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“Good but BIG” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Melia Santiago de Cuba

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Melia Santiago de Cuba
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3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Calle M y Avenida de las Americas | Reparto Sueno, Santiago de Cuba, Cuba   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 12 Hotels in Santiago de Cuba
Brussels
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
“Good but BIG”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 13, 2013

This hotel offers an excellent five star service.
Only at breakfast we sensed that much of the staff only smiled to receive tips,
this is however very common in Cuba and in a way understandable.

The rooms provide all the comfort you need.
Big rooms, big beds, flat screen television, all you wish for.

The swimming pools are nice and big.

The only real disadvantage is one that the hotel can't change.
Although the hotel was designed by famous Cuban architect Choy,
the size and architecture do not consider a single aspect of its surroundings.
The only relation that is has with its surroundings is the panoramic view on the butt of Santiago de Cuba.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ignacio M, Director General at Melia Santiago de Cuba, responded to this review, February 15, 2013
Dear Mr. / Mrs.:
We are very please you could enjoy of an excellent five star service in our hotel. It is great that the rooms provided the comfort you were looking for as well as the pool area and other services.
Concerning the architecture of the hotel we have to point out that its structure was conceived taking into account the post modern tendencies of the epoch, the polychromy of the Caribbean as well as the irregularity of the city constructions and its steep slopes. All these combined gave birth to an asymmetrical tower as if some city houses would have been stretched at the same time. The building is painted with bright colours: blue and red, which certainly resemble the Caribbean as such.
The hotel was decorated by famous Cuban artists such as Roberto Fabelo, Soza Bravo, Flora Fong, among others. But as you very well affirm, the panoramic view from the top floor is absolutely unique.
Kind regards,
Ignacio Morcillo
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586 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (57)
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English first
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 9, 2013

I stayed at the Malia Santiago de Cuba last Year in November and I was really treated like a proper guest. Having been un-well during my stay the housemaid came to visit me three times to ask if I required any help..I was so greatful for the visits and surprised that so much care was taken by a member of staff..All the staff at this Hotel were happy and attentive they could not do enough for you to make your stay perfect..I would recommend 5 Star approval

Room Tip: Having travelled with a group All the rooms I saw were of an excellent standard
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ignacio M, Director General at Melia Santiago de Cuba, responded to this review, February 11, 2013
Dear Mr. / Mrs.:
Thanks for your beautiful words to appreciate our care during your stay, specially the attention of your housemaid. We are very sorry you did not feel well those days and hope you are much better now.
We usually have a closer contact with our sick guests; provide them meals to their rooms, medical services when necessary, but the human contact is for sure the priority.
We really hope you can come back in the coming future and feeling perfectly well to enjoy of what you could have missed in Santiago de Cuba. We will be awaiting the occasion to make your stay “perfect” again.
Kind regards,
Ignacio Morcillo
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Melbourne
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
40 hotel reviews
Reviews in 41 cities Reviews in 41 cities
51 helpful votes 51 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 9, 2013

Overall this is a good hotel (for Cuba that is). The service was professional. The room was clean although nothing special. The temperature of the water in the shower was temperamental. The pool was nice. The food was your standard hotel fare. The location isn't the best for exploring Santiago. The hotel is the domain of those on tours so independent travellers like us felt a little out of place. Don't get between a bus load of tourists and a buffet. Being one of the better hotels in town (haha...) the taxi drivers see dollar signs and try to take advantage of you.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Ignacio M, Director General at Melia Santiago de Cuba, responded to this review, February 11, 2013
Dear Mr. / Mrs.:
Providing an excellent customer service to all the clients of a huge hotel like ours is really a challenge. However, no matter how busy our workers could be, there is always time for a smile, a quick tip or a short hello. Besides, in the Lobby of the hotel you will always find the assistance of trained customer service staff that can help with the reservations, information and requests of our guests. And what is more, there is a direct line from the rooms called: the costumer assistance line, 24 hours available.
Concerning the location of the hotel we could say that for many guests is the perfect one. Away from the noise and common pollution of the cities, it is the opportunity to breathe fresh nice air while resting in the pool from the tours around Santiago. It is as well close to important places such as the Revolution square, Heredia Theater, La Maison and Tropicana night clubs among others.
Best regards,
Ignacio Morcillo
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London
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 6, 2013

We stayed here for two nights and it's a great hotel. The room was clean and comfortable and the buffet was good, although not too much hot food for vegetarians. We always found the service friendly and enjoyed the pool. Would go back if in Santiago again.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Ignacio M, Director General at Melia Santiago de Cuba, responded to this review, February 15, 2013
Dear Mr. and Mrs.:
Many thanks for your lovely words to describe our facility. We are very pleased you could enjoy of the comfort that our hotel is able to provide, and we will take note of your interesting observations.
Reliability is one of the main keys to achieve our goals. It is our priority to meet our costumers’ needs and never fail them with what we promise. It has turned into a philosophy and a commitment that include an excellent service.
We are as well very happy you enjoyed of a genuine customer-friendly attitude. Communicating and establishing sincere relationships with our clients are essential in our daily work to achieve our clients’ satisfaction.
Our best regards and appreciation,
Ignacio Morcillo
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Moscow
Top Contributor
75 reviews 75 reviews
39 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
107 helpful votes 107 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 6, 2013

We stayed in Santiago for 2 nights during country tour, and Melia was surely the best hotel of all we've stayed in. Probably being under Melia brand helps a lot.

