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“what a beautiful resort!” 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 11 Hotels in Cayo Santa Maria
gravenhurst
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“what a beautiful resort!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 7, 2014 via mobile

Hey just wanted to say we had a awesome time there,, very clean and very organized and the staff was the best I have ever experienced at a resort,,, and the pool bar was absolutely awesome! , the best 2 bartenders!!

we would most definitely go back to this resort!
Loved it there!

Angie & Scott

Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melia B, Quality Control Representative at Melia Buenavista, responded to this review, March 8, 2014
Dear Angie from Gravenhurst:
Thank you so much for your synthetic and lively review. Our staff can really make the difference with their personalized and professional service, which makes us feel really proud. It will be a pleasure to have you back to enjoy another memorable vacation.
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1,488 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    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
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (357)
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English first
Taylor, bc
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 6, 2014

First, I'd like to say that this is Cuba, NOT Canada. I have found some peoples reviews to be a joke, complaining about the smallest things. Obviously too spoiled to actually appreciate what we have as Canadians. On that note....i wanted to go on a trip that was quiet, peaceful and right on the beach. I'm not a picky person, and wanted to go somewhere just to relax and listen to the ocean waves, do some snorkeling, and have a "few" drinks in a nice atmosphere. The rooms were nice, only one drawback was a slightly springy and hard bed. Room was always clean, maids did a great job. My villa was close to everything, after the switch from villa 3. I found it was just too far from everything, only one bed, and very dark in the night hours. The beaches were awesome!! I don't sweat the little things like a little seaweed on the beach after rough waters the previous day, that's the ocean, and it's to be expected. The service on the beach was awesome! The snorkeling was the best. The food (remembering it's Cuba) was alright, I did not go hungry. My butlers were fantastic, David and Gustavo, who went out of their way, to make my birthday wonderful :) Every time I called 700, my butler called me back a short time later. I felt spoiled here, I will be back. All the staff work very hard to accommodate your needs. Thank you for providing the tranquility I needed, to escape the life of the oil and gas industry and all the hustle and bustle, up here in Northern BC Canada!

Room Tip: We switched rooms from villa 3, due to only having one bed and so far away from everything. We loved...
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Melia B, Quality Control Representative at Melia Buenavista, responded to this review, March 8, 2014
Dear Dunv from BC:
It makes us really proud to acknowledge your expectations were met during your recent stay at Meliá Buenavista. It feels really rewarding when any of our customers tells us to have had a good time. We very much appreciate your nice words and we will take them as a motivation to keep on working and improving our touristic product.
Be certain that it will always be a great pleasure to welcome you back.
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Toronto, Canada
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2014

Believe me, this is nothing more than a 3 star resort. And if it held itself out as a 3 star, I’d give it a glowing review. We booked in January based on great reviews and the resort’s claim of 5 star. I just want to warn others what to expect.

Let’s start with the butlers. They are NOT a service to guests- they in fact are the opposite. Some examples- There are only 2 restaurants to choose from for dinner and you have to book with your butler. That’s your butler....if its not the one assigned to your building they won’t action your request. Try finding them. Some float around randomly, but you basically have to hunt them down off the lobby area and make your request. One day because I was in a hurry to leave, I called the 700 number (just goes to front reception desk) to try and make a dinner reservation- I was told I needed to speak with my butler and he was out and he’d be back in about 20 minutes and he’d call me. I had to plead with reception to take a message and pass it along, as I needed to leave. I checked later and my request wasn’t passed along. It’s a very inconvenient service. It would be better to have them stationed at a desk in the lobby, or anywhere else.

They have a $25 charge for towels not returned...really ? At a resort this small and that charges this much, you really think guests will steal towels ?? Many people enjoy an early morning swim but the towel hut guy won’t give you towels before 9 of after 5. That’s Royal Service alright. There was a guy on the beach, sitting around all day, just waiting to help you find a chair (there were always chairs available) spread out your towel, and expect a tip. One of the guys hovered around till I tipped him. We had some waves for a few days, but the next day there was still seaweed on the beach. You think they could get that guy to rake and clean.

