What to expect
- Sleep Quality
Last 5 reviews
Not a 5 but its worth going to.
We went to this resort in November 2019. I’ve been to Cuba 10x and this was not a five star. The Bad: Initially we were not impressed that you need to give the front desk clerk your passport which you get back once a room has been assigned which was 4 ½ hours later. We arrived at about noon and did not get our room until 5:30. Why would the hotel not just photocopy the passport and give you back your personal documents? Without a passport, we could not exchange any money. Without a room, we could not book our a la carte (which were full up for 5 days by the next morning). The beach towels come in the room. The front desk had three employees working but only one seemed to be doing the work and the other two were just walking around. They also seemed to push the upgrade area. The Good: Although we had an uncomfortable check in, we did like this hotel. The room was very clean and everything worked just fine. The air conditioning is relatively quiet which was good. The safe worked but was a little fussy when punching in your lock/unlock code. As mentioned regarding the a la carte, we arrived on Tuesday but all the a la cartes were full up until Saturday, (which we booked immediately) so we had no choice but to eat in the buffet. The Tapanyaki restaurant was fun and tasty, although they really pushed the issue of tipping each of the people there. The International restaurant was good. The beach was amazing. It had really white sand and you could see your feet in the crystal clear water. The palapas were plentiful. Usually you didn’t have to worry about getting a spot. The seaweed was not always raked, but was not an issue. It was very pleasant to have only a few vendors and not be inundated with them as in other resorts. The beach bar was great. The bartenders were friendly and fast. I think it was Martin, and a tall green eyed fellow and a blond lady who worked there. They were always smiling and happy to accommodate you with your liquid refreshments. The daytime animation team was quite entertaining and you could participate if you wanted to. In the evenings after 9:30, entertainment was in the courtyard. The circus night was good and the White Night (everyone dresses up in white clothing) was good. We didn’t care much for the Aquatic show but realized they were very young swimmers without much experience. They tried their best. The lobby bar was a hopping place most evenings. Alexander was a terrific bartender/server. They have a great staff in the lobby bar. Sometimes they may not have a particular drink (ei: gin or Baileys) but they do the best with what is available. Entertainment each evening around seven o'clock in the lobby is a nice prelude just before we headed for supper. There was only one thing I couldn’t figure out. Why do the janitor sweepers have to wear a hair net and the people who are preparing food do not? It should be the other way around.
20th time and still returning
This was our 20th time at this amazing resort set in Paradise, The staff were amazing and welcome you back as member of there Cuban family. The hotel itself is so, so beautiful and kept very clean immaculate. The beach is amazing and very large shallow for a good distance out and sand like carpet. The room was just great and well kept maid does good job. Drinks gooood and plentiful, beach bar excellent thanks to Mila and Nachos specials. The food was good but not as good as previous trips,The Japanese was excellent called Sakura a must try. What really makes this the best resort are the staff they are the very best in Cuba. My wife and I thank the Princesa for another wonderful time and treating us Royally part of the Cuban family
So my husband and I aren't really beach holiday people but we'd had a tough year (we're teachers so tend to measure time in academic years) so thought we'd tag on a week here after visiting Havana. And my gosh it was so good, but I think the reasons we loved it may not be shared by others. So we didn't stay in the 'Royal' section but in the 'plebs' section instead and having befriended some people who upgraded I'd say we didn't miss out on much! One thing we loved was how quiet the resort was, not realising when we booked it was towards the end of the season and bordering on hurricane season! It meant there was no fighting for sunbeds or to sit up at the pool bar, easy to find a table for dinner and we even got to have an a la carte dinner in the Royal 'Hill Top' restaurant because it was quiet. We had never done adults only before either (again not really 'beach' holiday people) but my gosh it was fabulous!! Food wise I was amazed at the choice in the buffet and the chance to have hot food made for you like pasta dishes. We went to the French restaurant there... Forget the name of it now but it was OK, nothing to write home about. On our last night we went to Sakura the tapenyaki (spelling?) restaurant which was AWESOME! Such great fun and yummy food too (and I'm a big fuss pot when it comes to food!). Both food and drinks service in the resort was pretty swift and accomodating. All of the servers we met were really lovely. It's been a few months now but I still remember the names of Owen and Rico. Our room was pleasant enough, noisy AC unit but that's the only downside. Great access to the beach, again being there in the down season meant it was easy to get a space. My 'happy place' is drinking rum punch on that beach, listening to the waves in the mid-late afternoon - bliss! Entertainment at night was variable but the aqua ballet was impressive! We were impressed by the choice of activities available during the day too, though we were a bit tired to try all we wanted to. The shop is great too - all the time in Havana I was craving snacks but you can't buy them anywhere so I went a little crazy when I got to buy a packet of crisps and some biscuits! I would go back there in a heartbeat - even the mid afternoon tropical storms wouldn't put me off!
Another visit to this hotel- 25 or 26 have lost track!
So many people to thank- the music of Alfredo & Fundichelys - their guitars are nothing short of fabulous! They are the best entertainment at the resort.-Cigar Bar headed by Victor and his amazing team of Luiben,Ivan,Jean, Pedro x2,Laura,Christy and Daylin serve more drinks than you can count-just amazing.Glenda at port Royal with the beautiful smile-D'ancy our housekeeper who just tries to keep it all clean-The best restaurant headed by the wonderful Niebys and her team of Mairelis,Habiere,Belkis,Darien,Yarien,- the great gals who help us at breakfast or lunch Marlene,Anneray & Yirenia- Our amazing butler Ernesto who keeps it all together!The staff is what makes this hotel a place you wish to return - Have lost track but 25 or 26 visits and returning in February. I have missed some wonderful people and I know how important it is-list grows longer every year.
A good looking hotel
Our chosen hotel was closed for renovation until 15th November. Therefore, we spent the first 5 nights at the Princesa del Mar. We were grateful to be allocated an excellent swim-up room in Royal Service with the luxury of hot water! The breakfast and lunch buffet in Royal Service offered a good variety of food. The Hilltop restaurant had very attentive staff and a good ambience. Such a shame that the hotel does not have steak knives. It was good to see Dario (former manager of the Paradisus Varadero) again and many thanks to him and his staff for their hospitality. A TIP FOR ALL TRAVELLING BACK VIA HAVANA AIRPORT. Cuban currency (CUC) is no longer accepted in the departures lounge. Ensure that you have used all your CUCs before reaching the airport. The queues to change money there are very long! There are rumours that Cuba will cease using CUCs in the future. Take single US dollar bills with you as these are widely accepted and are useful as tips.
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