The hotel is a little out of the city center, but easily reachable by car or taxi. It is a huge buiding with probably a lot of people staying there at once but we didn't feel that.

The check-in was fast and easy, my only concern is that I asked the receptionist if we're given the room with a double bed and she confirmed it, however when we entered the room its was just twin beds put together. Oh well... thats survivable, but not being lied to when asked could have made it easier.

The room was quite big and so was the bathroom. All the necessary amenities were there and everything was working alright. The a/c was quite loud so we turned it off during the night, however this made the room super-hot, but opening the window helped.

On various occasions during our 2night stay we've tried to go to the Bello Bar but it was always closed, despite to the working hours clearly stated by the entrance there and on the info papers inside the room. The lobby bar was nice and cozy and the cocktails here were the best we've had anywhere during our country tour. With just right amount of alcohol. Be sure to try Santiago Especial if you come here.

The pool and adjacent area is very nice. There were seriously the best sunbeds there.

We've experienced the most disturbing situation during the dinner at the buffet restaurant on the first night. We took an empty table which was fully ready with full sets of tableware on it. We were already finishing our starters when all of a sudden a waiter was coming to us saying (not in a nice manner) that this table is taken by someone else. Excuse me? We sat there for about 20 minutes already, no other guest came up to us saying anything and all of a sudden its taken?? My guess it was a regular table of some other guest, but its a waiter's problem to put a "reserved" sign on it or make it visible in some other way that its occupied. We were so taken by surprise that we couldn't answer back. The waiter even didn't propose us any other table, just said "sit somewhere else". This was very disturbing and I chose to leave the restaurant right away, not finishing the dinner. The second night we had dinner in a pizza place on the ground floor as I didn't want to experience the same level of service or expose myself to the humiliation again. The pizza place, La Fontana if I'm not mistaken was very nice in both service and food.

We also had to see a doctor who is right at the hotel. While she was not speaking good english, we've managed to understand each other and were very satisfied with the way our problem was handled.

All in all, if you have to spend a night in Santiago, this should be the best place to do so, hence the TripAdvisor rating.

Room Tip: I think the higher you are, the better the view, so ask for higher floor.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ignacio M, Director General at Melia Santiago de Cuba, responded to this review, February 7, 2013
Dear Mrs. / Mr.:
Thanks for sharing details of your stay that will help us offer a superior service. It is great to hear you enjoyed of a personalized service despite the fact that the hotel is able to admit huge amounts of guests. It is a policy that we always put into practice with great success.
Concerning the incident with the receptionist we would like to apologize. But it is worth to remark that our intention was never lying to you. It was for sure a misunderstanding that we are very sorry for and that makes us reflect on the importance of the communication with our clients as well as the knowledge of the language.
After Sandy hurricane the Bello Bar suffered some damages and it is not working at present. However, it will soon reopen with a new proposition that our clients will love. In the meantime, there is varied program of activities in the Lobby Bar and Santiago Café night club. Vocal groups, magicians, dancers, pianists, among others, are ready to make our guests stand up and dance, sing, laugh and enjoy of memorable days while having the always tasty Cuban cocktails.
Thanks for outstanding the beauty of the pool area, the service in La Fontana restaurant and the Medical Services. Accept our apologies for the incident in La Casona Restaurant. It will be carefully analyzed and addressed.
Thanks one more time for your recommendation and interesting review.
Best regards,
Ignacio Morcillo
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Atlanta, GA
Top Contributor
184 reviews 184 reviews
59 hotel reviews
Reviews in 57 cities Reviews in 57 cities
91 helpful votes 91 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2013

We enjoyed our stay at the Melia Santiago de Cuba. We were there rom July 5-10. We had a heavy itinerary but did get to enjoy a little bit of the hotel's amenities. Restaurant service was slow all over the hotel but the staff was very pleasant. Our room was spacious and very clean. The housekeepers did a great job and very friendly on the days we saw them in the hallways. The breakfast buffet was the best we had during our visit in Cuba. The hotel is away from most city attractions but we had transportation so it was a non issue for us. There was a paladar across from the hotel that was very good. I'm sorry I didn't write down the name.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Ignacio M, Director General at Melia Santiago de Cuba, responded to this review, February 6, 2013
Dear Mr. / Mrs.:
We appreciate very much the review about your stay with us last July. The Fire Festival in Santiago de Cuba is indeed one of those events that our clients enjoy the most. It is the celebration of the Caribbean Culture and Tradition. This year the Festival will take place from the 3rd to the 6th of July and it will be dedicated to Colombia, its art craft techniques, gastronomy and music.
It is very pleasant to know you consider our breakfast buffet as the best during your visit in Cuba and it is awesome you liked your room as well as the maid service.
There will be many more Fire Festivals in our city. We hope you can come back and stay here with us again. Please, let us know when you are ready to come, and we will provide you with those small but tender details that make our Meliá Santiago Family unique.
Kind regards,
Ignacio Morcillo
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Kent. UK
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 3, 2013

