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“Was wonderful....loved the smaller resort!!!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Sol Cayo Santa Maria

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Sol Cayo Santa Maria
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4.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Cayo Santa Maria | Villa Clara, Cuba   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #9 of 11 Hotels in Cayo Santa Maria
Meadow Lake, Canada
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Was wonderful....loved the smaller resort!!!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2013

We had never been to Cuba before and we were told that the food wasn't very good but other than that is was okay. Well this is the first all inclusive we have been too and the food was great. The buns are amazing. I could of lived on those all week. We stayed at the smaller resort because we had the kids travelling with us for the first time and didn't want them getting lost. They had no problem getting around. They did not complain about the food once,(they are teenagers). They always found something good to eat and drink. The buffet was not overcrowded. The beach was amazing. The ocean was beautiful blue and not too cold. The staff at the resort were great. We did have a few crawly things in our room but no more that what we could have in our rooms in Canada in the summer. ...mosquitoes, black flies, spruce bugs etc. We will go back.

Room Tip: We put a towel on the floor in front of our door to keep out and crawly visitors.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lati N, Gerente at Sol Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this review, October 21, 2014
Dear Guest,

On behalf of Hotel Management and all the staff working at Sol Cayo Santa María, we thank you for publication on Tripadvisor about your experience in our hotel.
We are very happy to acknowledge that your experience was amazing and unforgettable due to our facilities and excellent service. In Sol Cayo Santa María we want our valuable costumers to enjoy memorable holidays.
We invite you to visit us once again so you can enjoy our facilities and remain at your disposition for any further assistance prior your return.

We hope to see you very soon.

Best regards,

Management.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,540 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (183)
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English first
Mont-Saint-Hilaire, Canada
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2013

It was our first time in Cuba. Before our departure, I read a lot of reviews concerning the Sol Cayo Santa Maria; some good and some bad so I didn't know what to expect. What an agreable surprise when my husband and I arrived! It's a very nice resort. Check in was fast. The people are nice and warm. They do the extra mile to make sure that you enjoy your stay. The hotel is old but clean. Everyday, people are working hard to keep the hotel, the gardens, the pool in good shape.

If there is something wrong with your room or anything else, don't hesitate to ask for help. They will do everything to make your stay enjoyable! When we arrived, the television wasn't working properly and the day after, it was ok! Not a big deal!

The beach is amazing! Our room was clean! Food was quite ok. By the way, you have to try the pizza place near the beach! It's gooooood!

One last thing....if you are fussy and looking for a luxurious place...to be honest...go somewhere else but if you are looking for a quiet and nice place....Sol Cayo Santa Maria is a good place to go for your vacation.

Room Tip: Our room number 3907 was on the second floor. Very nice and clean room, located near the beach, the...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lati N, Gerente at Sol Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this review, October 21, 2014
Dear Guest,

On behalf of Hotel Management and all the staff working at Sol Cayo Santa María, we thank you for publication on Tripadvisor about your experience in our hotel.
We are very happy to acknowledge that your experience was amazing and unforgettable due to our facilities and excellent service. In Sol Cayo Santa María we want our valuable costumers to enjoy memorable holidays.
We invite you to visit us once again so you can enjoy our facilities and remain at your disposition for any further assistance prior your return.

We hope to see you very soon.

Best regards,

Management.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
78 helpful votes 78 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2013

First let em tell you this hotel is a very small but really good hotel.
We arrived at approximately 3:30 am February 16, 2013 after an one hour and forty-five minute rdie from the airport. The recpetion had our room ready and we were driven by golf cart to it.
The room itslef as the hotel is the oldest I believe on the island and is showing its age, however, it is clean, and the food is very very good. We tried the Italian resstaurant, the sevice is excellent, but we really enjoyed the buffet. it is not huge but he food is very good and well presented, for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The bar by the pool serves lunch, hot dogs, chicken or pork grilled on a bun, it is very good !! The staff at the buffet especially "Litsandra"... she.was awesome!!, always a smile, always happy to serve you with no expectations. We have been to Holguin, Cayo Coco and Cayo Guillermo and have stayed at the higher ends 4 plus stars and the service here and genuine friendliness of the staff are second to none!!!. You don't need a high end suite, I just care about the fact it is clean and the food is good. The only negative thing I can find is the Lobby bar, one male bartender picked and chose who he served and ignored us for the most part but we just avoided him and the bar. The shows were not bad again the staff go out of their way to ensure everyone has a good time. I would go back for the staff and friendliness. We spoke to others who also felt this is a pretty good secret. There are 300 rooms and never had to worry about a chair around the pool or on the beach. If you want a quiet peaceful vacation this is a good place to go.

