Holidaymakers who recently reviewed their stay at the Paradisus Princesa del Mar Resort & Spa have commented that they experienced problems with hygiene and illness at the adults-only Cuban hotel.

Paradisus Princesa del Mar Resort & Spa

Situated in the popular Varadero region of Cuba, the Paradisus Princesa del Mar Resort & Spa is advertised by British tour operator Thomas Cook on an all-inclusive basis as an adults-only holiday destination. While the Cuban hotel has a lot to offer British holidaymakers, we have previously reported on potential problems with hygiene at the Paradisus Princesa, and from recent reports, it appears that there may be further issues that need to be addressed.

Reviewers comment on hygiene and holiday illness

The Paradisus Princesa has received several positive reviews on TripAdvisor and currently ranks amongst the top 10 hotels in Varadero, however, reviewers have commented on problems at the Cuban resort, with some holidaymakers saying that they experienced hygiene issues and contracted an illness while staying there.


Leicester holidaymaker ‘paulanne26’ stayed at the Paradisus Princesa in July, and in their review titled “Very disappointed“, they say that they “were extremely disappointed with the standards of this hotel“. They go on to explain that the food at the hotel restaurants “was always lukewarm and never hot unless you queued to have something cooked fresh“, adding that “there are no hygiene standards” and “the chefs at the cooking stations used the same cooking implements for raw and cooked meat“.

‘paulanne26’ goes on to explain that “the tables were never wiped down in between guests“, commenting that it was “no wonder everyone was ending up ill“. They continue to say that “the freshest food [seems] to be [served] at the snack bar“, but “the tables were not wiped down in between guests, apart from on one occasion when […] senior managers [were] having lunch“. They also say that “it seemed [as though] the food there was already prepared and came out as soon as you ordered it“, adding that they received “very cold potatoes and chicken“.


‘Rolling1973’ also reviewed their stay at the Paradisus Princesa in July, and in their review titled “Needs wi-fi at the rooms“, they say that “this hotel has problems with hygiene“. They explain that “at the buffet restaurant, the forks and spoons and the plates were often a little bit dirty“, as well as commenting that they “got sick there“.


Surry holidaymaker ‘CMB12Surrey’ was a guest at the Paradisus Princesa in June, and in her review titled “Unimpressed and disappointed“, she says that “the food was awful” and the “hygiene [was] poor“, adding that the “tables [were] wiped down [without the use of] disinfectant“. She says that they “were ill two days in“, and the “toilet broke in [their] room three times“.


Bexhill holidaymaker ‘Kim M’ also stayed at the Paradisus Princesa in June, and in her review titled “I wouldn’t go back” she says that their “room had a terrible smell of damp” and while “there are several a la carte restaurants on site“, she says that “the food isn’t really any different from the [food offered in the] main canteen“.

She says that you have to bear “in mind [that] you are in a third world communist country” and the hotel staff “do their best“, but she does say that “the standard of hygiene is very low“.

‘Kim M’ goes on to say that they “both got sick during [their] stay“, stating that “when you see the plates and cutlery you can see why“, and adding that “the hot food [is] warm and the cold food [is also] warm“.


Hotel responds to reviewer

The General Manager at the Paradisus Princesa del Mar Resort & Spa has responded to ‘paulanne26’s review on TripAdvisor, stating that they are “truly very disappointed to read [that they] have not exceeded [their] expectations“. They say that they have “addressed [their] concern as a matter of important priority to ensure that all [their] team carries the attentiveness one would expect“.

They explain that the issue with damp in the room was due to the “humid climate” as a result of the hotel being situated “in a tropical area“. They also advise that they “are a safe and disease free complex since [they] follow very strict programs of hygiene and quality” and on a “frequent basis [they] audit [the] hotel in all level of sanitation standards“.

They add that “the sanitation and cleanliness of both our food preparation and presentation is of the utmost importance” to them and they “follow very strict guidelines and have always implemented policies and procedures to maintain [their] excellent standards of practice“.

Reducing the risk of food poisoning abroad

It’s vital that the kitchen staff at an all-inclusive hotel follow standards along the lines of those set out in the HACCP guidelines. As part of this commitment, they should do all that they can to ensure that the food that they prepare and serve is stored, cooked and served at safe temperatures to prevent the spread of food poisoning pathogens.

Food temperature and holiday sickness

Using separate utensils to handle raw and cooked produce is an essential part of good restaurant hygiene. While effective cooking can reduce the risk of harmful bacteria and parasites, utensils that have been contaminated by raw food can cause cross-contamination issues if they’re used to serve cooked produce.

Disinfectants and hygiene on holiday

An effective hygiene process is vital at an all-inclusive hotel restaurant, and an integral part of an effective hygiene process is the use of disinfectants. While disinfectants and other cleaning materials won’t guarantee that harmful bacteria and parasites are eradicated, they can help to reduce the risk that guests will get sick on holiday.

Claim compensation for holiday food poisoning

If you’ve contracted food poisoning or an illness on an all-inclusive package holiday that you believe could have been prevented, then under The Package Travel Regulations 1992, you could be entitled to claim compensation from your tour operator.

It doesn’t take long to find out if you’re able to make a ‘no win no fee‘ claim, just contact a member of our travel law team and we’ll provide you with a free no-obligation consultation and advise you of the best way to pursue your complaint.

Claire Rabbetts – Holiday Accident and Illness Claims Specialist

Get in touch

If you want to find out more about claiming for illness at the Paradisus Princesa del Mar Resort & Spa in Cuba; contact Claire Rabbetts by completing our enquiry form, call us on 0808 145 1353 or visit our On Holiday Claims website.