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“resting with best beach in Cuba” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Melia Las Dunas

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Melia Las Dunas
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4.5 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   | Jardines del Rey, Villa Clara, Cuba   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #4 of 11 Hotels in Cayo Santa Maria
Montreal, Canada
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“resting with best beach in Cuba”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2011

one week stay. we enjoyed the beach specially with white sand. Bars at the beach for oiur drinks., Also you will find paninis directly at the beach if you dont want to leave your chair. The snack bars have poutine like montreal. The buffet had great variety. The room was clean even with television channels TVA,CTV from Quebec .

for kids they have a nice club.
Near the pool at the snack bar there is palapas with beds for the people that want to rest. we even notice a pool with a seat for people with movement disability. This is what you call a real customer service.

I would recommend this resort for couples as much for families

Mike

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
ResidentManagerMLD, Manager at Melia Las Dunas, responded to this review, July 15, 2011
Dear michel100. Thank you for your visit. We feel so happy you had such great time with us. We hope you meet you again very soon. Kind regards. Antonio Montes. General Manager
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
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London, United Kingdom
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2011

having just returned from a two week stay in malia las dunas we had a brilliant ime, had I taken notice of some of the reviews I had read beforehand would never have gone there, some people are never satisfied after all this is Cuba not the Bahamas.
We arrived on june 23rd was a bit slow at the airport but once on the bus we had a guide who was telling us all about the resort we was handed an envelope with our room key and arm braclets for all inclusive so we were already checked in before we arrived, they also wrote our room no on our cases so the next time we saw our luggage was in our room.
When we arrived the cuban's were dancing and a band was playing to welcome us along with cocktails it made you feel quite special.
We found our room to be quite big..was clean and airey...the air conditioning was on all the time unless you yourself turned it down or off nice big bathroom, only thing we found flushing was a slight problem haha usually two or three times.
We found the buffet to be quite manic although we only ate there breakfast and evening's sometimes, we are early risers so it wasn't to busy when we went in however breakfast was very good, but the evening meals seem to be much the same and never very hot but food was always cooked propely.
It is a very large complex...to the left of the lobby seemed to be all the family bungalows and family pool, kids club etc, In the midlle was way to beach, and al a carte restaurants then to the right was all the couples bungalows and relaxing/Adult pool was really well planned out, you did occassionally get some families come around the pool but not many, only problem we encountered was a lot of loud canadians drinking in the pool this could be quite intimadating sometimes, also pool snack bar often closed a 4.0.clock for weddings which you are not told about so be warned you can still get drinks at the swim up bar but not snacks if you want them.
The beach is great they also have a beach bar and bbq on the beach daily with burgers, hotdogs etc.
Evening entertainment is ok some nights better than others...you do need plenty of insect repellent as it is all outside and you will get bitten...but hey you expect that in a tropical country.
The garden's are well kept and gardeners are really friendly, they will get coconuts down for you make hats and lizzards out of the palms anything you want really.
Itallian and Romantica we found the best to eat, the otheres are still very good just outside so again you get bitten quite badly I personally found the Romantica the best.
Sadly my husband fell down in the bar area on a wet floor and needed to go the the clinic...the hotel manager Adolopho was very helpful he arranged for transport to and from the clinic, moved us to a downstairs room near the pool, arranged meals in restaurants and gave us a wheelchair free of charge everyone was extremely helpful up to the day we left...fortunately we only need the wheelchair for a few day's.
There is a bit of walking to do around the complex but I found this ok sometimes after all that eating and drinking it was nice to walk it off.
I would say to anyone if you have not been to cuba before then maybe go varadero to see the real cuba, wehave been 3 times now so for us this was a really relaxing holiday there is really nothing to do or see unless you arrange trips to havana etc, having done this before is why we chose this island...Some people forget they are in cuba and expect to much I am really fussy about where I stay as long as the room is clean, food is good and weather i'm happy ...I would recommend this hotel to anyone who has already been to cuba....and if you go I hope you have a great holiday as we did. Jan xxx

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
ResidentManagerMLD, Manager at Melia Las Dunas, responded to this review, July 15, 2011
Dear jan_smith84. Thank you for your recommendation and your visit. Even we have to improve we are very happy your left the hotel so happy. We are a very big hotel and we feel very proud to give service to different nationalities. Kind regards. Antonio Montes. General Manager
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Oxford, United Kingdom
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 11, 2011