Room Tip: I asked for a room close to the pool and buffet and was given one.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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.
Lati N, Gerente at Sol Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this review, October 21, 2014
Dear Guest,

On behalf of Hotel Management and all the staff working at Sol Cayo Santa María, we thank you for publication on Tripadvisor about your experience in our hotel.
We are very happy to acknowledge that your experience was amazing and unforgettable due to our facilities and excellent service. In Sol Cayo Santa María we want our valuable costumers to enjoy memorable holidays.
We invite you to visit us once again so you can enjoy our facilities and remain at your disposition for any further assistance prior your return.

We hope to see you very soon.

Best regards,

Management.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
1 review
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2013

Room:
There were fire ants in the bathtub, toilet seat, and sink area. There were also fire ants in the bed even when they changed the bed. When the bed was made it was the same sheets and quilt used. Needless to say we got bitten many times by fire ants. We asked to have the sheets changed twice and they never changed them and refused to switch rooms saying the whole resort was full, yet it was 25% full. There was black mould on what caulking was left in the shower and black mould on the shower curtain. Lots of caulking had broken away and was missing as everything at this resort is ancient. Conditions would be better in an Egyptian tomb! The safe in the room weighs 5 lbs and is not bolted down and easy to steal. The red pillows in room had semen stains on them and wreaked of urine. Also note that there is no weather stripping under the door into your room and that there is a 1 to 2 inch gap so you will have bugs and lizards coming into your room especially at night.
The hotel doesn’t seem to have any rules or regulations, the room across from us had 7 people in it and it was a room with 1 bed. They were very loud and made lots of noise and did I mention, good luck on changing your room. The phone will randomly ring for no reason…1 ring about 5 times a day. Even if you pick it up on the first ring there is no one there.
There was broken tile outside the room which was a trip hazard. There was so many ways to get your feet cut up on the resort I wished I had of brought my steel toed work boots. There is no screen door on the rooms only a sliding glass door. During our 7 day stay at sol cayo santa maria, 4 of the days were very windy and overcast with lots of rain and with the windchill the temperature dropped to about 10 degrees Celsius; this was a problem in that the room had 1 sheet and 1 blanket and no heat whatsoever. The air conditioning nor the heat worked in the room.
Resort:
Much repair is needed on this resort as you will see broken tile almost everywhere, random abandoned restaurants, boardwalks to the beach that are closed off with caution tape, broken lights, electrical wires sticking out of the ground.
Pool area:
The pool table has 15 pool balls, no cue ball, no 8 ball, doubles of the 4 and 8 balls and rats denning in the pool table. The pool has almost no chlorine in it and some slight algae growing in it. So be forewarned you will get sick if you swim in it. There is no swim up pool bar at this resort.
Pool Bar:
Tip, if you plan to go to this resort you better bring an extra $500 for tips as you will get no service if you don’t tip the servers. Here is you will here the worst of the sob stories of how the bartenders are so poor they can barely pay rent (look for their gold watches). We heard another story as well of how the one bartenders’ wife was on her death bed and that he “NEEDED MY IPOD” to pay their medical bills. This area is the centre of the resort for many reasons. It is the only place on the resort where you can get food or water between the hours of 3:30 and 7:05 pm. They make sandwiches here, serve bucanero beer on tap and will mix you any bad drink you want. This area gets flooded with people around 5:30 to 6:30 pm as people are hungry and all you can get here is sandwiches. There are many blackbirds flying around pooping in the pool and on the bar and eating the sandwich meat which is left out uncovered. The cutting board was never sanitized once and I saw a bird poop on it. There is also rats at the sandwich/pool bar running around everywhere. The workers sometimes wear plastic gloves but they will wear the same ratty plastic gloves for hours and touch everything and never change them. If you don’t believe me just read other reviews and see how many people have gotten sick at this resort.
I was sitting at the pool bar one day and a woman gave the bar her empty water bottle. They proceeded and put it in the recycling bin. 5 minutes later a man came up and asked for a bottle of water. The server reached into the recycling, grabbed the same water bottle that had just been thrown out, filled it with water, and gave it to the man. Between the hours of 10 am and 11 pm at night there is loud music playing throughout the pool and sun chair and pool bar area so loud that it is difficult to have a conversation or even order something at the bar.
Buffet:
The dishes and cutlery were always dirty with food, grease, and fingerprints and whatever else. There were birds flying around pooping on food and tables. There were tons of flies everywhere. The table cloths were always dirty as well as the utensils and the glasses. One night, I was eating a piece of lasagna, and there was a 6 cm piece of broken plastic inside of it, which thankfully I found and did not ingest. I’m sure if I did I would not be able to be writing this right now. The meat was barely ever cooked; one night the chicken was 75% raw and was being served. Another night the chicken was entirely raw and there was blood coming out of the center and was pink. The pork was always pink as well as the other meat. The staff in the restaurants as well as all around the resort were rude and unfriendly. They also spoke no English and were ignorant to want to understand what we were saying. People would bud into lines at the buffet and there was no order. Sometimes there would be chaos and fighting among people because of the lack of order and the unsanitary food.


