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“"Paradise"” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Royalton Cayo Santa Maria

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Royalton Cayo Santa Maria
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05200, Cuba   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 11 Hotels in Cayo Santa Maria
Toronto
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
54 helpful votes 54 helpful votes
“"Paradise"”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 23, 2013

We just returned from a week in paradise May 11th to 18th. This was our 7th trip to Cuba, 5th time to Cayo Santa Maria. At the Royalton they treat you like you are Royalty. They truly deserve there #1 status

We really liked the size of the resort (122 rooms) & we had never been to an adults only resort, loved it. The beach what can I say, it's my favorite! The rooms are beautiful. We were located in building #5 oceanview & received great service from our butlers Eddie & Yordi

The grounds, pools, food & the staff are all excellent! The Cuban people are truly wonderful.
Can't wait to go back

Room Tip: Top floor oceanview
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Omar D, Manager at Royalton Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this review, June 16, 2013
Dear guests:

What an honor to receive such a beautiful comment from such experienced travelers. Thank you so much! You words are so kind!

We thrive on your pleasure. You tell us what you want, we make it happen. Your happiness means the world to us and we know that your hard-earned vacation is not for wasting your time on details we can take care of ourselves.

We appreciate that you let us know what you think! Furthermore, nothing could make us prouder to read that you will be back to visit us!

Thank you once again for your generosity dear guests; we certainly look forward to welcoming you once again to Royalton Cayo Santa Maria, your no. 1 hotel!
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1,328 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
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Chestermere, AB
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 22, 2013

We stayed at the Royalton from May 14 to May 21st. This is our 3rd trip to Cuba, 1st to Blau Varadero, 2nd to Memories Cayo Santa Maria and now this fantastic resort. We will return next year to this resort, however, we will stay longer than 7 days!

The service is outstanding! Alex, our butler, in block 8 was fantastic! Always asking if we needed anything. We asked for wine in our room and when we got back to our room it was chilling in our fridge!! He also prepared a surprise for us on the last night.. chilled wine, roses, candles and a bubble bath decorated with flowers! Such a fantastic surprise. He is a very hard working individual!

The resort is nice and small, no problem getting a lounger at the beach or the pool anytime of the day. This is not a party resort, which we prefer. However, if you want to party you can access the resort next door or the disco in the pueblo. They have live music at lunch and dinner and in the lobby, which is another great bonus.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Omar D, Manager at Royalton Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this review, May 23, 2013
Dear guests:

Thank you so much for your wonderful comments! And what beautiful pictures! We are so happy to hear that you will be coming back to visit us again!

Thank you also for mentioning that our resort is a little quiet and zen little paradise, but that is it possible to have more action packed time at the Memories hotels next door! It is possible to take advantage of both hotels when you book at Royalton!!

Your comments are very important to us dear guests, thank you for taking the time to write down your opinion about our new little gem!

We look forward to welcoming you back for the second time around at Royalton Cayo Santa Maria, your fantastic hotel!
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Wendover
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 22, 2013

We stayed at the royalton for a week 14-21 may 2013. The arrival into the airport was quick and hassle free with luxury coaches waiting to take us to the resort. There are drinks carts selling beers or soft drinks for 2 bucks, so worth having some change as the transfer is an hour and a half. You pass through some beautiful countryside and are given a little guide en route. Small point, if you get travel sick, remember your gravol! We arrived at the hotel and received the cold towels and drinks as stated, and were quickly taken down to our suite by one of our two butlers for the week. He pointed out the restaurants etc which was helpful. We had a garden suite which was very spacious and well laid out, with all the usual things that you would expect for 5*, robes, toiletries, iron/board, free safe, t.v with at least 10 English speaking channels incl hbo movies. The shower has a 'rain' head which was nice after a long day at the pool.
The pool was lovely and warm and there were always plenty of beds. There are several canopied beds but beware of the towel hoggers!! We watched a couple put towels down in the morning and not return until 4pm, a little outrageous! Although not a swim up bar, the waiter was only too happy to bring you drinks, which went well with the poolside lunch BBQ everyday. Another little point, don't forget your drinks cups as the little plastic ones used poolside are too small!!
The food at this resort was fantastic, I can honestly say that there was nothing whatsoever to complain about. If you're looking for a buffet treadmill then perhaps not the place to go, but when you have lobster, filet mignon, tiger prawns, fresh tuna etc to choose from you won't be disappointed. There is a 24 hour restaurant offering everything from burgers to calamari and again of the same high quality. There is also a large selection of branded drinks so nothing on the cheap side.
We did the catamaran excursion which included an hour of snorkelling, lunch, a dolphin show plus time in the water with the dolphins then am hour of chill time on a little private beach and back by 5.30. It was $183 bucks for both of us and well worth every penny.
In summary we had a fantastic week, there was nothing that we could fault, the food was excellent, the staff were so friendly and helpful, the hotel was of the highest quality and cleanliness and the all round experience was completely pain free! (A final note, remember your bug spray and in fact try not forget any of your toiletries etc as there are no real shops to obtain these things).

