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“over all a great trip besides the mads steeling!!” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Gaviota La Estrella

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Gaviota La Estrella
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5.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   52610 , Cuba (Formerly Husa Cayo Santa Maria Beach)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #10 of 11 Hotels in Cayo Santa Maria
Dartmouth, Canada
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“over all a great trip besides the mads steeling!!”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 28, 2013

my wife,9 months old and i stayed on April 8-14th 2013. it was a good stay over all there was a few things that bothered us.
1) you could not get away from the smokers no mater where we went there was someone smoking with no consideration of are lil one with having people blowing smoke right at him.
2) the resort was just to big for us spent most of the trip walking.
3)the resort was in need of some repair, missing tiles in the pool, broken lamps etc..
4) they play there music was to loud at the pools its hard to get away from the very loud speakers even at the night shows.some times it was turned up so high you couldn't make out what they where saying.
other then that the staff was great and very friendly other then the mads THEY STEEL!!! we had some of are baby's things taken from are room and tampered with are suitcases went to the manager to get told are staff would not do that, and offered us a new room.. why would we wont a new room if they can just steel from us there to....
they food was ok for cuba so im not even gonna go there..just would be nicer to have more of a selection for lil kids .
if you can get a good deal on this resort its worth it but i wouldnt pay anymore then 1200 for 2 all inc for a week...

Room Tip: try to get a room on the 3rd floor and close to the theater so you dont have to walk alot to get to...
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
INES_ARNAL, Director de Relaciones con Clientes at Gaviota La Estrella, responded to this review, July 8, 2013
Dear haayer314,

We would like to thank you for letting us have your comments after your stay at our hotel, through Trip Advisor website.

We highly appreciate your impressions on our resort, since our guests’ opinions certainly help us to maintain and improve our services and facilities.

We regret for the smokers issue; that is something we cannot control when almost all the resort´s areas are open. It is forbidden to smoke at the restaurants but not anywhere else. Sorry for the inconveniences.

Taking into consideration that the resort is quite big, next time you can stay at bungalow 10 or 30, which are the ones closest to the main areas such as Lobby, Buffet Restaurant or Theater. Another option is to call our bell boys that can take you anywhere in the hotel by their golf carts.

Step by step we are repairing all the things that got more wasted during last year. I can assure you that since April we have done a good job in fixing those kinds of things.

Regarding to the ¨noise¨, the truth is that most of the clients demand high music at the pool and shows; anyways we have managed that issue as well in order to avoid complaints. I am really sorry if that bothered you.

We regret for your missing stuff. It really surprises me due to that we have a very strong policy and the staff does not tend to risk their jobs so easily. Our General Manager probably proposed you to move to another room in order to avoid the entrance of that maid. They cannot get into all the rooms, just those that they have to clean. It is a matter of security.

In regards to the food issue, step by step we are introducing more gastronomic items at the buffet to guarantee more quality as well as variety. Now we count with a new Chef that is making strong efforts to improve our offer; if you decide to come back you will appreciate our improvements in all matters.

We thank you for the time you took to share your experience and we would be delighted to welcome you again at HUSA Cayo Santa Maria if you have the chance to return to Cuba in a future.

We sincerely appreciate your trust in our hotel and our company. All staff is willing to show you that respect and human qualities are the basis of our work.

Looking forward to the pleasure of meeting you personally during your next visit, I remain at your entire disposal.

Best regards,

Inés Arnal
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (334)
Date | Rating
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English first
moncton n.b.
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 25, 2013

this was our first time to santa maria and the beach was awesome and overall was a bit disappointed with the resort,they only had 2 buildings open,they said it was because of peak season,if thats the case why was the other resorts full,they just let the resort go to the ground,we know people who were there in april and it was full,wrong management to name a few.i even went to our westjet rep-joel falcon and he offeer to have us moved at our expensive which i think wasnt fair.other couple was moved because they were also disappointed and they never look back and met them the day we were leaving for home and they were very please.the food was terrible,they had the same food for dinner and supper and no variety.the 24 hour snack only offer ham and cheese sandwiches and nothing else.jennie,alianna at the main bar were awesome.and the 2 waitress in the buffet were good too.dont know there names off hand.juan from public realtions was very helpful and very friendly.the room and the bes were very good,but the last day the maid was slacking no clean towels.and the frig wasnt stock for 2 days.the day we arrive we got lost trying to find the snack bar,the staff wasnt very helpful.

Room Tip: were in building 10 and we had ocean view and much better in the back and near to buffet and lobby.
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  • Stayed June 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
INES_ARNAL, Director de Relaciones con Clientes at Gaviota La Estrella, responded to this review, July 9, 2013
Dear fluffy1188,

We would like to thank you for letting us have your comments after your recent stay at our hotel, through Trip Advisor website.

