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“2nd time at the Sol Cayo” 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
ontario
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
“2nd time at the Sol Cayo”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 10, 2014

2nd time here. Same perfect weather. No lineup for check in. Many of the same staff and the definitely the same friendly attitude. Fifteen hundred block was at the beach and had a great breeze and privacy to the porches/balconies.
One change was the flute and cello duo at the piano bar. Lots of interesting versions of familiar tunes by two talented musicians.
A great time talking to and being attended to by Vivian, Cary and Jorge Luis at the beach bar and Ernesto at the Buffet. If you don't know what jamon serrano is, think prosciutto but less salty. Stone crab claws, swordfish, tuna and red snapper were all good. Also got to put the tennis court to use. The net and court were in good condition.

Room Tip: My tip is be friendly and ask nicely for a room that meets your needs(quiet, breezy, sunny, etc) If...
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lati N, Director General at Sol Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this review, April 11, 2014
Dear iamnewmanium,

Thank you for posting a review about your stay at Sol Cayo Santa María and for having chosen our hotel to spend your vacations one more time.

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 to our hotel 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,

Lati Naimi
General Manager
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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English first
Calgary, Canada
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 6, 2014

This was the third time I went to Sol Cayo Santa Maria and as my previous 2 trips was awesome. Complete Relax - like this was my holiday.I was with my 2 kids and they enjoyed it.
They loved the pool and the white sand beach, as well as the warm ocean water.
Many thanks to Club Cubano people, especially to Patricia and Yusley who take care of us at lunch time when myself and my kids came hungry from the beach.
The same thanks to Guillermo and his colleagues from the buffet restaurant, and to the pool bar people.
The staff was very attentive and took care of our needs


Definitely, I will come back again.

Mihai

Room Tip: I like the room closer to the beach because I can feel the ocean breeze.
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lati N, Director General at Sol Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this review, April 11, 2014
Google Translation
Estimado Mihai_Calgary,

Para todo nuestro equipo de trabajo del hotel Sol Cayo Santa María es un gusto saber que disfrutó de unas maravillosas vacaciones y que recomienda a otros viajeros visitar Sol Cayo Santa María, sobre todo por haberse sentido muy bien atendidos por todo nuestro equipo de trabajo en un entorno paradisiaco.
Comentarios como los que usted nos envía son los que nos motivan como equipo diariamente a mejorar la calidad de servicio que ofrecemos. Les esperamos prontamente en nuestro hotel y por favor no dude en contactarnos en una futura estancia con nosotros.


Siempre a su disposición,

Lati Naimi
Director General
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Saskatoon, Canada
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 30, 2014

Stayed for 4 days, from March 24 to 28. Nice location, awesome beach . Rooms are musty smelling, plumbing is not reliable, everything shows signs of disrepair ! Food is good though. Bathroom has huge picture window with a curtain that's narrower than the window facing walkway. Great if you're an exhibitionist!

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lati N, Director General at Sol Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this review, April 2, 2014
Dear fronti2013...,

We thank you for letting us know your opinion about your stay in Sol Cayo Santa María. We will consider them to offer a better service to all our customers every day. We keep working in our rooms renovation and the sandblasting detail in our bathroom windows to give you as much privacy as you wish.
We look forward welcoming you in the near future and enjoy our new changes.

Best regards
Lati Naimi
General Manager.
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Nova Scotia
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2014

We were at the Sol for two weeks, March 11-25, 2014. We did not know what to expect because the reviews were all over the board, but decided to take the chance, and we are glad we did. The Sol was constructed in 2001, is the oldest resort on Cayo Santa Maria, and is fondly called "The Grandpa." As we prefer smaller resorts, the Sol fit the bill with 300 rooms compared to the larger resorts of 1000-2000 rooms.

If you love cats, you will not be disappointed as there are many cats around the resort. They appear to be healthy and do not cause any problem. Please do not feed them around the restaurants.

The positives:
- Check-in was fast and efficient. The front desk staff were friendly and accommodating.
- The room was clean and comfortable. We did have to request a move as we were given two beds when we requested one, and the A/C leaked. The second room was much better and the front desk (Isabelle) was more than accommodating. Also, a big thanx to Dianelys for keeping our room maintained.
- The buffet was actually quite good. I can't say anything bad about the food. There was ample salads, appetizers, cheese, breads, vegetables, pastas, buffet and cooked to order meat/fish. Of course, the ice cream is second to none. No one should go away hungry and if they do, it is not the resort's fault. We had roast hip of beef, roast pork, sushi, paella, fish. The food is more typical of Cuban food and it is good. We mostly sat in the same area so a big thanx goes to Lisandra, Yanet, Jose Luis, Katlin.
- Los Flamencos was our favourite lunchtime stop - pizza. We settled on the Santa Maria and Tropical as the best. A big thanx to Rosel and the boys for their efficiency.
- We did eat at La Fonatella (Italian), Los Cocos (Cuban) and La Piqua (beach) once and preferred the buffet or Los Flamencos.
- All the bars were great. Many thanx to Elsa, Vivien, Cari, Ernesto, Jorge Luis, Yoel for their attentiveness.
- There is a lovely piano bar, but sadly it is not always open.
- The beach is beautiful, soft sand and warm water. Unlike many other resorts, the beach drops off fairly quickly and is great for swimming.
- The gardeners do their best with what is available to them, and the flowers are lovely.
- The pools are refreshing and often visited by various birds that are very entertaining.
- Unfortunately we did not partake of the nightly entertainment as it is too late. We did see the Aqua Ballet, which was quite good, but cannot comment on anything else.