  • Stayed May 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
Omar D, Manager at Royalton Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this review, May 23, 2013
Dear guests:

We love your title!!! It sounds perfect! Your review is awesome and touches some very important points both for us and our future clients! It was very interesting to read and we will touch up upon what needs to be remembered:

1-There is no buffet at Royalton! Thank you for mentioning this as we have also done it, but since we have not been open long, it seems the word did not go all around.

2-Bring bug spray. The summer months bring their share of mosquitoes all around Cuba (not just in Cayo Santa Maria). They are not dangerous at all, but at dawn and dusk it can be quite bothersome for about 1 hours, nothing mosquito repellent can't fix. We also suggest you bring some Benadryl, as some guests tend to have a small alergic reaction to mosquitoes here. Again, nothing dangerous, but we like to have you at your most comfortable.

3-There are no shops at Royalton, but you can find 2 in little Pueblo nearby with the basic toiletries. We suggest you bring your personal products, but it is possible to get some emergency or last minute toothpaste, bug spray or solar cream! The stores are basic, but good enough to go around.

Thank you for this very interesting review dear guests, we very much enjoyed reading and answering it!

We sincerely hope to welcome you once again to Royalton Cayo Santa Maria, your little slice of heaven! (just love it!)
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Hamilton, Canada
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 22, 2013

We traveled to the Royalton from May 5th to the 12th and I must say that this was the best trip that I've ever taken to Cuba. All I can say is that this hotel over exceeded my expectations after reading all the reviews. I was not disappointed! The staff just made everything so easy from the check in to the bartenders serving you drinks on the beach or by the pool. Our butler Noelvis, he was the best (I recommend him). He was always there to greet us and see if we needed anything. He even gave out flowers to the women that were in his bungalows (nice touch) :).
I have not one complaint about this hotel! Everything was more then I could have ever expected and then some!! We cannot wait to go back!

Thank you Royalton for the Excellant Vacation!

AMAZING, AMAZING, AMAZING!!!!!!

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
    • 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.
Omar D, Manager at Royalton Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this review, May 23, 2013
Dear guests:

Thank you, thank you, and thank you!! What a wonderful review!!! The most important thing that we can hear every day is what you mentioned: expectations exceeded! We jump with joy every time we hear that comment from our guests!!

Our reviews have been more than what we expected, thanks to all of our generous guests. We know that the more good reviews we receive the more good service we need to give! Our future guests arrive with only the best in mind and that is what we concentrate on every day: to give the best of ourselves to ensure an unforgettable vacation for you!!

We very much appreciate your comments dear guests, you are so generous! We actually cannot wait to welcome you back!

Looking forward to pampering you once again at Royalton Cayo Santa Maria, your amazing, amazing, amazing hotel!
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Kingston, Canada
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 21, 2013

We travelled with friends to the Royalton May 9-16, their first time to Cuba, our ninth. We were treated royally from the time we arrived to the time we had to leave. All of the staff including the front desk, the porters, the entertainment team, the butlers, the bar crew, the kitchen staff and the grounds workers were friendly, approachable and aimed to please. Kudos to them all for making our trip enjoyable and memorable! One of our party required a gluten free diet. It was accomodated throughout our stay. I loved the three restaurants and did not miss having a buffet. In fact, I preferred it. The meals were delicious. Food was abundant and served in five star style. Try the traditional Cuban dishes. They are delicious. I especially enjoyed the quesadillas on the beach. The beach is beautiful with soft sand and crystal clear water. You can walk for miles. At one end of the beachfront there is some coral where you can take some breadcrumbs and feed the fish. It is truly amazing to see them swarm around you. While we spent most of our time on the beach we did enjoy using both pools which were great. You will want to try the lunch barbeque by the lower pool. We enjoyed all of the entertainment including music at mealtimes and the evening shows. Our room was amazing; comfortable, spotless, great shower, lots of storage room and a lovely garden patio. What more can I say other than this resort is simply the best and we will return.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service

Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Omar D, Manager at Royalton Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this review, June 30, 2013
Dear guests:

Thank you so much for your comments. They are so important to us!

