It has been a super long time since I last posted, and this one is way overdue as well, but here is my Cuba trip with my boyfriend, Jessy! We went in mid-August, after he finished his exams, for a short 4 days. I had been working in my summer internship so it wasn’t possible to leave work for too long. I wish the trip was longer but we had a great time. Keep reading to find out what I thought about Holguin, Cuba!
I planned this trip for Jessy and I as a 4 year anniversary thing. I am actually a very anxious person who secretly revels in curating every detail and having things play out to my plans, so I sorted through like a hundred other resorts before settling on one called Paradisus Rio de Oro in Holguin, Cuba. We were not disappointed by the way! Also, I went and bought many products from the drugstore including immodium, insect repellent, sunscreen, afterbite… you name it, I was prepared to die. To my surprise, we did not get bitten by mosquitoes once nor did we get food poisoning!
It was a 3.5 hour flight with Sunwing airlines to Holguin and then another 1 hour bus ride to the resort. It went mostly smooth and the humid weather was not difficult to adjust to as Toronto in mid-August felt exactly the same. Checking into the hotel was easy as well, and the employees were so kind. A tip- if you want to book this hotel in the future or any other Caribbean hotel/resort is to look up Trip Advisor reviews for the best rooms (Corner, large windows, upsize bed etc) and email them ahead to request an upgrade and they will usually do it for you for free if available. The resort also had an assortment of A la Carte restaurants as well as the buffet, and I emailed ahead as well to make bookings for a different a la carte restaurant for us to try every evening, as if you try to book once you are there, you are most likely too late and the restaurants are full.
So speaking to our resort experience, I think I can say we both really enjoyed it! Jessy had his complaints about the lack of wifi and the heat sometimes, but overall, Paradisus Rio de Oro was a very relaxing experience for both of us. The resort was not packed with people; we actually met many couples from England and some from Canada on vacation and the swim up Pool bar was the place to be.
We made a huge mistake by going too hard on tanning the first day and got sunburnt… so for the rest of our trip we mostly chilled at the pool by the shade.
I almost forgot to mention the beach!. It was a beautiful white sand beach connected to the resort, but the length of the beach was shared with other adjacent resorts- so on the first day we walked too far out and noticed the patrons had different coloured towels! We didn’t really use the beach as much as the pool, as it was very windy and sand would get everywhere. An awesome thing about this resort, though, was it offered free snorkeling, paddle boating and an activity called Catamaran. It’s a must try! The Catamaran is a small sailboat with two prong shaped things sticking out of the back. The driver took Jessy and I in the ocean, and the boat goes FAST! We got a great view of the islands and the ocean in between wiping splashes of seawater off our eyes. It was also a huge thrill as we constantly feared for our lives; the boat went so fast it felt like we were going to fall off the whole time. But it was so worth it.
I’ll talk about one more thing as this post is getting too long … the FOOD! First of all, like I mentioned, I was so scared that Jessy and I would get food poisoning and/or hate the food as USA has an embargo against Cuba, but the food was both SAFE and YUMMY!
We had breakfast at the buffet every day and my favourite was definitely the Spanish omelette, which is more like a quiche without cheese. We avoided anything that could rot in the heat like cheese and dairy. Another great thing was All you can eat Mangoes, which I helped myself to in huge portions every day. They’re Mexican mangoes, which are not as great as the yellow ones back home, but I really had no complaints. We also tried 3 a la carte restaurants: the Japanese, the Cuban, and the Mediterranean. The Japanese was shit, as we should have known, but the Cuban and Mediterranean were amazing. I had lobster on both days and thinking about it now makes my mouth water. I would say the Cuban restaurant was my favourite though, as it was an open air restaurant so we got a beautiful view of the Palm trees and the setting sun as we ate dinner. (I also booked our dinner times based on the sunset times in Holguin for those days; I am that detailed.) Jessy’s favourite order was the Club Sandwich. It sounds weird that a seemingly vanilla item would be that great, in Cuba especially, but it was SO GOOD. We ordered it through room service the first night and Jessy was hooked. It was toasted white bread with grilled chicken, ham, egg, melted cheese, tomato, and lettuce. Literally it had 4 kinds of protein in there, which explains why he loved it. So every day he would order it, either through room service, or he had the chefs at the poolside restaurant custom prepare it for him.
So that was our trip! I am so happy we went, and it was a great bonding experience for us. It was the first time in a long time we were away from our phones and away from our problems back home. Aside from a bit of bickering at the airport, we did not argue during this entire trip, which is a record! It has been a bit over 4 years with him now, and although we still have our ups and downs, we are definitely much happier than ever before.
PS. My pink bikini as well as the bronze/ black bikini in the photos were both from Aliexpress. (BEST website for cheap bikinis and cheap anything!)
Please leave me a comment or a question if you have one!