Room for improvement:
- As noted, the resort is dated and needs some tender loving care. The walkways to the beach require repair to wood, railing. The walkway closest to our room was actually closed mid vacation as the wood rotted and broke, and became dangerous. Maintenance was doing a repair when we were leaving.
- The water gardens, which I fondly call the "Lobby Swamp" really needs some attention. The front water garden is going the same way . . . green, murky, and starting to smell. There are a lot of fish in the water, but you can't see them because of the murky water. There is actually a turtle there as well, which we only saw once. A good filter would certainly help. It is a shame because it could be so beautiful. There is also a water fountain in the Lobby that is not in operation and it would add to the ambiance.
- There seems to be a lot of litter around the grounds and on the beach. It would certainly improve first impressions if the litter was picked up during routine gardening. Of course, the guests should use the receptacles on the beach for cigarette buts and litter, instead of using the beach to litter and throw away cigarette buts. Again, it is not the resort's fault. Guests should be more responsible for their own litter. I hope they are not like this at home or I would hate to see their properties. I cannot count the number of straws, plastic glasses, and rubbish we picked up on our beach walks and put in the receptacles.
- Smoking. The open air restaurants allow smoking. This is very disturbing when other people are trying to eat a meal. Smokers have no consideration for those who are eating and we would strongly recommend that all eating areas be smoke free. Those that wish to smoke should do so either before entering, or after leaving, the restaurant.
- Apparel in the restaurants. We noted that some people, mostly men, chose not to wear a shirt or cover-up in the restaurants. We may be old fashioned, but it is not appropriate, or hygienic, to frequent an eating establishment without appropriate attire.

Tips:
- You may wish to bring certain items, such as peanut butter, or anything that you have at home that may not be available in Cuba.
- Bring ample batteries as it may be difficult to get replacements.
- Purchase a 220 volt to 110 volt converter as Canadian appliances will not work without it.
- Bring an insulated mug for drinks; the Dollar Store has a good size . . . not too big and not too small.

To the hotel:
Thank you for a wonderful two weeks. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay, making many new friends and enjoying many new experiences. We recognize the efforts that are going into improvements so keep up the good work. The Sol has character, is quaint, and service is personal. My apologies to those I have forgotten to mention as all the staff were great. Would we return . . . . you betcha!

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lati N, General Manager at Sol Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this review, April 1, 2014
Dear ScubaDuck53,

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 with us and we are very pleased for your positive lines referring our gastronomy , hotels grounds 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,

Lati Naimi
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa, Canada
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2014

Hi, I have traveled to the Sol many times. Normally I go solo and have a nice restful time. This last time was for a family trip. I went with my boyfriend and my 6 month old baby and two step daughters (11 & 13). Everyone had a blast. The girls loved the beach and the wonderful attention by the staff. They said they felt like princesses. The food was great and everyone was very helpful. I was nervous about travelling with a baby but it was completely unwarranted. The rooms were in good condition and they had set up a lovely crib for my baby. Having connecting rooms was great because even if the baby was fussing the other kids could close the door and get a good night sleep. The staff is awesome. Special thanks to Patricia, Marbelio, Maifer, Pachi and all who made this trip so wonderful.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • 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.
Lati N, General Manager at Sol Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this review, April 1, 2014
Dear Client

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,

Lati Naimi
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ottawa
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2014

Stayed at the Sol from March 14 - 21. We had booked a superior ocean view room and we received what might be the best room on the property. We had stairs leading down to a sandy "back yard" and a path that lead to the beach and because the path was cleared we did have an ocean view. The room was enormous with a living room, bedroom, bathroom with a spa tub and shower, a room with just the toilet and a room that housed a sink and, strangely enough, a full sized fridge plus + a long counter with a sink in front of the closet which contained a safe. Mini-fridge was always stocked and air con worked quite well. There were two TVs. The units that back on the ocean had an amazing breeze even on the hottest days. First time in Cuba so I can't compare to other Cuban resorts, but we found the room and complex to be quite clean. Food was pretty good especially the pizza. There was always something to eat no matter how picky you are. People were very nice and helpful. Pools were clean. Night time entertainment was pretty good. We really enjoyed the music in the piano bar. Beach was amazing and we only had, I think, 2 red flag days. Loved the Cuban cats! I wore bug repellent and can't say that I was bothered at all by bugs. Really, it was all we wanted....gorgeous beach, quiet resort, not crowded at all and always able to get beach and pool chairs, glorious heat and nice guests and staff. My only complaints would be that the buffet restaurant can be rather warm at times making it difficult to enjoy your meal and our particular unit had a sewage smell in and near the bathroom. It was a wonderful trip and we look forward to returning to Cuba. Thanks to all the members of the staff who looked after us so well!!

