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“Would return in a heartbeat” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Melia Buenavista

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Melia Buenavista
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5.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Punta Madruguilla, 52500, Cuba   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 10 Hotels in Cayo Santa Maria
Ottawa, Canada
1 review
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Would return in a heartbeat”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 12, 2011

My husband and I travelled to Melia Buenavista March 29-April 5. It was our ten year anniversary and we hadn't been on an all-inclusive trip before so we didn't quite know what to expect but knew what we wanted and after reading the reviews figured this was the perfect place for us.

We arrived after midnight which was definitely to our disadvantage as we didn't get the full welcome that I believe people receive if they come in daylight hours. I had requested a second floor room but didn't receive that BUT I was glad we had a first floor room because the outdoor showers on the first floor are MUCH MORE private than the ones on the second floor. We were concerned about privacy with the wooden slats by the shower so we took our bath curtain that was around the tub and hung it on the wooden slats. They seemed to be making permanent changes to this privacy issue for shower while we were there. But in all honesty, when you can walk about 2 kilometres down the beach and see all-out naked people, why would you peer through tiny wooden slats to get a glimpse of some nakedness.

ROOMS: The rooms are impeccable!! So clean and new and very spacious. With the shower patio and then the sitting patio on the opposite end of the room, you can open both doors and get a wonderful breeze going through. The toilet room had a strange odour (like body odour) and one suggestion that I would make is changing the energy saver lightbulbs beside the beds to a warm light lightbulb. The lights are so bright and white, it felt very clinical and like fluorescent lighting, not super romantic. The pot lights are a nice warm light.

INTERNET: Extremely slow. Painfully slow. But who wants to be connected to the outside world twhen you're in paradise :)

BUTLER SERVICE: Gerardo was amazing! Some workers had trouble with english and it was hard communicating. With Gerardo, not so. He was always easy to find and available to us. We found out later, his wife had been cleaning our room. She was super sweet too!! Wonderful wonderful people.

BEACHES: There are three. The main beach, the middle beach (smaller) and then a third with no seats/loungers. The main and middle has sand that is a little rough because of all the coral that is right there. But who cares about the shells in the sand when you have such AMAZING snorkeling like you get at Buenavista. The third beach sand is a little softer. This is where the "naked ones" tended to go. You had to be up by no later than 6:45 AM to get a covered spot on the main beach. But getting up that early, you could see incredible sunsets. The middle beach had places that were covered but the coverings were a bit transluscent. You could generally get a spot here at any point throughout the day.

FOOD: You go to the same place for breakfast and lunch everyday. You can either order off of the menu or eat from the small buffet which in the morning always had scrambled eggs, a sausage and potato dish, lots of bread/buns, cold meats, cheeses, and tons of fruit. Their cappuccinos are AMAZING! For lunch, the buffet usually included turkey or pork with a vegetable and rice, cheeses galore, cold meats again, fruit and bread. Service was so-so. Most of the people in the restaurant weren't the best with english. Sitting out on the wrap-around patio was so nice but we often found the service wasn't as great out there. It was a bit slower whenever we sat outside. And in the mornings sometimes, if there wasn't any wind, sitting outside meant dealing with these tiny flee like bugs that nip you. They don't leave a mark, just bite and are gone.

The place that serves breakfast and lunch is an a la carte restaurant on Saturdays and Wednesdays. We were able to go there on the Saturday which was Cuban and I loved it! Although, our server was sooooo slow and although we were literally the first ones in there, we were getting served our food at a painfully slow pace as opposed to people around us who lucked out with a different server. But it didn't matter, we were on holidays.

We also went to another a la carte on the premises and it was really good. Javier was our server there and he was so amazing! We didn't get a chance to go to the other a la carte which alternates each day between Italian and Seafood. We booked a bunch of evenings out to Melia Santa Maria for meals. We went to their buffet twice, Japanese and the French Bistro. I wish we had booked the Japanese more than once. The BEST food I have had in a long time!

We checked out Melia Las Dunas and couldn't wait to leave. Their buffet felt like a highschool cafeteria but with babies and toddlers too. It was soooooo loud and crowded. The resort itself is massive and loud with entertainment and such. Melia Santa Maria is a happy medium between the two.

They ran out of ketchup after our first day and the food in general at the beginning of the week seemed to be better than the end.

ENTERTAINMENT: There isn't any which was perfect for us. You could take advantage of the other Melias' entertainment if you wanted to but we liked the peace and serenity of Buenavista. The only entertainment they had was a small band in the lobby bar each night. And the pool guy trying to get people to learn Salsa dancing during the day.

POOLS: So nice, never too crowded. Great temperature, great floaty things. And the bar guys are so nice and attentive. Especially Ortestes who we called Mario because of his resemblance to Lemieux. They were building more covered areas while we were there.

