I love Cayo Santa Maria (Cuba) and I love Memories Paraiso Azul. This resort is very nice and has lots of amenities. The most beautiful beach I have ever seen is here. The peace and serenity out on the water is just magnificent, makes you wonder why you haven’t found that little piece of paradise earlier. I would go back there anytime, in the blink of an eye…
If your trip is strictly booked for the purpose of relaxing and taking in the sun, than this is THE place. The water is clear blue for miles, and you could walk out for meters before the water will come up to your chest. So this is excellent if you travel with kids, too.
The waves were pretty much non-existent on most days and when it was a bit windy, the waves were not annoying. The sand is soft and the beach was well kept. However, beware of the sand fleas because they will bite you so badly, you will get no relief from anything. Bug repellent or calamine lotion did not help me at all.
The resort have a daycare on the premises (air-conditioned, too!!!) and when my child was not on the beach or playing in the cleaned pools, she was having a great time in the daycare. Staff was amazing, too! The food is decent (if you are not too fussy and if you don’t expect 5 stars gourmet food). There is a lot of pork in their menu, however, you won’t go hungry there even if you will try to avoid the pork dishes. The Mediterranean restaurant was AMAZING, our favorite, for sure, out of their 5 restaurants a-la-carte!
Drinks are OK and PLENTY (OK- as in “a little watered down”, as per husband’s confession) but since I’m a TOTAL non-alcohol-drinker, this aspect didn’t bother at all). The ice cappuccino that they make in the lobby bar was amazing (husband’s confession again, a “connoisseur”)! Rooms are also decent. A bit moldy here and there (but hey, we were located by the seaside, so what else do you expect?) but everything (water, fridge, AC, doors) worked great.
Night life is a little poor (especially for singles), but great for families. There is nightly entertainment (and WOW, what a beautiful and talented team this resort has) and the gym, disco, bowling alley and shops are not exactly on the resort’s grounds but it’s right beside it (the plaza is literally connected to the resort). The plaza is on the side where the big pool, tennis and basketball courts are located and you can either walk there (maybe a 10 minute walk from the front lobby) or get a shuttle there. After the nightly entertainment/show, most people called it a night (especially the families with kids) or went to the lobby to hang out. If you want to go anywhere outside the resort, you either book an excursion or charter a taxi (which is very, very, VERY pricey). We booked a few trips and took a taxi once, but it was all very pricey, however, worth it to break the resort monotony here and there.
We purchased Wi-Fi cards and they worked fine. There were times when the Internet was a bit slow or the connection was down, but overall it served its purpose (FORGET ABOUT UPLOADING TEN PICTURES TO YOUR FACEBOOK ACCOUNT- if you can post one or two per day, consider yourself lucky). All in all, if you’re looking for a nice, relaxing beach vacation and you’re not picky about pork meat, sand fleas or the lack of wild night entertainment, this family oriented resort is the place.