The gardener seems to be a hard worker. And so are the maids. The waiter at the small beach bar was often not there..either on the beach taking orders or running to the kitchen and getting food for people. He shouldn't have to do that, or they should have someone else fill in. They have plenty of other people not working very hard. Here’s an idea- get rid of the butlers and the beach attendant and spend the money on workers where you really need them.

The food- awful ! Even by Cuban resort standards. The buffet was always the same every day....limited selection, and except for hot food trays, the food was wide out in the open—not covered. The a la carte restaurant food wasn’t much better.

This place is expensive, advertises itself as 5 star...the only thing close to 5 star about it are the rooms (very nice), the maid service and the gorunds and landscaping. This resort should have had a lot more and should be much better. With proper management and more effort, it would be lovely.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 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.
Melia B, Quality at Melia Buenavista, responded to this review, March 5, 2014
Dear 990Richard_W:
We very much regret your feeling disappointed about the services received at our resort. Please, accept our sincere apologies. Your review points out some crucial issues we will definitively work at in order to avoid other guests may feel just as uncomfortable.
We will keep in mind all your interesting suggestions. You may be certain that our guests’ feed back will always be the most valuable guide to orient our daily efforts. Thank you so much for your review.
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Burlington, Canada
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 2, 2014

Beautiful beaches, hard working staff.
Food was good, we did not go hungry.
Are only concern was we brought back some bug bites that stayed itchy for a couple of weeks.
We snorkeled a lot and this was best spot for fish we have ever seen.
It sure was nice to get away from the snow and cold for a week.

Room Tip: We would have preferred a room on a upper floor. If we had to do it over again we would not have go...
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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

Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melia B, Quality Control Representative at Melia Buenavista, responded to this review, March 5, 2014
Dear Rick L from Burlington:
We have been delighted to receive your review. It feels very rewarding to acknowledge you have had such a great time at our resort enjoying our natural setting as much as our services. Thank you so much.
Need less to say, it will always be a pleasure to have you, once again, as our guest, some time in the future. We’ll do our best for you to have another excellent experience.
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ontario
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 2, 2014

My husband and I visted the resort in February and we are in our late 30's. We have travelled quite a bit, three times to Cuba in the last few years. I always use trip advisor when booking a hotel and agree with the majority of reviews on this property. I will sum up my thoughts in point form as I don't want to be too repetitive. Overall we had a great vacation and really liked the resort and would not hesitate to recommend to others.

Pros:
- The peace and quiet you get here you could almost take for granted; no line-ups anywhere and no repetitive buffets for dinner!
- The resort is not busy or at least never seems full; designed so you do not feel crowded
- People were absolutely great! Standouts were our favorite server Lester at Los Caribes - he went out of his way to make sure every meal was special and he knows what he is doing in terms of his job. Best server by far and we would request him every night we ate at this restaurant. Other standout was our butler Joel. We had another butler that did not really go out of their way, however, Joel would come and find out where we were in the day to ask if we needed anything! Again, another person who knows his job and does it so well!
- So many great people including Osmany at the bar and others that I cannnot remember
- Food is great. Yes you are in Cuba and you have to go understanding that you may get bananas one day and not the next, but everything was presented so well and tasted really good for the most part. Best dinner was the Cuban chicken in Los Caribes! We also found out lunches at the beach restaurant so great. We would make ourselves a big plate of salad and cheese with fresh bread.
- Room service a great option that you don't usually get at all inclusives. We ordered breakfast everyday and enjoyed it. Only issue is - be prepared to wait an hour from the time you call. We did this everyday and I don't think it came faster than an hour each time. Sometimes an hour and a half. I should have tried leaving out the room service order card - but failed to see this until our last day!
- Capaccinos and most drinks were wonderful. Coffee - not so good and have had better in Cuba.
- Good Chilean/Spanish red wines
- Loved the music and the Cuban band that played on two nights!
- Room was the nicest we have stayed in (all-inclusive) and loved the shower

Cons:
- Although there are three beaches, I did not like them - We had red flags on the majority of the days we were there but on the last day it was very calm. This was a huge factor in me not loving the beaches - on the calm day it made a difference so if the weather is good, the beach is good for swimming. If you can get a chair at the snorkling beach this one was ok for swimming and we ended up liking this one.
- Air conditioning broke and took 2 days to repair
- Beach beds and umbrellas although comfortable were ripped
- Think they could rake the beach. We found seaweed and other things and the beaches themselves did not look like they were maintained in terms of the sand. Overall they could be better if this was done.
- Recommend this resort for people 40+; a little too quiet for us at times and would have loved to have upbeat music now and again
- We travelled during prime time and booked last minute when most trips all over were priced extremly high - but this resort was much more expensive than others in the area. You do pay for adults only, peace and quiet, along with good food and service. However, I feel the price we paid was just a little too high.