Reading previous reviews, I feel very sorry for anyone that has booked MLD recently, or is trying to decide whether to book. I can only give my honest opinion and hope that it helps. We travelled as a family of 5 - myself, my husband, two daughters (11 and 9) and 18month old son. We all had a truely lovely holiday. It was exactly what we expected for what we paid. We have been to Cayo Guillermo a few years ago and stayed at a slightly better hotel and paid a LOT more for it. I wanted a hotel in the middle of nowhere, and that is exactly what I got. I wanted somewhere safe for my children, with a little entertainment and cocktails for me, rum for my husband and we had all that. I wanted a decent standard of food but not restaurants that are so posh that you worry about the children's manners - I got that with a little work! It is true that the buffet can be difficult. The days we were early and had food cooked before the rush, we had lovely meals. There were times that we just ate the buffet and the food wasn;t great. There is definately a problem with flies and the desserts could do with some work - very dull. However, the flambeyed mango was wonderful. Breakfast was lovely, we all ate loads everyday. Often we would take some yogurts and banana's with us and pop them in our fridge for the kids to have before lunch. We all got a tummy upset but I don;t think it was the food. I think it was a bug going round and people not staying out the pool for a good 24 hours after they've had the bug too. It only lasted 24 hours each, although the babe couldn;t tolerate cuban milk for the rest of the holiday. If you have a toddler that still loves his bottle at bedtime, take formula as a back up, just in case. You can't buy cows milk or formula. You can order ready made cartons from Boots at the airport - I wish I'd taken more. We all picked up quickly and ate loads for the rest of the holidays. The Italian ,was lovely and food very good. The food at the beer garden was by far the best. We ate there at least once a day. Chicken nuggets and chips for the kids and calamari for us. Lovely freshly made burgers and panini's. The kids loved the icecream parlour. We had no problem with our beer fridge - filled everyday with soft drinks, beer and loads of water. Gardens absolutely beautiful and gardeners very friendly. All familes we talked to were having a lovely time - many had been before and were planning to go again. Pools clean but needing maintenance -shame they hadn;t done this sooner. There was a guy who cleaned the pool first thing and collected rubbish throughout the day. We spoke to him nearly everyday - friendly and hard working. Mozzie's rife - take as much repellant as you can and as strong as you can get. Boots own tropical worked for us. We also use their aftersun with repellant for double protection. Kids not bit once - but other guests covered in bites! Beautiful lizards. Coffee menu at the main bar a lovely touch. I ended every night with a cuban coffee (or two). House band fab - the babe loved a little dance after his tea. We would have liked to have done some watersports with the girls but the sea was quite rough. I think this was because we went a little late in the season (last 2 weeks of may). We went easter before and the sea was like a mill pond. This probably wouldn;t bother adults. My husband took the girls swimming with dolphins. A long journey but do-able. They had the best time. Felt completely safe on my own with the babe at the hotel. We had no problems at the airport in Cuba - quickly onto our coach and away. Beer for sale on the coach cheap. Quite a long transfer with small kids but I knew this when I booked, so no complaints. The only negative really was the flight. Thomas Cook food does seem to be some of the worst compared to other airlines. The kids meals were very poor and you don't really want to fill them up with the junk food you can buy on a long haul flight! You can't order a meal for an infant if they sit on your lap. The inflight entertainment wasn't good either, with nothing available for quite long periods of time. The lovely, older couple sat behind us had a couple of stiff shorts at the airport, another couple on the plane and then slept for the whole journey. If you do not have kids, then this is the way to travel. If you have kids, look at booking through First Choice - their flights are fab - better food, drinks and entertainment. Overall, in our opinion the hotel is correctly graded at 4+. Ideal for familiesthat are looking for somewhere "nice" but probably wouldn;t suit my parents who like 5+ luxury. We took the kids out of school for the first week and the second week was half term. This helped a lot with the price. We felt that we had an extremely good holiday for the price we paid. The girls are still singing "Ragga Ragga" !

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ResidentManagerMLD, Manager at Melia Las Dunas, responded to this review, July 15, 2011
Dear jarvieholidays. Thank you for your visit and your honest review, with pros and cons. It helps us to improve to give better service. We hope you can come back in the future, please, write us to help you. Take care. Antonio Montes. General Manager
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ipswich
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2011

We travelled to the MLD as a family my wife and I and our 2 daughters.

Our holiday firm was Thomson and we flew with their sister company First Choice having upgraded to the premier cabin which was excellent and many thanks to the hardworking flight crew.

I was somewhat concerned prior to going as some of the bad reviews that had been posted. But I have seen this before and have never found it to be as bad as was portrayed and we were looking forward to going to a country we had never been to before.

On arrival at the hotel we were met by dancers and a small band and a very welcome cold drink.
As the check-in had been done at the airport and on the coach we had a quick spin round to get our bearings before heading off to our rooms which were next door to each other in building 36 and our cases were already in and waiting for us.

