I love Sol Cayo Santa Maria so much that I went back a second time and will definitely return a third. The one-star reviewers are whiners who have no idea where they are and would probably never be satisfied. HOWEVER, I'm sure that your mileage may vary, because:
As amazing as it is that this needs to be said, if you want good service, try this. Address everyone in Spanish (it's easier than you think) and leave tips of cash and gifts that are hard to get in Cuba. The Cubans will greet you with sincere smiles, thank-you cards, and gifts of their own in return. If you don't make friends with half the staff, you're doing something wrong. If you always use English and don't tip, why are you surprised to get slow service? Lose the entitlement and see if what I say is true.
Yes, admittedly, the rooms are a little shabby IF you have a very high standard (nothing wrong with that). If you're okay with the ceiling fan being broken and seeing the occasional little cockroach in the evening, as I am, you'll be fine. This is a communist régime; repairs are slow sometimes. This is the tropics; there are bugs. You are neither in Canada nor in Europe. Leave a gift for the chambermaid every day, and put your towels in the tub if you want new ones. She will do a beautiful job. I love the rooms.
The beach is spectacular and quite uncrowded. People are very respectful of the clothing-optional area where you can get a full tan without gawkers. The buffet is so-so (normal for Cuba), the Italian restaurant is to die for, and the pool bar sandwiches are scrumptious. There is delightful and varied entertainment every evening, and a nightclub at nearby Pueblo la Estrella filled with Montreal party girls dressed to the nines.
If you are looking for a small, intimate resort with character, on a remote little island, staffed by beautiful and charming people, the Sol is an earthly paradise. If you are looking for high luxury, lots of activities, or a busy atmosphere, go somewhere more central and more expensive. For an Americanised country, go to Mexico. As for me, I had an absolute blast and wanted never to go home again.
- 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