  • Stayed February 2014, 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
    • 5 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.
Melia B, Quality Control Representative at Melia Buenavista, responded to this review, March 5, 2014
Dear Ontario Rhonda:
We heartily appreciate your taking the time to post this detailed and honest review. We can notice that, eventhough your stay felt mainly good, there are quite some issues which require our immediate attention and care. Thank you so much for letting us know.
It is a shame that your vacation coincided with some rather rough days for swimming and enjoying the beach. We are sure our peaceful turquoise waters, more common in summer time, would have added a much appreciated value.
We are looking forward to having you back at our resort for some even more pleasant experience.
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Ottawa
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 2, 2014

We have traveled to the Caribbean every year for the past 15 years. We have stayed at large and small resorts and have decided that the smaller boutique establishments meet our needs for a winter vacation. This was the rational for selecting the Melia Buenavista. While paying a higher than normal price for a one week stay, we expected a higher level of service than we would receive at a large complex. But in the end, we did not realize our goal for the amount spent. We would not rate this place as a 5 star location.
Check In
Check in was odd. Upon arrival, we were instructed to take a seat in the lobby area. There were only three couples checking in. Documents to complete were given to us to complete after waiting for 5-10 minutes. I attempted to return the documents to the staff sitting at the desk, but was told to wait for our butler. After flying for 4 hours, spending 2 hours at the airport and another 2 hours to bus to the resort, we felt that we did not need the tour of the facilities to delay us from getting to our room to start our vacation in comfort.
Room
The room was fantastic. With an outdoor shower ( with privacy screen), spa tub, small toilet/ bidet room, walk in closet, king size bed, LCD wall mounted TV, sitting area with coffee table and stocked mini bar, and a balcony with a couch and two chairs; this was definitely an upgrade from a standard room. The view of the ocean was fantastic. The buildings were arranged with two “Premium Ocean View” rooms on the top floor and two “Ocean View” rooms on the lower floor.
Beaches
There are three beaches, quiet, snorkeling, and main. The quiet beach faces west and a sunset event complete with champagne and a saxophone player occurs every night. There is no bar at this beach, just shade structures and a board walk to a large covered cabana over the water. The snorkeling beach is shielded by volcanic rock from the Atlantic and has beach loungers. It is a short walk to the pool bar. The main beach is on the beginning of 5 or more kilometers of beach. There are many palm shade umbrellas and loungers to choose. The bar is at the beginning of the beach. All beaches have staff members to assist with you to setup your lounger and towel.
Towel replacement was only available from 9AM to 5 PM. We did receive stained and worn towels. Being a “5-Star” resort, we expected these towels to be replaced.
At the main beach, fish would swim right up to you. You did not have to have a mask and snorkel to see the fish, many of them.
Bars
The pool bar and beach bar do not have brand name alcohol. Occasional, the bartender will leave to take orders from the pool and beach areas leaving the bar un-manned. The lobby bar is open 24 hours and has the best selection to choose well-staffed. It also the only bar to have food, good food in fact. They make a great cappuccino. We had a selection of white and red wines from Spain and Chile available at the bars and restaurants.
Restaurants
All restaurants have A la Carte menus. Los Caribes International Restaurant has a changing menu that is not posted anywhere but was where we had our best meals and service. Los Navegantes Bistro Restaurant had the largest menu, but not all items were available. The service we received here was poor. Our server would disappear 15 minutes or more at a time. When we left, there were no servers or hostess in the restaurant. Los Marinos Beach Grill Restaurant or Los Ranchos (two names?) was to be the steak and sea food dinner restaurant. We had only turkey or seafood selection when we ate here. This was also the location for breakfast and lunch. The buffet items were never hot. One morning, there was no breakfast buffet. Orders from the menu for lunch when it was not busy took over 45 minutes. Servers where observed to have areas and would not server anyone not in their area even though no one was sitting in their area. Buffet items were not labelled making the jugs of liquids hard to distinguish. They would have milk and kefir which are very different but both white. Although cereal was available, spoons were not by the cereal or on the table
Having the opportunity to visit two other Melia resorts for supper for free with shuttle was a nice change. We did have good meals at the Japanese restaurant at Cayo Santa Maria and the Romantic restaurant at Las Dunas. This enabled us to visit the large congested resorts and made us appreciate the quality and tranquility of our own resort. These resorts had only one house red or white included. All resorts offered a wine list for an extra cost.
Service
Our waiter, Lester at Los Caribes and Yamisela at Los Marinos, were superb. All the staff were good with some exceptions, at Los Navegantes.
Royal Butler Service
This service could have been replaced with a 24 hour stationed concierge. It took on over 1 hour to reach our butler to arrange to dinner, which was a requirement. Visiting the front desk would not eliminate the need to speak to our assigned butler. We were not given confirmation of our dinner arrangements and would have to keep track ourselves.
Night Life
As it was a small resort, the entertainment consisted of live dinner music and small shows outside in front of the lobby bar. We occasionally would dance on the sidewalk or pool deck
Lobby
This was the only place for wifi. Even though there was a disconnected wireless network unit in our room (?), the access to wifi was limited to a free 1-hour access cards. The system would drop out often and would require the re-entry of the cryptic username and password. Two computer stations were available for use with a 30 minute free access card.
We were told to be in the lobby for certain times but there was no clock. I left my watch in the room since this was a vacation but the hotel staff would insist to be ready at a certain time for things as such as the shuttle to the other hotels.
There was a shortage of Cuba Convertibles. When money arrived, people would line up to change money since it was not always available.
Fitness and Spa
The gym was well equipped but could have used some aerobic steps. The Spa staff would always be there to hand out a fresh towel. The massage treatment was great. We had a couple massage, one therapeutic and one serenity. The cost of 54 CUC each for 50 minutes was paid by credit card in US funds at check out.