Beach Bar:
At the beach bar no English was spoken here as well, with the waitresses being rude. There was a very strong sewage smell that you would have to endure if you wanted to eat or drink by the beach. While walking on the boardwalk there were rusty nails protruding up about 5 inches which is extremely dangerous. The food here was also not cooked and there were pieces of bone fragments in the rice. If you needed utensils it would take forever to receive them. One time as we were walking toward the beach bar, the life guard was rolling a keg to a smaller bar on the beach and rolled it with extreme speed in the direction that I was walking in. If I hadn’t of moved in a split second it would have hit me and hurt me very badly. It felt like I was in a donkey kong video game.
Overall, we had a horrible vacation. It was a nightmare from h*ll and the worst week of my life. Do not go to this resort, EVER. This place was rated as a 3.5 to 4 star but at max it was a 1.5 star.

Stayed Feb 13-20, 2013

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
Lati N, Gerente at Sol Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this review, October 21, 2014
Dear Guest,
We are sorry to read your comments in regards of your stay with us; normally everyone always enjoys our resort very much. In our effort to continuously improve the quality of our service we put a great interest in our clients comments as their perceptions are the most important to us as this is the only way to know what specific points we must focus our attention.
Once again please accept our apologies for these inconveniences and I would be much honored to invite you once again to Sol Cayo Santa Maria showing you keep on trusting in our Hotel and in our Company and you will enjoy our new changes and renovations and at the same time you will give us the opportunity to change any negative perception you may have about us.

Best regards,

Management.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 22, 2013

We stayed at Sol 26 Jan to 09 Feb, 2013. This was our 3rd stay at this resort. The last 2 being in 2010 when the resort was still part of the Melia group. More on THAT later....
The weather was variable for the 1st week and was not surprising being January and all....The cloud cover, windy condition and sometimes rain made for bar and shopping days. The sun did break out occassionaly and we had a glorious day on the 31th. It was 30 C, sunny and calm. It happened that we booked the all day Cat cruise that day and it couldn't have been better ( except for my fancy Waterproof?Nikon camera quitting on me during the snorkeling part....;-(
The tour is excellent and what made this one special is the fact that I had a dolphin encounter in the wild during the snorkeling! Two of these fellows swam up and around me near the end of the session! Most people were back on the boat but saw the encounter.....quite the experience!

The second week was probably the best week of weather in the history of Cayo Santa Maria!( well winter season anyways!) It was calm, hot and clear for 7 days in a row it seemed...Funny how 2 weeks can be so different but that is the reality of this part of Cuba. People that only stayed one week (26 jan to 02 Feb) would have a completely different story to tell vs. the ones that stayed 02-09 Feb!!! That is why, as a rule, we always book 2 weeks in a row now no matter were we go in the winter months.

The hotel itself is in much better shape than 3 years ago. I think this has everything to do with the fact that they were dropped from the Melia group a while ago...Now, instead of being last in line for everything from mainenance to food, etc, they are on equal footing in the Cuban Government group that is now the management entity. The grounds, buildings, etc are spruced up and kept up, the food it pretty good and supplies seem to be consistant but the staff are the same....GREAT!!!!!

The resort seemed to be a a very low occupancy level for the whole 2 weeks. We waited in line almost nowhere. If it was 40-60% at any one time for those 2 weeks I would be surprised. This level coupled with the fact that the resort is only 300 rooms makes this the best place in this area to go if you want peace and quiet.

The beach was in great shape and there is absolutely no disappointent in the seating arrangements on this end of the island! Even the late sleepers could go almost anywhere/anytime and get a couple of loungers.......Compare that to the Las Dunas that we visited during the week to have a look around....OMG!!!! wall to wall people in the resort and on the hot days, you couldn't get a seat on the beach we were told......GET ME OUTTA HERE!......

The west side of the beach is the AN/CO side and was used moderatly so it was very quiet! The crowd changes all the time and it is still the best ( and only!) place on the Cayo to get an all over tan. We saw a few people from other resorts from day to day and the beach drink service served them reguardless of the color of their band.....that is just how the SOL rolls....everyone gets great service!!!! Still a few militant textiles camped from time to time but they can just be miserable by themselves.....get a life!!!!

