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“a very peaceful holiday” 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 #8 of 10 Hotels in Cayo Santa Maria
Bowmanville, Canada
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“a very peaceful holiday”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2013

Dear Aleinya

We just spent a week at this resort. All in all it was a very pleasant experience.We arrived very late on Saturday night Feb 24th.Everything was ready and we were driven to our room quickly and efficiently.Our room was very basic but very clean.
We never had to wait for anything in the buffet area. The service was excellent. Litsandra and Rosita were the best servers and with a smile tip or no tip.Alexis made my breakfast a delight with his fabulous crepes and his smile always happy to see me. One thing that I strongly suggest is get the birds out of the dining-room.It is unhealthy.and gross around the food.
The beach is beautiful and reasonably clean. The employees are always smiling and work very hard. I hope they get well paid.
I must say that this the first time that I don`t get sick at a resort. I was very impressed. After listening all the complaints from guests staying at much fancier resorts, I feel pretty lucky.
My last comment about this place happened on the last day. I left my purse in the public washroom near the buffet. I realized this about half an hour later. Well I just about had a heart attack. My husband and I ran to the customer service desk and we informed Pachi the manager who was very concerned and called security quickly. The security gentleman came right away and asked me a few questions. He then left and within five minutes came back with my purse in his hands.Wow what a nice surprise.These are the type of people working at that resort very professional and honest . It was not perfect but nothing is. My husband is sold on this resort, he would return tomorrow and I would follow.

Room Tip: rooms on the second floor are probably the best.
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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 3
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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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (229)
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Nicola Valley
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2013

My Wife and I stayed at the resort from Feb 10th - Feb 24, we were in room 1505 with a nice view of the ocean. I will have to say this is the first resort we stayed at that we did not have to get up at the crack of dawn to reserve a chair at the beach or pool. This could be due to the smaller resort. The room was clean and the grounds well kept. We enjoyed the buffet and the specialty restaurants although they only had the 2. The best part was the people, we have traveled several times to Mexico, Domincan and a couple times now to Cuba and the people in Cuba are the best. The resort has lots of employees to help with your needs should you have any. There were a few of the staff that did not know any english but were quick to go and get someone to answer our questions for us (I really need to learn Spanish). The beach and water were really nice, we were lucky to only have one day in the 2 weeks that we could not enjoy the beach due to poor weather. We would highly recommend this property if you are looking for a nice quiet vacation. One thing to note is the small fridge is not stocked with drinks like other resorts we have stayed at, this is an upgrade valued at 20 - 40 dollars a day depending on your room. Our room being 1505 we were going to have to pay an additional 20 dollars, we chose not to. They do supply a large bottle of water each day.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
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.
Montreal, Canada
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2013

In summary: We simply wanted a remote, quiet, not-too-crowded resort with a nice beach. That's what we got. Unfortunately, there were also several important annoyances.

Pros:
- Small, quiet resort ideal for couples who want to relax on the beach. There were very few people.
- The beach is simply amazing, possibly the best of the whole Santa Clara area (no kidding). Palapas are easy to obtain if you go early.
- There was a man on the beach who would clean and move chairs for us every morning. Greatly appreciated!
- The resort being small, everything is easily accessible within a few minutes.
- Great pool, not too crowded.

Cons:
- The food was terrible, an absolute nightmare. My wife and I are a bit picky but we were not expecting much; it ended up worse than we could have imagined. Choice was OK, but the taste of most foods was really, really bad (as an example, breakfast potatoes, possibly the easiest thing to prepare, tasted horrible). My wife ate mostly corn niblets and broccoli the whole week. We only ate at the buffet and we did not try the restaurants.
- At the buffet, there were tons of flies around the food and tables. There were also birds that would occasionally take bites of bread.
- The staff was not very friendly and we felt a lot of pressure to tip. Some of the staff in the dining room would not even look at us. We still tipped most of the time.
- The room needed several improvements. Even though it was cleaned daily, it remained in a relatively bad shape. There was a lot of black mold in the bathroom. There were tons of ants coming out of the air conditioning.
- The air conditioning was very noisy; it was hard to sleep with it, but it was much needed because there was no screen in the patio door.
- We knew Internet access was limited and would be slow, but there was NO Internet access. They removed the computers on the second day and told us to go to another resort for access.
- Water stopped completely on the resort on several occasions, at least once a day for 1-2 hours.