Room Tip: This is a small resort and all the rooms are close to everything. Rooms with a porch facing the bea...
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lati N, General Manager at Sol Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this review, March 26, 2014
Dear ottawacarol

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,

Lati Naimi
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 22, 2014

I'd like to extend a big "thank you" to all the staff--the chambermaids, chefs, servers, bartenders, cleaners, gardeners, front desk staff, drivers, tour guides and entertainers--who made my visit so special. The staff of the Sol Cayo Santa Maria took excellent care of me and my family during our one-week stay in mid-March. Thank you!

Cayo Santa Maria is a beautiful spot. Yes, it is a 1.5- or 2-hour drive from the airport in Santa Clara, but along the way you see some stunning countryside and get to drive through some beautiful historic towns. The causeway linking the island to mainland Cuba is particularly nice when seen during the day. The drive is worth it for the perfect beach that awaits you when you arrive.

Overall, I thought that the resort was clean and well-maintained. The only issue I really noticed was that some planks on one of the boardwalks to the beach were wobbly and looked like they were about to give way. At the tail-end of our stay, staff put up a barricade to stop guests using this particular walkway.

We stayed in room 4801--what a great location! We were five minutes from the lobby, pools, buffet, store, etc., and about a two-minute walk from the beach. The air conditioning worked really well, and the patio offered wonderful views of the ocean. Perhaps my favourite feature was the bathroom: the bathtub/shower featured a floor-to-cleaning window overlooking the beach--you can't beat that! The chambermaid always cleaned the room quite thoroughly and restocked the mini fridge with beer, water and soft drinks. The complimentary bottle of five-year-old rum was delicious! One small issue--and it really wasn't a problem at all--was that there were no screens on the sliding doors to the patio. It would have been nice to hear the waves while one slept without having to worrying about bugs getting in.

My parents were in room 4701 and we all noticed that there was quite the smell of sewage coming from around their bungalow. Perhaps a septic tank was located nearby, but whatever the reason, it was not the most pleasant experience. I'd think twice about booking that particular room.

In terms of bugs, I would advise bringing some bug spray and After Bite--the sand flies did a number on me.

I know that people like to complain about the food in Cuba, but I never felt let down by the food at this resort. There was always something tasty at the buffet. Besides the standard fare, staff would set up a special table most nights with a rotating menu--sometimes you'd get sushi, other times fried rice, or bananas flambeed in rum and sugar. The steak, chicken and seafood at the grill was very nice. The churros in the morning were a real treat, and Cuban coffee is delicious. You might be a little disappointed in the white wine, though. I think the dairy was excellent--I could have lived on the cheese and ice cream.

We tried both a la carte restaurants. The Italian was good, but the portions were a might small. Very tasty, though. We had lobster at the Cuban restaurant and it was delicious.

As well, hot dogs and paninis were served 24 hours a day from the pool bar; the beach bar had hot dogs and calamari; and there was an excellent pizza place next to the beach. That might have been my favourite place to dine.

In any case, I found that there was always plenty to eat at the Sol, so I wouldn't worry too much about the those who say Cuban food is sub-par.

The drinks served at the lobby bar seemed to taste a little bit better than those you got elsewhere--maybe they're using better quality alcohol.

The nightly entertainment wasn't bad--singing, comedy shows, magic shows, dance routines, etc. The performers were definitely hard workers--you could see them practicing on stage during the hottest part of the day!

There were three pools linked together: the main pool, which encircled the pool bar; the children's pool; and a quiet pool at the end that was quite relaxing.

The beach, as I mentioned earlier, was fantastic. If you want to snorkel, I recommend the rocks just off the clothing-optional section. To get there, turn left when you hit the beach--you'll have no trouble spotting it ;) I saw lots of colourful fish and it was a definite highlight for me. The water was warm and often calm and very clear. It definitely rivalled the beaches I've seen in the Dominican and in Varadero.

If you get the chance, taking a bus into the nearby towns--Caibarien, Camajuani, Remedios or Santa Clara--is a great opportunity to see something a little more authentic. Learning more about the history and seeing the beautiful Spanish colonial architecture was another highlight for me.

All in all, this was a wondering and relaxing trip. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Cayo Santa Maria to those looking for a peaceful getaway. If you're picky about food or decor, you may wish to stay elsewhere, but I thought this was a great resort whose best attributes were its beach and its people. Thanks again to everyone for their hospitality and for sharing their country with me.

Room Tip: If being close to the beach matters to you, try and snag one of the rooms in the 40 block--you'l...
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lati N, General Manager at Sol Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this review, March 26, 2014
Dear Ottawatraveller88

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 from a “ special” as the title of your review content shows us and we are very pleased for your positive lines referring our gastronomy services , hotels rooms 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,

Lati Naimi
General Manager
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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