We highly appreciate your impressions on our resort, since our guests’ opinions certainly help us to maintain and improve our services and facilities.

Thank you for your nice comments about our staff. I will definitely transmit it to them, I am sure they will be happy to hear it.

We regret for the lack of towels and mini bar service during your last day. We are totally concerned about those kinds of incidents, reason why we are continuously analyzing our Rooms Division procedures.

Regarding the food issue, let me inform you that we are redesigning certain kitchen procedures in order to improve the service in all sense and make the stay of our customers very satisfactory. Step by step we are introducing more gastronomic items at the buffet to guarantee good quality as well as variety. During the last week we changed all a la carte menus and now we have a new Chef that is making strong efforts to improve our offer; if you decide to come back you will appreciate our improvements in all matters.

The reason why our hotel is not full is because now it is low season, our main guests are Canadians and they tend to come more during winter. Besides that our hotel is much bigger than most of the resorts in the area, it counts with more than a thousand rooms; in this sense it seems to be emptier. Even though, we are still offering the same services as in high season and even more, which we have been implemented lately.

We thank you for the time you took to share your experience and we would be delighted to welcome you again at HUSA Cayo Santa Maria if you have the chance to return to Cuba in a future.

We sincerely appreciate your trust in our hotel and our company. All staff is willing to show you that respect and human qualities are the basis of our work.

Looking forward to the pleasure of meeting you personally during your next visit, I remain at your entire disposal.

Best regards,

Inés Arnal
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Laval
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 24, 2013

This is a very beautiful hotel , very large , staff very friendly but I felt a lack of service. My wife and I with our child stay her in February 2013 for 2 weeks. As the food was very typical for cuba not great. We found the buffets over crowded constantly. The ground were beautiful and the beach was nice. It is an ideal budgeted vacation but do not expect more.. You would need to constantly go after the front desk or management to get the service you will need.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 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.
INES_ARNAL, Director de Relaciones con Clientes at Gaviota La Estrella, responded to this review, July 9, 2013
Dear thelaud,

We would like to thank you for letting us have your comments after your stay at our hotel, through Trip Advisor website.

We highly appreciate your impressions on our resort, since our guests’ opinions certainly help us to maintain and improve our services and facilities.

We deeply regret for the long time you had to wait in queues due to high occupancy. We have managed this matter in order to avoid future problems. Since February we have changed several issues including the food. In order to improve the service in all sense and make the stay of our customers very satisfactory we have redesigned certain kitchen procedures, we have introduced more gastronomic items at the buffet to guarantee good quality as well as variety, we have changed all a la carte menus and we count with a great Chef that is making strong efforts to improve our offer; if you decide to come back you will appreciate our improvements in all matters.

We thank you for the time you took to share your experience and we would be delighted to welcome you again at HUSA Cayo Santa Maria if you have the chance to return to Cuba in a future.

We sincerely appreciate your trust in our hotel and our company. All staff is willing to show you that respect and human qualities are the basis of our work.

Looking forward to the pleasure of meeting you personally during your next visit, I remain at your entire disposal.

Best regards,

Inés Arnal
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 16, 2013

Don't arrive on the Red Eye as well. We arrived at 2AM to be met by 2 customer service persons trying to get 20-30 guests to their rooms. We were given a key and a map, nothing else. After wandering around in the dark for 20 mintes, along with the other guests we finally found the room, but no ocean view, as we payed extra for. We returned to the front desk but the line up their from customers with complaints was so long we took the room. Next day we found out that 1/2 the resort had been shut down and everyone was given any room that was left. Many of the extra's we paid for in the upgrade package were never offered. When we contacted Air Transat they told us the Hotel just considered us complainers and offered a $100 voucher to be used by the end of the year.
We won't be using this as we will never book a holiday with Air Transat again.

Room Tip: Find another Hotel if you want an Ocean View
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2013, 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.
INES_ARNAL, Director de Relaciones con Clientes at Gaviota La Estrella, responded to this review, July 5, 2013
Dear Derek W,

We would like to thank you for letting us have your comments after your stay at our hotel, through Trip Advisor website.

We highly appreciate your impressions on our resort, since our guests’ opinions certainly help us to maintain and improve our services and facilities.

We really apologize for the wrong room´s assignation; without knowing your real name I´m not able to find out what exactly happened with that ocean view room that you actually paid for. I truly hope that our reception staff solved the problem the day after your arrival.

We are sorry for the lack of lighting in some of the resorts’ pathways; fortunately we already fixed that problem as well as the bungalows signs.