The hotel is on a large plot of land with a series of concrete walkways between the accomodation and hotel buildings, I can honestly say the grounds were spectacular and well tended by the gardeners and is a credit to them.

I always found all the restaurants, meeting and bar areas to be extremely clean even at peak times when the areas were swamped with guests.
We ate most of the time in the International buffet, whch although quite a large choice not a lot that particularly that appealed to me, but that was my problem being fussy. It was also true at times some of the food was only luke warm, if this was the case I left it and got something else again not much of a problem.
The only thing that did grate a bit was if you went into dinner late say ablout 8.45pm, the tables that had been used were cleared and not re-laid which made it a bit of a search to find one. It would also help to have insect zappers to ensure the control of flies, but to be fair it wasn't a huge problem on the inside and air conditioned restaurants.
We did use some of the A La Carte I preferred the inside and air conditioned ones.

Which leads me onto the dreaded mozzies and flies, wherever you go in the world specifically hot countries you get them, we even have our fair share in the UK, there were efforts to keep them in check with the early am and late pm patrols by the smoke wagon, and to be fair the 2nd week there was a marked decrease in their activities.
Some got bitten more than others but having used after sun with insect repellant and a quick dash of an aerosol I only got bitten about 6 times the whole 2 weeks.

In the main the staff were outstanding I never had any of them begging or requesting a tip, but if I got good service then I did and was more than happy to do so, they served with a smile and although they were sometimes slow due to being short staffed at the lobby bar itself it was made up by the waiters who cruised the tables and were frequent and in good numbers.

Our room was cleaned every day and fridge re-stocked but not everday but as we didn't use that much apart from the water it wasnt a problem.
We never had a problem with dirty towels/linen on the beds or saw any bugs in the room during our 2 weeks.

All 4 of our group did succumb to a stomach bug at times during our stay, but we had copious amount of anti trot tablets which soon alleviated the problem.
I put it down to different food, the heat, alcohol and combinations of, I like many others do tend to suffer this on holiday from time to time it did not spoil my holiday.



This hotel is in my opinion is a 3.5 star at best, this is not meant as a criticism just you get what you pay for and what I paid was good value for what I got. It was a great holiday and I thouroughly enjoyed it made many new friends and met some lovely cuban people in resort who were dedicated and hard working and did their best to make our stay everything that it was.

All in all a very enjoyable time, a few little niggles but if you go with the notion that things are not good then anyone can pick fault and not enjoy themselves, enjoy Cuba for what it is and you might be as pleasantly surprised as me.

Room Tip: Email customer services with room requets, like location and proximity to family and friends we did...
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  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 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.
ResidentManagerMLD, Manager at Melia Las Dunas, responded to this review, July 15, 2011
Dear IpswichSteve. Hola from Cayo Santa Maria to you and all our British friends. Thank you for your extense review which helps to future guest to enjoy their time here better. We hope you can come back. Best wishes. Antonio Montes. General Manager
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Southampton, United Kingdom
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2011

After reading a few reviews i am inclined to agree with a couple of bad points BUT generally my wife and I who were on honeymoon had a very good time. I must agree that the flies were a problem in the buffet restaurant, no fans working within the main bar area and the relax pool was for adults only and there was no-one to endorse this. The evening entertainment was good ,however, i think the solo singer could have sung some songs in english. Why was there no talent contest as they are normally very funny and good. The maid(missladie) was very nice and friendly and made a point of comming to our room to say goodbye. All the staff we met were very friendly and we have no problems with them. We saw the smoke machine everynight and we actually got caught in it and covered in smoke but we did not mind( in fact we were mossie free that night) We made a lot of friends and will keep in contact with them,overall we had an excellent holiday and the Melia Las Dunas a very good hotel.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 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.
ResidentManagerMLD, Manager at Melia Las Dunas, responded to this review, July 15, 2011
Dear robinsouthampton. Thank you for your visit and your honest review, we will share with our staff, thank you also for your suggestion for the evening entertainment. Best regards. Antonio Montes. General Manager
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Banbury
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2011

We have just returned from two weeks at this hotel. We have been to the Caribbean a few times but never Cuba.

The hotel is good to look at - great gardens well kept, good reception with lots of nice accessories etc. Our room was fine, quite large with a King size bed - option to have the sheets and towels changed daily. Also, the fact that the activity/kids pool was one side of the complex and the adults/leisure pool was the other was a stroke of genuis. So far so good.

The welcome meeting was actually very informative - not too much emphasis on selling you the trips.