SPA: We got a complimentary massage which was so incredible. The spa was very nice in general too. We used the workout room a couple times too.

GENERAL: The place was so quiet and peaceful. Yes, the vegetation isn't super mature but it's new and clean! Armando is one of the gardeners we saw everyday who was so happy and friendly. He taught us so much about life and joy just from the few moments we spent with him. Liorves from the lobby bar was the best!!! His cappuccinos trumped everyone else's. We missed him when he had a couple days off and couldn't wait till he came back.

It rained one morning for about an hour and rained as we were leaving the island. One day was so windy I had to hold tight to the book in my hand or it would be long gone. Other than that, the weather was perfect. 35 degrees most days.

In short, Melia Buenavista exceeded our expectations and made our 10th anniversary trip beyond our dreams. I would go back in a heartbeat . . .

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Omarduenas, General Manager at Melia Buenavista, responded to this review, May 13, 2011
Dear Guest of MBV,

First of all I would like to thank your emotive opinions on the staff, it feels indeed very rewarding for all of us, that some of our daily efforts to achieve our guests satisfactions were worth it.

Concerning your comments on the slow Internet, Language (English) and supplies (like ketchup), we have already analysed this difficulty with the person in charge of each issue and taken the correspondent measures so our future clients can have a more comfortable experience on this aspect.

I hope to see you soon in beautiful Cayo Santa María, Cuba
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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Strathroy
1 review
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 11, 2011

My wife and I just spent a week at the Melia Buenavista from April 29th to May 6th. To say that this vacation surpassed our expectations, would be an under statement. We are in our late 30's, early 40's, and have traveled to many different all inclusive resorts. These have included 4 to 5 star resorts in Mexico, Cuba and The Dominican Republic. Although we have enjoyed our vacations in Mexico and DR, we always come back to Cuba for the warmth of the Cuban people, the beaches, and the feeling of "truly getting away".
I will try not to repeat too much of what other positive reviews have said. The service in the restaurants, the lobby bar, and everywhere else was 5 star. The rooms are beautiful, and the beaches are breath taking. The only point I could disagree on is the reviews about the three pool bar tenders. I had read much about Norge, Orestes and Noe; but these gentlemen far surpassed anything I expected. They work long hot days walking the beaches and pool area making sure no one has an empty glass. No matter how hot it is, these guys will serve you (with a smile) whatever you ask for and will even deliver pizza or sandwiches to you at the pool or beach! They quickly learn what you like to drink and will have it ready for you even before you ask. I have been to 5 star adult only resorts before, and have never witnessed this level of service (with a smile) before. Not only are they very professional at what they do, there is also a chemistry between the three of them that is truly fantastic and great fun to watch. My wife and I met several other couples while at the resort, and we would all spend the afternoons lounging by the pool bar to have a cold drink, and to watch the "Three Amigos". These three gentlemen are the true stars of this resort, and we will never forget how welcome they made us feel in Cayo Santa Maria. We miss you already! I would also like to mention Anlex the friendly chef at the Lobby Bar, who served us delicious pizza no matter what time it was. Thanks Anlex!
If you are considering a vacation at this resort, do not hesitate, as I'm sure the prices will start to climb as it matures into a truly exceptional hotel. If you decide to go, say "Hola"! to our three amigos at the pool bar from Candice and George (or Hor-hey as they called me).

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Omarduenas, General Manager at Melia Buenavista, responded to this review, May 13, 2011
Dear Guest of Melia Buenavista,

I have read your comments about your recent stay at MBV. Iwant to tell you that we are very happy knowing that we have covered your expectations, I´ll let the TRES AMIGOS know about your review.

I hope to see you again in MBV!!!
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Elora, Canada
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 5, 2011

I just got back from a week at Melia Buenavista. It was everything I dreamt and more! I am married, but my husband does not like resort vacations so I went with a girlfriend of mine. We were looking for rest and relaxation and boy did we get it! I spent my days lounging by the pool, reading my books, drinking, eating and dipping in the water every once in a while to cool off. Not only is the resort itself spectacular, but what really makes it is the staff. Orestes and Norge at the pool bar made us feel so welcome and pampered from the minute we sat down pool side. Ask for the “surprise” with “lots of vitamins” (aka Rum!) They will bring you lovely yummy drinks all day long. Those guys are running all day and do it with a huge smile on their faces. And then there is also the piano bar with the incredible llorves. He is always so happy to see you and works his butt off too! The entertainment staff Yoelkys, Yaiset and Navy are great at making people feel comfortable and have a great time at the afternoon water aerobics and salsa lessons – but also leave you alone if you’re not into that sort of thing (which I’m not, but my friend was). My only complaint is that there wasn’t enough shade by the pools – but, I am a fair-skinned-freckly-redhead so I’m a little fussy when it comes to shade! There is some shade, you just need to get up a little early and drop your things off to secure your place before breakfast. The Butlers we had were Lucas and Edel, they were so great! I love bubble baths so my friend asked and when we returned from dinner one night there was a bubble bath drawn and decorated with rose petals and a chilled bottle of wine! Ugh – just writing this now is really making me wish I was there again!!