The wind was always present and on the hot days it is welcome! By the end of our second week, even the wind died down, the ocean got calmer and it was really enjoyable. There were even a couple of days the ocean was like glass! That almost never happens in the winter in Cayo Santa Maria!

So if you want a bargain place to get great service, good food and relaxation, then look no far that this place! How bad can the food be when the 1st nite we were there, they had lobster at the buffet!!!!

Shout out to the guys from Saskatoon and some of the Ottawa group! Had a blast!!!

PM me with any questions. This was our 3 trip to this resort.

The bad reviews are usually from people that turn into vacation princesses and princes......ignore them......

Greg and Judy
Cochrane, Alberta

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lati N, Gerente at Sol Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this review, October 21, 2014
Dear Guest,
Thank you for posting a review about your stay at Sol Cayo Santa María and for having chosen our hotel to spend your vacations.
In the name of the Hotel Management, we would like to express you how pleased we are to read that you had enjoyed your staying among us as your review shows us and we are very pleased for your positive lines referring our gastronomy , hotels beaches and the friendliness of our staff. This motivates us to keep working to make feel our valuable costumers a dream come true as we aim in Sol Cayo Santa María.
We kindly invite you to give us a new visit; please do not hesitate to contact us before your arrival.

Best regards,

Management.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ontario canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
70 helpful votes 70 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2013

i would for sure rate this a 4 star we always go last minute, and always go 3 to 3.5 so i know a 4 star this was the best ,food, service, and heard nothing but praise from the reps and staff about the manager of the resort, how he is so open to improving were ever he can, we loved it we go for the sun some R&R and we always read the reveiws,and the good one were definatly the true ones, thankyou sol cayo santa marie we will be back next year.

Room Tip: Cant say anything wrong, we had the best time ever, and will go back next year,the staff are the bes...
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  • Stayed February 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lati N, Gerente at Sol Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this review, October 21, 2014
Dear Guest,
Thank you for posting a review about your stay at Sol Cayo Santa María and for having chosen our hotel to spend your vacations.
In the name of the Hotel Management, we would like to express you how pleased we are to read that you had enjoyed your staying among us as your review shows us and we are very pleased for your positive lines referring our gastronomy , hotels beaches and the friendliness of our staff. This motivates us to keep working to make feel our valuable costumers a dream come true as we aim in Sol Cayo Santa María.
We kindly invite you to give us a new visit; please do not hesitate to contact us before your arrival.

Best regards,

Management.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chilliwack, Canada
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2013

stayed at the sol jan 31 - feb 14 2 weeks of awsome sun food drinks& people.no doubt it is dated but the staff make up for it . never a problem to find a beach or pool lounge. food ok [i took my own hot sauce] lots of hot water for your shower. a/c works fine. bed a little hard .coming or going from vancouver is a long day.take a few books and relax.[there is a small library to recycle your books] would i go there again ..............yes reason for the title................met a canadian rock star there

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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.
Lati N, Gerente at Sol Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this review, October 21, 2014
Dear Guest,
Thank you for posting a review about your stay at Sol Cayo Santa María and for having chosen our hotel to spend your vacations.
In the name of the Hotel Management, we would like to express you how pleased we are to read that you had enjoyed your staying among us as your review shows us and we are very pleased for your positive lines referring our gastronomy , hotels beaches and the friendliness of our staff. This motivates us to keep working to make feel our valuable costumers a dream come true as we aim in Sol Cayo Santa María.
We kindly invite you to give us a new visit; please do not hesitate to contact us before your arrival.

Best regards,

Management.
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 Sol Cayo Santa Maria

Address: Cayo Santa Maria | Villa Clara, Cuba
Location: Caribbean > Cuba > Villa Clara Province > Cayo Santa Maria
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#4 Luxury Hotel in Cayo Santa Maria
#7 On the Beach Hotel in Cayo Santa Maria
#8 Top resorts Hotel in Cayo Santa Maria
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Sol Cayo Santa Maria 4*
Number of rooms: 300
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
In an island paradise off the northern coast of Cuba stands the All Inclusive 4-star Sol Cayo Santa Maria hotel (300 rooms). Ideal for simply relaxing or for exploring the clear ocean bottom and neighboring keys that surround this marvelous Cuban tourist destination. Enjoy an unforgettable holiday with your family, all included. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Sol Cayo Santa Maria Hotel Cayo Santa Maria
Sol Hotel Cayo Santa Maria
Cayo Maria Santa Sol
Sol Cayo Santa Maria Cuba
Cayo Santa Maria Sol

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