Meliá’s best resorts are Paradisus resorts, and the best section of these is the Royal Service section. My stay in Paradisus Princesa del Mar’s Royal Service was fabulous.
Arriving in Varadero from a brief trip to Havana, I was taken via golf cart to the exclusive Royal Service reception area. They knew who I was when I arrived, and greeted me warmly with a cool towel and an even cooler drink. I was introduced to my butler, and escorted to my gorgeous junior suite.
Inside the large space, decorated with calm taupes, was an immense bed beckoning me for a nap and a huge jetted tub beckoning me for a soak. One look outside, though, and I knew the pool was going to win.
On my patio was my own Balinese bed, its white curtains floating in the slight breeze. Directly in front was the pool of the Royal Service section. I jumped in and enjoyed a lazy swim first to one end and then all the way to the other of this curving lagoon-style pool. While I was tempted to climb onto the Balinese bed for my much needed nap, I needed to check out the beach.
Walking across a pretty white bridge over the pool, I followed the boardwalk path toward the sound of the waves. Passing through a row of trees, I was immediately calmed by the stunning Cuban palate of the bright blue of the Caribbean Sea next to the white sand of Varadero. Pelicans flew by. A snorkeler peered up from the depths. A couple strolled by hand in hand. A woman napped on a bed under a palapa. And I jumped in the water for a salty swim.
There are several restaurants to choose from at Paradisus Princesa del Mar. Royal Service guests have two exclusive à la carte restaurants, as well as access to the resort’s other six restaurants. At the Hill Top Hideway, I enjoyed excellent ceviche and was torn between the tuna steak and the truffled lobster ravioli, and happily chatted with fellow Canadians over dinner. I ate most meals at the Bellamar restaurant, with its impressive selection of specialties and standards. Other resort restaurants serve Japanese, Asian, French, and Italian cuisine, as well as snacks and an international buffet.
Like all of Meliá Cuba’s Paradisus resorts, stays at Paradisus Princesa del Mar include a daily one-tank dive (a second dive is $50 CUC (= US$), and subsequent second dives during the rest of your stay are 20 CUC each). Leaving after breakfast, we took a quick bus ride across the highway to Meliá Marina where we were outfitted with all the necessary gear in great condition. A speedy boat ride over the blue sea and we were soon underwater looking at immense Caribbean lobster, moray eels, healthy corals and sponges surrounded by very friendly fish.
Paradisus Princesa del Mar’s Royal Service is ideal if you’re looking for an adults-only luxury stay in Varadero. I’d love to go back!