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Omarduenas, General Manager at Melia Buenavista, responded to this review, May 8, 2011
Dear friend of Melia Buenavista:

Thanks for posting such beautiful comment about your recent stay in MBV. I´ll make sure all my staff read it, they are the ones that make this place something special;)
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Cambridge, Canada
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 29, 2011

Stayed 2 weeks in April in the Melia Buenavista. This is THE place to relax.
It has 2 pools. One is quiet with lounge/spa music during the day and the second is even quieter.
Both pools have the floating mats in it.
The food at the 2 a la carte restaurants is very good. Our favourite was the Navigantes.
Every Wednesday there is a Cuban night and the Saturday they have the Gala diner at the Marinos, the beach restaurant.
The breakfast and lunch is just okay. Half a la carte/half buffet.
The butlers will make your reservation for the a la carte restaurants at the Buenavista but also for the Japanese and Mediterranean at the Melia Cayo Santa Maria and the Romantico and Columbus at the Melia Las Dunas.
Service at the hotel is excellent. From the top (general manager Omar), the butlers, waiters, maids to gardeners. All smiling and very helpful.
The rooms are beautiful and very spacious. Two balconies. Front with 2 chairs and a table, the back partial covered with an outdoor shower.
Bathroom with jacuzzi and bidet. Walkin closet and electronic safe.
3 beaches. First is very small and authentic with no chairs. Second has chairs and some covers and is a kind of a small lagoon. The third beach is a long walking beach with Pallappas and chairs. You can walk over the beach to the Sol Cayo Santa Maria, the Melia Cayo Santa Maria and the Melia Las Dunas. Great for snorkling. You will see a lot of fish.
Quiet again in the evening. No shows but music in the lobby bar. Solists, duo's etc. Very nice Spa with again great service.
Free internet in the lobby but you need to get a card with password and login which give you 30 minutes on one of the two computers. No wifi.
If you like to party: this is NOT the place for you.
If you like to relax: THIS IS THE PLACE TO BE!!!.
When you like to book this call: 1-800-665-4981 ext 7287. Rien at Tripcentral.ca

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Omarduenas, General Manager at Melia Buenavista, responded to this review, May 8, 2011
Dear guest of melia Buenavista,

On behalf of my staff, I would like to thank you for taking the time and post the experience you had in MBV at The TRip Advisor, we are very happy that the Relax concept we offer have covered your expectations. We would like to see you soon ;)
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London, Canada
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 26, 2011

We just returned from the Melia Buenavista & our sunburns are still fresh. This hotel is wonderful. The beaches are beautiful & provide great snorkeling and walks. We were able to walk to another Melia via the beach. The rooms are clean and provide everything you needed for your stay. Loved the outdoor shower ! It was amazing to shower under the stars !!! The pools provided that perfect dip after a hot day and they had activities at 5:00 pm by the main pool daily. One day there was a great band !! The service at the pool bar is exceptional Orestes & Norge provided us with wonderful service, great conversation and are all around great people. We already miss our mid morning mojitos! The food was excellent and since we were not buffet type people we enjoyed eating a la carte daily. Our butlers Javier & Mikeal were very helpful & friendly. Our butler brought us lunch by the pool a few times, what a treat ! This island was a beautiful and we both had a wonderful vacation.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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.
Omarduenas, General Manager at Melia Buenavista, responded to this review, April 28, 2011
Dear guest of Melia Buenavista.

Thanks for your review at The Trip Advisor, for us, is very important to know that we have covered your expectations. We hope to see you soon.
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Ancaster
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 23, 2011

Stayed Apr 15-22 and had a great time. Our room backed onto the west (small) beach and I've never been in a nicer room. The outdoor shower is great (no problems with mold in the bathroom). It had a great balcony where we could relax before dinner. The small resort means nothing is far away. The TV has a USB port that won't play videos from a USB drive but is useful for charging up your IPOD.

Food was very good. They put a lot of effort into breakfast and dinner. All but one of our dinners had excellent food, as good as any fine restaurant. Lunch was disappointing. Only a small buffet and limited menu. Instead we took the 5min bus ride to the other resorts you are allowed to use and had a nice lunch in their buffet's. Then it is a really nice 5km walk back along the beach. The only hitch is the buses are not on a schedule. We waited 30 minutes once, but less than 10min the other four times. Restaurant staff ranged from very good to excellent. We got some attitude from the host at the Los Caribes twice that we didn't like. Once he didn't have our reso, even though we had a ticket. The other time we were 30 minutes late (the place was not busy). The service at the lobby bar was also poor the few times we went.