We appreciate every comment we receive in order to improve our standards and quality. We make sure to revise every department frequently to insure that we always give our customers the best service and offers they rightly deserve for an unforgettable vacation.

All your comments are duly revised by our Quality Control department.

We hope to welcome you again to Royalton Cayo Santa Maria, your paradise in the sun!
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Stouffville, Ontario
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 20, 2013

We've just returned from a weeks vacation at the Royalton (May 7 - 14)
Well what can I say......................
If you are looking for a place to unwind/relax which offers phenominial service, great food and an awesome location - you need look no further
From the moment we arrived we were treated like royalty
The layout of the resort is well thought out and the beach & sea will quiet simply take your breathe away
Alex our butler (Building 7) was both courteous, attentive and indeed pleasure to get to know
In fact all the staff we came across were a delight
Attention to detail is clearly very high on the agenda at the Royalton
A 10/10 from us - we can't wait to return!!!
Forget what you may have heard about other Cuban resorts - the Royalton has truly raised the standard!!!

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Omar D, Manager at Royalton Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this review, July 1, 2013
Dear guests:

Thank you so much for your comments! They are very generous and so helpful to us!

As you may have noticed, we read and answer each and every comment we receive. We figure that if you take the time to write them, we certainly will return the favor and answer them back!

Your comments are the key to our success. We follow them religiously as they are our source of inspiration to always work on making our little gem a better place for you dear guests, as we know that your vacation is hard-earned and we want to offer you nothing but the best, as you surely deserve it!

We very much appreciate you sharing your opinion with us.

We look forward to welcoming you once again to Royalton Cayo Santa Maria, your paradise in the sun!
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Halifax, Canada
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 20, 2013

We visited the Royalton as 4 couples ages 25 to 32, April 28 for one week. To date I have been to Varadero twice and Jamaica once, the Royalton is currently # 1 on my list. The smaller size really seemed to result in attention to detail and impressive customer service, as a younger crew we never found the resort was "too quiet", always folks in the lobby bar at night and if you want to mix things up there is a disco in the pueblo and neighboring resort (we didn't find the need to venture to either one so can't comment on them, had plenty of entertainment within our group, fellow guests and Royalton staff). Since the resort is new it is visually appealing, modern design and everything in great condition. I'll breakdown items and touch on a few issues portrayed by others, of course everyone has their own views but this is a perspective from a Canadian who is not all that picky but does appreciate quality service...

FLIGHTS / AIRPORT / BUS
- flights on-time both ways, a bit early actually...no issues.
- airport check-in was quick and people were friendly (less hectic then Varadero due to smaller size).
- you can change money at the airport but if there is a big line don't wait long as it could hold up the bus (can change at money at the resort just not as good of rate, also bank in the pueblo, not open on Sunday).
- bus ride was enjoyable as we arrived in the morning, enjoyed seeing new landscapes of Cuba and the guides on the bus provided a lot of information and enjoyed answering questions.
- beer is sold on the bus, 2 for $5 and there was a washroom.
- Sunwing rep at the resort provided an informative breakdown of excursions and general resort and other info, helpful and was available in the mornings if you want to book anything or ask questions.

CHECK-IN
- instantly greeted with a cold towel and drink upon arrival, nice welcome.
- the butler for our villa (Yoldi) showed us to the room, pointed out restaurants and resort layout on route, and explained all pertinent info.
- bags were delivered to the room shortly after.
- efficient check-in and really set the tone for the week.

ROOMS
- rainfall shower was great...yes there was a bit of water that would run onto the floor, I suggest using a towel to wipe it up, problem solved.
- we found the king sized bed fairly comfortable...if you have issues sleeping there is a complimentary bottle of rum in the room.
- mini-fridge restocked daily, couple beer and water were great (if you want more of anything...ASK...the maid was happy to help).
- maids did a great job, were very friendly (don't remember name).
- lots of channels on tv, bunch of movie channels, sports hilights, news, etc (tv channels list is helpful)...no, there are no Canadian channels showing hockey, obviously, why would there be...do we have channels showing Spanish League Basketball?
- they were able to put us in adjacent rooms on the bottom floor of the 500 villa, worked out great as we could gather on the sitting areas out back...this villa also seemed to be the most ideal for us as it was only a few feet from the lower pool where we spent the majority of our time.
- we had no issues with bugs in our room.