We also regret for the lack of those extra services that apparently you never received. We are totally concerned about those kinds of incidents, reason why we are continuously analyzing our Rooms Division procedures.

Unfortunately, by the time you were here the hotel booking was decreasing due to low season and we had no other choice than closing one part of the resort. But believe me, we accommodated all guests according to their request and needs.

We thank you for the time you took to share your experience and we would be delighted to welcome you again at HUSA Cayo Santa Maria if you have the chance to return to Cuba in a future.

We sincerely appreciate your trust in our hotel and our company. All staff is willing to show you that respect and human qualities are the basis of our work.

Looking forward to the pleasure of meeting you personally during your next visit, I remain at your entire disposal.

Best regards,

Inés Arnal
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 12, 2013

If you love a gorgeous beach, this is a great place. Other than that this resort is okay but it is very large so you will be doing a lot of walking. We spent two weeks here in mid April and we got a great deal so it was well worth it. Keep in mind this resort is located on a secluded cayo and is far from any major cities. Definitely rent a scooter and spend a few hours riding around the cayo for a good time. The dolphinarium has a fantastic dolphin swim. All the staff here are excellent especially Raydel who provided our water and beverages to the room and the omelette guy and crepe girl. I would return here for the beach if not for anything else.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
INES_ARNAL, Director de Relaciones con Clientes at Gaviota La Estrella, responded to this review, July 5, 2013
Dear sunchaser54,

We would like to thank you for letting us have your comments after your stay at our hotel, through Trip Advisor website.

We really appreciate your impressions on our hotel and our spectacular beach, which is one of the most appreciated areas by customers. Its maintenance is daily and our staff is careful cleaning any trash or algae in order to keep it nice. Besides we have added a long way of adjoining parasols for those who prefer some shading areas.

It is always a pleasure to receive a positive feedback from our clients, since nothing makes us more joyful than knowing that we have achieved our main goal which is no other than the satisfaction of our guests.

Thank you for your nice comments about our staff. I will definitely transmit it to them, I am sure they will be happy to hear it.

We thank you for the time you took to share your experience and we would be delighted to welcome you again at HUSA Cayo Santa Maria if you have the chance to return to Cuba in a future.

Looking forward to the pleasure of meeting you personally during your next visit, I remain at your entire disposal.

Best regards,

Inés Arnal
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 10, 2013

Spent New Years at Husa and had a great time. Our room was clean (tipped the cleaning ladies well), service was good, friendly staff. There was a bit of a delay checking in however, the staff at the front desk remedied the delay by upgrading our room to an ocean view room at no extra cost.

The grounds at this resort was well kept and beautiful. The beach was Beautiful! Soft, clean, white sand. It was was bit cool at night during the time that we were in Cuba.

The food was terrible but, that was expected and didn't ruin my vacation. We went to the Pueblo, which was about a 5 min walk from the resort, and grabbed lunch. We tried a couple of restaurants and the food was good and flavourful...this is not part of the all inclusive, the cost of lunch or dinner was minimal and worth it.

We went on one excursion which included a train ride into Remedios, tour of Che's memorial (which was pretty cool) and we got to shop in the Santa Clara. It was a great experience and learned a lot about the history of Cuba.

This resort would benefit from upgrading some of the furniture however, I have to say that overall, my friend and I had a great time.

Room Tip: Stayed in building 10 which is very close to the beach, pool, performance stage and lobby.
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
INES_ARNAL, Director de Relaciones con Clientes at Gaviota La Estrella, responded to this review, July 5, 2013
Dear Illmatic06,

We would like to thank you for letting us have your comments after your stay at our hotel, through Trip Advisor website.

We really appreciate your impressions on our hotel. It is always a pleasure to receive a positive feedback from our clients, since nothing makes us more joyful than knowing that we have achieved our main goal which is no other than the satisfaction of our guests.

By the time you were here, all HUSA members had practically started to work at the hotel. Since then we have changed several issues including the food. In order to improve the service in all sense and make the stay of our customers very satisfactory we have redesigned certain kitchen procedures, we have introduced more gastronomic items at the buffet to guarantee good quality as well as variety, we have changed all a la carte menus and we count with a great Chef that is making strong efforts to improve our offer; if you decide to come back you will appreciate our improvements in all matters.

We thank you for the time you took to share your experience and we would be delighted to welcome you again at HUSA Cayo Santa Maria if you have the chance to return to Cuba in a future.

Looking forward to the pleasure of meeting you personally during your next visit, I remain at your entire disposal.

Best regards,

Inés Arnal
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Elliot Lake, Canada
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 10, 2013

We booked what was meant to be a special Transat Holiday vacation costing $4,500.