Tip:
- We visited the two other Melia resorts nearby: Melia Cayo Santa Maria and Melia Las Dunas. Of these, Malia Cayo Santa Maria appears to be the best. We also ate there one night (the all-inclusive bracelet was identical) and the food was better quality and appearance, but with a bit less choice.

Room Tip: We would suggest NOT paying extra to get oceanview because the view remains much obstructed.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 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 3
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.
Waterloo, Canada
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2013

Booked with Air Canada Vacations a week before departure Jan 30th. The Sol is the oldest hotel on the cayo and has been well maintained over the years. Aside from really hard & unforgiving beds, we had a great vacation. The food was good (not great) and met our overall expectations. We knew that the food in Cuba was not going to be gourmet but we never had any trouble finding food to enjoy at the buffet restaurant. What we often have trouble finding is a table (we are a family of 5). We met Yoice (buffet server) our second day at Sol and he said he would have a table waiting for us for each meal. He wasn't kidding! He might be the best buffet server anywhere, ever! Attentive, friendly and genuine. As an owner of mutliple restaurants, I would hire him in a hot second. We ate at each of the two a la carte restaurants and had a good meal at the italien restaurant, a poor meal at the creole/cuban restaurant, great pizzas each day at the restaurant near the clothing optional beach, extremely poor service at the beach bar/restaurant (the food took an hour).

The pools were spotlessly clean and there were plenty of chairs (no towel game). The activities team were fun and we participated in salsa lessons each day. The beach was spotless and cleaned of seaweed each morning. Beach chairs & palapas were always available on the main beach but they were in shorter supply at the clothing optional beach. The sand everywhere is fine & white, the water swimmable most days. It was windy each mid-afternoon which made for terriffic sailing but difficult swimming.

The shows most nights were entertaining but once they are over (11PM) there is not much going on. There is usually a lively crowd around the pool bar day and night. The week we were there the resort was occupied mostly by Canadians (Ontario & Quebec) and Argentinians. We met many of the guests and had a great time.

For the price we paid ($850 per person incl taxes and fees) this resort was great value for the money and we would recommend it to anyone. We are looking forward to a return visit.

Hotel Manager, Please let Yoice know how much we appreciated his service.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 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
    • 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.
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.
Moose Jaw Saskatchewan
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 1, 2013

We were pleasantly surprised by this resort after some of the reviews we read that were negative.

Hotel : Arrived just after midnight on Feb. 22nd and check-in was efficient and friendly. Golf cart took us and our luggage to our rooms immediately. My husband and I were initially in a bungalow near the ocean on ground level and had some ants (not FIRE ants) in our room so went and asked the front desk to be moved. With the friendliest smile, the woman moved us to a second story balcony room the next day right beside our friends, with ocean view.No extra charge. It was in the 2800 block. We were more than pleased. We later realized that this block was quite close ( 3 min) walk to the part of the ocean where there was snorkelling. We snorkelled in the morning or last thing in the afternoon, put on our equipment and went right off the beach...thousands of fish in the coral. You need to veer off to the left side of the beach past the "clothing optional section" to find the snorkelling area ( it is a little bay).

Beach: Beautiful! The ocean was initially cool and refreshing and by the end of the week was much warmer ( we heard they had cool weather a week prior to us arriving there). We always found a palapa and chairs in the morning, and we could always find assistance from beach staff. We had beautiful hot weather, so on those days you should go at least by 9:30 a.m. to find chairs. For the most part, there was room for everyone. The ocean was so beautiful there was hardly anyone at the pool! We and our friends took turns saving chairs for each other and then went for breakfast.
The water was turquois and calm and we went kayaking and on the paddle boats. The "clothing optional part of the beach" was new for us. We saw some people in the nude walking, but they are naturalists and were not showing off. They seemed to keep to themselves. The sand is white and a little more grainy than other places in Cuba, but so soft and thick. We played in the waves on the first few days and had a blast!