Both beaches are beautiful. The east beach is busier, but you need to be there before 7am to get a shade spot. We found this not fun. But the west beach has plenty of shade and we never saw it full. The only down side to this beach is when the tide is out it is too shallow to swim so you have to walk 100 feet to the main pool. At many times during the day we would literally be the only people on this beach. Can't begin to describe how peaceful it was. Both pools are very nice and only busy for a couple hours in the middle of the afternoon. But again, shade is tough to find. The bartenders at the main pool were fantastic (especially the guy who looked exactly like Mario Lemieux). But the guys at the east beach were a little goofy. The bartender always had a miserable scowl. The first time the other guy brought us drinks I didn't have any tip money and he never asked us again. That's ok, Mario got the good tips. (I don't know where that guy gets his energy, it was amazing to watch)

I've always been amazed at resorts how every single person working there seems to love it. This is the first time I've seen otherwise. Never anything really bad but a fair amount that seem miserable. Too bad since most are great.

The snorkeling is good at both beaches. Not fantastic, but it's right there and technically very simple. Bring your own gear. They have some stuff but it's in high demand.

They have wireless internet in the lobby, but I (with ipod touch) and nobody else could make a connection to it. There are two computers you can use for free which are not busy, but are really SLOW. 10 minutes to send a gmail.

It's a 1hr 45min bus ride to the airport but it's a nice ride in the daylight. You see a lot of the country. Probably not so fun to be in a bus that long if it was dark though.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 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
    • 4 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.
Omarduenas, General Manager at Melia Buenavista, responded to this review, April 24, 2011
Dear guest of Melia Buenavista,

Onbehalf of the staff of Melia Buenavista,

I want to thank you for posting your comments and suggestions about our services.

We hope to see you soon.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2011

This was my first time staying at a resort and well it blew my mind!

Room:
We stayed in the Royal Service Junior Suite, my best friend and I, and could not be more impressed with the room. Our balcony backed onto what looked like a tropical jungle. Next to the jacuzzi tub the outdoor shower was the greatest. Imagine your own private shower under the stars!

The Resort:
We really enjoyed the layout of the resort, nothing was too far yet everything was spaced out nicely. Melia Buenavista featured 3 restaurants all under a 5 min walk. When you dress up nice for dinner you would hate to have to take a hike in your wedge sandals!

The Food:
As everyone says, "you don't go to Cuba for the food". The resort had its winning meals and its downfalls. The staff really wanted to make us happy, and since my friend was a vegetarian they made special meals for her. The breakfast buffet and lunch buffet always offered great fruit and juices. The menu offered was pretty good to supplement whatever was lacking.

The Staff:
I can't rave enough about how great they were. The bar staff at the pool were the best bar tenders ever. Norges and Orestas will make your time by the pool sublime! They have comedic chemistry and timing. Often acting as through they were an old married couple :)
The entertainment crew: Yoalkys, Yaisat and Navy are some of the nicest people you will meet. When they try to pull you in for dance classes don't resist!

The Beaches:
There were 3 beaches, the one nearest to the breakfast restaurant was best for swimming, the one off the pool could only really be used for snorkelling (its beautiful), then the one furthest did not have much traffic but had the most stunning sunsets.

All in all, we met some great people, made some awesome friends and I cannot wait to book my reservations to go back!

Room Tip: Book in advance, Sunwing has really great deals!
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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.
Omarduenas, General Manager at Melia Buenavista, responded to this review, April 23, 2011
Dear guest of Melia Buenavista,

I want to thank you for have chosen our hotel as your destination holiday. Your opinions and comments are very important for us. We would like to see you soon.
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Additional Information about Melia Buenavista

Address: Punta Madruguilla, 52500, Cuba
Location: Caribbean > Cuba > Villa Clara Province > Cayo Santa Maria
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Luxury Hotel in Cayo Santa Maria
#1 Romantic Hotel in Cayo Santa Maria
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Cayo Santa Maria
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Cayo Santa Maria
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:5 star — Melia Buenavista 5*
Number of rooms: 105
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located west of Cayo Santa Maria in a privileged ecological environment, and surrounded by beaches and coves. All-Inclusive Five-Star Resort with 105 Junior Suites and Suites, and the Villa "Zaida del Rio". Designed for adults over 18 years. An entire hotel featuring Royal Service. Recommended for couples, weddings, honeymoons and wellness/spa. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Melia Buenavista Hotel Cayo Santa Maria

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