused to take $6 in Canadian coins (we didn't have tourist pesos yet as we just arrived). Cuban people are wonderful and this grumpy guy was exception to usual attitude. We budgeted $10 a day in tourist pesos and I purchased items at dollar store before I left Canada to give exceptional staff a little something extra, cosmetics and baby items are much appreciated. American embargo is still on and these types of consumer items are hard to get. Hotel bank is often out of $1 tourist peso so stroll down to bank at little tourist mall and buy your pesos, stick to $1 coin if you plan to exchange any back to Canadian $ at airport. Things to bring insect stuff, pain medications, any medications related to your bano activities, take kleenex out of 2 boxes, wet wipes individually wrapped (I have a little bottle of hand sant. clipped to my little purse in which I also carry passport and tips.) Cuba is the safest country I have ever traveled in and took my daughter there when she was young and I was a single parent. Don't like organized tours but took one I think dolphins like to swim with other dolphins but if you like this go for it. If you really want to see Cuban life experience book an air b & b room in Cuba. Cuban beer is great but don't become drunk and disorderly, we will lose our polite reputation (sometimes I wonder how we hot this reputation but that is another story!) Regulation of Tour Operators from Canada -- Now the real skinny on if you want a 1st world experience in a developing country. Basically you will have to pay more, insist on a clause by tour operators before you put your $ down in Canada (whether Sunwing, Air Canada etc., a clause that states unless major problem (like with no water at all in resort) isn't resolved in 8 hours tour operator has to refund 1 day total vacation cost for each 8 hour period major issue isn't resolved. You should also have direct access to tour representative 24 hours at your hotel. You will have to pay more this and clause doesn't exist yet but Canadian consumers should fight for it if they want home experience in developing country.
Entertainment was great. Food was okay. Beach was amazing. Staff was great. Drinks were always good. Room was alright. I went here years ago and never did a review until I stayed somewhere else in Cuba, which was terrible and this place is amazing compared to it:)
Vacations packages include round-trip flights, accommodations, round-trip transfers (unless outlined below) to and from the hotel, and tourist cards (if required, unless outlined below).
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Items not included:
- Travel insurance (mandatory if traveling to Cuba)
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- Items of a personal nature
- Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Daily
- Drinks; Domestic and International Brands
- Ping Pong
- Board games
- Introduction to Diving
- Volleyball Beach
- Wind Surfing
- Daily activities
- 1395 Rooms
- 2 Buffet and 7 a la carte restaurants
- 9 Bars
- 6 Pools, including children's pool
- 2 Lit Tennis Courts
- Motorized water sports (fee)
- Shops (fee)
- Business Center (fee)
- Internet access (fee)
- Fax Machine (fee)
- Medical Services (fee)
- 1 King or 2 twin beds
- Air Conditioned
- Satellite TV
- Hair Dryer
- Safety Deposit Box
- Iron & Ironing board
- Coffee/ Tea Maker
- Mini bar (restocked daily)
- CD player/USB
- 220V (adapters/transformer required)
- Maximum Occupancy 4, up to 3 adults
- 1 King or 2 Twin Beds
- Maximum Occupancy 5, up to 2 adults
- 1 King or 2 Twin Beds
- Maximum Occupancy 4, up to 3 Adults
- 1 King or 2 Twin Beds
- Maximum Occupancy 3, up to 2 Adults
Wedding / Honeymoon Packages - are available. Please inquire for details.
Resort Location Map
Memories Paraiso Azul Beach ResortCayo Santa Maria,Cuba
- Hotel Contacts
- Extra Info
Caibarien Villa Clara Cuba
Some restaurants may be open for certain meals only and limited visits may apply. Reservations required and dress code in effect for a la carte restaurants. Time restrictions may apply for water sports.
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