We were independently seeing a few places in Cuba starting in Havana (where we stayed at the wonderful Parque Centrale) moved on to Trinidad where we stayed at Casa Miriam for the experience and a good one it was. Then we arranged a long distance taxi to Santiago and stayed at the Melia. Oh dear!


In, what purports to be, a 1st class hotel we have never encountered such awful staff who ran the gamit of disinterested/lazy/rude. At Reception on checking in or when over the next day when we had queries we were met with irritation (they were not busy i.e. nobody else waiting) which on one occasion manifested as hostility. We didn't go near there again.

Breakfast is a buffet fairly varied and indifferent quality. Also, novelly, a person making omlettes to order who expected a gratuity for so doing. Another anoyance was that there was a grand piano in the place at thay time of the morning belting out iffy renditions of songs from the shows. But the worst thing was when arriving and claiming a table there are vacuum jugs that have coffee and milk. Thing is they are from the previous occupants and to get the staff to change half filled jugs with luke warm contents was something that required determination and the ability to ignore the looks and the huffiness.

Now anyone travelling in Cuba will have noted the middle age foreign men entertaining local young girls both in hotel bars and restaurants and out on the town. It is all fairly discrete. In this hotel not so. Particularly on the Saturday evening when we were sitting in the lobby bat before venturing out. The large expanse near the bar and the entance had a number of local young girls and a couple of young boys milling around waiting for their companions, so discretion had gone out the window, but the worst of it was 4 Irish lads in the area using the very worst of expletives continuously and one having 2 girls on his arm explaining to anyone who would listen that he had only had them for 15 minutes and didn't know their names. It was a seedy and fairly uncomfortable 30 minutes before we left for to go to a local restaurant.

Everything bad that we encountered in this hotel , there is more but I am trying to avoid a rant,
was to do with the culture of the establishment and so its management. So we thought about this place and our experience and wondered why it had, astonishingly, good reviews and it hit us. In our time at this place in the evening coaches would role up, disgorge, the people would come in be escorted up stairs to a buffet dinner and their Guide dealt with the booking in. Next day they would depart or go out on a trip and they would be gonefollowed by the next lot.

So the secret of being the Melia Santiago de Cuba is to be the only hotel in the area that can deal with the volumes and to have a guests who are either on a tour of cuba (it's Friday this must be Santiago) or middle age men. Independent travellrs like us are in the minority and as if to underline that in and around the pool during the day there were only locals (staff?) and groups of men. So on that basis the hotel doesn't need to up its game , why should it?

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ignacio M, Director General at Melia Santiago de Cuba, responded to this review, February 5, 2013
Dear Mr. / Mrs.:
We are extremely sorry your stay in Meliá Santiago Hotel was not as you expected. It is as well very disappointing for us because we take very seriously the art of serving. We continuously train our workers with the best skills and we are very strict when checking quality standards.
Santiago de Cuba is known as “The most hospitable city in the country”, and it is precisely its people who make the difference, it is precisely its people the reason why so many people keep coming back.
Your perception is probably the result of an unusual sequence of unfortunate events for which we are sorry and promise to supervise all the details your have mentioned: the workers attitude and perspectives, and all that can be addressed.
We would like as well to mention that absolutely all the groups that stay in our hotel enjoy breakfast and dinner in “La Casona” restaurant. It is not as simple as check-in and go to sleep. They enjoy of our shows in the Lobby Bar, Santiago Café and the lyrics of the piano in every meal. So the good reviews come from their own experiences from which we have obtained the Tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence as well as a whole family of friends who stay with us every year.
Therefore, the secret of Meliá Santiago is listening carefully to what our clients have to say, the secret is to learn from the mistakes and become stronger every step of the way.
Best Regards,
Ignacio Morcillo
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Additional Information about Melia Santiago de Cuba

Address: Calle M y Avenida de las Americas | Reparto Sueno, Santiago de Cuba, Cuba
Location: Caribbean > Cuba > Santiago de Cuba Province > Santiago de Cuba
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 12 Hotels in Santiago de Cuba
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Melia Santiago de Cuba 3*
Number of rooms: 302
Also Known As:
Melia Santiago De Cuba Hotel Santiago De Cuba
Santiago De Cuba Melia

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