BEACH / POOLS
- the beach is beautiful, as nice as I've seen anywhere. Lots of shade and chairs available.
- Lower pool is where we spent most of our time, a bit more activity friendly (volleyball, football catch, etc). Loved the chairs in the pool and the beds on the side, never had any issues finding one.
- Upper pool seems quieter, very nice as well.

PUEBLO
- the little town / market is literally next door, minute walk, lots of vendors during the days priced very reasonably.
- we didn't visit the spa (heard good things) or any of the restaurants or bowling, as it closes to early.
- Monday night was Carnivale in the pueblo where people from all resorts can attend for $20, includes drinks and food, this was a lot of fun...great music, parade, fireworks.

FOOD
- in our opinion the food was very good / excellent (please note, not "good for Cuba", very good in general).
- with a minimal amount of research prior to going to the Royalton you'll clearly find there is no buffet, I would suggest if you can't live without a buffet on your vacation then book elsewhere rather then complain about it after...I enjoyed having every meal freshly prepared.
- we enjoyed breakfast at Sunset the most.
- Royalton Burger was amazing anytime (just as good at 2pm as it is at 2am).
- beach bar quesadillas and pool side bbq were excellent.
- evening meals in all 3 restaurants were very good, slow at times but who cares as wine is served throughout!
- no ketchup but that doesn't bother me, I suggest using bbq sauce on the burgers.

DRINKS
- 4 types of bottled beer in lobby bar (Corona, Becks, Crystal and Bucc)
- all bartenders have a few of their own specialties, don't be afraid to ask for something new.
- lobby bar cappuccinos (with Baileys) were excellent.
- bring a small travel mug for the beach / pool, the plastic cups they use are very small.

BUTLER SERVICE
- Yoldy, the butler assigned to our rooms was very friendly and helpful with any questions we had, we didn't ask much but any questions or requests he was happy to help with.

ENTERTAINMENT CREW
- Lilly, Frank, and Mario were all excellent and the highlight of the trip, we enjoyed the games of beach / pool volleyball they setup (with help from Mr. Volleyball), and more so the time we spent getting to know them and more about Cuba.

CHECKOUT
- we had to leave early, 4:45am, and we didn't think to ask if our bags would be picked up at our room so we ended up pulling them up the hill which really isn't big deal and I'm certain had we asked we could have avoided that.

SUGGESTIONS (not complaints)
- drink menus would be a plus...easy to manage without, just let the bartender know what you feel like and they'll try to meet your request.
- Make vegetarian menu readily available, or make sure the butler lets visitors know they can request one at diner (and all servers should be familiar with it).
- Clocks for the room wouldn't hurt (CNN and RDI channels showed the time, so that worked).

To sum it up, if you want or need anything that isn't readily available, ASK someone. I found the staff at this resort to be the most accommodating then anywhere I've been. I should also note at no time did I feel the service we received made us feel forced to tip, we were glad to tip often due to the great service, but absolutely never felt obligated! Don't be afraid to ask for anything, they will be happy to do what they can! I definitely look forward to returning to the Royalton in the future!

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
    • 5 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.
Omar D, Manager at Royalton Cayo Santa Maria, responded to this review, May 21, 2013
Dear guests:

What a wonderful review!! Wow, amazing to read, so much info!! Our future clients will already know the hotel before they arrive, thank you so much for your generosity!!!

Thank you for mentioning the following important points:
1-There is no buffet in Royalton. You are right in saying that it is mentioned pretty much everywhere. We are so sorry when clients still arrive and are disappointed because they would have liked a buffet. We believed the information to be clear but it is always good to repeat it to ensure that clients arrive knowing what to expect. So thank you!

2-Bellboy service is available 24h!!! You did not have to bring your luggage up to the lobby yourself!!! All you have to do is call reception when you are ready and it will be picked up directly in your room!

3-Vegetaria menu is available always and we have revised procedures so that butlers may collect requests upon arrival of our guests.

4-ASK!!! You are right!!! If you need anything, or wish for something special, all you need to do is communicate it with us!!! Butlers, reception, your maid, and everybody else in our new little gem is at your disposal to make your vacation unforgettable!

Thank you once again very much for your amazing comments dear guests!! We very much appreciated your opinion!!

We certainly hope to welcome you once again to Royalton Cayo Santa Maria, your best experience hotel!
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Additional Information about Royalton Cayo Santa Maria

Address: 05200, Cuba
Location: Caribbean > Cuba > Villa Clara Province > Cayo Santa Maria
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 11 Hotels in Cayo Santa Maria
Number of rooms: 122

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