The a la carte restaurants are some of the best we have been to - in particular, in our opinion, The "Romantica", the Italian and the fish - all extremely well run and the food was good - and it had to be because the main restaurant (whilst not quite the canteen someone described it) was dire. Oh the food, when you managed to get it, wasn't too bad, good choice, fresh cooked fish, meat, pasta, stir fry. There was even a carvery - but it was chaotic - everyone queueing up for each different thing and getting in the way of folks that had got their meat/fish/whaever who were trying to find something to go with it. Breakfast was worse, they regularly ran out of plates and bread - there were absolutely no dessert spoons so you had to eat your cereal with a teaspoon. Getting a cup of tea was comical. If you ask for tea with milk, they make it with milk - therefore you get a cup of milk with a teabag in it!! They run out of tea on a regular basis also - giving you peppermint or camomile instead! I don't expect PG whilst in the depths of Cuba - but I would have thought making tea was universal!

The swimming pool area was never tidied up. Therefore, by the pool were millions of discarded plastic cups/straws/plates. The guy who did this job only picked up the stuff he tripped over. There was a champagne cork on the path down to the pool bar for the whole 2 weeks! That said, the pool itself was immaculate as were the aqua bars. The poolside snack bars, in fact all the snack bars, were very good. All this making up I think for the awful main restaurant.

Getting a drink in the bar in the evening was nigh on impossible. They don't have enough staff or glasses. Many a time we got our drinks in plastic cups. Also, the plastic cups were minimal. Therefore, if you were thirsty, you needed to get two of everything to quench your thirst. And I don't drink alcohol at all so I'm not moaning for that reason.

All in all though a good holiday. They just need to sort out the points I have made above. We wouldn't necessarily go back there but only because it was so isolated - the trip out on the catamaran was good although the food could have been better.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
ResidentManagerMLD, Manager at Melia Las Dunas, responded to this review, July 15, 2011
Dear Chris1951Banbury. Thank you for your visit and your extense review with pros and cons, it will be helpful for us. Take care and hope to see you soon. Kind regards. Antonio Montes. General Manager
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somerset
1 review
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2011

we must thank first choice for making our 45th anniversary a holiday that we will never forget, and this is being sarcastic.
first the good things which will be quicker than the bad things.
we decided toup grade on every thing as this was a very special holiday.So the flight there and back was excellent.the taxi we booked to and from the hotel was excellent.
.however when we got to the room which was a partial sea view the curtains fell down when we drew them.the pillows were filthy with blood stains,mildew in bathroom,the plug in bathroom was never mended even though we told customer services that we could not use the sink,the floors were disgusting,except for the last 3 days when we had an excellent maid.cockroaches running rife across floor,the fridge was only stocked 3


times in 2 weeks and coffee left twice. The buffet was digusting we had stomach upset every single day,to the point that we only eat soup and toast flys every where.When i asked the manager why the fans were not working in the buffet i was told they did not work.
The family pool was green where it was stagnent water as the pumps were
not working as other guest complained as well,that was fixed the day we left.
We have been to cuba three times so we can tell the differece between a good resort and a bad one and the MLD will never see us again.
They advertise jet skis on their leaflets which my husband wanted to do,but were told they no longer had them.
There was only one person at the bar that put them selves out and that was LILLIANA she made a drink up for us to try and settle our stomachs.

We were dissapointed so much we wanted to go home after the first week,but had to try and grin and bear it.
In my opinion the management should be sacked and most of the staff be givev lessons in hospitallity.
I have worked as an excecutive house keeper for a top hotel chain in florida for 10 years,so i think i am qualified to to judge the quality of cleanliness and service of a hotel.
We could not wait to return home to england and normallity.
Not once were we reassured that these problems would be dealt with.
I f this is FIRST CHOICE idea of a 4 star plus resort then we will never use them again.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ResidentManagerMLD, Manager at Melia Las Dunas, responded to this review, July 10, 2011
Dear pompeySomerset. Thank you for your feedback, the managers at MLD are always open to have any meeting with the guest in resort to help them. We are sorry for all inconvenience you had during your stay. I hope you give us a second opportunity in the future.
Kind regards. Antonio Montes. General Manager
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Additional Information about Melia Las Dunas

Address: | Jardines del Rey, 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 ) Kitchenette Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Luxury Hotel in Cayo Santa Maria
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Cayo Santa Maria
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Cayo Santa Maria
#4 Romantic Hotel in Cayo Santa Maria
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Melia Las Dunas 4.5*
Number of rooms: 925
Also Known As:
Melia Las Dunas Hotel Cayo Santa Maria
Melia Cayo Santa Maria
Melia Hotel Las Dunas
Melia Las Dunas Cuba

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