Room Tip: Premium Ocean View is a great choice.
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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
    • 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.
Melia B, Quality Control Representative at Melia Buenavista, responded to this review, March 5, 2014
Dear SH_FT from Ottawa:
We heartily thank your honest review. We appreciate your pointing out those aspects of our resort you did enjoy eventhough some of our services did not exactly meet all your expectations. Your comments are some valuable feed back for us to identify and correct these flaws which impair our guests’ full enjoyment of our facilities and services.
We will always be honored to host you at Melia Buenavista to provide you some more pleasant vacations.
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King City
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 2, 2014 via mobile

Just spent 7 days at this adult resort in Cuba and had a fantastic time. If you want to spend some quiet time together or by yourself in a beautiful setting this is the place. The staff were very eager to please and once you figured out how to use the butler system the service was even better. There are 3 beaches here and you can take long walks and see no one else. If you want activity and crowds you have access to the other Melia resorts which are walkable along the beach (30 min) or a short 5 min shuttle ride. There are also 3 main restaurants with fairly good food as long as you like sea food. However you also have access to the restaurants at the other resorts ( French, Italian, Greek, Japanese, Buffet). Not many shows but again if this is want you want you can go to the other resorts. The fitness facility is fairly good for a Cuban resort and the yoga classes are everyday and are mainly for beginners to higher levels. The resort has two pools with the deep end being around 1M and kept very clean. Drinks are mainly local with the beer being fairly good and the wine imported from Chile or Spain and a little on the light side but still ok.

Stayed February 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melia B, Quality Control Representative at Melia Buenavista, responded to this review, March 5, 2014
Dear Eric D from King City:
We feel really proud to have inspired your review. Thank you for your praising words and also for sharing your experience with potential travelers.
It will be a great pleasure to host you again at Meliá Buenavista for another peaceful romantic escape.
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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 Romantic Hotel in Cayo Santa Maria
#1 Best Value Hotel in Cayo Santa Maria
#1 Luxury 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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