Buffet : Food was always delicious, hot and tasty! There was always chicken, pork, beef, shrimp,and fish cooked right in front of you....sometimes Salmon and Basa! There was always a carving station with either turkey, roast pork, or roast chickens. One evening and at lunch time I had stir fry which was delicious! There is a pasta station and you can have just about any kind of pasta you want. The salad was great too with all kinds of vegetables, cheese and pickles. And there is salad dressings( mostly oil and vinegar) and catsup, mustard and other sauces, so don't let anyone tell you you have to bring it yourself!. This is the best food I have ever had in Cuba and we have travelled there 9 times!
At the pool bar they also serve ham and cheese grilled sandwitches, hot dogs and hamburgers which are delicious! Some of us were looking for french fries which they didn't seem to have. At the beach grill they had cooked chicken, calamari, hamburgers etc. with hashbrowns, because they were out of fries and poutine, but we enjoyed eating there because it was right by the ocean.
Pizzaria near the beach was great! You can sit up at the bar and drink and have pizza from 12:30-3:30. I don't eat gluten, but my friends say the different pizzas were all good.
2 AlaCartes -We went to the Italian restaurant and three of us did not like our food, but my husband had white fish with smoked salmon and shrimp and really enjoyed that. We also did not care for our waiter at the Italian restaurant...he was condescending and not interested in us. The Pizza Alacarte on the other hand was exceptional and my friend had the sicilian pizza which she said was very good. The service was great too...no complaints!

All in all the food was great and there is always something for everyone. The only negative for us was the marjarine they are using now.....where has the cuban butter gone? Sit in Eddie's section near the pasta station for meals....he is so efficient and pleasant!! Some of the staff went above and beyond to make our stay enjoyable.

Bars: Beach bar was pretty good but the last few days they ran out of ice, and were so apologetic. They stopped serving on the beach as a result. They always managed to get beer in though even when they were running low. The lime slush was sometimes melted, but in all the drinks were very good there. The piano bar is a good place to relax and we listened to Elton John music...this young girl was really good!
The pool bar is round with tables and chairs overlooking the pool and entertainment stage. They served very good drinks and food. Joel was extremely concientious, efficient and hardworking! We instantly adored him, and he was so kind, offering more than one apology to guests when he ran out of ice. I guess they have a hard time getting the supplies in, given the resort's secluded nature.
Patio bar was good too, although we found the service there to be somewhat lacking. Usually you can get a good cappacino there in the morning, but depending on the waiter, you may not necessarily get it in a timely manner. For the most part, the other staff were so helpful and friendly, that they made our stay truly enjoyable!

We took a trip to the market in Pueblo, travelling on an open air double decker bus...for one peso. It takes an hr and a half before the bus comes, because they have to pick others up from the other resorts and drop them off as they do a loop around the island.On the way back we stayed on the bus and saw the other resorts, however if you want to return to your resort, you can also take a cab back for cheap.

Everything was so clean, even though it is the oldest resort. From the bathrooms to the hotel rooms and kitchen...so clean.

I think I got some sand flea bites when I was sitting by the coral on the beach where we snorkelled. My husband and our friends did not get bitten as many times as I did so I think it was my location. Mosquito repellent seemed to work so bring some just in case cause they sometimes come out early in the morning. They fog the resort twice daily so they are not really bad, and did not cause my holiday to be compromised.

In all I loved this resort and would give it a 4.5 star rating. We will certainly be back!

Room Tip: Choose second floor balcony suite near the end of the west side. Block 26 or 28 are really good and...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
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.
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
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.
Mont-Saint-Hilaire, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
13 helpful votes 13 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.

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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:
#6 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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