We did not get what we paid for at the resort. We will not return

Within 4 days of arriving, we prepared the notes above detailing our complaints [

These were presented and reviewed with your on-site Air Transat rep Raul who promised to include them in his weekly report. He was unable to fix any of the problems. The hotel conceirge promised fixes repeatedly but nothing happened.

The following were in the attachment;
--notified of a special luncheon for returning guests - waited 35 minutes with other- -management had cancelled without telling anyone
--lineups of 20-25 people for pasta and chicken. Watched one near fight related to poor food and lineups. Even lineups for vegtables. Food uninteresting to say the least.
--staff layoffs over the past 2 weeks led to overwork. Nice staff who tried hard but was impossible conditions for them
-we paid extra for "Exclusive Class" but got very few of the extras promised
-literature promised 5 specialty restaurants. There were only 4 open.
-were promised 4 guaranteed reservations but were only allowed 3


Not included above was a comment about the exclusive breakfast dinning room. We went and spent 40 minutes lining up to get in, being seated and waiting for food. They had 3 waiters and a supervisor covering 22 tables with some of the tables sitting 8 people. We gave up after two meals and joined the general public for our remaining 12 days.

I just checked the Air Transat web site 3 weeks later and they were still misadvertising their product. [as described above]

I have had many vacations in Cuba since it was opened up to travel and do feel I know the difference between the star ratings in that country. I know there
are some shortages, power outages, etc. I also know that you do not go to Cuba for the quality of the food. However, the food here was boring and only 'edible' [the fish was good]

Last year we went with Sunwing Travel to the Memories Azul Cayo Santa Maria resort just down the beach. Physically, it is a mirror image of this resort - - both are physically great resorts on a fantastic beach.

The difference is apparently the management at HUSA with the failure to deliver what was promised - by them and by Air Transat.

As a result, I believe HUSA to be delivering a 3 or 3 1/2 star product - - certainly not the 4 1/2 stars advertised.

I was very disappointed also in the way Air Transat handled my complaint.
They took over 2 months to respond to my correspondence and then offered a pittance of credit to be used if we travelled with them in the next year.
SAD

Room Tip: Go with Sunwing to the competing resort
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
INES_ARNAL, Director de Relaciones con Clientes at Gaviota La Estrella, responded to this review, July 5, 2013
Dear Don K,

We would like to thank you for letting us have your comments after your stay at our hotel, through Trip Advisor website.

We highly appreciate your impressions on our resort, since our guests’ opinions certainly help us to maintain and improve our services and facilities.

We regret for the lack of those extra services that apparently you never received, as well as for the lack of information about the lunch´s cancelation. We are totally concerned about those kinds of incidents, reason why we are continuously analyzing our Rooms Division procedures.

We deeply regret for the long time you had to wait in queues due to high occupancy. We have managed this matter in order to avoid future problems. Regarding the food issue, let me inform you that we have redesigned certain kitchen procedures in order to improve the service in all sense and make the stay of our customers very satisfactory. Step by step we are introducing more gastronomic items at the buffet to guarantee good quality as well as variety. We have changed all a la carte menus and we count with a new Chef that is making strong efforts to improve our offer; if you decide to come back you will appreciate our improvements in all matters.

In regards to the fourth dinner I believe that you should have been informed that this service had changed to a private cocktail with live music at the lobby organized for all Prestige Club members. This is the reason why you had three dinners a la carte. And we do have four specialized restaurants, not five. We apologize for the misunderstanding.

We thank you for the time you took to share your experience and we would be delighted to welcome you again at HUSA Cayo Santa Maria if you have the chance to return to Cuba in a future.

We sincerely appreciate your trust in our hotel and our company. All staff is willing to show you that respect and human qualities are the basis of our work.

Looking forward to the pleasure of meeting you personally during your next visit, I remain at your entire disposal.

Best regards,

Inés Arnal
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Gaviota La Estrella

Address: 52610 , Cuba (Formerly Husa Cayo Santa Maria Beach)
Location: Caribbean > Cuba > Villa Clara Province > Cayo Santa Maria
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#5 Luxury Hotel in Cayo Santa Maria
#8 On the Beach Hotel in Cayo Santa Maria
#9 Top resorts Hotel in Cayo Santa Maria
Hotel Class:5 star — Gaviota La Estrella 5*
Number of rooms: 1308
Also Known As:
Barcelo Cayo Santa Maria Beach And Colonial Resort
Barcelo Cayo Santa Maria Beach & Colonial Hotel Cayo Santa Maria
Cayo Santa Maria Barcelo

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